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Tag: Frankie Edgar

Exclusive: Jim Miller Talks UFC 111, New Jersey’s MMA Talent Pool, and More

Jim Miller

By Cage Potato contributor Matt Kaplan

Like fellow New Jersey native Frank Sinatra, UFC lightweight Jim Miller has been doing things his way. A former Cage Fury Fighting Championship and Reality Fighting title holder, Miller has used his ferocious style to catapult himself to the bright lights of the UFC Octagon, but the fire in Miller’s belly is not lit by the prospect of championship gold or the adulation of the masses. Instead, he maintains a deep commitment to his own personal standard of excellence and is poised to fulfill his own destiny, win or lose.

With a dominating win over the heavy-handed Duane “Bang” Ludwig at UFC 108 just two months ago, the New Jersey native is set to take on submission maven Mark Bocek at UFC 111 on March 27. I caught up and talked with Miller about his upcoming match, personifying a Creedence Clearwater Revival song, and a few of New Jersey’s finest exports.

So have you let the excitement of fighting Mark Bocek at UFC 111 in front of your hometown New Jersey crowd get to you, or have you been keeping it business as usual?

For me it really is business as usual. You know, it really doesn’t matter where I’m fighting. It’s cool that I’m going to have a lot more fans there, and that I don’t have to fly, but other than that, I’m stepping into the Octagon against a tough opponent, and that’s really what I’m focused on. Fortunately, the UFC fans have been great wherever I’ve been.


Photos: UFC 112′s Headliners Gather in Abu Dhabi

Vitor Belfort Renzo Gracie BJ Penn Frankie Edgar Anderson Silva UFC 112

Frankie Edgar BJ Penn Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Vitor Belfort, Renzo Gracie, BJ Penn, Frankie Edgar, and Anderson Silva pose for pictures in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, while Ferrari World looms in the background. Photos courtesy of the UFC 112 Facebook page. More shots after the jump…


B.J. Penn Seems Mildly Excited About Fighting Frankie Edgar

We were waiting for B.J. Penn to film a video blog in a parking garage at the Las Vegas airport to let us know how he feels about defending his title against Frankie Edgar at UFC 112, and lo and behold, here it is.  Penn says he thinks Edgar is "a very good opponent" with "a lot of big wins," and he’s generally pretty pleased with the bout.  He doesn’t exhibit the kind of fire that he might if he were getting Georges St. Pierre or Matt Hughes again, but what do you expect? 

Still, the muted though positive reaction from Penn forces us to consider the gradual decline in pre-fight heat from "The Prodigy" as his fights have gotten less personal and less challenging all at the same time.  Remember when he fought Sean Sherk in May of 2008?  Penn couldn’t get through an interview without painting him as an immoral cheater who deserved Wild West-style justice.  Then it was GSP, who he was ready to fight to the death, followed by Greasegate text message denier Kenny Florian, who he says he punished a little more than necessary, and lastly it was Diego Sanchez, who he really had nothing against

Now, it’s Edgar.  A good opponent with some good wins.  Okay, fine.  Why not?  He isn’t getting any younger, and it’s already been more than a month since he’s licked anyone else’s blood off his gloves.

Bonus: After the jump, Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta explain to street hustler Mike Straka why Gray Maynard isn’t getting a shot at the title.


Frankie Edgar Is Next In Line To Get Beat Up By B.J. Penn

(Frankie Edgar is looking into your soul, and he is not impressed.)

We can’t say we didn’t see this coming.  After Gray Maynard‘s lackluster win over Nate Diaz on last night’s UFC Fight Night 20, Dana White tells that Frankie Edgar will get the next shot at lightweight champ B.J. Penn, tentatively scheduled for UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi this April.  Edgar last fought at the TUF 10 Finale on December 10, where he submitted Matt Veach with a rear naked choke in the second round.  Funny, we don’t recall a chorus of voices rising up in the wake of that victory to declare Edgar the consensus number one contender, but maybe that’s just because we didn’t watch the fight in New Jersey.

