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Tag: Dancing With the Stars

[VIDEO] Paige VanZant Cracks ‘DWTS’ Final Five With Game of Thrones-Inspired Dance

(Oh come on, Mark! Always establish your hooks first when taking the back!)

In case you’re not a 40-something year old man who’s been thoroughly neutered by his wife, you might not know that UFC strawweight Paige VanZant has been absolutely CRUSHING IT during her run on this season’s Dancing With the Stars. Alongside partner Mark Ballas, she’s been one of the only competitors to receive a perfect score this year, and has done so thanks largely in part to her consistently risky yet inspired routines. (Look at me, breaking down dance numbers like I’m Vaslav Nijinsky. What a world.)

Anyways, VanZant was back at it again last night, unleashing a Game of Thrones-inspired Waltz that earned her a near-perfect score of 29 out of 30. Vanzant’s performance was good enough to secure her a place in the season 22 semifinals, where she will compete against a bunch of former athletes and 80′s television actors that we couldn’t identify with a gun to our head for a trophy that probably looks nicer than the TUF glass plaque. With a win, I have no doubts that VanZant will propel MMA to the mainstream, legitimate, universally-beloved sport it was always destined to be.

After the jump: Vanzant’s partner dance with Antonio Brown from earlier in the night. SPOILER: It involves twirling, convulsions, and a rain-soaked finale.


So Paige VanZant is Pretty Much Crushing It on Dancing With the Stars [VIDEO]

The history of UFC fighters appearing on Dancing With the Stars has been a brief but painful one. Chuck Liddell was the first to break the mold in Season 9, getting axed after the 4th week and finishing in 11th place (out of 16) overall. His old rival Randy Couture was next to appear some ten seasons later, but met a similarly swift end. Big Nog and Denis Kang also appeared in the Brazilian and Korean versions of the show, respectively, but failed to make it past the first few rounds. Who would think that professional fighters would have such notoriously terrible footwork?

Enter UFC strawweight Paige VanZant, who announced earlier this month that she had signed on to join the 22nd season (!) of the hit ABC competition show following her hard-fought loss to Rose Namajunas last year. Given VanZant’s athleticism and background as a former dancer, it seemed as if she would be the first MMA fighter to actually excel on the show, and she’s done nothing short of that thus far.

Last night, VanZant overcame a last-minute injury (of her dancing partner, Mark Ballas) to claim the highest score of the season, a 24, by dancing the tango alongside replacement partner Alan Bersten. Check out the video of her performance above.

After the jump: VanZant’s debut performance from the first episode of the season.


Here’s the ‘Rocky’-Themed Pasodoble That Got Randy Couture Kicked Off ‘Dancing With the Stars’ [VIDEO]

(Props: DTWS via MMAJunkie)

Randy Couture‘s brief run as a television dance-show competitor came to an end last night, as he and partner Karina Smirnoff were voted off Dancing With the Stars season 19 following a mediocre pasodoble performance on week 3. Their dance was soundtracked by “Eye of the Tiger” from Rocky III. You know, because Randy’s a fighter? This is why MMA needs a more iconic song than “Face the Pain.”

Couture looked a little stiffer than he did during his alarmingly decent foxtrot on week 1, although the giant swing into jumping somersault that he pulls off at 1:09-1:17 was pretty badass. Ah well. Genius is never recognized in its own time. And now, we’ll go back to reporting on Randy Couture news that’s actually relevant.


VIDEO: Randy Couture’s Seductive Foxtrot on ‘Dancing With the Stars’

(Props: The DWTS YouTube channel)

UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture made his ballroom debut last night on Dancing With the Stars Season 19, and completely BEASTED it. Couture’s foxtrot with Karina Smirnoff was good enough to earn a score of 31 from the judges, placing him at a very respectable sixth place out of the 13 contestants. Obviously, Alfonso Ribeiro landed in first place with a score of 36. On the other hand, Julianne Hough said Randy was “making [her] randy,” which is more valuable than any number on a scorecard.

Watch Randy Couture’s complete dance performance above, and if you have any good captions for the photo below, shoot ‘em to us in the comments or on twitter.


Randy Couture Added to ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Season 19 Cast

(“And you say you’re self-taught? IMPOSSIBLE.”)

The cast of Dancing With the Stars Season 19 was announced this morning, and to our great delight, it features 51-year-old UFC Hall-of-Famer Randy Couture. The Expendables and Gym Rescue co-star (and expert tail-puller) has been partnered up with Karina Smirnoff for the season, which debuts September 15th on ABC.

Couture will wage ballroom warfare against an eclectic bunch of celebrities (and “celebrities”), including legendary pothead Tommy Chong, Olympian Lolo Jones, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air‘s Alfonso Ribeiro, who will surely be busting out the Carlton Dance at some point.

“The Natural” will be just the second UFC fighter to appear on the American version of DWtS, following Chuck Liddell in 2009, who was eliminated fifth on Season 9, and gave us some good laughs along the way. In 2012, Denis Kang appeared on the show’s South Korean version, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira appeared on Brazil’s “Dance of the Famous”.

After the jump: Some photos that Chuck and Anna Trebunskaya shot for SI after Season 9, just because they’re awesome.


