Seriously you guys, how many patently bad ideas can the mixed martial arts industry possibly support before it collapses inward on itself like a dying star? Answer: At least one more.
Props to the boys at MiddleEasy.com for pulling our coat to this thing, which frankly sounds like the worst proposal since Nick Cannon married Mariah Carey. It seems a couple of impresarios previously responsible for a video series called “Felony Fights” – which reportedly pits recently released prisoners against each other in what we can only imagine are incredibly gripping no rules fights – are bringing their singular promotional talents to MMA with an event called “Cage vs. Cons,” … and yeah, it’s exactly what you think it is: Professional MMA fighters battling ex-cons inside the cage.
(Letting James Toney wear four-ounce gloves? Sounds like contrapment to me. PicProps: SBNation)
We’re not sure if this meets the legal burden for proving premeditation, but boxing champion James Toney says he’s liable to kill (yes, literally kill) Randy Couture next month at UFC 118 if he hits him while wearing MMA gloves. Oh, and as for Couture’s takedown prowess? Lights Out’s not even sweating it.
“Everybody asks ‘How are you going to defend the takedown?’ I’m not worried about that. How are you going to defend these punches?” Toney told MMA Weekly in an interview published on Saturday. “I’m going from 10-ounce gloves to four-ounce gloves. If I hit someone with four-ounce gloves, oh my goodness, me and my crew might go to jail for homicide.”
(Go ahead, write untruths about this man. See what happens …)
Almost by definition, the media conference calls that fight companies stage before major events are pretty tedious affairs. On rare occasions, the stars align and they can turn into total shitshows where something interesting actually happens, but usually you just end up sitting on the phone for 45 minutes while different writers ask the same questions over and over and the athletes repeatedly mumble the same prepared responses.
Unfortunately, last week’s reporter cattle call for Sunday’s UFC Live on Versus event was no different. In fact, it was perhaps even more monotonous after first being interrupted by a fire alarm at the conference center (seriously) and then when Jon Jones and Vladimir Matyushenko spent the whole time trying to out nice-guy each other. The only halfway illuminating or unexpected exchange occurred nearly 35 minutes in, when a reporter from Fox Twin Cities-Minneapolis asked Jones about reports a couple months back that he had balked at the chance to fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 114.
If you’re unsure whether or not Sunday Night’s UFC Live on Versus: Jones vs. Matyushenko is worth tuning into, here’s some food for thought:
A) It’s free. Even if the card turns into a boring cuddlefest (which is highly unlikely considering the amount of firepower on the card) what else do you have to do on a Sunday night? If you answered "Watch Desperate Housewives," you may as well hand in your CP membership now and just walk away slowly and forget we ever had this imaginary online conversation. Seriously, that’s probably your best solution.
B) A few contenders could secure their places in line for a title shot in the near future. Jon Jones is obviously on the trajectory to a shot as early as next year and UFC president Dana White revealed on ESPN’s Inside MMA that it’s about time Yushin Okami had his day in the sun, whether it be a rematch with Anderson Silva or with former opponent-turned training partner Chael Sonnen.
C) The main card is more stacked than it might appear to the casual fan. You have a former IFL champ in Matyushenko, a former PRIDE champ in Gomi, a pair of knockout artists in Howard and Ellenberger and a handful of potential title contenders. What more can the UFC do to entertain you?
If you’re still on the fence, check out these videos that feature the fighters on the main card of Sunday’s show and you’ll likely change your mind.
(More pre-fight hype from the main eventers. Matyushenko doesn’t mind being the underdog, and vows to give Jones hell every second of the fight. Bones wants to be something that Vlad’s never seen before. Props: YouTube.com/UFC)
(In case you forgot who Joe Soto is, here’s his beatdown of Yahir Reyes from the featherweight finals at Bellator 10.)
Not counting their impending battle in a court of law, Bellator’s third season will be packed with compelling matchups. The tournament-based fight club announced today that season 2 featherweight winner Joe Warren will challenge for Joe Soto‘s belt at Bellator 27 (September 2nd at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio). Soto ran through Bellator’s inaugural 145-pound tourney last year, and most recently scored a TKO over Diego Saraiva in a non-title bout at Bellator 19, bringing his unblemished record to 9-0.
For its upcoming season, Bellator is focusing on big men, tiny women, and exiled UFC talent. Here’s a rundown of the notable matches that have been reportedly booked so far…
We feel just awful that we don’t do this every week, but you guys deserve some CagePotato t-shirts for all the hard work you’ve been putting in lately. The first honoree is Brooklyn-based artist Patrick Francisco, who e-mailed us some MMA-themed highlights from his body of work, including the above interpretation of Chuck Liddell painted onto a vinyl toy. We thought it was worth sharing, so thanks Patrick.
