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Tag: Gabriel Gonzaga

Booking Smorgasbord: Oliveira vs. Swanson, Thiago vs. Kim, + More


(RagePotato: Using the sleekest technology possible to combine MMA and stupid internet trends since 2007.) 

Not many of us expected Brazilian up-and-comer Charles “do Bronx” Oliveira to absolutely manhandle TUF 12 winner Jonathan Brookins in the fashion he did at the TUF 15 Finale. Sure, Brookins’ head movement and general striking stance most closely resembles a Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em robot when his block has been knocked off, but Oliveira’s performance, which improved his featherweight record to 2-0, was truly a coming out party for a fighter who already had a considerable amount of hype behind him. Given the circumstances, it’s all the more appropriate (not to mention exciting) that Oliveira has been booked to take on fellow ever-rising featherweight Cub Swanson at UFC 152, which goes down on September 22nd at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Swanson has looked nothing short of spectacular lately, blistering George Roop and Ross Pearson in consecutive bouts at UFC on FOX 2 and UFC on FX 4.

After falling to the secret death-touch taught to Demian Maia by Sensei Seagal at UFC 148, Dong Hyun Kim is set to return to action against the always dangerous but struggling Paulo Thiago at UFC on FUEL 6, which will make for the UFC’s first ever trip to China on November 10th from the Cotai Arena in Cotai, Macau. Thiago last performed a dead-on impression of a cadaver in his bout with Siyar Bahadurzada at UFC on FUEL 2 (his first career loss via KO) and has dropped three of his last four bouts, so look for him to try and end things impressively against Kim because his career may be on the line.

And in heavyweight booking news…

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UFC 146 Injury Switcheroo: Roy Nelson Now Facing Dave Herman, Jamie Varner Returns Against Edson Barboza


(Just don’t come between Dave and his cubs.)

A pair of injuries have led to even more changes to the already chaotic UFC 146 lineup. As confirmed last night, heavyweight Gabriel Gonzaga has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled fight against Roy Nelson, and will be replaced by Dave Herman, who suffered a TKO loss to Stefan Struve in his last Octagon appearance. This is the second opponent switch for Nelson, who was originally supposed to face Antonio Silva on the “Dos Santos vs. Mir” card.

Meanwhile in the prelims, lightweight contender Evan Dunham is out of his fight against undefeated rising star Edson Barboza, and will be replaced by former WEC champ Jamie Varner. Since exiting the WEC after going 0-3-1 in 2010, Varner has won three of four fights outside the Zuffa fold, most recently stopping Drew Fickett in 40 seconds at XFC 16. However, all of Varner’s recent fights have come at 160-170 pounds, and one of those matches resulted in a loss to Dakota Cochrane, of all people. Will Varner be at a disadvantage trying to make 155 again on short notice? Will it even matter, considering that Barboza vs. Varner is the biggest UFC squash match of the year?

UFC 146 goes down May 26th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The current (but probably not final) lineup is after the jump…

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CagePotato Roundtable #8: What Was Your Lowest Moment as an MMA Fan?


(Props: David T. Cho)

Being an MMA fan ain’t easy sometimes. Hyped-up fights turn out to be snorefests, scandals damage the sport’s legitimacy, incredible parlay bets get wrecked by incompetent judging, forcing us to explain to our kids once again that Santa Claus most have lost our address this year. On today’s CagePotato Roundtable, we’re discussing the fights and moments that made us want to give up on MMA entirely and follow [*shudder*] baseball for a while. Let us know your own lowest fan-moment in the comments section, and if you have a topic for a future Roundtable column, send it it to tips@cagepotato.com.

Seth Falvo

It’s crazy how life goes full circle: When I was ten years old, Doug Flutie was my favorite NFL player. I begged my dad to buy me Flutie Flakes for breakfast, so that I too could grow up and be a successful, albeit undersized quarterback for a small market football team. My dad refused, which explains why I’m now a writer (You’re welcome, Andrew Luck). After all, I was too young to remember the real Doug Flutie, the Heisman Trophy winning Boston College quarterback who helped make the USFL somewhat relevant. Flutie may have still been a talented quarterback — especially for his age — but he had clearly lost a step by the time I started watching football.

