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Tag: Franklin McNeil

ICYMI: Franklin McNeil’s Incredibly Awkward Interview of Chris Weidman at UFC 169


(Watch Chris try not to laugh at 0:09-0:12. That almost makes this whole thing worth it.)

It’s only February, but UFC 169 has already given us some strong nominees for the 2014 Potato Awards. Worst Event of the Year? That’s pretty much a lock. Nick Catone vs. Tom Watson and Abel Trujillo vs. Jamie Varner will at least be honorable mentions in the Worst Fight and Best Knockout categories, respectively, and we may have to create a brand-new category for Most Pointless Post-Fight Callout. (Thanks, Alistair).

Even though we linked to it on Saturday night, there was another Potato Award candidate from UFC 169 that you may have missed: Most Awkward Interview, which could very likely go to Franklin McNeil for his not-ready-for-the-Internet ESPN Q&A with Chris Weidman.

Not since Ed Bassmaster’s run-in with Dana White has a UFC interview been more cringe-inducing. The difference is, this is not a joke; Franklin McNeil is really this uncomfortable. From the way he stares at the camera while addressing Weidman, to his “I can barely read these damn cue cards” verbal delivery, it’s a Tito vs. Fedor-caliber train-wreck. Wisely, the cameraman makes the executive decision to keep the focus on Weidman once the conversation gets going. My goodness. Is this the level of talent we can expect from backstage interviewers in the post-Helwani era?

After the jump: Two more brilliant spots from McNeil, this time with Jose Aldo, Ali Bagautinov, and their translators. If you can watch both of them in their entirety, you are officially qualified to be a Navy SEAL.

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Facepalm of the Day: ESPN’s Franklin McNeil Gives Keith Jardine the Edge over Gegard Mousasi

(Well, that explains it.)

When message board commenters gush about how much better The Ultimate Fighter alumni are than the rest of the fighters in their respective division, we typically just give the little TUF noobs a proverbial pinch on the cheek and dismiss their uninformed opinions as being asinine as a result of the impeccable job the UFC and SPIKE did convincing them its true.

But when a so-called MMA expert like Franklin McNeil continually gives the edge to fighters who have appeared on the reality show in bouts against fighters who are widely considered more skilled and are thus ranked accordingly, it makes us shake our heads in disbelief that ESPN, the leader in sports coverage, gives this guy a forum to spew his skewed view of the sport under the guise of journalism. We may print a ton of opinion pieces here, but CagePotato isn’t proclaiming to be the CNN of MMA coverage and we’re clear in stating that editorials contain (sometimes cynically humorous) bias and are not to be taken as fact or even seriously in some cases. ESPN, however, is a different animal than CP.

Josh Gross, you have our sympathy.

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UFC 126 Cram Session: ESPN Entertains McNeil’s Hearsay; Jones Says It’s ‘Silly’ to Think Bader Will Take Him Down


(VidProps: ESPN)

If you’re not already pumped for UFC 126, there isn’t much we (or modern medicine) can do for you at this point. The card is stacked, the matchups are stellar and the UFC middleweight champion showed up at the weigh-in looking like he just stepped out of the orgy scene in “Eyes Wide Shut” and damn near started a brawl. What more do you want? Fine, we’ve got a couple more tidbits for you, but after this we’re done until tonight’s live blog and tomorrow’s aftermath retrospectives.

First, some interesting stuff came out of ESPN’s MMA Live weigh-in special (video at top) on Friday. Most notably, Franklin McNeil makes the wild, barely attributable claim that estranged trainer Shawn Tompkins has been leaking secrets to Anderson Silva’s camp since splitting with Vitor Belfort a couple weeks ago. Basically McNeil quotes “several” anonymous sources telling him hazy things about Tompkins “being in contact with Team Silva” and he “assumes” that it means Tompkins is stabbing Vitor in the back. Dude, and people call us rumor mongers? He also refers to Shawn Tompkins as “Thompson” at least once here, but that’s really beside the point.

Also, we’ve got quotes from Jon Jones that make him sound either totally prepared for Ryan Bader, or not prepared at all. It’s all after the jump …

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Video: Chael Sonnen Talks UFC 117 and Responds to Michael Bisping’s Comments About his Performance


(Video courtesy MMALive)

We’d put our usual "Ignore Franklin McNeil’s inane ramblings,"disclaimer on this video, but after you hear him try to string a series of words together to describe how he was feeling during the Sonnen-Silva fight, it seems unnecessary.

"First time in a long time that I was actually a fan. I’m sitting there and I can’t believe what I’m seeing. No one could have foreseen that particular outcome."

Which outcome is that, Anderson winning by submission against a guy who always loses by submission or you being asked to give your thoughts on it?

Sonnen’s interview makes up for McNeil’s deer in the headlights style of reporting.

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Video: More Chael Sonnen Smack-Talking Shenanigans on Last Night’s Episode of MMA Live


(Video courtesy ESPN)

Rather than sit through Franklin McNeil pretending he knows what he’s talking about for 30 minutes during the above video of last night’s episode of MMA Live, fast forward to the 10:14 mark and watch Chael Sonnen take the boxing analyst-turned-on-air MMA Wikipedia fact reader to task for his biased and bad question.

Sonnen’s verbal mastery was on point from his opening reply, when asked if his "trash talk" is real or if he’s just saying what he has to try to get into Anderson Silva’s head prior to their rapidly approaching UFC 117 showdown.

"First off, I haven’t talked any trash about [Anderson]. I haven’t said anything I’ve apologized for and I certainly haven’t said anything that wasn’t true. And secondly, who cares about Anderson’s head? He pretends he doesn’t understand anyway. I don’t care about Anderson’s head."

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Video: Miguel Torres Rolls Out of Bed to Co-Host “MMA Live”

A slightly hungover-looking Miguel Torres showed up to co-host this week’s edition of ESPN’s "MMA Live," and despite looking like he wants to throw up a couple times he does a pretty good job.  I mean, he’s no Kenny Florian, but MMA’s best internet TV show is such that they can plug almost anyone into the fighter seat and Jon Anik and Franklin McNeil can carry them across the finish line.  Anyone, except Stephan Bonnar, who shows up midway through this episode to stare blankly and stumble through sentences like a robot that is running out of power.

One of the more interesting topics in this episode is whether the delay in the Brock Lesnar/Frank Mir heavyweight showdown helps or hurts Lesnar.  Given his relative inexperience with MMA (particularly the old submissions game, if you know what I mean), you might think that more time in the gym would only benefit the big man.  But Torres offers the fighter’s perspective, suggesting that what will really benefit him is getting in the cage as soon as possible and becoming a better fighter through experience.

What are your thoughts, Potato Nation?  Does this rescheduling give Lesnar more time to develop, or does it simply screw with his training schedule?

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Videos: “MMA Live” Talks UFC 94 + The Hunt Is On For GSP Greasing Footage

The boys from “MMA Live” break down UFC 94, which, of course, includes a thorough look at LubeGate (or as some of you would rather call it, LubriGate).  Franklin McNeil is quick to dismiss it as no big deal, but Kenny Florian makes mention of a “select few” who do make use of greasing agents.  It’s almost as if he has someone specific in mind.  Someone he’s personally faced, who was “slippery,” and who had also trained with one Georges St. Pierre at various points.  Hmmmm….

(Props: MMA Videos)

Internet conspiracy theorists/video editors comb through GSP’s body of work, so to speak, in order to find evidence of past greasing.  The Zapruder film it ain’t, but still worth a look.

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