Those of you who were waiting to see how many outfits Miesha Tate would bring to Strikeforce: Columbus on March 5 are going to be very disappointed by this news. Unfortunately, Tate is out of her scheduled 135-pound title match with Marloes Coenen after injuring her knee in training, the promotion announced via press release on Wednesday. Instead, undefeated prospect Liz Carmouche will step in as Coenen’s first championship challenger on just 11 days notice.
It seems like every MMA site and their brother has put out a ranking of hottest MMA wives and girlfriends. For this list, we’re more interested in the couples who would kick the most ass together in a street-fight — or in one of those freaky-ass tag-team MMA bouts. If we’ve left out any notable MMA couples, holler at us in the comments section…
#6: BRANDON AND KERRY VERA Combined MMA record: 13-6 Status: Married since 2006 Tough cred: Brandon’s career skid in the UFC has culminated in three consecutive losses (though that last one might be overturned). On the bright side, his adorable wife Kerry is currently 2-0 as a mixed martial artist following a successful kickboxing career, including a first-round shellacking of Kim Couture in her Strikeforce debut.
#5. JORGE GURGEL AND ZOILA FRAUSTO Combined MMA record: 23-8 Status:Just married Tough cred: Like the Veras, the male half of this couple has had a tough go of it lately, losing four of his last five fights; Jorge will have a chance to redeem himself against Tyler Combs on the preliminary card of Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson on March 5th. Meanwhile, Frausto has established herself as one of the greatest female fighters in the world, grabbing Bellator’s 115-pound title and putting an end to Megumi Fujii’s 22-fight win streak. (She’ll also be returning to action on March 5th, against Karina Hallinan at Bellator 35.) Hopefully that isn’t a problem for Gurgel’s ego.
(If you thought we were going to pass up the opportunity to post a Wu Tang-infused Marlon Sandro highlight vid, well, you must be new around here. Vid: YouTube/Meyer124)
Former Sengoku featherweight champion Marlon Sandro – believed to be the second-best 145-pounder not currently under the UFC umbrella – has signed a deal with Bellator Fighting Championships and will make his American debut sometime in 2011, according to multiple internet reports out on Wednesday. Sandro’s exodus comes amid news that Sengoku is granting releases to fighters who ask for them, probably signaling that the Japanese promotion’s prolonged death spasm is nearing its end.
Sandro is currently ranked in the featherweight Top 10 on any list worth its salt. Though he lost his Sengoku title to Hatsu Hioki in late December he’ll make a stellar addition for the newly MTV-friendly Bellator. The promotion crowned Joe Warren it’s 145-pound champ after his come-from-behind victory over Joe Soto in September and you’d have to think Sandro immediately becomes No. 1 contender. Some pontificating on what it all means after the jump.
(Well, this explains that full rack of “Machida Era” T-shirts at the Montreal Salvation Army. Pic: Knucklepit)
Once long trumpeted as MMA’s marquee weight division, the 205-pound class has had a bit of a rough go in recent years. Call it light heavyweight’s awkward teen phase. The consistency of Tito Ortiz’s early dominance and the glory days of the Chuck vs. Randy trilogy have faded into the uncertain mediocrity of the Rampage-Forrest-Rashad-Machida-Shogun Era. Frankly, what we have here is a division in desperate need of stability. If only someone would come along to restore the 205-pound class to its former awesomeness … someone enormous, with unrivaled athleticism and really, really long arms … someone possessing of unwavering spirituality and wicked Greco throws … someone who could capitalize on the misfortune of his training partners and vault directly into a title shot after just a handful of wins over middling opponents … Anyway, if that guy’s out there somewhere, we can’t possibly imagine who it might be.
Right now, light heavyweight rankings are anybody’s best guess. After the jump, find the current top fives, according to CP’s editorial staff along with our dubious justifications of our crappy opinions. Check out our lists and let us know how badly we screwed them up, would you please …
“I let the ‘Nightmare’ go,” Sanchez told reporters. “A nightmare is something that is negative and kind of evil. I don’t want to represent that. I want to represent positivity and I want to represent the good. I look back on my whole career (as) the ‘Nightmare’ (and) the nightmare was myself. I was my own nightmare. All the times I fell off track and got into drinking, got into smoking weed, the things that brought me down, the partying. That was my nightmare. I was my own nightmare. I’m grown up (now). I’m going to let that name go … I thought about changing it to ‘The Dream’ but I thought that would be a little bit out there, so I’m just going to stick with Diego Sanchez.”
