The weigh-in official found Davis’s ticklish spot. Pic: MMA Junkie
Heading into tonight’s bouts, it feels strangely like we’ve been here before… we’ve got drama surrounding Anthony Johnson’s weight, fighters promising to eschew their full range of talent in favor of standing and banging, and of course the redo of Garcia and Jung’s epic battle. With all of the variables that unfold in a fight it’s practically impossible to predict how a fight will go down, but that doesn’t mean we won’t irresponsibly try. Here’s a look at some of tonight’s fights and how history may play a role in their outcome.
(“FINISH HIM!” shouted the spooky narrator from Mortal Kombat, who had clearly never seen Jon Fitch fight before. Props: MMAConvert)
After their UFC 127 main event ended in a frustrating majority draw, BJ Penn and Jon Fitch have been re-booked for an immediate rematch at UFC 132 (July 2, Las Vegas). The UFC confirmed the news late last night. Both fighters were initially disappointed in their performance, but have since come around to the idea that they both should have won and a rematch is the only logical option. The fight will lead off the live Facebook-stream portion of the evening. (Kidding. It’ll probably be on the main card somewhere.) Maybe this match is a good time to test out the UFC’s proposed use of five-round fights for non-title features. No? Terrible idea?
You can’t say Urijah Faber is a bad host. “The California Kid” took the time recently to help teach Chan Sung Jung about American culture and to show to fit in in California. Faber taught “The Korean Zombie” some common phrases like, “I’m Captain Save-a-ho,” and “Do you have a mirror in your pocket? Because I can see myself in your pants.”
Who knew there was a personality hiding under the surface of the stone-faced Korean fighter? Unfortunately, with the more time he spends with Faber he will be talking like a douchebag like one of the idiots from The Hills.
If 2010 was a cold beer, we’d be down to the backwash. December puts all of us MMA-pundit types in a reflective mood, and this year gave us a double-crapload of big stories, insane fights, rising stars, and utter embarrassments to wrap our heads around. And so, we’d like to pay tribute to 2010 in the best way we know how — sarcasm and insults, mostly. Without further ado, here are 15 things we felt were worthy of some end-of-year recognition, Potato-style…
The Giant Silva Freak Show Award, presented each year to the match that’s made strictly for gruesome entertainment value; fighters should ideally exhibit a tremendous difference in either size or experience level. Winner:Randy Couture vs. James Toney at UFC 118, in which a tubby boxing champ trash-talked his way into a co-headling bout against an MMA legend, and got choked out before he was able to land a single punch. This marks the first time in eleven years that the Giant Silva Award hasn’t been granted to a fight held in Japan. Also receiving votes this year:Herschel Walker vs. Greg Nagy
The Wanderlei Silva Unintentionally Homoerotic Smack Talk Award, known as "The Wandy"ispresented each year to the fighter who, when trying to hype a fight, inadvertently makes reference to having gay sex with his (or her) opponent. Winner:Josh Koscheck, for the utterly disturbing wild-eyed, tongue-waving description above of what he was planning to do to UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre during this season of The Ultimate Fighter. Also receiving votes this year: Matt Horwich, for his cringeworthy rant about how he was going to Mike Tyson 10th Planet protagonist Renato Laranja.
Happy Thanksgiving, Potato Nation! If you’re reading this right now, you should probably consider disconnecting from the Internet and spending time with your family. If you came here to escape those horrible people, brother we can relate. (*Pours another glass of scotch*) Let us know what you’re thankful for in the comments section, and keep up-to-date with this grab-bag of UFC headlines…
– Replacing the unfortunately injured Jose Aldo at UFC 125 against Josh Grispi will be Dustin Poirier, an 8-1 featherweight prospect who just knocked out Zach Micklewright in 53 seconds earlier this month at WEC 52: Faber vs. Mizugaki. Chris Leben vs. Brian Stann will now be the event’s co-headliner, in support of the Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard lightweight title fight.
