Perhaps you remember just a few days ago when MMA judging was held in contempt, publicly flagellated, and crucified for all to see. Fighters and fans alike tore at their garments, lamenting the apparent death of the ability to trust judges to deliver a decision faithful to the efforts expended. The skies darkened and the heavens poured out upon the earth. Dark times, Potato Nation. Miraculously, though, MMA judging has risen, and shall return again. We’re pleased to report that there were no robberies last night in Concho, Oklahoma, or at least, none involving combat sport. In fairness, though, the fighters took matters out of the judges’ hands most of the evening. Baby steps, people.
Bellator’s fourth season is winding down, with just three shows left, and we’re seeing more and more of the fighters we’ll see next season in tournament action. We were originally slated to see a heavyweight super fight between Bellator’s pound for pound heaviest champ Cole Konrad against Paul Buentello, but that bout was scratched after Buentello wrecked his back. Happily, Bellator just bumped up an undercard fight featuring Ronnie Mann and soldiered on, and we’re just tickled about it. Also scheduled were the two semifinal matches in the light heavyweight brackets, and Bellator’s Brazilian Invasion storyline continues with Luis Nogueira (no relation).
Come in after the jump and we’ll share all the spoilers with you (along with a healthy dose of inappropriate humor) and we’ll regale you with facts about the Toughest MMA Fighter in the business.
Watching this MMA Rated interview with Elite XC’s Jared Shaw where he answers questions as to where he’s been and what he’s doing for the company now (you should also check out their interview with a very drunk Tonya Evinger), I get the strange sense that he’s lying to me. What’s more, I feel like he knows how transparent he seems, but he’s just charging ahead with it anyway. In a strange way, I almost respect that. Almost.
But let’s talk for a moment about Elite XC’s decision of late to push Jake Shields as the world’s best welterweight, which Shaw also claims. Obviously, they like it because it allows them to call out Georges St. Pierre and the UFC, thus piggybacking on the success of their betters. But it also makes them seem a little desperate, and it’s not hard to tell that this is a strategy destined for failure.
It’s not that Jake Shields isn’t a good fighter. He is, but that isn’t the point. The point is that Elite XC has essentially just decided to proclaim him the number one welterweight because he is their number one welterweight, and because it’s the only way they can think of to get some of the UFC magic to rub off on them. Plus, they can be secure in the knowledge that the UFC will never actually take them up on the cross-promotional offer.
Elite XC’s Jared Shaw takes a little shot at yours truly in this MMA Rated interview, calling me Ben “UFC” Fowlkes, which I suppose is an implication that I’m pro-UFC and anti-Elite XC, although I like to think that my record as an equal opportunity critic speaks for itself. If an organization does dumb things, it’s my job to point it out. If one organization does more dumb things than others, they’re going to receive more criticism. That’s just how it works. If it makes me a hater, I can live with that. But since when do we all have to like everything?
$kala says he just wants some love for his fighters, not himself. Fair enough, Jared. You do have some good fighters in your organization. Guys like Jake Shields, Robbie Lawler, Wilson Reis, Nick Diaz, and “Ninja” Rua, just to name a few. These are all fighters that I enjoy watching. But your fighters aren’t what you’ve been criticized for, and I think you know it.
Let’s take the event you’ve got this Saturday, for example. On the undercard you’ve got a few interesting scraps between guys like Paul Daley and Jake Shields, Benji Radach and “Ninja” Rua, and a sweet little co-promotional joint between Affliction fighters Andrei Arlovski and Roy Nelson (nice work scoring that, by the way, whether you had anything to do with it or not).
But your main event features a 3-0 fighter in Kimbo Slice, who has yet to face an opponent coming off a win, taking on a forty-four-year-old legend of the sport who hasn’t won a fight or even made it out of the first round in over four years. And that’s your main event.
(Say something about Castro again. Hector wishes you would.)
