Fuck, that was fucking terrible. Last night we got an up-close-and-personal look at what happens when one of the UFC’s notoriously weak overseas cards doesn’t turn out to be better in practice than on paper. And Nation? It was not pretty. When these haphazard, garage-sale-style European stinkbombs don’t catch lightning in a bottle and don’t exceed our already low expectations, all you’re left with are a bunch of lackluster fights featuring guys nobody cares about. That might be fine for Strikeforce, but frankly we expect more from the UFC.
Without giving away too much of tonight’s tape-delayed UFC 122 decisionfest show that went down in Germany today, we will tell you that the guaranteed slugfest between Jorge Rivera and Alessio Sakara got yanked from the main card of the event due to Sakara pulling out of the bout today because of illness.
We’ll be "live" tonight at 9:00 pm ET to give those of you who don’t have cable, who are too cheap to go to a bar or who think we’re really your friends and want to hang out on a Saturday night a rundown of the action via the Spike TV re-broadcast.
Check out the preliminary card results and main card play-by-play after the jump:
Man, this does not portend good things for Yushin Okami at UFC 122 tonight. Where most odds makers and journalists see Okami’s alleged No. 1 contender battle with Nate Marquardt shaping up as a fairly close fight, the professional fighters surveyed as part of Sherdog’s super-scientific recurring “Pros Pick” piece appear to think Nate the Great has this in the bag. Of the 48 fighters contacted 40 see Marquardt getting the win, with just four pulling the lever for Okami and four undecided. That’s 83.3 percent for Marquardt, which for the record makes this survey only slightly less lopsided than the one conducted for Randy Couture vs. James Toney at UFC 118, when just three of 54 polled fighters tabbed Toney (92.5 percent for Couture).
The numbers become even more lopsided once you consider that one of the guys picking Okami is Team Quest training partner Matt Lindland, and even he is hedging his bet – in classic Lindland style — by pre-supposing a conspiracy against Okami on the part of the ringside officials.
Nineteen-year-old bantamweight phenom Michael McDonald officially became the youngest fighter on the Zuffa, LLC roster on Thursday night with his debut on the undercard of WEC 52. The results no doubt raised some eyebrows in the soon-to-be UFC 135-pound division. If not for Cub Swanson’s epic battle with Mackens Semerzier, this one would’ve been a shoe-in for some TV time. McDonald rolled into this bout with seven straight T/KO victories and a record that would seem to indicate he’s been fighting as a pro since age 16. Is that shit even legal? Anyway, his most recent back-to-back victories over WEC vets Manny Tapia and Cole Escovedo at Taichi Palace were good enough to score him a contract with the big show and the kid doesn’t disappoint here.
McDonald looks a little bit like a very emaciated Joe Riggs during his pre-fight interviews, as he laughs off opponent Clint Godfrey’s suggestion that he won’t be ready for this level of competition. The South Dakota boy Godfrey — who trusty CagePotato commenter Karma Ate My Cat told us not to sleep on before we started taping this week’s Bum Rush – looks game, but ultimately overmatched in his second fight in the big blue cage. Obviously you know who wins but some play-by-play spoilers are after the jump, so if you’re gonna pitch a bitch about that watch the video before reading on.
("Fight, you bastard. If you want to have a dance-off, I’ll kick your ass in that too.")
A hot topic of debate at Cage Potato lately is whether or not the recent trend of wrestlers who are content to win fights by earning decisions via take downs and lay and pray is hurting the sport.
We asked UFC middleweight Jorge Rivera for his opinion on the subject during the latest episode of The Bum Rush Radio Show and El Conquistador didn’t pull any punches when explaining his take on the issue.
Rivera, who squares off with fellow slugger Alessio Sakara tomorrow at UFC 122 in Germany, says that he specifically asked for the fight with the former pro-boxer because he knows that Legionarius, like him, is a fighter who always steps into the Octagon to fight.
"I asked for this fight. Alessio’s a great fight. He’s tough, he’s got great stand-up and he comes forward. I asked for this fight. I always want tough fights. I know he’s gonna bring it. I know it’s gonna be a tough fight. I know it’s no walk in the park," Rivera explains. "You’re gonna see a good stand-up brawl and one of us is gonna get knocked out. I’m alright with that. I give the fans what they want. This is what we do. We both no what we’re getting into and we both agree to it, so let’s do it."
