(Dan Cormier does a dead-on impression of how his face is going to look after he gets hit with one of those fists. / Photo via MMAFighting.com)
Tonight, four big-ass dudes become two, and we mean that in the straightest way possible. Strikeforce’s lovably meaningless heavyweight tournament reaches its semi-final phase tonight at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cicinnati, Ohio, supported by a middleweight title fight and a compelling light-heavyweight feature between Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal and Roger Gracie.
Round-by-round results for the “Barnett vs. Kharitonov” Showtime main card will be piling up after the jump starting at 10:30 p.m. ET. CagePotato liveblog-mercenary Matt Kaplan will be handling business tonight, so please make him feel welcome, and refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest.
An “expect a knockout, bro” joke may be cliche, but would you rather us put “Business as usual, You Guys” in the headline?
Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that we’re supposed to be pretending that Strikeforce isn’t a dead company, and is by no means being absorbed by the UFC. Cincinnati is practically dead, despite the fact that the Strikeforce Grand Prix resumes there tonight. Strikeforce fighters are beginning to speak out about the lack of promotion that the UFC gives Strikeforce events. Strikeforce’s own champions have their next fights booked with the UFC. So today’s rumored fight isn’t so much of a surprise in the sense that another top Strikeforce fighter has reportedly been absorbed into the UFC, but rather, in the sense that we’re still going along with this “Strikeforce will continue to operate as a separate organization” thing.
In a statement released via his personal website, Vitor Belfort announced that he will be fighting Cung Le at UFC 139 in San Jose. The UFC has yet to confirm the signing of Cung Le, yet alone the announcement of this fight. Still, it appears that Vitor Belfort is already training for Le as his next opponent, as he has brought in Ray Sefo to help him train. Vitor tells fans to “Prepare to see the same dedication he takes to creating his fists the fastest in MMA to his powerful trunks.” I’m not quite sure what that means, but it sounds awesome.
You’re telling me that Ortiz found a hat that fits him? Nice try, photoshop.
The UFC has announced that a light-heavyweight fight between Tito Ortiz and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has been added to UFC 140. This marks the second time that the two have agreed to fight each other. Originally, the two were supposed to meet in the main event of March’s UFC Fight Night. However, Tito Ortiz withdrew from the fight due to a concussion, and was replaced by Phil Davis.
Both fighters are in serious need of a victory if they want to stay relevant in the UFC. While Ortiz managed to pull off an upset victory over Ryan Bader at UFC 132, he went on to get thoroughly dominated by Rashad Evans (save for a guillotine attempt in the second round) at UFC 133. Tito Ortiz is now 1-5-1 in his last seven fights. Likewise, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is riding a two fight losing streak of his own. After losing to Ryan Bader at UFC 119, Nogueira was outclassed by Phil Davis during March’s UFC Fight Night. If we’re not counting his controversial victory over Jason Brilz at UFC 114, Nogueira hasn’t won since punching out Luiz Cane at UFC 106 in November 2009.
(That asshole better get used to wearing outfits like this in jail.)
By the time Joe Son fought at UFC 4 and subsequently had his balls minced by Keith Hackney, he figured he had gotten away with a vicious armed kidnapping and rape he committed with a buddy four years prior. Three years later he was cast as Random Task in the Mike Myers hit Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and probably thought his crime would never be solved. Eleven years later, the cold case thawed when the Korean-born sub-par fighter, actor and human being was arrested for an unrelated parole violation and a DNA submission was linked to the Christmas eve 1990 assault on a then-19-year-old woman whose life would never be the same after Son and his co-accused plucked her from the street in Orange County and drove around for a few hours taking time raping and sodomizing her while terrorizing and penetrating her with a handgun.
The pair made their victim believe that she was going to die, no matter if she cooperated with their demands or not before releasing her with the caveat that her life was “her Christmas present from them.” How thoughtful.
Well, that fat bastard won’t get to breathe the air of a free man for at least 16 years, but it’s more likely that he’ll spend more behind bars, especially if prosecutors and his victim have any say in the matter, and they will. He was sentenced to life in prison this afternoon with the possibility of parole.
Though I’ve never done a movie review before, I have seen two or three of them in my day, so when CagePotato.com and Break.com asked me to do a review of the new MMA-themed film WARRIOR, I told them I’ll check my schedule. Under ten seconds later I happily agreed.
With the bar on MMA-themed movies being set to an embarrassing low with such Academy Award-worthy gems as Fighting and Never Back Down, I didn’t really know what to expect from WARRIOR. I actually left Never Back Down out of embarrassment after the chubby sidekick told the main character, “You’ve gotta train Mai Thai.”
