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CagePotato Superlatives: UFC 162 Edition


(“I said, I DON’T DANCE!” / Photo by Esther Lin for MMAFighting.com)

By Alex Giardini

We know — these things are just popularity contests. But as we look ahead following this weekend’s mind-blowing UFC 162 card, we decided to take a yearbook approach and predict which fighters will go on to even greater success, and which ones will be pumping our gas someday.

Most likely to make well over $24,000 to show in his next fight: Chris Weidman

Perhaps this is jab towards the fighter pay issues that have risen as of late but Chris Weidman established himself as a future star, no matter how differently the fight would have been had Anderson Silva taken it seriously. Yes, Weidman officially made just $48,000, but by dethroning Anderson Silva, he earned a lot more than just money — Weidman became world famous overnight ending up on sites like TMZ and every major newspaper in the country, and he was the man responsible for one of the most historic moments in UFC history. Weidman’s ability to have a similar legacy in the middleweight division is now in question, especially when you consider that an immediate rematch with Silva is still the most likely scenario. Say what you will about Weidman and the fact that eighteen fighters were not enough to convince you otherwise — he knocked out Anderson Silva. That’s all you need to know.

Least predictable future: Anderson Silva

Rematch…retirement….Roy Jones….Stephan Bonnar II…who knows what the future really has in store for the former middleweight kingpin? And with the reiteration that his participation in superfights is off, it becomes more bleak. It really all depends on how Silva would like to go out: On his shield, or dancing the night away worse than J-Lo. Without discrediting Weidman, it was not what we expected or wanted from the supposed best fighter who has ever lived. When some unknown jackass gets KO’d while taunting his opponent, we applaud and move on with our lives, but let’s face it, the best fighters in the world usually don’t put themselves in such vulnerable positions. However it’s impossible to say that it was not a deserving loss for Silva and we’ve never seen him do that before; you live by the gun, you die by the gun.

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UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman Aftermath — Human After All


(Photo courtesy of Getty Images.)

By George Shunick

Surreal. That’s a pretty apt description of most Anderson Silva fights, for better or worse. Dodging Forrest Griffin’s strikes like he was in the Matrix, standing on the cage against Stephan Bonnar, front-kicking Vitor Belfort in the face? Surreal. Dancing around Thales Leites and shouting “where’s your jiu-jitsu now, playboy?” at Demian Maia? Surreal.

But those pale in comparison to what happened last night. What happened last night, when Silva lost for the first time in seventeen fights because he pushed the envelope too far, was the definition of surreal. For the sake of trying to comprehend what happened, let’s recapitulate for a moment. The first round saw Chris Weidman, the new middleweight kingpin of the UFC, take Silva down. Faced with the area in which he was most vulnerable, Silva deftly rolled with what ground and pound Weidman offered and defended any submission attempts before getting back to his feet. The rest of the round was spent taunting Weidman and stuffing any attempts at taking the fight to the ground. At the end of the round, Silva inexplicably hugged Weidman before returning to his corner.

When the second round began, Silva was in complete control, mocking Weidman’s attempts to hurt him. It was a performance unlike any other. But Silva strayed too far to the edge; caught with his chin up in the middle of a Weidman combination, he was felled by a left hook. His eyes rolled back; he was out before he hit the ground, where Weidman followed with a salvo of ground and pound that was merely a formality. Somehow, Silva had lost his title even more than Weidman had won it.

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UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman — Main Card Results & Commentary


(Cmm ert mih brrr.” / Photo via MMAFighting.com)

They’ve smushed chins. They’ve mushed lips. But tonight at UFC 162 in Las Vegas, Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman will let their fists do the love-making, and the only bodily fluids being exchanged will be BLOOD. [Ed. note: Look, I'm doing my best here.] Whether the Brazilian G.O.A.T. makes his 11th middleweight title defense, or the “All-American” lives up to his Rocky-esque underdog hype, I think we’re in for a hell of a battle.

Also on the pay-per-view lineup, Frankie Edgar steps into his first non-title fight since 2009 when he tangles with featherweight Charles Oliveira, while divisional standouts Cub Swanson and Dennis Siver jockey for their place in the 145-pound contender chain. Meanwhile in the middleweight division, Strikeforce vets Tim Kennedy and Roger Gracie look to make a good first impression in the UFC, while familiar contenders Tim Boetsch and Mark Munoz try to bounce back to the win column.

Handling our liveblog for the “Silva vs. Weidman” main card is Alex Giardini, who will be slingin’ live results after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for the latest updates, and feel free to mouth off in the comments section.

