seth rogen james franco the interview
Six Other Seth Rogen/James Franco Films That Should’ve Been Canceled

November, 2013

Bellator Faces a Pivotal Crossroad Heading Into the Next Season


(The high point for Bellator. Photo via Tracy Lee/CombatLifestyle.com)

By Matt Saccaro

The ninth season of Bellator demonstrated what the Viacom-owned promotion is capable of when it’s given a platform on a stable, popular network—but can what season nine showed us elevate Bellator to the top while simultaneously revitalizing the stagnating MMA market in the United States?

It’s tough to tell, though we can glean a semblance of an answer when we look at an event that was simultaneously the high point and low point for Bellator during its ninth season: Bellator 106, the PPV that wasn’t. The card encapsulated everything that was right and wrong with Bellator.

What was wrong:

-Focusing on well-past-their-prime talent—Rampage Jackson and Tito Ortiz—and the “these guys used to be in the UFC” marketing line in order to sell a PPV. The cancellation of the PPV because Ortiz suffered yet another injury.

-The conclusion of the knock-off Ultimate Fighter, “Fight Master,” being won by Joe Riggs, another peaked-in-the-mid-2000s, ex-UFC fighter.

-The dubious interim title fight between King Mo and Emanuel Newton that defied the “title shots are earned and not given” mantra that made Bellator special.

What was right:

-Bellator’s homegrown talent like Michael Chandler, Daniel Straus, and Pat Curran being proudly put on display for the MMA world to see.

-Michael Chandler vs. Eddie Alvarez was one of the best fights of the year.

-The card being free on Spike TV meant it was the most-viewed in the promotion’s history with 1.1 million viewers.

These takeaways from Bellator 106 can be applied to the promotion’s efforts as a whole.

Bellator’s reliance on ex-UFC fighters in concerning. Rampage drew the second-highest ratings in Bellator history with 793,000 viewers in his fight against Joey Beltran, but banking on older, expensive fighters isn’t sustainable. At 35 years old, Rampage has a limited time left in the sport. The same goes for 38-year-old Tito Ortiz, who hasn’t even fought for Bellator yet since he can’t stay healthy. Placing the weight of a promotion’s future on surgically reconstructed knees and necks is a terrible idea.

Bellator apologists might argue that Rampage and Tito were brought in to garner the casual fan’s attention and in doing so promote the lesser-known, Bellator-made fighters…

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Watch Lyoto Machida’s Brother Nearly Separate a Fighter’s Head From His Body With a Brutal Knee [Video]


(0:31)

During the furor of Bellator’s final season nine fight card, Lyoto Machida’s brother Chinzo Machida pulled off what Pat Miletich said the nastiest knee-inflicted KO he’d ever seen in his life—and it’s the nastiest we’ve ever seen in our lives too.

It was a flying knee to the head of one Brian Wood, who unfortunately shot right into Machida’s kneecap as it approached his face at 100 miles per hour. Wood was on the ground for several minutes after the fight stopped and left in a stretcher. In case you don’t have access to video, here’s the GIF courtesy of @ZProphet_MMA.

The victory was Chinzo Machida’s first since his MMA debut back in 2005 . He fought again in 2006, lost, and then took a furlough from the sport until 2010 but lost that fight too. At a disappointing 1-2, it seemed like Chinzo Machida was fated to be a Lance Evans or a Jason Guida—a Luigi to one of MMA’s many Marios. Maybe now he’ll be able to carve out his own name in the sport, but he better work fast: He’s already 36 years old.

There are also other highlights from the RFA 11 card on the video, enjoy.

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Bellator 109 Results: Shlemenko Destroys Marshall’s Liver, Hawn Batters Keslar

Bellator 109 was the final event in the promotion’s ninth season. Like most other fight cards, it had its ups and downs.

Of note on the prelims, famed wrestler Bubba Jenkins rebounded from his upset loss to Larue Burly at Bellator 100. Blagoi Ivanov, one of the few men to beat Fedor Emelianenko in Sambo and who recently recovered from near-death, extended his unbeaten streak to nine fights. Also, 20-year-old Brazilian prospect Goiti Yamauchi ran over Saul Almeida like a soccer mom in a Ford Excursion runs over a small possum (though the Brazilian was seven pounds overweight for the fight).

In the night’s first bout, Terry Etim faced Patrick Cenoble. This was Etim’s first fight outside of the UFC since the promotion let him go. After watching this match, the UFC is probably patting themselves on the back for that call. Etim won a pedestrian decision. If you like seeing a grappler lounge in dominant positions for 15 minutes, this was your kind of fight.

