Not only does he freely acknowledge that Silva is probably the most complete fighter in the world, he also knows that he only has one chance to win and it involves getting him to the mat and submitting him. It’s the first part of that equation that seems like it might be problematic, though.
After a short week of pickin’ for UFC Fight Night 21: Florian vs. Gomi, it’s time to stretch out a bit. The pools for next Saturday’s UFC 112 card are now open on MMA FightPicker and two things are worth noting: 1) You have a full nine days to enter pools and make your selections, and 2) Up for grabs in the prize pool this time around is a 32-inch television. Seriously. And it’s a nice one, too. A 3,800-chip buy-in gains you access to the 25-person-limit prize pool, in which the first-place winner will score a Sony BRAVIA 32" 1080p LCD HDTV, valued at $549.99.
Yes, 3,800 Potato Chips is about 3,750 more than you have at this point; we realize that. So why not buy some chips? Put it this way: If you need a 32" flat-screen and you think you have a good handle on how UFC 112 will play out, you could pick up a brand-new television at a very deep discount. The prize pool requires a minimum of 16 players, and it includes a tie-breaker question that you’ll need to answer. Any of you sissies have the guts to play? Anybody feel like taking a look at the questions before making such a rash decision?
UPDATE: Okay, listen up crybabies. We realize it’s not fair to con you into buying chips when the prize pool could shut down for not hitting the minimum number of players. So we’re going to lift the minimum player requirement for this one. Thanks for all your feedback, and please check back later…
Hey guys, who wants to see a classic striker vs. grappler battle? The extended preview for UFC 112 (April 10th, Abu Dhabi) tries to sell us on the idea that Demian Maia‘s nasty jits poses an undeniable threat to Anderson Silva. Not that Maia’s grappling ability is exaggerated, but if Nate Marquardt can send Maia into orbit before the fight gets to the ground, Anderson certainly can as well. Speaking of outmatched challengers, UFC 112 also features Frankie Edgar‘s first title fight against lightweight living legend BJ Penn. Joe Rogan shouts out Edgar’s speed, intelligence and wrestling ability and says he presents "a very unique challenge to BJ Penn." But does he have any real advantages? Keep in mind that Penn hasn’t been taken down by a lightweight since Takanori Gomi, six and a half years ago. At least the third fight on the card isn’t a squash match: Renzo Gracie vows to do to Matt Hughes what Matt did to his cousin Royce in 2006. Which old master still has what it takes to compete in the year 2010?
(Don’t worry, buddy. We’ll pick you up a pair of oversized sunglasses at the gas station on our way to the after-party, and no one will even notice that thing.)
In the past few years James Irvin has had about as difficult a time as you can experience while still being employed and above ground. His string of untimely injuries and unfortunate mishaps earned him the title of ‘Most Cursed Fighter in MMA History,’ and the last time he was actually healthy enough to limp into the cage he took a beatdown from Anderson Silva and then got suspended for using prescription painkillers. He’s the kind of guy you don’t want to walk down the street with because chances are good that a piano might fall on his head and you’ll end up getting hit with the resulting splinter shrapnel.
Chris Lytle‘s $50,000 Submission of the Night bonus at UFC 110 represented his seventh UFC performance bonus in his last eight fights, which made us wonder: Does that make him the #1 bonus-collector on the UFC’s roster? And who else is in the running? So, with the help of the UG and Wikipedia, we compiled a ranking of the UFC’s top performance bonus leaders, based on available information. When possible, we added up the grand totals of the fighters’ pay-bumps, though the amounts of these bonuses weren’t consistently reported before UFC 70.
Fighters With Twelve Bonuses Joe Lauzon*: 6 Submission of the Night bonuses, 5 Fight of the Night bonuses, 1 Knockout of the Night bonus Anderson Silva:7 KOTN, 3 FOTN, 2 SOTN
Fighters With Ten Bonuses
Chris Lytle: 6 FOTN bonuses, 3 SOTN bonuses, 1 KOTN bonus; $515,000 total (Note: Lytle retired from the UFC after his victory over Dan Hardy at UFC on Versus 5, which scored him a Fight of the Night and a Submission of the Night bonus.)
