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December, 2013

CagePotato.com Presents: The 2013 Potato Awards


(These are the UFC’s two most bankable stars heading into 2014. Deal with it.)

2013: The year that testosterone became Public Enemy #1 and legends went out the door — either voluntarily or on stretchers. Like all years in this still-young, still-dangerous sport, 2013 reminded us why MMA continues to hold our attention, with its thrilling battles, LOL-worthy embarrassments, and train-wrecks of the human and promotional varieties. And so, the CagePotato staff bids farewell to 2013 with another round of dubious “awards,” recapping the highs and lows of the last 12 months. For better or worse, this is the crap that stood out. Use the page links below to navigate through our somewhat-chronological list of 30 award-categories, and Happy New Year to all of you lovely people!

Page 1: Submission of the Year, Greatest MMA Play-by-Play Call of the Year, The Krazy Horse Bennett Arrest of the Year Award / Most Bizarre News Story of the Year, Knockout of the Year

Page 2: Greatest Fight Canceled Due to Injury, Greatest Unsanctioned Fight of the Year, Worst Event of the Year, Best Female Newcomer

Page 3: Worst Fight of the Year, The Cecil Peoples Shittiest Decision of the Year Award, Comeback Fighter of the Year, Worst Use of Social Media

Page 4: “WTF?” Moment of the Year, Greatest Hype-Deflation, The “Really? You’re Just Gonna Keep Doing That Shit That Gets You in All That Trouble?” Award (a.k.a. “The Koppenhaver”), Comeback Fight of the Year

Page 5: Most Embarrassing Knockout of the Year, Failed Propaganda of the Year, Fight of the Year, Photo of the Year

Page 6: The Inaugural Kalib Starnes Award for Outstanding Cowardice in Battle, Media Shill of the Year, Best Event of the Year, Worst Performance in a Drug Test

Page 7: The Dana White Crazy Freakout of the Year Award, Catchphrase of the Year, The Steve Nelmark Memorial “Is He Dead?” Award, Most Awkward Interview

Page 8: Gnarliest Injury of the Year, MMA Fail of the Year

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UFC 168 Salaries: Silva Banks 600K Severance Package, Rousey Breaks Six Figures


(And he couldn’t be happier, ladies and gentleman! Author’s note: I am so going to hell. Photo via r/MMA)

It might seem disrespectful to discuss something as frivolous as money in these post-Silva-leg-break times, but the salaries for UFC 168 were released earlier today and it is our civic duty to inform you who made out like a bandit and who will be ringing in the New Year with a feast of Ramen noodles and cut up hot dogs (a.k.a “The Danga Delight”).

You’ll be pleased to know that despite shattering his leg to fuck on Saturday, Anderson Silva still made enough money to purchase a nice little villa in the Poconos and enjoy his (probable) retirement. It probably wasn’t the severance package he had in mind, but such is life in the fight game. Meanwhile, Corey Hill is still toiling away in obscurity and predicting when it will rain three days in advance.

The full list of disclosed salaries are after the jump. Per usual, they are absent of any “Of the Night” bonuses, training fees, etc.

Chris Weidman: $400,000 (includes $200,000 win bonus)
def. Anderson Silva: $600,000

Champ Ronda Rousey: $100,000 (includes $50,000 win bonus)
def. Miesha Tate: $28,000

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The 39 Most Incredible MMA Photos We Posted on Facebook This Year [GALLERY]


(MMA face-swap of the century: Tito and Jenna at the Grammys, via JCSUPERMAN on the UG)

CagePotato isn’t just an outdated MMA blog featuring incredibly biased articles and a non-functional comment section. The truth is, CP is an online media empire, which includes our daily complaints and arguments on Twitter, MMA GIFs and videos on our Tumblr page, and the amazing/ridiculous photographs and memes we post on Facebook.

We spent all morning combing our Facebook photo gallery and hand-picked 39 of the most memorable images that we posted in 2013, which we’ve laid out below along with their original descriptions. Enjoy, and if you’re not following us yet, get with the damn program.


January 8th: Chael Sonnen before he was a superstar heel, and Jeff Monson before he was a walking art gallery. #oldschool #mma


January 9th: Photo of the day: Ed O’Neill chokes out Royce Gracie on the set of Modern Family.

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The Official “What In the Hell Were You Thinking, Miesha Tate?” Article


(“YOU’VE GOT HER RIGHT WHERE YOU WANT HER, MIESH! SHE’S BREAKING!!” Photo via Getty.)

In the wake of Anderson Silva‘s (likely) career-ending leg break at UFC 168, it seems that many of us have glossed over the absolute nadir of game-planning that took place in the evening’s co-main event. I’m talking, of course, about Miesha Tate‘s insistence on repeatedly initiating the takedown against Ronda Rousey: Judo Savant. It was quite possibly the worst strategy ever attempted in a UFC title fight, and one that frustrated and confused us to our wit’s end.