Regardless, I did my best Bangs impression and took my Shorty to the movies to go see Warrior. After sitting through previews that accused Billy Shakespeare of being a plagiarizing charlatan and dancing gerbils driving ugly cars it was Showtime!
UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez was interviewed recently by Full Contact Fighter and the UFC heavyweight champion dropped an interesting nugget about a hypothetical fighting situation that could happen one day.
Velasquez says that if push came to shove and he was matched up with his American Kickboxing Academy teammate Daniel Cormier in the future, he would fight him, but only if there were ranking or title implications on the line and that the sentiment is a mutual one he’s spoken about with the wrestling standout.
“This Sunday marks the ten-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The way America looked at itself was altered immensely on that date, and a decade later the world is a very different place. Memories of panic and uncertainty are still present, but the urge to keep moving forward is even stronger. In remembrance of this anniversary, TheFightNerd.com, has released an exclusive short-film that commemorates this event alongside the New York MMA community. ‘A Fighting Spirit’ is a video memoir that interviews members of the NY martial arts community and discusses where they were when the Towers collapsed, how they have coped, and how New York and America have grown stronger.
Directed by Kahleem Poole-Tejada (director of the full-length documentary ‘New York MMA’) and produced by Matthew Kaplowitz (Editor-in-Chief of TheFightNerd.com) in association with Ranger Up, the film takes viewers around a tour of downtown Manhattan and provides a glimpse inside several of New York City’s top MMA gyms. It features many NY-based fighters, such as Renzo Gracie, Chris Weidman, Pete ‘Drago’ Sell, and Vitor ‘Shaolin’ Ribeiro, as well as Stephen Koepfer of NY Combat Sambo, Mark Yehia of ‘Elite Plus MMA,’ Rob Constance of ‘The Renzo Gracie Academy’ and President of the ‘Ultimate Absolute’ grappling tournament, and Emilio Novoa, President of ADCC North America. Also appearing is UFC middleweight fighter Jorge Rivera, as well as Strikeforce middleweight Tim Kennedy, who adds the voices of members of the U.S. Armed Forces to this emotional piece.”
As a New York resident since August 2002, the ten-year anniversary of 9/11 has put me in a reflective mood all week. Maybe you feel the same. If you have any recollections or tributes to share from that day, please leave them in the comments section. Here, I’ll start…
Well it looks like Dennis Hallman’s wardrobe malfunction at UFC 133 won’t cost him his job with the UFC.
“Superman” Tweeted last night that he will be dropping back down to lightweight for the first time in 10 years to take on undefeated Canadian prospect John Makdessi at UFC 140 in December in Toronto.
A true moneyweight fighter, Hallman who is 50-12-1 (1 NC) in 64 professional fights as a light heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight and lightweight, defeated Matt Hughes at 155 at UFC 23, earning him a shot at then-lightweight champ Jens Pulver at UFC 33, but fell short, losing to “Lil’ Evil” by unanimous decision. That was his last fight at 155.
Put on your surprised face, kids: Paul Daley stepped on the scales just minutes ago for his welterweight contest this weekend at BAMMA 7, and was recorded six pounds over the 170 pound limit. He has been given two hours to sweat out the remaining pounds. His opponent, Jordan Radev, came in at 170 on the first try.
At this point, Paul Daley making weight the first try would be more of a story, as this now makes the sixth time (by our count) that Semtex has tipped the scales in his own favor.
MMAFighting was on the scene yesterday for the “Barnett vs. Kharitonov” press conference, and released the above highlight video. Skip to the 1:33 mark to see Daniel Cormier give away his gameplan against Antonio Silva; lots of laughs there. Later, King Mo says what everybody’s thinking: “I was hoping more people [would be] out here, more media, and more questions, but really I guess y’all don’t care about us that much. I’m just keeping it real. Me and Roger [Gracie] gonna put on a good fight, it’s gonna be a good card. I think people are gonna miss out on it because everybody’s worried about other issues instead of the fights this weekend. I’m just being real.”
Also on the card, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza defends his middleweight belt against Luke Rockhold — who hasn’t competed since February 2010 due to injuries — and Maximo Blanco makes his promotional debut against Pat Healy. The complete lineup is after the jump.
Warrior hits theaters today — will it live up to its “serious MMA movie” hype? (I mean, I think it does, but everybody’s entitled to their own opinion, right?) Come back this afternoon for Nick Newell‘s review of the flick, which will challenge everything you know about film criticism.
In a positively shocking turn of events that no one could have seen coming, Dana White today announced via Twitter that Nick Diaz had been re-booked for a bout at UFC 137 — against BJ Penn.
