MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

September, 2012

Gambling Addiction Enabler: UFC 152 Edition


(Oh, jeez. Has Michael seen this poster yet? He is gonna be piiiisssed.)

By Dan “Get Off Me” George

You know that saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”? Well, such is the case with UFC 151’s trash (which coincidentally resembles the remnants of a totaled Bentley) and UFC 152’s treasure. And those of us who were smart enough to recognize a curse when we saw one and purchase our tickets accordingly will reap the rewards of the 151 fallout by being treated to two title fights on the very same card. Suck it, over-saturation!

This Saturday night, the GAE will attempt to go where no other MMA blog/website/”professional MMA gambler”(my favorite) has gone before, a perfect 4-0 generating plus money dating back to UFC 148. So follow us after the jump as we try to navigate through the good, the bad, and the ugly betting lines of UFC 152: Jones vs Belfort (courtesy of BestFightOdds).

Charlie Brenneman (-225) vs. Kyle Noke (+185)

I feel that the Spaniard will be able to get this fight to the mat and establish himself as the dominant fighter. Hovering around -225, the line is appealing when you examine how Kyle Noke has lost his last two UFC bouts coupled with how Charlie has found victory throughout his UFC career (Ed note: Except here). This fight falls into the good category for betting lines and Brenneman will find his way into my parlay as the well priced favorite here.

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CagePotato Databomb #1: How UFC Fights End by Division


(Click chart for full-size version.)

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

Other than Kenny Florian, who finishes fights? Let’s settle it once and for all. Using data provided by FightMetric, we looked at how every UFC fight ended from 2007 through the first half of 2012 — a total of 1438 total fights, excluding three flyweight contests — and then divvy’d it up by weight class to determine percentages for each method. For the first time ever, all these stats are in one place, in the chart above. Boom — you’ve just been databombed.

The conclusion: Size matters. Stoppages increase steadily by weight class; but while striking finish rates correlate strongly with increasing weight, submissions have a weaker, negative correlation. Keep in mind that bantamweights and featherweights have a short history in the UFC so far, so expect some possible smoothing out of those division trends over the next year.

Do any of these results surprise you? Next time the local Bullshido expert tells the bar that his favorite featherweight will finish the next fight, bet him the next round of drinks that it’ll go to the cards.

For more science and stats of MMA, follow @Fightnomics on Twitter or on Facebook. See MMA analytical research at www.fightnomics.com.

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Twitter Contest: MMA Fighters in Only Three Words [UPDATED]


(Too. Damn. Talented.)

By: Jason Moles

I’m sure there are more important things to talk about just days away from Jones-Henderson Jones-Sonnen Jones-Machida Jones-Belfort than another gimmicky post attempting to be relevant, but it’s been a while since we gave away CagePotato T-Shirts and we love you guys so much that we’ve decided to do it again. Here’s how it’s going to go down. Below is a list of 25 fighters and a brave attempt to describe them in three words. Not two, not four, just three simple words. Pretty easy, right? Read through them, then tweet us @CagePotatoMMA with your own three-word MMA fighter descriptions, including the hashtag #MMAFighterIn3Words. The three best submissions by tomorrow at 5 p.m. ET will win a shirt. (We’ll update this post with the winners after we select them.) Now let’s begin, shall we?

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson: Exit stage left.

Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson: Seeking next level.

Jon “Bones” Jones: If Healthy, Undefeated.*

Diego “The Dream” Sanchez: Starting over again.

Leonard Garcia: God help him.

Matt Hughes: Slayer of beasts.

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Chad Griggs and His Awesome Mutton Chops Return at UFC 154 Against Cyrille Diabate


(Mutton chops: Giving white people the confidence to shake their rump since the 1800′s.) 

It could just be our queasy stomachs, but we’ve begun to feel more and more trepidation when it comes to announcing a scheduled UFC contest these days, because the likelihood of said contest actually coming to fruition seems borderline impossible.

That being said, it will please all of the lumberjacks who happen to read CagePotato to learn that the man with the coolest facial hair in the biz this side of Casey “fagtastic flameathon of facial distortion” Oxendine, Chad Griggs, will be returning to UFC action on November 17th at UFC 154 in Montreal, Canada to face PRIDE veteran Cyrille Diabate. Griggs, who gained notoriety over the past couple years with his decimations of Bobby Lashley, Valentijn Overeem, and Gian Villante, is coming off a first round submission via arm-triangle loss to Travis “Don’t ask, don’t tell” Browne in his UFC debut at UFC 145. Shortly after the loss, Griggs announced that he would in fact be dropping to 205 lbs to face Phil Davis at UFC on FOX 4, but go figure, suffered an injury and was forced to pull out.

