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April, 2010

TUF 11 Fighter Rich Attonito’s Guest Blog: Episode 5

Rich Attonito UFC TUF 11 Ultimate Fighter Team Liddell

In the wake of last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Liddell vs. Team Ortiz, CagePotato.com guest blogger Rich Attonito discusses the frustrations of being sidelined due to injury (yet stuck in the prison-like environment of the TUF house), and how underestimating Josh Bryant turned out to be Kris McCray’s downfall.

The Wild Card speculations begin and everyone’s curious to see who the picks could possibly be. None of this had any impact on me anymore since I had a broken hand. I was going to have to sit by and watch the entire competition unfold in front of me and there was nothing I could do about it. I tried to remain positive and be as helpful to the guys on my team as I could. Mostly giving them some pointers with their wrestling, since that was what my background was in.

I spent a lot of time doing cardio and trying to exercise the rest of my body as best I could. I had to keep myself in as best of shape as possible so that eventually when my hand healed my transition back to training would be easier. Also, the only relief from the monotony of the house was when it was training time. Now I was barely even going to be afforded that luxury, as it was near impossible to do anything with my hand being as badly broken as it was.

Clayton was another member of the walking wounded in the house. After re-visiting the doctor he found out he was going to need shoulder surgery. I remember he didn’t want to get it done because he was still thinking about having a chance for a Wild Card spot. But after a little time he realized that his injury was severe and the only thing to do was go under the knife to get it fixed.

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Paulo Filho Thinks His Style is Too Boring for the UFC; Says Promoters Often Determine the Outcome of Fights


(Paulo could not sleep that night, as he was worried sick about what people would think about his new moustache)

Paulo Filho sat down for an interview with Tatame recently and the normally reserved  31-year-old embattled Brazilian had a lot to say about a lot of things including his May 13 Bellator match-up with Hector Lombard, his future in the sport and the MMA industry in general.

For those unfamiliar with him outside of the bizarre things he has done as of late like talking to ghosts during his fight with Chael Sonnen and tattooing his face like Mike Tyson, Filho used to be an absolute juggernaut when he fought for PRIDE and it sounds like he is trying to put a lid on some of his demons and doing what he needs to do to get things straightened out. Hopefully he can get back to form and we can see him on a bigger stage before long.

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DREAM Cancels Light Heavyweight Tournament; Is the Organization in Trouble?


(DREAM’s master plan of eventually having puppet-only fight cards didn’t go over as well as predicted with Japanese fans)

According to a report from Sherdog.com, DREAM has inexplicably scrapped its planned (but never officially announced) May 29 light heavyweight grand prix. The reason for the cancellation, which is the second major change to the event (organizers rescheduled the show from April 24 until they added more Korean fighters to the card to help them secure a TV deal in Korea) was loosely linked to comments made by event producer Keiichi Sasahara on Tuesday that because the event would be contested in the hexagonal cage introduced at DREAM 12, that was not used at DREAM 13, "the tournament would need to be reevaluated."

Seriously? Because some of the fighters assumed they would be fighting in a ring, you cancel the entire tournament? They have over a month to adjust to the change. The funny thing is, the fighters who will step in to fill in the card  have the same amount of time to prepare for a fight as these guys would have had to make the subtle changes to their respective game plans to prepare for a larger and differently shaped fighting surface. They’re fighters, for Crom’s sake. Shouldn’t they be prepared to fight under any circumstance? I don’t buy this excuse.

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Barely-MMA Gossip-Rag Update: Jenna Jameson Tests Clean for Drugs

Jenna Jameson Tito Ortiz sons
(I was going to say "work it out for the kids," but for God’s sake, look at those little monsters. You’re better off putting them in an orphanage and cutting your losses at this point.)

Casting doubt on Tito Ortiz‘s claim that baby-momma Jenna Jameson "relapsed" on OxyContin, TMZ reports that Jameson tested clean for 10 major drugs the day after their little domestic abuse misunderstanding:

We’ve learned the results of the test, administered Tuesday by American Toxicology Inc. in Las Vegas, show Jenna’s urine tested "negative" for the ten major drugs they were screening for, a list that included cocaine, weed, meth and oxycodone — the major ingredient in OxyContin…Now, after receiving the results of the test, Jenna is reaffirming her claim telling us, "I am definitely not addicted to OxyContin or any drug.”

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TUF 11.5 Recap: A Living Death

Jamie Yager Nick Ring TUF 11 Ultimate Fighter UFC
(Hey Jamie, what did you think of Precious?)

We’re halfway through the round-of-16, and the guys are looking a little beat up. Clayton McKinney is out for a couple months with a shoulder injury that he has to get surgery for. The recently-smashed Charles Blanchard is also injured, and says he’s in no condition to beat anybody. (Not that he was when he was healthy, but whatever.) And of course Rich Attonito is sidelined with a broken hand. Which begs the question: Is anybody going to be well enough to compete in the wild-card match? James Hammortree and Kyacey Uscola seem like they’ll qualify by default — but two more guys may need to come back to fight for Rich’s spot as well. Maybe we’ll meet one of them tonight.

Tito has control, finally, and chooses Kris "Savage" McCray to go up against Team Liddell’s Josh Bryant. McCray and Bryant have a lot in common, even if Josh doesn’t "look or act" like a fighter. First off, they’re both undefeated. Bryant is a perfect 10-0 professionally, while McCray is 5-0 as a pro and 4-0 in amateur competition. They also had less-than-ideal childhoods. Bryant mentions that he didn’t get along with his stepfather (or mom, for that matter), and moved out as soon as he could. Later, McCray says he’s afraid of no man, except his father when he was younger, but they have a good relationship now. I’m guessing their relationship changed as soon as Kris got big enough to kick his dad’s ass.

