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UFC Fight Night Dublin - McGregor v Brandao

Is MMA About to Enter a New Golden Age?

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Barnburner Alert: Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier a Go for UFC 178


(“No, I’d rather not fight Ronda Rousey at UFC 176. Why would you ask me that, Joe?” Photo via Getty.)

Maybe it’s just me, but people seem to be riding pretty high on this Conor McGregor character following his first round destruction of Diego Brandao at what Kevin Iole referred to as “the greatest UFC event of all time” with 100% sincerity. Great job, Kevin. I hope Dana gave you the week off for partaking in such blatant shillery.

Right, back to McGregor. Following his win over Brandao, the Irish phenom was called out by Dustin Poirier on Twitter, who had a late September matchup in mind. McGregor quickly agreed at the Fight Night 46 press conference, and as luck would have it, they are now set to meet at UFC 178: Jones vs. Gustafsson II on September 27th.

“The fights were good and the crowd loved the show.” — Kevin Iole, describing UFC 75 to his fullest capabilities before declaring Fight Night 46 as the greatest UFC event of all time. If you ever thought this MMA writing stuff was easy, you’re right.

I’m sorry, I keep getting off track. Anyway, here’s what Poirier had to say about McGregor and how he carries himself on The MMA Hour yesterday. Spoiler: It is not exactly a ringing endorsement…

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Fitness Motivation: 21 Photos of Sexy Women Holding Dumbbells


(Shannon Ihrke, shot by Fitness Gurls. Check out the full gallery after the jump.)

This week’s batch of fitness motivation photos focuses on the humble dumbbell — the training equipment of choice for sexy ladies staring pensively off into the distance. Check out the photos below for our 21 favorite examples of girls using free weights, with special appearances by Paige Hathaway, Jamie Eason, and Eva Andressa. Enjoy, and click here for more inspiration…

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Update: Khabib Nurmagomedov Out Until January 2015 With Torn Meniscus


(Khabib Nurmagomedov and Rustam Khabilov — just a couple of legitimate businessmen. / Photo via TitoCouture.)

We wanted to pass along a quick update on Khabib Nurmagomedov, who made history on Friday by pulling out of a fight against Donald Cerrone just 20 minutes after he agreed to it. (Beat that, Lil’ Nog!) According to Nurmagomedov’s manager Mike Constantino, the undefeated lightweight suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee, which will require surgery. He is expected to be out of action until January.

And so, Nurmy officially goes 1-0 in 2014, with his sole Octagon appearance resulting in a decision win against Rafael dos Anjos in April. With the lightweight division so crowded with contenders, a long layoff means that Nurmagomedov will have his work cut out for him when he returns, in terms of climbing back up the contender ladder. As for Cerrone, his next fight is once again TBA. Got any suggestions?

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Anthony Pettis vs. Gilbert Melendez *Tentatively* Booked for UFC 181 on December 6th (Tentatively.)


(Your captions, please. via Pettis’ Twitter)

I would like to begin this article by proposing a new category for this year’s Potato Awards, “Most Excruciating Absence By a Champion (a.k.a “The Dominator Award”)” and preemptively awarding it to lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. Or maybe Cain Velasquez. No, definitely Pettis. Iiiit’s been nearly a year since we last saw “Showtime” secure said championship via a first round submission over Ben Henderson, and thanks to his coaching gig opposite Gilbert Melendez on TUF 20, it will be at least another half a year before we see him compete again.

That’s because earlier today, Pettis told MMAFighting that his fight against Melendez has been scheduled for December 6th at UFC 181. I honest-to-God want to believe that both men will make it to that date intact, but the TUF coaches curse has fooled me five too many times to place any real faith in Pettis’ words. But there you have it: December 6th. UFC 181. Vegas.

As for how the season itself is going, Pettis seems to have found the space between “it sucks” and “ERMAHGERD BERST SERSERN ERVER!!!” that Dana White has never been able to…

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Video: Leonard Garcia Drops Legacy FC Title in Submission Loss to Damon Jackson; ‘Bad Boy Era’ Comes to an Abrupt End


(Highlights via AXS TV. Full fight video is after the jump.)

Earlier this year, we marveled at the improbable career comeback of Leonard Garcia, who had gone from UFC washout with five-straight losses to a Legacy FC featherweight champion with three-straight victories. I mean, sure, he was beating Legacy FC-caliber competition, but he was finishing those guys; he didn’t have to rely on loud grunting and impressionable judges to make it happen.

