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Iconic Album Covers Replaced With Sloths

August, 2008

Famous Last Words: Cheick Kongo Edition

Cheick Kongo MMA UFC

From MMA Rated:

“I try to never underestimate any of my opponents but there’s really nothing that worries me too much with Brock Lesnar. I know it could be a tough fight, but, you know, I train hard and I will be ready for this one too.”

There’s something very zen-like about Kongo’s “don’t worry about what you can’t change” attitude. On the other hand, in terms of fight preparation, he may want to start worrying about the fact that he’s going to be on his back for fifteen minutes against Lesnar. The wrestling thing would be an issue, I would think. Kongo might even want to worry about Brock’s striking, and how one of his punches threw Heath Herring into a reverse somersault and closed his eye for the remainder of the fight. But hey, I’m on the outside looking in, so whatever.

I thought this quote was particularly worth sharing because it’s eerily similar to Herring’s cavalier statements that because he’d faced wrestlers before, he wasn’t expecting Lesnar to present anything he hadn’t seen before — which in itself is similar to how Patrick Cote has been echoing James Irvin’s failed strategy of taking ten of Anderson Silva’s punches to land one of his own. Dismissing Brock Lesnar’s takedowns and ground control is just about as foolish as thinking you’ll survive ten straight from Silva. People, please: If we don’t learn from the past, we’re doomed to repeat it, directly in the face, for about 30 seconds until Steve Mazzagatti mercifully stops the fight.

Also, Kongo honestly believes he deserves a title shot — he wasn’t just letting adrenaline hijack his mouth after his win over Dan Evensen at UFC 87:

“His was my seventh UFC fight. I have never been completely dominated by an opponent in a UFC fight, even in my 2 losses which were by split decision. I won five fights among which three were by KO/TKO. So, I’m asking: How many fights do I have to win to definitely give me the credibility to get a title shot?”

With the way the UFC’s heavyweight ladder seems to be arranged right now, he’d probably have to beat Lesnar and then Fabricio Werdum. So, good luck with that.

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Videos: Hamill on Franklin, Rogan on the Rape Choke, + More


Matt Hamill will be welcoming Rich Franklin back to the light heavyweight division at UFC 88 on September 6th, and he expects some fearsome striking from the former middleweight champ. But he trusts in his always-improving game, and knows he needs to face the best opponents available to earn his respect. Props to ESPN via FiveOuncesofPain.


Joe Rogan gives us a glimpse of the average UFC fight weekend for him, which generally includes a standup comedy performance on Friday night. A clip from his gig at the Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis starts at the 2:23 mark of this video, in which Joe does a solid Jim Brown impression and discusses his infamous “rape choke” commentary blunder at UFC Fight Night 13. Props to MMA Mania.

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Rumor Killer: Kimbo Definitely Won’t Fight Gannon or Star Opposite Hulk Hogan


(Reflecting on what might have been.)

Of all the incredulous claims about Kimbo Slice‘s future, it’s starting to seem like very few of them are going to pan out. Though Si.com reported that former Boston police officer Sean Gannon was the front runner to become Slice’s next opponent on the October 4 CBS show, Elite XC’s Jared Shaw told Five Ounces of Pain that the bout definitely won’t be happening. You could interpret this as a sign that Elite XC has officially gotten their collective mind right when it comes to Kimbo Slice matchmaking, but Sam Caplan says the fight was scratched not because it’s a pointless circus bout, but because of Gannon’s “financial demands.”

In other words, Elite XC is perfectly willing to bring YouTube quality fights to network TV, but only if they can do it cheap. Looks like we’re back to either Ken Shamrock or Brett Rogers.

Outside the cage, it looks as if Kimbo will no longer be co-starring with Hulk Hogan in the lovable 3-D children’s film “Kung Fu U.” According to the Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, things fell apart “due to a misunderstanding among the agents involved with the Kimbo Slice deal” and Stereo Vision has since retracted their press release.

You know what that means? There’s a spot open in a hot new 3-D martial arts movie, and you get to play opposite Hulk Hogan, of “Mr. Nanny” fame! Get those audition tapes ready. Try to make them better than this one.

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Elite XC Standing Behind Their Bigfoot

Despite a positive drug test, Elite XC heavyweight champ Antonio Silva is insisting that he did not take the horse-friendly Boldenone, as the California State Athletic Commission claims. His agent, ATT’s Alex Davis, wasted no time in refuting the charge, which we just assumed was something agents were obliged to do. Sean Sherk taught us that sometimes just challenging the positive test is enough to get your suspension reduced, so why not give it a shot?

But now Jeremy Lappen, Elite XC’s Head of Fight Operations, is getting in on the act with this statement released to the media via email:

“We respect the California commission and the job they do. We always enjoy working with them and work very well together. The illegal use of steroids is a problem in all major sports, including mixed martial arts. We certainly do not condone the use of steroids.

“But we also support, trust and have confidence in our fighter, Antonio Silva, who has denied ever taken any illegal substance, including steroids, and is prepared to challenge the results of the California Commission.

“So until all the facts are known and a final decision is rendered, EliteXC will reserve making any further comments at this time.’’

