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21 Humans Who Make Being Human Look Really, Really Hard

September, 2013

Power Play: Five MMA Techniques That Hockey Players Should Learn Before the 2013-14 Season


(Sunday’s brawl between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres. 8 out of 10 for effort, 2 out of 10 for technique.) 

By Jared Jones

While the NFL’s fascination with MMA-style body slams has only become apparent in recent years, the NHL’s obsession with violence dates back to the earliest days of the sport. Although the history of the Canadian military would suggest the contrary, the NHL is definitive proof that our neighbors to the north are just as bloodlust-driven as we are — they simply know how to channel their aggression a little better is all.

Case in point: The NHL preseason began all of 10 days ago and there have already been over 70 fights according to the NHL Fight Log. Also, the NHL has a Fight Log. With voted winners and a ratings system and everything. While most of these fights serve their purpose of firing up a crowd when the action is at a standstill, they also feature some absolutely dogshit techniques that have not evolved one iota since those aforementioned early days.

With all this in mind, we here at CagePotato have taken it upon ourselves to do the responsible thing and point out a few effective MMA moves that will not only elevate the level of hockey fights in general but help a handful of NHL players really drive home the notion that they are not to be tangled with on the ice. Enjoy.

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Tito Ortiz Attempts to Unite Fellow Disgraced UFC Fighters for Event-Crashing


(Tito Ortiz makes another stop on his global goodwill tour | Photo via @TitoOrtiz)

Tito Ortiz, Ken Shamrock, Randy Couture, Quinton Jackson and Frank Shamrock are all former UFC champions that are currently personas non grata to the organization and its President Dana White. (Not coincidentally, four of those five guys currently have some role in the Bellator organization.) For that reason, Ortiz seems to think it would be pretty funny if they all went to the UFC’s 20th anniversary show November 16th in Las Vegas.

@ShamrockKen @frankshamrock @Randy_Couture @Rampage4real maybe we should crash the show. I will buy the tickets.” Ortiz recently tweeted.

Apparently, some of the other guys liked the idea. Tito’s former mortal enemy, Ken Shamrock, tweeted back, “I like TITO’s idea,” and then, “I will stand beside you Tito. – frank lets go!!!!!,” encouraging his brother to join them.

So we guess to Ken, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Or something. Ken told Tito to send him a direct message through twitter so they could totally discuss deets, and then sent out a “hi randy” shout out to Couture.

Couture, who is probably smarting more than anyone else about not being allowed at UFC events ever since Dana banned the two-division UFC champion from cornering his son Ryan, then weighed in. “feel sorry for the security guys dana sends to have us removed :) hope they have guns !,” he tweeted, apparently still in character as Toll Road from The Expendables.

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Diego Sanchez Has Been Going Through Some Times, Brother [VIDEO]


(“If I could tell that young Diego Sanchez anything…anything…it wouldn’t matter because he wouldn’t have listened anyway.” Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

Thanks to his 2009 beating at the hands of BJ Penn and a shaky 2-2 stint at welterweight, UFC fan-favorite Diego Sanchez has lost a great deal of the “perennial contender” aura that he’d held during his early ascension. So is The Nightmare Dream still relevant in the year 2013? The jury is still out on that question: Sanchez made his return to lightweight earlier this year in Japan, missed weight by three pounds, then barely snuck off with a split-decision win against Takanori Gomi.

Still, Sanchez has a massive opportunity to redeem himself next month at UFC 166 when he faces former Strikeforce champ/UFC lightweight title contender Gilbert Melendez. In this new profile video, Sanchez explains how some poor personal decisions left his MMA skills fading and his bank account drained, leading to some rough times in his career. Now, he’s reunited with Greg Jackson, focused and humble, and has a wife and son to fight for. It’s the set-up to a Cinderella story. Can he scrap his way to a happy ending?

Related:
- Mark Coleman Has Been Going Through Some Times, Brother
- Ian McCall Has Been Going Through Some Rough Times, You Guys [VIDEO]

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Knockout of the Day: The Standing One-Elbow KO [VIDEO]


(Props: AXS.tv via RedditMMA. Be sure to stick around for the slow-mo replays at 4:45-4:58.)

With a perfect record of 14-0 (all by stoppage, 13 in the first round), Brazilian featherweight Thomas de Almeida is one of the hottest prospects in the sport. The 22-year-old Chute Boxe product last competed Friday night for the Standout Fighting Tournament in Sao Paulo, where he scored a TKO against Cemir Silva, and he’ll be returning to action on December 6th in the co-main event of Legacy FC 26.