As for the rest of the winners, we’ll just pick a few of the recent comments about how boring Jake Shields is. (Ed. Note: CagePotato.com doesn’t necessarily agree that Jake Shields is a boring fighter, but we can appreciate a good one-liner.) Here we go…
(The little guy may look sweet, but he bit a toddler’s face at a birthday party later that day. Wasn’t the first time that Pavia’s done that, either.)
Prominent MMA agent Ken Pavia — whose client roster includes such well-known fighters as Martin Kampmann, Chris Lytle, Anthony Johnson, and Cristiane "Cris Cyborg" Santos — is in serious hot water with the UFC. As first reported by Yahoo!’s Kevin Iole, Zuffa LLC has filed a suit alleging that Pavia passed along trade secrets and confidential Zuffa documents to upstart MMA promotion Bellator, which used the documents to help run its business. Bellator is named as a co-defendent in the suit, as well as other unnamed individuals and corporations that Zuffa alleges participated in breach of contract. From the Yahoo! piece:
According to the suit, filed Wednesday in Clark County District Court, Pavia delivered confidential contracts, including fighter agreements, to Bellator after being asked to do so in a July 4 email to him from Bellator founder Bjorn Rebney…
An email which Zuffa’s lawsuit alleges is from Rebney to Pavia on July 4 was attached as an exhibit to the 16-page suit. In it, Rebney writes, ” … You’ve been great about sending us ‘All’ of the seminal docs from the UFC, so that we can re-do them and implement them for Bellator.”
Well Potato Nation, it’s the Friday before a major MMA event, and as such, we put together another episode of The Bum Rush to keep your cynical and demanding asses entertained for an hour and change whilst you whittle away the remaining hours of the work week.
In this episode, we welcome Cage Potato contributor Dallas Winston to our round table discussion and speak with Internet sensation and undefeated UFC newcomer, Sean "The Big Deal" McCorkle (feel free to use that nickname, Sean) who takes on former PRIDE star Mark Hunt at UFC 119 September 25 in his home state of Indiana.
As always on the show, Ben and Mike give their takes on the week’s hot news stories and dissect the upcoming fight cards by consulting their Ouija boards and magic 8-balls to help make their fight predictions.
Check out the show and post your feedback and questions for future editions of The Bum Rush Mail Bag.
If you can make it through the terrible music without poking your eardrums out with a Slim Jim, this short Wanderlei Silva retrospective is definitely a good watch. The video opens with Wand heading to the hospital for knee surgery, which, be forewarned if you have a weak disposition, they catalogue in graphic detail.
(John Howard: You’d be a fool to pick against hair like that.)
Watching MMA is a lot more exciting when you have something riding on the outcome. And while you may not be bold enough to throw actual money on all those tasty underdogs, you can still play along during Sunday’s UFC Live: Jones vs. Matyushenko broadcast (Versus, 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT) by casting your predictions in an MMA FightPicker pool. The game consists of 13 questions this week, covering all the marquee matchups as well as some specific questions on how the fights will play out. (Will there be a takedown within the first two minutes of the main event? Will James Irvin see the second round for the first time since 2006?) Check ‘em out after the jump, join FightPicker if you haven’t already, and feel free to share your predictions in the comments section.
(Laugh it up, kid. Jewelry and silk shirts make you look 20 years younger. I could pass as your brother.)
Strikeforce announced today that it has signed Ryan Couture to a contract and that the lightweight prospect who holds an amateur MMA record of 5-1-1 will make his professional debut on August 13 at the next Strikeforce Challengers event at Dodge Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona.
"We don’t have to fight. I issued him, in writing, I sent it over, my demands: He leave the UFC for no less than 12 months. He issue an apology to the fans. Simple things. And he erect a statue in my likeness in his living room that he bow to each evening. He didn’t accept ‘em."
Like the Ultimate Warrior before him, Chael Sonnen goes into a kind of fugue state whenever there’s a camera around, in which he’s only capable of making insane statements. The UFC has never made any attempt to muzzle the one-man promotional machine, and his mouthiness now seems to have the company’s public endorsement: This is the first time they’ve produced a highlight reel of a fighter just talking shit about their opponent, with no fighting clips whatsoever. Showing Sonnen lying on top of Dan Miller or Nate Marquardt would only interrupt the fun. Of course, it should be noted that this isn’t the Ultimate Talking Championship.
(Editor’s note: When Sonnen says "CP" at the 2:15 mark, he’s referring to his initials, Chael Patrick, not CagePotato. Though we could also kick Anderson Silva‘s ass if we wanted to, but we don’t, because what would that prove?)
