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Tag: Chris Leben

UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman — FX Prelims Results & Commentary


(“Wait a minute…I’m fighting the friggin’ Gevalia Coffee guy?” / Photo via MMAFighting.com)

Before the UFC 162 pay-per-view card kicks off, how ’bout we warm up with some fights on free TV? Tonight’s FX Prelims broadcast features a crowd-pleasing lineup of sluggers, including Chris Leben, Gabriel Gonzaga, and Edson Barboza, and the first post-TUF Smashes appearance of Norman Parke.

Handling liveblog duties for this leg of the “Silva vs. Weidman” fight card is none other than Matt Saccaro, who will be stacking round-by-round results after the jump beginning at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and please toss your own analysis and witticisms into the comments section. Thanks for being here.

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Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira, Cub Swanson vs. Dennis Siver Booked for UFC 162


(Make no mistake — when Edgar’s at his best, he’s capable of losing a close decision to any fighter in the world. Photo via Getty Images)

UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman is turning out to be a can’t-miss showcase for featherweight talent. With Ricardo Lamas vs. Chan Sung Jung already on the lineup, the UFC has just added two more big-name 145-pound scraps to the July 6th card in Las Vegas…

- Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira: Following his unsuccessful title challenge against Jose Aldo — which gave Edgar his third decision loss in a row — “The Answer” returns to the featherweight division to face dangerous grappler Charles Oliveira. Though Oliveira hasn’t competed since his knockout loss to Cub Swanson at UFC 152, his two previous fights resulted in submission victories over Jonathan Brookins and Eric Wisely. It’s a logical rebound fight for Edgar, and a huge opportunity for Oliveira.

- Cub Swanson vs. Dennis Siver: Speaking of Swanson, the Jackson’s MMA product is red-hot lately, with four straight victories in the UFC (three by KO/TKO). Fresh off his recent decision win over Dustin Poirier, Swanson will try to add to his streak against the hard-striking Dennis Siver, who is 2-0 since dropping to featherweight, with decision wins over Diego Nunes and Nam Phan.

In other notable UFC 162 news…

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UFC 155 Aftermath: Bloodbaths & Guts


Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

By Elias Cepeda

With a somewhat forgettable year thankfully coming to an end, UFC 155 looked to excite fans, promote contenders and get everybody ready for a new year. This card did exactly that. Not to reach into our bag of clichés so early into the aftermath, but UFC 155 really sent 2012 out with a bang, and set the bar high for upcoming cards in 2013.

With as many solid fights as took place Saturday in Las Vegas at UFC 155, Jim Miller and Joe Lauzon’s three round battle was recognized by the UFC brass as the Fight of The Night and each man earned an extra $65,000 for their effort. The lightweight contenders should also be in consideration for Fight of The Year lists everywhere.

If it is, Lauzon will be competing with himself for his incredible fight last August against Jamie Varner. JLau may have lost the decision against Miller on the judge’s score cards, two rounds to one, but deserves credit for coming back from being bullied, beaten and bloodied badly in the first round by Miller in the first round and finishing stronger in the final two rounds.

On the strength of his aggressiveness and multiple submission attempts to close out the second and third rounds, this writer believes that a very reasonable judge could have scored the bout Lauzon’s way instead of Miller’s. As it stands, both men were impressive in their own ways and, *reaches back into the bag of applicable clichés* there simply were no “losers” in this one.

Miller has always shown excellent boxing skills but he may have been sharper than ever before against Lauzon in the first and second rounds, scoring almost at will with shots to the body and head, as well as knocking Joe down repeatedly with a nasty inside leg kick. His dirty boxing from the clinch was masterful, using punches, knees and elbows to hurt and cut open Lauzon over and again.

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UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez II — Main Card Results & Commentary


(What a crazy year it’s been. Just think, four weeks ago that bald guy in the middle was actually homeless. / Photo courtesy of Esther Lin’s UFC 155 weigh-in set on MMAFighting.com)

UFC 155 might not be as epic as some of the UFC’s previous end-of-year cards (you can blame the injury curse for that), but any time the Heavyweight Championship of the World is at stake, it’s must-see TV.

Tonight, defending champ Junior Dos Santos will try to keep the train a-rollin’ in a rematch with his old pal Cain Velasquez. Meanwhile in the co-main event, lightweights Joe Lauzon and Jim Miller will gobble up as many performance bonuses as they can get their little hands on. Plus, six middleweight contenders — including Tim Boetsch, Alan Belcher, and Chris Leben — will swing their ham-hock fists at each other, in the hopes that the most popular kid in school might notice them. Lotsa luck, ladies.

Running our final liveblog of the year (!) will be none other than Elias Cepeda, who will be updating you with round-by-round results after the jump starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and please share your New Year’s resolutions in the comments section.

