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Tag: Chad Mendes

UFC 164 Aftermath: Milwaukee’s Best


(Photo by Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

By George Shunick

The year’s not over, but when it’s said and done, don’t be surprised to see UFC 164 stand atop as the crown jewel of the promotion’s endeavors in 2013. The main card delivered in spades, with four finishes – albeit one controversial one – and one fight of the night which somehow didn’t manage to win the actual Fight of the Night bonus. But the big story last night was the ascension of Anthony Pettis to the lightweight throne. There has not been a dominant champion in the most talented division in MMA since the downfall of BJ Penn at UFC 112. If last night was any indication, Anthony Pettis is going to the answer to the series of frustrating draws and questionable decisions that have plagued the top of the division in Penn’s absence.

In the fight itself, Benson Henderson’s strategy became immediately clear – clinch, clinch, clinch. The majority of the round saw Henderson use his strength to drive Pettis into the fence and keep him there while working short strikes to Pettis’ legs. Henderson also attempted a number of takedowns, all of which were stuffed. When the two finally separated for a period of time, it became evident just why Henderson was so eager to keep the fighting in close. Pettis, fighting out of orthodox stance as a means of opening up the body kicks that come when two fighters square off in opposite stances, proceeded to capitalize on that particular strategy, landing four kicks to the body which clearly discomforted Henderson. Pettis, perhaps a little too pleased with his work, then attempted a cartwheel kick, only to be taken down by Henderson. Working in Pettis’ open guard, Henderson planted his right arm on the mat. Pettis immediately grabbed an overhook and soon after went for the armbar.

Henderson defended well at first, but as Pettis rotated on his back, the pressure increased on Henderson’s elbow to the point where it popped and the champion verbally submitted. Pettis became the second man to submit a champion since BJ Penn did it to Matt Hughes in 2004, and he did it against a man who is exceptionally difficult to finish in under a round. Considering that it was previously believed that his standup was his main weapon, it should go without saying at this point that Pettis is not only one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, he could possibly be the best. A fight with Jose Aldo would go a long way to determine that, but a fight with T.J. Grant wouldn’t hurt either. Now the bad news; Pettis claims his knee popped during the fight. Hopefully it’s minor, but it would be a shame to lose Pettis so soon after such an impressive performance. Meanwhile, once his elbow heals, Henderson will be back. He’s insanely tough, well-rounded, athletic, technical… he’s just a level or two below Anthony Pettis. Maybe everyone else is too.

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[VIDEO] UFC 164 Post Event Press Conference


(Dana White & the stars of UFC 164 hold court last night after the fights in Milwaukee | Video via UFC Youtube)

Watch the video above to see what UFC President Dana White, and some of UFC 164′s top fighters had to say about all the action from last night’s pay per view event. New champion Anthony Pettis talked about his dramatic first round submission of Benson Henderson, Frank Mir and Josh Barnett talk about their controversial heavyweight clash and Chad Mendes discusses his fourth straight knockout win.

Per usual, the “…of the night” bonuses were announced by White at the post presser. Mendes won KO of the night, Pettis won submission of the night and Hyun Gyu Lim and Pascal Krauss won fight of the night. All fighters involved took home an extra $50,000 for the honors.

- Elias Cepeda

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UFC 164 Results & Video Highlights: Pettis Wins Title, Barnett Stops Mir


(Anthony Pettis becomes the new UFC lightweight champion by submitting Benson Henderson in the first round at UFC 164 Saturday night | All videos via FoxSports Youtube)

Full UFC 164 Quick Results:

Anthony Pettis submits Benson Henderson with an arm bar from the bottom in the first round.

Josh Barnett TKO’s Frank Mir in the first round.

Chad Mendes wins with a third round TKO over Clay Guida.

Ben Rothwell beats Brandon Vera in the third via TKO.

Dustin Poirier defeats Erik Koch with a unanimous decision.

Gleison Tibau wins a split decision over Jamie Varner.

Tim Elliott beats Louis Gaudinot with a unanimous decision.

Hyun Gyu Lim defeats Pascal Krauss via first round TKO.

Chico Camus wins a unanimous decision over Kyung Ho Kang.

Soa Palelei defeats Nikita Krylov via TKO in the third round.

Al Iaquinta wins a unanimous decision over Ryan Couture.

Magnus Cedenblad defeats Jared Hamman via guillotine choke submission.

Video highlights of Barnett vs. Mir, Mendes vs. Guida and Poirier vs. Koch after the jump

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Non-Expert MMA Picks: UFC 164 Edition


(We had no idea what picture to use for this post, but this one seems to work nicely. Be sure to check out Meerkatsu’s shop for plenty of other awesome jiu-jitsu artwork.)

Are “the experts” really more knowledgeable than anyone else in terms of predicting who will win a fight? That’s debatable, to say the least. Today we’re bringing in Adam Touchet – a college football blogger and the most casual of casual MMA fans – to see how his predictions hold up against what will actually happen on Saturday night. Read on for his picks, follow him on Twitter, and check out more of his work at what is possibly the least pretentious college football blog on the Internet, BattleOfTheSun.com.