Regulatory difficulties in Quebec forced Bellator to get all old-school UFC and move Bellator IX to the glitz and glamour of Monroe, Louisiana, but they did what any good promotion would do: grabbed some crawfish and rolled with the punches. Last night’s event narrowed down their finalists for the upcoming middleweight tournament, and they had a bunch of other fights just for fun. Here’s how it went down:
Middleweight semi-final tournament fights: Jared Hess def. Yosmany Cabezas via TKO at 4:26, round 3 Hector Lombard def. Damien Stelly via TKO (strikes) at 2:56, round 1
Non-tournament fights: Nick Ring def. Isidro "Chilo" Gonzalez via submission (guillotine) at 0:39, round 1 Shad Lierley def. Nate Murdock via unanimous decision Alex Andrade def. Christian Fulgram via TKO at 2:01, round 1 Shawn Jordan def. Jayme McKinney via submission at 0:30, round 2 Chan Leonhardt def. Dan Keenan via KO at 3:03, round 1 Chas Skelly def. Mike Braswell via split decision, round 3
Are Chris Weidman‘s chances for an upset as good as everybody seems to think they are? Is Tim Kennedy better at talking than he is at fighting? Does UFC 162 feature the most stacked Facebook prelims in the history of curtain-jerking? And Dave Herman‘s getting fired, right? Read on as CagePotato founding editor Ben Goldstein and staff writer Jared Jones debate these topics — and so much more — and be sure to come back tomorrow night for our “Silva vs. Weidman” liveblog, beginning with the FX prelims at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
Chris Weidman has become the fashionable pick for an upset against Anderson Silva. You don’t actually believe he’ll pull it off, do you? I mean, you’re not a moron, right?
JJ: Now,I may be a moron, but there is one thing I am not, sir, and that, sir, is a moron.
If we were to have this debate immediately after Weidman had finished knocking Mark Munoz into an ice cream cake-induced depression, I would have told you that Anderson Silva was a dead man walking. “Weidman brings the kind of grappling prowess that, like Chael P. Sonnen before him, will all but completely suffocate Andy’s offense,” I would say whilst smoking a corncob pipe and farting into a wine glass, “And his striking, while clearly not on Silva’s level, has improved enough to keep the soon-to-be former champ hesitant in those rare moments when he won’t be fighting off his back.” I would have mocked you for daring to claim otherwise, then had security escort you out of my chalet bungalow when you inevitably lost your cool like a common miscreant.
BG: I feel like this wave of Weidman-support isn’t so much based on realistic analysis of the matchup, so much as fans’ natural desire to see some change after seven years of having the same champion dominating the competition, and other UFC fighters’ totally understandable self-interest in having that dominant champion go away for a while. It’s wishful thinking, basically.
The good news is, Weidman has a long career still ahead of him. Three years from now, Anderson Silva might be retired, and Chris Weidman will still be beating up top contenders. He’ll have his moment. Saturday night will not be that moment.
Tim Kennedy seems to talk a lot for a guy without many significant wins. Will Roger Gracie silence him for once, or will Kennedy finally live up to his own hype?
(Cain doesn’t see an enormous head. He sees a big, beautiful, blood-piñata, just waiting to burst open and spill its bounty. / Photo via MMAFighting.com)
BG and Danga are back mahfuckas, baaaaaaaaaaaaam! [*cough*] Excuse me. What I meant to say was, UFC 160 goes down tomorrow night in Las Vegas, so CagePotato founding editor Ben Goldstein and staff writer Jared Jones have teamed up once again to discuss all the important themes surrounding the event. Which heavyweight fight on the main card is more likely to end in an upset? Should we write off KJ Noons as nothing more than UFC shark-bait? What’s a Nurmagomedov gotta do to get some respect around here? Read on, and throw down your own opinions in the comments section.
It seems pretty obviousthat the UFC is trying to set up Dos Santos vs. Velasquez III, but who stands the better chance of throwing a wrench in their plans, Hunt or Silva?
Ben: I hate to agree with this jackass — and how dare you try to persuade me by linking to a track from Primus’s underrated Rhinoplasty EP, Jared — so for the sake of argument, I’ll go ahead and say ARE *YOU* KIDDING *ME* WITH THIS?? Mark Hunt has built up a dubious win streak slinging haymakers against guys who allowed him to do so. Junior Dos Santos is far too disciplined to become another victim of the same old rock-’em-sock-’em Super Samoan routine. In a brawl, Hunt has a chance against anybody. But this won’t be a brawl — it’ll be boxing match, and JDS is about as good as they come in that department.
And sure, Hunt has scored a string of upsets against guys like Cheick Kongo and Stefan Struve. Meanwhile, Antonio Silva has scored far more unexpected and dramatic upsets against guys like Fedor Emelianenko and the aforementioned ‘Reem. Bigfoot has heart for days, and fists big enough to dummy up anybody in the heavyweight division on any given night, including the current champion. How many times are you gonna sleep on this guy? #BigfootEra
Gray Maynard vs. T.J. Grant: Who will earn the right to suffer a narrow split decision loss to Ben Henderson next?
(“How ’bout we say ‘triangle choke, round 2.’ I’ve got a t-shirt riding on this.” / Photo via MMAFighting.com)
With UFC 159 slated for tomorrow night, CagePotato founding editor Ben Goldstein and beloved CP staff writer Jared Jones have teamed up to argue about all the important themes surrounding the event. So how will the absurd light-heavyweight title fight end, exactly? What will happen if Alan Belcher actually lets Michael Bisping take a free shot to his face? Can the third women’s UFC fight possibly live up to the first two? How many more fights can Leonard Garcia lose before the UFC gives him the ol’ heave-ho? Read on, and throw down your own opinions in the comments section.
