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Tag: Daniel Cormier

Six Massive UFC Fights That Could Actually Happen in 2014


(Meanwhile, Alex’s friends were parked outside with a giant magnet. / Photo via Getty)

By Nasir Jabbar

With Georges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva, and Cain Velasquez all currently out of action due to injuries or bitter hiatuses, UFC executives will be scratching their heads trying to come up with marquee fights in 2014. But amidst this gloom, there are a few massive fights that could still happen. Some are more realistic than others, but if the stars align, these matchups would no doubt fill the void. Let’s run them down in order of probability…

Major fights within reach

Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson 2 or Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier: Very few gave Gustafsson the chance to last twenty-five minutes with the champ, let alone nearly dethrone him. The two engaged in a thrilling yet technical battle at UFC 165, which was as entertaining as it was controversial — making a rematch very interesting and potentially lucrative for the UFC. Prior to his first meeting with the Mauler, Jones had dominated every one of his opponents, which led to the New Yorker searching for his “Frazier”, the worthy rival who would define his legacy. Gustafsson could very much play that role as they look to meet again.

On the other hand, Daniel Cormier could play that role just as well. Unlike Gustafsson, Cormier has a genuine dislike towards Jones which would only add hype towards the fight. But, of course, the two potential challengers would have to get by Jimi Manuwa and Rashad Evans, respectively, to get their title shots. And of course there’s a hard-hitting Brazilian named Glover Teixeira who might derail these plans altogether.

Jose Aldo vs. BJ Penn: Incredibly, Penn is looking to become a three-weight world champion as he embarks on his unexpected new life as a featherweight. Before his year-long break from the sport, Penn had been fighting at welterweight without much success. (He hasn’t won a match since his quick knockout of Matt Hughes back in November 2010.) Penn will make his 145-pound debut against old rival Frankie Edgar as he looks to avenge, not one, but two defeats. Even though there is a connection between Penn and Aldo’s head coach Andre Pederneiras, the Prodigy would surely jump at the chance to compete for a belt.

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Like a Contract, But Not Exactly: Why Long Term Deals Are Terrible For UFC Fighters


(Sanchez’s contract is officially for eight more fights, but the UFC reserves the right to take him out behind the shed at any time and put him out of his misery. / Photo via Getty)

By Jon Mariani

With Daniel Cormier and Diego Sanchez both inking new eight-fight deals with the UFC recently, following an eyebrow-raising 10-fight contract extension for Anderson Silva earlier this year, long-term contracts have become a disturbing trend in the UFC. And it begs the question: “Why everybody’s doing that? Why?

MMA contracts are unique among professional sports, in the sense that long-term agreements aren’t necessarily beneficial to the athletes. The deals that Cormier and Sanchez signed with the UFC bear absolutely no resemblance to the 15-year, $67.5 million dollar “lottery ticket” that NHL goalie Rick DiPietro signed in 2006. After failing to live up to expectations, DiPietro’s contract was bought out in 2013, at $1.5 million a year for the next 16 years.

That’s what a contract is, after all — an employer’s obligation to pay a certain amount of money for services rendered. What the UFC offers its fighters is something different. It’s like a contract, but not exactly, and it results from the uniquely lopsided power structure in this sport, where there’s essentially one major-league team and no player’s union.

In MMA if you fail to live up to expectations and lose fights, your contract can simply be terminated at any time, and for a variety of reasons. When Eddie Alvarez‘s contract was made public, outsiders got a chance to see the long list of scenarios in which the UFC can cut an athlete loose. As the article’s author Jonathan Snowden notes “So, all those UFC contracts that claim to be for eight or 10 fights? That’s only true if you keep winning. Otherwise, the contract is only as long as the UFC wants it to be.”

