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

May, 2008

UFC 84: ‘Ill Will’ — BG’s Official Picks

Keith Jardine UFC
(Listen, buddy: win first, skanks later.)

As promised yesterday — here are the final picks I’m making for my ipecac bet with Ryan of Fightlinker. Will they be enough for me to avoid vomity humiliation? Well, Ryan has mentioned that he’s predicting Wanderlei Silva and Tito Ortiz will win their bouts, and I don’t see the rest of his choices being any less duhtarded. We’ll be scoring this on the three-point system: one point for calling the winning fighter, and additional points for correctly calling the method of victory (one point) and round (one point). How fun! My picks are below; feel free to debate them in the comments section. — Ben G.

B.J. Penn def. Sean Sherk via submission, 3rd round : I went over this in my UFC 84 gambling guide. Fowlkes made some good points yesterday, but I still think Sherk is going out like Joe Stevenson, with a bloody face and an arm around his neck. Just because Sherk’s two losses didn’t come via submission doesn’t mean that he’s unsubmittable, especially against someone as talented as Penn.

Keith Jardine def. Wanderlei Silva via decision: I also went over this in the gambling guide. (By the way, if you want to see a short video version of me making those exact same points, check out this clip from Jardine was able to outsmart Chuck Liddell when they fought, and Wanderlei Silva is basically a dumber version of Chuck. I think the most logical pick is another decision win for Jardine.

Wilson Gouveia def. Goran Reljic via KO/TKO, 2nd round: I don’t like to pick against guys with undefeated records, but that rule shouldn’t apply when a fighter has less than eight pro fights, and Reljic (7-0) has beaten absolutely nobody you’ve ever heard of. I wouldn’t assume that Gouveia’s ground skills are necessarily better than Reljic’s, but I can see him catching the Croatian with a heavy shot, Lambert-style. Also, betting against the American Top Team is generally a bad move.

Lyoto Machida def. Tito Ortiz via decision: Machida isn’t a fight-finisher, and unless he’s in the cage with Ken Shamrock, Tito really isn’t either. But Machida is far more well-rounded, and his tendency to take his opponents out of their rhythm is well-documented. I’m very confident that Machida will win, and he could easily do it via TKO or submission, but given the recent fight histories of these two, a decision feels likely.

Thiago Silva def. Antonio Mendes via KO/TKO, 2nd round: Undefeated record + UFC experience + ATT = a total lock. Eight of Thiago Silva’s 12 wins have come via first-round stoppage; ten come via KO/TKO. The only advantage that Brazilian UFC newcomer Antonio Mendes has is that he’s 3-0 against guys named Silva. He is a hard-ass, though, and I don’t foresee a steamrolling. I say Mendes gets through round one, shaken but not quite out.

As for the undercard…


Matt Lindland Wins Republican Primary

(Lindland’s campaign promise of a chicken in every pot and a pinch of Skoal in every lip seems to be resonating with Oregon voters.)

Looks like Matt “The Law” Lindland’s political campaign has some legs. Despite enduring an utterly pathetic smear campaign and taking some cheap shots at the MMA media, Lindland was victorious in the Republican primary, defeating Phyllis Thiemann to become the nominee, reports The Oregonian.

This means Lindland will move on to face Democrat Suzanne Van Orman in the contest to decide who will represent the Oregon House’s 52nd District. While we don’t know anything about Van Orman as a candidate, we advise her to look the fuck out. Lindland ain’t playin’.

Potential strategies for Van Orman may include highlighting Lindland’s complete lack of experience, portraying herself as the change candidate, and possibly grabbing the ropes to avoid takedowns.

If she really wants to go negative, there’s always this damning video evidence of Lindland’s poor decision-making skills. Watch the whole thing if you’re a glutton for punishment, or skip to 3:17 to see Lindland’s main contribution.

(As a side note, this really makes recent news of the IFL’s slow demise seem long overdue, doesn’t it?)


Affliction Is Signing Deals, Selling Tickets

(Photo courtesy of

Yesterday’s Affliction press conference in Los Angeles had plenty of big news and no small amount of overpriced t- shirts, but perhaps most interesting was the official announcement that the undercard of the July 19 event will air live on Fox Sports Net, as previously rumored.

FSN Executive VP George Greenberg was on hand to announce the deal, as well as the old-news bouts featuring Paul Buentello vs. Aleksander Emelianenko and Savant Young vs. Mark Hominick. The Young-Hominick bout has great potential, particularly now that Young’s star is on the rise following his victory over Takeshi Inoue in Shooto earlier this month.

Honda Center President and CEO Tim Ryan was also on hand to announce that the event had already sold $250,000 in tickets during the first half-hour of public sales, and added that he expected it to sell out before all is said and done. No word yet on just how many tickets they sold to reach the quarter of a million mark, but these are all encouraging early signs for Affliction.

