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Tag: Christian Morecraft

CagePotato Databomb #10: Breaking Down the UFC Heavyweights by Striking Performance


(Click chart for full-size versionFor previous Databombs, click here.)

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

We’ve saved the biggest fighters for last in the striking assessment series. Heavyweights end 57% of fights by (T)KO, far more than any other weight class. They also have the highest average power head striking accuracy, possibly because defense is harder when you’re that big.

So let’s see how the whole division stacks up against each other, then look at the winners and losers in each category. A full explanation of the chart and variables is included at the end of this post.

THE WINNERS

Sniper Award: Relative newcomer Shawn Jordan has been a highly accurate striker to date, though he has lacked knockdown power. So let’s focus on the trio of Pat Barry, Dave Herman, and Mark Hunt, who each have four or more UFC appearances and have maintained power head striking accuracy of 38% or more. These are big guys who can also hit their target.

Energizer Bunny Award: Monstrous southpaw Todd Duffee has almost quadrupled the striking output of his opponents with three fights to date in the Octagon, none of which have gone the distance. But with far greater Octagon experience, veterans Cheick Kongo and former champion Junior Dos Santos have managed to almost double the volume of opponents, all while maintain accuracy well above the division average.

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UFC Heavyweight Christian Morecraft Announces Retirement, Looks for ‘Easier Way to Make a Living’


(Undeniable proof that Stefan Struve is a reptilian shape-shifter. / Photo via Getty Images)

In the world of combat sports, there’s nothing sadder than a fighter who doesn’t know when to quit — who continues to risk his body and brain for diminishing paychecks, long after the fight business has chewed him up and spat him out. So in way, the recent news of Christian Morecraft’s retirement should be considered a happy ending, because at least he won’t end up a penniless vegetable. It’s the little victories, folks.

After kicking off his career with six consecutive first-round victories competing in Massachusetts for Reality Fighting and CFX, Christian Morecraft entered the UFC in 2010, where the 26-year-old heavyweight prospect went 1-3, including a submission victory over Sean McCorkle, and knockout losses against Stefan Struve, Matt Mitrione, and Pat Barry. Morecraft’s slugfest against Barry picked up Fight of the Night honors at UFC on FX 1, but he never returned to the Octagon. In fact the last bit of news we heard about him was when he picked up a drunk driving charge in September.

Yesterday, Morecraft posted the following on his Facebook page:

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Vehicular Misadventure Alert: Junior Dos Santos Victim of Hit and Run (He’s Okay), Christian Morecraft Picks Up Drunk Driving Charge


(Step 1: Find a lawyer. Step 2: Explain that your ear didn’t look like that before the accident. Step 3: Collect large settlement. Step 4: Celebrate.)

If one more Brazilian UFC champion becomes involved in a car accident this month, we can officially start calling this a trend. Just a day after we reported that Jose Aldo was hit by a car while riding his motorcycle in Rio de Janeiro, MMA Convert passed along word that heavyweight champ Junior Dos Santos was the victim of a hit-and-run while driving in Salvador, Brazil, last week. As JDS explained on his twitter (which was helpfully translated into Broken English by MMAConvert):

The transit of Salvador giving this fear. They just hit my car and did not stop, continued to follow the path as if it were normal. Please let us be more aware and respect others. You win nothing with violence and disrespect. Crossing and follow in peace.”

Dos Santos escaped the incident without injury, and is still scheduled to defend his title against Cain Velasquez at UFC 155 on December 29th.

Speaking of dangerous drivers…

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Knockout(s) of the Day: Paul Calland’s Spinning Backfist Destruction of Lewis Bailey, Johnson/Beltran & Barry/Morecraft Fights Released Online


(Props to IronForgesIron for the vid.) 

