As MMA gamely stumbles into 2013, we’ve once again decided to bestow meaningless awards to the fighters and moments that caught our attention this year. CagePotato’s crack team of writers spent all month nominating winners in 27 different categories, which we’ve loosely arranged in chronological order. Use the “next page” links to scroll through this monster, or click on the following page links at your leisure. And as always, thanks for putting up with us for another year. Here’s to bigger and better things in 2013, which shouldn’t be a tough goal to hit, considering.
Can you guys imagine what the MMA landscape will be like if Nate Diaz is able to defeat Ben Henderson on Saturday, thus becoming the lightweight champion? For starters, this article will be the first and last time you ever see the word “thus” in a sentence where the subject is a Diaz, but on the grander scale, just try and imagine the ways a Diaz with a belt will throw a wrench into the UFC’s plans. Interviews snippets will be so short and incoherent that MMA writers will be forced to resort to rambling, ludicrous conspiracy theories just to pass the time. And as for the brand-promoting public appearances that have become the standard for a champion? You can forget about those; we’re talking about a man who once tried to fight a fictional Brazilian character at a Jiu-Jitsu expo for Christ’s sake. If one fan even mentions the Maynard fight around Diaz in public, the UFC will probably have a full-scale riot on their hands.
If you would, just picture Nate Diaz at an anti-bullying seminar for a moment. After showing up 3 hours late and being reluctantly called to the stage, Diaz will deliver a one minute diatribe aimed at America’s “faggoty yoots“ who should “just like, yeah, I dunno” before calling out “that bitch Georges,” his eyes never lifting from the linoleum floor. When he is informed that he is in fact the lightweight champion and can’t fight GSP right now, Diaz will declare that he’s “done with this shit” before slapping that stupid ass hat off the school’s gym teacher on his way out the door. Simply put, it will be glorious.
We were already plenty excited for former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar‘s challenge of featherweight king Jose Aldo — which will finally take place February 2nd at UFC 156 — but it turns out the stakes are larger than we thought. Aldo says that if he beats Edgar he will know he’s ready to move up to 155 pounds and challenge for that belt.
Edgar is trying to see if his speed will translate at featherweight and bring him more gold. Aldo is similarly using the fight as a litmus test for his readiness to take on the lightweights of the world. MMA Fighting’s Dave Doyle has the report.
“I’ve considered going to lightweight,” said Aldo. “As soon as my trainer decides that I can go up, then I will. This fight with Edgar will be a turning point. If I can win [against] him well, then I can prove that I can go [to 155 pounds].”
Despite being one of the very best trainers in MMA, Phil Nurse gets relatively little press and up until now very little has been publicly known about his life, careers and philosophies. He coaches Georges St. Pierre, Frankie Edgar and Jon Jones, just to name a few UFC fighters.
As we discovered when we visited Nurse at his downtown Manhattan gym, however, the Kru is much more than his impressive resume. He is a combat genius and is able to convey his unique perspective and vision to his students with calm clarity. It is no wonder that some of the best fighters in the world seek him out to become even better.
With Georges St. Pierre returning to action after a year and a half at UFC 154 this Saturday in Montreal, it is a perfect time to hear from one of his coaches and corner men in Nurse. After the jump, sit with us and listen to the newest episode of The Conversation where Nurse talk about his unlikely path to Muay Thai, his own fighting career, meeting Georges St. Pierre and the spirituality that can be found through fight training.
When the two fighters meet, it’ll be Aldo’s first Octagon appearance in more than year, as a pair of injuries have kept him out of the cage since his last title defense against Chad Mendes at UFC 142. It’ll also be Edgar’s first-ever UFC fight at featherweight. Will the former lightweight champ look stronger against an opponent closer to his own size, or will he be sacrificing the speed advantage that served him so well during his long stint at 155 pounds?
Right now this is still a rumor, but it’s clearly a fight that both Aldo and Edgar still want, and we figured it was only a matter of time before their title bout was rescheduled. Aldo has not lost in nearly seven years and has a fourteen fight win streak. Most recently he knocked Chad Mendes out with one second left in the first round of their UFC 142 main event.
