Another Tuesday night has come and gone which means Fuel TV was the destination of choice for most MMA fans. At least it probably was, if A.) you are lucky enough to have the channel and B.) weren’t too busy watching Tosh.O or Sons of Anarchy. Now that I think of it, I’m guessing a total of four of you actually watched last night. Not to worry, Potato Nationtatersyou guys, we watched UFC Tonight and UFC Ultimate Insider for you and laboriously jotted down all the juicy news and rumors for your enjoyment. Here’s what you missed:
Reminder: UFC on Fuel 5 starts at 4pm ET this Saturday. Plan your weekend accordingly.
Speaking of UFC on Fuel 5, one half of the main event Stefan Struve attempts 4.5 submissions per 15 minutes of fighting but has 0% takedown defense. That is not a typo. He has been grounded each of the four times an opponent has attempted to take him to the canvas. I’m no expert, but isn’t that a little troubling? Maybe it’s all just a part of “Skyscraper”‘s master plan considering 16 the BJJ purple belt’s 24 victories come by way of submission. It’s kind of hard to argue with results like that.
(And he sticks the landing on the celebratory backflip! Props: notohous)
It looks like the end of the line for Jamie Varner. The former WEC lightweight champion fought in the main event of Friday night’s Titan Fighting Championships 20 show in Kansas City, and lost a unanimous decision to a 9-1 Nebraska-based prospect named Dakota Cochrane. Cochrane came into the fight on just three days’ notice, replacing Varner’s original opponent Alonzo Martinez — who was pulled from the fight due to legal troubles — and won all three rounds on all judges’ scorecards.
After the fight Varner tweeted, “I gave fighting another shot I need 2 thank u guys 4 ur support! But I just don’t have it anymore. Love u all but ull never c me fight again.” Shortly after, he deleted the message, so who knows. The loss increases (decreases?) Varner’s record to 1-1-4 over the last two years. No matter what the future holds, Varner can be secure in the fact that he was once responsible for the greatest victory dance in the history of MMA.
(The man on the ground is now EliteXC’s lightweight champion. The man in the air is now under a bridge selling oranges, possibly.)
Gary Shaw must have a boner for flying knee knockouts.
When EliteXC signed K.J. Noons, he was a pro boxer who was riding three-straight knockout victories in MMA matches for Icon Sport. His first fight for Elite in February ’07 resulted in a knockout loss to Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett, and he was relegated to a ShoXC card for his next match in July. Fortunately, he scored a dramatic flying-knee KO of Edson Berto in that fight, and despite having just seven pro MMA fights under his belt at that point he was given an immediate title shot in the 160-pound division against UFC vet Nick Diaz. Incredibly, that fight didn’t go so well for Diaz.
Now, it looks like Noons’s first title defense will be against Yves Edwards. And how did Edwards earn his shot? Coincidentally, with a hopping-knee knockout of Edson Berto, which must have tickled Gary Shaw something fearsome. To be honest, I kind of wish other fight organizations operated like EliteXC, where title shots don’t depend on a string of victories over top competition or marketability, but rather on who just pulled off the last ridiculous KO.
“First of all, I don’t dodge anybody. Whoever is the best, I want to fight them. As champion, you can decline who you want to fight. You only have one option as to who you’re going to fight, and that’s the best. Whoever the best is, that’s who I have to fight. In regard to a rematch with Nick, that would be a great pay day for me. Unfortunately, he’s not the best.”
Noons went on to express his desire for a rematch with Krazy Horse Bennett, which we’d love to see. And now, just for fun, here’s Yves Edwards’ acrobatic head-kick KO of Josh Thomson at UFC 49. I know we’ve discussed Steve Mazzagatti’s horrible reffing in the past, but this, I swear to you, is his worst performance of all time. Watch how he wanders into the frame like somebody’s lost grandfather after Edwards puts Thomson’s lights out, and slow-walks over to the fighters as Yves lands uninterrupted shots on Thomson’s face. It’s literally as if Mazzagatti forgot where he was and what he was supposed to be doing. Amazingly awful.