I don’t know if it was ego, terrible corner advice, plain stupidity, or some combination of the three — although the fact that Tate changed her nickname from “Takedown” to “Cupcake” following her previous loss to Rousey suggests that ego surely played a part — but there is simply no excusing Tate’s baffling gameplan last Saturday. For someone who said she “fantasized” about KO’ing Rousey, Tate seemed all but against engaging Rousey in a straight up battle on the feet. For someone who said she would “shoot herself in the face” if she lost via armbar again, Tate seemed all too willing to play Russian Roulette with the Olympic judoka (#nailedit), diving in on takedowns only to be reversed, flipped, slammed, tossed, and bamboozled by Rousey on all but one occasion.

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UFC 168: The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly


(After knocking out Josh Barnett, Travis Browne performed the Warmaster’s trademark throat-slashing victory gesture, which means that legally, he now owns Barnett’s soul for all eternity. / Photo via Getty.)

By Mark Dorsey

Featuring an eagerly awaited rematch between the greatest middleweight of all time and the undefeated phenom who took his belt, UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2 was one of the most anticipated UFC cards of 2013. Thankfully, the highly entertaining main card did not disappoint. Showcasing great performances, unsportsmanlike conduct, leg-snapping horror, and a fart heard around the world, UFC 168 left us no shortage of things to talk about. Here’s our clear-eyed look at what went down on Saturday night.

The Good

• With the state of WMMA still burgeoning, the co-main event of Ronda Rousey vs. Meisha Tate was an important fight for solidifying Women’s Bantamweight as a legitimate and financially viable division for the UFC. Thanks to the highly publicized rematch between Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman, the UFC’s two biggest female stars had a high-profile PPV stage to showcase their skills. Thankfully, for the UFC and the fans, Rousey and Tate did not disappoint. Rousey put on a dominating performance and capped it off with a third-round submission victory. The best part? Tate made the fight competitive.

“Cupcake” managed to last three rounds and in the process took Rousey down, escaped multiple submission attempts, and threw some good upkicks from the bottom that had Ronda using caution. On the whole, Tate was outclassed by the better fighter but she showed that Rousey is not invincible — and that’s a good thing. Rousey is an incredible athlete but the UFC cannot base their entire WMMA venture on one fighter. They need contenders and they need the fans to believe that those contenders stand a legitimate chance of winning; otherwise, interest will wane quickly. Rousey looked great, but beatable. That’s exactly what needed to happen. With Sara McMann, Cat Zingano, and Alexis Davis all serving as reasonable challenges, the future of the women’s bantamweight division is looking bright.

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Following Successful Leg Surgery, Anderson Silva’s Recovery Time Estimated at 3-6 Months


(Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

Whether or not Anderson Silva should continue fighting after his gruesome leg-break on Saturday is up for debate. But theoretically, Silva could be back in action by the summer if he wanted to. That’s according to the UFC’s official statement on his injury, which was posted on UFC.com yesterday:

Following Saturday evening’s UFC 168 main event, former champion Anderson Silva was taken to a local Las Vegas hospital where he underwent surgery to repair a broken left leg. The successful surgery, performed by Dr. Steven Sanders, the UFC’s orthopedic surgeon, inserted an intramedullary rod into Anderson’s left tibia. The broken fibula was stabilized and does not require a separate surgery. Anderson will remain in the hospital for a short while, but no additional surgery is scheduled at this time. Recovery time for such injuries may vary between three and six months.”

A short time later, Silva posted a short message on his Instagram account saying “I want to thank all my fans and friends for their support and caring messages, I’m fine now and I need to be with my family, a good rest with my children and wife will help me in recovery. Thanks Brazil.”

Maybe the saddest part of all this is that Silva’s hero and potential boxing opponent Roy Jones Jr. now wants to box Nick Diaz since Anderson is out of commission. Come on, Roy…that’s not how we treat a homey.

After the jump: An old but very relevant video from Bas Rutten that explains how to avoid breaking your shin when throwing a leg kick. Plus: Ronda Rousey and her crew react to Silva’s leg-break backstage.

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The Most Important Lesson MMA Needs to Learn: Shooting Jesse James Doesn’t Make You Jesse James


(Photo via Getty)

The new guard’s success in the Octagon might not translate to success in the box office, much to the detriment of the UFC’s future.

There’s no doubt that in terms of skill, the new generation of fighters is superior. Chris Weidman beat Anderson Silva twice without ever being in danger. Jon Jones is ten times the fighter any previous light heavyweight champ ever was. The recently arrived era of fighters are to the previous era what the previous era was to old time greats like Mark Coleman. There’s a skill disparity; MMA has evolved.

However, just because the new breed has more aptitude, doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll have more drawing power. The old guard, through their battles on the early TUF seasons, Spike TV and various PPVs, brought the UFC from fringe-level oddity status (think FX Toughman or Slamball) to global sports powerhouse—complete with a network TV deal and a burgeoning international audience. The UFC’s current crew simply can’t carry the company into growth like this in 2014 and onward.

It’s no secret that the UFC’s numbers haven’t been stellar lately. Despite having more exposure than ever before, 2013′s ceiling is looking a bit like 2008/9′s floor.

