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UFC 164 Aftermath: Milwaukee’s Best


(Photo by Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

By George Shunick

The year’s not over, but when it’s said and done, don’t be surprised to see UFC 164 stand atop as the crown jewel of the promotion’s endeavors in 2013. The main card delivered in spades, with four finishes – albeit one controversial one – and one fight of the night which somehow didn’t manage to win the actual Fight of the Night bonus. But the big story last night was the ascension of Anthony Pettis to the lightweight throne. There has not been a dominant champion in the most talented division in MMA since the downfall of BJ Penn at UFC 112. If last night was any indication, Anthony Pettis is going to the answer to the series of frustrating draws and questionable decisions that have plagued the top of the division in Penn’s absence.

In the fight itself, Benson Henderson’s strategy became immediately clear – clinch, clinch, clinch. The majority of the round saw Henderson use his strength to drive Pettis into the fence and keep him there while working short strikes to Pettis’ legs. Henderson also attempted a number of takedowns, all of which were stuffed. When the two finally separated for a period of time, it became evident just why Henderson was so eager to keep the fighting in close. Pettis, fighting out of orthodox stance as a means of opening up the body kicks that come when two fighters square off in opposite stances, proceeded to capitalize on that particular strategy, landing four kicks to the body which clearly discomforted Henderson. Pettis, perhaps a little too pleased with his work, then attempted a cartwheel kick, only to be taken down by Henderson. Working in Pettis’ open guard, Henderson planted his right arm on the mat. Pettis immediately grabbed an overhook and soon after went for the armbar.

Henderson defended well at first, but as Pettis rotated on his back, the pressure increased on Henderson’s elbow to the point where it popped and the champion verbally submitted. Pettis became the second man to submit a champion since BJ Penn did it to Matt Hughes in 2004, and he did it against a man who is exceptionally difficult to finish in under a round. Considering that it was previously believed that his standup was his main weapon, it should go without saying at this point that Pettis is not only one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, he could possibly be the best. A fight with Jose Aldo would go a long way to determine that, but a fight with T.J. Grant wouldn’t hurt either. Now the bad news; Pettis claims his knee popped during the fight. Hopefully it’s minor, but it would be a shame to lose Pettis so soon after such an impressive performance. Meanwhile, once his elbow heals, Henderson will be back. He’s insanely tough, well-rounded, athletic, technical… he’s just a level or two below Anthony Pettis. Maybe everyone else is too.

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[VIDEO] UFC 164 Post Event Press Conference


(Dana White & the stars of UFC 164 hold court last night after the fights in Milwaukee | Video via UFC Youtube)

Watch the video above to see what UFC President Dana White, and some of UFC 164′s top fighters had to say about all the action from last night’s pay per view event. New champion Anthony Pettis talked about his dramatic first round submission of Benson Henderson, Frank Mir and Josh Barnett talk about their controversial heavyweight clash and Chad Mendes discusses his fourth straight knockout win.

Per usual, the “…of the night” bonuses were announced by White at the post presser. Mendes won KO of the night, Pettis won submission of the night and Hyun Gyu Lim and Pascal Krauss won fight of the night. All fighters involved took home an extra $50,000 for the honors.

- Elias Cepeda

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UFC 164 Results & Video Highlights: Pettis Wins Title, Barnett Stops Mir


(Anthony Pettis becomes the new UFC lightweight champion by submitting Benson Henderson in the first round at UFC 164 Saturday night | All videos via FoxSports Youtube)

Full UFC 164 Quick Results:

Anthony Pettis submits Benson Henderson with an arm bar from the bottom in the first round.

Josh Barnett TKO’s Frank Mir in the first round.

Chad Mendes wins with a third round TKO over Clay Guida.

Ben Rothwell beats Brandon Vera in the third via TKO.

Dustin Poirier defeats Erik Koch with a unanimous decision.

Gleison Tibau wins a split decision over Jamie Varner.

Tim Elliott beats Louis Gaudinot with a unanimous decision.

Hyun Gyu Lim defeats Pascal Krauss via first round TKO.

Chico Camus wins a unanimous decision over Kyung Ho Kang.

Soa Palelei defeats Nikita Krylov via TKO in the third round.

Al Iaquinta wins a unanimous decision over Ryan Couture.

Magnus Cedenblad defeats Jared Hamman via guillotine choke submission.

Video highlights of Barnett vs. Mir, Mendes vs. Guida and Poirier vs. Koch after the jump

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[VIDEOS] Countdown to UFC 164

The countdown to UFC 164 has begun and so we feel it is fitting to watch UFC’s signature Countdown mini documentary show before tonight’s championship pay per view event. This episode features two of the night’s biggest fights.

First, the lightweight title main event rematch between champion Benson Henderson and challenger Anthony Pettis is looked at through the eyes of both fighters. Learn more about Pettis’ rough child hood and adolescence and hear why Henderson is confident he’ll avenge his 2010 defeat to “Showtime.”

