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Six Other Seth Rogen/James Franco Films That Should’ve Been Canceled

Tag: ESPN

CM Punk Defends His UFC Existence on SportsCenter, ESPN MMA Live [VIDEOS]


(Props: Zombie Prophet)

Serious question: Are you guys tired of hearing about CM Punk already? The former WWE superstar (known to his momma as Phil Brooks) has a long road of training ahead of him before he makes his UFC debut sometime next year, but he’s been keeping his name in the streets with some media appearances here and there. Yesterday, he visited the ESPN studios to cut promos — or “interviews,” whatever — for SportsCenter and MMA Live. Some notable quotes from the SC spot…

- “Am I ready [to fight] today? I mean, probably not, but I’d fight anybody right now. Whether that’s a smart decision or not remains to be seen…I used to not be able to walk or swim, and I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but I’m gonna get there, and I’m excited to climb that mountain.”

- “I’m comfortable on the ground. Whether I get taken down and I’m on my back, I’m confident in my ability to stand back up, I’m confident in my jiu-jitsu, and it’s only gonna get better from now until the day I fight.”

- In response to Matt Brown’s recent criticism of his UFC signing: “There’s probably a lot of fighters that are…they’re just upset. And I can understand that, and more power to you, I understand your point of view. My job is to do what’s good for me and my family, and along the way if I change your mind, Matt Brown, awesome.”

- On Vince McMahon and Dana White: “They’re both driven, they’re both set in their ways, they both have an idea of what is best for their company, and everything like that, and I think that’s how they’re the same. How they’re different, I think, is the difference in the generation. Vince is very old-school, Dana is more open-minded, there’s more of a warmth on the UFC side that I’m experiencing. And Dana’s more open-minded, obviously — he hired me.”

- “Listen, there’s always people throughout my entire life who have told me that I can’t do something. Nobody ever thought I would make it to the WWE, nobody ever thought I’d be the champion. And nobody ever thought I’d be in the UFC…and I very much use the negativity that comes my way to fuel me, to prove people wrong.”

The MMA Live video is after the jump.

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Video: Chael Sonnen Breaks Down Fabricio Werdum vs. Mark Hunt on SportsCenter

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for — Chael Sonnen‘s debut appearance as a professional sports-talker on ESPN. In this clip that aired earlier today on SportsCenter, Sonnen breaks down tomorrow night’s UFC 180 main event between Fabricio Werdum and Mark Hunt, answering discussion questions from some random stiff* who mispronounces Werdum’s name, disses Roy Nelson’s gut, and ends the segment by bringing up the return of Brock Lesnar. Actually, that part spurred Chael’s best line:

“I called [Lesnar's] manager Paul Heyman this morning. I said, ‘Paul, it’s Chael. I’ve got a new job on SportsCenter. If you give me a quote regarding Brock, it’ll really make me look good.’ He said ‘Chael,’ and I quote: ‘I’m sleeping,’ and then he hung up.”

* I mean, I’m sure some of you people watch ESPN and know who Chael’s straight-man is, but I don’t, and he’s not worth googling.

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ESPN Hires Chael Sonnen as MMA Analyst; Bad Guy’s New Gig Starts This Friday


(The American Gangster…The Bad Guy…The Stephen A. Smith of cage-fighting?)

Man, talk about failing upward. Four months after being fired from his FOX Sports commentary gig in the wake of two high-profile drug test failures, former UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen has gotten a new broadcast job at a much more prominent sports network. The Associated Press broke the news today that Sonnen has been hired by ESPN as an MMA analyst, and will make his debut this Friday during ESPN’s coverage of UFC 180. That’s right folks, Uncle Chael will now be slingin’ hot takes on the Worldwide Leader. This man is goddamned bulletproof.

“We know Chael has made some mistakes in the past,” ESPN senior coordinating producer Glenn Jacobs told the AP. “He’s been honest. He’s been up-front about it. He has paid for the mistakes that he has made, and he’s moving forward…The insights that he has on the sport and the ways he sees it, our fans are going to be so much better from watching him on the air. They’re going to be able to watch the fight and look for totally different things than they would have otherwise.”

Sonnen expressed gratitude for the opportunity, and made it clear that he wouldn’t sweep his own past under the rug, or minimize the issue of PEDs in the sport:

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[VIDEO] Daniel Cormier Slams “Bully” and “Liar” Jon Jones During ESPN Sportscenter Interview

Mere hours after their media day staredown erupted into an all out brawl, Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier appeared on ESPN’s Sportscenter to issue the standard apologies/continue shit-talking each other, and boy oh boy did the champ change his tune. I mean, literally. For a guy who was nearly inciting a riot during the scuffle and taunting Cormier on Instagram in the moments afterward, Jones sounded as if he was on the verge of falling asleep while atoning on ESPN’s flagship program:

You know, first of all, I’d like to give an apology to the MGM Grand, and all the fans, and all the kids who saw that. Definitely not proud of what happened today. What happened was, we had a face-off, and in the UFC it’s very common to see two athletes get very close in their face-offs; our heads touch, our nose rubs together, it’s very intimate, very passionate moment for a lot of fighters. I’ve actually never had a fighter put his hands on me by squeezing my throat. I reacted in self defense by beating up Daniel.

