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Tag: Cain Velasquez

Cutting Through The Bullsh*t: UFC 180 Edition


(Photo via Getty)

For a highly anticipated fight card marred by injuries to its premiere fighters and an ongoing crisis in Mexico, UFC 180: “Werdum vs. Hunt” turned out to be quite the showcase.

UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, who had a card built entirely around him for the promotion’s first trip to the country with support from Diego Sanchez and Erik Perez, had to bow out of a title fight against Fabricio Werdum a few weeks removed from the championship encounter. This was after both Perez and Sanchez were already out with of their respective scraps with wounds.

When it comes to the champion, there’s always a lingering concern about his injuries. Multiple setbacks which required surgery (including his latest) has seen Velasquez fight six times in four years, against three different opponents.

But the show must go on, which means the attention turned to Werdum and a combat sports legend serving as an unexpected title challenger in an interim heavyweight championship bout.

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The UFC Needs to Massively Scale Down The Amount of PPVs Each Year


(“PPV buys are higher than ever, dummies. These goofy Internet fucks know NOTHING. Everything is fine.”—Dana White doing his best impersonation of this guy. / Photo via Getty)

By Mike Fagan

Cain Velasquez became another victim (again) of the UFC’s so-called “injury bug,” pulling out of UFC 180 with a knee injury. This is great news for people who want to see a weirdo holding a UFC heavyweight title as Mark Hunt stepped in to fight original challenger Fabricio Werdum. This is bad news for fans who want to watch the greatest heavyweight talent in the sport since Fedor Emelianenko. It’s horrible news for the UFC, who set up this event in Mexico City to both help cultivate the Mexican market and provide a similar atmosphere for Velasquez that Conor McGregor received in Ireland earlier this year.

It’s another blow to the UFC’s pay-per-view business. UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta told Sports Business Daily that “about 80 percent” of fights they wanted to put on have been cancelled. That’s probably an exaggeration (at least if we’re looking at the entirety of the UFC’s matchmaking), but the reality isn’t much better. Of the 14 events including and between UFC 168 and UFC 181 (including the cancelled UFC 176), only five have escaped an injury to a fighter in either the main or co-main event. That is, 64% of UFC PPVs within that timeframe have had alterations or cancellations to one of the featured bouts at the top of the card.

Combined with the loss of Georges St-Pierre (quasi-retirement) and Anderson Silva (wishboned leg), the injuries at the top of marquee events have led the UFC to its worst year on pay-per-view since 2005. In 2005, the UFC ran six pay-per-view events for a total of 950,000 buys and an average of 158,000 per event. This year hasn’t been that bad (2.22M total buys/277,500 per event), but that’s far below the “down years” of 2011-13. (It should be noted that those “down years” are in line with the total PPV business the UFC did prior to the 2009-10 Lesnar Era.)

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Friday Links: UFC 179 Weigh-In Results, War Machine’s Latest Jail Letter, Cung Le Demands an Apology + More


(“The Night Earnest Lost His Sh*t at the Kumite” — classic karate footage, via MMALatestNews)

Three Fighters Miss Weight at UFC 179; Scott Jorgensen Fined (MMAJunkie)

Cain Velasquez Has Successful Surgery, Hopes for March Return (MMAFighting)

War Machine Tweets From Jail, Asks Fans Not to Harass Christy Mack (BloodyElbow)

Cung Le Calls for ‘Rightly Owed’ Apology From UFC Following Mishandled HGH Test (MMAFighting, again)

Details: Anthony Johnson Due Back in Court Next Wednesday for Restraining Order Hearing (BloodyElbow, again)

The MiddleEasy WWE Hell in a Cell Preview (MiddleEasy)

The 50 Coolest Celebrity Photos of All Time (WorldwideInterweb)

Adam Sandler’s Story of Trying to See Shaq’s Penis to Conan Got Animated (PopHangover)

The Live-Action Halo TV Show Gets its First Trailer (TheEscapist)

Jaylen Fryberg Named as Marysville-Pilchuck High School Shooter (EveryJoe)

Top 4 Models To Follow On Instagram (VFD Marketing)

Creepy Halloween Costumes That Will Give You the Chills (22 Pics) (Radass)

Truly Ridiculous Superstitions From Around The World (DoubleViking)

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Cain Velasquez Out of UFC 180 Main Event With Knee Injury, Mark Hunt To Face Fabricio Werdum for Interim Heavyweight Title


(Velasquez injured himself training — for the 1985 Bay Area Breakin’ Championships, son! / Photo via Getty)

As first reported by Yahoo!’s Kevin Iole, oft-injured heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez has withdrawn from his UFC 180 headlining fight against Fabricio Werdum due to another knee injury. Coming into replace him will be Mark Hunt (?!?), who will now fight Werdum for an interim heavyweight belt (?!!?!?!??!?!).

