Steroids in MMA
Which MMA Fighter Will Test Positive For Steroids Next?

May, 2008

Phil Baroni Doesn’t Need Your Adoration

(Not interested in being a celebrity. Nope. Not one bit.)

You might think Phil Baroni would be pretty pumped about being on the Elite XC card this weekend. It’s a pretty big deal, what with it airing live on CBS and all. But Baroni? He’s keeping it in perspective, or so it seems from his recent interview with

I’m not that excited like some of these guys are because I never got into fighting to be a Rockstar. I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve been a pro for 8 years now. When I turned pro it was to fight and to be a professional fighter and to compete. There was no getting rich or being famous. You had the hardcore but it wasn’t about being on TV, hell, it wasn’t even about being on PPV when I started out. It’s cool that the sport is growing and that there are better opportunities and all but to me if I wanted to be on The Ultimate Fighter or a reality TV star than I would have went to drama club when I was in school and tried to be an actor or I would have taken more ground balls when I was in baseball and maybe played in the Major Leagues at third base or some shit.

Wait, back up a minute. You’re telling me Baroni wasn’t a member of his high school drama club? So he’s just a natural, then?

Also, it’s good to know that even pro fighters sometimes tell themselves that if only they’d taken a few more ground balls in high school baseball practice they’d be in the big leagues by now. I thought it was just me.


WEC Promises “Greatest Cagefight In History”

Watching this promo video for the WEC’s Urijah Faber-Jens Pulver bout on Sunday, I was all set to praise the clean, understated style. This is a nice break from the monster-truck-rally feel of a lot of promos, I thought. Then I got to the 0:46 mark, where they explicitly promise that this will be “the greatest cagefight in history.”

Let’s ignore the fact that “cagefight” is not, as Walter Sobchack would say, the preferred nomenclature. Instead, let’s ask who thought it was a good idea to make a claim that attempts to predict the future while simultaneously setting viewer expectations unreasonably high?

I think the Faber-Pulver match-up will produce an exciting fight, but now that I’ve seen that promo I’m going to be really disappointed if, once it’s over, I manage to think of even one bout in cagefighting history that was better. Why not aim just a little lower? Like, “greatest cagefight this week”. Or maybe, “one of the top twenty or so cagefights in recent memory”? I guess this is why I don’t work in marketing. Plus, those types always want you to wear a tie and pants and stuff. Squares.

Anyway, if you’re up for more gross exaggerations of the future, Versus is airing their “WEC Outside the Cage” special again tonight at 6 pm. It should be the greatest pre-fight hype special in history.


Puke Another Day: The Ipecac Bet Rematch

Barf detergent

As many of you were disappointed to learn, my UFC 84 ipecac pick-off against Fightlinker‘s Ryan Harkness ended in a 19-19 draw; with no contingency plan in place in case of a tie, neither of us were required to film ourselves violently projectile vomiting. That’s the bad news. The good news is that last night Ryan and I decided on the terms of the rematch. They are as follows:

— We will predict the entire card of UFC 85, which goes down just 11 days from now on June 7th.
— The three-point scoring system will be the same as before, with the person who scores lowest having to film themselves drinking ipecac. (I’m assuming you can get this stuff at the nearest Walgreen’s, because I actually don’t have any in my medicine cabinet.) Look for my new picks to go up next Wednesday, give or take.
— In the event of a tie, a tiebreaker will be determined via who picked the most “perfect” matches (fighter/round/method). If that’s also a tie, we’ll judge it by which of us called the most winning fighters. If that’s also a tie, then the ipecac bet is officially cursed and we will both drink ipecac to entertain you vultures.

Sound good? I’d also like to announce that CagePotato reader “ehummel” was the winner of the BetUS $100 free play credit contest, with a highly impressive score of 21. Hit us up at, and we’ll let you know how to claim your credit.


King of the Cage Double K.O.

