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Tag: Anthony Johnson

‘Rumble’ vs. ‘Immortal’ Likely for TUF 9 Finale


(Matt Brown proves that there’s no brotherhood among men with shoulder tattoos. Photo courtesy of UFC.com.)

Matt Brown‘s dominant TKO win over Pete Sell at UFC 96 may have been tainted by some horrendous reffing, but the UFC is making it up to him with a solid step up in competition. Multiple sources are reporting that "The Immortal" will make his next appearance at the Ultimate Fighter: U.S. vs. U.K. finale show (June 20th, Las Vegas), where he’ll be taking on rising welterweight star Anthony "Rumble" Johnson.

Though Brown entered the UFC last year (via Team Forrest) with a shaky pro record of 6-6, he’s since built up a 3-1 record in the Octagon, with stoppage victories over Matt Arroyo, Ryan Thomas, and Sell. Johnson, who most recently beat Luigi Fioravanti into unemployment at last month’s UFC Fight Night 17, has a 4-2 UFC record and was responsible for two of last year’s greatest knockouts. As of now, the rumored card for the TUF 9 finale looks like this:

MAIN CARD
Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida
Welterweight TUF finalist vs. welterweight TUF finalist (TBA)
Lightweight TUF finalist vs. lightweight TUF finalist (TBA)
Nate Diaz vs. Joe Stevenson
Anthony Johnson vs. Matt Brown

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UFC Fight Bookings and Rumors: Okami/Miller, Johnson/Howard + More

Yushin Okami UFC MMA
("Another mid-level opponent who doesn’t put me any closer to a title shot? Sweet!")

— Well, at least the UFC hasn’t completely forgotten about Yushin Okami. The perennial top middleweight contender, who has won his last three fights against Jason MacDonald, Evan Tanner, and most recently Dean Lister in December, will reportedly be back in action at UFC 98 (May 23rd, Las Vegas) against Dan Miller. In his last 10 fights, Miller has gone 9-0 with one no-contest, and has been undefeated in the Octagon, picking up wins against Rob Kimmons, Matt Horwich, and Jake Rosholt. An impressive win for Okami would further cement his case for a title shot, though we get the feeling that "Thunder" would have to rack up a few consecutive wins by stoppage before the UFC finally gives him a chance. With Serra/Hughes now official, the UFC 98 card is lookin’ stacked.

— Exciting welterweight rising star Anthony Johnson and impressive prospect John Howard have agreed to meet at the TUF 9 finale in June. Johnson is riding a two-fight win streak after his first-round TKO over Luigi Fioravanti at last month’s UFC Fight Night 17, and his highlight-reel head-kick KO of Kevin "Pokey" Burns at the TUF 8 finale in December. A veteran of the IFL and various regional MMA leagues in the East Coast, Howard made his Octagon debut at UFC 94, winning a split decision against Chris Wilson and taking home one of the event’s Fight of the Night bonuses.

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Quote of the Day: Anthony Johnson Isn’t the World’s Biggest Matt Hughes Fan

Anthony Johnson Tommy Speer UFC MMA
(Rumble celebrates his ferocious Speer-ownage at UFC Fight Night 13 last April. Photo courtesy of NBC Sports.)

From a recent Around the Octagon interview with Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, via MMABay:  

"I’ll fight anybody the UFC puts in front of me but I’d like to fight Matt Hughes one day. People say his level of fighting is better than mine because he has a lot of experience. I don’t care. He’s a dick. Hopeufully I’ll get a chance to knock him out like Thiago Alves did…
 
When I fought Tommy [Speer] he was weird. Me and my friends were walking out of the locker room and he walked by. I said what’s up to him and nodded my head and he kept walking like I was invisible. I thought ok, you’re like that. I’m friendly. You only have one life to live. But if he’s like that I know why Matt Serra wants to beat his ass… 
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UFC News Roundup: Lister Quits, Da Spyder’s Next Fight + More

Dean Lister Yushin Okami UFC MMA
(You know, Dean, if you keep making that face it’ll stay that way forever. Photo courtesy of UFC.com.)

— The fact that middleweight submission specialist Dean Lister is out of the UFC isn’t too surprising after his terrible performance last month against Yushin Okami, but Lister reportedly requested the contract release himself. He is already in talks with several rival promotions, including Affliction and DREAM, for a new deal. Lister compiled a record of 4-2 in the UFC, and is 11-6 overall.