As you might expect, Cormier was having none of Jones’ patented fakeness and plain creepy understanding of pre-fight faceoffs…

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Sports Illustrated Attempts to Defend the Roundtable that Asked if UFC 162 Was Fixed, Fails Miserably


(SPOILER: No apology is made at any point in the video, which is actually worse than you’re assuming it is.)

In yesterday’s link dump, we shared a video of Dana White’s appearance on ESPN2′s “Highly Questionable” on Wednesday, where he had some harsh things to say about Sports Illustrated. To refresh your memory: Following UFC 162, SI.com published a roundtable discussion that implied that the main event may have been fixed. Watching legitimate, informed journalists debate whether or not a fight was fixed simply because the underdog won would have been cringe-worthy enough, but they took things to a whole new extreme by making it painfully obvious that two out of the three participants in the discussion didn’t even watch the fight. Needless to say, Dana White was not amused, and it showed during his segment on “Highly Questionable.”

There was absolutely no way that Sports Illustrated was going to let one of their biggest rivals trash them like that, so they immediately set out to create the perfect rebuttal. What they came up with was a phone conversation between Maggie Gray and Dana White, and words cannot describe how awkward it was to listen to.

You really have to feel bad for Maggie here. She was asked to defend what was arguably the worst piece of mainstream sports journalism this side of “The Patriots should have known Aaron Hernandez would turn out to be a murderer,” despite the fact that she wasn’t even involved in the discussion. It’s not exactly an enviable position to be in, especially when you’re against one of the most outspoken men in sports.

A quick apology and follow-up interview about the rematch between Weidman and Silva would have been a safe play, but don’t worry, that doesn’t even come close to happening. Instead, Maggie uses the most condescending tone possible while discussing the roundtable that was totally just about combat sports in general (it wasn’t), yet somehow managed to offend Dana White (maybe all that fight fixing stuff). Any remaining doubts that the upcoming interview would be a total clusterfuck are erased when Maggie concludes her opening statement with the MMA-ish non-sequitur “After sparring a few rounds – no one tapped out! -we moved on discussing the rematch between Weidman and Silva.”

Yeah, we’ll be offering play-by play for this one after the jump…

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Photo: Ronda Rousey, Fully Clothed and Loving It on the Cover of ESPN’s 15th Anniversary Edition

There you have it, Nation. Like Dexy’s Midnight Runners before her, it appears that Ronda Rousey’s sophomore effort has failed to live up to her mainstream debut. It deeply saddens us to come to the revelation that her eye-popping debut on last year’s ESPN “Body Issue” will now serve as the ”Come On Eileen” of her career as an ESPN magazine cover girl, but what else could we have expected? The bar was set TOO HIGH, dammit; I personally anticipated nothing less than a giant Cobra, fireworks, paraplegics doing jazz hands, and a Suicide Girl with the words “Soy Bomb” painted on her chest swallowing a sword. But alas, we get elated Pikachu.

My obliterated (and completely unrealistic) expectations aside, it’s good to see “Rowdy” gracing the covers of ESPN: The Magazine again, especially on an issue as big as the mag’s 15th anniversary. Rousey will be featured alongside the likes of Kobe Bryant and Tom Brady when the magazine hits stands this Friday.

But for now, let’s pour (another) one out for Nude Ronda. She came into our lives as quickly as she went, but thanks to the power of print, her memory will forever remain in the annals of history. So it is with this song, Nude Ronda, that we bid you farewell…

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Should We Be Rooting for an MMA Fighter With Down Syndrome?


(Props: Danny Arruda via CP reader Sean McGehee)

Last night’s edition of ESPN’s Sportscenter featured a segment titled “Garrett’s Fight,” about a 23-year-old man with Down syndrome named Garrett Holeve who has transformed his life through MMA. After being introduced to the sport by his father, Holeve committed himself to training at American Top Team, which has become a supportive second-family to him. The segment follows “G-Money” as he prepares for his first amateur fight against “Monster” Mike Wilson, who makes good on his promise to show Holeve what a real punch feels like. Through three tough rounds, Garrett doesn’t quit, and comes out the other side an even stronger person.