Video Roundup: Fedor Appears in Mercedes Benz Commercial, Big Nog Cuts a Rug on “DwtS”

(Fedor, seen here seconds before appearing in the most famous MMA sex tape of all time: “Two Scoops, One Emperor”) 

Just a few weeks out from what could be his last fight as a mixed martial artist (Author’s note: I just held back vomit whilst typing that.), Russian demigod Fedor Emelianenko recently popped up in a Mercedes-Benz commercial, if only for a few seconds of ultra slo-mo glory. For some reason, the creative talent in charge of said commercial thought it would be cooler for Fedor to don a tuxedo rather than his Glorious Sweater of Absolute Victory, which is as big a travesty as anything we’ve ever seen in the five years we’ve been in existence. Not since Overeem/Dos Santos has such an opportunity been squandered, so shame on you, Mercedes-Benz. Looks like our company car is going to be a Ferrari next year.

Check out the ad and let us know whether or not you will be boycotting Mercedes-Benz for this glaring oversight along with us.

They had us until they tried to pass off diving as a sport. Like we all don’t know it’s just falling with style. Just ask Jason Statham.


WTF of the Day: Denis Kang Competing on Korean ‘Dancing with the Stars’

Props: Picture of Kang in action available after the jump.

I don’t know how to break this to you, so I’ll just be blunt about it: Remember when a victory over Denis Kang actually meant something? Yeah, those days have traveled the same road as Pepsi Jazz. After a disappointing 1-2 run in the UFC, “The Super Korean” has gone 2-3-1, which includes his current three fight losing streak.

And now, the once dominant PRIDE middleweight is competing on this season of Korea’s Dancing with the Stars.

If you’re wondering how the Korean DWtS differs from the American version (you aren’t, but play along), Director Shin Myeong-hoon recently told The Korea Herald that their version “will focus more on dancesport (competitive ballroom dancing), which has its own fan base.”

Granted, I’m not exactly a dance critic. In fact, I didn’t even know competitive ballroom dancing was a thing until that last sentence. But from the looks of this picture from last night’s episode, Denis Kang is about to suffer a loss far less dignified than his recent loss to Jesse Taylor:


Video: Chuck Liddell and Anna Trebunskaya Make the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

It’s been over two months since we’ve seen Chuck Liddell throw around Russian pixie Anna Trebunskaya, but the two have been reunited for one last score, thanks to a Dancing With the Stars-themed feature in the 2010 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. Watch as Anna bounces around in a bikini while Chuck bounces around like a jackass. Obviously this isn’t going to be the deciding factor for you to go out and buy the issue — there’s an entire spread on bodypainted ex-girlfriends of soccer players, so you should already have this thing pre-ordered.


Videos: One Last Blow-Up at the ‘TUF’ House, One Last Humiliation on ‘Dancing With the Stars’

(Props: MrBavers)

This Wednesday’s season finale of The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights will be a two-hour mega-episode featuring four fights — the last two quarterfinal bouts and both semifinal matches — along with some heated emotions courtesy of Marcus "Big Baby" Jones. As you can see in the above preview, the eye-pokes that Scott Junk sustained in his fight against Matt Mitrione turn out to be career-threatening. When Jones hears the bad news about his friend, he gets way up in the face of the meatheaded culprit and promises him death. Mitrione figures if he keeps quiet and doesn’t make eye contact, the Babystorm will eventually drift away. Does it work, or does Matt catch a beating that knocks them both out of the competition? And how anti-climactic will this "final twist" be? Only three more days until all the questions are answered and we can finally put this awful season behind us.

After the jump: Speaking of finales, DWtS had theirs on Tuesday, and they brought Chuck Liddell back for a martial arts-themed dance showdown with Mark Dacascos. It was everything we hoped it wouldn’t be, and so much more…


And So It Ends: Chuck Liddell Booted Off ‘Dancing With the Stars’

Chuck Liddell Anna Trebunskaya Dancing With the Stars
(Photo courtesy of ABC News.)

You could see it on Anna Trebunskaya‘s face Monday night during judgingChuck Liddell‘s plodding two-step was the last gasp of his Celebrity Dancing career. The show’s viewers made it official yesterday, voting the former UFC light-heavyweight champion off of Dancing With the Stars. Look, we all know how unfair that is — Louie Vito should have been the next to go, obviously — but in the end, Liddell finished the season in 11th place out of 16 competitors, beating out Ashley Hamilton, Macy Gray, Kathy Ireland, Tom DeLay (stoppage due to injury), and Debi Mazar. That’s pretty damn impressive for a guy who came into the show as a complete amateur. As Trebunskaya told Chris Cuomo on GMA today:

"He wasn’t a very good dancer to start with. He had to work a lot on his dancing footwork and dancing ability. Totally different from fighting.

Despite Anna’s obvious bitterness, we’d like to salute Chuck for trying something highly challenging and potentially embarassing in order to promote his sport in front of an unfamiliar audience. And just because the Iceman has been voted off, that doesn’t mean we’ll stop covering DWtS. Come back next Tuesday morning to find out how Aaron Carter handled the Paso Doble!