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CagePotato Presents: The Ten Most Forgettable Fights of 2011


(Similar to Georges St.Pierre, MMA pundits, and most fans heading into UFC 129, Dana White was looking right past Jake Shields.)

2011 is approaching it’s final hour, Potato Nation, and when we typically take a look back at the year that was, we often lump things in terms of the very best, and more often than not, the very worst. But even though it has been arguably the biggest year in the sport’s History, it hasn’t gone without it’s fair share of snoozefests, sparring matches, and fights that simply didn’t live up to their own hype. For every Rua/Hendo, there was a Torres/Banuelos, so to speak, that kept us from having a full-on Chuck Liddell style freak out. It’s not that these fights made us angry, it’s just that they failed to make us feel anything.

In a way, they were actually a good thing for the sport, as they raised our appreciation for the epic slugfests, the back and forth brawls, and the technical battles to new heights. So it is for these unsung heroes that we bring you The Ten Most Forgettable Fights of 2011, presented in chronological order.

#10: Jacob Volkmann vs. Antonio Mckee

We know what you’re thinking, Potatoites, you’re thinking, “My God, it’s only been a year since this clown (dis)graced the UFC with that performance?” Well the answer is yes, and almost to the exact date. On January 1st at UFC 125, Anthony Mckee made his long awaited debut in the UFC. And when we say “long awaited,” we mean by none other than Mckee himself. You see, Anthony Mckee followed the James Toney method of trolling his way into the UFC through a shitstorm of self absorbed and ridiculous claims, despite only claiming seven finishes in his previous thirty contests. Well, DW took the bait, and threw Mckee humble wrestler and future threat to Homeland Security, Jacob Volkmann, for his big debut.

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‘UFC Fight Night: Shields vs. Ellenberger’ Aftermath: Big Upset in the Big Easy


Our thoughts exactly. Props: MMAMania

Coming into last night’s UFC Fight Night 25, Jake Shields was in a lose-lose situation. He was presented with an opponent, Jake Ellenberger, who was facing his first real step up in competition. A victory over him wouldn’t necessarily propel Shields back to the top of the welterweight division. If Jake Shields lost, well, Jake Shields isn’t going to lose this one so let’s not worry about it. Last night was going to be Jake Shield’s first step towards living up to the hype that surrounded him when he entered the UFC and getting back in the mix for a shot at the welterweight title. There was only one problem: That didn’t happen. In just under one minute, Jake Ellenberger practically ended the Jake Shields era.

This isn’t to say that it’s over for Jake Shields, or that he still can’t work his way back to relevance in the welterweight division. But it’s certainly over for the myth that Jake Shields is still one of the top fighters out there. Last night, Jake Shields couldn’t implement his game plan because Jake Ellenberger was able to stuff his takedown attempts. It wasn’t “What did Shields do wrong”; it was what Ellenberger did right. He was the better fighter, plain and simple. And let’s not entertain the thought of “early stoppage” any more than we had to after hearing Jake Shields imply it last night. When you take a knee directly to the chin, immediately turtle up, and then try to grapple with the referee who pulls your opponent off of you, you have no business saying that the fight was stopped early. If you didn’t think Shields was out when you first watched that fight, watch it again while you still can.

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‘UFC Fight Night: Shields vs. Ellenberger’ — Round-by-Round Results


(Man, you know Dana’s heart isn’t in this one when he can’t even be bothered to put on a funky t-shirt. / Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle. For more photos from this album, click here.)

We told you why you should watch, and we told you how we think it’ll go down. At this point, it’s in God’s hands.

Tonight in New Orleans, Jake Shields and Jake Ellenberger will lock horns in a pivotal welterweight contest. Will Shields shows flashes of his old submission-machine self, or will Ellenberger spoil the party in the Big Easy?

Plus: Middleweights Alan Belcher and Jason MacDonald kick off the main card, and Court McGee and Jonathan Brookins take the next steps in their post-TUF careers. Meanwhile on pay-per-view, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is boxing Victor Ortiz, and hell, maybe we’ll give you updates on that one as well.

Live round-by-round updates from the Spike TV broadcast of “UFC Fight Night: Shields vs. Ellenberger” will be piling up after the jump starting at 9 p.m. ET. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest. Here, we, go.

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Five Reasons to Watch ‘UFC Fight Night 25: Shields vs. Ellenberger’

UFC Fight Night 25 battle on the bayou jake ellenberger jake shields
(McGee vs. Yang, the middleweight showdown that UFC fans have been…wait a minute, remind me again who Yang is?)

Unless you’re one of those Bud Light ‘Battle on the Bayou’ contest winners, you’re probably not overly excited about Saturday’s “Shields vs. Ellenberger” UFC event on Spike. Boxing already has Saturday night locked up, with Floyd Mayweather‘s ring-return against 24-year-old WBC Welterweight champ Victor Ortiz, and it feels like UFC Fight Night 25 will be an overlooked prelude to next week’s Jones vs. Rampage card.

But let’s not admit defeat so soon. We’ll be liveblogging the Shields vs. Ellenberger main card on CagePotato.com starting at 9 p.m. ET, and it would be nice if a few of you showed up to keep us company. Could it be one of those “crap on paper, bonkers in reality” events? Who knows, but consider the following…

All Eyes on Jake: So far, Jake Shields‘s UFC career has consisted of an underwhelming (and razor-thin) split-decision victory over Martin Kampmann, and a rout at the hands of Georges St. Pierre. His dominant stretch of eight-straight stoppage victories in 2006-2009 are a distant memory in the minds of MMA fans, and he needs a dramatic win here, badly. Shields’s dance partner, Jake Ellenberger, has been spent years fighting for recognition, and with four straight Octagon wins over serious competition, he’s starting to get it. Stylistically, the fight might not be a barn-burner, but it could have career-altering implications for the headliners.

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WEC 52 Results: Urijah Faber Kicks Off ‘New Era’ at Bantamweight; Benavidez, Koch Also Dominate


(Faber vs. Mizugaki; fight starts at the 6:59 mark, and the nasty finishing sequence begins at 10:49. Props: borntoride5656. Get a look before it’s pulled…)

In the first phase of its two-part farewell tour, the WEC transcended its lame-duck status with yet another thrilling card last night in Las Vegas. Urijah Faber left no doubt in fans’ minds that he’ll be a force at bantamweight, needing less than one round to take out Takeya Mizugaki in the main event. After a few exchanges contested on the feet and in the clinch, Faber snatched a guillotine, then brilliantly transitioned to Mizugaki’s back to secure a rear-naked choke. Mizugaki gamely tried to defend, but eventually passed out rather than tapping; he was asleep for a solid 10 seconds before referee Josh Rosenthal recognized what was up. The victory earned Faber a $10,000 Submission of the Night bonus, which he vowed to split with his teammate Joseph Benavidez

Following his dominant showing, it appears likely that Faber will get the next bantamweight title shot against the winner of Dominick Cruz vs. Scott Jorgensen at WEC 53. When asked about that matchup following the event, Faber said “[Scott and I] have a good relationship. He’s a guy I helped get into the sport a little bit. We’ve trained a bunch together. He’s mentally tough. I’d rather fight Dominick, but I’m rooting for Scott [to win that fight].”

As for his new home at 135, Faber was psyched: "When I first started fighting there was no 135-pound weight class. So it’s not like I had the choice. I was just the best guy at 145. So now it’s my time to shine down here. I’m at my most competitive weight. It’s my time. It’s a new era baby!"

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