Anthony Johnson and Luigi Fioravanti have agreed to face each other at UFC Fight Night 17 (February 7th; Tampa, Florida). Both welterweights are coming off of victories last month; Johnson knocked out Kevin Burns at the TUF 8 finale, and Luigi Fioravanti notched a unanimous decision win over Brodie Farber at "Fight for the Troops."

TUF 3 middleweight winner Kendall Grove has also been booked for his next scrap. "Da Spyder" is slated to face Jason Day at UFC 96 (March 7th; Columbus, Ohio). Grove last competed in June, when he broke a two-fight losing streak with a split-decision victory over Evan Tanner at the TUF 7 finale. Day has also been out of action since June, losing to Michael Bisping via first-round TKO at UFC 85.

— During an interview with the local NBC news affiliate in Des Moines, Josh Neer apologized to his friends and fans for his New Year’s Eve DUI arrest; he will find out this week if his upcoming fight with Mac Danzig will still take place, and if he still has a job with the UFC. According to reporter Elias Johnson, "once you’re done in the UFC, it’s over." 

— Nearly one-third of UFC 92′s 14,166 spectators didn’t pay for their seats.

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Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale Payouts and Bonuses


(Shhh…go to sleep.  Gif thanks to Smoogy on the UG.)

Dave Kaplan is officially the luckiest son of a bitch on last night’s Ultimate Finale card.  For getting his ass handed to him by Junie Browning in the evening’s first televised bout he received a $25,000 bonus for “Fight of the Night,” as did Browning. 

Not that it was a bad fight by any means, but neither was it exhilarating or even all that competitive, unless Dana White is really that impressed by a guy willing to keep trying the same straight foot lock that only works on BJJ blue belts and Tim Sylvia.  If you ask me (and you kind of did, by virtue of coming to this website and reading this far, sucker), White wanted to reward Browning for showing up and appearing to have his shit together, and Kaplan’s pockets got fatter just by being in the way.  As long as the check clears, “Diamond” Dave can’t complain.

The Knockout of the Night bonus obviously went to Anthony “Rumble” Johnson for putting his shin across Kevin Burns’ jaw and reminding us all that sleep truly is the cousin of death.

Krzysztof Soszynski (K-Sos to the Potato Nation) pocketed 25 grand for Submission of the Night after wrenching Shane Primm’s shoulder all out of shape.

Full disclosed payouts and analysis of said payouts from last night’s event are after the jump.  Won’t you join us?

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Anthony Johnson Exclusive: “His Confidence is Going to Fuck Around and Get Him Knocked Out”


("Rumble," pre-eye poke.)

Anthony Johnson has repeatedly insisted that he doesn’t hold a grudge against Kevin Burns for poking him in the eye and leaving him with a severely damaged retina during their July bout.  It’s the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which refused to overturn the TKO loss on his record, that really bothers him.

In our exclusive interview, Johnson tells his side of the story, and tells us why Saturday night’s rematch on Spike TV is going to turn out much differently.

CagePotato.com: Here we are a few days from the rematch, how is your eye, and what was the recovery from the surgery like?

My eye is 100%.  I can see even better now since I had the surgery.  It’s been great so far.  My recovery was, I would say, 3 or 4 weeks.  I stopped wearing my bandage after like two weeks.

Is there not some part of you that really wants revenge against Burns for making you go through that?

For me it’s still a fight.  A fight is always a fight.  I don’t hold any kind of grudge against him.  Everybody thinks I’m going out for revenge, but I’m not.  I’m going out to fight, plain and simple.  Whatever happens in there happens.

How can you not be even a little mad at him?  Are you just the nicest person in the world?

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Exclusive Interview: Kevin Burns Talks Eye-Poke Fiasco and Saturday Night’s Rematch with Anthony Johnson


(Photo courtesy of NBC Sports.)

The first meeting between Kevin Burns and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson was marred by an accidental eye poke that halted the bout midway through the third round.  It was an unsatisfying end for both men, as Johnson would need surgery for a damaged retina and Burns found himself with a victory that he couldn’t really enjoy.

As the two prepare for a rematch to settle the score at Saturday night’s "Ultimate Fighter Finale," Burns talks with us about his decision to fight with the injured hand, his perspective on the eye pokes, and what he thinks of the attention the strange bout has brought upon himself and Johnson.

Check back later today for an interview with Johnson, who gives his often very different perspective on the events of that night.

CagePotato.com: Thanks for talking with me, Kevin.  Coming into this rematch, how do you mentally approach a fight like this, under these strange circumstances?

