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September, 2008

Just How Broken Are Cro Cop’s Nuts?

Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic Dream MMA
(Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)

Answer: Quite broken. Like, so broken that he might not be recovered in time to rematch Alistair Overeem on New Year’s Eve. First, there’s this interview with Filipovic (from dnevnik.hr, translated by Robert at betwwx.com) where he recounts the fight-stopping injury at DREAM.6 and stresses that he absolutely wasn’t faking to get out of the match:

“The third strike to my balls was very strong…I know some people were saying that I was saved by the fact the match was ended. There was blood, but those cuts were nothing…I wasn’t hurt until I got hit in the nuts. The third strike into the nuts was very powerful and the biggest problem was that the cup squashed my nuts…I need to go to the hospital for some check ups. I still have some problems, I pissed blood, but thats all part of the job.”

MMA Convert (via Fightlinker) passes along more details about those check-ups, and things aren’t sounding too pleasant:

Mirko will have to undergo a testicle exam which got injured in the Overeem fight. Mirko’s genitals still hurt a lot says Dr. Zeljko Kapulica.

“Mirko’s left testicle is still hurting and I have to examine it to determine whether it’s stable in the scrotum; complications might occur if the testicle rotates and clogs the blood vessels. Also I need to check if the inguinal canal in which his tescticle was pushed in is open because it could lead to a hernia.”

Gross. At this point, Cro Cop’s life is imitating Ow! My Balls! Between this and the Cheick Kongo fight at UFC 75, his nards are like supermagnets for knees. Nobody wants to go out on such a low point, but could this be a sign that you maybe need to reconsider the way you make a living?

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Lyoto/Thiago Rescheduled for UFC 93; Rampage/Wandy @ UFC 92?

Houston Alexander Thiago Silva MMA UFC
(Thiago Silva, back when beating Houston Alexander meant something. Photo courtesy of UFC.com.)

Tatame.com is reporting that the planned fight between top UFC light-heavyweight contenders Lyoto Machida and Thiago Silva will go down at UFC 93 (January 31st, Las Vegas). The undefeated Brazilians were scheduled to meet at next month’s UFC 89, but Silva’s back injury nixed the match. Though Machida recently expressed interest in facing Rashad Evans in a #1 contender bout, the UFC already had other plans for Evans, and The Dragon will simply have to wait three months and fight his original opponent.

Related: We know the rumor changes every week, but Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is now saying he’ll return to the Octagon at UFC 92 (December 27th, Las Vegas), and will fight Wanderlei Silva as long as Silva agrees to the bout. Regarding his two previous losses to Silva in PRIDE, Jackson told The Sun:

On those two days he was the better man. Hopefully I can change things this time around and it can be my night — if he takes the fight…[T]he UFC have approached a few people to take the fight and a couple of them have turned it down

I think Jackson avenging those past losses would be the feel-good MMA story of the holiday season. So Wolfslair, it’s on you: Make sure the guy doesn’t fast before the fight, and please don’t steal his money. And if you do steal his money, could you at least hide the keys to his truck?

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Exclusive: Roy Nelson Talks Arlovski Fight, Being “the Fat Guy,” and More

Former IFL heavyweight champion Roy Nelson went from having a fight with Paul Buentello in Affliction, to having that fight cancelled, to signing a deal to face Andrei Arlovski on CBS, all in a matter of weeks. Now “Big Country” talks about the unpredictable nature of the fight game, who’s signing his paychecks, and more in this exclusive CagePotato interview.

CagePotato.com: Thanks for talking with me, Roy. I imagine it’s been an exciting week for you. When did you first hear about this offer?

Wednesday morning.

Really? That late?

Yeah. I got the news about three hours before Sherdog did. Talk about the last minute.

So what was going through your mind when they offered it to you?

You know, to fight Andrei is a big step in my career, so of course I was game. And what better stage than CBS, where you’ll get maybe 8 million viewers watching. Of course that’s something that I wanted to do.

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Kimbo Slice Reminds ‘PTI’ That He is Street Certified

Kimbo Slice appeared on ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” recently to discuss his October 4 bout with Ken Shamrock on CBS. What followed was Tony Kornheiser dragging himself through an interview he clearly didn’t want to do, and Kimbo alternating between statements that are clearly false and those that are merely very questionable.

On complaints from hardcore fans who criticize him for being “unproven”:

“[Expletive] it. That means they need to step up to the plate, we fight, so I can be proven, like I am street certified.”

