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21 Humans Who Make Being Human Look Really, Really Hard

October, 2008

Ben vs. Ben: UFC 90 Edition


(Why you don’t get into a pointing contest with Dana White. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

You know what this is. This week we get all argumentative about Patrick Cote’s odds, Anderson Silva’s future, UFC 90 bonuses and which pairing will produce the evening’s worst bout. And there’s some Shane Carwin talk thrown in there too, just for the hell of it. Ben vs. Ben starts…now.

It’s no secret that Patrick Cote’s chances of beating Anderson Silva are not great, but at what odds would you consider it worth the risk to bet on him? What about his odds of just making it out of the first round?

Fowlkes: Look, I love taking risks. I drink milk past the expiration date. I fall asleep in bus stations. Sometimes I get jacked up on allergy medication and run across busy streets. But even I have to draw the line somewhere, and Patrick Cote is on the other side of that line.

Oddsmakers have pegged Cote somewhere around a 5-1 underdog this week. That’s not good enough for me. If I’m going to bet on Cote, I’d need at least 8-1 odds. He can talk all he wants about his KO power, his willingness to stand in there and bang with “The Spider,” but I look at his record and think, who’s the best fighter he’s beaten? Jason MacDonald (via submission)? Ricardo Almeida (via decision)? He’s never faced anyone at Silva’s level. He doesn’t yet know how much he doesn’t know. 8-1, and I’ll consider it. 10-1, and it almost sounds like a good idea.

As for getting out of the first, 4-1 sounds about right. Silva likes to take the first sixty seconds and get a feel for the best way to destroy a man, but he could always take longer or Cote could stall him with a takedown or by staying far, far away. No way it goes past the second, though.

Goldstein: Let’s be honest — Cote wins this fight 0 out of 100 times. It doesn’t matter if his odds are 5-1, or 8-1, or 20-1, because I’m not throwing money away on him. You’re better off buying lottery tickets, if we’re talking about return on investment. In fact, if you want to make some cash, you might want to take a closer look at Silva’s odds. BetCRIS has him as a -600 favorite, which, by my calculations, means that if you bet $100 on him, you’ll score a $16 profit if he wins. So if you’re in dire need of $16, I’d say go for it. But then again, why would you need $16 if you already have $100? Hmm…maybe don’t bet on this fight at all.

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Lesnar’s Reps Would Prefer That Steve Mazzagatti Didn’t Screw Up the Couture Fight, Thanks

Brock Lesnar Frank Mir UFC 81 MMA
(Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

During a meeting with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, representatives for Brock Lesnar asked that NSAC remove veteran referee Steve Mazzagatti from consideration for UFC 91′s heavyweight title fight between Lesnar and Randy Couture. While reffing Lesnar’s UFC debut against Frank Mir in February, Mazzagatti called for a pause in the action and a point-deduction when Lesnar seemed to be landing punches to the back of Mir’s head — a decision that arguably cost Lesnar the fight. And it sounds like Brock is still sour about it:

[A]ttorneys David Olsen and Brian Stegeman made their aversion to the referee’s presence known…[claiming] Mazzagatti was “involved in what we believe was a controversial ruling in connection with the Mir-Lesnar fight.” They asked that Mazzagatti be removed from consideration for the UFC 91 main event to avoid “distraction” and “any further controversy.”

It’s unclear how much Olsen and Stegeman’s request influenced the final choice of referee for UFC 91′s main event, though Sherdog says Mario Yamasaki will be the one presiding over the bout. I didn’t know fighters could try to veto referees they don’t like, and I wonder if this will set a precedent where everybody begins requesting that Mazzagatti stay out of their fight. After all, Steve’s the genius who let Kevin Burns eye-poke his way to victory, and has been responsible for more than his share of weird stoppages, from the dangerously late (Boetsch/Heath) to the retardedly indecisive (MacDonald/Doerksen).

Still, if I was Randy Couture, I might be concerned. Does this mean that rabbit-punches are still part of Brock’s game-plan?

