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

October, 2013

On This Day in MMA History: CagePotato.com Launches, Immediately Begins Insulting People

On October 21st, 2007 — six years ago today — a snot-nosed MMA blog called CagePotato.com took its first breath, and for the most part, nobody gave a damn. The entire writing staff for the site’s launch consisted of one person, a young magazine-industry refugee named Ben Goldstein (that’s me). My professional credentials consisted of the following: I was a casual fan of the UFC, I had been laid off from a lad-mag called Stuff a couple months earlier, and I needed a job. Any job, really. So, when a friend of a friend named Jonathan Small* called me one day and said he was looking for some warm bodies to launch a few dude-oriented websites for Break Media (now Defy Media), I jumped at the chance. After all, the rent was due.

Though many long-time fans of CagePotato know the site’s history in its broad strokes, few know the details behind its launch. I was hesitant to talk about my personal background in the early days of the site’s existence, because I didn’t want to be exposed as a MMA noob, which I totally was**. Before CagePotato launched in 2007, I hadn’t written a single thing about MMA, and I had never managed a website. I had interviewed actresses and reviewed books, done features about hurricanes and porn stars, but the world of MMA blogging was completely foreign to me. Still, I enjoyed the sport, recognized that it was growing in popularity, and figured I had learned enough about short-form entertainment writing from five years of magazine gigs to make a snarky blog about MMA a modest success. Incredibly, I was right.

The first post I ever published was this Aftermath-type recap of UFC 77, the event where Anderson Silva TKO’d Rich Franklin for the second time, and Tim Sylvia picked up his final win in the UFC. At that point, most of what I knew about MMA came from Wikipedia, but the basic ball-busting tone of CagePotato was present from the beginning. An excerpt:

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Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva Booked as Coaches of ‘TUF Brazil 3′, Will Fight Sometime Next Year [UPDATED]


(Well, I found this on the Internet so it has to be true. Props: @sonnench)

With all the crap they’ve hurled at each other lately, it’s no surprise that Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva would eventually have to get into the Octagon and back up their slam poetry. But we definitely didn’t see this coming: As confirmed by UFC president Dana White on yesterday’s edition of FOX Sports Live, Sonnen and Silva will appear as rival coaches on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3, which begins filming early next year. The American Gangster and the Axe Murderer will then face off at a 2014 event to be named later.

The reality-show booking is so unexpected because White previously said it wouldn’t happen — for Chael’s own safety. As White explained during a press-conference in Brazil last month:

“People keep asking me if they’re going to be the coaches (for TUF Brazil 3). I can’t have a Brazilian within 10 feet of Chael Sonnen in America. Imagine bringing Chael Sonnen here for six weeks. I don’t think he’d make it…I mean there’s situations in the United States where we had an event where a Brazilian fan started swinging at Chael Sonnen trying to hit him…Brazilians do not like Chael Sonnen.”

So, was White fooling us on purpose? Or did he have a change of heart and realize that, hey, Sonnen’s life isn’t that important anyway. And would any of the show’s Brazilian prospects want to be on Chael’s team? This has the potential to be all kinds of uncomfortable. For the first time in TUF history, a coach may be savagely soap-whipped by his own team. I’m telling you, these Brazilians do not respond well to motivational speaking.

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Armchair Matchmaker: ‘UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos III’ Edition


(Quick, someone call Wanderlei Silva‘s plastic surgeon! Photo via Reddit MMA)

Now that we’ve all come down from the meth-like high that UFC 166 provided, let’s get down to some business, shall we? Fans and pundits of the sport alike have previously hailed our armchair matchmakers as “The most sagacious, in-depth and intellectually gratifying reading experiences in all of mixed martial arts reporting,” so let’s hope we can work our magic for Saturday’s biggest winners. Besides, AMC FearFest starts soon and we will be checking out for the rest of this month once that gets underway.

Cain Velasquez: Well, according to Dana White during Saturday’s media scrum, Velasquez will be facing Fabricio Werdum next. Don’t be fooled by Werdum’s recent three-fight killing spree, though; Velasquez will have “Vai Cavalo” butt-flopping all over the mat inside of two rounds. That greedy sonofabitch.

Daniel Cormier: To hell with who Cormier should be matched up with next, I want to be matched up with Cormier’s kickboxing coach and learn the art of the turning side check kick, STAT. In all seriousness, we’d like to see the former Olympian matched up with fellow grappling stud Phil Davis next. Davis is fresh off a split decision over Lyoto Machida at UFC 163, and if Cormier is as insistent on cutting to LHW as he seems, Davis would make for a perfect litmus test.

