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Tag: Benson Henderson

‘UFC on FOX 5′ Post-Fight Press Conference Notes: The Winners Look Towards the Future, Nate Diaz Discusses His F*cked-Up Eye


(“Ayo, is it cool if I use that toothpick to pop this thing?” Photo courtesy of Tracy Lee/Cagewriter)

By Nathan Smith

As usual, I drew the short straw, so I had to cover the post fight press conference — I actually volunteered because I am a sad lonely man — and Dana White was not there to moderate (double shit!). You Taters can watch the video for yourselves and get put into a coma or take my word within this posting as gospel. I am fairly certain that nobody was upset with “the best fight card to ever be aired on network TV” even though three of the four fights ended via decision.

Benson Henderson was not only magical during his five-round domination of Nate Diaz but he was seemingly able to conjure his inner David Blaine and make a toothpick mysteriously appear in his mouth at the end of the fight. The UFC Lightweight champ was simply dominant and once he finally arrived at the podium, he also showed the charisma of a world champion. With both an eloquent vocabulary and a seemingly levelheaded delivery, Henderson owned the dais (although he talks really really really fast).

When asked about the Scut-Farkus Toothpick Affair and if he actually had a sliver of wood in his mouth during the fight, Henderson was calm and smooth (go figure).

“I can not confirm or deny that. I normally do. It’s a bad habit, but whatever. Majority of the time I have it in. It is what it is.”

Bendo did his best to downplay his one-sided beating by showing respect to his animated opponent.

“Nate’s a good dude. He’s an emotional fighter and he’s an emotional guy. He is trying to do what it takes to get himself worked up.  After the fight he (Diaz) said ‘Good job — great fight and congratulations.’”

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‘UFC on FOX 5: Henderson vs. Diaz’ Preview: Breaking Down the Top Three Fights


(Staredowns from yesterday’s press conference, via MMAFighting. BJ is in amped-up savage-mode, and Bendo is just *daring* Diaz to pull some of his crazy shit again.)

By George Shunick

UFC on Fox 5 is one of the most stacked cards of the entire year, and it’s free on network television. It contains a pseudo-grudge match between the only man in UFC  history to hold the lightweight and welterweight titles, and a rising star who trains with his greatest rival. The co-main event sees a PRIDE legend and one-time UFC champ looking to reclaim his former glory in yet another epic war against a rising contender from a burgeoning MMA scene in Scandanavia. And in the main event, you have the two best lightweights in the world (besides Frankie Edgar) going head to head in the toughest division in the UFC. What more could you ask for?

Well, if the answer to that rhetorical question was “the most brilliant predictions/pre-fight analysis column ever,” then you are in luck, my friend! And because this card is so stacked, there will be not one, not two, not three, but…actually no, there will be three predictions. (Sorry Mike Swick and Matt Brown.) Logophobes, you’ve been warned.

The first of the big three fights on the card is the highly anticipated matchup between a returning BJ Penn and wunderkind Rory MacDonald. Penn’s seeking to reinforce his legacy as one of the best ever in the sport, and Rory’s been giving him even more motivation recently, claiming he’s coming to “hurt [Penn]” who he believes is “fighting for the wrong reasons.” Bold words, but MacDonald’s the type of fighter who’s capable of backing them up. He’s only lost once in his career — a TKO loss to Carlos Condit, in which he won the first two rounds before getting stopped in the waning seconds of the final round. But he holds wins over Nate Diaz and Mike Pyle, and aside from the former, all of MacDonald’s victories have come by stoppage.

It should be noted, though, that aside from Condit, Penn is a stronger fighter at this weight than any of the other fighters mentioned. He presents a greater knockout threat than any of them, has better wrestling, and has one of, if not the, best top games of any grappler in the UFC. However, Penn has historically been weak in the cardio department, particularly at welterweight. Even though he looks to be in excellent shape, he’s still carrying more weight than usual, and he’ll be forced to carry MacDonald’s weight as well. While Penn’s revamped his training camp, it’s unlikely he’ll have been able to fix a career-long deficiency, particularly after returning from “retirement.”

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: ‘UFC on FOX 5: Henderson vs. Diaz’ Edition

By Dan “Get Off Me” George

This may be the 5th installment of the UFC on FOX, but somehow it feels like the very first time the UFC will be showcased for the mass cable viewing audience. With a card that far and away surpasses any previous cable-accessible card in the sport’s history, FOX has dubbed this week “Fight Week” and rightfully so. Both parties seem to be maximizing their potential for UFC on FOX 5, but we’ll have to wait until Saturday to determine whether or not the key to success on network television is having both title fights with a solid supporting card and the steady promotion FOX has offered for this event in the days leading up to it.