For me, the most touching part of the segment is the end, which shows Garrett now working as an instructor at an ATT affiliate that his father purchased, teaching MMA to children and another man with Down syndrome. “Them look up to me as a hero, or as a super man,” Garrett says. “Because them need a super hero.” (Damn…is somebody chopping onions in here?)

But look, we’re not talking about a kid with Down syndrome getting passed a basketball to take a shot during a middle-school game. MMA is a sport where people can get badly injured, and Garrett’s story is inherently controversial. As Garrett’s father puts it, “I’ve had family members that just said to me that I’m crazy. They’ve lost respect for me as a parent from the fact that I’m allowing this to happen.” Meanwhile, Zach Arnold at Fight Opinion sees this as just the latest in a long line of questionable decisions by Florida’s athletic commission As Arnold writes:

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By the Way, Anderson Silva Has No Chance of Winning That ESPN ‘Greatest Athlete of All Time’ Bracket


(Props: ESPN Sportsnation)

Ready to get your hearts broken again, MMA fans? ESPN’s SportsCenter and Sport Science programs are collaborating on a new Greatest Athlete of All Time bracket, in which legendary athletes from 16 different sports go head-to-head based on a “unique metric that factors in attributes such as speed, power, reaction time and more.” Naturally, the MMA representative is UFC middleweight deity Anderson Silva, whose astounding 16-0 record in the UFC includes 10 consecutive title defenses.

Let’s get one thing straight: Anderson Silva is not going to win this little competition. To advance out of the first round, he’ll have to beat Olympic swimming golden boy Michael Phelps, and if by some miracle he pulls that off, he’ll face the winner of Michael Jordan vs. Tiger Woods in the quarterfinals. Silva is just a patsy here. Roadkill. A half-assed nod to fans of a fringe sport. To demonstrate how little ESPN cares about us, here’s how Sport Science host John Brenkus sums up Silva’s career:

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Go Behind-the-Scenes of Jon Jones’ Cavalcade of Interviews on ESPN [VIDEO]


(For the last time, I don’t know where any WMD’s are, and would appreciate if you stopped asking me questions taken from Chael’s Twitter account.)

For those of you who still think the life of a UFC champion is little more than punching dudes and collecting a paycheck, it might sadden you to see this behind-the-scenes video of Jon Jones‘ day at ESPN studios, which contained no less than a hundred and fifteen interviews over the course of a few hours. Seriously, Jones spent more time answering questions under a heat lamp than a person of interest, who he is ironically beginning to look like with that beard.

All kidding aside, the pure number of interviews Jones has to deal with in a day is probably a facet of his personality that many people don’t consider when lobbing their hate at him. When you’re trying not to look stupid hour after hour — and in front of millions of people nonetheless — you will eventually jumble your words, your thoughts, and have said words and thoughts misinterpreted by the strangers who are interviewing you left and right. It’s not exactly an easy process to get used to, especially when you lack the freakish confidence of a Chael Sonnen, a Floyd Mayweather, or a Deion Sanders, and you can see that Bones still gets a little nervous when trying to take it all in. Hence why he could not correctly answer which NFL-playing brother of his had which birthday, or what bone connects your shoulder to your elbow (which honestly would have stumped 99% of American audiences if Jay Leno was the one asking the question.)

We’re not saying that Jones should be completely forgiven for his repeatedly poor choices of words, we’re just saying that, given enough time spent stepping on eggshells and answering the same mind-numbing questions over and over, most of us would probably comes off as unlikable too.

Video after the jump.

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Jon Jones Doesn’t Want to Fight Lyoto Machida, if That’s Cool with Everyone


Five rounds against Machida could save you five percent or more on UFC PPVs.

As flawless as UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones has looked inside the Octagon, he’s looked just as imperfect outside of it. There’s his unchecked arrogance, his “You never have to worry about me with a DWI or doing something crazy” comment just weeks before his DUI arrest and his brutal honesty about potential opponents. Basically, Jon Jones does everything in his power outside of the cage to make it hard for most fans to celebrate his in-sport accomplishments.

Which is why most of you won’t be too surprised to learn that just two weeks before his Light-Heavyweight title defense against the legendary Dan Henderson at UFC 151, Jones had some pretty harsh words for his next opponent, Lyoto Machida. In an interview with ESPN.com, Jones stated that “The Dragon” doesn’t deserve a rematch with him, not so much because he isn’t a competent fighter, but because Machida won’t get the fans to buy pay-per-views. In his own words:

“I don’t want to fight Lyoto Machida. He was my lowest pay-per-view draw of last year. No one wants to see me fight Lyoto Machida. I don’t want to fight Lyoto again. Lyoto is high risk and low reward. He’s a tough fighter, but no one wants to buy that fight.

Quote continued after the jump

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