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Tag: Dominick Cruz

TUF 15 Live Episode 5 Recap

By Elias Cepeda

After the normal celebrating and gloating from last week’s winning Faber team, attention is turned to this week’s matchup of Team Cruz’ Jeremy Larsen and Team Faber’s Mike Chiesa. Remember when a few weeks back Mike’s father died just after seeing him fight and win on national television, and we learned that Mike and Sam Sicilia are best friends and training partners back home.

Well, on this year’s TUF, the two lightweights have found themselves on opposing teams, but are trying to find a balance between not betraying their team and not betraying one another. They call themselves “Team purple,” as in a combination of Faber’s blue team and Cruz’ red team. That’s adorable. Really.

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Faber’s Road Back – The Ultimate Fighter Live: Episode 4 Recap

By Elias Cepeda

Episode four opens with Team Cruz’ Myles Jury and Team Faber’s Al Iaqunita walking into the training center for their fight, set to take place in 42. Cruz chose this matchup, putting Jury, who he had trained with in San Diego, against Faber’s first pick, Al Iaqunita.

Cruz looks to be using a strategy of trying to take out some of Faber’s toughest guys early in the competition.

“There’s a strategy to everything that I’m doing,” he says. “I want to go straight for the jugular on these guys, take out every guy that could give them hope.”

That he says it in his typical little boy voice makes Cruz’ ruthlessness even more eerie.

Faber , for his part, seems to like the match up as well. “Thank you! Yes,” he says of Cruz’ matchup.

We’ve discussed this season’s new format of live fights and related changes, but the season’s new theme music might be the best change of all. Invoking a lil Stevie Wonder and Red Hot Chili Peppers with their rendition of “Higher Ground,” is a step up from typical MMA-related music and also hits the right thematic note for a bunch of fighters trying to reach the next level.

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Dropping a Weight Class to Save Your Career: The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly



(Phil Davis: The UFC’s leading producer of new middleweights.)

By Ben Goldstein

“When in doubt, drop a weight class” — that’s been the mantra for many MMA fighters who have hit rough patches in their careers. Of course, shaving 10-20 pounds off your body is no guarantee of future success, and it occasionally leaves fighters worse off than when they started. Following a week that saw Demian Maia, Dan Miller, and Nik Lentz all decide to seek their fortunes against smaller opponents, we decided to round up a few notable fighters who revitalized themselves at a lighter weight, and a few that became cautionary tales for weight-dropping. Read on, and let us know which UFC fighters should consider taking the weight-class plunge…

The Good

Dominick Cruz

After racking up a 9-0 record — not to mention belts at lightweight and featherweight for the Total Combat promotion — Dominick Cruz challenged Urijah Faber for the WEC featherweight title in March 2007. Unfortunately, Cruz fell into a guillotine choke and tapped at the 1:38 mark of round 1. Cruz addressed the setback by dropping to bantamweight the following year, and has since gone on another 9-0 run at 135, collected the WEC and UFC bantamweight belts, and exacted revenge against his arch-nemesis, the California Kid. We’ll see if he can make it two in a row against Faber in June, but for now, it seems that dropping to bantamweight was the best move of Dominick’s career.

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Monday Morning Video Roundup: Cyborg Beats Up a Japanese Comedian, Kharitonov Smokes Miller, & More


(It was like this, but even more terrifying.) 

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from former Strikeforce Women’s featherweight champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos. In the fallout of her sixteen second destruction of Hiroko Yamanaka and subsequent positive steroid test that saw her stripped of her title, “Cyborg” has been laying low, quietly awaiting her April 9th appeal and the chance to smash Ronda Rousey for her insolence.

In the meantime, it looks like the former champ has decided to broaden her training horizons, if you will, now incorporating a regular diet of Japanese game show hosts and comedians to satiate her overwhelming desire to kill. In fact, she recently appeared on the Japanese show Honoo no Taiikukai to demonstrate that she is just as strong without anabolic steroids coursing through her veins by taking on a…male Japanese comedian? Believe it or not, the match was surprisingly competitive for the most part, until Cyborg decided to go all Courtney Korpela on the poor bastard.

Join us after the jump for the full video, along with the Sergei Kharitonov/Mark Miller match from last weekend’s United Glory 15 card, and much more. 