With a 3-3 record over the past 6 UFC PPV’s, it’s time for The Gambling Addiction Enabler to sink or swim (or specifically, find ourselves at the bottom of the ocean with a fancy matching pair of cinder blocks for shoes). So Join us as we highlight some of the undercard and all the main card bouts in the hopes of bringing you Taters some early holiday funds. All the betting lines come courtesy of BestFightOdds, per usual.

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[VIDEO] Full Replay of The Excellent UFC on FOX 5 Featurette “Road to the Octagon”


(“Why must we have to wait until February for the next episode of The Walking Dead? WHY?!”) 

If their backstories are any indication of how they will perform, then Rory MacDonald best prepare himself for hell against B.J. Penn come Saturday night. Not only is BJ looking to be in the best shape of his (welterweight) career, but the manner in which “The Prodigy” was portrayed in the UFC’s recent UFC on FOX 5 “Road to the Octagon” featurette has all but set him up for an epic career comeback. The “champion hoping to reignite legacy for family’s honor” angle has been played up plenty of times by similar countdowns, fight previews, or whathaveyous in the past, but very few cases have been as emotionally gut-wrenching as Penn’s.

The normally stoic Penn, whose daughter turned 4 around the time of the filming, revealed a completely unseen side of himself as he broke down in front of the cameras while describing how hard it has been to see his children grow up while he has been away fighting to secure their future (14:25). Credit is due to the editing department for brilliantly juxtaposing Penn’s fatherly plight (but did they have to have impose BJ’s breakdown over the Happy Birthday song for his daughter? TOO MUCH EMOTIONS DAMN YOU) with that of MacDonald’s, who admits that his own father wasn’t around much during his childhood. Nice try, Rory, but you are now the Max Bear to Penn’s James Braddock and we will root against you until Penn breathes his final breath. ATTICA! ATTICA!!

Anyway, a full replay of the special is after the jump, and it features an equally compelling handling of the Gustafsson/Rua and Henderson/Diaz fights, so check it out, won’t you?

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Donald Cerrone vs. Anthony Pettis #1 Contender Bout Being Eyed for January


(“Cowboy” Cerrone and his travel guide Filipe found more than just solace in the caves of Mount Grenidor; they found each other.)

You may or may not be aware of this, but before the UFC decided to go the route of champ vs. troll, they actually had a coaching matchup in the works for TUF 17 that would have both made sense and likely been ignored by most of the population. That matchup was between streaking lightweight contender Donald Cerrone and former WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, two 155ers who are due for a title shot and truly despise one another. Unfortunately for them, the UFC decided to take things in a different direction. Fortunately for them, it appears as if they are still destined to throw down in the near future, because according to Cerrone in an interview with the appropriately titled MMAInterviews, half of the contract has already been signed.

I’m looking forward to that fight. Hopefully December we’re gonna get it, beginning of January. My side of the deal is signed. (I’m) just waiting on him while his shoulder is rehabbed. There’s been a lot of shit talking back and forth, so it’s gonna be fun. It’s gonna be for the fans. I think it’s gonna be Fight of the Night for sure. He’s well-rounded. I think my wrestling is better than his but if we go to the ground he’s good on the ground, if we stay standing he’s good there. It’s gonna be a helluva fight. I’m packing a lunch. I’m ready for three rounds of hell. I’ll fight him on an undercard, I don’t care.

As you know, Pettis has been out of action since his beatdown of Joe Lauzon at UFC 144 mending multiple injuries, and just recently injured his shoulder in training, which likely affected the UFC’s decision to go with Bones vs. Sonnen. So the likelihood of this matchup taking place in 2012 is a longshot, but a headlining fight on a FOX or FX event in late January? Hell to the yes, Potato Nation.

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Manny Pacquiao’s Next Fight Set to C#%k Block UFC on Fox 5

Pound for pound boxing champ Manny Pacquiao‘s next fight has been scheduled for December 8th, the same night as the UFC’s next Fox network show. In the recent past when the UFC has had big shows scheduled the same night as major boxing events they’ve has hoped that earlier telecasts on would catch many viewers who were planning on watching boxing later in the evening.

