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July, 2014

The 10 Best UFC Post-Fight Press Conference Sadfaces


(“I am not impress wit my performance” – Photo by Esther Lin for MMAFighting)

By Ryan Harkness

Schadenfreude is the German word for taking pleasure from the misfortune of others, and aside from scheisseporn it’s pretty much the best word to come out of Germany untranslated. The German fußball team gave us some textbook definition schadenfreude action when they crushed Brazil 7-1 in the World Cup earlier this week, and everyone on the internet delighted in watching the host nation weep like little bitches during the meltdown.

Evil pleasure aside, there’s something fascinating about seeing another human wallowing in sadness. And outside of a choking team’s arena or third world country, I’d argue there’s no better place to stare sadness in the face than at a UFC post-fight press conference.

While most of the defeated fighters on a card get to skip the conference and ruminate on their losses in private, the loser of the main event is expected to show up and answer sharp questions from our crack MMA media like “How do you feel right now?” and “What is next now that you’ve failed?”

The look on their faces as they struggle to answer will hit you right in the feels. Or trigger dat schadenfreude if you’re a dick. Since I am definitely a dick, allow me to be your sadness sommelier on this tour through the saddest sadfaces at UFC post-fight press conferences…

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Holly Holm Signs Multi-Fight Deal With the UFC; Debut Date/Opponent TBA


(Photo via HollyHolm.com)

After months of occasionally hostile negotiations, former world-champion boxer Holly Holm has signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC. Dana White confirmed the news on twitter this evening. The 32-year-old Jackson/Winkeljohn product sports a flawless 7-0 record in MMA as a bantamweight, and last competed in April, when she scored a fifth-round TKO against Juliana Werner, but broke her arm in the process. Holm’s UFC debut date and opponent are still uncertain.

Due to her elite boxing pedigree — and her savage arsenal of kicks — “The Preacher’s Daughter” has often been name-checked as one of the two fighters (along with Cris Cyborg) who could hypothetically give UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey problems down the road. Still, an immediate meeting with Rousey doesn’t seem likely at this point. As FOX Sports puts it, “Holm creates a different kind of animal for Rousey to deal with if she can survive an early UFC schedule to earn the title shot.” Rousey herself is recovering from a broken hand, and is also expected to undergo “minor knee surgery” in the near future.

We’ll keep you posted as the UFC’s plans for Holm solidify.

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Ali Bagautinov Tested Positive for EPO Before UFC 174 Title Fight, Catches One Year Suspension


(“Dear God, please let the lab lose my sample.” / Photo via MMAJunkie)

Recent flyweight title challenger Ali Bagautinov has been suspended for one year following a positive test for erythropoietin (EPO), a unapproved hormone that increases red blood cell production. (See also: Lance Armstrong, Chael Sonnen.) The British Columbia Athletic Commission on Thursday confirmed the news today.

Bagautinov failed a random drug test that was administered on June 2nd, 12 days before his unanimous decision loss to Demetrious Johnson at UFC 174 in Vancouver. As BCAC Commissioner Dave Maedel explained (via MMAJunkie):

These results were not available prior to the UFC 174 event due to lab processing times…I have suspended Mr. Bagautinov’s licence to compete in British Columbia for a period of one year.

So not only was UFC 174 the poorest-selling PPV in nine years, it also produced one more victim of MMA’s newest supervillain — the random drug-test. Seriously, increased drug testing is wiping out high-profile fighters left and right lately, which tells you all you need to know about how widespread the doping problem is in this sport. Keep fighting the good fight, athletic commissions.

We’ll update you when Bagautinov releases the inevitable statement blaming his doctor or nutritional supplements.

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Let’s Count All the Cringeworthy/Shit-Stirring Moments From Ariel Helwani’s Interview With the TUF 20 Cast

If you’re not familiar with MMA reporter/occasional UFC employee Ariel Helwani by now, all you need to know is that he loves to instigate shit between MMA fighters more than MMAMania’s Jesse Holland loves to eye-rape Brittney Palmer. The shots, they have been fired.

