Demian Maia is a tough fighter to wrap your head around. One day, the onetime middleweight contender is choking out Chael Sonnen and handling a guy like Jorge Santiago the next he’s being dominated by Mark Munoz and Chris Weidman. The one thing the Brazilian jiu-jitsu standout, who is 9-4 in the Octagon has lacked in his career is consistency, which explains why he’s ready perhaps to make a change.
Maia, who admits he sometimes struggles to maintain his 198-pound walking around weight, told Tatame recently that he’s been thinking about dropping down a weight class to fight at 170 pounds.
We have all heard the legend of Rousimar Palhares. Born in a radioactive swamp deep in the Brazilian jungle, “Toquinho” was raised in captivity, locked in a dark, damp cellar that only received 15 minutes of sunlight a day. It was a cruel, traumatizing upbringing, but the townspeople agreed that it was the only way to maintain the utopia they had built. Living off bread crumbs and rage for the first 20 years of his life, Palhares vowed to seek revenge on those who had enslaved him. Unfortunately for the world, he could only see the ankles of his overlords through a crack beneath the bolted steel door that held him, so his curse did not have the luxury of extending to only those who entered Camp Crystal Lake, or she who read from the Necronomicon. If you were born with a pair of ankles, then Palhares is coming for you.
Thankfully, “Toquinho” celebrated his 32nd birthday last Sunday, so the appendages of mankind have been granted a reprieve for a couple more days. Why, you ask? Well as it turns out, this past Sunday went down as a particularly special birthday for the middleweight mangling machine, as it was the first one in which he was given a cake. Unfortunately, his friends and family decided to throw a surprise party for this glorious celebration. There were no survivors.
Check out Rousimar’s reaction to the surprise after the jump.
(*Hello darkness, my old friend*…just to be clear, we’re referring to the darkness that accompanies being choked unconscious, not Jay Silva.)
To say that Kendall Grove has seen some ups and downs in his MMA career since winning the third season of The Ultimate Fighter would be an understatement. After defeating Ed Herman by ultra close unanimous decision to earn the coveted glass plaque, Grove would tack up two more submission wins over Chris Price and Alan Belcher. It seemed as if the lanky middleweight had the world in the palm of his hand, destined to follow Forrest Griffin and Rashad Evans as the new breed of MMA stars to make their name off the show.
And then it all fell apart.
Grove would drop his next two via form of KO to Patrick Cote and Jorge Rivera, and though he would follow up the pair of losses with victories over Evan Tanner (R.I.P.) and Jason Day, we would never see Grove rise above the rank of gatekeeper in his UFC run. He would go 2-4 in his next six, and would be ousted from the UFC after dropping a UD to Tim Boetsch at UFC 130 in Boetsch’s middleweight debut.
After scoring a quick submission win and evening the score with Joe Riggs, Grove out grappled Japanese sensation Ikuhisa Minowa at a Pro Elite event last month that we here at CP gave an official score of “meh.” Would last night’s SCC 4 card house “Da Spyda’s” first three fight win streak since 2007?
Coming into last night’s UFC Fight Night 25, Jake Shields was in a lose-lose situation. He was presented with an opponent, Jake Ellenberger, who was facing his first real step up in competition. A victory over him wouldn’t necessarily propel Shields back to the top of the welterweight division. If Jake Shields lost, well, Jake Shields isn’t going to lose this one so let’s not worry about it. Last night was going to be Jake Shield’s first step towards living up to the hype that surrounded him when he entered the UFC and getting back in the mix for a shot at the welterweight title. There was only one problem: That didn’t happen. In just under one minute, Jake Ellenberger practically ended the Jake Shields era.
This isn’t to say that it’s over for Jake Shields, or that he still can’t work his way back to relevance in the welterweight division. But it’s certainly over for the myth that Jake Shields is still one of the top fighters out there. Last night, Jake Shields couldn’t implement his game plan because Jake Ellenberger was able to stuff his takedown attempts. It wasn’t “What did Shields do wrong”; it was what Ellenberger did right. He was the better fighter, plain and simple. And let’s not entertain the thought of “early stoppage” any more than we had to after hearing Jake Shields imply it last night. When you take a knee directly to the chin, immediately turtle up, and then try to grapple with the referee who pulls your opponent off of you, you have no business saying that the fight was stopped early. If you didn’t think Shields was out when you first watched that fight, watch it again while you still can.
