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November, 2012

“The Conversation With Elias Cepeda” Podcast Ep. 4: Phil Nurse Talks Muay Thai, GSP & More


(Kru Phil Nurse on the left with his student, Georges St. Pierre)

By Elias Cepeda

Despite being one of the very best trainers in MMA, Phil Nurse gets relatively little press and up until now very little has been publicly known about his life, careers and philosophies. He coaches Georges St. Pierre, Frankie Edgar and Jon Jones, just to name a few UFC fighters.

As we discovered when we visited Nurse at his downtown Manhattan gym, however, the Kru is much more than his impressive resume. He is a combat genius and is able to convey his unique perspective and vision to his students with calm clarity. It is no wonder that some of the best fighters in the world seek him out to become even better.

With Georges St. Pierre returning to action after a year and a half at UFC 154 this Saturday in Montreal, it is a perfect time to hear from one of his coaches and corner men in Nurse. After the jump, sit with us and listen to the newest episode of The Conversation where Nurse talk about his unlikely path to Muay Thai, his own fighting career, meeting Georges St. Pierre and the spirituality that can be found through fight training.

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[VIDEO] Tom Lawlor Sumo-Wrestles His Way Into Canada’s Heart at the UFC 154 Open Workouts

I’d like to consider myself a psychologist of sorts, the way that George Costanza considers himself an architect. Sure, my degree might have been acquired less at an accredited institute and more in my own imagination, but based on several interviews I’ve either read or watched in the past, I can professionally declare that Tom Lawlor is crazier than a sack of rabid weasels. The crazy ring entrances, the outfits, this isn’t a man trying to leave his stamp on the UFC, these are the early signs of schizophrenia. Trust me, I’ve diagnosed this sort of thing before.

And while I wouldn’t declare Lawlor sane enough to stand trial, let alone fight professionally for a living, I will gladly watch his decent into madness if it means more antics like the stuff he pulled at the UFC 154 open workouts, which will easily go down as the coolest open workout display since ever.

An unabashed fan of the WWE, Tom introduces his trio of sumo as the “Sumo Suave” to Ariel Helwani in the above video before squaring off with both gentlemen after the jump. Diapers were worn. Necks were bitten. Enjoy.

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[VIDEO] Jeff Monson Chokes the Hepatitis Right Out Of Aleksander Emelianenko at M-1 Challenge 35

Although Jeff Monson wisely avoided his go-to strategy of fucking dudes for free when he met Aleksander “Patient Zero” Emelianenko at M-1 Challenge 35 yesterday, he was able to come away with another one of his signature North-South submission victories. We wouldn’t exactly call the events leading up to said finish pretty — Monson’s wild, looping punches in the early going only looked passable when compared to the half-assed takedown attempts that followed them, but “The Snowman” did manage to sweep Emelianenko once things hit the ground in the first round and controlled the Russian for the rest of the fight thereafter.

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Friday Link Dump: UFC 154 Weigh-In Video, GSP Doesn’t Like Women’s MMA, The Dan Quinn Megamix, And a Fleshlight Worst-Case-Scenario


(Watch the UFC 154: St-Pierre vs. Condit weigh-ins right here, starting at 4:00 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT. Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

- UFC 154 Fight Week Notes, Quotes and Stats (MMAFighting)

- Georges St-Pierre: ‘I Have A Hard Time Watching Girls Fighting’ (Fightline)

Carlos Condit and 9 UFC Fighters Who Are Unfairly Criticized (BleacherReport)

Fighter/pimp Shonie Carter with one of his investment-properties, circa 2001 (Facebook.com/CagePotato)

- For the Hardcore MMA Fans Out There, Check Out This Amazing Dan Quinn Compilation (MiddleEasy)

- Dana White: Silva vs. St. Pierre Superfight Could Happen In May (HeavyMMA)

- Bulk Up Without Lifting a Weight (MensFitness)

- 20 Awkward Things Women Do After Sex (Complex)

- 5 Reasons Modern Horror Movies Suck (EgoTV)

- Turkey Tits? Turkey Tits. (WorldWideInterweb)

- Razor Tales: Legends the Barbershop (MadeMan)

- The Fleshlight Box Incident (HolyTaco)

- The Fleshlight Box Incident: Aftermath (HolyTaco, again)

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Dana White Confirms UFC Signing of Ronda Rousey; Debut Date/Opponent Still TBA


(Props: Ronda Rousey’s Facebook page)

Confirming earlier reports that Ronda Rousey had become the first woman to be signed by the UFC, Dana White went on the Jim Rome Show today to make an official announcement:

Yes, it’s official. Ronda Rousey did sign with the UFC…Over the next two years, we’ve got really good opponents for her.”

