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February, 2012

Watch All of UFC 29: Defense of the Belts Right Here and Get Your Japan-o-stalgia On

Part 1

Part 2

(Props to Allfreefightvideos for the…uh…free fight videos.) 

The sixteenth of December in the year 2000 marked the last time the UFC made an appearance in the Land of the Rising Sun, and to celebrate, we’ve managed to pull some strings and dig up the entire pay-per-view event for your viewing pleasure. Because here at CP, we like to consider ourselves the cool step dads of the MMA blogosphere. Though we may not be around as much as we should, when we show up, you best believe we bring the nudie mags, cigarettes, and that funny smelling water that makes you all giggly and tired. Sure, your mom says it’s evil and thinks it killed your old dad, and sure, when you come to there’s change missing off the dresser, but at the end of the day, you’re just happy we brought you a gift, right?

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Landmark Vegas-Based Research Study to Explore Brain Injury Prevention in Combat Sport Athletes


(RIP Gatti. One of the most solid chins in the game.)

In the wake of Gary Goodridge’s revelation last week that he has been diagnosed with early onset pugilistic dementia, a group from Las Vegas announced last week that it is spearheading a study to determine why some boxers and MMA fighters fall victim to brain injuries while others don’t.

According to the chief investigator from the group, the aim of the landmark project isn’t to try to have contact sports banned, but rather to come up with better methods of prevention when it comes to protecting fighters from acquiring irreversible neurological damage.

“You can’t stop these sports, and the last thing we want to do is stop these sports,” Dr. Charles Bernick, the chief investigator for the project told the Sac Bee. “But we want to be able to protect athletes from long-term brain issues.”

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UFC 146 Booking Update: Gonzaga vs. Del Rosario, Brandao vs. Elkins


(Separated at birth??)

The UFC’s May 26th stop in Las Vegas — which will hopefully be headlined by Junior Dos Santos vs. Alistair Overeem — continues to pick up manpower.

In the heavyweight division, undefeated former Strikeforce contender Shane Del Rosario will make his UFC debut against the suddenly-not-retired Gabriel Gonzaga. Del Rosario’s 11-0 record includes 10 wins by first-round stoppage, but he hasn’t competed since his submission of Lavar Johnson a year ago. Meanwhile, Gonzaga just picked up his first win in the UFC since 2009 when he choked out Ednaldo Oliveira at UFC 142. Gonzaga’s last three UFC victories have come against Octagon first-timers, which might be a bad omen for Del Rosario.

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[VIDEO] UFC 144 Pre-Fight Press Conference

This Saturday will mark the UFC’s triumphant return to Japan for the first time in 11 years, and what a card we have in store. Aside from Frankie Edgar fighting someone not named B.J. Penn or Gray Maynard (not that we were complaining), UFC 144 also offers a light heayweight sure to be slugfest between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Ryan Bader, Yoshihiro Akiyama’s welterweight debut against Jake Shields, and Mark Hunt vs. Cheick Kongo.

The seven fight main card will be kicked off by a battle of top lightweight contenders when Joe Lauzon takes on Anthony Pettis, and the undercard features the the likes of Takanori Gomi and former K1 standout Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, each attempting to rebound from recent losses. It’s safe to say that we are in for a hell of a night, so let’s all go get Henna tattoos to celebrate this glorious milestone.

Check out the pre-fight press conference video above, which, aside from the occasional translation flub, goes off without a hitch. Just a warning: due to the fact that everything is being translated into Japanese as it is being said, it is difficult to understand the questions at hand every so often. But honestly, who gives a shit? THE UFC IS BACK IN JAPAN, BABY!!!

While we’re discussing how awesome Japan is, join us after the jump for the anime-style trailer for UFC 144, which is easily the coolest thing you will see all day, and possible ever.

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: UFC 144 Edition


(In the main event, actor Ryan Reynolds defends his belt against a 100% Asian version of Ben Henderson. Plus, Rampage Jackson faces off against a prime Wes Sims. The referee for this evening will be Dan Miragliotta.)

The UFC’s return to Japan this weekend features plenty of attractive opportunities to earn money without working for it. So where do the edges lie? How much better will the UFC’s Japanese stars look on their home turf? And should you really be betting money with tax season coming up? (Just kidding, that one was a trick question.) Complete UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson odds are below, via BestFightOdds, followed by our occasionally-helpful betting advice. Check it out, and be sure to come back to CagePotato Saturday night for our liveblog of the fights, starting with the FX prelims broadcast at 8 p.m. ET.