Fighters With Nine Bonuses: Nate Diaz: 5 FOTN, 4 SOTN; $445,000 total
Following a hard-fought three round win over Dan Miller at UFC 109 that showed him to be more than just a submission expert*, Demian Maia will jump right back into training camp for the biggest fight of his career – an April 10th meeting with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva in the main event of UFC 112 at Ferrari World on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Maia replaces countryman Vitor Belfort, who underwent emergency surgery on his left shoulder earlier this week to fix a chronic injury that got worse in his training camp for Silva.
“It’s always tough when a top fighter like Vitor Belfort has to pull out of a big title fight, but we have found a high quality replacement,” said UFC President Dana White. “Top contender Chael Sonnen was not available due to injuries sustained in his fight with Nate Marquardt, so top six** middleweight Demian Maia will step in to fight for the title. Maia is an Abu Dhabi grappling champion, a five-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion, and he is 12-1 in MMA and coming off a win over Dan Miller at UFC 109. Anderson Silva vs Demian Maia will be a matchup between MMA’s best striker and MMA’s best grappler.”
* Sure. He’s also a mediocre kickboxer.
** Come on, nobody uses the phrase "top six." Just say "top five" and hope nobody questions it.
The best solution at this point would be to either pull Silva from the event entirely and wait until a credible contender is available, or else forget about the title for a little while and get to work finding an interesting 205-pounder who’s willing to accept the challenge. Easier said than done, I suppose.
(‘And don’t let me catch you looking at my little sister again!’)
Good news for those of you who already bought your plane tickets to Abu Dhabi and have spent the last few weeks learning how to say, ‘Stand ‘em up!’ in Arabic. Despite losing Vitor Belfort to a shoulder injury, UFC 112 will still feature Anderson Silva fighting someone in the 185-pound range for a big hunk of shiny metal and leather. As Dana White recently told MMAFighting.com, Silva has not been pulled from the event just because his top challenger is out, and he’ll still be defending his belt (so abandon your hopes for a light heavyweight superfight, or a heavyweight super-superfight).
The question that has yet to be answered is, who will this opportunistic middleweight be?
"We’ve spoken with Chael on many occasions and have the utmost respect for him. He’s never really come across in this manner, and it’s obvious he’s just drumming up hype in hopes to get a bout with Anderson…We are fine if this is what the UFC wants, but if you look at this logistically, Sonnen should fight Demian Maia first. Demian beat [him] easily, by submission, so why not make them fight first, to determine who gets a shot at the title?…
(‘Oh, all the free kittens are gone? That’s cool. You might want to take that ad out of the paper. Just, you know, so somebody like me doesn’t get his hopes up only to have them crushed and ground into a fine, depressing powder. But whatever.’)
If somehow you didn’t know who Chael Sonnen was before this week, chances are you do now. He’s spent the run-up to his fight with Nate Marquardt at UFC 109 making inflammatory statements about almost everyone but his opponent. I spoke to Sonnen for this SI.com feature on Saturday night’s bout, and as expected it turned out to be an interesting conversation. Here, for your enjoyment, are selected outtakes from that talk.
Lately you’ve been making waves with your comments about Anderson Silva, saying he actually speaks perfect English but hates the media too much to talk to them. I guess I’m wondering, if it’s not a ploy to get attention, why go after Anderson now?
I didn’t really say anything about Anderson. All I said is what you said there, and that’s no big deal. Once I destroy Nate Marquardt in a few days I will set my sights on him and I will really let it go. Believe me, when I sink my teeth into this guy, those comments aren’t going to seem like anything. I was making a very fair observation. Anderson Silva speaks English. Any time the media comes around he has such disdain for you guys that it’s ‘se habla Espanol.’ He doesn’t have to talk to the media, and in fact he refuses to, and yet the media goes out and strokes his ego and puts him on the cover of everything. It’s the craziest thing I’ve seen.
