Not sure why it’s for the "interim" strap considering DREAM has never had a heavyweight title holder unless of course they’re planning on putting together a heavyweight tournament in 2011. Whatever the reason, it’s pretty crazy to think that Duffee could experience a career-changing moment a la Fabricio Werdum *if* he can pull off the impossible and beat Overeem.
If that happens, expect Scott Coker to be put on suicide watch after receiving multiple "LOL!" texts from Dana White.
Chuck attempted to explain his role as diplomatically as he could from what little details he had been given about the job, but the iconic UFC fighter admitted he wasn’t quite sure what he would be doing from day to day.
"Well, we’re gonna get more into the details of it, but it’s business development, so I’m gonna be working with all the new projects and different things trying to help and promote the sport and the UFC. I’m gonna be doing that. I need something. I’m competitive and I need something to keep me driven. I need something to go after and do. I think this is probably the best way that I can keep continuing to grow the sport."
According to the UFC president, who was asked whether or not Brandon Vera was on the bubble if he loses against Thiago Silva Saturday night at UFC 125, job security in the Octagon isn’t necessarily contingent on wins and losses.
"It’s a big fight for him, no doubt, and it’s a big fight for Thiago. Nobody wants to be in this sport and lose. Everybody wants to win. People always ask me, ‘Is this a do or die for this guy?’ Everybody’s gonna lose here and there. All I ask from guys is that you come out and you perform on Saturday night. I can’t stand the guys who come out and talk all the smack, ‘I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do that," and then go out and they don’t do anything," White explains. "Those are the guys who are gonna get cut. The guys that stick around are the guys that go out and perform. I don’t see how [the Vera-Silva] fight isn’t a great fight. Brandon’s head is back, he’s very talented, well-rounded and Thiago Silva comes in to finish people."
According to a report by MMAFighting’s Mike Chiappetta, recently-crowned UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez has sustained a shoulder injury that will prevent him from training and competing for the next six to eight months.
The story was confirmed by Dana White, although the UFC president would not say how Velasquez, who won the title two months ago by defeating Brock Lesnar at UFC 121, sustained the injury or whether or not it would require surgery to repair. White says he is optimistic that the Mexican-American fighter will be able to return by summer to face number one contender Junior Dos Santos who has been promised the first crack at the new champion and has been in holding pattern waiting for his shot since August after he earned his shot by beating Roy Nelson at UFC 117.
(Marcus Davis and Ion: A match made in…convenience?)
Less than a week before UFC 125 goes down in Las Vegas, UFC president Dana White has revealed that there will be a "Prelims" broadcast before the pay-per-view card – good news, since it’s one of the most interesting undercards in recent memory. But it won’t be aired on Spike TV. For the first time, the UFC will put a broadcast on Ion Television, which is apparently cause for celebration, even though we only had a vague knowledge of the channel’s existence until this morning. Said Dana White: "These guys are considered a network. The FCC calls them a network. This is the first time we’ve ever been on network television, and the prelims are going to be aired. It’s a big deal. It’s in over 100 million homes."
Three fights will be scheduled for the broadcast – Marcus Davis vs. Jeremy Stephens, Josh Grispi vs. Dustin Poirier, and Phil Baroni vs. Brad Tavares – which is unprecedented in itself. "The prelims we do air, there’s only supposed to be two," White said. "Time-wise, it’s impossible to pull off three if they all go to the distance. I’m going to roll the dice on this thing. Not only are we going to bring the prelims to the fans, but everybody has been hammering me for the Phil Baroni-Brad Tavares fight, so I’m going to do three fights. I’m going to give them that fight, too."