On whether his credibility was damaged when he struggled to defeat James Thompson:

“To a lot of people James Thompson was elite. He fought in Pancrase over in Japan. …James is a well-rounded fighter, man. He has a good chin. [ed. note: really?]

On whether he deserves his celebrity status:

“I never consider myself a celebrity. Celebrities don’t go to K-Mart. Celebrities don’t eat at McDonald’s. Celebrities don’t go to Wal-Mart. I don’t consider myself a celebrity. I’m just a little squirrel in this big world and I’m still trying to get my nut.”

‘Nuff said.

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Exclusive: Sean O’Connell Breaks Down the ‘TUF’ Experience

Sean O'Connell MMA UFC The Ultimate Fighter
(Photo courtesy of TheCageNews.com.)

When Sean O’Connell made his MMA debut in April of last year, he had no fight training outside of a few cardio kickboxing classes. Somehow, he knocked out his opponent in 36 seconds. Then, he knocked out his next two opponents, both early in the first round. By November, O’Connell was 5-1 and had earned the heavyweight title of the Ultimate Combat Experience, a local promotion in his native Salt Lake City. It was then that Sean decided he should probably join a gym.

Just being picked as one of the 32 hopefuls for The Ultimate Fighter 8 would be enough of a success story for the up-and-coming fighter — even if he did get eliminated in his first match by Shane Primm. But for Sean, his brief brush with the Octagon is only one stop on his journey as a fighter, of which there are many more to come. We recently chatted with Sean to find out what it’s like being on TUF, from the audition process to the moment when Dana White asks you to please get the fuck out.

***

How did you become involved in mixed martial arts?
I was a football player in college, and after I graduated I felt like I needed something to keep me in shape and keep me competing — I didn’t want to just be done and get fat like everyone else does when they stop playing sports. What really got me interested was probably the first season of The Ultimate Fighter. I’d seen UFC fights before, but that’s what turned me on to how intense the training was, and how much went into it. So I followed it for a few years, and then I decided to try my hand at it. I wanted to prove to myself that I was as tough as I thought I was.

I got in touch with the Ultimate Combat Experience, which does a show here every weekend, and they set me up with an opponent. I went in and knocked the guy out, so I figured I’d keep going. But I didn’t really join a gym officially until after my sixth fight. I got a sponsor to pay for my training at Jeremy Horn’s Elite Performance, and from then on I’ve been training with Jeremy and trying to make my game a little more well-rounded.

How did you come to the attention of the UFC?
One of the guys who trains at our gym, Nick Rossborough, was on the season before as a middleweight. He was still in contact with the producers and put in a good word for me, because the buzz was they were going to do a season with light-heavyweights. I felt like, hey, maybe I’m ready to do this, so I sent in the highlight reel of my fights, and I went out to the live audition in Boston after having several phone conversations with the Spike TV producers. I went through the process and ended up getting selected.

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Burns/Johnson Rematch Set for TUF 8 Finale

Kevin Burns Anthony Johnson UFC MMA
(Photo courtesy of UFC.com.)

Finally, a little goddamned justice around here. MMA Junkie reports that Kevin Burns and Anthony Johnson — whose first fight at July’s “Silva vs. Irvin” event ended in a controversial TKO win for Burns after Johnson dropped in pain due to repeated eye-pokes — will get a do-over at the Ultimate Fighter 8 finale (December 13th, location TBA). Both fighters have agreed to the fight and it should be finalized in the next few days.

Burns was suffering from a hand injury at the time of his first meeting with Johnson, and was unable to strike with a closed fist, which led to his fingers finding their way into Johnson’s eyeball several times. As if the laser surgery and stitches required to fix his detached retina wasn’t agonizing enough, Johnson recently lost an appeal filed with the Nevada State Athletic Commission to have his loss to Burns overturned. So this is really good news. The only question is, will Steve Mazzagatti be reffing the rematch as well? Nah, too risky…

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Gina Carano Knows What She Weighs, But That Doesn’t Mean She Has to Tell You


(Lose the huge sunglasses and that’s a 1/4 pound, at least.)

Every time Gina Carano fights we always hear the same question: will she make weight? Since the answer she gives is always the same, even when it turns out not to be true, people have turned to asking what she weighs at the present moment. Carano sounds like she’s tired of all weight-related queries, and had this to say to AOL Fanhouse:

“I’m going to weigh 140 pounds next Friday. How much I weigh right now I’d rather keep to myself because I don’t want to answer any more questions about it. …I’ve got really high expectations for this weigh-in.”