Will Jon Jones immediately demolish Chael Sonnen, or will he play around with Chael a little before demolishing him? And will Chael retire after the loss?
BG: I rarely make sweeping statements about who will win an MMA fight because 1) anything can happen in this crazy sport, and 2) the things you write on the Internet often come back to haunt you. But yes, Jon Jones will win this fight. I absolutely guarantee it. Sonnen’s best weapon — his relentless wrestling attack — will dash apart against Jones’s own wrestling, which is precision-tuned for the sport of MMA. Quickly out of options, Chael will throw his patented “I give up” spinning backfist, fall down against the cage, and will whisper a quick prayer to his God before Jones literally eats him and shits him out. And I do mean literally, okay? Literally.
I’m leaning towards a quick beat-down in this fight rather than an extended clowning, because Jones takes his job too seriously to “play around” with an opponent. (He’s not exactly Mr. Fun, we’ve noticed.) And once Chael feels the power of a large light-heavyweight, he’ll realize what a bad idea this whole thing was in the first place. To exit the sport directly after another humiliation wouldn’t fit in with Sonnen’s blustery self-image, so I think he’ll take at least one more fight — maybe at middleweight, maybe at light-heavyweight — before calling it quits. Once he starts losing to non-champions, he’ll wisely make the switch to full-time UFC talking head and occasional hair-texture tester.
JJ: Mark my words, this fight will be Jon Jones’s UFC 97 (or UFC 112, depending on which fight you thought was worse). Jones may not be a fun-loving guy, as you stated, but it also appears that the tryptophan-induced honeymoon between these two TUF coaches has passed, leaving behind only apathy in its wake. If you’ve noticed in the past, the foes “Bones knows” on a personal level seem to last the longest in the cage with him (Rampage, Rashad) — perhaps out of respect, perhaps because they are both tough as hell — so I think we should start preparing ourselves for a tepid, five-round affair highlighted by Bones’s jab and Sonnen’s desperate attempts to convert a single leg.
And when all is said and done, Sonnen will snatch the mic out of Joe Rogan’s hand, and in an attempt to mimic [enter professional wrestler name here]’s infamous retirement speech, will announce that, and I quote:
Discussing MMA is a lot like discussing politics; what starts off as a friendly difference of opinion more than often spirals into an alcohol-fueled debate, rife with personal insults and name calling, before ending in a sloppy wrestling match that gets both parties banned from their boss’s wine tasting parties for life. Luckily, we have Doug “ReX13″ Richardson and Jared Jones here to dispute all things UFC 143, because frankly, we can’t make heads or tails outta this card.
Let’s kick things off how we normally do, with a completely offhand topic. Who wins the Super Bowl?
RX: Me, if the commercials are good and Bane blows up the stadium. Let me guess, you’re a-
JJ: GO GIANTS!
RX: I hate you so hard, man.
JJ: First off, I’m not your buddy.
RX: But I never-
JJ: Eli Manning is to the Patriots what Dylan Klebold was to Columbine High School; he cannot be defeated, unless by that of his own doing. Giants 35-27.
RX: Wow…this has gotten off to a rough start. Can we just move on?
(Guess who’s getting promoted to the position of Kimbo’s Official Gold Chain Holder. Photo courtesy of Esther Lin.)
When news dropped that Gary Shaw had resigned from Pro Elite just shortly after everyone within the company, including his son Jared, assured the media that things were just fine and nobody was going anywhere, we naturally assumed that Jared was on his way out too. It’s like when you’re the son of a third world dictator and you get some cushy do-nothing job. When your dad is overthrown by a power-hungry general in a bloody coup, it usually means you’re on the next flight out with a briefcase full of cash or you get killed in your sleep.
Jared has been with the company from the beginning. Gary has often said that it was really Jared that brought Gary into it. Jared has continued to work on making matches and continue to promote ProElite and ProElite athletes. He’s continuing to work with the fight team. I haven’t talked to Jared about what he’s going to be doing ten years from now but I have talked to Jared about what he’s going to be doing for the next while with us. He’s enthusiastic and others are enthusiastic about his approach and what he’s doing now, so we think that is all going to work out well.
Seriously? So the lesson here is, nepotism works? Man, this is why I hate learning lessons.
