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Tag: Cheick Kongo

Exclusive Interview: Mark Hunt Talks His Fighting Past, Present and Future

By CagePotato Contributor Shawn Smith


(What has two thumbs and loves to bang? This guy)

For over a decade Mark Hunt has been a polarizing figure in the world of mixed martial arts. At 5 foot 10 and 260 lbs, he’s not your average heavyweight, but that hasn’t stopped him from putting on many exciting performances during his career. His hefty build and nonchalant demeanor are misleading. Rest assured though, Hunt is a dangerous fighter who wholeheartedly loves the fight game.

Exploding onto the K-1 scene in 2001 Hunt defeated Jerome Le Banner, Stefan Leko, and Francisco Filho en route to becoming the promotion’s World Grand Prix champion that year. A short time later, he decided to try his hand[s] at mixed martial arts. Following a submission loss to Hidehiko Yoshida in his MMA debut, Hunt rattled off five victories in a row against the likes of PRIDE middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva, fearsome Croatian striker Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, and Japanese MMA pioneer Tsuyoshi Kohsaka.

These days “The Super Samoan” calls the UFC home. After falling on hard times in the last days of PRIDE and early days of DREAM, Hunt, who dropped his first UFC bout to Sean McCorkle, has turned things around by putting together two victories in a row inside the Octagon against a pair of formidable opponents in Chris Tuchscherer and “Big” Ben Rothwell.

The UFC recently announced that Hunt will be returning to Japan to take on French striker Cheick Kongo in what should be a stand-up war of attrition at UFC 144 in February.

We recently had the opportunity to speak with the seasoned veteran about his past present and future in the sport.

Check out what he had to say after the jump.

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MMA Black Friday: 7 Things That Money Can’t Buy


(A PSP, a Marmaduke book, and fistful of dollars… Man, this cat really knows how to get down!)

By Jason Moles

While our wives and girlfriends are busy maxing out our credit cards in hopes of finding the perfect gift for everyone she knows, we should be reminded that money can’t buy everything — especially in the world of mixed martial arts. Follow us after the jump to discover the irony of the MMA Black Friday. I promise it will be better than the turkey sandwich and leftover pumpkin pie you’ll have for lunch.

1.) Resurrection

In June, Cheick Kongo did what no man has done since the Messiah some 2,000+ years ago — he defeated death. Alright, so maybe I’ve had a few too many turkey day cocktails and that’s not exactly how it went down, but you get the jist. Kongo was knocked unconscious not once but twice in his fight against fellow heavyweight Pat Barry and he still managed to win the fight! By KO nonetheless. No amount of Earthly money could ever buy a second (or third) chance to live again. If it were that easy, Steve Jobs would’ve made certain you increase your credit limit.

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Roy Nelson Says He’s Fighting Cheick Kongo in February; UFC Says ‘No You Aren’t’


(So, who IS Roy fighting next, then?)

Within the past 12 hours, Roy Nelson went from knowing who he would be fighting next to not having a clue.

The durable UFC heavyweight, who likely retired Mirko Filipovic in his last bout at UFC 137, tweeted last night that he would be facing Cheick Kongo at UFC 143 Superbowl weekend. According to the UFC, however, it has other plans for the French striker who handed Matt Mitrione his first loss on the same card that “Big Country” fought “Cro Cop” on .

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UFC 137 Salaries: Nick Diaz Earns $275,000, Five Others Break the Six-Figure Mark


(Maybe now that Bart’s rich, he can stop swagger-jacking KarmaAteMyCat. / Photo via MMAFighting)

The Nevada State Athletic Commission has released the official payroll from Saturday’s UFC 137 event, revealing that the participating fighters earned $1,326,000 in disclosed salaries and performance bonuses. Headliner Nick Diaz went home with the largest check — $275,000, including his Fight of the Night bonus — but the biggest winner had to be featherweight veteran Bart Palaszewski, who made more than ten times his $10,000 show-money, thanks to a win bonus, a Knockout of the Night bonus, and a 25% cut of Tyson Griffin’s purse.

