Yes, we know he’s only 20 anos, and his takedown defense needs as much work as his cardio, but dammit, there’s something about this Wanderlei da Silva kid. He has a certain star quality about him, something that makes him exciting to watch even when he’s getting beat. Just check out the 1:10 mark when he gets kicked out of the ring and "the crowd goes wild," or so we are told.
We gotta admit, we’re impressed by his ability to hang in there against the bigger Dilson Filho and survive the initial onslaught to land that big elbow in the clinch. At the risk of getting too carried away after only seeing one of this youngsters fights, we’re going to go out on a limb and say that da Silva is definitely going places. Just as soon as he stops leaving himself wide open with those big, looping hooks.
(This may be your best chance yet to hear the phrase ‘pencil-necked geek’ said aloud on ESPN.)
Change of plans, Potato Nation. Remember that press conference this week where Dana White said Brock Lesnar would be in attendance to fill us in on his health status and future fighting prospects? Yeah, that’s not happening anymore. Instead he’ll be appearing on Wednesday’s edition of "Sportscenter" on ESPN, where he’ll probably do the bare minimum in terms of answering questions while also making it very clear that this was not his idea. Lesnar’s scheduled to appear at 11 am EST, but if we’ve learned anything by sitting around in hotel rooms and watching ESPN in a constant loop, it’s that you’ll probably be able to catch it throughout the day, just like you’ll probably be really sick of all the clever one-liners about last night’s NBA games by noon.
The show is bound to be visually compelling with great production values, so it will still be worth watching. But didn’t we already get all the backstory we needed on GSP last time? And wouldn’t it be more fun to see this done for a future fight that seems a little more competitive?
Talking to MMAFighting.com, Nagy recited the typical here-to-make-a-name-for-myself script, but it was the comments from his trainer, Roland Sarria, the man who recommended him for this fight, that were more telling:
"They’re roughly the same size so I thought it was a good fit," said Sarria, who also runs the Rage in the Cage Training Center where Nagy trains. "You can’t put [Walker] in with Fedor [Emelianenko], right? Greg is 1-1, he’s a good-looking kid. I’d say he’s a bit more advanced than Herschel, but not by much. I thought it was a good matchup."
After spending all of 2009 making a strong case for himself as the UFC’s top middleweight contender, Nate Marquardt finds himself facing Chael Sonnen at UFC 109 while Vitor Belfort leapfrogs him for the title shot against Anderson Silva. In this exclusive interview Marquardt opens up about his dealings with the UFC, his thoughts on fighting Sonnen, and the bout with Dan Henderson that never materialized.
CagePotato.com: In your last fight you took on Demian Maia at UFC 102 and knocked him out in 21 seconds. I imagine you probably couldn’t be happier with that result?
Nate Marquardt: Totally (laughs). There wasn’t much more I could have asked for.
You’ve spoken before about training to do specifically what you ended up doing. Did the fight go the way you thought it would or were you surprised by the quickness?
I don’t think you could ever plan for a fight to end that quickly. When I gameplan I look for specific stuff that’s going to work on the guy that I’m comfortable doing. Other than that you can have a gameplan but it can’t be your only thing. You have to be a smart fighter and when something you weren’t training for happens you have to be able to change your game in the middle of the fight.
But Carano isn’t the only woman from the MMA world to grace the list. UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste broke into the double-digits to nab the 98th spot overall. Officially, that means she’s hotter than Jamie-Lynn Sigler (#99) from "Entourage," but not quite as hot as porn star/sort-of-mainstream actress Sasha Grey (#97).
But hey, 98? That’s, you know, good and all. Nothing to be ashamed of there, Arianny. We’re sure all the kids and that one dude’s prom will be impressed. Unless that French chick from "Amelie," who came in at #93, shows up. They see her and hear that accent, forget about it. The boys will line up to pour her a glass of punch and you’ll end up slow-dancing with the creepy P.E. teacher who smells like coffee and old newspapers. Don’t think it can’t happen.
