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Tag: Demian Maia

The UFC 95 Pick-em Contest Is Alive and Well


(Two best middleweights, or just Demian Maia and some dude in a track suit?  Photo courtesy of Combat Lifestyle’s UFC 95 presser gallery.)

As UFC 95 approaches you may find yourself itching to do some prognosticating, but whither the pick –em contest?  Have no fear, Potato Nation.  Thanks to user Contraband, bragging rights are on the line in the (Un)Official Cage Potato UFC 95 Pick-em Contest, now jumping off in the forums.

Why not head over there and prove to the rest of us newbs how much you know about MMA by slamming down your picks for Saturday night’s event?  While you’re there, might as well comment on your favorite and least favorite MMA techniques, and take a look at Edith’s ass.  I mean, it’s right there.

If you’re curious as to how we see UFC 95 going down, our picks are after the jump.  And don’t forget about the liveblog on Saturday night.  Seriously, just don’t.

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Chael Sonnen: “Whoever Wins Between Us Is The World’s Best Middleweight”


(Photo courtesy of DaviRusso.com)

Chael Sonnen returns to the UFC this Saturday night after an eventful stay in the WEC.  After outpointing a seemingly confused Paulo Filho in his last WEC bout, Sonnen now takes on submissions ace Demian Maia at UFC 95, in a fight Sonnen swears will determine who the world’s best middleweight is.  That other guy, the one wearing the belt?  He’s not bad either, according to Sonnen, but whoever wins this fight is the real top dog.  At least, that’s the story Sonnen’s telling in our exclusive talk with him, which is sometimes surprising, but never boring.

CagePotato.com: Thanks for talking with me, Chael.  What’s it like to come back to the UFC again?  Does it feel like it did the first time you fought in the big show?

No, it doesn’t, and thank goodness.  The first time I was in the UFC I really felt that weight on me, and I think it had a negative effect.  It was exciting, but I think in a negative way.  It might have created an atmosphere that made me a little apprehensive, but it’s not like that this time, and I’m very glad.

Leaving the WEC as you did after that strange fight with Paulo Filho, do you feel like you went out on a bad note?

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: UFC 95


(You call that a mean face?  Shiiieeeet.)

Betting odds are out for this Saturday’s UFC event on Spike TV, which we’ll be liveblogging as usual.  If you’ve still got the disposable cash and the devil-may-care attitude necessary for online gambling in this bleak economic climate, allow us to steer you in the right direction for this one.  

The juiciest lines on the internets come to us courtesy of BestFightOdds.com:

Joe Stevenson (+281) vs. Diego Sanchez (-295)
Dan Hardy (even) vs. Rory Markham (-108)
Nate Marquardt (-258) vs. Wilson Gouveia (+250)
Demian Maia (-256) vs. Chael Sonnen (+236)
Josh Koscheck (-450) vs. Paulo Thiago (+450)
Terry Etim (-220) vs. Brian Cobb (+205)
Junior Dos Santos (-260) vs. Stefan Struve (+240)
Mike Ciesnolevicz (-115) vs. Neil Grove (-105)
Per Eklund (-160) vs. Evan Dunham (+140)
Paul Kelly (-290) vs. Troy Mandaloniz (+290)

Thoughts…

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A Fix For TUF 9 Is Right Under the UFC’s Nose


(High on the list of the last places you want to see Demian Maia: mounted on top of you.  Photo courtesy of NBC Sports.)

The UFC seems committed to offering the remaining “Ultimate Fighter” coaching spot to the winner of the Rich Franklin-Dan Henderson bout at UFC 93 this weekend, despite the fact that neither of them seem excited about getting the job, least of all Franklin.  That makes for not only an anti-climactic main event (just picture Franklin, if he wins, standing in the Octagon afterwards and making a face like your dad used to when you’d give him a tie for Christmas every year), but it’s also likely to carry over into making the inevitable season-ending coach fight into something of a bore.

The hell of it is, the solution to this problem is right in front of the UFC, and it’s Demian Maia.  He wants a shot at Michael Bisping, and probably wouldn’t mind the low pay and Vegas exile that comes with the coaching job.  What’s more, Bisping can’t seem to stop talking about Maia despite the fact that a fight with him isn’t on the horizon at the moment.  