Things may not have worked out that way for the UFC and this development of Pacquiao fighting on a date that the UFC had already set as a Fox event might end up taking away viewers from the MMA programming. Last May, the UFC on Fox 3 featured an exciting card headlined by a spectacular title contender’s fight between lightweights Nate Diaz and Jim Miller. The free to watch event was also followed, on pay per view, by Floyd Mayweather Jr. fighting Miguel Cotto.

The UFC’s numbers ended up going down from their prior two Fox shows, while Mayweather’s win had an excellent buy-rate on pay per view. The UFC’s “come pre-game with us before boxing,” strategy might be more successful this time around if Fox promotes the heck out of the event during football telecasts as it did last year for the Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos heavyweight title telecast.

Otherwise, the UFC had better hope that Fox is taking a qualitative and long-view of things because dropping ratings on network television are never good.

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[Exclusive] Joe Lauzon Says he Asked For Maynard Fight

By Elias Cepeda

Being proactive paid off for Joe Lauzon last week. The UFC lightweight contender signed on to fight Gray Maynard and says he was the one pushing for the tough match up.

“I saw Gray say in an interview that he wanted to coach the next season of TUF against Nate Diaz,” Joe explains.

“He’s banking on Diaz beating [Ben] Henderson [when the two face off for Henderson’s title] and wants that title shot and, I guess, a third fight between him and Nate. So I contacted [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva and said that I thought Gray and I could be a cool angle as coaches of TUF. They didn’t do that but later I got a call asking if I wanted to fight Gray on December 29th. Its on the main card of a huge card.”

Lauzon is coming off of a record-setting submission of the night and fight of the night performance in beating Jamie Varner earlier this month. Maynard is coming off of a controversially-close split decision win over Clay Guida. Before that, Maynard fought then-champion Frankie Edgar twice in a row, first drawing with him and then losing via TKO.

Lauzon doesn’t know if a win over Maynard would put him in the #1 contender’s spot for the lightweight title for certain, but he says it would be a “step in the right direction.” “Gray is a monster. He’s only lost to Frankie. He’s super tough. Me beating Gray would make a big statement because he’s smashed everyone except for the champ at the time. Even in those fights he had the champ hurt badly at times,” Lauzon says.

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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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UFC 150 Aftermath

By Elias Cepeda

The rematch contained slightly less constant action than the first engagement but Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar put on another technical, evenly-matched lightweight title fight Saturday night in the main event of UFC 150. Henderson also walked away with another decision win over the man he beat last February to win the championship belt.

Perusing twitter and the forums last night and today, to say nothing of Edgar’s complaints after the split decision was announced for Henderson, it appears that many fans and fighters believed that “The Answer” should have gotten the nod from the judges. This writer scored it for Henderson but only someone with an agenda could deny that it was a close, hard to score fight.

Henderson opened up quickly in the first round, landing quick kicks to Edgar’s lead calf, bruising and tripping him up. Edgar scored a take down in the stanza but got caught in a good guillotine choke attempt by Henderson, before escaping.

Henderson charged forward and age a right hand right to the chin from Edgar, dropping to the mat. From there, Edgar controlled Henderson on the ground for most of the rest of the round with a front head lock. Edgar worked to get his own choke in or move to the back but Henderson defended well and survived the round.

Rounds three and four were close in terms of strikes landed, as was round five. In the last round Henderson clearly closed most aggressively and finishing more emphatically with strikes.

When the decision was announced for Henderson, Edgar stormed away. He and his team acted like he was robbed.

He was not.

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[VIDEO] UFC 150 Weigh Ins – Almost Everyone Makes Weight


(Come on, Melvin. Those glasses weigh at least 1.5 pounds on their own, you can figure this out)

The champion and challenger made weight but featured fighter Melvin Guillard did not. Guillard weighed in nearly two pounds over the non-title 156 pound lightweight limit for his fight against friend and former teammate Donald Cerrone.

After missing weight at today’s weigh in for UFC 150 in Denver, Colorado Guillard had two hours to try and make the weight. UFC President Dana White told MMA Fighting that Guillard would not attempt to take off the extra weight and that he would be forfeiting 10% of his purse. They report that Cerrone will get half of that 10% while the Colorado athletic commission will get the other half, for some reason.

All other UFC 150 fighters made weight and lightweight champion Benson Henderson and former champ Frankie Edgar are set for their immediate title rematch Saturday night in the main event. Check out the weigh-in video after the jump to witness all the intensity between the two for yourself.

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