He says that guys who time and time again seem to be content to take a decision by being conservative and just doing the minimum necessary to win are in essence stealing from the fans.
"I was a fan before I was ever a fighter. I’m still a fan and I’m a fan of even some of the guys I fight against. I like watching them fight for various reasons. I hate watching boring fighters. You’re gonna pay 50 bucks to sit at home and watch some guy be boring. They build up all this hype around this guy and a guy puts you to sleep and you’re like, ‘What the fuck!?’ I’m not the only one. You’ve got ten million people who say the same shit. That’s not what I want to do. I want to be the exact opposite," Rivera explains. "When my name is called up, I want people to be like, ‘Hell yeah!’ because they know there’s going to be a fight. Even with this fight they know their gonna get a fight with me and Alessio. They know that. Everybody knows that we’re gonna fight. I know he’s not gonna run from me, he knows I’m not gonna run from him, and you know we both throw bombs. You guys know you’re gonna get your money’s worth. If all nine of the fights suck, ours isn’t going to. You’re gonna remember our fight for sure. That’s what I want."
Back in July 2002, when Nick Diaz was an 18-year-old rookie with a pro record of 1-0, and Chris Lytle was a 9-6-5 journeyman Pancrase vet trying to hit his stride, the two welterweights met at an IFC Warriors Challenge event in Porterville, California. It was a gritty scrap, with the momentum going back and forth, Nick’s forehead getting slashed open, and one of the bikini-clad ring girls freaking out about a heel-hook attempt at the 13:46 mark. (That’s our kind of chick.) Diaz wound up taking a narrow split decision. Both fighters would make their UFC debuts the following year, but never crossed paths in the cage again.
Speaking of "locked down," Takeya Mizugaki got LOCKED, THE EFF, DOWNlast night at WEC 52 when Urijah Faber caught him in a rear-naked choke, putting him to sleep for an uncomfortably long period of time. A killer photo from the stoppage is after the jump, courtesy of AllElbows/Versus. Come up with a clever caption to the photo, and post it in the comments section below by Sunday night at midnight ET. We’ll post our four favorites on Monday; the winners will receive a Locked Down DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack. Props to LionsGate for making this possible, and good luck to all of you…
(Because “Dana is the Architect of my Untimely Demise” wouldn’t really fit on the shirt. PicProps: Combat Lifestyle)
Maybe the UFC thought firing Tito Ortiz would have just been too easy. Or maybe it wants to be extra, extra sure that when THBBB finally does leave the organization, he’ll do so without a scrap of personal dignity or promotional capital left. Whatever the reason – and really, who knows what’s going on in Dana White’s head from moment to moment – the loveable/erratic UFC president confirmed on Friday that the recent rumors of Ortiz’s dismissal were greatly exaggerated. Instead, he’ll fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira next March, possibly at UFC 128 in the Middle East where my reactionary conservative friends assure me they love a good public execution.
The vote gap between staunch MMA opponent New York Democrat Assemblyman Bob Reilly and his opponent Jennifer Whalen is widening as State officials total the absentee ballots from last week’s midterm election today.
According to a TimesUnion.com report, with 44 of the 60 voting districts counted today Reilly’s lead has increased by 91 votes to 522 over his Republican opponent.
Although she hasn’t completely given up hope, Whalen doesn’t seem optimistic that she can recover from such a large hole with only 16 districts left to count.
"I don’t know if I can make up the ground. I’m not going to give up until everything is opened and counted," she said. "I can’t be happier with the fact I’m a newcomer and I almost unseated an incumbent."
Hopefuly Zuffa’s campaign donations to newly-elected Governor Andrew Cuomo weren’t as big of a waste of money as Tito Ortiz’s latest obscene UFC deal.
It’s Friday. You ain’t got no job and you ain’t got shit to do so CP’s gonna get you your MMA radio fix.
If you didn’t listen in during the taping of the interactive portion of the show Wednesday, it’s incredibly professionally done and we had at least 5000 listeners and a line-up of callers we had to turn away because we ran out of time.
If you did listen, come on guys, it wasn’t that bad was it? Give it another listen. We promise we fixed everything in the mix.
