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Tag: Antoni Hardonk

The Travel Chronicles, Part 4: California Inspiration

(Photos courtesy of the author. If you missed the first three installments of The Travel Chronicles, click here to catch up.)

By Elias Cepeda

After any failure one natural inclination is to enter a depressive state. Another is to get on to the next thing you can take action on as quickly as possible, replacing success for failure, joy for disappointment, in order to stave off depression.

I’d just gotten my ass kicked in Canada. I very badly wanted to instantly transport to LA and Vegas where fun, work, and training awaited me. Instead, I had a long, sleepless night and ten hours of layover-ridden air travel ahead of me.

I could only be so active during that time. Mostly, I sat and thought. My cell phone was not working well up north and so I didn’t even have text messaging and phone calls to distract me. As I write this, it has been nearly four months since my fight in Canada and I have yet to watch tape of it even once.

I have, however, seen the fight, what I can remember of it, over and over in my head enough to satisfy me for some time. Most of that replay happened at the airports I arrived at, waited in, and departed from over and over that day after the fight.

I arrived in Las Vegas after 11 p.m. on Friday. The initial idea was to get a rental car and drive straight away to Los Angeles where I’d be staying with my friend Dave Doyle. Perhaps more than any other major media editor or writer over the past decade, Dave has been a major driving force in getting MMA covered in the mainstream. When he was at Fox Sports, Dave got his bosses to let him cover MMA, a true coup for the sport. He also got the Associated Press involved, doing great coverage for them and later, as an editor of the MMA and boxing sections at Yahoo! Sports, built the largest and most widely read combat sports pages in the English speaking world.

Dave now writes for MMA Fighting. Lucky for me, his smarts extend beyond the reporting and writing realm and he gave me some useful advice on my plan to drive from Vegas to LA through the night after a whole day of traveling. “You can come here any time you want, Elias, that’s fine. But if you try to make that drive as tired as you will be, you’ll probably die in the desert.”


UFC Heavyweight Antoni Hardonk Retires to Focus on Coaching

Please tell us where this song ranks in the all-time “MMA Rap” list in the comments section.

According to our pals over at, Antoni Hardonk has retired from the sport of MMA. Given that his last fight took place over a year-and-a-half ago, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, nor will it impact the heavyweight rankings, but it’s always slightly unpleasant to officially scratch any name off of the organization’s shallowest division.


Bader vs. Schafer, Hardonk vs. Barry to Be Broadcast Live on Spike Before UFC 104 PPV

UFC 104 Lyoto Machida Mauricio Rua Ben Rothwell Cain Velasquez

Could UFC 103‘s altruistic experiment of airing some of the undercard bouts on basic cable before the main card be a recurring tradition? According to a press release distributed by Spike TV this afternoon, the UFC will be doing another live prelim show on Spike directly before the UFC 104 pay-per-view on October 24th. Guaranteed for the one-hour commercial-free broadcast will be…

Ryan Bader (9-0, 2-0 UFC) vs. Eric Schafer (11-3-2, 3-2-0 UFC): TUF 8 winner Ryan Bader, who most recently won a unanimous decision over Carmelo Marrero at Condit vs. Kampmann, will try to take another step up the light-heavyweight ladder against tough ground specialist Eric Schafer, who’s coming off back-to-back first-round stoppages of Houston Alexander and Antonio Mendes. Seems like a perfect next step in Bader’s development, as well as an opportunity for Schafer to prove that he’s a legitimate contender.

Antoni Hardonk (8-5, 4-3 UFC) vs. Pat Barry (4-1, 1-1 UFC): It might be win-or-go-home time for these two leg-kick specialists, who will both be trying to bounce back from losses. Hardonk most recently suffered a second-round TKO against Cheick Kongo at UFC 97, while Barry was quickly choked out by Tim Hague at UFC 98. It’s too bad that Barry didn’t take the Hague loss as a sign that he should drop to light-heavy, because Hardonk’s reach advantage is going to be frightening.

Other preliminary bouts could air during the broadcast, if time allows. UFC 104′s compelete lineup is after the jump.


Ryan Bader Returns at UFC 104 Against Eric Schafer; Leg Kick Apocalypse Also Rumored

Ryan Bader Carmelo Marrero MMA UFC
(Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)

According to Ryan Bader’s Twitter page, the TUF 8 light-heavyweight winner will return to action at UFC 104 (October 24th, Los Angeles) against "Eric Shaufer." (We’re assuming that means Eric Schafer, the UFC vet who’s coming off back-to-back first-round stoppages of Houston Alexander and Antonio Mendes.) If the announcement is accurate, it would be a surprisingly quick comeback for Bader, who wrecked his knee during his three-round domination of Carmelo Marrero in April; early predictions said he’d be out of action for up to a year. UFC 104 will be headlined by the light-heavyweight title fight between Lyoto Machida and Mauricio Rua, and may also feature the heavyweight contenders match between Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez.


Ben vs. Ben: UFC 97 Edition

(‘No, it isn’t funny. What happened to the dress I bought you? The one with an actual neckline? It’s like you want people to stare or something. Oh, now I get it.’)

You know what time it is.  Time to get serious about the important questions surrounding UFC 97.  Questions like, ‘What the hell are we getting for our money here?’ and ‘What’s up with your stupid face, stupid?’  That’s right.  It’s Ben vs. Ben time.

What exactly does Chuck Liddell have to do to prove that he’s still got it?  Is anything less than a devastating KO going to be enough?
BG: It’ll either have to be a knockout, or an incredibly dominant decision victory where all three judges score it 30-24 and Shogun Rua‘s face looks like hamburger afterwards. Here’s the deal: There’s no way that Shogun could have magically set the clock back to 2005 in the three months since he barely defeated Mark Coleman at UFC 93, and I think we all expect a shabby performance out of him tomorrow night. So Chuck basically has to prove that although he may no longer be able to hang with younger, more complete fighters, his skills haven’t deteriorated as much as Rua’s have.

If both fighters turn in mediocre efforts, the UFC will have a hard time figuring out what to do with them. (You can’t cut the winner and the loser. Can you?) That was probably Dana White’s motivation for calling out Liddell in public and demanding a dazzling performance — if Chuck fails again, there’s no obvious next step with him, promotion-wise. Do you throw him against talented up-and-comers like Luis Cane and Jon Jones, who might smash his old ass?  Do you try to build him back up against complete cans? Either way, he won’t be in important fights anymore, and that may not be an option for the UFC, or for Chuck himself.

BF: The only way a decision victory would be enough for Liddell is if a) Rua fights like it’s the 2005 Pride GP all over again, b) Chuck still comes close to finishing him several times, and c) after the fight all we can talk about is what amazing heart and conditioning Rua showed in merely surviving that assault.


Fights of the Day: Frank Mir vs. Hardonk + Vera

Frank Mir’s last two fights in the UFC lasted just 77 and 69 seconds; one went well, one went not-so-well. Either tap your opponent early or get punched out just as quickly — those are pretty much Frank’s options on Saturday.

(Frank Mir vs. Antoni Hardonk, UFC 74, 8/25/07)

(Frank Mir vs. Brandon Vera, UFC 65, 11/18/06)