But seriously, you don’t have to be a genius to figure out that Edgar earned this shot primarily by process of elimination.  After Penn smoked Diego Sanchez, it came down to Edgar or Maynard.  Fortunately for Edgar, "The Bully" managed to win in the least impressive fashion possible, so he gets the shot by default, even though Maynard ran through him with relative ease at UFC Fight Night 13. 

Is it kind of unfair that a guy Maynard beat, who’s coming off a win over a relative UFC novice, is getting the shot just because his own win wasn’t quite exciting enough?  No, it’s not kind of unfair.  It’s totally unfair.  But that’s life in the fight game.  Video of Dana White explaining the thin rationale behind the fight, as well as why he decided to sell 10% of his company essentially to the government of Abu Dhabi, is after the jump.


UFC Rumorwatch: Lesnar’s Condition Not Improving, Next Opponents for Penn and Daley

(Photo courtesy of TheSun)

From a recent post on Brock Lesnar‘s official Facebook page:

NEW UPDATE!! Brock has had more problems (we can’t say what they are) and he could be out all of this year if things don’t get better. Brock wants to thank all of his fans for their support and for the nice messages so thanks guys.

Though we’ve yet to see the official update that we were promised this week, let this be your advance warning that Lesnar won’t be returning this summer. In other unconfirmed news…

SI’s Josh Gross hears that Frankie Edgar will get the next shot at BJ Penn’s lightweight belt in April, regardless of Gray Maynard‘s performance against Nate Diaz at UFC Fight Night 20 on Monday. Edgar (11-1, 6-1 UFC), most recently submitted Matt Veach at the TUF 10 finale, holds wins over Sean Sherk, Hermes Franca, and Tyson Griffin, and previously lost a decision to Maynard in April 2008.

— According to MMA Live host Jon Anik, a match between knockout artist Paul Daley and perennial top contender Josh Koscheck is being discussed for May or June. Between Daley’s recent destructions of Martin Kampmann and Dustin Hazelett, and Koscheck’s wins over Frank Trigg and Anthony Johnson, both guys have a lot of heat behind them right now. Feels like a #1 welterweight contender fight to us…


TUF 10 Finale Fighter Salaries: Edgar Leads the Pack, Kimbo Receives Meager Portion of Bread

Brendan Schaub Roy Nelson MMA TUF 10 finale
(Brendan Schaub does his best impression of Darrill Schoonover’s stomach. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Not to stereotype dudes from New Jersey, but Frankie Edgar is probably pumpin’ his fist like a champ right about now. The UFC lightweight contender came out of the TUF 10 Finale as the card’s highest-paid scrapper, thanks in part to his well-deserved Fight of the Night bonus. Meanwhile, reality struck Kimbo Slice, who’s now earning 1/20th of what he used to make in EliteXC. Of course, he could have gotten paid more behind the scenes, but we only have the official figures in front of us, and you know how we hate to speculate without hard evidence. [*cough*] The full salary list is below…

Roy Nelson: $41,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus, $25,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
Brendan Schaub: $8,000

Matt Hamill: $46,000 (includes $23,000 win bonus)
Jon Jones: $20,000

Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson: $25,000 (no win bonus)
Houston Alexander: $13,000

Frankie Edgar: $71,000 (includes $23,000 win bonus, $25,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
Matt Veach: $30,000 (includes $25,000 Fight of the Night bonus)


Question of the Day: Will Sean Sherk Stand and Bang with Frankie Edgar?

Sean Sherk’s last two fights against B.J. Penn and Tyson Griffin respectively have seen him trying to reinvent himself as more of a boxer than the one-dimensional wrestler we’ve come to know and tolerate.  But will he really stick with that approach against Frankie Edgar who, as you can see, has some decent hands of his own?  Current Vegas odds have Sherk as slightly better than a 2-1 favorite, which makes sense if you think about the way he’s outwrestled opponents like Hermes Franca and Kenny Florian, and then compare it to the way Edgar was flat out dominated on the mat by Gray Maynard.  

But if Sherk gets caught up trying to please the fans and placate the people who say he can’t finish fights and isn’t entertaining to watch, he’s rolling the dice.  So which Sherk will we see on Saturday — the boxer or the wrestler?  And will it matter?


