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21 Humans Who Make Being Human Look Really, Really Hard

July, 2012

London Trainer Usman Raja Reforms Former Terrorists Through MMA

By George Shunick

Despite numerous public relations successes, mixed martial arts is still perceived by many people as an overtly brutal practice, and its participants as barbaric Neanderthals. In one particularly memorable instance, Gus Johnson made a most unfortunate observation during the Strikeforce: Nashville brawl when he claimed that “sometimes these things happen in MMA,” which certainly didn’t help the image of the sport. (Neither did the brawl itself, of course, but at least Johnson could have acknowledged it was an anomaly akin to a baseball brawl.)

But what ex-MMA fighter Usman Raja is doing in London right now not only subverts the stereotypes people hold towards the sport; it is literally changing people’s lives. Raja is currently being profiled by CNN in a series of videos and articles (all of which you should read) focusing on his work to reform former Islamic terrorists through training them in MMA. Suck on that, Bob “I think it’s going to be harmful to people. I think it’s going to be harmful to our society” Reilly.

See, in the UK they actually don’t detain their prisoners indefinitely. As a result, a number of Al Qaeda operatives have been released over the past few months and currently reside in London, the site of the 2012 Olympic Games. Whether you agree with that policy or not, this has created a legitimate safety concern for the host city. You have a bunch of paroled terrorists living in the same neighborhood without jobs or money, surrounded by people they’ve been brought up their entire lives to despise. And some of those people happen to despise their religion as well.

All of which is to say that this is an exceptionally inconvenient scenario in attempting to “cure” them of their terrorism. Of course, terrorism isn’t a disease. You don’t become a terrorist because some dude with disheveled clothes, an untrimmed beard, anger issues, and a massive superiority complex sneezes on you — it happens because of a number of complicated social, political, and economic circumstances, which serve to dissociate individuals from greater society and foster a degree of desperation that leads them to turn to destructive organizations that extinguish their capability for empathy.

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Send In Your Love & Relationship Questions for the Next Installment of Ask Carmen! [PORN]


(God help the next poor girl who has to get fisted by this savage.)

In terms of her sharp wit and passion for MMA, adult-film star Carmen Valentina is definitely one of us. Then again, she makes her living having wild sex on camera, which makes her pretty unique among CagePotato contributors. And since Carmen hasn’t graced us with her lovely presence in a while, we figured it was time to collect more of your questions for another no-holds-barred mailbag column.

Please toss your queries into the comments section below, or tweet them @cagepotatomma with the tag #askcarmen. Despite what the headline says, your questions don’t all have to be about the girl in your office who keeps rejecting your advances. You can ask Ms. Valentina pretty much anything that’s on your mind. But please skim through her first “Ask Carmen” column to make sure you’re not covering familiar territory. Sound good? Thanks for your support, and be sure to follow Carmen Valentina on twitter!

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Video: Joseph Benavidez Responds to Michael Bisping’s Flyweight-Hate at UFC 152 Press Conference


(Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

Five UFC 152 headliners were in Toronto yesterday for a press conference to hype up the event, including Joseph Benavidez and Michael Bisping, who were seated next to each other — a somewhat awkward situation, considering Bisping’s recent slam on the 125-pound division. When a reporter inevitably asked Benavidez what he thought about Bisping’s “no one cares about little flyweights” comment, Joe pulled no punches:

“It was pretty silly of course when I heard it, but it’s Michael Bisping. Everyone pretty much expects something ridiculous to come out of his mouth, right? I mean, that’s pretty much what he does.”

Said Bisping: “Listen pal, when you were a glint in your dad’s eye, I was kicking ass in the UFC.”

“And probably saying ridiculous things, also,” Benavidez continued. “It’s not gonna change the fact that [Demetrious Johnson and I are] the top two guys in the world and that we’re going out to make history that night. So everyone that supports us, thanks and we love you. Everyone that doesn’t, including Bisping, I think you soon will and you’ll be excited for this. So yeah man, it’s gonna be great, and [*pats Bisping on the shoulder*] glad to have you on the card as co-main, buddy.”

