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Tag: Antonio Nogueira

Quick Hits: Griffin/Silva at UFC 101, Maynard Signs with Everlast, + More

(Dana White does the hard sell on TUF 9.  Props: Cage Writer)

Forrest Griffin and Thiago Silva are expected to get back in action against one another at the still officially unannounced UFC 101 event in August that will feature a Randy Couture/Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira main event.  With both Griffin and Silva coming off losses this is one of those wonderful situations where somebody has to turn things around while someone else has to drop two straight and then reevaluate his life and career.  All signs point to the event taking place in Portland, OR. – also known as the town with best strip clubs in America.  Count us in.

– Since he apparently thinks he’s a boxer now, I suppose it’s only fitting that Gray Maynard inked a sponsorship deal with Everlast MMA.  Maynard’s pounded-flat mug is even going to be the focal point for an ad campaign, so I guess it pays to abandon all your wrestling training and beat guys up on the feet.  Does it pay to make a decision-machine like Maynard your poster boy?  Everlast will find out, possibly the hard way.

Sean Sherk thinks he’s in line for the next lightweight title shot if he beats Frankie Edgar at UFC 98, and he expects that the belt will still be around B.J. Penn’s waist after he faces Kenny Florian.  Drawing on his experience fighting both men, Sherk says Penn “has pretty much every advantage” in a bout with Florian.  That might be whitewashing Penn’s conditioning issues a little too much, but what do you expect from Sherk, who just assumes everybody is out there doing caveman training every day.


Ben vs. Ben: UFC 92 Edition

(‘You seem like a nice boy.  It’s a shame what Rashad is going to do to you.’)

Merry Christmas, Potato Nation.  In the spirit of giving, we present to you our customary pre-event face-off.  It was either this or a gift card to The Pottery Barn.  So, you know, you’re welcome.  Enjoy the holiday, and all the best to you and yours.  Don’t forget that we’re back on schedule tomorrow and liveblogging UFC 92 on Saturday.  Doin’ work, son.  

Exactly when and how will the three marquee fights end?

BG: Let’s start with the easy one. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira subs Frank Mir via armbar at 2:52 of round 3. And it’s not just because he has better jiu-jitsu and can absorb more damage. He will win because that’s how the TUF 8 story ends. It is written: Big Nog represents everything that is good and pure about this sport, while Mir is the cocky John Kreese–like asshole who didn’t care that the house pranks were interrupting Efrain Escudero’s sleep. (Monster!) Minotauro is going to beat Mir standing for the first two-and-a-half rounds, and then an ill-advised takedown attempt from Mir during the third will blow up in his face, leading to the submission win for Nogueira. We need this to happen, just like we need Lesnar vs. Nog for the real heavyweight title.

If Forrest Griffin can stick to the game plan he had against Rampage — playing it smart and safe, but pouncing when there are opportunities — he’ll beat Rashad Evans in a split decision. Here’s a fun stat: Evans has never won a unanimous decision in the UFC, even though five of his eight Octagon appearances have gone the distance. I’m not saying that judges don’t like him (although who knows, maybe they don’t), but it may suggest that if a fight goes to the scorecards, it’s because he wasn’t able to dominate his opponent. Also, Rashad’s never gone five rounds — Griffin has been there before.

Finally, Wanderlei Silva beats Quinton Jackson via unanimous decision in UFC 92’s Fight of the Night. It’s a difficult outcome to predict because of all the variables separating Silva/Jackson III from the previous two installments but Silva definitely has the advantage. I’m going to give Rampage the benefit of the doubt and say he’s eating normally this week, rather than following his occasional fasting/hallucinating routine. And while Wolfslair might not be the most acclaimed MMA camp in the world, the friendly and nurturing environment he’s found there will give him the confidence he needs to not perform like a shambling wreck. Jackson might get beaten to a pulp, but he won’t be knocked out.

BF: I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of some way Mir might win, just to be contrary, and I’ve got nothing.  He definitely won’t sub Big Nog.  He doesn’t have the cardio or the faith in himself to outpoint him over the course of five rounds.  And if Mir becomes the first person to knock Nogueira out there’s simply nothing left for me to believe in.  Nog submits Mir via rear naked choke at 3:55 of round two.  That’s that.


Gambling Addiction Enabler: UFC 92

(Strictly business, baby. Photo courtesy of Combat Lifestyle’s UFC 92 press conference album.)

Important: With the holidays now upon us, our posting will be lighter than usual as we pause to get reacquainted with our estranged families.  But have no fear, Potato Nation, as we have some Christmas Eve and Christmas Day treats planned, then we’re back to semi-normal on Friday.  Naturally, we’ll also be liveblogging UFC 92 on Saturday night, so don’t wander off.

