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September, 2010

CagePotato Stats: The FIGHT! Magazine ‘Cover Curse’, Issue by Issue

Fight! Magazine Josh Koscheck cover 2010
(Damn. As if the "Having to Fight GSP" curse wasn’t bad enough… / Image courtesy of fightmagazine.com)

By Jim "jimbonics" Isaacs

So there I was, minding my own business, creating a masterpiece through MSPaint in honor of ReX13’s first Bellator article for the ‘Tater. Later that afternoon, after a WILD week in the comments section across all articles, I was honored with a “Comment of the Week” award and subsequently a subscription to FIGHT! Magazine. Sweet! It was the first thing I had won since a pinball contest in Nineteen Dickety-Two.

After a month of salivating and daily mailbox-checking, I had received no magazine. I was convinced I would not actually receive a prize, as hundreds of comments at CP over the past year alluded to. Then it happened. My mailbox was stuffed with bills I would never open, offers I would never respond to, and an extremely thick and glossy FIGHT! Magazine.

There is King Mo, in all his glory bling, staring at me. The first thought in my head was how he got his ass thoroughly beaten by Mousasi yet still won the belt based solely on takedowns. (Though he snared 11 of his 14 takedown attempts, if there was ever a fight to argue against the weight of takedowns in MMA scoring, it was that fight, but I digress). The second thought in my head was that he wouldn’t hold the belt very long, especially with the ultra-quick striker and BJJ black belt Feijão looming. I’m not saying, I’m just saying.

A month later the next magazine had wrestling specialist Kenny Florian on it. He went on to get Gray Maynarded. This got the wheels turning, and I decided to do a little investigating: Does the long-rumored FIGHT! Magazine Cover Curse actually exist?

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

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Video: Check Out Jose Aldo’s Only Loss and a Few of His Incredible Performances

Jose Aldo vs. Luis Azevedo Part 1 - Jungle Fight 5 – November 26, 2005

(Video courtesy YouTube/newmexicoone)

Sometimes when you watch dominant fighters like Anderson Silva, Fedor Emelianenko and Georges St-Pierre compete, you forget that they’ve all tasted defeat. Jose Aldo is another MMA wrecking machine who, although maybe isn’t as far along in his career as the former list, falls under the same category.

If you haven’t seen the fight that gave him his lone blemish on his record, check out part one above and part two below. Paralleling Chael Sonnen’s masterful performance against Anderson Silva at UFC 117 (minus the PEDs), Aldo controlled opponent Luis Azevedo for the majority of the Jungle Fight 5 bout, but the Nova Uniao fighter made a rookie mistake on the ground, giving up his back and just like that he was now a loser.

He bounced back from the loss, earned his black belt (although you wouldn’t know it considering he hasn’t won by submission since) and hasn’t lost or looked back at the fight with Azevedo since.

We’ve compiled some of Aldo’s greatest performances for you to watch in anticipation of his fight with Manny "I’m Fedor, bro" Gamburyan tomorrow night at WEC 51.

Check them out after the jump.

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Some Lawyer Says It’s ‘A Toss Up’ If Randy Couture Ever Fights Again


(“I refuse to answer on the grounds that I might incriminate myself.” PicProps: Connect.in.com)

The simple fact that MMA Fighting.com got stuck talking to Randy Couture’s attorney/manager this week instead of the man himself is probably very telling about what’s going on in Couture’s world these days. Most fighters can barely scrape it together to hire a halfway-legitimate agent or manger (again, just having your girlfriend do it doesn’t count), while “The Natural” is able to dispatch this guy Sam Spira, who we assume has graduated not only from college but then took the LSAT, then graduated from law school, then passed the bar in Nevada. When you consider the sad truth that a lot of fighters don’t even know a lawyer – and no, War Machine, your public defender doesn’t qualify — that’s pretty pimp.

Especially if you can send him out to handle the media obligations you don’t want to do yourself. Hence, we actually kind of believe Spira when he tells AOL on Wednesday that it’s sort of 50-50 whether the 47-year-old Couture will be too busy and too famous trying to balance his new career as an actor (and entertaining "other opportunities") ever to compete in MMA again.

