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Iconic Album Covers Replaced With Sloths

January, 2013

Michael Bisping vs. Alan Belcher Booked for UFC 159 Co-Main Event


(Well that is just *completely* out of character. / Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting.com)

As first reported by ESPN, the UFC 159 light-heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen will be supported by a middleweight co-main event between Michael Bisping and Alan Belcher.

Both fighters are coming off of losses that set them back in the 185-pound pecking order. Bisping was recently knocked out by Vitor Belfort in Brazil, while Belcher — who has been calling for a fight against the Count since last May — saw his four-fight win streak come to an end via a unanimous decision loss to Yushin Okami at UFC 155. Following that fight, Bisping gleefully rubbed salt in Belcher’s wounds on his Yahoo! blog, writing:

Belcher lost every minute of every round in a fight so boring I was afraid my brain was going to melt and start to dribble out of my ears. It was like someone detonated a nuclear bomb of boredom in the arena — everyone in the seats around me was playing Angry Birds. What delusions of grandeur Belcher has. This is a guy who didn’t fight for a year after giving himself career-threatening eye-strain by watching too much internet porn, and he thinks he’s god’s gift to MMA…This is a guy who got his arse kicked by two guys I smashed (Yoshihiro Akiyama and Jason Day) but he thinks he can not only beat me on a couple weeks’ training, but also assumed he was getting passed Okami, who is not to be underestimated. Anyway, now we don’t have to listen to this guy anymore. Back to the undercard, sunshine!

Now, Bisping is fighting the very same man he just cursed to an eternity of curtain-jerking. That might be a tough pill to swallow, but Mike actually seems okay with the booking, tweeting today:

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[VIDEO] Kimbo Slice Done Crushed Another Can


(I swear to God, you guys, I’ve seen this image before.) 

Yesterday, I went a little off the beaten path and covered the world of professional wrestling, specifically Brock Lesnar’s re-signing with the WWE and subsequent F-5ing of company President Vince McMahon. Although the video was unquestionably hilarious, most of you guys (at least those who took the time to comment) were not able to set aside your MMA bias for even a second to enjoy it. And it’s a shame, because even if Air Force One is your all-time favorite film, does that mean you cannot occasionally enjoy the goofball satirical humor of Airplane? Please don’t delve any further into that terrible analogy, but of all the websites to cover the Lesnar story (and there were a few), I was kind of surprised that the audience of the “comedic” one had the least sense of humor about it.

So I’m not sure how you’ll take the news that TUF 10 veteran Kimbo Slice returned to the world of boxing last night, or the fact that we’ve decided to devote yet another article to it. On one hand, Kimbo is at least competing in a “real” sport after leaving the UFC. On the other, he is as tenuously connected to the world of MMA as Lesnar is these days, so perhaps we should just ignore him. On the third hand, Slice’s most recent fight against Australian-based journeyman Shane Tilyard was fucking awesome. As is usually the case in a Slice fight, things weren’t exactly pretty, but boy were they entertaining (for a round or so). For Christ’s sake, Kimbo attempted two takedowns in the fight. If you can’t appreciate that kind of irony, then we are just not the same kind of fight fans.

Video after the jump.

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‘TUF 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen,’ Episode 2 — The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly

You’d think that Jon Jones would understand the importance of having a tremendous reach advantage, considering it’s one of the key elements of his own success in the UFC. But I’ve already said too much. Read on for our quick breakdown of the best and worst moments from last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen, which produced the season’s first middleweight quarterfinalist.

The Good
- The sheer glee on the faces of the castmembers as they enter the TUF mansion for the first time, especially the ones who are used to living a much more humble lifestyle. Not a single one of them goes straight to the booze closet and starts breaking shit. Luke Barnatt is just thankful for six weeks of free food. The house is “astronomically extraordinary,” according to Gilbert Smith. Enjoy it guys, because that beautiful house will soon become…YOUR PRISON.

- Sonnen wearing wind-pants to every appearance in the gym — gotta love it — and the familiar faces among the assistant coaching staff, including Frank Mir (Team Jones), Vinny Magalhaes (Team Sonnen) and Mike Dolce (Team Sonnen).

- Uriah Hall telling Sonnen he wants to fight the best guys in the house, after Sonnen makes it known that he’d like Hall to get an easy road to the finals. Hall’s attitude is a refreshing contrast to Bubba McDaniel, who is fixated on getting the matchups that would give him the best chance of advancing in the tournament, and spends the first half of the episode lamenting how the Smith vs. Barnatt selection puts Team Jones at risk for losing control of the picks.

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UFC Booking Alert: Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson Added to Next FOX Card; UFC 159 Gets Nelson vs. Kongo, Miller vs. Healy, Davis vs. Magalhaes


(Above: “Grrrrrr.” / Below: “Haaaaaay!”)