And now, some betting odds for your gambling pleasure, courtesy of the Venetian sportsbook (via Yahoo!).

Rashad Evans +110 v. Forrest Griffin -140
Frank Mir +300 v. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira -400
Quinton Jackson +110 v. Wanderlei Silva -140
Mike Massenzio +150 v. C.B. Dollaway -180
Mostapha Al Turk +250 v. Cheick Kongo -330
Dean Lister +220 v. Yushin Okami -300
Mike Wessel +300 v. Antoni Hardonk -400
Reese Andy +180 v. Matt Hamill -220
Brad Blackburn +130 v. Ryo Chonan -160
Dan Evensen +130 v. Pat Barry -160



Ben vs. Ben: Thanksgiving Edition

(Somebody kill that motherfucker.)

It’s Thanksgiving today, the most gluttonous of all holidays.  So while we play touch football in the yard and gorge ourselves on turkey and potato-based dishes, you can enjoy a little Ben-on-Ben action, with debates covering everything from the future of the heavyweight top ten, the aftermatch of the Jon Fitch debacle, how we prefer to clog our arteries every year around this time, and more.  Enjoy.

Let’s say Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira beats Frank Mir next month (obviously). But let’s also say Brock Lesnar manages to beat Big Nog in the belt-unification match next year. If this nightmare scenario were to become a reality, would you rank Lesnar as the #1 heavyweight in the world, or is it still Fedor until he dies or gets beat?

Goldstein: Christ — it depresses me that we’re actually discussing Brock Lesnar as the potential #1 heavyweight in the world. Do not let us down, Nog!

Anyway, I’m going to say Lesnar would have to be placed at #2 in that situation, not #1, and it’s really just on general principle. No fighter with a 4-1 record should be ranked #1 — even if they’ve beaten two top-five fighters back-to-back — unless they’ve beaten the previous #1 fighter in the world in their division (Emelianenko, in this case). Of course if Andrei Arlovski beats Fedor in January, things go into flux a bit, but I’d say Arlovski moves into the #1 spot at that point, and keeps it even if Lesnar goes on to beat Nogueira. (Does your brain hurt yet from this hypothetical bullshit, or is it just me?)

But who-beat-who-when stats are just one aspect of creating rankings — the other part is infuriatingly subjective, and has to do with talent, and personal opinions on how a certain top-10 fighter would do against other top-10 fighters. And if you want my opinion, here goes: Fedor Emelianenko is worlds more talented than Brock Lesnar at this point. I wouldn’t necessarily agree with M-1’s bluster that Brock wouldn’t last a round with Fedor, but I strongly doubt he’d get his hand raised at the end of the fight. So how could I in good conscience call Lesnar the best heavyweight in the world, even if he does follow his win over Couture with a win over Nogueira?

Fowlkes: There’s a lot of inherent Lesnar hate in this discussion already, but since I’m willing to believe it has more to do with his record than his persona I’ll go along with it.  But let’s admit our bias here.  We don’t want Lesnar to be #1 because he’s still an MMA rookie who came out of the WWE and we’re afraid that if he climbs to the top so quickly, on sheer size and strength alone, not only will the diatribes that show up on the WWE website really get out of hand, but it will become harder to convince anti-MMA jerks that this is truly a nuanced sport.


Exclusive: Stankie, in His Own Words

(When this man talks, you listen. Occasionally you even understand.)

I called The Ultimate Fighter’s Al “Stankie” Stankiewicz for an interview and ended up getting a motivational speech. He can’t help it. That’s just what he does. As Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira’s eccentric old boxing coach, “Stankie” caught our eye early on this season with his antics, and as rumors filtered out about things he did off camera, we knew this was someone we wanted to talk to. Turns out the rumors are all true, but they don’t begin to tell the whole story.

We talked with “Stankie” recently to find out who he is and how he came to be standing next to Big Nog, going on semi-coherent rants about sardines. What we learned is that from working undercover during the Watts Riots, to training Oscar de la Hoya for the Olympics, here is a man who has lead an interesting life. And he was more than happy to tell us about it, in his own roundabout way. Thanks for talking with us “Stankie.” I’ve read some about your background, but is it true that you were a cop in Los Angeles before becoming a boxer?

I joined the department in August of 1962. I came from back east, I went to college at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. I came out to California just to see the California girls and to surf. What happened was, it was so beautiful I fell in love with it. It was October and there was Rafer Johnson, the decathlon champion, playing volleyball with Wilt Chamberlain down in Santa Monica. I called home and talked to my sister and told her about seeing these two superstars on the beach playing volleyball, and she knew what a jock I was and how big that was for me. And she said, “Al, it’s twenty degrees below zero here and we’re having a blizzard.” That’s the point where I told her, “Sis, I love you, but I’m never coming back.”

