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

July, 2008

Nick Diaz Would Really Like to Be in a Magazine

Nick Diaz and Thomas Denny Elite XC
(Staredown, courtesy of Combat Lifestyle)

In our exclusive interview with Elite XC’s Nick Diaz yesterday, he made mention of what he perceived as a lack of coverage for the Diaz brothers in MMA magazines. At the time we didn’t think much of it. It just seemed like a remark in passing. But after yesterday’s Elite XC press conference, we’re starting to think that Diaz is really serious about wanting to be in a magazine. Maybe it was this quip that did it:

“I’m happy to be fighting Denny because I always see him on every magazine. I’m never in any magazines so maybe when I win I might get some love from a few publications.’’

And now that I think about it, after he beat Takanori Gomi in that epic Pride bout that was ruled a no-contest due to weed, he made this remark:

“I boxed him up. I gogo’d him. Put me in a fucking magazine or something. Fuck.”

Seriously, magazine editors. What else does this guy have to do? You want him to beg you, is that it? You monsters. Just put him in a magazine! We’d buy a copy, and we can barely read.

If Nick keeps this up, magazines may become the obsession for him that airplanes are for Brock Lesnar.


The 10 Greatest Fight Movies of All Time

Story of Riki Riki-Oh head crush exploding MMA gifs funny movies
(Just one of the reasons why you should rent “The Story of Ricky” immediately.)

Long before we became obsessed with MMA, martial arts flicks satisfied our thirst for blood. We now pay tribute to the best of the best — and the kickass fight scenes and iconic stars that made these movies so essential. Click the links for video clips, and let us know how you feel in the comments section…


Kickboxer movie poster Jean Claude Van Damme greatest fight movies

10. Kickboxer (1989)

Say what you will about Kickboxer, but it delivers what it promises. Jean-Claude Van Damme plays Kurt Sloane, the European-accented brother to an American kickboxing champion (?) who travels to Thailand only to be paralyzed by the vicious Tong Po. It isn’t until Sloane seeks out the wisdom and awesomely unorthodox training of Xian Chow that he is ready to seek revenge in a brutal underground match that features no shortage of broken glass-encrusted fists and long, drawn-out screams.

Best Ass-Kicking: How do you prepare for the fight of your life? By getting drunk and beating up bar patrons while dancing horribly in pleated pants. How else?

Classic Quote: “I tell them you say they no good fighters… and that their mothers have sex with mules.” (Xian Chow)

9. The Legend of Drunken Master aka Drunken Master II (1994)


CBS Promises More Action, Less Disrobing of Phil Baroni

Phil Baroni EliteXC
(Sorry, guys.)

As great as the ratings were for CBS/EliteXC’s first “Saturday Night Fights” broadcast in May, it was one the most criticized MMA events in the sport’s history. Both hardcore MMA fans and first-time viewers had bones to pick with everything from the choice of main event fighters, to the unsatisfying stoppages, to the slow pacing (which helped carry the bloated affair nearly an hour past its scheduled runtime), to the regrettable music-video vibe provided by the dancing girls and pyrotechnics. Without the mainstream draws of Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano on the card, CBS knows that they have to cater to the discerning MMA fan with “Unfinished Business,” which kicks off this Saturday at 9 p.m. ET/PT. As CBS senior executive vice president Kelly Kahl tells Yahoo! Sports’s Kevin Iole:

“To be perfectly honest, I think there was more of a wrestling element to that [first] show and I didn’t like it. I’d much rather present them as great athletes and warriors, which they are, but it got a bit clownish and that didn’t do us any favors.”

For tomorrow night’s event, Iole reports that all those cheesy elements (“such as when Phil Baroni ambled slowly to the cage and had women disrobe him”) will be 86′d. Also, cutting out downtime will be a top priority. Whereas “Primetime” featured just two minutes and 12 seconds of fighting in the first 71 minutes of the show, Kahl said that “Unfinished Business” is going to be “commercial, fight, commercial, fight.”

Still, even with the planned changes, CBS and EliteXC are aware that matching the ratings of their blockbuster debut — which peaked at 6.51 million viewers during the Kimbo Slice/James Thompson fight — is far from likely. Said ProElite executive chairman Doug DeLuca:

“We certainly are managing all of our expectations. It is summer. And we did have a number of good PR items going for us on the first event. It was the first event on primetime network television. That alone drummed up a huge amount of press for the event and a lot of people were interested in seeing (it). But, look, I’m confident in our fight card. I’m confident in mixed martial arts and I’m confident at what we can do at EliteXC in terms of producing events…We understand the numbers might not be as big as the first time, but (still) we’re all expecting to do some good numbers.”