The injury is especially devastating for the UFC because Velasquez was slated to be the marquee face for the promotion’s debut event in Mexico, which goes down November 15th in Mexico City. Here’s what Velasquez had to say about his withdrawal in an official statement:

I’m so unbelievably disappointed that this happened. To say I was looking forward to fighting in Mexico for the first time is an understatement. I wanted to fight on that card so bad. Looks like it wasn’t meant to be and it’s not going to happen. I’m going to get my [right] knee fixed and get back to training as soon as I can. I’m sorry to the fans in Mexico who were expecting this fight, and I hope to be able to come down and still be a part of this historic event.

Velasquez hasn’t competed since his 5th-round TKO of Junior Dos Santos last October. This is the part of the blog post where normally I would recap all of the injuries that have befallen Velasquez during his time in the UFC, but I’ll just embed this tweet and spare myself the effort:

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Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum to Coach TUF: Latin America, Followed by Heavyweight Title Fight in November [UPDATED]


(Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

During a press conference today in Mexico City, UFC president Dana White announced that Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum will appear as rival coaches on the first installment of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America (aka EL TUF), which will air this fall in Mexico and the United States. Velasquez and Dos Santos will then meet at the show’s Finale, “the week of November 15th,” according to White.

Though no other fights on the card have been booked, White vowed to bring a stacked lineup to Mexico City. “You know I want to come to Mexico with a bang,” he said. “We’re gonna bring some good fights here, I promise you.”

When a media member asked White if the UFC would postpone the event or set up a new headliner if Velasquez got injured before the fight, White tried to ward off the bad juju: “Bite your tongue. Hopefully that doesn’t happen.”

Lots more details to come. Stay tuned.

Update, via MMAFighting: Velasquez vs. Werdum and the finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America will take place at UFC 180, November 15th at Mexico City’s Arena Ciudad. TUF: Latin America will feature bantamweights and featherweights, and will air on Televisa in Mexico beginning the week of August 18th. The show begins filming on May 12th in Las Vegas.

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It Looks Like We Won’t Be Seeing Cain Velasquez in the Octagon Anytime Soon


(Get comfortable, champ. You’re gonna be there a while. Via Cain’s Instagram.)

Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez is kind of like Santa Claus, in that he only comes around once a year and delivers presents, if you will, in the form of vicious beatings for our entertainment. We haven’t seen Cain in the octagon since his October 2013 title defense over Junior Dos Santos in their trilogy match at UFC 166, but following a successful shoulder surgery in December, it was believed that Velasquez would back in action by late 2014.

Well kids, it looks like Christmas is cancelled this year, as other lingering injuries and a possible coaching gig on The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America may keep Velasquez sidelined until 2015. Yep, 2015. Said Ariel Helwani on last night’s edition of UFC Tonight:

I spoke to his wrestling coach and he told me that Cain’s doctor cleared him to use his right hand in training two weeks ago, but he’s not sure if Cain’s ready to use the left hand yet. He’s not sure if he’ll be ready by November. He said he won’t rush into the fight that’s targeted for then. He won’t fight until he’s 100 percent. There’s talk of Cain coaching The Ultimate Fighter Latin America, and the UFC has approached him about it, and they could film it in May in Las Vegas. It would be a likely scenario that he’d coach against Werdum now.

God. Damn. It.

So not only do we have to wait for Anthony Pettis to run the TUF gauntlet before we see him fight again, but now Velasquez is being put on the back burner? And to coach the international version of a notoriously cursed show as far as coaches go?

CagePotato Ban: Placing entire divisions on hold for a goddamn reality show. Or not stripping a champion of his/her belt after a year of inactivity. Either or.

-J. Jones

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Friday Link Dump: GSP Shows Up in ‘Captain America’, Cyrille Diabate Announces Retirement Before Tomorrow’s Fight, Prom Girls Holding Guns + More


(Skip to 2:08 to see Georges St. Pierre as “Batroc the Leaper” in this new clip from Captain America: The Winter Soldier. / Props: Marvel Entertainment)

To Be Truly Innovative, UFC Fight Pass Should Save Fans Money (BleacherReport)

Cyrille Diabate to Retire Following UFC Fight Night 37 Bout With Latifi (MMAJunkie)

Video: Khabib Nurmagomedov Takes Daniel Cormier Down in Practice, Is Super Psyched About It (MiddleEasy)

UFC Fighter Cain Velasquez Joins Vince Vaughn’s ‘Term Life’ (Variety)

Stunning New Visions From Ericka Kristen (BabesofMMA)

Takanori Gomi Replaces Danny Castillo, Faces Isaac Vallie-Flagg at UFC 172 (Sherdog)

The Eight Best ‘South Park’ Video Game Episodes of All Time (HolyTaco)

Photos: Duke Freshman Miriam Weeks Outed as Porn Star Belle Knox (EveryJoe)

The ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ Official Trailer Is Out, And It’s Awesome (ScreenJunkies)

