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…
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.
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.
Add UFC lightweight Clay Guida to the list of MMA fighters who have acted in television commercials. With the guest spot above he did in the latest Safe Auto Ad, “The Carpenter” joins the ranks of the likes of Kurt Pellegrino, Jon Jones, Georges St-Pierre, Bob Sapp, Wanderlei Silva, Mirko Cro Cop and Mark Coleman.
Check out some of our other amesomely cheesy favorites after the jump.
Frank Mir thinks Alistair Overeem will suffer a similar fate as Mirko Cro Cop if and when he finally fights for the UFC.
Either Mir doesn’t know anything about Overeem or he’s trying to needle his way into a fight with the heavyweight Strikeforce, DREAM and K-1 champion when he transitions to the Octagon. Whatever his intentions are, it’s likely the only thing Mir will succeed in doing is pissing off “The Reem.”
Here’s what he had to say in a recent interview he did with MMA30′s Dave Farra:
“With all the guys with the wrestling ability I dont think Overeem will do as well as a lot of the fans would like him to do. Obviously the guy’s from from K-1 and I can’t say enough about his stand-up. He’s a great fighter and he has a pretty wicked guillotine — at least he did at light heavyweight he [did],” mir explained. “I haven’t really seen him establish it since he put the weight on. He has some submissions off his back and he moves around, but he’s been fighting in boxing rings and stuff, but going to fight in the cage, which he’s he’s had fights in cages, but you get someone like a Velasquez or Carwin or Brock, they’re going to change levels and push you against a cage and rip you down. So I think Overeem is going to have to deal with the cage now. When youre a striker, it’s an issue.”
Here we go with tonight’s liveblog for UFC 115: Liddell vs. Franklin, which will attempt to answer a plethora of burning questions. Do abs make you a better fighter? Does shaving off your porn stache give you a better chin? Will Tyson Griffin finish his third UFC opponent? Will Pat Barry be able to reach Cro Cop’s melon with a head kick?
We’ll soon know the answers to these questions and many more. Remember to refresh often.
(Proof that nobody looks cool when they’re about to sneeze. Photo courtesy of EdMulholland.com)
After his bloody win over Anthony Perosh at UFC 110, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic will still be getting a Duke Roufus-trained striker to stand and bang with at UFC 115, only new reports suggest that it won’t be Ben Rothwell, as previously expected. MMA Scraps is reporting that Cro Cop and Pat Barry have been offered a chance to try and kick one another’s faces in when the UFC visits Vancouver. Do we have to tell you that signing this fight is about as close as you can get to guaranteeing a highlight reel caliber knockout finish without actually paying one fighter to go in there and leave his chin wide open? We didn’t think so.
(You take all these precautions in training, and still something bad happens. C’est la vie, old buddy.)
Some ideas are such obviously bad ideas that watching them being methodically put into action is like watching a car crash in slow motion. Certain marriages are like that, as are most of the movies Kevin Smith has made in the last ten years. Now it’s starting to look like the Mirko Filipovic/Anthony Perosh bout at UFC 110 might become MMA’s version of “Jersey Girl.” Only unlike “Jersey Girl” we will all end up watching it.
In the most recent development, a Croation website that looks like a bunch of squiggly lines to us (but apparently makes sense to someone at Fighters Only) is reporting that Cro Cop suffered a cut over his eye in a late sparring session and had to receive several stitches. This doesn’t mean the fight is off, however. Cro Cop reportedly refused to pull out and “let weeks of hard preparation go to waste.” Since there’s no athletic commission to act as the irrefutable voice of reason in this instance, and since the UFC has already demonstrated a willingness to make this fight happen no matter how crazy it becomes, it looks like all systems are still go.
But what about Anthony “The Hippo” Perosh, anyway? What’s going through his head right about now?
Now that Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic is on the verge of making his possibly glorious, possibly disastrous return to the cage against Ben Rothwell at UFC 110 this weekend, we might as well take a look at the man’s softer side. Granted, he’s a bad-ass Croatian fighter, so his soft side isn’t even really all that soft. It’s more of a malleable metal than a bowl of jello, really, but that’s not the point. The point is, if there’s one thing Cro Cop respects it’s kids who kick other kids in the head.
