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Tag: Anderson Silva

Dana White and Tom Atencio: MMA’s Newest Soap Opera


(Ladies go crazy for a sharp-dressed man, courtesy of Combat Lifestyle.)

One thing I’m going to miss with Gary Shaw backing into the shadows at Pro Elite is the name-calling and childish back-and-forth between he and Dana White. It was just so entertaining, what a shame to see it go. But the Dana White-Tom Atencio rivalry could be the next best thing. Sure, Atencio doesn’t wear a track suit, but he does have a wardrobe that appears to consist entirely of Affliction t-shirts, which is almost as good. Plus now he’s taking pages out of the Dana White playbook:

For the money-conscious cable-ready consumer, the difference between watching a free UFC show and paying $39.95 to watch Affliction might be a no-contest.

Affliction appeared to land one last counterpunch, however, making a deal to broadcast its card on closed-circuit television at Gold Coast casino, which is directly across from the Palms on Flamingo Road.

“It’s just another opportunity to watch our fight,” Atencio said.

Granted, it’s more of a symbolic gesture and not quite on par with scheduling an event on the same night as your competitor, but you have to love how Atencio — like White — plays dumb about it. The L.A. Times article actually has quite a few fun nuggets, most notably quotes from White where he plays the role of grizzled veteran MMA promoter:

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Ben vs. Ben: The UFC/Affliction Argument


(One more Ben never hurt anything.)

At Wednesday’s press conference in Los Angeles every single Affliction employee made sure to refer to their event as “the biggest event in MMA history.” That may be a blatant exaggeration, but this coming weekend is still a monumental one for our sport, not to mention a great one for those of us who love it. With that in mind, we bring you another edition of Ben vs. Ben, where Cage Potato’s similarly named editors battle it out. This time it’s personal.

Which underdog has the best chance of scoring an upset this weekend?

Fowlkes: There are underdogs and then there are underdogs. By that I mean there are the guys who are betting underdogs and the guys who are mostly just perceived to be underdogs, even if the line on them doesn’t really reflect it.

For the latter I like Ben Rothwell. It might only be a mild upset for him to beat Andrei Arlovski, but it would go a long way toward silencing the Rothwell haters who still think his thirteen-fight win streak was all IFL hype. Some of it was, sure, but Rothwell is a monster. He can do everything Arlovski does, only better. He’s also matured and become a real workhorse in the gym since leaving the IFL, whereas a lot of guys might have slacked off with no fights on the horizon.

As for real betting underdogs, at +400 Reese Andy’s my man (okay, so the old IFL loyalties are starting to show, I admit it). It’s not that he’s so much better than Brandon Vera, but I just don’t believe Vera’s head is really in this fight. He’s still dwelling on the Werdum fight, still feeling like he ought to be a heavyweight, and now Andy’s going to come in, take him down, and grind away at his face for a decision victory. It’s definitely not out of the question.

Goldstein: Wow. You should have prefaced that response with “Caution: Extreme Nuthugging Ahead.” I like Rothwell too, but to say that he does everything Arlovski does, only better — well, it’s a statement that can only be proved by the fight itself. Still, I have to agree that Rothwell has a good shot at surprising a lot of people. Arlovski vs. Rothwell is the only fight on the Affliction main card that isn’t completely lopsided, and Big Ben has the tools to win.

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Machida On Thiago Silva, LHW Title Contenders

Lyoto Machida Sokoudjou MMA UFC

From a new interview on Tatame.com.br, translated by CagePotato’s Luiz De Souza.

***

How does it feel to go against another Brazilian fighter?
I wouldn’t want to go against another Brazilian, but we are all professionals and that’s how it goes. There are fights amongst people of the same nation; it’s inevitable. Only one will come out champion from this group of Brazilians, and it will become our job to go against friends. The most important thing is to deal with this as professionals. The Americans already have this in their culture, they understand it, they are friends, but when the fight comes…This happens a lot in K-1, they fight against each other and still have good relationships…I obviously would rather not go against another Brazilian, we are together representing the same country, but then again everyone is defending their own flags. I know [Silva] hasn’t had a loss yet either, he comes from great victories in the events, but I am doing my homework so that I can win this fight.

Have you started studying your opponent?
I’ve seen a couple of his fights, but it is still early to start training specifically for him. What I am doing now is my basic training, physical preparation, and in August I will train to go against him. He is tough, like all others, there has to be a built-up strategy and some good studying of his game for me to win.

