(No, really, I love it. It’s much better than something practical like a new hoodie or pair of glasses.")
Since it’s the holidays and we haven’t been spitting out as many Photoshops as we used to, we figured it would be appropriate to put together a collection of illustrations depicting what a handful of fighters and MMA luminaries are angling for this Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa or putting up with obnoxious relatives just so you can get a crappy token gift day.
The possibilities were pretty much endless, but these are the best we could come up with on an hour’s notice.
(Besides his go-for-broke style of fighting, Big Country’s penchant for telling it like it is has made him a fan favorite.)
Roy Nelson stopped by The Bum Rush Radio Show recently and as always, the outspoken UFC heavyweight contender didn’t pull any punches when discussing the topics we broached.
When asked about his recently publicized contract dispute with Roy Jones Junior’s Square Ring Promotions, "Big Country" says the frivolous lawsuit, which came about eight months ago is old news and that reports that he didn’t have his manager or lawyer read through the contract are false. He says that he was given the impression that SRP was no longer promoting MMA events and that his obligation to the organization (who only promoted two events and at time of writing has no other cards planned) was completed.
"It’s pretty much eight-month-old news. There’s nothing really new and exciting. It’s just a lot of legal processes. In the United States anybody can sue anybody. This has been going on for months and if this is a new story that people are writing about now, somebody hasn’t done their homework," Nelson says. "From my understanding, there was no further obligation with them. We were trying to get some fights with them and we helped them out a bit [with setting up some matches] because they were doing some smaller shows and they wanted to get into the MMA business. Now, apparently they aren’t getting into the MMA business."
"Honestly right now, probably (not),” Mir is quoted as saying on the topic of a third meeting with Lesnar. “Just because (in) the Carwin fight, (Lesnar) didn’t look all that spectacular. I think a lot of people might have thought that he lost that fight. And then the Velasquez fight, obviously. Velasquez made (Lesnar) basically shout ‘Stop, enough, enough!’ before he tapped due to strikes and that looked really bad."
Huh. Not sure where exactly Mir gets off suddenly turning his nose up at a guy because he didn’t look great in his most recent loss and/or most recent win. Seems like a classic throwing-stones-while-living-in-glass-houses situation. Anyway, Mir has apparently set his sights on what he considers a more deserving next opponent. Someone a little less, you know, big and dangerous …
Kenny Florian and Miguel Torres co-hosted last night’s episode of MMA Live and it was surprising to hear both fighters praise Zuffa for making the decision to merge the WEC and UFC brands.
The reality is that the promotion will likely not hold as many events per year as both organizations did in the past, so for both fighters to say that the move is a positive one is curious to say the least.
It’s understandable that Torres, who revealed during the show that he will face Manuel Banuelos at UFC 126, would be excited about the merger as will likely see more lucrative paydays and will get more mainstream exposure fighting on the bigger stage, but Florian doesn’t stand to gain much from the move.
Not only will there be fewer slots on each card for him to potentially fight on with 20-plus, he will have to face an influx of tough fighters like Jose Aldo and Torres who will inevitably move up to lightweight in the future.
Also on the segment, Roy Nelson and his magnificent mullet discussed being called out by Brock Lesnar and his feelings on the fight, which he has coveted for some time.
Superbowl weekend seems like a likely date, considering Brock is hunting and Nelson is rehabbing his knee, so we’re going to go ahead and pencil it in.
According to Bryan Alvarez of Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Online, Lesnar has asked the UFC if he can fight Nelson next, but the promotion for some reason is stuck on a rubber match with Frank Mir, so it’s not guaranteed to happen.
"I could tell you this for pretty much 100 percent certainty Brock Lesnar wants that fight. I mean, he has asked for that fight and I would presume at some point that fight is probably going to happen. I think the idea…Dana — as of a couple of days ago at least — had not talked to Lesnar yet, but he was planning on doing it," Alvarez revealed. "I think the first fight they’re probably going to offer [Brock] is a third fight with Frank Mir."
("I think I’ll go to Hollywood where the competition is easier.")
It’s been over two years since Heath Herring last walked into a cage or a ring to compete, which left many wondering if he would ever fight again.
Now "The Texas Crazy Horse," who walked away from the sport to pursue an acting career is going stir crazy to get back to fighting, but because of a contract dispute with the UFC is unsure of when he will be able to compete again.