A quote from that article, from Northwestern University labor law professor Zev Eigen, shows how imbalanced contracts are for UFC fighters:

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Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira Re-Re-Booked for UFC 171, March 15th in Dallas


(“MR. JONES, MR. JONES, TELL US MORE ABOUT THIS ‘GATORADE’ DRINK. IS IT TRUE THAT IT QUENCHES THIRST *AND* RESTORES ELECTROLYTES?” / Photo via Getty)

Super Bowl weekend didn’t work. February 22nd didn’t work either. But we have a good feeling that the latest date for Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira is going to stick, you guys. As revealed by UFC press secretary Ariel Helwani on the latest episode of UFC Tonight, the impending light-heavyweight title fight has been scheduled to headline UFC 171, March 15th at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

Though the UFC wanted Jones to return to action earlier, the champ couldn’t commit to a February date against Teixeira due to lingering injuries from his last fight, as well as the desire to spend Christmas with his family. As for Teixeira, he’s been twiddling his thumbs since his TKO win over Ryan Bader in September, but other than a bout of indigestion, the Brazilian slugger is ready to roll.

No other fights have been announced for UFC 171 yet, although there’s a rumor floating around that Daniel Cormier could make his light-heavyweight debut on the card against none other than Rashad Evans. We’ll keep you posted…

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Armchair Matchmaker: ‘UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos III’ Edition


(Quick, someone call Wanderlei Silva‘s plastic surgeon! Photo via Reddit MMA)

Now that we’ve all come down from the meth-like high that UFC 166 provided, let’s get down to some business, shall we? Fans and pundits of the sport alike have previously hailed our armchair matchmakers as “The most sagacious, in-depth and intellectually gratifying reading experiences in all of mixed martial arts reporting,” so let’s hope we can work our magic for Saturday’s biggest winners. Besides, AMC FearFest starts soon and we will be checking out for the rest of this month once that gets underway.

Cain Velasquez: Well, according to Dana White during Saturday’s media scrum, Velasquez will be facing Fabricio Werdum next. Don’t be fooled by Werdum’s recent three-fight killing spree, though; Velasquez will have “Vai Cavalo” butt-flopping all over the mat inside of two rounds. That greedy sonofabitch.

Daniel Cormier: To hell with who Cormier should be matched up with next, I want to be matched up with Cormier’s kickboxing coach and learn the art of the turning side check kick, STAT. In all seriousness, we’d like to see the former Olympian matched up with fellow grappling stud Phil Davis next. Davis is fresh off a split decision over Lyoto Machida at UFC 163, and if Cormier is as insistent on cutting to LHW as he seems, Davis would make for a perfect litmus test.

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UFC 166 Highlight Videos: Velasquez Dominates Dos Santos, Nelson Pays the Troll Toll + The FOTY Frontrunner


(Velasquez vs. Dos Santos highlights, via the FOX Sports Youtube page.) 

To put it bluntly, UFC 166 was the kind of faith-restoring UFC event that effectively silenced even the most cynical of the sport’s detractors (henceforth known as “garbage-assers“). Featuring a trio of wars and a pair of brutal first round finishes on the main card alone, UFC 166 staked its claim as an early frontrunner for “Event of the Year” at this year’s Potato Awards and will likely achieve the same notoriety at awards ceremonies that actually transpire.

In the evening’s main event, Cain “El Emperador Finale” Velasquez selfishly opted to ruin the heavyweight division for the foreseeable future with a dominant fifth round TKO of former rival Junior Dos Santos. Elsewhere on the card, Roy Nelson was routed by another top 5 competitor in Daniel Cormier, Gilbert Melendez attempted to punch the crazy out of Diego Sanchez to little avail, and Gabriel Gonzaga reaffirmed that a man with a pedostache is not to be toyed with. Twas a momentous night, indeed.

Thankfully, FOX Sports has compiled some highlight videos of the evening’s greatest slugfests and made them available for viewing on their Youtube page. Although these snippets won’t fill the bottomless void created in the soul of, say, your friend Dave who insisted on skipping UFC 166 to attend a Lady Gaga concert with his bitch of a girlfriend, they will give you the chance to confirm that Dave is a tiny, tin-eared man who lacks intestinal fortitude and any semblance of deductive reasoning. Fucking Dave.