Oddly, Sanchez also made vague mention of getting swindled out of $175,000 during that dark period he spent training away from Greg Jackson’s team. Details, such as they are, after the jump.
(Hold on to your asses: Jason “Coked Out Steve Carell” Reinhardt vows to make it chaotic for Tiequan Zhang. Props: YouTube.com/UFC)
Directly before this Saturday’s pay-per-view broadcast of UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch, you’ll be able to watch five of the event’s seven prelim fights absolutely free of charge — assuming you use Facebook and your cable package includes the ION network. The action begins at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET on Facebook.com/UFC, which will feature a live stream of Anthony Perosh vs. Tom Blackledge and Jason Reinhardt vs. Tiequan Zhang.
At this point, the only bouts that won’t be guaranteed TV time are Mark Hunt vs. Chris Tuchscherer and Maciej Jewtuszko vs. Curt Warburton — and since either of those fights could end in a short, violent stoppage, you may see them pop up in the pay-per-view broadcast. The complete lineup of UFC 127 is after the jump.
(Ricco Rodriguez battles Randy Couture at UFC 39 while wearing the henna tattoo that almost brought down an industry. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)
This Saturday, former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez faces TUF 10 vet James McSweeney in the co-main event of BAMMA 5 (MEN Arena; Manchester, England), which you can watch live via $10 online pay-per-view at bammatv.com. With 10 consecutive wins already under his belt — and his personal demons under control — you’d think that a decisive win over McSweeney would move Rodriguez one step closer to a UFC return. That’s what we thought anyway, until we asked Ricco about it on last week’s episode of The Bum Rush Radio Show. (The interview with Rodriguez begins at the 1:30:11 mark.)
As it turns out, the recent report that claimed Rodriguez was on the verge of signing a new contract with the UFC was mostly hot air. And in fact, it would be a minor miracle if “Suave” got anywhere close to an Octagon during his lifetime. Here’s the excerpt from our Bum Rush interview, in which Ricco Rodriguez — for the first time ever — explains why he’s been blacklisted from the organization.
RICCO RODRIGUEZ: No, [the report] definitely wasn’t accurate. There were some talks to possibly get into the UFC, but that opportunity is just not available, and I just don’t ever see myself returning to the UFC. Dana holds a grudge pretty well, and he has his reasons, and I don’t blame him. I understand what I did at that time, and it was a tough pill to swallow and he has every right to be upset with him…The truth of the matter is, is that I single-handedly almost tore down the UFC at one point in my career. A lot of people don’t know this, and you’ll probably be the first one that I’ll ever admit this to.
We love Jorge Rivera, but given how much time the dude has invested leading up to UFC 127 making goofy videos that poke fun at opponent Michael Bisping, well, Rivera better damn well win this fight. In the latest installment it’s clear Rivera has saved the best (read: weirdest) for last. We don’t want to spoil it for you, but let’s just say it includes a song-and-dance number, a felt pilgrim hat and a coconut brassiere. Also, the video makes the claim that Bisping requested that Rivera chum Matt Phinney (who we guess plays “Brave Count Bisping” in earlier vids) be barred from the event’s official weigh-in in order to avoid more mockery. If that’s true, we gotta say: Pretty weak, Bisping, pretty weak.
Even though the decision seemed justified at the time, deep down Evans might wish he could take that one back. At least publicly however, he’s holding the line. As the great poet Coolio once said, wishing is for suckers, and Rashad? Well, a few weeks after seeing his next chance at that 205-pound strap evaporate when he got his knee rolled up during a freak accident in the training room, he still says he wouldn’t change a thing …
Franklin lost the fight by unanimous decision, and we quickly forgot about this silly business — except Franklin didn’t. An MMAFighting report came out Friday claiming that Ace had actually visited a tattoo shop to honor the bet that nobody thought was real. Responding to the news, Griffin said:
(“Is there any way you can hold those poses until the summer?”)
It struck us as blindly optimistic when Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker announced that the second leg of his heavyweight tournament quarterfinals would take place on April 9th, even before he had a venue (or a host country) locked down. If it was just a matter of finding an arena with an open date on its schedule, it wouldn’t be a problem, but Josh Barnett‘s licensing issues made the task a lot more challenging.