Well, almost before you can finish asking the question, Cro Cop has answered it.He’s dropped his old boxing coach in favor of working with former Muay Thai champ Ivan “The Hydro” Hippolyte, and he’s also sent his old buddy and sparring partner Igor Pokrajac packing.So, problem solved?
(If you’re trying to find the pro fighter in this picture, look for the guy who is not wearing sunglasses at night.)
As part of their effort to make Cain Velasquez the MMA ambassador to the Hispanic community that Roger Huerta never quite became, the UFC sent out a press release today touting Velasquez’s appearance at tonight’s Latin Grammy Awards (8 pm EST on Univision).Velasquez also filmed a short video segment with Puerto Rican reggaeton duo Wisin & Yandel (I had to do some googling to confirm that these are actual musical artists; the story checks out) that will lead off the broadcast.So if you don’t want to watch the whole thing, but you want to see Cain riding around in a Porsche with the two slicksters in the above photo, you can get in and get out even if you have no idea what’s being said (hint: they’re probably all talking about you, and you have no idea).
You want to know how close the Fertitta’s came to giving up on this zany UFC experiment? Then read this insightful article by Neil Davidson, which effectively portrays Dana White as a man with the virtues of his faults. For example, there was the time he fired the entire production crew for not doing things just how he wanted. Kind of makes sense that the same guy who built the industry leader by kicking asses and micro-managing his way to the top can also be more than a little too controlling at times. (See also: Sponsor Smackdown)
[T]he fight isn’t being advertised, but everyone is still under the impression Cro Cop is fighting on the show in Cologne, Germany. They wanted Cro Cop to sell tickets to people coming in from Croatia, but the longer they wait to announce it, the harder it’ll be to get people to travel in. They were hopeful [his contract] be signed by tomorrow but there is a holdup that doesn’t have to do with Cro Cop/UFC negotiations.
A five-time King of the Cage lightweight champion with appearances in PRIDE and the WEC, Mac Danzig was one of the most seasoned mixed martial artists to ever appear on The Ultimate Fighter, and few were surprised when he blazed past guys like Ben Saunders, War Machine, and George Sotiropoulos to make it to the sixth season’s finals. After choking out Tommy Speer to win the contract and doing the same to Mark Bocek in his next outing at UFC 83, it seemed that Mac was on the fast-track to success in the UFC lightweight division.
Then, disaster struck — in the form of Clay “Energizer Blanket” Guida, who laid on top of Danzig en route to a unanimous decision last September. It was a frustrating setback, but we still thought the TUF winner would bounce back against Josh Neer at UFC Fight Night 17 in February. Unfortunately, Mac would fall short again, succumbing to a second-round triangle choke. Now, the once-promising fighter is just another scrapper at the bottom of the UFC’s lightweight ladder, and one more loss could spell the end of his run in the Octagon.
How’s this for a return-on-investment: The UFC paid “The Truth” a total of $76,000 in contracted salary for his first four wins against Fabiano Scherner, Justin Eilers, Assuerio Silva, and Frank Mir — all of them by brutal stoppage, mind you — then paid him $500,000 for his subsequent 1-3 stretch against Tim Sylvia, Fabricio Werdum, Reese Andy, and Keith Jardine. Did the fat paychecks make him soft? Did his long legal dispute with his manager throw off his mental game? It’s hard to know for sure, but by the end of 2008 it was clear that this wasn’t the same Brandon Vera who entered the UFC’s heavyweight division three years before and rocked it like a hurricane.
After Vera’s split-decision loss to Jardine, Dana White lamented the disappearance of Vera’s killer instinct and passionate cockiness. But instead of firing him, the UFC gave Vera a chance to regain his confidence against an outmatched, out-of-shape Mike Patt at UFC 96 — at a drastically reduced pay-rate, of course. Luckily, Vera chopped Patt down and saved his job. The Truth is slated to return in August against Matt Hamill at UFC 102, in a fight that will either re-establish him as a rising star at light-heavyweight, or forever define him as an overpaid can-crusher.