Fans who didn’t sprint away from Spike TV after Etim-Cenoble were treated to the lightweight tournament semifinal: Will Brooks vs. Alexander “Tiger” Sarnavskiy. The first round was closely contested. Sarnavskiy landed a few crisp combinations, as did Brooks. The American slowed the pace in the second round, employing the grinding style which he’s become known for. “Tiger” became a kitten under Brooks’ pressure. Brooks outclassed Sarnavskiy in the latter 10 minutes of the fight. He was stronger, better conditioned, and a superior grappler. He earned a unanimous decision victory.

Also on the card…

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Friday Link Dump: Why the UFC’s 205-Pound Division Is in Trouble, Why Giorgio Petrosyan Is the Best, Bacon Recipes + More


(Eddie Alvarez drops some truth about “The Knockout Game.” / Props: Jamie Alvarez via Reddit)

The UFC’s Light Heavyweight Division Is in Disarray and Showing Little Sign of Improvement (BloodyElbow)

Ricardo Lamas Betrays All New Yorkers, Claims Sbarro Has The Best Pizza (Fightlinker)

What Does MMA Do to the Human Brain? One Study Searches for Answers (MMAJunkie)

The Finest Striker on the Planet: Giorgio Petrosyan (BleacherReport)

Holy crap. This is the most hardcore loss-prevention policy I’ve ever seen. (Facebook.com/CagePotato)

UFC President Dana White Returns to Boxing With ‘The Fighters’ (MMAFighting)

The 20 Best Bacon Recipes Ever (HiConsumption)

Heisman Horrors: 10 Sketchy Winners (MadeMan)

NBA Coaches and Their Hip-Hop Producer Equivalents (Complex)

20 Ghetto Fabulous Glamour Shots (WorldWideInterweb)

Norman Reedus: The Walking Man (MensFitness)

Hotties in the Wild (DoubleViking)

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ICYMI: Benson Henderson vs. Josh Thomson Booked for UFC on FOX 10 Headliner


(Hastily thrown-together poster via FansofUFConFOX)

In the midst of all the panic and fury surrounding UFC 167‘s aftermath, a rather notable fight-booking completely slipped past us. Apparently, Josh Thomson and Benson Henderson are fighting in the main event of UFC on FOX 10 (January 25th, Chicago). I had no idea. I found this out randomly today while reading one of Crooklyn’s interviews on BloodyElbow, in which Thomson describes his match-up with Henderson as “like looking in a mirror” and suggests that Anthony Pettis doesn’t really need surgery for his PCL tear.

This will be Henderson’s first fight since losing his UFC lightweight title to Pettis in August — and marks his return to FOX, the channel that didn’t quite make him a star. As for Thomson, he’s been on ice since his TKO of Nate Diaz in April, and was supposed to fight Pettis for the belt next month at UFC on FOX 9 before Showtime pulled out.

With TJ Grant’s return still in question, the winner of this fight would seem poised for a title shot. Your predictions, please.

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Thiago Silva Withdraws From Ovince St. Preux Fight, Begging Us to Ask: Is the UFC Just Making Shit Up Nowadays?


(Well, it’s not like he didn’t try to tell us that he wouldn’t be available.)

You guys remember yesterday, right? As in the day before today? Also known as the day the Thiago Silva vs. Ovince St. Preux fight was announced by the UFC? Well GUESS AGAIN, MOTHERFUCKERS:

As of this write up, no specific reason (training injury, upcoming Ziggy Marley concert) has been given for Silva’s withdrawal from the fight. However, recent history seems to indicate that either:
a.) The UFC booked the fight and Silva immediately injured himself, which he is wont to do.
b.) The UFC assumed Silva was healthy and booked the fight without even consulting him first.

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Lorenzo Fertitta Walks Back Dana White’s Burial of Georges St-Pierre: “GSP Doesn’t Owe Us Anything”


(He’s smart, well-spoken, and he always wipes down his machines. What’s not to like about this guy?)

Watching Lorenzo Fertitta do interviews is like getting a glimpse into a utopian alternate-universe in which the president of the UFC wasn’t a petulant spaz whose first response to any criticism is to call you a pussy. Fertitta is an adult, and as such, he occasionally has to clean up the messes left behind by his minority partner. Here’s what the Zuffa Chairman/CEO had to say yesterday to Ariel Helwani, regarding Dana White’s now-infamous rant about what Georges St-Pierre “owes” the UFC following last weekend’s fight against Johny Hendricks:

I think Dana was misunderstood and hopefully he’s trying to clarify that. GSP doesn’t owe us anything. If he chooses to retire, then so be it, he’ll retire and become someone that people will always look up to as one of the great champions in the UFC. If he decides to fight again, then great. I think where the confusion was, Georges never communicated anything to us prior to the fight relative to that he may be making an announcement. In fact, I think Dana said that he had talked to him and he said ‘no no no, everything’s fine.’

