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Tag: Andrei Arlovski

Video: Andrei Arlovski TKO’s Andreas Kraniotakes in Belarus [UPDATED]


(Props: UnderDog22 via MMAFighting)

As we mentioned last week in our profile of Muay Thai coach Said Hatim, Andrei Arlovski competed in his homeland of Belarus on Friday night, taking on German journeyman Andreas Kraniotakes in the headliner of Fight Nights: Battle on Nyamiha. Arlovski appeared loose and in control throughout the fight, which ended in the second round with a big right hand from The Pitbull and some follow-up shots on the ground. You can watch the fight above, which we’ve cued up to the TKO finish.

The match gave Arlovski his second straight win, and his fourth victory in his last five appearances. Hatim won his fight as well, stopping Artem Kazersky by second-round TKO. We’ll update this post if video of that match pops up on the Internet.

Update: And it has. Check out video of the entire event after the jump. Hatim’s fight begins at the 2:06:28 mark.

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Heart & Soul of MMA: Said Hatim, And The Virtue of Staying Ready


Said Hatim (center) cuts weight on a treadmill in Minsk, Belarus this week with student Andrei Arlovski (right) and coach Dino Costeas (left) | Photos via HatimStyle

By Elias Cepeda

MMA has come quite far in the past decade but very few fighters are featured on national television, sponsored by big companies and able to focus 100% of their energy on the sport. Many more put in the blood, sweat and tears without the bright lights or big bucks, filled with and fueled by love and an inexplicable drive to simply be a better fighter.

They hold down full-time jobs, have families and are known only to those truly in the know. They are the heart and soul of MMA.

Said Hatim is one such fighter.

The idea was initially proposed half-heartedly. Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski had recently booked his next fight — a main event contest on the Battle in Minsk card in his home of Belarus on Nov. 29 — and jokingly asked his Muay Thai coach Said Hatim if he also wanted to fight on the card.

Said was a pro kickboxer and boxer for years and has coached and trained with high level fighters like boxer Mike Mollo, UFC veteran Clay Guida, top Bellator featherweight Mike Corey and TUF veteran Mark Miller but his lone, albeit successful, MMA fight had taken place five years ago. Since that time, Hatim has focused on coaching and submission grappling tournaments.

Sure, he’d make the trip to Europe with Arlovski to be in his corner as he usually does, but Hatim was now 38 years old and half a decade removed from his last fight. “The Pitbull” was suggesting that Hatim add to his coaching responsibilities on fight night with his own contest against a much younger competitor. Said didn’t hesitate.

“Andrei told me that he was fighting in a main event November 29 and asked me, ‘Oh, do you want to fight too?,’” Hatim recounts to CagePotato.

“We were joking like that. I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll fight.’”

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The Top 24 Mixed Martial Artists Who Lost Their First Fight


(Renan Barao: Started from the bottom, now he here. / Photo via Getty)

By Adam Martin

At the UFC 165 post-fight presser last month, UFC president Dana White showered praise upon UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao, calling him one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport and remarking that the media hadn’t given enough credit to his eight-year, 32-fight undefeated streak, which has remained pristine since May 2005.

Barao has only tasted defeat once, and it was in the first fight of his career. The fact that he’s rebounded with the longest current undefeated streak in mixed martial arts — despite the fact that his first loss could have ruined his confidence forever — is absolutely amazing to me, as many young would-be prospects have crashed and burned in their debuts, never to be heard of again.

It got me thinking: What other mixed martial artists lost their first fight but then went on to have great success? I expected to bang out a list of ten fighters, but once I started doing the research, it blew my mind that some of the best fighters to ever compete in the sport, and a number of currently top 10-ranked fighters, actually lost their very first fight.

And so, I compiled a list of the top 24 MMA fighters of all time who lost their first fight. The list is based on accomplishments in the sport, overall skill level, and potential. Enjoy, and if I somehow missed somebody notable, please leave a comment below and explain why he or she should be included.

