(“Tell me you aren’t going to miss this shit, bro.”)
Our friends at Kimura.se caught up with Jake Shields ahead of his UFC 144 fight with Yoshihiro Akiyama Saturday in Japan and they asked the Team Cesar Gracie fighter whether or not he thinks his teammate Nick Diaz will follow through on his plan to retire.
If your cable provider doesn’t offer Fuel and you missed the UFC 144 countdown show last night, not to worry, we got you covered again.
It’s been a quiet week media-wise for the event, mostly because the majority of the fighters on the card and the few reporters planning on attending the show have been travelling to Japan. It seems like more focus of MMA news this week has been on the upcoming Strikeforce card, which is curious considering Saturday night’s event is a decent one.
Enjoy it. After this event and UFC: Alves vs. Kampmann on March 2, there won’t be another show until UFC: Sweden on April 14. That’s a six week stretch without a UFC show. At least our wives will be happy.
Anyway, this countdown show was a decent one. It’s interesting to hear guys like ‘Rampage’ and Akiyama talk about the difference between the North American and Japanese crowds, especially when it was like comparing apples to oranges between PRIDE and the UFC. Now we’ll finally get to see the disparity first hand.
I think I was most impressed with the level of respect Akiyama showed his opponent, Jake Shields, whom he praised for his skill level and fight smarts. It’s rare to see that in a pre-fight interview. He even found a way to make boring and conservative sound better by saying that Jake “isn’t explosive.” ’Sexyama’ could sell a Kia to a BMW enthusiast.
The rise of New Yorks Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin has not come without a bit of racially motivated backlash amongst the sports world, for reasons that have yet to be determined. After using the phrase “chink in the armor” to describe the Knicks loss to the New Orleans Hornets, a remark that appeared to be aimed at Lin, ESPN fired the writer responsible and suspended MMA Live host Max Bretos for using the phrase during a live broadcast. Sports media personality Stephen A. Smith recently discussed the issue alongside Skip Bayless, and if you have an extra 10 minutes on your hand, we recommend you check out his take on everything from over-sensitivity to racism in general, as it really puts the whole debate into perspective.
Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.
Aside from drawing the backlash of his fans, the remark caught the attention of UFC President Dana White, who tore Floyd a new one during a recent episode of FUELTV’s “UFC Tonight,” the video of which awaits you after the jump.
Eight months after being fired by the UFC for elevated testosterone levels before a scheduled match with Rick Story, Nate Marquardt is back under the Zuffa umbrella. The former UFC middleweight contender has signed with Strikeforce, where he is expected to make his long-delayed welterweight debut later this year. UFC president Dana White confirmed the news on last night’s edition of UFC Tonight on FUEL.
MMA Junkie adds that Marquardt’s first opponent in Strikeforce could be undefeated (though occasionally boring) 170-pound contender Tyron Woodley, who holds victories over Jordan Mein, Paul Daley, and Andre Galvao; verbal agreements are reportedly in place for the matchup. With the Strikeforce welterweight title still vacant, a Marquardt vs. Woodley match could have great significance to the promotion. Could this be Nate’s first step back to the Octagon? Or does Woodley pull a Chael and out-wrestle Marquardt for three rounds?
With the news today that Derek Brunson has failed his medicals and as a result has been forced out of his March 3 main card bout with Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at the upcoming Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey show in Columbus, OH, it appears that one prime candidate for the bout is very interested in stepping up on just over two weeks notice: Tim Kennedy.
(Big stakes for both fighters if this one happens.)
We’ll preface this story with the disclaimer that it’s simply a rumor at this point, but word on the street is that Todd Duffee may be the next opponent in line for Fedor Emelianenko.
According to a post on Fedor’s official website, “The Last Emperor” has been taking some time off to nurse a thigh injury and likely won’t fight until the summer against a “former UFC legend.” Sure it’s a stretch to say that Duffee is a UFC legend, but remember that these are those Crazy Russians talking and what else are they going to advertise him as, the ripped dude that got knocked out by that flabby Mike Russow guy?
Or perhaps by way of Slayer. In either case, check out these brutiful photos from last Saturday’s Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 45 card, which went down at the HMV Forum in Kentish Town, North London, England. In a middleweight match-up between Cage Rage veteran Brett Bassett and 5-1 Brett Sizeland, a brilliantly placed elbow in the second round cut Bassett wide open, resulting in one of the bloodiest cuts this side of Struve/Stojnic that we’ve ever seen. Check out the rest of the photos below.