After a shaky 2-3 UFC run which included a drubbing by Brock Lesnar at UFC 87 in his last fight in August of 2008, Herring’s future with the company looked bleak, especially since a losing record didn’t give him the upper hand in negotiating better paydays or a more lucrative contract.
Most assumed that he had left or been dropped by the UFC for disparaging remarks he made about the company (*see Todd Duffee), but Herring says he was offered fights by the promotion over the past two years, but because of terms of the fights and their locations, he turned them down.
(“Here we are, protected, free to make our profits without Kefauver, the goddamn Justice Department and the F.B.I. ninety miles away, in partnership with a friendly government. Michael, we’re bigger than U.S. Steel.” PicProps: Sho.com)
As the great poet Everlast once wrote, when it comes publicly remarking on the misfortunes of others you should always “clean up your own backyard, before you go knocking on your neighbor’s door.” Unfortunately, it appears the executives at M-1 Global were not heavy enough into the Caucasian hip-hop scene of the early 1990s to heed that warning. Or perhaps our fanciful western notions about stones and glass houses just don’t translate well into Russian. Whatever the reason, the CEO of the world’s most popular Rent-a-Fedor service cut an interview with a website in the Motherland this week during which he said he knew all along that Brock Lesnar would lose to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121.
“Brock Lesnar’s defeat did not surprise me,” Vadim Finkelstein told Championat.ru, with props to LowKick.com for the translation. “I expected him to lose, so it was (not surprising) … I always knew that Brock Lesnar will not have a long run as a champion. Brock was supposed to lose in his previous fight, but he was lucky when he managed to miraculously bounce back against Shane Carwin.”
Finkelstein further suggested that a fight between Fedor Emelianenko and Lesnar would look much the same as the Velasquez bout and that he doubted Lesnar’s ability to ever reclaim the UFC gold. We assume he made these comments calmly and without a hint of irony, as flames engulfed the room where he sat and the walls of his own castle crumbled around his shoulders.
CagePotato’s West Coast Correspondent Ruben Vera recently got some time with Strikeforce/DREAM star Jason Miller, and if there’s one thing you should take away from this interview, it’s that BULLY BEATDOWN RETURNS NOVEMBER 4TH!!! Okay, now that the shameless plug is out of the way, we can get down to business. Mayhem is rather upset that Nick Diaz has the gall to talk shit and throw water bottles at him backstage after Strikeforce events, but won’t step up to fight him in front of a paying audience. He also runs down his DREAM.16 fight against Kazushi Sakuraba, his recent trip to Brazil, bringing MMA to a new audience with Bully Beatdown, and UFC 121‘s marquee matchups. Some highlights…
On Nick Diaz: "Man, this guy’s a paper champion, get out of here with this. What the hell? So he beat up a 155-pound KJ Noons, and ‘ohhh, you gotta come down to 170, bro.’ Get out of here! Like, okay, what exactly does that mean? The only fight anyone wants to see is me and Nick Diaz. Outside of the UFC, that’s the only fight that people are talking about, here in America. I’m sorry, that’s how it is. You broke it off, you jumped me. You did it, you asked for it, you talked about, for years, guys with painted hair who bark at themselves. Who are you talking about? You didn’t call out names. I’m calling out names! Nick Diaz is a bitch…he wants it, but he doesn’t. ‘Oh, come to my gym and fight me.’ Come to your gym and fight you? Really? That’s what you’re saying now? Get out of here, man. Step in the cage and fight me, you know? It’s ridiculous."
According to figures released by the California State Athletic Commission, Lesnar pocketed a cool $400,000 for his knockout loss to Velasquez, which may or may not have been partially used to purchase some burritos and Coronas that night.
Check out the breakdown after the jump of who made what Saturday night from the reported $1.513 million payroll and $280,000 "of the Night" bonuses.
“I didn’t think Brock was going to lose like he did, but I knew there was a good chance Cain could get his hand raised,” Hughes writes. “UFC kind of made a big deal about it. I really don’t know why, but I’m glad that the Mexicans have a heavyweight champion.”