Helwani has been rightfully punked for talking noise on several occasions in the past, most notably by sirs Diaz, Page and Ortiz, but has never ceased in his quest to poke bee nests from afar while simultaneously acting as if he isn’t the one holding the honey-covered stick. His shit-stirring skills were on full display at the unveiling of the TUF 20 cast last week, where he sat down (sort of) with each member of the cast to ask hard-hitting questions like:

-”Is there anyone you saw while moving into the house that you were like ‘Oh my gosh, I have to live with this person?’”

-”Is there anyone that you’re annoyed that you have to live with for the next six weeks?”

-”Like who, who are we talking about?”

-”C’mon, it’s more fun that way.”

-”Is it Felice? Are you talking about Felice?”

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Cat Zingano Returns! Faces Amanda Nunes on Honest-to-God Stacked UFC 178 Card in September


(WE’VE EARNED THIS!!!!)

Fresh off a 14-second flying armbar victory over some broad at a UFC Fan Expo, Cat Zingano finally has her return fight booked. The former #1 contender will take on hard-hitting Amanda Nunes on September 27th at UFC 178: Jones vs. Gustafsson II, which despite having just 4 fights booked, is already more stacked than any PPV card we will see before or after it (*laughs, then cries into whiskey glass*).

Zingano’s placement on the card seems both highly fitting, given that UFC 178 will also feature the return of Dominick Cruz from *his* ACL/groin injury, and a hell of a gamble on the UFC’s part, if you ask me. Oh well, I’m sure everything will work out fine.

The fight will be the first in what has been an emotionally and physically trying 18 months for Zingano, who has been forced to deal with both the ACL injury that removed her from the title picture and the unexpected and shocking suicide of her husband/coach, Mauricio. Should she defeat Nunes in triumphant fashion, expect a Lifetime movie at the very minimum to be made in “Alpha’s” honor — something like Not Without My 4 oz. Gloves or Uncaged Passion: The Cat Zingano Story. 

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It Gets Worse: Dustin ‘White Pride’ Holyko Was Competing Without a License at WSOF 11


(See, this is what happens when you book a fighter without even googling his name first. / Photo via FightParrot)

Earlier this week, we passed along the news that World Series of Fighting had cut ties with Dustin Holyko — a prelim fighter who it had booked as a regional draw* for WSOF 11 — after his “SS”/”White Pride” tattoos and lengthy criminal past were brought to the promotion’s attention. Immediately afterwards, WSOF matchmaker Ali Abdelaziz admitted that the promotion doesn’t do background checks on its fighters, which, no shit dude. But allow me to re-post an excerpt from the WSOF’s official statement about the situation:

Honestly, we were not aware of Dustin Holyko’s criminal record or any potentially offensive tattoos prior to him competing at WSOF 11. He was licensed by the Florida commission prior to the fight, and it was his third professional fight under their jurisdiction”

Here’s the thing, though — there is no record of Holyko actually being licensed to fight in Florida. Via Sherdog:

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UFC Booking Roundup: Alistair Overeem vs. Ben Rothwell, Andrei Arlovski vs. Bigfoot Silva 2 Added to September Cards


(You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”)

Dana White might insist that he’s not trying to compete with Bellator on September 5th — but the UFC is making damn well sure that its Connecticut card will be worth watching. In addition to Gegard Mousasi vs. Ronaldo Souza 2 being confirmed as UFC Fight Night 50′s main event, the following matches have also been added to the FOX Sports 1 card…

- Alistair Overeem vs. Ben Rothwell: Coming off a redemptive win against Frank Mir in February and a layoff for elbow surgery, Overeem will take on fellow heavyweight Ben Rothwell, who will be competing for the first time since his August 2013 TKO of Brandon Vera and subsequent nine-month suspension for elevated testosterone. (Again, UFC Fight Night 50 is taking place on an Indian reservation, so Overeem and Rothwell probably won’t have to deal with any inconvenient random drug tests before the match.)

