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Tag: Daniel Cormier

Breaking Down All Eight ‘UFC vs. Strikeforce’ Bouts on This Saturday’s Henderson vs. Melendez Card

As we pointed out on Facebook earlier today, the entire main card of this Saturday’s UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Melendez event features a UFC veteran taking on a former Strikeforce standout. What’s more, there are four fights on the prelims that fit this same pattern. While the UFC has set up cards along national lines in the past — see UFC 58: USA vs. Canada and UFC 117: USA vs. Brazil, Pretty Much they’ve never been this overt with their UFC vs. Strikeforce matchmaking. Will the UFC vets fight harder in an attempt to defend their turf? Will the Strikeforce crossovers band together to continue their invasion of the Octagon? Take a look at all eight matchups below and let us know which side you think will emerge victorious.

Headshot images via Card/The UG.


BENSON HENDERSON vs. GILBERT MELENDEZ (for UFC lightweight title)
The odds say: Bendo is a strong favorite to defend his belt at -250.
We say:
When you put this much talent into the cage at the same time, anything can happen. But while we think this fight will be closer than the betting line reflects, there’s been an unbreakable, unstoppable quality to Henderson’s performances during his 6-0 UFC run. Until we see how Melendez actually performs in the Octagon, we’re picking the champ.


FRANK MIR vs. DANIEL CORMIER (HW)
The odds say: Cormier is a virtual lock at -375.
We say:
That sounds about right. Cormier has all the skills to be a future UFC champ, and barring any freakish leglocks, Frank Mir is just a stop along the way.

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[VIDEO] UFC on Fox 7: Melendez vs. Henderson — ‘Road to the Octagon’ Preview Show


(Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

It’s as simple as this — Saturday’s UFC on Fox 7: Henderson vs. Melendez card features top-ranked fighters and heavy stakes. As such, we love getting a lil’ something extra in anticipation of it. This UFC on Fox 7: Road to the Octagon documentary gives us just that, including behind-the-scenes footage with Benson Henderson (competing at a Jiu Jitsu tournament with his mom, working out with the NFL’s Larry Fitzgerald), Gilbert Melendez (at home and at work with his ex-fighter fiance and business partner, chilling with his tight-knit ‘Skrap Pack’), Frank Mir (crying, and on a flight to New Mexico to conduct the first training camp of his career away from his wife and twenty kids) and more pre-fight action from Josh Thomson, Nate Diaz, and Daniel Cormier.

It’s a good way to waste your lunch hour today — better, at least, than talking to that weird guy at the office who always just eats a can of soup for lunch, like, every day. (Seriously? Get some protein in there, you’re a grown ass man.) Anyway, watch it and tune in Saturday. It’s free, so you’ve got no excuse not to, fight fans.

-Elias Cepeda

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War No More: Josh Barnett Rejects UFC Contract


(“Don’t worry about me, Josh. I’ll be telling the media how much of a fucking joke you were to begin with by this time tomorrow.”)

It is being reported by multiple sources that Josh Barnett has officially turned down a UFC contract, despite the fact that we did literally everything within our power to hype up his return. The ungrateful son of a bitch former UFC heavyweight champion has been in negotiations with the organization to rejoin their ranks after his most recent home, Strikeforce, exited the fight game with a whimper last month.

Barnett’s manager, Leland LaBarre, seemed to suggest that show cash was not their issue with the UFC’s offer, which is pretty surprising considering the ridiculous rate Barnett was receiving over at Strikeforce. According to LaBarre, there were other, undisclosed issues between Barnett and the UFC that simply could not be worked out:

We agreed on guaranteed compensation.In fact, we never even countered. We accepted their original offer. There are some outlying issues – one in particular – that as of this point we were unable to agree on.

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Gracie, Mousasi, Marquardt Among Strikeforce Fighters Headed to the UFC


(Oh yeah, this guy is headed over as well. Thank God for that.)