To give you a taste of de Almeida’s fearsome striking ability, check out the above video of his last appearance for Legacy FC in November 2012, in which he put Cody Williams* to sleep with a standing overhand elbow. Usually, elbow-stoppages are the result of cumulative damage. (See: Melendez/Kawajiri, Mein/Cyborg). That’s what makes this one-elbow dinger so special; Silva vs. Fryklund comes to mind, and that’s about it. So enjoy, and keep your eye out for this kid.

* No relation to Tater.

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UFC 165 Medical Suspensions: Jones, Gustafsson Somehow Come Out of Their War Relatively Unscathed


(Something something Jon Jones looks like a California Raisin in this photo. Via @AlexTheMauler.) 

The Ontario Athletic Commission released their official list of medical suspensions for UFC 165 earlier today, and in direct defiance of everything we know about the human body’s ability to absorb damage, neither Jon Jones or Alexander Gustafsson suffered major injuries in their five round war at UFC 165. Yes, despite early reports that Jones was fighting through “a shattered foot” on Saturday night, both the champ and his Swedish counterpart received just two month suspensions pending a CT or MRI scan. Jones will additionally require an x-ray of said foot before it can be broken off in Phil Davis’ insolent ass.

The full list of medical suspensions is below. There aren’t many surprises other than the main eventers, but what the hell else am I going to write about: The Gracie Breakdown of Brendan Schaub’s D’arce choke that takes place on a hotel room bed? Bob Arum would not approve, you guys.

-Jon Jones: Suspended 60 days. Additionally, needs CT scan or MRI, plus x-ray before return.
-Alexander Gustafsson: Suspended 60 days. Additionally, needs CT scan or MRI before return.
-Eddie Wineland: Suspended 60 days. Additionally, needs CT scan or MRI before return.

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Five Lessons for Jon Jones in the Wake of UFC 165


(Clearly, Jones needs to start training with Chael Sonnen. / Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

By Elias Cepeda

On Saturday before UFC 165, a friend who is relatively new to watching MMA asked me a simple question that I would have felt like a jerk answering honestly. “What are Jon Jones’ weaknesses?,” she asked.

Given his near flawless career, even MMA neophytes had gotten the feeling that Jones was supposed to be something, well, what’s the term…“not quite human”? Yeah, that’s the phrase I was looking for.

So, if “Bones” was such a great fighter, did he have any weaknesses? That’s what our buddy wanted to know. I ducked the question then but won’t today. Call me a coward twice; it was and is the easy thing to do.

Of course Jones was never a perfect fighter. Perfect doesn’t exist. Certainly not in fighting.

Still, saying a guy is over-reliant on his one-strike power, speed and wrestling, and opts to fight flat footed too often sounds like nit-picking as long as said fighter’s one-strike power, speed and wrestling have proved dominant. Up until his meeting with Alexander Gustafsson, they had been for Jon Jones.

Before Gustafsson, Jones never had to fear anyone having quicker feet or hands than him, taking him down or surviving the power of his nasty elbows, kicks and knees. So, as he usually does, Jones fought flat-footed and mostly threw one strike at a time in quick bursts at UFC 165.

Sure, Jones got the decision win (thanks in part to a ludicrous 49-46 score in his favor from one judge) but he was far from dominant, and even the greatest light heavyweight of all time can take a few lessons away from his performance.

He got booed big time by the Toronto crowd Saturday when the decision in his favor was announced but I stand by my previous assertion that Jon Jones deserves none of our hate. So, as a documented and steadfast non-hater of Jones, here are a few unsolicited tips for the champ…

1) Stop assuming that you are the fastest, most dynamic fighter in the division. Heading into the fight, you laughed off the idea that Gustafsson had better foot work and hand speed than you. Guess what? Alexander Gustafsson has better foot work and hand speed than you.

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Armchair Matchmaker: ‘UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson’ Edition


(Photo of the Year. Hands Down. Via Esther Lin/MMAFighting.) 

Like our esteemed colleague George Shunick, I have never been happier to admit that I was completely wrong in all but writing off Alexander Gustafsson in the weeks leading up to his battle with Jon Jones at UFC 165. And like most of you, I’m still reeling from what was one of the greatest light heavyweight title fights in MMA History and quite possibly the fight of the year, which makes this Armchair Matchmaker piece all the more difficult to construct.

Did Gustafsson get screwed, like Phil Davis would have you believe? Should an immediate rematch be booked between the Swede and the champ? Follow us below to find out what lies in store for Jon Jones and the rest of UFC 165′s biggest winners.

