Steroids in MMA
Which MMA Fighter Will Test Positive For Steroids Next?

December, 2014

CagePotato.com Presents: The 2014 Potato Awards


(We tried to give the Potato Awards a classier vibe this year. We failed.)

By the CagePotato Staff

Look, you already know how we feel about MMA awards ceremonies: They’re meaningless exercises tainted by personal bias and stupidity, in equal measures. The only thing that makes the Potato Awards different is that we’re completely honest about the fact that our awards are biased and stupid. But it’s the end of the year, and we have to acknowledge that somehow, right?

Putting together this year’s Potato Awards list was a harrowing experience. Honestly, 2014 was an awful year for mixed martial arts. It was the year that the UFC’s pay-per-view business tanked due to injured stars and general disinterest among fans — what else is new, amirite? — while competing promotions stooped to terrifying depths in order to get your attention. (Not that the UFC didn’t do some of that, too.) 2014 answered the question “Could the UFC survive an entire year without Anderson Silva and GSP?”, and that answer was “yes, but just barely.” It was also a year in which domestic violence incidents involving MMA fighters became a tragic recurring theme (see: War Machine, Thiago Silva, Josh Grispi, Anthony Johnson, Michael Johnson).

But years from now, we may look back at 2014 as an important turning point, thanks to some major developments that took place near the end of the year. Notably, the UFC’s Reebok uniform deal is poised to transform the sponsorship landscape, while the Le/Quarry/Fitch class-action lawsuit and the related suits that came out in its wake could drag out some long-hidden truths about the UFC’s finances. We don’t yet know if these developments will turn out to be good or bad overall, but MMA could be a lot more interesting in 2015.

As we enter a new year, let’s look back at the past 12 months that got us here — the highs, the lows, and the moments that were so “WTF?!” that they defy all judgment. Use the page links below to peruse our mostly-chronological list of 38 award categories, and thanks so much for sticking with CagePotato for another year.

Page 1: Comeback Fight of the Year, The Steve Nelmark Memorial “Is He Dead?” Award, MMA Screen-Caps of the Year, “Just Bleed” MMA Superfan of the Year Award

Page 2: Worst Performance in a Drug Test, The Cecil Peoples Shittiest Decision of the Year Award, Worst Event of the Year, Sponsor of the Year

Page 3: Submission of the Year, MMA GIF of the Year, Worst Fight of the Year, Most Embarrassing Knockout of the Year

Page 4: Greatest Unsanctioned Fight of the Year, Catchphrase of the Year, The Krazy Horse Bennett Arrest of the Year Award, Greatest Fight Canceled Due to Injury, Best Reference to Medieval Europe in MMA

Page 5: Knockout of the Year, Photo of the Year, Media Shill of the Year, Most Awkward Interview, Most Satisfying Beatdown

Page 6: The Gilbert Yvel Award for Outstanding Creativity in a Cheating Performance, Greatest Hype Inflation, Best Use of Social Media, Best MMA Personality Appearance in a Non-MMA Setting

Page 7: Most Bizarre News Story of the Year, The “Really? You’re Just Gonna Keep Doing That Shit That Gets You in All That Trouble?” Award a.k.a. “The Koppenhaver”, Best Event of the Year, The Minowaman Freak Show Hall of Fame Award

Page 8: Gnarliest Injury of the Year, Greatest Failed Propaganda of The Year, Worst Use of Social Media, MMA Fail of the Year

Page 9: Most Terrifying Game-Changer, Fight of the Year, “WTF?” Moment of the Year, Promotion of the Year

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And Now He’s Fired (Again): Charlie Brenneman Gets the Boot Following Third Straight Loss


(Everyone remembers where they were the first time they heard the “Comfortably Numb” guitar solo. Photo via Getty.)

The inventor of the punch-hair (Clay Guida WHO?) has likely fought for the last time in the UFC. Two months ago.

Yes, after succumbing to a first round rear-naked choke against the un-Wikipedia-able Leandro Silva back at Fight Night 56, Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman has once again been released by the promotion. Experts expect his reactionary lawsuit against the UFC to be filed by the end of the week.

The announcement was made by Brenneman himself on Twitter last night.

Brenneman’s re-firing may not seem like that big a deal at first, but it does prove one thing…

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Holly Holm vs. Raquel Pennington Re-Booked for UFC 184


(Photo via WomensMMA)

Undefeated bantamweight contender Holly Holm was supposed to make her UFC debut against Raquel Pennington earlier this month at UFC 181, but a neck injury knocked her out of the fight. Now it appears that Holm vs. Pennington has been rescheduled for UFC 184: Weidman vs. Belfort (February 28th, Los Angeles), according to an MMAJunkie report.