I got a job selling shoes at first. I was twenty years old. I fell in love with almost every girl who came into the place. It was 1962 and jobs were kind of scarce. There was this big advertisement that said, “Join the LAPD! Be part of the thin blue line! $650 a month.” And in 1962, that was big money. So I went down to city hall and took the test. For the psych test there was a Rorschach ink blot test. I had gone to college and written a paper on that thing, so I knew what to say. If you looked at it and said you saw two dogs fucking underneath a tree with blood all over it, you know, you’d be in trouble. So I got through and suddenly I was a cop.


Exclusive: TUF 8′s Dave Kaplan Says He Didn’t Eat the Special Sushi, Dicusses Last Night’s Loss

It was an Ultimate Fighter first when the cast members exchanged various bodily fluids via warring food pranks on last night’s show. Eliminated lightweight Dave Kaplan talks us through it in this exclusive Cage Potato interview, and claims all was not as it seemed. We also discuss Junie Browning’s betrayal and what went wrong in the loss to Phillipe Nover, among other things. Enjoy. Now that we’ve all seen last night’s crazy and often gross show, what are your thoughts overall?

I liked the show a lot. That might seem counter-intuitive. Obviously, the end of the show wasn’t the best for me, but I’ve had three months to deal with that. I liked the stuff that they showed. I thought I came off as funny, the type of person that I wanted people to see. I didn’t talk shit about anyone, and I feel good about that. All in all, I thought it was a good show. I might be biased, but I thought it was the most exciting and interesting of the episodes thus far.

It seemed like we spent a lot of time watching these food/bodily fluid pranks unfold.

You know what the funny part about it is? I had nothing to do with any of the pranks that happened. Any of the stuff that Krysztof did with people’s underwear or any of that stuff. I had fish put under my bed, which I thought was a lame prank anyway. But I can’t even tell you where I was when they peed in the fruit. I wasn’t part of any of that. I guess it makes for good television if you like the gross-out factor there.

The semen on the sushi, did you feel that was going too far?

I would say so. Here’s my take on that, and I have to be perfectly honest. I did not eat the sushi. I said that I did, because at that point in the show Kyle Kingsbury was getting on my nerves and I wanted a reason to retaliate, plus Tom Lawlor had actually eaten a piece and I wanted to have his back. So I said that I did it so I could retaliate, which Tom and I did.


More Tales From the Stank(ie)

(The infamous “he’s going to eat that spit” speech. Inspiring.)

The last time we devoted blog space to Ultimate Fighter coach Al “Stankie” Stankiewicz, some of you complained that we were applying a double-standard by encouraging his drunken antics and denouncing those of Jesse Taylor and Junie Browning. Fair enough, but what you have to remember is this: when a young, strong professional fighter gets drunk and violent, it’s called assault. When a crazy old man who goes by the name “Stankie” does it, it’s hilarious. Why? Because he’s old. The rules are different for old people. The rest of us just have to accept that.

It’s kind of like when you go to a family Thanksgiving and your racist grandfather makes a remark about “those thieving, hot-blooded Latins.” There’s no point in getting upset, and you know he’s just talking about Desi Arnaz anyway. So you do what any minimally functioning family does. You pass the potatoes and pretend it didn’t happen.

Today’s Stankie story comes yet again from Ryan Bader, who seems way more interested in telling these tales than any other cast member, God bless him. This time, it was our very own blogger, Efrain Escudero, who found himself pulled into the mysterious world that Stankie seems to inhabit all by himself:

Stanky had this thing with Efrian Escudero. He liked Efrian a lot but really wanted to spar him. Stanky always told him that he would kick his ass if they boxed. So one day we told Stanky his dreams were going to come true. Nogueira told him he could spar Efrian in straight boxing if he wore the chest/rib protector. They would spar in the ring, with full walkouts and the whole hooray. I would corner Efrian and the rest of the team would be behind Stanky. This made his day, if not year — well, probably decade.

Kyle overheard Stanky while he was hitting the speed bag warming up talking to himself. Stanky was muttering out loud to himself, “Stanky, one last hoorah. This is it, old chap! You’re back in the game! Back in the fire! Do this and you can finally put down the gloves.”


After the TUF Fight: Vinny Wants Arianny’s Number, Jules Just Wants to Know What Happened

(Big Nog puts it as gently as he can.)

Watching The Ultimate Fighter, sometimes it’s hard to tell whether it’s all clever editing that makes some people/teams look like the bad guys. But this extra footage from last night’s show has me thinking that no, Team Mir really is the evil team.

After the fight we see Jules Bruchez looking downtrodden while Vinny Magalhaes is asking, with regards to Octagon girl Arianny Celeste, “Can anybody get her number?” No, Vinny. Not anybody. Then we go inside each team’s locker room after the fight. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira tries to help Jules understand what the hell just happened to him, while Frank Mir jokes with Vinny and the gang about breaking Jules’ arm. You know, just for laughs.

