Mac Danzig retired last night. Maybe you heard this news and a single tear ran down your cheek, maybe you heard the news and quickly forgot it because, well, it was about Mac Danzig. That’s understandable. Because as TUF winners go, there are those who are good and leave a lasting mark on the sport, and there are those who suck. Danzig was of the latter group.
By now, there have been so many seasons of TUF that winning one is about as special as looking at your wristwatch and seeing that it’s 1 o’clock. There are even entire seasons going on in other countries, seasons full of competitors whose names we’ll never know, breeding champs we’ll never, ever care about. But at one time it was a remarkable thing to win the competition, and Danzig’s successful run during Season Six can probably considered the last time we actually gave a damn.
And yet in his post-TUF career in the Octagon, he never lived up to the potential we thought he had. In fact, alongside Kendall Grove, Danzig was one of the first TUF winners to show us how bad they could actually be when thrust into the UFC’s general population. You might even say that Danzig helped start the trend of suckage that was to come.
With his retirement from competition, Danzig joins the ranks of those TUF winners who were complete letdowns. Other members of the League of Suck include:
- Kendall Grove, who won Season 3 and went nowhere;
- Travis Lutter, who won Season 4 (the season that had all UFC veterans), then failed to make weight for his title shot against Anderson Silva;
- Amir Sadollah, who won TUF 7 but was in way over his head;
- Efrain Escudero, who won TUF 8 and couldn’t be cut from the UFC fast enough;
- James Wilks – who?
- Jonathan Brookins, who won TUF 12 but was never really suited for high-level UFC competition.
Of course Danzig deserves some respect, both for what he did accomplish and the amount of blood he shed in the cage just to entertain us. For that I applaud him.
But man, if ever there were flaws in a system that was meant to produce good fighters but ended up giving the spotlight to a bunch of ones who were no bueno, Danzig did a great job in accentuating those flaws inherent in TUF.