MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: Dana White

Exclusive Interview: Kenny Florian

UFC fighter Kenny Florian
(Whose house? KenFlo’s house.)

As MMA fighters go, Kenny Florian is as intelligent and articulate a guy as you can hope to find. He’s also a workaholic and an ever-evolving bad-ass in the cage, and his next test against the formidable Roger Huerta should answer any lingering questions as to who deserves to be the UFC’s top lightweight contender. Whether B.J. Penn will stick around to defend his 155-pound title, well, that’s another issue altogether.

In this exclusive interview with KenFlo we discuss training strategies, Roger Huerta’s apparent dissatisfaction with the UFC, being an ESPN MMA analyst, and more.

CagePotato.com: Hey Kenny, thanks for talking with me. How has your training for this fight been going?

Everything’s been going really well. My training camp was awesome. I really didn’t take too much time off. After the Lauzon fight I think I was back in the gym the following week and I wasn’t completely pleased, technically speaking, with my performance, so I wanted to get right back in the gym and improve on those things. With all the commitments I had before this fight, the traveling and all that, I’m glad I got a jump on it early.

What were you displeased with about your performance against Lauzon?

Joe Lauzon just shouldn’t have taken me down like he did. That was the main thing, was the wrestling angle of it. I just wanted to get back and get my hands on a quality wrestling coach so I could really improve in that area. It’s one thing to be able to do it in training, but it needs to be second nature in order for you to use it when you need it in a fight. So I found a great wrestling coach who’s just been a phenomenal addition to my team.

I’ve just been working on a lot of the fundamentals of wrestling, both defensively and offensively, and working on making sure I’m doing things right technically. With wrestling in particular you get a lot of people who will tell you ‘Oh, you should do it this way or that way,’ but having a world class guy to show you this is the way it should be done and here’s why, it gets it into your muscle memory and makes you a stronger fighter.

What do you think Roger Huerta’s greatest strength is as a fighter?

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UFC Could Return to Montreal By Year’s End

Georges St. Pierre UFC MMA Montreal

Dana White has told The Canadian Press that the UFC hopes to return to Montreal in November or December:

“I literally just left a meeting where we were talking about that,” UFC president Dana White told The Canadian Press on Tuesday. “We’re looking to come back to Montreal.”

The UFC’s Canadian debut — “Serra vs. St. Pierre 2″ in April — was a record-breaking event, drawing 21,390 fans to Montreal’s Bell Centre for a gate of $5 million. With a superfight between hometown boy Georges St. Pierre and BJ Penn being discussed for the end of the year, it may be wise to begin making arrangements; if GSP beats Jon Fitch on Saturday, we wouldn’t be surprised if White makes an announcement about the UFC’s next Montreal card shortly after. Said White: “Obviously B.J. is pulling for GSP because he wants to fight him.”

In the same article, White discussed the condition of beleaguered former light-heavyweight champ Quinton Jackson, telling The Canadian Press that Rampage is A-OK:

“It wasn’t psychiatric at all, it was physical,” said White. “He had a physical condition — exhaustion, dehydration that caused delirium.”

White said Jackson, a California native, had remained in Las Vegas for a week after the fight and was fasting — living on energy drinks alone.

“Bad combination,” said White. “Physically and mentally he’s OK. Now he’s got some legal problems, obviously.”

Well sure, exhaustion and dehydration can cause delirium, but what could compel a person to fast and go on a Brawndo bender until they’re exhausted and dehydrated? Could it have maybe, possibly have been a psychiatric issue? See, you didn’t think about that, did you?

(Props: TKO Extreme)

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Quick Hits: IFL Fighters to Affliction, Great MMA Book Reviews, and Dana White’s Net Worth


(‘Who has the nachos? Don’t act like I don’t know nachos when I smell ‘em!’)

After reports that Zuffa was buying the video library and at least some of the IFL’s fighter contracts, we kept expecting the flood of stories about all the ex-IFL’ers making the jump to either the UFC or WEC. So far news has been relatively light on that front, but it looks like Affliction has swooped in to pick off a couple of top prospects for themselves.

MMANews.com reports that Roy Nelson will face Xtreme Couture’s Jay White at Affliction: DoR (the abbreviations have already begun, deal with it) in October. Nelson was the IFL’s only official heavyweight champ, and White is…2-5. Wonder which of these guys is being groomed for a big future in the stacked Affliction heavyweight division?

