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On This Day in MMA History: The New Old Vitor Belfort TKO’s Rich...

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On This Day in MMA History: The New Old Vitor Belfort TKO’s Rich Franklin at UFC 103

If not for the PED controversies that have plagued him since 2006, Vitor Belfort would be one of the most inspirational figures in MMA history. We’re talking about a fighter who picked himself up after each high-profile defeat and kept clawing his way forward, who started his career as a young destroyer at heavyweight, then reinvented himself as a light-heavyweight when that didn’t work out, then reinvented himself as a middleweight when that didn’t work out, then floated anywhere between 185 and 205 pounds depending on what the moment called for.

This December, after more than 18 years in the sport (!), the 37-year-old Belfort will challenge Chris Weidman in a middleweight title fight at UFC 181. The fight represents yet another career peak for Belfort, and will define his third stint in the UFC, which began five years ago today — September 19th, 2009 — when Belfort TKO’d Rich Franklin at UFC 103.

Heading into the fight, Belfort was enjoying the kind of momentum that had been rare in his career. Following his decision loss to Dan Henderson (and positive steroid test) at PRIDE 32, Belfort won a pair of fights under the Cage Rage banner — becoming the promotion’s light-heavyweight champion in the process — then dropped to middleweight and brutally KO’d Terry Martin and Matt Lindland in Affliction. Shortly after Affliction’s ugly demise, the UFC re-signed Belfort and booked him for a 195-pound catchweight fight against former middleweight champ Rich Franklin, who had gone back up to compete at light-heavyweight and 195 lbs. (aka “Franklinweight”) since his second loss to Anderson Silva. Fun fact from the UFC 103 wiki page:

It was announced on July 20, 2009 that Rich Franklin would headline UFC 103 against Dan Henderson. It was then announced on July 31, 2009 that fans were not happy with the announced headliner of Henderson-Franklin 2 so they changed the main event to feature Rich Franklin vs. Vitor Belfort. “Fans didn’t like it, so we changed it,” White said.

I only vaguely remember this moment in UFC history where fan sentiment could actually influence which fights get made. Now, we pretty much have to eat what they give us.

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‘UFC Fight Night 52: Hunt vs. Nelson’ Weigh-In Results and Videos — Hunt Makes Weight!


(Tate vs. Nakai and Hunt vs. Nelson — the only weigh-ins you really care about. Complete UFC Fight Night 52 weigh-in video is after the jump.)

Mark Hunt had us nervous yesterday, but he — and everyone else — successfully made weight earlier today for UFC Fight Night 52 in Saitama, Japan. Hunt hit the scales at 264 pounds, which means he cut a full twenty pounds in the 24 hours prior to weigh-ins. (Our sources tell us that he’s already rehydrated up to 385.)

Also, Rin Nakai walked to the scale in some sort of samurai-hooker costume, then stripped it off to reveal an American flag/Superman bikini top. I was hoping for something tentacle-related, but whaddya gonna do. Full “Hunt vs. Nelson” weigh-in results are below…

Main Card (Fight Pass, 3 a.m. ET / 12 a.m. PT)
Mark Hunt (264) vs. Roy Nelson (260)
Myles Jury (156) vs. Takanori Gomi (155)
Yoshihiro Akiyama (170) vs. Amir Sadollah (170)
Miesha Tate (135) vs. Rin Nakai (135)
Kiichi Kunimoto (171) vs. Richard Walsh (171)
Kyoji Horiguchi (125) vs. Jon delos Reyes (125)

Preliminary Card (Fight Pass, 12:30 a.m. ET / 9:30 p.m. PT)
Alex Caceres (135) vs. Masanori Kanehara (135)
Katsunori Kikuno (146) vs. Sam Sicilia (145)
Hyun Gyu Lim (171) vs. Takenori Sato (169)
Michinori Tanaka (135) vs. Kyung Ho Kang (136)
Kazuki Tokudome (155) vs. Johnny Case (156)
Maximo Blanco (146) vs. Daniel Hooker (145)

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Report: Mark Hunt Still Has to Cut 19 Pounds Before Tomorrow’s UFC Fight Night 52 Weigh-Ins


(“They said I was too fat to fight Roy Nelson. That’s when I knew I had a problem.” / Photo via Getty)

I don’t mean to alarm you, but we might have another “Renan Barao hitting his head while getting out of the tub“-type situation on our hands. An unnamed UFC source told Yahoo!’s Kevin Iole that UFC Fight Night 52 headliner Mark Hunt weighed 284 pounds today — a full 19 pounds above the heavyweight limit of 265. Weigh-ins are tomorrow at 4 p.m. Tokyo time. Holy crap.