Emphasis ours, of course. But, see what we mean? There’s just something about the above sentence that makes the author sound like an old man in plaid pants peering hesitantly out from behind lace curtains while he complains to his wife, “Goddamn it, Margaret. What are the blacks up to now?” Nobody is accusing Matt Hughes of knowingly being culturally insensitive. Just, you know, for future reference …
(Does this look like the face of a man who is pumped for Wrestlemania? PicProps: BloodyElbow)
Right on schedule, the Internets are in full-on meltdown mode this Monday morning concerning all things Brock Lesnar. Lesnar fans who talked him up as an unstoppable juggernaut as late as Friday afternoon are now backtracking, suddenly focusing more on his inexperience than his otherworldly physical prowess. Cain Velasquez supporters are getting their gloat on, as well they should, after Velasquez put a king sized beating on Lesnar at UFC 121. We blogging scumbags are attacking the former champ’s striking skills, his game plan and his training camp. Many of us are wondering aloud about Lesnar’s future in the sport, how he’ll rebound from this and what in the bejeezus is going to happen to our precious heavyweight rankings now.
For his part, UFC President Dana White is insinuating that the whitetail deer population of southwestern Minnesota might be a bit inflated come spring, since he believes Lesnar will cancel much of his planned time off in order to get back in the gym and back in the Octagon ASAP. Then there’s this goddamned Undertaker thing, which is threatening to take on a life of its own.
Brock Lesnar: Assuming that nobody really wants to see a Lesnar vs. Mir rubber match, there are a surprising lack of options for the new ex-champ. If Roy Nelson beats Shane Carwin at UFC 125, Lesnar vs. Big Country would make perfect sense. (Lesnar vs. Carwin II is also an option for down the road, considering Carwin never felt like Brock beat him fair and square.) But at the moment, the best available opponent for Lesnar is Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who’s coming off his own nasty loss to Velasquez. The fading Big Nog would likely take a beating, but the UFC needs to re-build their most bankable star against a credible name, and letting Lesnar whale on a legend is an effective way to do it.
Martin Kampmann: The first name that comes to mind is Dan Hardy, though the UFC probably wants to avoid the possibility of one of their British stars dropping three straight. So how ’bout this: Nate Diaz. The TUF 5 winner and moneyweight contender is facing Dong Hyun Kim at UFC 125. If Diaz wins, Diaz vs. Kampmann is a great matchup between two guys who are on the same upper-middle region of the welterweight ladder. If Diaz gets outgrappled by DHK, then Kampmann gets a rebound against an "easier" opponent. Either way, it’s a scrap.
(Valhalla was not quite what Lesnar had been expecting. There were fewer sexy valkyries and more big Mexicans angry about that shit he said. PicProps: UFC.com)
So, Cain Velasquez came as advertised at UFC 121. Brock Lesnar? Not quite so much. When Lesnar’s early Caveman Smash offense failed and he couldn’t keep Velasquez on the mat with his vaunted wrestling prowess, shit got ugly in a hurry. Of all the things the newly minted UFC heavyweight champion did well on Saturday night – face-punching being the most obvious – the most important and impressive may have been his ability to scramble back to his feet. As it turns out (and as some of you already suspected) the only thing Velasquez had to do to win this fight was keep it vertical, size and strength be damned.
The most pressing question now may be what unforeseen calamity will befall Velasquez? Motorcycle wreck? Lengthy contract dispute? Hole in his colon? The only thing we’ve been able to conclusively prove about the UFC heavyweight title over the years is that winning it is typically not good for your health. As for Lesnar? Well, it’s funny how you can go from ruling the roost to looking like a chump in just under five minutes. Now even The Undertaker wants a piece. That video is after the jump.
(Above: "Look, everybody in Minnesota grows a beard in the winter, and most of us use deer urine to keep it soft and shiny. I’m sorry if the smell is unfamiliar to you." Below: It’s nice to see that someone else appreciates the long and brave career of Dana Delany. / Photos courtesy of CombatLifestyle.com)
With Brock Lesnar gunning for a historic third-consecutive heavyweight title defense against Mexican-American upstart Cain Velasquez, belt-collector Jake Shields making his first appearance in the Octagon, and Tito Ortiz possibly making his last appearance in the Octagon, there’s a lot on the line tonight in Anaheim. Round-by-round results from UFC 121 can be found after the jump, starting with the Spike prelims at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all latest, and please let your voice be heard in the comments section.
Big DW’s latest video blog finds him doing no shortage of totally weird shit leading up to UFC 121 this Saturday. First, we get a closer look at White stumping for senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) alongside – even weirder – Chuck Liddell at a rally in Reno. A bit later, Our Fearless Leader and a few of his faithful employees get dressed up like an R&B group out to shoot the cover of their Christmas album as part of a photo-op for Playboy. (Ed. Note: CagePotato will not, we repeat not, be publishing any poor quality digital stills of this spread. We’re still hoping to rollover at least a few of our weekend minutes.)
