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Tag: Chuck Liddell

TUF or WTF?: A Season-by-Season Retrospective of The Ultimate Fighter


(Thanks to tufentertainment.net for the fitting logo.)

By Nathan Smith

With the recent announcement that Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin have been named as the coaches for the next installment of The Ultimate Fighter series, the MMA universe immediately launched into a full-blow orgasmic ticker-tape parade complete with tons of flying confetti and a marching band belting out death metal tunes. Once I heard the news, it was as if my life instantaneously turned into a beer commercial and the entire Potato Nation was invited. There was a rad pool-party, barbeque, a plethora of hotties, endless alcohol, and an overall quest for fun.

Well . . . . . actually, none of that happened. In fact, when word spread that Nelson and Carwin would helm the next season of TUF, it was officially filed under “WTF?” Judging from the comment section, most of the CP brethren didn’t care for the choices either. TUF is coming off a season that saw the ratings dip lower than they ever had, which could partially be blamed on the move to FX and the dreaded Friday night time slot. Regardless of the variables for the ratings drop, something drastic needs to be done, but is anybody really convinced that Carwin and Nelson are the answer to TUF’s slow and painful demise? Let’s start from the beginning and take a look back to see if this runaway train can be coaxed back onto the main rail.

The Season That Started it All 

The inaugural season of TUF featured future Hall of Famers Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture as the competing coaches who would go mano y mano at the PPV after the season finale. For fans of the UFC, that was good enough for most to initially tune in for the Fertitta-funded experiment. It still remains the best crop of young talent and personalities to ever grace the show; future stars like Forrest Griffin, Stephan Bonnar, Josh Koscheck, Chris Leben, Diego Sanchez, Mike Swick, Kenny Florian, and Nate Quarry were all complete unknowns vying for stardom in a fledgling sport. You mix in the whole “fatherless bastard” angle and the show was off and running even before the awe-inspiring climax between (pre TRT) FoGrif and The American Psycho. Even before that, we were treated to the greatest speech of all time that has since been condensed into a few words. “Do you wanna be a fighter?” Though there were other memorable moments from the seasons that followed, Zuffa should have quit while they were ahead because it would never be this good again. The unrefined personification of immature talent, undeniable aspirations and gonzo-sized balls oozed from the boob tube during every episode.

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CagePotato Roundtable #14: Who Was the Greatest American Fighter in MMA History?


(Little known fact: The original version of America the Beautiful contained a fifth verse about Don Frye’s shorts.)

In honor of our country’s 236th birthday, we’ve got a special CagePotato Roundtable discussion for you guys: Who was the greatest American MMA fighter of all time? Because let’s face it, America is exceptional, and we produce the best goddamned fighters in the world. SORRY LIBERAL MEDIA, I SAID IT. Enjoy, and if you have an idea for a future Roundtable topic, please send it to tips@cagepotato.com. And hey, be careful with those bottle rockets, okay?

Ben Goldstein
 

What do MMA legends Chuck Liddell, Matt Hughes, Tito Ortiz, Kazushi Sakuraba, Wanderlei Silva, Randy Couture, and Mark Coleman have in common? They all started their careers within 11 months of Dan Henderson‘s professional debut in June 1997. And where are those guys now? Retired, pretty much retired, retiring this weekend, completely washed up, close to retirementretired, and retired unless Herschel Walker picks up the phone. Meanwhile, Hendo is preparing for his next title fight in September. Does the TRT help? Sure, though I don’t think you can credit Henderson’s heart, balls, and H-bomb power to a little hormonal help. (You also have to give some props to the Jam Gym.)

I’d stack Dan’s accomplishments up against any other fighter in this roundtable discussion — the unprecedented two-division title reign in PRIDE, the five single-night tournament sweeps, the stunning knockouts of Wanderlei Silva, Michael Bisping, and Fedor Emelianenko — but what makes him America’s MMA G.O.A.T. is his incredible longevity. Dan Henderson has been a top-ten fighter longer than anybody else in the history of the sport. I can only think of two other MMA fighters who started their careers 15 years ago who are still considered viable stars, and neither of them are American: Vitor Belfort, whose career was plagued by long stretches of injury and inconsistency, and Anderson Silva, who’s a freakish exception to any rule.

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MMA Tribute Gallery: 20 Classic Photos of Tito Ortiz


(Oh, Victoria. You’re *never* going to finish the choke from that angle. / Full gallery is after the jump.)