UFC to make history in Abu Dhabi at UFC 112 FIRST EVER OPEN-AIR EVENT TAKES PLACE IN UAE APRIL 10
Abu Dhabi, UAE – The world’s greatest indoor sporting event goes outdoors on April 10 as the Ultimate Fighting Championship® organisation lands in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates for the first time.
Some of the world’s greatest mixed martial artists will appear on the historic open-air UFC 11 event at the Concert Arena, Ferrari World, Yas Island.*
Topped by a double main event, two UFC world titles will be on the line at UFC 112. First, UFC lightweight champion BJ ‘The Prodigy’ Penn puts his belt on the line against No.1 contender Frankie ‘The Answer’ Edgar and then UFC middleweight king Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva defends his crown against fellow Brazilian striker Vitor ‘The Phenom’ Belfort…
(Cote, in the process of claiming the center of the Octagon.)
You could forgive a guy for being a little detached from reality after fighting Anderson Silva. If you’re someone who beats up other dudes for a living and suddenly you come face to face with the distinct possibility that another person is much, much better at this than you, your mind probably has a little bit of a meltdown. That phenomenon, plus maybe some mind-altering substances, seemed like enough to explain this video.
"If I fight him again I think I am going to do the same thing, I think I learned that if you’re not scarred of him right away you have a good chance to win and that’s what I did. I was there in the first second of the fight, I took the centre of the octagon and I showed him I wasn’t scarred of him."
After spending all of 2009 making a strong case for himself as the UFC’s top middleweight contender, Nate Marquardt finds himself facing Chael Sonnen at UFC 109 while Vitor Belfort leapfrogs him for the title shot against Anderson Silva. In this exclusive interview Marquardt opens up about his dealings with the UFC, his thoughts on fighting Sonnen, and the bout with Dan Henderson that never materialized.
CagePotato.com: In your last fight you took on Demian Maia at UFC 102 and knocked him out in 21 seconds. I imagine you probably couldn’t be happier with that result?
Nate Marquardt: Totally (laughs). There wasn’t much more I could have asked for.
You’ve spoken before about training to do specifically what you ended up doing. Did the fight go the way you thought it would or were you surprised by the quickness?
I don’t think you could ever plan for a fight to end that quickly. When I gameplan I look for specific stuff that’s going to work on the guy that I’m comfortable doing. Other than that you can have a gameplan but it can’t be your only thing. You have to be a smart fighter and when something you weren’t training for happens you have to be able to change your game in the middle of the fight.
If you didn’t follow his pre-UFC career, you probably figured that Anderson Silva’s Octagon debut would be relatively competitive. Chris Leben was a dangerous brawler who had won five straight in the Octagon against solid competition, while Silva was…some sort of Brazilian from Japan, I guess? In actuality, the Spider was quickly becoming the most lethal striker in the business, and had spent the previous two years brutalizing guys like Lee Murray, Jorge Rivera, and Tony Fryklund as the middleweight champion of Cage Rage. So all that stuff the Crippler said about pressing the action against Silva, rough-neckin’ him, throwing him around, blasting him in the face, breaking his jaw, then sending him back to Japan where the competition’s a little easier? Oh my God, player. He might as well have been talking about how he was bringing the karate aspect back into jiu-jitsu — that’s how out of touch with reality he seemed, in retrospect.
Chances are, you’ve watched this clip a hundred times by now, so you know what happens next: Anderson Silva makes his name in the U.S. with one of the most flawless victories in MMA history and earns an immediate title shot against Rich Franklin, while Leben begins his slow drift out of relevance. And these days, all of Silva’s fights look like mismatches.