Edgar has lost two fights in a row, both close decisions to current lightweight champ Benson Henderson. It has been reported that Edgar walked around at around 160 pounds for years as he fought at 155 pounds, whereas opponents like Henderson and Gray Maynard were upwards of 180 pounds. Given his frame and walking weight, it isn’t inconceivable that Edgar could fight at 135 pounds but Dana White and fans have clamored for years for Edgar to at least give featherweight a shot.
Edgar was loathe to drop down in weight but the opportunity to fight for another world title despite being on a two-fight losing streak was too good for him to pass up. Is this the fight you want to see, taters? And if it happens, who do you have in it?
“Scarface” and “Answer” highlight videos await you after the jump.
(Seen here: One of the fighters who still has a chance of competing at UFC 153.)
Let’s face it: There is little more we can say to convey our disappointment in the disintegration of UFC 153. The card began solid enough (see above), then it got a little less awesome, then it got significantly more awesome, and now it is resting in a state of awesome limbo that it may never return from, which is not really awesome at all if you think about it.
What fight would you, the fans, like to see as the new main event of UFC 153?
We’ve placed a few of the most likely options after the jump, but feel free to choose the “Other” option and give us your picks/reasoning in the comments section. The sky is the limit, but we must warn you, we’ve already asked Dana to consider Zimmer-Martinez II, and he gave us a resounding “maybe.”
(“What kind of backwards country is this? The game is called Whac-a-Mole, not Whac-a-Capybara, and the animals aren’t supposed to be alive!”)
Just a few hours ago, we promised that a few beautiful knockout videos would successfully help us all blissfully drift into a world where injuries no longer determined both the content of everyother CP article and the makeup of every other UFC card, but it seems our vision of an impossibly awesome MMA utopia is merely that…an impossibility.
Be that as it may, some of you might be pleased to hear that amidst the UFC 153 clusterfuck of injuries lies a potential silver lining. According to FightersOnly, who have sited several anonymous sources, a grudge match years in the making between Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen is being looked at as a possible replacement for UFC 153 now that Jose Aldo — or perhaps, the general incompetence of Brazilian drivers — has massacred our dreams of a featherweight title superfight.
Details remain sketchy at the moment, but in a recent interview with Portal do Vale Tudo, Silva stated that he would be more than willing to step up for the good of the UFC and his home country’s fans if asked to do so:
I think fighting in Rio would be great. Under no circumstances could I turn that down. I would love to fight for the crowd in Rio, and if it were against that guy who everybody wants me to face, it would be beautiful.
As I’ve discussed before, being a writer for a “comedic” “MMA” website such as CagePotato has its positives and its negatives. The positives, of course, are the legions of swooning, scantily clad women that are literally willing to do anything to meet Jon Jones, Chuck Liddell, or whomever we are claiming to be incredibly close friends with at the time. There are also the lavish cars, houses, and general respect from your peers that have become a staple of the blogger trade to be grateful for.
But perhaps even greater than the constant influx of trim and general swagger that comes hand-in-hand with the MMA blogger lifestyle are the epic knockout videos we get to post whenever we feel like it under the false guise of “journalism.” And with the great injury curse of 2012 once again putting us all in the dumps, today seems perfect for one such occasion, so join us after the jump for a trifecta of KO’s (and even a flying triangle) to help you cope with the fact that yet another UFC event has been temporarily upended.
It may not have happened yet, but we’re going to go ahead and claim that GSP is out of UFC Whatever with a torn Whachamacallit.
The news was once again delivered by Dana White via his Twitter.
Now Aldo is out with foot injury. Main and co main in the same day!! Another amazing day at the UFC. We have some work to do.
The injury is apparently related to the motorcycle accident Aldo was involved in just under a week ago, which shows us that the injury curse has moved on from simple hope crushing to full-on psychological warfare. Fuck you, injury curse. Fuck you right in the pooper.