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CagePotato Roundtable #21: Which Fighter Had the Most Unexpected Career Comeback of Them All?


(They say a picture is worth a thousand words, yet the only one that comes to mind when looking at this one is ZOMGBARFLOLLERCOPTER. Via Getty Images.) 

Mixed martial arts is a cruel mistress, Potato Nation, and we’re not just talking about Fallon Fox. As the sport’s popularity has increased over the past decade, its participants have been forced to take on the added pressure of not only supporting their families with the oft paltry salaries they take home every few months (if they’re lucky), but winning fights and winning them impressively for the sake of their ever-increasing fanbases, who will turn on them at the drop of the hat should they fail to meet expectations. At the risk of sounding too cliche, MMA is a game that truly offers the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. It’s also a sport that Tim Sylvia once declared 90% half mental.

And to some degree, that semi-retarded Ogre was right; MMA is a sport that, aside from pushing one to their limit and often past it physically, can do ten times as much damage to a person mentally. A string of losses — a single, particularly devastating loss even — can leave a fighter questioning whether they ever truly belonged in the first place, or whether their prime has simply passed them by. And it just happens so damn fast; in the span of roughly a year, Chuck Liddell went from the unstoppable light heavyweight kingpin to a washed up brawler who was getting punch-drunk into an early grave. At least according to the “experts” who regularly peruse the UG and Sherdog forums, CagePotato comments sections, and Wikipedia.

No, it’s not every day that we see a Randy Couture or a Georges St. Pierre who can recover from a brutal loss or string of losses and use them as motivation to refocus or completely resurrect their career. And in light of Wanderlei Silva and Mark Hunt’s recent triumphs, we go to thinking: Who Had the Most Unexpected Career Turnaround of Them All? 

That’s right, Taters. The Roundtable is back.

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‘The Ultimate Fighter 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen’ Episode 7 — Complete Video & Recap


(Video courtesy of Hulu.) 

Last week, Team Jones was able to chalk up victory #2 after an injured Josh Samman blistered Swede Tor Troeng. With control finally back in their corner, Jon Jones decided to place his #1 pick, boxer Clint Hester, against Team Sonnen’s most decorated grappler in former police officer Jimmy Quinlan. It was a matchup that completely baffled Chael Sonnen, but will Jones’ unorthodox strategy pay off this time? Check out last night’s episode in full above and join us below for all the highlights.

- To kick things off this week, the house is treated to an ever-so-rare night on the town at a local Hooters establishment. Hooters: Our wings might taste like dirty bath water, but hey, tits! Fives are highed. Waitresses are groped. Gilbert Smith repeatedly finds ways to take his clothing off. And by the end of the night, Uriah Hall somehow manages to alienate himself from everyone even further. Collin Hart states his distaste for Hall’s attitude and hope he gets the chance to smash him.

- Hall admits that he hasn’t been sleeping well lately because his desire to nearly decapitate another housemate is eating away at him. You sure you still want a piece of this guy, Collin? Anyway, Sonnen’s assistant coach, Scott McQuary, tries to offer some zen-like wisdom to calm Uriah down. “A non-quiet mind is like a tractor,” he says, “You just can’t stop it.” Not sure which model of John Deere Scott’s used to plowing the fields with, but I’m pretty sure that the worst thing a tractor can do is give you gonorrhea.

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‘The Ultimate Fighter 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen’ Episode 6 – Complete Video & Recap

Following his shocking upset loss to Kelvin Gastelum last week, Bubba McDaniel emerged a much humbler man in the opening moments of yesterday’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Jones vs. Sonnen. With Team Sonnen now back in control of the fight selections, this week’s matchup pitted highly-touted Swede Tor Troeng against Team Jones’ #2 pick and self-appointed captain Josh Samman. Was Samman able to overcome his nagging injuries and regain control for Team Jones, or did Troeng notch “another on for the bad guys?” Check out the entirety of last night’s episode above and join us after the jump for a full recap to find out.

- The episode kicks off with Jimmy Quinlan constructing a hammer for Tor (pronounced Thor. GET IT?). Although the prototype is laughably undersized, Quinlan showcases some MacGuyver-esque resourcefulness when building Troeng a life-sized model. If Josh Samman turns out to be less a human fighter and more a mole in need of whacking, he is pretty much screwed now.

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Oh, The Irony: Chael Sonnen Sues Co-Owner of Mean Street Pizza for Embezzlement


(A slice of feta, roasted garlic, and sun-dried tomato pizza priced at $8.99? We *must* be in the rough part of town.) 

When a fighter attempts to cheat or manipulate the system in the world of mixed martial arts, say by faking a glove tap and diving for a takedown, and is knocked unconscious as a result of his own dickishness, we usually chalk it up to Karma and call it a day. However, when a similar situation arises in everyday American society, it is not only acknowledged by those around it, but is often validated with a lawsuit.