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Cody McKenzie, Karlos Vemola Out of UFC 155 With Injuries; Leonard Garcia and Chris Leben Get New Opponents [UPDATED]


(“Aw thanks bro, these chips are so clutch. Say, you’re not an undercover cop, are you?”/ Props: CombatLifestyle)

Already smacked down by injuries to Forrest Griffin, Chris Weidman, and Gray Maynard, December 29th’s once-epic UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2 card just got hit with another pair of withdrawals, less than two weeks before showtime.

First up: Cody McKenzie, the affable guillotine-choker who got gut-shot KO’d by Chad Mendes in his last appearance in July, has pulled out of his preliminary card bout with Leonard Garcia due to an undisclosed training injury. The UFC is currently searching for a replacement opponent for Garcia, who is looking to rescue his career after losing his last three matches. We’ll update you if/when Bad Boy gets a new booking. Update: Garcia will be fighting Max Holloway, who has won his last two fights against Pat Schilling and Justin Lawrence.

Speaking of undisclosed injuries, Czech wrestler Karlos Vemola is out of his main card match against Chris Leben, and will be replaced by Strikeforce vet Derek Brunson. After winning his first nine pro fights, Brunson has dropped his last two, a knockout loss to Ronaldo Souza and a decision loss to Kendall Grove. Leben vs. Brunson will remain on the UFC 155 main card, and will mark Leben’s first UFC appearance since his TKO loss to Mark Munoz in November 2011, and subsequent one-year suspension for oxycodone and oxymorphone. The Crippler is currently taking it one day at a time.

UFC 155′s bruised lineup is after the jump. Check it out, and ponder what could have been…

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CagePotato Roundtable #18: Who’s Your Favorite TUF Cast-Member of All Time?


(Seriously? Not even *one* vote for Jason Guida?)

The 16th season of The Ultimate Fighter kicks off tonight on FX, and while we wouldn’t exactly say we’re looking forward to it, the premiere of a new season always puts us in a reflective mood. In this week’s installment of the CagePotato Roundtable, we’ll be paying tribute to our favorite cast-members in TUF history, and joining us today is a very, very special guest — Luke O’Brien, an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Fortune, and many other outlets that are much more respectable than the one you’re reading right now. (I first discovered Luke through his excellent MMA reporting for Deadspin.)

Shoot us your own favorite TUF guys in the comments section, and if you have a topic for a future Roundtable column, e-mail us at tips@cagepotato.com

Luke O’Brien

Has there been a more unlikely TUF champion than Amir Sadollah? In 2008, the Persian-Irish surgical technologist came out of nowhere — or in his case, Richmond — to win the seventh season of the show by beating All-American wrestler C.B. Dollaway. Sadollah armbarred Dollaway not once, but twice. Before that, he triangled Matt Brown, who oozed tough. And before that, he TKOd Gerald Harris, who certainly looked tough. At the time, Sadollah had never had a pro fight. Not one. I liked him immediately. Not because he was an upstart, a little doughy around the middle and a bit of a lumberer. There were purer reasons that drew me to a fighter who walks out to Iranian techno music.

For one, he had a mullet. This wasn’t the unaware bumpkin coiffure found in many stretches of this country. Rather, it was a curated flange of keratin that complemented the smirk often playing on Sadollah’s face. It was a mullet that, like its owner, didn’t take itself too seriously. A mullet that grasped irony. And irony has always been in short supply on TUF. The premise of the show — quarantine 16 fighters for a month in a house stocked with unlimited amounts of booze and see what happens — is absurd, although I guess you could say the same about all reality television. As much as I enjoy TUF, the only way I can fully appreciate it is at a sardonic remove. Sadollah allowed me to do that.

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Chris Leben to Return From Painkiller Suspension at UFC 155 Against Karlos Vemola


(“Yeah, training’s going well, I feel like I’m in killer shape right now and…whoa. Is your cameraman masturbating?”)

With his one-year suspension for prescription painkillers coming to an end in November, Chris Leben already has his return fight booked. The UFC has confirmed that Leben will face Czech wrestler Karlos Vemola at UFC 155, the stacked end-of-year card scheduled for December 29th in Las Vegas.

Vemola has compiled a less-than-stellar 2-3 record in the UFC over three weight classes, and was most recently choked out by Francis Carmont in July. Leben, who was suspended following his TKO loss to Mark Munoz at UFC 138, hasn’t won a match since his 27-second bar fight with Wanderlei Silva at UFC 132.

That fact that Leben is immediately returning to action after his suspension — and against a beatable rebound opponent — suggests that the UFC still has a fondness for him. But considering that this wasn’t Leben’s first time-out for unapproved substances, it might be his last chance to straighten up and fly right. Good luck, Cat Smasher.