But there are also some obvious differences between the two fighters. While McCray looks like a true middleweight, Bryant is another one of those guys who could easily be competing at welterweight. And while Bryant is your garden-variety white dude, "Minority Report" member McCray is Austrian, black, and Mexican, an ethnic mixture that most people mistake for Puerto Rican until he starts speaking German.

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Strikeforce Announce Mid-Week June 16 Show Featuring Lawler, Noons and Lashley


(At a press conference today, Strikeforce president Scott Coker said predictions of his promotion’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.)

In an attempt to disprove  Dana White’s assertation that they are a "bush league, C-level promotion that will probably be out of business next month," Strikeforce today demonstrated a desire to outlive the moratorium date predicted by the UFC president with an announcement that they are organizing a June 16 mid-week show.

I smell a June 16 UFC Fight Night announcement on the horizon.

The yet-to-be-named event, which will be broadcast on Showtime at 11pm ET will take place at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live and will feature former EliteXC lightweight champion KJ Noons, former EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler and ex-WWE wrestling star Bobby Lashley.

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Mondragon vs. Barnett at Strikeforce in Australia Apparently News to Strikeforce


(Geronimo started noticing huge gains when he began following the Overeem diet book he got for Christmas.)

Citing a news article from TATAME.com, several outlets today are reporting that Josh Barnett will face Gerônimo “Mondragon” Dos Santos at an upcoming Strikeforce event in Australia. 

The Brazilian’s sentiments were apparently lost in translation, as TATAME is now reporting that the heavyweight will actually be fighting Barnett in Australia at the inaugural Impact MMA show on July 17.

Strikeforce does not have an event planned for that date and sources tell CagePotato.com that they have no immediate plans to follow in the UFC’s footsteps and hold a show down under.

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Report: Jon Jones Verbally Agrees to Murder Old Man in Utah

Jon Jones Matt Hamill UFC MMA Steve Mazzagatti
("He was like this when I found him.")

Look, I like Vladimir Matyushenko. I like that he’s 39 years old and still has enough spunk to whoop on much-younger dudes like Eliot Marshall and Igor Pokrajac. But when I see this report on TheGarv.com saying that he and Jon Jones have verbally agreed to face each other at UFC on Versus 2 (August 1st, Salt Lake City), I have to question his management and the UFC’s matchmaking. Not that the Janitor would ever duck a fight, but holy crap is this going to be an annihilation. Matyushenko’s strength is his wrestling; so was Matt Hamill’s, and Hamill got ragdolled and torn to shreds. And on the feet? Forget about it. There’s no way that Vlad will be quick enough to avoid the unpredictable attacks that Jones might throw at him. I hate to count guys out, but I just don’t see one scenario in which Matyushenko manages to shock the world. Can’t wait to see the betting line on this one.

It’s unfortunate that Jones wouldn’t be getting a solid step up in competition after destroying Brandon Vera last month, but I think the UFC’s motivations are clear here: Jones is already in line for a title shot, but he has to keep winning until the Machida/Shogun/Rampage/Evans contender logjam sorts itself out. Why risk giving Jones a loss in the meantime? It’s a cynical interpretation of the matchup, but no other explanation makes sense…

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Gamburyan, Garcia, Henderson Lead ‘WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber’ Salaries


(Somebody should have warned Jose about those adjustable-rate mortgages. Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.)

Zuffa dished out $595,500 in disclosed salaries and bonuses to the fighters at Saturday’s "Aldo vs. Faber" event, with the end-of-night bonus winners coming out way ahead of the pack. Check out the numbers below, and keep in mind that they don’t include additional income from sponsorships or undisclosed "locker room bonuses," or deductions from insurance, licensing fees, or cornrow maintenance.

Jose Aldo: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus)
def. Urijah Faber: $28,000

Ben Henderson: $91,000 (includes $13,000 win bonus, $65,000 Submission of the Night bonus)
def. Donald Cerrone: $14,000

Manny Gamburyan: $101,000 (includes $18,000 win bonus, $65,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
def. Mike Brown: $21,000

Shane Roller: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Anthony Njokuani: $7,000

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Exclusive: Loiseau Vindicated of False Criminal Affiliation; Granted License in Quebec


(Note to RACJ: Don’t make David angry. You won’t like him when he’s angry.)

David Loiseau contacted CagePotato.com today to inform us that he has been granted his fighter’s license by the The Régie des Alcools, des Courses et des Jeux (Regulators of Alcohol, Racing and Gaming), but says it’s too little too late for him to make it back onto the card for UFC 113 May 8.

Loiseau was slated to fight opposite John Salter at the Montreal show in a week and a half, but was informed by the UFC that he had been replaced by Jason MacDonald yesterday due to his inability to obtain his license, stemming from a baseless claim by the RACJ that the Canadian MMA pioneer had ties to organized crime.

According to the 30-year-old Montreal native, several months after he sold off his minority share of his Quebec-based XMMA promotion, following an extensive police investigation, its new owners were allegedly found to have ties to organized crime in the province. Loiseau was questioned by police and it was determined that he did not have any knowledge of the criminal involvement of the individuals he sold his stake in the organization to.

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