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June, 2013

CagePotato Databomb #13: How Often Are UFC Fights Finished?


(Click on the chart for the full-size version. For previous Databombs, click here.)

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

How many UFC fights end inside the distance? The overall percentage is 60%, which includes fights all the way back to 1993. But at the halfway point of 2013, that number is only 50%, year to date. I’d say “roughly 50%” but it’s not — it’s precisely 50%. Out of 176 fights so far in 2013, 88 have been finished by (T)KO or submission. That’s exactly half. How does that stack up with prior years in the UFC? Well, here’s the annual finish rate for UFC fights by year, with 2013 recorded through UFC 161.

The bad news for fans of highlight reel finishes is that the overall trend is down. But the good news is that the recent trend is completely flat, which is a level of stability never before seen in the UFC. As in troubled economies, after a steep decline “flat” starts looking like the new “up.” But there are other patterns underlying the movement of this line.

A closer look at the historical finish rate reveals how this metric is impacted by various drivers. First, notice that all fights ended in the first two years of the UFC. That’s because there was no other option; fighters fought until one of them won. There were no time limits, and no judges. When time limits were introduced in 1995, we see that immediately some fights went the distance, though they were all “draws” at first. Judges were brought in at the end of that year to declare winners of fights that went the distance, and the overall parity of competition improved throughout the decade forcing their involvement more frequently.

But it was the institution of weight classes that give us the best insight into the trends during the modern Zuffa era…

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Teixeira vs. Bader, Jacare vs. Okami Reported for UFC on FOX Sports 1:3, Sept. 4 in Belo Horizonte


(Remember that moment in the middle of round 3 when Glover and Rampage just started petting each other for like 30 seconds? Man, what a crazy fight. / Photo via Getty)

As first reported on Portal do Vale Tudo and confirmed by MMAJunkie, the UFC’s third “UFC on FOX Sports 1” event will take place on September 4th in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and will feature two of Brazil’s most dangerous contenders.

First up, light-heavyweights Glover Teixeira and Ryan Bader have been re-scheduled to fight at the event, after originally being booked for UFC 160. When Bader withdrew from the fight due to injury, Teixeira faced James Te-Huna instead, and walked away with his fourth straight UFC victory and a Submission of the Night bonus for choking out Te-Huna in the first round. Teixeira currently holds one of the most impressive win streaks in all of MMA, with 19 victories in a row (17 by stoppage), dating back to May 2006.

As for Bader, the former TUF champ hasn’t competed since his quick guillotine-choke win over Vladimir Matyushenko at UFC on FOX 6 back in January. You can expect “Darth” to be a sizable underdog (once again) in this fight. Anybody think he can deflate Glover’s hype?

In other UFC on FOX Sports 1:3 booking news…

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[VIDEO] Justin Baesman Survives Early Onslaught, Defeats Daniel Roberts in WAR MMA 1 Main Event


Props to Zombie Prophet for the fight video.

If you were curious as to how different a night of fights being put together by Nick Diaz would be from a typical night of fights heading into last night’s WAR MMA 1, the short answer is “not too much (yet).” Despite some rule changes designed to prevent stalling and a one point deduction due to timidity during Cody Gibson vs. Darin Cooley – this is right around where you can insert your own Stockton Rules joke – seven out of twelve bouts went to decision. This isn’t to say that the fights were boring, but rather, that the special rules didn’t make much of a difference.

The main event of the evening saw UFC veteran Daniel Roberts take on Justin Baesman. The fight looked like it was in danger of being stopped just seconds into the first round, as Roberts caught Baesman’s kick, took him down and began punching away. But Baesman hung on, and survived the subsequent choke attempt, to get back to his feet and earn two takedowns by the end of the first round.

The second round saw Baesman continue to outwork Roberts, who was visibly spent from his opening efforts by this point. Roberts would earn a takedown of his own at the start of the third round – and spend most of the round in top control – but in the end it wasn’t enough to convince two of the three judges that he did enough to win the fight.