Ooooooh, burn! Notably absent from the press conference was BJ Penn, which made Rory MacDonald question where his opponent’s was at. As MacDonald said later in the press conference (via MMAMania):

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Report: Alan Belcher vs. Vitor Belfort Being Targeted for UFC 153 in Rio


(Buy all of the Lombard stock you can….wait…he WHAT?! THEN SELL DAMMIT, SELL!!) 

If you are the type of MMA fan that gets his news from CagePotato and only CagePotato, we’d like to thank you for your dedication. Surely you will be rewarded in the afterlife for your selfless sacrifice. At the same time, you’ve more than likely missed out on all of the middleweight calamity that has happened over the past few days, as we deemed it less important than photos of mutilated hands, anti-Mandy Moore smear campaigns, and things of that nature. Clearly we made the right choice, but like we said, we appreciate your dedication.

To sum up the middleweight soap opera in a few sentences, Vitor Belfort tried to call out Chris Weidman, stating both a respect for the fact that Weidman is the top dog at 185 (as we previously stated), and realizing that a win over Weidman would be the easiest path to another shot at Anderson Silva. Weidman promptly denied Belfort, claiming that he had all the respect in the world for the former LHW champ, but simply put, “[he] had his shot” and “right now is my time.”

Meanwhile, in the outskirts of Mississippi, Johnny Cash enthusiast Alan Belcher switched his sights from Michael Bisping to that of Vitor Belfort, which seemed appropriate to us considering that we also called for this matchup. Being that there is no way in hell that a fight between Belfort and Belcher could be anything short of extraordinary, for reals this time, we imagine that most of you agreed with us.

Well, it appears that the dominoes are falling into place like a house of cards, because Belfort and Belcher have verbally agreed to face one another at UFC 153 in Rio, via their respective Twitter accounts.

Hear what was said after the jump.

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Photo: Chael Sonnen Believes in Therapy Through Laughter

Urijah Faber may have come up short in every sense of the word against Renan Barao last weekend, but fortunately for him, he received some sound advice from undisputed middleweight champion Chael Sonnen in the aftermath of his loss that will undoubtedly alter the course of his career from this day forward. As you recall, Sonnen became the first man in MMA History to defeat Anderson Silva twice at UFC 148, when he straight-up embarrassed the now-retired “pound-for-pound great” by KO’ing him with a second round spinning backfist so spectacular that the WWE had to steal it to make one of their fights more entertaining and less gay and stuff.

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[VIDEO] The Culinary Union Attacks Mandy Moore & The UFC In Latest Propaganda Piece


(Forget Mandy Moore, but Kim Kardashian? Now there’s a role model we can all support!) 

Ugh.

In what is undoubtedly a new low for the hypocritical, sciolistic dingbats behind the anti-UFC machine known as The Culinary Union, a video was recently released attacking the UFC’s sweetheart, Mandy Moore, as a result of her long time ties with the promotion. Beautiful, innocent, harmless Mandy Moore. Using the same blissfully ignorant and fact-less approach as fellow propaganda pushers The April and Wayne Show, The Union’s newest video is little more than a two minute smear campaign aimed at the UFC, using footage of everything from Dana White’s rant against Loretta Hunt to Rampage Jackson’s near impregnating of a certain CP reporter as “evidence” that Ms. Moore (and any other UFC proponent, for that matter) is unfit to be a role model for our children. IT MAKES TOTAL SENSE, YOU GUYS.

Video after the jump. Caution: It may cause unexpected, rage-induced nosebleeds. 

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Top U.K. Prospect Jimi Manuwa Draws Kyle Kingsbury for ‘UFC on FUEL 5′ Debut


(Based on current exchange rates, he’d be able to redeem those for one and a half Bellator belts. / Props: poster-boy.co.uk)

Nigerian-English light-heavyweight Jimi Manuwa — who unofficially came in at #14 on this year’s 10 Greatest Undefeated Fighters in MMA list — signed with the UFC earlier this month, and now has his debut date and opponent set. The UFC has confirmed that Manuwa will be welcomed to the Octagon by Kyle Kingsbury at UFC on FUEL 5: Struve vs. Miocic, September 29th in Nottingham, England.

