If you haven’t heard the news, Anderson Silva has a new documentary called, “Like Water,” which set for release later this month at the Tribeca Film Festival in Manhattan. The name of the film is taken from a famous Bruce Lee quote as an homage to the world’s most famous martial artist who was a huge influence to The Spider’s MMA career.
(Chael says: ‘A trio of good ol’ boys beat a gaggle of yes men any day.’)
Jake Shields mentioned in an interview he did with Joe Rogan during Saturday’s Ultimate Fight Night 24 broadcast that he was planning on bringing in Chael Sonnen to help him prepare for his April 30 UFC 129 match-up with UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre.
According to MiddleEasy, he wasn’t just blowing smoke up our asses as the beleaguered UFC middleweight contender has offically arrived in the 209 with his Team Quest mate Matt Lindland in tow to help Shields prepare for GSP.
(“Business as usual,” should include putting on the best fights Zuffa can.)
Since Zuffa announced two weeks ago that it had purchased its closest competitor, Strikeforce, MMA fans and analysts have been clamoring for dream bouts that seemed impossible when the organizations were owned by two different companies.
Although UFC president Dana White has repeated the same three words since the news broke, “Business as usual,” and reports have emerged stating that there won’t likely be any cross-over bouts until Strikeforce’s current fighter contracts run out and they can be locked into new deals with the UFC, that doesn’t stop the inner fanboys in us from licking our chops over some of the fights we want to see happen in the Octagon (or Hexagon).
Check out our list of 20 intriguing post-Zuffa Strikeforce purchase fights we’d get behind.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, as they say — and every legendary MMA career begins with a single fight. In collaboration with Huck Blade at NeonBarFights.com, CagePotato is proud to present “Before They Were Stars,” an MMA highlight reel that pays tribute to the pro debuts of fighters who went on to become heros of the sport, including Georges St. Pierre, Jon Jones, Jose Aldo, and Alistair Overeem. Check it out, share it with your friends, and let us know what you think.
If you’re looking for something to do Saturday afternoon while you wait for UFC 128 to start, remember that Team Golden Glory will be streaming the second round of its $150,000 United Glory welterweight MMA and heavyweight kickboxing grand prix tournament for free starting at 2:00 pm ET.
The last show was pretty damn good and the stream was even better than some paid streams I’v bought. This one should be just as good with Golden Glory standouts like Siyar Bahadurzada and Gokhan Saki serving up heaping helpings of head and leg kicks for everyone’s viewing pleasure.
Here’s the promo:
(Video courtesy of YouTube/UnitedGlory)
Check out the full card and video highlight of the last event after the jump.
It’s been a while, but Alistair Overeem’s web-based mini-documentary series “The Reem” is back with another season. Season 2 picks up with Alistair getting the invite to appear on K-1′s NYE Dynamite! card opposite last-minute replacement Todd Duffee. Following the impressive KO win, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker approaches Overeem and offers him a slot on the promotion’s planned heavyweight grand prix and “The Demolition Man” immediately requests a rematch with Fabrisco Werdum in the opening round. So much for his detractors saying he only takes easy fights.
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic has never been a fighter who holds his tongue when he disagrees with something even if his choice of words might land him in hot water.
The live video chat he did with the Croation sports news website Gol.hr last night was no exception.
During the hour-long segment on the episode of F2F Sport, Mirko touched on a number of topics including his upcoming UFC 128 bout with Brendan Schaub, the possibility of retirement, his thoughts on Dana White and the rampant use of performance enhancing drugs in MMA.
(“I think we women really have to unite, keep coming up with really good fights and also be feminine outside of the ring as well.”)
We had the opportunity this week on The Bum Rush Radio Show to speak with Strikeforce welterweight champion Marloes Coenen who is set to take on Liz Carmouche at Saturday night’s Feijao vs. Henderson event in Columbus, Ohio. As always, Marloes was an articulate class act, demonstrating why, besides her in-cage prowess, Strikeforce holds her in such high regard as a person, a fighter and a champion.
In the brief conversation we had with the Golden Glory-trained fighter, Coenen touched on a number of topics including original opponent Meisha Tate’s injury and miraculous recovery, representing Women’s MMA with class, finishing fights, her relationship with her Golden Glory trainers and teammates and much more.
As for the Japanese MMA scene, keep in mind that neither DREAM nor Sengoku have scheduled their first event in 2011 yet, and Sengoku has been mysteriously sheddingtalent. Between poor management and local fans simply moving on from MMA and kickboxing, are we witnessing the death knell of combat sports in Japan?