Sure, we’re all still recovering from the MMA onslaught of last weekend, but the second chapter of the great MMA-on-network-television experiment should be a must-see for fans. Will you be watching?

(Props: MMA Junkie)


Gird Your Loins, TapouT is Back for Season Two

(Props: MMA Scraps)

This trailer for season two of “TapouT” (premiering July 30th) on Versus is absolutely perfect. I can’t imagine a more effective way of capturing how incredibly annoying this show is. Stupid catch phrases, mind-numbing repetition, vague promises of violence, facepaint, wigs, glimpses of girls in their underwear and brief scenes of actual MMA — that’s the show all right.

It takes a lot to create something MMA-related that I won’t watch. TapouT, by sheer cloying perseverance, has done it. For that, I salute them. Having saluted them, I will now go consult the TV Guide to see if there is anything else on that night. If there isn’t, I will read TV Guide from cover to cover. Anything so long as I don’t have to endure an hour’s worth of grown men who are dressed for the world’s worst Halloween party screaming at me as they ride around in a bus for indistinct reasons. I had enough of that during my childhood, thank you very much.


More Questionable Numbers From Affliction?

The big question we’ve been waiting to hear an answer to this week is, what of Affliction’s pay-per-view numbers? VP Tom Atencio claimed they did “well over” 100,000 buys. He also said, in the post-fight press conference, that he’d be releasing the numbers on Thursday or Friday of this week. And yet, so far nothing official. Subscribers to Dave Meltzer’s “Wrestling Observer” relayed the following tidbit from the latest issue via the Sherdog forums:

“As far as the numbers went, the big number everyone is looking for is the Affliction PPV number. Based on independent estimates we’ve heard, the number has been estimated at between 50,000 and 85,000 buys. Atencio claimed the number as being higher, saying it topped 100,000, although at press time, any numbers could only be considered rough estimates. Atencio told us that since UFC doesn’t release numbers, he’s not going to either (I know, after saying it was more than 100,000). Keep in mind that Pride claimed 150,000 buys for its first U.S. PPV in 2006, and the real number ended up being 40,000 (we know that because Nevada taxes on PPV revenue so you can get a real number; California does not so getting real numbers will be more difficult).”

“Independent estimates” is a vague phrase to begin with, but with all this speculation floating around the only way for Affliction to silence it is to release the numbers. If they don’t, we’ll have to assume that they probably didn’t hit that golden number of 100,000 buys as Atencio claimed.

It’s a big week for Affliction and dubious numbers. Next you’re going to tell me that the Tim Sylvia Signature Series Affliction t-shirt doesn’t really cost $58. No, that one checks out actually. At least there are some things you can still depend on.


Boring But Important: UFC Bookings, Gina Carano, and Affliction Live Gate Trickery

Gina Carano MMA
(“Conviction” returns in October.)

— Thales Leites and Dean Lister will reportedly meet in a middleweight bout at UFC Fight Night 15 (September 17th; Omaha, NE), while lightweights Thiago Tavares and Kurt Pellegrino are slated to fight at UFC 88 (September 6th, Atlanta); both Tavares and Pellegrino are coming off losses in their last fights, to Matt Wiman and Nate Diaz, respectively. The UFC has also confirmed widely rumored UFC 88 matches between Rich Franklin and Matt Hamill, Dan Henderson and Rousimar Palhares, and Karo Parisyan vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida.

— Gina Carano will fight next at an EliteXC event on October 4th. According to Sherdog, the event is likely to be televised on CBS, and her opponent may be Kelly Kobald, a Minnesota Martial Arts Academy product who started her career on a 16-0-1 tear before dropping her last two fights to Tara LaRosa and Julie Kedzie.

This may help explain why Affliction’s attendance was so good: All tickets in all sections were discounted to $39.95 on the day of the show.

Sengoku’s lightweight grand prix — which will go down August 24th in Saitama, Japan — will include IFL lightweight champion Ryan Schultz, King of the Cage lightweight champion Clay French, Cage Force lightweight champion Mizuto Hirota, and former DEEP lightweight champion Kazunori Yokota. Takanori Gomi and Frank Trigg will also be fighting, in separate non-GP bouts.


Carlos Condit Beats Hell Out of Troops

Here’s the thing: when Carlos Condit (currently ranked #9 in the world at welterweight in the ultra-official Cage Potato Power Rankings) says to you before a sparring session, “Hit me as hard as you want to get hit,” it may not be the best idea to go out there and unload on him with your best right hand. Not unless you want to feel his retaliation in the form of a head kick-right straight combo that will put you on your ass.

At the same time, it is pretty awesome. When that dude wakes up, someone should buy him a beer.


Miller Brothers Join the IFL Exodus, Sign with UFC

Dan Miller kneebar Ryan McGivern
(Dan Miller. Kneebar. Get some.)