If 2010 was a cold beer, we’d be down to the backwash. December puts all of us MMA-pundit types in a reflective mood, and this year gave us a double-crapload of big stories, insane fights, rising stars, and utter embarrassments to wrap our heads around. And so, we’d like to pay tribute to 2010 in the best way we know how — sarcasm and insults, mostly. Without further ado, here are 15 things we felt were worthy of some end-of-year recognition, Potato-style…
The Giant Silva Freak Show Award, presented each year to the match that’s made strictly for gruesome entertainment value; fighters should ideally exhibit a tremendous difference in either size or experience level. Winner:Randy Couture vs. James Toney at UFC 118, in which a tubby boxing champ trash-talked his way into a co-headling bout against an MMA legend, and got choked out before he was able to land a single punch. This marks the first time in eleven years that the Giant Silva Award hasn’t been granted to a fight held in Japan. Also receiving votes this year:Herschel Walker vs. Greg Nagy
The Wanderlei Silva Unintentionally Homoerotic Smack Talk Award, known as "The Wandy"ispresented each year to the fighter who, when trying to hype a fight, inadvertently makes reference to having gay sex with his (or her) opponent. Winner:Josh Koscheck, for the utterly disturbing wild-eyed, tongue-waving description above of what he was planning to do to UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre during this season of The Ultimate Fighter. Also receiving votes this year: Matt Horwich, for his cringeworthy rant about how he was going to Mike Tyson 10th Planet protagonist Renato Laranja.
1. MMA will be sanctioned in New York. While watching WEC bid adieu, I couldn’t help but notice the commercials for the PBR (Professional Bull Riding) at MSG (Madison Square Garden). Pro bull riding averages 1 to 2 deaths per year — that’s not including amateurs, sometimes children, participating at the county fair. Regardless of what Bob Reilly has to say, this is a no-brainer that only the likes of the M-1 management team could foul up. MMA will be sanctioned in New York in ’11, even if we have to blackmail a senator to make it happen.
2. GSP will relinquish his Welterweight title to change weight classes. Jake Shields blah, blah, blah — Georges St. Pierre is indestructible and will wipe the floor with him, or at least dry hump him to death. With his ‘le-gacy’ secured, he can bump weight classes and test the waters in the process in becoming the best mixed martial artist from Canada with an extra ‘s’ in his name OF ALL TIME.
3. Dana White will coin a new phrase. "You want to be a %^&@$#! fighter?" and "Never leave it in the hands of the judges." will be replaced by something catchy like "Don’t cross the boss." Oh, wait, that one’s already taken. How about "Go big or go home," or "Suns out, guns out"? I never said it would be original — just catchy.
hotsaucemonster [winner]: and i guess at that moment i realized that perhaps it was me that had the nasty ass stank breff the whole time
Dana_Plight [first runner-up]: "Every guy I went to high school with, except for one, is dead. Someone poisoned the grape soda at the high school reunion. The one survivor was diabetic, he couldn’t drink grape soda…and that’s why you shouldn’t join a gang."
Maine Blazer [second runner-up]: James Toney sees two rednecks.
hotsauce, please shoot me your address and I’ll send you something nice. Dana and Maine, you guys are eligible for some CP shirts (see the end of this post). We’d also like to take some time to pay tribute to some of the week’s other comment-section power-players…
Although calling the announcement "a monumental one" may have been a bit of an overstatement, the UFC announced today at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro today that it would be returning to Brazil for the first time since Zuffa bought the organization in 2000 and only the second time ever August 27, 2011.
Although he would not commit to naming names of Brazilian fighters who will likely appear on the card because the event is more than eight months away and injuries may change the planned card several times between now and then, White intimated that all of the currently contracted fighters at the presser and guys like Demian Maia, Junior Dos Santos and Wanderlei Silva are all being considered for the card.
In what’s expected to be an official announcement of the UFC’s return to Brazil in 2011, UFC president Dana White and Chairman/CEO Lorenzo Fertitta will be making a special announcement at Rio De Janeiro’s City Hall today at 11 a.m. ET, 2 p.m. local time. White and Fertitta will be joined by UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie, middleweight champion Anderson Silva, light-heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, featherweight champion Jose Aldo, #1 middleweight contender Vitor Belfort, and Eduardo Paes, the mayor of Rio. You can watch the announcement live in the video player after the jump.
Just a reminder that we will have the stream of the UFC 124 post-fight presser here after tonight’s event. It should be live around 1:00 am ET, but check in after the broadcast ends as it may start a few minutes early.
