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November, 2008

Videos: Junie’s Gangster Grip, Dana-Vlog III + More

Junie Browning gun grenade tattoo UFC TUF Ultimate Fighter 8

As if the generous supply of alcohol wasn’t enough to cause drama in the TUF household, somebody thought it would be a good idea to give Junie Browning a gun. Click the image above to check out some unaired footage of Team Mir’s trip to a firing range, where Frank proves himself to be an adept shot, and Junie frightens us once again. Speaking of TUF, that crazy stuff about Dave and Tom’s pee-drinking party that Efrain mentioned this morning was actually supposed to be in last night’s episode, but the scenes were edited out at the eleventh-hour. Thanks, Spike.

Below: In the latest installment of Dana White’s video blog, Dana gets his balls thoroughly busted before an ESPN appearance, checks in with Brock Lesnar (who’s currently walking at a fit 273 pounds), and has a heart-to-heart with Sable. Kinda boring, but the life of a UFC president isn’t all skate parks and meetings with 50 Cent. After the jump: A teaser video for Fields Dynamite!! 2008, which features some of the most amazing moments from past Dynamite!! shows including Bob Sapp calling out Mike Tyson, Heath Herring’s post-smooch knockout of Yoshihiro Nakao, and Fedor armbarring Hong Man Choi. These people know how to ring in the new year. Props to Nightmare of Battle.

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Ben vs. Ben: UFC 91 Edition

Randy Couture Brock Lesnar Flex magazine UFC 91 MMA
(Randy refuses to look Brock in the eyes! BET LESNAR! BET LESNAR! Photo courtesy of Flex Magazine.)

The UFC’s heavyweight grand prix, pay-per-view buys, Tamdan McCrory’s AFC status — we discuss it all in the latest installment of Ben vs. Ben. FYI, Fowlkes is currently a -170 favorite to win this argument.

How exactly will the main event end, and how will the winner fare in the heavyweight “tournament” as a whole?

Fowlkes: As big and powerful as Brock Lesnar is, his chances to win this fight diminish the longer it goes. He has the classic wrestler-turned-MMA fighter problem. He can get a guy down and hold him there, but aside from some inefficient ground-and-pound, he struggles to put people away.

So you’re all impressed by Lesnar’s win over Heath Herring? Great. You know who else outwrestled Herring for a decision win? Jake O’Brien. My point is, it’s not such an impossible feat. He’s never gone five rounds with someone as savvy and resilient as Couture. While Lesnar’s best hope is a decision, Couture can win several different ways.

Couture might have to take a beating in the first couple rounds. He might get pushed around more than he’s used to. But by the third he’ll turn the tide. He’ll take Lesnar’s back, discover that the man has no discernible neck to choke, then unleash a torrent of punches and satisfy himself with a TKO finish due to ref stoppage at the 4:10 mark. And still…UFC…heavyweight champion…until he’s submitted by Nogueira in the finals of this so-called tournament.

Goldstein: I say Couture takes the UFC 91 main event in a unanimous decision. We’re going to see a very methodical Randy on Saturday night, working his clinch game when he can, and doing his best to stuff takedown attempts and keep out of Brock’s punching range. He’ll go with the low-risk Machida approach, in other words, because one mistake, leading to one unfortunate position, could bring about a painful loss. I’ll agree that Randy will have Brock figured out by round three, but I’m going to give Lesnar the benefit of the doubt and say that Randy won’t be able to finish him — though Lesnar will definitely take more abuse than he ever has in his short real-fighting career.

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: UFC 91


(Odds on that dog doing something adorable: very, very good.)

Though we’ve debated the topic nearly to death over the last few days, there’s still no online betting establishment giving odds on whether UFC 91 will really sell 1.2 million pay-per-views, as Dana White claims. What a shame. Knowing absolutely nothing about oddsmaking and even less about basic math, I’d put the line at +900. For all you ‘tards out there, that means I don’t think it will happen. The line on us seeing both Mandy Moore and Laura Prepon during the broadcast? -230. The line on the two of them fighting it out over the last Cosmo at the after-party? +15000. That’s not because they wouldn’t do it, but because the Cosmos never run dry when you hang with Dana White. Never.