Iole also mentions that Hunt “began his training camp at an astounding 340 pounds,” although that part of the Yahoo! article is linked to a dead page, so who even knows. Maybe Mark Hunt is trolling us. Maybe Kevin Iole is trolling us, which wouldn’t be the first time.

During his stint in the UFC, Hunt’s weight has floated between 261 pounds (before his UFC 135 decision win against Ben Rothwell in 2011) and 266 pounds (before his UFC on FUEL 8 TKO of Stefan Struve in 2013). Usually, being a heavyweight MMA fighter means you can only eat double-cheeseburgers on the day before weigh-ins, rather than your normal triple-cheeseburgers. A lot of cheat days on the schedule, is what I’m saying. But if Hunt was really coming down from 340, my God, that’s even worse than McCorkle. What happened, dude?

We’ll update you as we know more.

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TUF 20 Episode 2 Video Highlights: Calderwood vs. Kagan, Felice Herrig’s Blurred-Out Crotch + More

I decided not to do a “TUF Checklist” post for TUF 20 episode 2, because there were no absurd Dana White exaggerations, none of the women said “I’m not here to make friends” or made any scary proclamations, there were no misleading teases for future episodes, and honestly, the ladies didn’t really “bring it” during the fight. (#2-ranked Joanne Calderwood looked hesitant and flat in the first round, and still managed to beat #15-seed Emily Kagan in a two-round majority decision.) The updated TUF 20 bracket is here, if you’re interested.

Luckily, the Ultimate Fighter YouTube channel has posted clips of the relevant moments from last night’s episode, as well as some unaired footage. Notably absent: The scene where some of the Team Pettis fighters tell their coaches that they’re not happy with the stop-and-go vibe of the training. According to Randa Markos, that confrontation may have compelled Duke Roufus to leave the show.

The clips continue after the jump. If you have any thoughts on the episode — other than the obvious — please share ‘em.

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UFC Booking Alert: Alistair Overeem vs. Stefan Struve, Lyoto Machida vs. CB Dollaway Added to December Cards


(“Whoooo…whoooo…whoooo wrecked another one of my goddamned parlays?” / Photo via instagram.com/alistairovereem)

With three knockout losses in his last four fights, Alistair Overeem has become almost the biggest bust in UFC history. But he’ll get at least one more chance to salvage his career later this year, when he faces fellow Dutch heavyweight Stefan Struve at UFC on FOX 13 (December 13th, Phoenix). UFC officials confirmed the booking yesterday.

Overeem was most recently spotted enjoying a private performance of Ben Rothwell’s celebratory jig, earlier this month at UFC Fight Night 50. Struve hasn’t competed since his jaw-breakin’ TKO loss to Mark Hunt back in March 2013. Since then, “Skyscraper” has been sidelined due to a heart condition. Struve was slated to face Matt Mitrione at UFC 175 in July, but fainted backstage before his fight and was not allowed to compete.

UFC on FOX 13 will also feature a win-or-get-fired lightweight bout between Jamie Varner and Drew Dober, and will “more than likely” host a heavyweight match between ex-champion Junior Dos Santos and highly regarded contender Stipe Miocic; we’ll let you know when that one is finalized.

In other UFC booking news…

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And Now He’s Fired: Francis “Frankie Cars” Carmont Axed Following Three Straight Losses


(“Hang on a second, Frankie, cause you just blew my f*cking mind.” via Getty)

Francis Carmont — or as they refer to him on the CME podcast, “Frankie Cars” — has experienced one of the more surprising career downswings of them all in recent months. A training partner of Georges St. Pierre up at Quebec’s Tristar gym, Carmont kicked off his UFC career with six straight victories, including wins over Costa Philippou, Chris Camozzi, and Lorenz Larkin to name a few. While his grapple-heavy style was never exactly crowd-pleasing (and some of his aforementioned victories overshadowed by questionable judging decisions), Carmont was steadily working his way toward becoming a top contender in the middleweight division according to many.

Then 2014 happened, and Carmont suddenly couldn’t buy a win. In successive appearances, he dropped a pair of unanimous decisions to Ronaldo Souza and CB Dollaway at Fight Night 36 and 41, respectively. If that wasn’t bad enough, poor Frankie Cars was then crumbled by the patented overhand right of Thales Leites (a.k.a Tally Lates) at Fight Night 49 last month, making it three straight losses for the once promising French Canadian.

And today, the news of Carmont’s release comes straight from the horse’s mouth, er, Facebook page:

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After Being TKO’d by Fallon Fox, Tamikka Brents Says Transgender Fighters in MMA ‘Just Isn’t Fair’


(Fox and Brents, pre-fight. Photo via CCCW)

Transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox earned her second straight win on Saturday, when she TKO’d Tamikka Brents in the first round at a Capital City Cage Wars event in Springfield, Illinois. Brents reportedly suffered a concussion and a broken orbital bone during the two-minute beatdown, and required seven staples in her head.