At long last, we present the video of Wednesday’s grappling exhibition between Fedor Emelianenko and Shinya Aoki at DEEP/M-1 Challenge 3rd Edition. As you’ll see, the whole thing was really just a good-natured joke, with both fighters putting on a display that was more slapstick than combat. (But man do Emelianenko’s throws look smooth when they’re done with a 160-pound training dummy.) Fun stuff. Now let’s see the UFC do this with Lesnar and Penn…
When you fight Aoki you know he wants to get things to the ground, and he knows that you know it. Takedowns and sweeps can be hard to come by against an opponent looking to defend them and almost nothing else, so Aoki has had to find other , more creative ways of getting the fight where he wants it, even getting thrown and briefly mounted from time to time. One of our favorite maneuvers is his flying guard pull. It may look silly, but more often than not you’re coming down with him and playing the ground game. If you defend that, he can always jump on you from behind like a kitschy Japanese backpack. Think "Hello Kitty," only way more dangerous.
(Hughes KO slams Newton at the 1-minute mark, Frank Trigg gets his at 3:20.)
When wrestlers first emerged as a dominant force in MMA they faced an obvious problem: nothing in their background had prepared them to finish fights. In the UFC, pinning dudes will just get you boos and a call for action from Big John, so you’d better come up with something else. Matt Hughes did, and that something was his farmboy slam. He knocked Carlos Newton out with it at UFC 34, and used it as a staple in his game for years. Even if it was rarely as effective in ending fights as it was against Newton, it still looked cool when he walked across the cage with an opponent on his shoulder like a sack of flour, and it sure got the fans fired up, like it did in Hughes’ dramatic comeback victory against Frank Trigg at UFC 52.
The fighter formerly known as Jon Koppenhaver stopped by Steve Cofield’s radio show to discuss his legal troubles, and insists that these instances of assault were all misunderstandings. You see, he’s actually the victim. Wouldn’t be no trouble if people would stop forcing him to hurt them. Interesting explanations. Now what about those MySpace posts?
(Here goes Wanderlei, telling another one of his obviously bullshit fishing stories.)
The UFC’s summer venture into Cologne, Germany on June 13 is beginning to take shape, and that shape is already pretty intriguing — much like a dodecahedron, only not as pretentious.
MMA Weekly reports that Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva are likely to meet at a catchweight of around 195 pounds or so. While it’s not the kind of fight that would determine a title contender – and even if it did we wouldn’t know for sure which weight class that contender might be in – it is the kind of bout that is interesting just ’cause. Franklin and Silva are both on a sort of downward slope in their careers, so why not fight each other and see how it turns out?
Also a possibility for UFC 99, at least in his own mind, is Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic. Fresh out of surgery on an injured knee, Cro Cop told a Croatian website (which was then translated by our friend Robert at Betwwx.com) that he was “very confident” he’d be fighting for the UFC in Germany this June. As for potential opponents, Cro Cop mentioned Randy Couture and sounded pretty pumped about the idea.
(‘You think I read book, but really in here is nudie magazine.’)
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovichas had knee surgery and will soon be ready to kick asses and heads once more, though not necessarily in that order. Now that this lingering problem is fixed we ought to find out if Cro Cop’s recent decline was really due to injuries, or if he’s just losing his touch. Call me an optimist, but I’m hoping it’s the former.
According to internet rumors, Cro Cop may be headed back to the UFC for the summer event in Germany, or FEG may still be courting him, hoping for a K-1 match with Alistair Overeem and a few more fights in Dream down the road. That’s all just speculation, though, so don’t get too worked up just yet. It’s like that old saying: If you want to make God laugh, tell Him Cro Cop’s plans.
In case you’re curious, the book he’s reading appears to be entitled “Secret Societies.” Anybody else reads that book, I chalk it up to intellectual curiosity. But when Cro Cop reads it, I can only assume that he’s doing research for when he infiltrates the Croatian version of the Skull and Bones to take them down from the inside as revenge for killing his brother. Anyone else smell a plot for an awesome action movie here?
Wow. Who would have thought that a) we’d ever see Mark Hunt get knocked out by something as simple as a left hook-straight right combo, b) in the opening seconds of a fight, and c) by a middleweight. This is the guy who walked right through a Cro Cop high kick. Hats off to Melvin Manhoef. Maybe now he’ll get that fight with Kimbo Slice that he wants.