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Intense, Mind-Asploding Metaphors Punctuate the New ‘UFC 167: St. Pierre vs. Hendricks’ Trailer

I apologize if this article comes across a bit unfocused, its justthat I’m still tryinginging to pick pieces of my brian off the floor and jam them back up my nose after watching the new UFC 167: St. Pierre vs. Hendrix trailer. as I write this

The fight, whch goes down in month or so, will attempt to answer a ? that has already been answered several times befor: “Can decent wrestler with heavy hand stop GSP?” The answer is no. Always no. Or C. Always C or no.

But this trailer, oneanother hand, is brillant. Did you get it? The “lights” represent people being kncoked out! And they are going out!! Shouldn’t GSP be wrestling those lights into a state of near-submission? Do you think Hendricks is still friends with that bag he punched off the chain? I love a happy ending.

-J.Ones

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Kron Gracie Wins ADCC 2013 Tournament – Will He Turn to MMA Next?


(On the other hand, a noodling business venture with the Diaz brothers seems pretty tempting.)

Kron Gracie, son of family champ Rickson Gracie, won gold in the -77kg weight class of the 2013 ADCC tournament this past weekend. The ADCC is like the Olympics of submission grappling, with the world’s best meeting every two years to decide weight class champs as well as an open-weight champion.

Gracie won all four of his matches by submission, joining the elite ranks of former champions to have done the same like Marcelo Garcia and second cousin Roger Gracie. Kron beat UFC veteran Andy Wang in his first match, Gary Tonon in his second, J.T. Torres in his third and rival Otavio Souza in the finals.

Before competing at Metamoris II this past summer, Gracie told CagePotato that he has been training MMA with the Diaz brothers for some time and plans to make the transition to MMA in the near future. Gracie is supposed to have a super match at the World Jiu Jitsu Expo next month but it will be interesting to see what he decides to do in 2014.

Will Gracie decide to leverage his now champion status in the submission grappling world or walk away and make a name for himself in MMA? How much of a sense of urgency does he feel to focus all of his attention on developing a well-rounded MMA game?

Only time will tell but we’ll certainly bring you updates as they occur. For the time being, enjoy Kron’s 2013 ADCC matches against Tonon and Souza after the jump.

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UFC 166 Highlight Videos: Velasquez Dominates Dos Santos, Nelson Pays the Troll Toll + The FOTY Frontrunner


(Velasquez vs. Dos Santos highlights, via the FOX Sports Youtube page.) 

To put it bluntly, UFC 166 was the kind of faith-restoring UFC event that effectively silenced even the most cynical of the sport’s detractors (henceforth known as “garbage-assers“). Featuring a trio of wars and a pair of brutal first round finishes on the main card alone, UFC 166 staked its claim as an early frontrunner for “Event of the Year” at this year’s Potato Awards and will likely achieve the same notoriety at awards ceremonies that actually transpire.

In the evening’s main event, Cain “El Emperador Finale” Velasquez selfishly opted to ruin the heavyweight division for the foreseeable future with a dominant fifth round TKO of former rival Junior Dos Santos. Elsewhere on the card, Roy Nelson was routed by another top 5 competitor in Daniel Cormier, Gilbert Melendez attempted to punch the crazy out of Diego Sanchez to little avail, and Gabriel Gonzaga reaffirmed that a man with a pedostache is not to be toyed with. Twas a momentous night, indeed.

Thankfully, FOX Sports has compiled some highlight videos of the evening’s greatest slugfests and made them available for viewing on their Youtube page. Although these snippets won’t fill the bottomless void created in the soul of, say, your friend Dave who insisted on skipping UFC 166 to attend a Lady Gaga concert with his bitch of a girlfriend, they will give you the chance to confirm that Dave is a tiny, tin-eared man who lacks intestinal fortitude and any semblance of deductive reasoning. Fucking Dave.

We’ve placed the highlight video for Velasquez/Dos Santos III above, but join us after the jump to relive the rest of what was truly a historic night for both the UFC and MMA in general.

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[VIDEO] Dana White Talks Bad Judging, Title Contenders & Much More at UFC 166 Post Event Press Scrum


UFC president Dana White spoke with assembled press after UFC 166 Saturday night in Houston. Per usual, all topics were on the table including judging, reffing, who is and isn’t on the chopping block and the future of the heavyweight and light heavyweight division title scene.

Who’s up next for Cain Velaszquez? Is there a chance Alexander Gustafsson and Daniel Cormier could fight next?

