(It’s hard to argue that she didn’t earn it, but we’re sure at least a few of you will try your damnedest anyway. / Photo via Getty Images)
The California State Athletic Commission recently released the salary figures for UFC 157, which transpired last Saturday from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Topping the payroll was none other than Dan Henderson, who took home a cool quarter million despite dropping a close decision to Lyoto Machida in the night’s co-main event. Most of the salaries seem relatively fair considering the UFC’s recent cutbacks, but check out the full list after the jump and let us know who you think is “super fucking expensive” and who deserves to be paid a little more.
In their other lives, UFC stars Chael Sonnen and Rashad Evans suit up and become television analysts for Fuel TV. It was in this role Saturday night that Chael Sonnen experienced the latest negative consequence of his mouth writing a check his…well, in this case I guess it was a check that Dan Henderson’s ass couldn’t cash.
Before UFC 157, Sonnen the analyst said that he’d lick Rashad Evans’ shoe if his long-time Team Quest training partner Henderson lost to Lyoto Machida in their featured bout Saturday night. After Machida won a split decision over Henderson Chael made good on his promise and made sweet mouth love to Evans’ shoe.
Yes, that was a needlessly disgusting sentence and this post is somewhat pointless in the grand scheme of Saturday’s historic event. But you’re a damn liar if you’re telling me you didn’t press ‘play’ on the video above to watch ‘The American Bad Ass’ French kiss Rashad’s boot once you read the headline.
In related news, Henderson isn’t surprised that one of the judges managed to somehow think he won the fight against Machida, he’s apparently upset that all three didn’t.
“I won the fight, but not officially. I hit him whenever he wanted to fight. He ran away most of the time,” Hendo said at the UFC 157 post fight press conference.
Listen, the fight was close-fought and the judges had to pay attention but there is no question that Machida landed the harder shots and more often, mostly thwarted Hendo’s wrestling while doing more with his own offensive wrestling and ground work than the former two-division champ did. Yes, Machida made Henderson whiff with many of his leaping over hand rights and left hooks but I’d hardly call that “running.”
Was Henderson surprised that his opponent would try to strategically stay out of range until he was ready to throw his own shots? Had he seen Lyoto Machida fight before?
Make no mistake, no matter how last night’s main event was going to end, it was going to be an important moment in UFC history. For the first time in the promotion’s history, two female athletes would be competing in the UFC. Squash match or not, the historical significance of the fight and the freshly minted UFC Women’s Bantamweight title were enough to bump the fight up to main event status.
I’ve seen dozens of writers today write about how “predictably” the main event ended, but I can’t help but feel that this does a severe injustice to the fight we were treated to. Yes, it ended in a first round armbar victory for Ronda Rousey, and no, literally nothing else about this fight was predictable.
This is in large part a credit to challenger Liz Carmouche. Few people gave Carmouche any sort of chance to win, as clearly reflected by the betting odds for the fight. Yet for the first time last night, Carmouche was able to expose holes in Rousey’s game, and make the women’s champion look beatable. She wasn’t Rousey’s slightly-resistant grappling dummy – she was a very worthy challenger who almost finished Rousey with a rear-naked choke, and has teeth marks on her arm to show for it. Let’s all stop and admit that none of us expected this from her.
Leading us through the UFC 157 main card will be actual fighterElias Cepeda, who will be slapping down round-by-round results after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and please throw in your own insightful commentary in the comments section. Thanks for joining us.
For the first time in UFC history, a card will not only feature but be headlined by a women’s title fight in the bantamweight division. We know what you’re thinking, “How are they going to fit an entire kitchen into the octagon?” but hear us out for a second. Pitting Olympic bronze medalist Ronda Rousey against Marine tuff Liz Carmouche, UFC 157 will look to break down the wall that has existed between men’s and women’s MMA for almosttwo years now. We kid, we kid, but will the UFC’s women’s division steal the show come Saturday night? And technically speaking, can you steal a show when you are the main event? These questions and others will be answered this Saturday night in Anaheim at the (R)Honda Center.
And with any big MMA event comes the opportunity to chip away at (or add to) those crippling debts we all are surely facing. So join us after the jump as we highlight some of the undercard and all the main card bouts for UFC 157 with the hopes of cashing in on some attractive betting lines, which come courtesy of BestFighOdds as always.