Meanwhile, Sherdog is passing along info that a rematch with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has been offered to IFL light heavyweight champ Vladimir Matyushenko. Vladdy beat Little Nog via decision in 2002, and he never faced much of a test during his unbeaten run in the IFL. Matyushenko would make an excellent addition to the growing 205-pound ranks in Affliction, which should soon include Tito Ortiz, who Matyushenko lost a decision to in 2001.

In other news…

- Fightlinker has enlisted the services of Matthew Polly — author of this hilarious and highly recommended book — to review several of the MMA “memoirs” that have hit the shelves in recent months. Polly does to their sense of narrative and craft (and their ghostwriters’ sense of exactly how much work they’d have to do to get paid) what these same fighters would likely do to the face of anyone who uses words like narrative and craft. Fun times. Check out his review of “Iceman: My Fighting Life” and you’ll see what we mean.

- Ever wondered how rich Dana White really is? Well, rich. But Wall Street Fighter tries to nail down a solid figure. It’s actually harder than it sounds, although their photoshop of the UFC Prez is just adorable.

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New Athletic Commission Chairwoman Could Be Key to MMA in New York

After the UFC’s lobbying efforts failed to get MMA legalized in New York, Zuffa’s Marc Ratner vowed not to give up so easily. Not long afterwards, Melvina Lathan was named as the new chairwoman for the New York State Athletic Commission, and guess what? She seems friendly to the UFC’s cause, despite being a "boxing purist" according to a recent Newsday article:

"I would hope that New York would keep an open mind," Lathan said. "There’s room for two sports. I’m a boxing purist and I will always be, but I truly believe MMA is a sport all of its own. I think the more people are educated about it, the more they understand it and accept it."

The article goes on to tell the story of Lathan growing up in Philadelphia, where she would peek into a local boxing gym on her way home from school. One day a man opened the door and invited her inside to watch. Turns out the man was Sonny Liston, or so the story goes. Ratner describes Lathan as "a wonderful asset to the sport" and implies that she’ll be the boost they need to get MMA legalized when the Tourism, Arts, and Sports Development Committee revisits it in January. But not everyone is pleased with Lathan’s appointment:

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Lost Contact to Blame For Jackson’s Hit and Run?


(‘See, what had happened was…’)

Oh, the fun one can have trying to keep track of all the different theories about what’s really happening with “Rampage” Jackson. Fightline has a new one. A really new one:

Our source indicates that Jackson was fumbling around with a contact lens that was giving him trouble while driving and subsequently lost the lens. He was apparently searching for it when he sideswiped at least two vehicles, mildly injuring one woman.

A frightened, paranoid Jackson, who had again, been up fasting for days, then acted on instinct and fled the scene and eventually the police.

Jackson pulled over after giving police a brief chase and was fully cooperative with authorities after that point.

This is an interesting possibility. It doesn’t explain why he was picked up by the police again after being released, or why everyone from Dana White to Sports Illustrated to, well, us, has insinuated or outright said that there are some mental issues going on as well. Maybe it’s both? The lost contact and lost perception of reality is a powerful duo. Either way, we hope for a happy ending to this strange tale.

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Jon Fitch on Being Dropped from “The Ultimate Fighter”


Jon Fitch Talks Ultimate Fighter Fiasco – Watch more free videos

When we wrote about TapouT’s claim to have kickstarted Diego Sanchez’s fighting career by getting him on “The Ultimate Fighter” at the expense of some other poor soul, many of you responded that it was none other than Jon Fitch himself who was cast out in favor of “The Nightmare”. In this video from “Steel Cage Comedy Night”, in which the hippie James Lipton sits down with Fitch all “Actor’s Studio” style, Fitch talks about how he learned that he would not become a reality TV star and how the UFC gave him nothing but a quick apology before sending him on his way.

This is one in a series of videos from that night, and you know something? Fitch is a pretty entertaining guy. Makes you wonder why the UFC doesn’t give him more mic time. Here’s one where he talks about what it’s like to get knocked out.