Full Results from WAR MMA 1:

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With Some Help From Twitter, Jake Ellenberger Could Be Next In Line For GSP…If He Can Beat Rory MacDonald


(“Here we are with Ake Jellenberger, you did an awesome job, getting some awesome trash-talk in there, I want to tell me what you see, let’s go ahead and see by the tweets, what you saw, in the computer.” / Photo via Getty)

By Nathan Smith

The war of words heated up between The Juggernaut and The Waterboy — aka Ares, or the Canadian Psycho…too bad Uncle Creepy was already taken — via Twitter this past week, leading up to their UFC on FOX 8 showdown on July 27 from the Key Arena in Seattle, Washington. Because Anderson Silva vs Chris Weidman is on the horizon, many have forgotten that the #3 and #4 ranked welterweights will be squaring off a few weeks after. The latest beef started off as a seemingly harmless question thrown out by Jake Ellenberger to his followers, but apparently Rory MacDonald did not take kindly to it and he made his 140 characters count like they were punches.

Though it is not exactly the magnitude of Twitter beef that Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen engaged in when the American Gangster was trying to goad the LHW champ into accepting his short-notice challenge at the now infamously cancelled UFC 151, but it was still a pretty good shot across the bow by MacDonald even though it took a couple previous Twitter-jabs from Ellenberger to get us to this point.

Awesome.

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[VIDEO] Jeff Monson Loses Via Submission For First Time This Century

Former NCAA Division I collegiate wrestler and former ADCC world submission champion Jeff Monson has fought MMA professionally for nearly sixteen years now. He’s fought some of the best in the world, put together incredibly win streaks and even challenged for the UFC heavyweight belt.

And yes, the forty two year-old is still fighting. Up until Thursday night, in fact, “The Snowman” was riding a seven fight unbeaten streak. That streak ended at the hands of Alexey Olenik in the Ukraine when Monson lost via submission for the first time since April of 1999 to David Dodd.

Monson tapped out in the second round against Olenik to a rear naked choke but the damage was really done on the feet. From the get-go, Monson got tagged over and again by the longer Olenik.

In the first round, the American was dropped with a left. He was unable to secure a take down despite many attempts and at the end of the first period, found himself on his back. For some reason, the round was allowed to continue for a good twenty seconds past it’s five minute allotment, during which time, Monson ate about ten punches from his back and had his guard passed.

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[VIDEO] That Was Quick – Forrest Griffin Opens Door to Comeback


(Video via MMA Fight Corner)

Athe UFC 160 post event press conference Dana White announced that former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin was retiring from MMA. Now, less than a month later, Griffin has revealed that he’s at least open to the possibility of coming back should his body heal up well from recent injuries.

“I’ll start training again, September, August. Maybe if I’m just magically healed and like everything works great, then I’ll have to try [fighting] again. But, I’m not healthy now,” the TUF 1 winner told MMA Fight Corner.

Griffin last fought in July of 2012, when he beat long-time champion Tito Ortiz by unanimous decision. Griffin won three out of his last four fights but was forced to pull out of a scheduled bout with Phil Davis this year due to a torn MCL in his knee.

Griffin will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame July 6th at UFC 162 along with his TUF 1 co-finalist Stephan Bonnar. And, although the fighter sounds eager to get back into training and acknowledges the possibility of his return to competition, he warns not to read too much into his desire to be back in the gym.

“But, to say I’m unusual for that, most professional athletes have that,” Griffin explained.

“Most guys are like ‘Ok when can I start training again?’. I got into this because I like fighting, I like training. It’s fun, you know.”

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Carina Damm Is Now a Two-Time Drug-Test Loser, Catches Six-Month Suspension Over Fake Urine


(Carina Damm: Continuing to break down boundaries for female fighters. Photo via Folha Vitoria)

Well this is a damn shame. Last month, we celebrated the five-year anniversary of Carina Damm becoming the first female MMA fighter to test positive for steroids. And now, according to a report broken by MMARising.com, Damm has become the first female MMA fighter to submit fake urine during a pre-fight drug test, following in the footsteps of fake-piss pioneers Kevin Randleman and Thiago Silva. Read on for the details:

Carina “Barbie” Damm has been fined and suspended for six months by the Ohio Athletic Commission for submitting an invalid urine sample prior to her recent fight in the state. Damm dropped a Unanimous Decision to Jessica “Evil” Eye at NAAFS: “Fight Night In The Flats 9” on June 1st in Cleveland.

OAC Executive Director Bernie Profato discussed the suspension with MMARising.com today. During pre-fight testing, Damm submitted a sample that was determined to be a substance other than urine. She has incurred a $550 fine in addition to the suspension, but is able to appeal the ruling…

During an intermission at the NAAFS event, just prior to the two title fights and main event bout between Eye and Damm, all six remaining fighters on the card were required to submit to pre-fight drug testing. Each sample came back clean for banned substances, but there were irregularities with Damm’s. The lab conducted a second test on the sample and verified that it was in fact not urine.

