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Iconic Album Covers Replaced With Sloths

September, 2013

‘UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson’ Main Event Breakdown — Making A Mountain Out of a Molehill


(And here we see UFC light-heavyweight challenger Alexander Gustafsson just *towering* over the reigning champ. How is Jon Jones supposed to deal with such a *massive* size difference?? / Photo via Getty. Withering sarcasm via CagePotato)

By George Shunick

If you want to know just how lopsided the main event of UFC 165 looks to be, you only have to subject yourself to the hilarious, terrible advertisements for it. The subtext of them reads something along the lines of “Jon Jones is a freak athlete, his reach is unreal, who can stop that?! … Oh hey look, this Swedish guy is really tall!” If that doesn’t sound like a compelling — or for that matter, convincing — narrative, that’s because it’s not. This isn’t to say Alexander Gustafsson, the aforementioned 6’5″ Scandinavian, doesn’t deserve this title shot or that he has absolutely no chance of defeating Jon Jones. It’s just that he almost has absolutely no chance of defeating Jon Jones.

In fairness to Gustafsson and Zuffa’s promotional branch, there isn’t anyone at light-heavyweight who Jon Jones wouldn’t be deservedly favored against. It is virtually impossible to credibly sell any opponent against Jon Jones on the basis of skill. He’s simply on another level than the rest of his peers. So the UFC is forced to resort to what little it can find to distinguish his opposition as fodder for promotion; in this case, it’s that Gustafsson is officially listed as being one inch taller than the champion. In any other given matchup, perhaps Gustafsson’s boxing ability or his submission savvy might be touted prior to the bout. Not against Jones. Why bother emphasizing Gustafsson’s submission ability against a guy who has never been taken down in the UFC? Why call attention to Gustafsson’s boxing when it’s so dependent on a reach advantage he won’t have?

Of course, Gustafsson could still win. But in order to do so, he’s going to have to avoid Jon Jones’ takedowns — which no one has really been able to do — and turn this into a boxing match. Even then, he’ll face an uphill battle. Jones showed improvement in his standup against Rashad Evans, as he’s switched to a more Muay Thai-oriented attack that focuses on picking opponents apart from the outside with low kicks and hurting them when they become impatient and rush in. He’s been beaten on the feet before (briefly), by Lyoto Machida, but Gustafsson lacks Machida’s elusive footwork and unpredictable rushes. He’s generally been content to allow his reach and height to provide him security as he works punches from the outside. It’s not a strategy that’s going to work against Jones.

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Anthony Pettis vs. Josh Thomson Booked for UFC on FOX 9 Title Fight, With TJ Grant Still Sidelined Due to Concussion


(Strikeforce neva die. WEC neva die. UFC doing best it can, under circumstances. Images via Getty/FOX Sports)

In July, a concussion suffered in training robbed UFC lightweight contender TJ Grant of his title shot against Benson Henderson. Grant was expected to return to action at UFC on FOX 9 (December 14th, Sacramento) against new champion Anthony Pettis, but news broke last night that the Canadian fighter has still not been medically cleared to compete. As Grant wrote on twitter:

Hey people. Quick update. Unfortunately I won’t be fighting Pettis on dec 14. I am still not yet 100% n can’t commit to fight. UFC is going with someone else instead. It sucks but it is the best for both myself and the UFC. Please don’t worry. Ill be back and if I gotta fight someone else to get back to where I wanna be then that’s what I’m gonna do. I’m not bitter. Thanks

The promotion confirmed shortly afterward that Pettis will remain on the UFC on FOX 9 card, defending his belt against Josh Thomson. It’s a somewhat unexpected choice, as Thomson’s TKO of Nate Diaz at UFC on FOX 7 represented his first victory in 13 months. Still, his performance against Diaz was extraordinary (“bitch-ass lady sounds” notwithstanding), and The Punk’s epic battles against Gilbert Melendez in Strikeforce always suggested that he might be a better fighter than rankings and records indicate.