Honorable mentions: Matt “The Wizard” Hume (5-5), Wesley “Cabbage” Correira (20-15), Ryan “The Big Deal” Jimmo (18-2), Rodrigo Damm (11-6), James Te Huna (16-6)

24. Travis “The Ironman” Fulton (249-49-10, 1 NC)

(Photo via ThunderPromotions)

On July 26, 1996, at the age of 19 years old, Travis Fulton fought Dave Strasser in his MMA debut at Gladiators 1 in Davenport, Iowa, losing the fight via first-round submission. He then went on to win 249 fights, the most wins in mixed martial arts history. Fulton also holds the record for most fights (309) and most knockout wins (91) in MMA history.

Mind = blown.

Was Fulton a can crusher? Yes, yes he was. Or, should I say, yes he is, as he beat some nobody in his native Iowa just this past March. But you don’t win 249 MMA fights by accident, and Fulton deserves a place on this list based on volume alone.

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World Series of Fighting 5 Report: Arlovski Beats Kyle, Branch Tops Villefort


(Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski [right] connects with a right on Mike Kyle Saturday night at WSOF 5 | Photo by Lucas Noonan/WSOF)

By Elias Cepeda

Andrei Arlovski showed resiliency for the second fight in a row Saturday night in the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) 5 event in New Jersey, this time coming away with a win. Last March, Arlovski had his jaw broken after taking extra punches from Anthony Johnson when the referee allowed the first round to go on past the bell but fought on for the duration of the bout, ultimately losing a decision.

Saturday night, the recently un-retired Mike Kyle dropped Arlovski twice, once in the first and once in the third round, but “The Pitbull” came back each time and scored enough himself to be awarded winning scores of 29-28 by all three ringside judges. Arlovski took the fight on a month’s notice after Johnson himself was injured and had to pull out of the fight with Kyle.

“It was a great fight,” Arlovski said after the bout. “[Kyle is] a top fighter, and I really appreciate him for this fight.

In the WSOF 5 co-main event, middleweight David Branch won a decision over Danillo Villefort on the strength of dominating take downs and ground grappling. With the win, Branch has earned a shot at the WSOF middleweight belt. His opponent for the inaugural middleweight title bout has not yet been announced.

In heavyweight action, Derrick Mehmen knocked out Rolles Gracie in the second round. Throughout the first round, Gracie was able to stay safe and use his grappling effectively against Mehmen but in the second stanza, his opponent connected with a clean right hand on the feet that put Rolles out in unintentionally hilarious fashion.

In a strange turn of events, the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board officials called off a middleweight tournament bout between Elvis “The King” Mutapcic and Jesse “JT Money” Taylor just moments before the two were scheduled to hit the cage.

According the commission, Mutapcic took a prescription pill that had not been cleared for use.

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Interview: Back in the Spotlight, Andrei Arlovski Won’t Stop Until He’s Champion Again


(“It’s a trap when you’re on top of the world. When I was champion, I had people who would go out with me every day of the week. After I had two, three losses, people disappeared.” / Photo via Sherdog)

By Brian J. D’Souza

This Saturday, former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski will make his third appearance under the World Series of Fighting banner when he faces off against briefly-retired UFC/Strikeforce veteran Mike Kyle in the main event of WSOF 5. Arlovski is actually coming in as an injury replacement for Anthony Johnson — the man who broke his jaw (and his four-fight win streak) at WSOF 2 in March.

As he prepares to bounce back into the win column, the Pitbull took some time to speak with us about this weekend’s fight, as well as the highs and lows of a memorable career. Enjoy…

CagePotato.com: What do you think about Mike Kyle as an opponent?
Andrei Arlovski: He’s very quick. Has quick hands. Very quick jab, good right hand. I just have to be ready for his speed. That’s why I train a lot right now with Jon Jones — he’s my main sparring partner. We try to help each other. He’s a hard worker, he’s a good striker, so it’s good to work with him.

CP: Your last fight against Anthony Johnson was a painful one.
AA: Yes, my jaw was broken in the fight. The referee didn’t watch the time [letting the fight continue eight seconds past the five-minute first round] and Johnson broke my jaw in two places. Every punch in my face after that gave me that feeling of putting electricity in my body. Of course, I’m not happy that I lost, but I’m very happy that I shut all the fucking mouths who said I have a weak chin. I was able to fight two more rounds with a broken jaw.