Today many people agreed to fight many other people for money at a later date, and as tedious as it is to run through all the fights that you’ll eventually learn about one way or another anyway, we might as well drag ourselves through it one more time:
– Josh Koscheck announced via Twitter today that he will fight Paul "Semtex" Daley in a "co main event" bout at UFC 113 on May 1st. Daley has been grumbling about wanting a crack at Koscheck lately, and Koscheck responded by tweeting, "[t]his kid is going 2 get what he’s asking 4. XOXO" Wait a minute, are we sure Koscheck’s Twitter wasn’t hacked by a fourteen year-old girl?
If you’re feeling a little down today and are considering taking a long hot bath with a clock radio to top off the evening, you aren’t alone. Today is what many have come to call "Blue Monday." It’s officially the most depressing day of the year. In an effort to help you soldier through it, we found some fun videos that only sort of have to do with MMA.
Those of you who read Neal Taflinger’s excellent profile piece on Fedor Emelianenko in the October ’09 issue of Fight Magazine may recognize this little scene on the M-1 Global tour bus. Those of you who didn’t read it will have to live with that decision for the rest of your sad lives. Taffy is the guy with the bright orange hair in the back of the bus trying to conduct an interview via Fedor’s interpreter. Fedor is the Russian dude grinning from ear to ear after shoving some ice down the back of Gegard Mousasi‘s trousers. Some things transcend all language and cultural barriers, and ice in somebody’s pants is undoubtedly one of those things.
More MMA-related pick-me-ups await you after the jump.
(The best part about going to a Bentley dealership? Signing the lease agreement.)
His showdown with fellow MMA legend Renzo Gracie is still about four months away, but Matt Hughes is beginning to slowly work his way into training camp. The former UFC welterweight champ wrote on his blog that it’s not quite as easy to get into fighting shape as he gets on in years, so he’s starting early and taking it slow. As for how he’s preparing for the bout after his recent lackluster outings, Hughes seems to have figured out that as awesome as the HIT Squad and its camouflage mats might be, he needs to seek outside help from time to time.
(Looks like someone is getting ready to do some shucking and ducking.)
After weeks of stalking UFC president Dana White and regaling us all with stories of side check kicks and training under his father, an original “death fighter,” James Toney says he finally received an offer to fight in the UFC. The problem? That offer “was a joke,” according to Toney, who told FightHype.com that he’s decided to look at it as a sign that DW isn’t serious about signing him to a contract, which is weird because we expected a pro boxer with no MMA experience whatsoever to get several millions of dollars upfront.
Toney apparently expected the same, despite the fact that MMA fighters still don’t pull the kind of paychecks that even old, chubby boxers do. But don’t worry, he says he’s already aware of that. He just doesn’t seem to think it should apply to him:
“…this offer was laughable. That’s why I wanted the camera guy in the room with us when I sat down with Dana, so the fans would know I was serious and if it didn’t happen, it wasn’t because of me.”
During the six-month layoff following his last title defense against Thiago Alves, Georges St. Pierre has been in the gym, getting even more jacked. Now walking around at 193 pounds of lean muscle, GSP is contemplating a move up to middleweight, and discusses what that would entail in the interview above. First off, he’d have to get even larger, and he’d do it through diet, not steroids, which is good to know. Also, the move would be permanent; he’s not interested in the back-and-forth weight-hopping done by guys like Anderson Silva and Dan Henderson. But like so many other UFC stars, he has no interest in fighting his friends and training partners, which include Nate Marquardt, Patrick Cote, and Denis Kang: "If I’m in mount position, and it’s time to land that big hellbow that will leave a scar on the forehead of my friend and knock him out cold with cerebral damage, if he’s my friend I will never do that." Good Lord, whatever happened to putting personal loyalties aside in the name of a paycheck?
