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UFC Hong Kong Media Day

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against UFC — Details Inside [UPDATED]

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Rashad Evans vs. Glover Teixeira Might Be Headlining UFC Fight Night 61 in Porto Alegre, Brazil


(Photo props: Ryan Loco)

Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Rashad Evans will return from a 15-month hiatus when he faces Glover Teixeira in the main event of UFC Fight Night 61, February 22nd at Gigantinho Gymnasium in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Or, maybe Evans vs. Teixeira won’t headline that card. The matchup was first reported by Globo today, but the problem is, Teixeira hasn’t been medically cleared to train:

Teixeira’s manager, Jorge Guimaraes, has called the report premature. Guimaraes says that Teixeira, who was medically suspended after his UFC 179 loss to Phil Davis, has yet to be cleared to return to competition by Brazil’s athletic commission.

“Glover hasn’t even been cleared to fight on that date yet by the athletic commission due to his injuries,” Guimaraes told MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani.

Teixeira caught a 45-day medical suspension following UFC 179 on October 25th, which should be complete by now — so maybe he’s dealing with new injuries that we don’t know about. At any rate, Rashad Evans vs. Glover Teixeira seems like a somewhat necessary meeting between one fighter who hasn’t competed all of 2014 due to a knee injury, and another fighter who lost both his fights in 2014 after winning 20 straight.

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Jon Jones Wants You to Know That He is the *Real* Victim of All This UFC 182 Fight Hype


(“Hey pussy, are you still there?” via…who are we kidding, it’s already been taken down.)

The lead-up to Jon Jones‘ title tilt with Daniel Cormier at UFC 182 has been an unusually heated affair for the long-standing light heavyweight champion. While we’ve seen Jones irked in the past, we’ve never seen him break kayfabe in the form of a full-on fist fight at a press conference before, which usually marks the beginning of a new chapter in a person’s life. The beef between Bones and Cormier appears to be legitimate and has earned the matchup a ton of additional eyes, so it would be a huge mistake on the UFC’s part *not* to use this hate-filled storyline to market the fight, right? Especially while in the midst of a(nother) pay-per-view slump?

The Grudge Match™ has been one of the most reliable marketing gimmicks of the Zuffa era — second only to “If ___ beats ___, then pound-for-pound.” — and surely a scheme that will likely earn Jones a hefty bump in his cut of the PPV revenue. But according to the champ himself, all the money in the world isn’t worth everyone knowing that he is a two-faced, fakey fakerson. (Ed note: Sorry, my 7-year-old nephew is in town for the holidays and keeps jacking my laptop.)

As Bones recently told UFC Tonight (via MMAMania):

When I first saw [the now infamous ad for UFC 182] I was a little offended by it. That UFC — someone who is supposed to be backing my brand and making me look good — would put up something like that for the general public to see. I don’t think it’s really healthy for the world to see their champion — for the world to see UFC’s champion — saying I would kill someone. That really took me off guard. I didn’t really think it was in my best interest, but it was for UFC’s best interest, so I kind of had to swallow my pride. I said it.

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The UFC 178-181 PPV Buyrate Estimates Are About as ‘Meh’ as You’d Expect


(Pretending that Mighty Mouse wasn’t headlining the card may have been a brilliant marketing strategy — but it wasn’t enough to make UFC 178 a success.)

Reddit user thisisdanitis passes along the latest UFC pay-per-view buyrate estimates from Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer newsletter, which provide more proof that the UFC’s PPV business just ain’t what it used to be. Here we go…

UFC 178 (Johnson-Cariaso, Cerrone-Alvarez, McGregor-Poirier): 205,000 buys

UFC 179 (Aldo vs. Mendes): 160,000-200,000 buys

UFC 180 (Werdum vs. Hunt): 185,000-200,000 buys

UFC 181 (Hendricks vs. Lawler, Pettis vs. Melendez): 380,000 [Update: Meltzer is now calling the UFC 181 estimate "between 375,000 and 400,000 buys."]

The UFC 178 estimate is the most surprising to me, because the event was so highly anticipated among hardcore MMA fans as a “stacked” card with Event of the Year potential, and it still barely broke 200k. Of course, casual fans only look at the main event, and Demetrious Johnson is basically the worst PPV draw on the roster.

It’s almost as surprising that UFC 180 performed as well as it did, considering that the card had no stars outside of the main event. And 380,000 buys for UFC 181 is very good, relatively speaking. That’s like the equivalent of 650,000 buys in 2009.