Just check his comments to the UK’s Telegraph in a story published yesterday:

Rising star Damian Maia [sic], a submission expert with great striking skills, unbeaten in 10 fights, has been making loud noises within Bisping’s earshot.
“I don’t like the sound of those noises, and I will pacify him,” said Bisping. “Damian is a really nice guy, a gentleman and a sportsman. He wants to go as far as he can in this sport.  …A lot of people seem to want to call me out. I don’t want to sound arrogant but they get beaten or knocked out when they come up against me. Damian is a submission expert, but he won’t get me down, and he’ll get knocked out. He’ll just have to get to the back of the queue for now.”
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What’s So Bad About Coaching The Ultimate Fighter?


(Honestly, what’s not to love?)

During today’s media conference call for UFC 93 the talk inevitably turned to the perceived stakes of the Dan Henderson-Rich Franklin bout on January 17 and whether the winner would really end up as a coach opposite Michael Bisping on season nine of The Ultimate Fighter, as has been discussed.  The answer, it seems, is that nobody knows for sure.  But Rich Franklin sure didn’t sound excited about the idea:

"I have not personally spoken to Dana, the UFC or any of the production people about the show," Franklin said. "Six weeks in Vegas, I’ve gotten to the point where I could care less for staying in Vegas for that period of time. It’s time away from my family and time away from doing the things I can do to make money. The show doesn’t pay very well. … But anything the UFC asks me to do, I’m always on board for."

Franklin also pointed out the absurdity of taking two former middleweights, like he and Henderson, and having them fight at light heavyweight to see who will take on Bisping at middleweight.  But Franklin’s main gripe seems to be that coaching the show isn’t such a good deal for a fighter – and he would know, seeing as he’s done it before. 

But is coaching the show really that bad?  So it doesn’t pay much (how much is not much, anyway?  Ten grand for six weeks?  Less?  More?), and it keeps Franklin from other lucrative opportunities, such as making movies with former Saved By The Bell stars, but it is publicity and the chance to build back up to a big main event bout.  That’s all good stuff, right? 

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Quick Hits: Manhoef to Face Hunt, Maia to Face Sonnen, Atencio to Face Someone, + More


(‘It’s not a skirt, you assholes.  The Romans wore these. Read a book.’)

The surprises just keep coming for the New Year’s Eve K-1 Dynamite show.  Jerome Le Banner is sick with the flu and has been forced to pull out of his fight with Mark Hunt, and Melvin Manhoef has agreed to take his place.  Despite the incredible weight difference between the heavyweight Hunt and the sort of middleweight Manhoef, the two will fight an MMA bout under “Dream rules” for three five-minute rounds.  

Is it a good idea for Manhoef, a vicious striker with an almost non-existent ground game to face a much heavier and damn near impossible to knock out fighter like Hunt, who also packs a serious wallop of his own?  Short answer: no.  No, it is probably not a good idea.  Especially on short notice.  But unlike many of the other bad ideas on the Dynamite NYE show, this one I’d actually love to see. 

Dammit, Japan.  Just when I want to curse your lack of rules and regulations, you go and do something like this to leave me more conflicted than ever.  I just can’t quit you.

In other news…

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Michael Bisping Voted the Coolest Bloke in the U.K.


(Photo courtesy of Zoo Magazine.)

Man, Daniel Radcliffe is going to be pissed.  According to the readers of Britain’s Zoo Magazine, the UFC’s Michael Bisping is the U.K.’s "coolest" man of the year.  Upon hearing the good news, Bisping described himself as “shocked.”  

You know who else is shocked?  Bear Gryllis.  That bad-ass survivalist dude from the Discovery Channel.  He finished seventh in the voting.  Seventh!!!!  And he drank elephant poop!  Hell, Noel Gallagher from Oasis was third.  Sup with that, Brtiain?  You guys feeling okay?

When it came to analyzing the meaning of these results, Zoo’s editor chalked it up to the “growing influence that UFC is having on young men in Britain,” as well as a changing economic and cultural climate. 

Other notables on the list:

4. Jason Statham (that guy)
5. Daniel Craig (James Bond)
12. Christian Bale (effing Batman, yo)
24. Ricky Gervais (this dude)
33. Simon Cowell (just stop)
36. Morissey (I thought you said “coolest?”)
60. Paul McCartney (he’s still British?)
86. Sacha Baron Cohen (if this isn’t cool, what is?)

In other Bisping news, the Wolfslair fighter tells MMA Bay that he’s not concerned about a potential bout with submissions grand wizard Demian Maia, because:

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The Potato Index: UFC 91 Aftermath

Brock Lesnar punches Randy Couture UFC 91
(Photo courtesy of Si.com)

Now that this crazy weekend of MMA action is in the books, it’s time to sort through the rubble of UFC 91 and figure out who’s up and who’s down. And how will we do that? Arbitrary numbers, baby. It’s the only way.

