(Guess who isn’t in this sport to just screw around?)
Strikeforce may have found their replacement for Kim “Future Ex Mrs.” Couture, and it’s an undefeated fighter who made her willingness to scrap known on the UG. 8-0 Sarah Kaufman said in a forum post that she’d step in to face Miesha Tate while Couture sorted out her personal issues, and Strikeforce may be taking her up on the offer. They acquired her contract in the Pro Elite sale, and though the fight’s right around the corner on May 15 Kaufman has a real opportunity to turn the Couture family’s rumored marital strife into a big payoff for herself so why not? Unlike Kim Couture, she may not have a recognizable name, but she does have more than two fights, so automatically this becomes more of a serious fight with her in it. Those of you wondering what she can do should take a look after the jump.
(This was going to be part of a new tourism campaign for the nation of Japan, but even they thought Okami was too boring.)
It’s not enough that Yushin Okami keeps getting overlooked in the UFC’s middleweight title picture. Now an injury has forced him out his UFC 98 bout with Dan Miller, further pushing him into the land of the also-rans. So who will replace Okami against the larger of the two Miller boys? How about Ed Herman, who absolutely no one brings up when the conversation turns to guys who deserve a shot at Anderson Silva. And the most telling part is, Herman vs. Miller feels like a fight that makes perfect sense.
Behold, Fedor Emelianenko in his finest role, playing himself on a Korean TV show. The situation is pretty obvious. Some guy beats up some other guy in a fight, guy who gets beat up suggests that other guy fight his friend, guy agrees, guy is horrified when the friend turns out to be Fedor. The fact that Fedor happens to be wearing a signature Fedor Emelianenko Affliction t-shirt during the fight scene? Purely coincidental. What, you thought Fedor wore something besides his own Affliction tees in his day-to-day life? Get serious.
I just don’t think anyone has actually tried to fight him up to their ability. Irvin went in and charged him, Leben went in and charged him. He’s a southpaw counter-striker … it’s not like I’m going to go jump his shit. If you rush into that guy you’re rushing into a knockout. So I’m going to fight the guy, I’ll hit him, and not get too frustrated when I miss. Because he makes you miss and then he makes you pay for it.
He’s made a lot of guys feel stupid. It’s when guys get hit, and then they can’t hit him back; they just look hopeless … like they almost want the fight to be over…
Last Night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter treated us to two quarterfinal matches — as well as a total breakdown within Team U.S. and the mysterious disappearance of Michael Bisping. "Wiggity Wack" (the episode’s actual title, according to my DVR) began by showing us just how fractured the Americans were becoming. Jason Dent implores his team to be mature after their first loss in episode 4, and Cameron Dollar basically tells him to stuff it, then tells the team about the 70-80 girls he’s humped, including his friend’s wife. (Hope your friend knew about that before the show, player.) Meanwhile, Team U.S.’s Jason Pierce and Team U.K.’s David Faulkner bond in the hot tub over their shared nerdiness, with Pierce predicting they’ll be friends after the show.
"I stick up for him a lot because we put so much weight on his shoulders because we had to, we needed a face. No, we didn’t expect him to be the world champion. We knew if he fought the kind of fighters that were at that level that his chances of winning were probably slimmer," said Shaw. "But you’ve got to throw somebody up there as the best in the world, because you’ve got to put a face on the company. And that’s not to say he can’t become one of the best fighters in the world, cause he’s an athlete, he has talent, but that was the situation we were up against."
("No one is going to tell [Liddell] when he’s going to stop fighting," says John Hackleman. Photo courtesy of MMA Ring Report.)
In his prime, he was a Destroyer of Worlds. But the Chuck Liddell we saw lose to Mauricio Rua at UFC 97 earlier this month was so deteriorated that retirement talk was inevitable. Liddell’s footwork was achingly slow, and Rua proved that the holes in the Iceman’s defense could be punctured even after Liddell had spent months trying to patch them up. (Though maybe not.) These facts were clearer to Dana White than anyone else. Directly after the event, White announced that Chuck would absolutely be retiring from the sport, profits be damned. Later, he promised "a fucking war" if Liddell refused to hang up his gloves, ostensibly because he didn’t want to see his longtime friend permanently injured.