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CM Punk Defends His UFC Existence on SportsCenter, ESPN MMA Live [VIDEOS]


(Props: Zombie Prophet)

Serious question: Are you guys tired of hearing about CM Punk already? The former WWE superstar (known to his momma as Phil Brooks) has a long road of training ahead of him before he makes his UFC debut sometime next year, but he’s been keeping his name in the streets with some media appearances here and there. Yesterday, he visited the ESPN studios to cut promos — or “interviews,” whatever — for SportsCenter and MMA Live. Some notable quotes from the SC spot…

- “Am I ready [to fight] today? I mean, probably not, but I’d fight anybody right now. Whether that’s a smart decision or not remains to be seen…I used to not be able to walk or swim, and I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but I’m gonna get there, and I’m excited to climb that mountain.”

- “I’m comfortable on the ground. Whether I get taken down and I’m on my back, I’m confident in my ability to stand back up, I’m confident in my jiu-jitsu, and it’s only gonna get better from now until the day I fight.”

- In response to Matt Brown’s recent criticism of his UFC signing: “There’s probably a lot of fighters that are…they’re just upset. And I can understand that, and more power to you, I understand your point of view. My job is to do what’s good for me and my family, and along the way if I change your mind, Matt Brown, awesome.”

- On Vince McMahon and Dana White: “They’re both driven, they’re both set in their ways, they both have an idea of what is best for their company, and everything like that, and I think that’s how they’re the same. How they’re different, I think, is the difference in the generation. Vince is very old-school, Dana is more open-minded, there’s more of a warmth on the UFC side that I’m experiencing. And Dana’s more open-minded, obviously — he hired me.”

- “Listen, there’s always people throughout my entire life who have told me that I can’t do something. Nobody ever thought I would make it to the WWE, nobody ever thought I’d be the champion. And nobody ever thought I’d be in the UFC…and I very much use the negativity that comes my way to fuel me, to prove people wrong.”

The MMA Live video is after the jump.

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Today in Head Trauma: Gray Maynard Signs 8-Fight Extension, Jens Pulver Unretires AGAIN + More


(Woah, hold on a second, Nate. We both see those tiny Christina Aguilera monsters scurrying around on the canvas, right? Photo via Getty.) 

Thanks in part to Joe Rogan’s heartfelt and brutally honest call for UFC heavyweight and close friend Brendan Schaub to retire, head trauma has once again been thrust into the limelight of the MMA blogosphere (along with, you know, that multimillion dollar lawsuit thingy). And honestly, it’s a difficult discussion to have when the people calling for so-and-so’s retirement are the very same who have a good chuckle every time some dude gets felled like a oak tree. If we tune in each weekend with the expectation (and dare I say it, hope) of seeing a fighter get his lights turned off, then who are we to tell them when *we’ve* grown tired of seeing it happen?

Look no further than the case of Gray Maynard, for instance. Just a few years ago, Maynard was considered to be one of the toughest fighters in the lightweight division — a man who was just barely edged by Frankie Edgar after inflicting some trauma of his own on the former champ. In the time since, “The Bully” has dropped four out of his past five contests, with every last one of those losses coming via an increasingly difficult to watch form of TKO.

The cries for Maynard to simply give up on his dream and retire have grown louder with each skull-shattering loss, but the TUF 5 alum has refused to hear them. In a move that is sure to draw the same cringeworthy reaction from those critics, Maynard recently signed an eight fight extension with the UFC that will most certainly account for a couple more black spots on his brain in the not-so-distant future.

After the jump: More details on Maynard’s eight-fight deal. Plus, Pat Barry goes on the defensive (no!), and Jens Pulver unretires again (NOOOO!!!!).

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SadGIF of the Day: Cody McKenzie Gets Knee-KO’d at M-1 Challenge 54


(Homeless man takes dive at Russian MMA ev–oh wait no, that’s just Cody McKenzie. GIF via caposa)

After a promising start, Cody McKenzie‘s MMA career has turned into one extended shrug emoticon. In just 12 months, the former UFC lightweight/featherweight has given us the Nike shorts incident, a victorious debut at 180 pounds (!), and drew a pint of blood to make welterweight. Blugh. Today, Cody showed up at M-1 Challenge 54 in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he was knocked out in the first round thanks to a well-timed knee from Beslan Isaev.

So why was Cody McKenzie, of all people, booked for a fight in Russia in the first place? Who knows. If we had to guess, we’d say that his salmon-fishing boat took a wrong turn at the Bering Strait. Cody now returns to the U.S., where he’ll prepare to be the star witness in the class-action lawsuit against the UFC.