More videos from Fields Dynamite 2008 after the jump.
(Shockingly, this wasn’t the best fight of the night. Photo courtesy of CageWriter.)
Total Bummer Update: The fight between DREAM lightweight champion Joachim Hansen and Gesias Cavalcante was canceled. Hansen did not pass a pre-fight medical examination, reportedly due to a recent hospitalization for a head injury. So that sucks.
K-1 Youth Tournament Reserve fight: Taishi Hiratsuka def. Daizo Sasaki via KO, 1:00 of round 2 Semi-final 1: Koya Urabe def. Tatsuya Kusakabe via TKO, 2:21 of round 3 Semi-final 2: Hiroya def. Shota Shimada via unanimous decision Final: Hiroya def. Koya Urabe via unanimous decision
DREAM rules: Ikuhisa "Minowaman" Minowa def. Errol Zimmerman via submission (toe-hold), 1:01 of round 1
K-1 rules: Artur Kyshenko def. Yoshihiro Sato via unanimous decision
DREAM rules: Daisuke Nakamura def. Hideo Tokoro via submission (armbar), 2:23 of round 1
DREAM rules: Andy Ologun def. Yukio Sakaguchi via KO, 3:52 of round 1
DREAM rules: Bob Sapp def. Akihito Tanaka (aka "Kinniku Mantaro") via TKO, 5:22 of round 1. Tanaka put Sapp in trouble early with takedowns and ground-and-pound, but Sapp was able to get to his feet and tag Kinnikuman with some of his big, wild punches against the ropes until the fight was stopped.
DREAM rules: Semmy Schilt def. Siala "Mighty Mo" Siliga via submission (triangle choke), 5:31 of round 1
DREAM rules: Hayato Sakurai def. Katsuyori Shibata via TKO, 7:01 of round 1
K-1 rules: Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Kozo Takeda via TKO, 2:37 of round 1. Kawajiri dropped Takeda twice with punches in the first round, then once more with a flying knee. It was the first in a series of dominant victories by MMA fighters in kickboxing matches at Dynamite!! 2008.
(Now that I think about it, Kinnikuman would fit in perfectly with the TapouT crew. Somebody get Punk-Ass to bring the bus around and pick him up.)
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you really want to bet on K-1 Dynamite 2008 tonight, which you probably won’t get to watch until tomorrow and which may or may not turn out to be a total shitstorm. First, you’re a crazy son of a bitch, you know that? Second, we got you covered. Here are the best odds on the ‘net, courtesy of BestFightOdds.com:
Joachim Hansen (+150) vs. Gesias Cavalcante (-105) Kazushi Sakuraba (-125) vs. Kiyoshi Tamura (+120) Eddie Alvarez (-105) vs. Shinya Aoki (+120) Semmy Schilt (-531) vs. Siala Siliga (+450) Hong Man Choi (+160) vs Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (-155) Daisuke Nakamura (-110) vs. Hideo Tokoro (+135) Alistair Overeem (+270) vs. Badr Hari (-250)
But Cro Cop has been increasingly vague about his plans for 2009, and when Dana White appeared on the “Best Damn Sports Show,” he stated that, “if [Cro Cop] wins, he will definitely be welcomed back into the UFC."
As Robert points out, Cro Cop still keeps a cage in his training facility, though he wouldn’t seem to have any use for it if he plans to keep fighting in Japan. Maybe the thing is just a pain in the ass to take down, or maybe he plans to come back to the UFC for some unfinished business.
Either way, does it seem odd to anyone else that a fight with Hong Man Choi, of all people, is the deciding factor in Cro Cop’s UFC career? Choi is not really an MMA fighter. He’s a kickboxer, in the loosest sense of the word, but mainly he’s a sideshow attraction.
Everyone mocked Fedor for even taking a fight with Choi, and now it’s the fight that determines Cro Cop’s readiness to reenter the Octagon? Why not ask him to beat Alistair Overeem to prove himself? Or beat…anyone else, really. Anyone with actual MMA experience, who isn’t wearing a mask at the time of the fight. Then again, where is he supposed to find an opponent like that on New Year’s Eve in Japan?
