Friday night, Bellator Heavyweight Champion Cole Konrad kicked off an impressive weekend for heavyweight MMA with his first title defense against Eric Prindle at Bellator 70 in New Orleans, Louisiana. After the event, I managed to catch up with the champion in order to talk about his victory and the current state of Team DeathClutch. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my microphone with me (again), so at times the interview is hard to hear. I’ve taken the time to transcribe it for you, available after the jump.
Junior trains out of Luis Carlos Dorea’s Champion Boxing gym in Brazil which, in addition to being headquarters for world-class fighters, is home to a vibrant youth boxing program. After training one day, the UFC Primetime cameras caught one of the little tikes hanging asking Junior to take him with him to the states for his title fight.
At the time, Junior said, “we’ll see.” But he ended up bringing the 9 year-old kid and his family to Vegas to watch him win. After beating Mir, he lifted the lucky young fighter onto his shoulders and posed for the cameras along with his coaches.
Dos Santos definitely appears to have the Wanderlei Silva nice guy/maniac fighter balance down pat. Try as I might, that image warms my cynical heart, and I don’t give a damn how orchestrated it may or may not have been. Who doesn’t like watching a kid’s dream come true before their eyes?
As painful as the UFC post-fight press conferences are to sit though, you sure do learn (or at least get teased with) some vital information about the future of the organization. Stuff like: Dana White saying that he doesn’t want to deal with Alistair Overeem because “he sat in front of us . . . . Lied to us.” There is an entire horse meat story waiting to be written by Josh Hutchinson on that, but I am talking about good juicy TMZ’esque gossip shit. The Overeem issue is kind of news but it was overshadowed by another series of questions asked.
Because there was not a camera pointed at the media members, I am not certain it wasAriel Helwani – but I am pretty damn positive – who asked the most intriguing questions of the night. I AM sure that there are not a lot of guys that (sound like a baritone-polite-Mogwai and) have the stones to ask the necessary questions – but big props to Helwani if it was in fact him.
(Look, Roy, we’re all big Harry Potter fans, but this Rubeus Hagrid obsession of yours is going a little far.)
Like that of current light heavyweight champ Jon Jones, former UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar seems to be the subject of much debate amongst the MMA community. Not only was his heart called into question following his UFC 141 loss to Alistair Overeem, but in light of recent events, even the legitimacy of his title reign has seemingly been written off by some fans of the sport and wiped from the collective memories of others. Meanwhile, the hardcore conspiracy theorists claim that Lesnar’s run was nothing more than a genius ploy by Vince McMahon to boost Lesnar’s popularity before looping him back into the WWE. He’s a polarizing figure to say the least.
You know what? If Brock belongs in the hall of fame, so do I. It’s not that hard to win the title when it’s set up that way for you. Pretty much [a silver platter]. After Dave Herman, I guess I get a title shot. Interim! Because someone’s gonna get hurt.
Anyway, join us after the jump for Nelson’s full interview with Helwani, in which he also discusses his diet (of course), returning to his Kung-Fu roots, as well as his (and every fighters) gripes with his pay rate.
(Come on Tim, you haven’t even read the column yet. Maybe we wrote nice things about you, okay?)
Today on the CagePotato Roundtable, we’re talking paper champs — the one-and-dones and never-shoulda-beens who weren’t quite worthy of the gold around their waist. To limit our scope a bit, we’re only focusing on major MMA promotions like the UFC (including tournament champions), PRIDE (even though all their champions were awesome), Strikeforce, the WEC, and probably Bellator and DREAM as well if anybody cared enough to mention them. Joining us this week is our dear friend Kelly Crigger, the retired solider and best-selling MMA author who’s currently elevating rugby-awareness at American Sin Bin. Read on for our picks, and please, please, please send your ideas for future Roundtable topics to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For four months in 2001-2002, Dave Menne — the fighter who Phil Baroni famously steamrolled at UFC 39 — was the UFC’s middleweight champion. That’s right: The belt that Anderson Silva has proudly worn for the last five-and-a-half years used to belong to this guy. Menne won the title in September 2001 by beating 5-0 newcomer Gil Castillo, and went on to compile an overall record of 2-4 in the Octagon. Gentlemen, the floor is yours. Good luck.
The worst major MMA champion of all time has to be Carlos Newton. For starters when you say your fighting style is Dragon Ball Z Jiu Jitsu to pay homage to a Japanese anime character, there’s a screw loose somewhere.
