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Tag: BJ Penn

Rory MacDonald Suffers Major Cut in Training, Out of UFC 152 Fight With Penn


(Photo courtesy of @Rory_MacDonald)

Depending on what type of BJ Penn fan you are, the following news is either unfortunate or great – Rory MacDonald has pulled out of his UFC 152 fight with Penn due to a cut he’s sustained in training. The young Canadian has received more than forty stitches, according to MMA Weekly, and is not allowed to have any contact for a month.

No doubt that all MacDonald fans are bummed their guy will have to wait a bit longer before he can fight again but we can imagine a certain non-foaming-at-the-mouth type of Penn fan that is perfectly fine with their fighter not coming out of retirement after being pummeled by Nick Diaz last year to face the division’s strongest-looking prospect.

UFC President Dana White told MMA Weekly the news before he says he even told Penn, Saturday night. But it appears that the former two-division champion took to his @BJPennDotCom Twitter account later to express his displeasure at the development and taunt MacDonald.

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[UFC on FOX EXCLUSIVE] Joe Lauzon Reflects on Unexpected Success And Dealing With Defeat

By Elias Cepeda 

Amid his national television appearances, eight wins in the UFC and record-setting submissions as a percentage of wins in the promotion, it might be hard to remember that Joe Lauzon is a regular guy who not too long ago worked a nine to five office job like lots of other Americans. Shortly after he graduated from college in 2006 with a computer science degree Lauzon got a shot in the UFC and the storyline for the Massachusetts native typically went like this: Smart college kid is fighting, for some reason.

Lauzon was supposed to be an opponent in his UFC debut, nothing more, for the returning former lightweight champion Jens Pulver. Instead, he stopped the legend in the first round and six years later “Baby Joe” is still at the top of the sport – fighting on this weekend’s UFC on FOX 4 card against former WEC lightweight champ Jamie Varner.

The twenty eight year old is as surprised as anyone.

“I never expected it to go this far,” Lauzon says, speaking of the mixed martial arts career that he began back in high school. “I thought I’d get to do it for a year or so, maybe two years. Maybe I’d make a little bit of money and then I’d have to get back to working a real job. Now I’m dreading going back to a real job,” Lauzon laughs.

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Video: Joseph Benavidez Responds to Michael Bisping’s Flyweight-Hate at UFC 152 Press Conference


(Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

Five UFC 152 headliners were in Toronto yesterday for a press conference to hype up the event, including Joseph Benavidez and Michael Bisping, who were seated next to each other — a somewhat awkward situation, considering Bisping’s recent slam on the 125-pound division. When a reporter inevitably asked Benavidez what he thought about Bisping’s “no one cares about little flyweights” comment, Joe pulled no punches:

“It was pretty silly of course when I heard it, but it’s Michael Bisping. Everyone pretty much expects something ridiculous to come out of his mouth, right? I mean, that’s pretty much what he does.”

Said Bisping: “Listen pal, when you were a glint in your dad’s eye, I was kicking ass in the UFC.”

“And probably saying ridiculous things, also,” Benavidez continued. “It’s not gonna change the fact that [Demetrious Johnson and I are] the top two guys in the world and that we’re going out to make history that night. So everyone that supports us, thanks and we love you. Everyone that doesn’t, including Bisping, I think you soon will and you’ll be excited for this. So yeah man, it’s gonna be great, and [*pats Bisping on the shoulder*] glad to have you on the card as co-main, buddy.”

Ooooooh, burn! Notably absent from the press conference was BJ Penn, which made Rory MacDonald question where his opponent’s was at. As MacDonald said later in the press conference (via MMAMania):

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CagePotato Roundtable #15: What’s Your Favorite MMA Photograph of All Time?


(Photographer unknown. Level of badassery incalculable.)

For this installment of the CagePotato Roundtable, we invited a few of our photographer buddies over to discuss our all-time favorite MMA photos. Judging by our selections, shots of agony and defeat have a special attraction to them. I think it’s because they allow us to get close to an incredibly intense, transcendent moment, without having to experience the pain of it. And isn’t that why we love MMA in the first place? Our special guests for today are…

- Lee Whitehead, author of Blunt Force Trauma & The Mammoth Book of Mixed Martial Arts. You can see more of his work at www.leewhitehead.com, on Instagram, and on Twitter @leewhiteheadmma.

Jon Sluder, who shot Bellator 34 for us back in October 2010. Check out his recent highlights at Sluder.net.

- Jason Wright, who shot UFC 119 for us back in September 2010; if you follow us on Facebook, you recently saw one of his highlights from that night. You can see more of J-Dog’s work at jasonwrightphotography.com.

Disclaimer: There’s a short list of MMA photographers who have asked us to stop posting their work on this site due to copyright issues, and a couple of contributors to this week’s column happened to select photos taken by those photographers. We’ve used stand-ins in those cases, with links to the actual photos. Also, we don’t know why BJ Penn is so heavily represented in this column. The guy always seems to be in the right place at the right time.

Lee Whitehead

(Click image for larger version.)