(The Octagon will touch down for the first time in Toronto in April.)
During a press conference in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre today, UFC president Dana White announced that the promotion will make it’s first foray into Ontario when it hosts UFC 131 in the city on April 30 at the Rogers Centre.
Although no match-ups were revealed for the spring card, but White may have thrown out a clue about one possible participant of the event during the presser when he reiterated his statement that UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre is the most popular athlete to come out of Canada.
White also announced that the city will also be treated to a UFC Fan Expo that weekend and that the event will be held at the Direct Energy Centre. CagePotato.com is in the process of planning a booth for the show to try to eclipse the popularity our extremely popular Boston UFC Fan Expo spot.
In the interview above that was conducted after Nate Marquardt’s somewhat uninspired UFC 123 loss to Yushin Okami, Dana White spoke with CSN’s The Fight Fix about the conservative style of Team Jackson fighters. According to the UFC president, Greg Jackson seems to take normally exciting fighters and make them cautious, unexciting round winners — a trend that fans and pundits alike have voiced their bitter distaste about ad-nauseum recently.
"I have a lot of respect for Greg Jackson. It’s not like I don’t like him or I’m trying to say something bad about him, but there’s a pattern there. The game plans they come up with and a lot of the corner work is very weird. You’ll see guys who are traditionally exciting fighters, but when they go to the Greg Jackson camp they become safety first fighters," White explained. "Why wouldn’t you tell him ‘go for broke in this third round? This is a close fight. At the end of the day, my opinion means nothing. I’m not their corner man. I’m not the trainer. I’m just the promoter. I’m just being honest. There’s obviously some consistency there with the Jackson camp with the safety first."
Before you ask, the video above is not a leaked sketch from next month’s MMA Awards. Frank Shamrock really started an anti-bullying organization after some trolls on the Internet hurt his 37-year-old feelings recently.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not condoning bullying in any way shape or form. I used to work doing PR for an anti-bullying program that is recognized as part of grade school curriculums. I just think this thing reeks of being opportunistic. Maybe Frank saw the attention that Daniel Puder’s anti-bullying crusade has gotten him and decided to hop on the bus.
(Same time tomorrow? Same time tomorrow. PicProps: UFC.com)
OK, three things: 1) Did Rampage deserve to win? Yes. 2) Was it a great fight? No. 3) After spending much of the last couple years making movies and generally acting disinterested in the fight game, did we think Jackson had it in him to beat Lyoto Machida leading up to UFC 123? No we did not, but we were wrong. Look, we’re not going to try to sell you a bill of goods that says Rampage looked outstanding out there on Saturday night. He didn’t, but he looked better than he has in some time and he implemented a solid, if unexciting game plan. Props to the much maligned Lance Gibson for cooking up a strategy (controlling the distance, punching off the break, trying to mix in some takedowns) that on this night was good enough to win two rounds against a suddenly very ordinary seeming Machida. Do we need to see them do it again? Meh … not really, so we’re glad UFC President Dana White is also opposed to the idea. Feels nice to agree with Dana for once.
BJ Penn is the real story here. Pretty much everyone on the planet said leading up to his third bout with Matt Hughes that the key for the former lightweight and welterweight champion was to come in motivated and in shape. Well, Penn proved very motivated this weekend. Crazy-eyed, mumbling-to-himself motivated. Unintelligible-after-the-fight motivated. So motivated that we had no time at all to see what kind of shape he was in after he came out of his corner like a house of fire and knocked Hughes cold in just 21 seconds. Now, if you thought Penn-Hughes III was a weird booking for Penn following his back-to-back losses to Frankie Edgar at 155-pounds, just wait to hear who Big DW says he’s got next …
MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani caught up with Dana White following today’s UFC 123 pre-fight press conference in Auburn Hills, Michigan and the UFC president shared his thoughts on a number of topics, including whether or not he thinks Quinton Jackson is motivated for his fight with Lyoto Machida, why he had a change of heart about letting Karo Parisyan fight for his organization again, what will happen to BJ Penn if he loses his third straight fight and Roy Nelson’s contract status.