Now we’ve got a real fight on our hands. It’s unclear what “facts” Lappen is waiting for, since Silva’s A and B samples both tested positive for the drug, which supposedly has such a long half-life in the body as to make a positive fairly damning.

It’s noble for Elite XC to stick up for their guy, but it’s also a bit of a risk. It makes me wonder, has Lappen ever actually seen Silva? Of all the people I’d be willing to stick my neck out for when it comes to steroid allegations, the guy with the frighteningly-prominent brow and the Cro-Magnon jaw structure might not be my first choice.

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Penn/St. Pierre II Official for Jan. 31st

Georges St. Pierre GSP BJ Penn UFC MMA
(“I see you can ‘andle my riddum.”)

In an interview with Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, Dana White confirmed that BJ Penn and George St. Pierre would have their rematch at the UFC’s Super Bowl weekend event on January 31st, 2009, in Las Vegas. GSP’s welterweight belt will be on the line.

White also confirmed that UFC 91 will be held November 15th in Portland, Oregon, and will indeed feature a lightweight bout between Kenny Florian and Joe Stevenson. (We can safely infer now that BJ Penn won’t be fighting again at the end of the year.) When asked about Wanderlei Silva’s next Octagon appearance, White would only say that the Axe Murderer probably wouldn’t be part of their December 27th event in Las Vegas — which could mean they’re still pushing for him to headline the Portland card against Quinton Jackson, or that they’re extending his hiatus until early ’09.

“We have nothing but big fights left for the rest of the year, but this is so crazy because there are so many of them,” White said. “We’re going to have a retreat on Monday to figure this all out.” Here’s what’s on the dry-erase board at this point…

UFC 88 (September 6th, Atlanta): Liddell/Evans, Franklin/Hamill, Parisyan/Yoshida, Henderson/Palhares

UFC Fight Night 15 (September 17th, Omaha): Diaz/Neer, Danzig/Guida, Alexander/Schafer, Lauzon/Bradley

UFC 89 (October 18th; Birmingham, England): Bisping/Leben, Machida/T. Silva, Jardine/Vera, Sokoudjou/Cane, Carwin/Wain

UFC 90 (October 25th, Chicago): A. Silva/Cote, Sanchez/Alves, Sherk/Griffin, Franca/Tibau

UFC 91 (November 15th, Portland): Florian/Stevenson

The Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale (December 13th, Las Vegas): no fights announced yet

UFC 92 (December 27th, Las Vegas): Nogueira/Mir

UFC 93 (January 31st, Las Vegas): Penn/St. Pierre

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Morning Trash Talk Roundup: Shields, Trigg, Florian, + Shaw

Shinya Aoki MMA
(Grow some bushido, y’pansy.)

“I guess they were trying to get Aoki, but he’s got no bushido. I don’t think Aoki wants to fight me. He’s got no warrior spirit. He’s from Japan, who would have thought?” — Jake Shields issues his own “Don’t be scared, homey” to Shinya Aoki, who allegedly turned down an offer to fight EliteXC’s welterweight champ.

“This is the flaw with American fans. On the one hand, the American fan is incredibly intelligent and gets the game and understands what’s going on, but literally the other hand is, the other 50 percent of them are morons who have no idea what the fuck they’re talking about.” — Frank Trigg on the superiority of Japanese MMA fans.

“To be honest he was really slippery and I don’t mean that like technically-wise, he was really slippery. I don’t know, I don’t want to speculate and say that something was used or whatever but he was just hard to hang on to and that was from all the positions. Even when I had him in like a headlock or a guillotine everything was just really slippery…all I know is I’m good at keeping those positions and I know the difference between sweat and something else and it felt like something else but who knows. (Jokingly) Maybe it’s Albolene left over from the day before from the weight cut!” — Kenny Florian politely accuses Roger Huerta of being a filthy, greasy cheater.

“I would say the only guarantee K.J. has is to pull up a chair and watch the event and get comfortable on that chair because he’ll be sitting for a little bit.” — EliteXC VP Jared Shaw on K.J. Noons’s options if he declines the fight with Nick Diaz.

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KJ Noons’ Manager Tells Elite XC What They Can Do With Their Deadline


(You thought the fight was messy…)

Three KJ Noons stories in one day? It feels like that episode of “The Twilight Zone” where everyone looked like pigs except for the one blonde girl, only instead of everyone looking like pigs they’re all talking about KJ Noons, which is even crazier. I don’t know who would be the blonde girl in this analogy, but you get the point.

Insane though it may be, this is too good not to report. You remember the deadline put forth by Jared Shaw? Where he said KJ Noons had until 5 pm today to agree to the bout with Nick Diaz, and if he didn’t he would face the dreaded “public opinion” as a consequence? Well, get your opinions ready, because according to Noons’ manager, Mark Dion, they aren’t concerned in the least with Shaw’s ultimatum:

“The update on [the deadline] is nothing is going to happen with it,” Dion said. “That’s what’s going to happen with that. I don’t care about how many threats [Shaw] wants to pull. We’ll be doing a press conference if EliteXC doesn’t see the light here pretty soon and if Shaw doesn’t stop talking [expletive].”