Bookings, Rumors, and Economy-Boosting Images

(‘You may now resume bartering!’)

Fedor Emelianenko and the rest of the Affliction/M-1 traveling circus showed up to ring the Nasdaq opening bell this morning, thus signaling that everything is going to be a-okay in the financial world.  Just to make sure everything went smoothly, Fedor again wore his special sweater.  Either that’s the only article of clothing he brought to America, or Fedor didn’t go back to his hotel room last night because he wandered around the city looking for scary rollercoasters until morning.

- Sean Sherk will not be wrestling Roger Huerta out of the UFC, as was initially rumored, but will instead be taking on Frankie Edgar at UFC 98.  Edgar, who’s coming off a win over Hermes Franca at UFC Fight Night 14, was held down for three rounds by Gray Maynard for his first UFC loss back in April, so at least he knows the drill by now.

- A bout between Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and Mark Coleman is rumored to be a possibility for UFC 99 in Germany this summer.  Dana White said he wouldn’t offer Cro Cop a one fight deal to accommodate his retirement plans, but says he’s open to bringing him back if they can come to terms.  The other opponent the UFC may be offering him?  Tito freaking Ortiz, seen above bro-ing down with Affliction.  

“UFC sources” say that they’d like to get Ortiz back for the Germany show to cash in on his popularity over there.  Apparently he’s a sort of MMA David Hasselhoff, which makes a lot of sense when you think about it.  The biggest obstacle between a Cro Cop vs. Ortiz or Coleman bout right now (aside from the fact that only one of those three men is under contract with the UFC) is the difference in weight classes.  Cro Cop doesn’t want to cut to 205, it seems.  Someone should remind him that Alistair Overeem is considering signing on as a heavyweight.  See if that doesn’t change his mind while also creating an ache in his loins.


What Do You Mean, No One Else Would Fight Gray Maynard?

(Props: MMA Fanhouse)

In this UFC 90 hype video Rich “No Love” Clementi claims that he was the only lightweight willing to step up and fight Gray Maynard, and he did so because he’s the type who “looks for challenges and adversity.” No disrespect to Maynard here, but since when did he become the guy who makes all other UFC lightweights run and hide? What, he holds Frankie Edgar down for three rounds and now we’re supposed to believe that the UFC has trouble finding an opponent for him?

This is the kind of thing that makes you wonder if matchmaker Joe Silva isn’t feeding all the fighters the same lines, like an unimaginative pick-up artist. Either he tells you that they’re offering you this fight because you’re the only one with the balls to take it, or else he says the winner gets a title shot. What’s weird is that those are the same pick-up lines I use. The results so far have been…mixed.

Check out the heavily edited and still kind of lame highlight clips of both Clementi and Maynard during this video. Notice how they include Maynard’s submission-inducing slam of Rob Emerson, but cut it before you have a chance to realize that he knocked himself out in the process. Clever. Also, is it just me, or are most of Clementi’s highlights not really so highlight-y?


UFC Doles Out 25k Bonuses for “Silva vs. Irvin”

CB Dollaway Jesse Taylor UFC MMA
(Looks like Jesse Taylor picked the wrong week to quit drinking. Photo courtesy of

The UFC’s always fluctuating end-of-night bonuses totaled $25,000 apiece for Saturday’s “Silva vs. Irvin” event. The four lucky men who left the Palms one-fortieth of a million dollars richer are…

Knockout of the Night: Rory Markham for his skull-crushing head-kick KO of Brodie Farber.
Submission of the Night: CB Dollaway for his “Peruvian Necktie” choke of fellow TUF 7 castmember Jesse Taylor.
Fight of the Night: Frankie Edgar and Hermes Franca for their three-round tussle that Edgar took unanimously thanks to his takedowns and GnP.

The must-see Markham/Farber knockout is below, and the Dollaway/Taylor scrap is after the jump — and we threw in Cain Velasquez’s beatdown of Jake O’Brien for good measure. (If you find a working link for Edgar/Franca, please post it in the comments section.) Serious props to MMA TKO.

Videos removed by request…