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FSBC Closes ‘Sham’ Investigation Against EliteXC

Tank Abbott Kimbo Slice MMA EliteXC
(“Is it cool if we just throw wild haymakers at each other?”)

The Florida State Boxing Commission announced yesterday that its 13-day investigation of EliteXC’s alleged fight-fixing discovered no wrongdoing, and the case is now closed. As MMA Weekly reports:

The initial investigation was to determine whether commission rule 548.058, addressing “Sham or Collusive Contests,” was violated.

[FSBC Executive Director Thomas] Molloy interviewed Petruzelli, who said only that EliteXC officials told him to “just do your best.” Petruzelli further stated that the comments he made on a Florida talk radio show implying a fixed fight were “misconstrued” by listeners.

Mr. Molloy subsequently reviewed Petruzelli’s bout agreement and found no evidence of any additional bonuses other than a “win” bonus of $15,000.

Molloy also spoke with EliteXC Head of Fight Operations Jeremy Lappen, members of the Nevada and California State Athletic Commissions, and David “Tank” Abbott about possible wrongdoing in the past. According to Sherdog, Molloy asked if Abbott had been asked to fight in a particular manner, to which he replied, “No, nothing was said.” Of course with Tank, it didn’t need to be. But it seems that since EliteXC isn’t even a functioning entity anymore, the FSBC is content to take Petruzelli and Lappen at their words and move on without doing any real digging.

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Dana White Has Very, Very, Very High Hopes for Brock Lesnar, Fedor Not So Much


(‘Come on, Brock. What did we talk about? A little foundation is fine, but you go piling it on like this and it just makes you look desperate.’)

If you don’t like seeing Brock Lesnar in the UFC, and if you didn’t enjoy his appearance on E:60, you’re really not going to like this.

Maybe you hoped Dana White would give up on the former WWE star if he fails to beat Randy Couture. Maybe you just hoped he and his enormous traps would get stuck in a doorway somewhere in a remote part of Minnesota and he’d never be heard from again. Unfortunately for you, the second scenario is starting to sound more plausible than the first. Judging by Dana White’s remarks to The Sun, he seems to be absolutely smitten with Lesnar:

“It’s such an interesting fight because Couture is so good at coming up with plans for finding weaknesses in guys’ games and exposing them. But Lesnar’s such a different animal, this guy is so big, so strong and so fast at that weight it’s just phenomenal.

“For what he lacks in technique and knowledge, he makes up for in size, speed and power. Lesnar could go on to be the best heavyweight and the longest-reigning heavyweight – who knows what could happen with him.”

Who knows, indeed. He could go down in history as the greatest MMA fighter who ever lived. He could beat every heavyweight in the world, then travel into space to defeat intergalactic heavyweights. Instead of dying like a mortal man he could ascend to heaven on a winged white steed while angels sing a glorious song that churns the seas into a golden froth. Man, I have got to stop doing peyote in the afternoon.

The point is, it seems a little premature to get so worked up about a guy who’s 2-1 and has a bad habit of quitting stuff to go do other stuff, right? And then you hear this little afterthought thrown in there:

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Exclusive: Roli Delgado Talks TUF 8


(Photo courtesy of UFC.com)

The Ultimate Fighter’s Rolando Delgado got his moment in the spotlight on last night’s show, taking on Junie Browning in a three-round split decision loss. In this exclusive Cage Potato interview, Delgado tells us what it was like to battle Lexington, Kentucky’s most outspoken representative, weighs in on Frank Mir and “Minotauro” Nogueira, and gives us a glimpse of what’s to come.

Now that you’ve seen the show and your fight, what are your thoughts?

Man, it’s painful to watch Frank Mir try and call me out on the show. I was definitely not looking forward to that, more than any other part of the show. Overall I thought it was a good show, it made for good TV. The fight was a fun fight. I definitely could have done better and Junie could have done better. You always have a lot of regrets when you don’t fight to your full potential. But overall it was a good experience.

