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21 Incredible Minimalist Movie Posters

Tag: bantamweights

Urijah Faber’s Latest Comeback, And the Mystery of Creating New UFC Stars Under 155 Pounds


(Urijah Faber was the UFC’s biggest “little” star when the 145- and 135-pounders entered the promotion three years ago — and not much has changed since then. / Photo via Getty)

By Adam Martin

This past weekend at UFC on FOX 9, for the eighth time in eight UFC fights, Urijah Faber was on a fight poster for a UFC card as one of the main three fights of the night — an absolute rarity for any sub-155 pound fighter. The card, which took place in Faber’s backyard of Sacramento, California, marked the fifth time Faber has either headlined or co-headlined a UFC event in the nearly three years he’s been with the promotion.

Not only is Faber the only sub-155′er to be featured on eight fight posters, but he’s also only one of three to be featured in five or more main or co-main events of UFC cards, along with UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.

However, unlike Johnson, who has fought mostly on free TV, only Faber and Aldo have appeared in more than one pay-per-view main or co-main event, with Faber having headlined two thus far and Aldo three.

According to Wikipedia, there are currently 419 fighters signed to the UFC, not including the recently-added women’s strawweights. 126 of those fighters are part of the UFC featherweight, bantamweight, and flyweight divisions. Including women’s bantamweight fighters, 144 fighters currently signed to the UFC are part of the sub-155 pound weight classes.

My math skills aren’t great, but that should mean that 34% of UFC fighters are either 145, 135, or 125 pounds. And yet, for some reason, despite over a third of the roster fighting in these weight classes, only two of those 144 fighters have headlined two or more UFC pay-per-view cards, despite the UFC having featured 42 PPV events over the last three years since the little guys merged over from the WEC in late 2010 (not including UFC 124, which only featured lightweights and above).

How can this be?

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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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[EXCLUSIVE] Bellator’s Joe Warren Talks Bellator 98 Health Scare, Getting Back to Fighting, and the Return of Olympic Wrestling


(Photo via Bellator)

By Elias Cepeda

Former Bellator champion Joe Warren was set to face Nick Kirk earlier this month at Bellator 98 in Connecticut before the state’s commission refused to allow him to fight. The exact reason was not given at the time but speculation from fans and members of the media as to why Warren was barred from fighting abounded.

Some wondered if Warren had tested positive for marijuana as he had during his competitive wrestling days. Even Bellator’s CEO Bjorn Rebney volunteered a theory – that Warren had been knocked out during his training camp and so was not being allowed to fight because of brain damage. Just two fights ago, of course, Warren was hurt badly in a KO loss to Pat Curran. That was his second straight KO loss.

Warren has since been cleared to fight in tonight’s Bellator event and he and Kirk will square off in this season’s bantamweight tournament. CagePotato visited with Warren as he cut weight Wednesday.

Not knowing how else to get into the matter with Warren as he stepped out of the sauna we simply had to ask, “What the heck happened?”

“A big mess happened,” Warren said.

“The Connecticut commission is stricter than most and I had a CT scan and MRI done leading up to the fight. I had three different doctors telling me different things. They didn’t read the images correctly and thought I had an abnormality on the image of my brain. One was telling me I had had a stroke, one was telling me I’d never fight again. Crazy stuff. Another said that I was fine. I was running around for weeks getting different tests done out of my own pocket, my family was scared. It was a huge ordeal.”

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Hot Potato: 15 Photos of Alexandra Albu, The UFC’s Latest Undefeated Bantamweight Goddess

According to multiple reports, the UFC has recently signed undefeated Russian striker Alexandra “Stitch” Albu to their ever-growing bantamweight roster. Who is Alexandra Albu, you ask? That is a very, very good question.

Although we weren’t able to find her actual MMA record anywhere in the world fight indexes, Albu is allegedly a 5-0 bantamweight with 4 first round knockouts and a first round submission to her credit. Additionally, Albu is (allegedly) a black belt in karate, a Moscow Cup-earning power lifter, a judoka and one of Russia’s top Crossfit competitors. We also gave her five out of five Schwings on the Wayne’s World Scale of Hotness, which makes the UFC’s decision to sign her all the more transparent. Not that we’re complaining.

Check out our favorite photos of Albu in the gallery above, as well as a couple videos of her in action after the jump, then fill us in on anything you can find about this woman in the comments section.

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The TUF 18 Cast List Features a Who’s Who of Female Bantamweights and a Who’s That of Male Bantamweights


(Well if there’s one thing we know about Tonya Evinger, it’s that she can generate a lot of power even off her back.) 

The cast list for TUF 18: Rousey vs. Zingano Tate Again was released earlier today, and among the female bantamweights competing for that glass plaque and a contract worth almost $10,000 a year for the next 10 years are such familiar faces as Shayna Baszler, Tonya Evinger (the power bottom pictured above), Tara Larosa and Roxanne Modafferi to name a few. There’s also Valerie Letourneau, a 4-3 Canadian slugger who should not be confused with Mary Kay Letourneau, the schoolteacher who diddled a “lil slugger” back in 1996.

Among the male participants, however, you will not find nearly as many recognizable names. Or any. The lone exception to the argument we just presented would be Cody “Bam Bam” Bollinger, a 14-3 KOTC and Bellator veteran who you might have seen get TKO’d by season 8 featherweight tournament winner Shahbulat Shamhalaev (no joke, I spelled that correctly on my first try) back at Bellator 76. Despite the lack of familiar faces, there are a lot of (albeit modest) undefeated records on the men’s side of the equation, which calls to question why the 1-3 Jessica Rakoczy would be selected given her-oh now I see why.