We’ve placed the highlight video for Velasquez/Dos Santos III above, but join us after the jump to relive the rest of what was truly a historic night for both the UFC and MMA in general.

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[VIDEO] Dana White Talks Bad Judging, Title Contenders & Much More at UFC 166 Post Event Press Scrum


UFC president Dana White spoke with assembled press after UFC 166 Saturday night in Houston. Per usual, all topics were on the table including judging, reffing, who is and isn’t on the chopping block and the future of the heavyweight and light heavyweight division title scene.

Who’s up next for Cain Velaszquez? Is there a chance Alexander Gustafsson and Daniel Cormier could fight next?

Check out Uncle Dana’s interesting and non-committal answers alike to these questions and more in the video above.

- Elias Cepeda

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UFC 166 Aftermath: The Latest Emperor


(Cain Velasquez admires his violence on the big screen. / Photo via Getty)

Suddenly, the rivalry between heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos seems a little less competitive than was hoped for. Many observers were treating this fight as merely the latest engagement in a battle for the heavyweight crown that was to last for years ahead. Less a conclusion to a trilogy and more a precursor to a tetralogy or beyond, it was expected that this fight would see a more competitive affair showcasing the strengths of both men. That didn’t happen. Velasquez absolutely dominated Dos Santos, flooring him in the third before finishing him (sort of) in the fifth. It’s clear now that Cain Velasquez is the unstoppable force. Despite his unquestioned stature as the second best heavyweight in the UFC, Junior Dos Santos is not the immovable object.

Pace and pressure are amorphous terms reliant on context; it’s more difficult to conceive of these finishing a fight than something we can easily discern like a punch or kick. Yet it was the relentless forward motion and unending attack of Velasquez that led to the finish last night and the dominance that preceded it. Dos Santos had his moments; he landed a number of hard shots to open the first round, and landed a nice elbow against the cage to end the second. But other than that, it was all Cain. He didn’t dominate from bell to bell like he did in the second fight, but he wore down Dos Santos over the course of the first two rounds before capitalizing in the third. Velasquez floored Dos Santos with a counter overhand right, and almost finished the fight there; Herb Dean put his hand on Velasquez’ shoulder at one point, but reconsidered.

Things didn’t improve for Dos Santos afterwards, and in the fifth round he went for a desperation front choke. As Cain attempted successfully to escape, Dos Santos rolled, crashing his forehead on the mat. Either disoriented or utterly exhausted, Dos Santos could not continue and Velasquez secured the latest stoppage victory in UFC history. At the undisputed pinnacle of his weight class – the first heavyweight to truly claim this distinction since Fedor Emelianenko – it’s hard to imagine anyone toppling Velasquez soon. Daniel Cormier, who fought earlier in the evening, is his wrestling coach and is moving down to 205. Fabricio Werdum, his presumptive opponent, can submit anyone but will unlikely be able to take the fight to the ground against a wrestler of Cain’s caliber. A future rematch with Dos Santos is not inconceivable, but a different result is at this point. Despite his heart, his chin and his skills, it seems that Dos Santos is not destined to be the foil to Velasquez that we hoped he would be; Velasquez is the heavyweight division’s emperor.

Speaking of Daniel Cormier…

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UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3 — Main Card Results & Commentary


(It’s a classic battle of “BROWN PRIDE” vs. “KIND OF SELF-CONSCIOUS ABOUT MY RECEDING HAIRLINE” / Photo via CombatLifestyle.com. Check out more UFC 166 weigh-in photos here.)

Appropriately, the UFC’s latest visit to the fattest city in America is loaded with heavyweight talent. In addition to the highly anticipated trilogy match between current champion Cain Velasquez and former champ Junior Dos Santos, UFC 166‘s main card will also feature Daniel Cormier‘s allegedly final appearance at HW against Roy Nelson, as well as Gabriel Gonzaga‘s punch-out with Shawn Jordan. On the lighter end of the scale, lightweight Gilbert Melendez looks for his first UFC win against Octagon veteran Diego Sanchez, and former flyweight title challenger John Dodson welcomes Darrell Montague to the promotion.

