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August, 2009

You Needed ‘Inside Info’ To Know That Leben Was In Trouble?


(It’s okay, Chris.  I sometimes pass out while combing my hair, too.  Photo courtesy of UFC.com)

The last time I got a hot tip on a fight was when my grandfather became confused and kept insisting that I put everything I had on Jack Dempsey to beat Gunboat Smith.  In his defense, he was right, but I guess that’s not the point.  Cagewriter’s Steve Cofield says the spread of some inside info about Chris Leben helped narrow the betting line on his fight with Jake Rosholt at UFC 102.  Cofield quotes Yahoo’s Kevin Iole as saying that a “prominent fighter” told him that he was betting on Rosholt because he knew that “Leben hadn’t trained at all.”

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Note to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira: Brock Lesnar Is Not Bob Sapp



While MMA is a wild bag of unpredictable tricks inside the cage, once the fighting stops it’s still the same familiar newsreel over and over again.  That’s why we weren’t at all surprised to hear that Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira would like a shot at Brock Lesnar’s UFC heavyweight title, or that he thinks his experience would be the key to beating the big man:

"A lot of jiu-jitsu and good standing up, make him tired man, move around, move around.  When I get his timing, hit him with a good right hand and box him, box him and get him tired. …I’m kind of calm.  I can listen to my coach.  I’ve been in there a long time.  I can see what’s going on.  I have more experience than him.  That’s a big advantage I have. …If he goes on the top into my guard, I can play with him.  Let’s see, let’s see what is going to happen."

First of all, if hot-headed homophobe Brock Lesnar even hears that Nogueira mentioned a desire to “play with him,” things are going to get ugly.  Fortunately, he doesn’t have the internet, so we should be fine.  Second of all, we know Nogueira has beaten some behemoths in his time, but that doesn’t mean he could do the same to Lesnar, for a couple of reasons.

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Fun Fact: Todd Duffee Didn’t Actually Score the Fastest KO in UFC History

Duane Ludwig Jonathan Goulet fastest KO UFC MMA
(Props: Altofsky)

According to Mike Goldberg, Todd Duffee‘s seven-second pwnage of Tim Hague at UFC 102 was "officially the fastest knockout in UFC history." Previously, the company line was that James Irvin and Don Frye held the record jointly with their eight-second knockouts of Houston Alexander and Thomas Ramirez, respectively. But hardcore fans know the truth. Above is a gif of Duane "Bang" Ludwig‘s knockout of Jonathan Goulet at UFC Fight Night 3, in which Mario Yamasaki rushes in to save the starched Canadian at the four-second mark. So why don’t we ever hear about it? Well, the timekeeper effed up and reported the official time of the stoppage as 11 seconds. And that’s still how they have the time listed on UFC.com and Sherdog. Duffee may have given us one of the most fearsome Octagon debuts since Tank Abbott, but at the very least his "record" should have an asterisk next to it…

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GSP, Cris Cyborg, Nate Marquardt and More MMA Stars Tapped for 2009 ADCC Tournament


(Highlights from the 2007 ADCC tourney. For part 2, click here.)

The ultra-prestigious invitation-only Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Fighting World Championships — which takes place every two years — kicks off September 26th in Barcelona, with a host of familiar names in the brackets. Read on to see who will be battling for the biggest bragging rights in the grappling world during the upcoming 2009 edition. Props to Fightlinker and Japan MMA for the tips…

Female -60kg:
Kyra Gracie, Brazil (2007 women’s -59kg winner)
Sayaka Shioda, Japan (2007 women’s -55kg winner)
Megumi Fujii, Japan
Michelle Tavares, Brazil
Laurence Cousin, France
Ina Steffensen, Denmark
Hillary Williams, USA
Luanna Alzuguir, Brazil

Female 60kg+:
Hannette Staack, USA (2007 women’s Absolute and -67kg winner)
Penny Thomas, USA (2007 women’s 67kg+ winner)
Hitomi Hiraiwa, Japan
Rosângela Conceição, Brazil
Ida Hansson, Sweden
Shanti Abelha, Denmark
Lana Stephanac, USA
Cristiane "Cris Cyborg" Santos, Brazil

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Ed Herman: “I’m Pretty Sure My Knee’s Torn Out”

Ed Herman injury
(Dammit, Ed.  You start yawning like that and pretty soon the whole arena will be doing it.  Photo courtesy of UFC.com)

Following his loss via injury TKO at UFC 102, Ed Herman has been suspended indefinitely until he gets cleared by a doctor, which may not happen until he gets some surgery and does a little rehab.  Herman went down in agony in the second round of his fight with Aaron Simpson, but according to what he told The Columbian, the actual troubles started earlier in the night:

"I’m pretty sure my knee’s torn out.  I felt it buckle underneath me in the first round.  I just tried to fight through it.  Then it buckled again."

So what does the UFC do with a mid-level guy who’s going to be laid up for a little while?  You’d like to think that they’ll keep him on the roster and wait for him to recover and give it another go.  You’d also like to think that they wouldn’t cut every single losing fighter from the UFC 101 undercard, so maybe we should keep our expectations realistic.  Get well soon, "Short Fuse."

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The Potato Index: UFC 102 Aftermath


(What do you get when you have a big left hand and not much else? One highlight in a losing effort. Photo courtesy of SI.com)

This week the Potato Index confronts one of mankind’s oldest problems as we sort through the UFC 102 aftermath, and it goes a little something like this: How much does a fighter’s stock drop if he loses after getting his testicles kicked up into his throat?  On one hand, a TKO loss never results in a rise on the Potato Index’s arbirtrary numerical rankings scale, but on the other, simply not quitting and going off to sob in a dark corner is an accomplishment.  The answer to this age-old question, and others, awaits you.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira +213

So you thought Big Nog was done just because he looks like he’s a senior citizen and fought like one against Frank Mir?  Anybody can have a bad night.  He showed on Saturday that he’s still got some bullets in the old gun, at least as long as he’s fighting representatives from the UFC’s AARP wing.  Unless someone wants to see him killed, though, please keep him far away from Brock Lesnar.

Randy Couture -56
It’s hard to be too critical of a gutsy performance like that one.  He didn’t look old or haggard, and didn’t lose because he was too slow or too weak.  He just wasn’t the better fighter that night.  Now we wait to find out what’s next, and whether the UFC really plans to give him two more years worth of fights, or if it’s just a way of keeping him off the Strikeforce roster.

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Randy Couture’s Fight-Night Video Blog


(Props: YouTube.com/UFC. For part one of the 8/29 Randyvlog, which features Couture’s pre-fight preparation, visits from Wanderlei Silva and Brock Lesnar, and Randy’s walkout, click here.)

If you’re going to lose a fight, you might as well do it surrounded by people who love you. Randy Couture — who described Saturday night in Portland as the loudest audience he’s ever fought in front of — was given a hero’s reception by all the fans in attendance at UFC 102 as well as everyone he came across backstage. The above video-blog shows excerpts from his fight against Nogueira shot cageside (right behind the guy with the airhorn!), as well as the aftermath, in which Randy is examined by a doctor and takes questions at the post-event press conference. It’s hard to predict where Couture’s fight career will go from here, but with fan response this overwhelmingly positive, the Natural’s days of high-profile fights in the Octagon are far from over.

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UFC 102 Fighter Payouts: Randy Couture and Big Nog Take Home the Lion’s Share

Nate Marquardt Demian Maia UFC 102 MMA
(Even when you’ve knocked your opponent into a 180-degree tailspin, the Bad Boy eyes are always watching. Photo courtesy of Tracy Lee via Cagewriter.)

The UFC paid out $1,525,000 in reported salaries and bonuses for UFC 102, with the night’s headliners taking home just over half of the total. The numbers are below. Keep in mind that they don’t include income from sponsorships, cuts of the pay-per-view revenue (which Randy Couture reportedly receives), or the UFC’s shadowy "locker room bonuses" (which Silva and Duffee likely got a taste of).

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira: $460,000 (includes $150,000 win bonus and $60,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
Randy Couture: $310,000 (includes $60,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
Nate Marquardt: $140,000 (includes $40,000 win bonus and $60,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
Gabriel Gonzaga: $120,000 (includes $60,000 win bonus)
Jake Rosholt: $86,000 (includes $13,000 win bonus and $60,000 Submission of the Night bonus)
Brandon Vera: $70,000 (includes $35,000 win bonus)
Thiago Silva: $58,000 (includes $29,000 win bonus)
Keith Jardine: $55,000

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Randy Couture Is Going To Be With The UFC Until Judgment Day


(Even Couture’s best Jughead impression failed to impress the judges. Photo courtesy of the LA Times.)

Turns out that all our speculation as to what the UFC might do with Randy Couture for the last fight on his contract is now totally obsolete, because Captain America has re-upped for another six fights and twenty-eight months.  The extension will take the 46 year-old conceivably into early 2012, when we assume that UFC events will be held somewhere deep within the earth in order to help fans get their minds off the harsh, post-apocalyptic hellscape on the surface.  Said Couture:

“I am going to take it one fight at a time as I did 12 years ago when I first started this thing, and we will see where that goes.  Obviously I didn’t have the outcome that I wanted [tonight] but I still had a good performance overall. I think I did a lot of things that I trained to do in this fight tonight. We will evaluate that, see what I need to improve and we will take it one fight at a time.”
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Chris Leben’s Submission Indecision


(Props: MMA-Core)

Depending on your interpretation of what you see here, either Chris Leben couldn’t decide whether he wanted to tap out to Jake Rosholt’s arm-triangle choke, or else he passed out mid-tap.  Either way, Yves Lavigne came very close to committing the same sin that he did in the Matt Brown/Pete Sell fight.  Watch as he almost jumps in and then backs off when Leben’s legs buck up.  First you think that leg movement is some kind of half-assed attempt at an escape.  Then you watch Leben involuntarily flopping around during his post-fight nap, and it seems like maybe he was already out at that point. 

Tough night for the fighters from Portland.  Maybe the big question is, will Leben and Ed Herman still have jobs after the UFC’s trip into their hometown?

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