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Tag: fighter interview

Jon Jones Wants You to Know That He is the *Real* Victim of All This UFC 182 Fight Hype


(“Hey pussy, are you still there?” via…who are we kidding, it’s already been taken down.)

The lead-up to Jon Jones‘ title tilt with Daniel Cormier at UFC 182 has been an unusually heated affair for the long-standing light heavyweight champion. While we’ve seen Jones irked in the past, we’ve never seen him break kayfabe in the form of a full-on fist fight at a press conference before, which usually marks the beginning of a new chapter in a person’s life. The beef between Bones and Cormier appears to be legitimate and has earned the matchup a ton of additional eyes, so it would be a huge mistake on the UFC’s part *not* to use this hate-filled storyline to market the fight, right? Especially while in the midst of a(nother) pay-per-view slump?

The Grudge Match™ has been one of the most reliable marketing gimmicks of the Zuffa era — second only to “If ___ beats ___, then pound-for-pound.” — and surely a scheme that will likely earn Jones a hefty bump in his cut of the PPV revenue. But according to the champ himself, all the money in the world isn’t worth everyone knowing that he is a two-faced, fakey fakerson. (Ed note: Sorry, my 7-year-old nephew is in town for the holidays and keeps jacking my laptop.)

As Bones recently told UFC Tonight (via MMAMania):

When I first saw [the now infamous ad for UFC 182] I was a little offended by it. That UFC — someone who is supposed to be backing my brand and making me look good — would put up something like that for the general public to see. I don’t think it’s really healthy for the world to see their champion — for the world to see UFC’s champion — saying I would kill someone. That really took me off guard. I didn’t really think it was in my best interest, but it was for UFC’s best interest, so I kind of had to swallow my pride. I said it.

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Quotes of the Day: Anderson Silva Drops Truth Bombs About Racism, Homosexuality, and Police Brutality


(This guy? Gay? Who would ever dare imply as much?)

Anderson Silva was about as soft-spoken a champion — both figuratively and quite literally — as the UFC has ever had (except for maybe the guy who replaced him). He rarely used his words as a marketing tool, he refrained from trash talk even in the face of extreme duress, and he spoke through manager Ed Soares more often than not. On the rare occasions Silva did speak, it was usually to troll the MMA media with talks of a superfight, his retirement, etc., which is hard to blame him for when you realize just how misinformed the average MMA journalist is.

In a recent interview with Trip magazine (via Fightland), however, Silva spoke candidly about such topics as the racism he experienced growing up in Curitiba, homosexuality in MMA, and the wave of police brutality against minorities that has struck his native Brazil (among other places). While we’ve always know Anderson to be an incredibly intelligent man, the interview shed some major light on his much concealed past and how it has shaped him as a forward-thinking martial artist today.

Just take the answer he gave when asked whether racism was worse in Brazil or the United States, for instance:

Racism is bad anywhere on the planet…I tend to say that conflict is inevitable in man, that color is just an excuse to unleash that madness, that lack of respect people have for one another. I’m very well set on this racism thing. We’re living in a moment in which racism does not fit in the world. 

For the record, my vote is that it’s worse in America. (*dodges beer bottle from man screaming “Giiiit out!”*) 

After the jump: Silva drops some equally brilliant truth bombs on police brutality in Brazil, and waxes poetic about whether or not he might wake up gay one day.

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Wanderlei Silva Still Living in a World of Delusion, Calls Out Dan Henderson for Trilogy Match


(On second thought, we could probably watch this again.)

Poor Wanderlei Silva. In the past few months, the former PRIDE legend has engaged in a pattern of self-destructive behavior that saw him start a brawl with Chael Sonnen on the set of TUF Brazil 3, then refuse to actually fight Sonnen, then agree to fight Sonnen only to literally run away from his random pre-fight drug test, leading to the cancellation of the bout. Even his own country has turned its back on him, and Brazilians are nothing if not fiercely loyal motherf*ckers. Poor, poor Wanderlei Silva.

None of these missteps have had any impact on Silva himself, mind you. While we are *still* awaiting word as to the length of Silva’s suspension for said skipped drug test, “The Axe Murderer” has continued to call out guys like Luke Rockhold as if nothing has happened at all. But with Rockhold too busy tearing down Michael Bisping and Vitor Belfort* at every possible opportunity, Wanderlei has been forced to shift his sights elsewhere. More specifically, to Dan Henderson, whom Silva split a pair of contests with in his PRIDE heyday:

It’s not news that I want to face Vitor Belfort or Chael Sonnen. But Dan Henderson is another guy that I want to fight, it’s a viable possibility. We’re 1-1 tied and it would be nice to have a tiebreaker of our score. In my last fight at PRIDE, I lost my belt to him and I couldn’t have a rematch because we left. If this fight happens, I’ll ask him to bring the belt so the winner can have it after the fight.

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After Unfavorable Portrayal in Season 18, Ronda Rousey Claims She “No Longer Supports” The Ultimate Fighter


(A vote against wholesome, quality entertainment like this is a vote against America, IMHO.)

