MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: Brandon Vera

Weekend MMA News Cruise

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(Is Cro Cop leaving the UFC?)

Here’s what else was happening in the world while your thoughts were being dominated by Brock Lesnar:

Gary Herman of 15 Rounds reports that Brandon Vera will be returning to the Octagon in June against a yet-unnamed opponent, and Dana White has given Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic a deadline of today to decide whether he wants to remain in the UFC; Filipovic’s last fight was a decision loss to Cheick Kongo at UFC 75 in September 2007.

— Josh Barnett announced on his MySpace blog that his next fight will be against Hidehiko Yoshida at World Victory Road’s Sengoku event on March 5th in Tokyo. Barnett hasn’t competed in a professional MMA bout since his unanimous decision loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at PRIDE Shockwave on New Year’s Eve 2006. Yoshida is a former Olympic gold medalist in judo who has a 7-5-1 MMA record, with notable wins over Don Frye, Mark Hunt, and David “Tank” Abbott. According to Barnett, M-1 never offered him a fight with Aleksander Emelianenko, and the rumored Roger Gracie/Yoshida matchup is total rubbish.

— Because of a military commitment, Tim Kennedy has been forced to drop out of the IFL’s season opener at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on February 29th. Though he was scheduled to face middleweight champion Matt Horwich for the 185-pound belt, a new press release has announced that Kennedy has been “called to service,” and that Ryan McGivern will be taking his place. A member of Pat Miletich’s Silverbacks team, McGivern has a professional record of 11-5, and previously defeated Horwich by unanimous decision at the IFL Championship Final on 12/29/06.

In a post-UFC 81 interview with Mr. Sunshine, Dana White referred to Hong Man Choi as “Long Duk Dong.” Funny or offensive, depending on your perspective.

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Fights of the Day: Frank Mir vs. Hardonk + Vera

Frank Mir’s last two fights in the UFC lasted just 77 and 69 seconds; one went well, one went not-so-well. Either tap your opponent early or get punched out just as quickly — those are pretty much Frank’s options on Saturday.

(Frank Mir vs. Antoni Hardonk, UFC 74, 8/25/07)

(Frank Mir vs. Brandon Vera, UFC 65, 11/18/06)

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Vera Sets Sights on World’s Worst Rematch

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According to an interview on The Fight Network, Brandon Vera has decided to stay at heavyweight, despite Joe Silva’s advice to drop down to light-heavy after his loss to Tim Sylvia at UFC 77:

“I was like, ‘For what? I ain’t moving nowhere,’” Vera said. “Why the hell would I even think of moving [down]? I have a whole bunch of stuff to do still. I’ve got to beat Tim. I’m not going to let that one go. Our paths will cross again, I promise…To me, that wasn’t even a loss. I didn’t catch an ass whoopin’. I didn’t get beat down.”

Vera suffered a broken hand during the fight that affected him in the clinch, and required a four-hour operation and three screws to repair. He has five fights left on his UFC contract, and will be ready to fight again as early as mid-April.

Personally, I’d stay at heavyweight too if I were Vera. The UFC’s heavyweight division is an all-inclusive resort compared to the grinder known as the 205-pound division. Unless Brock Lesnar can bring in the Undertaker and The Big Show to thicken up the weight class, Vera is top ten just by showing up, and he never has to worry about shedding his love-handles. Must be nice!

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Sylvia’s ego, Franklin’s face get battered at UFC 77

How hated, exactly, is Tim Sylvia? Let’s put it this way: He got booed more after his win over Brandon Vera on Saturday night than Anderson Silva did after knocking out Rich Franklin in Ace’s hometown of Cincinnati — while Silva was wearing Pittsburgh Steelers colors. Now that’s hate.

Scoring a unanimous decision over the good-humored, charismatic Vera in a fight that generally consisted of the two men clinching on their feet against the fence, Sylvia did nothing to change his image as a boring fighter who relies on his size to win matches. But you gotta feel for the dude; it can’t be fun to get booed at weigh-ins, and to have Brandon Vera explain to the crowd after the fight, “he’s a nice guy once you get to know him.” (Vera, it should be said, didn’t look too impressive against the Maine-iac, was responsible for most of the clinching that made the fight so dull, and should probably give up the ice cream and drop down to light heavyweight.)

The middleweight championship bout between Franklin and Silva was a lot more action-packed, but ended much the same way as their first meeting, with Franklin eating knees until he hit the mat and the fight was stopped (this time at 1:07 into the second round). Franklin looked outmatched from the start, and was nearly knocked out by a punch at the end of the first round but was saved by the bell before Silva could take full advantage; as soon as Franklin started stumbling to the wrong corner, it was obvious that this one would be over soon. In fact, Franklin was so dazed after the fight that a member of his team had to remind him to wish his wife Beth a happy birthday during the post-mortem with Joe Rogan. (She turned 30, by the way, and I’m sure it was the best birthday ever.)

As for the rest of UFC 77’s main card:

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