During the rallies, White makes sure to point out to the live crowd that he’s “not very political or politically correct” (No, really?) and that he’s just there to spread the word about the importance of voting. After all, there’s nothing more American than blindly appealing to all people to “get out there and vote.” This despite the cruel reality that people who are “not very political” and/or can’t be trusted to look after their own best interests actually shouldn’t vote. That’s how people like this win elections. To his credit, Dana advises us to “do our homework” before we take to the polls, so at least his heart is in the right place. Oddly, there is no footage here of “The Iceman” addressing the political rallies. His speeches much have been too long and too nuanced to edit neatly into a 12 minute blog.
By this point, you’ve probably picked a winner for tomorrow night’s Lesnar vs. Velasquez event in Anaheim. Maybe you think Cain Velasquez‘s speed and striking technique will win the day. Maybe you think Brock Lesnar‘s power and hugeness will carry him through. But have you really considered all the relevant factors? Let’s run down the UFC 121 headlining match and see who really holds the advantages…
MMA RECORD BEFORE ENTERING THE UFC Lesnar: 1-0 (first-round TKO win over Min Soo Kim) Velasquez: 2-0 (first-round TKO wins over Jesse Fujarczyk and Jeremiah Constant) Advantage: Velasquez
# OF OPPONENTS THEY COULDN’T FINISH Lesnar: 2 (lost to Frank Mir by submission, defeated Heath Herring by decision) Velasquez: 1 (defeated Cheick Kongo by decision) Advantage: Velasquez
Brock Lesnar anti-fan Jim Rome sat down with the UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar today and discussed a number of topics from his serious battle with diverticulitis to which sport is tougher: professional football or professional MMA?
Perhaps the most interesting thing Brock said in the interview came out when he was asked by Rome what he thought about comments Chael Sonnen made about him having a $5 haircut and a penis knife tattoo and an assertion that he would "shove up through [Lesnar's] face if he got in his way. A baffled looking Brock told Rome that he "seriously" had no idea who Chael was, asking increduously if he was a fighter.
Two can play the pro-wrestling heel game, Chael, and I’m pretty sure that having done four or five shows a week for a few years during his stint with the WWE, Brock is a bit more experienced at it than you are.
Just a few days out from his UFC 121 heavyweight title fight against Brock Lesnar, #1 contender Cain Velasquez sat down with our man Ruben Vera to answer some tough questions. For instance, what exactly is Cain going to bring to the table that’ll make him different than the other top heavyweights that Brock has already smashed? Velasquez also discusses the looming threat of Junior Dos Santos, the responsibility of being the new Latino standard-bearer in the UFC, and his appreciation of Fedor Emelianenko. Plus: UFC 121 picks, where Cain falls on the tweezers vs. waxing debate, and just like with Phil Baroni, Ruben somehow manages to get Cain Velasquez to say that "CagePotato is the best." Damn, bro…are you holding these guys’ families hostage or something?
Saturday night’s main event at UFC 121 has all the makings of a classic match-up of contrasting styles and the Primetime show did a great job of illustrating that point.
On one side you have the juggernaut UFC heavyweight champion, Brock Lesnar who makes up for his lack of experience and skills with his work ethic and physical abilities. Everyone from Lesnars camp has taken to referring to him by the nickname bestowed upon him by a famous thread on the mixedmartialarts.com underground forum that proclaimed the former WWE champion to be a "Frate Trane," and the monicker couldn’t be more fitting.
The question is whether or not the "Frate Trane" will be able to contend with the switchman who is trying to derail his title run.
(They were polar opposites with hearts of gold and a weakness for terrible chest tattoos.)
If you didn’t catch today’s UFC 121 press conference, you didn’t miss a whole hell of a lot more than the usual answers to the usual questions, but there were a few interesting tidbits revealed by UFC president Dana White including that he will be travelling to New York tomorrow to discuss some movement in the sanctioning of MMA in the hold-out state and the fact that he considered giving Jake Shields a title shot in his first UFC fight based on his record and accomplishments outside the Octagon.
Reflecting off of another, "Do you see MMA in the Olympics in the future?" question he was lobbed at the presser, White explained that things in New York are "moving faster than [he] could have imagined" and that he will be meeting with some unnamed individuals in that regard on Thursday.