It was a classic matchup of skill vs. morbid obesity. The comically large son of legendary Brazilian scrapper Rei Zulu, Wagner da Conceicao Martins (aka "Zuluzinho") managed to build up a sizable undefeated record in vale tudo matches before joining PRIDE in 2005, where he mauled sumo wrestler Henry "Sentoryu" Miller in his debut. But things like size, pedigree, and professional record mean very little when you’re fighting Fedor Emelianenko. To the untouchable PRIDE heavyweight champion, Zuluzinho was nothing more than a giant punching bag.
In just 26 seconds, Fedor put ‘Zinho on his ass with an inhumanly fast left hook, abused him on the ground a bit, knocked him back down with a right as soon as the giant got to his feet, then went into beastmode until Zuluzinho tapped from the onslaught. This fight proved once and for all that "big and slow" is not the best combination for beating Fedor. If only Hong-Man Choi and Tim Sylvia got the message in time.
(They’re both Brazilian, and they both like to wear t-shirts and hats. On paper, this one’s impossible to call. Image courtesy of Tatame.)
According to Vitor Belfort’s manager Fabiano Farah, the Phenom will indeed be getting his shot at Anderson Silva‘s middleweight title at UFC 112 (April 10th, Abu Dhabi). Though Silva’s manager Ed Soares wouldn’t confirm the booking yet, he did mention that Silva is training hard and is "very fired up" to face Belfort, who most recently scored a TKO over Rich Franklin at UFC 103.
Farah’s confirmation follows the earlier report that Belfort and Silva are slated to train at Emirates Jiu-Jitsu in the days leading up to the fight. Strangely, Emirates Jiu Jitsu head instructor Carlos Santos has also been saying that the fight could be held outdoors: "I told them both they should come early because it will be an outdoor event, not indoors like they are used to, and that many factors and conditions will be different for them." Though that option may have been floated in the early planning stages of UFC 112, Dana White is now under the impression that Sheikh Tahnoon and the gang will be building an arena for him.
In other #112 news, a middleweight match between TUF 3 winner Kendall Grove and Mark Munoz appears to be in the works. Grove is coming off his first-round submission win over Jake Rosholt at UFC 106, while Munoz has won his last two UFC fights against Nick Catone and Ryan Jensen.
It looks like the UFC isn’t going to be depending solely on the drawing power of Renzo Gracie vs. Matt Hughes and the allure of free air conditioning to make their first Abu Dhabi event a success. In a video posted to his website today lightweight champ B.J. Penn says he expects to make his next title defense on the April fight card. He doesn’t mention who his opponent might be, but I think we can assume that if Gray Maynard feeds Nathan Diaz a steady diet of takedowns and noogies like we all expect him to in the main event this Monday’s UFC Fight Night, he has a pretty good shot at getting the call.
If Diaz manages to pull out the win however, it would put his current win streak at a meager two, and then we’d like Frankie Edgar‘s chances to get utterly destroyed by a semi-interested Penn.
So okay, one title fight for Abu Dhabi and a couple old-timers going at it. That ought to be good enough, right? Only maybe not. In an interview with Tatame, Carlos Santos of Team Emirates says that both Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort have contacted him through their representatives to train at his Abu Dhabi gym in the days leading up to the fight. Does this mean Silva-Belfort will also go down at UFC 112? Either that, or these guys both just really want to see the Al Hosn Palace without interrupting their regular training schedules.
You didn’t think we were going to let another calendar year run out without paying homage to this year’s big winners and mocking the year’s biggest idiots, did you? Naw son, that’s not our style. 2009 was an eventful year with plenty of ups and downs, but after casting our ballots and tallying up the votes (there’s only two of us, so it really shouldn’t have taken as long as it did, but there was a lot of yelling and a little crying) we have some awards to give out. The envelopes please…
The year was not without disappointments for the sweatered one. He missed a chance to fight Josh Barnett and walked away from another chance to sign on with the UFC. All the same, he reinforced his status as one of MMA’s most dominant fighters with knockouts of Andrei Arlovski and Brett Rogers. Meanwhile, Anderson Silva had one snoozer and one great fight out of his weight class, while GSP beat a lightweight and won a decision to retain his title. Sorry boys, Fedor’s 2009 was way more fun.