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Friday Link Dump: Execution Via Head-Kick, The History of Mike Tyson, And the Latest Aaron Hernandez Murder Theory


(Hmm. Maybe you should drive a stake through his heart too, just to be safe. / Props: @KnockoutFootage via MiddleEasy)

Video Promo for This Saturday’s ‘WAR MMA 1′ in Stockton (MMA Scraps)

Chael Sonnen Explains His Beef With LeBron James (BleacherReport)

God of War: The History of Mike Tyson (BloodyElbow)

Bellator Takes Huge Rating Hit in Move to Wednesday (MMAFighting)

Dan Henderson: Top 10 Facts You Need to Know About ‘Hendo’ (FightDay)

Season-Opener Bellator 99 Adds Alexander Shlemenko vs. Doug Marshall Title Fight (MMAJunkie)

The Funniest Redneck Glamour Shots Ever (WorldWideInterweb)

Text Messaging: Saving Lives — And Sometimes Ruining Them (DoubleViking)

Ranking Kanye West’s Albums From Worst to Best (Complex)

Giant Python Opens a Door (EgoTV)

Is Aaron Hernandez Taking The Fall For Baby Mama’s Family? (TerezOwens)

Sexiest Female Athletes of 2013 (MensFitness)

Why Women Love Losers (MadeMan)

Screen Junkies Show: Which Movie Monster Is The Scariest? (ScreenJunkies)

Bully Picks on the Wrong Nerd (Break)

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Nick Newell Draws Keon Caldwell for August 10th WSOF Debut


(From left to right: Newell, and a Google Image Search result for “Black Assassin.” See, now *that* would be a competitive fight. / Nick photo courtesy of WSOF via MMAWeekly)

Looks like the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) is serious about grooming and spotlighting recent signee Nick Newell. The lightweight prospect has been matched up with former Ultimate Fighter Season 13 competitor Keon “The Black Assassin” Caldwell at WSOF 4: Spong vs. DeAnda, August 10th at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California.

If you remember Keon Caldwell at all, it’s probably not in a good way. He’s the guy who voluntarily left TUF 13 shortly after arriving, a decision we thought was career suicide at the time. Caldwell has only competed once since then, scoring a TKO win over Jonathan Baldree, in July 2011. Caldwell has a 9-1 record overall, but most of his wins have come over fighters with losing records, and again, he hasn’t fought in nearly two years. Yikes. Our condolences go out to Caldwell’s family.

The undefeated Newell has yet to fight in 2013 but is coming off two straight first round finish wins, which brought his pro record to 9-0. The former XFC lightweight champion signed with the World Series of Fighting in hopes that he would get tougher fights against top lightweight free-agents, and eventually get signed by the UFC. This booking doesn’t exactly accomplish that.

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And Now He’s Retired: Seth Petruzelli Hangs Up the Gloves After Vicious KO Loss to King Mo at Bellator 96


(“You’re lucky enough to be different, never change.” – Taylor Swift.)

We can’t remember the last time a card produced such brutal outcomes that it resulted in two longtime veterans of the sport calling it quits, but such appears to be the case with Bellator 96. After Babalu Sobral announced his retirement from the sport following a third round TKO loss to Jacob Noe on Wednesday, fellow UFC veteran and one-half of MMA’s Ambiguously Gay Duo, Seth Petruzelli, has decided to hang up the gloves as well. He took to his Facebook page to make the announcement:

I want to thank my family, friends, fiancée and fans for being by my side these past 13 years plus of my MMA career. Every time I fought it was to please and excite you but most of all make you proud of me. Up until a couple years ago it pleased and excited me as well. That is where I went wrong, for the past couple years I have been fighting for the wrong reasons, I don’t have the desire or drive to fight like I used to and the past couple fights have shown it. So at this point in my life I would like to officially announce my retirement from the sport of MMA. Competing has been a part of my life since I was 6 years old, now I would like to put more of an effort into seeing my students/fighters do the same and making my gym grow and flourish. MMA has taken me around the world, let me meet the best and worst of people and made me feel like the brightest star but also like a black hole at times … and I have no regrets because I did it all my way. 

Petruzelli retires with an overall record of 14-8 and one of the greatest upset victories of all time. Farewell, good soldier. We won’t ask, you won’t tell.

After the jump: We take a look back at “The Silverback’s” aforementioned upset of Kimbo Slice (ROCKY! ROCKY IS HERE!) as well as another personal favorite of ours.

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