Diabate, on the other hand, is coming off a majority decision victory over late replacement Tom DeBlass at UFC on FUEL 2. “The Snake” has gone win-loss in his five fight UFC career and was originally set to face Fabio Maldonado at UFC 153, but again, an injury blah blah blah things are different now.

Diabate has shown a susceptibility to submissions in the past (as well as an inability to last three rounds), so a matchup with a stand-and-bang aficionado like Griggs should be tailor-made for an exciting, if not winnable opportunity for everyone involved.

Who you got for this one, Potato Nation?

After the jump: A video of Griggs’ slugfest with Villante, because it’s arguably the greatest two and a half minute fight you will ever see.

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What the Heck Is Going on in New York? MMA’s Legal Gray-Area in the Empire State



(A nice little Sunday at the Underground Combat League. / All photos courtesy of the author.)

 By Jim Genia

The UFC held a show in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1995, and all was well and good. That is, until New York banned professional mixed martial arts in 1997 on the grounds that it was “human cockfighting” and fights to the death suck. Or something like that. But the passage of time has seen the sport evolve, and now MMA is sanctioned almost everywhere in the country — everywhere but New York.

So last year Zuffa filed a lawsuit against the state alleging that the ban violated all sorts of Constitutional rights, and while the suit is currently mired in the muck of the judicial process, and efforts to change the law via the legislature get bogged down year after maddening year, something has changed. Depending on where you live in the state, it’s now possible to take in an MMA event live. There are shows sprouting up on the sovereign territory of Indian Reservations, and amateur MMA competitions are kicking off in ice skating rinks and in armories — all of them happening pretty much unmolested by an athletic commission that went from “search and destroy” mode to laissez-faire in seemingly the blink of an eye. Which begs the question: What the heck is going on in New York?

The short answer is that there’s a lot going in New York. The long answer, however, involves an athletic commission finally admitting that amateur MMA is legal, fights on Indian Land, and an underground fight scene that shows no signs of slowing down.

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Gallery: Matt Hughes and His Son Go Hunting in South Africa, Slay All of the Animals


(You think that’s impressive? You should see how Hughes handles a rhino.)

Fact: Matt Hughes loves hunting. Loves it. And whether you stand on the “hunting is for sociopaths” or the “guns are the only thing keeping giant underground worms from invading the earth” side of the issue, you gotta respect the former welterweight champion’s dedication to slaying every beast this earth has to offer, except for the most dangerous game, that is. In either case, Hughes recently partook in a South African hunting expedition with his son Joey, and the results look like what you would expect an Oregon Trail novice to haul in on his first Buffalo hunt. A lot of things were killed is what we’re saying. But before you jump on Hughes for blatantly wasting such delicious Zebra meat or being an ignorant redneck (we’re looking at you, Dan Hardy), know that the meat from animals hunted in African safaris is often donated to local villages in need, and the hefty licensing fees guys like Hughes have to pay to legally hunt such game help fund the nation’s conservation efforts. In other words: Fuck yeah guns!!

-J. Jones

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Exclusive: Ignoring Criticism From ‘Fickle’ Fans, Ben Askren Seeks to Become the Best in the World


(Photo via MMAWeekly)

By Elias Cepeda

American wrestler Ben Askren’s entry into MMA after the 2008 Summer Olympic Games seemed so full of promise and excitement. Here was one of the world’s best wrestlers deciding, in his athletic prime, to give up wrestling and devote himself to learning the MMA game.

Furthermore, Askren was known as having one of the most exciting styles in the NCAA during his college career. Add to this the fact that Askren seemed to take to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu very quickly — routinely entering Jiu Jitsu tournaments to stay sharp — and it seemed like he was destined for success.

Four years into his MMA career, Askren has undoubtedly achieved one type of success while another has thus far eluded him. All Askren does is win — he’s 10-0 with victories over some of the best veterans and prospects in the welterweight division. But he’s also become a polarizing and unpopular figure, criticized by pundits and fans as “boring.”

Askren has done his job as a highly touted blue-chipper, winning and winning some more, even earning the Bellator welterweight championship in the process. But his efforts have mostly been met with criticism in the public.