Related:Diego Sanchezreportedly posted the message "Going back to 170" on his Facebook page last night, but it has since been removed. According to Sanchez’s manager, Jeff Clark, no decision has been made at this time regarding what weight class he will compete in next.
Cage Potato forum member Sodak posted a link to this ridiculous nonsense recently, but we were too busy paying attention to normal things to notice until now. For those of you who have ever said to yourself, ‘You know, I like MMA but I just wish there was a way to get more dudes involved at once,’ your prayers have been answered. Tag team MMA provides all the enjoyment of watching a fight where closed-fist strikes to the head are illegal, while also adding all the confusion of a total clusterfuck.
I’m sure this sounded like a great idea to somebody, probably somebody who still isn’t completely convinced that pro wrestling is fake. They must have had grand visions of a tag team MMA empire featuring epic bouts between the Honky Tonk Heartbreakers and the devious Oxford Boys, who always win with help from their meddling manager, Professor Lankenshire. But when this match ends in a tie and we have all four fighters going at it, writhing around on the mat in a pile of sweaty, desperate bodies, that’s the point when we have to realize that this thing is giving way too much ammunition to the ‘MMA is gay foreplay‘ crowd. The last thing we need is to encourage those idiots.
WEC fighter and son of Haitian immigrants Mackens Semerzier would like to remind us that Haiti is in dire need of help after this week’s massive earthquake. Since the thing that separates us from the beasts of the field is that we rally together to help our fellow man in times of distress (except, that is, for those of us convinced that our fellow man totally had it coming), this is one of those times where we should all do what we can. If somehow you haven’t already heard this, you can text ‘Haiti’ to 90999 and make a $10 donation to the Red Cross. I just did it and I can assure you that it’s quick, easy, and it won’t hurt your cell phone bill any more than that time you got into an unnecessary text message war with your ex-girlfriend.
If there’s any MMA fighter who deserves to have a documentary made about him it’s Jens Pulver, who survived a profoundly abusive childhood and went on to become the UFC’s first 155-pound champion, but now faces his last ride after losing four straight fights in the WEC. The above clip is from a work-in-progress called Driven by filmmaker Gregory Bayne. If you watch it, you’ll most likely have a strong urge to see the whole thing. There’s one small problem: It’s not even close to finished, and Bayne needs funding to keep working on it. As he explains on Kickstarter.com:
Jens is set to fight on March 6, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio. To insure that I can film the entire lead up to the fight, (his training, his day to day family life, any wrenches that get thrown into the mix), and join Jens in Ohio, I am seeking to raise $25,000 in just 20 days. These funds will be used to secure the gear we need for production (Additional HD Camera, lighting, and sound recording equipment), and to hire an additional cameraman and sound mixer, as well as to cover insurance costs, and all the costs of (transportation, lodging, etc.) associated with bringing the crew to the fight in Ohio. While this doesn’t represent the entire scope or budget of the film, it is the most pressing financial need as I hope to capture this story as it unfolds.
Right now, supporters have pledged $1,045 of the $25,000 goal, with just 16 days until the deadline. So if you have any charity-money left after giving your life savings to Wyclef Jean, click on this link to read more about the project — and what each level of donation will get you in return — and hit that green "Back This Project" box to toss in a few bucks. Every little bit helps.
So I took to her website and found out…nothing, really. Her ‘About Me’ section reads: "I am the UFC’s newest Octagon Girl. I will update this about me soon!" There are no links in the links section, and her profile on this modeling website says her birthday is January 1st, 1982, which just seems made up. Seriously, who’s born on New Year’s Day? Well, J. Edgar Hoover and J.D. Salinger, but they were both world class assholes.
Anyway, one thing Chandella does have on her website is photos of her in various states of undress. They are presented for your enjoyment after the jump.
If he can avoid injuries or other major misfortunes for the next two months, Irvin’s opponent will be Alessio Sakara, who most recently won a split-decision over Thales Leites at UFC 101, effectively beating him out of the UFC. Sakara was scheduled to face Rousimar Palhares at the TUF 10 finale, but was forced to withdraw due to injury. This has to be Irvin’s last chance to save his job — will he return to his old superman-punching, flying-knee’ing form, or will he get hit by a bus on the way to weigh-ins?