Take Chael Sonnen, for instance, who you might recall was involved in a pesky little money-laundering scheme back in 2011 that ended in a $10,000 fine, probation, and the loss of his real estate license. You might also recall that Sonnen opened up a pizza joint last year for the sole purpose of trolling his way into a title shot against Jon Jones. It’s a move some would call “penny smart and dollar foolish,” but you simply can’t argue with his results. In either case, it appears that Sonnen must have consulted his list of personal acquaintances when determining a co-owner for the place, because he now finds himself playing the role of fraud victim rather than perpetrator. Via OregonLive:

Professional mixed martial artist Chael Sonnen is suing his business partner and the co-owner of his West Linn restaurant, claiming he embezzled $20,000 and owes Sonnen another nearly $23,000 in borrowed money and unpaid rent.

The lawsuit filed earlier this month in Clackamas County Circuit Court also seeks to oust Lee Gamble, who co-owns Mean Street Pizza with the Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter, from the limited liability corporation the pair run. 

My God, I haven’t seen irony that…ironic since Sonnen called out Lance Armstrong for PED usage while simultaneously using PED’s. Fraud is no laughing matter, but are any of you Taters finding as much hilarity in this story as we are?

-J. Jones

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Nine Different Ways of Looking at Testosterone Replacement Therapy in MMA

Opinions that fans and pundits have on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) and its place in MMA are about as varied as the search engine terms that brought you here. With Dana White promising to “test the shit out of” fighters on testosterone replacement therapy to Vitor Belfort lashing out at his critics on Twitter over his own TRT usage, we’ve seen two different extremes over the course of this weekend alone. It’s a complicated issue that has many different ways of being interpreted; possibly none of which are entirely right or wrong by themselves. With that in mind, here’s an attempt at condensing the plethora of opposing views on the issue into nine different ways to look at it, arranged in no particular order.

1.) It’s Incredibly Dangerous For Both Fighters Involved.

Perhaps the most common criticism I’ve heard and read regarding testosterone replacement therapy in MMA is that it makes an already dangerous occupation even more hazardous. This is easy to observe through the perspective of the user’s opponent. It’s one thing if Barry Bonds wants to hit longer home runs, or if Hedo Turkoglu wants to flop harder — their opponents are not physically hurt by their actions in either example. However, if an MMA fighter takes testosterone to become more aggressive and punch harder, the likelihood of his opponent suffering irreparable brain damage increases dramatically.

Often neglected, however, are the additional long-term risks that the TRT user opens himself up to. Testosterone may make a fighter faster and stronger, but it doesn’t exactly undo brain damage. Prolonging a fighter’s physical prime also elongates the amount of time he’s receiving blows to the head. Imagine if boxers like Meldrick Taylor and Riddick Bowe – who showed signs of dementia pugilistica by the ends of their careers yet didn’t retire until they couldn’t stay in shape — had access to testosterone replacement therapy. Giving aging fighters the illusion that they can keep taking shots to the head because they’re still in good physical condition is bound to end in disaster.

2.) TRT Isn’t Nearly The Advantage It’s Made Out to Be.

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Video Preview: Shit Is Going to Get Violent on Tonight’s Episode of ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ But Will You Be Watching?

As one could tell from the opening moments of The Ultimate Fighter 17 premiere a couple weeks back, some drastic improvements have been made to the long neglected reality show. The sleek production, the lack of fabricated drama, the fight quality — nearly everything audiences were demanding over the past few seasons seems to have improved for the time being and has been reflected in the show’s much improved ratings.

And tonight’s episode, featuring a showdown between the highly touted Uriah Hall (Team Sonnen) and the all but completely overlooked Adam Cella (Team Jones), promises to deliver not only one of the most violent KO’s in the show’s history, but in the history of the sport. That is according to noted TUF hypeman and occasional UFC president Dana White, of course.

So in order to do a little TUF-hyping of our own (I know right? WHAT YEAR IS THIS?!), we’ve thrown a preview of tonight’s episode above for you all to check out. And indeed, if the audience’s reaction is any indication, then someone is going down in a big way during the night’s main event. Unfortunately for you spoilerphobes, if you freeze frame the video around the 45 second mark, you can see that the fighter strapped to the stretcher appears to be of the African American persuasion. A bit of intentional misleading by the TUF production team, or a massive upset in the making? And more importantly, how many of you Taters will be tuning in to find out?

After the jump: A little more video hype, featuring a sneak peak of Ronda Rousey’s special on Real Sports, which airs February 19th on HBO. Liz Carmouche’s special, on the other hand, will be airing tonight on Lifetime After Dark in the form of a 30-second trailer during the network’s coveted 3 a.m. spot. We kid, we kid; Liz didn’t get a special.