White also brought up the hottie/murderer dichotomy that makes her so oddly compelling to him:

“She’s beautiful,” White said. “But deep down inside, she’s a killer.”

Rousey also let the cat out of the bag on Twitter, writing: “Okay I admit it…I’m officially a @ufc fighter :) SO excited! Can’t wait to debut! Let @danawhite know who you want my 1st opponent to be!”

Well…about that. It’s probably not going to be Cris Cyborg, and the only other woman who has reportedly been signed by the UFC is Miesha Tate — and I don’t see an immediate rematch of that massacre in anybody’s future. So who else is there? Want to give us any hints about these “really good opponents,” Dana? Sara McMann…where you at, girl?

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UFC 154 Exclusive: Martin Kampmann Says He’s Ready to Take Out Hendricks, Picks Condit Over St. Pierre


(Martin Kampmann: He’s nice, until it’s time to *not* be nice. / Photo via fighthubtv.com)

By Elias Cepeda

Leading up to this Saturday’s UFC 154, it has, at times, seemed as if co-main event opponents Martin Kampmann and Johny Hendricks have had to field more questions about past and possible future opponents than one another. The two welterweights square off in what should be a #1 contender’s fight in Montreal for the right to face the winner of the headliner between champion Georges St. Pierre and interim champ Carlos Condit.

There’s good reason that the Dane is getting lots of questions about his past and future even though he’s got Hendricks in front of him. Kampmann, like Hendricks, is on a tear in the welterweight division and also owns a win over Condit.

“It doesn’t matter what fight it is,” Kampmann tells CagePotato. “Everybody tries to be like, ‘you beat this guy,’ ‘what are you going to do after this fight?’ My main thing right now is Johny Hendricks. That’s what I’m training hard for.”

And it’s the training that keeps Martin focused throughout all the potentially distracting media attention and questions he’s fielded over the past few months.

“This started as a hobby for me so I like the grind,” Kampmann explains. “I like to get in the gym. When you have a fight you have to get in the gym a lot but I still enjoy it. Of course some days you want to be in the gym more than others, but overall my motivation is really good. Even when I don’t have a fight I’m in the gym training because I love to train. I enjoy training and I have fun doing it.”

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Matt Mitrione Steps In Against Roy Nelson at TUF 16 Finale After Cheick Kongo Turns It Down


(Yeah, Matt, we’re all pissed about the Giants last performance.) 

When we last heard from Matt Mitrione, he had placed himself in Dana White’s crosshairs by committing the #1 sin a UFC fighter can commit. No, not failing a drug test that eventually cancels the biggest fight of the year — that sort of thing can easily be forgiven. The man known by many as simply “Meathead” did something much, much worse: he refused to bail the UFC out by taking a fight against Daniel Cormier when Frank Mir got injured. THE AUDACITY.

Out of action since October of 2011 and coming off a hype-derailing performance against Cheick Kongo, Mitrione needed to step up for the UFC in one way or another ASAP, lest he find himself Attonito’d. The perfect opportunity arose when Shane Carwin became the sixth coach in the last eight TUF seasons to pull out of his scheduled fight due to injury. So bada boom bada bing, Mitrione will now be squaring off against fellow TUF 10 castmate Roy Nelson at the TUF 16 Finale in December.

