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Tag: Efrain Escudero

UFC 103 Aftermath: Bonuses, Belfort’s Next Move, the Fate of Cro Cop + More

Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic UFC 103 Junior Dos Santos
("I’m sorry to tell you this, Mirko, but we discovered a scratch on your cornea. Also, there seems to be a large quantity of sand in your vagina." Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

— The UFC handed out its traditional end-of-night bonuses following UFC 103, which totaled $65,000 this time around. Fight of the Night went to Rick Story and Brian Foster, whose two-round bang-up ended with Story sinking in an arm-triangle choke. For this, Story also got the Submission of the Night Award; not a bad payday for an up-and-coming fighter. KO of the night went to Vitor Belfort for his old-Vitor-esque first-round smashing of Rich Franklin. The event drew a sellout crowd of 17.428 fans to the American Airlines Center in Dallas, producing a live gate of $2.4 million.

— During the post-event press-conference, Dana White made his intentions known about Belfort’s place in the UFC middleweight division: "To be honest with you, the way the last two fights happened with Marquardt and Henderson against Anderson Silva, I think it would be better to see them fight each other, and the winner of that become the next contender. I think Vitor is ready to fight Anderson Silva (now)…I love the fact that we have Vitor at that weight class." Belfort credited his win to a new focus on karate: "It’s just something that I want to use right now. I was taking my time. I was feeling the fight. As soon as I see something, I make sure I have the zip code, the address and the social security number…Sometimes I take my time; sometimes I’m aggressive. But as soon as I start, I make sure I fight. That’s what people want to see."

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Dana White Invades New York for ‘UFC Undisputed’ Media Push

 Dana White twitter UFC MMA
(Don’t you mean, "Just landed in nyc, *pussies*"? Image courtesy of twitter.com/danawhiteblog.)

With UFC 2009 Undisputed set for release tomorrow, Dana White has come to the Big Apple to hawk his wares. First on the agenda: White and THQ’s President/CEO Brian Farrell are scheduled to ring the closing bell at NASDAQ. Their appearance will take place tomorrow between 3:45-4:00 p.m. ET, and can be seen at this link on nasdaq.com. (Thanks to FiveOunces for the tip.) Trading’s over, fuckers.

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Herman Out, Sonnen In Against Miller + More UFC Notes

Chael Sonnen Paulo Filho WEC MMA
(Sonnen gives Paulo Filho an intervention, Team Quest-style. Photo courtesy of BaltimoreSun.com.)

Although initial reports claimed that Ed Herman would be stepping in for the injured Yushin Okami against Dan Miller at UFC 98 (May 23rd, Las Vegas), there’s been another change in plans. It seems that Herman has declined the fight — likely because he just competed at UFC 97 and the five-week turnaround would be too short — and Okami’s actual replacement will be Herman’s Team Quest teammate Chael Sonnen.

Sonnen was most recently submitted by Demian Maia in his UFC return fight in February, which dropped his overall Octagon record to 1-3. The WEC/Bodog vet was slated to face Wilson Gouveia at UFC 102 (August 29th; Portland, Oregon) and still hopes to take that fight if his scrap with Dan Miller goes well. Though considering Miller’s skill with submissions (and Sonnen’s tendency to get submitted), Sonnen may be out of a job by this summer.

In other news…

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UFC Quick Notes: Firings, Rematches, The Land Down Under + More

Jason Day MMA UFC
(As if this wasn’t humiliating enough, Jason was also forced to pay for his own rape kit. [What, too soon?] Photo courtesy of MMAWeekly.)

Recent reports have indicated that middleweight Jason Day and welterwight Josh Burkman are the latest fighters to be canned by the UFC. Though Day won his UFC debut against Alan Belcher last April, he then lost back-to-back fights against Michael Bisping and Kendall Grove, both by first-round TKO. Burkman’s exit is even less surprising, as his loss to Pete Sell at UFC 90 was his third-straight Octagon defeat. Akihiro Gono was also cut last month after dropping two straight.