Jon Jones: I might be in the minority here, but I’m going to suggest that the UFC should hold off on booking an immediate Jones/Gustafsson rematch. Here’s why:

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Phil Davis Was Not Too Happy About the Jones/Gustafsson Decision [VIDEO]


(Props: Christian Wong via Reddit/MMA)

So much of Alexander Gustafsson‘s recent success can be attributed to his decision to move his training home-base to Alliance MMA in Chula Vista, California, and work alongside Phil Davis, the man responsible for the Mauler’s first UFC loss, back in April 2010. Davis’s influence could clearly be seen on Saturday night in Gustafsson’s markedly-improved wrestling game, as he became the first person to successfully take Jon Jones down in the UFC, and stuffed several of Bones’s own takedown attempts.

In short, Davis and Gustafsson are bros, and Mr. Wonderful took it very personally when Gustafsson came out on the wrong end of the scorecards after the five-round dogfight in UFC 165‘s main event. Davis wasn’t just disappointed by the result — he seemed genuinely shocked that the judges saw the fight for Jones. Of course, Davis isn’t exactly an unbiased observer. But he wasn’t the only one to cry “robbery” after watching the fight.

So what did you think? We have a new poll on our homepage sidebar, over there on the right: Was Alexander Gustafsson robbed at UFC 165? Submit your opinion and we’ll see how the MMA fanosphere really feels about this one. For the record, FightMetric scored it 49-48 for Jones based on striking and grappling performance totals, giving the first round to Gustafsson, scoring rounds two and three dead-even, and giving the championship rounds to Jones. Makes sense to me. That being said, if you’re an MMA judge and you submit two 10-10 rounds for the same fight, you would be put on administrative leave faster than C.J. Ross. That’s just the stupid, counter-productive way things work in the fight game. And that’s why we sometimes get scorecards that don’t reflect the reality of the fight.

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Jones vs. Gustafsson Fight-Picking Contest: And the Winner Is…


(FTF’s Jiu-Jitsu tee. Check out the rest of their Combat Line shirts here.)

Thanks to everybody who entered last week’s UFC 165 fight-picking contest! Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson was a fight that blew up our expectations, and while it became an instant classic for that reason, it also means that most of your predictions were dead wrong. Only three of you predicted that Jones would defeat Gustafsson by decision, and Canadian reader Michael Walach was the only one who correctly guessed two out of the three judges’ scores, making him this week’s winner of a Combat Line t-shirt from Fear the Fighter.

Congrats, Michael! We’ll be sending you a message on Facebook about how to claim your prize, so be sure to check the “Other” folder of your FB messages today. As for everybody else, stay tuned this week for another chance to win a Fear the Fighter tee.

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Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson: The Positive Side of Hype


(Gustafsson was indeed taller, but that’s not what made UFC 165′s main event so memorable. Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images.)

By Matt Saccaro

MMA history is awash with hundreds of “prospects” and “next big things” who never panned out, who fell flat on their faces and were either mocked constantly or worse, forgotten. Names like Denis Kang, Ulysses Gomez, Rameau Sokoudjou, Hector Lombard and Uriah Hall evoke thoughts like “failure.” But are these men at fault for being considered wastes of talent, or is it the fault of the fans and the media who took flesh and bone and sculpted it into something divine? Who took men and, through words, made them into gods?

That’s the dark side of hype, a topic I’ve written about in the past. Fans and the media ascribe almost superhuman abilities to certain fighters, abilities that they can’t consistently live up to, if they can live up to them at all. Denis Kang, for example, was this mythical creature from outside the UFC and one of many Guys to Beat Anderson Silva™, yet he went 1-2 in the UFC, only beating Xavier Foupa-Pokam. Silva, himself, was another fighter who had an ungodly amount of hype. Silva’s was, in part, deserved because he was able to make some of the most dangerous men in the world look like nerdy high school kids. But the hype got too far. When he fought Chris Weidman, people thought Anderson Silva was a real-life Neo who would dispose of Weidman with no effort. Then Weidman humiliated Silva. Suddenly, Silva was “done,” “too old” and “needed to retire” because he lost to a guy that everyone had just said was no threat to him at all.

The lesson? Hype cometh before the fall. Too much hype can ruin a fighter. If a hyped fighter loses, the derailment of their hype-train looks like something out of Back to the Future III. They go from a stellar talent to a bum who got lucky a few times.

But there’s also a positive side, and we saw it at UFC 165.

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