Yesterday, UK based promotion X-treme Combat held its sixth mixed combat event in Cumbria, North West England. Featuring amateur boxing, semi-pro boxing, and kickboxing matches, the evening was highlighted by a K1-style rules bout between FlexMMA product Lewis Bailey and Salfrod MMA’s Paul Calland. Held in an octagon that can only be described as “replica size” with two of the most eager ringside announcers in recent memory calling the action, the scrap featured several back and forth exchanges in its brief duration.

After whiffing a head kick around the 2:40 mark, Calland decides to turn a turd into gold by unleashing a wild spinning backfist as a follow up. A backfist so wild, in fact, that it wasn’t really a spinning backfist at all, but more of a sloppy, unintentional spinning elbow ala Jon Jones. In either case, it catches Bailey completely off guard, rendering him unconscious before he can even fall to the canvas like a rapidly deflating balloon. Now, our Pikey may be a little rusty, but we believe one of the announcers referred to the shot as “a poop,” which references the fact that Bailey likely shit himself after being hit with such a powerful blow.

And while we’re discussing all things KO-related, we’ve got to give some props to FUEL TV, who recently released full, crystal clear videos of the Lavar Johnson/Joey Beltran and Pat Barry/Christian Morecraft scraps from January’s UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller card to hype up Barry and Johnson’s upcoming clash at UFC on FOX 3. Both were exciting brawls to say the least, and both ended by way of violent KO, so check them out after the jump.

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‘UFC on FX: Guillard vs Miller’ GIF Party: The Finishes & Other Highlights

Guillard choking, in every sense of the word. (Photo: UFC.com)

While the ‘UFC on FX’ debut may have lacked the big names of UFC 142, the fights themselves packed just as much fire-power. For the second straight week, six fighters were able to put away their opponent and double their earnings in less than a round. Punches, chokes, and a torrent of brutal hellbows were all used to send grown men into la-la land, and we’ve got the GIF’s to prove it.

(Thanks to Zombie Prophet for the GIFs)

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‘UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller’ Aftermath: Bringing Back the Ban


Barry didn’t check on Morecraft, but it’s safe to say he got some fans. Props: UFC.com

Overall, the UFC’s fourth biggest debut on a television network, which showcased two of the best lightweights coming off of losses and the organization’s second best announcing team, was as successful as it could have been. Sure, there were some long pauses in between the fights, but that’s to be expected when you draw out 60 minutes of actual fighting into a five hour television broadcast. The rattling punches and tapping hands that signaled an early end to many of last night’s fights kept a perfect rhythm with a drum we’ve been beating on CagePotato for quite some time now: The key to victory in mixed martial arts is evolution, not regression. If a fighter wants to stay relevant- or even employed- within the UFC, he needs to develop himself into the most complete fighter he can.

For an example of this, look no further than Melvin Guillard. Both fans and pundits were calling his performance “Vintage Melvin” while the dynamic striker aggressively pursued Jim Miller, arguably coming closer to knocking out the submission specialist than anyone else has. However, after one flying knee attempt too many saw Miller putting Guillard on his back, “Vintage Melvin” demonstrated the same ground game that has always been his kryptonite. An impatient Melvin Guillard did everything he could to get back to his feet, which resulted in Jim Miller taking his back and sinking in the fight ending choke. “The Young Assassin” is now 10-6 in the UFC, with all of his losses coming by submission. While permanently relegating Guillard to the undercards may be a bit drastic, it’s obvious that Guillard will never be a contender unless he fixes those holes in his ground game- something far easier said than done at this point in his career.

Jim Miller did exactly what we knew he needed to do to win. He weathered the storm against Guillard’s attack, he was persistent with his takedown attempts and he kept the fight on the ground once it went there. While a quick submission wasn’t exactly unexpected, it was still impressive enough to earn him Submission of the Night honors.

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‘UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller’ — Live Results + Commentary


(Is that who we think it is? No wonder Guillard always chose “Thong Song” as his walkout music.) 