As you probably recall, Fox became a lightning rod for controversy after publicly coming out as transsexual last year, with everyone from Joe Rogan to Cain Velasquez to Peggy Morgan voicing their opinions about why she shouldn’t be allowed to compete against natural-born women. UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione caught a brief suspension when he blasted Fox during an MMA Hour appearance, calling her “a lying, sick, sociopathic, disgusting freak.”

Now, Tamikka Brents is re-starting the debate/witch-hunt in the wake of her loss to Fox, by declaring it unfair for transgender fighters to compete in women’s MMA. Here’s what she said to WhoaTV in an interview published today:

I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night. I can’t answer whether it’s because she was born a man or not because I’m not a doctor. I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right,” she stated. “Her grip was different, I could usually move around in the clinch against other females but couldn’t move at all in Fox’s clinch…

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14 GIFs of Melvin Manhoef Being Awesome and/or Terrifying


(It just goes on and on, doesn’t it?)

This Friday, MMA/kickboxing veteran Melvin Manhoef will make his Bellator debut against Doug “The Rhino” Marshall, in a fight that Marshall promises “is gonna be off the hook.” [Ed. note: We would have also accepted "off the chizzle."]

In honor of this guaranteed barnburner, we’ve rounded up 14 of our favorite Melvin Manhoef GIFs, which continue after the jump. Check ‘em out, and bear witness to one of the most ferocious fight-finishers and dancers in all of combat sports.

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And Now He’s Retired: Jorge Gurgel Calls It Quits After Horrific Accident Claims His Mother’s Life

On August 29th, Silvia Gallo, the mother of UFC and Strikeforce veteran Jorge Gurgel, was hit by a taxi while crossing Madison Avenue and 79th Street in New York City’s Upper East Side. She was killed almost instantly, despite the incredible efforts of several bystanders to save her.

Jorge had spoken to his mother some 40 minutes before the accident. She was running a few final errands before departing the city to begin a year-long stay in Ireland, where she would work as a Pilates instructor. The conversation they had was brief, but nothing short of foreboding, as MMAJunkie reports:

She literally said, ‘If you die tomorrow, everybody’s lives will still go on. You don’t need to take care of everybody. I want you to get rid of all the bad energy in your life. You have to get rid of all the crazy.

It was of those mom speeches.

Jorge’s mom was always his biggest supporter, even if she couldn’t find it in her to attend her son’s fights in person. Recalled Gurgel, “Everywhere we went (she said), ‘This is my son. The fighter I talked about. This is the fighter.’ She was just so proud.”

But at the same time, Silvia was also the strongest proponent urging for his retirement. It was “never his true calling,” she would tell him. After 12 years and nearly 25 professional bouts, Gurgel had done as much as he could as a fighter. But as a coach, there was still plenty of life left in him.

“If you continue to fight, you’re never going to give your students or the future generation a fair chance,” she told him.

And in keeping with his mother’s wish, Jorge Gurgel has decided to retire from mixed martial arts competition.

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[VIDEO] Dana White Shows Off His Money Gun Filled With Heroin Bullets, Or Whatever, For Jetset Magazine

Dana White has long been known to have a…let’s call it “eccentric” taste in art. Look no further than the paintings and portraits lining the walls of his office, which range from a Yakuza member having sex to a gorilla holding a gun, to confirm this. Basically, The Baldfather’s art collection is an extension of his personality: abrasive, extravagant, slightly intimidating, and lacking in anything resembling nuance. You might even say that Dana White is to collecting art what Miley Cyrus is to making it.

Taking some time away from his busy schedule, White recently gave the folks at Jetset Magazine (whatever that is) a tour of “the most testosterone-filled office in the world” while more or less discussing how baller his life is. It was a pretty interesting interview for the most part — a clashing of cultures reminiscent of his bizarre luncheon with the Financial Times. The far and away most head-scratching moment came early on, however, when White showed off one of his favorite art pieces: An AK-47 wrapped in dollar bills and stuffed with heroin and cocaine. We’re guessing that the artist behind it goes by a pseudonym.

That’s a gun that’s taped up in dollar bills. What this piece of art represents is … literally on the other side on that clip, those are all real drugs in there. There’s cocaine, black tar, heroin, and a bunch of other actual legit drugs that are in the clip over there. It represents what war is really all about. What happens as a result of war. It’s all about money, what happens to the soldiers who go over and fight, most of them become addicted to drugs or messed up somehow. So it’s pretty cool what this piece of art represents.