Well, we must have cursed him, because the Bad Boy Era has ended as quickly as it began. Garcia was defeated in his first attempted title defense at Legacy FC 33 on Friday night, tapping out to an arm-triangle choke against 25-year-old Texas native Damon “The Leech” Jackson at the 1:32 mark of round 1. Jackson increases his undefeated record to 9-0, with all wins via stoppage within the first two rounds. So maybe we should keep an eye on this guy.

Garcia was originally supposed to defend his title at Legacy FC 29 in March against Shane Howell, but Howell dropped out of the fight on short notice due to illness. (“Garcia then proposed to his girlfriend in the cage to apparently salvage the trip.”)

2014 is now The Leech Era. Please spread awareness.

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Help Wanted: What Was Your Worst Experience at an MMA Gym?


(“Hey, I’m Jon. So…do you want to be the mommy or the daddy?”)

Fresh off our masterful performances in Friday’s Roundtable discussion of one-minute fights — the New Yorker calls us “irreverent“! — the CP staff has decided to rest easy for a while and let you write the next one. Yes indeedy, it’s time for another crowd-sourced edition of the CagePotato Roundtable. The topic is: What Was Your Worst Experience at an MMA Gym?

Were you suckered into training poison-hand techniques at a McDojo? Did you catch a gnarly staph infection from unwashed mats? Did a friendly sparring session with Hector Lombard leave you with a debilitating injury? Were you slapped around for selling steroids out of the locker room? (Hey, it happens.) Maybe you’d feel better if you shared your story with the Potato Nation.

Send your stories to tips@cagepotato.com by next Wednesday (7/30), and we’ll run the best ones that Friday. If you’d like to remain anonymous, please say so in the beginning of your email. Thanks guys!

Previously on the Crowd-Sourced CagePotato Roundtable…
- What Was Your Most Memorable Run-In With an MMA Fighter?
- What Was the Most Memorable Fight You’ve Ever Been In?

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Our Prediction…Pain: Bellator Signs Melvin Manhoef (!) and Re-Signs Paul Daley


(Nope. Still terrified. Photo via Dorian Szücs/Groundandpound)

Now that Scott Coker is runnings things over at Bellator, it was only a matter of time before he started recruiting some of his old Strikeforce cronies over to help bolster the promotion’s somewhat lacking roster, and his first two signings are sure to deliver in the excitement department.

Today brings news that Bellator has signed kickboxer/MMA fighter/eater of worlds Melvin Manhoef and resigned Paul Daley to their roster. Presumably *not* to fight each other, for that would most certainly result in a black hole being ripped in the universe once their fists collided. In MMA competition alone, these two hard hitters have amassed over 50 knockouts between them, including particularly devastating KOs of Mark Hunt, Scott Smith, Dustin Hazelett, and Ian Freeman. Manhoef and Daley are fresh off knockout victories over Evangelista Santos and Romario Manoel da Silva, respectively.

As you might recall, Daley was axed from Bellator last July as a result of ongoing legal troubles and visa issues.”Semtex”, however, has assured us that both of those issues are now behind him, for the most part:

I don’t have the visa yet. But the charges that were against me and the problems I had with obtaining the visa, they weren’t major things. So I’ve spoken with the guys at Bellator, told them what was what, and they’re confident, the legal team is confident that this visa issue is not going to be a problem.

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Quote of the Day: Tim Kennedy Goes Nuclear on Vitor Belfort’s (Alleged) Drug Use, Says Belfort Won’t Be Able to Compete Clean


(We get it, dude, you’re scary. / Photo via gerbergear.com)

Despite failing a random drug test for elevated testosterone earlier this year, Vitor Belfort is the leading candidate to get the next crack at UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman‘s belt. What’s more, UFC president Dana White wants to hold the fight in Brazil, where Belfort competed through all of 2013 without incident, unhindered by random drug tests.