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Paul Daley vs. Scott Smith in the Works for December Strikeforce Card


(Surefire prediction: Nobody is getting submitted in this one.)

According to several reports that we have since been able to substantiate with sources close to the bout, Scott Smith will likely make good on his proclamation that he is dropping down a weight class when he takes on newly-acquired welterweight Paul Daley in a December Strikeforce bout. The fight, which is sure to be a slugfest is said to have been verbally agreed to by both fighters.

Daley (25-9-2) has never been knocked out, but Smith (17-7 1NC), who is known for his somewhat reckless, go-for-broke style of fighting will be looking to change that statistic when the pair meet at the end of 2010. 7-3 in his last 10 outings, Daley’s last loss was the decision to Josh Koscheck that saw him tossed from the UFC for attacking the reviled American Kickboxing Academy fighter after the final bell. Since being released by the organization, he has gone 2-0 against Chute Boxe’s Daniel Acacio (21-10) at Impact FC 2: The Uprising in July and American Top Team’s Jorge Masvidal (20-6) at Shark Fights 13: Jardine vs. Prangley in September.

5-4 (1 NC) in his past 10 fights, Smith announced after his most recent loss to former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le in June that he would likely be cutting to 170 pounds to compete as a welterweight, despite having beaten Le handily in his previous outing.

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Hot Potato: Brittny Ward, Guest Octagon Girl at UFC 119

Brittny Ward UFC ring girl model photos gallery

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When the UFC brought out Brittny Ward as a guest Octagon Girl at last weekend’s UFC 119 event in Indianapolis, the fan reception was uniformly positive. Most of you seem to feel that the leggy 20-year-old model should be hired as a permanent member of the UFC’s ring girl stable, even if one of the current OG’s has to be let go, particularly the one who isn’t Arianny Celeste. We have our fingers crossed that Dana White & Co. will do the right thing and hire Brittny. In the meantime, here’s all the best photos we found of her while scouring her Facebook and ModelMayhem pages, as well as our own exclusive shots from the event. You can follow Brittny at twitter.com/brittwardxoxo. The photo goodness continues after the jump…

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Wednesday Morning MMA Link Club


(WEC 51 open workout highlights, courtesy of Heavy.com/MMA)

Some selected highlights from our friends around the MMA blogosphere. E-mail feedback@cagepotato.com for details on how your site can join the MMA Link Club…

– Helwani VS Dundas: WEC 51 Edition (Versus MMA Beat)

– Matt Mitrione’s Agent Responds to Being Fired on Live TV at UFC 119 (MMA Fighting)

– Photos: Josh Barnett, Tim Sylvia, Bobby Lashley, Bob Sapp & Mark Coleman Pro Wrestling In Japan (MMA Convert)

– This Jose Aldo Highlight Video Will Get You Hyped Up for WEC 51, Guaranteed (MiddleEasy)

– MMA’s Drug Testing System Is a Complete Farce (Five Ounces of Pain)

– Catching Up: 10 Must-See Fights the New Fan Might Have Missed (LowKick)

– K-1 World GP 2010 Final 16 Video Trailer (MMA Scraps)

– Jamie Varner Feels Left Out (Watch Kalib Run)

- M-1 Global Finishes Selection Tournament With Five Championship Fights (FightMagazine)

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Strikeforce KJ Noons-Nick Diaz Cesar Gracie Conference Call Transcript


("I got your conference call for you right here, Coker.")

Apparently Nick Diaz doesn’t like conference calls.

If Strikeforce would have read his "Things I don’t like," rider he sent along to them with his signed contract, they would have realized that "conference calls" were on the list before "Mayhem Miller" and after "children" and they wouldn’t have scheduled him for a media call that he had no intention of participating in. 

So instead of pulling the plug on today’s call completely when they realized Nick wasn’t interested in talking to reporters about his October 9 title defense against KJ Noons, they got the next best guest they could get on short notice for the call: Cesar Gracie. No, seriously, that’s the best they could do.

According to Diaz’s outspoken coach, it "isn’t in Nick’s psyche" to do conference calls with his upcoming opponents, but he didn’t have a problem pretending to know what Nick would say in response to reporters’ questions.