One thing you didn’t hear on Wednesday was an exclusive interview we did with Jorge Rivera for this episode in which the UFC middleweight basically calls Chad an idiot for saying that a fighter doesn’t have to be exciting as long as he wins.
From today’s weigh-ins in Oberhausen, Germany. No surprises here…
MAIN CARD Nate Marquardt (186) vs. Yushin Okami (185) Jorge Rivera (185) vs. Alessio Sakara (186) Dennis Siver (155) vs. Andre Winner (155) Amir Sadollah (170) vs. Peter Sobotta (169) Krzysztof Soszynski (206) vs. Goran Reljic (205)
PRELIMINARY CARD Alexandre Ferreira (204) vs. Vladimir Matyushenko (205) Pascal Krauss (170) vs. Mark Scanlon (170) Duane Ludwig (170) vs. Nick Osipczak (171) Rob Kimmons (184) vs. Kyle Noke (185) Seth Petruzelli (205) vs. Karlos Vemola (205) Kris McCray (171) vs. Carlos Eduardo Rocha (170)
Come back to CagePotato.com tomorrow night as we post live(-ish) play-by-play from the tape-delayed Spike TV broadcast of UFC 122: Marquardt vs. Okami, beginning at 9 p.m. ET.
(Faber vs. Mizugaki; fight starts at the 6:59 mark, and the nasty finishing sequence begins at 10:49. Props: borntoride5656. Get a look before it’s pulled…)
In the first phase of its two-part farewell tour, the WEC transcended its lame-duck status with yet another thrilling card last night in Las Vegas. Urijah Faber left no doubt in fans’ minds that he’ll be a force at bantamweight, needing less than one round to take out Takeya Mizugaki in the main event. After a few exchanges contested on the feet and in the clinch, Faber snatched a guillotine, then brilliantly transitioned to Mizugaki’s back to secure a rear-naked choke. Mizugaki gamely tried to defend, but eventually passed out rather than tapping; he was asleep for a solid 10 seconds before referee Josh Rosenthal recognized what was up. The victory earned Faber a $10,000 Submission of the Night bonus, which he vowed to split with his teammate Joseph Benavidez.
Following his dominant showing, it appears likely that Faber will get the next bantamweight title shot against the winner of Dominick Cruz vs. Scott Jorgensen at WEC 53. When asked about that matchup following the event, Faber said “[Scott and I] have a good relationship. He’s a guy I helped get into the sport a little bit. We’ve trained a bunch together. He’s mentally tough. I’d rather fight Dominick, but I’m rooting for Scott [to win that fight].”
As for his new home at 135, Faber was psyched: "When I first started fighting there was no 135-pound weight class. So it’s not like I had the choice. I was just the best guy at 145. So now it’s my time to shine down here. I’m at my most competitive weight. It’s my time. It’s a new era baby!"
If you were to ask a room full of MMA fans and reporters if they think that BJ Penn’s best days as a fighter are behind him, many, if not most would say they were, but as The Prodigy told Joe Rogan on the most recent episode of UFC Ultimate Insider, he doesn’t feel that he has reached his full potential and he that with the right training and mindset he will one day be one of the best fighters in the sport.
When asked by Rogan if he would change anything he did during his career, Penn said that he would do it all over again without doing anything differently as he has learned from everything he has done.
"I wouldn’t do anything different. I woulda did it just like that. I wish I could look back and say, ‘I wish how I was gonna train right now for the Matt Hughes fight I trained like this when I was 20 years old,’ but it wouldn’t have worked then," BJ explains. "It wouldn’t have worked that way. You gotta find what works for you. That’s what I believe. I believe once I do [find what works best for me] I’ll be able to hit that peak. We’re just getting started."
Urijah Faber made his public 135-pound debut yesterday at the weigh-ins for tonight’s WEC 52 event — and didn’t look a whole lot different than he did at featherweight. That’s an encouraging sign for his career rebirth at bantamweight, and it’s more than we can say for Wagnney Fabiano, who’s also on tonight’s card in his second bantamweight appearance, and is pretty freaking gross from certain angles these days. (As for Faber, he had already put on 18 pounds by last night.) WEC 52 will be broadcast live on Versus starting at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT. Pre-fight coverage begins at 8:30 p.m. ET, and post-fight coverage is slated for 11:30 p.m. ET.
