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April, 2011

Cesar Gracie is a Bit Upset With His Cousin Renzo For Training GSP to Fight Jake Shields

(209 bros before French-Canadian foes.)

Jake Shields’ coach Cesar Gracie was on Sherdog’s The Savage Dog Show today and one of the topics he touched on was his disagreement with his cousin Renzo Gracie over his decision to help Georges St-Pierre prepare for his upcoming UFC 129 bout with longtime Gracie jiu-jitsu student and black belt Jake Shields this weekend.

According to Cesar, it was wrong for Renzo to help St-Pierre train as he is a relatively new student of the New York-based instructor and he feels that he should be looking out for his committed Gracie family members first and foremost.

“Renzo’s like a brother to me. You gotta understand, we grew up together. We really did. So nothing’s gonna change [between us]. People try to make a big thing about it. I did have a talk with Renzo and I said, “Renzo, you’re training a guy that doesn’t represent your academy, he represents another academy, to fight against a Gracie Academy. It doesn’t make sense to me. It just doesn’t Georges is a great guy.From al accounts, he’s respectful and a decent human being from what I’m understanding. And I said to Renzo, ‘If you had a talk with Georges St-Pierre and said, you’re one of our black belts, you’re going to have to represent us,’” Gracie said. “I think he would do it in a heartbeat.I did have that discussion with him, but I really don’t know what came about with it. People try to make a big thing about it, but I’m an old school guy. I really am. When Georges St-Pierre was training at Renzo’s to fight Matt Serra, who I think was the first black belt Renzo gave out in the U.S… I couldn’t imagine a guy coming in and training with me to beat one of my black belts. I just couldn’t do it. I don’t know exactly what they’re doing over there with that, but it’s just not my way. I’m old school and I’m gonna die old school. That’s just how I am. So I made my feelings known to Renzo about it and I don’t think my guys appreciate it. Frankie Edgar’s there too and he’s a really great kid. He came out to my place and he’s a really hard worker. He came out to train for the BJ Penn fight. I refused to have my guys train with BJ for that fight and they had trained with him for the Florian fight and maybe one fight before that fight when BJ needed help and was trying to get his career back on track. Nick Diaz was training with BJ Penn and there was good sparring. They called us up to train with him for the last Edgar fight and we said no, because he was fighting a kid who represented the Gracie Academy in New York. I’m old school, but now with this fight…It’s not about teaching a guy, because they’re professional athletes and they’re gonna have to fight. They didn’t grow up together or nothing like that. But me being an old school guy, I just look at it like you gotta carry our flag to battle and if you can’t carry our flag to battle, you aren’t training with us. It’s just how I look at it.”

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UFC 129 Press Conference Notes

(You’re lucky you’re not a fat ugly bully, Jake. PicProps: Tracy Lee/CombatLifestyle.com)

If you missed the UFC 129 press conference, have no fear, we’ve got you covered with the short and sweet version of what went down today in Toronto.

If you want to waste 45 minutes watching the whole shebang, we will have the video up within the hour. Alternatively, you can watch it on UFC.com.

For the rest of us that have shit to do tonight, the Cliff’s Notes are after the jump.

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Add Dana White to the List of People Not Buying Randy’s Retirement

(As if we need an excuse to use this picture. Props: ESPN)

Remember earlier this week when we discussed our worries that Randy Couture was already making qualifying statements about his planned retirement? Turns out, Dana White also has his doubts. To hear DW tell it, it sounds like Ol’ Captain America is starting to get more and more salty with all the questions he’s facing about his future this week and – true to form – during the official UFC 129 pre-fight presser the UFC Prez didn’t shy away from telling us how he really feels about Couture’s plan to make Saturday’s bout with Lyoto Machida his last. Props to MMA Fighting for the somewhat exhaustive quotes, which we trimmed down a bit.

“No,” White responded when asked if he believed Couture’s talk about hanging up his gloves. “I’m going to go out there and say it again. I know he was chirping, he was mad at me earlier, but … Randy Couture, I’ve been saying it and you guys have been standing in front of me when I said it. This guy is one of the top 10 best in the world … Who knows with this guy? I’m not saying it’s not time for him to retire but who knows? He’s such a competitor that every time there’s something out there and he says, ‘You know what? I think I can beat this guy,’ I think he’s going to come out and try to do it.”

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Will Jake Shields Be Georges St. Pierre’s Toughest Opponent to Date?

Georges St Pierre Jake Shields UFC 129 staredown GSP MMA gifs
(The staredown from today’s UFC 129 press conference in Toronto; props to ZombieProphet)

By Ryan Ventura

When Jake Shields beat Dan Henderson to a unanimous decision at Strikeforce: Nashville last year I was shocked. At the time, Hendo had left the UFC fresh off his devastating KO victory over Michael Bisping and was the favorite against Jake Shields in his Strikeforce debut. Before he defended his Middleweight crown against Dangerous Dan, Shields fought for the then-vacant Strikeforce belt against Jason Miller in a grappling clinic put on between the two, and in the end took the unanimous decision.