I have many favorite photos from all the years shooting MMA but this one has to rank amongst the very top purely because of all the flack and accusations of photoshop manipulation with the blood spurt; professionals can spot a ringer, and this ain’t one. The disappointing thing is that all negative comments detract from our main strength as MMA photographers — to understand the sport, spot smaller nuances, read the timing, and capture a key defining moment in a fight. To me, this brief slice of time from UFC 80 serves as the perfect reminder of how dominant BJ Penn was in his prime.

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TUF or WTF?: A Season-by-Season Retrospective of The Ultimate Fighter


(Thanks to tufentertainment.net for the fitting logo.)

By Nathan Smith

With the recent announcement that Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin have been named as the coaches for the next installment of The Ultimate Fighter series, the MMA universe immediately launched into a full-blow orgasmic ticker-tape parade complete with tons of flying confetti and a marching band belting out death metal tunes. Once I heard the news, it was as if my life instantaneously turned into a beer commercial and the entire Potato Nation was invited. There was a rad pool-party, barbeque, a plethora of hotties, endless alcohol, and an overall quest for fun.

Well . . . . . actually, none of that happened. In fact, when word spread that Nelson and Carwin would helm the next season of TUF, it was officially filed under “WTF?” Judging from the comment section, most of the CP brethren didn’t care for the choices either. TUF is coming off a season that saw the ratings dip lower than they ever had, which could partially be blamed on the move to FX and the dreaded Friday night time slot. Regardless of the variables for the ratings drop, something drastic needs to be done, but is anybody really convinced that Carwin and Nelson are the answer to TUF’s slow and painful demise? Let’s start from the beginning and take a look back to see if this runaway train can be coaxed back onto the main rail.

The Season That Started it All 

The inaugural season of TUF featured future Hall of Famers Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture as the competing coaches who would go mano y mano at the PPV after the season finale. For fans of the UFC, that was good enough for most to initially tune in for the Fertitta-funded experiment. It still remains the best crop of young talent and personalities to ever grace the show; future stars like Forrest Griffin, Stephan Bonnar, Josh Koscheck, Chris Leben, Diego Sanchez, Mike Swick, Kenny Florian, and Nate Quarry were all complete unknowns vying for stardom in a fledgling sport. You mix in the whole “fatherless bastard” angle and the show was off and running even before the awe-inspiring climax between (pre TRT) FoGrif and The American Psycho. Even before that, we were treated to the greatest speech of all time that has since been condensed into a few words. “Do you wanna be a fighter?” Though there were other memorable moments from the seasons that followed, Zuffa should have quit while they were ahead because it would never be this good again. The unrefined personification of immature talent, undeniable aspirations and gonzo-sized balls oozed from the boob tube during every episode.

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Freddie Roach Bit a Dude’s Eyeball; Also, Offers His Thoughts on GSP, Anders- No Seriously, He Bit Out An Eyeball


‘Oh Africa Brave Africa’. It was… a laugh riot.

By George Shunick

Famed boxing trainer Freddie Roach recently appeared on MMAJunkie.com Radio, and he delivered the goods. Sure, he touched on Amir Kahn’s upcoming fight, Pacquiao, and certain MMA fighters, but none of that matters. Freddie Roach almost ate a man’s eye in a street fight. Not only did he do this, but he talks about it with the gleeful amusement more befitting a child recalling his favorite prank than a grown man describing how he used his teeth to transform another human being into an unwilling cyclops.

The conversation begins with Roach discussing Amir Khan’s fight against Danny Garcia, but quickly veers into MMA. At one point, Roach claims that one of the reasons that boxing has fallen behind MMA in terms of pay-per-view numbers is that “[boxing has] promoters that don’t like each other, and they bring their personal life into boxing.” Fortunately, MMA hasn’t had to suffer overly emotional promoters who hold grudges, so it’s still in good shape. Then Roach hits on a number of topics, including…

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Is Chael Sonnen Calling it Quits?


(Sonnen tries to remain calm while scanning for the nearest exit at the UFC 148 pre-fight press conference.) 

How the high and mighty have fallen, Potato Nation.

Just a few days after coming up short (again) against Anderson Silva at UFC 148, the rumors and speculations of what lies in store for middleweight contender Chael Sonnen have already begun to take on a life of its own. And at the forefront of those rumors, is the possibility that we may never see perhaps the greatest fight-hyper in the biz in the octagon again. Now, we aren’t normally quick to buy into retirement rumors that come in the immediate aftermath of a fight, even when they are coming from the fighters themselves. Because, as was the case for B.J. Penn and Jamie Varner, these supposed “retirements” were more or less a way of coping with the frustration that comes with of a string of losses (or in Sonnen’s case, a particularly hard loss to swallow), and were over before most of us compile a “Best of” list for either man. The jury is still out on how long Nick Diaz will hold out, but we’re guessing it will likely coincide with his recent suspension.

