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November, 2012

Todd Duffee Back in The UFC


(DuffMan!)

Heavyweight Todd Duffee’s career has been a strange mixed bag of extreme highs and lows. As a 23 year-old, Duffee became a sensation by knocking out Tim Hague in just seven seconds in his UFC debut back back in 2009. A host of injuries delayed his second fight in the organization for nearly a year.

When he did make his return, against Mike Russow, Duffee fell victim to one of the most surprising come from behind KO victories in UFC history. Duffee outclassed Russow for twelve minutes before getting caught and knocked out cold.

He was then released by the UFC, took a short notice fight against fellow He-Man impersonator Alistair Overeem (because short noticed fights against over-matched opponents was just how Ubereem got down in those days before he could keep himself occupied with running from and failing drug tests) , got shellacked, and then didn’t fight again for about a year and a half.

When he did, last April, Duffee stopped Neil Grove inside one round. He hasn’t fought since then but evidently the fickle matchmaking overlords (Happy Thanksgiving, Joe) at the UFC have been satisfied and it was announced Wednesday that the Duff Man will be back in the Octagon at UFC 155.

“Duffee (7-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) will meet Phil De Fries (9-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) at UFC 155, this year’s version of the annual New Year’s Eve weekend card in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena,” Case Keefer of The Las Vegas Sun reports.

Are you happy to see Todd back in the big leagues after being dumped a couple years ago, nation? We are. Win or lose, he’s exciting. After the jump, let’s look back at our favorite Duffee moments so far.

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CagePotato Roundtable #20: What Should MMA Fans Be Thankful For?


(A good meal well prepared, and the company of your loving family — that’s what it’s all about, guys.)

Happy Thanksgiving, Potato Nation, and welcome to a short and sweet Turkey Day edition of the CagePotato Roundtable. Today we’re discussing things we’re thankful for in the world of MMA, so if you can spare a moment from shoving cranberry sauce down your filthy gullet, give it a look and tell us what *you’re* thankful for in the comments section

Seth Falvo

There’s an argument to be made that the best quarterbacks in the history of the NFL have always been the most boring people on the planet. Throughout the league’s history, the most fascinating quarterbacks on the field have been about half as interesting as the instruction manual that came with your toaster off of it. Johnny Unitas was stoic enough to make Fedor look expressive in comparison, Joe Montana somehow didn’t have enough charisma to last on NBC, Brett Favre made people feel themselves get dumber whenever he opened his mouth, and Drew Brees wears Affliction shirts (seriously). While it’s not exactly a fact that having any type of personality will ruin your chances of becoming a famous NFL quarterback, I don’t see too many people wearing Christian Ponder or Ryan Fitzpatrick jerseys.

So why am I talking about football? For one, it just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving unless some oafish mouth-breather that no one in your family actually likes didn’t talk about football during your holiday dinner and/or roundtable discussion. But aside from that, it’s because, in many ways, this has carried over to MMA as well. As fans, it’s fun to cheer for an interesting fighter — especially when he’s actually good — but while the personalities of our fighters have led to the rapid growth and development of our sport, they have also brought on some downright ugly consequences as well.  You don’t need to be the most interesting guy in the room to be the best athlete in your sport, and as fans, we should be far more thankful for the boring guys who are great at fighting than we currently are.

Case in point, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has outstayed his welcome in the UFC by about three years, putting on boring fights and complaining about the exceptional treatment he’s received as if he’s washing dishes at a Denny’s somewhere. Yet Rampage is still one of our sport’s most popular fighters — especially among mainstream media outlets — because of his reputation as a funnyman and an entertainer, despite being neither funny nor entertaining. Likewise, Dan Hardy has gone 2-4 in his last six, with Amir Sadollah being his most notable victory since 2009, yet his colorful hair and marketable image have kept him on ESPN as recently as last week.

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Thiago Silva Suspended Six Months for Positive Marijuana Test Following ‘UFC Macao’; Win Overturned to No-Contest


(Huh. I always figured Thiago was more of a PCP guy. / Photo via Sherdog)

For a brief moment, Thiago Silva‘s submission of Stanislav Nedkov at UFC on FUEL: Franklin vs. Le looked like a redemptive moment. The Brazilian light-heavyweight had his back against the wall thanks to a one-year suspension for trying to cheat a drug test, followed by a unanimous deicison loss to Alexander Gustafsson. Beating the undefeated Nedkov meant that Silva was finally heading in the right direction.

