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CagePotato Exclusive Interview: ‘Mini Megaton’ Mackenzie Dern Looks to Make Her Mark at Metamoris II


(Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Competitor Mackenzie Dern | Photo GracieMag)

By Elias Cepeda

[Ed. note: This is the second in a series of interviews with the fighters and promoters behind Metamoris II: Gracie vs. Aoki, which goes down June 9th in Los Angeles. Stay tuned for more, and follow Metamoris on Facebook and Twitter for important event updates. You can purchase tickets right here.]

I’ve got two stories about Rickson and Royler Gracie black belt Wellington “Megaton” Dias. One is a first-hand story and the other was passed on to me through others in the gym when I was growing up. Both are short and teach a simple lesson – “Megaton” is a skilled, mean, junkyard dog.

During the summer of 2000, I went to Los Angeles to watch the second Rickson Gracie International Jiu Jitsu Invitational. There were tournaments for all belt levels as well as “super fights” between black belt stars of the day. Dias took part in one of those featured bouts against another black belt. It is just as well that I don’t remember his opponent’s name because I’m sure he doesn’t enjoy this story being told. In short, Dias made that other elite black belt look like an amateur - putting him on his back, keeping him there, and basically toying with the guy from mount for the majority of the scrap. In short, it kinda looked like this. It was almost a worse way of losing than getting submitted in ten seconds. Dias dominated his nameless opponent for an entire match. Dias’ display is still the best single argument for a slaughter rule in Jiu Jitsu matches that I’ve ever seen.

The second-hand story I know of “Megaton” goes roughly like this; the Brazilian was brought to a Midwest town to conduct a Jiu Jitsu seminar — the timeframe escapes me. The people who paid the seminar fee more than likely did so because of Dias’ renowned skills, in hopes that the Professor would teach them some tricks. How wrong they were.

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Suicidal Call Outs of the Day: Akira Corassani Wants Conor McGregor, Anthony Perosh Wants Vinny Magalhaes

Famed Miami S.W.A.T. team leader Rick Smith (RIP) was once famously quoted on the difference between bravery and courage and offered the following words of wisdom: “Bravery is when you do something dangerous and you’re not even scared. Courage is when you’re smart enough to know that you should be scared, BUT YOU DO IT ANYWAY.” Ten seconds later, he met his demise via one insanely elusive hand grenade. And while we’re not sure if the next two gentlemen we’re about to discuss are brave or courageous, we do know that they are doing nothing short of pulling the pin out of a live grenade to prove it. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Look, we’re all for fighters stepping up to face a challenge, over say, declining one even if it means the cancellation of an entire event, but this is getting ri-goddamn-diculous. First Cody McKenzie requests a firing via decapitation with Josh Thomson serving as executioner, and now TUF 14′s Akira Corassani is apparently petitioning for his next fight to end at the destructive hands of Conor McGregor when the UFC returns to Boston in August for that preposterously titled event.

Now 2-0 in the UFC since his time on The Ultimate Fighter, Corassani posted the above video on his Youtube page yesterday, and aside from possessing a very loose understanding of what a UFC contract is, pulled a Chael Sonnen and gave McGregor just 48 hours to respond to his call out. Uh, dude, McGregor was pretty much homeless before entering the UFC, so maybe give him a week to fire back on Twitter?

And speaking of fighters biting off more than they can chew…

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Lyoto Machida Would Like to Fight Alexander Gustafsson Now, If That’s Still Cool


(Lyoto sees that you see what he did there, and will not let it affect his afternoon beverage of choice.) 

Whenever one of my boxer-pilates-yogacise students approach me about dropping my bi-weekly class at the Y because it is “too intense” or “too racist” or “makes no Goddamn sense,” my answer is always the same: “Give it a fortnight, young grasshopper, then decide. Also, can I borrow some bus fare?” Because a lot can change in a couple weeks, simply put, and I wouldn’t want any of my students saying something they regretted and earning an eternal enemy in the process.

At the bare minimum, it’s a philosophy that former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida can appreciate. Because roughly two weeks ago, “The Dragon” stated through his management that it “didn’t make sense” for him to fight the #2-ranked contender Alexander Gustafsson despite being called out by him, what with a guaranteed rematch with Jon Jones looming on the horizon and all.

Unfortunately for Machida, Jones is going to spend the next 6 months recovering from the toecapitation he suffered against Chael Sonnen last weekend, and has stated that he would prefer to face Gustafsson when he returns from his layoff. And wouldn’t you know it, Machida has suddenly changed his tune on the whole Gustafsson issue, but only because Jones is injured, we assure you.

A video of Machida’s post-being-called-out callout of Gustafsson is after the jump. 

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Quote of the Day: Conor McGregor Was Collecting Welfare Before 60k “Knockout of the Night” Bonus


(I can’t tell you what my strategy was going in, nor can I tell you who the UFC would like me to face next. All I can tell you is that I’m just a man looking for the bastard children who took me Lucky Charms.) 

