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September, 2013

Ahead of UFC 166 Fight, Daniel Cormier Objects to Roy Nelson’s Hair and Grooming


(What, me worry? | Photo via MMA Weekly)

As confident as Daniel Cormier is ahead of his UFC 166 bout against Roy Nelson, there appears to be at least one thing that concerns the former Olympic wrestler about his opponent. “The thing about the beard is it doesn’t seem to be well-kept, so I’m going to request that there’s a rubber band in it and that it comes straight down,” Cormier told fans assembled in Milwaukee last Friday for the UFC Fight Club Q&A session he took part in.

According to MMA Junkie, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, which will regulate UFC 166 does have a rule stating that “each contestant must be clean and present a tidy appearance.” Like him or not, no one can ever claim that Nelson presents an appearance anywhere near “clean” or “tidy.”

Cormier seems to be implying that he’ll ask the Texas commission to intercede and ensure Nelson’s tidy appearance. “Also, I’m going to ask that they put his hair in two plaits off to the side,” Cormier says, seemingly describing pig tails.

“Part it down the middle, plait it on the sides. I don’t want it all in my face.”

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And Now He’s Officially Retired: Sean Sherk Faces Reality After Years of Injury Struggles

The last time we saw Sean Sherk on the Octagon, he was getting his hand raised following a questionable decision victory against Evan Dunham at UFC 119. In the three years since then, Sherk has been busy rehabbing old injuries and waiting for his next move. That next move never came, and the former lightweight champion steadily faded out of relevance while the lightweight division he helped revive continued to grow deeper and more prominent.

It’s possible that you assumed Sean Sherk — who turned 40 last month — was already retired, but “The Muscle Shark” (man, that nickname) didn’t make it official until yesterday, when he announced his departure from the sport on The MMA Hour. A press release on TrainingMask.com adds that “Sherk plans to maintain his involvement at Training Mask while coaching MMA, and teaching seminars. Sherk is also continuing a successful career in real estate investment.”

Sherk leaves behind a career-record of 36-4-1 dating back to 1999, including wins over Nick Diaz, Kenny Florian, Tyson Griffin, Hermes Franca, and Karo Parisyan, and a UFC lightweight title reign that lasted from October 2006 to December 2007. His only losses came against long-reigning UFC champions: Matt Hughes, Georges St. Pierre, BJ Penn, and Frankie Edgar.

But despite his accomplishments, Sean Sherk was never a fan favorite. Much of that could be blamed on his methodical, slow-grind wrestling approach to fighting — a style that crowds can’t help booing, and which Sherk never really evolved beyond. And unfortunately, his stint as a UFC champion was also the most controversial period of his career.

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The Milwaukee Mess: In the UFC’s Lightweight and Featherweight Divisions, Everyone Wants to Fight Each Other But No Match Ups Are Clear


(Admit it — you completely forgot about this guy. / Photo via MMAJunkie)

By Elias Cepeda

After ripping the lightweight world title away from Benson Henderson this past Saturday at UFC 164, Anthony Pettis immediately called out dominant featherweight champion Jose Aldo in the Octagon. The two have “unfinished business,” Pettis said.

Indeed they do. Pettis was supposed to drop down in weight and challenge Aldo for his belt a month ago, but injured his knee and pulled out of the fight. Then, when #1 lightweight contender T.J. Grant got concussed in training and had to pull out of his UFC 164 fight against Henderson, Pettis filled in for him.

The rest is history…as well as an exciting mess of future match-up possibilities. Just days after the lightweight division was shaken up by Pettis’ armbar win, every one seems to be calling out everyone else, but some how no one’s interests are quite matching up yet.

After UFC 164 and Pettis’ call out of Aldo, the featherweight’s manager and coach, Andre Pederneiras tweeted in Portuguese, “I believe now we will see Pettis returning his lightweight belt and moving down to fight Aldo at 145 [pounds],” according to MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz.

“We were not the ones who left the fight in Rio, and I want to see [Pettis] make 145. This fight will happen, don’t worry. We just want equal rights to the Brazilians,” he went on.

UFC President Dana White immediately reacted to Pederneiras at the post event press conference. “They are going to fight,” White said.

“I’ve known Andre for years. But when you come out and make a statement like that, you make it look like (Aldo) is afraid. And that might not be Aldo’s same opinion. It makes it look like he’s afraid of Anthony Pettis, which already gives Anthony Pettis an advantage.”

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Wanderlei Silva Will Have to Wait Until Next Year to Make Chael Sonnen Swallow His Teeth


(Damn. All those awesome war-faces for nothing.)

We have to admit — we were getting pretty excited to see Wanderlei Silva try to rearrange Chael Sonnen‘s butt face. But despite cutting the most intense, over-the-top, terrifying, hilarious YouTube challenge of the year, the Axe Murderer won’t be fighting his arch-enemy any time soon, due to persistent back problems.

“He can’t even fight until January. He’s got something wrong with his back or sciatica, something is wrong with him right now,” UFC president Dana White said last week. “He’s seeing a doctor.”

