As Seth’s piece pointed out (not that it matters) one of these d-bags had previously trained at Wai Kru in Allston Mass.While MMA gyms are popping up all over the country at an alarming rate, this one is something to note as it is where former UFC fighters, John Howard and Sean Gannon currently train.Head trainer, Kru John Allan, who is currently in Thailand, sent this statement out when reached for comment sent this statement via Facebook message:
If only it were that simple. Perhaps you’ve read that the suspects – Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – trained MMA [Author note: I'm not linking to other sites that have been claiming this, Google it if you're so curious]. Don’t bother looking for a professional record for either suspect, because it doesn’t exist. Neither does an amateur record. Or any proof that they were preparing for MMA bouts of any kind, for that matter.
For the past seven months, I have proudly called the city of Dorchester, Massachusetts my home. I’ll admit, it’s not much of a tenure, but despite my somewhat infantile knowledge of the surrounding area, I’d like to think that I’ve gotten to the know the people, or perhaps the “attitude” of this city pretty well. Laughing at some drunkard’s vomit-soaked, post-Celtics game misfortunes on the Green Line, crowd surfing at the House of Blues, watching some brave sap nearly slip into a diabetic coma attempting the Tasty Burger Challenge — these are all Bostonian pastimes I’ve come to enjoy in my brief time here, pastimes that were forged through the kindness of strangers and friends alike.
And out of respect for both the city I have only begun to experience and you readers, I have declined to express an opinion on, or even make note of, the horrifying events that took place at the Boston Marathon on Monday. Because quite honestly, you guys don’t come to CagePotato to read about all the terrible things happening in the world (unless they are referee-related, of course), you come here to escape them. We all do to some degree. We come here to, well, laugh at other people’s misfortunes, debate the attractiveness of ring girls, and occasionally learn something about this thing called MMA.
But this, this is something that transcends our beloved sport. It transcends the NHL, hockey, the great city of Boston; it transcends any pent up hostility or city-to-city rivalries that could have possibly been built over the decades. In one beautiful, life-affirming moment at last night’s Bruins-Sabres game, longtime anthem singer Rene Rancourt turned over his usual duties to the attending audience, who kindly obliged him with the most awe-inspiring version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” I have personally ever witnessed.
Although the actual anthem begins around the 3:05 mark, I’d recommend you check out the entire video, which features a brilliantly composed slideshow of the week’s events.
The UFC has announced an official date for its long-awaited return to Boston. Earlier today, UFC president Dana White took to his Twitter account to release the following statement:
For those uninitiated, Speed TV is set to be relaunched as Fox Sports 1 on August 17. Fox Sports 1 will be available in 90 million homes, and will not only feature its own daily news programs, but also live college football and basketball, soccer, NASCAR and UFC events, with plans of hosting Major League Baseball games starting in 2014. The network also plans to relaunch Fuel TV as Fox Sports 2 on the same day.
(Please don’t bust on my shaky interviewing skills for this one; we can’t all be Helwani.)
While in Boston for CagePotato’s first (and last) UFC Fan Expo appearance, I had the opportunity to meet Nick Newell, an undefeated lightweight fighter from Massachusetts. After teaching me how to use my microphone, Newell discussed how he got into MMA, and the advantages and disadvantages of being a congenital amputee. The worst part about having one hand? Nobody wants to fight you. Here’s what he told us last year:
“The last five fights I’ve trained for, I’ve only gotten to do two of them, from people pulling out. Last time I was supposed to fight a guy and he never even showed up to weigh-ins. So it’s real hard for me to get fights. I’m not picky with who I fight, I’ll take whoever. And I feel like a lot of leagues are afraid to use me, because they don’t want to be labeled as a ‘freak show’ match. But it’s not like that at all. I train probably harder than anyone else, and I dedicate my life to this.”
For the five men who were actually brave enough to step into the cage with Nick in professional fights…well, they lost. Nick has finished all of his opponents in the first round, submitting the last four in under two minutes. And yet he still can’t find regular work in this sport — which is why a contract with Shark Fights would be so important for his career.
By now, you may have already seen that video going around of Pat Barry kicking the stuffing out of our punch-machine at the UFC Fan Expo. When KLM Vending dropped off the machine at our booth, they gave us strict orders to not let any drunken tough-guy idiot try to kick the bag. But when HD Barry drops by and starts rolling his shorts up, you’re pretty much helpless to do anything except smile nervously and move out of the way.