The delay turned out to be the best thing for this matchup. Originally, Holm vs. Pennington seemed like a cruel mismatch — and then Pennington damn near murdered Ashlee Evans-Smith, her replacement opponent at UFC 181. Pennington will still be a steep underdog here, but she proved that she’s not to be taken lightly. Also, Holm vs. Pennington will now take place on the same card as the bantamweight title fight between Ronda Rousey and Cat Zingano, which will make any post-fight callouts a little more interesting.

UFC 184 is shaping up to be the best card of the UFC’s loaded January/February schedule. The current lineup is…

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UFC Confirms Michael Johnson’s Arrest for Battery Following ‘Domestic Dispute’ in April


(Johnson’s booking photo, via mugshots.com)

Just two days after announcing that Michael Johnson would face Edson Barboza at UFC Fight Night 61, the UFC has revealed that his long layoff in 2014 was due to an April arrest for domestic battery, not an injury. Here’s the official statement posted last night on UFC.com:

UFC lightweight Michael Johnson was ineligible to compete in the UFC organization following his arrest regarding a domestic dispute in Palm Beach County, Florida in April 2014. Given that the allegations against Johnson constituted a potential violation of the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy, the UFC organization temporarily barred Johnson from competition pending the completion of a third-party investigation. Following a thorough review and investigation—including personal interviews with Johnson and independent confirmation that he has satisfied all obligations required by the UFC—Johnson is once again eligible to compete and will begin training for his next fight at UFC Fight Night: Evans vs. Teixeira in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The UFC will continue to monitor Johnson’s status. He must fully comply with the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy and all other contractual and additional obligations in order to continue competing in the UFC.

All UFC athletes are required to comply with the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy they signed along with their fight contract. The UFC organization will not tolerate any violation of its Fighter Conduct Policy. The organization is committed to thoroughly investigating all allegations and taking the appropriate action when warranted.

Johnson was booked in Palm Beach County, Florida, at 2:30 a.m. on April 9th on a charge of “battery – touch or strike.” Johnson reportedly has other domestic violence charges pending, and already has a court date scheduled for February 25th — three days after his scheduled fight with Barboza in Brazil — for driving on a revoked license.

A few thoughts…

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The 58 Most Incredible MMA Photos We Posted on Facebook in 2014


(January 6th: Andy “Ice Cold” Eichholz might have broken his nose this weekend.)

At the time of this writing, CagePotato’s Facebook page is within spitting distance of 50,000 fans, so we figured we’d drop you a friendly reminder — PLEASE “Like” OUR PAGE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!! Honestly, it’ll be worth your time. We don’t just use our FB account to spam links to our articles; we also share some amazing photos and videos that you might not find elsewhere in your MMA media diet.

To give you a sense of what the non-followers might be missing, we went through our Facebook photo gallery today and selected 58 of the most memorable images that we posted in 2014, which we’ve laid out below along with their original descriptions. (Yeah, we did this last year too.)

Enjoy the pics, join CP’s Facebook Militia if you haven’t already, and invite your friends to follow us too! Or at least the ones who watch MMA and have a sense of humor.


January 21st: You know that photo of Fedor at the beach that’s been floating around? Well, we improved it. (Props: @ChrisColemon) #GloriousThongOfAbsoluteVictory

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MMA Video of the Day: “Risky Attacks Gone Wrong” Is a Glorious Lowlight Reel of Buffoonery


(Props: Youtube user TheMontageKing via r/MMA)

“To be the greatest, you must take chances. To be remembered, you have to risk it all. But this does not always go as planned.”

So begins ”Risky Attacks Gone Wrong” — a highlight video (of sorts) which pays tribute to those rare moments in MMA where a fighter’s reach exceeds his grasp, so to speak. Because stepping into the cage takes a fairly high level of confidence, and the fighters featured in this video were riding high on a wave of it until the moment that everything fell apart.

Featuring everything from Chael Sonnen’s spinning backfail at UFC 148 to Andrei Arlovski‘s infamous flying knee against Fedor Emelianenko (as well as my personal favorite, Matt “I’ve Made a Huge Mistake” Lawrence), ”Risky Attacks Gone Wrong” is a goddamn glory to behold and a surefire way to brighten up your Monday afternoon. For in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

-J. Jones

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A Loving Photo/Video Tribute to Jade Bryce, Former (!?) Bellator Ring Girl


(MMA Impressions With Jade Bryce, Part 2: The Thrill of Victory” — The greatest original video we’ve ever published.)

By now, you’ve probably heard the news: Longtime Bellator ring girl Jade Bryce has been released from the promotion. “Super sad to announce that I am no longer with Bellator,” Jade wrote on Instagram over the weekend. “They have chosen to go in a different direction for the new year. I worked exactly 99 fights for them over the past 4 years, & it truly was the best 4 years of my life.”

If Bellator’s “new direction” involves getting rid of all of its ring girls — even the other one that you never really hear about — because the use of ring girls in combat sports is a sexist tradition or whatever, we will grudgingly accept that. (Also, if Bellator is cutting Jade to make room for a ring boy, we will also accept that, because CagePotato has always supported equality and absurdity.)

