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Tag: Frankie Edgar

The Benson Henderson Problem


(Photo via Getty)

Benson “Smooth” Henderson is a talented fighter with a knack for winning the fights he loses. But on the oft-overlooked business side of MMA, Henderson is a dud.

As champion, he consistently failed to move the needle in terms of PPV buys and ratings. His rematch against Frankie Edgar at UFC 150 drew a paltry 190,000 buys—one of the worst buyrates in recent UFC history.

The UFC shipped Henderson off to FOX for his next two outings, presumably to build his name via fighting on a massive television network. Henderson headlined UFC on FOX 5 and UFC on FOX 7. They both earned modest numbers, with the former receiving an average of 3.41 million viewers (1.6 rating in the adult 18-49 demo) and the latter 3.3 million viewers (1.6 rating in the adult 18-49 demo).

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Five UFC Title Rematches That Urijah Faber Should Look to For Inspiration


(Photo via Getty)

By Scott Sawitz

After taking the fight on less than a month’s notice, Urijah Faber will step into the main event of UFC 169 (February 1st, Newark) against Renan Barao, who took a definitive and dominant five-round decision over the former WEC stalwart at UFC 149, for what was then supposed to be an interim title in the bantamweight division. With Dominick Cruz vacating his title due to yet another injury, Faber will have his third opportunity to win UFC gold. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have much time to prepare for Barao, who’s become one of the toughest outs in all of MMA.

Faber’s year-round commitment to being in near peak condition — a Team Alpha Male requirement, it seems — affords him this luxury of taking a fight on short notice. Over 18 months have passed since the California Kid walked out of the cage against Barao on the losing side, and what could have been Faber’s last UFC title fight has turned into something else entirely. With four wins (and three submission finishes) over highly ranked opponents marking a stellar 2013 campaign, Faber willed himself into title contention one more time by running roughshod over the UFC’s 135-pound division.

With the rematch set, and Faber looking ahead to what could (once again) be his last shot at a UFC belt, one imagines that the Duane “Bang” Ludwig-led Team Alpha Male squad has a much different game plan in mind for Faber against the Brazilian champion. Ludwig, who has spoke of his fondness for watching fight video in preparation, should have five UFC title rematches on his mind while preparing his fighter for next month’s bout. Each of these fights contain profound lessons that could help Faber become the first Team Alpha Male member to hold a UFC championship belt. Let’s begin…

Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos 2 @ UFC 155

(Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

Lesson: Make your opponent fight your game

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In Case You’re Still Watching: TUF 19 Cast Revealed, Contains Zero Untested Yoga Instructors


(“So what *is* “Mahalo,” like a giant fish or something?” Photo via BJPenn.com)

We’re not sure if the full cast list for The Ultimate Fighter 19 was accidentally leaked or not yet, but being that the members of both *teams* were already revealed by a promo that has since been taken down, all signs seem to point to another technical snafu on FOX’s end. In any case, the information is out there now, and all we can do is pass it along in the hopes of deterring some of you from the premiere episode of yet another unnecessary season of a long dead show. Can you imagine what it would be like if Seinfeld went nineteen seasons? PULL THE PLUG ALREADY, DANA!!

This season’s TUF will feature middleweight and light heavyweight participants as well as the red hot coaching matchup of B.J. Penn vs. Frankie Edgar, with Penn and Edgar completing their trilogy at featherweight next April. Although the season has already started filming, no official air date has been revealed and blah blah blah I’m already bored. Check out the full cast after the jump courtesy of BloodyElbow:

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Bas Rutten to Guest Coach for Team Penn on TUF 19, So Let’s Celebrate With Gifs

So former lightweight/welterweight champion BJ Penn appeared on Inside MMA last Friday (video above) to plug his upcoming coaching gig on TUF 19 opposite Frankie Edgar, which will culminate in a featherweight rubber match(?) of sorts that is doomed to never actually transpire. Aside from blinking approximately 750 times over the course of his three minute appearance, Penn extended a guest coaching invitation to Inside MMA co-host and former UFC Heavyweight champion Bas Rutten. Kenny Rice, on the other hand, was hung out to dry.

Rutten graciously accepted and will now join the likes of fellow former Heavyweight champion Mark Coleman, Nova Uniao founder Andre Pederneiras, Dutch kickboxing and Muay Thai champion Rob Kaman and boxing coach Jason Parillo on Team Penn (Rutten’s Unofficial title: Bang-Bong-Bong Throat Slitter Extraordinaire). Let’s hope his one-off spot on the show is as memorable as Momma Rousey’s was this season, because we imagine “El Guapo” is getting pretty sick of being shown up by that adorable little menace.