(At least the costume designer can still dream of an Oscar.)
Our friends at Screen Junkies have the trailer for the upcoming "Tekken" movie that stole both Roger Huerta and Cung Le away from the MMA world for a little while. If the movie’s anything like the trailer, it’s not going to be as entertaining as playing Tekken for ninety-two minutes would be, but that’s to be expected. At least we get a glimpse of Huerta’s acting chops when he shouts, ‘This is Iron Fist!’ at the 0:12 mark. It’s probably unfair to judge his entire performance by how stitled and unconvincing that one line is, but let’s just say we’re not surprised that he wants to come back to fighting.
The boys at SJ point out that "Tekken" is directed by the same guy who did "Halloween 4" and "Anacondas," and written by the same guy who penned such works as "Spawn" and "The Marine." You add in a couple of real fighters who returned to the sport to take beatings after filming this joint, along with the guy who played Jim Brown in "The Express" in the role of Raven, and you got yourself a can’t-miss blockbuster.
(‘All right, Vince. Before we do this thing, you want the chamomile or the rosemary tea rinse? For an extra twenty bucks we can also throw some Just For Men in that bad boy, and that can be our little secret.’)
Bobby Lashley‘s status as MMA’s most famous can-crusher seems as though it won’t be immediately effected by signing on with Strikeforce, as much as we might have hoped for the opposite result. Strikeforce suffered a setback this week when trying to match Lashley up with MMA fighter and boxer Yohan Banks (2-1 in MMA, 2-3-3 in boxing). Strikeforce may have thought it sounded like a good idea to shove Banks in against a decorated wrestler and valued MMA prospect like Lashley, but the Florida State Boxing Commission disagreed. MMA Junkie reports that the bout was denied on the grounds that it was "not competitive," to which we assume Scott Coker responded, ‘No kidding.’
If you didn’t follow his pre-UFC career, you probably figured that Anderson Silva’s Octagon debut would be relatively competitive. Chris Leben was a dangerous brawler who had won five straight in the Octagon against solid competition, while Silva was…some sort of Brazilian from Japan, I guess? In actuality, the Spider was quickly becoming the most lethal striker in the business, and had spent the previous two years brutalizing guys like Lee Murray, Jorge Rivera, and Tony Fryklund as the middleweight champion of Cage Rage. So all that stuff the Crippler said about pressing the action against Silva, rough-neckin’ him, throwing him around, blasting him in the face, breaking his jaw, then sending him back to Japan where the competition’s a little easier? Oh my God, player. He might as well have been talking about how he was bringing the karate aspect back into jiu-jitsu — that’s how out of touch with reality he seemed, in retrospect.
Chances are, you’ve watched this clip a hundred times by now, so you know what happens next: Anderson Silva makes his name in the U.S. with one of the most flawless victories in MMA history and earns an immediate title shot against Rich Franklin, while Leben begins his slow drift out of relevance. And these days, all of Silva’s fights look like mismatches.
It was a classic matchup of skill vs. morbid obesity. The comically large son of legendary Brazilian scrapper Rei Zulu, Wagner da Conceicao Martins (aka "Zuluzinho") managed to build up a sizable undefeated record in vale tudo matches before joining PRIDE in 2005, where he mauled sumo wrestler Henry "Sentoryu" Miller in his debut. But things like size, pedigree, and professional record mean very little when you’re fighting Fedor Emelianenko. To the untouchable PRIDE heavyweight champion, Zuluzinho was nothing more than a giant punching bag.
In just 26 seconds, Fedor put ‘Zinho on his ass with an inhumanly fast left hook, abused him on the ground a bit, knocked him back down with a right as soon as the giant got to his feet, then went into beastmode until Zuluzinho tapped from the onslaught. This fight proved once and for all that "big and slow" is not the best combination for beating Fedor. If only Hong-Man Choi and Tim Sylvia got the message in time.