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St. Pierre vs. Condit: UFC 154 Main Event Breakdown

By George Shunick

On December 7th, 2011, a date which will live in infamy a date upon which some lame stuff happened but probably didn’t quite compare to the violent inception of the United States’ involvement in the deadliest war in recorded history, UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre blew out his ACL while training for a bout with Nick Diaz. Fast-forward almost a year and GSP is set to make his return in his hometown of Montreal, this time against interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit. But much like a year ago, the focus is on GSP’s knee. Has it healed completely and will it hold up against Condit’s leg kicks? Will GSP possess the same degree of athleticism that he’s been able to rely on in the past? Will GSP lose because of it?

In short, probably not. This isn’t to say Condit has no chance to win. To the contrary, he’s the most formidable challenger GSP has faced since Jon Fitch, and he’s got a better chance to win. He can match St. Pierre in striking, and if he’s taken down he possesses an active guard. His jiu-jitsu probably isn’t capable of submitting St. Pierre, unless the latter is already stunned with strikes, but it may be enough to get up off his back should he be taken down. Best of all, Condit has a clear target to go for: GSP’s knee. St. Pierre can claim his knee is fine all he wants, but it’s unquestionably a weakness that Condit will seek to exploit for the entire fight.

Furthermore, it’s hard to tell what St. Pierre will step into the ring. Will he be hesitant to engage and overly tentative? (GSP’s critics just jumped up and shouted “But he already is!”) If he gets backed up consistently he’ll get tagged, and there’s no telling how he’ll react to that. GSP isn’t all athleticism and explosiveness, but these traits undoubtedly give him a decided edge over virtually all of his opponents — and after 19 months out of the Octagon, he may not look like the same fighter. There are a large number of legitimate questions that surround St. Pierre’s return, and there’s no real way to answer them until we see him in action Saturday night.

That said, I don’t think they all need to be answered to favor St. Pierre…

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Booking Alert: Jon Fitch vs. Demian Maia Added to UFC 156 in February


(Demian Maia’s neck-crank of Rick Story — it just never gets old, does it? / GIF via Fightlinker)

With Jon Fitch coming off a redemptive Fight of the Night victory over Erick Silva at UFC 153 — his first win in over two years — the Indiana-bred wrestler is suddenly a factor again in the welterweight division. And so, the UFC will be giving him another opportunity to cement his contender status at UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar (February 2nd; Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas), where he’ll face off against Brazilian grappling specialist Demian Maia. The promotion confirmed the booking last night.

After hitting a wall at middleweight, Maia dropped to 170 earlier this year, debuting with a fluke-ish TKO-via-muscle-spasm victory over Dong Hyun Kim. But against Rick Story at UFC 153, we finally saw flashes of the Old Maia, as he picked up his first submission victory since his triangle-choke of Chael Sonnen in February 2009. And man, was it nasty.

We all know that this is going to be a grapple-fest, and odds are that it’ll go the distance. But considering that Fitch has turned over a new leaf in his approach to fighting — and that Maia has located his jiu-jitsu again — it could be an entertaining scrap. Who y’all got?

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[VIDEO] Full UFC 154 Pre-Fight Press Conference


(Conference starts at the 4:15 mark.) 

Here are the three most noteworthy pieces of information I learned at the UFC 154 pre-fight press conference:

1. Carlos Condit is very handsy when answering questions.

2. Whoever was in charge of controlling the levels on Jon Anik’s microphone needs to be fired ASAP, then shot, then dragged to a park to make it look like a suicide. Either that or Anik is suffering from the worst case of voice immodulation I have ever heard.

3. People are still up in arms about the Condit/Diaz decision, and based on the CagePotato “I Miss Old Dad” scale of emotional hoarding, they will continue to do so for…*enters figures into calculator*…ever. I guess the fact that Diaz’s win/title shot would’ve been revoked anyway makes little difference in this meaningless debate. I say this as a Diaz fan: Move along, folks. Nothing to see here.

No, I do not know if this information will heighten your viewing experience or not, but what I do know is that the flu medication I’ve been on for the past few days causes more violent hallucinations than that cup of punch I drank at a Phish concert last summer, so just applaud the fact that I was even able to bring you this video today. I SAID APPLAUD DAMMIT!

Now if you will excuse me, I have a date with the insides of my stomach, which should be arriving any moment now.

-J. Jones

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