Tonight marks the UFC’s fourth biggest debut on a television network, so how appropriate is it that I, CagePotato’s fourth or fifth best writer, would be assigned to such an…assignment? Damn it, I really had something for that. Anyway, both Melvin Guillard and Jim Miller will be looking to rebound from tough losses and reestablish themselves amongst the UFC’s ever-growing 155 lb. division in tonight’s main event. Elsewhere on the card, Pat Barry and Christian Morecraft will likely be fighting for their jobs, and Jorge Rivera is calling it a career regardless of how his battle with Eric Schafer goes. Everyone raise your glass of Dos Equis in his honor.

So whether you’re watching the fights from your local watering hole or the privacy of your two story, five bedroom & three bathroom brownstone in the sky, join me, Jared Jones, as I recap the action round by round starting at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT, all whilst trying to find the perfect balance between Maker’s Mark, Yellow Tail, and Pabst Blue Ribbon. Allow me to preemptively apologize for any grammatical errors, delayed updates, and possibly racist, anti-semitic, or chauvinistic remarks that may or may not find their way onto this liveblog as a result. LETS DO THIS!!!

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: UFC on FX Edition


(I got blood on my hands and there’s no remorse, I got blood on my…well, you get the point.) 

We’ll be completely honest, folks, it has been awhile since the official CagePotato Parlay has shown us a return worth getting excited about, or any return for that matter. Bill collectors were ignored, drugs were peddled, and we even had to turn a trick or two to solve our gambling debts, but as they say, it is always darkest before the dawn. Last week, we actually managed to end up in the green, so what better opportunity to keep the ball rolling than the UFC’s debut on FX tomorrow? Check out the betting lines, courtesy of BestFightOdds, along with our advice below.

Main Card
Pat Barry (-165) vs. Christian Morecraft (+145)
Mike Easton (-340) vs. Jared Papazian (+280)
Duane Ludwig (-110) vs. Josh Neer (-110)
Jim Miller (-170) vs. Melvin Guillard (+150)

Undercard
Nick Denis (-240) vs. Joseph Sandoval (+200)
Daniel Pineda (-120) vs. Pat Schilling (EV)
Fabricio Camoes (-325) vs. Tom Hayden (+265)
Kamal Shalorus (-135) vs. Habib Nurmagomedov (+115)
Charlie Brenneman (-300) vs. Daniel Roberts (+250)
Eric Schafer (-155) vs. Jorge Rivera (+135)

Thoughts…

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Once Again, Pat Barry Is Looking to Kill or Be Killed


(Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

With two consecutive stoppage losses against Cheick Kongo and Stefan Struve, and a 3-4 record in the UFC overall, Pat Barry truly needs to get his shit together tomorrow night in Nashville. He and Christian Morecraft will be slugging it out in the opening bout of UFC on FX 1‘s main card, and a third loss could spell the end of Barry’s UFC contract.

Or maybe not. UFC president Dana White has long been a fan of Barry’s “Hype or Die” style, and records don’t matter to Barry anyway. As he told MMAJunkie:

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UFC Live on Versus 4: 5 Things to Take Away

Seems like you should be able to predict the fight based on the shorts alone. PicProps: MMAJunkie

It happens everytime. You write off a UFC card as uninteresting and decide to paint along with Bob Ross (or whatever it is you do with your personal time), and the fighters get wind of it and take your lack of interest personally.

They get in to the Octagon and perform stupifying acts of athleticism and heartitude, Dana White gets a huge boner at the press conference, and now you have to read recaps and watch GIFs to catch up on the action. Sucks to be you, we guess.

Frankly, you need to be making better choices in your life — you cannot paint those happy little clouds and friendly little mountains like Bob Ross — no one can. Frodog himself couldn’t even paint like that; all of Bob Ross’s shows were actually produced by Industrial Light and Magic. There, the secret is out, and we can die in peace.

For those dedicated souls that tuned in, hey wow, how about that show, huh? Like you, we had some thoughts during the fights, and unlike you, we wrote some of these thoughts down during and after the fights. Come on in and let us tell you how you’re feeling right now.

All hail Zombie Prophet!

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