But for now, let’s just celebrate this occasion the only way we know how, with a veritable parade of amazing Bas Rutten gifs…

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Mark Coleman Joins ‘The Ultimate Fighter 19′ as BJ Penn’s Wrestling Coach


(Can assistant swagger-coach Phil Baroni be far behind? / Photo via Getty)

Former UFC heavyweight champion and Hall of Famer Mark Coleman recently got a call from the returning B.J. Penn asking “The Hammer” to join Penn’s coaching staff on The Ultimate Fighter 19. “It’s hard to put it into words. The word ‘honored’, everybody uses it too much, but I really am just honored that this guy would want to use me as his coach,” Coleman told Fox Sport’s Damon Martin.

“Me and BJ Penn have been friends since the beginning of this thing, and I consider him a great friend…I’m honored that he respects me enough to handle this position. I don’t take it lightly. It’s going to be a serious job to me out there. I don’t have a whole lot of idols, but BJ Penn is one of them. I love the guy. For him to ask me to do this, I can’t put it into words. Hopefully, I can do a good job with him and as long as he’s happy with me, I’m good.”

TUF 19 will debut on Fox Sports 1 early in 0014. BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar will coach opposite one another on the show and then fight one another for the third time. Coleman will leave for Las Vegas in a few weeks to help Penn prepare the young fighters for the opportunity of their lives.

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The Potato Nation Speaks: BJ Penn Has No Chance Versus Frankie Edgar


(Herb Dean convincing BJ Penn not to drop to featherweight. / Photo via Getty Images) 

By Matt Saccaro

The majority of CagePotato readers do not give BJ Penn a chance to beat Frankie Edgar in their featherweight meeting next year. Out of nearly 1,000 people who voted on our previous sidebar poll, 55% believe that Penn will get his ass kicked by Edgar and then retire for a 400th time (and then perhaps break a CagePotato ban by unretiring for a 401st time).

33% of the voters had even less confidence in Penn. What could be worse than getting your ass kicked again, you ask? Not even being able to make 145 pounds in the first place. That’s right. A third of our readership is skeptical about Penn’s commitment to fitness and thinks that Penn at featherweight is a pipe dream.

It also appears that 7% of our readers are delusional (or just decided to be trolls and skew our results by voting for the most insane selection). They believe that Penn will become the UFC featherweight champion by the end of 2014. No joke.

And the ultimate minority, the remaining 5%? They think that Penn will get his revenge on Edgar and then retire afterwards.

Thankfully, it appears that most of our readers have a grip on reality. Penn lost decisively to Edgar two times, largely because he was slower than Edgar and had worse conditioning. These problems will only be exacerbated when Penn, who’s notorious for his poor conditioning and inability to fight to the death, attempts to drop down to featherweight — a weight class Edgar has fought in twice now without any sign that he’s been depleted by the weight cut. Penn, once he realizes that he’s not a young man anymore and that he wasted his prime thinking that he was too good to train hard, will very likely retire again.

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BJ Penn to Train in Brazil With Jose Aldo and Renan Barao Before Frankie Edgar Fight

bj penn val kilmer
(Alright BJ, now that you’ve kicked your training camp up a notch, it’s time to fire your dietician.) 

Before B.J. Penn joined the UFC and became a multi-division champion and future hall of famer, he received his black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from Nova Uniao’s head coach, Andre Pederneiras. Now, as Penn plans his come back fight against Frankie Edgar in 2014, the fighter has asked Pederneiras to help prepare him.

Pederneiras coaches featherweight champion Jose Aldo, so he has experience preparing for Edgar. “We’ve studied Edgar’s game a lot for Aldo’s fight,” he said, according to MMA Fighting‘s Guilherme Cruz.

“So I believe there’s no better place and sparring’s better for B.J. to come back in great fashion and motivated.”

Details are not official but Pederneiras says that he wants Penn to conduct his training camp in Rio where he can train with the likes of Aldo and bantamweight champion Renan Barao. This is an interesting piece of news, though it may be premature to assume anything about what Penn will do just yet.

First off, we were under the impression that Penn was told he’d get a chance to fight for the featherweight title if he were to beat Edgar, as they are doing the bout at 145 pounds. Their first two fights were lightweight title affairs. That seemed dubious at first precisely because of Penn’s connection to Aldo’s Nova Uniao’s team. It seems unlikely that Pederneiras would prepare Penn to become the #1 contender to his prize pupil’s title.

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BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar to Coach TUF 19, Then Meet in a Featherweight Bout in April 2014


(Quick, BJ! Lose ten pounds! It’s your only hope! / Photo via Getty)

Man, these Ultimate Fighter seasons are getting crazier and crazier, aren’t they? First we had Jon Jones vs. a guy who had absolutely no right to be in the Octagon with him, then we had the Ronda Rousey co-ed slumber party spectacular, and now the UFC is going to give us Frankie Edgar vs. a painfully skinny version of an old semi-retired guy he already beat twice.

