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

February, 2013

Jake Shields Slated for Do-or-Die Fight Against Tryon Woodley on June 15th


(Looks like T-Wood traded his lay-n-pray for some float-n-gloat. / Photo via Getty Images)

In terms of job security, Jake Shields has every strike against him right now. He’s coming off a six-month drug-suspension, his UFC appearances have been either forgettable or memorable for the wrong reasons, his official Octagon record is an uninspiring 2-2, and he’s even more expensive than Jon Fitch. It’s safe to assume that Shields will need to win his next match to avoid the axe — and according to new reports, that’s not going to be easy.

As first revealed by MMAJunkie, a welterweight bout between Shields and Tyron Woodley is being targeted for a June 15th UFC event in Canada (city/venue TBA). The fight will mark Shields’s return to the 170-pound division after his brief trip back up to middleweight at UFC 150, where he defeated Ed Herman by decision before that victory was overturned.

Like Shields, Tyron Woodley has endured “boring fighter” criticisms in the past for the way he’s used his suffocating wrestling to prevent opponents such as Paul Daley from standing and banging. But in his UFC debut earlier this month at UFC 156, Woodley showed off his tremendous knockout power, blitzing Jay Hieron in just 36 seconds. T-Wood’s previous fight against Nate Marquardt in Strikeforce was also an entertaining scrap, although it ultimately led to the first loss of Woodley’s career.

So will Shields fight any differently when it’s clear that his job is at stake? How do you see this one going down?

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Muay Thai and Kickboxing Legend Ramon Dekkers Dead at 43


(Dekkers, seen here with former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion and Invicta FC fighter Marloes Coenen. Via Coenen’s Twitter.) 

Some terrible and unexpected news from the world of kickboxing, Potato Nation. Yesterday afternoon, it was made public that kickboxing legend and former Muay Thai world champion Ramon Dekkers had passed away at the tender age of 43. According to various reports, the Golden Glory coach collapsed in his hometown of Breda, The Netherlands during a bike ride after complaining about light-headedness. Attempts to revive him on the scene were unsuccessful and Dekkers was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

Within hours of the announcement of his death, the MMA community took to the internet to express their condolences, including world-renowned trainer and fellow Muay Thai legend Duke Roufus, who posted the following on the UG:

I wanted to express my gratitude & respect to late great Ramon “Diamond” Dekkers. Ramon & Rob Kaman were my early influence in Muay Thai. The first time I saw Ramon was early 1989 via video tape.

I was in a family of very involved in the PKA Kickboxing. My older brother Rick a Champion & my father a coach, manager, promoter, judge & ref. Pursuing Muay Thai was foolish to them at the time but it paid off. I went to Thailand trained at SitYodtong where Rob & Ramon had before me. I wanted to follow in foot steps of their greatness.

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Steve ‘Child Porn of Sports’ Hickey’s Rebuttal to CagePotato’s Seth Falvo Is About as Wrongheaded as You’d Think It Would Be


(The Twitter avatar of a rational man capable of leading the nation, obviously. Props to Fightlinker for the find.)

Background: Like many of you, I was very upset when Ben Goldstein published a post about South Dakota State Representative Steve Hickey’s ridiculous tirade against MMA, but probably not for the same reasons that you may have been. As a Christian, I found it odd that a pastor would not only write things about death that I felt contradicted the messages contained in the Bible, but also cite Forrest Gump while doing so. It’s bad enough for a pastor to write that he can’t muster up sympathy for a person who has died because said person was just asking for it through his hobbies – I cringe picturing Hickey’s stance on rape if it’s anything like his stance on death – but to essentially say that a dim-witted, fictional Hollywood character has more wisdom than the person who your entire religion is built around is just completely unacceptable.

And that’s when I made the mistake of emailing Hickey, telling him that while I couldn’t care less what his opinion on MMA is, his stance on death is disgusting to me. For whatever reason, I was expecting a completely rational response. Instead, Hickey published an “Open Letter to Christian MMA fans” that I can’t help but feel is sort-of directed at me, where he accuses me of writing the piece that I not only told him was written by Ben Goldstein, but also was signed with Ben’s initials. Today I’m here to respond to that open letter. If this isn’t of any interest to you, move along, there’s nothing to see here.

