By: Albert Cameron – Truth be told: this week’s Friday 5ive was going to be a countdown of the five worst fighting records in professional mixed martial arts. That idea was scrapped completely because I felt that it would be an attempt to try and shed light on an athlete negatively; when it comes down to it, the guy with the worst record in MMA has still stepped in the cage more than I have and deserves my respect. So, to honor those who have displayed monumental courage to compete with another human being in a combat sport, I’m counting down five fighters who have been in the cage over one hundred times.
NOTE: These are five fighters that come to my mind. There may be other fighters who have similar or better records. They were not excluded as disrespect; this list is not definitive.
METHODOLOGY: For the first time on the Friday 5ive, there is a method to the mayhem in how fighters were ranked. The first quantifier is that they had to have over one hundred professional (amateur bouts were not considered) mixed martial arts fights. Then they were ranked by win ratio; the total wins were divided by the total fights, coming up with a win percentage. Number one and number two had an equal win ratio and placement defaulted to the number of wins a fighter had. A fighter could have had a record of 5-1-0 and have the same win ratio was a fighter with a record of 50-10-0. Draws & No Contests were considered into the numerology, as it does count as experience in the cage.
No. 5: Shannon “The Cannon” Ritch (55-79-4; Win Ratio: 40%) – Shannon Ritch is one of the most recognizable fighters, with a sizable fight record, to never compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championships. Ritch is a multiple veteran and combatant for promotions such as King of the Cage (KOTC), Gladiator Challenge (GC), Hook N Shoot, Rumble on the Rock (ROTR), and World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC). Ritch’s record may not be the most exemplary, but consider this: he’s stepped foot in to fight professionally over one hundred and thirty eight times, he has scored forty-four submissions and nine knock outs. With the “never back down” mentality, Ritch has been willing to take fights that most west coast promoters have been willing to throw at him. Memorable fights include bouts with: Alex Shoenauer, Dan “The Beast” Severn, former UFC Middleweight Champion Evan Tanner, and Benji “The Razor” Radach. Shannon “The Cannon” Ritch is currently on a two fight winning streak, having fought just last month.
No. 4: Bryan “Hardcore” Robinson (45-65-0; Win Ratio: 41%) – [NO IMAGE AVAILABLE] I can admit that I am slightly ignorant on the life, style, and career of Bryan “Hardcore” Robinson. To take a look at his record, two things are painfully obvious: 1. There is a substantial mixed martial arts scene in the Midwest, specifically, Iowa (which makes sense, considering that Miletich Fighting Systems was out of Bettondorf and would have surely attracted a scene around it) and 2. Travis Fulton really has no problem accepting a fight against Bryan Robinson (they fought a total of seven times, two of which were only two weeks apart). Much like Shannon Ritch, if a man has over one hundred career professional MMA bouts, he must have been a warrior in another life and brought that pedigree with him into this existence.
No. 3: Jeremy “Gumby” Horn (91-23-5; Win Ratio: 76%) – In the grand scheme of the life of MMA, Jeremy Horn was among the second generation of martial artist to compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship; a warrior born in the evolution of fighters being adept in each aspect of fighting and not married to one or the other. Not only did Horn help usher in the era of the first “mixed martial artist,” but he stayed extremely busy, not nursing wounds if they occurred. Horn’s first bout in the UFC was a knee bar loss to “The Legend” Frank Shamrock and in between his first appearance and the next, Horn had four bouts. It should be noted that Horn’s loss to Shamrock was at UFC 17 and his next appearance was at UFC 17.5. In the time it took the UFC to promote two events, Jeremy Horn had six bouts. To date, Jeremy Horn still fights, working to add more bouts to his already massive record.
No. 2: Dan “The Beast” Severn (101-19-7; Win Ratio: 80%) – Think long and hard; do I really need to introduce Dan “The Beast” Severn to you? Dan Severn was the first in a wave of amateur wrestlers who proved that Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, while extremely effective, could be properly tested and challenged. Severn’s first bouts were competed without Severn having the knowledge or prowess in any of the striking arts. In fact, Severn’s UFC 4 & 5 submission wins are just amateur wrestling maneuvers with slight-yet-nasty tweaks to make them extremely painful. Severn’s UFC highlights include the UFC 5 tournament championship, the Ultimate Ultimate 1 championship, and the UFC Superfight Championship (which would later become the UFC Heavyweight Championship). The tale of Dan Severn’s career does not end with his UFC accolades. After his UFC career had waned, Severn had competed for PRIDE, King of the Cage, Gladiator Challenge, his own DangerZone promotion, and a plethora of others. Severn’s last bout before retirement was a decision victory over Alex Rozman at Blue Blood MMA. In an effort to stoke nostalgia, Dan Severn had agreed to a bout with “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” Ken Shamrock; after Shamrock could not fulfill his promotional obligations, Severn called Shamrock’s reasoning suspect. To date, Dan Severn has no reason to exit retirement (…unless Mark “The Hammer” Coleman or Royce Gracie comes to call).
No. 1: Travis “the Iron Man” Fulton (252-51-11; Win Ratio: 80%) – I remember the first time I’d heard Travis Fulton’s name; I was contributing to an MMA forum and the topic of unreal fight records came up, by proxy, so did Travis Fulton’s name. At that time, the uninitiated researchers of MMA records may only have known Travis Fulton as a guy who had lost to the Lion’s Den’s Pete “El Doro” Williams by arm lock at UFC 20. Leading up to the UFC 20 bout, Travis Fulton already had more bouts (and wins) than two fighters with average careers. After the bout with Pete Williams, Travis Fulton had more bouts (and wins) than four fighters with average careers. To look into Fulton’s career, it’s almost inhuman and legendary. How can a man who surely has a full time job be able to fight so much? How does a man with the distractions of a working man take such an aggressive fight schedule and win so much? Over the time line of a career, a fighter who fights into his post-prime years could hope for a winning record; if Travis Fulton stops fighting tonight, he’s going to have nearly one hundred times the fights that most prolific fighters will have. On top of his three hundred and fourteen professional mixed martial arts bouts, Travis “The Iron Man” Fulton also has sixty six boxing matches; grand total: three hundred and eighty professional prize fights. Clearly, “Iron Man” is not just a clever nick name.
Until next time: Fights, Cameron, Action!HorhORN