Steroids in MMA
Which MMA Fighter Will Test Positive For Steroids Next?

August, 2009

Exclusive: Chris Tuchscherer Discusses His Road to the UFC, Throwing Down With Brock Lesnar, and the Curse of the YAMMA

Chris Tuchscherer MMA UFC
(Tuchscherer puts Alexey Oleinik right where he wants him during the semi-finals of YAMMA Pit Fighting last April. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

With a record of 17-1 and wins over UFC vets like Krzysztof Soszynski, Travis Fulton, and Branden Lee Hinkle, Chris Tuchscherer has been paying his dues for over five years. And yet, the 33-year-old North Dakota native and former two-time NCAA Division II All-American wrestler was told "no dice" when he tried out for TUF 10 earlier this year. Luckily, the UFC came to their senses and decided to give the Crowbar a shot against Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 102 this Saturday, in a match that could be pivotal for both of their careers. After months of training with long-lost-twin Brock Lesnar, Tuchscherer is ready to test his might in the Octagon. And his first opponent had better watch the hell out…


CAGEPOTATO: You tried out for the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter, and ended up with a contract to fight Gabriel Gonzaga. How exactly did that come about?
CHRIS TUCHSCHERER: I thought I was going to get on the show — I tried out, everything was looking good, I got a second interview — then I got home and I got a call saying I wasn’t going to make the show. Later on that week, I got an e-mail from Joe Silva with a contract offer, so it worked out for the best. But I honestly couldn’t tell you why it went down like that. I was never told, like, “your record is this good, so we just want you to have a contract.”

If you did end up as a castmember on this season of TUF, how do you think you’d do?
I think I would have done very well. I would have seen myself as one of the guys to make it to the finals.

At UFC 102 you’ll be facing Gabriel Gonzaga, who’s very dangerous but has been somewhat inconsistent during his time in the UFC. Do you view this fight as a big step up in competition?
Well, I’ve faced some pretty good guys in the past. Gonzaga’s made his resume as a dangerous opponent in every aspect of the game, so I guess it’ll be a step up in competition considering where he’s been so far, but I don’t look at him as being any better of a man than me, or intimidating to me, because we’re all the same. He got his shot in the UFC in a different way, he made a name for himself right when he got in there, and he is who is now.

I’ve seen a few of your fights online, and your general strategy seems to be to take your opponent down and finish the fight with strikes from the top. Is that pretty much how it’s going to go down against Gonzaga?


Videos: Ryan Couture vs. Jimmy Spicuzza, Seth Petruzelli vs. Chris Baten, Bas Rutten vs. Your Sense of Humor, + More

After losing a decision in his last outing, Ryan Couture returned to the ring last weekend to face Jimmy Spicuzza on the same Tuff-N-Uff card that saw Matt Polly stumble awkwardly towards victory.  Spicuzza started fast and had Couture rocked early on, but again we see Couture’s considerable prowess in the ground game come to his rescue.  Something tells me it won’t be so easy for his dad to pull off an armbar against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira this weekend, though.

After the jump, Seth "The Kimbo-Slayer" Petruzelli is back in action, plus a vicious body shot KO, and Bas Rutten actin’ the fool.


Even Without Instant Replay, There Is Justice In California For Billy Evangelista

Billy Evangelista and Mike Aina Strikeforce
(The illegal knee that never was.)

Remember the Strikeforce Challengers event back in May where the main event bout between Billy Evangelista and Mike Aina ended in a controversial disqualification?  Sure you do, it was the one where Evangelista landed what appeared to be an illegal knee to the head of a downed Aina, though replays later proved it to be a totally legal knee to the shoulder.  Aina played up the injury until he was ruled unable to continue and the bout ended with Evangelista’s disqualification, thus making the case for the exact type of instant replay use that the NSAC just approved.  But even without the use of replay, the California State Athletic Commission actually did the right thing in yesterday’s appeal hearing, voting unanimously to change the outcome of the bout to a ‘no decision’ and removing the only loss from Evangelista’s record.