It would be hard to deny that the MMA commentsphere’s seething hatred of all things Ronda Rousey was ever more intense than during her coaching gig on The Ultimate Fighter 18. Whether it was her brash personality, her wild mood swings, or her inability to be humble in victory or classy in defeat, it’s safe to say that “Rowdy” rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way by the time TUF had finished taping. Not that affected her ability to kick ass in the slightest, because well, Rousey is the kind of crazy that cannot be phased by unfavorable media coverage. Or trash-talk. Or the skillset of 99% of her opponents.

In any case, Rousey recently spoke with Sportsnet about her time on the show, and when the discussion shifted to the “infamous” brawl between Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen on this season’s TUF Brazil, the women’s champ revealed that not even she supports the reality show that many feel has long overstayed its welcome:

I don’t watch ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ now that I know how much bull is in it. I don’t support it.

They don’t know the first thing about fighting. They only know about reality TV and they treated us like we were ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ and not elite athletes that should be respected. 

You hear that? Ronda Rousey just sort-of referred to Miesha Tate as an “elite athlete.” Can we all forgive her for that whole handshake diss now?

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Following Back-to-Back KO Losses, Martin Kampmann Announces His Hiatus From MMA


(What, and miss out on all the fun times like these?)

Earlier today, we learned how fighters like James Te Huna deal with a pair of tough losses, by dropping a weight class to save their career. Now, we bring you another increasingly popular solution amongst MMA fighters faced with temporary setbacks: The Hiatus.

That’s right, longtime UFC welterweight and one of the most exciting fighters in the sport’s history, Martin Kampmann, is taking an extended break from MMA. Having just celebrated his ten year anniversary as a professional, Kampmann told MMAJunkie radio that he needs some time to fully recover from the tough (T)KO losses he has suffered in his past two fights with Johny Hendricks and Carlos Condit, stating:

I’ve had a lot of tough fights, and even the ones I win, I sometimes make them tough for myself. I’m just taking a long break. No rush to get back in the cage. Let my body recover and get good.

I enjoy fighting, but I’ve just had my 10-year anniversary as a professional fighter. I feel a little burned out right now. That’s why I’m taking a break. I don’t want to get in there unless I feel like it. I love training, I love fighting, but I want to have the fire again to go in. If I don’t have the fire, then I think that means I need to take a break.

Personally, I feel the worst for Kampmann’s surgeon, who is definitely not going to be able to afford that four bedroom villa in the Palisades now that his most popular client has decided to stop visiting him every month or so. #1percentproblems

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[VIDEO] So Chris Weidman’s Older Brother Sounds Like a Really Nice Guy


(Props: Bobby Razak via r/MMA.)

Chris Weidman and I have a lot in common. We’re both the second of three children, we’re both from New York…OK, so maybe we don’t have a lot in common, but as middle children, we’re both prone to feelings of neglect, isolation, and underappreciation from those closest to us.

They call it Middle Child Syndrome, and it ranks right up there with Restless Leg Syndrome on the list of completely made up afflictions. But where I was lucky enough to grow up with an older brother who would only kick my ass when I rightfully deserved it (Christmas, birthday, bar mitzvah, etc.), it seems that Weidman’s older brother was less a neglectful-yet-guiding figure in his upbringing and more a bitter, sociopathic sicko hell bent on ensuring his misery.

Listening to Weidman recount some of the more horrific beatings he endured at the hands of his brother — which included having a weight thrown at his head, being dropped from a tree and getting stomped by his brother’s friends on “Freshman Friday” — is sickening to say the least. Perhaps even sadder than the fact that many of these beatings ended in Weidman being hospitalized, however, was the following admission:

My brother definitely had a history of beating me up and abusing me. He was a badass dude…If he had your back, you didn’t have to worry about a thing…unfortunately for me, he didn’t have my back a lot growing up. I guess he didn’t like me that much, so he’d beat the crap out of me and made other people beat me up. 

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All Russian People(‘s Names) Are The Same According to Rafael Dos Anjos(‘s Manager)


(All the same? Where would someone even *get* such an idea?)

Having logged over 2000 man-hours on GoldenEye for the N64, I can state with confidence that I am something of an expert on Russian culture. For those of you who have not heard of this mythical land, Russia is basically the Florida of Eurasia, a borderline uninhabitable wasteland where only the craziest, meanest, tooth-and-nailiest sonsabitches gather to grow beards and trade fisticuffs. Gaining entrance to Russia requires the exact same right of passage as The Salty Spitoon – no passport is necessary, they just ask you how tough you are and you better have the right goddamn answer.

And the people who actually choose to live there? Stoic, hard-nosed mountain men who chug despair and consume the weak all. Oh, you say you’re celebrating your birthday, 63-year old man? Fuck you, turn down the music or I break your face. These are a people who willingly eat lampreys. Lampreys, you guys.