("Wow! Those pills from Broughton Nutrition really made me bigger stronger and faster. I can’t believe I won the contest.")
Besides the handful who admit to their wrongdoing, when most fighters get popped for using PED’s, they typically plead ignorance.
"I don’t know how I tested positive. It could have been from using the sauna at the gym."
Chuteboxe fighter Vinicius de Queiroz, who tested for positive for the steroid Stanozolol following his UFC 120 loss to Rob Broughton and was subsequently dropped by the promotion tells Tatame that he didn’t knowingly ingest anything illegal, but surmises that he may have unwittingly taken the drug.
“I was caught by surprise with this doping thing, I’d never use something that could ruin my career, something that could bring me any kind of problems… I won some imported supplements and I used it, and there were some prescribed medicines too," Vinicius said before trying to explain awayhis guilt by feebly pointing out that Stanozolol is "used to lose weight, something that would be useless for a heavyweight who would have a disadvantage in confronting a bigger athlete."
Saying that anabolic steroids are primarily used for cutting weight is like saying alcohol is primarily used by fat chicks to get laid. Sure it’s one of the things they’re used for, but it isn’t the primary use.
(Sakara will do absolutely anything to land this amateur modeling gig, you guys. Any. Thing. Props: MMACrypt.com)
The prevailing public opinion on Alessio Sakara has long been: Mediocre fighter, world class tattoos. Hell, even Jorge Rivera – who will fight him this Saturday at UFC 122 – admitted in interviews this week that he thinks Sakara has the best ink in MMA. With a middling 6-4 record in the Octagon (with one hard-earned no contest after Ron Faircloth kicked him in the balls at UFC 55) it’s even been suggested (OK, maybe just by me, but whatever) that the UFC’s rationale for giving him second chance after second chance has more to do with his wicked physical appearance than his actual fighting ability.
One glance at Sakara tells you he’s proud of his Italian heritage, but we had no idea exactly how into it he was until we got a load of his interview with Fighters Only this week. Turns out, not only does Sakara actually consider himself a modern day “solider of Rome” (his words), but he named his sons Leonidas and Marcus Valerian … which is not quite as weird as naming all your sons “Rampage,” but still. That’s dedication, people. Dedication to a proud history that ended in about 476 AD.
(Jonathan Brookins’s lateral drop even worked on Jose Aldo, back at WEC 36. No one is safe. Props: NHB USA)
We’ve officially entered the quarterfinals, and last night’s episode gave us two of ‘em: Sako Chivitchian vs. Jonathan Brookins, and Cody McKenzie vs. Nam Phan. But you already know what happens in the McKenzie/Phan fight, right?
At the house, Sevak Magakian explains to his bro Sako that he has to redeem the Armenian race and beat Brookins, who is representing the Fraggle race. "Sak you gotta do this bro," Sevak says. "You gotta beat him, whatever it takes. I couldn’t do it, now you have to do it…There’s not gonna be two Armenians gonna lose to the same guy…you’re gonna fuck him." Wow, that’s some threat. Magakian has clearly been studying at the Wanderlei Silva school of trash talk.
Coach GSP wants to train his quarterfinalists like he trains when he’s about to fight — one training session a day, no more hard sparring or hardcore workouts. The focus is tactical now. He wants to make the guys feel hungry, like they’re not training enough, and build up their aggression for the fight.
We’re happy to announce that from now until the end of the season, The Ultimate Fighter‘s "Aftermath" online series will be exclusively embedded on CagePotato.com. So be sure to come by after each episode and watch Stephan Bonnar yuk it up with the week’s winners and losers. In this installment, Nam Phan, Cody McKenzie, and Jonathan Brookins — wearing a Nam Phan for Mayor t-shirt that I’ll probably be ordering for myself — drop in to discuss Marc Stevens’s "Party Boy" routine, GSP’s surprising gameplan for McKenzie, Nam Phan’s possibly-illegal elbows, what weights they’ll be competing at after the show, and lots more. We won’t throw out any spoilers now, but you can read the full episode recap tomorrow on the site.
For all of you who aren’t participating in our latest interactive edition ofThe Bum Rush Radio Show, you can watch the weigh-ins for WEC 52 live after the jump, but keep in mind that you’re dead to us.