UFC 102 Interview Hype: Brandon Vera vs. Krzysztof Soszynski

(Props: CageWriter)

In the above interview with Steve Cofield, Brandon Vera says he sees little difference between his UFC 102 opponent Krzysztof Soszynski and his original opponent, Matt Hamill, aside from their records, their stance, and the fact that K-Sos’s name is much harder to pronounce. Vera respects Soszynski’s clinch game and strength, but hopes the fight will stay standing: "If somebody decides that they want to stand in front of me and bang, it’s gonna be a show. You’ll be able to see some stuff that I haven’t pulled out of the closet yet, because I haven’t had the chance. So if you got somebody that’s willing just to stand there and trade with me, it’s gonna be some good times." Unfortunately for Vera, Soszynski is no Mike Patt.

After the jump: K-Sos talks about his experience on The Ultimate Fighter, his gameplan for Vera, and the UFC’s stacked 205-pound division.


Karo Parisyan to Return From Suspension Against Hazelett @ UFC 106

Karo Parisyan MMA UFC
("Forget about these worthless idiots," the lion told Karo. "Soon we’ll bathe in their blood, and their children’s blood." And in the room was an echoing silence. Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.)

With his nine-month suspension for painkiller use winding down, Karo Parisyan is ready to get his career back on track. The welterweight veteran will be returning to the Octagon at UFC 106 (November 21st, Las Vegas) against 23-year-old submission artist Dustin "McLovin" Hazelett. Parisyan’s last appearance was in January at UFC 94, where he scratched out a split-decision win against Dong Hyun Kim; the result was changed to a no contest following Parisyan’s positive test for Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, and Oxymorphone. Before that, the Heat suffered a TKO loss against Thiago Alves in April 2008, meaning that he hasn’t scored a legitimate win since his unanimous decision over Ryo Chonan at UFC 78. Hazelett is coming off back-to-back victories (and back-to-back Submission of the Night bonuses) thanks to his acrobatic armbars against Josh Burkman and Tamdan McCrory, but he hasn’t competed since last November due to injury. So whose grappling will be stronger? And whose ring rust will be rustier?

Besides the main events of Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin and Tito Ortiz vs. Mark Coleman, UFC 106 is also expected to feature a welterweight bout between Jon Fitch and Ricardo Almeida, which will be Almeida’s 170-pound debut. Not exactly easing him into the division, are they?


Tapout Training Center Burglarized, Suspect Facing Severe Beatdown

What you see here is actual security camera footage of a break-in at the new Tapout Training Center in Las Vegas on Sunday morning.  Seems this criminal mastermind decided to smash the front door of an MMA gym and then take his time carrying out a bunch of merchandise that seems like it would be difficult/not that profitable to resell on the street, and all without really bothering to cover his face or conceal his identity.  The footage makes it hard to get a good look at him, but according to our friend The Fight Nerd, the owner of the Tapout facility is looking to dispense a little MMA street justice if he can get his hands on this dude:

“It’s the principle of the whole thing, it’s not even how much or what the value of what he took is. He broke into the gym and that’s not a good thing to do… you don’t break into this facility and get away scot free. We will find this person and he will get dealt with. I don’t know if that person realizes exactly who we are and what we do and when we find this guy, he will know exactly what industry we are in.”

“Mayhem” Miller to Fight Jake Shields For Strikeforce “Middleweight Championship of the World”

Jason Mayhem Miller
(The weird thing is, those are actually prescription.  Leave it to Mayhem to find the world’s zaniest opthamologist.)

MMA’s hardest-working lunatic may be fighting for a title soon, and in America no less, or at least that’s what a recent forum post from Jason “Mayhem” Miller would have us believe.  In addition to updating fans on the status of “Bully Beatdown’s” second season on MTV (Eddie Alvarez kicks some ass in week one), Miller casually mentioned that he’ll be fighting Jake Shields “for the middleweight championship of the world in Strikeforce.” 

At this point you might be thinking to yourself: 1) Isn’t Cung Le still technically the Strikeforce middleweight champ? and 2) Isn’t the phrase ‘championship of the world in Strikeforce’ kind of like ‘one of the greatest light heavyweights of the night?’