After coming up short in his title challenge against Ben Henderson last month, UFC lightweight Nate Diaz will be returning to the Octagon at UFC on Fox 7: Henderson vs. Melendez (April 20th, San Jose), where he’ll face former Strikeforce champ Josh Thomson; CSNBayArea broke the news yesterday.

Thomson hasn’t competed in the UFC since his 2-1 stint for the promotion in 2003-2004, which ended in an unfortunate/incredible highlight-reel knockout against Yves Edwards. Since then, “The Punk” has spent most of his career fighting for Strikeforce, where he built an entertaining rivalry against Diaz’s training partner (and UFC on FOX 7 title challenger) Gilbert Melendez. Thomson briefly held Strikeforce’s lightweight title after winning a decision against Melendez in June 2008, and has picked up wins over Pat Healy, Gesias Cavalcante, and KJ Noons since then. His most recent appearance resulted in a split-decision loss to Melendez during their rubber-match last May.

Of course, the other thing Thomson is known for is his frequent injuries, and there’s a lot that can go wrong between now and 4/20. Let’s hope this one sticks together. In related news, the UFC has added three big matchups to their UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen card, which takes place the following weekend (April 27th) in Newark, NJ…

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Conspiracy Theory Alert: Rafael Cavalcante Believes CSAC “Wanted to Harm Him”


(“No way! You were the completely innocent victim of a vast conspiracy aimed at soiling your reputation TOO?! Somebody call Lance, we’ve got some work to do.”) 

You know, just once I would like to hear an athlete take full responsibility for their actions without needing an hour-long Oprah special to do so. I realize that as fans, we often refuse to acknowledge that the people we falsely idolize are capable of wrongdoing, but if the athletes that continue to get busted for banned substances/steroids/stevia were truly concerned about their fanbase, they probably wouldn’t be trying to cheat the system in the first place.

So you’ll excuse my rush to judgement, but suffice it to say, I ain’t buying the conspiracy theory that former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante laid out in a recent interview with Globo Esporte. As you might recall, Cavalcante tested positive for Stanozolol in the aftermath of his win over Mike Kyle last May, and was subsequently denied an appeal by the California State Athletic Commission in the months that followed. Although if you were to ask Rafael, he would tell you that the blood — or rather, the urine — is on the CSAC’s hands:

The organizers wanted to harm me. I had conducted a test in Brazil a week before the fight. I would not be so stupid to take any banned substance, the type of anabolic they claimed I took in fact makes a person gain weight. I’m already a heavyweight, would not take that. 

The urine sample was manipulated. When the form was submitted, it was dated on May 18, 2012, but in reality the sample was collected a day later on may 19. When we checked the form more carefully, we saw that there was another mistake. The collection was made at the HP Pavilion, where the event was held, but in the form it says collection was made at the hotel where we were staying.

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CagePotato Databomb #4: Breaking Down the UFC Featherweights by Striking Performance


(Click chart for full-size versionFor previous Databombs, click here.)

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

Last week, we started our series on UFC strikers by breaking down the smallest division in key striking metrics. This week, in time for the Featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar at UFC 156, we’ll look at the 145’ers. A full explanation of the chart and variables is included below.

The Winners

Sniper Award: Cub Swanson has been on a roll lately and tops out as the division’s most accurate striker, landing 37% of his power head strike attempts. For perspective, that’s bordering on Anderson Silva-type accuracy, at least statistically. This has helped Swanson win three straight in the UFC, all by (T)KO, and pick up two straight Knockout of the Night bonuses.

Energizer Bunny Award: Southpaw Erik Koch has more than doubled the striking output of his opponents. But that wasn’t enough to stop the ground Hellbows from Ricardo Lamas on last Saturday’s FOX card. There’s no doubt about Koch’s skills, he’ll just have to wait longer to test them against the current champ.

Biggest Ball(s) Award: Andy Ogle may cry a lot when he’s away from home, but no one should doubt the size of his, ahem, heart. Though he dropped a split decision in his UFC debut against Akira Corassani, he managed to knock down the Swede despite landing only two solid strikes to the head. He’d better improve his accuracy and pull the trigger more often if he hopes to get past the similarly gun-shy yet powerful Josh Grispi at UFC on FUEL 7 next month. Other notable featherweights with knockdown power include Koch, Aldo, Dennis Siver and Dennis Bermudez.

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Brock Lesnar Re-Signs With the WWE, Immediately F-5′s Vince McMahon [BECAUSE STONE COLD SAID SO]


(“Brock, I want to trust you, I really do. But I’ve seen The Jeffersons before and I’m pretty sure this isn’t how you fix my bad back.”)

I might not follow professional wrestling anymore, but I’ve started to notice a pattern of sorts in regards to Brock Lesnar’s relationship with the WWE, which has to be the easiest job that anyone could ever ask for. Seriously, Lesnar shows up once every year or so, says less than a sentence, F-5′s whoever the hell is standing across the ring from him, and then stands menacingly over the victim’s body until they cut to commercial. He’s like the Mongo of the WWE, only instead of punching horses, Lesnar takes out his frustrations on genetically-enhanced geriatrics like Vince McMahon, who the announcers hilariously reminded us was in fact a grandfather while Lesnar was tossing him through the air like a bag of garbage during last night’s Monday Night Raw as the dude from Hardcore Pawn stared on in horror. Pretty sweet gig if you ask me.

