As soon as Ben Fowlkes gave me the terrible news that he’d be leaving us for MMAFighting.com, I did two things. First, I spent about 15 minutes digging my fingernails into my arm, because I find that physical pain is the only thing that can drown out emotional pain, and besides, it’s good to feel something, you know? The second thing I did was drop a line to our Canadian friend Mike Russell. In case you don’t know Mike, he used to work for The Fight Network, he currently writes features for UFC.com, and he’s been contributing to this site since December. Just to refresh your memory…
With a natural understanding of CagePotato’s snarky-but-smart tone, a thick rolodex of industry contacts, and fearsome Photoshop skills (see above), I knew that Mike was the best candidate to come in and replace BF. Well, I shouldn’t use the word "replace," because how could you possibly replace someone as surly and unmotivated as Ben Fowlkes? Anyway, I’m extremely proud to announce that Mike Russell will be CagePotato.com’s Senior Editor beginning Monday.
Just as Fowlkes opened up the floor for questions as he made his way to plaid’er pastures, I’d like to invite you guys to ask Mike whatever you need to know in the comments section below. He will answer a handful of the best questions in a separate post at some point in the future. I know Mike’s "not your real dad," so to speak, but I hope you can give him a warm welcome and show him the kind of respect that’s always been the standard of this site. (LOL.)
Always love, BG, the one with the receding hairline
First of all, let me start by assuring everyone that I am not leaving Cage Potato to fight Anderson Silva, manage the utterly hopeless Dave Farra, work for the UFC, or begin a prison jolt (my mom asked me to be very specific about debunking that one). Instead, I am leaving to take a job with AOL’s MMAFighting.com, which is where you’ll find my work beginning next week. Hope to see you there.
Second, I’m overwhelmed by the appreciation and support from you guys – even the sort of mean appreciation and support – and I can’t thank you all enough. That said, don’t act like this is a death blow to this site. Half the hilarious stuff you guys have attributed to me was written by Ben Goldstein, who was holding it down well before I came on board, and I happen to know that a very capable replacement has been chosen who will keep CP fully stocked in LOLs long after I’m gone.
Now, on to your petty questions.
I guess my question is WHY, oh WHY ARE YOU LEAVING US?
Because I hate you. And I mean you, personally, LargeMidget. Okay, not really. I just strongly dislike you. The real reason I’m leaving is because, after two years, I feel like doing something a little different. It’s been great writing for the Potato, and I’ve enjoyed the hell out of it, but it feels like it’s time to move on and try something else. That’s all.
Tango & Cash. Pancho & Lefty. Lee Harvey Oswald and the CIA. All great duos, and yet none can last forever. So it is with Cage Potato’s own Ben & Ben. But before we break up the team for good, we’re getting together one last time to go head-to-head on Strikeforce: Nashville picks in this week’s MMA FightPicker (Heavy Hitter Pool 10 #1517, stand up!). If you haven’t made your picks yet, get to it. Time waits for no man, and neither does the UFC/Pride prize pack.
Henderson vs. Shields @ Strikeforce: Nashville… BG: I don’t think he’ll run away with it, but Dan Henderson clearly holds more advantages in this matchup and should be able to take the victory. Hendo has serious knockout power, and unlike Shields’s past opponents, he won’t be manhandled on the ground. BF: Agreed. Shields isn’t going to submit him and definitely can’t hold him down for five rounds. It’s a bad, bad matchup for him.
Yes, I’ll update the very dusty CagePotato Power Rankings soon, you have my word. But coming up with a new set of P4P rankings is a hairy proposition, considering that all of the usual suspects haven’t had any awe-inspiring, damn-near-inhuman performances in a long time.
It’s another Thursday night in April, which means everyone’s favorite tournament-based MMA promotion is back in action. Bellator XIV is coming to us from the historic Chicago Theatre tonight, featuring a welterweight tournament bout between Olympic wrestler Ben Askren and Ryan Thomas, as well as a lightweight scrap between inverted triangle choker Toby Imada and James Krause, and a featherweight bout between Wilson Reis and Shad Lierley. The TV portion of the card kicks off at 7 pm local time and airs live-ish, depending on where you live, on Fox Sports Net, so check your local schedule for details.
While you wait, why not check out last week’s fight between Roger Huerta and Chad Hinton after the jump.
Mixed martial arts veteran Mike Whitehead has been arrested and charged with three felonies including sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, and open and gross lewdness, according to a release from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department issued today. If convicted, each charge carries a minimum of one year in prison, according to Barbara Morgan, a Public Information Officer with the LVPD.
The presence of Joe and Mike won’t be the only similarity between WEC 48 and a UFC pay-per-view. Apparently, Spike TV will be broadcasting two fights from the preliminary card, directly before the PPV broadcast: Former featherweight title challenger Leonard Garcia will welcome "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung into the WEC, while UFC vet Alex Karalexis faces off against Anthony Pettis, who scored the Knockout of the Night at WEC 47.
Rob Emerson: His unanimous decision loss to rising prospect Nik Lentz at UFC Fight Night 21 was his third defeat in his last four fights, and dropped his career record to a grim 9-9. It was a little odd to see Emerson get this fight in the first place, as it came less than two months after his decision win over Phillipe Nover at UFC 109, but it’s just been too long since Emerson truly impressed. You hate to see that happen to such a kindhearted person…