In case you’re wondering whether the rumored Arlovski-Rothwell bout was announced, it wasn’t. Not yet anyway. Could the UFC still be negotiating to keep Arlovski? We’ll have to wait and see, but Cage Potato will be at the Trump Tower for tomorrow morning’s press conference to see what we can find out. Will we come back with a sick new Affliction t-shirt that accentuates our tribal arm-band tattoos? Again, wait and see.


Apologies and Condolences: Anderson Silva

Anderson Silva UFC

On Monday, we mentioned that Anderson Silva pulled out of a scheduled two-day seminar at Miletich Fighting Systems Houston due to “personal family health issues,” but was seen in Miami the same weekend at the grand opening of his own school. At the time, we were like “LOL EPIC PHAIL!” Well, it ain’t so funny anymore. As Sherdog reports, Silva’s aunt — who raised him from his youth, and who he thought of as his mother — passed away on Monday. According to a source close to the UFC middleweight champ:

Silva was already in Miami for the opening ceremonies of his gym. He learned of his aunt’s condition on Friday and tried to leave for Brazil on Saturday morning, but there were no flights. He then went to his gym for a few hours before flying to Curitiba in the evening.

So Anderson, we’re incredibly sorry — both for your tremendous loss and for the fact that we’re tremendous assholes.


UFC 85 Curse Claims James Irvin

James Irvin UFC 85
(His tattoo is watching even when he’s not. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Yesterday evening, the UFC announced that a broken foot has forced James Irvin to pull out from his UFC 85 match against Rashad Evans. Though first reported that Luiz Cane would be stepping up to replace Irvin, a finalized card was released shortly after, which didn’t include Evans at all. The undercard fight between Nate Marquardt and Thales Leites has now been moved to the main pay-per-view card.

Anyway, that’s a bummer — I had high hopes for the Irvin/Evans match-up, as their conflicting styles could have produced some exciting results. But Evans is better off not being on the card at this point. Having to train for another new opponent (he was originally slated to fight Chuck Liddell) wouldn’t be fair to him with less than a month until the show, and historically, situations like that tend not to go well. Still, how cursed is this card? First it was Mauricio Rua with an injured knee. Then Liddell with a torn hammy. Then Chris Leben with his probation violation. Good Lord, is the O2 Arena built on an Indian burial ground or something?

In other UFC news:

Early reports have UFC 88 slated for September 6th in Atlanta, GA. It would be the first time the UFC was held in the state of Georgia since UFC 13 in May 1997.

TUF 6 alum Blake Bowman (remember, the guy who Mac Danzig used to mercilessly make fun of?) won his professional MMA debut on Friday, at the same event that produced the already-legendary double-K.O. involving Tyler Bryan and Shaun Parker. Facing Kevin Walker, who was also making his professional debut, Bowman won a TKO victory in just eight seconds, landing a head kick right at the bell and following it up with a punch that put Walker out.

— According to recent announcements and promotional materials, Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Coleman will not be the official main event of UFC 87. Could a headlining title fight be possible? GSP and Anderson Silva don’t have anything scheduled yet…


The Unpopular Opinion: Why Sean Sherk Will Beat B.J. Penn

(‘You’re getting to be such a big boy. Pretty soon I won’t be able to do this anymore.’)

I realize the headline has some of you worked up into a frenzy, but just give me a chance to explain. B.J. Penn is a wonderfully gifted fighter. Let’s start there. In fact, let’s go further. B.J. Penn is a truly great fighter, easily one of the best lightweights in the world. Most of the other guys in the lightweight top ten would stand little chance against him, and the same goes for a few of the guys in the welterweight top ten.

I don’t think Sean Sherk is objectively a better fighter than B.J. Penn. I do, however, think that Sean Sherk can beat B.J. Penn on Saturday night, and I’d like to explain why.

Styles make fights. It’s a cliché, but it’s true. So much in MMA is dependent on how one man’s style matches up against another’s, and Sherk is a bad match for Penn.

If there’s any type of fighter Penn has struggled against, it’s wrestlers. Matt Hughes and Georges St. Pierre were both bigger and stronger than Penn, but they are also both excellent wrestlers, and they both beat Penn by outworking and outlasting him. You can give him a pass for having a broken rib or bad cardio in those fights, but the blame for both of those problems rests with Penn.


Gina Carano Loves Cute Hats, Training…Not So Much

Another day, another Gina Carano video interview where she wears a funny little hat to accentuate how attractive she is. You know, no big deal. The interesting thing here is that she doesn’t shy away from talking about how filming American Gladiators has negatively affected her training for the May 31 Elite XC bout. She doesn’t seem too worried about it. As they say, pride goeth before an ass-whipping on live network TV.

In other news…

- Sherdog reports that Affliction has officially announced the bout between Paul Buentello and Aleksander Emelianenko on the July 19 fight card, as well as the signing of Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, the younger brother of the UFC champ. No word yet on who Nogueira will fight or what will be done with Buentello’s body following the bout, though one assumes that Emelianenko will keep it as a trophy for at least a couple of days.