(Do witnesses even give testimony in class-action lawsuits? I have no idea how this works. But it is, indeed, a funny image.)

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Hot Potato: 17 Photos of Smokin’ Cage Wars Ring Girl Chelsie Aryn

Just in time for the holidays, Babes of MMA has once again come through with the gift that keeps on giving, that of T-n’-A. Chelsie Aryn is a 22-year-old model and ring girl for Cage Wars, an amatuer MMA promotion out of…Albany, NY?! By gawd, that’s less than an hour’s drive from my hometown!

Check out 17 of our favorite photos of Ms. Aryn in the gallery after the jump, and make sure to follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or all three!

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Watch the UFC 182 Extended Preview Because Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier Hate Each Other and Myles Jury Is Out of Lollipops or Something


(Props: UFC on YouTube)

And here we have the nine-minute extended video trailer for UFC 182: Jones vs. Cormier, which goes down January 3rd in Las Vegas. The verbal beefin’ between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier is nothing new, but hey, there’s more of it here. Plus, we get a segment on the lightweight co-main between undefeated 26-year-old Myles Jury and red-hot veteran Donald Cerrone. Myles Jury kind of seems like a real-life version of that “bring a rocket-launcher” guy from the NOS commercials. As for Cerrone…well, you already know who that dude is.

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Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against UFC — Details Inside [UPDATED]


(The lawsuit’s plaintiffs are listed as “Cung Le, Nathan Quarry, Jon Fitch, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated.” / Photo via Getty)

UPDATE: The actual legal filing can be read right here, and the full audio of the conference call is below, via MMAFightCorner.

The reported class-action lawsuit against the UFC filed by current and former fighters will be officially announced this afternoon. The communications firm Turner4D sent a notice to CagePotato.com and other MMA media entities yesterday afternoon, stating that the plaintiffs’ names and other details will be provided during a news conference beginning at 1 p.m. PT / 4 p.m. ET. The conference will be held at Hyatt Place San Jose/Downtown in San Jose, California. Autograph seekers are advised to wait by the bar and act cool.

CagePotato will be listening in to the proceedings via telephone machine, and we’ll type out important updates about the UFC class-action lawsuit below as we get them. Stay tuned, you guys. #TheTimeIsNow

Even before the call starts, Greg Savage of Sherdog passes along some info: “The civil action is [titled] Cung Le, et al v. Zuffa, LLC, d/b/a Ultimate Fighting Championship and UFC…Media packet states that Cung Le, Jon Fitch and Nate Quarry are the participants in the suit…The case was filed today in the Northern District of California in San Jose. It seeks treble damages and injunctive relief under the Sherman Antitrust Act.”

Yes, those are all guys who have expressed frustration with the UFC in the past. (See: Here, here.)

The call is kicked off by Joseph Saveri, an antitrust lawyer based in San Francisco. He introduces Le and Quarry (who are on the scene in San Jose), and Fitch who is participating by phone. Saveri also introduces other lawyers who are participating, including antitrust experts Benjamin Brown and Robert Maysey.

Saveri: “Today, there is only one real promotional option for MMA fighters — the UFC.” Saveri outlines the lawsuit that was filed by the aforementioned fighters this afternoon. Essentially: The UFC has monopolized the MMA industry, destroyed competitors, and as a result, MMA athletes have been unable to obtain what they’re worth. They’ve also lost ownership of their likenesses.

Brown: “Elite MMA fighters earn a mere fraction of the revenue compared to boxing…UFC’s profit margins are among the highest in all of sport…UFC has monopolized the highest level of the sport.”

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So Mickey Rourke’s Homeless, Mentally Unstable Opponent *Definitely* Took a Dive


(The immortal words of Jim Ross don’t even do this finish justice.)

In news that literally anyone could have seen coming, the homeless, mentally unstable man that Mickey Rourke fought in Russia last month has finally admitted to taking a dive.

Speaking to TMZ earlier today, Elliot Seymour confessed that he was paid $15,000 to go down due to a body shot in the second round of Rourke’s return to the ring — 10K up front and the rest when he returned to the U.S. Seymour additionally stated that he was specifically told not to hit the 62-year-old actor in the head, but that he also did not believe Rourke was in on the fix.

“Mickey’s a stand-up guy.” said Seymour. “Being a powerful person, you have a lot of people that are kissing up to you for various reasons.”

A video of Seymour’s full interview after the jump. 

