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Tag: Gegard Mousasi

Who Saw This Coming? Mike Kyle Unretires for Blockbuster Fight With…Valentijn Overeem


(Yeah, we’d miss this kind of thing too. Photo via Getty Images.)  

Alright, this is getting ri-goddamn-diculous.

Less than a fortnight ago, we dropped the official ban hammer on fighters announcing their retirement from the sport, then immediately unretiring. Aside from the fact that most of these so-called “retirements” last less time than the average hangover, the fighters who usually pull this bait-and-switch tend to look anything but “revitalized” or “renewed” upon returning. In most cases, it is quite the opposite.

And the latest offender of our ban? Former Strikeforce light heavyweight and semi-rehabilitated former bastard Mike Kyle, who announced his retirement from the sport following a first round submission loss to Gegard Mousasi in January. As in January of this year. One would think it would take a mighty fine offer against a well known opponent to draw Kyle out of retirement so quickly. One would be wrong, as it was announced recently that Kyle will be squaring off against fellow Strikeforce vet Valentijn Overeem in a heavyweight contest in May. Details via MMAJunkie:

A heavyweight bout between former Strikeforce fighters Mike Kyle (19-9-1) and Valentijn Overeem (32-30) is set for Championship Fighting Alliance’s 11th event, which is slated for May 24 at BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, Fla. 

We haven’t been this excited for a scrap between two aging lower-tier fighters since the Shamrock/Freeman superfight was announced. Any naysayers out there?

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Wanderlei Silva Confirms That Gegard Mousasi Fight Rumor Was an April Fool’s Joke. We Think. It’s Kind of Hard to Tell.


(Wandy’s Trollshades increase his AprilFoolpower by a magnitude of eleventy bazillian. / Photo via Wandy’s FB fan page)

At some point, April Fool’s Day became less about playing elaborate pranks to humiliate your loved ones, and more about just lying to people all day. Nobody puts in the effort anymore. Announcing that your girlfriend/wife is pregnant on Facebook? Yeah, that’s not funny at all. (Side note: @Karmaatemycat gets a pass for doing this yesterday, because the idea of Jefferey Watts as a father is so terrifying that it actually made me hold my face in my hands for about 20 seconds.)

The MMA fighter equivalent of announcing a fake pregnancy is announcing a fake fight or retirement. Tim Kennedy did it. John Alessio did it. Louis Gaudinot did it. The idea is, these statements are believable enough to be true. But in the grand scheme of things, does anybody really give a fuck if John Alessio is coming in to replace Ryan Couture on Saturday? I hate to rag on a guy who we otherwise have so much respect for, but I’m just saying, it’s not a joke, it’s a lie, and making up lies about yourself to trick people is both uncreative and kind of egotistical. As our bro Vince puts it, “Getting me to believe something plausible but untrue is not a ‘prank.’ If that’s a prank, then man have I pranked some women and prospective employers, hoo boy.”

If you make your living on Internet like we do, April Fool’s Day has easily become the worst day of the year. (A close second? April 15th, aka, the Day of Great Reckoning.) Everybody’s a yukster, and you can’t believe a word you read, even if its true. So when Wanderlei Silva announced that the UFC approached him to replace Alexander Gustafsson against Gegard Mousasi on short notice for UFC on FUEL 9, we didn’t know what to think. I mean, we first dismissed it as bullshit — partially on the advice of Dana White himself — but Silva didn’t break character. He kept his story going. And going.

The biggest difference between Wanderlei’s possibly-fake fight announcement and all the others, is that Wandy actually reached out to media. He confirmed his story with MMAWeekly’s Ken Pishna. Then, he gave a rather entertaining interview to Tatame where he had this to say:

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Alexander Gustafsson Suffers Facial Cut in Training, UFC on FUEL 9 Headliner in Jeopardy


(Well, technically it *was* a training injury. Alexander was trying to train his dog to dance in a circle, and the dog clawed the shit out of his face. / Photo via AlexTheMauler)

As first reported yesterday by the Swedish news outlet SVT, UFC light-heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson suffered a gash in his eyebrow while sparring, which could lead to the cancellation of his UFC on FUEL 9 headlining bout against Gegard Mousasi this coming Saturday. A follow-up report from MMAnytt confirmed with the Swedish MMA Association that it will take several weeks before the injury heals up, and that Gustafsson won’t be medically approved for the fight “with 99% certainty.”

If Gustafsson indeed has to withdraw from his UFC on FUEL 9 match on short notice, it would be devastating, both for the event — which was being carried to a large extent by Gustafsson — and for Alexander himself, who was likely just one more impressive performance away from clinching a light-heavyweight title shot.

However, the fight hasn’t been formally canceled yet. As UFC president Dana White explained in a text message to Ariel Helwani, “The [Swedish Mixed Martial Arts Federation] has not said he can’t fight, and he wants to fight.”