So it’s really no surprise to read this new Sherdog report, which claims that Strikeforce’s remaining heavyweight tournament quarterfinals — Barnett vs. Brett Rogers, and Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum — won’t be happening on April 9th after all. Sources close to the promotion tell Sherdog that Strikeforce will host their 4/9 event in California (a forbidden zone for the Babyface Assassin), but with no tournament fights on the card. Instead, the event will feature a lightweight title fight between Gilbert Melendez and Tatsuya Kawajiri — a rematch of their bout at PRIDE Shockwave 2006 — and possibly another welterweight title defense from Nick Diaz (opponent TBA, though Paul Daley and Tyron Woodley are options).
Anyway, that’s what some sources are saying. Other sources hear it differently…
As Japanese MMA seems to slowly dwindle away from the glory days of the sport, hardcore fans like myself shed a tear for our great loss. It wasn’t just knowing those obscure 135-pounders whose names had syllables our gaijin tongues could barely pronounce, or the fact that it was the land where stomping and soccer-kicking a human being in the face was perfected into a sweet science. More than that, it was the stars that were produced that we came to know and love, whether they were fighting someone on their level or tearing open a tomato can — and that is where this list begins.
Blatant mismatches aside, JMMA gave us so many beautiful fights with men like Fedor Emelianenko, Mirko “Crocop” Filipovic (go tell your favorite TUF noob that his last name is not Crocop and relish in their confusion), Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Ikuhisa Minowa and Kazushi Sakuraba. For every epic bout that went into the history books for their unbelievable drama, we had other fights that we remember for less than pleasant reasons. Yes, the freak show fights! What would a JMMA event be without a match worthy of a 1930′s carnival? The big question here was how do I rank something that is mediocre to begin with? Well, I’m as clueless as you are, so let’s get started on this journey down “Freak Show Lane,” across the street from “What Were They Thinking? Boulevard”…
10. Daiju Takase vs. Emmanuel Yarbrough
Pride 3, 6/24/98
This was the first freak show fight in Pride history, and earns a place on this list for that merit alone. It pit 169 lb. Daiju Takase against 600 lb. Emmanuel Yarbrough, who most fans will recall was clobbered into submission by Keith Hackney and his broken hand at UFC 3 (Yarbrough has no luck in any event associated with the number three). The sumo plodded around the ring tossing his hamhock arms at Takase, while the smaller Japanese fighter fled and slowly wore down Yarbrough.
Takase makes the mistake of going for a lazy single leg on Yarbrough, which results in the large fighter flopping onto his belly and absorbing Takase into his flesh. As Stephen Quadros lamented, “This is horrible! This is like “Jaws!” Eventually, Takase slid out from the greasy underside of Manny, and in an ending eerily similiar to his UFC 3 fight, Takase went to town with clubbing hands to his exhausted opponent’s face, leading to a tapout in the middle of the second round.
(Before you criticize Torres for fighting smart against Banuelos, take a moment to refer back to that picture where you can see his freaking skull, would you please? PicProps: ESPN)
Remember back in 2004, when Nelly and Tim McGraw recorded that terrible duet and then made a video utilizing the magic of split-screen technology to show us that – while they might look and sound very different – they were actually leading surprisingly similar parallel lives? Man, if only we could do the same thing with Miguel Torres and Fedor Emelianenko right now. This situation practically screams for a buddy comedy: One is a wise-cracking former bantamweight champion from Chicago who tweets like a madman and lives life in the fast lane. The other is a stoic Russian former heavyweight champion who prefers the quiet surroundings of Stary Oskol over the city and likely considers the internet a form of witchcraft. Oh brother, these two will never get along, right? Wrong.
Torres and Emelianenko are actually more alike than you might think, as Torres himself points out to MMA Fighting.com this week. Both guys were once the undisputed kings of their respective weight classes, but in recent times both have been cast into adversity by a pair of high profile defeats. It just so happens that Torres is a little bit further along the path to redemption than Emelanenko is, so he has some friendly professional advice for his unlikely spirit brother. Oh, also it kind of sounds like he’s totally pissed about the recent (unwarranted) criticism of his (winning) performance in his UFC debut. It’s all after the jump.