That tall son-of-a-bitch you see on the right is Franjo Arapovic, a former Croatian basketball star who scored silver medals at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics. And he’s been brought in to replicate Hong Man Choi’s pituitary freakishness as Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic prepares for their showdown on New Year’s Eve. So how did he get the gig? As FreeFightVideos translates:
“Franjo is the tallest man I know. Only three centimeters shorter and ten kilo grams lighter than my opponent. I‘m able to simulate Choi’s height and feel his weight” said Cro Cop.
Fair enough, but I still think Cro Cop should have ponied up a little more money to hire Yao Ming. You can beat up Croatian basketball centers for months, but it won’t really prepare you for the sight of a seven-foot-tall Asian person.
Some rather-awesome pics of Cro Cop armbarring and head-kicking poor Franjo are after the jump. You know you wanna see that.
(See, this is why we don’t hang out any more, Alistair. You get three beers in you and boom, the shirt’s off and you’re flexing again. It gets old, man.)
Adamantly refusing to play the role of the good guy in this feud, Alistair Overeem is once more accusing Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic of faking his injuries in their fight and ducking a rematch. The Dutch fighter tells Fighters Only that Cro Cop signing to face Hong Man Choi is another sign that he doesn’t want any part of “The Demolition Man” after getting abused in their first meeting, before it was eventually stopped due to severe testicular damage brought on my Overeem’s misplaced knee strikes:
“Like I’ve always said, he doesn’t want to fight me… CroCop faked his injuries in our previous fight and now he has chosen not to fight me and instead fight Choi. He knows very well he doesn’t stand a chance against me… I would love to have a rematch but I seriously doubt if he will ever accept. For me he is not a objective anymore.”
While it’s true that Overeem was beating Cro Cop soundly before the illegal blows, calling the man a faker seems contrary to the video evidence we’ve seen, which clearly shows a hard shot in the pills. The word after the fight was that one of Cro Cop’s testicles was possibly seriously injured after being forced inside his body. You just can’t fake that.
Cro Cop swears he wants this rematch, and has even invited Overeem to his own special basement cage to settle the deal. Overeem understandably turned down this offer to fight for free in his enemy’s home gym, but something is keeping this rematch from happening. If it’s truly the people at FEG, they should have their heads examined. Probably not by the same doctor who examined Cro Cop’s balls, though. I hear he hasn’t been the same since.
(‘Do not mistake my kindness for weakness, my friend.’)
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic writes on his blog that he has signed the contract to make the rumored bout with Korean giant Hong Man Choi official. It will be contested under MMA rules, not K-1 kickboxing rules, which is nice for Cro Cop, who is hoping to end this rough year on a high note:
I must say I’m happy with this opportunity to fight again in this year. This wasn’t the best year for me and I’m hoping that I’ll end it in a good spirit. I’m also happy to fight again in Japan at New Year’s Eve, which is always truly a fantastic experience.
Although I’m still having some difficulties with my old injuries there won’t be any excuses left in case of a bad result. I’ll handle this issues in January, but against Choi I’ll be ready and nothing will stop me this time. I’ll just do my best and end this year with a win hopefully. Then I’ll focus on 2009 and work on the further steps in my career.
But hold up, American fans, there’s a strong possibility we may not even get to see the big K-1 Dynamite show. HDNet Fights CEO Andrew Simon tells MMA Fanhouse that since their contract is with K-1, and since Dynamite is not technically a K-1 show, it’s a bit of a tricky situation. If HDNet isn’t showing it that means it may not air in the states at all. Which would be, as the kids say, a total bummer. Let’s hope they work something out.
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Though the smack talk between Alistair Overeem and Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic has been heating up ever since their testicle-smashing meeting in September, it appears that Dream is not interested in a rematch on New Year’s Eve. At a press conference an FEG executive said that Overeem is "begging" for the fight, but for reasons all their own Dream has decided to hold off on this one.
Fed up with Overeem’s insinuations that he’s ducking the fight, Cro Cop has gone so far as to invite his Dutch friend down to his basement where they can square off in Cro Cop’s own personal cage with "neutral referees." As awesome as that sounds, and as perfect a plot for an action movie as it would be, it seems doubtful that Overeem will go for it. Word is he’ll actually have a paying fight on New Year’s against Sergei Kharitonov.