MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

January, 2010

Exclusive: Kenny Florian Talks Takanori Gomi, Diego Sanchez, and More

Kenny Florian

by Cage Potato contributor Elias Cepeda

After a dominant win over Clay Guida, Kenny Florian is setting his sights on UFC newcomer and former Pride champ Takanori Gomi.  In the exclusive talk with Cage Potato, he gives us his thoughts on the match-up, and lets us know how he really feels about seeing his old nemesis Diego Sanchez fleeing the lightweight division.

Fans have followed your twitter posts and saw you yesterday on ESPN’s “MMA Live” talking about fighting Takanori Gomi. Has anything developed further since then? Is the fight officially signed by all parties?

No nothing has been signed as of right now. We’re in talks and its being talked about as a main event of the March Fight Night card in North Carolina. I’m excited with that possibility but nothing has been signed yet. Of course it’s something that I’m willing to sign and I’m sure Gomi will as well when the contract has been delivered.

Were you surprised when it was announced that Gomi was signed by the UFC? He’s struggled since 2006 when he lost to Marcus Aurelio.

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Friday Link Dump


(Matt Serra’s UFC 109 video blog is exactly what you want it to be.)

- It’s looking like Bobby Lashley will fight Wes Sims. (The Rumble)

- Chris Tuchscherer says gettting bigger won’t help Frank Mir. (Cagewriter)

- Check out a sweet photo gallery from this year’s Dynamite!! event. (Fight Magazine)

- How Lesnar could have avoided illness with a smarter diet. (MMA Fighting)

- Get to know James Te Huna before his Octagon debut at UFC 110. (Heavy)

- MMA’s competition debate rages on. (MMA Payout)

- Anderson Silva will fight heavyweights if he needs to. (Fighters Only)

- Frank Mir’s cousin wants to be a fighter too. (Bleacher Report)

- Sean Salisbury took a picture of his junk, sent it to people. (Scores Report)

- Rex Ryan eats 7,000 calories a day, and so can you. (Asylum)

- The march of shame. (Ask Men)

- Cute girl belly flops off cliff. (Break)

- 25 clever exam answers. (Holy Taco)

- Beer Tour: Seattle. (Made Man)

- Driver sues NASCAR, says he was rejected for being too white. (All Left Turns)

- 20 celebs falling on their asses. (Screen Junkies)

- Now that’s a cheap shot. (Nothing Toxic)

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Mike Swick Weighs In on Herschel Walker, Dan Hardy

I spoke to Mike Swick this week for an SI.com article on his attempt to get back in the title picture after the loss to Dan Hardy.  While Swick admits he lost the fight, he says he can’t accept that Hardy might be the better fighter, and wants a rematch somewhere down the line to prove it.  When asked if Hardy deserves the shot at GSP after winning the decision at UFC 105, Swick joined Nate Marquardt, Rory Markham, and a chorus of other observers in saying absolutely not:

"The thing about this sport is, there are so many variables that go into it. He did beat me. And if I would have won then I would have been the No. 1 contender, so you can look at it that way. But just because he won that fight, I don’t think that means he deserves a title shot. He’s only had three fights in the UFC and he’s only had one finish. He hasn’t had the same road that a lot of the top welterweights in the UFC have. Even though he beat me, I have to say he doesn’t deserve it. If he thinks he does, I’m sorry, but he’s wrong."

I also talked to Swick about the newest addition at the American Kickboxing Academy, Herschel Walker.  It’s one thing for Strikeforce and their employees to insist that he has what it takes to hang with the pros, but what has the longtime AKA fighter seen from him in the gym?

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Exclusive: Hermes Franca Talks Retirement, Looks Back On His Fighting Life

Hermes Franca

by Cage Potato contributor Elias Cepeda

Two weeks ago former UFC #1 lightweight contender Hermes Franca announced his retirement from MMA competition after losing to Eric Wise by TKO in Iowa. The Brazilian fan-favorite recently sat down with CagePotato to reflect on his career, explain why he’s decided to move on, what’s next, and whether he thinks he might ever get back in the cage again.