— After bumbling regional ref Rick Fike stopped their first fight way too early, lightweights Aaron Riley and Shane Nelson will get another chance to tangle at UFC 101 (August 8th, Philadelphia). Nelson was awarded a TKO victory at UFC 96 after knocking Riley to the mat in the first round, but Riley immediately invoked the "what the fuck is your problem?" rule and the crowd backed him up with chants of "Bullshit!"

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UFC Fight-Booking News: Coleman vs. Bonnar, Tibau Replaces Escudero + More

Mark Coleman UFC MMA ass grab
(Mark Coleman — master of kino escalation. Photo courtesy of Combat Lifestyle.)

— An oddly appropriate light-heavyweight matchup may be in the works for UFC 100 (July 11th, Las Vegas). According to MMA Mania, bout agreements have been offered for Mark Coleman to face Stephan Bonnar at the milestone event. That’s right: The UFC’s first official heavyweight champion and early star of the SEG era will likely be taking on the man who helped take the UFC mainstream in the Zuffa era with his epic TUF 1 finale battle against Forrest Griffin.

Kind of an interesting way to pay tribute to the Octagon’s history. But for the fighters themselves, the matchup will be all business. Coleman most recently put in a shambling wreck of a performance against Mauricio Rua at UFC 93, eventually losing by TKO in the third round, while Stephan Bonnar was out-hustled by Jon Jones at UFC 94, losing by unanimous decision. Both men need a win here to remain relevant. UFC 100 will also reportedly feature fights between Frank Mir and Brock Lesnar (for the unified heavyweight title), Georges St. Pierre and Thiago Alves (for the welterweight title), and Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson (for the right to get their ass kicked by Anderson Silva at some point in the future).

TUF 8 lightweight winner Efrain Escudero has fallen prey to the Amir Sadollah curse. Due to a rib injury suffered in training, he has been forced to pull out of his first post-TUF fight, which was scheduled to be against Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 18 (April 1st, Nashville). Taking Escudero’s place will be Gleison Tibau, the American Top Team fighter who snapped a two-fight losing streak at last month’s UFC Fight Night 17 card with his first-round submission of Rich Clementi. Unfortunately for Stephens, his bout may now be relegated to the undercard in favor of the Tyson Griffin/Rafael Dos Anjos match.

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‘TUF 8′ Standouts Showcased on UFC Fight Night 18 Card

UFC MMA Carlos Condit Martin Kampmann

The UFC has released the finalized lineup and bout order for UFC Fight Night 18, which will go down April 1st at the Sommet Center in Nashville. Leading up to the main event between the WEC’s final welterweight champion Carlos Condit (who has won his last eight fights) and Martin Kampmann (who is 5-1 in the UFC) will be three televised bouts featuring alumni from The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir — all of whom are undefeated in their professional careers.

Lightweight winner Efrain Escudero (11-0) will take on the heavy-handed Jeremy Stephens (14-4), who’s coming off a submission loss to Joe Lauzon at Fight Night 17 earlier this month. The infamous Junie Browning (3-0) will get a big step up in competition when he faces ATT submission specialist and TUF 5 alum Cole Miller (14-3). And in the light-heavyweight division, TUF 8′s 205-pound winner Ryan Bader (8-0) will welcome Carmelo Marrero (10-2) back to the Octagon. The official lineup is below:

MAIN CARD
Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann (WW)
Efrain Escudero vs. Jeremy Stephens (LW)
Ryan Bader vs. Carmelo Marrero (LHW)
Junie Browning vs. Cole Miller (LW)

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Efrain Escudero vs. Jeremy Stephens in April?

Efrain Escudero UFC MMA

Multiple sources are reporting that TUF 8 lightweight winner (and CagePotato guest blogger) Efrain Escudero will take on Jeremy Stephens in an April UFC event. Escudero defeated Phillipe Nover via unanimous decision at last month’s TUF 8 finale, after submitting Ido Pariente, Shane Nelson, and Junie Browning on the show. His pro record currently stands at 11-0, with nine of his wins coming by submission within the first two rounds.

Stephens (14-3, 3-2 UFC) is coming off his monstrous knockout of Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 91 in November. Contrasting with Escudero’s grappling-oriented style, Stephens has taken out most of his opponents with striking, picking up 10 wins via KO/TKO along the way. Still, if Escudero can control Stephens with his wrestling like he did to Nover, Lil Heathen’s punching power won’t be as much of an issue. Could be a great first post-TUF test for Double-E.