And then after the fight, the announcement he made was very vague. And I think what Dana was trying to say was that either you’re retired or you’re not, right? We can’t just put the UFC belt on the shelf for an undefined period, basically put it in limbo forever, because that’s not fair to the contenders that have been working their whole lifetime to get the opportunity to get the belt. It’s not fair to the fans to have the title sit on the side for too long. And it’s not fair to us as a company because we wouldn’t be able to plan. I think that’s what the message was meant to be, but I think unfortunately the press took it in a different way.

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Anthony “Rumble” Johnson vs. Mike Kyle Is Simply Never Going to Happen


(Ian McCall’s broken hand is laughing at you right now, Mike.)

In the very brief history of The World Series of Fighting, Anthony Johnson vs. Mike Kyle has been booked on two separate occasions yet has never come to fruition. It probably never will.

The pair was first scheduled to collide in the main event of WSOF 5 last September, until “Rumble” was forced to pull out from the bout with an injury and replaced by Andrei Arlovski (who eventually defeated Kyle via unanimous decision). The pair was then rescheduled to throw down in the main event of WSOF 7 on December 7th. A press release sent out earlier this morning, however, informs us that the fight has once again been scrapped. Did I mention that it will likely never happen ever?

“I’m as disappointed as anyone that we’re forced to cancel this fight, but Mike just could not compete with his broken toe, and we simply could not find a suitable opponent for Anthony on such short notice,” World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo said.

“That said, we are fortunate that we still have a fantastic championship matchup between Georgi Karakhanyan and Lance Palmer that will now serve as our main event, and I think fans are still going to enjoy an incredible fight card.”

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CagePotato PSA: Dear MMA Media, Stop Asking for Dana White’s Opinion on Every Last Goddamn Subject


(“You know what, I *would* like to address what @sk8rdood45 said about this matchup. You tell @sk8rdouche that he and his 22 followers can all go f*ck themselves! Good question, Ariel.” Photo via Getty.)

Do me a favor. Head over to any one of the “serious” or “unbiased” or “professional” MMA sites you visit IN ADDITION TO CagePotato on a regular basis and scan through the headlines. There are plenty of options to choose from.

Now count how many headlines you read that contained the phrase “Dana White on_____” or something of the like. Hell, count how many times you see a picture of his face. Then comb through the articles a second time and see how many *without* White’s name in the headline still relate back to:

1) His opinions on a TUF-related issue.

2) His opinions on a certain fighter’s performance/career/potential with the promotion (these can also be combined with a TUF-related issue for bonus points)

3) Someone else responding to something he said.

There were at least four, weren’t there? Lucky for you, we’re on the downslope of a week with no UFC event on the immediate horizon. Had you visited those websites a few days ago (or next weekend, for that matter), you would have been bombarded by more Dana White news than you could read in a month. You’d find no relief in the forums either, where the most popular thread by far would be the one where White personally called you a “dipshit” and a “pussy” for daring to question him from your grandmother’s basement.

Does anyone else see what is wrong with this picture?

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You Can Calm Down, The UFC Is Not Holding 54 Events Next Year


(Subtle.)

By Matt Saccaro

Earlier today, Ariel Helwani tweeted that there was going to be 54 UFC events in 2014, or at least that was the plan.

But there won’t be as many as 54 events, and it’s possible that many of the extra events won’t even be on television. Lorenzo Fertitta elucidated the UFC’s plans for 2014 in an interview with Ariel Helwani. Predictably, the UFC is focusing on international growth in 2014.

“We are looking at expanding our Fight Night product,” said Fertitta. “We have the bottom tier, we have the Ultimate Fighter which we’re taking around the world now. We have obviously the series on FOX Sports 1. We just got done filming The Ultimate Fighter: China which will air in January in China. We’ve got The Ultimate Fighter: Canada and Australia in production right now. We’re in pre-production for series in other various countries around the world. That’s our base,” he said. But TUF is only one piece of the global MMA puzzle. The more important piece, at least according to Fertitta, are the mid-level Fight Night cards.

“In the middle of the pyramid we have our UFC Fight Night brand,” he said. “We’re gonna take that Fight Night product and expand it into Europe and into Asia next year…We’re gonna add fights in those regions so when you add them on to the 33 we’d do this year, it gets into that 40-ish type number.”

Regarding the highly controversial number of 54, Fertitta claimed that he misspoke. He also teased about where the events would be televised (if anywhere).

“Is that what I said? 54? It won’t be quite that. I think I misspoke. It’ll be in the 40′s. Right now, we’ll have some news coming up on where they’re gonna air. I think we’re gonna have some ground-breaking ideas as far as where that’s gonna be available.”

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