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August, 2008

‘War Machine’ Legally Changes Name to ‘War Machine’

War Machine Jon Koppenhaver MMA UFC
(Your eyes do not deceive you — that is indeed an armpit-hair tattoo.)

I don’t know if I should call bullshit on this one, but it’s being reported as actual news, so here goes. The UFC fighter and TUF 6 castmember formerly known as Jon Koppenhaver has legally changed his name to “War Machine” — which was previously his nickname — due to a trademark dispute with TNA Wrestling. As Machine wrote recently on his friends-only MySpace blog:

Subject: Funny ass shit!

SO in case you didn’t notice in my last fight the UFC did NOT use my nickname when I fought. Turns out some gay ass wrestling federation threatened to sue them because they recently named one of their wrestlers The War Machine Rhino and trademarked the name.

Too fuckin’ bad that I have been using this name for 6 years, have it tatted on my body and it is what my fans yell out when I’m fighting.

If you know my personality then you know damn well I am not gonna let some faggot ass, FAKE wrestler steal MY name..
SO 6 weeks ago I filed a change of name request and today I had court to make my name officially WAR MACHINE.

lol
Fuckin’ funny right? Didn’t really wanna have to do it but I am sure as hell not lose MY nickname.

Time for a nap.

WM

You may remember War Machine’s MySpace blog as the venue in which he expressed his desire to move to the Philippines so he could kill and fornicate as much as he wanted to. Meaning, the name change shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. We just can’t wait until Bruce Buffer has to announce it. And does this mean they have to change his name in the video game, too? Oh War Machine, why must you be such a rebel?

(Props to Rob P. for the heads up, and riceavenger for the full MySpace message)

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Rampage to Make New Home at Wolfslair

Quinton Rampage Jackson Michael Bisping MMA UFC
(Big mistake.)

With Juanito Ibarra out of his life, Quinton Jackson was down a trainer and a business manager. But according to Fighters Only Magazine, he’s found both at Wolfslair Academy, the Liverpool, England-based MMA team that’s home to UFC fighters Michael Bisping and Paul Kelly. Jackson has signed a three-year deal that will make Wolfslair responsible for managing all aspects of his career, from training camps to securing sponsorships. According to gym co-owner Anthony McGann:

“After the Forrest fight, he felt that his training hadn’t been quite right. He was deeply disappointed in his performance and he felt like he needed to change some things in his life. He came to us as we’ve all been friends for a long time. He feels that training in England can help him focus, which can be difficult in California because of his star status. He’s relatively unknown in England…He will be training when he can in England and the Wolfslair will be running his camps up in Big Bear when he is preparing for his fights.”

Oddly, McGann mentioned that Jackson’s split with Juanito Ibarra was amicable, and they parted on good terms — which runs contrary to every other report on the subject. As for Jackson, he seems very enthusiastic about his new camp, since their vibe seems to mesh with his own:

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Quick Hits: Dana White to Get Mindfreaked, Machida Predicts a Finish, & More

- Because he loves him some publicity, Dana White will appear on A&E’s “Mindfreak” with magician Criss Angel tonight. You say you’re not going to watch, but let’s not kid ourselves. You’re going to pretend to watch the Democratic National Convention, then get bored when there are no crazy MMA riots breaking out, and suddenly you’re thinking, ‘Man, my mind could really use a good freaking right about now.’ Boom! A&E’s got you covered. If you want a taste of Criss Angel’s particularly cloying brand of magic, I recommend this little gem.

- The ever-elusive Lyoto Machida says his fight against Thiago Silva at UFC 89 isn’t going to be another snoozefest. As he told Tatame: “I believe this fight won’t go to decision… Thiago likes to fight aggressively, me too, he has good MMA techniques, so I believe this fight might finish before the third round.” Seems like he stops just short of actually committing to finishing, or saying that he’ll be the one to finish it. Even this guy’s interviews are, um, tactical.

- Chuck Liddell’s nutritional supplement company, Iceman Rx, is anticipating a Liddell victory over Rashad Evans at UFC 88. They’re even running a sweepstakes to coincide with UFC 92, where Liddell might conceivably challenge Forrest Griffin for the UFC light heavyweight title if he is victorious next weekend. And what does the winner of that sweepstakes get? An Iceman Rx Hummer H2. Even has a picture of Liddell on the side. Rumor has it he only decided to give it away after seeing what happened to Rampage. I started that rumor.

- You thought our jokes about the Tito Ortiz/Jenna Jameson baby news were in poor taste? Just check out The Sun. They pull no punches over in the UK press, and their photoshops are meaner. Kudos to them for referring to Jenna’s porn flicks as “blue movies.” That mixture of cruelty and decorum is why I love the Brits.

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Affliction Wants to Go Fast


(Something’s wrong here. I only count three skulls.)