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The Potato Index: The Week That Was


(‘Now we go for ice cream!’  Photo courtesy of NBC Sports.)

It was an MMA-tastic week what with the “Fight for the Troops” and the Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale both within a few days of one another, plus a little Adrenaline thrown in the mix.  And while the big boys mostly sat this one out and let the young up-and-comers vie for the spotlight, there were still plenty of gains and losses made.  Now it’s time to sort through the wreckage and see who’s up and who’s down with our arbitrary numerical rating system.

Josh Koscheck +87

Even after putting a hurting on Yoshida, the future is uncertain for Kos.  Is he the best welterweight no one really wants to see all that badly?  

Ryan Bader +102

Wrestler-turned-TUF winner proves he’s got more than just takedowns in his arsenal, going upside Vinny’s head with a big right hand.  Satisfying ending, but let’s see what he can do against a real UFC fighter before we get too excited.

Vinny Magalhaes -48

Trying to prove you can do something other than the thing you do really, really well is admirable, though not all that bright.

Phillipe Nover -19

For a guy who does so many things well, there sure is a huge hole in his game.  I’d get that fixed if I was you.

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UFC Quick Notes: ‘Octagon’ Publicity Assault, Velasquez, Escudero + More

Octagon UFC book MMA

— Those of you who bought the UFC photography book Octagon when it was in its $2,500 limited-edition form are going to be kicking themselves right now. The coffee-table tome is now selling in a scaled-back trade edition for just $40, and UFC fighters will be making appearances this evening at Barnes & Noble locations in 20 cities to sign copies. The full list of cities/guests is here. Biggest name: Chuck Liddell representin’ in his hometown of San Luis Obispo. Smallest name: Eddie Sanchez holdin’ it down in Irvine. Sanchez still has a job? Irvine has bookstores?

— Despite the recent drama between his camp American Kickboxing Academy and the UFC, heavyweight up-and-comer Cain Velasquez will fight next at UFC Fight Night 17 (February 7th; Tampa, FL) against an opponent to be named later. Velasquez is currently 4-0 (2-0 UFC), with all wins coming via first-round TKO.

Royce Gracie will appear as a playable character in the UFC’s upcoming 2009 Undisputed video game (Man, they’re really stretching to find guys who will sign that video game agreement.) Hopefully, other unlockable players in the game will include Art Jimmerson, Bruce Buffer, and the Just Bleed guy.

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TUF 8 Finale: Betting Post-Mortem

Efrain Escudero The Ultimate Fighter TUF 8 MMA UFC
(I owe you a beer, Efrain.)

This Yahoo! MMA Experts post about how favorite-playing bettors got killed at the TUF 8 finale inspired me to share my own experience from the event. On Friday, I opened a BetUS account to do my first-ever fight wagering with real money. (I’d already bet my esophagus on UFC 85, and took heavy losses.) I went easy for my first go-round, spreading $100 over five fights, and wound up losing $25 of it — not awesome for someone who claims to be an expert on this shit. Some highlights:

Biggest Win: Efrain Escudero ($20 bet for $55 profit)
Had we known that Phillipe Nover had no answer for Efrain’s takedowns, he obviously wouldn’t have been such a heavy favorite coming into the fight. Even with what we knew beforehand, I always thought that Nover/Escudero was a toss-up, with both guys carrying equal amounts of talent. I think the betting line fell prey to the "next Anderson Silva, next GSP" hype that was pumping up Nover, and EE’s +275 was too juicy not to take.

Worst “My Fault” Loss: $10 on Jules Bruchez
This kind of dumbassery is how sportsbooks make their money. My thought process was, “Eliot Marshall shouldn’t be -600 against anybody.” But that’s no reason to put cash on the other guy. Bruchez looked hopeless in his quarterfinal loss to Vinny on the show, and I should have known that he’d get owned by another BJJ ace. Still, the idea of turning my ten-spot into $40 was too seductive. What can I say, I’m a rube.

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