In the aftermath of Fedor Emelianenko‘s upset loss to Antonio Silva last weekend — four months after Brock Lesnar was roughly stripped of his UFC title by Cain Velasquez — MMA’s global heavyweight picture is in a state of flux. So, we figured it was a good time to launch a new rankings feature on CagePotato. Every week, Ben, Mike and Chad will try to justify their top five rankings for each weight division, and we’re kicking things off with the big boys. Check out our thoughts below, and let us know how you see MMA’s current heavyweight top five…
Ben Goldstein 1. Cain Velasquez: I think we can all agree he’s the top dog right now. In one fight, Brock Lesnar’s reputation went from “toughest S.O.B. on the planet” to “man-baby who goes fetal at the first sign of pressure.” You can blame/thank Cain for that. Aside from getting wobbled a couple times by Cheick Kongo, he’s cruised through all nine of his career fights with no difficulty whatsoever.
2. Junior Dos Santos: A future champion who has put together one of the most impressive contendership runs in UFC history. I think he’ll be able to add Lesnar to his list of scalps in June. And then…?
3. Brock Lesnar: With such a massive psychological hole in his game and just a 5-2 overall record, it’s weird calling Brock the third greatest heavyweight in the world. I’m not sure I agree with myself here. But until Werdum and Overeem face off in April, neither of those guys deserves to be called top three either.
(“Retire? No, I said I was going to ‘relax.’ That crazy translator lady always misquotes me.”)
Returning to his Russian homeland following his disappointing defeat at the hands of Antonio Bigfoot Silva on Saturday night, Fedor Emelianenko told reporters at the airport that he will likely fight again and that the pseudo-reitrement announcement he made following the fight was a knee-jerk reaction to racking up the second legitimate loss of his MMA career.
“I rushed to declare my retirement out of frustration. I will fight more. Possibly, I will return to the [Strikeforce] Heavyweight Grand-Prix,” Fedor told LifeSports.ru. “I am confident that I am capable of having a few more fights. I didn’t make any analysis yet on why I lost. I need to recover. I can’t see very well yet.”
(After drowning his sorrows until closing at a New Jersey Dairy Queen, Emelianenko was overheard telling his priest, “Dah. I may fight again.”)
Scott Coker stopped AOL’s studio today to talk with MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani about the successful first show of the opening round of his promotion’s heavyweight grand prix that took place Saturday night at the IZOD Center in New Jersey. Talk quickly turned to former top pound-for-pound king Fedor Emelianenko and whether or not Coker felt that “The Last Emperor” will indeed walk away from the sport forever as he intimated following his loss to Antonio Silva this past weekend.
Just wanted to pass along a few interesting moments from Fedor vs. Silva‘s post-fight presser, which featured all of the night’s winning fighters, plus the other four heavyweight grand prix competitors who will be squaring off on April 9th (venue TBA). Josh Barnett was the first to be introduced, and he gave the media his usual mix of insightful analysis and comic-book-like hyperbole. “Getting an easy win doesn’t do anything for you,” he said. “I’d rather stare death in the face.”
Scott Coker confirmed that Fedor Emelianenko could theoretically return to the grand prix as an alternate, jumping ahead of Shane Del Rosario, who was supposed to have earned the first replacement spot with his impressive win over Lavar Johnson. Nope. The tournament committee will decide that. And Coker’s not even on the committee. It is only now, two days later, that it’s occurred to me to wonder, “Wait a minute, so who is on the committee?” Vadim Finkelchtein and Gus Johnson? God help us.
After the jump:Alistair Overeem is bummed that Fedor got knocked out of the tournament because of the “glow” he brings to the proceedings, but after being ducked by Fedor twice, he already gave up on the idea of fighting him. Plus, Alistair and his brother Valentijn say that they’d have no problem fighting each other in the context of a tournament. I’m sure Dana White would respect that, but Coker is less than thrilled by the idea.
(Somehow, “Ostentatious Jacket of Crushing Defeat” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. PicProps: Strikeforce)
If Saturday night truly turns out to be Fedor Emelianenko’s swan song in mixed martial arts, the saddest part will be that we had to watch him go out on a live Strikeforce broadcast that can only be described as a terrible abortion. I mean, holy shit that was bad. From Gus Johnson showing up dressed as a beautiful woman to the horribly awkward interviews with Fedor/Gina Carano to the dreadfully anticlimactic end to the main event to the announce team desperately trying to close the show ad-libbing about Sergei Kharitonov – “He looked like a young Fedor!” Johnson said (Editor’s note: No, he didn’t) — it pretty much couldn’t have been any worse. And that doesn’t even begin to consider the fact that Emelianenko lost to a guy who just almost lost to Mike Kyle.
