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June, 2011

And Now He’s Fired: Nate Marquardt … Wait, What?

Nate Marquardt Free CagePotato

We blame ourselves.

Well holy shit. Word came out today that Nate Marquardt was having a bad day: he’d failed his medical clearances for his main event fight against Rick Story at tomorrow night’s UFC For Free (or whatever they’re calling it now). There weren’t a lot of details, but his management said it “only temporary” and that “Nate’s future is at welterweight.”

Marquardt’s day turned significantly worse just an hour later, when Dana Tweeted a terse video confirming that Marquardt was donezo:

“I’m sure you heard that Nate Marquardt is out. It’s true. He failed his medicals. Not only is he out of this fight, and out of the main event on Versus, he will no longer be with the UFC.”

WOW. We’re not ones to speculate, but it’s pretty obvious that BigDaddyWhite is pissed, like he’s holding the fighter responsible for some misdeed.

Oh and by the way, Marquardt will be replaced by Charlie Brenneman, who had originally been slated to fight TJ Grant. Grant pulled out of the bout three days ago due to illness, leaving Brenneman without a dance partner.

Feel free to let your imaginations run wild in the comments, and we’ll update you as soon as we hear something from Marquardt.

[RX]

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Hatsu Hioki Joins the UFC Featherweight Division

Hatsu Hioki has officially joined the UFC, announced this morning via Twitter.  The Child of Shooto relinquished his lightweight title in late May, and we all kind of assumed that he was headed stateside.  Well, call us Nachodamus.

By now ya’ll know that Hioki  has some prime wins under his belt (something you can’t always say about fighters competing on the other side of the Pacific), including Mark Hominick (twice) and an upset over Marlon Sandro for the Sengoku featherweight strap.  Hioki hit a rough stretch in 2007, dropping consecutive decisions under the Shooto banner, but he hasn’t really lost since if you don’t count the decision loss to Michihiro Omigawa that the judges hung on him–and we don’t.

No word yet on who Hioki will face off with for his debut, but may we suggest Kenny Florian?

[RX]

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Video Roundup: UFC on Versus 4 Pre Fight Interviews

Breaking sports news video. MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL highlights and more.

Rick story, blatantly holding back his true feelings regarding Nate Marquardt.

In preparation for UFC on Versus 4 this Sunday night, Ariel Helwani has been busy interviewing fighters. Since you probably have a major concerns regarding his interviews, I’ll address it now: Nobody gets slapped. For those of you still here, Nate Marquardt and Rick Story don’t exactly speak highly of each other, Christian Morecraft talks beer and Black Sabbath and John Howard talks about the Boston Bruins winning the Stanley Cup.

For more of Ariel Helwani, be sure to check out the pre-fight and post-fight shows on Versus Network, beginning at 8 PM ET and 11:30 PM ET, respectively. You’ll get analysis from Ariel, Todd Harris and Stephan Bonnar. You’ll also get a special appearance by our favorite reader (No, not Cheick Kongo). And also watch the other videos after the jump.

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Pat Barry Would Punch Michael Jackson, is Sick of You Implying he Threw the Fight Against Cro-Cop


Video Props: MMAWeekly via MiddleEasy

With his upcoming bout against Cheick Kongo taking place this Sunday at UFC on Versus 4, it seems kind of odd that we’re still talking to Pat Barry about his loss to Cro Cop. Despite losing the fight over a year ago, and since defeating Joey Beltran at UFC Fight for the Troops 2, Barry is still addressing the concerns that some have that he threw his fight against Cro Cop. Needless to say, Barry doesn’t exactly take kindly to such claims.

Pat Barry goes on to talk about a guy who actually whispered into Pat’s ear that he thought Pat Barry threw the fight against Cro Cop. I’m not sure if we should count that as bravery, stupidity or attempted suicide. He also talks about Cheick Kongo’s improved wrestling, some comments attributed to him before the fight and his time training with DeathClutch in preparation for this fight. Well worth a quick viewing, even if it’s just for the facial expressions that Pat Barry makes.

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Strikeforce Challengers 16: Do you Like Decisions? Because You’re Acting Like It.


These guys know what I’m talking about.

With all of the MMA available this weekend, you had to expect to sit through at least a few decisions. Maybe even a few overreactions to a subpar performance. Last night, Strikeforce Challengers 16 delivered on your expectations. Fans at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington sat through six straight unanimous decisions, with every fight on the televised portion of the card ending this way. Yet despite the lack of stoppages, most of last night’s fights were still pretty entertaining.

Fodor vs. Terry was a very entertaining scrap, with both lightweights landing hard shots throughout the fight. However, whenever the fight went to the ground, Caros Fodor clearly controlled the action, earning him the decision. The AMC Pankration prospect improved to 11-3, with four consecutive victories under the Strikeforce banner. Excuse me for pointing out the extremely obvious, but Fodor really deserves a step up in competition.