Thirteen years later I was on the phone with my dad, talking about one of the most lopsided fights he had ever seen. I spent the entire conversation trying to convince him that the small, pudgy guy he just watched get destroyed by a no-name oddity was at one point the most dangerous fighter on the planet. As you may have guessed, I’m specifically referring to Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Silva. But really, Fedor’s entire Strikeforce run can be summed up the exact same way. Perhaps Fedor was too old, perhaps the heavyweight division had simply caught up to him, or perhaps it was a combination of the two. But one thing is clear: By the time that Fedor made his way to Strikeforce, he was no longer the untouchable fighter that he had once been.

Even in his lone victory, a second round knockout against Brett Rogers, he was arguably losing the fight before connecting with the fight ending right hand. And Brett Rogers is no Apollo Creed; he’s barely a pimple on the ass of Vodka Drunkenski. He’s a gatekeeper in every sense of the word — just legitimate enough for EliteXC to have kept him away from a “prime” Kimbo Slice, but not legitimate enough to pose any threat of beating a true contender. We had all the warning signs that Fedor was going to be a bust signing after this fight, yet we chose to ignore them because hey, he won, right?

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UFC 146 Heavyweight Shuffle, Part 2: Nelson vs. Gonzaga, Del Rosario vs. Miocic Added to Main Card


(I’ve met some ugly chicks on PlentyofFish before, but Angie was a new low for me. And she looked even worse with her clothes off.)

Fun fact: Alistair Overeem’s withdrawal from UFC 146 has now resulted in six fighters on the main card getting their opponents switched a month out from the fight. (Only the Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Struve bout has been completely unaffected.) In the latest edition of “Dos Santos vs. Mir” musical chairs, Roy Nelson gets a new opponent, and an undefeated heavyweight prospect comes in to fill the gap.

— With his original opponent Antonio Silva now facing Cain Velasquez, Roy Nelson’s new dance-partner on May 26th will be Gabriel Gonzaga. “Napao” is coming off his successful UFC return against Edinaldo Oliveira in Rio, and was originally slated to kick off the UFC 146 pay-per-view against 11-0 Strikeforce vet Shane Del Rosario. Now it’ll be Gonzaga vs. Big Country, a battle of BJJ black belts with knockout power. We can dig that.

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Eight Fighters We Wish Were Better Than They Actually Are


(Step 1. Absorb EVERY kick, Step 2. ??????, Step 3. Profit. Props to the brilliant cine-files over at Pajiba for the inspiration behind this article.) 

Mixed martial arts fans are perhaps the most ruthless group of people out there; a quick scroll down any one of our comments sections only confirms this. One minute, a certain fighter is praised as a ruthless, badass hombre cut from the same cloth as the greatest champions the sport has ever known, and the next, they’re being told to save themselves the embarrassment of another performance and just retire already. It’s a crazy sport.

But then there are those few and far between fighters that we choose to rally behind regardless of where they currently stand in the MMA ranking system. Sometimes it’s simply because they can make us laugh, and other times it’s their “go for broke” mentality that wins us over. Sure, they’ve dropped seven of their last eight, including one to a drunken bar patron who accidentally stumbled into the ring, but all of those fights were like totally awesome, bro, so who are we to complain when they are kept around while other, more talented fighters are let go?

Here are eight fighters we will continue to root for, no matter how quickly their performances make us silently wish otherwise.

#8 – Aaron Riley

(Even when Riley *doesn’t* lose a fight, he still loses the fight.) 
Current record: 30-13-1
Record in last five fights: 2-3

Aaron Riley’s nickname could very well be “TUF Fodder,” because the man has fought nothing but The Ultimate Fighter alums, and often winners, for the better part of his UFC career. And it’s a shame, because the dude always brings the fight to these whippersnappers, but simply hasn’t been able to put any of them away. Most recently, he had his jaw broken again by TUF 13 winner Tony Ferguson at UFC 135. Back at UFC 105, he was made into mince meat by TUF 9 winner Ross Pearson. Set to square off against, you guessed it, TUF 12 alum Cody McKenzie, at UFC on FUEL 3 in May, Riley may be looking at his final chance to prove he can hang with these young guns before he is demoted to the Strikeforce roster. Speaking of a certain Alaskan native…

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Video Tribute: 11 Music Videos Featuring MMA Fighters


(Apparently, some fighters thought that LL was the singer of ‘Macarena.’)