On July 7th, Tito Ortiz will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, fight his last three rounds in the Octagon, then retire. In honor of this impending bit of MMA history, we’ve rounded up 20 of our all-time favorite photos of the Huntington Beach Bad Boy — some classic, and some you may not have seen before. Check ‘em out in the gallery below, and if we’ve left out your favorite, shoot us a link in the comments section. Enjoy…

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Photo Tribute: Chuck Liddell Parties With the Stanley Cup — And Half the World’s Female Population

Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell could have been inducted into the UFC hall of fame simply for his post-fight (and pre-fight and everything in between) partying prowess. So we’re not that surprised that Liddell recently partied at an Los Angeles night club with members of the NHL champion LA Kings, Sir Stanley’s cup itself, and several little people dressed up as Oompa Loompas.

All in the night of a UFC ambassador, we suppose. In addition to a couple photos of that night courtesy of Pulitzer-winning TMZ, we’re including a collection of some of our favorite Chuck Liddell partying photos from over the years. As you’ll see, Chuck has gotten down with classy pairs of ladies, celebrities, more classy ladies, former opponents, douchebags, and piles of yet more comely finishing-school drop outs.

Here’s to you, Chuck — the world’s hardest hitting and hardest partying accountant. Cheers. Video and enviable photos await you after the jump…

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According to Dana White, BJ Penn and Tito Ortiz are “Definitely” Headed to the UFC Hall of Fame


(My qualifications? HERE’S my stinking qualifications!)

It looks like we’ll have to start drafting up new t-shirts to falsely promise you guys, because according to a recent interview with MMAFighting, UFC President Dana White was rather frank about his desire for both former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz and former lightweight and welterweight champion B.J. Penn to be placed in the UFC Hall of Fame in the near future. Though the jury is still out on whether or not Penn will return to the octagon following his hasty retirement in the aftermath of UFC 137, DW had nothing but positives to say about “The Prodigy” when asked on the possibility of his placement in the HOF:

Definitely. The thing about B.J. Penn is that what he brought to the lightweight division, there was a point in time when we first bought this company when people thought guys in the lighter weight divisions couldn’t be stars and couldn’t see pay-per-views and couldn’t cross over. B.J. Penn was definitely that first crossover guy for us. He’ll be back. It’s tough, when there are 16,000 people in the arena chanting your name, it’s tough to walk away from that. B.J. Penn is a fighter. You hear some of these guys, and Tito was one of these guys, he said he wanted to be famous. B.J. Penn is a fighter.

So there you have it, Penn will join long-time rival Matt Hughes, as well as Randy Couture, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Mark Coleman, Royce Gracie, Chuck Liddell, and Tapout co-founder Charles “Mask” Lewis in that deluxe octagon in the sky. After a pair of unsuccessful title bids at 155, Penn won the welterweight title in his welterweight debut by defeating the then untouchable Hughes by first round rear-naked choke at UFC 46. Penn would vacate the UFC shortly thereafter, citing a lack of challenging fights, and would not taste UFC gold again until beating the ever-loving shit out of Joe Stevenson at UFC 80 to claim the vacant lightweight strap. He would defend the belt three times until being upended by Frankie Edgar at UFC 112.

When addressing the possibility of Tito Ortiz joining those illustrious ranks, White did not shy away from the pair’s well-documented rocky history, and in fact stated that, in retrospect, it helped make the UFC what it is today.

Hear more from The Baldfather after the jump. 

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In Case You Asked: Chuck Liddell Says He’d Return For a Title Shot [VIDEO]


(We know Liddell has been training hard with other top talent, but a comeback probably wouldn’t be prudent)

It would be easy to call Chuck Liddell nuts for thinking he has a chance at beating current light heavyweight king Jon Jones at this point in his life, as he implies in a recent interview with Fuel TV (video after the jump). Simply going by “MMA math” alone, the former 205-pound ruler finished his career losing five out his last six fights, and three of those losses came against guys (Shogun, Rashad and Rampage) who were easily handled by Bones in subsequent matches.

“The only thing that would make me even think about coming back is if they gave me a shot at the title,” Liddell told Ariel Helwani. “So, we’ll see.” Well, hopefully we won’t see. You don’t have to be a neurologist to understand that a comeback fight against the world’s top-ranked light-heavyweight would put Chuck’s long-suffering brain in grave danger.

That said, we won’t mock retired fighters for retaining some of the same qualities that we loved about them when they were active. Over the course of Liddell’s 12-year career, the former college wrestler probably faced only three guys that he would not have been able to out-wrestle and win in safe, if boring fashion. Yet, the Iceman had so much guts, bravado, and love for the battle itself that he instead chose to slug it out almost all of the time. As a result, MMA fans got to witness some of the most exciting knockouts in the sport’s history — first with Liddell on the winning end, and then with him in the more painful role of victim.

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CagePotato Roundtable #7: What Was the Greatest Upset in MMA History?


(Matt Serra: MMA’s patron saint of lost causes.)