Well, one more of these and it’s a full-blown epidemic. At King of the Cage “Opposing Force” on May 15th — just one day before Shaun Parker and Tyler Bryan exchanged simultaneous knockout punches at LFC 25 — Anthony Lapsley and Aaron Wetherspoon’s match also ended with both guys getting their lights turned out. Near the beginning of the second round, Lapsley cranked Wetherspoon with a perfect right straight, but clashed heads with his opponent on the way in. As they both hit the mat, referee Herb “I’m Getting Too Old for This Shit” Dean patiently waited for somebody to get up. Despite the fact that the dazed Lapsley immediately started making the “no mas” hand signal, the fight was ruled a no-contest.


UFC 84: Full Payout Figures

Wanderlei Silva UFC
($225,000: Enough to buy a new pickup truck and a healthy white baby.)

Official salary and bonus numbers for UFC 84′s fighters have been released by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Here’s how the guys stacked up:

B.J. Penn: $250,000 ($125,000 to show, $125,000 to win)
Wanderlei Silva: $225,000 ($150,000 to show*, $75,000 for Knockout of the Night)
Tito Ortiz: $210,000
Lyoto Machida: $100,000 ($50,000 to show, $50,000 to win)
Wilson Gouveia: $93,000 ($18,000 to show, $75,000 for Fight of the Night)
Rousimar Palhares: $85,000 ($5,000 to show, $5,000 to win, $75,000 for Submission of the Night)
Goran Reljic: $81,000 ($3,000 to show, $3,000 to win, $75,000 for Fight of the Night)
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou: $80,000 ($40,000 to show, $40,000 to win)
Thiago Silva: $50,000 ($25,000 to show, $25,000 to win)
Rich Clementi: $40,000 ($20,000 to show, $20,000 to win)
Dong Hyun Kim: $40,000 ($20,000 to show, $20,000 to win)
Sean Sherk: $35,000
Kazuhiro Nakamura: $20,000
Ivan Salaverry: $20,000
Shane Carwin: $12,000 ($6,000 to show, $6,000 to win)
Yoshiyuki Yoshida: $12,000 ($6,000 to show, $6,000 to win)
Terry Etim: $10,000
Keith Jardine: $10,000
Christian Wellisch: $10,000
Jon Koppenhaver: $8,000
Antonio Mendes: $4,000
Jason Tan: $3,000
* Wanderlei Silva’s guaranteed $150,000 salary doesn’t depend on a win bonus.

Overpaid: Wilson Gouveia. Looking back on UFC 84 a year from now, is the two-round almost-war between Gouveia and Goran Reljic going to be remembered by anyone? Yes, Reljic’s relentless left head-kicks were pretty, but Gouveia should have eventually figured out that they were coming. (For us, the presence of Mirko Cro Cop in Reljic’s corner was the early tip-off.)

Underpaid: A lot of people — particularly Shane Carwin, whose Knockout of the Night bonus was robbed from him by Wanderlei Silva. The way I saw it, Carwin’s single-punch, mouthpiece-ejecting KO of Christian Wellisch was more deserving then Wandy’s slightly more prolonged ground-and-pound TKO of Jardine, and Carwin could probably use the money more. Other than that, what the fuck is up with the UFC’s newcomers making three, four, and six thousand dollars to show? Goddamned slave wages. The UFC made $3.7 million off of “Ill Will”‘s gate; they could certainly afford to establish a minimum base salary of $10,000 for their fighters if they wanted to.


The Thin Line Between “Elusive” And Boring


In case you missed it somehow on Saturday night, Joe Rogan wants you to know that Lyoto Machida is elusive. And because he doesn’t trust your ability to pick up on this right away, he relies on repetition to get the point across. Conveniently, this viewpoint — the one that deems Machida elusive and Tito Ortiz hopelessly confounded by that elusiveness — is right in line with the plans of the UFC brass. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

I’m not saying that Rogan doesn’t truly feel this way about Machida. For all I know, he does. But the mere fact that the UFC was looking toward a future with one of the fighters in the Ortiz-Machida bout and probably not counting on any such future with the other really makes it difficult to take what we hear at face value.

If it had been Ortiz circling cautiously away for most of the fight, relying on a few sporadic fits of action to win a decision, would Rogan have praised him for being so elusive? Or would he have suggested, in some roundabout way, that Ortiz was avoiding the fight?