****************************************************************

Dear Representative Steve Hickey,

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With Daniel Straus Injured, Shahbulat Shamhalaev Fast-Tracked to Shot at Pat Curran in April


(Full fight video of Shamhalaev’s tournament-winning performance against Rad Martinez at Bellator 90, courtesy of Wax6ynat Wamxanaeb-P3A MaptnHe3 Fuck You.) 

Another day, another injury.

At last week’s Bellator 90 event, stone-faced Russian “Assassin” (is there any other kind?) Shabulat Shamhalaev wrapped up the promotion’s 7th season featherweight tournament with a vicious knockout over fellow finalist Rad Martinez. In doing so, Shamhalaev earned a future shot at the winner of the Pat Curran/Daniel Straus featherweight title fight scheduled for April 4th. Fortunately for Shamhalaev (and unfortunately for Straus), a broken hand has forced the season six tournament winner out of the fight and has in turn opened the door for the Russian, who will now face Curran a bit earlier than expected. Bjorn Rebney broke the news via his Twitter account:

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Hot Potato: 15 Photos of SuJung Lee, UFC on FUEL 8′s Guest Octagon Girl

As announced at yesterday’s UFC on FUEL 8 pre-fight press conference, South Korean TV personality and pop singer SuJung Lee (aka Su Jung Lee, aka Lee Su Jung) will serve as a guest Octagon Girl at this weekend’s “Silva vs. Stann” event in Saitama, Japan, where she’ll be joined by the returning Azusa Nishigaki.

“It’s really nerve-wracking but also exciting to be chosen as a UFC ring girl,” SuJung said. “I want to show all the fans the charms of a Korean ring girl.”

Check out some of our favorite SuJung Lee photos in the gallery after the jump — as well as a video from her UFC photoshoot — and follow her on Facebook for lots more.

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CagePotato Databomb #8: Breaking Down the UFC Middleweights by Striking Performance


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

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

The UFC Middleweight division has long been ruled by the most feared and successful striker in MMA history, champion Anderson Silva. And perhaps more so than in smaller divisions, striking has been a good predictor of success at Middleweight. So examining this division in core striking performance metrics should provide good insight to how fighters will fare against each other in standup. A full explanation of the chart and variables is included at the end of this post.

But first, let’s see how the whole division stacks up against each other, and look at the winners and losers.

The Winners

Sniper Award: Two fights into his UFC career, cross-trained Dutchman Michael Kuiper has landed 49% of his power head strikes. We’ll see if he can maintain this in his upcoming matchup with veteran brawler Tom Lawlor in Sweden. Honorable mention must be given to Anderson Silva who has maintained 40% accuracy over his lengthy and dominant career. And also noteworthy is Italian boxer, Alessio Sakara, currently on the bench for health reasons.

Energizer Bunny Award: Strikeforce veteran Roger Gracie has been almost doubling the striking output of opponents on his way to a string of submission wins in typical Gracie fashion. Some grapplers use strikes to set up their mat-work, others don’t. Honorable mentions go to former champ Rich Franklin, and Strikeforce champ and crossover contender Luke Rockhold, who each tend to outpace their opponents by over 80%.

Biggest Ball(s) Award: The UFC record holder for knockdowns is Anderson Silva. He is literally the best in the business at dropping dudes. Statistically, when Silva lands a power head strike, there’s a 27% chance it will result in a knockdown, which is just ridiculous. These skills have won him Knockout of the Night honors seven times in the UFC.

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‘UFC 157′ Salaries: Rousey Banks 90K, Hendo Tops $1.17 Million Payroll


(It’s hard to argue that she didn’t earn it, but we’re sure at least a few of you will try your damnedest anyway. / Photo via Getty Images)

The California State Athletic Commission recently released the salary figures for UFC 157, which transpired last Saturday from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Topping the payroll was none other than Dan Henderson, who took home a cool quarter million despite dropping a close decision to Lyoto Machida in the night’s co-main event. Most of the salaries seem relatively fair considering the UFC’s recent cutbacks, but check out the full list after the jump and let us know who you think is “super fucking expensive” and who deserves to be paid a little more.