Of course, Pat wasn’t the only one who was drawn to the punch-machine at the CagePotato.com Fan Expo booth. As VH and ReX already explained, we had a thick crowd of participants and gawkers all weekend, many of whom turned into hooked rubes who couldn’t stop pleading for "one more turn" on the thing. And my God did they take it seriously. So here’s our video tribute to their efforts, edited by Break Media’s Matty Sumida and soundtracked by Fort Minor. Enjoy, and we hope to see you guys at the next one…
At this point, MMA interviewer/analyst Ariel Helwani is more famous than a lot of the people he interviews. If you’ve ever spotted him at an MMA event, you know that he can’t get ten feet without being swarmed by another group of fans, who follow his work intently at MMAFighting.com and Versus. Keep in mind that Ariel Helwani is not a fighter. He’s just a dude who started with a dream and went on to become the most well-known interviewer in our sport. To put it simply, he’s come a long way since Andrei Arlovski’s pee-pee-pee.
So here’s something special for all the Helwannabes in the house: Ariel stopped by the CagePotato.com booth at the UFC Fan Expo on Saturday and spent some time on the other side of the microphone. Watch the video above to learn about Ariel’s journey from sports fan to "liver of the dream," his love of Howard Cosell, and of course, why he thinks we’re so awesome. Many thanks to Ariel for giving us his time and, at least for one moment, lending the CagePotato.com carnival booth some measure of legitimacy.
Note: Keep your eyes peeled around 2:41 and 2:56 to watch some amazing background work from ReX13. Yep. That’s what I had to deal with all weekend.
In one of my absolute favorite moments from our trip to the UFC Fan Expo in Boston, I had the opportunity to interview beloved UFC announcer Bruce Buffer, who was at the expo in part to promote his new Round 5 collectible figure. (Come on. You know you want that thing in your cubicle.) After giving us the scoop on "Mini B" and Round 5′s Versus set, Bruce shares his favorite name to announce in the Octagon, how he keeps his voice in shape for every show, and lessons learned from the World Series of Poker. And then, he gives CagePotato.com the full Buffer treatment with a stunning UFC-style introduction. God bless you, Bruce. We are not worthy.
A side-note on why I appear to be screaming like a jackass through this entire interview: The microphones were high-quality enough to block out ambient noise, but trust me, it was deafening in there. You can catch a glimpse of Sammy "Jumpin’ Ropes and Blastin’ Shitty Music" Black, behind us in the red tank top. As you can see, Bruce and I were standing directly in front of the CagePotato punch machine, and it’s a little difficult staying relaxed while a bunch of dudes are launching haymakers two feet behind your head. (Remember that amazing scene in Boogie Nights where Dirk Diggler and his gang are trying to screw Alfred Molina on a drug deal while an Asian houseboy keeps throwing firecrackers in the background? That’s pretty much what this felt like.)
Plus, let’s face it, it’s Bruce Fucking Buffer, and I’m meeting him for the first time. You try controlling the volume of your voice in a situation like that.
One of the most visible figures at last weekend’s UFC Fan Expo was "The A-Hole Show" himself, Wes Sims. When he wasn’t creating havoc around the convention center, the wild-’n'-crazy UFC vet was stationed at the Bonafide Tough Guy booth, just a stone’s throw away from CagePotato.com’s setup, and was kind enough to grant us an interview (after spending some time whacking our punch machine and threatening nearby children).
As you’ll see, I ask Wes what he’s been up to since TUF 10, completely forgetting his subsequent loss to Bobby Lashley in Strikeforce; I’m sure he’d like to forget that fight too. He doesn’t have his next match set up yet, but he does explain his dim mak striking technique, and shares the story of how doctors accidentally cut four pounds of penis off of his new son, Max Ruckus.
I’ll tell you something — I’ve never felt more like Mean Gene Okerlund in my life. Big props to Wes for making CagePotato’s UFC Fan Expo booth that much more entertaining, and sticking around afterwards to sign autographs. More to come…
(Doug "ReX13" Richardson [right] spends time with a wheelchair-bound guest at the expo. If we put a smile on that poor, rotund man’s face, then the whole trip was worth it.)