- Demian Maia and Jason MacDonald will both get a step up in competition when they face each other at UFC 87 in August, says MMA Mania. Both are coming off impressive wins, and the UFC has done well to put this match-up on the undercard of the Brock Lesnar-Mark Coleman show, which will also feature a lightweight bout between Kenny Florian and Roger Huerta. Go on and say you aren’t ordering that pay-per-view. You’re kidding yourself.


The CagePotato/Fightlinker UFC 84 Pick-Off: Holy Christ, What Was I Thinking?

Ipecac vomiting

Three weeks ago, I entered a devil’s wager with, in which Ryan Harkness and I would go head-to-head in predicting the results of this Saturday’s UFC 84, with the loser having to do something awful. After reviewing the reader suggestions on CP and FL — which ran the gamut from permanently scarring to financially unfeasible (good effort anyway, guys!) — we both decided on something simple. The loser will have to put up a video of themselves drinking ipecac. To illustrate ipecac’s gruesome effects, Fightlinker posted this video. Wa-wa-wee-wa. Needless to say, I really don’t want to lose. So if you have any inside info/messages from God regarding Saturday’s fights, hollatchaboy in the comments section. I’ll post my official picks tomorrow.


Also: FL found some amusing CBS Saturday Night Fights promos starring Kevin Ferguson himself. You simply must watch them after the jump.


Frank Trigg: The World’s Toughest Salesman

Frank Trigg MMA Triggonomics
(Photo courtesy of

Frank Trigg is a one-man industry. How many other fighters can claim to train in a gym they own, show up to fight in a shirt they designed, then talk about it the next day on their own radio show? In this exclusive interview, the man behind Triggonomics, TAGG Radio, the R1 Training Center, a handful of truly bizarre TV appearances — as well as some legendary beatdowns in the UFC, PRIDE and Icon Sport — gives us the “Twinkle Toes” perspective on fighter branding, reality television, and why he would kick Robbie Lawler’s ass in a rematch.


CAGEPOTATO.COM: Let’s get this out of the way first: Who, where, and when are you fighting next?
FRANK TRIGG: I don’t know yet. I thought I was going to have something set up and ready to announce this week, but we don’t have anything finalized.

But you are still actively pursuing your fight career, right? It’s not like your five other jobs are getting in the way…
Absolutely, I’m trying to get as many fights as I can. I was trying to be in the DREAM middleweight tournament, but it didn’t work out.

You told MMAJunkie that doing that tournament wouldn’t benefit your brand. What exactly did you mean by that?
That’s really what all of us are trying to do — Chuck Liddell, Roger Huerta, Georges St. Pierre — all of us are trying to brand ourselves to a big enough name that we can make money outside of the fight world, and I have to make choices on what’s going to help me accomplish that. Doing commentating for TNA Wrestling helps me as a brand — it pushes me forward, it gets me in front of a different demographic and increases the size of my network. And when you’re with an organization that’s not going to do that for you, whatever level you’re at, it doesn’t help.

DREAM was waiting and screwing around, and I was trying to figure out whether or not the tournament was going to be shown in America on HDNet. They finally agreed to a deal like three days before the event, and I thought “that’s just stupid, they should have had this stuff done a long time ago.” The way that they’re running the organization, it just wasn’t going to be any good for me in trying to get my brand out there.

Do you think you’ll still try to deal with DREAM? Their fight-booking process seems disorganized at times, to say the least.
I would have gone back to them, but somebody sent me a link to a story in the Japanese press where they said I was a liar and that I agreed to do the tournament but backed out. I’m not going to work with someone who’s going to call me a liar. It’s not gonna happen.


IFL Makes More Cuts, and These Are Going to Hurt

(Firing ring girls is one thing, but experienced executives aren’t just hanging out at the local Hooters.)

It’s no secret that the IFL is in financial trouble, but two recent cuts to the IFL’s operations staff are a sign that the end may be near.

MMA Payout reports that Keith Evans, IFL VP of Operations, and Lisa Faircloth, Director of Events, have both been let go. This is a significant blow to the IFL’s Las Vegas office, which handles the bulk of event operations and includes tasks like signing fighters and organizing live events.

Both Evans and Faircloth are former Zuffa employees. Evans played a role in Zuffa’s initial lawsuit against the IFL, with Zuffa alleging that he gave away trade secrets. While it might be a stretch to say that both are absolutely essential to the IFL’s staff, it isn’t a stretch to say that they are essential to the IFL putting on a strong event any time in the coming months. A VP of Operations isn’t so easily replaced, especially an experienced veteran of the MMA wars like Evans. Faircloth held together much of the Vegas staff, and her departure is said to have other IFL Operations employees sending out resumes as fast as they can print them off.

This could be a sign that the IFL is considering drastically scaling back their live event operations in the near future, if not closing their Las Vegas office altogether. If that’s the case, it makes you wonder what the IFL’s plan is over the long term. It seems as if they may be counting on finding a buyer soon, and are content to wait it out without losing any more money on events in the meantime.

Then again, you know what they call an MMA organization that doesn’t put on fights? A place where you can buy a really cheap six-sided ring.