This time last year, I gave you a list of predictions that really created a stir. I boasted that the UFC would host an event in Mexico and be legalized in New York. Man, was I ever wrong about that. I apologize. But I also said that Dana White would coin a new phrase, land a network TV deal and that a famous athlete would cross over into the world of mixed martial arts. Not bad, eh? 2012 is quickly approaching so get the champagne on ice and let’s get to those wild predictions…
1. FOX will reprimand Dana White for his inevitable off-handed comments.
“Faggot“, “f*cking retarded”, “dumb bitch” — these are all things that have been uttered by the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Dana White. The UFC may be MMA’s pinnacle and FOX’s diamond in the rough, but if the promotion is ever to secure a spot in the mainstream, it needs to display more control over its mouthpiece and his tongue. Advertisers tend to frown upon such public displays of hostility and bigotry. When Uncle Dana slips again and gives someone an earful, you can be certain that it won’t go unpunished as it has in the past. This goes for you too, Rogan and Rashad.
2. A champion will test positive for a banned substance.
The inaugural UFC on Fox event goes down in less than a week, and to get us amped for the big night, someone out there in them internets whipped up this gem of a video, featuring a mash up of the 2002 remake of The Ringwith the greatness that is Bruce Buffer. A man already responsible for showing the world such moves as The Buffer 360 and The Buffer Two-Step, Bruce hasn’t had a challenge to keep him busy lately, and though we would have preferred to hear him introduce some of the undercard fights in Spanish, it seems he’s decided that haunting little children was next in line. And now that you’ve all officially joined The Buffer Hitlist, may we suggest you start bidding your close friends and relatives adieu, because when Bruce strikes, “It’s faster than fuckin’ shit.”
Earlier this week, UFC announcer Bruce Buffer caught up with Chael Sonnen for a segment on his Sherdog Radio Network show ‘IT’S TIME!!!’. Buffer got Sonnen to open up about his highly entertaining fight with Anderson Silva, his thoughts on Tito Ortiz, and Ken Shamrock’s get-rich-quick scheme. Wait, what?!
Straight from the horse’s mouth to the screen in front of you, we’ve got the highlights of the interview.
“In what parallel scoring system do you punch a man three hundred times, he hits you eleven times, wraps his legs around your head for eight seconds and they declare him the winner? That doesn’t make you a winner.
In no form of society, from the jungle to the streets, does that make you a winner. I’m the People’s champion I’m the linear champion. I’m the best middleweight there’s ever been and I am the UFC’s true champion.”
Cruising through a bad Wikipedia Hole this morning, I realized that I’d never seen the full video of Wanderlei Silva‘s first victory in the UFC, a knockout of Tony Petarra. This went down at UFC 20 on May 7th, 1999, about seven months after Silva’s steamrolling at the hands of Vitor Belfort, and a year before his unsuccessful light-heavyweight title bout against Tito Ortiz (which would be Wandy’s last Octagon appearance for seven years).
Petarra was a 32-year-old submission fighter from Rancho Cucamonga who was making his UFC debut that night, and was in way over his head. Petarra clinches immediately, looking to take the fight to the mat. Silva stays on his feet and starts firing knees, first to the body, and then right into the rookie’s grill. Wanderlei snatches the full plum at the fight’s 2:45 mark, and the fight is over seconds later.
Later in the video, Mike Goldberg has a sit-down with Ortiz, who gives it up to Silva’s performance and calls out Frank Shamrock. Also, Bruce Buffer looks so young in the fight introduction that he could pass for Shia LaBeouf‘s older brother. Ah, memories!
One of our favorite online obsessions over the last month has been awesome people hanging out together, a tumblr photo blog devoted to celebrities mingling in unexpected combinations. (I mean, seriously: Dylan and Ali?Alice Cooper and Colonel Sanders? Epic.) Since there are aren’t any MMA fighters represented on the site, we decided to do some online crate-digging of our own and put together a CagePotato version of the “awesome people” photo-phenomenon. Enjoy these rare and classic MMA photos, which continue after the jump, and shoot us some links in the comments section if we’ve left out any of your favorites.
(“I survived the Full Tilt Poker bust and all I got was this crappy jacket.” Too soon? Pic: WSOP.com)
The federal indictments lobbed at three top poker websites late last week – including noted fight sponsor Full Tilt Poker – continue to cause a troubling ripple effect in the MMA world, new reports indicate. You may have already seen the stories over the weekend about how much the sudden absence of such poker site dough may or may not adversely affect the bottom line of individual fighters, but notable sports business reporter Darren Rovell (who works a lot on ESPN) now says the charges against Full Tilt also mean the loss of an important upcoming deal for the UFC.
“The UFC had a huge new sponsorship deal on the table with Full Tilt that will now go out the window with the feds bust,” Rovell tweeted on Monday afternoon. This came on the heels of a story from MMA Junkie quoting agent Ken Pavia saying the poker shutdown “will severely impact fighters’ sponsor revenue, which traditionally matched their show pay for our televised clients.”
So yeah, any time big sponsors drop out (or get indicted) and their money gets taken out of the pockets of fighters and the coffers of the only important company left in the industry, we have to do the Dennis Hopper voice again: Bad things, man. For those of you who may have actually gone outside or done things with friends/family over the weekend, a short recap of the story and some reflection on what it might mean for MMA are after the jump.
(Seriously, who let that mouse into the Octagon? Props: UFC.com)
Here’s what we know: BJ Penn and George Sotiropoulos already have dates at UFC 127 in Australia. Karo Parisyan has been fired (again), and Matt Brown will surely be let go as well after suffering his third-consecutive submission loss. (Tyson Griffin also lost his third-straight on Saturday, but will remain in the promotion, as the judges’ decision in his fight against Nik Lentz was utter horseshit.) So where do UFC 123‘s other winners and losers go from here? As usual, we have a few suggestions…
Quinton Jackson: This one’s fairly obvious, assuming that nobody really wants to see an immediate rematch between Jackson and Machida. Rampage should get the winner of Jon Jones vs. Ryan Bader at UFC 126. The winner of that fight gets a title shot. Bada-bing, bada-boom.
Lyoto Machida: Once an unstoppable force in the light-heavyweight division, it’s now been a year and a half since the Dragon has put on a dominant performance against anybody. At this point, the UFC needs to re-build Machida against a mid-level contender. Give him Matt Hamill, who deserves a step up after handling Keith Jardine and Tito Ortiz. Alternately, you could throw Machida in against Randy Couture, and see if the Natural’s gift for game-planning can carry him through against the Dragon. Of course, that matchup might not be pointless enough for Randy, so don’t get your hopes up.