As we reported yesterday, Jorge Gurgel’s claim that the fighters who came up short at Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine would find themselves out of a UFC contract was not exactly truthful. KJ Noons, Kurt Holobaugh, and Anthony Smith, for example, all suffered defeats at the event and were ironically the first names to be mentioned in the Strikeforce/UFC…migration, I guess?

On last night’s edition of UFC Tonight, the full list of Strikeforce fighters who would be making the transition to the big leagues was announced, and suffice it to say, there were a couple rather puzzling omissions and inclusions. After the jump is that full list, along with our thoughts on who some of these gentlemen should face in their UFC debuts.

HEAVYWEIGHT 
-Daniel Cormier (11-0 MMA, 8-0 SF)

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT 
-Gegard Mousasi (33-3-2 MMA, 4-1-1 SF)
-Gian Villante (10-3 MMA, 3-2 SF)

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Daniel Cormier vs. Frank Mir Confirmed for ‘UFC on FOX 7′ on April 20th


(Frank Mir, master of the male bitch-face. / Photo via Getty Images)

It’s official: The heavyweight battle between Daniel Cormier and Frank Mir will go down at UFC on FOX 7, April 20th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. Yahoo! Sports reported the booking today, also confirming that the Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez lightweight title fight will be on the card.

Cormier and Mir were originally scheduled to fight under the Strikeforce banner in November, but the former UFC heavyweight champ had to pull out of the match due to injury. Mir hasn’t competed since his TKO loss to Junior Dos Santos at UFC 146 in May. For the record, Mir wasn’t too impressed with Cormier’s TKO win over Dion Staring this weekend, telling MMAJunkie:

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‘Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine’ Salaries: Josh Barnett Makes 250k The Really, Really, Easy Way


(“OK, Josh, now act like this Nandor fellow was somehow able to land a punch on you. We’ll use it for the gag reel.”)

The Oklahoma Athletic Commission recently released the payout figures for Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine, and wouldn’t you know it, Heavyweight Grand Prix runner-up Josh Barnett was able to walk away with nearly a quarter of the total disclosed $1,153,500 payroll for less than three minutes of work. Also of note, Tarec Saffiedine collected approximately $2.50 for each kick he was able to land on Nate Marquardt, yet still wound up a grand shy of, you guessed it, Frank Stallone Nate Marquardt when all was said and done. Speaking of Marquardt, dude somehow didn’t even get a precautionary suspension despite exiting the arena on crutches with a leg that looked like it had stared at the Ark of the Covenant. We were able to secure an exclusive interview with his doctor earlier today, who smugly stated that “Leg kicks certainly do not end lives” before throwing a smoke bomb and disappearing from the room. A strange man indeed.

Anyway, check out the full list of salaries along with our thoughts after the jump. Per usual, these figures are absent of any locker room bonuses, sponsorship bonuses, or invitations to Scott Coker’s BBQ bash this weekend that any of the fighters may have received.

Tarec Saffiedine: $39,000 ($19,500 win bonus)
def. Nate Marquardt: $40,000

Daniel Cormier: $120,000 ($60,000 win bonus)
def. Dion Staring: $8,000

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Terrifying Photo of the Day: Steven Seagal Has a New ‘Friend’


(Photo via dc_mma)

Besides his uncanny ability to ingratiate himself into the lives of elite MMA fighters, I’ll give Steven Seagal credit for something else — the guy knows how to pick winners. During an appearance at this weekend’s Fighters Only World MMA Awards in Las Vegas, the action star set his sights on his next pet project, telling MMAWeekly:

If I had to choose anybody today [as 'Fighter of the Year'] I would probably pick Daniel Cormier because I think he is the best out of that lot…He’s the guy and I’m maybe going to be working with him a little bit, we’ll see. I think that he’s not the kind of person that everybody knows about, yet he’s sort of a sleeper, you know? I think that’s going to be really interesting. I’m not going to say any more than that. I’ll just say he’s a friend of mine, that’s all.”