In the second part of the Countdown to UFC 164, heavyweight submission wizards and former champions Frank Mir and Josh Barnett finally lock horns in a fight that makes us want to party like it’s 2005. Some fans want to see who will get the better of grappling exchanges between Mir and Barnett but you should watch and listen to some of their pretty hilarious insults of one another and decide who will has the trash talk advantage. Spoiler alert, Mir is allegedly “a dick” and Barnett is an insecure fat kid who never grew up.

Henderson vs. Pettis is above and Mir vs. Barnett is after the jump.

Enjoy the Countdown to UFC 164 and enjoy tonight’s fights.

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Non-Expert MMA Picks: UFC 164 Edition


(We had no idea what picture to use for this post, but this one seems to work nicely. Be sure to check out Meerkatsu’s shop for plenty of other awesome jiu-jitsu artwork.)

Are “the experts” really more knowledgeable than anyone else in terms of predicting who will win a fight? That’s debatable, to say the least. Today we’re bringing in Adam Touchet – a college football blogger and the most casual of casual MMA fans – to see how his predictions hold up against what will actually happen on Saturday night. Read on for his picks, follow him on Twitter, and check out more of his work at what is possibly the least pretentious college football blog on the Internet, BattleOfTheSun.com.

I’ve spent my tiny broadcasting and show-business career trying to prove that just because you’re on television with a microphone it doesn’t make you an expert. What makes a guy who doesn’t even play a sport an “expert” at it, and what makes the “predictions” of the broadcasters presenting a sporting event to the masses any more valid than its rabid fan base?

Spoiler Alert: Nothing.

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: ‘UFC 164: Henderson vs. Pettis II’ Edition


(The UFC 164 marketing strategy summed up in less than 30 seconds.)

By Dan “Get Off Me” George

This Saturday night, Zuffa brings us perhaps the most anticipated title rematch in lightweight history when Benson Henderson attempts to remove a stain from his soul against the man responsible for leaving said stain, new/interim #1 contender Anthony Pettis. The preliminary portion of the card may not boast many recognizable names (which is a nice way of saying it’s garbage-ass) but the PPV lineup is a veritable potpourri of grizzled veterans and surging prospects, with a little bit of something for everyone both new and old to MMA.

So come along as we head to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and highlight the undercard bout you stand the best chance of banking on as well as all of the main card bouts for UFC 164: Henderson vs Pettis II. All lines courtesy of BestFightOdds, per usual.

Undercard bout:

Soa Palelei (+175) vs. Nikita Krylov (-210)

The heavy-handed Australian comes in as the +180ish underdog against Ukrainian (is game to you?) submission specialist and -200 favorite Nikita Krylov. Palelei has a chance to payout early in this fight if he is able to use his striking effectively, but the 16 year age gap between the fighters may prove the difference if Krylov’s is able to sustain the early onslaught from Soa. With this in mind, Palelei has been submitted once in his career and 7 out of his last 8 wins (Well, 6 out of 8. Bob Sapp no longer counts.) have come in the first round. +180 for Palelei is an underdog worth taking.

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Classic Fight: Frank Mir vs. Brock Lesnar at UFC 81 [VIDEO]


(Match starts at the 10:48 mark. Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

To hype up Frank Mir‘s return to the Octagon at UFC 164 this coming Saturday, the UFC has released one of Frank’s career highlights — his first-round submission victory against pro-wrestling star Brock Lesnar at UFC 81, back in February 2008. Lesnar had first dipped his toes into the MMA pool the previous June, when he swallowed up Min Soo Kim at Dynamite!! USA in Los Angeles. That was enough to earn him an invitation to the UFC, but his debut fight would not be an easy one.

Lesnar wasted absolutely no time in dumping Mir on his back and firing some nasty shots from above. Then, referee Steve Mazzagatti makes a rather controversial choice, halting the action after Lesnar lands some punches to the back of Mir’s head. Theoretically, it’s the right call to make; Lesnar clearly lands at least four rabbit-punches at the video’s 11:08-11:12 mark. But how many times have you actually seen a UFC referee enforce that rule so quickly, without previous warnings? The Mazz deducts a point from Lesnar and re-starts the action with the fighters in a standing position. It’s a lucky break for Mir, who gets a moment to clear the cobwebs.

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Today in TRT News: Rothwell Jumps on the Testosterone Train, Brazilian Commission Loses Its Only Accredited Testing Facility


(Doughy, smooth IFL Ben and lean, hairy UFC Ben. Man, that acai berry stuff really works wonders.)

Ben Rothwell has requested and received a Therapeutic Use Exemption for TRT at his upcoming UFC 164 bout in Milwaukee. So has former heavyweight champ Frank Mir, but he’s no stranger to the TRT TUE game.