Did you ever think of buying EliteXC’s assests before Strikeforce eventually did? No, I mean, did I have an opportunity to make an offer or to gain the funding to try to acquire it myself? Yes, of course. I was given an opportunity like I guess everybody in the world was given an opportunity to make a bid on the assests. At the end of the day, I just chose not to because I just thought that I love the sport of MMA and I love the fighters. And if I am not going to get the fair shake that I think I rightfully deserve, then I am not going to do an injustice to the rest of them. I am not going to do an injustice to the sport by giving it a black eye if the fans just don’t want to embrace the Shaws. The one thing is that MMA is a very hateful circle; there isn’t a lot of journalism. I speak to you because I respect you. There’s a couple of other guys covering this sport that I respect a lot. But there’s too many bloggers in this sport. There’s too many people sitting in their cubicles, not doing their job, and when they are done with Facebook and Myspace, they are blogging on their own little Internet site or on some other forum. Unfortunately, because this sport is new, television executives have to go on the Internet and rely on the information they see, and a lot of times they see information that is inaccurate…*
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently during your time with EliteXC? Yeah, get control of the 55 million dollars! (laughs). Obviously, I wish I wasn’t standing up when Kimbo got hit (by Seth Petruzelli on October 4th), and I wish that I didn’t have such a close, personal relationship with Kevin Ferguson (aka Kimbo Slice) that it looked like an injustice because it was never that. I am a straight shooter, I am very kosher.
Yesterday MMA Payout reported that Gary Shaw might be on his way out the door at Pro Elite now that CBS is becoming more of a player. It’s not hard to imagine why. There’s the tracksuits, the not-so-nuanced views on MMA, the general sleaze factor that comes oozing out of the man’s pores. But son Jared Shaw (Elite XC’s VP, a position that is no doubt his by merit alone) has come to his defense in an interview with Ariel Helwani of MMA Rated:
All the reports I have read have been absolutely erroneous. There’s no truth to CBS pushing Gary Shaw out or anything like that. Gary might not be as much in the limelight because of his other business, which is boxing. He’s also spending a little more time at home with the rest of his family. You’re going to see Jared Shaw everyday so you don’t have to think that Gary Shaw is gone. I don’t know why they would keep one Shaw and not another. We’re both here and Gary is still a major force. He’s still spoken to everyday…He’s a major part of this company and everything he’s done as a promoter we’ll continue to utilize and continue to follow his lead.
Oh well then, that rumor is put to rest. Like Jared, I can’t imagine why they’d keep one Shaw and fire the other. I mean, if you were going to get rid of one, wouldn’t you also get rid of…uh-oh. I just had a terrible thought. Jared, maybe you should think about updating the old resume, if you know what I’m saying.
The explanation that his “other business” is taking up too much of his time seems odd, especially since his work as a boxing manager hasn’t been going so well lately. But Jared assures us that everything is juuuuuust fine:
(PRIDE t-shirt > tailored suit. Always. You should know this by now, Rory. / Photo via MMAFighting)
The UFC’s latest pay-per-view spectacular goes down tomorrow night in Las Vegas, and we’ll be liveblogging the main card action beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. To help get you in the mood, CagePotato founding editor Ben Goldstein and staff writer Jared Jones have reunited for a bullshit session about all of UFC 167‘s most important themes. Or at least some of them. Mostly we’ll be posting GIFs and talking about online gambling, like usual. Enjoy…
BG: No sir, I do not. I really don’t see how this fight plays out any differently than GSP’s second fight against Josh Koscheck, to be honest. Yes, Hendricks can knock you out with his (generously telegraphed) left hand if you stand in front of him, but he’s just not a technically sound striker, and St. Pierre won’t be standing in front of him except for the brief moments that precede a blast double-leg takedown. Yes, Hendricks is a skilled wrestler, but as it applies to MMA, St. Pierre is a much, much better wrestler.
JJ: Did Rudy Ruettiger have “a shot” at making the dress roster of the 1975 Notre Dame Fighting Irish? Did Michael Oher have “a shot” at rising from the ashes of a broken home to eventually be drafted in the 2009 NFL draft?! DID KIRK GIBSON, DOWN TWO DECENT LEGS AND STOMACH RIDDLED WITH THE FLU, HAVE “A SHOT” AT PINCH-HITTING A 9th INNING, WALK OFF HOME RUN IN GAME 1 OF THE 1988 WORLD SERIES?!!
Matt Serra has arms the size of Baby Sinclair, yet he was able to touch the chin of GSP. Johny Hendricks, on the other hand, punches like a Super Saiyan Goku on steroids. So yes, Ben, I think he has “a shot.”