(So does the "FC" stand for "Financially Challenged," "Financial Crisis" or "Fighters Cheated?")
If you were one of the many people who had serious doubts that both of the upstart Impact Fighting Championships promotion’s two scheduled July MMA events would go off without a hitch and the issue would somehow relate back to Paulo Filho, you were right, except for the fact that the beleaguered Brazilian is not at all to blame for the controversy surrounding the shows.
The issue that has affected not only Filho, but also the majority of the fighters who competed on the pair of Australian cards, is that none of them have been paid by the promotion.
We learned of the situation Wednesday from one of the affected fighters who wished to remain anonymous, but have since been able to confirm the story with more than a dozen others, including Karo Parisyan, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Jesse Taylor and Brian Ebersole, that none of the cards’ participants have received their complete fight purses .
("It’s not you, homey, I was just thinking of something funny that happened earlier." Photo courtesy of Sherdog)
Thanks to his most recent bar brawl, former UFC fighter War Machine has been keepin’ it real in San Diego Central Jail since July 16th, where he’ll be stuck for a year. (Or less, with good behavior. So probably about a year.) Luckily, that won’t stop the adult film star from updating his fans about his life and observations. Relaying messages to a friend on the outside, Machine was able to send out the following missive late last night. From WarMachine170 via MissRARA:
What’s up guys!? I’m gonna do a weekly blog for this year while I’m locked up. Just want to keep y’all posted and give you some insight on what it’s like here for me. When I first got here I was told I was gonna be kept in segregation to pretect myself since I’m a "celebrity." I told them NO WAY! 23 hours a day lockdown? FUCK THAT! So they stuck me in the "mainline." They classified me a 5 on a scale 1-6 so I’m with the big dogs. Everyone here has been to prison. Few guys in my unit are murderers waiting to be shipped out to prison for life. Funny, kinda odd, but they are the most friendly of the bunch… Most intelligent too. Hardest thing about this place is finding people you can have a decent conversation with.
Although Toney’s responses seemed suspiciously devoid of their usual incoherency, hearing him call MMA fighters "a bunch of girls" will just add to the collective satisfaction of fans and pundits when he gets beaten by a member of the fairer sex on August 28 at UFC 118.
In this installment, the Strikeforce heavyweight champion is filmed hanging with Bas Rutten, training with Gegard Mousasi and talking about everything from his ill-fated DREAM championship bout with Andre Arlovski to his four-year-old daughter’s future potential suitors.
(Carano and Cyborg: Godmothers of the game. / Photo courtesy of SI.com)
By CagePotato.com contributor Jim Genia
First there was the Nineteenth Amendment of the Constitution, which empowered the women of the United States with the right to vote. The Sexual Revolution of the 1960s followed, providing them with birth control and shifting values, and liberating them from the social constraints of a rigid society. Then came Gina Carano vs. Cris “Cyborg” Santos, which showed that when you put two well-trained ladies in a cage and pay them to fight, they can really beat the crap out of each other (or at least one can thoroughly whoop the other).
Yes, great strides have been made in equality for the fairer sex, and thanks to the likes of Carano and Cyborg, this equality has stretched into the realm of mixed martial arts. Now, there are impending all-female tournaments scheduled for Strikeforce and Bellator, and Sarah Kaufman’s recent violent KO over Roxanne Modafferimade ESPN’s “SportCenter”. Whether you love it or hate it, the female version of limited-rules combat is here to stay. So here’s a look back at some of the greatest moments in MMA herstory. (Get it? “His-story”, “her-story”? Yuk-yuk.)
On May 31, 2008, EliteXC broke the live network-television seal with “Primetime”, a CBS-broadcast event that saw Kimbo Slice smash James Thompson’s ear, Robbie Lawler poke Scott Smith in the eye, and an overweight Carano batter a smaller Kaitlin Young. Overweight? That’s right, for the first-ever female bout on free TV, ultra-popular fighter and former American Gladiator Carano failed to make the contracted 140-pound weight limit, coming in instead at 144.5 pounds. This wasn’t the first time the “Face of Women’s MMA” had failed to make weight. In fact, EliteXC had tailor-made the 140-pound division for her because making the standard 135-pound limit would’ve required too much cardio and crystal meth. To ensure that she didn’t miss weight at her next fight, which was a pairing in Miami against Kelly Kobold, Carano stepped on the scale buck naked. Thankfully, the towel held up by her father to conceal her nude form from the crowd only slipped once.
Well, it looks like Jake Shields has been brainwashed by Strikeforce’s whimsical title-shot contention decisions.
