I recently wrote an article about UFC prospects that turned out to be busts, but really, nobody can ever tell how well a prospect will do at the elite level – that’s why they’re called prospects, after all.
But obviously not all of the fighters that the UFC sign are prospects – some come in as champions from rival promotions and are expected to make an immediate impact on the title picture in their new home.
The likes of Eddie Alvarez, Daniel Cormier and Luke Rockhold would certainly fit that bill, but of course, sometimes even big signings turn out to be busts. So here are the ten biggest busts in UFC history.
#10: Rafael Feijao
The 2013 integration of the StrikeForce roster into the UFC was supposed to re-energise the promotion and for the most part it worked, as the likes of Daniel Cormier, Luke Rockhold and Ronaldo Souza almost immediately shot to the top of their divisions.
And at Light-Heavyweight, Brazilian Rafael Feijao was expected to follow suit.
Feijao had defeated King Mo Lawal for the StrikeForce Light-Heavyweight title in 2010 and although he’d lost it to Dan Henderson, wins over Yoel Romero and Mike Kyle seemed to bode well for a UFC run.
His UFC debut was somewhat delayed though due to a PED suspension following the Kyle fight, and perhaps that sowed the seeds for what went wrong in the UFC.
A much less chiselled Feijao debuted in June 2013 and was stopped by Thiago Silva, and although he beat Igor Pokrajac a few months later, one-sided losses to Ryan Bader, Patrick Cummins and Ovince St. Preux signalled the end of his UFC run.
He never looked close to the form he showed in stopping King Mo, and you have to wonder how much of that run was fuelled by PEDs based on his form after returning from suspension.