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Ben vs. Jared: UFC 162 Edition


(Double chin-smush. So intense. / Video via YouTube.com/UFC)

Are Chris Weidman‘s chances for an upset as good as everybody seems to think they are? Is Tim Kennedy better at talking than he is at fighting? Does UFC 162 feature the most stacked Facebook prelims in the history of curtain-jerking? And Dave Herman‘s getting fired, right? Read on as CagePotato founding editor Ben Goldstein and staff writer Jared Jones debate these topics — and so much more — and be sure to come back tomorrow night for our “Silva vs. Weidman” liveblog, beginning with the FX prelims at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.

Chris Weidman has become the fashionable pick for an upset against Anderson Silva. You don’t actually believe he’ll pull it off, do you? I mean, you’re not a moron, right?

JJ: Now, I may be a moron, but there is one thing I am not, sir, and that, sir, is a moron.

If we were to have this debate immediately after Weidman had finished knocking Mark Munoz into an ice cream cake-induced depression, I would have told you that Anderson Silva was a dead man walking. “Weidman brings the kind of grappling prowess that, like Chael P. Sonnen before him, will all but completely suffocate Andy’s offense,” I would say whilst smoking a corncob pipe and farting into a wine glass, “And his striking, while clearly not on Silva’s level, has improved enough to keep the soon-to-be former champ hesitant in those rare moments when he won’t be fighting off his back.” I would have mocked you for daring to claim otherwise, then had security escort you out of my chalet bungalow when you inevitably lost your cool like a common miscreant.

And honestly, not a lot has changed since Weidman punched (and punched and punched) his way to #1 contender status almost a year ago to the day. That’s the problem. Weidman has been recovering from shoulder surgery and Silva has been retiring roided-up LHW’s in between increasingly shitty movie appearances. Am I crazy enough to pick a Chris Weidman coming off a year layoff to upset ANDERSON FREAKING SILVA? What do I look like, a moron?

BG: I feel like this wave of Weidman-support isn’t so much based on realistic analysis of the matchup, so much as fans’ natural desire to see some change after seven years of having the same champion dominating the competition, and other UFC fighters’ totally understandable self-interest in having that dominant champion go away for a while. It’s wishful thinking, basically.

Instead of discussing what Chris Weidman could theoretically do to Silva, you only need to consider Silva’s body of work in the UFC to understand that this fight probably won’t go the challenger’s way. And that’s fine. Weidman is still a young athlete who only started competing as a professional mixed martial artist in 2009. Experience counts in this sport, and Weidman just doesn’t have it. Whatever work he’s been doing in the gym, it won’t prepare him for that moment when he realizes — perhaps too late — just how talented and fearless Anderson Silva really is. I will now link you to the greatest GIF in MMA history.

The good news is, Weidman has a long career still ahead of him. Three years from now, Anderson Silva might be retired, and Chris Weidman will still be beating up top contenders. He’ll have his moment. Saturday night will not be that moment.

Tim Kennedy seems to talk a lot for a guy without many significant wins. Will Roger Gracie silence him for once, or will Kennedy finally live up to his own hype? 

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: UFC 162: ‘Silva vs. Weidman’ Edition

By Dan “Get Off Me” George

This Saturday night, a mixed martial arts legend will look to further cement his legacy while a rising prospect and undefeated fighter will try not to let Georges down and become the next 185lbs sensation. Somebody’s 0 in the Octagon has to go when Champion Anderson Silva defends his middleweight title against Chris Weidman at UFC 162.

Come along as we head to Las Vegas and breakdown some of the undercard as well as all of the main card bouts for Zuffa’s latest 2013 PPV offering. All betting lines courtesy of BestFightOdds, as usual.

Undercard bouts:

Seth Baczynski (-280) vs Brian Melancon (+240)

Melancon makes his UFC debut as the +250 underdog after a 1-1 record in Strikeforce against a -300 Seth Baczynski. “The Polish Pistola,” who is built like a middleweight, will enjoy a 7 inch height advantage and should be able to keep the fight standing to compliment his striking advantage in this bout. Melancon has yet to be finished and fight goes the distance at -195 is a fairly safe prop option for a single bet. Baczynski makes the parlay.

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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 on FUEL 7: Barao vs. McDonald — Main Card Results & Commentary


(It’s kind of offensive that the UFC promos keep referring to Barao as a “monster.” He’s a human being, okay? An aggressive, scary human being whose mother just happens to be half-cthulhu / Photo via MMAJunkie.)

Today at the Wembley Arena in London, UFC interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao and 22-year-old phenom Michael McDonald will do battle to determine who’s truly the greatest 135-pound fighter in the world, at least until Dominick Cruz finally heals up and puts an end to this ridiculous charade. Alright, so an interim title might not mean much in the grand scheme of things, but it’s still a damn good fight, and the rest of the card features a crowd-pleasing assortment of slugfests and future stars.

Leading us through today’s UFC on FUEL 7 liveblog is Alex Giardini, who will be laying down round-by-round results from the main card broadcast after the jump beginning at 3 p.m. ET. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and please share your own thoughts in the comments section.