There was something incredibly familiar about Conor McGregor from the moment he started mean-mugging Marcus Brimage at the UFC on FUEL 9 weigh-ins. His brash arrogance, his complete lack of respect for his opponent’s game, hell, even his body type was positively…Diazian. And although his actual respect for Brimage in his post-fight interview and snappy attire at the post-fight press conference were anything but, we couldn’t help but be reminded of Nick Diaz while McGregor was explaining how dire his financial situation was before earning a $60,000 “Knockout of the Night” bonus last weekend:

I’m just happy I won $60K. I’m just thinking on what I’m going to spend it on. I’ll buy myself a car anyway. A nice car, may be some suits or something. Custom made suits, I don’t know.

Just last week I was collecting the social welfare, you know what I mean? I was in there saying to them like, ‘I don’t know what going to happen. I’m signed to the UFC. I don’t know what….blah, blah, blah. But now I supposed I’m gonna have to tell them to f— off!

I didn’t have money before this… I was collecting 188 Euro ($245) a week off the social welfare. And now here I am, with like 60gs bonus and then my own pay. I don’t know what the f—s going on to be honest, right? 

Granted, it’s not exactly “I didn’t go to school for buying a house” levels of silliness, but you’ve got to…respect is the wrong word here…appreciate (?) the guy who openly admits to being on welfare literally seconds before sharing his plans to purchase custom tailored suits. Like Old Dirty Bastard before him, Conor McGregor will be an OG until the day he dies.

A full video of the UFC on FUEL 9 press conference is after the jump. 

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In Wake of Recent Criticism, Anthony Johnson Stands by The Blackzilians, Melvin Guillard Not So Much


(“When I first started The Blackzilian Reverse Diet, I was just a scrawny welterweight fighting in the sport’s highest promotion. But just LOOK AT ME NOW!) 

It would be no hyperbole to say that The Blackzilians are less a training camp and more a black hole (PUNS!) of suckitude that is slowly draining the last remaining scraps of talent from its fighters before it inevitably spits them out as empty, dry husks void of any discernible skills whatsoever. Alright, there may be a little hyperbole in that statement, but to say that the members of The Blackzilians have been underperforming since the camp was established in 2011 is no exaggeration. Alistair Overeem just had his head treated like a speed bag at UFC 156, Rashad Evans just put on his worst performance in years (at the same event, no less), and Melvin Guillard has dropped 4 of his past 5 fights including an inexplicably timid performance in what was supposed to be a grudge match against Jamie Varner at UFC 155. 

That’s not to say that The Blackzilians are doing everything wrong, it just appears that they are relying on the pure talent of their fighters to lead them rather than a team of disciplined coaches. But in light of the recent criticisms aimed at the camp from news outlets across the MMA blogosphere, whateverweight Anthony Johnson — fresh off a unanimous decision victory over Andrei Arlovski at WSoF 2 – told MMAJunkie that said criticisms are “unfair.” Here’s why:

Every team has losses. Losses don’t define who you are.

People always want to talk about the losses, not the wins. Everybody talks about Rashad’s loss. Everybody talks about Alistair’s loss. But Vitor Belfort is one of my training partners. He just high-kicked Michael Bisping (for a knockout win). You all talked about that for five minutes. You’re all still talking about the losses we had. What about the wins we had? 

True, Anthony, we should be talking more about the wins you guys had. The problem is that those wins are coming fewer and farther between than with the guys over at Team Hammer House.

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Potential Superfight Alert: Cris Cyborg Is Willing to Fight Fallon Fox

If George Shunick’s piece on Fallox Fox and transgender athletes in MMA proved anything to me, it’s that – regardless of whether you agree with Joe Rogan’s stance on the issue (or how he chose to express that stance) – Fallon Fox vs. Cris Cyborg is a fight that FANS NEED TO SEE DAMMIT. One fighter is arguably the most devastating female in MMA, yet is also constantly accused of being a man. The other fighter is undefeated, used to literally be a man, and now calls herself “The Queen of Swords” because of course she calls herself that. In fact, I’m willing to write that Fallon Fax vs. Cris Cyborg – if it were to happen – would go down as the single greatest superfight in the history of MMA, because hyperbole is a pretty rad figure of speech that we don’t use nearly enough around here.

Well, good news, fight fans: Cyborg took a break from preparing to sacrifice Fiona Muxlow to ensure a good harvest and delivering completely pointless trash talk against Ronda Rousey to offer her two cents on Fallon Fox. As ESPN’s Josh Gross recently wrote:

“She wants to be a girl. I don’t agree,” said Santos, who for the first time in almost a year and half will return to fighting on April 5. “I think you’re born a girl, you’re a girl. You’re born a guy, you’re a guy. But I don’t choose opponents. The commission needs to check and make sure she doesn’t have testosterone.

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Le Secret Plan: Former Manager Says GSP Wants Diaz, Hendricks, and Silva Before Retiring


(After defeating Silva by a shocking first round KO, Rush will remove his mask to reveal that HE WAS KEYSER SOZE THE ENTIRE TIME. Photo courtesy of Fighters.com)

Earlier this week, Georges St. Pierre’s former manager, Stephane Patry, wrote a column where he revealed the champion’s “secret plan” for ending his MMA career in three fights. We don’t read French (not because we can’t, just out of principle…’Merica!) so we relied on MMA Fighting’s Mike Chiappetta to give us the details.