We’ll update you if anything changes. In the meantime, you can bet that the UFC is turning over every rock to find a big-name backup opponent for Mousasi, because if the main event is switched to Ross Pearson vs. Ryan Couture at the last minute, you really couldn’t blame the Swedes for rioting.

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Alexander Gustafsson to Receive Title Shot With Win Over Gegard Mousasi; Henderson/Machida Remain on UFC’s Pay-No-Mind List


(“I would consider it an honor to fight a great champion like Chael Sonnen. LOL, just kidding.” Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

Not that reports like this are ever worth a damn, but in accordance with the current mood of UFC President Dana White, Swedish light-heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson will receive a title shot if he can beat Gegard Mousasi in the main event of UFC on FUEL TV 9, April 6th in Stockholm.

If Mousasi beats Gustafsson, he skyrockets right to the top of that division,” White said today in London. “And as far as Gustafsson goes, if he beats Mousasi in that fight, he’s in line for a title shot. This is a big fight for both of those guys.”

This, of course, is an old trick — pumping up a non-title-fight main event by declaring that it has title fight “implications.” But the UFC could very likely stick to their word this time, if for no other reason than to further punish Dan Henderson for his role in sinking UFC 151 and Lyoto Machida for refusing a title shot at UFC 152. Those two poor saps will be playing second-fiddle to a couple of broads in ten days at UFC 157.

Gustafsson has won his last six fights, which ties him for #4 on the list of longest current UFC win streaks. Would a seventh win against Mousasi convince you that he’d be a threat to Bones?

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Alexander Gustafsson to Welcome Gegard Mousasi to UFC in April


(Let’s get this man some new gloves)

Swedish sensation Alexander Gustafsson is going to put his six fight win streak and legit claim to #1 contender-ship in the light heavyweight division on the line against Gegard Mousasi April 6. The UFC just announced that the pair will headline UFC on FUEL TV 9 this spring.

Mousasi last lost in 2010 against Muhammed Lawal and is coming off of a submission win over Mike Kyle at the final Strikeforce event. Gustafsson won a decision over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in December.

If it wasn’t for his young age and the long line of people talking themselves into title shots against champion Jon Jones and the huge mess that has ensued, Gustafsson would likely already be considered worthy of challenging “Bones.” As it stands, Gustafsson has to keep on fighting and winning to earn his shot.

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And Now He’s Retired: Mike Kyle, Semi-Rehabilitated Former Bastard


(Photo via sports.sho.com)

Following his first-round submission loss to Gegard Mousasi at Saturday’s Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine event, Mike Kyle reportedly told Ariel Helwani that he was throwing in the towel on his MMA career: “It’s not in me anymore. That was my last one,” Kyle said. Assuming that the 32-year-old AKA product keeps his word, Kyle’s overall record ends at 19-9-1 with 2 no-contests, competing as a heavyweight and light-heavyweight over the last 12 years.

How you react to this news will probably depend on how long you’ve been following the sport. If you’re a relatively new fan, you probably think of Kyle — if you think of him at all — as one of Strikeforce’s dependable space-fillers, who was always there when a guy like Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva or Fabricio Werdum needed an opponent. Kyle’s single greatest accomplishment over the last three years was his upset knockout of Rafael “Feijao” Cavlacante in June 2009; their rematch last year ended in a 33-second submission loss for Kyle, but the result was overturned due to the Brazilian slugger failing a drug test.

But if you’ve been an MMA fan for a long time, you might still think of Mike Kyle as a scumbag, a shameful black mark on an already nasty business. Here’s how we summarized Kyle’s greatest hits in our “10 Most Despicable People in MMA” list from April 2008, where we stuck Kyle at #3, between Nazi fighter Melvin Costa (#4) and UFC president Dana White (#2):

Bit Wes Sims‘s chest during their fight at UFC 47. Repeatedly kneed Justin Eilers in the balls during their fight at UFC 49. Poked Tsuyoshi Kosaka in the eye during a Pancrase match in October 2005. Poked Krzysztof Soszynski in the eye during a Strikeforce match in March 2006. Two months later, he illegally soccer kicked Brian Olsen during a WEC match, knocking him out, then punched him several times while he was unconscious, despite the ref’s efforts to pull Kyle off…

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Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine Aftermath — The Awkward Goodbyes

I’ll be completely honest: I didn’t watch Strikeforce’s farewell card live last night. I recorded it, and watched it when I was done watching football. Am I just that dedicated of a 49ers/Packers fan? Not quite; last night was the first time I watched either team play all season. Rather, my mentality was that I haven’t been changing my schedule to accommodate Strikeforce events for the past two years now [Author Note: Damn, was the buyout really two years ago already? Time flies when you're watching something die.], so why start now for the promotion’s grand finale.

Reading through the collection of Strikeforce tributes online, it’s obvious that I’m not the only one feeling this way. Articles and tweets about the demise of Strikeforce have been respectful, but not overly-sentimental, and the comments sections of various liveblogs covering the event didn’t exactly blow up for the occasion. There were none of the regrets, what-nows and what-could-have-beens that usually come along with failed business ventures – just a few awkward goodbyes as Zuffa prepared to pull the plug on the machine that no longer served any purpose.