“As far as Nick Diaz, he’s not the No. 1 contender out there,” Dion said. “To [EliteXC] he is. He’s the number one (for getting) eyeballs to (watch) them. They’re pushing on eyeballs versus a career move for a champion like KJ. KJ is really not the one who gets anything out of the fight. Diaz does and so does ProElite.”

“We’ll do a press conference to discuss everything,” Dion said. “But there’s nothing in it for KJ unless [EliteXC] finally wakes up a little bit. That’s why we’ll have a press conference. I don’t like to talk and beat a company that’s already beat down. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt. Hopefully they’ll see the light.”

Looks like the relationship between KJ Noons/Mark Dion and Elite XC/Jared Shaw just went from unfriendly to straight-up hostile. Dion just had to go and mention that Pro Elite is struggling. That’s like bringing someone’s mother into the argument. Now this thing is personal.

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Donald Trump Jr. Shocked at Ortiz’s Demands


(Trump Jr.: Voted most likely to buy and sell jerks like you.)

In an interview with MMA Rated Radio today Donald Trump Jr. discusses the Trump involvement in Affliction, along with related topics. The interview as a whole is definitely worth listening to, if for no other reason than to hear the occasional Thurston Howell III-type inflection come into Trump Jr’s voice, but things really get interesting when they start talking Tito Ortiz.

As we’ve all heard by now, the talks aren’t going well, which is par for the Tito course. But to hear Trump Jr. tell it, Ortiz’s sense of his own worth is even more out of control than we thought:

“It was a bit of a shock to us…I can’t make it a one man show or the Tito Ortiz show giving him more than a guy like Fedor who is coming in here with a winning record…I was (disappointed). I was shocked. It was almost like don’t even bother calling back because there is no point in making a deal here…it was aggressive.”

“There’s nothing concrete as of yet. If we can come to something, great. If not, so be it.”

“I think Tito’s obviously a good draw and he’d be good to have for a show. To say anything else would be stupid. However, that draw comes with an expense. In the cost-benefit analysis the question is, is it worth it? The answer is, at those numbers, definitely not.”

Trump Jr. also said that he was not surprised to hear the reports that Ortiz was once more negotiating with Zuffa, saying he expected him to “try and play both sides,” but given the acrimonious relationship with Dana White he thinks Ortiz will eventually end up signing with Affliction.

If it doesn’t go down that way, I doubt the Trump’s will be crying into their martinis. At Ariel Helwani’s prodding, Trump Jr. seemed to admit that the early negotiations with Ortiz have made him wonder if the guy isn’t more trouble than he’s worth, regardless of the price. Like the magic eight ball says, ‘All signs point to yes.’

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Kobald Plans On F*cking Gina Carano’s Sh*t Up

Gina Carano Red Alert 3 MMA
(Unrelated picture of Gina Carano posing with Tim Curry for EA’s Red Alert 3 courtesy of Fightlinker.)

Just in case you were worried, Kelly Kobald won’t let her respect for Gina Carano get in the way of kicking the crap out of her when they meet at EliteXC/CBS’s third “Saturday Night Fights” show on October 4th. Fighthype has a great interview with Kobald where the Minneapolis native puts the full measure of her ‘tude on display. For example…

On her physique: “I’m probably the biggest girl Gina has ever fought. I’m not tall, but I’m built like a brick shithouse. I’m pretty thick as far as that goes. I have more of a powerlifter type build. I’ve damn near had to cut off a leg to make 135 in my last 2 fights. My comfort range is to fight at about 150-155 pounds…I’m definitely not going to be someone that she can push around.”

On her back-to-back losses: “It’s unfortunate that Gina has to be the opponent that I have to face coming off of those losses because I’m coming out to win. I’m coming for blood. I’m out to validate my name and I’m looking to hurt somebody; not just win. I need to win and once she steps inside of the cage with me, my respect for her as a fighter, or lack thereof, is really not going to come into play.”

On her training camp: “I have a really good training partner that has already fought Gina (Kaitlin Young)…I’m training with Brett Rogers, the heavyweight from EliteXC and Team Bison, and I’m also training with former UFC champion Sean Sherk and also Brock Lesnar at Minnesota Mixed Martial Arts Academy as well. I couldn’t have a better group of people to train with.”

On her match with Gina: “I’m looking for a 1st or 2nd round TKO or stoppage. Gina may be the face of MMA, but I have to say, win, lose or draw I’m going to be the pretty one leaving the cage. I plan on fucking her shit up.”

Boo-yah! We suggest you read the rest here. Props to Bloody Elbow for the heads-up.

Related: Kelly Kobald vs. Adrienna Jenkins (video)

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Video: Chuck Liddell on Rashad Evans

From ESPN: The Iceman discusses the hamstring injury that has sidelined him since April, and shares his thoughts on Rashad Evans, who he’ll face at UFC 88 (September 6th, Atlanta). He also says he expects to get the next light-heavyweight title shot after the fight. Sorry, buddy — Thiago’s already called dibs.

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