(Bob and Ken Shamrock, circa 1983. Photo courtesy of Knucklepit.)
Bob Shamrock, who helped raise hundreds of troubled boys at his Shamrock Ranch group home in Susanville, California, passed away yesterday at age 68 from complications due to diabetes; Shamrock had been in poor health since suffering a heart attack in September 2008. To MMA fans, Bob is best known as the man who provided Kenneth Wayne Nance (later Ken Shamrock) and Frank Alisio Juarez III (later Frank Shamrock) with stable homes, eventually adopting them as his sons.
Unhappy with a new stepfather that entered his life at age 10, Ken Nance ran away from home and immediately began getting into trouble, committing robberies to support himself and bouncing between group homes before landing at the Shamrock Ranch at age 13. Frank Juarez’s background was remarkably similar: His own experiences with an abusive stepfather spurred behavioral issues that would place him in the juvenile state system beginning at the age of 11; he also entered the Shamrock Ranch at 13. With Bob, they found the sense of order that their lives had been missing. From a press release posted last night on KenShamrock.com:
(Just to complete the visual hilarity, can we get a midget to ref this fight?)
UFC Fight Night 21 on Versus in March just became a little more of a must-see, as Fighters Only is reporting that "Ultimate Fighter" season ten winner Roy Nelson is expected to take on Dutch beanpole Stefan Struve in his first post-TUF outing. Struve has won three straight in the UFC since losing his debut fight against Junior Dos Santos, and that makes this perhaps a little tougher of a bout than many TUF winners get right off the bat, though who didn’t expect that?
For one thing, Nelson has been in the game for years, fighting veterans like Andrei Arlovski and Jeff Monson, so it would be a little ridiculous to give him some total novice. For another, Dana White is no fan of "Big Country," and probably doesn’t have any desire to build him up with a couple of easy wins. Struve’s brand of lanky jiu-jitsu is responsible for most of his victories, but most of those wins were in the minor leagues and not against guys with Nelson’s grappling credentials.
This fight further bolsters a card that already features Jon Jones-Brandon Vera, Anthony Johnson-John Howard, and Junior Dos Santos-Gabriel Gonzaga. Since my cable company yanked Versus out from under me, guess that means I’ll be watching this one with the charming gentlemen at the sports bar down the street. Should be fun. It’s been too long since I’ve heard anyone loudly suggest that one man kick another in the balls. Plus there’s free Chex Mix!
Edit: Our bad, looks like this bout is slated for Fight Night 21 on March 31 in North Carolina, while UFC on Versus is headlined by Jones-Vera on March 21 in Colorado. In our defense, this is why you should number all your events instead of just identifying some of them by the cable network they’re on, but whatever.
With all the people popping up to assure us that UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar is feeling better and getting back in the gym, we’re forced to conclude that one of two things is going on: 1) Lesnar has been dead for several months now and there is a vast conspiracy to keep the world from learning the truth, or 2) his health situation is really not as bad as once feared. We can’t rule out option #1 yet, just like we can’t say with any degree of certainty that "Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel" isn’t the best movie ever made, since we haven’t seen it for ourselves. But what we can do is ask the people who would know better than us, and the more of them who come forward to say that Brock will be back soon, the more we tend to think it’s true.
This still leaves us wondering why Lesnar has insisted on keeping quiet for so long, as well as why he asked Dana White not to say anything but apparently made no such request of his own coaches. Or who knows, maybe he did. Maybe they’re just smart enough to know that since Lesnar doesn’t have the internet, he won’t ever find out that they put his name in the streets on "MMA Live." If does find out, though, oh man. His reaction will make this seem tame by comparison…
(They’re both Brazilian, and they both like to wear t-shirts and hats. On paper, this one’s impossible to call. Image courtesy of Tatame.)