Handling play-by-play for the “Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3″ PPV broadcast is our buddy Anthony Gannon, who will be stacking live 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 say whatever you feel like saying in our lawless cesspool of a comments section. Thanks for being here.

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Four Hidden Storylines For ‘UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3′


(Cain Velasquez shoots in on teammate Daniel Cormier at yesterday’s open workouts in Houston. / Photo via MMAFighting)

By Adam Martin

With UFC 166 being a 13-fight card, it wouldn’t be hard for some of this weekend’s storylines to fly under the radar. In fact, this card is so deep that I honestly think I could find 20 hidden storylines in it if I really wanted to. But instead I’ll just run down what I think are the top four hidden storylines to be aware of while watching the fights. Let me know what you think in the comments section, and be sure to come back to CagePotato on Saturday night for our liveblog of the pay-per-view broadcast.

1) Will Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos Fight More Than Just a Trilogy?

There has never been a four- or five-fight series in UFC history, but it’s entirely possible that Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos will meet once or twice more after this weekend’s rubber-match at UFC 166, particularly if dos Santos wins the title back.

Let’s face it, the heavyweight talent pool in MMA is very shallow, and Velasquez and dos Santos are the cream of the crop. They are truly the only two heavyweights in the UFC without any discernable weaknesses, and with their ability to consistently produce exciting matches (particularly against one another), the UFC would have no problem having these guys fight again in the future. The fact that both fighters have broad appeal in two huge markets (Velasquez in Mexico, dos Santos in Brazil) certainly helps as well. A four-fight series would make history, and you’d better believe the UFC would hammer home that point in promoting it.

But it really comes down to how the third fight goes. If it’s a blowout for either guy, a fourth fight won’t be as intriguing, and would be unlikely to happen. But if it’s a competitive war that makes the fans go nuts, we can all look forward to Velasquez vs. Dos Santos IV. And soon.

2) Did Daniel Cormier Make a Mistake by Prematurely Announcing a Drop to 205?

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: ‘UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos’ Edition

By Dan “Get Off Me” George and Jared Jones

This weekend, the be all end all title fight between Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez is going down at UFC 166, so to ring in this special occasion, we’ve decided to switch things up for this edition of the Gambling Addiction Enabler. Not only will you be receiving the trusted, well-researched advice of Dan “Get Off Me” George, but additionally, CagePotato staff writer (and former GAE master-picker) Jared Jones will be jumping in to deliver the onslaught of gifs and contradictory advice that you all know and love.

Without further ado, let’s get to the fights in question…

Stay the Hell Away From:

Hector Lombard (-185) vs. Nate Marquardt (+155)

DG: This fight should be at pick’em odds — proposing either fighter as a clear favorite is simply reckless and ignorant of the fact that both fighters have been prone to shockingly inconsistent performances as of late. On any given night, these guys can end a fight in spectacular fashion. Does Nate “The Great” show up and fight the Lombard we saw against Okami and Boetsch, or does he meet the man they call Shango and fight like he did against Saffiedine and Ellenberger? I’ll tentatively pick Marquardt here.

JJ: Well, if it’s “reckless and ignorant” that you want, you’ve come to the right source. (*sets fully-loaded revolver on table and spins it*)

I’m surprised you neglected to mention that Lombard will be fighting at welterweight for the first time in his UFC career, in what is one of the most transparent “Dropping a weight class to save your career” bouts in MMA History. Also, Lombard’s weight cut is going so poorly that he’s already talking about moving back up to middleweight. He’s assuming, of course, that the UFC won’t sever their ties with someone as overpaid as him following this weekend, which is wishful thinking in my opinion. Lombard is basically Rousimar Palhares + striking and since Marquardt already beat Palhares, MMAMath predicts a dominant victory for Marquardt 9.9 times out of 10. Reckless? Yes. Ignorant? Yes.

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