As is tradition during UFC fight week, the major players of UFC 121 are about to assemble for a public press conference at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Beginning at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT, Brock Lesnar, Cain Velasquez, Jake Shields, Martin Kampmann, Tito Ortiz, Matt Hamill, and Dana White will be fielding questions from the media. You can watch the proceedings in the UFC’s media player, which is waiting for you after the jump. And if you need any more help in getting hyped up for this event, be advised that Spike TV will be airing UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin tonight at 7 p.m., followed by the third and final episode of UFC Primetime: Lesnar vs. Velasquez at 9:30 p.m.
At long last, here is the Brock Lesnar we all know and love/loathe. After weeks of playing it almost unimaginably cool about the fact he’s about to defend his UFC heavyweight title against a 240-pound Mexican(-American), Lesnar finally let the thin veil of cultural sensitivity fall away during last night’s “UFC Countdown” show. It takes approximately one minute, 13 seconds into the above vid for Lesnar to publicly debut the semi-racist jokes about Cain Velasquez that he’s no doubt been trying out for weeks behind closed doors at the DeathClutch Gym. The results are actually kind of comforting. At least now we have confirmation that this dude with the beard really is Brock Lesnar, and not just some politically correct imposter.
"Listen,” quips Lesnar here. “When I get done whooping your ass, I’m gonna go drink a Corona and eat a burrito just for your Hispanic heritage. How about that?"
(“What you don’t seem to understand, *Pat*, is that our reliance on Lockean liberalism is precisely what’s allowed America to live under this guise of exceptionality that leads us to deny our own history in the name of social order. Look, go read some Louis Hartz and then we’ll talk.” PicProps: @DCBrockLesnar)
“I never learned just the basics in boxing,” Lesnar explains. “I wanted to go get a grassroots boxing coach to get my feet underneath me, to try to combine my wrestling positions and mold into a boxing stance, and just lower myself and learn to punch from my feet to my hands. And so he’s been a huge help — just being able to understand the fundamentals of punching.”
Also, this is yet another situation that underscores how totally awesome it is to be Brock Lesnar. Here’s a guy who was already UFC heavyweight champion by the time he thought to himself, “Hey, you know what? I should learn a little bit of this crazy boxing stuff that everybody else is doing.” Must be nice.
(He might go home and try to get on top of his wife but he will not, we repeat not, get on top of your questions about immigration. PicProps: @DCBrockLesnar)
Since we’re already all so giddy to see these two behemoths get in the cage and crush skulls next weekend, it’s been pretty easy to overlook the fact that neither Brock Lesnar nor Cain Velasquez has done a great job selling UFC 121. Truth is they don’t have to, since these titanic heavyweight matchups have a way of promoting themselves. Nonetheless, Velasquez has thus far proved too media savvy and Lesnar too mind-numbingly obstinate to say or do anything interesting leading up to their clash in Anaheim.
The recurring theme coming out of Velasquez’s camp is that Cain is going to use his speed and endurance advantage to take Brock into the later rounds where he is planning on putting on a boxing clinic. Dave Camarillo went so far as to say that Velasquez in planning on being the spry matador who will make Lesnar the bull look like a lumbering idiot…or something to that effect.
Lesnar’s coaches are pissed at the assertion that their fighter is a slow, out of shape fighter, and they take every opportunity to try to dispel the assumption, even sticking temporary training partner, Pat Barry in front of the camera to talk about Brock’s cheetah-like reflexes and ability to out run a Mack truck with a full tank of diesel.
I was a bit taken aback by Erik Paulson’s claim that Brock hits harder than anyone he’s ever trained, especially since we’ve really only seen him throw those awkward turbo hammer fists and no power punches. Maybe we’re in for a surprise on October 23, or maybe Paulson is just trying to scare Cain from standing with Brock using the old bait and switch technique.
They really seem to be playing up Cain’s ethnicity, though I’ve noticed Spike has stopped running the commercial with the, "Velasquez is hoping to become the first Mexican UFC heavyweight champion" since he was born in the U.S. and Ricco Rodriguez isn’t impressed. Not only did he explain the significance of his controversial, "Brown Pride" tattoo for the tenth time in the past few years, he also visited with a group of young Latino men to tell them they should embrace their heritage and that they can do anything they put their minds to if they persevere and work hard.
Unless they’re Tito Ortiz and their goals are to become a commentator.