Well, Chuck hasn’t retired yet. And Dana might get that fucking war after all.
Fedor was basically playing with Aoki. He allowed him to get sub attempts like a flying armbar, a leg lock attempt, and even takedowns like the double leg and a nice seoi-nage. Watching it though, you could very much tell that Fedor was allowing Aoki [to] catch stuff for the sake of the fans. It didn’t stop him from picking him up and slamming him all around the place though, locking up subs of his own before letting go to stand back up. There was one instance where Fedor pounded the ground with a huge fist, right next to Aoki’s head — kind of a sign that, “hey, I can stop this at any moment, kiddo.”
Dana White received the Armed Forces Foundation’s Humanitarian Award, which he undoubtedly earned with all the fundraising work he’s done on behalf of American troops. I mean seriously, the UFC put on an event to help injured soldiers when our own government couldn’t seem to find the money to treat them. Most people would have just gone up there and accepted the award while saying a few words about how much the sacrifices made by American servicemen and women mean to him. But Dana White isn’t most people.
“I’m not sure what that was. Maybe it was a miscommunication, after what I had said about Roger Huerta. Maybe it was head games on his part. Maybe he genuinely believes that. I don’t really know. But I have a lot of respect for B.J. I think he’s a proud champion. I think he worked hard for that fight against Georges, and he just wasn’t able to deliver. That can be hard to deal with. I think that loss hurt him.”
"Forrest is a bigger, stronger guy with a lot of cardio and he’s the full package. The other thing Anderson likes about it is that Forrest is a big name with a huge heart and is a fan favorite kind of a guy. That’s the kind of match that makes a legendary kind of a fight and that’s what Anderson wants.”
(Forrest Griffin’s July 2008 interview with StrictlyFighting is suddenly relevant again. Skip to the 0:30 mark for Griffin’s thoughts on the Spider moving up to light-heavy.)
Both MMA Junkie and MMA Bay are independently reporting that UFC 101 (August 8th, Philadelphia) will host a semi-superfight between middleweight champ Anderson Silva and former light-heavyweight champ Forrest Griffin. It would be Silva’s first match at 205 pounds since his 61-second knockout of James Irvin last July — which also happened to be the last time Anderson was entertaining. If this rumor holds up, it would mean the following:
Dana White and his forcibly-retired sidekick Chuck Liddell took a trip to Talladega to bask in the glory of Nascar this past weekend. Luckily for us, he decided to videoblog the whole venture. Part one is above, where we see that traveling with your young children in your private jet is quite different from traveling with them in the family minivan. For starters, someone else watches them while you narrate the action for the cameraman who is documenting the daily events of your life. For another, you are very, very rich.
Rashad Evans may be the UFC light heavyweight champ, but the title doesn’t seem to have gone to his head. Talking with him last week he mentioned that it’s both humbling and sobering to be at a point in his career where he’s the headlining attraction on a card with legendary UFC fighters he came up watching.
“Seeing a guy like Matt Hughes, it makes me kind of wonder, how did I get to be headlining over Matt Hughes on a UFC card? I mean, Matt Hughes? It’s Matt Hughes, man. It just makes you really stop and think.”
As you saw in the episode, I made good on my promise to ensure my team were at peak fitness. The footage of us running through Vegas was taken early in the morning. Basically, each team had two sessions in the gym later in the day so, in order to make sure Team UK were getting their cardio in but without affecting their ability to train in the gym, we ran at 8am.
Some people were surprised I was going to the house at 8am to run with them, but that’s the kind of coach I wanted to be. Plus, under the rules, Team UK – or Team USA for that matter – couldn’t leave the house except with me or to be taken to the gym. So if I didn’t run with them, they’d not be running at all. Without me going there and actually getting my guys, they would have no roadwork, and as a coach that wasn’t an option. As far as I know, Dan didn’t take his team out running or doing any cardio except what my team dubbed “Ultimate Frisbee”, which I think says it all. That was Team USA’s cardio training.
