MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

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From The Sandlot to the Schoolyard: My Experience With Bullying and Learning to Fight Back

By Wil Horneff

My name is Wil Horneff. I’m a black belt in BJJ and an instructor at Training Grounds Jiu-Jitsu & MMA in Westwood, NJ. My biggest claim to fame was being the bully ‘Phillips’ in the classic film The Sandlot. At the age of 35, I can safely say that I have been told through the years that I “play ball like a girl!!!” more times than any other man alive. Unfortunately, this accusation is undeniably true. In the 8th grade, I stood an impressive four foot eleven inches tall and was always the last kid picked for teams; it just went without saying.

So it was ironic that in the Sandlot I was supposed to be a badass baseball player (and the team captain, no less).

But what’s a child actor doing talking about baseball on an MMA website? I’ll get to that in a second.

As a kid doing his first film, everything about The Sandlot was incredible and it’s hard not to look back on it with a bit of nostalgia. The lot itself was nestled behind houses in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was there for about 2 weeks for shooting and even though I had a smaller role, I hung out with the sandlot kids as one of the gang. In real life, everyone seemed pretty true to the characters they played in the film which is one of the strategies for casting kids. However, leaving the set and going back to real life was always a let down because when I left the set the real life bullying would resume.

Bullying is a hot topic nowadays. On the one hand, even the smallest slight can summon accusations of bullying, as was the case with a student who attended my Jiu-Jitsu school. The child did not want to invite a particular student to his birthday party and the uninvited child’s parents accused them of bullying their child by not inviting them. These days, bullying not only includes sins of commission but omission as well, apparently. On the other hand, you have California mayor Cameron Hamilton saying that kids who are bullied need to simply “grow a pair.” There is a ditch on either side of the road and keeping oneself on level ground is not always an easy task.

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Strategic Call-Out Alert: Dan Hardy Wants to “Retire” Diego Sanchez


(With takedown defense like that, Hardy doesn’t even stand a chance. Photo via Hardy’s Twitter.)

Ever since being forced into a semi-retirement due to a heart condition known as Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, former welterweight title challenger Dan Hardy has been building up a ton of good will with fans while serving as the color commentator for several of the UFC’s overseas shows. His intelligent, insightful, and undeniably British mic skills have left many fans calling for Hardy to replace Jon Anik outright, which is sad because Anik is probably the nicest cliche-spitting android this side of Shotbot.

But before Hardy was ever a smooth as silk commentator, he was a fiercely polarizing fighter known for his ability to trash talk his way into a fight. His last strategic call-out backfired in a big way, as he was battered, then choked out by Chris Lytle at UFC on Versus 5. But now that Hardy has received some positive news in regards to his condition, he is once again back to his old ways, calling out Diego Sanchez for his potential comeback fight. His reasoning: Getting some good old fashioned payback for fellow countrymen Ross Pearson’s controversial loss to Sanchez at Fight Night 42 (via MMAJunkie):

That was one of the worst decisions I’ve ever seen.

Ross Pearson won that fight clearly, and Diego accepted the win like he does…he’s as crazy as he is. I’m a huge Diego fan, but for me, he is what’s wrong with mixed martial arts right now. He is the 20th century bullheaded martial artist that walks forward and fights with their face, and now we’ve got guys like … Conor McGregor, we’ve got Gunnar Nelson; they’ve all got this very Machida-esque style where they’re very mobile; they can switch stances, and they can hit with power from anywhere.

I think Diego represents the old school, where you just walk forward in a boxing stance and see who falls over first.