The full UFC 137 payout list is below; keep in mind that the figures don’t include additional revenue from sponsorships and undisclosed “locker room” bonuses, or deductions for taxes, insurance, and license fees.

Nick Diaz: $275,000 (includes $75,000 Fight of the Night bonus; no win bonus)
def. B.J. Penn: $225,000 (includes $75,000 Fight of the Night bonus)

Cheick Kongo: $140,000 (includes $70,000 win bonus)
def. Matt Mitrione: $10,000

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MMA Stock Market™ — “UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz” Edition

Roy Nelson UFC 137 clean shaven post fight photos
(Allow us to introduce you to Nelson Roy III, the brilliant hedge fund manager who has absolutely no relation to that fighting hillbilly you saw on Saturday. / Photo via MMAJunkie.)

By Jason Moles

If you decided to play the new CagePotato drinking game this weekend, you’re probably way too hung over to think about your financial future right now. But now that the dust has settled from UFC 137, you owe it to yourself to study our insightful and highly opinionated rundown of where to direct your hypothetical MMA investments. It’s “Buy, Sell, Hold” time once again, Potato Nation…

“The Prodigy” BJ Penn – Sell

Even if Baby Jay is pulling a Jamie Varner (man I hope that’s not a euphemism) as Mr. Falvo so eloquently put it, the writing on the wall has been there for a while now even if the majority of fans didn’t bother to read it. BJ announcing his retirement Saturday night may have been a moment of weakness when his emotions got the best of him which led to a rash decision, but let me remind you (just like every other single story you read today about “The Prodigy”) that Penn has went 1-3-1 in his last five fights. The Hawaiian may fight again to collect another paycheck but there is no more money to be made as a shareholder.

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UFC 137 Aftermath: Nick Diaz Pulls a Nick Diaz, Retires BJ Penn


Business as usual. Props: MMAFighting.com

Let’s get the obvious out of the way as soon as possible: Last night’s UFC 137 was nothing that it was supposed to be. The odds of things playing out as they were supposed to with this card were slim from the beginning, with Nick Diaz compromising the initial main event with his decision to no-show press week and GSP having to withdraw from his match with Carlos Condit. But at least we could rest assured that BJ Penn would deliver some karma to Nick Diaz in the form of a quick beating, right?

Throughout the first round of last night’s main event, it looked that way. BJ Penn’s counter striking proved too much for Diaz early on, as Penn outworked the Strikeforce champion, managing a takedown as well. But by the second round, Nick Diaz came back to take complete control of the fight. His better conditioning allowed him to keep Penn against the cage and unleash strikes at will. By the third round, BJ Penn’s defense was completely ineffective, as Nick Diaz continued to batter Penn. With his eleventh straight victory, Nick Diaz looks as ready for Georges St. Pierre as anyone has in a while. The bout also earned both men the 75k Fight of the Night honors.

Perhaps BJ Penn was just pulling a Jamie Varner last night, and announcing his retirement out of frustration. But if he wasn’t, it’s hard to argue against his decision. BJ Penn is 1-3-1 in his last five fights, with his sole victory coming over the recently retired Matt Hughes. If it wasn’t clear from his draw against Jon Fitch that he would never be a champion in the UFC again, it became pretty obvious after watching him gas out and get picked apart last night. Penn’s legacy can’t improve at this point, but it can certainly diminish with more losses to contenders in the UFC. He’s making the right move by retiring; let’s just see if he actually sticks to it.

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‘UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz’ — Live Results & Commentary

BJ Penn Nick Diaz UFC 137 weigh ins
(It’s confusing, because in Strikeforce, standing elbow strikes during weigh-ins are totally legal. / Photo via CombatLifestyle. For more photos from this set, click here.)

After five years in the wilderness, Nick Diaz is finally returning to the Octagon tonight, at UFC 137 in Las Vegas. (As expected, Diaz is much, much less excited about this than we are.) His opponent is BJ Penn, a living legend and former two-division UFC champion whose future in the sport very much depends on his performance tonight.

