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Tag: Andre Gusmao

Cursed From Birth: The Six Worst Draws for a UFC Debut


(Oh Kyle, if only you knew how ironic that tattoo is about to look.) 

There is a Russian proverb that roughly goes, “He that is afraid of bad luck will never know good.” And it is a rare bit of good sense from our Russki comrades; we should not live in fear of things beyond our control like luck, but rather have the confidence in ourselves to believe that our hard work will eventually pay off, be it in famefortune, or fiine women. But for every bit of good luck we have, some poor sap out there has a much, much worse day because of it. Like the Mortal Kombat tournaments, these gentlemen’s misfortunes are necessary to maintain the order between realms, so it is to these brave souls that we pay tribute.

We’re talking about those guys who just happened to be on the losing side of a future champion’s debut, or got crushed before they could even get their footing. We’re talking about guys who put their hearts and souls into a sport for years, only to have their debut in the sport’s highest promotion be overshadowed by someone that was just on another level.

So, without further ado, here are the six unluckiest sons of bitches that the UFC has ever seen.

#6 – Alex Soto

Who he drew: 20 year old bantamweight phenom Michael “Mayday” McDonald at UFC 139

How it went down: Let us start with the most recent. Before entering the octagon, Alex Soto was 6-0-1 over local to mid-level competition. Mcdonald, on the other hand, was a 13-1 fighter out of California that had split a pair of contests with former WEC featherweight champion Cole Escovedo, and had scored wins over legitimate UFC competition in Edwin Figueroa and Chris Cariaso. On paper, it was going to be a tough debut for Mr. Soto. In the flesh, it was actually much, much tougher.

McDonald swarmed Soto with a barrage of technically proficient and perfectly placed punches that had him looking for a way out early. And McDonald was kind enough to offer that way out, via Soto’s consciousness. Turns out, there wasn’t a mountain high enough, a valley low enough, or a river wide enough to keep McDonald from getting to Soto, and a series of particularly brutal uppercuts later sealed the deal. The end came just 56 seconds into the first round. Soto is more than likely still dusting out the cobwebs to this day, whereas Michael McDonald has taken up a career singing backup vocals for everyday conversations.

Join us after the jump to hear the stories of five other guys who had their wings broken before they could even learn to fly. 

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Renzo Gracie Ain’t Done Yet


(If you’ve somehow forgotten how awesome Renzo is, watch 0:16-0:22 of the above clip. Props to Kostakio.)

Though he hasn’t competed since his DQ win over Frank Shamrock at EliteXC: Destiny in February 2007, don’t assume that Renzo Gracie is retired from the ring. The 42-year-old MMA pioneer, who is currently helping train Matt Serra and Andre Gusmao for their fights at UFC 98, says that he plans to start preparing for his next fight at the end of this year, right after he opens two new Renzo Gracie Academies in Connecticut and New Jersey. As he told TriStateFighter, he would happily fight for "anyplace that [would] take me…they’re willing to take an old man in, I will be there." Go here to listen to TSF’s full interview with Renzo, in which he discusses Serra’s preparation for Matt Hughes.

Bonus, after the jump: The trailer for Renzo Gracie Legacy, in which Renzo remembers Johnny Cash lyrics a little differently than we do.

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“Natural Born Killer” Moving to the UFC?

Carlos Condit WEC MMA

Multiple sources are reporting that the upcoming welterweight title match between WEC champ Carlos "Natural Born Killer" Condit and top contender Brock Larson — scheduled for WEC 39 on March 1st — has been canceled, with Condit on the verge of moving to the UFC. Though Five Ounces of Pain first reported the news, their claim that the Condit/Larson bout was scrapped due to an injury sustained by Larson is being refuted by MMA Weekly, who says that Condit was the one who first dropped out of the Corpus Christi WEC show due to a sprained wrist.

At any rate, it seems the UFC has decided that this might be a good time to bring Condit up to the big leagues; Condit is on an eight-fight win streak and hasn’t lost since June 2006. The current rumor is that he’ll be facing Martin Kampmann at UFC Fight Night 18 (April 1st, Nashville), and it’s been speculated that this is the first step towards the elimination of the WEC’s welterweight division; the WEC discontinued its middleweight and light-heavyweight classes late last year, with the UFC signing standout fighters Brian Stann, Steve Cantwell, and Chael Sonnen.

In other UFC news…

— Replacing the injured Amir Sadollah against Nick Catone at UFC Fight Night 17 (February 7th, Tampa) will be UFC newbie Derek "The Gentleman" Downey, a Utah-based fighter who has built up a 10-3 record fighting in regional promotions. Nine of his 10 wins have come by first-round stoppage.

— Houston Alexander is getting another chance to prove himself after taking his third-straight first-round loss to Eric Schafer last September. The Assassin will be returning at UFC 98 (May 23rd, Las Vegas) against Andre Gusmao, the former IFL standout who dropped a decision to Jon Jones in his Octagon debut at UFC 87.

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Fight of the Day: Jon Jones vs. Andre Gusmao

(Props: MMA Glory via MMA Linker. Apologies for the poor quality.)

The most unsung performance from UFC 87 was that of Jon Jones, the Octagon newbie who began fighting professionally in April. Though Jones’s decision win against Andre Gusmao didn’t make the pay-per-view broadcast, those who saw it were treated to one of the wildest offensive displays in recent memory. Check out the video above, where Jones pulls out every trick in his whoopass bag, including the sick takedown at the video’s 2:14 mark, a spinning elbow at 7:11, a spinning backfist at 7:17, more backfists at 11:54 and 13:05, and the switch-leg flying knee at 16:46. (And of course all those knees to the groin.) Sloppy? Absolutely. But with his wrestling prowess, aggressiveness, and creativity, he could eventually develop into a truly scary fighter.

And also, the opening Mike Goldberg/Joe Rogan exchange at 0:21-0:34? Instant classic.

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UFC 87: The New Guys

Dan Evensen UFC MMA
(Can Dan “Viking” Evensen conquer the UFC’s heavyweight division?)

“Seek and Destroy” is just four days away, and like most UFC shows, there will be a crop of Octagon newbies given a chance to sink or swim against high-level competition. Let’s take a look at the fresh meat…

DAN EVENSEN (HW)
Experience: 10-2 record (5 wins by 1st-round KO/TKO), with multiple appearances in Gladiator Challenge and BodogFight. Notable wins over Ruben Villareal and Jeremiah Constant; losses to Christian Wellisch and Dan Bobish. Last fight was a decision win over Konstantin Gluhov last November.
Will be facing: Cheick Kongo (11-4-1, 4-2 UFC)
Lowdown: Evensen is a 6’3″, 250-pound Norwegian, who “hates all wrestlers worldwide.” He briefly competed in K-1 and was associated with Master Toddy‘s Muay Thai Camp.

RYAN THOMAS (WW)
Experience: 9-1 record (all wins by stoppage), with multiple appearances in Extreme Challenge and Courage Fighting Championships. Is one of 27 fighters to have defeated MMA punchline Kenneth Allen. Has already competed five times this year, most recently submitting John McElroy in 36 seconds on July 17th.
Will be facing: Ben Saunders (5-0-2, 1-0 UFC)
Lowdown: A part-time student at Eastern Illinois University, Thomas accepted the Saunders fight on just 12 days notice, filling in for Jared “J-Roc” Rollins, who had to pull out of the card suddenly. According to Thomas, he was brought on under a four-fight contract.

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