(Simon Cowell said they sucked. L.A. Reid said they sucked. Nicole Scherzinger said they sucked. Paula Abdul said they should keep practicing and never give up their dreams. / Props: jessektabor2)
UFC 135 goes down tomorrow night in Denver, and as always, it’s incredibly important that you hear our opinions about it. Fresh off his controversial split-decision victory over Seth Falvo, CagePotato staff writer Jared Jones returns for another head-to-head column against founding editor Ben Goldstein. Can Rampage pull off an upset? Is Matt Hughes on his way to retirement? Whose new screen-name will be more humiliating? Read on and get yourself educated…
Is there a part of you that wants to see Rampage get his belt back? How likely is that to happen?
JJ: There will always be a small part of me that wants to see Page with a belt again, if only so I never have to watch that same clip of Rampage exclaiming just how much he wants it back in every pre-fight commercial he’s been in since losing it. On the other hand, I fear for the lives of Southern California if he does win the belt and then loses it again.
As far as the likelihood of Page being the champ again, I’d say it’s better than those bookies would have you believe, but not much. Let’s face it, Rampage earned this title shot with a razor thin decision over Lyoto Machida and an unimpressive decision over a now retired Matt Hamill. Yes, he seems incredibly focused and in shape and yes, Bones’ chin has yet to be tested, but Jones is simply too quick, diverse, and smart to get caught by a straight boxer like Rampage.
BG: First off, no, I don’t want to see Rampage get his belt back. Not even a little. Dude gives me a headache sometimes. Like Nick Diaz, he’s a paranoid weirdo with a persecution complex — everybody’s cocky, everybody’s fake. Look, if you’re one of the hordes of eCritics that have emerged since Jones beat up Shogun, I’m sure you have your reasons. But to me, Jon Jones represents the latest step in MMA’s evolution, and it would feel like a regression if he were unseated by a guy who pretty much just throws hands these days.
The odds on this fight are so inflated because as loud as Rampage’s supporters can be sometimes, nobody’s actually betting money on him. Why would they? Jones has an 11.5-inch reach advantage, he’s far more athletic, and he’s unpredictable. Bones might beat up Rampage standing just to prove a point. After Saturday, we can stop calling Jones the “future of MMA.” He’ll officially be the present — a defending champion. Now what will that make Rampage?
Ultimate Fight Night 25 goes down tonight in New Orleans, and all that hot sauce and bourbon has whipped us into a fight picking frenzy. Representing the home team will be Louisiana’s own Seth Falvo, who will be doing battle against Head to Head newbie (read: loser) Jared “DangadaDang” Jones. Which Jake will reign supreme? Will it be a good night for The Ultimate Fighter, or a complete disaster? Will the stars of Swamp Peopleget roped into a video interview with Joe Rogan? Find out all this and more, and then tell us what we forgot in the comments section.
Let’s skip the foreplay: Shields or Ellenberger, who ya got?
JJ: As unimpressed as I’ve been with Jake Shields’ UFC career thus far, I just can’t see how Ellenberger wins this one. Though his submission defense looked great, his takedown defense looked pretty exploitable against Carlos Eduardo Rocha, and if Dan Henderson can’t knock out Shields, then it ain’t happening, homie. I got Shields by UD in a match that I forget about quicker than every Saturday Night Live sketch of the past 10 years. The real question is, will the recent loss of Shields’ father have an effect on his game plan?
SF: In any other city, I’d be inclined to agree with you, Jared. But this is New Orleans. A city where the underdog has recently been able to thrive. A city renowned for its Voodoo culture. And, as anyone who has had one too many hand grenades and went home with a dress wearing local they found on Bourbon Street can tell you, a city where not everything is what it seems. Not that that’s ever happened to me or anything.
You’re only as good as your last fight. When we last saw Jake Shields, he was completely unable to take Georges St. Pierre to the ground and didn’t fare better trading punches with the champion until he managed to steal the fifth round. Jake Ellenberger, meanwhile, dominated Sean Pierson in a fight he took on only seventeen days notice. When you add on not only the death of Jake Shield’s father, but also that other distraction Team Cesar Gracie has been dealing with, it’s possible that Jake Shields isn’t as focused as he needs to be. This one has the potential to get interesting. Maybe not “Ellenberger pulls off the upset” interesting, but at least “watchable while sober” interesting.
"I stick up for him a lot because we put so much weight on his shoulders because we had to, we needed a face. No, we didn’t expect him to be the world champion. We knew if he fought the kind of fighters that were at that level that his chances of winning were probably slimmer," said Shaw. "But you’ve got to throw somebody up there as the best in the world, because you’ve got to put a face on the company. And that’s not to say he can’t become one of the best fighters in the world, cause he’s an athlete, he has talent, but that was the situation we were up against."