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Four Reasons to Be Completely Psyched About UFC on FUEL 7: Barao vs. McDonald


(Fan-made poster via NixsonMmaPosters. Let’s just pretend that Siver isn’t there.)

We wouldn’t expect a FUEL card in London to be “stacked” in the traditional sense. But although this coming Saturday’s UFC on FUEL 7: Barao vs. McDonald event is low on star-power, it’s actually loaded with great matchups. Here’s why these fights are worth paying attention to…

1. The main card is a hot mess of blue-chip prospects.
Even more so than UFC on FUEL 7′s headliners, I’m excited to see the return of three guys who looked like juggernauts in their UFC debuts. First, we’ve got our old pal Ryan Jimmo, who entered the Octagon on a 16-fight win streak at UFC 149 and proceeded to sleep Anthony Perosh in just seven seconds, then gave fans their money’s worth by busting out a celebratory robot. Can he possibly repeat that performance this weekend against James Te-Huna?

Also in the light-heavyweight division, 12-0 Nigerian-English mauler Jimi Manuwa — who has never been to the third round in his entire career, by the way — will face Cyrille Diabaté, five months after Manuwa whipped Kyle Kingsbury to a doctor’s stoppage TKO after ten minutes of action. And finally, Icelandic grappling master Gunnar Nelson will follow up his swift choke-out of Damarques Johnson with a fight against Jorge Santiago, in a welterweight bout that will probably go very badly for Santiago.

The prelims also feature a few more guys who almost fit in the same “hot-prospect” category, including Stanislav Nedkov — who’s still technically undefeated after his loss to Thiago Silva was overturned in November — and Paul Sass, the submission wiz who took the first loss of his career against Matt Wiman in September.

2. Michael McDonald could become the youngest UFC champion ever* — and by a fairly wide margin.

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CagePotato Databomb #4: Breaking Down the UFC Featherweights by Striking Performance


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

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

Last week, we started our series on UFC strikers by breaking down the smallest division in key striking metrics. This week, in time for the Featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar at UFC 156, we’ll look at the 145’ers. A full explanation of the chart and variables is included below.

The Winners

Sniper Award: Cub Swanson has been on a roll lately and tops out as the division’s most accurate striker, landing 37% of his power head strike attempts. For perspective, that’s bordering on Anderson Silva-type accuracy, at least statistically. This has helped Swanson win three straight in the UFC, all by (T)KO, and pick up two straight Knockout of the Night bonuses.

Energizer Bunny Award: Southpaw Erik Koch has more than doubled the striking output of his opponents. But that wasn’t enough to stop the ground Hellbows from Ricardo Lamas on last Saturday’s FOX card. There’s no doubt about Koch’s skills, he’ll just have to wait longer to test them against the current champ.

Biggest Ball(s) Award: Andy Ogle may cry a lot when he’s away from home, but no one should doubt the size of his, ahem, heart. Though he dropped a split decision in his UFC debut against Akira Corassani, he managed to knock down the Swede despite landing only two solid strikes to the head. He’d better improve his accuracy and pull the trigger more often if he hopes to get past the similarly gun-shy yet powerful Josh Grispi at UFC on FUEL 7 next month. Other notable featherweights with knockdown power include Koch, Aldo, Dennis Siver and Dennis Bermudez.

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Dennis Siver Out, Dustin Poirier in vs. Cub Swanson at ‘UFC on FUEL 7′


(The best part about having palm trees tattooed across your waistline, you ask? Endless cocoNUT jokes.)

A bit of mixed news for fans of the featherweight division, as word just broke that Dennis Siver has been forced to withdraw from his UFC on FUEL 7 bout with Cub Swanson for undisclosed reasons. The good news: stepping in for Siver will be Dustin Poirier, an exciting slugger who has picked up end of the night bonuses in two out of his last three contests. Although Poirier doesn’t exactly match the ridiculous offensive output of Siver, you can bet the ranch that this fight will net another bonus for at least one of these gentlemen when all is said and done.

A fellow top contender, Poirier recently bounced back into the win column by beating TUF 12 winner Jonathan Brookins into damn near retirement. Swanson, on the other hand, has been on an absolute killing spree in his last three bouts, finishing George Roop, Ross Pearson, and Charles Oliveira with punches inside the first two rounds. In fact, before Siver dropped out, Swanson stated on his Twitter account that the fight was being lobbied as the potential number 1 contender matchup at 145. Meanwhile, Chan-Sung Jung has apparently fallen off the face of the earth.

After the jump: Full fight videos of Poirier vs. Brookins and Swanson vs. Oliveira, which we secured through completely legal means. We swear. Just don’t tell anyone you got them from us, OK?

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