MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: ESPN

[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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Ronda Rousey Will Be the Next Naked MMA Star in ESPN’s ‘Body Issue’



(Upon hearing the news, Tito Ortiz leaked another dick-pic.)

According to a new report from MMAJunkie, Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will be appearing sans-clothing in ESPN’s next “Body Issue,” which is convenient since we spend so much time picturing her naked anyway. The Body Issue’s parade of naked athletes has previously included Gina Carano (nice!), Jon Jones (not my cup of tea, but whatever!), and Evangelista and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos (FUUUUUUUU-). Look out for the mag sometime this fall.

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Video: ESPN Attacks UFC Fighter Pay on ‘Outside the Lines’; UFC Releases Unaired Footage in Response

So here’s that ESPN Outside the Lines piece that got Dana White so hot and bothered. Even before it aired yesterday morning, the segment — and accompanying feature article by Josh Gross — drew criticism for its reliance on anonymous sources (as well as Ken Shamrock, who’s not exactly unbiased), and for downplaying the reality of the UFC’s business model, in which fighters are paid handsomely for performing well and drawing a crowd. Should a new UFC prospect deserve to make as much as an NFL player simply because he’s signed to the UFC? Lorenzo Fertitta doesn’t think so: “[L]ike any other company in America…You have to perform, to be able to get compensated.” There is also some mis-representation in the UFC’s $6,000/$6,000 system of payment for prospects (skip to the 5:03 mark), which ESPN seems to believe applies to all fighters who enter the promotion.

The segment does make a couple of solid points, pointing to the lack of a Muhammad Ali Act in MMA, and explaining that athletes in other major sports leagues are so well paid because they get 50% of the leagues’ revenues — while the UFC, according to “multiple sources” (all anonymous, of course), pays closer to 10% of its revenue to the fighters. Lorenzo Fertitta disputes this, saying it’s “in the neighborhood” of 50%, but since the UFC won’t disclose exactly what they’re earning (or exactly what they’re paying out to fighters, for that matter), it’s impossible to come away with a clear answer to this question.

Check it out and let us know what you think. After the jump, some unaired footage from the interview released yesterday by the UFC, in which Fertitta explains that the lowest-paid UFC fighter earns about ten times more than the lowest-paid boxer who fights on ESPN, so suck it.

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ESPN Segment On UFC Salaries to Air Sunday Morning; UFC to Counter By Releasing Unedited Lorenzo Fertitta Interview


(“If they aren’t with us, they’re against us, and in that case we will crush them.”)

The much ballyhooed ESPN: Outside the Lines (which we originally erroneously identified as E:60) episode dealing with UFC salaries and the assertion that the promotion is becoming a monopoly will air Sunday morning on the sports network and Dana White says he’s looking forward to it.

According to the UFC president, the company is preparing to counter-program the show with the uncut and unedited version of the interview with UFC chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta to expose ESPN and the outlet’s main MMA analyst Josh Gross, who contributed to the episode.

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