Do you think that the next fighter to get a chance at the belt is the winner of your fight against Thiago, Chuck Liddell vs. Rashad Evans, or do you think Wanderlei can be the one too?
I think anything can happen, but I think that Liddell, since he is an ex-champion, has great chances of getting the shot at it if he wins. Wanderlei also has a chance, but he was a Pride champion instead, so his chances are maybe lower than Chuck’s. Wanderlei is good enough to fight for the belt, for everything he has already done and for everything he still does, but the UFC is the one who decides.

Are you going to train with Anderson Silva for this fight?
Yes I will. In August I should be going to Rio to train with Anderson.

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Is UFC Counter-Programming Helping Affliction?

In this NBC Sports video Andrew Falzon from MMA Payout looks at this weekend’s UFC vs. Affliction battle by breaking down the Affliction card and its chances for success against the free Silva vs. Irvin event. Aside from him referring to Tim Sylvia as “Emelianenko’s first real challenge” (um, Nogueira? who beat Sylvia recently? ringing any bells?) he does a great job as an on-camera commentator.

But all this media attention on Affliction and their struggle against the UFC’s counter-programming efforts only makes me wonder if it’s not really helping Affliction get the word out about their event. If the thinking behind putting a free event on Spike TV the very same night is that it will keep casual fans from paying for Affliction, it seems like the UFC also risks drawing attention to the Affliction event as media outlets inevitably run stories on the raison d’être of this UFC show.

That’s not to say those same fans who learn of Affliction by hearing about the UFC’s anti-Affliction show will all shell out the pay-per-view bucks, but it does help put Affliction on the map. Maybe the better tact would be to kill them with silence, though that’s never been Dana White’s way. Especially when it comes to t-shirt guy.

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Video: Kenny Florian “Hell-bow” Clinic

From the latest episode of ESPN.com’s MMA Live, Kenny Florian demonstrates a technique for clinch-domination that you should definitely add to your bar-fight repertoire. Speaking of which, James Irvin doesn’t believe that Anderson Silva is “real technical in terms of the clinch.” Yeah, he really said that — video proof is below.

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Exclusive Interview: Lyoto Machida

Lyoto Machida UFC MMA
(Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

After Lyoto Machida scored the biggest win of his undefeated career by out-pointing Tito Ortiz to a unanimous decision at UFC 84, he immediately became the subject of intense debate in the MMA community. While his fans praise his impenetrable defense and technically perfect counter-attacks, there are others who find his stick-and-move style to be boring — or worse, cowardly. Our resident Brazilian Luiz de Souza called Machida at his home base in Belém, Brazil, to get his take on the criticism, and to find out where he thinks he stands in the UFC’s light-heavyweight title picture.

***

CagePotato: Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us today. Do you have any idea who your next opponent will be?
There’s been a lot of speculation, but there’s no confirmation of anything yet. But I think it could be Thiago Silva, or even Quinton Jackson.

We’ve heard that multiple fighters have turned down fights with you. Why do you think people are trying to avoid you?
It’s like I said in other interviews, this is a business, and so many times people don’t want to fight, not because they are scared, but because they want to get to the top quicker. Many times, fighters have better opportunities of getting higher-ranked in other fights, which makes them choose their fights sparingly, not accepting all challenges. It’s not a matter of being scared.

Some UFC fans refer to your style as “boring.” How do you respond to that?
The truth is that my style of fighting is very technical, and many times people do not understand what I am trying to show them. But this is my style. I can add to it, try to get better combinations, improve my aggressiveness, but this is my style; it’s each person’s characteristics. There are fighters that try to add to their styles, but it’s very difficult to change completely. I fight for a positive result, and I believe that if I add a few things to my style I can still get these positive results.

I don’t feel that this is the only way fans see me. There are many of them who compliment me, and tell me they enjoy watching me fight, so it’s not only negativity coming from them. But it’s something that depends on each person’s point of view, and how the person is looking at the fight. If the person is only looking at it as a brawl, then it gets harder for the person to understand. But when they look at it with a more technical view, looking at the martial arts in it, maybe they’ll understand it better.

Has the UFC ever asked you to press the action more, or are they content with how your fights have been going?