The photo you see above was tweeted out by Cormier yesterday, accompanied by the caption “With sensei seagal ufc 148.” So why would Cormier release a random six-month-old photo of himself and Seagal, the day after his victory at Strikeforce’s final event? And why would he call Seagal “sensei”? No. Oh God, no. This isn’t happening.

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Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine Aftermath — The Awkward Goodbyes

I’ll be completely honest: I didn’t watch Strikeforce’s farewell card live last night. I recorded it, and watched it when I was done watching football. Am I just that dedicated of a 49ers/Packers fan? Not quite; last night was the first time I watched either team play all season. Rather, my mentality was that I haven’t been changing my schedule to accommodate Strikeforce events for the past two years now [Author Note: Damn, was the buyout really two years ago already? Time flies when you're watching something die.], so why start now for the promotion’s grand finale.

Reading through the collection of Strikeforce tributes online, it’s obvious that I’m not the only one feeling this way. Articles and tweets about the demise of Strikeforce have been respectful, but not overly-sentimental, and the comments sections of various liveblogs covering the event didn’t exactly blow up for the occasion. There were none of the regrets, what-nows and what-could-have-beens that usually come along with failed business ventures – just a few awkward goodbyes as Zuffa prepared to pull the plug on the machine that no longer served any purpose.

And honestly, why would anyone other than Strikeforce’s employees, fighters and Scott Coker feel any differently? The death of Strikeforce doesn’t mark the end of a promotion that has been pumping out relevant fights for the past two years. It isn’t the death of an alternative option for fighters not wanting to sign with Zuffa. It isn’t the even the end of free MMA on basic cable.

I guess it would be different if this card was stacked with the fighters who made Strikeforce Strikeforce, such as Cung Le, Nick Diaz, Alistair Overeem, Ronda Rousey, Gilbert Melendez and Luke Rockhold, but they’ve either been assimilated into the UFC by now or they’ve pulled out of the event due to injury/apathy. Instead, this card served as one final night of squash fights – one of which actually ended differently than you may have expected.

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Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine — Live Results and Commentary


(I know what you’re thinking: Why the hell did they leave Nandor Guelmino off the poster? Well I don’t mean to alarm you, but that bright shining ball of fire in the background *is* Nandor Guelmino.)

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the end of the world. Tonight’s last-ever Strikeforce event went from a championship triple-header to Squash City in a hurry, and it’s okay to feel depressed about it. (If you need somebody to talk to, call 1-888-BRO-TATO and one of our mental health professionals will be on the line shortly.)

On the main card this evening, Nate Marquardt puts his welterweight title on the line against Belgian standout Tarec Saffiedine, Daniel Cormier and Josh Barnett try not to shit the bed against their unheralded opponents, Gegard Mousasi returns from a long layoff to face Mike Kyle, and Ed Herman crosses the UFC/Strikeforce DMZ to bang with the always-dangerous Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.

Like a spirit guide leading us from one realm of existence to the next, Jim Genia will be sticking round-by-round results from the “Marquardt vs. Saffiedine” Showtime broadcast after the jump, beginning at 10 p.m. ET. Make your voices heard in the comments section, and please, let’s honor this moment.

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Catch the ‘Strikeforce: Pros vs. Joes’ Weigh-Ins LIVE Right Here at 5 p.m. EST


(My God, Daniel Cormier is going to WRECK this dude.) 

Tomorrow night, the once great promotion known as Strikeforce will fade into obscurity, joining the ranks of such infinitely-inferior-yet-similarly-dissolved promotions as Affliction, EliteXC, and the oft forgotten Tank Abbott’s Backyard Brawlin’ Beergut Buddies.

So with their future careers on the line, make sure to swing by CagePotato at 5 p.m. EST to catch weigh-ins for all of the fighters participating at tomorrow’s Strikeforce: Pros vs. Joes event. Who knows? Maybe some of the randoms plucked from MMA obscurity will be too scared to show up, or piss themselves when they realize the huge mistake they’ve made. In either case, it should be fun.

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