Having spent a lot of (virtual) time in Russia, I have grown accustomed to the stereotypical light in which Russians are oft regarded by outsiders (*ahem*). So when I found out that Rafael Dos Anjos had only agreed to fight Rustam Khabilov at UFC 170 because he thought Khabilov was the UFC’s other Russian, Khabib Nurmagomedov, I was as outraged as you would imagine.

But that’s what happened, at least according to the Brazilian’s recent interview with Globo:

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[EXCLUSIVE] Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal Talks His Heated Rematch with Emanuel Newton, Balancing Pro-Wrestling and MMA + More


(Photo via Bellator.)

By Elias Cepeda

Bellator light heavyweight Muhammed Lawal remembers the moment when the switch flipped for him regarding Emanuel Newton. Before they fought this past February at Bellator 90, the former training partners were respectful of one another in public statements.

After Newton shocked Lawal and the world with a spinning backfist KO in the first round, however, “The Hardcore Kid” began to suggest that Lawal had simply received his comeuppance for being cocky. To Lawal, who says he made an effort to not trash talk Newton because of their mutual friend Antonio McKee, it was a criticism that came out of nowhere and it created harder feelings than simply losing had engendered.

“A friend told me that [Newton] had said I was cocky and got what I deserved in an interview and I was like, ‘what?’” Newton remembers. (Ed note: I’d like to think it was one of those extended, overly-dramatic “Say WHAAAAAAAAT?” kind of whats. I’m not even here. -Danga)

It’s not that Lawal is unaware of how he comes off when he saunters into the ring or cage wearing a crown and a cape, it’s just that he didn’t expect to be called that after a fight where he’d made a special effort to not do much trash-talking.

“I don’t know what he’s doing. Maybe he’s trying to play to the media so they can write about him, but I didn’t go into that fight cocky and I didn’t fight cocky. I know the mistake I made in that fight and it was a mistake I’d made before and was working on.”

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Attn Joe Silva: Mike Pierce is Sick of Being Matched Up Against “Desperate Cheaters” Like Rousimar Palhares


(How could you ever forget the guy who dresses like his opponents during public appearances? Photo via Getty.)

We only briefly touched upon this, but there’s a head-scratcher of a fight going down at this weekend’s Fight Night: Shields vs. Maia event, and we’re not just talking about the main event. In the welterweight division, Rousimar Palhares will undergo a last ditch weight cut to save his career when he takes on Mike Pierce. The former has dropped two consecutive contests by way of (T)KO. The latter is currently riding a four-fight win streak with two of those wins coming by way of (T)KO. It is…an odd matchup.

This fact has not been lost on Pierce, who in a recent interview with ESPN, vented his frustrations in regards to the oft misunderstood Joe Silva and the quality of his recent opponents. He also called Palhares a desperate, cheater asshole, but we’ll get to that later:

ESPN: That kind of matchmaking starting to bother you? 

Pierce: Of course, I’m p—ed off. I want to start getting those main card fights against notable guys. Palhares has fought some tough guys. He’s got a little bit of credence to his name but I want to start working my up. This guy is coming off two losses and I’m on a 4-fight win streak. Typically, they don’t match up guys like that. 

Maybe I need to get a big pitcher of beer for Joe and sit down and hash this out. No, it’s just one of those things where I have to keep doing what I’m doing until they can’t ignore me anymore. 

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[EXCLUSIVE] Clay Guida: The Talent of Hard Work

Clay Guida UFC
(Photo via, you guessed it, Heavy.com)

By Elias Cepeda

Whether or not he’ll admit it, Clay Guida hates being an underdog. It isn’t that the featherweight doesn’t enjoy proving people wrong – he does.

It’s the underestimation that bothers him. Most of his UFC wins have come over opponents who were favored over him before he broke them down and beat them. Even before his UFC career began back in 2006, Guida’s opponents were regularly favored over him.

The assumption that he is an “over-achiever” that has to defy our low expectations just to win smacks Guida like a backhanded compliment time and time again. He’s too polite to get visibly angry when the term has been brought up but in the past, but he’s made it clear to this writer that he doesn’t think of himself in that way. After about a decade of “over-achieving,” Clay would prefer if we simply started referring to him as the elite MMA fighter he truly is. On Saturday, Guida will once again be considered the underdog when he fights former featherweight title challenger Chad Mendes.

Like Guida, Mendes is a wrestler, but he is a more decorated amateur one. Like Guida, Mendes is happy to go wild and throw strikes on the feet, but the Californian has been putting people out with his shots. Both men are obviously in the same weight class, but Mendes would appear to be the more physically imposing, stronger fighter.

Mendes’ only career loss was a shocking one to division champion Jose Aldo. Since that fight, Mendes has won three straight fights by knockout. At some point, in some way, every successful fighter must be a giant in his or her own mind. And in his mind, Guida is the clear favorite in his UFC 164 match up with Mendes.

“Chad is a great wrestler,” Clay admits to me one afternoon a month ago from his New Mexico training camp.

“But we are going to show him what Midwest wrestling is all about. It is a whole different beast. It is just scraping, driving non-stop, relentless and winning scrambles.”

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