5 Most Hated UFC Fighters of All Time
There have been many UFC fighters that have been hated by fans, and even other fighters.
In this page we'll go over the most hated fighters in the history of the UFC, what has made them the most hated, and what the general perception of them is.
Table of Contents
1. Colby Covington
Colby "Chaos" Covington didn't come into his nickname until the later part of his UFC run.
Despite sporting an impressive 12-1 record, Covington was actually not going to get re-signed by the UFC. They allegedly didn't like his style of fighting, and his lack of entertainment on the microphone.
After his fight with Damien Maia, 'Chaos' indeed began. Despite being in hostile territory (in Brazil vs a Brazilian), he called all of the Brazilians 'Filthy animals' and went on to state that where they lived was a 'dump'.
Shortly after that, Covington began going to further lengths with this new persona by inserting himself into a highly controversial topic, politics.
In fact, he endorsed Donald Trump and frequently still talks about him presently. He explains that he wants to 'Make the Division Great Again'.
If we're being honest in the grand scheme of things, he has done a fantastic job transforming himself into a heel. He is constantly boo'd everywhere that he goes, and even his biggest haters tune in (hoping to see him get knocked out).
Covington has embraced the heel role and has even come out to Kurt Angle's theme song. Angle's theme song is notorious for fans chanting "You Suck" along with the song, while Angle enters the arena.
All of the MMA fans have adopted the same chant, letting Covington know that he sucks as he makes his walk to the octagon.
2. Tyron Woodley
Let's start with the latest events.
Woodley could have turned all of this around, and become the most loved MMA fighter of all time by viciously knocking out Jake Paul, but instead he lost to him (again), only this time through a brutal knockout in their rematch.
Not only was it a knockout, but he went on to face plant in the middle of the ring after losing the first match through a split decision.
There have been many events over the years that have led to Woodley being near the top of this list.
Despite having massive success in the welterweight division, such as at one point knocking out Robbie Lawler to win the belt and defending it 4 times afterwards..
Woodley has not made himself a fan favorite over the years.
This is from a combination of his style of fighting, along with his comments after, and in between fights.
Although Woodley has unbelievable knockout power, he consistently backs up and at times doesn't even throw punches, as he's constantly waiting for the perfect punch.
In fact, Woodley actually broke the record for 'Least Amount of Punches Thrown in a Title Fight' in UFC history when he fought Damien Maia.
Despite being able to easily stuff all of Maia's take downs, Woodley would not follow up or attempt to finish the fight which would lead to a crowd of boo's.
This wasn't the only occasion that this occurred however, prior to the Maia fight he would fight Stephen Thompson twice, and have a similar result in terms of striking output. The streak of 3 consecutive fights of this occurring lead to heavy criticism by fans and Dana White.
In between all of this after winning the title, Woodley would immediately call out George St-Pierre and Nick Diaz as potential opponents.
This rubbed fans the wrong way, as it's a common thought in the MMA world that the title must be defended several times against the top contenders, before the champion can ask for any super fights.
3. Aljamain Sterling
Sterling has had one of the biggest fan perception shifts of all time.
He had gone from a dominant contender that used his elite wrestling and grappling, to a 'Fake Champion/Paper Champ' in a span of one fight.
He would fight Petr Yan for the Bantamweight title, and it was immediately clear that Yan was the better fighter that night and/or that Sterling was injured. Yan would stuff 16/17 of Sterling's take downs, along with outclassing him on the feet.
On top of this, Yan would take Sterling down all 7 times that he attempted. However, in the 4th round of the fight, Yan threw an illegal knee that disqualified him from the fight, and made Sterling the champion.
Although he was not able to continue, Sterling would do the immediate post fight interview, which he was heavily criticized for. Some wondered why he couldn't continue if he could easily talk to the cameras after the fight.
He got concussed and he couldn't fight but he could conduct a full ass interview and tweet after... this is why an Olympic gold medal is greatest accomplishment an athlete could do! But hey @funkmasterMMA at least you know you could make it Hollywood. And I’m not evening hating pic.twitter.com/YNUUMRfbvs— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) March 7, 2021
Shortly after this, Sterling was seen posing with the belt, and even flirting with fighter other fighters that weren't Petr Yan. It gave off the perception that he was avoiding Petr Yan for the immediate rematch.
Lastly, after the fight Sterling would undergo neck surgery to address injuries that had long bothered him. This would further delay the immediate rematch.
In the middle of all of this, Sterling would embrace the 'Heel' Role and antagonize fans that criticized him.
#UFC bantamweight champ @funkmastermma tells @arielhelwani why he "leaned into" being the heel:— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) September 1, 2021
"If this is what people are going to give me sh*t for, I might as well have fun with it."
WATCH #TheMMAHour: https://t.co/2GyRihHss5 pic.twitter.com/46RMxPchTm
Sterling would shock most of the MMA community when he would defeat Petr Yan in their long awaited rematch.
He would look much more poised and controlled, and even get Yan to the ground, get on his back and leave Yan unable to get back up at one point.
Although Sterling remains one of the most hated fighters in MMA, there's no doubt that he is a legitimate world class fighter.
4. Jon Jones
Jon 'Bones' Jones has been one of the most dominant champions, and one of the most athletically gifted fighters in this history of MMA.
As the youngest UFC champion at the age of 23, he captured the MMA world as he then went on to dominate the most dominant fighters of that era.
As gifted and as dominant as he had been inside of the cage, he would go on to have off-the cage troubles.
Due to this, he had missed plenty of time inside of the octagon, even being suspended from the UFC and stripped of the UFC title.
Despite all of these issues, rather than admitting some fault, he would explain that it was God testing him.
This lead to the long-running Reddit joke below, where anything bad that occurs to Jones could be attributed to that phrase.
Some fans wondered if Jones was being genuine, as his actions out of the cage didn't line up with his thoughts publicly.
Recently, Jones has looked the most beatable that he has ever looked inside of the cage. In his last two fights, he beat Thiago Santos through a split decision, and Dominick Reyes in a fight many thought he actually lost.
My initial feeling here is Reyes won this fight I might have to rewatch this one— Eddie Alvarez (@Ealvarezfight) February 9, 2020
I had Reyes in the first three rounds. Credit to Jones on coming on strong 4th and 5th but I would of guessed Reyes won that fight on scorecards.— Chris Weidman (@chrisweidman) February 9, 2020
Rather than giving Reyes an immediate rematch, he opted to vacate the belt and take time off to bulk up to challenge for the heavyweight title.
5. Sean O'Malley
Any time that you're different and not shy about it, there's going to be some backlash.
This is the case here with O'Malley as he sports his colorful hair, tattooed body, and weed smoking persona.
Originally known from Dana White's Contender Series, O'Malley has taken the MMA world by storm due to his outlandish looks and masterful performances, mostly via knockouts.
The main reason why he's hated however is the level of competition that he consistently fights.
Despite being a very talented fighter, he consistently fights unranked fighters. In fact, he hasn't beaten a ranked fighter in the UFC.
O'Malley explains that it is strictly a financial move. He goes on to say that he has a set amount of fights in his contract, and he will get paid the same whether he fights an unranked guy, or the actual champion.
In recent memory, O'Malley would fight Kris Moutinho who was signed to the UFC for this fight, and took the fight in less than 2 weeks notice.
O'Malley would put on a master class performance against Moutinho.