Tonight in New Orleans, Jake Shields and Jake Ellenberger will lock horns in a pivotal welterweight contest. Will Shields shows flashes of his old submission-machine self, or will Ellenberger spoil the party in the Big Easy?
Plus: Middleweights Alan Belcher and Jason MacDonald kick off the main card, and Court McGee and Jonathan Brookins take the next steps in their post-TUF careers. Meanwhile on pay-per-view, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is boxing Victor Ortiz, and hell, maybe we’ll give you updates on that one as well.
Live round-by-round updates from the Spike TV broadcast of “UFC Fight Night: Shields vs. Ellenberger” will be piling up after the jump starting at 9 p.m. ET. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest. Here, we, go.
But let’s not admit defeat so soon. We’ll be liveblogging the Shields vs. Ellenberger main card on CagePotato.com starting at 9 p.m. ET, and it would be nice if a few of you showed up to keep us company. Could it be one of those “crap on paper, bonkers in reality” events? Who knows, but consider the following…
All Eyes on Jake: So far, Jake Shields‘s UFC career has consisted of an underwhelming (and razor-thin) split-decision victory over Martin Kampmann, and a rout at the hands of Georges St. Pierre. His dominant stretch of eight-straight stoppage victories in 2006-2009 are a distant memory in the minds of MMA fans, and he needs a dramatic win here, badly. Shields’s dance partner, Jake Ellenberger, has been spent years fighting for recognition, and with four straight Octagon wins over serious competition, he’s starting to get it. Stylistically, the fight might not be a barn-burner, but it could have career-altering implications for the headliners.
Duke Roufus knows a thing or two about kicking. Also about punching. Oh, and knees and elbows, too.
Hmmm. Let’s start over…
Duke Roufus knows a thing or two about striking, and since his retirement from kickboxing competition, he’s passed along his knowledge to fighters from the Roufusport Martial Arts Academy in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Pat Barry, Danny Downes, Matt Mitrione, Anthony Pettis (and his little bro Sergio), Alan Belcher, Ben Askren, and Eric Koch (and more) have all spent time with Duke sharpening their stand up skills, and Roufus has been credited with pushing innovation in MMA striking. Belcher’s cage-spring superman punch and Pettis’ Showtime Kick were both attributed to training with Roufus, because they apparently practice that kind of crazy stuff over there.
But we must remember the words of Mr Miyagi: “first learn stand, then learn fly.”
Watch this video of Roufus breaking down technique for Thai-style low kicks. Watch it twice, then go find a bamboo tree. Kick that bamboo tree until it falls. You’re now halfway to being a Roufusninja, and don’t leave us comments about how bamboo is technically grass. That’s bullshit. No one ever became a ninja by kicking grass; that’s clearly a moronic idea. You think Tony Jaa took a level in badass by kicking over blades of grass? Absolutely not. He kicked down trees and made friends with elephants.
As far as we know, Duke Roufus does not have an elephant friends. What he does have is this video of kicking technique, and you need to quit arguing and watch it.
The UFC announced today that UFC middleweight contender Alan Belcher’s first fight back from a career-threatening eye injury will be against New Glasgow, Nova Scotia native Jason MacDonald in the Biloxi, Mississippi native’s backyard of New Orleans, Louisiana on September 17. The event is aptly named UFC Fight Night 25: Battle on the Bayou.
4-1 in his last 5 outings including wins over Wilson Gouveia, Patrick Cote, Denis Kang and Ed Herman and a questionable split decision loss to Yoshihiro Akiyama, Belcher (16-6) was mentioned as a potential championship contender before a detached retina sidelined him for almost a year. Although MacDonald (25-15) is by no means a cake walk fight for Belcher, it’s likely that the bout with the recently re-signed Canadian is thought of by the UFC brass as more of a tune-up fight for “The Talent.”
“(Michael) Bisping is an asshole who disrespects the sport and his opponent,” Belcher tells the Dog. “A fight between me and Michael Bisping is something everybody wants except for Michael Bisping. It would be amazing to sign that fight and have him come to my backyard. He always gets to fight in Britain and other places, but it’d be good to see him come down to Louisiana. I’d love for that to be my comeback fight.”
Yep. Bisping. The ol’ standby. And in case you’re wondering, Belcher wouldn’t turn down a fight with Wanderlei Silva, either, though he sounds a little more reasonable about Silva’s standing in the division than some of the other dudes who’ve called out “The Axe Murderer” recently …