With the growing popularity of the sport of mixed martial arts, it’s surprising that we haven’t seen more fighters in music videos. Maybe MTV just isn’t ready for cauliflower ear.

At any rate, there have been a few fighters who have appeared in a handful of videos.

Check out some of our favorites after the jump.

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UFC 146 Booking Update: Gonzaga vs. Del Rosario, Brandao vs. Elkins


(Separated at birth??)

The UFC’s May 26th stop in Las Vegas — which will hopefully be headlined by Junior Dos Santos vs. Alistair Overeem — continues to pick up manpower.

In the heavyweight division, undefeated former Strikeforce contender Shane Del Rosario will make his UFC debut against the suddenly-not-retired Gabriel Gonzaga. Del Rosario’s 11-0 record includes 10 wins by first-round stoppage, but he hasn’t competed since his submission of Lavar Johnson a year ago. Meanwhile, Gonzaga just picked up his first win in the UFC since 2009 when he choked out Ednaldo Oliveira at UFC 142. Gonzaga’s last three UFC victories have come against Octagon first-timers, which might be a bad omen for Del Rosario.

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MMA Gif Tribute: 9 ‘Lawn Chair’ Knockouts


(If anyone can explain what is going on in this photo, we’ll give you Carmen Valentina’s digits.) 

After Edson Barboza’s spinning heel kick KO over Terry Etim gave birth to the phrase “falling tree” knockout here on CP, we got to thinking, what other classifications of devastation existed in the MMA highlight-o-sphere? Debates got heated, egos got crushed, and limbs got mangled, but we were eventually able to agree that the next category of KO’s in need of appreciation was that of the “lawn chair.”

What is a “lawn chair” knockout, you ask? Well, it’s that special kind of knockout, perhaps the complete opposite of a “falling tree,” in which the victim’s legs give out from underneath them almost instantaneously after the lethal blow is delivered, often forcing their body to collapse into itself like that of a common lawn chair. And to add insult to injury, the poor son of a bitch often receives an unnecessary strike courtesy of his own knee on the way down. Here are nine of the finest examples, in no particular order.

Chuck Liddell v. Guy Mezger

Ricardo Lamas v. Bendy Casimir

Check out seven more beautiful examples of this phenomena after the jump.

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UFC 142: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

UFC 142 Gabriel Gonzaga
(Face, you are a scary. / Photo via FOX Sports)

By Mark Dorsey
One final recap of Saturday night’s UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes event, Clint Eastwood-style.

The Good
Edson Barboza‘s astounding spinning heel kick knockout of Terry Etim. Mike Goldberg might have been exaggerating a bit when he called it “maybe the most spectacular knockout in UFC history,” but it’s certainly the early front-runner for Greatest Knockout of 2012. And props to Joe Rogan for immediately recalling Baraboza’s prior use of the kick against Anthony Njokuani. As Rogan mentioned, it’s an under-utilized technique that we may start to see come in-vogue in 2012, much like the crane kick in 2011.

Gabriel Gonzaga needed a good performance to provoke any sort of excitement in his return to the UFC’s heavyweight division. Even sweeter than his early finish was his proclamation that we can expect to see him return to the submission base that generated so much interest in his first run at UFC contention.

• After two highly energetic Brazilian shows within a year, the UFC has found its most passionate and dedicated audience. The crowd at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro was loud, enthusiastic, and everything one would expect from a bunch of rowdy Brazilian fight fans. There was a good amount of variation in the chants throughout the night — from “U.S.A., to “Thiago,” to the famous soccer anthem “ole ole ole” — and a surreal crowd-surfing celebration from defending featherweight champion Jose Aldo capped off the incredible fan involvement.

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UFC 142 GIF Party: The Finishes & Other Highlights

Behold: a shining example of “kick face“. (Photo: UFC.com)

Brazilian fans are credited with being the most raucous audience in the world, and last night’s fighters gave them plenty to cheer about. Six of the nine bouts ended via knock out or submission*, with five of those stoppages coming in the first round.

Chokes, knees, and even a spinning wheel kick punctuated last night’s fights (*as did a controversial referee stoppage). Pop on in for a motion picture tribute to UFC 142.

As always, praise be to Zombie Prophet.

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