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Must See: 400-Pound Sumo Wrestler Gets Ragdolled, Causes Minor Earthquake


(Warning: Shrill audio and excessive fat-guy ass-crack. Props: Andbabcock via Reddit_MMA)

We usually don’t give sumo wrestling much attention on this site — look, if I wanted to see two fat guys try to push each other out of the way, I’d go to a Golden Corral five minutes before closing time — but this was too incredible not to post. The above video was taken yesterday at the US Sumo Open in Los Angeles, where Mongolian beast Byamba Ulambayar took on Kelly “Man of Fat Steel” Gneiting, a 400+ pound sumo, swimmer, and marathon runner. Gneiting’s athletic accomplishments are stunning for a man of his girth, but on this particular Sunday he was tossed like a disobedient puppy. The moment of impact produces a shockwave through the earth, visibly rattling the camera, and it is absolutely wonderful. Enjoy.

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On Rank, Resumes, and Arm Bars — The Simple Reason Why Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Still Matters in MMA


(The Gracies proved that BJJ is indispensable — not that it’s invincible. / Photo via Getty)

By Elias Cepeda

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in mixed martial arts has been on my mind a bit more than usual lately. A few weeks ago Benson Henderson walked to the ring wearing a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gi with his brand new black belt tied around it at the waist.

Minutes later he walked out, his black belt still in tow but without his UFC lightweight title belt after getting submitted by an arm bar from inside the full guard of Anthony Pettis. At the time, Pettis was ranked as a blue belt — the belt just above white in BJJ.

Not many weeks prior to that, Roger Gracie, the most dominant submission grappling competitor in decades, lost his UFC debut and then was promptly dropped from the organization. This past Saturday, Roger’s cousin Rolles – son of legendary Rolls Gracie – got knocked out in the second round of his WSOF 5 fight with Derrick Mehmen in tragically comic fashion.

Rolles got hit, the punch put him out on his feet and he spun around slowly before falling to the ground. It looked like the slapstick “Flair Flop” move that pro wrestler Ric Flair used to pull off after getting hit to put over his opponent. Three and a half years ago, of course, Rolles humiliated himself against Joey Beltran in his lone UFC fight after appearing to exhaust himself almost immediately.

Both recent Gracie losses brought about public questions of whether or not the Gracie family and Jiu Jitsu itself have become outdated in modern MMA. Henderson’s submission loss to Pettis could have been seen as a triumph of Jiu Jitsu technique but instead, some critics chose to question the validity and use of BJJ belt ranks.

What did Henderson’s black belt mean, exactly, if he could go out and get submitted by someone with a lower BJJ rank, who was more known for high-flying kicks than anything, and with such a basic move? The notions that Gracies losing fights and Henderson getting submitted somehow reflect negatively on Jiu Jitsu itself are, of course, silly.

MMA isn’t about magical styles and secrets solely in the possession of those with certain-colored pieces of clothing or particular surnames. It never has been.

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Following KO Loss to Tim Means at LFC 23 on Friday, Pete Spratt Retires, Then Unretires to Appeal Loss


(Gif of the Means/Spratt ending via MMAFighting.) 

With Bellator 99, World Series of Fighting 5 and, oh yeah, Mayweather vs. Canelo all transpiring this past weekend, you might not have heard that Legacy Fighting Championships — the quiet, unassuming, off-off-off Broadway MMA promotion to the stars — held an event as well. Despite featuring a few names that only the hardest of hardcore MMA would recognize (Richard Odoms! THE Carlos Vergara!!), LFC 23 set the stage for a couple notable moments. Mainly, Leonard Garcia picking up his second straight win since being ousted from the UFC and Pete Spratt retiring following his first round KO loss to fellow UFC vet Tim Means in the evening’s main event.