As for the odds on actual fights that will actually happen, BestFightOdds.com has done all the leg work for us, and here are the best lines for UFC 91:

Brock Lesnar (-121) vs. Randy Couture (+111)
Kenny Florian (-174) vs. Joe Stevenson (+164)
Demian Maia (-200) vs. Nate Quarry (+195)
Dustin Hazelett (-150) vs. Tamdan McCrory (+175)
Gabriel Gonzaga (-370) vs. Josh Hendricks (+371)
Mark Bocek (-105) vs. Alvin Robinson (+110)
Jeremy Stephens (-115) vs. Rafael Dos Anjos (+117)
Jorge Gurgel (-115) vs. Aaron Riley (+126)
Matt Brown (-185) vs. Ryan Thomas (+190)

Thoughts…

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Antonio Silva Could Blow Off Steroid Suspension for Sengoku

Antonio Bigfoot Silva EliteXC Sengoku MMA
(“I used to take steroids. I still do, but I used to, too.” Photo courtesy of MMAonTap.)

Though he’s not allowed to fight in the U.S. again until July 26, 2009 because of his steroid suspension, Antonio Silva is close to signing a deal that would have him fight at Sengoku‘s January 4th event in Saitama, Japan. I guess this means that Sengoku plans on being the highest bidder when Silva’s contract is auctioned off on Monday. According to Tatame, Silva is “entering the common justice against the athletic commission” that upheld his suspension, which may be their way of saying he’s taking the law into his own hands. Fair enough; we didn’t really put much faith in Armando Garcia‘s rulings anyway.

Nightmare of Battle wonders if Sengoku’s recent pursuit of heavyweights — Dave Herman and Roger Gracie have reportedly received offers, and a fight between Josh Barnett and Kevin Randleman is rumored for the January event — indicates that a heavyweight Grand Prix could be in the works. How badass would that be? We’d say that’s worth defying the CSAC over — though there’s the risk that American MMA organizations would hold a permanent grudge against Bigfoot for fighting while under suspension, and refuse to work with him after the suspension is over. But it’s hard to resist the competitive urge when you’re an athlete. Maybe Silva hopes that everybody in the U.S. will have forgotten about his little horse-steroid misunderstanding by next summer?

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The 10 All-Time Greatest Showboating Moments in MMA

#10: Rashad Evans serves Tom Murphy on TUF 2

Believe it or not, Rashad Evans used to be a cocky son-of-a-bitch. Finding no challenge from an outmatched Tom Murphy on the second season of The Ultimate Fighter, Sugar entertained himself during the fight by popping, locking, and striking poses until the judges awarded him the victory. The performance also earned him some serious scorn from opposing coach Matt Hughes, but the two eventually put aside their differences and learned to love each other. Now when Rashad dances in the ring, it’s only to pay tribute to the late, great, Redd Foxx.

#9: “Mayhem” Miller mixes clown-and-smile with ground-and-pound

What do you do when Dream gives you a guy who’s nowhere near your level? If you’re “Mayhem” Miller, you have a little fun with it. You start the fight with some kung fu posing, get him down, move to the mount, flash a peace sign for the camera (1:55), then resume punching. Maybe even throw in a double-chop, Sakuraba-style. Why not? The fans love it. What they don’t love is Miller’s faux-retirement. Isn’t it time he dropped that charade? The MMA world is running dangerously low on antics these days.

#8: Anderson Silva’s “52 Blocks” against Patrick Cote

Though Cote continues to tell himself that Silva was simply “lost” and “confused” in this fight, this moment serves as evidence to the contrary. Late in the second round (10:04 in the video) Silva decided to pay homage to his favorite kung fu movies, exhibiting a little Wing Chun action to show his defensive hand skills. At least Silva seemed to be entertaining himself at this point, even if he was the only one who really got a kick out of it. Too bad the fight ended early with Cote’s knee injury. The Dim Mak couldn’t have been far away.

