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Tag: featherweights

Urijah Faber’s Latest Comeback, And the Mystery of Creating New UFC Stars Under 155 Pounds


(Urijah Faber was the UFC’s biggest “little” star when the 145- and 135-pounders entered the promotion three years ago — and not much has changed since then. / Photo via Getty)

By Adam Martin

This past weekend at UFC on FOX 9, for the eighth time in eight UFC fights, Urijah Faber was on a fight poster for a UFC card as one of the main three fights of the night — an absolute rarity for any sub-155 pound fighter. The card, which took place in Faber’s backyard of Sacramento, California, marked the fifth time Faber has either headlined or co-headlined a UFC event in the nearly three years he’s been with the promotion.

Not only is Faber the only sub-155′er to be featured on eight fight posters, but he’s also only one of three to be featured in five or more main or co-main events of UFC cards, along with UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.

However, unlike Johnson, who has fought mostly on free TV, only Faber and Aldo have appeared in more than one pay-per-view main or co-main event, with Faber having headlined two thus far and Aldo three.

According to Wikipedia, there are currently 419 fighters signed to the UFC, not including the recently-added women’s strawweights. 126 of those fighters are part of the UFC featherweight, bantamweight, and flyweight divisions. Including women’s bantamweight fighters, 144 fighters currently signed to the UFC are part of the sub-155 pound weight classes.

My math skills aren’t great, but that should mean that 34% of UFC fighters are either 145, 135, or 125 pounds. And yet, for some reason, despite over a third of the roster fighting in these weight classes, only two of those 144 fighters have headlined two or more UFC pay-per-view cards, despite the UFC having featured 42 PPV events over the last three years since the little guys merged over from the WEC in late 2010 (not including UFC 124, which only featured lightweights and above).

How can this be?

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[EXCLUSIVE] Bellator Champ Pat Curran Is Making the Most of His Short Window of Opportunity


(“The goal was to make a good living doing this and I’m already there. I want to see how far I can take it.” Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

By Elias Cepeda

Of late, much of the big news that comes from Bellator has to do with contract clauses and disputes, lawsuits and high-profile cancellations. Because of that, one can imagine it being difficult for a marquee Bellator fighter like Pat Curran to focus on simply doing his job well.

However, the featherweight champion insists that he doesn’t keep up on other people’s news and stays focused on what matters — fighting. “I don’t like to think about it too much,” he tells CagePotato.

“As a fighter I have a very short career window and I have to make the most of where I’m at right now. I’m on a main stage with a major organization that gives me the opportunity to stay busy and make a pretty decent living.”

Having a tough opponent in front of you can help a fighter keep focused as well and Curran has exactly that this Saturday at Bellator 106 when he defends his belt against Bellator Season 6 tournament winner Daniel Straus.

“He’s very talented and very well rounded,” Curran says of the challenger.

“He throws a lot of straight, long punches and follows up with kicks. He does a very good job mixing up striking with wrestling. He’s good at clinching with guys and wearing them out. I’m definitely not just expecting a striking fight like I had with ‘Pitbull’ [Patricio Freire]. I’m prepared for anything. If it becomes a striking match, I’m ready for it. If it goes to the ground, I’m ready to mix it up.”

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Confusing Quote of the Day: Anthony Pettis Says His Drop to Featherweight is “Only Temporary”


(Also temporary? Pettis’ time as a Cake Boss Intern.) 

It is no understatement to say that the upcoming featherweight title fight between Anthony Pettis and Jose Aldo has divided, confused, and outright angered many fans of the sport. It’s a fight that is all but guaranteed to wind up on your best-of-the-year list, sure, but it’s also Pettis’ first fight at featherweight, as well as Aldo’s second straight title defense against a guy who built his reputation in an entirely different weight class. It’s at this point that we’d normally reference Chael Sonnen vs. Jon Jones, the baffling randomness at which title shots are being handed out, the fragility of human life, etc. But we’re tired, you guys. Damn tired…*cries into shot glass* *drinks own tears*

And now, adding to the confusion is none other than Pettis himself, who recently stated in an interview with The NY Post that his drop to featherweight “isn’t permanent.” Uh….the fuck?