In an appearance on MMAWeekly Radio this week, the former Strikeforce middleweight champ says that he wouldn’t be surprised if his UFC 121 bout with Martin Kampmann will decide who gets the next shot at current welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre.
"Obviously if I’m close to getting a title shot it’s a huge factor [in my decision to go back to 170]," Shields said. "I’m not really sure if this is going to be a number one contender’s fight or not, it hasn’t been mentioned to me, but there’s a good chance if I go out there and look really good doing it, it’s definitely a possibility."
Randy Couture told us last week that he didn’t view his UFC 118 fight against James Toney as "boxing vs. MMA." Well too freakin’ bad, because that’s exactly how the UFC is marketing it (0:18). While we’re very familiar with Dark Gable’s barely-coherent YouTube rants, this advance trailer for Edgar vs. Penn 2 is the first time that Toney’s been a part of an official UFC hype-clip. And he makes the most of his eight-second appearance, telling Randy, "Hey princess…I’mma gitch’oo," then slugging a speed-bag. Genius. Also, Frank Edgar raises the possibility of a second win over BJ Penn, and the narrator sounds like he’s stifling a burp during the "only on pay-per-view" line. If that’s not enough to get your $44.99, we don’t know what to tell you.
(Hopefully this poster isn’t hinting that there’ll be an obligatory shower scene in the movie like we got blindsided with in ‘The Death and Life of Bobby Z’)
If you’re a fan of MMA documentaries, the upcoming one about Jon Fitch, "Such Great Heights" which is slated for release later this year, looks pretty damn good, regardless if you’re a fan of his or not.
(Jon Fitch: Giving fans their money’s worth, in every way possible.)
He may not have reached Antonio McKee levels* yet, but Jon Fitch has certainly attracted an unwanted reputation for taking fights to the scorecards. When he faces Thiago Alves at UFC 117, he has the opportunity to break the record for most decision fights in the Octagon by an active UFC fighter. (Update: And he’s done it.) Check out the list below to see who’s currently leading the UFC in fights that go the distance. As with our performance bonus leaderboard, we’ll update this thing whenever possible; if we’ve missed any names that should be on the list, please let us know in the comments section…
Fighters With 11 Decisions in the UFC Jon Fitch: 9-1-1 in those fights
Speaking of luckless s.o.b.’s, Phil Baroni is out of his UFC 118 fight with John Salter due to a collarbone injury. The fight was to mark Baroni’s return to middleweight after dropping two straight at welterweight, including a decision against Amir Sadollah at UFC 106. Baroni, who tends to get emotional on his Twitter account even in the best of times, had this to say: "I cant take it anymore. Im freaking out. anxiety im shot. beaten." Stay strong, NYBA…
(Maybe they should change their name to "Unlikely Fights.")
I’m not sure why Shine Fights keep trying to put together these long shot cards after their last event got scrapped, but the promoters are apparently a stubborn lot as they are planning a one-night lightweight tournament for September 10 at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia.
I was pretty disappointed yesterday when this video was pulled down before I could post it as a companion to Nick Diaz’s rant about Jason "Mayhem" Miller, but thankfully someone had the presence of mind to save a copy to their computer and re-upload it or we wouldn’t have this little gem to watch today.
In the clip shot by Diaz while on a toke break during a biking excursion with his buddies and brother Nate, Nick recalls a story from a few years ago when he got into a fight with two burly brothers who took issue with him blocking traffic with his bike.
Bryant (starting at 1:02): "[You and Jon Jones] have been doing a lot of press, and pretty much the storyline is ‘experience vs. youth’. How do you feel about that, and do you feel that that’s really the decisive thing going in here?"
Matyushenko: "Well it’s not only that, experience and youth, it’s just like…black and white."
I know, right? Athletic explosiveness vs. hard-working blue-collar-ness. Finally, somebody says what we’re all thinking!
Okay, maybe Vlad was trying to make reference to their vastly different styles (or not, it’s kind of hard to tell). Anyway, this MMA H.E.A.T. interview is also noteworthy because Karyn asks the Janitor who he wants to fight next, even though she clearly realizes it’s a big no-no (skip to the 3:14 mark). For the record, he likes to take things fight by fight (shocking), but he wouldn’t mind avenging his losses to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Tito Ortiz. His entrance music on Sunday, as usual, will be "Deaf Forever."
Sokoudjou has gone 4-3 since being released by the UFC in 2008, and most recently scored a quick TKO over Joaquim Ferreira at Impact FC Brisbane. Alexander was cut by the UFC after dropping a decision to Kimbo Slice at the TUF 10 Finale, and has gone 1-1 in 2010 so far, suffering a TKO loss to Joey Beltran and notching a decision win over David Griffin. Also on the Shark Fights 13 card…