And yeah, that’s bullshit. Handing a title fight in a friendly jurisdiction to Belfort — who also tested positive for steroids in 2006 — would not be the best look, from a public relations standpoint, and one fighter is calling foul, as loudly as possible. On the latest episode of Submission Radio, middleweight contender Tim Kennedy argued once again for the increased usage of random drug testing in MMA (particularly blood-testing, which would detect HGH and EPO), and verbally assaulted Belfort in particular:

Right now [Belfort is] down in Brazil, or back in you know California, training his butt off and injecting anything that he wants to and loving it, and nobody’s testing him, or like his doctor — when I say his, I’m making quotation fingers ‘doctor’ — so he’s like dripping testosterone out of his eyeballs right now. How old was he when he first failed a drug test, like 18? For anabolic steroids? So he’s being using for 20 years. Your body doesn’t function naturally now. He’s what, 37 or 38? So like 18 years

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NBD, But CagePotato Was Just Quoted By THE F*CKING NEW YORKER


(This glorious occasion calls for only the most glorious of gifs, so take it away, Howard Dean.)

So recently, The New Yorker ran a profile on women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, entitled, “Mean Girl: Why the world’s best female fighter loves to be hated.” Among the topics covered were Rousey’s weight-cutting routine/diet, her rise to prominence in MMA, her budding film career, and her infamous snubbing of Miesha Tate following their rematch at UFC 168. It hit on most of the notes we’ve come to expect in an article about Rousey — she’s confident bordering on crazy, she’s both beauty and the beast (#nailedit), etc. — but perhaps most interesting about The New Yorker’s profile of Rousey was the sources that the author, Kelefa Sanneh, chose to reference.

Being the classy publication that The New Yorker is, one might assume that they would pull their quotes about Rousey from respected, credentialed members of the MMA media, like Old Dad or Ariel Helwani, or better yet, forgo the cheap, bottom-barrel ramblings of online media in general to quote something from the actual printed press, right?

HAHA NOPE THEY ONLY QUOTED US. (*phones D. White, tells him to bite my bird*)

The above selection, taken from the second paragraph of the piece (a highly underrated paragraph in any article, IMO), quotes not only our Hot Potato gallery of Rousey from back in 2011, but this article published just last May. Checkmate, other MMA blogs. Check. Mate.

Let it be written that on this day, validation was spelled C-A-G-E-P-O-T-A-T-O.

After the jump: A few more interesting takeaways from The New Yorker’s profile of Rousey, and Dana White’s ongoing efforts to bury his former fighters.

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CagePotato Ban: Saying You Don’t Care If Your Opponents Are Using PEDs


(Bagautinov’s doping wasn’t enough to earn him a victory — but that’s no reason to let him off the hook. / Photo via MMAJunkie)

Now that random drug testing is nailing MMA fighters on a regular basis, the truth is inescapable: PEDs have become the sport’s most urgent and embarrassing problem. But not every fighter is an anti-drug crusader like Tim Kennedy and Georges St. Pierre. Before his star-making beatdown of Diego Brandao at UFC Fight Night 46 on Saturday, Conor McGregor told MMAJunkie how he really feels about performance-enhancing drugs:

“I don’t really care about that stupid s–t,” McGregor said. “I’m just doing my thing. I’m just performing and getting better. I don’t care what anyone else does….Take whatever you want, I’m still going to whoop your ass.”

His words were nearly identical to what former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson said about steroids last year, and also echoed those of UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, who expressed similar sentiments on The MMA Hour recently, after it came out that his last opponent Ali Bagutinov was using EPO going into the fight:

“I don’t care if my opponents are cheating or not,” Johnson said. “I train my butt off to fight the man who is put in front of me whether he’s on steroids or not. I want to play on a level playing field, but if they knew about it beforehand and didn’t stop it, at the same time, I took care of business. No big deal.”

Except it is a big deal, and saying otherwise makes MMA look like a joke.

Look, I get it. Claiming that you don’t care if your opponents are doping scores you badass points, and it can endear you to the segment of the MMA fanbase that really doesn’t care about the ongoing scourge of PEDs. (“I like Conor because he doesn’t bitch about drug-testing like these other pussies. Let ‘em take what they want!” — Darryl T. Justbleedguy)

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UFC Fight Night Dublin - McGregor v Brandao

Is MMA About to Enter a New Golden Age?

MMA was headed for a perplexing time when it was simultaneously bigger than ever but smaller than ever, when the fighters were more talented but less popular than ever. A series of fortunate events and circumstances can change all that.

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UFC Fight Night Dublin - McGregor v Brandao

UFC Fight Night 46 Results: Conor McGregor Tears Through Diego Brandao

Conor McGregor wowed the Irish audience with his destruction of Diego Brandao at UFC Fight Night 46.