It takes a special kind of cojones to stare down permanent injury and say "Eff it, I ain’t tappin’." Inspired by the DVD we’ve been plugging lately, we decided to pay tribute to the technical submission — that thrilling moment when a fighter is caught in a health-threatening submission hold, but is too stupid much of a warrior to concede defeat, so the referee has to do it for him. Because as a wise man once said, "Tapping out is for bitches." Enjoy…
After their first chaotic mess of a bout was ruled a “Technical Draw,” Gracie and Sims met again in the IFL for another technical ending. Though Sims has always had a hazy understanding of the rules in any given MMA bout, he got taken down too quickly to launch any illegal stomps in this one, and had to settle for giving up his back and then trying to grab on to the ropes (thankfully Stephen Quadros reminds him that he can’t do that) as Gracie stayed on him like a backpack and choked him unconscious. There’s nothing quite like seeing a 6’10” guy drop to the canvas like somebody just pulled his plug. Sleep well, buddy.
Thanks to Shammy’s pioneering work in video trash talk, this fight was epic before it even began. Strikeforce’s first middleweight title fight paired two loud-mouthed badasses who would never admit defeat — but unfortunately, there could be only one champion. After battering the NYBA with punches for almost two full rounds, Shamrock took Baroni’s back, wrapped an arm around his neck, and squeezed. While most men would tap to the hold, Baroni went out like a warrior, throwing punches into Frank’s mug until he lost consciousness. Shamrock celebrated his win by shoving Baroni’s lifeless body then kicking him in the ass, proving that he wasn’t just the better fighter that night, he was also the bigger asshole.
(Silva keeps talking about the elusive "perfect fight" with "Inside MMA.")
You might think that Patrick Cote, of all people, would be somewhat sympathetic regarding the negative fan reaction after the five-round snoozer between Anderson Silva and Thales Leites at UFC 97. You’d be wrong. Despite being one half of a middleweight title fight that was unsatisfying for different reasons, Cote wasn’t afraid to come right out and blast Leites, telling FightHype.com the fight was “boring.” Which, of course, we already knew. But he didn’t stop there.
As much as Anderson Silva used to enjoy kicking the absolute dogshit out of Rich Franklin, it was clear that the Spider respected the hell out of Ace. After his UFC 82 title fight against Dan Henderson, Silva told the Columbus crowd something along the lines of "it feels good to win, but there’s only one true middleweight champion, and that’s Rich Franklin," which struck me as both incredibly humble, and kind of insulting to Dan Henderson, who was standing right next to him at the time. So I guess this recent blurb from the Dayton Daily News shouldn’t be all that surprising:
Brock Lesnar is giddy as a school girl after stalking around the woods (okay, more like lumbering around the woods) in pursuit of a whitetail deer. What can you say, the big man loves to hunt. His claim that the whitetail deer is one of the most difficult animals to hunt is severely undermined, however, when he misses his first shot at the buck and it is kind enough to prance out in the open to give him a better one. Ernest Hemingway hunted lions, Brock. And he was just some sissy writer.
After the jump: some Kung Fu Football, and how they hype a fight in Japan.
— You must be at least 18 years old to enter. — If you have AT&T Wireless or Verizon Wireless cell phone service, you can enter directly on the sweepstakes main page; it’ll cost you 99 cents, but you’ll get a totally sweet CagePotato mobile wallpaper in return. Otherwise, you can do it old-school and enter via postcard. — You can sweeten the odds by entering the sweepstakes up to ten times. — All entries must be received by Monday, May 11th; the winner will be selected by random drawing and announced on Tuesday, May 12th.
Well, here it is — video of congenital amputee Kyle Maynard’s amateur MMA debut at Auburn Fight Night on Saturday. Despite the passionate support from the crowd, Maynard was never able to take the fight where he wanted it, as Bryan Fry steadily dodged his takedown attempts. Rounds 2 and 3 are after the jump, as well as a clip from SportsCenter featuring highlights from the match.