When news dropped that the UFC was indeed buying the IFL’s video library and some fighter contracts, the logical next question was, which contracts? Surely the champs were a good bet, but what of Wojtek Kaszowski? While Wojtek might have missed the boat, the dynamic brotherly duo of Dan and Jim Miller are on their way to the big show.

The two have signed with the UFC, making them two of the biggest prospects yet to make the leap. Dan Miller won the IFL’s middleweight title with a submission victory over Ryan McGivern in May, but the company went in the tank before he could defend it.

Jim Miller, a promising lightweight, debuted with a decision victory over Bart Palaszewski and has since been waiting in the wings for another fight. Of course it’s been crowded in those IFL wings of late.

Check out clips of both of them in action after the jump, including an insane guillotine choke by Dan. Also enjoy the journey into the IFL’s yesteryear with all the fun “Battleground” features, like ringside correspondent/obligatory hot chick Tiffany Fallon. Wonder if the UFC bought the entire video library, including the IFL coaches rap song. We can only hope.


Exclusive Interview: Nick Diaz

Nick Diaz EliteXC MMA
(Photo courtesy of Complex.)

When we last saw Nick Diaz, he was whipping Muhsin Corbbrey at EliteXC: The Return of the King, and advising KJ Noons not to be frightened. Diaz gets back into the cage this Saturday at the second installment of EliteXC’s “Saturday Night Fights” (CBS, 9 p.m. ET/PT), and while he won’t be settling his grudge with Noons, he’ll be facing the very tough Thomas Denny in front of a rabid hometown crowd at the Stockton Arena. The always outspoken Cesar Gracie-trained fighter recently chatted with us about the origins of his bad attitude, why MMA fights should be held in a ring, and why steroids should be legal.


CAGEPOTATO.COM: Are you disappointed that you’re not fighting KJ Noons on Saturday?
NICK DIAZ: Sure. I want to get that fight over and done with as soon as I can. But I gotta handle the Denny fight first, because if I don’t win it won’t look too good on my part, as far as a future fight with KJ goes. But KJ doesn’t want to fight me — he likes to pick his fights. I figure the only way he’ll fight me is if they make him do it, so I gotta be the guy in line.

Have you seen anything in Thomas Denny’s game that concerns you?
Well, everything concerns me. He’s a good fighter. But I’m ready for this type of guy. I know I train harder than him. I don’t have time to run a school and teach kids; he seems to have time to do a lot of things. It’s a lot to have on the table if you’re trying to be a professional fighter too.

The California State Athletic Commission is notorious for pulling fighters at the last minute — you went through it yourself back in March. How are you dealing with the CSAC this time so that you don’t have to experience that again?
I don’t have an issue with them. It was a big misunderstanding — the commission apologized and we’re all cool. It cost me a lot of money, but let’s get past it. I’ve forgotten about it pretty much.

So your medical marijuana card won’t be a problem this time?
No, not at all. It was never a problem before. I planned on testing clean in the last fight, and I’m going to test clean in this fight like all the other fighters, so that’s not even an issue. You get some of your freedoms screwed with, with the commission being as tight and all. But they own the shit and they run the shit. They’ve been manipulating us from the beginning. We’re not stupid, and I feel like we should stand up for our rights. If guys want to do steroids in this sport, then power to ‘em. I don’t do steroids, I’m not into chemicals or needles, it completely freaks me out. I don’t even do Advil. But if these guys want to do steroids, I would like them to do steroids.


Fedor vs. Arlovski at Affliction 2 (Oct. 11, Las Vegas)

Fedor Emelianenko MMA Affliction
(The Last Emperor knows how to rock a Canadian Tuxedo.)

Yahoo! Sports passes along the big news: Affliction will be having its second event on October 11th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, featuring a main event heavyweight brawl between Fedor Emelianenko and Andrei Arlovski. No other matches are announced at this time.

Emelianenko has fought at the Thomas & Mack before, submitting Mark Coleman at PRIDE 32, which was held at the arena in October 2006. Without a doubt it will chap the ass of Dana White for Affliction to be holding an event in his backyard, and a counter-programming show would seem to be out of the question as well, as the UFC already has events planned on October 18th (UFC 89) and October 25th (UFC 90).

As suggested before, Affliction following up its debut event in less than three months is crucial to its momentum, and the timing in relation to the UFC’s events is perfect. You couldn’t ask for a better main event, though I’m a little surprised that Josh Barnett isn’t being thrown at Fedor first; from a marketing standpoint, American vs. Russian beats Russian vs. Belarusian, and MMA fans have been begging for a Barnett/Emelianenko showdown since their tenures in PRIDE.

More details to come…