Secondly, when Newton won the UFC welterweight title, there wasn’t exactly a deep talent pool of competition. MMA was still evolving and techniques were as sound as using bubble gum on a car engine. I will admit that he beat a very experienced and talented Pat Miletich to get the strap, but that’s the lone gem in his dreadlocked crown. Today every weight class has a laundry list of accomplished fighters and an alternate list of accomplished fighters waiting in the wings in case they tweet something controversial and Mr. White fires all of them. The point is, he didn’t exactly climb a ladder of giants to get to the belt.
It takes one to know one, we guess, because according to UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture,former UFC Heavyweight Champion and current WWE superstar Brock Lesnar should be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. Yes, on last night’s episode of UFC Tonight, Couture sat down alongside Kenny Florian and Todd Harris to answer questions from all around the Twittersphere, because apparently that’s something which happens now. Among the questions asked were, “Do you have any up and comers in [Team Couture] that have a chance to make an impact in the next two years?” Couture was quick to point out Martin Kampmann, but also commended welterweight contender Mike Pyle, who he stated was “one of the most talented guys I’ve had the privilege of training with the last seven years.”
But Couture’s most interesting comment came after he was asked whether or not Lesnar deserved a spot in the UFC Hall of Fame. Considering Lesnar’s brief run in the sport, which totaled just over four years in its entirety, combined with his mediocre 5-3 record, one would not expect that Couture would be quick to jump on the “yes” bandwagon. Then again, Lesnar was able to capture the Heavyweight title by pummeling Couture into masturbatory hammerfist oblivion at UFC 91, so perhaps it made sense for Couture to declare that Lesnar did in fact deserve a spot alongside such names as Chuck Liddell, Royce Gracie, and Matt Hughes. Oh, and let’s not forget Tito Ortiz and B.J. Penn.
Anyway, check out the video after the jump, and let us know what you think of Couture’s assessment in the comments section. Not that we need to remind you, but be sure to be as scathing with your criticisms as humanly possible.
For chaos-loving MMA fans, getting one over on Wikipedia is a mark of honor. This UG thread reminded us of the hilarious tradition of Wikipedia-page vandalism, so we decided to scour the Internet for some of our favorite MMA-related examples; thanks to all the anonymous men and women who quickly screen-capped these gems before they were fixed. Check out our full gallery of MMA wiki edits after the jump, and if we’ve left out any good ones, shoot us some links in the comments section.
Brock Lesnar‘s latest Monday Night Raw appearance ended in a brawl with Triple H and a kimura that appeared to snap the WWE COO‘s arm. (Don’t worry guys, I think some of this wrestling stuff is fake.) Lesnar also used a kimura in his “Extreme Rules” match against John Cena on Sunday night — which was set up to look like a legit MMA bout, right down to the gash on Cena’s head — but wound up losing via pin. You can watch highlights from that wild performance after the jump.
Brock Lesnar‘s beef with John Cena continues in the land of make-believe, and well, sometimes these things happen in professional wrestling. I promise we won’t force you to watch this stuff each week, but it’s interesting how Brock’s UFC fighting style is now influencing his performances in the wrestling ring. Previously in the clip (around the 1:42 mark), Lesnar thanks John Laurinaitis “for having the wisdom to bring legitimacy back to the WWE.” Any wrestling fans out there care to agree or disagree with that statement?
After the most difficult two-and-a half minutes of his professional MMA career, it was all over for Brock Lesnar. Not just the savage abuse he was taking from Strikeforce/K-1 champion Alistair Overeem, not just his attempted comeback in the sport he took by storm, but his time in MMA altogether. ”I’ve had a really difficult couple of years with my disease, and I’m going to officially say tonight was the last time you’ll see me in the Octagon,” Lesnar said during his post-fight retirement speech at UFC 141.
It’s only fitting that Lesnar’s run in the UFC end as quickly and unexpectedly as it began. The former NCAA Division I wrestling champion was never really ours when you think about it — MMA merely borrowed Lesnar, and we should consider ourselves fortunate that he briefly lent his personality and ferocious physicality to our sport. As he said his final good-byes to the Las Vegas crowd, the beardless viking looked relieved to see the Octagon in his rear-view mirror.
Shortly after waiving off the fight, Mario Yamasaki raised the arm of the new #1 contender, Alistair Overeem. The former PRIDE fighter had everything going for him. He dodged a fatal bullet from the NSAC, was making bank in the UFC, and had just defeated a man most people considered a Top 5 contender in the heavyweight division – finally proving to the world that he can indeed hang with the best. On top of all that, he had just been announced as the next challenger for Junior Dos Santos’ championship title. The only way it could have been better is if the mayor had given him a key to the city and held a parade in his honor. If Overeem only knew the fate that would befall him over the course of the next three months, his smile might not have been as big that December night inside the MGM Grand.