Houston Alexander to (Hopefully) Break His Losing Streak at Adrenaline MMA IV

Sherman Pendergarst MMA
(Sherman’s the guy on the left. Get used to that face, you’ll be seeing it again next month. Photo courtesy of osirisshoes.)

MMA Mania passes along the full lineup for Adrenaline MMA IV (September 18th; Council Bluffs, Iowa) and while we’ve already covered the Tim Sylvia/Jason Riley main event, we now know that UFC light-heavyweight Houston Alexander will be taking on Sherman "The Tank" Pendergarst (11-14) in the co-main event. Alexander’s three-fight losing streak may be a major bummer — and the reason he has to take a tune-up fight outside of the UFC — but Pendergarst has lost his last five matches, and has only won two of his last twelve. Competing mostly as a heavyweight, the Tank has suffered KO/TKO losses against such notables as Shane Carwin, Antoni Hardonk (at UFC 65, Pendergarst’s only Octagon appearance), Justin EIlers, and Tim Hague, and was one of the unfortunate fighters to experience the YAMMA pit first-hand; he lost to Alexey Oleinik by submission.

In other words, this could be just the sacrifical lamb that heavy-handed Houston needs to get his confidence back. Then again, eight of Pendergarst’s 11 wins have come by submission, meaning that Alexander should still be on high alert. So, dude with no ground game (Houston) vs. a guy who gets knocked out a lot (Sherman) — who will be able to impose their gameplan?

The full lineup for Adrenaline IV is after the jump…


Video: Tito Ortiz Signs Contract to Fight Mark Coleman

(Props: dragonman34)

In the latest installment of Tito Ortiz‘s comeback-trail video blog, Tito helpfully reads us the main details of his UFC 106 bout agreement. It seems that nobody has informed him of the one-pound-allowance rule for non-title fights, and yes, his usual signs of dyslexia are present. ("It’s not going three rounds, no way," Tito says of his fight against Mark Coleman. "I’m taking your ass out in at least two.") Later, he tries to list all the fighters that he’s retired (see the 2:50 mark), and the camera conveniently cuts out after Ken Shamrock. Also, he refers to his fax machine as "the X machine," which made me LOL real hard.

Currently, Ortiz appears to be caught between respecting Mark Coleman as a legendary ex-champion, and disrespecting him because that’s what Tito does. But there is one specific memory of the Hammer that Ortiz is using as motivation: "If you guys pay close attention, when I beat Evan Tanner, and after I slammed Evan Tanner on his head and I jumped up on the Octagon, and I flexed to the audience, Mark Coleman jumped up on the side of the cage, and you can see the disgust on his face. So I think Mark Coleman’s had a little hatred for me for a while. So now he gets the chance. Too bad your chance ain’t gonna be good."

Chilling. Ortiz also predicts a head-kick knockout and vows to get back his title. ("The roads are comin’," whatever that means.) November 21st can’t come soon enough…


From Writer to Fighter

Matt Polly with Randy Couture
(Guess which of these men doesn’t make his living with his body. Go ‘head. Guess.)

Best-selling author and friend of the Potato, Matthew Polly, won his MMA debut at Saturday night’s Tuff-N-Uff event in Las Vegas after his combination of awkward offense and pudgy middle-agedness proved to be too much for his 24 year-old opponent, who could not answer the bell for the third round. 

If you didn’t know, Polly wrote the hilarious and insightful American Shaolin about his time living and training with the Shaolin monks in China.  He’s been at work on a new book about MMA for what seems like years now, and he spent the last several months living in a flophouse in Vegas and getting beaten up at Xtreme Couture in preparation for his first foray into MMA competition.  Said Polly: 

“I was really nervous. I actually went and hid in one of the bathroom stalls to try and calm down,” Polly said of his routine before the fight. “My first thought when I got out there is, I got Joey Varner (Xtreme Couture trainer), Robert Drysdale (world-class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert) and Randy Couture walking in with me, I was like, I can’t shame them. I can’t go out there and get knocked out in five seconds with them in my corner.  Then it was weird. There was a calm right as the music started. I can do this. I can do this.”