The point is, we don’t know. We can’t know. But what we do know, what we’ve learned over the years, is the UFC does not cast off talent lightly. They have a way of shoving it out the door, and that alone gives us reason to wonder if what we’re hearing on a broadcast is a genuine perspective from Rogan or whether it’s the company line. Like it or not, that’s a problem.


Greg Jackson Takes The Blame For Jardine’s Loss

(Jackson’s post-fight mea culpa to

In a way, it’s nice of trainer Greg Jackson to say that Keith Jardine’s knockout loss to Wanderlei Silva on Saturday night was his fault, but it’s also a little weird. Saying that he should have “reiterated the game plan a little more” seems like an odd explanation. As if the only thing that stood between Jardine and victory was Jackson reminding him one more time not to get punched in the head really hard.

I could almost understand the game plan explanation if the fight weren’t over so quickly. As it was, Jardine didn’t get much of a chance to put any game plan into practice. He got caught with a couple of hard shots early on, which is rarely a part of anyone’s game plan. Jackson taking the blame for that seems either blatantly egocentric or like a clumsy attempt to make his fighter feel better. Because Cage Potato likes to assume the best about people whenever given the opportunity, we’re going to say that it’s the latter.

Feel better, Keith.


BJ Penn Loves His Malt Liquor

BJ Penn
(After a long, hard day in the courtroom, a wide-mouthed Mickey’s really takes the edge off.)

As if being the undisputed ruler of the UFC’s lightweight division wasn’t enough, BJ Penn can now add another title to his impressive resume: Beer poster-boy. According to a new press release:

Two greatly respected Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) powers are combining forces to bring added excitement to the popular sport. The partnership between BJ “The Prodigy” Penn – his league’s current lightweight title holder – and Mickey’s Fine Malt Liquor promises action inside and outside the octagon.

“BJ Penn is a favorite among MMA fans, and Mickey’s is BJ’s beer of choice, so a partnership makes a lot of sense for both of us,” said Patrick Minogue, Mickey’s marketing manager. “From the website to packaging to personal appearances, we plan to bring this alliance to life and give Mickey’s drinkers more access to this top MMA fighter.”

Wait a minute — Mickey’s is a “greatly respected MMA power”? Mickey’s is BJ Penn’s beer of choice? Mickey’s is anybody’s beer of choice? Please, guys, one bombshell at a time.

Penn’s new sponsorship deal follows Tito Ortiz, who inked a deal with Mickey’s last month. At the time it seemed like a perfect fit, as Mickey’s had just been bounced out of the Octagon in favor of Bud Light, and Tito looked to be heading for the exits as well. Now that the Prodigy is taking their money, it appears that Mickey’s replacement by a more prominent brand doesn’t mean that they’ve been banned by the UFC altogether. Could other beers follow the fighter sponsorship model in the future? It would be great to see Marcus Davis proudly representing Guinness, Heath Herring named PBR’s official Drunk Texan Brawler, and Georges St. Pierre pretending to drink from unopened cans of Molson, Xenergy-style.


The Best Photos of UFC 84

Wanderlei Silva UFC 84
(Wandy’s triumph; courtesy of

BJ Penn Sean Sherk UFC 84
(Penn outboxes Sherk; courtesy of Sherdog)

Tito Ortiz armbar UFC 84
(Tito Ortiz comes within a ball-hair of submitting Lyoto Machida; courtesy of Las Vegas Sun)

Michael Jackson at UFC 84
(Michael Jackson takes in the fights; courtesy of TMZ)


Living It Up At Dana White’s Official UFC After-Party

(After the show it’s the after-party. After the party it’s the hotel lobby.)

There’s a weird nightclub in my neighborhood that is 21 and up for women, 28 and up for men. The first time I saw this, I was confused on a number of different levels. Was that even legal? Was it smart? What kind of women want to go to a club that caters to old guys who want to grope them on the dance floor without having to worry about competing with younger men?

These are the same questions I find myself asking as I look through Combat Lifestyle’s photos of Dana White’s official UFC after-party. You may recall that this party was in direct competition with Arianny Celeste’s post-fight bash, only White’s soirée did not feature an open vodka bar for the ladies, as Arianny’s did. Perhaps they were relying on the appeal of forty-something men in unbuttoned dress shirts to make their party the place to be?

Whether that strategy paid off or not, you be the judge.