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UFC Fight Night 46: McGregor vs. Brandao — Live Results & Commentary

Round-by-round results for the King of Dublin's UFC homecoming and the rest of the main card scraps will be right here beginning at 3 p.m. ET / noon PT.

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Dana White Enters the “Public Burial” Phase of His Break-Up With Nate Diaz

Maybe White will eventually figure out that the common denominator in all of his hostile relationships is himself. Nah, he won't.

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Friday Links: A Day in Dublin With Conor McGregor, Dana White Hoping for Ronda vs. Gina in December, Kids Swearing in Movies + More

Some must-see highlights from our friends around the Internet.

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UFC Fight Night Sao Paulo: Miocic v Maldonado

CagePotato Roundtable #33: What is the Greatest One-Minute Fight of All Time?

How good can a fight *really* be if it ends quicker than Michael Bisping's prom night? That's just the question we're trying to answer in this week's CP Roundtable.

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Barnburner Alert: Donald Cerrone vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov Reportedly Booked for UFC 178 in September [UPDATE: GOD DAMN IT]

Not only is it a fantastic matchup, it could potentially produce a title contender, as both men are currently hovering around the top of the 155-pound division.

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Video: Dana White and Kazushi Sakuraba Discuss the Bad Old Days of PRIDE

The sociopathic matchmakers at PRIDE wanted Sakuraba to fight Fedor Emelianenko at one point; that was the only fight he ever turned down.

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Non-MMA Video of the Day: Stuart Scott’s Beautiful, Inspiring Speech At Last Night’s ESPYs

"When you die, it doesn't mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”

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UFC Fight Night 45 Video Highlights: Donald Cerrone vs. Jim Miller, Edson Barboza’s Nasty Body Kick TKO + More

If you didn't tune in to UFC Fight Night 45: Cerrone vs. Miller last night, slap yourself in the face.

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Jessamyn Duke’s Fight Night 45 Loss Was Due to a Broken Hand, Not Getting KTFO, According to Shayna Baszler

"Lost due to a cut, IMO."

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UFC 175: Weidman v Machida

Ronda Rousey Wins ‘Best Female Athlete’ at 22nd Annual ESPY Awards

Sure, it's just a silly cable TV sports award. But Ronda winning "Best Female Athlete" is kind of a big deal.

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UFC Fight Night Weigh-in

Fight Night 45: Cerrone vs. Miller — Liveblogging the Fights You Actually Care About

Round-by-round updates and results for the two or three essential fights on tonight's Fight Night card.

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Bellator 123 Adds Cheick Kongo vs. Lavar Johnson, King Mo vs. Tom DeBlass, And the Debut of Bobby Lashley [#FridayNightWars]

On September 5th, Southeastern Connecticut is going to host way more top-notch MMA than it deserves, honestly.

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CagePotato Ban: Calling For “Superfights” That Are Anything But

If Jon Jones vs. Anderson Silva taught us anything, it's that the only matchups good enough to actually warrant the "superfight" moniker are never going to happen.

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TUF 8 Winner Efrain Escudero Gets Another Ticket Back to UFC, Will Face Francisco Trinaldo

If you put together a list of the most successful Ultimate Fighter winners in the show's history, TUF 8's Efrain Escudero would definitely not be on that list.

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Demetrious Johnson vs. Chris Cariaso Booked for UFC 177 Co-Main Event

Cariaso is 4-2 as a flyweight, he just made his very first appearance on a UFC main card, and the combined UFC record of his last three opponents is 1-6. And he's getting a title shot because times are getting hard, boys.

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Quote of the Day: Floyd Mayweather Does Not Know Who Ronda Rousey Is, And Incorrectly Guesses Her Gender

Guys, the MMA vs. boxing debate is over, and we lost.

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Fitness Motivation: 18 Photos of Sexy Women Stretching

Well, it's a slow news day (so far), and you know what that means — it's time for your virtual personal trainers at CagePotato.com to inspire you towards you health goals with another batch of fitness motivation photos.

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GIF of the Day: Takuya Eizumi’s Epic Victory Trollface

There are only two appropriate reactions to winning an MMA fight. You can either find the nearest camera and do the throat-slitting gesture. Or, you can point at a random member of the crowd, lean to the side, and...sorry, I have no idea what the hell this is.

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