Oh man, you thought last week’s Rumor Funhouse was grossly irresponsible? You guys have no idea what’s in store for you. Today’s installment features five warm ‘n fuzzy tales, all about the romantic bond. Four of them have been completely made up, either by us or by other people. One of them is actually legit. Can you separate the bullshit from the chicken salad? (That’s what they say down South, right?) Read on if you dare. Actually, don’t. Just move along. You’ll be a lot better off for it…
("By my calculation this guy is number 12 right behind Chris Tuchscherer, Anthony Perosh and Mike Russow.")
Does anyone else get the feeling that whenever Dana White loses out on getting a fighter he has been coveting, he badmouths said fighter to help soften the blow to his ego?
Remember when he thought he was close to signing Fedor Emelianenko and he came around, admitting that "The Last Emperor" was a pretty good fighter, only to turn around and call the Russian "a mythological creature made up by the MMA media?"
Here’s what Dana had to say to MMAJunkie about Overeem’s universally accepted top-ten ranking:
"Listen, I like Alistair Overeem. I see him all the time. Cool guy. But there’s no urgency on my part to get him into the UFC. I actually find it hilarious that he’s ranked in the top 10 by some of the websites. I find it hilarious. What has he done in MMA to be ranked in the top 10? I’d like somebody here to answer that question. We’ve got a lot of media guys here; what has Alistair Overeem done to be ranked in the top 10 of mixed martial arts’ heavyweight division? How do you figure? Because he’s such a good K-1 fighter (that) he can parlay that into being a mixed-martial-arts fighter? That’s what makes the mixed-martial-arts media fucking stupid – that they would even rank this guy in the top 10 because he’s fighting in K-1," White said. "That makes absolutely no fucking sense sense, and I would love to hear somebody make sense of this guy being ranked in the top 10. Has he fought anybody worth mentioning? Uh, yeah that would help. Guys that fight the top guys in the top 10, three times a year in mixed martial arts – those are the guys that are ranked in the top 10. How bout the fact that he’s fighting in K-1, where you just kick and punch? There’s no wrestling, there’s no this, and there’s no that. How does any credible fucking MMA guy put him in the top 10 in the heavyweight division? It’s hilarious."
See, this is what happens when fighters don’t have lawyers. Obviously, Nelson should’ve known his own contractual status but instead of just blaming the big guy, let’s be honest: This can only be considered a fuck-up of colossal proportions on the part UFC’s massive and notoriously aggressive legal team. It’s hard to fathom how they missed this, especially since legal documents obtained by The Fight Lawyer allege that UFC Vice President Marc Ratner knew about Nelson’s contract with Square Ring. Fortunately for Zuffa, The Fight Lawyer also assumes the company will just end up billing Nelson for any losses it incurs while sorting this mess out. Man, must be nice.
Fuck, that was fucking terrible. Last night we got an up-close-and-personal look at what happens when one of the UFC’s notoriously weak overseas cards doesn’t turn out to be better in practice than on paper. And Nation? It was not pretty. When these haphazard, garage-sale-style European stinkbombs don’t catch lightning in a bottle and don’t exceed our already low expectations, all you’re left with are a bunch of lackluster fights featuring guys nobody cares about. That might be fine for Strikeforce, but frankly we expect more from the UFC.
(Ortiz and Liddell will settle their grudge once and for all on New Year’s Eve…OR WILL THEY?? / Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle)
One of my weekly MMA must-reads is the "Sunday Morning Rumor Mill" column on MiddleEasy, which features a bunch of juicy stories that just might be true. In homage to our pals, we’d like to start a similar feature on CagePotato — except ours will work a little differently. Of the eight items you see below, seven have been pulled directly out of our asses. The other one is absolutely, positively, 100% true, and has been confirmed by inside sources. Which one is it? We’d rather not say, due to legal reasons. You’ll have to figure it out yourself…
– Vinicius Quieroz wasn’t the only fighter who was caught by the UFC’s independent drug-testing at UFC 120. There was a second guy who pissed hot for the same steroid, but the company decided to let him off with a private (but very stern) warning. Hint: Main card, but not main event.