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‘TUF 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen,’ Episode 2 — The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly

You’d think that Jon Jones would understand the importance of having a tremendous reach advantage, considering it’s one of the key elements of his own success in the UFC. But I’ve already said too much. Read on for our quick breakdown of the best and worst moments from last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen, which produced the season’s first middleweight quarterfinalist.

The Good
- The sheer glee on the faces of the castmembers as they enter the TUF mansion for the first time, especially the ones who are used to living a much more humble lifestyle. Not a single one of them goes straight to the booze closet and starts breaking shit. Luke Barnatt is just thankful for six weeks of free food. The house is “astronomically extraordinary,” according to Gilbert Smith. Enjoy it guys, because that beautiful house will soon become…YOUR PRISON.

- Sonnen wearing wind-pants to every appearance in the gym — gotta love it — and the familiar faces among the assistant coaching staff, including Frank Mir (Team Jones), Vinny Magalhaes (Team Sonnen) and Mike Dolce (Team Sonnen).

- Uriah Hall telling Sonnen he wants to fight the best guys in the house, after Sonnen makes it known that he’d like Hall to get an easy road to the finals. Hall’s attitude is a refreshing contrast to Bubba McDaniel, who is fixated on getting the matchups that would give him the best chance of advancing in the tournament, and spends the first half of the episode lamenting how the Smith vs. Barnatt selection puts Team Jones at risk for losing control of the picks.

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[VIDEO] Jon Jones Is Now Just as Sick of Rampage Jackson’s Shit as the Rest of Us


“They said they’d stand in front of me so we could exchange blind haymakers, and that we’d go to Arby’s after the fight…but then they started wrestling me, and they all went to Subway afterwards and didn’t even invite me!” *sobs*

Today is a new day, which means Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson has new shit to complain about. You know the drill by now: The guy who made over $15 million in eleven UFC fights feels he isn’t being treated fairly, and needs the entire world to know how difficult it is to be Rampage. I guess I’d be mad too if my shoes were so ugly, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying to hear him constantly play the victim.

Last week, Rampage decided to vent about the unfair treatment he received from Mike Dolce. Yep, the same Mike Dolce who hasn’t even worked with Jackson in over two years. The same Mike Dolce who helped Rampage cut 45 pounds in only eight weeks, saving Rampage the embarrassment of being overweight for his fight against Rashad Evans. That Mike Dolce.

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Quote of the Day: Chael Sonnen’s Epic Trolling of Lance Armstrong Almost Came to Legal/Physical Blows


(Takes one to know one, we guess.) 

I’m pretty sure the amount of irony present in the whole Chael Sonnen/Lance Armstrong beef is giving me cancer. Here you have an MMA fighter on PED’s who called out a cyclist of all people for using PED’s just weeks before said MMA fighter was busted for PED’s. Then, said MMA fighter denied that he ever claimed the cyclist was on PED’s, only to come out years later demanding a personal apology from the cyclist, who it turns out was actually on PED’s all the while. It was an act that required a huge set of balls to commit to, yet was pulled off by a guy whose balls are apparently so small that he needs testosterone injections just to survive, again, because he used PED’s in the past. “Pot, meet kettle,” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

In either case, Sonnen recently appeared on his favorite venue for trolling the MMA world, The Jim Rome Show, and picked up where he left off in regards to the now disgraced cyclist, even delving into how Armstrong had threatened to sue him for his statements at one point:

Why are they calling him a bully? That’s what I can’t wrap my mind brain around. Lance is a dweeb, the only thing he’s missing is the tape on the glasses and the high water pants. That guy couldn’t get respect at the local Honky Tonk in my hometown. He threatened to sue me so I threatened to kick his ass and the whole thing went away.

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[VIDEO] Chael Sonnen “Will Gladly Arrange” for Vitor Belfort to Meet Jesus

Let’s make two things clear from the beginning: Vitor Belfort is an amazing fighter, and an equally terrible trash talker. He demonstrated both of these things on Saturday night, with both his brilliant finish of Michael Bisping and his callout of Jon Jones immediately afterwards.

Of course, Jon Jones is a little busy at the moment, getting ready for Chael Sonnen and all. Belfort addresses this by asking Dana White to “Take that clown away” so he could have his rematch with Jones instead of having Bones fight Sonnen in the spring.

No one is here to say that Belfort can’t beat Sonnen in the cage – especially at light-heavyweight – but “The Phenom” doesn’t exactly live up to his nickname when it comes to trash talking. Even though I wouldn’t count Belfort’s post-fight interview as a callout of Chael Sonnen, the clown comment definitely left a sour taste in his mouth. Sonnen wasted no time responding to Belfort’s comments, using his commentary gig on the post-event FUEL TV broadcast to issue the following statements:

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