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Mirror, Mirror: UFC Fighters and Their Sports Star Counterparts


(Oh, you said you have a *flaggy* tattoo? I must have misheard you.) 

By Nathan Smith

During a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Dana White said, “Globally, we’re already bigger than the NFL.” From a global stand point that may be true, but in the Pulp Fiction-esque United States, the NFL is still Marsellus Wallace. The UFC may never gain the notoriety that the NFL has in America but stand-out fighters continue to ink major product endorsement deals. Anderson Silva (Burger King, Budweiser), Georges St. Pierre (Gatorade, UnderArmor) and Jon Jones (Nike) are paving the way to success for future mixed martial artists. Although big-time corporate sponsorship for fighters is in its infancy, the other major professional sports leagues have seen their athletes gain almost as much notoriety outside the lines as within.

The UFC was purchased by Zuffa just over a decade ago and has been charging towards global domination ever since. Sure, the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL (well, maybe not the NHL) playoffs and championship contests annihilate the UFC ratings-wise but the premier MMA organization is gaining at a rapid pace. Take into account the combined several hundred years of history the 4 “major” professional leagues hold and it is glaringly apparent that the UFC and its stars are closing the gap like a fat dude towards a parked Roach Coach.

Comparing the UFC’s ratings and popularity with the aforementioned leagues is somewhat asinine and it would not be fair or rational to compare athletes from other sports with UFC fighters – but you have visited Cagepotato.com. We have never been accused of being fair or rational and matching fighters with their counterparts from around the world of other sporting organizations seemed as logical as a booze-filled headset.

Anderson Silva and Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan has become the benchmark to which all athletes are measured, although the comparisons have transcended far beyond the realm of athletics. Any activity or event draws comparisons to #23 (or #45 whatever). From Ken Jennings being the Michael Jordan of Jeopardy, to Joey Chestnut being the Michael Jordan of gluttony or Peter North being the Michael Jordan of male climax volume, Jordan is synonymous with superiority. In every single poll taken in the last decade regarding the “Top 100 NBA players in History” the battle is for #2 through #100. Michael Jordan is considered the greatest of all time in his medium (and I am not talking about minor league baseball).  Anderson Silva, with his perfect 15-0 record and 10 consecutive title defenses in the UFC, has done things that may never be accomplished again in the history of mixed martial arts. Some day a fighter may come along (if he hasn’t already *foreshadowing*) and surpass Silva’s records but until his numbers fall, Anderson Silva is the Michael Jordan of MMA – period.

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Knockout of the Day: Jorge Santiago Earns (A Little) Redemption at TFC 21


(Sean Salmon getting finished in the first round? You don’t say…)

Jorge Santiago has had perhaps the most disappointing UFC career of any top-tier import out there. While that statement may sound rather contradictory, Santiago’s accolades in any promotion not named the UFC (or King of the Cage) are pretty incredible. Not only is he a two-time defending Sengoku middleweight champion, but one of those defenses, which came at World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku 14 back in August of 2010, was a “Fight of the Year” earning performance over Kazuo Misaki. The man can fight is all we’re saying.

If you were to look at his record inside DW’s playground, however, you would see that all but one of his four losses (out of five performances) have ended by way of violent knockout. The Chris Leben left hook. The Alan Belcher head kick. And who could forget the Brian Stann beatdown. Thankfully, Santiago was able to bounce back from his most recent UFC run with a nasty first round knockout of 14-7 Leonardo Pecanha at Titan Fighting Championship 21 last March.

Check out the video after the jump. 

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Chris Leben Calls His UFC 138 Painkiller Bust a ‘Cry for Help,’ Hopes for a Late 2012 Return


(Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Following career setbacks due to alcohol and steroids, a one-year suspension due to unapproved painkillers was the last thing that Chris Leben needed in his life. But in a recent appearance on MMAFighting.com’s The MMA Hour, Leben spoke publicly for the first time since the incident last November, saying that getting caught following his loss to Mark Munoz at UFC 138 was the best thing to ever happen to him:

I’ve battled drugs and alcohol. I’ve battled with those for my entire life. I’ve had an issue with being addicted to painkillers for years now. I had some issues with my camp and it was almost a cry for help. I knew I was going to get caught and I just didn’t care at the time. I’m extremely embarrassed, I feel like I let down the UFC, but at the same time I think getting caught is probably the best thing to ever happen to me. The UFC has been unbelievable, they sent me to a rehab facility and they really took care of me.”

As Leben tells it, he had hoped to go cold-turkey off the painkillers before the fight, but his addiction was too powerful:

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