According to Vitor Belfort’s manager Fabiano Farah, the Phenom will indeed be getting his shot at Anderson Silva‘s middleweight title at UFC 112 (April 10th, Abu Dhabi). Though Silva’s manager Ed Soares wouldn’t confirm the booking yet, he did mention that Silva is training hard and is "very fired up" to face Belfort, who most recently scored a TKO over Rich Franklin at UFC 103.
Farah’s confirmation follows the earlier report that Belfort and Silva are slated to train at Emirates Jiu-Jitsu in the days leading up to the fight. Strangely, Emirates Jiu Jitsu head instructor Carlos Santos has also been saying that the fight could be held outdoors: "I told them both they should come early because it will be an outdoor event, not indoors like they are used to, and that many factors and conditions will be different for them." Though that option may have been floated in the early planning stages of UFC 112, Dana White is now under the impression that Sheikh Tahnoon and the gang will be building an arena for him.
In other #112 news, a middleweight match between TUF 3 winner Kendall Grove and Mark Munoz appears to be in the works. Grove is coming off his first-round submission win over Jake Rosholt at UFC 106, while Munoz has won his last two UFC fights against Nick Catone and Ryan Jensen.
We’ve been waiting for the UFC to tell us what the importance of the Randy Couture-Mark Coleman main event at UFC 109 really is. Finally, the wait is over. To the untrained eye it might just look like two MMA dinosaurs going at it because neither of them has anything better to do, but that’s far too simplistic. Really, this fight is happening now because it didn’t happen back when both guys had hair and you could still become a UFC champ by beating up fat dudes who wore shirts into the Octagon. But beyond that, Dana White explains that Couture wants to win because he’s a competitor and winning is better than losing, as a rule, but "as far as livelihood and career, Mark Coleman needs this win a lot worse than Randy Couture does."
Translation? Couture has a little money saved, as well as some other sources of income, but Coleman is broke as a joke and needs this paycheck bad. Cue the close-up of Coleman looking old and haggard, juxtapose it with clips from his dominant, extremely well-muscled youth, and then close with DW suggesting that Coleman’s fourteen-year career has all been preamble to this fight, intoning, "if he can go in there and beat Randy Couture, wow, holy [expletive], Mark Coleman’s back."
And scene. That’s how you cut a promo, people. And, just in case you’re curious, this is how you deal with a frustrating loss…
ALBANY – Former Gov. George Pataki, who once called ultimate fighting barbaric and had it banned in 2001 in New York, now supports its legalization.
"With more rigorous oversight, training and medical requirements – mixed martial arts has made considerable strides to ensure the safety of participants," said Pataki spokesman David Catalfamo.
"With these measures in mind, Gov. Pataki would be supportive of allowing the sport in New York in today," he told the Daily News.
Kickass. We now have two governors on our side, while the opposition’s most prominent voice in New York is still crackpot Assemblyman Bob Reilly, aided by a few ill-informed, progress-resisting editorial columnists who still refer to mixed martial arts as "ultimate fighting" (no offense to the guy who wrote the above article). Pataki’s change-of-heart will be an incredibly valuable talking point in the battle to come: If the dude who banned MMA can inform himself on the sport’s progress over the last ten years and change his opinion, those opposition voices should be able to do the same.
Say you lost a decision in a close fight that you feel you deserved to win. You really have only two possible ways to respond: 1) Shrug, say you did your best, and remind everyone that this is why you don’t leave it in the hands of the judges, or 2) make a video of yourself in the parking lot of a 24-Hour Fitness showing off the remarkable lack of facial damage that you sustained in the fight, proving unequivocally that you got straight-up screwed, homey.
If you know anything at all about Nate Diaz, you know which option he decided to go with. Nate posted this video to his Twitter today, following an earlier message stating that he’s watched the fight three times since Monday and has come to the conclusion that he won — get this — all three rounds. Added Diaz: "fuck the haters…"