Clearly this will just give Sonnen more ammunition in their ongoing debate about who’s more scared of who — especially when you consider that Silva already tried to back out of the matchup (allegedly) unless he was offered points on the pay-per-view.

So where does that leave Chael Sonnen, who has been wrangling for a co-main event spot on the UFC’s 20th anniversary show in November? Though Dana White recently suggested that a matchup between Sonnen and light-heavyweight contender Phil Davis was possible, the Bad Guy has a different idea…

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UFC 164 Aftermath: Milwaukee’s Best


(Photo by Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

By George Shunick

The year’s not over, but when it’s said and done, don’t be surprised to see UFC 164 stand atop as the crown jewel of the promotion’s endeavors in 2013. The main card delivered in spades, with four finishes – albeit one controversial one – and one fight of the night which somehow didn’t manage to win the actual Fight of the Night bonus. But the big story last night was the ascension of Anthony Pettis to the lightweight throne. There has not been a dominant champion in the most talented division in MMA since the downfall of BJ Penn at UFC 112. If last night was any indication, Anthony Pettis is going to the answer to the series of frustrating draws and questionable decisions that have plagued the top of the division in Penn’s absence.

In the fight itself, Benson Henderson’s strategy became immediately clear – clinch, clinch, clinch. The majority of the round saw Henderson use his strength to drive Pettis into the fence and keep him there while working short strikes to Pettis’ legs. Henderson also attempted a number of takedowns, all of which were stuffed. When the two finally separated for a period of time, it became evident just why Henderson was so eager to keep the fighting in close. Pettis, fighting out of orthodox stance as a means of opening up the body kicks that come when two fighters square off in opposite stances, proceeded to capitalize on that particular strategy, landing four kicks to the body which clearly discomforted Henderson. Pettis, perhaps a little too pleased with his work, then attempted a cartwheel kick, only to be taken down by Henderson. Working in Pettis’ open guard, Henderson planted his right arm on the mat. Pettis immediately grabbed an overhook and soon after went for the armbar.

Henderson defended well at first, but as Pettis rotated on his back, the pressure increased on Henderson’s elbow to the point where it popped and the champion verbally submitted. Pettis became the second man to submit a champion since BJ Penn did it to Matt Hughes in 2004, and he did it against a man who is exceptionally difficult to finish in under a round. Considering that it was previously believed that his standup was his main weapon, it should go without saying at this point that Pettis is not only one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, he could possibly be the best. A fight with Jose Aldo would go a long way to determine that, but a fight with T.J. Grant wouldn’t hurt either. Now the bad news; Pettis claims his knee popped during the fight. Hopefully it’s minor, but it would be a shame to lose Pettis so soon after such an impressive performance. Meanwhile, once his elbow heals, Henderson will be back. He’s insanely tough, well-rounded, athletic, technical… he’s just a level or two below Anthony Pettis. Maybe everyone else is too.

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[VIDEO] UFC 164 Post Event Press Conference


(Dana White & the stars of UFC 164 hold court last night after the fights in Milwaukee | Video via UFC Youtube)

Watch the video above to see what UFC President Dana White, and some of UFC 164′s top fighters had to say about all the action from last night’s pay per view event. New champion Anthony Pettis talked about his dramatic first round submission of Benson Henderson, Frank Mir and Josh Barnett talk about their controversial heavyweight clash and Chad Mendes discusses his fourth straight knockout win.

Per usual, the “…of the night” bonuses were announced by White at the post presser. Mendes won KO of the night, Pettis won submission of the night and Hyun Gyu Lim and Pascal Krauss won fight of the night. All fighters involved took home an extra $50,000 for the honors.

- Elias Cepeda

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UFC 164 Results & Video Highlights: Pettis Wins Title, Barnett Stops Mir


(Anthony Pettis becomes the new UFC lightweight champion by submitting Benson Henderson in the first round at UFC 164 Saturday night | All videos via FoxSports Youtube)

Full UFC 164 Quick Results:

Anthony Pettis submits Benson Henderson with an arm bar from the bottom in the first round.

Josh Barnett TKO’s Frank Mir in the first round.

Chad Mendes wins with a third round TKO over Clay Guida.

Ben Rothwell beats Brandon Vera in the third via TKO.

Dustin Poirier defeats Erik Koch with a unanimous decision.

Gleison Tibau wins a split decision over Jamie Varner.

Tim Elliott beats Louis Gaudinot with a unanimous decision.

Hyun Gyu Lim defeats Pascal Krauss via first round TKO.

Chico Camus wins a unanimous decision over Kyung Ho Kang.

Soa Palelei defeats Nikita Krylov via TKO in the third round.

Al Iaquinta wins a unanimous decision over Ryan Couture.

Magnus Cedenblad defeats Jared Hamman via guillotine choke submission.

Video highlights of Barnett vs. Mir, Mendes vs. Guida and Poirier vs. Koch after the jump

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