Why did you decide to retire, Hermes?

It was a hard decision, it wasn’t good. But right now it is really hard, especially being 35. People don’t always realize that I’m 35. I look young but I’m 35 (laughs). I hurt my knee and tried to come back but I can feel that my body is not the same. To fight at the level I fight at I have to be in excellent shape and go to a good camp and this is expensive. . There are flights, partners to help you train, food, managers, coaches. People don’t realize how expensive it is for fighters training.

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Head Trauma of the Day: Mark Hunt vs. Yosuke Nishijima

What happens when you get two strikers with concrete skulls and very little concern for their own safety together in one ring?  In the case of Mark Hunt vs. Yosuke Nishijima, you get a slobberknocker to end all slobberknockers. 

Nishijima was a Japanese pro boxer who made his MMA debut at Pride 31 on Feb. 26, 2006 against a guy whose ability to take it and dish it right back out has become the stuff of legends.  Nishijima had the speed and conditioning, but Hunt had the power, the size, and the willingness to walk through anything Nishijima threw, regardless of how exhausted he was.  Hunt has made a career out of being the guy who almost no one can put away, but when he came up against an opponent whose ability to endure punishment rivaled his own, you could almost see his frustration turn into awe at some point.

It took about twenty minutes of brutal punishment to settle this one, but before it was all over we learned that a) Nishijima is one tough bastard, and b) Hunt could use a little bit of work on his cardio.  At least one of those things we already suspected.

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Canadian Health Care Official Hits Back at Brock Lesnar

UFC champ Brock Lesnar
(It’s all fun and games until you piss off a Canadian. Have we learned nothing from Alanis Morissette’s "Jagged Little Pill" album?)

Brock Lesnar refused to name the hospital in Canada where he received care that he likened to “a third-world country,” but it turns out he doesn’t need to. The CEO of the regional health authority in Brandon, Manitoba has done it for him, and she’s none too pleased with Lesnar’s description of the facilities. Carmel Olson told the Globe and Mail (tip via CP reader Organ Donor) that she took “real exception” to Lesnar’s third-world country remark, and suggested that maybe Lesnar freaked out a little too soon and didn’t give her staff the chance to go to work:

“The attending physician was very qualified and very respected,” she said. “He’s been in the business for more than 30 years. And he has the skills to diagnose a condition such as diverticulitis without a CT scan. …We have checked this particular health record and we are quite confident that the correct diagnosis was given and the best course of treatment offered. We have state-of-art equipment here. We are hardly a one-horse operation.”

Lesnar wasn’t satisfied. He checked himself out and had his wife drive him back to the U.S. in what he describes as a harrowing 100 mph drive that “saved [his] life.” Olson suggested maybe he had another reason for fleeing in her parting shot, adding, “maybe he didn’t like the bill.”

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It’s Always a Party When You’re Talking to Matt Serra

So you think you’re just going to stroll down to Renzo Gracie’s gym, stick a microphone in Matt Serra‘s face, and do some boilerplate interview about how training’s been going, what he expects in the fight, blah, blah, blah for four minutes?  Naw, son.  "The Terra" don’t play that.  Strap in, you mamaluke, because you’re in for fifteen minutes of hilarity.  In this talk with Ariel Helwani, Serra discusses his beef with Matt Hughes, his upcoming showdown with Frank Trigg, the second fight with GSP (where, he seems convinced, Helwani was booing him), and how disappointing it is that you can’t buy one of those Triggonomics shirts anymore. 

This freaking guy, you know what I’m saying?  Forget about it.  There’s not a more entertaining interview in all of MMA. 