Check out Uncle Dana’s interesting and non-committal answers alike to these questions and more in the video above.

- Elias Cepeda

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‘Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3′ Fight-Picking Contest: And the Winner Is…


(FTF’s Muay Thai 2013 tee. Check out the rest of their Combat Line shirts here.)

Thanks to everybody who entered last week’s UFC 166 fight-picking contest! Cain Velasquez‘s destruction of Junior Dos Santos may have seemed obvious in retrospect, but only one of our readers actually predicted that Cain would end the fight by TKO in the fifth round. That man was Brett Ketchum, who has just won himself a Combat Line t-shirt from Fear the Fighter.

Well done, Brett. 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, please swing by Fear the Fighter to browse their line of fight-themed shirts and gear, and if you’d like us to do more giveaway contests with FTF, let us know in the comments section.

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UFC 166 Aftermath: The Latest Emperor


(Cain Velasquez admires his violence on the big screen. / Photo via Getty)

Suddenly, the rivalry between heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos seems a little less competitive than was hoped for. Many observers were treating this fight as merely the latest engagement in a battle for the heavyweight crown that was to last for years ahead. Less a conclusion to a trilogy and more a precursor to a tetralogy or beyond, it was expected that this fight would see a more competitive affair showcasing the strengths of both men. That didn’t happen. Velasquez absolutely dominated Dos Santos, flooring him in the third before finishing him (sort of) in the fifth. It’s clear now that Cain Velasquez is the unstoppable force. Despite his unquestioned stature as the second best heavyweight in the UFC, Junior Dos Santos is not the immovable object.

Pace and pressure are amorphous terms reliant on context; it’s more difficult to conceive of these finishing a fight than something we can easily discern like a punch or kick. Yet it was the relentless forward motion and unending attack of Velasquez that led to the finish last night and the dominance that preceded it. Dos Santos had his moments; he landed a number of hard shots to open the first round, and landed a nice elbow against the cage to end the second. But other than that, it was all Cain. He didn’t dominate from bell to bell like he did in the second fight, but he wore down Dos Santos over the course of the first two rounds before capitalizing in the third. Velasquez floored Dos Santos with a counter overhand right, and almost finished the fight there; Herb Dean put his hand on Velasquez’ shoulder at one point, but reconsidered.

Things didn’t improve for Dos Santos afterwards, and in the fifth round he went for a desperation front choke. As Cain attempted successfully to escape, Dos Santos rolled, crashing his forehead on the mat. Either disoriented or utterly exhausted, Dos Santos could not continue and Velasquez secured the latest stoppage victory in UFC history. At the undisputed pinnacle of his weight class – the first heavyweight to truly claim this distinction since Fedor Emelianenko – it’s hard to imagine anyone toppling Velasquez soon. Daniel Cormier, who fought earlier in the evening, is his wrestling coach and is moving down to 205. Fabricio Werdum, his presumptive opponent, can submit anyone but will unlikely be able to take the fight to the ground against a wrestler of Cain’s caliber. A future rematch with Dos Santos is not inconceivable, but a different result is at this point. Despite his heart, his chin and his skills, it seems that Dos Santos is not destined to be the foil to Velasquez that we hoped he would be; Velasquez is the heavyweight division’s emperor.

Speaking of Daniel Cormier…

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Congratulations, Cain Velasquez, You’ve Ruined the Heavyweight Division!


(Cain Velasquez may not kick like Anderson Silva, but his dominance over heavyweight will parallel Silva’s period of dominance over middleweight. / Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

After the events of UFC 166, the heavyweight division is now the UFC’s least thrilling.

Heavyweight is the new middleweight. That is to say that the heavyweight division under Cain Velasquez‘s brutal, face-rearranging reign will resemble the middleweight division under Anderson Silva during his peak — a boring division where no fighter is a threat to the champ. A division where everybody says, “Meh, who cares about who’s challenging for the heavyweight title? Cain is going to destroy him anyway.”

The only fighter to ever humble Cain Velasquez was Junior Dos Santos. But Dos Santos couldn’t repeat his success. Velasquez wrought terrible vengeance on the Brazilian in the rematch at UFC 155, and then again in the rubber match at UFC 166.

Earlier this year, I predicted that the UFC heavyweight division would become stagnant and dull:

Both men are insanely talented. But that’s the problem — they’re both so talented that the rest of the fighters in the division aren’t a match for them. The only challenge to Velasquez is Dos Santos. The only challenge to Dos Santos is Velasquez.

I was right and wrong.

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