As this season of TUF winds down, Josh Samman has left me wondering where he ranks among the most unlikable cast members of the show. After 17 seasons, there roughly over 250 fighters that made it into the house for a shot at a guaranteed six-figure deal. Some guys had a cup of coffee and we never heard from them again. Some became champions and contenders. Some were both, but were more memorable for being train wrecks, drunks, jerks, or just plain old annoying. So here is my top 10 list of “Most Unlikable TUF Cast Members.”
10- Chris Leben: First Season of TUF- As much I have grown to respect Chris Leben’s fighting style in the Octagon, he definitely rubbed me the wrong way on the first season of TUF. He played the role of the “tough on the outside, troubled on the inside” fighter that masked his pain through binge drinking.. When he did drink he could be a bully. The prime example is when he urinated on Jason “Strange Brew” Thacker’s pillow on the first night they met. The weirdest part is that “Strange Brew” didn’t even notice.
9- Tony Ferguson: Lesnar vs. Dos Santos- Like Leben above, nobody likes an angry drunk. I was rooting for Ferguson and thought he was very impressive up until the episode where he got drunk and taunted teammate Charlie Radar about his child custody problems while also talking smack to just about all of his teammates. From there he became a guy you wanted to see get KO’d, but he wound up knocking out the nice guy Chuck O’Neil and naked Ramsey Nijem to win the tournament.
8- Andy Wang: Penn vs. Pulver- Telling people you do math as a hobby will piss most people off. Having a BJJ Black Belt and choosing to stand against a striker after your coaches tell you the game plan is to take the fight to the ground will piss your coaches off and get you kicked off the team. Crying after losing a fight you could of won by choosing to stand will make you lose the respect of teammates. Andy Wang holds the honor of being the first TUF contestant kicked off his team by his coach, then after Jens Pulver said he could join his team, Wang was not really sure he wanted to do so, even though he had no other options. So for all of that, Andy Wang makes the list at number 8.
7- Jeremy May: Rampage vs. Forrest- Jeremy May has since become a missionary helping out the less fortunate. Strange turn of events for him considering what a jerk he was on TUF. His cockiness and pranks were a turnoff and I was pumped up when Matt Brown called him out after May tampered with the man’s chewing tobacco. I was absolutely thrilled when Brown KO’d May with a head kick, but that did not seem to put May in his place. May tried to bait loose cannon and house drunk Jesse Taylor into hitting him to get Jesse kicked out of the house and tournament by making anti-Semitic remarks at him. So for being a cocky jerk, tampering with a man’s tobacco, and making racially insensitive remarks, Jeremy May earned his place on this list.
6- James McSweeney: Rampage vs. Rashad- McSweeney just rubbed me the wrong way. He was cocky, arrogant, had a sense of entitlement due to being training partners with Evans at Team Jackson, and was a just a bully. What clinched his place on the list was his bullying of Zak Jensen. It was obvious that Jensen was not comfortable in the house and had a hard time fitting in. So did McSweeney offer him a shoulder to cry on? Nope, like the classic jock bully, he taunted him, locked the claustrophobic Jensen in the bathroom and then locked Jensen in a guillotine choke. I was happy to see Roy Nelson finished him in the semi-finals.
5- Josh Koscheck: First Season and GSP vs. Koscheck- Josh Koscheck is a heel and loves every second of it. His spot on the list is due to what he did on the show as a contestant and as a coach. From putting the garden hose on Chris Leben, to taunting him after beating him, and just being Kos, the guy is just a jerk. He has that CM Punk vibe where he knows how to get you to hate him and then relishes in the hate. The classic prototype of the smug jock that thinks he is God’s gift to the world.
4- Michael Bisping: Tito vs. Shamrock, Bisping vs. Henderson, Bisping vs. Mayhem- Bisping’s place on this list is due to appearing on three different seasons of the show. Bisping did not seem to understand or have much sympathy as to why the deaf Matt Hamill had a hard time understanding him. Going hard in sparring against Hamill to knockout of Hamill out of the tournament was just cold blooded. Squirting a water bottle in the face of Demarques Johnson after thinking Johnson made a racial comment at him, which he didn’t is another classic Bisping move. The big payoff was Dan Henderson’s KO of Bisping at UFC 100.
3- Josh Samman: Jones vs. Sonnen- Josh Samman oozes cockiness. He is smart, athletic, and can back up his cockiness in the Octagon with 3 first round finishes this season. What makes him so unlikable is that he knows it. What puts him over the top is how he thinks he can always outsmart the system. What makes fans hate him even more is the reality that he has been able to game the system and get the fights that he wants to get even if it means putting his teammates in a bad matchup. Even his coaches sense that he is playing them. While Koscheck and Bisping can be jerks, the scary part of Josh Samman is he comes off a bit like a creepy sociopath.
2 - Junie Browning: Big Nog vs. Mir- Going on drunken tirades, challenging your housemates to fights, wanting to fight your teammates, throwing glass cups at them, and being on an emotional rollercoaster is more Real world than TUF. Junie Browning was a train wreck we could not take our eyes off of watching. Dana refused to kick him out of the house because Junie’s act was ratings gold. Many fans rejoiced when Efrain Escudero tapped Junie out in the semifinals.
1 - Entire cast of Nelson vs. Carwin Season – The Roy Nelson/Shane Carwin season had 1 coach who was a tad annoying and another coach that did not talk very much. Those two styles rubbed off on the cast of fighters who put on one boring fight after another. The depth and talent of the cast of fighters was not UFC quality. The ratings tanked and fans that did tune-in complained on the message boards. The only positive part of the season was getting the line “Let me bang bro!”