(“Why yes, Dana, the blonde gentleman in the lower left *is* my doctor. What of it?”)
The Sam and Diane relationship between Josh Barnett and the UFC continues to forge ahead, Potato Nation. Fortunately, we have more than an outdated UFC.com profile to go with this time. During the media scrum following the UFC 158 press conference earlier today, Dana White was questioned by MMAMania about the likelihood of seeing “The Warmaster” back in the octagon, and the UFC President was surprisingly optimistic:
I have not (spoken with Barnett). It’s probably going to happen.
There you have it; absolute and undeniable proof that Barnett is back, baby. And here you thought we were just tugging your respective dicks this whole time. Shame on you.
Answer: Nobody. Not even you. Watching this video might seem like a good idea at the time, but once that scalpel goes in at the 5:18 mark and they start separating the damn thing from its hinges, you’ll be like, “nah, it’s cool. I paid way too much for that McMuffin to lose it now.”
(“Keep laughing, Eddie, because as soon as you lose that belt, your ass is mine.”)
Former President Clinton once made infamous the phrase, “It depends on what your definition of the word ’is’ is,” while answering questions from the Independent Counsel’s office on the all-important subject of Monica Lewinsky. With former Bellator lightweight champion/UFC hopeful Eddie Alvarez and his boss, Bjorn Rebney, the discrepancy appears to depend on what one’s definition of the word “matched” is.
It has been no secret that the UFC wants Alvarez under their banner. The top lightweight fought the last fight under his Bellator contract last October but the promotion has the right to match any contract offered to Alvarez and thus keep him with them.
The UFC did indeed recently make an offer to Alvarez, but it is here where the stories from the former champ and the Bellator CEO begin to differ.
First, Alvarez sat down with The MMA Hour and claimed that Bellator had not matched the UFC’s proposed terms. Rebney then went on MMA Weekly Radio and said that his organization had, in fact, matched the UFC’s contract offer to Alvarez, point for point.
Well, we do, and chances are Diaz does as well since he’s been sitting on the sidelines for nearly a year serving out his most recent marijuana-related drug suspension. So it surprised us to hear that Diaz, who is receiving a world title shot for the third consecutive time despite coming off of a loss and failed drug test suspension, still seems to be walking the line with the UFC and its President Dana White.
MiddleEasy recently spoke with White and asked him if he expected Diaz to make good on his pre-event promotion commitments this time around before his scheduled fight with St. Pierre at UFC 158. “He’s been sitting out so long. This is a fight that he wanted. He really wanted this fight to happen and Georges St. Pierre called him out. He’s getting it. So, yes, I expect Diaz to be there,” White said.
When asked if he had actually received such an assurance from Diaz himself, however, Diaz said that he had not even spoken with the fighter recently despite reaching out to him. “I have not. Nick Diaz doesn’t return my calls, texts, nothing,” he said.
According to a New York State Assembly “insider” quoted in a new report by NY Daily News reporter Kenneth Lovett, “It’s getting harder for [Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver] to keep blocking this,” referring to the bill partially crafted by the UFC to sanction MMA in New York.
“Resistance to it is getting less,” Speaker Silver admitted.
Lovett went on to explain in his report that Assemblyman Robert Reilly — better known around here as “Bob,” and one of New York’s most passionate, confused, and dishonest opponents of MMA sanctioning — is miraculously retiring this week (!!!) and that his departure should take a good deal of steam out of the opposition to MMA in New York. The ban on professional MMA in the state was signed into law by then-Governor George Pataki in 1997, but now even he is calling for the sport’s legalization.
Sources tell The Daily News that if the bill to legalize and regulate professional MMA in New York were brought to a vote in the general assembly right now, it would be passed. However, hurdles remain for the sport and its largest promotion, the UFC. Members of the NY Assembly including Deborah Glick and Daniel O’Donnell still oppose MMA’s legalization, the report says, and they might be able to prevent the measure from getting through committee and to the general assembly for voting.
In addition, the Culinary Workers Union — MMA’s most powerful arch-nemesis in the fight for New York MMA regulation — continues its loud propaganda campaign against the UFC, slamming everything from Dana White’s language to Mandy Moore’s judgment. (Funny story: If you go to the Culinary Union’s anti-UFC website UnfitforChildren.org right now, the lead story is a screen-cap of a CagePotato article. Wisely, they didn’t reprint the article’s first line, which refers to the Union as “two-faced, propaganda pushing arseholes.”)
Nevertheless, UFC President Dana White seems to be as optimistic as ever that his organization will soon put on an event in New York. After UFC 155, the promoter told assembled media that he hoped to host a UFC 20th Anniversary event in Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden this coming fall. “We have a date, and we have a match,” White revealed.
As MMA gamely stumbles into 2013, we’ve once again decided to bestow meaningless awards to the fighters and moments that caught our attention this year. CagePotato’s crack team of writers spent all month nominating winners in 27 different categories, which we’ve loosely arranged in chronological order. Use the “next page” links to scroll through this monster, or click on the following page links at your leisure. And as always, thanks for putting up with us for another year. Here’s to bigger and better things in 2013, which shouldn’t be a tough goal to hit, considering.
(Melendez will) probably come right in and get a title shot. Again, we’ll see.
What has happened to the fighters in Strikeforce is horrible. The way this thing went down is horrible, and they’ve been very patient. What’s happened over there has been completely s—ty.
Right, and we’re sure Hitler felt awfully bad about the living conditions at Auschwitz as well. “No veigh? Zey don’t even get a nice cot to szleep on? Zose bastards!” We’re not comparing Dana White to Hitler, we’re just saying.
“It could happen,” White said. “If there’s two people who would probably coach, you kick [the idea] around, this could happen, that could happen. If they did, it could be [Rousey] and Miesha. You know, we’ll see. Timing has a lot do with it.”
(I have no joke prepared. I simply wanted another opportunity to remind you that this was a thing that happened.)
Desperate times call for desperate measures, Nation. And since the ratings for The Ultimate Fighter are nose-diving faster than Charlie Sheen into a silica sandbox, old Dana White has had to step up his obligatory pre-TUF hype a notch. You might recall this from last season’s TUF: Smashes, which Dana declared to be the “CRAZIEST SEASON OF TUF EVER!!!!” in the weeks leading up to it; a claim that — although we cannot refute — we are going to go right ahead and call bullshit on.
So perhaps you should take his recent bit of insider info regarding The Ultimate Fighter 17 with a grain (or a 10-pound bag) of salt. The Baldfather recently told MMAFighting that there is apparently one contestant on the upcoming season so dangerous, so terrifying, that he is “scaring the shit out of” his fellow contestants:
I know you guys are going to call bulls— on me and all that (Ed note: Well, at least he’s honest.). I told you guys, last season of The Ultimate Fighter was the worst season in the history of TUF (Again, props DW). This next season is so awesome and so badass. We have a guy on this season of The Ultimate Fighter, every fight he’s in, someone goes to the hospital.
The whole house is terrified of this guy. F– terrified.