– Coming off an ugly knockout loss against George Roop at WEC 51, "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung has his win-or-go-home fight booked, as he’ll be taking on Rani Yahya at Fight for the Troops 2 on January 22nd. It’ll be the only fight on the card where you won’t be able to chant "U!S!A!" in support of at least one of the fighters. Expect a lot of fans in the arena to make trips to the bathroom.
(On the bright side, that pig was offered an immediate rematch in Arizona. Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.com)
Between Jose Aldo’s latest title defense/demolition, the off-the-chain Cerrone vs. Varner rematch, George Roop’s KO of the Year candidate, and the other violent stoppages from Torres and Zhang, last night’s WEC event delivered the goods. (LOL @ any poor bastard who decided to watch Bellator instead!) Here’s some things you might want to know with Aldo vs. Gamburyan in the books…
— $10,000 bonuses were handed out to the following fighters: George Roop (Knockout of the Night) for being the first guy to finish the Korean Zombie, which he did with a perfectly placed LHK; Miguel Torres (Submission of the Night) for beating Charlie Valencia to the mat and finishing him with a RNC; and Donald Cerrone/Jamie Varner for their three-round co-headlining battle that was totally OMFG.
Zuffa may have robbed you of $45 last weekend, but they’re making it up to us with a stacked-to-death WEC card on free TV, on a damn weeknight. Gotta love it. Will Jose Aldo continue his Sherman’s March through the featherweight division, or will Manny Gamburyan let everyone know who he is, bro? Will Jamie Varner and Donald Cerrone settle their feud once and for all? Will Miguel Torres and Mike Brown return to old form? Can the Korean Zombie possibly top his last performance against Leonard Garcia? All these questions will be answered after the jump starting at 9 p.m., as we present our liveblog of WEC 51: Aldo vs. Gamburyan. If you love organized violence, give us a "hell yeah" in the comments section…
Potato Nation, assemble: Since tonight’s WEC event promises to be a card-of-the-year candidate, we’ll be liveblogging all the action starting at 9 p.m. eastern. So if you don’t have Versus, or you just feel like hanging out, come back to CagePotato.com tonight and join the conversation. After the jump: Results from yesterday’s Aldo vs. Gamburyan weigh-ins, and a must-see video feature on Miguel Torres‘s new day job.
Losing isn’t always the end of the world. Sometimes, taking an ass-kicking — or getting screwed out of a well-deserved victory — can be the best thing for a fighter’s career. Don’t believe us? We’ll start with one that should still be fresh in your minds…
What happened: Lil’ Nog was originally supposed to face Forrest Griffin at UFC 114, until Griff was struck down by a shoulder injury three-and-a-half weeks before the event. The UFC had to book a replacement, and fast, so they called up wrestling specialist Jason Brilz. Like a true warrior, Brilz put down his beer, blew off his 10-year wedding anniversary, and stepped up to the plate. On paper, he should have been destroyed by the sharp hands and top-flight experience of Nogueira. Instead, Brilz nearly choked Nog out with a guillotine in the second round, wobbled him with strikes, out-wrestled him, and arguably controlled the majority of the fight. But after the last horn sounded and the scores were added up, only one judge saw it his way. Victory in defeat: If you didn’t know who Jason Brilz was before last weekend’s show, you do now. Brilz picked up even more classy-points by not bitching about the decision: "I’m not upset. Sure, I’d have liked to win. Everybody likes to win. I think I went out there and I proved to people, but more importantly I proved to myself, that I can compete with the top dogs. That’s sort of what I’ve been aiming for my whole career.” We don’t know exactly what Jason’s future holds, but it’s looking a lot brighter now. The $65,000 bonus check probably doesn’t hurt either.