God help you, but what you’re about to see is the trailer for an in-production reality show about Gary Shaw and his family, titled Blood, Sweat -n- Bling. We could care less about what a boxing promoter does and what Shaw has accomplished in that field — the clip seems to leave out his brief and hideous stint with EliteXC altogether — so why not just skip ahead to the 4:51 mark and get a load of the segment on his son Jared. Apparently it’s not an act; $kala really is a deluded, epically entitled leech on his father, with absolutely nothing positive to offer society. (Check the freestyle: "Overseas in Greece, stop in Tel Aviv / Sucky-sucky Hong Kong, gotta love them Chinese.")
I have to admit, this trailer actually made me feel sorry for Gary. Between his incarcerated first son, total failure fourth son, worthless idiot wife, and (one would assume) heart disease and diabetes, I do not envy this man’s life. Getting up every morning must be a struggle, to put it mildly. Not that I’d ever watch this show, and I truly hope it’s never made available for other people to watch. But man, how ’bout this Jared Shaw? Is he The Worst, or what?
(‘Hey, just because the company has gone under that doesn’t mean we can’t still hang out, right big guy?’ Photo courtesy of Esther Lin.)
If you’re wondering why we haven’t heard from Jared Shaw (aka: “little rapper kid”) since the collapse of Pro Elite, there’s a good reason. $kala has not been heard from because $kala does not want to be heard from. He has retreated from the media spotlight, as our friends at MMA Rated learned when they attempted to get him on the phone and instead got this outgoing voicemail message:
“This is the voicemail of Jared ‘Skala’ Shaw. Leave me a message and I will return it at my earliest opportunity. If this is a member of the media, I will not be returning your call. I’m sorry. Namaste.”
Seriously, Jared? Namaste? Does that mean you won’t return calls because you have a yoga class to get to?
Not that I blame $kala for not wanting to talk to the media right now, but it is something of a chickenshit move. Maybe it’s because he knows he doesn’t have any good answers to give. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t want to hear the inevitable questions about what role his cageside freakout might have played in the whole ordeal, and whether Pro Elite was truly forced to keep him on in order to get his father out. Who knows.
What we do know is that not returning calls isn’t going to keep people from talking about you, so wouldn’t you at least like a chance to give your perspective? Who would have thought that this is how Jared Shaw would go out. Freaking Namaste.
With a UFC event scheduled for this weekend that’s actually worth watching, it’s time for another installment of Ben vs. Jared, in which CagePotato’s founding editor Ben Goldstein and long-suffering staff writer Jared Jones go cabeza-a-cabeza to discuss some of this card’s major themes. For example: Is Shogun vs. Sonnen the most pointless match on the UFC Fight Night 26 main card? Is it safe to board the Matt Brown hype train? Will Joe Lauzon make history again? And is it Yuri or Iuri? Prepare for serious business…
So, Shogun vs. Sonnen at light-heavyweight — what’s at stake here? Anything? Anything at all?
BG: I think Shogun’s career is at stake, for one thing. If he loses to a one-dimensional middleweight (no offense, Chael), it’ll drop his UFC win percentage below .500, and bump him out of the UFC light-heavyweight contender picture, maybe permanently. He’ll enter that twilight stage of his career where he’s just showing up for “fun fights,” still famous enough to headline smaller UFC events in Brazil, but no longer part of the overall conversation. Or, he can just retire and run a gas station like his brother. Neither scenario is ideal, but the one that doesn’t require him to sustain traumatic brain injuries seems a little healthier.
JJ: Fuuuuuuck no. “Out of the light heavyweight picture?” Shogun has been out of the light-heavyweight picture since the current champion put him out of the light heavyweight picture at UFC 128, and I say that as a Shogun fan. The fact is, Shogun can’t stay healthy, he can’t put a win streak together, and his BADBOY tights are getting more constrictive by the day. Training with Freddie Roach may prolong Rua’s career a year or two longer than he would have lasted without it, but Shogun has got to be about the oldest 31-year-old in MMA. He was just used as a stepping stone for Alexander Gustafsson (unless you honestly thought the UFC was setting him up to be slaughtered by Jones again), so as far as I’m concerned, he IS in the “fun fights” part of his career. Again, Shogun fan talking here.
With a veritable buffet of fights going down this weekend in UFC 161 and World Series of Fighting 3, we here at CagePotato decided to dust off a rivalry older than Paraguay vs. Uruguay in attempt to break it all down. CP staff writers Jared Jones and Seth Falvo were more than willing to step up to the plate (and over the bones of their past victims) to wage war on a variety of topics relating to this weekend’s action, so read on and let us know how you think either event will play out in the comments section.