And honestly, why would anyone other than Strikeforce’s employees, fighters and Scott Coker feel any differently? The death of Strikeforce doesn’t mark the end of a promotion that has been pumping out relevant fights for the past two years. It isn’t the death of an alternative option for fighters not wanting to sign with Zuffa. It isn’t the even the end of free MMA on basic cable.

I guess it would be different if this card was stacked with the fighters who made Strikeforce Strikeforce, such as Cung Le, Nick Diaz, Alistair Overeem, Ronda Rousey, Gilbert Melendez and Luke Rockhold, but they’ve either been assimilated into the UFC by now or they’ve pulled out of the event due to injury/apathy. Instead, this card served as one final night of squash fights – one of which actually ended differently than you may have expected.

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Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine — Live Results and Commentary


(I know what you’re thinking: Why the hell did they leave Nandor Guelmino off the poster? Well I don’t mean to alarm you, but that bright shining ball of fire in the background *is* Nandor Guelmino.)

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the end of the world. Tonight’s last-ever Strikeforce event went from a championship triple-header to Squash City in a hurry, and it’s okay to feel depressed about it. (If you need somebody to talk to, call 1-888-BRO-TATO and one of our mental health professionals will be on the line shortly.)

On the main card this evening, Nate Marquardt puts his welterweight title on the line against Belgian standout Tarec Saffiedine, Daniel Cormier and Josh Barnett try not to shit the bed against their unheralded opponents, Gegard Mousasi returns from a long layoff to face Mike Kyle, and Ed Herman crosses the UFC/Strikeforce DMZ to bang with the always-dangerous Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.

Like a spirit guide leading us from one realm of existence to the next, Jim Genia will be sticking round-by-round results from the “Marquardt vs. Saffiedine” Showtime broadcast after the jump, beginning at 10 p.m. ET. Make your voices heard in the comments section, and please, let’s honor this moment.

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Aw Geez, Now Luke Rockhold is Injured and Off of Strikeforce’s Final Card


CagePotato Conspiracy Theory: Rockhold isn’t hurt, but he already sold the belt on eBay while people were still willing to bid on his treasure.

There’s no need for a wordy introduction here: Strikeforce has officially become so incompetent that it can’t even die correctly.

After canceling two consecutive events, Strikeforce planned to have an absolutely stacked grand finale on January 12, 2013 featuring three title fights and Heavyweight Grand Prix champion Daniel Cormier. Much like everything else that Strikeforce has planned since being purchased by Zuffa, things quickly went wrong. First, lightweight kingpin Gilbert Melendez got injured/realized he was in a no-win scenario fighting for Strikeforce again and pulled out of the event. Now, middleweight champion Luke Rockhold is also off of the card, citing a wrist injury as the reason for his departure. According to The MMA Corner:

The MMA Corner has learned from sources close to the camp of Rockhold that the middleweight champion has suffered a wrist injury and has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled Jan. 12 title defense against Lorenz Larkin.

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Video Tribute: The Eight Most Insane Moments in DREAM History


(“You’ll never get me Lucky Charms!”)

For nearly four years, the Japanese MMA promotion DREAM did its best to carry the mantle of PRIDE, presenting the same mix of top international talent and freak-show comic relief, all inside of a traditional ring, rather than a filthy American cage. But we were hit with some sad news this weekend as multiple sources reported that DREAM has ceased day-to-day operations, and will no longer be producing events. So as we like to do when great MMA traditions die, let’s take a look back at some of the fights that made this promotion so unique, so entertaining, and so balls-out insane…

#8: Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Melvin Manhoef
DREAM.4, 6/15/08 

Though Kazushi Sakuraba’s fame was partly based on his willingness to absorb damage from larger fighters, the level of savagery that Melvin Manhoef inflicted on him during their meeting at the Yokohama Arena probably should have convinced Saku to walk away from the sport. The moment when Manhoef drags Saku away from the ropes by his leg so he can dive in to continue the assault (see the 2:43 mark above) remains one of DREAM’s most indelible and brutal moments.

#7: Shinya Aoki vs. dumb-ass gaijin
DREAM.7, 3/8/09

Another tradition that DREAM inherited from PRIDE? Absurd mismatches. At the time of this fight, Aoki was widely considered to be a top-3 lightweight, while Gardner was an obscure 13-7 journeyman who was coming off a loss to Brian Cobb. Aoki’s domination on the mat was no surprise, but the fight became legendary for how it ended. Stuck with Aoki on his back, Gardner took advantage of a brief pause in the action — and the near-silence in the Saitama Super Arena — to wave to the crowd and shout “Hello Japan!” Aoki immediately wrapped up Gardner’s neck and choked him out, causing the crowd to break out in laughter and Bas Rutten to cry “Oh my God it is so dumb! So dumb! Why?!” Some things just can’t be explained, Bas.

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