A lot of things led to my cutting down to 145. I was tired of waiting for a 155 pound title shot. 

It’s not a permanent weight cut (to featherweight). But a striker like myself and Aldo, it doesn’t really matter what weight class it happens at. It’s going to be fireworks either way. 

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Barnburner Alert: Ricardo Lamas vs. Chan Sung Jung Booked for UFC 162 in a Battle of Top Contenders


(“Don’t worry, Leonard, if this doesn’t fix your aching back, it will probably just break it.” Photo courtesy of Getty Images.)

Two featherweights who have long since punched their tickets to a title shot are set to face off at UFC 162. Of course, now that Jose Aldo is fighting #1 lightweight contender Anthony Pettis and receiving a lightweight title shot if he is successful, we should probably assume that both the winner and loser of this fight will be sitting in title shot purgatory for at least a few months. So hooray for that.

That being the case, we should still prepare for one epic clash when top featherweight contenders Chan Sung Jung and Ricardo Lamas meet at UFC 162, which transpires at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on July 6th.

We haven’t seen Jung in action since he submitted fellow top contender Dustin Poirier in a Fight of the Night, Submission of the Night, and Fight of the Year-earning performance back at UFC on FUEL 3 last May, as he was forced to undergo shoulder surgery shortly thereafter. Lamas, on the other hand, has been picking off contenders ever since entering the UFC. With victories over Cub Swanson, Hatsu Hioki, and most recently one-time title hopeful Erik Koch at UFC on Fox 6, it would be almost impossible to claim that Lamas hasn’t earned his shot should he best the South Korean.

Who do you like for this one, Potato Nation?

After the jump: Some highlights from Jung and Poirier’s FOTY scrap, as well as Lamas’ destruction of Koch.

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CagePotato Databomb #4: Breaking Down the UFC Featherweights by Striking Performance


(Click chart for full-size versionFor previous Databombs, click here.)

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

Last week, we started our series on UFC strikers by breaking down the smallest division in key striking metrics. This week, in time for the Featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar at UFC 156, we’ll look at the 145’ers. A full explanation of the chart and variables is included below.

The Winners

Sniper Award: Cub Swanson has been on a roll lately and tops out as the division’s most accurate striker, landing 37% of his power head strike attempts. For perspective, that’s bordering on Anderson Silva-type accuracy, at least statistically. This has helped Swanson win three straight in the UFC, all by (T)KO, and pick up two straight Knockout of the Night bonuses.

Energizer Bunny Award: Southpaw Erik Koch has more than doubled the striking output of his opponents. But that wasn’t enough to stop the ground Hellbows from Ricardo Lamas on last Saturday’s FOX card. There’s no doubt about Koch’s skills, he’ll just have to wait longer to test them against the current champ.

Biggest Ball(s) Award: Andy Ogle may cry a lot when he’s away from home, but no one should doubt the size of his, ahem, heart. Though he dropped a split decision in his UFC debut against Akira Corassani, he managed to knock down the Swede despite landing only two solid strikes to the head. He’d better improve his accuracy and pull the trigger more often if he hopes to get past the similarly gun-shy yet powerful Josh Grispi at UFC on FUEL 7 next month. Other notable featherweights with knockdown power include Koch, Aldo, Dennis Siver and Dennis Bermudez.

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Frankie Edgar Faces Reality, Will Drop to Featherweight for Next Fight


(Props: fueltv)

Following his second heartbreaking decision loss to Ben Henderson, former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar has made the decision to drop to featherweight. The news was broken by Ariel Helwani yesterday on FUEL TV’s UFC Tonight. Since he reportedly walks around at less than 160 pounds, it’ll be a much more competitive division for Edgar, who has generally been out-sized in the Octagon, sometimes significantly. Of course, when Edgar began his UFC career in February 2007, featherweight wasn’t even an option.

Edgar is looking at December for his 145-pound debut, against an opponent to be named later. Though Frankie will likely have to win at least one fight before getting a crack at the title, featherweight champion Jose Aldo — who fights Erik Koch in October — is already laying the groundwork for a heated rivalry. As “Scarface” told Tatame:

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Could Frankie Edgar Be Jose Aldo’s Mystery Opponent for UFC 147?