With a simple swap of opponents, White deftly solved the headaches he had with Diaz and the two co-main events at UFC 137 without calling in a fighter on short notice, and simultaneously scored a huge amount of free publicity for the fight (Ed. note: Oh, the ironing.)
On top of that, White also managed to deal a pretty stiff blow to Diaz, without looking like a bad guy in the process. Diaz now finds himself without a Strikeforce title or a fight for the UFC title, with fans jeering his own catchphrase back at him, facing a very tough veteran with a broad skill set that could very well beat him at his own game.
Tanner, who was open about his fights with alcohol abuse and his personal demons is said to have called his manager, John Hayner to let him know that his dirt bike had run out of gas a few miles from his camp and that his trip was going well besides the mishap. When he failed to answer calls from friends the next day, police were dispatched and after a brief aerial search, located Tanner’s camp and his remains a few miles away from his abandoned motorcycle.
“He was in a real positive state of mind, he wasn’t having any drinking problems or any of those types of problems. He was really feeling good about his life,” Hayner told CagePotato.com. Here was a famous UFC fighter who didn’t have enough food to eat at times. I’d call him just to make sure he had food in his fridge, but he never let it get him down. Starting over was kind of a theme in his life. He hardly ever lived in the same place more than six months,” Hayner said. “He moved out to Vegas and then found it too shallow for him, so he moved out to Oceanside and had a great place, he was learning to surf, and he was really enjoying his day-to-day life.”
In the aftermath of yesterday’s bombshell that Nick Diaz was pulled from his UFC 137 main event fight against Georges St. Pierre, it still isn’t clear what kind of future Diaz has in the UFC. But one thing’s clear — he’s violated Dana White’s trust, and that’s generally not a good career move.
Check out the above video interview from MMA30, in which Dave Farra gets DW’s immediate reactions to Diaz’s press conference no-show. Ultimately, White felt that he couldn’t promote a fighter who was so undependable: “This kid’s not gonna show up in Vegas, didn’t show up in Toronto — what else isn’t he going to show up for? Is he not gonna show up for the fight? I’m not gonna risk that.”
Always colorful and entertaining UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen appeared on MMAFighting’s The MMA Hour yesterday and among other topics, gave his thoughts on being public enemy number one in Brazil. According to the outspoken self-professed American Gangster, he decided against travelling to Rio de Janeiro to corner his friend and training partner Yushin Okami against Anderson Silva at UFC 134 when he received more than the usual number of death threats, particularly when he felt that shit got real.
An up-and-coming Ohio MMA prospect’s body was found in the woods near a party where he got into a fight earlier in the evening Saturday night and the man he brawled with has been charged in connection with his murder.
According to a report from the Sandusky Register, Westlake resident and 2-0 amateur fighter Phil Masterson, 25 whose brother Matt is a 9-3 pro, attended a party on South Bass Island near a cabin he was renting for the holiday long weekend on September 3 where he got into an altercation with a 27-year-old Bowling Green man by the name of Zachary Brody. After some pushing and shoving that escalated into a brief fight, the pair were separated and went their separate ways. Police allege that at some point later in the night Brody returned to the scene and beat Masterson to death and hid his body in the woods beneath a tarp, where it was later found by family members who began a search Sunday for their missing relative.
MMA history is littered with badass sets of brothers — the Nogueiras, the Shamrocks, the Ruffos — but we wouldn’t necessarily want to see them cage-fight to the death. There are, of course, a few exceptions to that rule. In honor of tomorrow’s release of Warrior, which features two estranged brothers who [SPOILER ALERT!] beat the crap out of each other at the end, we humbly present our top-five dream fights between bros. Enjoy…
With all the times that Jason has slapped his brother in the face before UFC fights, you’d think that Clay might want to give some of it back, just once. Sure, the Carpenter would be at a solid 50-pound weight disadvantage, but I think he’d take it by decision due to his pace and his wrestling. Besides, it’s been too long since we’ve had a good open-weight freak show fight in this country.
The story of the week, by all rights, should have been that the UFC triumphed again and put together a huge heavyweight fight at the end of the year … until Nick Diaz wigged out and went AWOL, missing two beauty pageants press conferences and losing his shot at GSP’s title and all the riches that would follow. Now every MMA site on the web has three stories about the man from the 209, and we won’t start talking about Lesnar-Overeem until mid-September at the earliest.
Since we’re all speculating, CagePotato thought we would pass on this delicious rumor: Nick Diaz will still be competing at UFC 137, against BJ Penn.
Dana White told MMAJunkie yesterday that he was working on finding an opponent to replace Carlos Condit, and he obviously had someone in mind, saying “if I told you what I want to do with that fight you guys would flip out, so we’ll see what happens.”