As the Boeing 757 descends in to Boston Logan Airport, I look out the window and contemplate the path that’s led me here. One year ago, I was just another guy on one of the world’s most popular MMA blogs. Now, I’ve ducked out of work for a couple of days to attend the UFC’s Boston Fan Expo as a guest of my favorite website. I’m not just a fan; I’m taking what I hope to be another step toward actually working as a writer. Somewhere down there, Ben Goldstein is carrying around an exhibitor pass that has my name on it. I claim my baggage, which is split evenly between electronics and clothing, and hustle out to catch a taxi. A Ugandan cabbie asks for my destination, and speeds away toward the Hynes Convention Center. I pepper him with questions (because that’s what I do when I meet people) but he’s not in the mood to talk, so I settle back for the short ride and get my first look at Boston. Mostly, I get a good view of the results of the Big Dig, Boston’s massive twenty-five year freeway improvement project that has six lane highways routed under the Boston Harbor. Once we leave the turnpike, however, the views of the Harbor and the Charles River are incredible. Everything is vibrant, people and dogs are everywhere, and there isn’t a cloud in the sky.
We find my hotel, and I spend very little time settling in. It’s Thursday, and I’ve gotten it in my head that I’m needed. I walk to the Hynes Center, and mange to locate Ben after a few texts and a phone call. We shake hands, and walk back to booth 2017. There, Ben shows me the signage he’s already erected, and the swag he’s brought to entice the hordes that will descend upon us tomorrow. On one side is the punch machine, a simple carnival game that most of us have seen plenty of times. Ben hits the start button, and rips a nice right hook at the bag. "You take boxing classes, right?" I ask. "Yeah," Ben says, "Muay Thai." I help him with a few last minute touches, including checking on a table rental for the booth, but most of the work is done. Ben checks his watch, and announces that there’s really nothing left to do here: "Wanna go get a drink?"
First, let me start by saying welcome aboard to all the new readers and members of CagePotato Nation. It was a pleasure and joy to meet, chat, hang, and beat down the punch machine with each and every one of you. Make yourselves comfortable and enjoy the complete experience of Cage Potato. Now, let’s get to the fun.
The experience began at the Semi Official Cage Potato meet up that went down on Thursday night at Champions Sports Bar. It was somewhat casual and to be honest some people may have had some trouble finding the group. Thank you to all of those that did come out. Hopefully everyone was able to try the Championship Tower, it was amazing and I would highly recommend it. I would also recommend you carry an AED with you as well, just in case.
The UFC Fan Expo was an amazing experience and the Cage Potato booth was extremely popular. I do feel somewhat bad for the punch machine that was literally having the stuffing knocked out of it by mid day on Friday. For those of you who were not lucky enough to make it to Boston, here are some notes from the booth…
(This is actually where the UFC press conference is being held. No kidding. Inside that historic room, in front of the busts of those great American patriots, James Toney will tell Randy Couture "I’mma whip y’muhfuckin ass, prinsiss, y’fill’me." Photo courtesy of twitter.com/ArielHelwani)
When: Thursday night, from "8:30 or so" onward Where:Champions, a very classy-looking sports bar located on the second level of the Boston Marriott Copley Place (110 Huntington Ave.), with an astounding beer selection and more TV screens than a drunk person could possibly count. What: Drinking; lots of drinking. The opportunity to hang out with your Internet friends. Trying to convince the waitress to put one of the TVs on Fox Sports Net so we can watch Bellator.
If that’s not enough to get you out to Champions, we have one more thing to share…
After considering all three (3!) of the submissions that came in for our UFC Fan Expo/2010 SuperFan of the World video contest, we are proud to present the winner. Thanks to his colorful accent, the subliminal shout-outs to the Potato Nation, the unexplained inclusion of a giraffe in the background, and the fact that he actually lives in Boston, we’ve decided that beloved commenter Viva Hate deserves our extra exhibitor pass for the Expo. (August 27-28 at the Hynes Convention Center! Booth #2017 bitches!) Hate’s hilarious entry is above. Congrats buddy, we’ll be in touch.
Before we get to the runners-up, I’d just like to take the time to say that CagePotato’s appearance at the UFC Fan Expo is going to be amazing. We will have a punch machine at our booth, where you can test your might against other expo fans. We will be holding contests where visitors can win UFC 118 tickets, an MMAWarehouse gift card, Six Deuce gear, and BRAND NEW CAGEPOTATO.COM KEYCHAIN BOTTLE OPENERS!!!?!1111. You will get to meet BG and shake his hand. You will get to meet Viva Hate and kick him square in the balls. You may get to drink with us at the various pre-parties and viewing parties going on around town, assuming that you don’t give us the creeps.
