potato awards
CagePotato.com Presents: The 2014 Potato Awards

Tag: Bellator

Bellator 132 Results and GIFs: “Pitbull” Submits Straus, Karakhanyan Impresses & Brutal Finishes on the Prelims


(Photo via Bellator.com)

Bellator came back into our lives in a big way last night, as Bellator 132: “Freire vs. Straus 2″ took place at the Pechanga Casino Resort in Temecula, Calif. Scott Coker‘s new beloved baby gave us some pretty wild finishes from top-to-bottom, proving the second-best MMA promotion in the world is must-see TV every time.

Not one fight went to a decision on the prelims, and the finishes were downright disgusting. Please don’t watch them with your family, hovered around the tube with Michelina’s for everyone (all Vines/Gifs courtesy of ZombieProphet, after the jump.)

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Wanderlei Silva Buries the Nevada Athletic Commission, Continues Descent Into Irrelevance

Jon Jones tested positive for cocaine earlier this week! You know what that means, right? If you guessed an overhaul of drug testing procedures and increased transparency from the Nevada Athletic Commission and the UFC, you’d be wrong. No, what this significant development in MMA means is another Wanderlei Silva pro wrestling-style shoot promo.

He set his sights on the NAC, bashing them for ruining Jones’ reputation and for being the bumbling, corrupt idiots we all sort of know they are (transcript via MMA Fighting). Read it after the jump.

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Cutting Through The Bullsh*t: UFC 182 Edition


(Photo via Getty)

After an abundance of trash talk, a pre-fight press conference brawl, asking pussies if they’re still there, technical breakdowns, and moving betting lines, Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier duked it out for five rounds in an early “Fight of the Year” candidate, which went exactly how most of us thought it would. The main card of UFC 182, however, was pretty putrid.

Our excitement was at an all-time high, which is rare nowadays when it comes to MMA in general. This truly felt like 2008 all over again, but sometimes, we rely on nostalgia to compare upcoming fight cards that may or may not be worth viewing live.

Nevertheless, Jones vs. Cormier lived up to the billing, as both light heavyweights engaged in a dogfight at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV., this past Saturday night.

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CagePotato.com Presents: The 2014 Potato Awards


(We tried to give the Potato Awards a classier vibe this year. We failed.)

By the CagePotato Staff

Look, you already know how we feel about MMA awards ceremonies: They’re meaningless exercises tainted by personal bias and stupidity, in equal measures. The only thing that makes the Potato Awards different is that we’re completely honest about the fact that our awards are biased and stupid. But it’s the end of the year, and we have to acknowledge that somehow, right?

Putting together this year’s Potato Awards list was a harrowing experience. Honestly, 2014 was an awful year for mixed martial arts. It was the year that the UFC’s pay-per-view business tanked due to injured stars and general disinterest among fans — what else is new, amirite? — while competing promotions stooped to terrifying depths in order to get your attention. (Not that the UFC didn’t do some of that, too.) 2014 answered the question “Could the UFC survive an entire year without Anderson Silva and GSP?”, and that answer was “yes, but just barely.” It was also a year in which domestic violence incidents involving MMA fighters became a tragic recurring theme (see: War Machine, Thiago Silva, Josh Grispi, Anthony Johnson, Michael Johnson).

But years from now, we may look back at 2014 as an important turning point, thanks to some major developments that took place near the end of the year. Notably, the UFC’s Reebok uniform deal is poised to transform the sponsorship landscape, while the Le/Quarry/Fitch class-action lawsuit and the related suits that came out in its wake could drag out some long-hidden truths about the UFC’s finances. We don’t yet know if these developments will turn out to be good or bad overall, but MMA could be a lot more interesting in 2015.

As we enter a new year, let’s look back at the past 12 months that got us here — the highs, the lows, and the moments that were so “WTF?!” that they defy all judgment. Use the page links below to peruse our mostly-chronological list of 38 award categories, and thanks so much for sticking with CagePotato for another year.