- Matt Mitrione vs. Derrick Lewis: Mitrione was supposed to compete at last weekend’s UFC 175 event until his opponent Stefan Struve collapsed in the locker room and was pulled at the last minute. “Meathead” has now been re-scheduled against Derrick Lewis — better known as “The Black Beast” — who has gone 2-0 in the Octagon so far, with both wins by first-round TKO. Lewis most recently finished Guto Inocente at the TUF 19 Finale. I smell a slugfest.

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Chael Sonnen ‘Accepts Responsibility’ for Second Positive Drug Test, Faces Up to $250,000 Fine From NSAC


(And like that…he’s gone.)

Is it quiet in here, or is it just the utter lack of Chael Sonnen soundbites over the last month? We haven’t heard a peep from the American Gangster since he failed a random drug test for unapproved hormone-regulators, and retired on national television. Then, a second test came up positive for HGH and EPO, and things got really awkward. And so, the man best known for never shutting up has been laying low in Oregon, a ghost, a myth, a spook story that gangsters tell their kids at night.

Following Sonnen’s positive test, the Nevada State Athletic Commission released an amended complaint against the former UFC fighter, which lists the potential punishments that are in store for him: a fine of up to $250,000, the suspension of his license, expenses related to the complaint, and the requirement that he provide a clean drug test upon his next licensing application, which will probably never happen because he’s retired, but still, 250 large, good lord. At least he can afford it, considering he was previously “the highest paid fighter in the business.” [citation needed, obviously]

Yesterday, Sonnen’s lawyer Jeff Meyer submitted his client’s formal response to the NSAC, making it clear that Sonnen has accepted his fate:

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Photo of the Year Nominee: Frankie Edgar, What Hath Thou Wrought?


(via the UFC’s instagram.)

Following his utterly dominant win over BJ Penn in their completely pointless trilogy fight at the TUF 19 Finale last weekend, Frankie Edgar did not sound like a man who had just defeated a legend of the game for the third straight time. He was happy to have another win under his belt, sure, but in his post-fight speech with Jon Anik, he sounded withdrawn, disappointed. Guilty even. He sounded like a man who had just committed a mercy killing, and perhaps rightfully so.

“I almost feel bad about it,” said Edgar.

At the post-fight press conference that evening, Edgar was similarly short of words. Penn, Edgar’s quote unquote “greatest rival” and a man who made him a champion and a bonafide star in defeat, broke down in tears while answering questions about his legacy, the very legacy that Edgar had officially brought an end to just moments earlier. Frankie seemed almost sorry for having been the man to do it.

For a professional fighter, Frankie Edgar doesn’t appear to have a mean bone in his body, which is what makes this candid photo of Edgar and Penn embracing backstage following the TUF 19 Finale all the more telling. Simply put, Edgar’s face reads like a road map of heartache here. Sorrow, guilt, empathy, and respect — all captured in one perfectly timed photo.

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Gegard Mousasi vs. Ronaldo Souza 2 Moved to UFC Fight Night 50 in Connecticut


(Jacare Souza, smiling like a man who clearly doesn’t remember getting upkicked in the face six years ago. Photo via Combate/Globo)

In the wake of UFC 176′s cancellation, scheduled co-main event fighter Gegard Mousasi posted the following on Facebook:

 

Mousasi later erased the post, but it was too late — the UFC responded to his sarcasm by reassigning his rematch with Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza to Fight Night 50, the September 5th card being held on an Indian reservation in Connecticut, ten miles away from a Bellator show.

To be honest, we doubt the UFC brass had any malicious intent with this booking, but it’s still a kick in the nuts to go from a pay-per-view event at the Staples Center to a Friday night FS1 card in Ledyard, CT. Mousasi vs. Souza hasn’t officially been named as the UFC Fight Night 50 main event, although that’s certainly a possibility, considering that the only other notable fight on the lineup right now is Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Chiesa. We’ll keep you posted.

Fun fact: UFC Fight Night 50 comes smack in the middle of an eight-week stretch that will feature 10 UFC events. So yeah. The eyes of the world will be watching.

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