Yes, folks, it’s official, and kind of bizarre: BJ Penn is coming out of his temporary hiatus to coach against Frankie Edgar on the 19th season of TUF (debut date TBA). The two former lightweight champs will face off in a featherweight bout next April. The news was confirmed on this evening’s installment of UFC Tonight. As UFC president Dana White explained, the UFC was originally thinking of putting together Frankie Edgar vs. Urijah Faber as TUF 19 coaches, but the fighters couldn’t agree on a weight class. (Edgar didn’t want to drop down to 135, Faber didn’t want to go back up to 145, and Dana White wasn’t sold on the idea of a catchweight fight.)

So then (as the story goes), BJ Penn randomly calls Dana White and says he wants to fight Benson Henderson (?), as a way to earn his way back to a redemption fight against Frankie Edgar at featherweight (??). Does that plan make tons of sense? Not really. But White was happy to take the opportunity that presented itself, and offered Penn an immediate fight against Edgar if he coached TUF. White also claimed that Penn is super fired up about fighting Edgar again, because his previous losses to Edgar feel like “a pebble in his shoe.”

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Benson Henderson Says He’ll Break Anderson Silva’s Title Defense Record by 2016


(Sounds like a good plan, but wait until you’re married for a year, and your wife’s all like, “Bensonnnn why do you spend all your time defending your title, what about meeeeeeeee, we never go anywhere anymorrrrrrre.” Ugh. Am I right? Back me up here, married guys. / Photo via MMAFighting)

It seems like one of MMA’s most untouchable records, but Benson Henderson is convinced that he will beat former middleweight champion Anderson Silva‘s consecutive title defense streak of ten.

“I’m going to break it in 2016,” the ever-confident UFC lightweight champion told MMA Fighting.

I should be able to break it by 2015, but because I’m getting married I’m going to take some time off for my honeymoon. That’s going to set me back by about three to four months. But I have it down exactly. I know when I’m going to break it. It’s going to be early 2016. I know what number I need to get. I know the amount of hard work it’s going to take for me to get there. I know how much I’ve got to get beat up, I know how much I’ve got to practice. I’m aware of it. I know it. Now my goal is to go out there and go do it.

Well, alright. We can’t hate on Henderson. The kid has earned what he has, to say the least, and by all accounts works crazy hard. He’s also just a flat-out incredible fighter and looks better each time out.

That said, considering that he has just three consecutive successful title-defenses right now, with an attempt at a fourth coming Saturday at UFC 164, and that two of those bouts were incredibly close — against Frankie Edgar and his last against Gilbert Melendez — predicting ten straight seems a bit outlandish.

It’s not that Henderson isn’t capable of winning seven more straight, it’s just that he’ll probably continue to fight to close decisions a lot considering the parity of the lightweight division. One of these days, the judges might not see things his way; you’re rolling the dice every time you let the scorecards decide the fight, and you can’t always expect the judges to behave rationally.

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The UFC Featherweight Ladder: Ranking the Division’s Worthiest Challengers


(Pictured above: Barry “Sarge” Walters, the schizophrenic UFC fan who can often be seen running onstage during weigh-ins. / Photo via Getty)

By Alex Giardini

Unlike some weight-classes we won’t mention, the UFC featherweight division is currently loaded with dangerous contenders, any of whom could be a serious title threat in the future. At UFC 163 (August 3rd, Rio de Janeiro), divisional ruler Jose Aldo defends his belt against fan-favorite “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung, and as long as an immediate rematch isn’t booked, there will be a feeding frenzy of 145-pounders trying to make their case as the true #1 contender. So who’s worthiest of the next title shot? Let’s put aside the phony UFC rankings and business-driven matchmaking and break down where each featherweight contender really stands in the pecking order.

Ricardo Lamas

(Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

Lamas is the obvious frontrunner to be next in line but why is he being overlooked? The fact that Jung got the title shot over Lamas after their UFC 162 bout was canceled raised a few eyebrows in itself. Lamas, who hasn’t lost in over a year and a half, has blazed through his opposition in the UFC including men on this very list, and despite demolishing a highly-regarded prospect in Erik Koch back in January, his immediate future is unknown. Lamas has a devastating striking game — including some flashy and dangerous kicks — which gives him the ability to end a fight at any moment. He also has a quality wrestling pedigree, alongside a brown belt in jiu-jitsu, and his ground and pound is murderous; woe to anyone in the division who finds himself on the bottom of Lamas’s elbows and power strikes.

It’s relatively strange that Lamas was skipped in line for a title shot but maybe the UFC feels Aldo’s competition should come with a familiar face. Jung is no slouch, finishing all three opponents thus far in his UFC career, but Lamas also has an equally impressive track record in the company – undefeated in four bouts with previous stoppages over Cub Swanson, Matt Grice. The aforementioned brutalizing of Erik Koch was a major reason to include him in the mix, as Koch was a highly-touted prospect who was already paving his way to a title shot before he met “The Bully.” With Conor McGregor and Cub Swanson angling for fights with the Chicago-born fighter, his next move is up in the air, but maybe he’ll remain quiet until August 3rd to see how everything pans out.

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