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‘The Ultimate Fighter 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen’ Episode 6 – Complete Video & Recap

Following his shocking upset loss to Kelvin Gastelum last week, Bubba McDaniel emerged a much humbler man in the opening moments of yesterday’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Jones vs. Sonnen. With Team Sonnen now back in control of the fight selections, this week’s matchup pitted highly-touted Swede Tor Troeng against Team Jones’ #2 pick and self-appointed captain Josh Samman. Was Samman able to overcome his nagging injuries and regain control for Team Jones, or did Troeng notch “another on for the bad guys?” Check out the entirety of last night’s episode above and join us after the jump for a full recap to find out.

- The episode kicks off with Jimmy Quinlan constructing a hammer for Tor (pronounced Thor. GET IT?). Although the prototype is laughably undersized, Quinlan showcases some MacGuyver-esque resourcefulness when building Troeng a life-sized model. If Josh Samman turns out to be less a human fighter and more a mole in need of whacking, he is pretty much screwed now.

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Channing Tatum to Play Olympic Gold Medalist/UFC Fighter Mark Schultz in ‘Foxcatcher’


(Oh yeah. The resemblance is just…uncanny.)

In 1984, freestyle wrestling legend Mark Schultz won a gold medal in the 82kg division at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. His older brother Dave Schultz also won freestyle wrestling gold that year, in the weight-class directly below his (74kg).

Twelve years later, Dave was shot dead by millionaire philanthropist — and stone-cold crazy-dude — John duPont, who had turned his family’s sprawling estate in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, into a training camp for amateur wrestlers. (duPont was later convicted of third-degree murder.) At the time of the shooting, Dave was coaching duPont’s “Team Foxcatcher” wrestling squad, and preparing for another Olympic bid.

Four months after his brother’s death, in May 1996, Mark Schultz entered UFC 9 and defeated Gary Goodridge by TKO due to cut, after 12 minutes of combat. Mark never competed in MMA again.

That’s the basic story behind Foxcatcher, a movie slated for release later this year that is based on Mark’s biography and is already drawing absurdly-premature Oscar buzz. The film is directed by Bennett Miller (Moneyball, Capote) and its cast includes Mark Ruffalo as Dave Schultz, Channing Tatum as Mark Schultz, and eccentric millionaire Steve Carell as eccentric millionaire John duPont.

The exact release date hasn’t been locked down yet, but it sounds like a hell of a story, and we figured we’d pass along a piece of vaguely MMA-related Hollywood news that doesn’t involve Gina or Ronda. All we can say is that C-Tates + six months of sprawl training sounds like a deadly combination.

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Is This Real Life?: Alistair Overeem’s ‘UFC 156′ Drug Test Comes Back With *Below* Average Testosterone Levels


(You think Antonio Silva‘s training methods are too tough, Alistair? Just wait until Jillian Michaels gets ahold of you. Photo via Getty Images.) 

Well, this would be a hell of a lot more triumphant news had Alistair Overeem not been tenderized like a cheap cut of (horse) steak at UFC 156, but you’ll be happy to know that Overeem, along with all of the 22 fighters who competed on the card, passed their post-fight drug tests with flying colors. Here’s where things get weird; Overeem’s test did come back with abnormal results, just not the kind you’d expect. And no, it wasn’t for Mary Jane. MMAJunkie passed along the results:

But with his blood test form his UFC 156 fight, his testosterone total level actually fell below the normal range of 250-1,100 nano grams per deciliter (ng/dL). Overeem’s total testosterone came in at 179 from the test, which was administered the morning after the fight at 8:25 a.m. on Feb. 3.

All other levels within the blood test came back within the normal reference range. 

Wait, Overeem’s testosterone level was below normal?! I think this occasion calls for a very special head-splosion clip:

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