Page 1: Comeback Fight of the Year, The Steve Nelmark Memorial “Is He Dead?” Award, MMA Screen-Caps of the Year, “Just Bleed” MMA Superfan of the Year Award

Page 2: Worst Performance in a Drug Test, The Cecil Peoples Shittiest Decision of the Year Award, Worst Event of the Year, Sponsor of the Year

Page 3: Submission of the Year, MMA GIF of the Year, Worst Fight of the Year, Most Embarrassing Knockout of the Year

Page 4: Greatest Unsanctioned Fight of the Year, Catchphrase of the Year, The Krazy Horse Bennett Arrest of the Year Award, Greatest Fight Canceled Due to Injury, Best Reference to Medieval Europe in MMA

Page 5: Knockout of the Year, Photo of the Year, Media Shill of the Year, Most Awkward Interview, Most Satisfying Beatdown

Page 6: The Gilbert Yvel Award for Outstanding Creativity in a Cheating Performance, Greatest Hype Inflation, Best Use of Social Media, Best MMA Personality Appearance in a Non-MMA Setting

Page 7: Most Bizarre News Story of the Year, The “Really? You’re Just Gonna Keep Doing That Shit That Gets You in All That Trouble?” Award a.k.a. “The Koppenhaver”, Best Event of the Year, The Minowaman Freak Show Hall of Fame Award

Page 8: Gnarliest Injury of the Year, Greatest Failed Propaganda of The Year, Worst Use of Social Media, MMA Fail of the Year

Page 9: Most Terrifying Game-Changer, Fight of the Year, “WTF?” Moment of the Year, Promotion of the Year

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Rampage Jackson Cites Bjorn Rebney’s “Crazy Contract” As Reason Behind Bellator Departure


(“I’m tellin’ ya, Page, kids are gonna be lining up around the block to see ‘Fight Master: The Movie.’ Lining up I says!!)

I think Old Dad summed up the late career of Rampage Jackson best when assessing his signing with Bellator back in January:

Throughout his career, it’s always seemed like the one thing Jackson really wants to do is something else. When he’s fighting, he wants to be acting. When he’s acting, he’d rather be fighting. If he’s doing MMA, boxing starts to sound like a great idea. No matter where he stands, the greenest grass seems to grow everywhere except beneath his feet.

It’s hard to argue with. The former UFC fighter-turned former Bellator fighter-turned current UFC fighter has been a man without a country for the entirety of his career (if you were to ask him), with his most recent “tongue-kissing” stint at Bellator (Ed note: Gross.) lasting just three fights and less than a year. Given what we know about his employment history, you’re probably wondering: What exactly was the root of Jackson’s problems *this* time around?

The answer, as it turns out, is one you probably could have guessed: Bjorn Rebney — a.k.a the man that signed Jackson — was only able to do so by making a whole heap of promises that were…ambitious to say the least. We’re talking movie deals, reality shows, and a pro wrasslin’ career that included more than a hammer to the skull, folks. So check out the exclusive statement sent to MMAFighting by Jackson’s manager after the jump.

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Rampage Tells Scott Coker to “Shut Up,” Explains Why He Shredded Bellator Contract


(Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in 2016, after he fights twice in the UFC, angrily leaves, and resigns with Bellator. / Photo via Getty)

The story of the weekend isn’t Lyoto Machida’s 61-second destruction of C.B. Dollaway, it’s the UFC’s signing of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.

The UFC announced Rampage’s return to the company during the UFC Fight Night 58 broadcast Saturday night, though rumors had circulated days before the official announcement.

The legal implications of the signing are more interesting than any of the in-cage ones since Scott Coker tweeted Rampage was still under contract to Bellator and that the promotion would protect its rights in court.

However, Rampage posted a statement to his website Sunday claiming he legally voided his contract with Bellator. Get it after the jump.

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Report: Rampage Jackson Signs With the UFC, But Is Still Under Contract at Bellator [UPDATED]


(Photo via Getty)

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has returned to the UFC, according to a report from Sherdog.

Rampage had criticized the UFC and Dana White on multiple occasions after leaving the Zuffa-owned organization for Bellator.

Like with every single failed business relationship Rampage has ever been in, it started off amicably. Rampage even said he was “tongue kissing” with Bellator.

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Wild Rumor of The Day: Bellator Is Interested in Signing Alberto Rodriguez, AKA Alberto Del Rio/Dos Caras Jr.


(It’s still “As Real As It Gets” to me, damn it!)

By Seth Falvo

Mention the name “Alberto Rodriguez” to the average MMA fan, and you’ll likely be met with a blank stare. Mention “Alberto Del Rio,” and there’s a distinct possibility that said fan will rant and rave about CM Punk, fake wrestling and the sanctity of guys with bad tattoos punching each other inside of a cage being destroyed. Mention “Dos Caras Jr,” and you’ll almost assuredly engage said fan in a discussion about the freak show awesomeness and/or awfulness of PRIDE.