Unfortunately, while we were in the midst of drafting up another “And Now He’s Retired” article to commemorate Spratt’s departure after nearly 50 professional bouts and 15 years in the sport (!), Spratt done went and unretired. After a 48 hour retirement. Vinny Magalhaes was all like “He did *what* now?” and we were all like “Not this shit again,” but it seems that Spratt will be moving forward with his CP ban-violating decision nonetheless. Here’s why:

That was a retirement thing based on a guy who got hit in the back of the head, that was still groggy thinking about his family and that type of stuff, without having had the opportunity to review what actually happened in the fight. If I looked back at it and my skills had diminished, that would be different. But that wasn’t the case. 

Me, I was thinking I just went in there and got my butt kicked, which isn’t what happened after I watched the fight.

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Jon Fitch to Return Against Marcelo Alfaya at WSOF 6, October 26th in Coral Gables


(Photo via Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Jon Fitch‘s World Series of Fighting debut was supposed to be a cakewalk. The welterweight veteran was more than a 3-1 favorite against UFC washout Josh Burkman, who Fitch had already submitted in 2006. But when the two fighters met up again in the WSOF 3 main event in June, the narrative quickly changed. Fitch was choked unconscious in just 41 seconds — well done, Steve — and Burkman’s career-comeback was now undeniable.

And while the People’s Warrior is currently slated to fight for the inaugural World Series of Fighting 170-pound title against Steve Carl at WSOF 6 (October 26th; BankUnited Center, Coral Gables, Florida), Fitch is once again in a precarious position, fighting just to remain relevant. MMAFighting has confirmed that Fitch will also be competing on the 10/26 card, against American Top Team/Team Nogueira product Marcelo “Grilo” Alfaya (15-6, 1 NC).

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MMA/Wrestling Body Slams In Football Are, Like, SO Hot Right Now

If you didn’t think that Canelo Alvarez’s multiple attempts to guillotine (and even kimura, at one point) Floyd Mayweather over the course of their 10 round throwdown last weekend was proof enough that MMA is slowly, perhaps even subconsciously trickling into mainstream sports, check these out.

Chances are you’ve seen or at least heard that more and more professional football players are taking up mixed martial arts by the day — either as a hobby or as a way of staying in shape in the offseason. As well they should; it’s a fantastic cardio workout, it increases one’s understanding of balance and leverage, etc. But perhaps the most interesting effect that MMA training (or MMA in general) is having on the world of football can be seen in the vicious slams that have punctuated the first two weeks of the 2013 NFL season.

Just look at the video above, for instance, in which New York Jets cornerback Ellis Lankster pulls off a b-e-a-utiful German suplex on Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Eric Page. And if you think that MMA/wrestling-style slam was an isolated incident, just check out the ones we’ve placed after the jump…

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Following WSOF 5 Debacle, Elvis Mutapcic Plans to Sue NJ Athletic Commission ‘For Everything They’ve Got’


(A photo of the mini-pharmacy in question, via MMAMania)

On Saturday evening, World Series of Fighting 5 main card fighter Elvis Mutapcic was pulled from his scheduled bout against Jesse Taylor at the last minute, allegedly for taking a medication before the fight that wasn’t approved in advance. Though a pill-bottle containing several different unapproved medications was retrieved from the middleweight’s warm-up area by New Jersey State Athletic Control Board inspectors, Mutapcic denied taking any of the meds, claiming that the commission inspector who originally reported it might have mistaken him for his manager — who is on medication for a heart condition.

According to MMAJunkie, Mutapcic immediately asked the NJSACB to give him a drug test to prove that he didn’t have any unapproved PEDs, painkillers, or other drugs of abuse in his system, but the commission refused his request. And so, Mutapcic went straight to a local hospital to get a drug test taken on his own. The results came back negative. According to Mutapcic:

I was told it wouldn’t be a bad idea going to get a drug test after we left here, and even before the co-main event started we were on our way to the emergency room to get another drug test and prove I didn’t take anything. I plan on suing the New Jersey athletic commission for everything they’ve got.