(You might look at this picture and see a black guy and a white rabbit. But all I see is two cool friends, hanging out. / Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Weinberg)
It was recently announced that UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones would be participating as an honorary race official for the 2012 Daytona 500, which goes down this Sunday, February 26th, at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida, and will be broadcast on FOX. “I am thrilled to be able to serve as honorary race official at this year’s Daytona 500, NASCAR’s premier event,” Jones said in a press release. “Like the UFC, NASCAR has a passionate and knowledgeable fan base, and I am honored that I will get to share this experience with them.”
It’s funny…when you think of who the UFC might want to represent them at a high-profile NASCAR race, you’d probably assume it would be a woodsy outdoorsman, or an outspoken right-wing patriot. A white guy, is what I’m saying. Then again, Jones is hands-down one of the UFC’s biggest stars, and he adds some racial diversity to a sporting event that desperately needs it. And I mean desperately.
(“Please tell me he didn’t call anyone the C word.”)
It didn’t take long for UFC color commentator Joe Rogan to acknowledge the recent criticisms aimed at him by Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. And despite being called a “fake ass” and a “girly, high-ass voiced rusty trombone player” (loosely translated), Rogan decided not to start a war of words with Rampage, and in fact was rather complimentary when discussing the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion on his video podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience:
I love Rampage. I don’t mean to be rude when I assess things. I’m just trying to objectively try to figure out how this guy could be doing better than he’s doing. When I look at a guy Rampage, first of all, [he's] one of the most exciting fighters of all time. You go back to his fights in PRIDE like the Ricardo Arona fight or the Kevin Randleman knockout…he had a lot of great, great fucking fights in PRIDE. You know, I like [Rampage] a lot. I like him as a person. I enjoyed hanging out with him.
(Date, time and location of ring card boy auditions TBA)
Women’s MMA will have a new home starting on April 28 when Invicta Fighting Championships holds its inaugural event in Kansas City.
The upstart all female fight league, which will be promoted by IFC co-owner and VP Shannon Knapp who has worked for the IFL, UFC and Strikeforce in different capacities including matchmaker and fighter relations, announced the event and its existence on Sunday. A press release sent out by the promotion also stated that it has signed several of the sport’s top female talents (a few of whom are regular CP readers), including Strikeforce standouts Marloes Coenen, Sarah D’Aleo and Liz Carmouche, Dutch submission specialist Romy Ruyssen and former Bellator tournament competitors Jessica Penne and Lisa Ellis-Ward.
“The time has come for a platform dedicated exclusively to building the growing women’s division in our great sport,” said Knapp. “Invicta is committed to increasing the depth of the women’s field and building female superstars by providing women athletes with the opportunity to compete and hone their skills on a consistent basis throughout the year.”
The April show will feature former Strikeforce bantamweight champ, Coenen’s return to featherweight where she will rematch Ruyssen in the main event of the night.
Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal — avid Twitterer, occasional forum poster and all around social media force, has been noticeably absent from the ever-probing eye of the MMA world. Recently, it came to light that Lawal had some life threatening health concerns, and had been in the hospital for an extended period of time. A call to action has been issued on his behalf via concerned fans on various forums and Twitter. Prayer groups, emergency PayPal funding and several other good intentions have been proposed as possibilities for fans to render their own brand of help and good will. In an exclusive interview yesterday that will put your worried minds at ease, Mo gave us the 411 on his injuries, current health and financial status, and even an update of what shows he’s currently watching.
You know the deal by now, Potato Nation. Dana White’s first video blog for UFC 144 takes a look back at the aftermath of UFC 143, as has become the norm. So we’re going to skip the fancy introduction and get right into it.
(1:43) - Matt Riddle has to be one of the nicest guys in the UFC, bar none. Talk about a guy that loves his job. And a metaphorical fist bump is due to Henry Martinez for putting on a hell of a fight on such short notice. DW states that he originally thought this match-up was “the worst mismatch in UFC History.” How quickly we all forgot Silva/Leites.
(2:44) - Apparently Bruce Leroy kicked Figueroa so hard in the balls that he forgot how many times he kicked Figueroa in the balls. Irony? Either way, we agree that a two point deduction seemed a little harsh. Then again, Caceres likely destroyed any of Figueroa’s future plans to have children, so we’ll call it even.
This weekend, the UFC returns to Japan with a lightweight title fight, the homecoming of a gaijin PRIDE legend, and a whole lot of local talent. In the main event, Frankie Edgar follows up his astounding comeback win over Gray Maynard at UFC 136 with his latest title defense against former WEC champ Benson Henderson, whose rebirth in the UFC has included decision wins over top-ranked lightweights Jim Miller and Clay Guida.
Plus, Rampage Jackson looks to put on another great show for his Japanese fans against Ryan Bader, despite the fact that the Japanese used to poison his food. Meanwhile, a loss to Rampage would put Bader in a position where “his entire mixed martial arts career is in jeopardy,” according to Joe Rogan, who might be exaggerating a little bit.