Well screw all that, because the dude just threw his own career under the bus again. The UFC released the following statement this evening:

Thiago Silva tested positive for marijuana metabolites following his bout at UFC on FUEL TV in Macau. The UFC organization has a strict, consistent policy against the use of any illegal and/or performance-enhancing drugs, stimulants or masking agents. Silva has admitted to taking the banned substance and has agreed to participate in an approved drug-rehabilitation program and serve a six-month suspension retroactive to the November 10 event. He must pass a drug test upon completion of the suspension before receiving clearance to fight again.”

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Cheick Kongo Calls Out Stefan Struve, Who Has Already Started Padding His Protective Cup


(A glimpse into the nightmare that awaits Stefan Struve if he doesn’t start choosing his battles.) 

If I could spend a day inside the head of any UFC fighter – Being John Malkovich style — I would obviously choose Donald Cerrone, who is currently sticking it to Brittney Palmer if I remember correctly. High fives all around, guys! But on the off chance I could crawl inside the head of a second UFC fighter, I would have to go with Cheick Kongo, because based on recent events, I can only assume that his brain functions exactly like one of those twisty-turvey waterslides at your local amusement park.

In the past few days, Kongo has turned down a fight with Daniel Cormier, which is understandable, and turned down a fight with Roy Nelson, which is not so understandable for a guy who is coming off one of the most atrocious winning performances in UFC history. But after turning down the Nelson fight, Kongo sent out this tweet, which challenges the phrase “splitting hairs” on a level my brain has yet to fully comprehend:

I did NOT REFUSE to FIGHT Roy Nelson. I REFUSED to TAKE A FIGHT on SHORT NOTICE. Which is NOT THE SAME AT ALL.

Fine, Cheick, if that helps you sleep at night. I hate to judge a book by it’s cover, but if you were to tell me anywhere else that a man with pectorals the size of dinner plates refused to fight this dude on a month’s notice, I would probably call him a pussy. I said probably.

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Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida Verbally Agree to UFC 157 Meeting in February


(“Thank you for this honor, Bader-san. I will now honor your ancestors by getting drunk on a boat and attending a foam party.” Photo via Tracy Lee/Yahoo! Sports)

The UFC’s spite-booking between light-heavyweight contenders Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida is close to being finalized. Sources close to the event have informed MMA Fighting that Hendo and Pervo have verbally agreed to meet at UFC 157, which will go down February 23rd at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The bout isn’t expected to be the card’s main event, which is still TBA at this point. Not that we wouldn’t want to speculate.

Due to a poorly-timed knee injury, Henderson has gone all of 2012 without a single Octagon appearance — not an ideal situation for a 42-year-old athlete, but at least the layoff has given him time to enroll in shit-talking school — while Machida is coming off his August knockout of Ryan Bader. The winner will likely take on Jon Jones, after he champ finishes thrashing Chael Sonnen in April. (No, I’m still not going to give Sonnen a chance, no matter how many insulting specialty pizzas he creates.)

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Another One Bites the Dust: Weidman Injured, Replaced by Costa Philippou Against Tim Boetsch at UFC 155

Well, we should have seen this coming.

Not that it matters to Anderson Silva, but UFC 155 was supposed to set the stage for a fight that would more or less* determine the next top contender of the middleweight division when Chris Weidman and Tim Boetsch squared off. But as things are wont to do in 2012, it has just been announced that Weidman has suffered an undisclosed injury and has been forced to pull out from his scheduled fight at UFC 155. Newsday was the first to break the news:

Chris Weidman, one of the top UFC middleweight fighters, is out of UFC 155 next month with a shoulder injury, Newsday has learned.

Weidman said the injury occured Tuesday while training in Arizona with UFC light heavyweight Ryan Bader and Levittown-based Strikeforce light heavyweight Gian Villante. The injury occured during a grappling session, the 28-year-old Weidman said.

“I hit a double-leg and that’s it,” Weidman said Wednesday. “My shoulder landed weird and I felt a pop. I can’t even move my arm.”

Weidman said that he hasn’t received an official diagnosis from doctors, but he believes it is a torn labrum.

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Alistair Overeem and Former Team/Management Golden Glory Settle Lawsuits


(Golden Glory’s lawsuit against him was nothing an old fashioned pose-off couldn’t settle)

The Netherlands’ long, national nightmare is finally over. Number one UFC heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem and his former management and team, Golden Glory, have reached a settlement on their respective law suits against one another, according to GG’s lead counsel Rick Lindblom.