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Jared Shaw Is Still Around…

Watching this MMA Rated interview with Elite XC’s Jared Shaw where he answers questions as to where he’s been and what he’s doing for the company now (you should also check out their interview with a very drunk Tonya Evinger), I get the strange sense that he’s lying to me. What’s more, I feel like he knows how transparent he seems, but he’s just charging ahead with it anyway. In a strange way, I almost respect that. Almost.

But let’s talk for a moment about Elite XC’s decision of late to push Jake Shields as the world’s best welterweight, which Shaw also claims. Obviously, they like it because it allows them to call out Georges St. Pierre and the UFC, thus piggybacking on the success of their betters. But it also makes them seem a little desperate, and it’s not hard to tell that this is a strategy destined for failure.

It’s not that Jake Shields isn’t a good fighter. He is, but that isn’t the point. The point is that Elite XC has essentially just decided to proclaim him the number one welterweight because he is their number one welterweight, and because it’s the only way they can think of to get some of the UFC magic to rub off on them. Plus, they can be secure in the knowledge that the UFC will never actually take them up on the cross-promotional offer.

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Friday Link Dump

- Bet you didn’t know that “the majority of fights/attacks last less than three seconds.” That’s a fact if we ever heard one. (Google)

- Takanori Gomi will fight at Sengoku 4, but not in the lightweight Grand Prix. (Nightmare of Battle)

- A Dana White announcement that suspiciously coincides with a competitor’s event? Get outta town. (Pro MMA)

- Rory Singer says MMA ain’t for everyone. And he should know. (Times Herold-Record)

- Fighters you love to hate. (411mania)

- Mark Coleman and “Shogun” Rua to have injury-riddled rematch? (Fightlinker)

- Bob Arum taking cheap shots at Dana White over Affliction card. (Steve Cofield)

- Jay Hieron patiently waiting for a fight. Some time this year would be just great. (MMA Junkie)

- Local TV reporter, please stop saying ‘glory hole’. (Holy Taco)

- Mark Cuban wants them Cubs, and Cuban gets what Cuban wants. (Wall Street Fighter)

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The Women of Elite XC vs. Dana White

The UFC’s reluctance to put on female fights became a topic for discussion on Tuesday’s Elite XC conference call. Shayna Baszler and Christiane Cyborg, who will square off on the CBS portion of the card, each had different though equally telling responses:

QUESTION: When asked if he has any interest in setting up any female divisions in the UFC, Dana White politely questioned the depth of talent. What is your response to that?

Shayna Baszler: I don’t care what Dana White has to say. If he wants to question the depth of talent; that is just going to give companies like EliteXC one more thing to tap into that he’s not. He wants to question the depth of the female division, but every fight, every female fight that ProElite has put on has been a showcase of women’s talent and has been “fight of the night” type material. If he wants to give that avenue to others to pursue, then, fine. The more the merrier. I don’t care. I just want to fight the best. I don’t know, if he wants to question that, then I’d question the talent of his heavyweight division.

Cristiane Cyborg: I’d love to fight Dana White to show him how tough women are.

Oh, snap! Ok, not really. He never questioned their toughness, which makes me think Cyborg misunderstood the question, and there is probably just as much reason to question the depth of women’s MMA as there is to question the depth of the UFC’s current heavyweight division, so we’ll rule that one a tie for the moment.

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Rampage Jackson Mini-Update

Quinton Rampage Jackson Affliction
(Hey, cool shirt.)

From the Las Vegas Review Journal:

[Dana] White originally said Friday that Jackson was to be held for 72 hours [at a medical facility for a psychiatric evaluation], but that the time period would be extended.

Jackson instead was reportedly spotted at the Affliction card in Anaheim on Saturday night, just after the 72 hours would have expired. White essentially confirmed Jackson’s attendance at the rival card, saying he had asked White’s permission to attend.

Rampage has yet to make a public statement, and the continued silence of manager/trainer Juanito Ibarra may give credence to the rumors that he had a falling out with Jackson prior to his first arrest. Personally, I don’t think being anywhere near Megadeth as they rip through highlights from Rust in Peace is the best idea for someone in a fragile mental state. (By the way, if Matt Lindland is worth $300,000 per fight, and Tim Sylvia is worth $800,000, doesn’t that make Quinton Jackson worth like $5,000,000? Dana better not let him too far out of his sight.) Anyway, we’ll let you know if there are any more public Rampage sightings, so stay tuned…

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