CP: How big of a problem is bad officiating, bad time-keeping, and bad refereeing in MMA?
AA:
To be honest with you, I can’t make any comments right now. Maybe later. I’m sorry. I just hope this time, the referee is going to be more professional.

CP: You’ve made an impressive career comeback after losing four straight fights in 2009-2011. How tough was that losing streak for you mentally?
AA:
 It was really tough mentally, it was really tough physically. I was asking myself, “What’s wrong? Every time, I do everything right.” I train right, I was on a schedule. You know what my old trainer told me? He said “You need to retire.”

I just gave a call to Greg Jackson, I said “Listen, should I retire or not?” He said, “Absolutely not! Just come to my camp and we’ll start over again.” Greg Jackson supported me a lot, he gave me hope.

I told [Greg] face to face, “I don’t need any favors from you. Do you think I can be champion again?” He said, “Yes.” “Do you think I have potential?” he said, “Yes.” And hearing that was enough for me.

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“Rumble” Out, Arlovski in Against Mike Kyle at WSOF 5 Main Event


(We know we’ve beaten this horse to death, but the guy on the left USED TO FIGHT AT F*CKING WELTERWEIGHT.)

Some mixed news out of the World Series of Fighting, as news broke yesterday that Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, who was slated to brutally KO the recently un-retired Mike Kyle at WSOF 5 in September, has been forced to pull out from the headlining fight. Although Johnson’s camp is citing a “training injury” as the reason for his withdrawal, our inside sources tell us that Rumble actually suffered an “empathy implosion” of his ACL while watching the Korean Zombie/Jose Aldo fight car wreck last weekend. Just when you thought you’ve heard it all.

Thankfully, the man stepping up on short notice to take Rumble’s place will be none other than the last man to be defeated by him, former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski. “The Pit Bull” has not fought since his aforementioned loss at WSOF 2, where he dropped a unanimous decision to Johnson in an entertaining slugfest.

While we imagine that Kyle is probably elated to learn that he is now fighting a guy he stands a decent chance of actually knocking out, expect him to be a huge underdog heading into this one nonetheless. Minus his setback at the hands of Johnson, Arlovski has gone 4-0 with 1 NC since exiting Strikeforce back in 2011 (well, 5-0 if you also happen to think that ONE FC’s stance on soccer kicks is f*cking ridiculous). Kyle, on the other hand, recently scored a quick KO over Travis Wiuff in his comeback bout last May.

Anybody liking “MAK” for the upset here?

-J. Jones

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CagePotato Roundtable #22: What Was the Worst UFC Title Fight of all Time?


(It’s not a UFC fight, but you can’t talk awful title fights without at least referencing Sonnen vs. Filho II. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Today we’re talking about bad UFC title fights – fights that fizzled out after weeks of hype, bored even the most die-hard fans among us, and left us baffled that the winner was considered the best in his weight class. Since we’re dealing strictly with UFC title fights, notable clunkers like Ruiz vs. Southworth II (Strikeforce), Wiuff vs. Tuchscherer (YAMMA), and Sonnen vs. Filho II (WEC) are ineligible for inclusion. Also, we promise that the only appearance of the name “Ben Askren” in this column lies in this incredibly forced sentence. Read on for our picks, and please, pretty please, send your ideas for future Roundtable topics to tips@cagepotato.com.

Jason Moles

Detroit is known by many names – Motown, Motor City, and Hockey Town to name a few. None of which lend to the idea that the birthplace of the assembly line was also a mecca of mixed martial arts or a place to catch great fights on Saturday. Unfortunately, UFC didn’t care; they took the show to the Great Lakes State in 1996 for UFC 9: Clash of the Titans 2 nonetheless. Ken Shamrock and Michigan native Dan Severn were set to face off for the first world title outside of Japan, the UFC Superfight championship. However, thanks to Senator John McCain, instead seeing an exciting rematch that was sure to cover the canvas in bad blood, fans in attendance and at home watching on PPV were treated to what became known as “The Detroit Dance.” And to this day, it is regarded as one of the worst fights in the history of the sport.