In an attempt to broaden their fanbase, Affliction is shelling out the dough to appeal to a normally untapped potential audience: Nascar-lovers. Mike Skinner’s car is turning into a moving billboard for the clothier-turned-promoter at the Pepsi 500 this weekend in San Bernardino, Ca.

Looking at the artist’s rendition of the car above (courtesy of Yahoo’s Steve Cofield), I’m totally pumped to see some skulls go screaming down the track. So pumped, in fact, that I may even watch Nascar (no I won’t).

What’s interesting here is that this whole stock car ad campaign makes a few assumptions that may or may not be valid. One is that there are enough Nascar fans who know enough about MMA already to even recognize what this is an ad for. You have to either know what Affliction is, or know who Arlovski and/or Barnett are for this to even make sense. The “vs.” gives it away that there’s probably a fight going on, but aside from that all you’ve got is a date and some skulls. Maybe the thinking is that if a date and skulls aren’t enough for you, then Affliction doesn’t want your money anyway (yes they do).

Just out of curiosity, any Nascar fans out there? As in, for real? I gotta be honest, this is as close as I ever came. And, to a lesser extent, this.

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Absolute Must See: “Grand Theft Title 2″

MMA highlight-video master Genghis Con — whose nuts we’ve hugged in the past — went on the UG yesterday to plug his new video, which documents the “Beef” between Georges St. Pierre and Matt Serra. It’s as amazing as you’d expect, but while poking around his previous works, we came upon “Grand Theft Title 2,” an absolute gem from last year which focuses on Mauricio “Shogun” Rua’s killing spree in PRIDE’s 2005 Grand Prix, where he took out Quinton Jackson (at Total Elimination), Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (at Critical Countdown), and then Alistair Overeem and Ricardo Arona in the same night (at Final Conflict); you can watch it above.

The GTA video game theme allows for fun touches like the “Change View” at -8:23 and “Unlocked: Foot Stomps” at -7:05, but the use of Liberty City‘s soundtrack really sets this one apart. How freaking cool is Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message” playing during the Nogueira and Overeem fights? Con is on a whole ‘notha level. Anyway, check it out, tell a friend, and set aside some time to watch the rest.

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WEC Planning Faber/Garcia Title Fight in Mexico?


(Pulver vs. Garcia WEC promo; props to MMA Mania.)

Two major featherweight duels are slated for WEC 36 (September 10th; Hollywood, Florida), as Urijah Faber tries to make his sixth WEC title defense against Mike Brown, while Jens Pulver clashes with Leonard Garcia. On Monday’s edition of TAGG Radio, Garcia revealed that WEC officials have promised him a title shot if he beats Pulver next month, and they’re looking to use him for Zuffa’s first foray south of the border. When asked if a Faber vs. Garcia title fight could be held in Mexico, Garcia said:

“They’re flying me out six days after the (Pulver) fight to Mexico City to do a press conference and to make a huge announcement. As I understand it, both Urijah and I are going…I think both of us just need to hold up our ends of the bargain on Sept. 10. So yeah, you essentially hit the nail on the head.”

As interesting as that is, isn’t it a bit premature to be planning the location of Leonard Garcia’s title fight? Since when did Garcia become a favorite against Jens Pulver? I’m sure the WEC would love to use him for their expansion effort, but I got Lil’ Evil for this one. Hopefully, former IFL featherweight champ (and new WEC signee) Wagnney Fabiano can be brought in for The California Kid’s next title defense — though a tune-up match against someone like Garcia or Pulver could be in store for him first.

Not to say that Garcia vs. Pulver won’t be a thrilling fight. In fact, the way Garcia looks at the matchup echoes our own thoughts:

“Styles make fights. (We) have styles that work well for the fans. I don’t think Jens knows how to back away. I don’t know how to go in reverse. It’s going to be one of those fights that is beautiful on paper, and it’s going to be one fans don’t want to miss.”

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‘Oh Snap!’ Alert: Brett Rogers Accuses Kimbo Slice of Shuckin’ and Duckin’

You were wondering how Brett Rogers feels about getting spurned by Elite XC in favor Ken Shamrock? Five Ounces of Pain has the scoop in a statement on behalf of Brett Rogers. Things start out all puppy dogs and rainbows in regards to the way Elite XC is handling their business, but don’t worry, Shamrock and “Fergi” get their come-uppance at the end:

As for Oct 4th; that was our spot. Shamrock with his name and giant ego butted in line to get a slice of Kevin. At 103 years of age Ken usurped our rightful place against the YouTube champ. Our sincerest hope is that Ken whips Kimbo and then we can finally euthanize the “World’s Most Dangerous Man” and relegate him to some MMA dinosaur exhibit. Maybe taxidermy him and Severn and place them on a rotating pedestal where they can endless circle each other.