The oddest part seems to be Serra’s fixation on "Fox News Fight Game" host Mike Straka.  Apropos of nothing, Serra blurts out at the 8:10 mark, "Straka wears lifts."  Not that it would be surprising in the least, but one can’t help but wonder, how did he come by this information?  Is it true?  If it is true, what does Straka do when he meets a woman while wearing his lifts, and then is forced to drop down four inches when the relationship inevitably progresses to the take-your-shoes-off-so-we-can-have-sex stage?  Do you think he constantly finds excuses to keep them on?  If so, do you think those excuses get really, really weird after a few months?

All good questions, some of which are answered after the jump, and some of which we’ll just have to wonder about.

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Cosmic Justice For “Rampage” Jackson, & Other Fun Links


(Whaddaya know, a traffic accident where the dude with a mohawk wasn’t at fault.)

They say that what goes around, comes around.  While ‘they’ have been proven wrong on everything from love finding a way to the true value of a bird in the hand, it seems a little too fitting that, according to TMZ, "Rampage" Jackson got his slick Audi R8 smashed in Orange County on Tuesday.  No one was hurt, and the accident would appear to be the fault of your stereotypical little old lady, who you can never really yell at even when she does something horribly stupid behind the wheel of the car. 

But it can’t be a mere coincidence.  Why, it was only two weeks ago that Jackson appeared in an Orange County courtroom to answer for his own driving freakout.  He may have gotten off with just probation, but the God of Vehicular Ethics always gets the last laugh.  And he laughs like the guys from "Revenge of the Nerds," which makes it so much more annoying.

In other unrelated stuff happening on the internet:

- 25 lazy security guards. (Holy Taco)
– A totally awesome, totally NSFW spicy gallery. (
Break)
– What you learn raising daughters. (
Made Man)
– Punchin’ is racin’. (
All Left Turns)
– 10 best January movie releases of all time. (
Screen Junkies)

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Venue News: Bojangles’ Coliseum Is a Real Place, UFC’s Abu Dhabi Arena Isn’t…Yet


(Fried chicken, biscuits, and balloons. If you think the MGM Grand has anything better to offer, you are so very wrong.)

Now that the spring of 2010 is shaping up to be an avalanche of MMA events, we must now stop OMG-ing over the fight cards long enough to deal with practical concerns such as, where the hell are we going to have these things?  For UFC Fight Night 21 on March 31st, the answer is reportedly Bojangles’ Coliseum, which sounds like the punchline to a joke about crass commercialism, but is actually a real place in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

As anyone who has ever flown out of an airport in N.C. knows, Bojangles’ Famous Chicken and Biscuits is what you will inevitably smell as soon as the plane doors are sealed and you realize everyone but you had the foresight to bring some food on this flight.  It’s also the corporate sponsor of UFC Fight Night 21′s host venue, and we very much look forward to hearing Mike Goldberg’s attempt at shouting the name with all the forced enthusiasm he can muster.

As for UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi on April 10, that’s a trickier one.  You see, there’s going to be a venue for that fight, it just doesn’t, you know, exist yet.  As UFC U.K. president Marshall Zelaznik told Steve Cofield, the future site of UFC 112 is currently a gravel pit. 

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Patrick Cote Is Still Pretty Sure That He Had That Anderson Silva Fight Under Control


(Cote, in the process of claiming the center of the Octagon.)

You could forgive a guy for being a little detached from reality after fighting Anderson Silva.  If you’re someone who beats up other dudes for a living and suddenly you come face to face with the distinct possibility that another person is much, much better at this than you, your mind probably has a little bit of a meltdown.  That phenomenon, plus maybe some mind-altering substances, seemed like enough to explain this video

But lo these many months later, as Patrick Cote prepares for a return to the Octagon at UFC 113 on May 1 May 8, he still subscribes to an alternate version of what was going on at UFC 90.  Not only does he think he was doing really well against the middleweight champ, he wouldn’t change a thing if they met for a rematch:

"If I fight him again I think I am going to do the same thing, I think I learned that if you’re not scarred of him right away you have a good chance to win and that’s what I did. I was there in the first second of the fight, I took the centre of the octagon and I showed him I wasn’t scarred of him."
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