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“Keep your chin down!” The Ultimate Fighter Live: Episode 3 Recap

By Elias Cepeda

This season’s TUF features live fights each week but everything before that are taped highlights of how the fighters and their teams and coaches have spent the past week. By the looks of what we saw on episode 3, a good amount of what Team Cruz did before getting ready for the next bout was making fun of how Dominick Cruz mind fucked the whole of Team Faber last week.

Cruz coach Lloyd Irvin gleefully recounted how, after choosing overall number one pick Justin Lawrence to fight this week, Dominick Cruz told Faber that he could choose who, from his team wanted to fight. Faber was shocked by Cruz giving up matchmaking power that he had earned after James Vick KO’s Daron Cruickshank and asked his team who wanted to fight.

No one raised their hands. And, as Irvin pointed out, many of them were all but looking up at the sky, whistling. A flustered Faber gave the pick back to Cruz, who chose the most accomplished fighter in the house, Cristian Marcello.

Faber lets us know, during an interview, that he really is trying to contain his rage at Cruz. “I’m doing my best to hold it together,” he says. “But, you know, I want to punch the guy right in the face,” bro. Ok, I added the “bro,” in. But no matter what Faber is saying, his surferspeak always makes it sound like he’s inviting you to go catch a few waves or telling you about the killer party he’s throwing next weekend, and could you please pitch in for the keg.

From the little we’d seen thus from Lawrence, the fact that he trains at Blackhouse, and Marcello’s pedigree and experience, this seemed more like a TUF Final than a first round bout.

But before we get to the fight itself – Chris Tickle’s annoying ass, ladies and gentlemen. Episode 3 featured the Team Cruz fighter, being a smart ass in teasing Team Faber members, acting all sensitive when teased him, trying to spar with ear rings in, destroying parking lot signs, using perhaps the most quickly passing case of diarrhea to avoid training and (yes, really) wearing a fucking gas mask during an interview.

Back in the house, Tickle worked hard to tell Team Faber members how stupid they looked in not raising their hands when their coach asked them who they wanted to fight. But Justin Lawrence made it clear that it wasn’t just Team Faber guys who were annoyed by Tickle.

As reels ran showing Tickle’s hilarious, totally disruptive and incredibly creative “prank” of pulling out Urijah Faber’s parking space sign out of the ground, Lawrence delivered the play by play with about as much excitement as one could imagine him having to describe clipping his own toe nails. Lawrence says Tickle is “obnoxious.”

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Wednesday Morning MMA Link Club: Dominick Cruz Goes Hard, Tosh.0′s MMA Redemption, Ronda Rousey’s Violent Past + More


(Don’t forget: Submissions for our Urijah Faber t-shirt design contest with Punch Buddies must be sent to contest@cagepotato.com by the end of today. Good luck! / California Kid action figure via Ben S.)

Some selected highlights from our friends around the MMA blogosphere…

- TUF 15: Number One Pick Justin Lawrence Looks to Back Up the Hype Against Cristiano Marcello (MMA Mania)

- Inside Dominick Cruz’s Training Camp for UFC 148 Fight With Urijah Faber (Video) (Lowkick.Blitzcorner.com)

- Dan Hardy Wants To Fight ‘That Blood Thirsty Kill Freak’ Matt Hughes (MMA Convert)

- Remember the Guy Who Got Choked Out by a Girl? Tosh.0 Is Giving Him a Shot at Redemption (MiddleEasy)

- Jon Jones On Rashad Evans Having His Number: ‘He Doesn’t Even Have My Area Code’ (FightLine)

- Bryan Caraway Wouldn’t Be First Guy Ronda Rousey Has Beaten Up (Video) (5th Round)

- Jose Aldo Says He Will Move to 155 Pounds If Frankie Edgar Doesn’t Drop Down (BleacherReport.com/MMA)

- Josh Barnett Feels TRT Exemptions Don’t Make Sense (The Fight Nerd)

- Cameras Follow “Mayhem” Miller for Morgan Spurlock Documentary (Five Ounces of Pain)

- Hitman-TapouT Lawsuit Heating Up (MMA Payout)

- Mike Kogan Has Had Enough of Rampage’s UFC Complaints (Fight Opinion)

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The Ultimate Fighter Live: Cruz vs. Faber Episode 2 Recap

By Elias Cepeda

Jon Anik’s silky voice talks us in to episode two of The Ultimate Fighter 15, telling us we’re less than an hour away from tonight’s live fight. We’re about to see what happened this past week in TUFlandia but right now there are two hooded fighters warming up with their backs to the camera in their respective lock rooms.

