5 fighters who were one and done in the UFC
In recent years – bsince the Zuffa takeover in 2001 – if a fighter makes it to the UFC, they usually manage to stick around for at least two or three fights. Even big-name busts like Denis Kang and Rameau Sokoudjou were given multiple chances to prove themselves in the Octagon, and if a fighter steps in on short notice they’re usually guaranteed another crack too.
That isn’t always the case, however. A handful of fighters have come into the UFC for one fight and then were gone directly after, for various reasons. This article is about five of them.
Before we begin, a small caveat - I’m not counting fighters coming off a season of The Ultimate Fighter as the majority of them are on one-fight deals with the UFC, nor am I going back to the pre-Zuffa days when plenty of fighters only had a cameo UFC appearance.
#1 Rolles Gracie
Back in 2010, the legendary Renzo Gracie made a lone UFC appearance – a loss to Matt Hughes at UFC 112 – but he was never expected to stick around anyway as he came out of retirement for the fight. His cousin Rolles, on the other hand, was meant to be the big hope for the Gracie family to actually have a new, post-Royce UFC superstar.
To say it didn’t work out would be an understatement. Signed to fight at Heavyweight against Mostapha Al-Turk at UFC 109, Gracie was instead matched with late replacement Joey Beltran when Al-Turk failed to secure a Visa. It sounded like a ready-made fight for him and early on, it looked like he’d deliver. He took Beltran down, mounted him and worked for a fight-ending rear naked choke.
Beltran was tougher than expected though and fought out of the position, and just three minutes into the fight, Gracie was thoroughly out of gas. He failed on a handful of weak takedown attempts to begin the second round before simply falling to the mat, where Beltran finished him with a series of punches.
It was a terrible display and unsurprisingly, the UFC came to the conclusion that Rolles was simply not ready for UFC competition, even at the lowest levels, and he was immediately released from his contract after the lone fight. Renzo himself described the performance as “embarrassing” – Royce Gracie he was not.