MAIN CARD
Frankie Edgar (-125) vs. Ben Henderson (+115)
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (-237) vs. Ryan Bader (+220)
Cheick Kongo (-270) vs. Mark Hunt (+270)
Jake Shields (-300) vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama (+269)
Yushin Okami (-331) vs. Tim Boetsch (+300)
Hatsu Hioki (-167) vs. Bart Palaszewski (+155)
Anthony Pettis (-220) vs. Joe Lauzon (+220)

PRELIMINARY CARD (FX)
Takanori Gomi (-200) vs. Eiji Mitsuoka (+175)
Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto (-288) vs. Vaughan Lee (+275)
Riki Fukuda (-300) vs. Steve Cantwell (+258)
Takeya Mizugaki (-200) vs. Chris Cariaso (+172)

PRELIMINARY BOUT (Facebook)
Tiequan Zhang (-250) vs. Issei Tamura (+250)

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TrauMMA Combat Apparel Presents: The Last-Minute UFC 144 ‘Sexyama’ Photoshop Contest


(“There was the time… No. Wait, I remember once in second grade… No.  I guess I have always been sexy.”)

Our friends at TrauMMA Combat Apparel have generously provided us with three autographed Yoshihiro Akiyama UFC 144 walkout shirts so we could award them to three lucky winners using whatever criteria we saw fit to use to decide.

Since we’re all fans of Photoshop goodness, we figured why not do a Sexyama-themed PS contest?

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Culinary Union Rep Crashes NSAC Meeting Wed to Encourage Commission to Pass ‘MMA Bill of Rights’ in Nevada


(In their defense, though, only the ones that made offensive jokes on Twitter about rape and called into work sick with a cracked skull.)

A somewhat bizarre incident from today’s Nevada State Athletic Commission meeting occurred when Culinary Union research analyst and union campaign organizer Chris Serres addressed the governing body to ask them to consider passing an “MMA bill of rights,”  similar to the Muhammed Ali Boxing Reform Act.

Serres, whose union is currently embroiled in a publicized work and pay dispute with the Fertitta-owned Station Casinos in Las Vegas and has spearheaded several of the labor group’s smear campaigns against the promotion, spoke to the commission today under the guise that he was approached to do so by “an anonymous group of fighters and managers.” It’s more likely that the move was simply just another shot fired in the war between Unite Here! and the Fertittas.

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[UPDATED] Glover Teixeira Signs with UFC, Faces Kyle Kingsbury at UFC 146


(You think that’s funny? I just pissed in your Gatorade.)

It looks like the UFC’s light heavyweight division is about to get a much needed shake up, because it is being reported that hard hitting Shooto and WEC vet Glover Teixeira has finally signed with the promotion, and will debut at UFC 146 against an opponent that has yet to be determined.

Undefeated since March of 2005, when he dropped a unanimous decision to resurgent TUF 3 alum Ed Herman, Teixeira has reeled off 15 straight, with only one going the distance and only three making it out of the first round. Most recently, the Ruas Vale Tudo product ran through former UFC Heavyweight Champion Ricco Rodriguez, forcing him to submit to strikes in under 2 minutes. The Brazilian slugger also holds notable victories over UFC vets Marvin Eastman, Antonio Mendes, and Rameau Thierry Sokoudoju.

To familiarize you all with some of Mr. Teixeira’s handiwork, check out the Rodriguez scrap along with a highlight video after the jump.

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UFC 144 Gallery: 12 GIFs of Frankie Edgar and Ben Henderson Being Awesome


(The toothpick, the facial stubble, the long hair — I think it’s obvious what look Bendo is going for here.)

UFC 144‘s lightweight title headliner between Frankie Edgar and Ben Henderson smells like an instant classic — the kind of bell-to-bell, all-over-the-cage firefight that has made both men into stars. So who’s going home with the belt on Saturday night? Check out some of our favorite animated GIFs featuring both fighters, and let us know what you think…

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Booking Roundup: ‘Dan Hardy’s Comeback’ Edition


(We know Dan, he watches over us all.) 

It looks like Dan Hardy won’t be getting that fight against Matt Hughes he was angling for. And thank God, because we hear Hughes’ country breakfasts consist of Ovaltine and Total these days (we kind, we kid; they consist of grilled bobcat).  

After going 0-4 through 2010 and 2011, Hardy has been matched up with a perfect opponent to kickstart 2012, when he takes on UFC veteran Duane “Bang” Ludwig at UFC 146. Hardy, who has not fought since falling to a third round guillotine choke in Chris Lytle’s retirement bout in August of 2011, took some time off to refocus, train, and get pestered by drunken fans. Ludwig also saw his last fight end by way of guillotine, only he chose to adhere to the “tapping is for bitches” rule when he was choked out by Josh Neer at UFC on FX. The loss snapped a two fight win streak for Ludwig, his first since 2008, which included wins over Nick Osipczak and Amir Sadollah.

Although this wasn’t the match Hardy wanted, you gotta imagine he’ll be stoked knowing he’s taking on a fellow slugger with a limited ground game. But it will be interesting to see if Hardy follows a more subdued gameplan here. Like we said, the man’s dropped 4 straight, and another loss could mean his Zuffa career. Then again, the only reason that he is still in the UFC is thanks to his consistently exciting performances, so a snoozer against Ludwig seems unlikely. Let’s just sit back and enjoy what is sure to be a war, ladies and gentlemen.

In other UFC 146 news…

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