Right after they told us we couldn’t fight, I said I’d take another drug test from (the commission). And they said, ‘Oh, we don’t have any drug tests, but we won’t suspend you.’ So I wanted to go out of my way to clear my name and prove I never took anything. I’m a hard-working fighter who works his ass off, and I don’t want to be discredited.”

The New Jersey athletic commission stands by their decision to pull the fight; whether or not Mutapcic took the illegal meds, their presence backstage was a violation of the rules. Mutapcic understands this, but he’s still pissed:

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CagePotato Roundtable #25: Who Is the Most Despicable Person in MMA?


(Joe Son: The “Too Obvious to be Eligible for Inclusion” Pick.)

In celebration of the possibility that deplorable scumbag Joe Son may be getting the death penalty, we’ve decided to update our blatantly outdated “Most Despicable People in MMA” list in the form of our newest roundtable discussion. Read on for our picks, and please continue to send your ideas for future Roundtable topics to tips@cagepotato.com.

Matt Saccaro


(Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

MMA can be a sordid, awful business — a wretched hive of scum and villainy, as Obi-Wan Kenobi would say. Some characters are worse than others though. The classless fighters and “let me bang bro” douchebags that litter the landscape are only small time. The real people you need to watch out for are the promoters, for they’re the ones pulling the strings, greasing the wheels, and killing the dogs.

Yes, killing dogs. You read that right. And that’s the main reason why I have to throw Bjorn Rebney’s name into the “who is the most despicable person in MMA” discussion: He was allegedly involved in the brutal murder of a rival’s dog.

It’s quite a tale so here’s the abridged version: Back in Rebney’s boxing promotion days, he was partners with a man named Seth Ersoff. Eventually, they found themselves at odds and a lawsuit developed. As Ringtalk noted, the situation escalated and somehow Ersoff’s dog wound up with a metal spike through its head.  

But there’s no definitive proof of Rebney murdering this poor, innocent dog, so I can’t judge him solely on that action — something that he might not have been responsible for. But there are other bad actions that make him a perfect candidate for CagePotato’s “Worst Human Being in MMA” award…

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World Series of Fighting 5 Report: Arlovski Beats Kyle, Branch Tops Villefort


(Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski [right] connects with a right on Mike Kyle Saturday night at WSOF 5 | Photo by Lucas Noonan/WSOF)

By Elias Cepeda

Andrei Arlovski showed resiliency for the second fight in a row Saturday night in the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) 5 event in New Jersey, this time coming away with a win. Last March, Arlovski had his jaw broken after taking extra punches from Anthony Johnson when the referee allowed the first round to go on past the bell but fought on for the duration of the bout, ultimately losing a decision.

Saturday night, the recently un-retired Mike Kyle dropped Arlovski twice, once in the first and once in the third round, but “The Pitbull” came back each time and scored enough himself to be awarded winning scores of 29-28 by all three ringside judges. Arlovski took the fight on a month’s notice after Johnson himself was injured and had to pull out of the fight with Kyle.

“It was a great fight,” Arlovski said after the bout. “[Kyle is] a top fighter, and I really appreciate him for this fight.

In the WSOF 5 co-main event, middleweight David Branch won a decision over Danillo Villefort on the strength of dominating take downs and ground grappling. With the win, Branch has earned a shot at the WSOF middleweight belt. His opponent for the inaugural middleweight title bout has not yet been announced.

In heavyweight action, Derrick Mehmen knocked out Rolles Gracie in the second round. Throughout the first round, Gracie was able to stay safe and use his grappling effectively against Mehmen but in the second stanza, his opponent connected with a clean right hand on the feet that put Rolles out in unintentionally hilarious fashion.

In a strange turn of events, the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board officials called off a middleweight tournament bout between Elvis “The King” Mutapcic and Jesse “JT Money” Taylor just moments before the two were scheduled to hit the cage.

According the commission, Mutapcic took a prescription pill that had not been cleared for use.

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