Now that the Korean Zombie has made his name in the U.S., we figured we’d take a break from the Tito vs. Jenna saga and bring you this fantastic Chan Sung Jung highlight compilation. The 23-year-old Korean Top Team product comes from a hapkido and kickboxing background, and is one of the most dynamic MMA strikers to come out of Asia in years. As we’ve mentioned before, Jung’s split-decision loss to Leonard Garcia at WEC 48 wasn’t the first time he’s been screwed by judges. His only other MMA loss came in a decision against Masanori Kanehara at Sengoku’s featherweight grand prix quarterfinals last year. Check out the video of that fight after the jump, and let us know if you can find any justification for the decision other than blatant racism.
After laying low for most of the month, the completely arbitrary numerical rankings system known as The Potato Index has been jarred from its slumber following this weekend’s absolutely insane "Aldo vs. Faber" event. And now, it’s time for some scores to be handed down with the wrath of a fat goth chick. Let’s hit it…
Jose Aldo+199 Aldo did what most of us expected him to do, which is run through the California Kid like a hot knife through corn-rowed butter. But his unfortunate stalling in the last round — when he could have put Faber out of his misery at any moment, or at least followed his corner’s advice and let Faber up when he went down — suggested that the WEC featherweight champ is cool with just running out the clock sometimes. It’ll be a problem if it becomes a habit. For now, you can’t get too mad at him, especially since Faber absorbed a level of damage that would have stopped almost any other fighter.
Urijah Faber-74 His hometown paper may be calling for his retirement, the freakin’ vultures, but let’s look at the positives: Faber still has one of the most passionate followings in all of MMA. He will not quit, no matter how bad things are going for him. And although his legacy at featherweight may be ending, there’s still a bantamweight division in the WEC that would probably love to have him. Time to set up Faber vs. Torres?
— Only one bout from the 11-fight card didn’t get airtime on Saturday night: Former bantamweight title challenger Takeya Mizugaki handed Rani Yahya his second straight loss during the prelims, edging out the Brazilian by unanimous decision (29-28 x 2, 30-27).
— Dana White was so hot on Jose Aldo after Saturday night’s main event that he’s already talking about a three-title reign. "I had heard that he wants to move down a weight class, win that belt and then go to 155 to fight BJ in the UFC," White said during the post-event press conference. "If he can do that, I don’t know if he can cut that weight and make that light a weight division, but he’d be the first guy to win three titles in three different weight divisions." We’re all for ludicrously overblown hype, but can we wait until Aldo makes a couple more title defenses in his own division first?
(Marlon Sandro vs. Nick Denis; props to MMA Scraps.)
After a shaky start that saw Maximo Blanco get DQ’d after misinterpreting the "foot stomps yes, soccer kicks no" rule, and Travis Wiuff getting kneed in the balls about two dozen times before losing via TKO, Sengoku managed to put on a pretty damn entertaining show yesterday (or late Friday for us). The focal point of "Eighth Battle" was the quarterfinals of their featherweight grand prix, and unsuprisingly, top-ten featherweights Hatsu Hioki and Marlon Sandro advanced to the semis; Hioki was able to submit Ronnie Mann in the opening round, while Sandro needed all of 19 seconds to flatten Nick Denis with punches.
Elsewhere in the bracket, Michihiro Omigawa continued his career comeback, stopping Nam Phan with ground-and-pound late in the first round; after entering the tournament with a 4-7-1 record, Omigawa now holds back-to-back wins over two very credible featherweights. Korean fighter Chan Sung Jung wasn’t so fortunate, as he dropped a decision to Masanori Kanehara in what many fans felt was a race-based robbery.
Complete results from the event and more fight videos after the jump…
(Main-eventers Ronnie Mann and Hatsu Hioki. Image courtesy of allelbows.)
Attention insomniacs and members of the undead: HDNet is hooking you up tonight with a live broadcast of "Sengoku Eighth Battle," which kicks off at 3 a.m. ET/midnight PT. Though the card lacks big names, it will feature the quarterfinals of their ongoing featherweight grand prix — and if the fights are as entertaining as the FWGP’s first round, we’ll be in for a treat, so DVR this bitch at the very least. Here’s what the matchups will look like…