UFC 144 will feature seven fights on the main pay-per-view card, following a four-fight prelims broadcast on FX. The full lineup is after the jump in case you need it; be sure to come back to CagePotato.com on Saturday evening for our play-by-play coverage of the whole shebang.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson recently sat down with Gary Alexander of Fighter’s Only Magazine for an exclusive interview, and per usual, provided several insights into the enigma wrapped mystery that is the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion’s mind. On the heels of an unsuccessful title bid against Jon Jones, Jackson has opted for a training camp that won’t cost him six figures for his upcoming UFC 144 bout against Ryan Bader. According to Jackson, he had originally planned on returning to MusclePharm for the bout with Bader, but upon coming to the realization that it would in fact be cold in that part of the country, decided to stay at his own newly formed gym in Southern California.
For the most part, the interview was standard Rampage fare, chocked full of paranoid delusions, incoherent rambling, and a complete disregard for the interviewer beside him. You know, the stuff we love about ‘Page. But things took an interesting turn when Jackson was asked how he saw the Bader fight going down in a perfect world:
In a perfect world, I step in the cage, and I yawn just like just I did on you and he fuckin’ faints. And then I get my check and walk out there like, ‘Thanks!’ and I don’t even gotta do the interview with Joe Rogan’s fake ass…after you fight, if you win, you gotta go and Joe Rogan’s gotta do an interview with you and most likely he’s been talking crap about you the whole time.
Join us after the jump for more from this interview, as well as an interesting tidbit compliments of Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.
By Mark Dorsey (Yeah, yeah, yeah…WE KNOW you guys want a CP app. We’re working on it. And your t-shirts are in the mail.)
Anybody who has searched MMA apps knows that there are dozens of products on the market. This may be a stretch for some of our readers, but let’s assume we all have interests outside of the MMA world. In a scenario like this, where we don’t all have the time to spend our days and nights trolling the comment section here like Xenophon, it is necessary to sort through the clutter and find the essential apps.
Not to worry, Potato Nation; we have you covered.
Cage Potato and Boost Mobile have teamed up to save you money, time and memory space by providing you with this Comprehensive 2012 MMA App Buyer’s Guide. While the odd gem may have slipped through the cracks, most of the best apps for your hard earned money are listed and reviewed after the jump.
Dunham, who was a much-hyped undefeated prospect himself at one time, is back on the upswing after compiling back-to-back victories against Shamar Bailey and Nik Lentz, which snapped a two-fight losing streak. Dunham’s biggest advantage against Barboza should be on the mat, but if he can’t get the fight there, he’ll be in for a long, painful night, full of feet flying at his face and shins slamming into his thighs. Anybody think Evan can derail the Edson Barboza hype-train?
Well, there’s one way to deal with cauliflower ear. Today’s video comes to us courtesy of Fight Lab 20: MMA Cage Fights @ Coyote Joe’s in Charlotte, North Carolina. Making his professional debut, Kenneth Crowder took on 1-1 Shane Tyner in a bantamweight contest that provided more than its fair share of highlights, but we’re going to focus on one in particular. After completing a takedown midway through the second round, Crowder unleashed an elbow that shall forever be known as “The Nastiest Elbow Ever Thrown By Anyone Ever.” Trust us on this one.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate have a Strikeforce title fight coming up in a little less than two weeks’ time. The tension between these two women is positively supercharged, and has led to some of the best pre-fight trash talk in MMA history. If the hype and media buildup surrounding their March 3 bout could be measured in monetary units, the United States national debt could be reduced to a zero balance, with a little spare change left over to place a wager on their fight.
Now, there is a new beef between these lovely ladies, and it all stems from comments made by Tate, regarding Rousey’s Olympic accolades.
In a recent TapouT Radio interview, Rousey spit hot fire and molten lava in Miesha’s direction, and gave a current chronicling of a variety of hot button topics.
Following his embarrassing loss to Michael Bisping at The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale, no one was sure what would become of Jason “Mayhem” Miller. There was speculation that his performance during his first appearance with the promotion since 2005, when he dropped a lopsided decision to Georges St. Pierre, was poor enough to get him fired. Immediately after the event, Dana White was hesitant to comment on Mayhem’s future with the UFC.
However, it appears that Dana has decided to give Mayhem Miller one more chance. Last night, the UFC confirmed that the charismatic middleweight has been booked to fight against C.B. Dollaway at UFC 146, which takes place on May 26 in Las Vegas.
We didn’t have C.B. Dollaway in mind when we wrote that Mayhem deserved a fight against a middleweight gatekeeper, but “The Doberman” certainly fits the description. After losing to Amir Sadollah during The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale, Dollaway has gone 5-3 in the UFC. He is currently riding a two fight losing streak after being knocked out by Mark Munoz and Jared Hamman.