Jared: Call me crazy, but I’m taking the under here. Specifically, 4. As Henderson recently stated, Evans has looked a little “shy” on the feet ever since he was knocked out by Lyoto Machida in the midst of delivering one epic tongue-lashing at UFC 98. My prediction is that this fight goes down in a similar, albeit less dominating fashion as Evans vs. Davis. Rashad was able to nail 3 takedowns in that fight, and that was against a guy he was absolutely eating up in the standup department.
A fear of Henderson’s patented H-Bomb is going to result in a Rashad Evans who is timid on the feet (like he was against Lil’ Nog) and who will look to wear out his older foe with his superior speed until Hendo tires out around the 3 minute mark of the second round. It is then when Rashad will truly start looking to impose his will on the ex-Strikeforce champ in the form of the takedown. Truthfully, I hope it doesn’t ever come to that, as I am using the precedent set forth by Vitor Belfort to predict that Hendo lands a TRT-fueled flying knee to Evans’ dome as he shoots for his first takedown.
If you’re like me, you often sit and think about things like, Who’s the REAL Boss, Tony or Angela? I mean, sure Angela paid Tony to cook and clean her house, but she never really had the authority that Tony wielded. I don’t recall her ever reprimanding Sam once throughout the series, yet Tony always sent Jonathan to his room and gave him lectures about stuff like ditching school and getting into mischief with his friends. Sure, Angela would talk to Sam about puberty and boys, but she was more of a friend.
Besides the impossible "Who’s the Boss?" paradox, something I often wonder, and I’m sure you do too, is where I can get a sneak peek of Jared Shaw’s album?
"Can [Kimbo Slice] be a successful heavyweight? I don’t think so. I think 100% he’s in the wrong weight class, that’s to begin with…But I don’t necessarily think Kimbo can get to 205, at 35 years of age, with the wear and tear. It’s tough to learn this sport, this sport is a lot different than boxing because with boxing you only have to use your hands. In mixed martial arts, you use your hands, your feet, you grapple on the ground, you use submissions. That is a lot of knowledge to retain, and at some point your body starts to shuts down on you in life…Kimbo’s in the wrong sport, there’s no doubt about that. Kimbo should be in boxing…If you want to be the best of the best, if you want to make the most money possible for your family like you say, then you probably should have went to the square-circle."
So says former EliteXC VP Jared "$kala" Shaw, who has now been out of the MMA game for over a year, and recently checked in for an interview with Fanhouse. Despite the criticism of Kimbo’s career choices, Shaw harbors no ill will towards the TUF 10 star, and is proud of the time he spent promoting fighters like Slice, Gina Carano, and Brett Rogers — and if the UFC or Strikeforce wants to give him a job, he’s totally down. It’s a more reflective, slightly-less-cocky version of $kala than we’re used to seeing, even when he’s indirectly taking credit for Gina’s budding movie career. Later in the interview, Shaw tells us that his music is coming along, and he hopes to drop it on us next year. Also, Herschel Walker is a joke, and Bob Arum is an embarassment to the Jewish race. Pot, meet thrifty, lactose-intolerant kettle…
(Even Hulk Hogan finds that behavior boorish. Thanks, MMA Core.)
As you can see, Elite XC VP Jared Shaw is very passionate about the rules. Almost fanatically so. That’s why when he saw what he perceived to be an illegal blow to the back of Kimbo Slice‘s head, he couldn’t contain himself. He jumped up and went screaming to the side of the cage, imploring the referee to give Kimbo a Frank Mir-type rescue. Fortunately he stopped just short of leaping over the cage and covering Kimbo with his own body like a human $kala shield.
Now that he’s had a chance to cool down, he admits he may have overreacted. Shaw told MMA Rated:
“I watched the tape back today,” Shaw said. “While I think that the ref may have missed the (blow to the back of the head) call, my reactions at ringside – I saw them myself – were inappropriate and inexcusable.
“I apologize to the MMA community and the fans and most of all Seth Petruzelli as although my reactions can not change a referee’s decision, they were inappropriate at the time and over a heated and tense mixed martial arts event.”
“Again, I apologize to the community,” Shaw repeated. “I am all for fair mixed martial arts fighting and I am very happy to represent Seth Petruzelli.”
Well, at least Shaw is big enough to admit when he’s wrong. You can understand how a man being forced to watch his meal ticket unceremoniously felled like that could lose control of his emotions. As impressive as his desire for fair competition is, it’s hard to imagine Shaw mustering the same enthusiasm for a protest if the situation had been reversed and it were Petruzelli who caught a hammer fist in the back of the dome. Although that could change now that Elite XC is in the Seth “Rocky” Petruzelli business. I hear he’s a very promotable guy.
(Shaw talking to Helwani prior to Ariel’s plaid phase.)