Could it be? Yes…those two (at present) nameless and faceless fighters will fight each other tonight but we will have to wait and see who they are. Cheesy, but kinda cool. Another new element of this debuting hybrid taped/live TUF format. Also, there’s a fight clock on the bottom right hand of the screen, ticking down.

The 16 winning fighters from last week’s elimination round pull up to the TUF mansion and once again we see a new crop of young fighters enthusiastically explore their new digs with the type of giddiness that can only lead us to believe that they’ve never watched past seasons and thus don’t realize how completely miserable it can be to be locked in that house. Happens every season.

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The Ultimate Fighter Live: Cruz vs. Faber Episode 1 Recap

By Elias Cepeda

Over the better part of a decade, The Ultimate Fighter reality fighting competition show has seen a number of different format changes and gimmicks, from coaches set to fight for titles and nominally famous singer eye candy hosts, to veterans given a second chance in the UFC with title shots as the prizes. But three things have always stayed constant – the show airing on Spike, seasons being taped months before airing, and fighters in the house being treated to all you could drink liquor buffets while simultaneously being asked to maintain the UFC’s high standards of sober living.

We can only hope that the last item doesn’t change this year, but the first two already have. With the new season of TUF being aired on FX, the UFC has decided to try something new and air all fights live every Friday night. Friday night 32 UFC hopefuls, TUF head coaches Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber, Prez Dana White and a variety of other Nevada judges, referees and oddly placed celebrities in the crowd, gathered in the UFC training center in Las Vegas for 16 fights to determine who got to be in the TUF house for the next three months.

Here’s the action, tater nation, in the present tense, as fast as we could type it all.

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UFC Quoteathon: Urijah Faber Thinks Dominick Cruz is “Lucky to be Alive” and More


(UFC 148 will settle the centuries old debate once and for all. Which is stronger, the widow’s peak or the Leno chin?) 

Though The Ultimate Fighter 15 is still a couple weeks away from airing, it seems that Urijah Faber has already begun the war of words with opposing coach, bantamweight champ, and long time rival Dominick Cruz. Set to square off for a third time at UFC 148 in June, the trash talking between these two has reached an all time high, with Faber recently setting the bar at a hole ‘notha level during a recent appearance on Inside MMA. Angered over comments that Cruz made regarding his fighting style, Faber was unrelenting in his analysis of the bantamweight champ:

That’s what fighting’s about, right? And that’s how I approach the fight. Let’s finish this fight! And he’s doing ‘point fighting.’ This isn’t a karate tournament. I mean, do you wanna take hits to the head away next? He’s alive right now because there’s rules in MMA and I had to release his neck and let him breathe! You’re welcome, Dominick Cruz, for giving you life and letting you live! Next time, I’m gonna do the same thing. I’m gonna let you live, but it’s gonna be painful. 

Something tells us that we’ll be in for more than “stank bref” jokes this season.

Join us after the jump for more interesting tidbits from around the MMA world.

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32 TUF 15 Finalists Revealed for Inaugural FX Season


(Video courtesy of YouTube/UFC)

The UFC announced the full roster for the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter Live on FX. Included in the 32-man lightweight and middleweight season, which features UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and former WEC featherweight champ Urijah Faber as coaches, are fighters from the U.S. UK, Ireland and Brazil.

“We’re producing ground-breaking television with The Ultimate Fighter Live and we can’t wait to kick this season off with FX. It’s going to be can’t-miss TV,” UFC president Dana White said of the upcoming season. “Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber are two amazing guys who also happen to be two of the best fighters in the world. They genuinely dislike each other and I expect this to make for the best season yet.”

Season 15 of TUF will run for 13-consecutive weeks and will feature live fights every show, including 16 qualifying bouts in the two-and-a-half-hour-episode on Friday, March 9 at 9:00 pm ET.

The championship bout will air live on June 1 during the three-hour finale on FX.

A second season of the show for the year will air this summer on FX.

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