With tomorrow night’s UFC 145 main event slated as a 4-1 squash match, the CP gang is talking upsets for today’s installment of the CagePotato Roundtable. If you have a topic-suggestion for a future Roundtable column, please send it to tips@cagepotato.com, and share your own MMA-upset testimonials in the comments section…

Doug “ReX13″ Richardson

This wasn’t a hard decision for me: My personal “greatest upset” would have to be Fabricio Werdum vs. Fedor Emelianenko.

While I normally disagree with that crazy fanboy (hey Sodak) explaining to me how Fedor is an intelligent machine, sent back in time to destroy craniums and assassinate Andrei Arlovski, I completely wrote off Werdum here. Like, no way a guy who hung out in Minotauro Nogueira’s guard for six days is going to get tapped by a dude who calls himself “Go Horse” and smiles like this, right? So yeah, I gave him no chance of pulling out a victory. I could be on tape somewhere saying that he had no chance, in an obnoxiously opinionated manner. I may also be credited with one of the worst predictions in CP history.

So yeah, that one stung a little bit.

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Chuck Liddell Thinks Teammates Should Fight One Another and the Jones/Evans Odds are “Ridiculous”

Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell old classic rare UFC photos MMA
(And to think this all started with a friction-based erection.) 

Chuck Liddell has been through some shit, ladies and gentlemen. He fought through the dark ages of the UFC, and in fact helped spearhead its rise into the mainstream. And he walked that path to glory on the mangled bones and concussed skulls of his dearest friends and family. The man’s nickname is “The Iceman,” for Christ’s sake, and considering that the nickname is written in quotations, it must literally mean that he has ice flowing through his veins. So you can imagine his lack of understanding when it comes to all these pussified, liberal fighters claiming that they won’t fight their teammates nowadays. According to Liddell, these so-called fighters should put their differences aside in the cage, duke it out, and then have a beer afterward. Here’s what he told The MMA Hour

If (a teammate) can beat me, they can beat me. It is what it is. They deserve to fight me then. I’m not going to hold back some guy that’s in my camp if he wants to fight me. That’s not my thing. It’s just a personal choice and a personal opinion, but I think eventually, hey you guys are going at it, then go out and have two beers together afterwards. Go out there and prove who’s best that day, and go out and be friends again.

Given Liddell’s well documented feud with former teammate Tito Ortiz, you can rest assured that he is a man of his word. Hell, the fact that these two can even stand in the same room with each other, let alone pose for these kinds of pictures is pretty amazing after all that they have been through.

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“Bones” or “Suga?”: The 205-Pound Elite Make Their Picks for UFC 145


(God damn…Randy Couture is looking ROUGH these days.) 

It’s kind of a shame that we’ve barely managed to touch upon the aftermath of what was a fantastic UFC on FUEL event this past weekend, but simply put, UFC 145 has so much more on the line in terms of hype, hatred, and championship gold that the Swedish card can’t help but be placed on the back burner. The light heavyweight championship bout pitting Jon Jones against Rashad Evans has torn fans, friends, and even training camps apart before our very eyes, and we are just a business week away from finally being treated to its conclusion.

And among those divided by this match-up are the very fighters who once ruled the 205 lb division with an iron fist. Everyone from Chuck Liddell to Vitor Belfort to even Frank Shamrock (who was king of the division back in its “middleweight” days) recently weighed-in on the fight, and needless to say, they have it a lot closer than the bookies do at this point.

Let’s start with the division’s very first champion, Frank Shamrock, who was finally able to speak without unknowingly blinding his audience with the illuminating power of his braces:

This fight has a tremendous story behind it, with it having grown out of a friendship that went sour back when these two were teammates. The drama that’s fueling this is incredible. Fans can expect a fight that, stylistically, will be extremely challenging for Jones to overcome, and he’ll have fits with Rashad’s wrestling if he’s able to put Jon on his back. But ultimately, I see Jones being able to inflict more damage and walk away with the belt still in hand. This will be a fight that will not end as easily and devastatingly as Jones’s others have, but rather one of those moments in his career where he’ll have to pull himself up and battle until the final bell. In the end, this fight will help Jon become a better fighter and a better champion, and will endear himself to fans for years to come.

Join us after the jump to hear what the rest of the light heavyweight elite have to say about Bones/Suga.

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Gallery: The 29 Most Awkward GIFs in MMA History


(That look in Chuck’s eyes — we know it well. / Full gallery is after the jump.)

Since our 25 Most Awkward Photos in MMA History gallery was such a big success, and because we could all use some stupid fun on a Friday afternoon, we decided to put together a GIF-based sequel. Enjoy the uncomfortable hilarity, and if we left out any of your favorites, please post some links in the comments section. Have a great weekend, Potato Nation!

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