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UFC Still Hasn’t Informed Its Champions How Much They’ll Make (Or Lose) From Reebok Sponsorship

If the promotion's top stars stood to earn a lot more money from Reebok than they were earning from their existing sponsorships, the UFC would be pushing that narrative as hard as possible. Instead, they're silent — and champions like Demetrious Johnson have every reason to be nervous.

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The Experiment Ends: Cris Cyborg Throws in the Towel on a Possible Drop to Bantamweight

We know, we know, nobody could have possibly seen this coming.

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TUF 20 Finale Salaries: Carla Esparza Cracks Six-Figures! Big Time, Baby!

Lightweight main-carder Yancy Medeiros was a close second, raking in $80,000 in total prize money.

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[VIDEO] Jamie Varner Calls For a Fighters Union Following UFC on FOX 13 Defeat


(Photo via Getty.)

True to his word, Jamie Varner was more than holding his own against [...]

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Claudia Gadelha’s Sucker-Punch ‘Totally Different’ Than Paul Daley’s, According to Mind-Reading UFC President

Dana White can see into your soul. At least, that’s sort of what the UFC president implied after Claudia Gadelha sucker-punched Joanna Jedrzejczyk following their strawweight fight at Saturday’s UFC on Fox 13 event.

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Cutting Through The Bullsh*t: UFC on FOX 13 Edition

Before the main card action was underway this past Saturday night, we had a pretty eventful weekend already.

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Watch Jon Fitch Scream in Agony as Rousimar Palhares Cranks a Knee Bar at WSOF 16

Rousimar Palhares knee barred Jon Fitch at WSOF 16. In typical Palhares fashion, he held the submission in longer than necessary.

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UFC on Fox 13 Results: Full Fight Highlights from the Entire Main Card

UFC on FOX 13 was a fun event with expected and unexpected outcomes. See the finishes and highlights for yourself.

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UFC on FOX 13: Dos Santos vs. Miocic — Live Results & Commentary

The heavyweights will be swingin' for the fences tonight in Phoenix. Join us for round-by-round results from the main card, starting at 8 p.m. ET.

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Report: UFC to Be Hit With Class Action Lawsuit From Its Own Fighters

Ready for a bombshell? According to Bloody Elbow, current and former UFC fighters are about to file a class action lawsuit against the Zuffa-owned promotion.

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Watch Carla Esparza Choke Out Rose Namajunas (Legit, Legal Video)

Carla Esparza choked out Rose Namajunas last night. Check out the finish as well as the results for the full fight card.

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The Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale: Esparza Taps Namajunas to Become the First Women’s UFC Strawweight Champ

Plus: Charles Oliveira outpoints Jeremy Stephens, and Daron Cruickshank gets eye-poked into a living death.

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UFC on FOX 13 Weigh-In Results, or, The End of the ‘Nate Diaz: Crazy or Cunning?’ Debate

As if it was ever a debate, really.

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Video: These Spinning Elbow Knockouts Are the Gift That Just Keeps on Giving (Concussions)

Yet another late contender for your "Knockout of the Year" lists.

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Crazy or Cunning? Nate Diaz Might Be Smarter Than We Think He Is

With his recent behavior, Diaz is practically jutting his chin out and waving the UFC in with arms outstretched, knowing full well they can’t do a damn thing about it.

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TUF 20 Finale Weigh-In Results: Charles Olivera Misses Weight AGAIN, Aisling Daly Comes in Heavy as Well

The TUF 20 Finale weigh-ins went down earlier today in Las Vegas, and headliners Carla Esparza and Rose Namajunas hit their 115-pound strawweight limits on the button. But not everyone was so successful.

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Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Mentally Disabled Man Gets KO’d in Unregulated Milwaukee Kickboxing Match

And here we thought Mickey Rourke beating up a mentally unstable homeless man would be the worst combat sports-related news item we'd write about in a month's span.

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Falling Tree Knockout of the Day: Theo Michailidis Wrecks Corrin Eaton With a Spinning Back Elbow

Also, I think the ref's t-shirt says "MAKE TEA NOT WAR," which is 1) incredibly British, and 2) kind of unexpected in a combat sports setting.

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FilmPotato: Gina Carano Lands Role as “Vixen” in Kickboxer Remake

We can only hope that her character's go-to attack is the lip bite.

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Interview: UFC on FOX 13’s Jamie Varner Gets Real About Sponsorship Money, Rankings, And Coming Back From a Difficult Year

“I’m the best fighter with the worst luck.”

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