"The Spider" didn’t just beat FoGriff, he straight-up violated him. It’s one thing to do that against a woefully outmatched challenger in your own weight class, but quite another to do it to a former champ from the division above yours. Never have we seen such a clear demonstration of the vast chasm between good and great as we did on that night. You can hardly blame Griffin for running out of the Octagon after that. We’re sort of amazed that he waited until the fight was over to do it.
When it was initially announced that Vitor Belfort was getting the next crack at UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva, everyone from Ed Soares to Belfort himself acknowledged that this was at least partially bullshit. The good news is that, with Anderson Silva still sidelined due to a lingering injury, Belfort looks like he’ll get his chance to prove he deserves the shot in a top contender bout with Nate Marquardt. Think of it as a rare instance of an injury pullout by a UFC champ resulting in a fight that probably makes more sense than the original title contest. When you think about how often this type of thing has been happening to the UFC of late, it only makes sense that sooner or later it would have to turn out to be a blessing in disguise. That’s just the law of averages at work.
Meanwhile, let’s take a step back and look at the current state of the UFC championship belts:
Now, I know what you’re thinking. This seems just a little far-fetched. I mean, isn’t Silva too hurt to fight in January? And not only does Ochocinco not have any professional MMA fights, much less a contract with the UFC, but the Bengals actually have their last game of the season the very next day at the New York Jets. How’s he going to swing that? The answer is, I don’t know and I don’t care. It must be true because it was on freaking Twitter, the most trusted source of information/self-absorbed sentence fragments of our time.
According to Ochocinco, he’s "dead serious" and has "a good chance at winning against Silva." And why not? One of the world’s best pound-for-pound fighters, if not the best, facing an NFL wide receiver who’s never fought professionally, sounds like a totally serious, not at all absurd, fight of the year candidate to me. I just wonder how current UFC 108 headliners Cain Velasquez, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Rashad Evans, and Thiago Silva are going to feel when they see this:
The postponement is just the latest in a unbelievably cursed stretch for the UFC that’s seen a number of headlining fights go down due to acting aspirations, injuries, and illnesses. Speaking of which, don’t expect to see Anderson Silva defend his middleweight belt against Vitor Belfort any time soon either. According to Silva’s manager Ed Soares, the Spider is still recovering from elbow surgery, and won’t be ready to compete in time for UFC 108. As with Machida, Silva’s return date is uncertain. Said Soares: "At the end of the day, it’s going to be a great fight [against Belfort]. Like I said before, I don’t think he deserves a title shot, but that’s over with now. It is what it is."
(The abridged version of the fight, which Ortiz won by unanimous decision.) When it happened: 4/14/00, at UFC 25 When it should have happened: Spring 2003 Why: Ortiz vs. Silva was an entertaining scrap between two young contenders for the UFC’s vacant "middleweight" belt. If they met three years later, it would have been a superfight. By the end of 2002, Ortiz had defended his title five times — he’d lose it in September 2003 to Randy Couture — while Silva was PRIDE’s middleweight ruler, owning a 12-0-1 record in the promotion and two successful title defenses. With Ortiz at the end of his reign and Wandy near the middle of his, it would have been an ideal moment to establish bragging rights for one of MMA’s two leading organizations. Prediction: Depends on where the fight was held. If Ortiz had home-field advantage, he’d probably still be able to grind out a decision win. In Japan, it would be Wanderlei via soccer-kick death.
(Click the image to go to the video. Sanchez def. Florian via TKO, 2:49 of round 1.)