Brock Lesnar +482

The line of reasoning that says he’s too inexperienced to be deserving of a title shot simply doesn’t hold up after he wins by second-round stoppage. Even if you don’t think he beat the best Couture we’ve ever seen in the Octagon, he still looked positively terrifying in there. This guy can give lots of heavyweights lots of problems, particularly if he continues to improve. And if you’re one of the millions who hate him, well, you’re just playing right into his enormous hands.

Randy Couture -130

Maybe it was age that was Couture’s undoing. Maybe it was size and strength. Regardless, it’s hard to see how he will ever capture another UFC title. A fight against the loser of the Nogueira-Mir match would still be compelling, but time is running out. And fast.

Kenny Florian +274

He dismantled Joe Stevenson much the same way B.J. Penn did, if not more impressively. So why doesn’t Penn seem at all interested in fighting him? Whatever happens in Penn’s superfight with GSP, no lightweight has earned a title shot more than KenFlo and waited so long and so patiently for it. Come on, B.J. Let’s do eet!

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Ben vs. Ben: UFC 91 Edition

Randy Couture Brock Lesnar Flex magazine UFC 91 MMA
(Randy refuses to look Brock in the eyes! BET LESNAR! BET LESNAR! Photo courtesy of Flex Magazine.)

The UFC’s heavyweight grand prix, pay-per-view buys, Tamdan McCrory’s AFC status — we discuss it all in the latest installment of Ben vs. Ben. FYI, Fowlkes is currently a -170 favorite to win this argument.

How exactly will the main event end, and how will the winner fare in the heavyweight “tournament” as a whole?

Fowlkes: As big and powerful as Brock Lesnar is, his chances to win this fight diminish the longer it goes. He has the classic wrestler-turned-MMA fighter problem. He can get a guy down and hold him there, but aside from some inefficient ground-and-pound, he struggles to put people away.

So you’re all impressed by Lesnar’s win over Heath Herring? Great. You know who else outwrestled Herring for a decision win? Jake O’Brien. My point is, it’s not such an impossible feat. He’s never gone five rounds with someone as savvy and resilient as Couture. While Lesnar’s best hope is a decision, Couture can win several different ways.

Couture might have to take a beating in the first couple rounds. He might get pushed around more than he’s used to. But by the third he’ll turn the tide. He’ll take Lesnar’s back, discover that the man has no discernible neck to choke, then unleash a torrent of punches and satisfy himself with a TKO finish due to ref stoppage at the 4:10 mark. And still…UFC…heavyweight champion…until he’s submitted by Nogueira in the finals of this so-called tournament.

Goldstein: I say Couture takes the UFC 91 main event in a unanimous decision. We’re going to see a very methodical Randy on Saturday night, working his clinch game when he can, and doing his best to stuff takedown attempts and keep out of Brock’s punching range. He’ll go with the low-risk Machida approach, in other words, because one mistake, leading to one unfortunate position, could bring about a painful loss. I’ll agree that Randy will have Brock figured out by round three, but I’m going to give Lesnar the benefit of the doubt and say that Randy won’t be able to finish him — though Lesnar will definitely take more abuse than he ever has in his short real-fighting career.

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UFC Counter-Programming, Pt. 4

Forrest Griffin Quinton Jackson UFC MMA
(Kimbo who?)

The UFC isn’t going to let EliteXC put an event on network TV without screwing with them a little bit. Just as they aired UFC 84 for free on Spike while the second CBS “Saturday Night Fights” card was taking place on July 26th — effectively stealing away a lot of EliteXC’s young male viewers — the UFC will be airing “UFC 86: Jackson vs. Griffin” on October 4th, opposite “EliteXC: Heat.” (They’ll also be showing “UFC 87: St-Pierre vs. Fitch” the following Saturday, on the night that Affliction was originally supposed to hold their “Day of Reckoning” card.) The UFC has previously tried to take the wind out of their competition’s sails by airing an “Ultimate Iceman” special on Spike during the first CBS “Saturday Night Fights” card in May, and scheduling an Anderson Silva-headlined Ultimate Fight Night during Affliction’s “Banned” card in July.

With Showtime lurking as a potential buyer for Pro Elite, a little less is riding on “Heat”‘s performance — lackluster ratings wouldn’t necessarily mean extinction if they have someone to bail them out. But the UFC could further devalue the EliteXC brand if they can prove that just as many people would tune in to see a UFC re-run as a new fight card from EliteXC. And if “Heat” is a bomb, maybe Showtime will think twice about the purchase.

In other UFC news…

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