I’ve spent my tiny broadcasting and show-business career trying to prove that just because you’re on television with a microphone it doesn’t make you an expert. What makes a guy who doesn’t even play a sport an “expert” at it, and what makes the “predictions” of the broadcasters presenting a sporting event to the masses any more valid than its rabid fan base?

Spoiler Alert: Nothing.

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[EXCLUSIVE] Clay Guida: The Talent of Hard Work

Clay Guida UFC
(Photo via, you guessed it, Heavy.com)

By Elias Cepeda

Whether or not he’ll admit it, Clay Guida hates being an underdog. It isn’t that the featherweight doesn’t enjoy proving people wrong – he does.

It’s the underestimation that bothers him. Most of his UFC wins have come over opponents who were favored over him before he broke them down and beat them. Even before his UFC career began back in 2006, Guida’s opponents were regularly favored over him.

The assumption that he is an “over-achiever” that has to defy our low expectations just to win smacks Guida like a backhanded compliment time and time again. He’s too polite to get visibly angry when the term has been brought up but in the past, but he’s made it clear to this writer that he doesn’t think of himself in that way. After about a decade of “over-achieving,” Clay would prefer if we simply started referring to him as the elite MMA fighter he truly is. On Saturday, Guida will once again be considered the underdog when he fights former featherweight title challenger Chad Mendes.

Like Guida, Mendes is a wrestler, but he is a more decorated amateur one. Like Guida, Mendes is happy to go wild and throw strikes on the feet, but the Californian has been putting people out with his shots. Both men are obviously in the same weight class, but Mendes would appear to be the more physically imposing, stronger fighter.

Mendes’ only career loss was a shocking one to division champion Jose Aldo. Since that fight, Mendes has won three straight fights by knockout. At some point, in some way, every successful fighter must be a giant in his or her own mind. And in his mind, Guida is the clear favorite in his UFC 164 match up with Mendes.

“Chad is a great wrestler,” Clay admits to me one afternoon a month ago from his New Mexico training camp.

“But we are going to show him what Midwest wrestling is all about. It is a whole different beast. It is just scraping, driving non-stop, relentless and winning scrambles.”

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: ‘UFC 164: Henderson vs. Pettis II’ Edition


(The UFC 164 marketing strategy summed up in less than 30 seconds.)

By Dan “Get Off Me” George

This Saturday night, Zuffa brings us perhaps the most anticipated title rematch in lightweight history when Benson Henderson attempts to remove a stain from his soul against the man responsible for leaving said stain, new/interim #1 contender Anthony Pettis. The preliminary portion of the card may not boast many recognizable names (which is a nice way of saying it’s garbage-ass) but the PPV lineup is a veritable potpourri of grizzled veterans and surging prospects, with a little bit of something for everyone both new and old to MMA.

So come along as we head to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and highlight the undercard bout you stand the best chance of banking on as well as all of the main card bouts for UFC 164: Henderson vs Pettis II. All lines courtesy of BestFightOdds, per usual.

Undercard bout:

Soa Palelei (+175) vs. Nikita Krylov (-210)

The heavy-handed Australian comes in as the +180ish underdog against Ukrainian (is game to you?) submission specialist and -200 favorite Nikita Krylov. Palelei has a chance to payout early in this fight if he is able to use his striking effectively, but the 16 year age gap between the fighters may prove the difference if Krylov’s is able to sustain the early onslaught from Soa. With this in mind, Palelei has been submitted once in his career and 7 out of his last 8 wins (Well, 6 out of 8. Bob Sapp no longer counts.) have come in the first round. +180 for Palelei is an underdog worth taking.

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Finally, A Rational Explanation for Why Chad Mendes vs. Cody McKenzie Was Booked at UFC 148


(“Based on the odor, I would say this man’s been dead for three days.” / Photo via MMAFighting)

Our old bro Ben Fowlkes has written an in-depth double-interview feature-thingy on the UFC’s dynamic matchmaking duo of Joe Silva and Sean Shelby. If you want to learn more about how these guys operate, where they came from, and what they consider to be worst part of their job, give it a read. Personally, our favorite part is this bit in which Sean Shelby reveals the truth behind a baffling UFC mystery — how the hell was the epic UFC 148 squash-match between Chad Mendes vs. Cody McKenzie booked in the first place? Dig it:

[W]hen McKenzie wanted to come down [to featherweight], initially Shelby wasn’t sure he could use him. Then Bart Palaszewski pulled out of a fight with Mendes, and suddenly the situation changed.

“What people don’t understand is, it’s not like I could just remove Chad from the card and say, ‘Sorry, I can get you a fight four months from now,’” Shelby said. “We understand. You spent money on a camp. You’ve got bills to pay. We will do our best to find you a fight. I bend over backward to keep guys in fights, to keep the machine moving. You have to.”

That’s another part of the process that outsiders don’t always get, Silva and Shelby said. Fighters are promised a certain number of fights within a certain number of months. Keep them on the sidelines too long, and the UFC could be in breach of contract. Beyond that, they’d also risk turning the UFC into the kind of promotion they hate.