After two days and 350+ submissions, we’re proud to announce the three winners of this week’s caption contest, who will be picking up some kickass new t-shirts from Six Deuce! Was your entry worthy of recognition? Find out after the jump. But first, some honorable mentions…
According to the Wand Fight Team lightweight, he is waiting for word that he will be one of the hopefuls tagged to compete for the coveted six-figure contract next season and that the decision will likely hinge on how well the producers feel the 28-year-old Sao Paulo, Brazil native speaks and understands English.
"We went through a test, we’ve shown some of our Jiu-Jitsu skills, they raffled some guys, and you had to do the grappling with the guy. I did it with an American, it was quick, about one and a half minute. Then we started to do gauntlet and then there was an interview. If you passed one test, they’d give you another one. On my group there were 20 people, and there were only 5 left for the interview. I was one of them, I was interview and they’ve approved me, but maybe they like other guys better on the interview," Galvao says. "Now I don’t know if I made it or not. I’ll just have to wait for them to call me," he explains. "The interview is exactly about that, they want to know your English level. I speak English, I can get things, I can read, I understand what people say and I communicate well. They’ve approved me on the test and let’s see if they’ll let me get in there with my English level, but I can speak good English. There are guys there that can’t (laughs). I think I’m a purple belt on English, fourth grade on the purple belt (laughs)."
"Honestly right now, probably (not),” Mir is quoted as saying on the topic of a third meeting with Lesnar. “Just because (in) the Carwin fight, (Lesnar) didn’t look all that spectacular. I think a lot of people might have thought that he lost that fight. And then the Velasquez fight, obviously. Velasquez made (Lesnar) basically shout ‘Stop, enough, enough!’ before he tapped due to strikes and that looked really bad."
Huh. Not sure where exactly Mir gets off suddenly turning his nose up at a guy because he didn’t look great in his most recent loss and/or most recent win. Seems like a classic throwing-stones-while-living-in-glass-houses situation. Anyway, Mir has apparently set his sights on what he considers a more deserving next opponent. Someone a little less, you know, big and dangerous …
After nearly eight years of drought in decent MMA documentaries since The Smashing Machine was released in 2002, 2010 has seen several new features that have been nothing short of incredible, most notably Jens Pulver’s Driven film and Alistair Overeem’s The Reem web documentary series.
Our friends at Ranger Up and filmmaker Tim O’Donnell will likely be added to the growing list of awesome documentaries released this year when they put out Jorge Rivera: Surrender some time later this year. Regardless if you’re a Rivera fan or not (but you should be because the guy always goes out to perform) Surrender should speak to you on many levels whether its as an MMA fan, as a parent, as a fighter or as a human being.
Word to the wise — before you try to start trouble at a convenience store, make sure there isn’t a paraplegic BJJ specialist waiting in line to buy scratch-off tickets. The above video was taken Saturday night in Vancouver, after a man tried to pass off a suspicious-looking $50 bill. When the clerk refused to accept it, the dude in black lurched awkwardly behind the counter, clearly up to no good.
That’s when Epic Wheelchair Man (real name: Larry Skopnik) rolls up and grabs a rear-naked choke. The robber twists away, and Skopnik transitions to the same kind of guillotine that Dan Miller tapped Jake Rosholt with. And he would have sunk it if those other dudes hadn’t started meddling. (How ’bout that pussy swinging the "Wet Floor" sign?) The gang was able to subdue the bad guy until police arrived. As Skopnik said later, "I don’t feel like a hero and I’m not really comfortable with this limelight. What made me do that is inside of me. It has nothing to do with disability." In other words, you can take a man’s legs, but you can never take his balls.
If you aren’t familiar with the name Gokhan Saki, by next year you will be.
The talented K-1 light heavyweight’s Team Golden Glory trainer Martin de Jong informed mmazone.nl today that his charge is preparing to make his MMA debut in 2011, but said under which banner is yet-to-be decided.
"Saki has not signed anything yet, but will make his official debut in MMA next year," said de Jong.
Here’s a clip of Saki’s last fight a few weeks ago at the Glory hybrid MMA and kickboxing event in which he scored a Bas Rutten approved liver punch KO over Nicolaj Falin: