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10 UFC fighters that fans love to criticize

While most mixed martial arts fans hold a certain level of respect towards UFC fighters, there are still those on the roster who are vilified for whatever reason. Some are hated because of their fighting style, while others get flak for their misdemeanors, and rightfully so.

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From former and current world champions to fast-rising up-and-comers, here are 10 of the UFC fighters that fans simply love to criticize

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#10 Demian Maia

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UFC 194: Maia vs. Nelson
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In this day and age of MMA where the sport has immensely evolved, one may expect for fans to be more knowledgeable about each and every facet involved. However, there are still some fans who are seemingly stuck in the UFC's "Just Bleed" era and are only after the stand-and-bang action.

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Those are the same fans who continue to hate on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Demian Maia. Most of their gripes are about him being too "one-dimensional" since he uses his grappling as his primary weapon in most of his fights.

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In Maia's defense, he has also evolved as an overall fighter. It was evident when he was able to light up top-ranked welterweight Colby Covington during their striking exchange when they fought in Sao Paulo, Brazil last October, making any of these arguments against him practically invalid.

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#9 Joanna Jedrzejczyk

UFC 205: Weigh-ins

During her reign as the UFC strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk was one of the most beloved fighters in the roster. The manner in which she dismantled one opponent after another was indeed a sight to behold.

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However, her reputation among fans immediately turned sour after her loss to Rose Namajunas at UFC 217 last November. And it was not because she is no longer champion, rather, it was her post-fight reactions and simply not taking the loss graciously.

After the fight, Joanna pinned the blame for her loss on various factors, such as the 15 pounds she had to cut in 14 hours, as well as the doctors who were overseeing the process. She also discredits Namajunas' knockout, saying it was merely an "accident."

Jedrzejczyk is currently scheduled to face Namajunas in a rematch at UFC 223 this April, and we will just have to see if she will be able to win back the love she lost.

#8 Georges St-Pierre

UFC 217: Bisping v St-Pierre

Georges St-Pierre is one of the longest-reigning welterweight champions in UFC history, with a title run spanning a total of five consecutive years. During that time, he was also one of the most hated fighters in the game.

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Similar to Maia, St-Pierre was getting flak for his "play-it-safe" strategy, as he was perceived to be doing just enough to eke out a victory. His style was also getting more and more predictable, and it was shown in his last few fights as the 170-pound champion.

GSP seemingly turned his reputation around after defeating Michael Bisping at UFC 217 to become the undisputed middleweight champion of the world. According to his grappling coach John Danaher, all of the three main criticisms that were usually thrown at St-Pierre were answered that night: having too much of a tactical approach, never fighting above his weight class, and not finishing fights.

St-Pierre threw caution to the wind in that fight where he fought 15 pounds heavier and won via third-round submission.

#7 CM Punk

UFC 203: Miocic v Overeem

The UFC signing of CM Punk could be one of the most (if not the most) unique and controversial ones in UFC history. Here was a former WWE superstar who had zero experience in mixed martial arts fighting in the world's most premier MMA organization for his debut. No amateur fights, no fights in smaller shows.

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When it was first announced in 2014, many fighters on the roster such as Nate Diaz did not like the idea at all. To add insult to injury for those who are against it, Punk is now being slated for his second UFC fight that will be broadcasted on pay-per-view, even after an abysmal debut against Mickey Gall in 2016.

Punk may get all the hate for now, but another angle that seems to pique the interest of fans is the possibility of him fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr., who has teased about a move to MMA. if Punk can beat Mayweather, he may just earn himself some love, and lots of it.

#6 Anderson Silva

Former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva Holds Press Conference

During his reign as the UFC middleweight champion, Anderson Silva was also a beloved figure among the sport's most ardent fans. From his end, "The Spider" did not have a difficult time to develop a following and his highlight reel performances against elite fighters were strong statements.

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It all started to dramatically change when he tested positive for banned substances twice in a span of two years. In one fell swoop, Anderson Silva, a man touted to be the "Greatest of All-Time", was suddenly reduced to a "cheater" and "steroid user" to many MMA fans.

Silva defended both failed tests by saying they may have been a result of tainted supplements he had taken. Nonetheless, the immediate fighting future of the 42-year-old Silva is not looking good as of the moment.

#5 Michael Bisping

UFC 199: Rockhold v Bisping 2

Brash-talking fighters are usually the target of hatred of MMA's legions of fans. Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping, for one, is a good example.

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Throughout his career, "The Count" has played the heel role well, and it was most prominent during his Ultimate Fighter coaching stint against Dan Henderson in 2009. Bisping was then a part of all highlight reel knockouts when he was put to sleep in emphatic fashion by Henderson when they met at UFC 100.

Bisping did manage to gain some fans over the last years, but being on the receiving end of resounding boos from the crowd of thousands is something that he has always embraced.

#4 Tyron Woodley

UFC 205: Open Workouts

Before winning the UFC welterweight title, Tyron Woodley was one of the most respected fighters in the game, mainly because of his knockout power. But when he assumed the position as champion and began demanding money fights, things began going south for "The Chosen One" and his reputation among fans.

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Woodley's past performances did not help elevate his status, either. After three monotonous fights against Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson and Demian Maia, Woodley has gotten more hate from observers than he ever had.

Currently, Woodley says he is slated to defend his title against Nate Diaz next, and the fact that he intends to fight a natural lightweight who has not fought in more than a year and is coming off a loss is not helping his case to become more of a fan-favorite.

#3 Jon Jones

UFC 145: Jones v Evans - Press Conference

When Jon Jones burst onto the scene in the late 2000's, he was able to immediately wow audiences with his creativity, strength, and killer instinct. After winning the UFC light heavyweight title in just three years after making his Octagon debut, "Bones" was able to solidify his status as an MMA phenom.

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Just like those who ascend to the peak of success in a rapid fashion such as other star athletes like LeBron James, Jones received a fair amount of hate from fans. However, things only worsened for him after failing two drug tests, forever marring his status as one of the greatest fighters of all-time.

Jones is currently on the sidelines after his failed drug test at UFC 214 last July, and it would probably take a while before MMA fans begin to warm up to him again.

#2 Conor McGregor

Floyd Mayweather Jr. v Conor McGregor World Press Tour - New York

It is probably safe to say that Conor McGregor is a one-of-a-kind athlete and fighter for this generation. In just a matter of four years, he was able to go from obscurity and collecting social welfare checks to becoming a prominent figure that transcends all forms of prizefighting.

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Hating on "The Notorious" because of his bravado and trash-talking skills is a given, but most fans have begun to grow tired of his schtick, mainly because of his absence in the UFC. After fighting Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match last August, McGregor has yet to fulfill his obligations as the UFC lightweight champion since winning the belt in 2016.

UFC president Dana White recently revealed that McGregor would likely be stripped of the title for failing to defend it, and if you ask either Tony Ferguson, Khabib Nurmagomedov, or the droves of fans who want to see an active lightweight champion, it is indeed some refreshing news to hear.

#1 Colby Covington

UFC Singapore Fight Night

Casual fans may not know who he is, but hardcore MMA followers are very familiar with Colby "Chaos" Covington. The number three-ranked welterweight contender began to attract attention for himself last October when he lambasted the entire country of Brazil, calling its people "filthy animals" who live in a "dump."

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As an old adage goes, "There is no such thing as bad publicity", and this credo is something that Covington seems to be living by. After the Brazil incident, he went on to engage in rifts with several fighters such as Jon Jones, Lyoto Machida, Fabricio Werdum, and reigning welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.

Covington is pushing for a title shot against Woodley, as he continues to go down the trash-talking route. Fans will then just have to wait and see if his strategy would work and he would indeed be granted a crack at UFC gold.

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Edited by
Lennard Surrao
 
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