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The UFC Featherweight Ladder: Ranking the Division’s Worthiest Challengers


(Pictured above: Barry “Sarge” Walters, the schizophrenic UFC fan who can often be seen running onstage during weigh-ins. / Photo via Getty)

By Alex Giardini

Unlike some weight-classes we won’t mention, the UFC featherweight division is currently loaded with dangerous contenders, any of whom could be a serious title threat in the future. At UFC 163 (August 3rd, Rio de Janeiro), divisional ruler Jose Aldo defends his belt against fan-favorite “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung, and as long as an immediate rematch isn’t booked, there will be a feeding frenzy of 145-pounders trying to make their case as the true #1 contender. So who’s worthiest of the next title shot? Let’s put aside the phony UFC rankings and business-driven matchmaking and break down where each featherweight contender really stands in the pecking order.

Ricardo Lamas

(Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

Lamas is the obvious frontrunner to be next in line but why is he being overlooked? The fact that Jung got the title shot over Lamas after their UFC 162 bout was canceled raised a few eyebrows in itself. Lamas, who hasn’t lost in over a year and a half, has blazed through his opposition in the UFC including men on this very list, and despite demolishing a highly-regarded prospect in Erik Koch back in January, his immediate future is unknown. Lamas has a devastating striking game — including some flashy and dangerous kicks — which gives him the ability to end a fight at any moment. He also has a quality wrestling pedigree, alongside a brown belt in jiu-jitsu, and his ground and pound is murderous; woe to anyone in the division who finds himself on the bottom of Lamas’s elbows and power strikes.

It’s relatively strange that Lamas was skipped in line for a title shot but maybe the UFC feels Aldo’s competition should come with a familiar face. Jung is no slouch, finishing all three opponents thus far in his UFC career, but Lamas also has an equally impressive track record in the company – undefeated in four bouts with previous stoppages over Cub Swanson, Matt Grice. The aforementioned brutalizing of Erik Koch was a major reason to include him in the mix, as Koch was a highly-touted prospect who was already paving his way to a title shot before he met “The Bully.” With Conor McGregor and Cub Swanson angling for fights with the Chicago-born fighter, his next move is up in the air, but maybe he’ll remain quiet until August 3rd to see how everything pans out.

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Rumor: Chad Mendes vs. Clay Guida Being Rebooked, Possibly for UFC 164


(Guida engages the UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Dodson audience in the ancient Native American dance known as the “Iwannanothadrinka.” Photo via Combat Lifestyle.)

We’ve thrown the word “curse” around a lot here at CagePotato in the past year or so (as in “injury curse,” “cursed from birth,” and “curse you Dana for setting this up!”), but featherweight contender Chad Mendes is one of the few fighters who might actually be able to stake a claim to that title. In his past three scheduled fights, all of his original opponents have pulled out due to a last minute injury, leaving Mendes to face off against late replacement opponents on two occasions and cancelling his fight altogether in the third. Then again, any curse that ends in you collecting two quick knockouts and upwards of eighty thousand dollars is a hell of a lot better than the festering boils and dead first born I’ve been stuck with.

Anyway, the last man to pull out of a fight with Mendes was none other than recently-converted featherweight Clay “N-Pray” [*rimshot*] Guida, who was replaced by Darren Elkins just as quickly as Darren Elkins was defeated by Chad Mendes when the two eventually met at UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Diaz. According to Ariel Helwani, the UFC is considering rebooking Mendes vs. Guida for the August 31st-scheduled UFC 164 card, which will also feature the beginning of Brandon Vera’s second attempt to become the UFC’s first two-division champ when he returns to the heavyweight division to face…Ben Rothwell. Baby steps, folks.

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After Winning Fifth-Straight Fight at UFC 158, Darren Elkins Makes Quick Turnaround to Face Chad Mendes at UFC on FOX 7


(“…and verily, Carvalho did’st invoke the accursed ‘What the fucketh is thy problem, good sir?‘ rule, but forsooth, it was all for naught.” / Photo via Getty Images)

When Clay Guida dropped out of UFC on FOX 7: Henderson vs. Melendez due to injury last week, it looked like Chad Mendes might be forced to beat up another outmatched palooka just to stay busy at the April 20th event in San Jose. (Such is his life — just body-shottin’ dudes who don’t deserve to be there, and collecting paychecks. It’s sad, really.) But Mendes’s latest replacement opponent could be an even tougher test than Guida was.

MMAJunkie reports that Darren Elkins — who just scored a first-round TKO over Antonio Carvalho during the UFC 158 prelims over the weekend — has gotten the call to step in against Mendes at UFC on FOX 7. Elkins’s latest victory increased his current win streak to 5-0 since dropping to featherweight in 2011, including previous wins over tough competitors like Diego Brandao and Michihiro Omigawa. If his name still isn’t ringing a bell, it’s probably because every single one of Elkins’s UFC fights have been relegated to the prelims; when somebody says that a fighter has “quietly amassed an impressive win streak,” this is exactly the kind of thing they’re talking about.

Unfortunately, Elkins’s match against Mendes likely won’t make the UFC on FOX 7 main card either — but a dominant win over a former title contender could change his fortunes significantly. Making that happen on a five-week layoff is easier said than done, of course. Your predictions?

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