If Ken proves to be more sham then rock and Fergi beats him, then the Slice hype grows even greater. Dude is already more myth then Sasquatch, Chupacabra and a fucking unicorn combined. Kevin is the black Yeti.

Caught between a Shamrock and a hard place, Kevin has chosen the old over the new; the past over the future. But Fergi… the hard place is coming. By putting us off, making us wait will only make matters worse. There is nothing business about it anymore. Kimbo made it a point to go frontin’ to our boys at Big Black. But that street thug B.S. might work well with the fan bois and the Internet dorks who think your street cred means something; but Son… Brett comes from Cabrini Green; the worst 12 blocks of America. Compared to that your street is Sesame Street. So you can say it is very personal between Brett and Fergi. So go ahead and make us wait while you fight Tank and Shamrock. Hell, why not fight Hackney, Harold Howard, Fred Ettish and the rest of Jurassic MMA? And while your shuckin’ and duckin’ we will be hustlin’ and muscilin’ and when the bell finally tolls the only real question left is … do you wake up looking at canvas or arena lights?

On behalf of Brett Rogers – Team Bison

Wow. Black Yeti? Shuckin’ and duckin’? Hustlin’ and musclin’? Sounds like the official trash-talking statement writer over at Team Bison is doing work, son.

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Rampage Jackson Slams Forrest Griffin, Talks Out of Own Ass

UFC Rampage Jackson

Former UFC light heavyweight champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson must really be feeling better. Apparently not content to have his name in the news just for felony charges and rumors of his November return to the Octagon, now he’s revisiting the topic of his loss to Forrest Griffin. Maybe he felt that his clash with “delirium” after the fight robbed him of the opportunity to talk about it, but he’s making up for lost time with this visit from the Ghost of Shit-Talking Past in a recent interview with the UK’s Fighter’s Only Magazine:

“I just want my fans to know, I was at my worst and Forrest was at his best – and I still beat him. …A man is not a man if he can’t ‘fess up to when he gets his ass kicked. See me, if I get my ass kicked I am like ‘yeah, I got my ass kicked’.

However, Jackson says that when he said those exact words at the end of the fight in July, “I was being sarcastic, because I really could not believe that it went the way it did”.

“I’m not a sore loser, shit happens. But I was hoping that Forrest would be a man and come out and say ‘You know what, I didn’t win that fight’, especially after he watched it.

“I wasn’t really sure, right at the end of the fight… I know he hurt me and punched me in the face a couple of times but I was bobbing and weaving and making him miss, stuff like that. I was hoping that he would come out later after he saw the fight and say ‘yeah, I saw the fight and I lost that fight.”

Daaaaaamn! First of all, Rampage really expected Griffin to come out after the fight and voluntarily say that he did not deserve to win the title? Has Rampage ever met any pro fighters? That’s just not their style. Especially with a fight that close, it’s standard operating procedure for both guys to claim they won and for both to go to their graves truly believing it. So basically Rampage wants Griffin to do what no other fighter, including him, would do in this situation.

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‘Title Shot’ Caption Contest: BJ and a Gun

BJ Penn MMA UFC

After arranging a visit by BJ Penn to his Army unit at Fort Lewis, MMA writer Kelly Crigger was inspired to dig deeper into the subculture of mixed martial arts, and find out what would compel a person to sacrifice all worldly comforts for the opportunity to beat up a stranger in a cage. Over the next year, he visited leading MMA camps including Team Quest, American Top Team, and Sityodtong, and interviewed fighters at every level of the game. The result is Title Shot: Into the Shark Tank of Mixed Martial Arts, which, no bullshit, is probably the most insightful and essential exploration of the MMA lifestyle that you’ll ever read. We highly suggest that you buy it, but you also have a chance to win a signed copy right here.

Check out the photo above — one of thousands that Crigger took during the preparation of his book — which shows The Prodigy at the Fort Lewis shooting range. (As Crigger explains: “We took him out to bust some caps, but he couldn’t learn to hold the weapon for shit.”) The two readers who provide the best captions in the comments section below will win a signed copy of Title Shot. Contest ends Sunday night at midnight ET; feel free to enter multiple times. Good luck…

Title Shot book cover MMA Crigger

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Video: Fighter Gets Beaten by Fans

At HOOKnSHOOT‘s Grand Prix in March 2006, a fighter named Jason Bryant celebrated his submission win over Scottie Newton by taking over the mic and mouthing off to the crowd. It was an innocent bit of heel-play that went terribly wrong, as one fan made like he wanted to shake Bryant’s hand, then pulled him off the entrance ramp and started beating on him. The other fans around them responded by freaking out and throwing punches at whoever was closest. Bryant actually had to fight again later that night in the tournament’s semi-final, where he lost to Heath Pedigo. The best part is that HOOKnSHOOT is apparently using this regrettable episode to promote Bryant’s appearance at their September 27th event. Because at a two-bit local show, anything can happen! Evansville, what!

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