Big, big congratulations to Potato Nation member Jeff “karmaatemycat” Watts, who increased his amateur MMA record to 2-1 on Saturday night, scoring a dominant decision victory over Rusty Dafoe at the LCO Cage Fights event in Hayward, Wisconsin. And as promised, he came out wearing his CagePotato Devil Horns t-shirt, like a boss. You did us proud, buddy. Video of the fight is after the jump, along with some play-by-play…
Props to MMA Mania for giving us the heads-up about Carol Dias, a Brazilian MMA ring girl who is currently campaigning to be a part of the UFC Rio show in August. According to this interview with Terra Magazine, Dias is a 24-year-old model and journalism student, and wants to hold round-cards for the UFC when they visit her home country so that she can meet her favorite fighters, including Anderson Silva, Mauricio Rua, and (of course) Georges St. Pierre. On the topic of beauty’s advantages in the corporate world, Dias says: “A beleza ajuda sim. Mas com certeza o que faz você crescer é aquilo que você pode oferecer intelectualmente. Afinal a beleza acaba, não? O que você aprende, você não esquece. Beleza ajuda mas não é o mais importante como muitas pessoas acreditam.”
How true. Check out more lovely pics of Carol after the jump, and follow her life on Twitter.
What are you trying to say? Trouble at the old mill? Someone fall through the ice? Bobcat?
It’s yet to be confirmed by the UFC, but it would appear that former lightweight contender Kenny Florian will be fighting Diego Nunes when he makes his featherweight debut at UFC 131. The Vancouver card will be headlined by a heavyweight number one contender’s match between Junior Dos Santos and Brock Lesnar. Oh yeah, Shane Carwin is on board for this one, too.
KenFlo said that he wanted to fight a top contender, and Diego Nunes certainly fits the criteria. “The Gun” has gone 5-1 under the Zuffa banner and is currently riding a three fight win streak. His most recent outing was a split decision victory over former WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown back at UFC 125 in January. As for Florian, since losing his most recent title fight to BJ Penn back at UFC 101, KenFlo has gone 2-1, notching victories over Clay Cuida and Takanori Gomi before losing a decision to Gray Maynard at UFC 118.
It used to be that you could count on Tito Ortiz to show up on fight night, come up short, then cite an outrageous injury as the reason for his loss. Well, it looks like someone has taken our little ban to heart, as “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” disclosed yesterday via Twitter that he has suffered a serious concussion and received some 22 stitches, forcing him out of his bout with Lil’ Nog next month at UFC Fight Night 24.
First off, some serious questions. What the hell could have done such damage to that magnificent dome? Did the boys at NASA discover some new super-alloy? No, not likely. The clear answer here is that Tito contracted some sort of communicable skull-softening disease, likely from close contact with a known carrier. While Tito’s fellow scientists race for a cure, Dana White wasted no time in naming his replacement for the bout.
The dispute centers on ownership and rights to the Team Quest name. Henderson was at one point the sole owner of the fight club, but later sold a minority share in the company to Lindland. Henderson operates his branch of the franchise out of Temecula, California, with four other locations calling California and Oregon home. Money is no doubt at the heart of this battle. While Hendo is known to be soft-spoken, his counterparts in Oregon are no strangers to speaking their mind. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in and out of the courtroom. It’s hard to imagine Lindland charming a jury, and you’d have to give the advantage to Hendo thanks to his strong political allies…
After starting his career with ten consecutive KO/TKO victories (eight of which were earned in the first round), Brett Rogers came face-to-face with MMA’s heavyweight elite — and couldn’t rise to the challenge. A competitive bout with Fedor Emelianenko in November 2009 ended in a second-round loss thanks to a devastating overhand right. Somehow, Rogers was graced with a title shot for his next appearance, and got Reem’d in short order.
The Grim rebounded with a decision win over Ruben “Warpath” Villareal in October, and now finds himself in the eight-man field of Strikeforce’s heavyweight grand prix, where he’ll be facing Josh Barnett in the quarterfinals on April 9th (venue TBA). Our reporter Brian J. D’Souza caught up with Rogers at last weekend’s Fedor vs. Silva event to get his thoughts on the fights, his matchup with the Babyface Assassin, Fedor Emelianenko’s decline, and the opportunity to redeem himself in the heavyweight GP. Give it a look.
Dropping the “Cage Potato” name may not impress the ladies, but it’s good enough to get you a little action from the folks at Strikeforce. Yours truly was sipping a Rockstar tallboy cageside at last night’s Challengers event, and for those of you who missed it I’m coming correct with a recap of the action. Sure, the Challengers series lacks the big-name fighters and forbidden psychological technologies of its big brother, but that doesn’t mean it’s low on action.