We probably should’ve seen something like this coming when it was reported that Lesnar had signed a two year extension with the wrestling promotion, but the exact same routine, down to the sleeveless black tee and breakaway pants? Methinks the WWE is running out of ideas. I mean, they could’ve at least gone the Shooter route and had Lesnar show up sporting some camo pants and an unkempt beard before declaring that McMahon had double-crossed/left him for dead at last year’s SummerSlam. Seriously, Vince, if you’re looking for a writer with a penchant for abortion jokes and hyperbole, I’m your guy.

Video after the jump.

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Randy Couture Signs Multi-Year Deal With Spike TV, Will Appear as a Coach on Bellator’s Reality Series


(Bellator’s new MMA competition show unveils its wrestling coach and “swag advisor.” / Photo via Getty)

UFC legend Randy Couture — who helped usher the UFC into the mainstream as a coach on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter in 2005 — will be returning to his Spike TV stomping grounds this year. Except this time, it’ll be in the service of a different MMA promotion looking to build their own brand on the guy-centric cable channel. No, this is not going to sit well with You Know Who. SI.com’s Loretta Hunt has the details:

SI.com has confirmed through multiple sources that UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture has signed into a multi-year deal with Spike TV, a property of Viacom, to appear in multiple projects for the cable channel, as well as other possible ventures within the media conglomerate’s family of networks.

As a part of the multi-faceted agreement, Couture’s first role will be as a coach in the forthcoming Bellator MMA reality series, which begins shooting in February and airs later this year.

Spike TV will unveil this industry-shifting announcement on Feb. 5 during a press conference in Los Angeles, where Couture and Spike TV president Kevin Kay will discuss details of the agreement and what the 49-year-old retired fighter’s role will be on the Bellator series and possibly other Spike-broadcasted projects. The series is expected to feature a number of current and up-and-coming Bellator fighters.

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And Now He’s Semi-Retired: Keith Jardine Announces Hiatus From MMA Competition


(Look at it this way, Keith, now you’ll have plenty of down time to figure out the air speed velocity of both the African AND the European swallow.) 

I come to you with a bit of mixed news this afternoon, Potato Nation. In a recent interview with MMAFightCorner, UFC/Strikeforce veteran Keith Jardine announced that he would be stepping away from the sport for an undisclosed period to address several lingering injuries, stating the following:

A lot of people have been pushing me to retire, I’ve been a shell of myself these last couple years. I’ve been saying I’m definitely on the shelf, I’m semi-retired, I’m definitely on the shelf right now.

…my approach right now is I’m trying to get myself healthy. And then once I feel like I’m ready to go out and to perform at a level I want to and shock the world, I want to do it. I got to do it again. I don’t care if I win or lose, but I just want to go out there and perform and be Keith Jardine which I haven’t been in the last couple of years. When I dropped to middleweight it was a disaster, it was stupid. It made everything worse.

As we all know, Jardine is considered by many to be one of the nicest guys in the sport, despite the fact that he looks like the kind of person who has an unfinished basement stockpiled with barrels of lye and a human-sized cage that he claims is for his pet Dodo. So first and foremost, we’d like to congratulate him for at least addressing the fact that he has not been performing to the best of his abilities in recent years. On the other hand, Jardine was never a world beater to begin with (his longest UFC win streak stands at 2), and perhaps his struggles as of late are a sign that the game has passed him by more than anything else.

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Tell Us How You Think Aldo vs. Edgar Will Go Down, In 15 Seconds Or Less [SQUABBLER]

We’re just four days away from the UFC 156 featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar, and as usual, we’d like to get your opinion on the matter. But we’re going to try something a little different this time: Our new bros at Squabbler have set up that nifty little “CagePotato Debate Zone” widget you see above. Click on my face* to hear my super-brief prediction for Aldo vs. Edgar, and if you disagree, you can record a response by clicking the orange “Let’s Squabble” button. One we get a few solid entries in the mix, you’ll be able to vote on the best one. Just keep in mind that if anybody out-votes my entry, I will shut down this entire goddamned website. Some ground-rules…

- You only have 15 seconds to make your argument, so maybe give it some thought before you start babbling. Fortunately, you can re-record your response as many times as you want before submitting it.

- The widget will be live until Saturday at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. The best entry before then will score a CagePotato t-shirt.

- Please, no male nudity. Or at the very least, tasteful male nudity.

Let us know what you think, and follow Squabbler on Twitter @Squabbler!

* Jesus, couldn’t they have picked a better screen-shot? Honestly, I don’t always look like I’ve just huffed a bag of paint. And do I really sound like that? Ugggggghhh.

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