Even still, we’re going to avoid going full-on, tearful retrospective for a bit here. Though the man himself hinted that “maybe it’s time to leave” during his postfight interview it could have just been the initial depression and lingering effects of so many blows to the head talking. Give Fedor some time to get back to the Sport Palace and whip up on some pre-pubescent sambo white belts – and let Vadim Finkelstein start dropping hints about how that mortgage ain’t gonna pay itself – and it’s possible we could see “The Last Emperor” take at least one more bite of the MMA apple. No matter what though, we’ve likely witnessed the last of him as a top heavyweight, maybe even as a relevant one. For a lot of us, that’s a frightening reality, but one we must confront. Here are 10 questions that come immediately to mind about about our Fedor-less future …
Tomorrow night in New Jersey, Strikeforce will launch a tournament that will either establish the promotion as innovative big-dogs of the MMA industry — and arguably produce the #1 heavyweight fighter in the world when the dust has settled — or invite even more ridicule when the thinggoes tits-up. Who knows how it’ll play out? Right now, all we can say is that Fedor Emelianenko is fighting this weekend (and coming back from the first loss of his career), and that’s a pretty major event in itself.
Weigh-ins for ‘Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva‘ go down today at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ, beginning at 5 p.m. ET. The event is open to the public, and will be televised on a live episode of Inside MMA. HD Net will also be broadcasting the preliminary card tomorrow beginning at 8 p.m. ET, featuring TUF 12 vet Marc Stevens against John Cholish, and Igor Gracie vs. John Salgado.
Come back to CagePotato.com tomorrow night for round-by-round results from the Showtime broadcast, beginning at 10 p.m. ET.
(“Although he always wondered what it tasted like, Fedor couldn’t bring himself to accept Alistair’s offer to try horse meat.”)
Nothing we can say about this photo from yesterday’s Strikeforce fan and media day is funnier than the photo itself. At any rate, go ahead and give us your best caption and the funniest one will receive one of our imaginary legendary Cage Potato t-shirts.
(Antonio Silva is fascinated by Fabricio Werdum’s freakishly normal-sized chin.)
Photos and text by Matthew Kaplowitz
Strikeforce has graced the East Coast with their presence throughout this week, as the hype machine for their massive heavyweight grand prix is in full flux. Starting on Tuesday with a meet-and-greet for fans at the Roseland Ballroom in Midtown Manhattan with all eight of the tournament fighters, and continuing on Wednesday downtown with their press conference, Strikeforce is leaving their imprint on the tri-state area, informing natives of New York and New Jersey that the business of MMA has more than three letters.
This journalist/nerd was in the house for their press conference, which saw not only all members of the tournament, but the reserve fighters as well, packed into the swank Lighthouse 61 at Chelsea Piers, the skyline of New York dramatically posed behind them. Personally, I was excited to see that Strikeforce was feeding the reporters, and quite well at that, but even more exciting was the realization that this epic tournament was happening in my area. With MMA still illegal in New York, and very few big shows coming to neighboring states, having Saturday’s event a thirty-minute drive from The Big Apple was bound to help shed some light on how much of an impact MMA can have on the NY economy.
Dana White was in Toronto yesterday with a handful of the fighters from the UFC 129 card and although he didn’t drop any remarkable news during the press conference, a few interesting tidbits came out during the fan Q&A session they did at Rogers Centre.
Approximately 1,500 MMA fans swarmed the Roseland Ballroom in New York City yesterday afternoon for a special meet-and-greet with the participants from Strikeforce’s heavyweight grand prix. The action begins this Saturday at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey, with two quarterfinal matches — Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Silva and Andrei Arlovski vs. Sergei Kharitonov — and three reserve matches, featuring Shane Del Rosario, Chad Griggs, and Valentijn Overeem. If you’re going to be there in person, please swing by the press pit to receive a complimentary fist-bump from BG.
We’ve collected some video highlights from yesterday’s festivities after the jump: First, all eight members of the heavyweight GP are introduced to the crowd by horrific YAMMA/Affliction vet Scott Ferrall. Then, Alistair Overeem talks to Ariel Helwani about his new love of American football, getting ducked by Fedor, and Dana White’s opinion that he’s not a top ten heavyweight. Finally, Fabricio Werdum shows off his special move for the tournament, and we have to admit, it’s pretty damn special. Check it out.
Fedor says his widely celebrated Glorious Sweater of Absolute Victory is now retired. Oh also, he still wants Alistair Overeem drug tested if they are to fight in the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix.
("I hear Dothan, Alabama is beautiful this time of year." PicProps: SB Nation )
Strikeforce appears on the verge of a solution to its Josh Barnett problem on Friday, as at least one internet report contends the company is close to a deal to take the MMA veteran/troubled teen to Japan for the first round of its heavyweight grand prix. MMA-Japan.com – a site affiliated with the good folks at Middle Easy – published the four-line story alleging that Strikeforce will partner with Real Entertainment and “possibly M-1 (Global)” to stage a show on April 10 that will go down in “the afternoon hours (in Japan) in order to be shown live in the United States.” The story cites no sources and just states all of the above as fact, but since the boys at the Easy usually know their shit, we figure it’s worth repeating.