The turnout at the Cedar Park Arena, just outside of Austin, TX, looked more like that of a regional show than an event being broadcast on Showtime. Tickets went on sale 2-for-1 on Thursday, which is never a good sign. The fans that did turn out seemed largely there to support local fighters and drink some beer, but that’s to be expected for a Challengers card that doesn’t pack a lot of names that the casual fan would recognize aside from “Couture”.
On this week’s episode of FX’s Lights Out, a muck-raking sports reporter catches wind that the show’s protagonist — former boxing champ Patrick “Lights” Leary — is supporting his career comeback with some MMA bouts on the side. That reporter must also be a big fan of our site, because he titles his story “LIGHTS LEARY CAGE POTATO?” Yep, there it is on page one of the Bergen Star sports section, held up by the show’s requisite slimy boxing promoter, Barry Word.
I have to say, it’s a proud moment to have the name of this website pronounced with such disdain by Reg E. Cathey, an actor who I’ve long been a fan of, thanks to his work on The Wire and Pootie Tang. (That being said, we’re still going to sue FX for royalties. Fair is fair.) After the jump: A TV-shot video of the scene in question.
Say what you want about his fighting prowess, but his Tamdan McCrory impression is spot-on.
By Cage Potato Contributor Seth “Insert Pop Culture Reference” Falvo
Normally, we media types tend to be skeptical of these Strikeforce Challengers cards. However, tonight’s card in Cedar Park, Texas couldn’t possibly come at a better time. Aside from keeping itself in the minds of MMA fans, Strikeforce can begin to sell the fans on its non-Emelianenko fighters. This card provides two very interesting options.
The event is headlined by a lightweight scrap between Lyle Beerbohm and Pat Healy. Undefeated in his first sixteen fights, former meth addict turned professional fighter Lyle Beerbohm has a story that practically sells itself. The fact that he’s only gone the distance twice doesn’t hurt, either. His opponent, former Maximum Fighting Championship welterweight champion Pat Healy, most recently fought against Josh Thomson as an injury replacement for Lyle Beerbohm. Don’t sleep on Healy because of his 25-17 record; he has victories over Dan Hardy, Paul Daley, and Carlos Condit.
(“So, which one of you broads is the lucky lady?” PicProps: Esther Lin)
We never thought we’d say this, but Old Dad’s latest “My First Fight” piece with Frank Shamrock actually makes us look at the metal-mouthed Strikeforce color commentator in a whole new, halfway positive light. Say what you want about his broadcasting skills (oh, and we do, we do) but after reading this story on MMA Fighting.com it’s hard not to consider the man’s life on the whole an overwhelming and unlikely success story. As an added perk, you also find out why Shamrock’s nose looks so funny on TV. It’s because when he was 24 years old, Bas Rutten kicked him in the face.
We’ll get to that in a minute. First though, this gem: Within the first two graphs of the narrative, our man Fowlkes deftly tells us that Shamrock may have been the first and last person in the history of mankind to (fresh out of prison) find himself deciding between a career as a health care professional, a mixed martial arts fighter and a male stripper. Channeling his 1994 self, Shammy explains thusly: “I was going to be a physical therapist or an exotic dancer, or I was going to do this no-holds-barred fighting thing that Ken (Shamrock) was doing. And I didn’t know anything about any of them.”
A decade later we all know the path Shamrock chose, in the process likely saving the bachelorettes of the early Clinton years an incredibly awkward night they would remember forever …
The Bum Rush Radio Show is back for a 16th episode this week, and it’s a doozy.
On this edition of the podcast, the guys recap Saturday’s opening round event of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix and break down next weekend’s UFC 127 card before welcoming CP fighter-blogger Ryan “The Big Deal” Jimmo and MMA icon Ricco Rodriguez.
This went down last Sunday at ProFC Union Nation Cup 13 in the Ukraine. Byakhtiyar Abbasov tries to set up a leg-lock off a scramble, and Igor Sliusarchuk axe-kicks him in the jaw not once, but twice. Even while unconscious, Abbasov refuses to let go of that mouthpiece. Sliusarchuck now joins the MMA Upkick Hall of Fame, alongside Renzo Gracie, Gegard Mousasi, and Anderson Silva.