Anyway, ReX13 and steampunk22 also submitted amazing videos, which you can watch after the jump. Since they don’t live anywhere near Boston, we felt that Viva Hate was the more worthy candidate — but there’s still hope for them. Read on…
We already know a few of you will be attending the UFC Fan Expo in Boston on August 27-28, and hopefully stopping by CagePotato’s booth (#2017), where we’ll be giving away loads of t-shirts and gear and hanging out with our fans. The question is, who wants to get in for free? CagePotato has one extra exhibitor badge on hand, and we’d like to award it to one of our devoted readers. So if you live in the Boston area and you’d like to help us spread CP’s message of positivity, here’s what you’ll need to do:
– Record a video of yourself explaining why you should be selected as CagePotato’s 2010 SuperFan of the World. Please describe how CagePotato has changed your life (for the better), and the ways you would help promote our site at the UFC Fan Expo. – Upload the video to Break.com by next Thursday (8/19) at midnight. – When the video’s live, send the link to email@example.com. – Come back Friday the 20th to see who we’ve chosen.
We only expect two or three of you to actually go through with this, so really, your chances of winning are pretty damn good already. Any questions, let us know in the comments section. Good luck.
Good news, Potato Nation: CagePotato has secured a booth at the 2010 UFC Fan Expo, which takes place August 27-28 at the John B. Hynes Convention Center in Boston, in support of UFC 118. As with the two previous Fan Expos in Las Vegas, the event will provide fans with opportunities to meet fighters, attend training sessions and seminars, and collect craploads of free swag from the estimated 150 industry vendors that will be hawking their wares. We’ll keep you posted on the fun stuff we have planned at our own little space (booth #2017, write it down), but for now we just wanted to give you an advance heads up that we’ll be there, spreading our message of PotatoPositivity.
Hit up UFCFanExpo.com for more info on the two-day spectacle and to purchase tickets ($30 for Friday, $35 for Saturday, $50 for both days). Let us know if you’re planning on attending, and if you are, please make sure to stop by and say hi!
Massachusetts has become the 42nd state in the country to bring regulated mixed martial arts (MMA) competitions, including Ultimate Fighting® Championship® (UFC®) events, to thousands of Bay State fans. The Massachusetts Legislature recently passed a bill that would allow the Department of Public Safety to oversee regulation of the popular sport in the state.
Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of the UFC®, does not conduct events in any state that does not properly regulate MMA. This legislation will now enable the company to hold events in Massachusetts. Specifically, the legislation mandates safety and medical requirements for every MMA fighter and event held in the state. The events will also bring an economic boost to local communities across Massachusetts that hosts them.
"Canada is the mecca for mixed martial arts right now. There aren’t too many places in the world we could go right now and sell 22,000 tickets as fast as we did here. I believe, as fast as we sell out here, maybe we could do 30 (thousand) in Toronto…We’re coming to France, there’s no doubt about it. We’re in Germany right now, and France is next…I’m pretty confident we’re going to do an event in Boston, Massachusetts, at the Boston Garden in November. Then, the first of the year, New York. I’m hoping we actually have Toronto done before New York."
DANA WHITE BRINGS “PAIN” TO BOSTON ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY
Las Vegas, NV — On March 17th, UFC® President Dana White is headed back East to his Southie stomping grounds to throw the biggest St. Patrick’s Day party in Boston, featuring the first performance by House of Pain in over a decade. White and House of Pain will be taking over the Roxy for this invitation-only celebration, but today White announced he will open up a limited number of tickets to UFC® Fight Club™ members, and for local radio station giveaways.
“Obviously I love the city of Boston, I just filmed my new show ‘Black Souls’ there, so I’m going to throw a St. Patrick’s Day party with House of Pain at the Roxy,” said White. “House of Pain was one of my favorite bands when I lived there, and they are going to perform again for the first time in over a decade — I’m opening up a few hundred tickets to UFC Fight Club members and for local radio stations, so UFC fans in Boston can come hang with us on March 17th.”
The band “House of Pain” featuring lead singer Everlast, will rock the party, performing together for the first time since their breakup in 1996. White, who just wrapped production on a new television drama “Black Souls,” filmed entirely in Boston, will serve as host.
— BET’s blingy MMA show The Iron Ring debuts next Tuesday. The press release is here: “Headlining the show is boxing champ Floyd Mayweather (with the assistance of hip-hop star Rick Ross) managing the Money Mayweather Boys, along with hip-hop heavyweights Ludacris and Nelly representing Team Luda and Team Nelly (respectively).” Do you really need to know anything else?