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UFC 173: Cormier v Henderson

Alexander Gustafsson Suffers Knee Injury, Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier...

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Paulo Thiago vs. Joe Riggs Booked for UFC Fight Night 51 — Yes, *That* Joe Riggs. Seriously.


(Photo via Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com)

Brazilian welterweight Paulo Thiago was slated to face Mike “Biggie” Rhodes in a “win or get fired” fight at UFC Fight Night 51: Bigfoot vs. Arlovski (September 13th; Brasilia, Brazil), but Rhodes has withdrawn from the fight due to injury. Coming in to replace Rhodes against Thiago is…Joe Riggs? Really?

UFC officials confirmed the unexpected booking after an initial report from Combate. Riggs is on a six-fight win streak, most recently out-pointing Mike Bronzoulis at Bellator 106 in November to win the first (and last) season of Fight Master. Riggs hasn’t competed in the Octagon since a 4-4 UFC stint way back in 2004-2006, which ended with a quick ‘n’ gnarly knockout loss to Diego Sanchez at UFC Fight Night 7.


(This is the only theory that makes sense.)

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#ThrowbackThursday: 25 Rare and Classic UFC Photos From the ’90s


(Marco Ruas and Paul Varelans: When men were men, knuckles were bare, and wearing a singlet was totally acceptable.)

As thrilling as the UFC can be in the 21st century — with its well-rounded, well-conditioned fighters and deep talent pools — there’s something special about the Wild West days of the 1990s. Back then, the UFC featured a motley crew of martial artists of varying skill levels, some of whom didn’t really look like professional athletes. This was the era of single-night tournaments, non-existent weight classes, and burping into microphones. It’s hard not to miss those days.

Today we pay tribute to the old-school with some of our favorite rare and classic UFC photos from the ’90s. Check ‘em out in the gallery after the jump, and if we’ve left out any of your favorites, let us know in the comments section or on twitter.

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Watch This ‘Black Fedor’ Daniel Cormier Highlight Video and Get Excited


(We would have also accepted “Bro Cop.”)

With Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier now booked as the UFC 178 main event, one question remains: Are you ready to come to daddy? (If that quote isn’t on the official poster, it’ll be a missed opportunity, marketing-wise.)

We just saw this highlight reel from the very talented video-maker Muzone, and we felt obligated to share it. By the way, Jones has opened as a modest -170 betting favorite against Cormier, who’s currently at +145. Where’s your money going?

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Alexander Gustafsson Suffers Knee Injury, Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier Set for New UFC 178 Main Event


(And here we have Daniel Cormier tossing around a grown man like a child.)

Due to a meniscus tear suffered in training this week, UFC light-heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson has pulled out of his title rematch with Jon Jones, which was scheduled to headline UFC 178 (September 27th, Las Vegas). The UFC confirmed the bad news this evening, but luckily the promotion has a replacement already loaded up — and it’s the fight that Jones wanted all along.

Coming in to replace Gustafsson will be undefeated ex-heavyweight Daniel Cormier, who most recently choked out Dan Henderson in May during his second appearance at 205 pounds, then took the mic and executed one of the greatest call-outs since Luther clinked his bottles together in The Warriors. I mean, really, it was badass. Just watch it:

Cormier was slated to undergo knee surgery this month to repair an LCL injury that he suffered in the Henderson fight, but he’s decided to delay it, and claims that he’s “good to go.” As for Jones, he’s coming off his dominant decision win against Glover Teixeira at UFC 172 in April, and has been hard at work perfecting his new heel persona.

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Chael Sonnen: Future NSAC Advisor, and Other Lowlights From Today’s NSAC Hearing


(“I’d like to present the commission with exhibit A, and remind them that they are standing in the presence of greatness.” Photo via Getty.)

At this point, I’m convinced that Chael Sonnen could literally crawl through a river of shit and come out clean on the other side. His ability to put on a fancy suit and speak in slightly nuanced platitudes without the necessity of a translator has apparently cast a spell over MMA fans, fighters, promoters, and commissioners, from which they will never wake up.

Case in point, at today’s NSAC hearing — you know, the one where Vitor Belfort was granted a fight license because whatevs — Sonnen was handed down his punishment for failing two random drug tests in a row prior to UFC 175. After thankfully opting against a defense (outside of whatever this was) for his drug test failures, Sonnen was raked over the coals by the commission for “trying to flat out cheat the system.”

“You don’t get to stop one prohibited drug and start using five prohibited drugs,” said the Assistant AG of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, “You’ve gotten to be kidding me that you’re sticking a needle in you with EPO and HGH and didn’t know it was prohibited.”

Surely, a swift punishment was just moments away.