That those three names all belong to the same person is almost irrelevant when compared to the reactions that those names bring out. That Bellator is rumored to be interested in signing the man shouldn’t surprise you slightly. Via The Wrestling Observer (by way of UPROXX):

“We can confirm that Bellator is looking to sign professional wrestlers to fighter contracts. Alberto Del Rio is one of their targets of interest.

As previously reported, WWE tried to include MMA in their no-compete clause when he was let go from the company. Del Rio reportedly agreed to certain parts of the no-compete clause; it isn’t known whether MMA was part of that. FOX Sports writer Damon Martin posted the following to Twitter, claiming that Del Rio is “itching for a fight”

“Sources within Spike TV and those close to Bellator MMA claim that the promotion has a plan to bring in professional wrestlers as MMA fighters. The company has what is described as a “gameplan” to bring in current and former wrestlers to bolster their roster. Bobby Lashley is currently part of the promotion.”

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “DOS CARAS JR. IS COMING TO BELLATOR! DOS CARAS JR. IS COMING TO BELLATOR! THIS IS NOT A DRILL! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!” But let’s over-analyze this rumor, shall we?

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Stephan Bonnar’s Embarrassing Existence Continues, Jokes About Live-Tweeting a DUI Arrest


(So, you’re telling me marijuana just makes you hungry and interested in conspiracies?/Photo By Getty Images)

UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar hasn’t made it easy for himself departing the largest MMA organization in the world. Apart from drug test woes and being involved in one of the most masochistic segments we’ve ever had to witness on broadcast television before his Bellator 131 snorefest of the year battle against Tito Ortiz (which he lost by split decision), “The American Psycho” surprised and saddened many followers over the weekend into thinking he was live-tweeting an arrest for DUI.

Unlike Renzo Gracie’s inspiring beatdown of alleged muggers, Bonnar was on the verge of inducting himself into the cesspool of idiotic fighters that gave play-by-play coverage of their disgusting actions and unfortunate mishaps in the past.

Below are some of the UFC legend’s fighter’s tweets, mentioning he was pulled over and broke his nine-month reign of sobriety (the tweets have been deleted, so props to MMA Junkie for the transcriptions):

9 months sober ..till tonight. Sorry God
— Stephan Bonnar (@StephanBonnar) December 7, 2014

Holy shit…don’t text and drive. I just got pulled over and said..” Sorry occifer..I had a few beers this morning”.
— Stephan Bonnar (@StephanBonnar) December 7, 2014

Well dipshit me is getting his first DUI an and going to jail…should’ve had at least a dozen by now, so be it
— Stephan Bonnar (@StephanBonnar) December 7, 2014

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Here’s What to Make of CM Punk in the UFC

By Matt Saccaro

When CM Punk signed with the UFC last night MMA fans, pundits and every pseudo-journalist in between lost their minds either with glee, bemusement, or disgust.

There’s not necessarily one “right” way to look at the issue of the UFC signing CM Punk (whose real name is Phil Brooks). Is he killing MMA’s credibility? Yes. Is he going to be a big draw and help the UFC out of a rut? Yes.

There’s a lot going on here. Let’s look at CM Punk’s UFC signing in depth…

CM Punk is killing the UFC’s credibility

Oh, undeniably. The argument here is signing CM Punk turns the UFC from legitimate athletic endeavor [Ed's note: LMAO] into celebrity boxing.

Proponents of this theory are, well, kind of accurate. During the Reebok sponsorship press conference last week, the UFC boasted about the Reebok deal bringing them in line with the NFL and other major sports organizations. While the realities of that statement are dubious, it’s clear the UFC wanted viewers to leave with that “fact” as a key takeaway.

But would an NFL team sign CM Punk as a QB just because he might draw ratings and sell tickets? Hell, NFL teams wouldn’t even sign perennial attention-getter Tim Tebow who’s an actual football player. And as Bleacher Report‘s Jonathan Snowden pointed out, even Michael Jordan had to start in the minor leagues when he wanted to play baseball.

The NFL, NBA, or any other big league would never sign a 36-year-old with zero sports background just for attention and a bit of quick cash. These organizations care about legitimacy or at least the illusion of legitimacy. They want to convey class and prestige. They’re athletic contests, not Dancing with the Stars.

By signing CM Punk, the UFC admitted they are an entertainment company first and a sport second. While this has arguably been true since day one, they’ve never gone out of their way to make it so apparent before.

More takes after the jump.

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