– Arianny Celeste has been dating a former UFC fighter for the past year, but has kept the relationship hidden from the public, in order to protect the fantasy that she’s "available" to her fans. We can’t reveal her boyfriend’s name, but his initials are Tiki Ghosn.
Now he spends his days reading, masturbating and playing scrabble with imaginary incarnations of UFC fighters and personalities.
Without giving away too much from the latest releases from his memoirs, War’s reaction to a victim of suicide he mentions in one of his two latest blogs was a bit off, but what else can be expected from a dude who tweets Dana White that he’s imagining him in his cell just before he rubs one out?
(Take a good look, people. It’s the last time you’ll be seeing stuff like this for free. PicProps: InsideHoops.com)
OK, wait just a goddamned minute. There’s some sleight of hand going on here, isn’t there? Ever since Dana White organized another of his can’t-miss, super-special, earth-shattering, blow-your-fuckin’-mind announcement conference calls yesterday to let us know that the insatiable goatsucker that is the UFC will soon devour the scared gazelle of the WEC, people have been blowing nonstop smoke up our asses about how great this is going to be. And yeah, in a lot of ways it will be great. Specifically, it’ll be great for the fighters – except most WEC lightweights, who’ll certainly be fired as soon as they lose their first UFC fights — since the little guys finally get the long overdue opportunity to be UFC fighters, get UFC groupies and bank UFC paychecks. That’s all fine and good. Seriously, those guys deserve it.
But what about us? What about the hardcore fans who have been religiously tuning in to the WEC over the last couple of years to see what have consistently been the best shows in the industry? I mean, we’re kinda getting screwed on this deal, right? Granted, we’re no mathematicians, but it’s unclear how Zuffa reducing its programming on Versus from nine shows during 2010 to four shows during 2011 means anything other than fewer free fights for the fans. And let’s be honest, the UFC is absorbing the WEC for one reason only: So it can charge us for something we used to get for free.
The cat’s out of the bag, and the "major announcement" turned out to be pretty damn major after all. Dana White announced during a media call today that the UFC is absorbing the WEC beginning in January 2011; the UFC will now feature seven championship weight classes. Here’s how it’ll work…
– Jose Aldo is automatically the UFC Featherweight Champion; he’ll defend his UFC featherweight title at UFC 125 on January 1st against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.
– WEC 53 (December 16th; Glendale, Arizona) will be the final WEC event. The winner of the bantamweight title fight between Dominick Cruz and Scott Jorgensen will become the UFC Bantamweight Champion. The winner of the lightweight title fight between Ben Henderson and Anthony Pettis will automatically face the winner of Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard at UFC 125.
It may have been a speculative remark fueled by an interview Dana White did with Broadcasting Cable this week in which the UFC president intimated that his promotion was considering starting its own television network, but to many MMA news sites, an eight-second conversation the hosts of ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption show had on the subject yesterday was enough to prompt speculation that this is the major announcement that will be made during today’s media conference call.
Here’s what White told BC’s Ben Grossman:
"A lot of people don’t realize we are in a half a billion homes around the world. You know all the things we’ve been through in the United States, but this sport travels well. Cricket will never be big here and the NFL will never be big around the world. But we are all human beings and fighting is in our DNA. We get it and we like it. So we are working on a couple moves now and should be in a billion homes around the world in the next couple months. Sports Business Journal just came out with a survey asking big names in the industry which sport could start its own network and 4 out of 5 said us. They are right. I agree. That will happen within the next couple years.You are starting to see now ESPN is starting to cover us more. I think this is one of those things ESPN will probably kick themselves in 10 years saying, ‘We could have fucking had that.’"
It is possible that if it is true that ESPN got wind of the news, considering they have a deal to broadcast UFC events and to produce satellite pre and post-event MMA Live programs, but it’s more likely that PTI is just throwing the scenario out there to create dialogue on the possibility.