Any other explanation makes no sense. Jade Bryce is a more beloved and respectable figure than 90% of Bellator’s actual fighter-roster. So yeah, we’re a little bitter today, because we love Jade; she’s beautiful, kind-hearted, and any MMA ring girl who doesn’t recoil in horror around us is aces in our book.

To help you process your own grief about Jade’s firing, we’ve collected her all-time greatest videos, photos, and assorted miscellany that we’ve ever posted on this site. Enjoy these two jam-packed pages of Classic Jade, click all the images for larger versions, and show her some love on Twitter @thejadebryce. We’ll let you know where she ends up.



(From: “Order Jade Bryce’s 2015 Calendar, And Support a Great Cause)

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Rampage Jackson Cites Bjorn Rebney’s “Crazy Contract” As Reason Behind Bellator Departure


(“I’m tellin’ ya, Page, kids are gonna be lining up around the block to see ‘Fight Master: The Movie.’ Lining up I says!!)

I think Old Dad summed up the late career of Rampage Jackson best when assessing his signing with Bellator back in January:

Throughout his career, it’s always seemed like the one thing Jackson really wants to do is something else. When he’s fighting, he wants to be acting. When he’s acting, he’d rather be fighting. If he’s doing MMA, boxing starts to sound like a great idea. No matter where he stands, the greenest grass seems to grow everywhere except beneath his feet.

It’s hard to argue with. The former UFC fighter-turned former Bellator fighter-turned current UFC fighter has been a man without a country for the entirety of his career (if you were to ask him), with his most recent “tongue-kissing” stint at Bellator (Ed note: Gross.) lasting just three fights and less than a year. Given what we know about his employment history, you’re probably wondering: What exactly was the root of Jackson’s problems *this* time around?

The answer, as it turns out, is one you probably could have guessed: Bjorn Rebney — a.k.a the man that signed Jackson — was only able to do so by making a whole heap of promises that were…ambitious to say the least. We’re talking movie deals, reality shows, and a pro wrasslin’ career that included more than a hammer to the skull, folks. So check out the exclusive statement sent to MMAFighting by Jackson’s manager after the jump.

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Edson Barboza vs. Michael Johnson Added to UFC Fight Night 61 in Porto Alegre


(Barboza doing some of that spinnin’ stuff during his last fight against Bobby Green.)

The UFC announced yesterday that a fight between highly regarded lightweight contenders Edson Barboza and Michael Johnson will serve as the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 61, which goes down Sunday, February 22nd at Gigantinho Gymnasium in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The event apparently will be headlined by Rashad Evans vs. Glover Teixeira, and it is expected to air on FOX Sports 1.

Barboza has been victorious in his last two Octagon appearances, scoring a first-round TKO of Evan Dunham in July and out-pointing Bobby Green at UFC Fight Night 57 last month. Johnson has won three straight against Joe Lauzon, Gleison Tibau, and Melvin Guillared, but hasn’t competed since March due to injury.

The current lineup for UFC Fight Night 61: Evans vs. Teixeira is…

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Watch the Full “Bad Blood: Jones vs. Cormier” UFC 182 Hype Video Right Here


(Props: UFC on YouTube)

Though the UFC has already given us its “Hey Pussy Are You Still There” PPV promo, a UFC 182 extended trailer, and a Jones vs. Cormier “Countdown” segment, here’s one more video package about the mutual distaste between light-heavyweight champ Jon Jones and his upcoming challenger Daniel Cormier. They are beating this horse to death, homey.

Narrated by CNN personality/BJJ aficionado Anthony Bourdain, the half-hour “Bad Blood: Jones vs. Cormier” special aired recently on FOX Sports 1, and begins with a quick retrospective of some of the UFC’s other great rivalries. The Shamrock/Tito “living death” moment shows up within the first 10 seconds, which I appreciated. But also, we’ve got BJ Penn explaining to Georges St-Pierre that he wants to kill him — “and I’m not joking about this” — and clips of Brock Lesnar and Rampage Jackson acting rather unprofessional. The implication is, Jon Jones may have threatened Daniel Cormier with actual death, but look, sometimes these things happen in MMA.

Anyway, it’s worth a look if you have any patience left for Jones/Cormier pre-fight hype. There aren’t too many surprises here, but we do get an interesting look at Cormier’s training relationship with Khadzhimurat Gatsalov, the phenom Russian wrestler who defeated Cormier at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Plus: Some never-before-heard insults (“How much you weigh right now, fat fuck?”).

It also makes me wonder: If Jones and Cormier never brawled on stage, and never cursed each other out during that SportsCenter interview, how would the UFC promote this fight? Would it be enough that the two greatest light-heavyweights in the world were facing each other on January 3rd? How badly do we need bad blood?

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