The big question mark whenever Vitor Belfort’s doubters talk about how successful the Brazilian powerhouse will be in upcoming bouts like his middleweight championship tilt with Anderson Silva on Saturday night at UFC 126 is where his head’s at.
When his sister Priscilla was kidnapped in 2004 in the week prior to his UFC 46 championship bout with Randy Couture, "The Phenom" admitted that the situation was weighing heavily on his mind. Because he spoke openly about the emotional effect loing her had on him, many assume that he never really got over the ordeal even after her kidnappers substantiated fears that Priscilla was dead, confessing in 2007 to her killing.
Subsequently, most of Belfort’s detractors chalk his eight MMA losses up to him being mentally fragile, even though they all came against present and future champions and only two were via stoppage. If being beaten by Chuck Liddell, Alistair Overeem, Randy Couture and Dan Henderson in their prime makes you a mental midget then guys like Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva must be psychologically retarded as well.
(The photo above was paper-clipped to the front of M-1′s memo to tournament participants that drug testing will be mandatory for the GP. Subtle.)
When Dana White’s favorite Crazy Russian, Vadim Finkelstein speaks, the MMA world listens, mostly just because he usually has a lot of bizarre demands to make. In a recent interview the head of M-1 did with Russian sports news site Sports.ru, Finkelstein touched on a lot of topics including the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix, Fedor’s contract status and his recent statement he made about mandatory drug testing in the later rounds of the tournament.
Check out what Vad-Fink had to say after the jump.
Some other oddities in the tournament “rules” revealed yesterday: In the unlikely event of a draw, the promotion will call upon a fourth judge to break the tie. That’s cool, because draws suck. It’s also shitty, because the “fourth judge” will reportedly be appointed by Strikeforce, not an athletic commission and therefore stands to be even less trustworthy than the blind simpletons who normally score MMA fights. Also, in the very likely event that someone can’t continue in the tournament due to injury (or some other reason) a five-person “tournament committee” comprised of Strikeforce officials will handpick a replacement. If you think this concept is obviously rife with major conflicts of interests, well, you’re right. Don’t worry though, it will all sound very official. Kind of like in the ’80s when “Jack Tunney” used to be the “president” of the WWF.
Anyway, after the jump, some meditations on how all the things we told you in the above two paragraphs could potentially make this tournament go all fubar. We have questions, people. Tons of questions.
(The winner of the tournament will take home a case of Rockstar Energy Drink and one of each item from the summer collection of Gus Johnson’s new clothing line.)
Scott Coker made a somewhat surprising announcement today during the promotion’s conference call ahead of its heavyweight grand prix that left a few on the call scratching their heads.
According to the Strikeforce president, the first round bouts of the tournament will consist of three rounds, meaning that the Overeem-Werdum bout will not be a title fight. In fact, Coker went on to explain that only the tournament final will be five rounds, but even if Alistair is one of the contestants of that match, it will be a non-title affair.
Coker, who didn’t say what the prize for winning the tournament would be, blamed the change in the planned format on the various host city commissions who he says refused to sanction five-round non-title bouts. According to Coker, "It wouldn’t have been fair to make some of the guys fight five rounds and the others only fight three," which is why they decided to put the belt on the shelf until the tournament is over.
(Remember when Sergei Kharitonov sent Alistair Overeem‘s lifeless body through the ropes at K-1 Hero’s 10? No? Then you really need to watch these videos…)
In our excitement for Strikeforce’s potentially insane heavyweight tournament, one point seems to be getting lost in the narrative — namely, that these guys have already fought each other many, many times before. Five of the eight competitors (Werdum, Arlovski, Overeem, Emelianenko, Rogers) have previously faced at least three other fighters in the tournament field. Fabricio Werdum has actually fought everyone except Brett Rogers and Josh Barnett, and only Barnett himself has managed to go his entire career without bumping up against anybody else in this year’s bracket.
All told, there’s eleven twelve fights worth of shared history among the Strikeforce HWGP competitors, dating back over five years. To help you study for the quarterfinals next month, we’ve posted them all below in chronological order…
UPDATE: We originally forgot to include Fabricio Werdum’s decision win over Antonio Silva. So actually, there have been 12 previous meetings, not 11. The video has now been added.
(Sergei Kharitonov def. Fabricio Werdum via split decision; PRIDE 30, 10/23/05)
(Alistair Overeem def. Sergei Kharitonov via TKO, 5:13 of round 1; PRIDE 31, 2/26/06)