The 10 Cutest Photos Of Girls In Prom Dresses Holding Guns (TheGloss)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Recreates “David After Dentist” (PopHangover)

The History and Abuse of the Fedora (EscapistMagazine)

The 10 Strongest Beers in the World Will Get You Drunk Fast (HiConsumption)

A Very Important And Scientific Ranking Of Jerry’s Girlfriends On ‘Seinfeld’ (Uproxx)

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UFC to Host First Mexico Event in November With ‘TUF: Latinoamerica’ Finale


(Cain Velasquez: Just one of the many ferocious Latino UFC warriors who probably won’t be appearing on this card. / Illustration via Evan Shoman Art)

On Friday, the UFC casually tweeted out a semi-major announcement — the promotion will hold its first event in Mexico this November. Though a date and venue haven’t been revealed, the event will serve as the Finale for The Ultimate Fighter: Latinoamerica, which will begin filming this spring in Las Vegas, and will air on Fight Pass and the UFC Network.

Despite Mexico’s deep love of combat sports, the UFC has never held an event on Mexican soil — and it hasn’t been for lack of trying. As early as 2008, UFC president Dana White discussed the difficulty that the promotion had breaking into the market, “basically because five families control all of Mexico.” [Editor's note: That statement has not been fact-checked.]

Things have been looking promising lately, though. The UFC was planning on holding an event down in Mexico as early as this April, but the date was scrapped because proposed headliner Cain Velasquez wasn’t healthy enough to make it. We’ll update you when we know more about the TUF: Latinoamerica Finale lineup, or who might coach the show. At this point, it looks like El Chapo won’t be available.

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Five UFC Title Rematches That Urijah Faber Should Look to For Inspiration


(Photo via Getty)

By Scott Sawitz

After taking the fight on less than a month’s notice, Urijah Faber will step into the main event of UFC 169 (February 1st, Newark) against Renan Barao, who took a definitive and dominant five-round decision over the former WEC stalwart at UFC 149, for what was then supposed to be an interim title in the bantamweight division. With Dominick Cruz vacating his title due to yet another injury, Faber will have his third opportunity to win UFC gold. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have much time to prepare for Barao, who’s become one of the toughest outs in all of MMA.

Faber’s year-round commitment to being in near peak condition — a Team Alpha Male requirement, it seems — affords him this luxury of taking a fight on short notice. Over 18 months have passed since the California Kid walked out of the cage against Barao on the losing side, and what could have been Faber’s last UFC title fight has turned into something else entirely. With four wins (and three submission finishes) over highly ranked opponents marking a stellar 2013 campaign, Faber willed himself into title contention one more time by running roughshod over the UFC’s 135-pound division.

With the rematch set, and Faber looking ahead to what could (once again) be his last shot at a UFC belt, one imagines that the Duane “Bang” Ludwig-led Team Alpha Male squad has a much different game plan in mind for Faber against the Brazilian champion. Ludwig, who has spoke of his fondness for watching fight video in preparation, should have five UFC title rematches on his mind while preparing his fighter for next month’s bout. Each of these fights contain profound lessons that could help Faber become the first Team Alpha Male member to hold a UFC championship belt. Let’s begin…

Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos 2 @ UFC 155

(Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

Lesson: Make your opponent fight your game

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Report: Fabricio Werdum vs. Travis Browne Title Eliminator Fight Going Down in March


(“…he did WHAAAAT to Josh Barnett?!!” Photo via Barry Hartman/MMAFightCorner)

With heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez out nursing another shoulder injury for the foreseeable future, many MMA fans have pondered what’s next for top contender Fabricio Werdum. Currently on a three-fight win streak since returning to the UFC, Werdum is fresh off a second round submission of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC on FUEL 10 (*cries, self-immolates*) and is anxious to stay busy. According to an interview with MMAFighting, Werdum has already agreed to face Hawaiian hitman Travis “Hapa” Browne in March based purely on this fact:

I had a meeting with Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta and told them I wanted to wait, but then I thought about it and saw that I would need to wait too much before my next fight. You don’t remember what you don’t see.

We don’t have a date 100 percent confirmed yet, but I believe it’s going to be in March. I already know that it’s going to be a main event, so it’s a five-round fight. He doesn’t have a good cardio, so that’s good for me. He’s explosive when the fight starts, tries to finish it quickly, with jumping stuff and knockouts, so I see a lot of openings to defeat him.

Apparently Browne’s back-to-back-to-back knockouts of Gabriel Gonzaga, Alistair Overeem (who has split a pair of contests with Werdum) and Josh Barnett in 2013 have done little to impress Werdum, who was equally critical of Browne’s ground game, stating, ”We have trained together a few times three years ago, and he knows how the training was. He knows that he doesn’t have a good ground game.”

Of course, one doesn’t exactly need a good ground game when they posses the power to obliterate anyone who dares shoot in on a takedown against them. Luckily, Werdum has a gameplan for that as well. Sort of.

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