Two things here:

1) I completely understand why Carano would be sick of that question. I also think she’s smart enough to know why she keeps hearing it and how she can make it stop.

2) She’s got high expectations? For a weigh-in? That’s a phrase you usually hear from NFL coaches before the season or defense attorneys who know their clients are probably guilty. The weigh-in should be a sure thing. It’s just getting up on a scale, which you get plenty of chances to do beforehand.

Carano did say she’s hired a nutritionist for this bout, so maybe that means there won’t be any issues. If there are, I seem to remember doing an interview on MMA Rated radio with Kelly Kobald, who hinted at a contingency plan she had in the event that Carano missed weight. On a related note, Kobald admitted to weighing 160 as of today — twenty pounds from the goal weight. She’s either really confident she can shed that by next Friday, or else, like me, she has a weakness for hot wings.

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Sympathy For the War Machine

If there’s one thing I love about Cage Potato readers, it’s that ya’ll some sympathetic motherfuckers. Big props to reader BPD for creating and sending me this e-card. It brightened the shit out of my day. For that, BPD, I thank you. For those of you curious as to how you can waste your own time creating hilarious MMA-themed greeting cards, check out someecards.com. My creation, which is admittedly inferior to BPD’s, is after the jump. Feel free to include links to yours in the comments section.

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HDNet Looks To Purchase IFL’s Assets in Fire-Sale

Bas Rutten IFL MMA
(Remember the good times. Photo courtesy of DayLife.com.)

Despite a less-than-attractive sales pitch, it seems like the bankrupt IFL has found a sucker to buy its kinda worthless video library. From biz.yahoo.com via Fightlinker:

On September 19, 2008, IFLC filed with the Court a motion for orders (a) authorizing IFLC to sell all or substantially all of its assets to HDNet LLC (“HDNet”), subject to higher and better offers, (b) approving bid procedures, (c) scheduling auction and sale hearing and (d) granting related relief (the “Sale Motion”). In connection with the Sale Motion, on September 19, 2008, IFLC and HDNet entered into an asset purchase agreement (the “Asset Purchase Agreement”), which contemplates the sale of substantially all of IFLC’s assets (the “Purchased Asset”) to HDNet for total consideration of $650,000 in cash and the assumption by HDNet of certain liabilities of IFLC. The Asset Purchase Agreement is subject to higher and better offers as set forth in the Sale Motion…

A hearing to consider the Sale Motion is scheduled for October 10, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. (prevailing Eastern time).

$650,000 is a drop in the bucket compared to the IFL’s total losses, but it’ll be enough for Jay Larkin & Co. to pay the lawyers, fly somewhere tropical, and lay low for a while. It’s hard to imagine they’ll get any “higher and better offers,” which means HDNet is about to add another peg to its MMA broadcast kingdom. Sweet — does this mean an “Ultimate Roy Nelson” HDNet special is on the way?

Semi-related: HDNet’s broadcasts of DREAM events have been great for American insomniac MMA fans, but unless DREAM gets its ratings up in its own country, they could be heading for an IFL-style extinction. As MMA Mania reports:

DREAM has underperformed in all three of its contracted four television events, prompting FEG’s Sadaharu Tanikawahas to consider dissolving the company if they eventually lose their television contract. With their inability to hit their target numbers, it almost seems like a foregone conclusion…

FEG had plans to hold its fourth televised event on New Year’s Eve. If you’re a fan, I suggest finding a way to watch it. It could be the last time you see mixed martial arts in Japan.

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Videos: Slice vs. Blaine, Sudo vs. Ludwig


(Props: BloodyElbow)

So David Blaine did his Dive of Death thing last night, and Esther was right about the Kimbo Slice segment: There was no trick involved whatsoever. Blaine just let Kimbo haul off and slug him in the stomach twice. It was impressive that Blaine didn’t crumple to the ground in agony — though maybe not as impressive as making the Statue of Liberty disappear.


(Props: TheTrollSmasher)

If you’ve never seen the UFC 42 fight between Genki Sudo and Duane “Bang” Ludwig, set aside some time and check this out. Sudo’s gender-bending kabuki ring entrance is easily the most bizarre in UFC history, and calling his style “completely unorthodox” is still an understatement. You’d think that Ludwig would dash in with some punches at the beginning of the fight when Sudo has his back turned, but he was probably too freaked out to understand what was happening. Unfortunately, the fight also ends with one of the most questionable unanimous decisions in UFC history. Maybe Sudo’s geisha-boy antics invoked emotions in the judges that they weren’t quite ready to deal with…

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