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21 Humans Who Make Being Human Look Really, Really Hard

Tag: bantamweight

Dominick Cruz Eyes Early 2014 Return, Has No Intention of Vacating Bantamweight Title


(…and until then, we’ll just have to settle for awkward fist-pose photos. / Props: @RenanBaraoUFC)

UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz was a dominant one before he became an absent one. It has been nearly two years since Cruz has fought, thanks to two consecutive ACL tears in his knee, but the injured champ hopes to return early next year.

“I’m looking to be back the beginning of next year is what it’s looking like from what the doctors have told me, so that’s my goal. Unfortunately, the doctor hasn’t even released me, so I couldn’t even make a date if I wanted to,” Cruz recently told MMA Junkie.

“It’s like when you got knocked out and you get put on suspension. It’s the same type of deal with this injury. There’s a set time and stipulation with a knee injury that I’ve gone through, especially doubled. So I’m just listening to the doctor so I stay back and don’t just come back.”

So, the up-side is that Cruz, who probably knows his own body better than anyone, is optimistic at this point. The bad news is that when he returns isn’t completely up to him.

When he does return, however, Cruz says it will be in a title fight. He scoffed at the notion that he’d vacate his title and take a “warm-up” fight first. If someone wants his title, they’ll have to take it from him in the Octagon.

“First of all, it’s silly to think that a champion would ever willingly give away the belt that he’s worked for,” Cruz explained.

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Dominick Cruz Now the Only Person No Longer Concerned About Defending His Bantamweight Belt


(Cruz, seen here showing off the results of his latest trip to Chuck E. Cheese’s. Those ball pits can be VICIOUS.) 

For the past two years, the UFC’s bantamweight division has been an absolute ghost town, plagued by injury to the point that even its replacement champion hasn’t been able to come out unscathed. I can’t remember the last time I typed Dominick Cruz’s name into the CagePotato CMS, to be honest — as I do it now, a message asks me if I meant “Domino’s Crust” and that doesn’t even make any goddamn sense.

While there’s not much than anyone can do to speed up Cruz’s recovery time — the man is coming off double knee surgery (including a botched cadaver-ACL transplant), for Christ’s sake — there comes a time when a champion’s inability to defend his own belt should come at a cost. Paul Taylor was recently released by the UFC simply because he has been plagued by injury and incredibly bad luck since 2011. Not that he and Cruz are exactly comparable in terms of their standings in the promotion, but at what point should the UFC step in and force Cruz to hand over his baseball to the kids who can actually play with it? It’s a question that the champ himself cannot answer, but if you think he is even worried about it, think again:

I can’t worry about the belt. It’s really not my position to decide whether I keep it because I’ve been injured or whether Dana takes it or whether Barao has it. The belt is there. The bottom line is me getting healthy so I can go out there and do what I do best which is prove why I am where I am today.

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Frankie Edgar’s Coach Says He Should Drop to 135 Pounds


(Frankie Edgar vs. Dominick Cruz for the UFC bantamweight title, with special guest referee Michael Vick. Dare we dream? | Photo via the best communications director in MMA)

For years, everyone from UFC President Dana White to fans of former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar have called for “The Answer” to drop down to a more natural competition weight of 145 pounds because he’s so much smaller than just about everyone he’s faced in the Octagon. To this point, Edgar has only seemed to be annoyed at the suggestion — after all, he clearly has no problem competing with the relative behemoths at lightweight — but now even his team seems to be saying he should drop down…to bantamweight.

You read that correctly (or maybe you didn’t, we really can’t vouch for either your vision or literacy, so get off our back, ok?): Edgar’s boxing coach and The World’s Strongest Man Mark Henry says that he’d like to see Edgar, who he says walks around at just 157-159 pounds, instead campaign at 135 pounds:

Me personally, I’d like to see Frankie for like a year to take a rest on his back and his body to fight people at 135 to do what everybody in the whole MMA community is [doing] and suck him down to nothing, looking like their death the day of the weigh-in and fight people that weigh as much as him,” Henry said while a guest on the SiriusXM Fight Club radio show Monday.

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Potato Nation, Sit Back and Let Ronda Rousey’s Mom Teach You a Proper Armbar


(Ann is lucky Bas didn’t have a salt shaker or a bar stool handy, or this would’ve gone down WAY differently.) 

If you are one of those conspiracy theorists out there who believe that Ronda Rousey sold her soul to the devil for the Ultimate Armbar of Absolute Victory (perhaps we’re naming that a little soon), then it’s time for a wake up call. Aside from Ronda’s extensive judo background, her ability to maim and disfigure her female counterparts is equal parts experience and genetics. Because believe it or not, her mother, Dr. Ann Maria Rousey DeMars, was the first American woman to ever win a World Judo Championship. How’d she do it, you ask? Mainly through the help of her friends; Harai Goshi, Uchi Mata, and Mr. Armbar.

Well Taters, it seems that Ronda’s mom has taken some time out of her busy schedule to bestow some knowledge upon us all, via her personal blog. Today’s lesson is titled “How to do a Perfect Armbar.” Enjoy:

Join us after the jump to get your knowledge on. 

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Quick Hits: IFL’s Wagnney Fabiano Headed to WEC, Noons/Diaz Officially Scrapped

Perhaps the most talented of the unsigned IFL fighters out there — featherweight champ Wagnney Fabiano — may have finally found a new home. Tatame reports that the Brazilian has signed with the WEC, supposedly to fight in the bantamweight division. That already seems a little fishy, and then you add in this garbled quote from Fabiano that mentions WEC featherweight champ Urijah Faber, and it seems like there might be a slight mistranslation problem:

“My objectives is to grown in the event and get the title. Let’s start with a tough and focused work. It won’t chance anything in my life, I’m always serious and go to any event to win. My goal is to fight for the belt and do my best”, said the athlete, that analyzed the champion, Urijah Faber.

“Faber is the best of the world now. To beat him, I think you have to be in a good shape. He’s an expert fighter and he has a good gas, it’s complicated to beat a guy like him. You have to set a good game plan and be calm and watch the elbows, because if you hits you can change a whole fight.”

Well, I’m officially confused. Either Fabiano is planning to drop down to 135 pounds and the remarks about Faber were just for kicks, or Tatame has it wrong and he’s really signing on as a featherweight. With the WEC hurting for challengers to Faber’s throne, the latter seems more likely.

- In other news, MMA Rated reports that the KJ Noons-Nick Diaz bout that Elite XC had hoped to add to their October 4 event on CBS is now officially off. Elite XC VP Jared Shaw said the organization was unable to come to terms with Noons’ agent, Mark Dion, and added that throughout the entire process no one from Elite XC was able to personally speak with Noons. Shaw said they wouldn’t be stripping Noons of the lightweight title just yet, but expressed hope that he would “wake up and smell the Hawaiian coffee.” That’s the kind of remark that should convince him to come around.

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