Will the new faces be able to reverse the UFC’s decline in popularity? If not, will they at least be able to help the UFC tread water until the storm is weathered?

The lighter, male, weight classes won’t, for starters. It’s widely-known that they don’t draw well. MMA’s casual fan—the guy who does bench presses in the squat rack and needs skulls on everything he owns—hears 125-pounds and immediately (wrongly) thinks “Fuck watching a fighter I can throw through the wall.”

It’s too early to tell whether the new generation of greats from lightweight, welterweight, or middleweight, or even the females will produce a “future of the company”/”franchise athlete”/choose your buzzword.

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Here Are Some Awesome Fight Bookings for UFC 170 to Take Your Mind Off Silva’s Leg


(Photo via Getty)

Even though the dust and scattered bone chips have settled, we can’t help but think about Silva departing the cage on a stretcher and screaming.

If you’re anything like us, you want something to distract you from this horrible visual. Fortunately, Joe Silva provided the MMA world with some new food for thought in the form of two excellent bookings for UFC 170, taking place in Las Vegas on February 22nd.

First, Ronda Rousey will defend her women’s bantamweight title against fellow Olympian Sara McMann. This bout will main-event the PPV. Look for the UFC to work the Olympian vs. Olympian angle here, especially since the 2014 Winter Olympics coincide with UFC 170.

Rousey just dominated Miesha Tate at UFC 168 and refused to shake her hand after armbarring her a second time, cementing her role as a heel. She’s now 8-0.

McMann hasn’t fought since an easy TKO victory over Sheila Gaff back in April. Her record stands at 7-0.

Second, 21-0 Dagestani warrior Khabib Nurmagomedov will face his greatest test at UFC 170: Former Strikeforce

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Anderson Silva’s Horrific Leg Injury Robs Chris Weidman of Legend-Killer Status


(Weidman checks on the wounded Silva. / Photo via Getty)

Chris Weidman knocked Anderson Silva out cold at UFC 162, but it didn’t count because it was just a fluke—or at least a significant percentage of MMA fans wrote it off as one. Their logic: Silva got cocky and paid the price.

The UFC 168 rematch was supposed to be different. Weidman and Silva were supposed to give MMA the answers it wanted needed: Was UFC 162 just Weidman channeling coach Matt Serra’s predilection towards unlikely knockouts? Or was it truly the end of Silva’s time and the beginning of Weidman’s?

When Anderson Silva‘s foot turned to jello, these questions entered the ranks of MMA’s great counterfactuals and unsolved mysteries.

Before UFC 168 started, I had an article planned for each main-event outcome. In the case of a Chris Weidman victory, I was going to write about how defeating Silva a second time propelled him into living-legend status. Weidman would become the new Jon Jones—an insanely talented, legitimately clean-cut, polite fighter that the UFC can build the (near) future on.

I was going to claim I was ahead of the curve on the subject (though about a year off on my prediction), since I wrote about Weidman claiming the “Jon Jones” mantle back in 2012:

There will be the rise of a new “Jon Jones”—a nigh invincible superhero—in 2012, and his name is Chris Weidman.

Just as the current UFC light heavyweight champion ran through the ranks of his division and captured the title, middleweight Weidman is beginning to rack up impressive victories. In 2012, Weidman will finally earn the recognition among MMA fans and pundits that he deserves; he will become the “Jon Jones” of the middleweight division.

… 

Because of his youth, skill set and training camp, he will dominate the middleweight division and become the 185-pound Jon Jones.

If Weidman smashed Silva decisively at UFC 168, such statements wouldn’t be hyperbolic. It’s a rare, special talent that can humble the greatest MMA fighter of all time twice in a row with only four years experience in the sport.

But Silva departed the cage on a stretcher because of a freak, Corey Hill-like leg injury, not because of a clean knockout or submission.

With this outcome, nobody wins. Find out why after the jump.

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UFC 168 Results: Weidman Defeats Silva Via Brutal, Corey Hill-like Leg Injury



(Buffer’s got that look in his eyes again.Photos via MMAFighting)

With two marquee titles on the line, UFC 168 can certainly claim to be the “biggest” and “best” UFC offering of 2013 — although we still reserve the right to wonder what the hell Fabricio Camoes is doing on the main card. Anyway, Las Vegas is Rematch City tonight, with MMA G.O.A.T. Anderson Silva looking for revenge against Chris Weidman, and women’s bantamweight superstar Ronda Rousey trying to make it 2-0 against her arch-nemesis Miesha Tate. Plus: Josh Barnett and Travis Browne face off in a sure-to-entertain heavyweight battle, and Dustin Poirier will attempt to punish Diego Brandao for coming in way, way overweight yesterday.

Handling our liveblog for the “Weidman vs. Silva 2″ pay-per-view broadcast is Aaron Mandel, who will be sticking round-by-round results after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and shoot us your own thoughts in the comments section or on twitter. (We’re @cagepotatomma. Hi there.)

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