Manuwa carries a spotless 11-0 record with all wins by stoppage within the first two rounds, and last competed at BAMMA 8 last December, where he scored a TKO over Antony Rea at the end of round 1. The fight followed a two-and-a-half year stint as the light-heavyweight champion of UCMMA. Manuwa previously turned down an offer to make his UFC debut at UFC 138, because he was coming off of a long injury layoff.

Meanwhile, Kyle Kingsbury has dropped his last two fights against Glover Teixeira and Stephan Bonnar; taking a third-straight loss against a promotional first-timer could cost “Kingsbu” his contract.

After the jump: Manuwa’s MMA highlight reel, via www6maxnl.

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Just so you Know, Renzo Gracie is Totally Down to Fight at UFC 153


“The YAMMA Masters Division is still a real weight class, right?”

It’s déjà vu all over again.

Before UFC 134 marked the promotion’s highly anticipated return to Brazil, Royce Gracie trolled the MMA community pretty hard by claiming that he not only wanted to fight on the card, but also that he had been negotiating with the UFC in order to make this happen. Needless to say, Royce wasn’t successful.

With the UFC 153 fight card beginning to fill out for the promotion’s return to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, it now appears that one time UFC competitor Renzo Gracie wants in on the action. But, you know, only if it’s cool with everyone. As MMAWeekly is reporting:

“That’s a possibility. In my life I learned one thing, impossible is nothing,” Gracie stated about possibly competing at UFC 153.

“I love the crowd there. I love the intensity that surrounds the whole arena when you’re in Brazil fighting and Brazil is cheering. It’s a different ball game.”

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Survey: Which Current Champion Has the Most Impressive Win Streak in MMA?


(I’ve got 25, 25, do I hear 26 for this authentic Cuban-born champion? I’ve got 25, do I hear 26? 26?! 26?!!! Sold at 25!) 

After battering and busting up Urijah Faber en route to his 29th straight victory, newly-crowned interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao proved to the world at UFC 149 that his win streak was the product of hard work and dedication, not the culmination of years spent crushing cans that seemed to be the case for a certain somebody making his long awaited debut just one fight before. This is not to say that Hector Lombard doesn’t push himself as a fighter — by all accounts he does the exact opposite, in fact — but to say that Lombard was the first fighter to come to the UFC on a huge win streak, only to have said streak invalidated almost immediately would be a bold faced lie (Jason Reinhardt, anyone? How about our buddy Sean McCorkle?).

But when guys who have spent years fighting below their level come up short on the big stage, it just makes it all the more impressive to see the Barao’s and Ryan Jimmo‘s of the world succeed in living up to their hype. Simply put, it’s no coincidence that most of the guys with the greatest win streaks in the sport are all champions, and the rest are either made up (I shall refer you to the infamous tale of Craig Rehage as my primary example) or busted as soon as the fighter faces some legit competition.

However, when trying to determine which champion has the most impressive win streak of them all, we surprisingly found ourselves at odds. Some of us went with the obvious choice in Anderson Silva, some of us thought that Jon Jones’ streak was more impressive, and ReX thought that Ronda Rousey’s run stood atop them all before snatching a copy of her ESPN magazine shoot and running off to our executive bathroom. He has yet to return.

So as is often the case when we are struggling to decide upon an issue, we will hand the power over to you, Potato Nation. After the jump, you will find a survey. The topic: “Which Current Champion Has the Greatest Win Streak in MMA?” You WILL vote on this poll, and you WILL leave us your convincing arguments in the comments section. Sound good?

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Gross Photo of the Day: Anthony Njokuani’s Hand Doesn’t Even Look Like a Hand Anymore


(Click for even larger, grosser version. Props: @anthonynjoku)

What you’re looking at is Anthony Njokuani‘s hand, which he broke during his decision loss against Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC on FUEL: Munoz vs. Weidman earlier this month. Good lord. It looks like a piece of driftwood that washed up on a particularly filthy beach. It looks like one of the sandworms from Tremors. It looks like a new Carvel employee’s botched attempt at making Fudgie the Whale. It looks like a bloated zombie hybrid of Anthony Johnson and Pac-Man. Get well soon, Anthony.

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