MMA Junkie obtained the information from the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services recently. According to Junkie, both fighters were not available for comment but Rothwell’s opponent Brandon Vera was.

“The Truth” was not amused. “It won’t help,” he said of Rothwell’s TRT use.

In a related story, legendary fighters and noted TRT users Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson will indeed fight as we gave you a heads up about the other day; the match will be held at 205 pounds and it appears that neither fighter will face many obstacles in using TRT to their hearts’ content. Belfort has tested positive for a banned substance before, prompting the chief executive of the world’s most important athletic commission, the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s Keith Kizer, to opine that he didn’t think Vitor would ever be likely to receive a TUE for TRT in the state.

As states like Nevada and New Jersey go, so usually do the rest of the United States. Belfort has fought three out of his last four fights in Brazil with the other taking place in Canada. But hey, Brazil has a regulatory commission, right? They surely do: The Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA).

The doctor who serves as medical director for that commission, Marcio Tannure, recently told MMAFighting.com that “Henderson needs to send him the exams to prove his medical conditions (hypogonadism) to apply for a TRT use, and they will analyze the request,” and that Belfort has blood tested before and after fights to ensure that “his levels are good.” Usually, fighters with TUEs for TRT still have to maintain “normal” testosterone levels.

In the Southern hemisphere, the national Brazilian star Belfort is the one in good standing, his prior failed drug test not being a deterrent to CABMMA in granting him a TUE whereas Henderson, who is allowed his TUE in the states, is the one who appears to face more of a hurdle. Coincidence, I’m sure.

However, don’t expect either Belfort or Henderson to be denied TUEs for TRT because, well, CABMMA’s drug testing isn’t considered to be quite as legitimate by international standards any more. BloodyElbow has the info:

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[VIDEO] Terrorist Beards, Showtime Kicks and Pseudo Death Threats Abound the UFC 164 Preview


(Video via UFC Youtube)

In case you were somehow sleeping on UFC 164: Henderson vs. Pettis II, which takes place August 31st in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, don’t. The card is relatively stacked and the new extended UFC 164 video preview gives you a sneak peak at the night’s two biggest bouts — a lightweight title rematch between champion Benson Henderson (who is rocking a Jon Jones-esque terrorist beard these days) and Anthony Pettis and a heavyweight submission artist clash between former champions Frank Mir and Josh Barnett.

If you’ve watched the UFC for more than 10 years and enjoy living in that past (I know, too on point, is it not?), you’ve got to be pretty geeked about Mir vs. Barnett. Both men are behemoths that somehow possess slick ground skills. Both men are also charismatic and skilled shit-stirrers that became champions at an early age and have managed to remain competitive at the highest levels for over a decade. Will this match up be a test of who has the better Jitz (Mir, after all, does threaten to “drown” Barnett with his submission game in the above video, whatever that means) or will their grappling skills cancel each other out and turn Mir vs. Barnett into a slugfest? I HAVE NO IDEA BUT WATCH THIS ANYWAY.

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Battle of the Bulge: Big Country Nelson vs. Daniel Cormier a Go for UFC 166


(How fucked up is it that *this* is the #1 search result when you type “Roy Nelson clean shaven” into Google? Photo via Getty.) 

Update: The matchup has been formally announced as the co-main event for UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3.

In the weeks leading up to his scrap with Stipe Miocic at UFC 161, it appeared as if Roy Nelson would be headed for the greener pastures of an MMA promotion that wasn’t run by a guy who hates his fat ass. In the days following Nelson’s three round trouncing at the hands of Miocic, it was the general consensus that Bellator was a CHICK’N Crisp sandwich away from luring in one of MMA’s top heavyweights at a steal of a price. So how does Nelson now find himself in line to fight Daniel Cormier, a former Strikeforce champion who is coming off a (tepid) win over Frank Mir in his UFC debut?

Perhaps we should step back for a second. You see, prior to UFC 161, Nelson had strung together a nice little three-fight win streak (all via KO) and was looking to break himself off a piece of that Daniel Cormier hype. Imploring the classic UFC strategy of declaring that the fight “wouldn’t make sense,” then trying to turn it into a #1 contender fight for another division’s title, then bringing race into the equation, Nelson was able to successfully troll his way into a fight with Cormier despite coming off a loss. Huzzah! The likelihood of this fight coming to fruition is all dependent, of course, on how Nelson’s contract negotiations with the UFC go, according to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports.

Then again, you could argue that Nelson was more impressive in defeat than Cormier was in victory based purely on the amount of shots he was able to absorb without being knocked out. It would be an insane argument to make, but hey, Tim Sylvia would probably have your back. In either case, the pair is tentatively set to throw down at UFC 166, which goes down on October 19th in Houston, Texas.

In other fight booking news…

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