Sherdog.com has comment from Lindblom in a statement released Tuesday.

“Everyone worked extremely hard to resolve these matters so that KOI, Golden Glory and [Golden Glory founder] Bas Boon can walk away and move forward with the Glory World Series Promotion in Europe, Japan and the USA, and Alistair Overeem can concentrate on his fighting career with his new manager Glenn Robinson at Authentic Sports Management and his new team, the Blackzilians,” Lindblom said in the release.

In September, 2011, Overeem left the team and management company. Two months later he filed suit against Golden Glory alleging that they owed him over $150,000 in back pay. Golden Glory regularly requested that promoters pay purses directly to them, and then they dispersed that money to their fighters — a practice that certainly lends itself to potential shadiness.

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Sam Stout Has an Interesting Interpretation of His UFC 154 Loss to John Makdessi


(Can’t tell if trolling…)

A lot of fighters say that once the cage door closes, they enter a state of temporary hypnosis, not unlike sleepwalking, that more or less shuts their brain down until the fight is over. Hence why they often need to be reminded what round it is, whether or not they won the last round, etc. It’s a familiar feeling — the combination of nerves, adrenaline, and the tiniest bit of fear — to anyone who has ever spoke in public or performed on a stage, and an example of how our own psyche subconsciously protects us from harm whether we want it to or not.

Clearly, this is the case for Sam Stout, who was jibber-jabbed into oblivion by John Makdessi at UFC 154. Stout’s runaway locomotive-esque strategy of “forward, forward, FORWARD” was picked apart by Makdessi with sharp combinations and simple head movement, resulting in easily some of the greatest punch faces of the night. But if you were to ask Stout how things went down, you’d probably think he fought the reincarnation of Kalib Starnes that night (Author’s note: Kalib Starnes is dead, right? I vaguely recall hearing something about a jogger accidentally running right off a cliff and just assumed the worst).

Stout shared his feelings with MMAMania:

He wasn’t fighting. He was running the whole time. I wanted to fight, I came to fight and I didn’t get the fight I wanted. 

I usually like to come out and put on an exciting fight and it takes two guys to do that, to do those kinds of fights. And you know John, he ran, he kept on moving the whole time and I was expecting him to fight me a little more.

Sour grapes much, Sam?

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VIDEO: 400-Pound Detroit Resident Suffers the Greatest Knockout Loss In Street-Fight History


(The word “harpooned” comes to mind. Props: labrea69, via the always-entertaining Tuesday Night Fights feature on Deadspin)

- David vs. Goliath freak-show booking? Check.

- Walk-off knockout? Check.

- Loser collapses lawn-chair style? Check…

- …with his enormous belly exposed to all humanity? CHECK.

The only way this KO would be more satisfying is if the fat dude (aka “400 Pound Boy From Detroit“) started involuntarily masturbating while unconscious, and then Maury Povich walked up to inform him that in the case of 2-year-old Teesha, he in fact is the father. Aside from that, awesome stuff, Internet.

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‘No Love’ No More: Rich Clementi Retires From MMA Due to Injuries Suffered in Bellator Loss


(Clementi tangles with Melvin Guillard at UFC 79, a fight that concluded with an infamous rear-naked teabagging. Photo via CombatLifestyle.com)

After a 13-year, 68-fight professional MMA career, lightweight grappling specialist Rich “No Love” Clementi announced on Monday that he has retired from competition. Best known for his ten-fight stint in the UFC and appearance on TUF 4, Clementi most recently competed in Bellator’s Season 7 Lightweight Tournament, where he lost a toe-hold war to Marcin Held in the semis last Friday. And according to this Sherdog report, the aftermath of Clementi’s loss to Held was the biggest motivating factor in his decision to walk away from the sport:

Clementi told Sherdog.com that his left ankle had been injured for about two years before Held cranked on it in both the first and second rounds, with the final submission attempt also damaging his knee. Clementi recently underwent an MRI and says he will need to undergo surgery to repair the damage.

“My tendons are ripped on the outside of my foot, and because they have been stretched for so long, my socket is pitted and will have to be filled and repaired, as well,” Clementi told Sherdog. “I didn’t know, but I also found out I had ACL failure on the knee I had surgery on a few years back. [I will have a] 12- to 14-month recovery.”

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