Check out the full cast list after the jump, then give us your predictions as to who the early favorite should be in our newly-upgraded comments section.

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CagePotato Databomb #6: Breaking Down the UFC Bantamweights by Striking Performance


(Click chart for full-size versionFor previous Databombs, click here.)

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

It’s almost time for the interim bantamweight championship fight between Renan Barao and Michael McDonald. But first, let’s examine the whole UFC bantamweight division in several key striking metrics. As one of the youngest divisions with quite a few newcomers, there were several chart busters who have performed either really well in a certain metric, or in Mike Easton’s case, really poorly, so those outliers are noted. Usually those fighters will regress towards the mean, but they’re worth keeping an eye on. A full explanation of the chart and variables is included at the end of this post.

As a group, the 135’ers are the hardest to hit, as illustrated by their lowest power head striking accuracy of any UFC division. But they manage to maintain a high pace of action, with the second-highest significant strike attempts per minute average. (Flyweights have the highest.) So which fighters get the awards in this frenzied group?

The Winners

Sniper Award: Rangy southpaw Alex Caceres leads the division with 48% power head striking accuracy. Though he has yet to score a knockdown in the UFC, the Bruce Lee superfan has definitely put on entertaining fights including sharp striking, rapid pace, and some very retro body suits.

Energizer Bunny Award: Johnny Bedford has been outstriking his UFC opponents more than 2:1 on his way to two finishes. Bedford’s size has been an advantage for him in one of the smallest weight classes, and we’ll see if he can continue his streak.

Biggest Ball(s) Award: In addition to outworking his opponents, double award winner Johnny Bedford is 2-0 in the UFC with two knockout finishes. But an honorable mention also goes to knockout machine Michael “Mayday” McDonald, who has landed four knockdowns during his 5-0 streak with Zuffa. McDonald gets his biggest test yet against higher volume striker and interim champ Renan Barao, in an interesting contrast of power and finesse.

The Losers

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CagePotato Amateur Spotlight: Top Amateur Radames Garcia Awaiting Professional Debut


Props: bpatelphoto.com

By CagePotato Contributor Michael Sanchez

Bantamweights beware. Radames Garcia is looking to destroy your dreams. Ranked number one in the nation and sporting an amateur record of 9-1, all he is waiting for is a chance to make his pro debut.

“My last two opponents pulled out. My coach said one of them thought I was too big,” Garcia said.

The 29-year old native of Miami, Florida is fighting out of Cung Le’s gym in San Jose, California. In a little more than two years, Garcia managed to win two state titles in the amateur leagues of both California and Nevada.

Garcia first learned about MMA from a conversation with his co-worker. He invited Garcia to train with him at Tribull Mixed Martial Arts Center.

“At first, I thought it was illegal. I wanted to make sure it was legit. I had no clue about it at the time and I didn’t want the cops to bust down the doors and end up in jail,” Garcia laughed.

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UFC 132: Five Things to Take Away

No caption needed, really.

Well people, hopefully you are enjoying a day off with some barbecued animal carcass and a nice cold beer (or some grilled zucchini and tofu scramble, whatever scratches your itch).  Join us as we look back on the action from UFC 132 and what we can take away from a card as wild and unpredictable as this one.  If a story comes out that some guy hit an eleven fight parley, we’re going to track him down and burn him as a sorcerer.  Seriously, there’s playing a hunch, and then there’s invoking demons to influence the reality on our plane of existence.

First, some things must not be spoken of.

Like Wanderlei Silva losing, or Tito Ortiz winning.  Sometimes, great reflection is required to glean the lessons of life from events that at first seem incomprehensible.  Sometimes, understanding must elude us forever.

Come on in and let’s talk five things.

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Cruz Flips Odds, Becomes Early Favorite Over Faber

(All this talk of finances is really harshing Urijah’s mellow. Pic: CageToday)

Props to our BFFs over at Bloody Elbow for pointing out an odd little singularity in the early UFC 132 betting lines this morning. After bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz and challenger Urijah Faber opened at matching -120 odds, early money appeared to push Faber to as much as a -160 favorite before Cruz stormed back to flip-flop the line. As is it stood in the a.m. on Monday, Cruz was now a -160 favorite, while Faber was a +120 dog, exactly the opposite of where they’d been less than 24 hours earlier.

But what does it all mean, you ask? Well, one of two things: Either the knee-jerk, hair-trigger gamblers blew their wad on Faber only to have opportunists go heavy on Cruz as soon as he became an underdog … or the chimpanzees who get paid to do data entry at these gambling sites screwed it up to begin with. Either way, we know you’re dying to hear more …

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Miguel Torres vs. Joseph Benavidez Likely for WEC 47

Miguel Torres WECJoseph Benavidez WEC
(Torres celebrates a victory; Benavidez mourns a fallen hero.)

Seven months after finding himself on the business end of the 11th-greatest knockout of 2009, former WEC bantamweight ruler Miguel Torres will return to the cage at WEC 47 (March 6, Columbus), according to a new report by MMA Mania. Torres is likely to face off against Team Alpha Male product Joseph Benavidez (11-1), who recently defeated Rani Yahya by first-round TKO at WEC 45. Benavidez’s sole loss came in August against Dominick Cruz, who is now slated to take on Bowles for the 135-pound strap at WEC 47.

Torres has been laying low since his loss to Bowles, but according to his Twitter page, he’s been splitting his time between training, watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and working it. In other words, when it’s time to throw down with Benavidez, he’ll be ready.

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