The hate hasn’t affected him, though. “No, not really,” Askren insists during a conversation with CagePotato. “Fans are fickle. I knew that coming in. I’ve never been worried about fan reaction.”

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The Unsupportable Opinion: The Cancellation of UFC 151 Was Good for the Fans


(While 406 votes may not seem that significant, first consider that this screenshot was taken within an hour of the poll’s creation, and all 111 votes for Dana White were placed by one person. You know who.)

UFC 152 is still three days away, yet I already feel something churning within the deepest regions of my stomach, something I haven’t felt in quite some time when dealing with a UFC card: Excitement. Maybe even nervousness. While at least some of the mixed emotion can be attributed to a few names featured on the card that I always like to watch throw down (specifically: Stann, Belfort, Benavidez, and Hettes), I can’t help but feel as if the main source of my excitement is completely disconnected from the card itself, as if any card could bring me this kind of joy. I feel like I did in the days before a UFC event four or five years ago, and I guarantee that a good percentage of you are feeling it too.

And I imagine you know why you’re feeling it. It’s because the cancellation of UFC 151 was responsible for the largest gap between UFC cards in nearly two years, and was ultimately a good move by the UFC.

At the risk of retreading old ground, I’ll admit that I was quick to throw haterade on Jon Jones for his decision to not fight Chael Sonnen in the days that followed it, and still feel a little disdain toward the champ for doing so. But now that I’ve had some time to digest the situation in its entirety, I’ve come to at least appreciate both Jones’ and the UFC’s decision — as conflicting as it is to say so — and here are the main reasons why.

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Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson: The UFC 152 Title Fight That Nobody’s Talking About


(“Remember when we were the main event on this card? That was awesome.”)

By George Shunick

With all the talk surrounding UFC 152 focusing on Jon “Male Supermodel/Piece of Meat/Ring Boy/Bones” Jones and Vitor “The Young Dinosaur” Belfort, it seems the inaugural flyweight title fight between Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson is flying under everyone’s radar. (Except, ironically, Michael Bisping’s.) It’s a shame, because unlike the fight everyone is talking about, this one actually has a chance to be competitive.

This isn’t to say Benavidez doesn’t deserve to be the clear favorite here; he does. He’s only lost twice in his career — both times by decision to current bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz — and has been consistently dominant in his fights since his last loss. Johnson’s record is less impressive of late. A suspect decision win over Miguel Torres was followed by a decision loss to Cruz, in which he was dominated so thoroughly that the aforementioned Torres would have been fired if he had tweeted about it. Since then, Johnson turned in a solid but not entirely impressive performance against the man with the best nickname in MMA which resulted in a draw marred by a scorekeeping controversy before finally putting to rest any doubt by defeating McCall three months later.

But while Johnson’s run hasn’t been as thrilling as Benavidez’s, he’s still a formidable challenge for any fighter. Aside from his two fights with McCall, he has fought opposition despite routinely giving up weight and reach advantages at bantamweight. He was tough enough to grit out the victory over Torres despite breaking his fibula in the second round. And despite getting outclassed by Cruz, he never let up the pace and continued to push forward. He learned from his mistakes against McCall and dominated their second meeting. Neither he nor Benavidez have ever been finished. Both appear to have limitless gas tanks, and fight at a speed that even a NASCAR driver on meth would admit is “fast.”

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Frank Mir Injured, Out of November Strikeforce Fight With Daniel Cormier


(“Easy, Bubba. Easy. Okay, okay, tap tap tap…TAP! TAP! AHHHH FUUUUUUUCK!! Damn it! I have a fight coming up, you asshole! Why did you do that? Why?!?”)

And so, the 2012 UFC injury bug — which is now thought to be the result of a top-secret government experiment — escapes from the eight walls of the Octagon, and goes forth to inflict suffering on the rest of humanity. As first reported by Morency Sports TV, Frank Mir has been forced to withdraw from his November 3rd Strikeforce meeting with Daniel Cormier, due to an injury. MMAJunkie has confirmed the report, and says that Mir’s injury might be knee-related.

The heavyweight stunt-booking was scheduled to be Cormier’s last appearance in Strikeforce before moving to the UFC, so hopefully Zuffa will be able to hustle up a new opponent for him to keep his transition on schedule. Nothing has been reported yet, so I’m just going to throw out some names: Arlovski. Bonnar. Laupua. Just stop me if my matchmaking genius begins to overwhelm you.

We’ll update you when we know more.

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