Also on the card: Matt Mitrione and Cheick Kongo fight for a spot in the heavyweight title mix, Mirko Cro Cop and Some Fat Guy fight to save their jobs, and top ten featherweight Hatsu Hioki puts the reputation of Japan on his back.

Round-by-round results from the “Penn vs. Diaz” pay-per-view card will be piling up after the jump starting at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, courtesy of CagePotato liveblog assassin Matt Kaplan. Refresh the page every few minutes for the latest updates; as with our last UFC PPV liveblog, we’ll be including “next page” links to reduce spoilage, so click ‘em as the night goes on. Thanks for being here, and let us know how you feel in the comments section.

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Reminder: Watch the UFC 137 Pre-Fight Press Conference Right Here at 4:00 pm ET


(Stream courtesy of YouTube/UFC)

Just a friendly reminder that we will have the live stream of today’s UFC 137 pre-fight presser for you right here starting at 4:00 pm ET.

If you’re at home today or somewhere your boss won’t catch you getting shit-faced, we’ve created a little drinking game for you to enjoy it a bit more.

Check it out after the jump.

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‘Cheick Kongo is a Dirty Fighter’ and 13 Other UFC 137 Observations by Google Search Autofill


(The Interweb never lies)

We can be pretty critical sometimes, but it’s that snarky candour that prompts most of the Potato Nation to navigate over to our site several dozen times a day. As harsh as our observations may be at times, they are nothing compared to the frank and biting results returned from Google search’s autofill.

Check out our gallery of 14 UFC 137-related searches after the jump, and if you’re Cheick Kongo remember: it wasn’t us this time; it was the Internet. Tell JayT to call off the hit.

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Wednesday MMA Link Club: Akira Didn’t Tap, Askren Disses Hieron, and UFC 137 Preview Potpourri


(Damn, Stitch, aren’t you supposed to stay neutral? Props: Me, five minutes ago.)

This week’s featured stories…

- Akira Corassani: Behind The Screen (Exclusive Interview) (LowKick)
“When you end up in a heel hook, you know that you have two options: it’s tap or your knee will snap, or your MCL, ACL will be out and maybe your career will be on ice…But, this grip was not in. It wasn’t a good heel-hook. You can see the technique also, his legs were all on the wrong side of my body. So, he was holding my ankle and he was going 100% to yank it and I was like, ‘Holy S—!’ So, I raised my hand, I was going to tap. Then, I don’t feel it. I don’t feel it, so why am I going to tap? If you see the other camera angles I posted on my website, you see clearly that I raised my hand and then I take his leg and shove it to the side to escape. Then he slips, my heel pops out and I’m out. That’s it…I didn’t tap, I continued fighting and I won the fight.”

- Funky Town: Bellator Welterweight Champion Ben Askren Says He’ll ‘Maul Jay Hieron’ (MMA Mania)
“Yeah he was a national champion in junior college but Jay [Hieron] is significantly overrating his wrestling ability. What you have to realize is that people who win national junior college tournaments, I pin them in 30 seconds. That’s no big deal. I mean, even at the highest, highest level at the NCAA tournament my senior year, in five matches I probably got 40 takedowns and that’s against the best of the best of the best guys in the United States in wrestling and Jay was never on that level”

- ‘Raw Combat’ Author Jim Genia Discusses the NY Underground MMA Scene (The Fight Nerd)
“New York doesn’t allow MMA right now, so fighters have to go to New Jersey to fight where it’s sanctioned or they have to go underground in New York city…but the book isn’t just about the underground fight scene in New York, it’s also about the development of sanctioned MMA in the east coast…In New Jersey, there was a show called BAMA Fight Night run by Big Dan Miragliotta. His show was the only show for the longest time, there weren’t sanctioned events in the North East, so Big Dan would hold these shows and people like Matt Serra, Nick Serra, Phil Baroni, they had their first fights at these events.”

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