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Efrain Escudero’s TUF 8 Blog: Episode 9

TUF 8 Ultimate Fighter UFC Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
(Come on now, Antonio, that simply isn’t true.)

Let the drunken debauchery begin again. After Dave Kaplan’s fight, Tom Lawlor decided to get drunk with Kaplan. They began to drink each other’s piss, which in itself is just disgusting. But these guys were downing them like shots of tequila. The sad thing is they did not even show the grossest part. Kyle Kingsbury took a plate and a towel into the bathroom and came out with nice big hot steamy Lincoln Log on a platter. He told the guys he would give some cash to whoever eats it. Tom held a piece up to his mouth but couldn’t go through with it. The pot kept getting bigger with us all chipping in, but no one went through with it. I hope they put that on the DVD…GOOD TIMES.

To quote Smokey from Friday — Kaplan “got knocked the Fuck out, Man!” That was even funnier watching it than hearing about it. Kaplan is an extremely smart guy but sometimes I question his intelligence by first asking for someone to “try” and knock him out. Second for not admitting that he got knocked out knowing full well it was on camera. There is one issue with Kaplan and that is he will not admit when he is wrong. He’s a bit delusional. He can’t get knocked out, he is the best looking guy in the house, and he gets more chicks than anybody. The list could go on.

The prank on Krzysztof Soszynski was pretty funny and only fitting since he initiated the pranks-before-fights ritual. It didn’t take much time for us to put all the stuff in his room. It was funny to see that his teammates didn’t help. His prank in return actually made his team upset too. It must have taken a lot of time but everybody in the house was affected. Krzysztof had to take all the stuff in himself.

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Quick Hits: Sherk Talks CSAC’s Garcia, Goldie Hits 100, and Tonya Evinger Wants to Punch Somebody


(We love a woman who loves to party.)

- One man who won’t be sorry to see California State Athletic Commissioner Armando Garcia go is Sean Sherk, who still feels like he got a raw deal on his steroid case thanks to Garcia and his bungling of the appeals process. Sherk told MMA Rated that he “knew the guy had some issues” that would lead to his eventual removal, and now Sherk’s “glad to see that is finally taking place.” The sad irony is that it most likely wasn’t Garcia’s incompetence that got him in trouble so much as his ill-fated inter-office romance.

- Guess which over-stimulated, hyperbolic UFC announcer will be celebrating his 100th broadcast at UFC 91 on Saturday night? Did you guess Mike Goldberg? Damn, you’re good. UFC.com has an interesting article that looks at how Goldie went from some dude in front of a microphone who knew nothing about MMA to some dude in front of a microphone who is at least better than Mauro Ranallo. The best part of the article is hearing it all straight from Goldberg, who apparently loves mixing metaphors even when he’s not working. On why he stuck with the UFC even after the WWE made him a lucrative offer:

I can equate it to maybe playing for the Cincinnati Bengals and being 3-13 and 4-12, and finally you think you’ve got a team that might make it to the postseason. Do you bail and go to the Patriots or 49ers at that point, or do you say ‘the ship is sailing and is about to find a really cool island – do I want to jump off that ship now or see where it’s gonna land?’

Wait, are we still talking about the UFC?

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The Couture-Affliction Situation Actually Can Get Worse, After All


(Nothing says ‘power couple’ like matching shirts and leis.)

Affliction’s Todd Beard really knows how to screw up. First he goes on Scott Ferrall’s radio show to blast Randy Couture and publicly state his desire to see him get his ass kicked by Brock Lesnar. But that’s not enough to really alienate one of the biggest stars Affliction works with, so just for good measure he also threatens Couture’s wife, Kim, who then gets a restraining order against him. That’s called going above and beyond, working fuck-up overtime. And here we thought he was just an alcoholic.