So what’s the story with the black belt? How did that come up and how did it get to be such an issue? They just didn’t believe you really had a black belt?

Yeah, but I want to note that these were all guys who weren’t training with me. These were all blue team guys. I never trained with any of them. They didn’t interview anyone from my team. It was a little nerve-wracking. I’m not used to people questioning my integrity like that. It’s one thing if you say, ‘I don’t think you’re a good black belt.’ That’s a matter of opinion. But to say that I don’t have one, I thought that was very disrespectful.

Luckily I actually taped my black belt testing and it’s on Google Videos, so you can see it for yourself. I’m not someone who makes up stories and it’s not like I’ve just popped up on the scene. I’ve competed at every level. I competed as a blue belt in the late nineties, I did it as a purple belt, did it as a brown belt. I’ve done no-gi tournaments since I’ve gotten my black belt. I won NAGA twice. It’s not like I just popped on the scene.

Seeing Frank Mir question you and seeing him tell Junie to take you out, it kind of seemed like Frank had it out for you or thought you didn’t belong there. What did you make of that?

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Well, I’ve Got My Halloween Costume Planned…

Tito Ortiz MMA UFC Halloween
(Photo courtesy of PU.)

MMA Eruption passes along this absolute gem from PunishmentAthletics.com:

Be the hit of the party and knock everyone out with your TITO ORTIZ halloween costume.

Costume includes:

Original black flame shorts, Tito Ortiz UFC 84 after fight shirt, Titos trademark yellow beanie, Punishment black socks, 2 new Punishment wrist bands

Fight gloves not included.

Costume available in sizes: S-2XL

retail value: $125.00

Your Cost: $59.99 What a deal! [Ed. note: LOFL!]

Savings of over 50%

Ships out priority mail within 24 hours of order. SO ORDER NOW!

Also not included in the package:

— Blonde hair-dye

— Porn-star baby-mama

— Hepatitis, probably

— A worthless contract with EliteXC

— A “Dana Is My Bitch!” t-shirt, which would look a lot better than that Team Punishment piece ‘o crap.

— The kind of monumental egotism that would compel a person to constantly speak in the third-person.

— Donald Trump’s balls (to be carried in mouth)

Unfortunately, I can’t really dress up as Tito this year — I’m already going out as Seth Petruzelli.

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MMA-Game: UFC 90 Extracurricular Activities

Anderson Silva afterparty UFC 90 MMA

There’s a lot more to UFC 90 than the fights on Saturday. Here’s all you need to know to make your weekend in Chicago truly epic.

FRIDAY

UFC AUTOGRAPH SESSION
Where: Swissotel, 323 E. Wacker Drive
Lowdown: Clay Guida, Dan Henderson, Rashad Evans and Miguel Torres will be hanging with fans from 10 a.m. to noon. Props to Maggie H. at Yahoo! MMA Experts, whose tourist-friendly guide to Chicago is also worth checking out. Portillo’s FTMFW.

UFC 90 WEIGH-INS
Where: Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St.
Lowdown: Free and open to the public. Doors are at 3 p.m. CT, and the fighters start hitting the scales at 4. Good luck, Thiago!

JOE ROGAN LIVE
Where: Zanies, 230 Hawthorn Village Commons; Vernon Hills
Lowdown: The night before every UFC event, Joe Rogan traditionally books a standup appearance at a local comedy club. Though Zanies is a little off the beaten path — Vernon Hills is about 35 minutes away the Allstate Arena — it’ll be a great place to mingle with other fun-loving UFC fans on Friday. Joe’s set starts at 8 p.m.; tix are $25 and there’s a two-item (food/drink) miminum. Coincidentally, Carlos Mensteala will be doing appearances at the Rosemont Theatre this weekend. Could we be seeing a repeat of this scene at some point?