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Video: Rich Franklin on Silva vs. Irvin

Ace does his best to make the match sound competitive, but it’s pretty obvious who his money’s on in this one. FYI, the rest of the “Silva vs. Irvin” lineup is looking like this:

MAIN CARD
Brandon Vera vs. Reese Andy
Hermes Franca vs. Frank Edgar
Cain Velasquez vs. Jake O’Brien
Anthony Johnson vs. Kevin Burns
Jesse Taylor vs. C.B. Dollaway

UNDERCARD
Brodie Farber vs. Rory Markham
Nate Loughran vs. Johnny Rees
James Giboo vs. Brad Blackburn
Dale Hartt vs. Shannon Gugherty

(Video props: UFC.com via MMA Mania)

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Full Translation of Anderson Silva’s New ‘Tatame’ Interview

Anderson Silva UFC MMA Dana White

This Tatame.com.br interview with Anderson Silva has been picking up some heat today over Silva’s statement that Lyoto Machida is the UFC’s true light-heavyweight champion, and that he doesn’t actually intend to make a run at the 205-pound title. (Dana White apparently didn’t get that memo.) The entire article seemed interesting, so we had our new Portuguese-speaking friend Luiz De Souza translate the entire thing for us. Enjoy.

***

Are you in Brazil or Las Vegas?
I’m in Brazil for a little more than a month. I’m here in Rio training.

What do you expect from this fight with James Irvin in the light-heavyweight division?
My training has been going pretty well. It’s a new experience that we are trying to do. I only train with people above my weight class, I have always trained this way. Lets wait and see how it goes. Coming out of my fights alive like I always do is something good, going back to my family is the most important thing. We made a chronogram of training and physical preparation, we studied it with some [knowledgeable] people, and we are going there to put it into practice, to see if everything we trained and innovated will work.

He said that you ran over the people from your weight class, and that he does not fear your game plan and that he will show you the reason why there are weight classes. What do you think of that?
I believe that weight classes exist for that reason, but when I used to fight in PRIDE there wasn’t a category up to 83kg (183lb) only 93kg (205lb), and I always fought in it. But I did not have the same physical and technical qualities I have today. It’s an experiment, we are doing it for many reasons, and one of them is because Dana White asked me to fight, and myself, along with my friends that help me a lot, have decided that it is doable. We’ll see, I will look to do my job like I have been doing regardless of the results, and I am going into it to test myself, to see if I can. If it turns out to be a positive result, it will mean that our experience plus our experiments worked. People own their own mouths, so he can say whatever he wants, and he is right about the reason for weight classes. I did not have the intention of going for this belt, this belt is Lyoto’s and he has proven that. I am going into this fight because I like to fight, I like challenges.

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More Counter-Programming Coming Elite XC’s Way


(Get ready for war, kind of.)

With Elite XC’s next CBS show planned for July 26, the UFC is once again putting on its counter-programming hat (which one assumes looks a lot like a viking helmet) to try and screw with their ratings. So what is it this time? Anderson Silva fighting a pack of wolves live on Spike TV? The debut of the long-awaited Chuck Liddell-Girl Scout Troop 104 sex tape?

Not quite. Try a rebroadcast of UFC 84: Ill Will, featuring B.J. Penn and Sean Sherk. Spike TV will be running it all night, beginning at 9 pm EST, to be preceded at 4 pm by a rebroadcast of the Silva vs. Irvin Fight Night from a week before, just in time to match main events with the Showtime portion of the Elite XC card, which begins at 8 pm.

Oh, the indignity.

Realistically, the UFC couldn’t be expected to do much more than this just one week after their frantically thrown together anti-Affliction show, but it’s still got to sting a bit to know the UFC thinks reruns are all it takes to draw attention away from your live event on network TV.

Five Ounces of Pain is reporting that Dana White has his own network deal close to finalized. While we’ve all heard this siren’s song before, this time there’s a time frame involved:

“We’re real close to a network,” said Dana White, “I’m going to say in three months.”

As for which network, the smart money’s on Fox, though we’ll believe it when we see it. We’ve been burned too many times before and we just don’t know if we can go through that hurt again.

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Afternoon Video Block: Irvin, Griffin, + Fickett vs. Lapsley


Following up on yesterday’s interview excerpt where he discussed Anderson Silva’s problematic tools, James Irvin tells MSNBC.com that he’s going to beat Silva in the clinch (!!!!!1!!). Shock the world, Sandman. (Props: MMA Mania)


Remember when Bruce Buffer was announcing the result of the Rampage/Forrest fight, and he was like “the winner, aaaaaand…” — like he was going to say “still champion” — and everyone, including Forrest Griffin, was like “OMFG Rampage won!”? In this RawVegas.tv clip, Griffin confronts Buffer about it, who admits to using the strange syntax intentionally to amp up the drama of the moment. And man is he pleased with himself.

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