LOL NOPE. Despite facing a potential lifetime ban from MMA and fines totaling upwards of $250,000, the NSAC opted to slap Sonnen with a (completely meaningless now that he’s retired) two year suspension and a fine totaling 0.00 dollars. Then they offered him a f*cking job. Ahh, sweet justice!

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Vitor Belfort Breezes Through NSAC Licensing Hearing, Will Face Chris Weidman at UFC 181 in Las Vegas



(Yes, it was broadcast on Fight Pass. No, Rogan and Goldie weren’t calling the action, although that would have been amazing. / Screencap via UFC Fight Pass on Twitter)

In retrospect, we should have known better to expect the Nevada State Athletic Commission to crack down on Vitor Belfort. Too much money was on the line.

Belfort appeared at an NSAC licensing hearing today, in the wake of his positive test for elevated testosterone in February. It was the second time that Belfort has failed a drug test in Nevada, following a steroid bust in 2006. And yet, Belfort cruised through the proceedings, walking away with a conditional license that would keep him sidelined until December and require him to undergo random blood and urine testing at his own expense. The commission’s decision to re-license Belfort was unanimous.

Directly after Belfort’s license was secure, the UFC announced that the Brazilian veteran would fight Chris Weidman in a middleweight title fight at UFC 181, December 6th in Las Vegas.

Belfort was humble and cooperative during today’s hearing, throwing himself at the mercy of the commission, but his version of events were never challenged. Here’s an excerpt from MMAJunkie’s report that suggests how toothless the NSAC’s hearing was:

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BTW, The Guy With the Coolest Nickname in MMA is Returning to Competition at Bellator 123


(Photo via Sherdog.) 

Truly great fighter nicknames are hard to come by in MMA. If they aren’t blatant attempts to sound intimidating using some well-worn cliche like “The Assassin” or “The Hitman”, they’re alliteration or pun-focused atrocities like “The Muscle Shark” Sherk or “Twinkle Toes” Trigg. I swear to God, if one more fighter calls themselves “The Pitbull”, I am going to walk into the nearest MMA gym with a fully loaded AK-47 and just start spraying bullets.

Worst of all, the nicknames many MMA fighters choose often fail to fit their personalities/fighting styles. Bob Sapp is not a “Beast.” Likewise, TUF 19 winner Corey Anderson does not beast 25/8, because the constraints of time prevent him from doing so. Justin McCully may be illiterate, but he is definitely not “The Nsane1.” And so on, and so forth.

But in the late aughts, there was one MMA fighter who rose to prominence in the UFC thanks largely to his inventive and more importantly appropriate nickname: Tamdan “The Barn Cat” McCrory.

What is a barn cat, exactly? Well, I’m glad you asked…

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Today in Trolling: Josh Thomson Says Larger Fighters Are ‘One Dimensional’, ‘Not Mixed Martial Artists’


(Awww…who could stay mad at that face? / Photo via joshpunkthomson)

This Saturday, lightweight veteran Josh Thomson leads off the UFC on FOX 12: Lawler vs. Brown broadcast with a fight against Bobby Green, and naturally, “The Punk” decided to talk a little trash in the media to build some heat. The problem is, his insults weren’t directed at Green, or anybody else in his weight class. Instead, Thomson used a Fox Sports interview as a platform to bury the UFC’s three heaviest divisions.

Basically, Thomson was arguing that it’s harder to come by a finish at 155 pounds or below (which is true), because the fighters are much more talented and well-rounded (which is debatable). And sure, maybe it could have come out better:

You hit 185, 205, and heavyweight, those guys are always just good at like one thing, two things, but they’re not great all the way around. There’s ways to finish them. So if you’re a well-rounded athlete, you can finish those guys. You can find ways to finish those guys.

With 55-pounders and below, good luck, man. Everybody’s good all around — they’re good wrestlers, they’re good jiu-jitsu guys, they’re good standup guys, they’re game to throw down and they’re always in shape. 170 is kind of like the limbo — like there’s some well-rounded guys in there…

You start getting in the 185′s, 205, heavyweight, they start being one-dimensional, two-dimensional fighters. They’re not mixed martial artists. They’re not as good as the 55-pounders and below. They’re just not. To me that’s just a fact.

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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

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!)

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

Let us have just this one, TUF coaches curse...

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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

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.

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Help Wanted: 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.)

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

I pray for the poor locals who get matched up against these guys for their big debuts.

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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

"I don't care if he's like, drinking Jesus' blood like he says he is or whatever, it doesn't work that way. Like, he's been using steroids for like 15 or 20 years, and he still is using them."

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

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

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

You think it makes you look like a badass. Instead, it makes your sport look like a joke.

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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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