Although he wouldn’t get into debating Frank Shamrock’s version of events, former EliteXC VP and matchmaker Jared Shaw spoke with CagePotato.com today to clarify comments he made during a recent interview with Sherdog’s Jeff Sherwood about the former UFC light heavyweight and Strikeforce middleweight champion’s offer to fix a fight with Kimbo Slice.
($kala got yo’ eyeballs all up on EliteXC. Mission accomplished.)
With the recent news that ProElite has risen from its the ashes to make an offer on Strikeforce before Zuffa quashed them like the insignificant mosquito that they’ve always been known as, inquiring minds have begun asking who will be at the helm of the company’s latest incarnation.
One name you won’t see on any of ProElite’s offices is Jared Shaw.
The former EliteXC matchmaker who used to prefer to be known as his hip hop name $kala says he is done in the MMA business.
In a recent interview he did with Sherdog’s Jeff Sherwood, Shaw says he is concentrating on boxing and rapping and shed some light on the reasons he says ProElite and EliteXC collapsed.
Bellator’s inaugural season came to a close on Friday night, with the finals of their middleweight and lightweight brackets. In the 185-pound title fight, Hector Lombard used his striking and ground-and-pound to open up some nasty cuts on the head of his opponent, Jared Hess; the fight was eventually stopped in the fourth round after Hess lost a few gallons of blood. Directly after, 155-pound favorite Eddie Alvarez completed his sweep of the lightweight tourney by knocking Toby Imada out of his jock with a big right hook early in the second round, then sinking in a rear-naked choke. Lombard and Alvarez collected $100,000 checks for their efforts.
In non-tournament action, Jorge Masvidal submitted Eric Reynolds via third-round rear-naked choke, Bodog/ShoXC vet Rosi Sexton submitted Valerie Coolbaugh via first-round armbar, and Stephanie Guimaraes became Bellator’s latest YouTube star with her 49-second knee-knockout of Yvonne Reis. The Guimaraes knockout is above; highlights from the Lombard/Hess and Alvarez/Imada fights are after the jump.
Bellator’s second season is winding down, as we complete another set of semifinals at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, Texas. Even if you’ve been paying attention, though, you still may find it hard to predict what is going to happen when Bellator is on. BFCXX popped off last night, and if you forgot about it or your cable company is a bunch of greedy bastards, allow me to fill you in. Results and full recap after the jump, as well as my secret to wealth and attracting the most attractive sexual partners…
So”heart of a champion” is just a meaningless phrase? PicProps: Esther Lin
Heart is awesome. Guts are more important to cage fighting than Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Balls sell more tickets than Olympic medals. Heart is an intangible, an ethereal quality that fighters seem to either have in abundance, or sorely lack. And while intangibles may offend the sensibilities of those who would analyze fights like they’re backward engineering a damn nuclear centrifuge, it’s that very quality that motivates fans to buy tickets, buy shirts, buy pay per views, buy hotel rooms. It isn’t simply some writer’s trope that we use to fill space; this is an attribute that, however hard to pin down, has a demonstrable effect.
There is something about competition in sports that speaks directly to primal emotions in all of us. Ok, apparently not all of us, but still. Fans tend to be emotional people, and not always rational. So a non-tangible quality like “heart” is important, if for nothing but a fighter’s popularity.
Guys like Ox Wheeler or Leonard Garcia or Scott Smith that seem to just go out there and wing it, wind up getting in a war with some guy and they beat the piss out of one another and everybody in the crowd goes bonkers and throws their hotdogs in the air and the collective cry is a noise like the damn building is yelling–that’s why that happens. And everyone goes home horny and it’s generally a good time had by all. It’s a purely emotional response, and base, and uneducated…and it’s totally valid.
“Man, I just can’t tell you how much stronger I feel since I got my leukocyte count under control, you know? I feel like I could do this all day!” PicProps: Keith Mills for Sherdog
Since we all know that you didn’t watch Bellator last night, how about a recap? Come on inside for accounts of the event, plus videos of the middleweight tournament bouts, courtesy of Zee2TehPee and ArnForgesArn.com – massive props to those guys. Boo boo on the crowd in Hollywood, Florida, which seemed just a little too quick to rain down boos on a good night of fights. Come on inside and I’ll tell you all about it.
Remember: *this* is the guy that the middleweights are competing to fight. Hector Lombard knocked Vitale down twice with one punch. VidProps: BellatorMMA/YouTube
So anybody notice that I mentioned Bellator yesterday? You did? And you didn’t comment about how splendiferous Bellator is, and how much you like watching the fights, and in general how witty and good looking we are here at CagePotato?
Well that’s just rude. I’m inclined to not even bother running down the other two tourneys planned for this season. Really, it’s like you don’t care.
Oh, alright. Come on in and we’ll have coffee and talk. But no staying over.