When it happened: 4/9/05, at the Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale When it should have happened: Sometime next year. Why: Kenny Florian had enough talent and heart to make it to the finals of TUF 1 as a 185-pounder, but it was only a matter of time before he was squashed by another talented fighter who was more experienced and better suited to the weight; Diego Sanchez just happened to be that dude. This year, there was talk — hope, even — that Florian could upset BJ Penn at UFC 101, then have a high-stakes rematch against his old nemesis, who had followed him down to lightweight after an impressive run at 170. Unfortunately, Florian succumbed to Penn’s trademark mata leon, and Sanchez was booked to challenge Penn for the title in December. Still, as long as Florian keeps winning, he’ll claw his way back to the Nightmare — and this time, they’ll face each other as two of the best lightweights in the world. Prediction: Sanchez outstrikes Florian to a decision in a far more competitive match than their first meeting.
“It didn’t go quite as I hoped. Let’s put it that way,” Henderson told Sherdog.com Wednesday. “It could have been a lot better. Obviously I feel my value has gone up enough to warrant what I’ve asked for. I don’t think I’m being greedy by any means. There’s a lot of numbers being thrown around out there and I feel I should be paid what I ask for. They feel like, I guess, I’m not worth that though.”
Buy merchandise off the WWE website? That’s your best answer? Jesus Christ, Yahoo! Answers, where’s your quality control? (Not that I have a better suggestion. Personally, I would just duct-tape one of these to my body.) It seems that we have a long way to go in spreading awareness about our sport, and these uninformed jokers aren’t helping. I mean, check out these other "Best Answers"…
Give credit to Dave Farra, he is not going to let Forrest Griffin completely avoid talking about the ass-whipping he received from Anderson Silva or the reaction to said ass-whipping (running out of the arena), even though that seems to be what Griffin would like most.Instead, Farra not only confronts him about it, but does so by making a joke that has at least a 50/50 chance of eliciting a very negative reaction from the emotional Griffin. Kudos, man.
But on to Griffin.Anybody else not buying the explanation that he sprinted out of the view of the cameras because he thinks talking is stupid?Griffin’s on-camera persona has had a little something to do with his fan-favorite status in the UFC.I mean, he has a book out.Clearly this is a man who has benefitted from talking.His general response to this crushing defeat seems to be to act like it’s no big deal.As a coping mechanism, that might work for a little while.Sooner or later though, that proves to be a hollow comfort and the only thing left to do is to lash out violently.Lucky for Farra that Griffin hasn’t yet reached that point and is still willing to tolerate his jokes.
Speaking of Farra, the poor man’s Dave Coulier actually had a fight in Las Vegas this weekend, and it turns out he’s not as horrible on his feet as he is on the ground.He’s still not, you know, good, but at least he was able to beat up his radio co-host.Check out the video after the jump.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned during our travels through this crazy world of mixed martial arts, it’s that you are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. There are only a few different types of MMA fans, and they tend to gravitate towards certain fighters. For example, let’s say your favorite fighter is…
(That’s you on the left.) You are without a doubt the hippest dude you know.You were the first to start wearing skinny jeans and also the first to stop, proving your bona fides as a trendsetter.You like to think that you appreciate the finer elements of striking technique more than most MMA fans, but really you just parrot things Joe Rogan has said (“ballet of violence”) while listing off all the ways that Silva is like a modern-day Bruce Lee.You sometimes wear glasses you don’t really need and you pretend to like jazz.You think of yourself as a good dancer. Your favorite fight:Silva vs. Rich Franklin I
You’ve been watching MMA for years, and it’s important to you that people know that.You have an extensive collection of ironic t-shirts and Pride DVD’s.You work in the IT department of a moderately-sized company, where you used to feel bad for the people who pester you for help all day because, honestly, how did anyone even get that clueless?Now you despise them and don’t go to very much trouble to hide it.You are probably overweight, but you’re quick to tell people that it doesn’t necessarily mean you are out of shape or aren’t a good athlete.You don’t date much but there’s this girl in Illinois who you have a thing with over the internet, which you refer to as ‘the web.’Someone in a bar once asked you if you thought Fedor would stand a chance against Brock Lesnar.You laughed out loud.Okay, so they were talking to someone else and you overheard them, and when they noticed you laughing you pretended to be coughing, but still.The ignorance of some people. Your favorite fight:Fedor vs. Mirko Filipovic