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World Series of Fighting 2: Arlovski vs. Johnson — The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly


Special thanks to Oliver Chan and photographer Rick Albrecht for the photos.

If there’s one thing that I took away from last night’s World Series of Fighting card, it was that even a high profile promotion that puts on a night of entertaining fights is going to encounter some hiccups during its second event. Join us as we relive the highs and lows from WSoF 2.

The Good:

Anthony Johnson looked legitimate at heavyweight: Heading into last night’s main event, a lot was riding on Anthony “Rumble” Johnson actually fighting like a true heavyweight and not just looking like one. With all of the focus from fans and pundits alike on the “former UFC welterweight” issue, a poor showing from Johnson could have caused many fans to dismiss WSoF as an organization of squash matches and freak show fights. Fortunately for the organization, last night Rumble proved that his fight against Andrei Arlovski didn’t deserve freak show status. Johnson was too quick for Arlovski early on, and almost finished the fight before the end of the first round. He may have gassed out early – that’ll happen when you take a knee to the juevos during your first fight as a heavyweight – but at least he demonstrated that he’s capable of being a competent heavyweight if Ray Sefo needs him to be one again.

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World Series of Fighting 2: Arlovski vs. Johnson — Live Results and Commentary


(Admit it. You kind of missed that tongue.Photo via facebook.com/MMAWorldSeries)

Tonight in Atlantic City, former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski headlines World Series of Fighting 2 against former UFC whateverweight Anthony Johnson, in a battle that will surely earn the 2013 Minowaman Freak Show Hall of Fame Award. Also on the card: UFC vets Josh Burkman and Aaron Simpson throw down in the welterweight division, Paulo Filho hopefully shows up to fight David Branch, and Marlon Moraes returns from his win over Miguel Torres to face Bellator champ killer Tyson Nam.

Our man Oliver Chan is on the scene tonight at the Revel Casino, where he and photographer Rick Albrecht will be posting round-by-round updates, commentary, and visual aids after the jump, beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest from the NBC Sports Network main card broadcast, and let your voices be heard in the comments section.

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[VIDEO] Anthony Johnson is a Round Mound of Ground-n-Pound in Extended ‘WSOF 2′ Preview


(“Why yes, I did smell what The Rock was cooking. In fact, I went back for seconds. Why do you ask?”) 

“Anthony Johnson is trying to shed the tarnish of being one of the best welterweights in the world…that couldn’t make the weight.”

In the opening moments of the extended preview for this weekend’s second World Series of Fighting event, we are informed of the above dilemma facing former UFC contender Anthony Johnson by a silky-voiced narrator — over a melancholic piano soundtrack of course, because emotions. And while this bit of info would usually serve as the precursor to an inspiring tale of Johnson’s welterweight redemption, it kind of loses its pop when you realize that Johnson is now fighting at upwards of 50 pounds heavier than he was in the UFC.

But it is Johnson’s horizontal expansion that takes center stage in the above preview, understandably yet somewhat still puzzlingly juxtaposed with Andrei Arlovski’s own tale of hopeful redemption. It’s a shame that Dana White has already publicly written off the fight as “not legit,” or the (implied) idea that we could see “The Pitbull” back in the UFC would probably hold a lot more water in the above preview. Ditto for the idea that Arlovski could do so by beating up a former welterweight who has been fighting at light heavyweight for less than a year now. Then again, if you’re like Sherdog’s Jordan Breen, who is also featured in the video, you probably think “weight classes” and “champions” of said “weight classes” are meaningless restrictions meant for little more than depriving MMA fans for the fights they truly want to see (SUPER HLUK TOURNEY NEVER DIE!).

Featuring some highlights of Johnson and Arlovski crushing their respective cans at WSoF 1, as well as the aforementioned interviews with everyone from Eddie Alvarez to renowned trainer Mike Winkeljohn, check out an extended preview of WSoF 2 after the jump, along with a full rundown of the card.

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