I’m not saying that Team Mir are all bad people, but if this were an 80′s teen movie, I think we all know which team would be the mean-spirited bunch who gets their comeuppance in the end, and which would be the lovable losers with the hearts of gold who persevere despite the long odds. And can’t you just imagine Nogueira smiling and laughing his way through the training montage while a Bonnie Tyler song blares?


Exclusive: Shane Nelson Talks TUF Elimination, Drunken Craziness, and More

(The glory before the fall. Photo courtesy of

TUF 8 lightweight Shane Nelson was eliminated from competition on last night’s “Ultimate Fighter,” but not before a night of drinking with Junie Allen Browning turned into a near expulsion for the two. Now Nelson talks with and reflects on the drunken debauchery, the rivalry with Efrain Escudero, and some of the antics of his blonde friend that he saw for the first time in last night’s episode.

CagePotato: Now that you’ve seen it on TV, what did you think of the way the situation with you and Junie was portrayed? Was that how you remember it?

Nelson: Yeah, it was pretty much what it seems on TV. Basically we were watching the pay-per-view, we decided to have a couple of drinks, we had one too many drinks, and then things got out of control from there. What they didn’t show and which I thought they would show, was the next morning when I woke up I went to Delgado and Efrain and I apologized to them and we all put everything behind us. I’m surprised that they left that part out of the show.

Did Dana White come and talk to you guys the very next night after it happened?

Yeah, Dana White came and talked to us the very next night, but the fight wasn’t the next day after Dana talked to us. The fight was about five days after that whole night. So it wasn’t like the drinking still had an effect on me in the fight.

What was going through your mind when Dana showed up?

Oh, we thought we were gone. Junie and I both thought we were getting kicked off the show, because when we first got there the producers stressed that we weren’t allowed to touch anyone or anything like that, and we both crossed that line. I pushed two people and Junie took a swing at a few people, so we both thought we were going home for sure.

So how did things start between you and Efrain?

Well, we were watching the fights and, I’m from B.J. [Penn]’s school, and they all knew that. So we were watching the pay-per-view and common courtesy, you know, if you make comments about my coach, you know it’s going to bother me. He was cheering for Sean Sherk, which is fine, but some of the comments he made while he was cheering for him got under my skin and that’s how me and him got into it.


Exclusive Interview: Frank Mir

Former UFC champ Frank Mir was once sitting atop the heavyweight division before a motorcycle accident nearly ended his career. His road back has been a rocky one. A couple tough losses had him questioning his decision to keep fighting, but he has since rededicated himself to the sport and has found new life after a high-profile victory over Brock Lesnar.

Now he’s coaching opposite Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in season eight of “The Ultimate Fighter,” premiering Wednesday night on Spike TV. In this exclusive interview with, Mir talks about his impending fight with Nogueira, Randy Couture’s return, and just how much he hates cardio training. Frank, we’ve heard past coaches say they don’t like how long the show keeps them out of action, how they’re fighters and not coaches. What was your experience like coaching “The Ultimate Fighter?”

I found it quite enjoyable. I really didn’t think it was all that difficult to be honest with you. Obviously nothing’s easy in the fight game, but it wasn’t like I resented the position at all. It opened my eyes up to a lot of new things as a fighter, seeing other people and how they react to different situations, how they deal with things, and helped me understand how to help them out by thinking about what I would need in that situation. It was kind of nice to jump back that way because it gave me a better understanding of myself.

What does it do to your climactic fight with Nogueira now that Randy Couture is back in the UFC and they’re hyping his match with Brock Lesnar, a man you beat, for the heavyweight title?

I definitely think it takes some of the wind out of the sails. That’s for sure. But I love the fact that Randy’s back. I think he’s a great representative of the sport and I thought it was a travesty that he might have ended his career in a courtroom.

The fact that he’s back, I think that’s great. I’m not upset with that at all, but I think that Nogueira obviously should have been his first fight back, since he’s holding the interim belt. But since Nogueira and I are already slated to fight each other I thought that with him coming back he would wait to fight the winner of Nogueira and myself. I think that would have worked out perfectly. But with contract negotiations and all that I don’t know what the deal was.

The only thing I’m at odds with is that he’s fighting a month before Nogueira and I fight, and that brings up the question of what we’re fighting for. Now he’s fighting Lesnar and he’s getting a shot at the heavyweight title while I’m getting a shot at the interim title. Since I just beat Lesnar, that’s kind of interesting.

Interesting is one word for it. Obviously you’re focused on fighting Nogueira now, so how do you think you stack up against him? What do you do better than him?