But regardless of the semi-thesis statement we’ve just laid before you, the head grappling coach at Xtreme Couture, Neil Melanson, feels that we may have seen the last of Sonnen for now. Melanson took over Sonnen’s UFC 148 training camp after Scott McQuary, Sonnen’s longtime head coach, suffered a heart attack a couple months back, and recently sat down with the ironically-titled Verbal Submission Radio to discuss Sonnen’s future in the sport:

Any time you’re a part of training camp or you’re friends with somebody and they lose, you just worry about them like, how are they gonna handle it mentally? Are they gonna come back from this? You know, I don’t know what Chael’s plans are, but I got a feeling he’s done fighting. I don’t know. I’ve just got a feeling he’s done. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think he was serious when he said, ‘If you beat me, I will leave forever,’ and there’s a very good chance of that.

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“We Pull No Punches” Caption Contest: And the Winners Are…


(Hey, at least they’re actually doing something on this season of Whale Wars.) 

A congratulations is in order to those of you who managed to submit an entry for our “Pull No Punches” caption contest; all 134 of you. If this contest showed us anything, it’s that when it comes to comedy, or at least an attempt at it, you Taters are some like-minded SOB’s. There were at least 95 horsemeat jokes (including one likely hipster who thought ironically pointing out this fact would somehow win him a shirt), 20 some odd Anthony Johnson or B.J. Penn jokes (which are always solid), and a handful of Over the Top references (which were actually pretty awesome). Since we enjoyed scanning through your entries as much as the UFC enjoys scanning through our articles to keep us in check, we must first recognize some of the captions that just fell short of T-shirt glory.

franco3445: The Nevada State Athletic Commission came to the conclusion that the only way Overeem could compete with the T/E ratio of 14 men was to go against someone the size of 14 men.

skeletor: There is no fucking way that Anthony Johnson is making weight this time.

P2: They smiled when they realized, if you use your left hand, it totally does feel like someone else is arm wrestling.

Deadpanda: Not to be outdone by the Japanese New Year’s Freak Show, US promoters put together a 4th of July event between Alistair Overeem & Joseph Son’s inflamed right testicle.

RwilsonR: We all know BJ lets himself go between fights, but I had no idea he stops shaving his back.

mcw89138: Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the new main event for UFC 149.

BossNasty: Reem…It’s not polite to play with your food.

And now, to the winners…

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CagePotato Roundtable #13: Who Was the Biggest Waste of Potential in MMA History?


(Whatever happened to Harold Howard anyway? The man was athletic and explosive.)

A few weeks ago, we ran down the crappiest fighters to ever be crowned “champion.” In this week’s installment of the CagePotato Roundtable, we’re sort of doing the opposite of that — discussing fighters who had all the talent in the world (and actually were champions in some cases), but screwed themselves out of glory thanks to their own poor decisions. So who was the biggest waste of potential in MMA history? Who made chicken shit out of chicken salad? Read on and we’ll tell you. As usual, if you have a topic suggestion for the Roundtable, please send it to tips@cagepotato.com.

Seth Falvo — as dictated from a hospital bed. Long story.

“Personal Demons.” It’s arguably the most annoying phrase in sports journalism. The phrase is nothing more than a cop-out; what we use to show that an athlete’s performance has been sub-par due to his life outside the sport, while concurrently admitting that we have no business going there. Rather than just say that someone’s career is in a rut due to a crippling addiction or reckless antisocial behavior, we say that they have “personal demons.” Because it’s trashy to say it, but it’s somehow professional to imply it.

Yet “personal demons” is the perfect phrase to describe our sport’s biggest waste of potential — and the only WEC Middleweight Champion to defend the belt — Paulo Filho.

In his prime, “Ely” had all the tools that a future UFC champion would need. Even today, a fighter with Filho’s credentials would be heralded as one of the UFC’s elite middleweights before even throwing a punch in the Octagon. Filho had black belts in Judo and Jiu-jitsu, a major organization’s title, and a flawless 16-0 record with wins over guys like Murilo Rua, Ryo Chonan, Chael Sonnen, and Minowaman. This is a guy who beat Anderson Silva while training with him, who turned down an opportunity to train with Chuck Liddell (after the Iceman sought his help). He had it all.

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Don’t Worry, BJ Penn Will Clean Up MMA’s Steroid Problem Himself If He Has To


(Careful, BJ — drinking Sean Sherk’s blood is one of the easiest ways to get a false positive.)

In a Floyd Mayweather-esque bit of gamesmanship, BJ Penn went on twitter yesterday to make a unique “offer” to his next opponent, welterweight prodigy Rory MacDonald:

“VADA anti-doping has offered to sponsor our upcoming fight. I’ve accepted and invite you to help me clean up the sport. VADA results will be released after the fight to ensure that the fight happens. Lets get started asap!!”

You see what he did there? If Rory refuses to undergo VADA’s voluntary PED screenings, well then he’s a doper, and by extension, all the accusations that Penn previously made about MacDonald’s mentor Georges St. Pierre were accurate, and BJ Penn is the last honest man in the sport. (Like the fight itself, this whole VADA business just seems to be a way for Penn to stick it to his old buddy GSP.)

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