Currently, Chiesa is right around -225, but look for that line to close around -300 by fight night. Anton has been more of a threat on the mat than on his feet thus far in his UFC run, but giving up almost half a foot in height to the Alpha Male-affiliated Chiesa will do him no favors in either department. Chiesa should be able to control this fight with his size advantage and continue his Cinderella story in the UFC.
1.) It’s Incredibly Dangerous For Both Fighters Involved.
Perhaps the most common criticism I’ve heard and read regarding testosterone replacement therapy in MMA is that it makes an already dangerous occupation even more hazardous. This is easy to observe through the perspective of the user’s opponent. It’s one thing if Barry Bonds wants to hit longer home runs, or if Hedo Turkoglu wants to flop harder — their opponents are not physically hurt by their actions in either example. However, if an MMA fighter takes testosterone to become more aggressive and punch harder, the likelihood of his opponent suffering irreparable brain damage increases dramatically.
Often neglected, however, are the additional long-term risks that the TRT user opens himself up to. Testosterone may make a fighter faster and stronger, but it doesn’t exactly undo brain damage. Prolonging a fighter’s physical prime also elongates the amount of time he’s receiving blows to the head. Imagine if boxers like Meldrick Taylor and Riddick Bowe – who showed signs of dementia pugilistica by the ends of their careers yet didn’t retire until they couldn’t stay in shape — had access to testosterone replacement therapy. Giving aging fighters the illusion that they can keep taking shots to the head because they’re still in good physical condition is bound to end in disaster.
2.) TRT Isn’t Nearly The Advantage It’s Made Out to Be.
Also: Henderson hints that he’s bringing a secret weapon to this fight, but if that doesn’t work, he’ll just have to hit Machida with his right hand. (Makes sense.) Of course, Hendo vs. the Dragon is a matchup of power vs. speed/footwork, but as Henderson puts it, “we’ll see how quick this old man is too.”
“If Mousasi beats Gustafsson, he skyrockets right to the top of that division,” White said today in London. “And as far as Gustafsson goes, if he beats Mousasi in that fight, he’s in line for a title shot. This is a big fight for both of those guys.”
Dan Henderson fans, get your cash out. MMA Mania gives us the heads-up that Hendo is as high as a +196 underdog for his UFC 157 fight against Lyoto Machida on February 23rd. (In other words, a $100 bet on Henderson would return $196 in profit if he wins.) Considering that Henderson is coming back from a knee injury, it’s understandable that the oddsmakers don’t have complete faith in him. But considering how dangerous Henderson has looked in his last four fights — the epic war with Shogun Rua at UFC 139, and his knockouts of Fedor, Feijao, and Babalu in Strikeforce — it still feels like he’s being sold short.
Then again, you have to consider how Henderson matches up with Machida specifically. Sure, Hendo can turn your lights off with that H-Bomb if you stand in front of him, but he might have a problem with Machida’s skill at evasion and his perfectly-timed attacks from unorthodox angles. Are the odds juicy enough to warrant a bet on the old ‘dog?
(“Lyoto, we’re friends and all, but if I catch you crouched beside the urinals with a chalice one more time, there are going to be some serious problems.” Photo courtesy of Machida’s Twitter.)
Well, we can pretty much put any doubt to rest in regards to Lyoto Machida’s strategy for his upcoming UFC 157 fight with Dan Henderson. The former champion recently Tweeted the above photo of himself training alongside Melvin Manhoef, the world renowned Muay Thai kickboxer who possesses legs so destructive that they are capable of implosion, so expect a Machida gameplan of “Leg kick, evade, repeat” heading into this one. This is not good news for Hendo, who will be stepping back into the ring for the first time since blowing out his knee and setting into motion a series of events that would culminate in the cancellation of UFC 151 and an absolutely brutal public backlash aimed at champion Jon Jones. So yeah, it wasn’t all bad.
Since going winless during his Strikeforce and DREAM runs in 2010-2011, Manhoef has put together three wins and a no-contest in MMA competition, including a first round destruction of Denis Kang on New Year’s Eve at DREAM 18. Machida, on the other hand, recently rebounded from a failed title bid against Jones at UFC 140 with a second round KO of Ryan Bader at UFC on Fox 4 last August.
After the jump: A video testament to Manhoef’s otherworldly striking power. Seriously, he and Rousimar Palhares must be like the Freddy and Jason of the ACL dimension.