TMZ has the scoop:

Randy and wife Kim claim Affliction Prez Todd Beard has been on a campaign of terror against them since they asked for an accounting of profits. A Las Vegas judge just issued a temporary restraining order, prohibiting Beard from going near Kim, and that includes going near the MGM Grand when Randy fights this Saturday. And Beard can’t go to the hotel during the weigh-in the day before either.

According to Kim Couture’s declaration, Beard has made “a series of threats and acts intended to intimidate me and otherwise coerce me to ‘back off.’”

She goes on: “My fear of Mr. Beard is well-founded given his extensive criminal history. Not only has he been convicted of numerous state and federal felonies relating to fraud …he has engaged in numerous acts of violence, including violence against women.”

Hold up, “extensive criminal history?” You mean, aside from making those overpriced t-shirts? Yes. As it turns out, Beard is a bit of a rounder. He’s even served time.

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UFC 91: The New Guys


(Josh Hendricks steamrolls Rick McChristian at GFS: Caged Vengeance in February 2006; the destruction begins at the 1:47 mark.)

Amir Sadollah’s leg infection means we won’t get to see what this Nick Catone dude’s all about, but there will still be two Octagon first-timers trying their luck in Las Vegas on Saturday. Here’s what you need to know in order to sound smart around your friends…

JOSH “HEAVY” HENDRICKS (HW)
Experience: 15-4 record in various midwestern promotions, with 13 wins by 1st-round stoppage. Has gone 10-0 with one no-contest in his last 11 fights.
Will be facing: Gabriel Gonzaga (9-3, 5-2 UFC)
Lowdown: Randy Couture hand-picked this former two-time All-American wrestler to help him prepare for his bout against Brock Lesnar (you might have caught a glimpse of him in the Countdown to UFC 91 special on Spike). At 6’2″, 246 pounds, Hendricks isn’t quite as big as Lesnar, but he’s got plenty of speed and power, and very few opponents have made it out of the first round against him. Ring rust may be an issue, however; his last fight — a 50-second submission-by-strikes victory over Braden Bice — took place a year ago.

RAFAEL DOS ANJOS (LW)
Experience: 11-2 record with multiple appearances in the Brazilian fight clubs Fury FC and XFC. He has won his last nine fights, and has never lost by stoppage.
Will be facing: Jeremy Stephens (13-3, 2-2 UFC)
Lowdown: The reigning lightweight champ of Fury FC, UFC 91 marks Dos Anjos’s first appearance in North America. Most of his wins come via submission, which is no surprise considering he’s a student of BJJ greats Aldo “Caveirinha” Januário and Roberto “Gordo” Correa. He’s also a member of the Gracie Fusion fight team, and used to train under the late Ryan Gracie. Two of his fights are after the jump…

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Sakuraba/Tamura, Hansen/JZ Announced for ‘Dynamite!! 2008′

Fileds K-1 DREAM Dynamite!! 2008 MMA Japan poster
(Image courtesy of Nightmare of Battle)

Two headlining matchups were announced today for DREAM and K-1′s combined “FieLDS Dynamite!!: Yuuki no Chikara 2008″ event, which will be held on New Year’s Eve at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. In the main event spot will be Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba facing Kiyoshi Tamura. Sakuraba and Tamura are former UWFi pro wrestling stablemates who were previously supposed to fight each other in PRIDE, but the match never came together; there is a rumored rivalry between them dating back to Tamura’s disrespectful treatment of Sakuraba in the early ’90s when Tamura was a UWFi star and Sakuraba was a struggling up-and-comer. Tamura’s last ring appearance was a 57-second knockout victory over Masakatsu Funaki at DREAM 2 in April, while Sakuraba is coming off his brutal beating at the hands of Melvin Manhoef at DREAM 4 in June.

In the co-main event spot is a non-title fight between DREAM lightweight GP winner Joachim Hansen and highly regarded American Top Team fighter Gesias “JZ” Calvancante. Also on the card is a four-man K-1 tournament featuring Ryuya Kusakabe, Koya Urabe, Shota Shimada, and 16-year old Japanese kickboxing phenom “Hiroya“; check out some of his work here.

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