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Top 5 worst MMA cheap shots in history

Here is a list of the MMA fighters that took the rules into their own hands, and showed appalling displays of sportsmanship.

MMA fighters typically conduct themselves with respect and dignity, showing their opponents the same gratitude they would like to receive in return. In a sport where knocking out or submitting your opponent is the preferred method of victory, the athletes understand that in such a dangerous world, respecting the competitor opposite you is of the utmost importance.

Unfortunately, as with any sport, there are instances where athletes decide, whether by choice or in the heat of the moment, that respecting the competitor is not an option, and instead engage in unsportsmanlike conduct.

Below is a list of the MMA fighters that took the rules into their own hands, and showed appalling displays of sportsmanship. From illegal strikes during fights, to after-the-bell assaults, this list features the most notorious instances of cheapshots in MMA history.

#5. Paul Daley Late Shot vs. Josh Koscheck

One of the more notorious instances of poor sportsmanship in recent history happened at UFC 113 as it played host to the hotly anticipated grudge match between British knockout artist Paul Daley and college wrestling star Josh Koscheck. The build-up was intense and entertaining, with Daley and Koscheck trading verbal jabs at every opportunity.

When finally came time to settle the score, Daley was left incredibly frustrated, as Koscheck proceeded to comfortably outwrestle and hold the Brit down for the majority of the fight. Koscheck even started to tease Daley as he lay helpless on his back. As the third round bell signaled the end of the fight, it all got a bit too much for the frustrated Daley.

He never really had an opportunity to land a punch on Koscheck, so decided it was acceptable to sucker punch the American from behind as he returned to his corner, forcing Referee Dan Mirgliotta to restrain Daley.

UFC president Dana White wasted no time in banning the Brit from the organization for life.

#4. Heath Herring vs Yoshihiro Nakao: The Kiss

At K-1: Premium 2005 Dynamite on New Year's Eve, one of the most odd and infamous cheap shots in combat sports history occurred. Heath Herring and Yoshihiro Nakao were face to face, receiving final instructions from the referee, when the Japanese fighter decided it was a perfect moment to kiss Herring on the lips.

If this was an attempt to provoke Herring, then it worked - Herring delivered a right hook to the jaw of Nakao, knocking him out cold. The referee immediately disqualified Herring, awarding the bout to Nakao. However, that decision was later overturned and the fight was declared a No Contest, as it was determined that both competitors had committed a foul.

Nakao's nickname going forward was "Kiss."

#3. Wes Sims Stomps Frank Mir 1

At UFC 43, Wes Sims, who already had a reputation for creative interpretations of the rules, found himself outgunned by the incredibly dangerous jiu-jitsu artist Frank Mir. Mir was dominating Sims on the ground for the first two minutes of the fight, before transitioning into a slick armbar. Sims defending himself ably, by dumping Frank on his head.

Then, for unknown reasons, Sims proceeded to grab the cage with both hands (which in itself is prohibited) before unleashing a series of vicious stomps to the head, knocking him out. The referee immediately waived off the contest before unsurprisingly disqualifying Sims from the fight.

Mir won the rematch six months later, via TKO.

#2. Gilbert Yvel vs. The Referee

Gilbert Yvel is a notorious bad boy in the MMA world, and in a fight vs. Atte Backman in Finland, " The Hurricane" showed one of the most infamous displays of misconduct ever seen in combat sports.

Midway through the bout, the referee separated the fighters after they were falling over the ropes in a clinch position, and attempted to restart them in the same position. After several attempts by the referee to restart the fight, Yvel threw a powerful left hand to the head of the referee, collapsing him to the ground. The assault then continued as Gilbert kicked an already defenseless man.

Yvel was subsequently arrested as a result of the attack, and has showed good etiquette since this 2004 incident. In the below video, he gives his side of the incident, and says the referee was also the promoter, and his opponent's coach, leading to an inherently unfair situation, that he admittedly did not handle correctly.

#1. Gerard Gordeau Gouges Yuki Nakai, Blinding Him in One Eye

Yuki Nakai entered the one-night, eight-man at Vale Tudo Japan 95, and put on a legendary performance. At 5' 6" and 135, Nakai first faced 6' 5" 215 pound Gerard Gordeau. The Dutchman didn't like dealing with the guard, told the referee to stand them up or he would end it, and when the ref declined to change the rules, Gordeau gouged Nakai's eye, permanently blinding him. Gordeau then got tapped out to a heel hook, after half an hour of fighting. Nakai next armbarred 6' 1" 250-pound Craig Pittman. Nakai then came out for the third time that night. vs. Rickson Gracie.

Nakai waited many years until MMA was firmly established in Japan before revealing his blindness, over bad publicity concerns. He was the first person in Japan to earn a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and has been an extraordinary ambassador for the sport, creating talent the likes of Shinya Aoki.

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