I personally believed that Jake didn’t have what it took to beat not only an Olympic-class wrestler, but a very dangerous power puncher. Most of us should know that Jake Shields doesn’t exactly have the best stand-up in Mixed Martial Arts. But what he lacks in the striking department, he completely makes up for with his Caesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt and his very strong wrestling. If Shields can grab a hold of any opponent, they’ll be in very big trouble trying to defend his takedown, submissions, and transitions. And if somehow you can get him on the ground, he has the tools to get out of any nasty situation…

Continue reading this article on LowKick.com

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Video: Ricardo Almeida Discusses Retirement, MMA Judging

It’s been less than a month since Ricardo Almeida announced his retirement from MMA competition, but so far, it seems to be treating him pretty well. Though nobody likes to go out on a loss, Almeida recognized it was time to hang it up. As he says in this revealing new video profile from Veazy Street Productions:

I have a lot of things going on outside of my fighting career — my family, I have a jiu-jitsu school to take care of, I train other fighters — so perhaps I felt like I wasn’t giving 100% to everything and doing everything I could. To be in the Octagon not 100% focused, to be in there not giving 100% of everything that you have is a dangerous thing…I just felt that after the loss to Pyle it just pushed me a little lower on the ladder. I felt it was going to take too much time to climb back up. I can’t say that if I had won, that I would be retired

I didn’t want to wait until I got knocked out 4-5 times in a row for people to tell me that I should quit. I wanted to walk out of it happy, I wanted to walk out of it healthy, I wanted to walk away with love, and I think the next step is to focus on myself as more of a diplomatic approach of being a coach, being an instructor, and being able to focus on my family.”

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GSP Hates Bullies and Fat Chicks

(Eat your heart out, fatty.)

If you’ve never heard the story of how Georges St-Pierre began taking karate to help him defend himself against the incessant bullying he endured as a child growing up in St. Isadore, Quebec, Yahoo!Sports has the backstory:

“I had a rough childhood, big problems. I didn’t have many friends growing up. I’m from a small town. I was an intellectual person. People who were friends with me were intellectuals, they were not popular either. They weren’t the hockey player that everyone wanted to be like,” he recalls. “I had an acne problem. I was just not dressing very well. I was not very popular with girls. I just wasn’t a popular guy. [Being bullied every day creates] a very hostile environment. You’re not going to school to learn, you’re going to school to survive. You’re really scared. You hate school because [afterward] you’re getting beat up. You don’t think about what the teacher is telling you, you’re thinking about running away when you hear the ringing of the bell. You need to get your books and get out of class and get to the bus before the kids catch you.”

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: UFC 129 Edition

If you believe the odds makers, we’ll all be paying good money to watch a bunch of epic squash matches during this Saturday’s UFC 129 pay-per-view. There are a lot of long, long odds on the card this weekend and while that may not be great news for the squares watching at home, it’s enough to make any self respecting gambler’s heart go pitter-pat inside his silky, hula girl print Hawaiian shirt. When the numbers are this big you really only have two options, boys and girls: Bet heavy on the favorites in a sober attempt to turn a meager profit or throw down on the dogs in a blind smorgasbord of wanton excess. Any wonder which route we’re gonna take? That’s right, friends, we’re taking the more funner-er route. The odds themselves – from Bookmaker.com – are after the jump.

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It Looks Like Arianny’s Music Career is Off to a Rocky Start


(Video courtesy of YouTube/StocktonHeyBuddy)

Well, that was fast.

A week after Arianny Celeste released a video sneak peek of her new original song “Fight to Love Me,” the UFC Octagon girl has been accused of ripping off another artist.

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’2011 Hottest Women in MMA Grand Prix’ — Semi-Final Results and Finals Matchup!

Arianny Celeste Brittney Palmer UFC ring girls
(Hint: As many as two and as few as none of these women have made it into the finals.)

After five days of voting, the Final Four in our “2011 Hottest Women in MMA Grand Prix” have been reduced to the Terrific Two. Since I’ll be in Toronto tomorrow and Friday, let’s plan on kicking off the finals voting on Monday. Just one more week, and this whole dirty business will be put to bed. But first, see who you’ll be voting for after the jump…

For round-of-16 results, click here.

For quarterfinal results, click here.

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Wednesday Morning MMA Link Club


(Phil Davis looking to steal Rashad Evans’s #1 contender status, says he “might have to use a little bit of craziness” to beat him. Props: philmrwonderful)

- UFC 129: Georges St. Pierre and the 10 Most Dominant Title Runs in MMA History (BleacherReport.com/MMA)

- Video: Mark Hominick, Sean Pierson Get Early Look at Rogers Centre (Versus MMA Beat)

- B.J. Penn: ‘Teammates Have to Fight Each Other’ (MMA Fighting)

- M-1 Global Insists They Aren’t Holding Up Fedor Emelianenko vs. Dan Henderson Signing (MMA Convert)

- The Evolve MMA Chronicles: Day 1 (MiddleEasy)

- Dave Batista’s MMA Career Over Before it Begins (5thRound)

- Tom Lawlor vs. Maiquel Falcao likely for UFC: Rio in August (LowKick)

- UFC Live 5 Starts to Take Shape With Ludwig vs. Sadollah, “Magrinho” vs. O’Brien (Five Ounces of Pain)

- Mauricio Shogun Rua Goes Back to His Old Trainer at King’s MMA (MMA-Scraps)

- MMA Welterweight Rankings (Fight Magazine)

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