Today’s lesson: If you are a rich white man, you can possess cocaine and heroin as long as it’s “art.” (And by “art”, we mean a base-level interpretation of war delivered with the subtlety of an Ed Hardy rape whistle.)

-J. Jones

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The 10 Greatest Finishing Moves in MMA: 2014 Edition

It’s been quite a while since we first penned our list of "The Ten Greatest Finishing Moves in MMA" and a lot has changed in the time since.

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Miesha Tate vs. Rin Nakai UFC Promo: ‘Fighting Queens’

"In order to make MMA really take off in Japan, I think a Japanese fighter needs to win. I think it's important that Rin Nakai wins."

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“Double-KO to the Nuts in a Christian Fight” Delivers Exactly What It Promises

Short version: The guy in red trunks knees the balls of the guy in black trunks, who lands an uppercut (!) to the junk of the guy in red trunks at the same time, and then they pray about it.

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VIDEO: Randy Couture’s Seductive Foxtrot on ‘Dancing With the Stars’

UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture made his ballroom debut last night on Dancing With the Stars Season 19, and completely BEASTED it.

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Video: Comedian Russell Peters Says the UFC ‘Will Play Itself Out’ Due to Oversaturation

"They've got a lot of cards on, but you don't know what you're watching. Am I watching an old fight, a rerun? Is this UFC, is this TUF, is this Fight Night?"

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Xyience Sold to Big Red, Will No Longer Be an Official UFC Sponsor

Short version: Criminal launches energy-drink brand, UFC brass wrenches it away from him through nefarious means and eventually sells it to a soft drink company.

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TUF 20 Debut Pulls In 536k Viewers For Worst Premiere Ratings in Show’s History

But...this one was actually GOOD!

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Broken Limbs Were So Hot This Weekend [GIFs]

Cruz's leg-break is at least the fourth time this has happened in the last nine months. Drink your milk, people.

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Oscar Bait: ‘Brokeback Mounch’, Starring Renato Laranja and Josh Barnett [VIDEO]

The sexual tension is unbearable.

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UFC Fight Night: Maia v Shields Open Workouts

The UFC Is Making the Same Mistakes The NFL Has Made Regarding Domestic Violence

A culture of denial in regard to athletes and domestic violence is exactly what created the scandal that the NFL is currently facing, and it's hardly unreasonable to worry that the UFC's similar approach will lead to an equally tragic result.

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Face Forward Gala Supporting Victims Of Domestic Abuse

Christy Mack Discusses Her Condition and Posts Photos of Her Healing Face

There's rarely any "good" news when discussing domestic violence. There's only varying shades of terrible.

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VIDEO: Andrei Arlovski Knocks Out Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva at UFC Fight Night 51

Andrei Arlovski floored Antonio Silva with a right hand, dropped some of the nastiest hammerfists in MMA history on Bigfoot's poor noggin, then did a little shimmy-shake.

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UFC Fight Night 51 Results: Andrei Arlovski KOs Bigfoot Silva

You might not have noticed since all the other MMA sites were reporting about Floyd Mayweather Jr. tonight, but the UFC had an event on Fight Pass...

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Bellator 124 GIFs: Emanuel Newton’s Spinning Backfist, Liam McGeary’s Inverted Triangle

This is the second spinning backfist KO that Newton has scored in Bellator; he caught King Mo with the same strike last February.

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Video: Amir Kahn, MMA Fighter With Tourette’s Syndrome, Scores TKO Win in Pro Debut at ONE FC 20

What's interesting to me is how Khan doesn't display his tic whenever he's storming on Chee with strikes.

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Bellator 124 Results: Newton KOs Beltran with Insane Spinning Backfist, McGeary Submits Anundson with Even Crazier Submission

Bellator 124 is here, and while it's not quite Bellator 123 in term of star power, it's still certainly worth watching.

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Nick Diaz Arrested on Suspicion of DUI, Driving With a Suspended License, Destruction of Evidence [UPDATED, AGAIN]

UPDATE: This was actually the second DUI charge that Diaz has picked up over the past ten months. New details inside.

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BJ Penn Has Some Harsh Words For Mike Dolce and His $20,000 “Charity” Diet

“There was no food in the apartment, and he never told me what to eat."

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Lyoto Machida vs. CB Dollaway Likely For Fight Night Brazil Card in December

Can Dollaway continue his rise to top contender status or is Machida simply too much for him? (We can't tell you, because the fight hasn't been booked yet.)

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Friday Links: The Other ‘War Machine’, Floyd Mayweather Jr. to Retire Next Year, Disturbing Stock Photos + More

Some must-see content from our bros around the blogosphere.

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