Here’s the transcript of the call, which seemed suspiciously more like a scripted infomercial than a conference call at times. I’m not surprised Nick took one look at his lines and said, "Fuck that; I’m out."

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Manny Gamburyan Might Be a Bit Delusional


(Don’t you know who my cousin is, bro?)

Now, I know fighters sometimes say ludicrous things in the heat of the moment when hyping upcoming fights, like Mir saying he wanted Brock to suffer the first Octagon-related death and Mike Tyson saying he wanted to eat Lennox Lewis’ children, but for some reason none of those remarks seem as asinine to me as something Manny Gamburyan said during an interview with MMAWeekly radio yesterday.

When asked about his upcoming WEC 51 fight Thursday night with featherweight champion Jose Aldo, who has drawn comparisons to Anderson Silva for his dangerous and flashy muay thai skills, Gamburyan had the following to say:

“If they’re comparing him to Anderson Silva, they should compare me with Fedor," Gamburyan said without cracking up. "If he’s Anderson Silva, most definitely, I’m Fedor.”

Sure you’re Fedor, Manny — if Fedor wasn’t as good as he is, if he dropped a decision to Thiago Tavares and if he got KTFO by Rob Emerson.

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WEC Prospect Alert: Is the ‘Mongolian Wolf’ the Next ‘Korean Zombie’?

Zhang Tie Quan MMA
(He’s just a dude, holding a belt, asking it to love him.)

On Thursday, Zhang Tie Quan will become the first fighter from mainland China to compete in the WEC. The China Top Team featherweight product will close out the preliminary portion of WEC 51 against Pablo Garza — who just made a brief appearance on TUF 12 as a lightweight hopeful — after being originally scheduled to face Alex Karalexis (out, injury) and then Jason Reinhardt (out, bad vision). It’s a big moment for Chinese MMA, as well as for Zuffa, which has been angling toward expansion in Asia, but is generally short on Asian rising stars in its promotions. With "The Mongolian Wolf," they couldn’t have picked up a better prospect.

Competing primarily in China’s Art of War promotion and the Philippines’ URCC outfit, Quan has racked up an 11-0 record, all wins by stoppage, with at least 10 of those victories coming in the first round. (The stoppage time of Quan’s pro debut isn’t listed on any MMA databases, or even AOW’s official site.) Quan’s last six wins have come via six different submissions, most recently a 30-second neck crank win against Daniel Digby, at a June event in Hong Kong. Quan holds a knockout victory over a guy named, I shit you not, De Gi Ji Ri Hu. For the last week, he’s been acclimating to Colorado time (and American training partners) at the red-hot Grudge Training Center.

Notable quote, from this WEC profile: "I always admired the wolf because he was so ferocious and majestic. We saw a lot of wild wolves where I grew up and we all heard stories that if a wolf bites you on the arm for example, even if you kill it, its jaw will remain closed…I look at a fight with that same ferociousness…If there is any opportunity to finish, I finish. I won’t quit, I do my best and try to end things as quickly as possible."

After the jump: The Wolf in action.

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‘WTF?’ of the Day: Kimo Leopoldo is Alive and Well and Belly-Flopping Three Stories Into Motel Pools


(Props: THEkimoleopoldo via HammerFisted)

Kimo Leopoldo — everybody’s favorite officer-impersonating, meth-possessing death-hoax victim — may be long out of the MMA game, but he hasn’t stopped living, you dig? HammerFisted.com dug up the above video, taken this summer, which shows Kimo ascending a staircase at some sort of motel or apartment complex or assisted living facility, then diving into a pool from three stories up. Well, "diving" might be an overstatement. He basically falls into the water in the most painful-looking way possible.

But as we’ve learned in the past, Kimo Leopoldo is indestructible. He will remain above-ground even after War Machine dies of syphilis, even after Dan Quinn drives into an oncoming semi while shouting down Fred Reeva in his final video blog. Kimo gets out of the water, shouts "Awright," demands to know how the splash was, and explains "I hadda like, not let my second-guess guess me on that one." We’d say that’s good advice for anybody…

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