Mentally I’m approaching it like I would any other fight.  I’ve been in the cage with Anthony so I kind of know what to expect, I know what he’s going to bring to the table.  Other than from a game plan prospective, I’m not approaching it any differently.  Now I can utilize all of my standup skills.  Now that my hand’s 100% I can actually throw a left jab, a left hook, things that I haven’t been able to do.  That may make things a little different for him, but it will be good for me.

Tell me about the situation with the hand.  What happened to it?

I broke my hand three times in sixteen months.  The bone wasn’t completely fused, but if it was any other person doing normal things, not doing what we do, you probably wouldn’t notice it.  I can lift weights, I can do pretty much anything, with the exception of hitting something solid.  If I had hit something solid at that point, I had about a 95% chance that the bone would have fractured back through and I would have been back to square one.  

So instead of delaying my fighting career I decided to take a page out of Bas Rutten’s book in the old Pancrase days in Japan and use palm strikes.  They did it successfully, so I figured why can’t I?  I threw a lot of successful palm strikes earlier in the fight.  I couldn’t throw a closed jab, so I had to use that.  Unfortunately my finger went into his eye in that last palm strike that I threw in the third round.

The one in the third round ended it, but it seemed like there were several other pokes leading up to that one.  Where you aware of those, and did you feel it when it happened the last time?

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Fitch/Gono Slated for UFC 94, Aurelio Cut + More UFC Quick Hits

Jon Fitch Diego Sanchez MMA UFC
(When Jon Fitch says he’s going to wear your ass like a hat, it’s not a threat — it’s a guarantee.)

According to a report on MMA Mania, Jon Fitch will begin his road back to title contention with a fight against Akihiro Gono at UFC 94 (January 31st, Las Vegas). Fitch, who most recently dropped a unanimous decision to welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre at UFC 87 in August, was previously scheduled to face Gono in March, but a hand injury forced “The Japanese Sensation” to drop out of the match; Gono went on to lose a decision to Dan Hardy at last month’s UFC 89. The UFC’s Super Bowl weekend card will be headlined by Fitch’s old nemesis GSP facing BJ Penn, as well as Lyoto Machida vs. Thiago Silva.

In other UFC news…

— Apparently back-to-back losses were enough to get Marcus Aurelio‘s contract shredded. Five Ounces of Pain reports that the American Top Team fighter has been let go following unanimous decision defeats at the hands of Tyson Griffin (at UFC 86) and Hermes Franca (at UFC 90). Though Aurelio has had an impressive career and holds victories over Takanori Gomi, Masakazu Imanari, and Rich Clementi, he leaves the Octagon with a 2-3 UFC record.

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Spooky Friday Link Dump


(I’m going to guess…Moses the golfer?)

- Michael Wilbon is Kimbo Slice for Halloween. (MMA Fanhouse)

- Back on internet radio, along with Ariel Helwani and Steve Cofield. (MMA Rated)

- And 1 sponsors Nate Quarry. (NBC Sports)

- Anthony Johnson talks eye-pokes, rematch, and Steve Mazzagatti. (FightHype)

- A cartoon eulogy for Jared Shaw. (Fightlinker)

- Vinny Magalhaes tries to talk his way out of being Big Nog’s enemy. (MMA Weekly)

- Nick Diaz files notice to get free of EliteXC. (Gracie Fighter)

- Best lines from the worst movie. (Holy Taco)

- Out of control stock traders. (Wall Street Fighter)

- 16 bad guys we’d rather see win. (Screen Junkies)

- Long-haired kid gets serious ass-kicking. (Nothing Toxic)

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Burns/Johnson Rematch Set for TUF 8 Finale

Kevin Burns Anthony Johnson UFC MMA
(Photo courtesy of UFC.com.)

Finally, a little goddamned justice around here. MMA Junkie reports that Kevin Burns and Anthony Johnson — whose first fight at July’s “Silva vs. Irvin” event ended in a controversial TKO win for Burns after Johnson dropped in pain due to repeated eye-pokes — will get a do-over at the Ultimate Fighter 8 finale (December 13th, location TBA). Both fighters have agreed to the fight and it should be finalized in the next few days.

Burns was suffering from a hand injury at the time of his first meeting with Johnson, and was unable to strike with a closed fist, which led to his fingers finding their way into Johnson’s eyeball several times. As if the laser surgery and stitches required to fix his detached retina wasn’t agonizing enough, Johnson recently lost an appeal filed with the Nevada State Athletic Commission to have his loss to Burns overturned. So this is really good news. The only question is, will Steve Mazzagatti be reffing the rematch as well? Nah, too risky…

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