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Urijah Faber Draws Some Guy Who Threw His Last Opponent Out of the Ring for “Fight Night 52″


(Well that’ll teach him for not smelling what Kanehara was cooking. Photo by Lee Li/Sherdog) 

I must admit that I was a little puzzled by the UFC’s decision to book Urijah Faber against Alex Caceres at UFC 175. A surprising win streak Caceres may have been on, but Faber is basically the last guy anyone should face before they receive a title shot in the bantamweight division. Still, I appreciated the fight itself, and thought Caceres put up a hell of a fight before the inevitable inevitably happened.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to say the same for Masanori Kanehara, a onetime Sengoku champion who was recently booked to face Faber in his UFC debut at Fight Night 52: Hunt vs. Nelson. While on paper, Kanehara isn’t the least experienced fighter Faber has faced in recent years, he is perhaps the least known. Hell, the only thing I can remember him for was that time he got obliterated by Marlon Sandro to lose said Sangoku championship.

At 23-11-5, Kanehara’s record doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in his chances against Faber either. Nor does the fact that he lost his last fight. But when you learn of the circumstances behind Kanehara last loss, you begin to realize just how much trouble Faber might be in…

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And Now They’re Fired: Pat Healy, TUF 16 Winner Colton Smith, + More


(You just keep your surfer boy hand gestures away from my daughter, pothead! Photo via Getty.)

Ever since being screwed out of his UFC 159 win over Jim Miller (and the $130,000 in bonuses that came with it) due to a positive marijuana test (a.k.a some old bullshit), Pat Healy has seen some rough times. He’s dropped his past four contests to Khabib Nurmagomedov, Bobby Green, Jorge Masvidal, and Gleison Tibau, and while none of those were exactly gimme fights, Healy’s stock in the lightweight division has plummeted nonetheless. Unfortunately, today brings news that “Bam Bam” has been released from the UFC in light of his four-fight skid.

The losing streak seems all the more surprising given Healy’s previous run under the Strikeforce banner, which saw him score five straight wins and earn a title shot against Gil Melendez (that was eventually cancelled when the latter went down with an injury). Tough luck, kid. Here’s hoping Healy can rebound in a big way when the WSOF inevitably scoops him up.

In somewhat less surprising pink slip news, TUF 16 winner Colton Smith has been fired following his lightning quick submission loss to the Wikipedia-less Carlos Diego Ferreira at Fight Night 44 last month. Since defeating Mike Ricci to win the TUF 16 trophy back in December of 2012, Smith has dropped three straight to Robert Whittaker, Michael Chiesa, and Ferreira, all by stoppage. His most recent loss dropped his professional record to 3-4, or 6-4 if you’re the promotion attempting to make their reality show winners look like above-average fighters.

In other firing news…

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Friday Links: Matt Brown Drops an R-Bomb (?), Vitor Belfort Goes Hard on Instagram, The Rock Smacks Down Bullies + More


(Our friend Georgie wrote a “Hot Mess Guide” to surviving the summer, and it’s awesome, and you should all read it here.)

Video: Despite Best Effort, UFC on FOX 12′s Matt Brown Puts Foot in Mouth Again (MMAJunkie)

That’s Not How You Cut a Promo, Vitor… (CP Twitter)

…Okay, That’s a Little Better (MMAFighting)

Report: MMA Fighter Cleared of Jan. 1 Homicide Charge in New Mexico (Sherdog)

Corissa Furr to Guest Ring Card for Bellator Tonight; #SPIKEFORCE Transformation Continues (BabesofMMA)

Renan Barao Says He Woke Up in the Locker Room at UFC 173 (BleacherReport)

30 Femme Fatales That You’d Totally Love To Get Your Ass Kicked By (AskMen)

Screen Junkies Show: The Rock Smacks Down High School Bully (ScreenJunkies)

10 Cutest Kids in Cosplay (Mommyish)

Video: Joe Moravsky Breaks ‘American Ninja Warrior’ Course, Sets Record Time (Radass)

The 50 Funniest Caucasian Gangster Photos Of All Time (WorldwideInterweb)

Interview: Cali Carter Discusses the Highs and Lows of Porn Life (EveryJoe)

The 20 Dumbest Criminals of All Time (PopHangover)

3 People You Always Meet in MMORPGs (DoubleViking)

Amusing Catfight Goes Next Level With Greatest Moment in GIF History (Guyism)

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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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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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