COMBATLIFESTYLE.COM ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY
Where: Spy Bar, 646 N. Franklin St.
Lowdown: If you’ve ever wanted to be in the background of one of Tracy Lee’s party pics, here’s your chance. The photo blog known for pictures of fighters eating and hot females posing turns a year old, and the word is that some well-known fighters will be helping them celebrate. Festivities kick off at 11:30, so you’ll have more than enough time to make it over after Rogan tells his last joke.

After the jump: So many after parties, so little time…

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“Come on Dude, We’re Shooting a Video Blog Here!”


Dana White’s UFC 90 Video Blog 10/22/08 – Watch more free videos

In this edition of Dana White‘s UFC 90 video blog we get a look at the pre-fight preparations for both the staff and the fighters. So what’s the difference? Two words: body triangles. Sorting out ticket arrangements may be a hassle, but it’s nothing compared to having Anderson Silva attached to your back. We also see Dana White struggle through the taping of a PSA in a shirt he just bought at the hotel gift shop.

See, it’s not an entirely glamorous life of bro-ing down with fighters and having breakfast with Mandy Moore. Sometimes you have to wear a hotel gift shop shirt. And yeah, sometimes that shirt is itchy. You just have to battle through it.

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: UFC 90

Anderson Silva and Patrick Cote UFC 90
(Pink polo shirt or gray hooded sweatshirt: who should you trust with your money? Ordinarily there’s no good answer.)

Patrick Cote says all his friends are putting money on him this weekend “so they will be a lot richer after the fight.” Something tells me that while his friends may go along with this when Cote is around, once he leaves the room they’re whispering to one another, ‘We’re not really doing that, right?’ Friendship is one thing, but sentimental gambling is quite another in bleak economic times.

If any of Cote’s friends are reading this, we’d like to alert you to some better prospects that might be available on Saturday night. No disrespect to your buddy, but the line on him won’t make you as rich as you think and if you bet on someone else you can not only actually make some money but also keep up appearances when you place a bet before the fight. See? Everybody wins!

Odds today come courtesy of BestFightOdds.com, which has thankfully compiled all the internet’s juiciest lines.

Anderson Silva (-600) vs. Patrick Cote (+505)
Sean Sherk (-230) vs. Tyson Griffin (+212)
Josh Koscheck (-150) vs. Thiago Alves (+135)
Gray Maynard (-220) vs. Rich Clementi (+210)
Fabricio Werdum (-850) vs. Junior Dos Santos (+600)
Thales Leites (-445) vs. Drew McFedries (+365)
Spencer Fisher (-345) vs. Shannon Gugerty (+299)
Hermes Franca (-180) vs. Marcus Aurelio (+190)
Josh Burkman (-197) vs. Pete Sell (+200)
Dan Miller (-325) vs. Matt Horwich (+305)

Thoughts…

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Affliction/UFC Truce Falls Apart; UFC Bans Another Brand

Affliction MMA Arlovski Fedor Emelianenko Sylvia Rothwell
(“Can we take that one over again? Andrei blinked and Rothwell wandered into the shot.” Photo courtesy of CageToday.)

MMA Weekly reports that UFC and Affliction executives met late last month to build a formal partnership that would allow Affliction to return to the UFC as a major clothing sponsor and work with the UFC to create co-branded apparel. In exchange, Affliction would agree to cease operations as a fight promotion and allow the UFC to buy out several of their fighter contracts. Unfortunately, the détente began to fall apart after EliteXC’s “Heat” show on October 4th, when Affliction’s ads plugging Fedor’s next fight made UFC executives feel that the deal wasn’t being taken seriously.

On Monday, a conference call was held between UFC and Affliction execs in an attempt to resurrect the partnership. Details are sketchy, though MMA Weekly reports that the call quickly turned hostile, with Affliction co-founder Todd Beard at one point telling Lorenzo Fertitta “you’ve fucked with the wrong guy.” So for now, it looks like Affliction is still shut out of the Octagon, and will continue to burn money as a fight promoter. Their next event, headlined by Fedor Emelianenko vs. Andrei Arlovski and co-promoted by Golden Boy, goes down January 24th at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

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