The two heavyweights first met at UFC 92 in December 2008 following a shared stint on TUF 8. Despite coming in as a 3-1 underdog, Mir shocked fans by outstriking Nogueira en route to a second-round TKO. Then, Nogueira pee-peed on Mir’s parade by revealing that he was fighting with a staph infection and injured knee, which didn’t exactly sit well with Mir. Nogueira has wanted a rematch ever since, and re-called-out Mir following his big win last month.
You would think that after screwing up badly enough to have a title shot yanked away and with your future career with your employer hanging by a thread as a result, you might want to, I don’t know, apologize and show some sort of emotion that resembles remorse for your actions.
If you’re Nick Diaz, you pretty much do the opposite of that.
Since nobody knows where the hell in Central Valley Team Cesar Gracie’s biggest introvert is, we figured why not have our readers tell us what they think Nick Diaz ended up doing the past couple days that was so much more important than doing his job.
(Too bad, so sad, Nick. Maybe ProElite will have you.)
You would think Nick Diaz would have taken Dana White’s warning that he better start “playing the game” when he re-signed him to the UFC. Apparently he doesn’t know the two golden rules: One, Dana White always wins and two, Dana White never forgets.
An obviously infuriated White, who said that in 1600 events he has promoted he has never had such issues with unprofessionalism with a fighter, broke the news via a highlight reel featuring Condit and St-Pierre. He explained that they twice rescheduled Diaz’s flight and that neither he nor Nick’s longtime trainer Cesar Gracie have been able to reach the sociopathic former Strikeforce champion since Monday. During the event today, Gracie called White to tell him he agrees wholeheartedly with his decision to swap opponents and apologized for his fighter’s lack of professionalism. White revealed that Gracie had Diaz cornered in his house after he finally found the AWOL fighter on Monday and that Diaz snuck out the back door when his coach’s back was turned. Gracie has been chasing him all over Stockton ever since.
(Don’t feel bad, Todd — that’s still 18 more seconds than we would have lasted.)
After four years of whipping heavyweights around the world, Alistair Overeem has finally signed with the UFC, and will fight Brock Lesnar on December 30th. (*Pause for happy-dance*) Though Overeem has more submission victories on his MMA record than knockouts (19 compared to 14), the Demolition Man has become infamous for the destructive power of his fists and knees — which he’s also showcased to brutal effect during his parallel career in K-1. So in honor of his new gig as a UFC fighter, we decided to rank our ten favorite Alistair Overeem knockouts of all time. Enjoy, and let us know your personal favorite in the comments section…
#10: Alistair Overeem vs. Lee Tae-Hyun DREAM.4, 6/15/08
Overeem got an easy draw for his DREAM debut — South Korean ssireum wrestler Lee Tae-Hyun, who came into the fight with a 1-1 MMA record. Thirty-six seconds later, Tae-Hyun had a 1-2 record and a fresh concussion.
#9: Alistair Overeem vs. Brett Rogers Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery, 5/15/10
In his first Strikeforce heavyweight title defense in two-and-a-half years, Overeem completely outclassed the Grim, ragdolling him just part the one-minute mark, then smashing Rogers with ground-and-pound until the challenger crumbled.
Well, we can’t say we didn’t see this one coming, but it doesn’t make it any more less idiotic. According to Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk, although it’s been 15 years since he penned his acclaimed best seller, there is apparently a Broadway adaptation of “Fight Club” is in the works.
The play, which will likely be based heavily on David Fincher’s 1999 film adaptation that starred Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter, will join Spiderman and Batman as the new wave of live action theatre that appeals to men who aren’t gay or who are simply fans of stupid concepts.
Plahniuk told Shortlist during a recent interview that Fight Club on Broadway will likely happen and that he’s all for the idea, although it’s probably not so much the idea he likes since it’s ridiculous, as it is the barrels of cash he’ll be paid for licensing out his most successful property.
(Bendo” and “The Carpenter” will be appearing alongside in Encino Man 2: The Encino Twins.)
UFC officials announced a pair of fight bookings for it’s November 12 Fox premier show overnight.
According to a posting on UFC.com, former WEC lightweight champion Ben Henderson (14-2) will take on Clay Guida (29-8) in a 155-pound affair and top Japanese bantamweight Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto (18-4, 1 NC) will square off against Strikeforce and Shooto veteran Darren Uyenoyama (6-3) in 135-pound action on the card.
Although neither fight will be shown during the one-hour broadcast which will feature only one bout — a heavyweight title fight between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos — UFC president Dana White mentioned last week that they are looking at options to ensure fans can watch the entire card.