Imagine the nerve of Chisora, smacking the champion across the face as if he was a child of the 1960s getting disciplined by his father. (Nowadays, that would never happen because if you slap your own kid across the face the police get called in and I’m not kidding.)
Klitschko (44-2) could not wait to get into the ring against Chisora and teach him a lesson for his disrespect. He pretty much did just that, setting a tone in the opening round by cutting Chisora’s lip. The bout was fairly even for the next three rounds, but then Klitschko started to pound Chisora with a constant one-fisted attack.
That one fist was Klitschko’s right hand because Klitschko claimed that he injured his left hand during the early portion of the fight. Klitschko’s strong right hand was good enough to get him the victory and allow him to retain his World Boxing Council championship.
However, even though Chisora (15-3) lost he gave a fairly good account of himself during the fight. He had several rallies where he would respond to Klitschko’s punches with his own flurries. He appeared to hurt the champion from time to time, but not enough to put the results of the fight in doubt.
Their battle has been a long time coming, and with a date finally set the war of words between Rashad Evans and Jon Jones is starting to heat up. Fresh off the heels of their UFC 145 presser, the two sat down with the crew of SportsNite to verbally squab once more.
Jones dutifully stuck to the script, referring to this bout as just another chapter in “his storyline” and flattering himself whenever possible. Rashad seemed content to lay back and paint ‘Bones’ as a fraud and a hypocrite. No one got KTFO, but both men scored with the jab—here’s a quick look at some of the exchanges.
Even though FUEL TV is still unavailable to most Americans, the UFC been a consistent draw for the channel. When FUEL TV aired the preliminary fights from UFC on FX 1, it set a company ratings record with an average of 148,000 viewers. This number was almost matched by the prelims for UFC on FOX 2, which averaged 144,000.
Two other TUF vets, Dennis Bermudez and Pablo Garza, will square off on the May 5th card. Bermudez looked to be seconds away from finishing off Diego Brandao when the crafty Brazilian latched on an armbar and snagged the first ever TUF featherweight plaque. Garza lost his elimination bout to enter the season 12 Ultimate Fighter house as well as his WEC debut, but was brought to the UFC where he picked up consecutive first round stoppages over Fredson Paixao (via “Lawn Chair KO“) and Yves Jabouin. “The Scarecrow” is looking to bounce back from his second round submission loss to the streaking Dustin Poirier.
The UFC’s attempts to give fighters active roles as commentators during UFC on FOX broadcasts have seen mixed results. The organization’s debut on FOX saw Brock Lesnar do a great job in both analyzing the fights and promoting his upcoming bout with Overeem. However, when Lesnar lost that fight and subsequently retired, the UFC could not continue to use him. It attempted to fill the void he left with UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture and Light-Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones.
The UFC may have dropped the ball by only airing a single fight during their one-hour debut on FOX, but it’s safe to say they’re taking things in the opposite direction for The Ultimate Fighter 15 premier on FX. The two-hour episode will feature a daunting 16 live elimination bouts, leaving scant time for ‘DYWBAFF’ speeches and fake team lists.
Don’t forget that you, fair viewer, will decide the match-ups each week by texting in your vote, so you’re practically guaranteed the matches you want to see. The party gets started at 9 p.m. ET/PT, March 9th. You bring the snacks, we’ll bring the smug.
Now show us all how smart you are and name all of the up-and-comers you recognize in the video.
(*Hello darkness, my old friend*…just to be clear, we’re referring to the darkness that accompanies being choked unconscious, not Jay Silva.)
To say that Kendall Grove has seen some ups and downs in his MMA career since winning the third season of The Ultimate Fighter would be an understatement. After defeating Ed Herman by ultra close unanimous decision to earn the coveted glass plaque, Grove would tack up two more submission wins over Chris Price and Alan Belcher. It seemed as if the lanky middleweight had the world in the palm of his hand, destined to follow Forrest Griffin and Rashad Evans as the new breed of MMA stars to make their name off the show.
And then it all fell apart.
Grove would drop his next two via form of KO to Patrick Cote and Jorge Rivera, and though he would follow up the pair of losses with victories over Evan Tanner (R.I.P.) and Jason Day, we would never see Grove rise above the rank of gatekeeper in his UFC run. He would go 2-4 in his next six, and would be ousted from the UFC after dropping a UD to Tim Boetsch at UFC 130 in Boetsch’s middleweight debut.
After scoring a quick submission win and evening the score with Joe Riggs, Grove out grappled Japanese sensation Ikuhisa Minowa at a Pro Elite event last month that we here at CP gave an official score of “meh.” Would last night’s SCC 4 card house “Da Spyda’s” first three fight win streak since 2007?