Patry wrote that on Jan. 11, while dining with St-Pierre and a few other friends at a restaurant in the city, the group discussed his fighting future. And during that time, according to Patry, St-Pierre discussed a “detailed” and “intelligent” plan that would take him possibly to the end of his career.

It would consist of only three fights: his Saturday night UFC 158 bout against Nick Diaz, one more title defense against Johny Hendricks, and then, the long-awaited super fight with middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

Chiappetta followed up with St. Pierre and his head trainer, Firas Zahabi, but both of their memories seemed to be fuzzy about that night, so many, many months…well, a month ago, basically. ”I don’t know,” Georges told Chiappetta, “I don’t know. I don’t remember saying anything like this. I don’t think so. I’m focusing on Nick Diaz right now.”

How convenient, Georges. I’m not calling you a liar, I’d just like to know WHERE YOU KEEP THE MISSILE CODES, SECRET AGENT MAN.

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Just Six Months After Retiring, Tito Ortiz is Already Discussing His Un-Retirement


(And when I say “bitch,” I mean it in the politest sense of the word possible.)

*takes a seat in rocking chair, lights up corn cob pipe*

You know, kids, there used to be a time when words like “retirement,” “marriage,” and “my totally real dead girlfriend” used to mean something. Perhaps it was just a simpler time back then, but when a man (or a woman that had somehow shoehorned her way into an office environment) gathered his co-employees around and announced that he was hanging it up, it was meant to be permanent. Bill Russell never came back. Vince Lombardi never came back. Pete Maravich tried to come back and dropped dead on the spot. Retirement was supposed to be a one way street, paved with early bird discounts, cheap medications, and eventually death. Sweet, sweet death. But then Muhammed Ali had to go and ruin everything.

*sets down pipe to chase Jehovah’s Witnesses down sidewalk*

In the past couple years, we’ve seen such notable fighters as Jamie Varner, Matt Hamill, and Chris Lytle announce their retirement from MMA. Of those three, the first two have already returned to the sport, and the latter has suggested that he would fight again under the right circumstances. And now, you can add UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz to the list of fighters who feel they might have called it a career a bit early. In an interview with BloodyElbow, Ortiz stated that he would be open to the idea of coming out of retirement, but only once all of the injuries that have plagued his MMA career since ever were finally dealt with:

Right now, I’m only four weeks out of neck surgery, and then I have to get the ACL surgery. I still need to recover from that before I start thinking about anything, and if I’ll compete again. You never know, I may come out of retirement. It’s all about how my body recovers.

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Quote of the Day: Chael Sonnen’s Epic Trolling of Lance Armstrong Almost Came to Legal/Physical Blows


(Takes one to know one, we guess.) 

I’m pretty sure the amount of irony present in the whole Chael Sonnen/Lance Armstrong beef is giving me cancer. Here you have an MMA fighter on PED’s who called out a cyclist of all people for using PED’s just weeks before said MMA fighter was busted for PED’s. Then, said MMA fighter denied that he ever claimed the cyclist was on PED’s, only to come out years later demanding a personal apology from the cyclist, who it turns out was actually on PED’s all the while. It was an act that required a huge set of balls to commit to, yet was pulled off by a guy whose balls are apparently so small that he needs testosterone injections just to survive, again, because he used PED’s in the past. “Pot, meet kettle,” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

In either case, Sonnen recently appeared on his favorite venue for trolling the MMA world, The Jim Rome Show, and picked up where he left off in regards to the now disgraced cyclist, even delving into how Armstrong had threatened to sue him for his statements at one point:

Why are they calling him a bully? That’s what I can’t wrap my mind brain around. Lance is a dweeb, the only thing he’s missing is the tape on the glasses and the high water pants. That guy couldn’t get respect at the local Honky Tonk in my hometown. He threatened to sue me so I threatened to kick his ass and the whole thing went away.

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Is Junior dos Santos Looking Past Cain Velasquez?


(Caution: This conference call was apparently recorded in a tin can headed straight for Pluto. Adjust speakers accordingly.)

For a guy who is supposed to be defending his title against Cain Velasquez in just over a week at UFC 155, heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos still seems awfully focused on Alistair Overeem, the man he was set to face back at UFC 146 before…well, you know. During the UFC 155 media call (full audio above), dos Santos touched on the respect he had for Velasquez as a professional, but not without taking a dig at Overeem in the process:

I prefer to fight against clean athletes and real professionals. Cain Velasquez is one of these guys. He’s a real professional fighter and that’s a good challenge for me. I know he’s very tough and I know how hard I have to train to face him. And the OTHER GUYS, they just say things, but there’s nothing behind the words. Guys like me and Cain Velasquez, we are made at the gym. Guys like the OTHER GUY there, they are made in the laboratory.

Ahh…the Lord Voldemort approach of anonymity. Touche, Junior.

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