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Friday Afternoon Link Dump


(Video courtesy of YouTube/FightHub)

- The Most Misleadingly Named MMA MMA Moves (Clutch.MTV)

- Strikeforce Overeem vs. Werdum from a CP Reader’s Perspective (PatrickWalter)

- The Most Amazing Acts of MMA Mid-Fight Mockery (Cracked)

- Andy Roddick is Baffled By Reporter’s Questions (Guyism)

- Jones, GSP and Werdum Nominated for ESPY Awards (MMAJunkie)

- The Dugout: Jim Riggleman is Sick of This Winning Shit (WithLeather)

- Cecil Peoples Caught in a Riot at Kickboxing Event (TheFightNerd)

- James Spader to Join The Office (ScreenJunkies)

- “Shogun Would ather Stomps Than Elbows in MMA (MMAMania)

- Westboro Church Picketts Ryan Dunn Memorial (HolyTaco)

- Sony Facing Possible Class Action Suit For PS Server Hack (FileFront)

- New Captain America Trailer Kicks Ass (TheRugged)

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On This Day in MMA History…June 24


(PRIDE never die…)

PRIDE 3 went down 13 years ago.

Why it matters:

• Mark Kerr was still in his prime, which was how we want to remember “The Smashing Machine.” He easily handled IVC and IVF champ Pedro Otavio.

Gary Goodridge picked up his eighth MMA win.

Kazushi Sakuraba continued to assert his dominance over top competition by dispatching of Canadian rising star Carlos Newton, who would eventualy win the UFC welterweight strap.

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DVR Alert: Shark Fights on FUEL TV, It’s Showtime Amsterdam on HDNet


(The poster for tomorrow night’s “Shark Fights 16: Neer vs. Juarez” card — look for the broadcast soon on FUEL. Image courtesy of SharkFights.com)

As if you didn’t have enough MMA to deal with this weekend — what with Strikeforce Challengers tonight, Bellator 46 on Saturday night, and UFC Live: Marquardt vs. Story on Sunday night, not to mention Spike TV’s counter-programming efforts — we have another recommendation for your MMA viewing pleasure.

Last week, FUEL TV kicked off a weekly Friday-night broadcast highlighting Shark Fights‘s best recent events. Tonight starting at 9 p.m. ET/PT, they’re airing highlights from Shark Fights 15, which featured the controversial draw between Joey Villasenor and TUF 11 castmember Chris Camozzi, and Dave Branch vs. Jeremy May. Coincidentally, Shark Fights is also holding their 16th event tomorrow night in Odessa, Texas, featuring interim welterweight champion (and UFC vet) Josh Neer taking on Bellator/MFC standout Jesse Juarez.

Also? Tonight at 11 p.m., HDNet is airing the It’s Showtime 2011 Amsterdam card from last month, which was headlined by accused coke-smuggler Hesdy Gerges vs. Chris Knowles. In other words, this is one of the busiest weekends in the history of combat sports. Enjoy, and please stay hydrated.

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Ring Girls Round-Up Special: Ashley Salazar

By Anton Gurevich

Ashley Salazar’s resume is longer than Travis Fulton’s fight record. Before winning the Knock Out Ring Girl contest for Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson, Ashley served six years in the Air Force as a mammographer. [Ed. note: *spits drink out*] She also has an amateur Mixed Martial Arts record of 1-1, with her last fight taking place in August of 2010. Aaaannd…Ashley is also a mother.

Today, Ashley’s number-one goal is to win Playboy’s “Miss Social” contest, which will reach its final stage this Monday, June 27th. You can help Ashley win by submitting votes on the contest’s Facebook page.

We had a rare opportunity to have an interview with Ashley Salazar, asking her all sorts of ridiculous questions. Please make sure you follow Ashley on Twitter @ashleycmsalazar, and “Like” her Facebook Fan Page.

Check out Lowkick’s Q+A with Ashley Salazar — and more pics, of course —right here!

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Video: Rorian Gracie Says He Sold His Share of UFC Because He Was Against Rules and Time Limits Being Added


(Video courtesy of YouTube/StudioMMA/MMANYTT)

Our friends at MMANY.se passed along this recent interview they did with Rorian Gracie in which they spoke with the UFC co-founder about whether or not he had any regrets about selling off his stake in the company before it blew up in popularity.

“No, I don’t regret it at all. I’m happy that I’m no longer involved in this because it doesn’t reflect my vision for what I first came up with. Money-wise, it’s a big money-making venture, but for me it was always about much more than the money. It was the ability to showcase a fight that was for real. That’s what brought me to America. Thats what earned the respect for the Gracie name, is being able to fight against everybody and anybody at any time. Now that everybody has learned the system, of course it’s levelled the playing field. Everybody has learned jiu-jitsu and ultimately that’s what I’m happy with.”

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