(Don’t worry, Frankie, there will be plenty more where that came from.) 

We know, we know, Frankie Edgar has already convinced Dana White to give him his rematch with newly crowned champ Ben Henderson sometime this summer, but hear us out. DW stated at the Silva/Sonnen II press conference earlier today that the UFC was looking for a way to move UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo from his bout against a to-be-determined opponent at UFC 149 to UFC 147. Combine that notion with the fact that White has long been rallying for Edgar to drop to 145 for an immediate title shot, and things start to get interesting, Potato Nation. Very interesting.

Take this tidbit from Edgar’s interview with MMAFighting, for instance, in which he says that the drop to 145 is “inevitable”, especially if Aldo’s name comes up:

We’ll see what the future holds, but I think it’s inevitable that I’ll eventually get down there. I just don’t know when. I’m all about fighting big fights, and fighting the best guys, and Jose Aldo’s one of them. We’ll see where it’s at, whether it’s at 145 or 155.

Considering that Edgar has never even shown a slight interest in dropping to 145, that’s all the confirmation we’re going to need. Start making your picks, ’cause this shit is going down.

More from the interview awaits you after the jump. 

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Judge Tries to Defend 30-27 Verdict for Joe Warren, Only Makes It Worse

(No really, if you squint you might think he is *is* Dana White. Pic: ProMMANow)

In general, we feel like the following situation happens a lot in MMA circles: A guy will do something kind of shitty or controversial – thereby causing a minor internet eruption – and then in his effort to “explain” or “clear the air” or “apologize” he comes out with a bunch of statements that actually make the initial infraction seem much worse. Such is the case with MMA judge Chuck Wolfe, who this week tried to clarify to MMA Fighting the inexplicable 30-27 win he awarded Joe Warren over Marcos Galvao last weekend at Bellator 41. In doing so, Wolfe actually made a string of comments we found far stranger than the decision itself.

The veteran judge’s defense of how he scored the bout essentially proceeded along three tracks: One, he knows more about this than you do. Two, that MMA judges have to score the fight for somebody, right? And three, the fighters shouldn’t have left it in the hands of the judges. All pretty scary stuff, once you really start to think about it. All told, it just kind of makes you want to politely nudge Wolfe and say, “Chuck. Just, you know, shut up.” After the jump, you’ll find the quotes themselves. Be prepared to get mad.

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Bellator XXVII, Where the Wind Comes to Sweep You Off Your Base

“It’s always darkest just before the dawn.  Also during a knockout.”

Another day at the office for those tournament-throwin’ characters in Bellator, with an earlier start time meant to stay out of Big Daddy Zuffa’s sun and results guaranteed to make us look like we have no friggin’ clue what we’re talking about.  For the record, the CagePotato picks for the featherweight quarterfinals in Concho, Oklahoma were Larkin, Reis, Karakhanyan, and Straus.  So who’s up, who’s down, and who choked?  If necessary, re-introduce yourselves to the 145ers, then come on in for quick results from the event.

Just don’t mention last night’s UFC event.  Some of us are wearing our Pride shirts in mourning.

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Sengoku Death Watch: Marlon Sandro Signs with Bellator

(If you thought we were going to pass up the opportunity to post a Wu Tang-infused Marlon Sandro highlight vid, well, you must be new around here. Vid: YouTube/Meyer124)

Former Sengoku featherweight champion Marlon Sandro – believed to be the second-best 145-pounder not currently under the UFC umbrella – has signed a deal with Bellator Fighting Championships and will make his American debut sometime in 2011, according to multiple internet reports out on Wednesday. Sandro’s exodus comes amid news that Sengoku is granting releases to fighters who ask for them, probably signaling that the Japanese promotion’s prolonged death spasm is nearing its end.

Sandro is currently ranked in the featherweight Top 10 on any list worth its salt. Though he lost his Sengoku title to Hatsu Hioki in late December he’ll make a stellar addition for the newly MTV-friendly Bellator. The promotion crowned Joe Warren it’s 145-pound champ after his come-from-behind victory over Joe Soto in September and you’d have to think Sandro immediately becomes No. 1 contender. Some pontificating on what it all means after the jump.

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