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Tag: George Sotiropoulos

Warriors on the Rise: 2010′s Breakout Fighters

Every year, a handful of MMA fighters ascend from obscurity to contendership, from prospect status to championship gold — from nothing to something. In honor of The Warrior’s Way, which hits theaters next Friday, we’d like to salute MMA’s breakout class of 2010, whose careers exploded this year, and who are all poised for even larger accomplishments in 2011.

Phil Davis UFC
Notable 2010 victories: Brian Stann (unanimous decision, UFC 109), Alexander Gustafsson (submission R1, UFC 112), Tim Boetsch (submission R2, UFC 123)

Between his pink shorts, action-figure physique, and aggressive grappling, Mr. Wonderful has become an unmistakable figure in the UFC’s light-heavyweight division. A year ago, he was a relatively unknown 4-0 prospect trying to re-invent himself as a cage-fighter after a brilliant collegiate wrestling career at Penn State, which culminated in a 2008 NCAA title. Davis made his Octagon debut this February, and has since sent four straight opponents back to the drawing board, beginning with former WEC champ Brian Stann, and ending with a Submission of the Night performance against Tim Boetsch. Having proven himself against gritty veterans and promising rookies, we’re about to find out if Davis can keep his dominant run going against the next level of UFC contenders.

Court McGee UFC Ultimate Fighter 11 TUF winner trophy glass
Notable 2010 victories: Kris McCray (submission R2, TUF 11 Finale), Ryan Jensen (submission R3, UFC 121)

Court McGee’s life is an object lesson in never, ever giving up, no matter how dire the circumstances. A former drug-addict who was declared clinically dead after an overdose in 2005, McGee got clean and devoted his life to MMA. His stint on The Ultimate Fighter 11 this year was almost cut short after he lost a bum decision to Nick Ring, but McGee re-entered the competition as an injury replacement, and went on to choke out James Hammortree, Brad Tavares, and Kris McCray to earn the season’s middleweight trophy. In his first post-TUF test at UFC 121, he survived getting bombed out on by Ryan Jensen in the first round, and turned the momentum around when Jensen began to fade in round two. In the end, Jensen was tapping like the rest of them, and Court McGee had secured his reputation as one of toughest (and most likable) bastards TUF has ever produced.


Uproar Over George Sotiropoulos’ Legwear Much Ado About Nothing

(Sotiropoulos using his knee and ankle supports to allow Joe Stevenson to get a better grip on his leg.)

A popular topic of debate surrounding next weekend’s UFC 123 event in Auburn Hills, Michigan has focused on the legality of the in-Octagon apparel worn by one of the card’s participants.

Fans and pundits alike seem split about whether or not the compression short-ankle and knee support combination worn by lightweight George Sotiropoulos are legal under the Unified Rules of mixed martial arts.

Even G-Sot’s opponent, Joe Lauzon has labeled the Australian fighter a cheater because of his in-Octagon apparel.

"I don’t see how you can wear your regular fight shorts, compression shorts under that that go to your knee, then wear knee pads on both sides that go halfway down your leg, then ankle supports that go halfway up your leg and down to your toes," Lauzon explained to Ariel Helwani during a recent episode of MMAFighting’s The MMA Hour. "I don’t know what the deal is with the commission, if he’ll be allowed to wear those or not, but we’re prepared for him either way. I don’t really understand how he gets away with them. We’re definitely going to look into it a little bit."

(G-Sot chose to forgo wearing his knee braces at UFC 116 in July after opponent Kurt Pellegrino called him a cheater for wearing them.)

Lauzon may be wasting his time.

According to reputable officials we conferred with from the Nevada State Athletic Commission and New Jersey State Athletic Control Board – two of the main regulatory bodies responsible for helping develop the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts as we know them today – Sotiropoulos’s choice of legwear is perfectly legal under their jurisdictions, but ultimately, the final call goes to the commission overseeing each event.


George Sotiropoulos vs. Joe Lauzon Booked for UFC 123 in Detroit

George Sotiropoulos Kurt Pellegrino UFC 116
Joe Lauzon Gabe Ruediger UFC 118

According to a Sherdog report published yesterday, UFC lightweight contenders George Sotiropoulos (13-2, 6-0 UFC) and Joe Lauzon (19-5, 6-2 UFC) will meet in a pivotal matchup at UFC 123 (November 20th, Auburn Hills). Riding a six-fight win streak including decision victories this year over Kurt Pellegrino and Joe Stevenson, Sotiropoulos would move very close to title contention with an impressive win over Lauzon. The fight would come less than three months after Lauzon’s recent destruction of Gabe Ruediger at UFC 118, which helped him rebound from a lopsided decision loss against Sam Stout at UFC 108.

The Sotiropoulos/Lauzon matchup contradicts an optimistic report in the Sydney Morning Herald that had George taking on BJ Penn or Kenny Florian in his next outing. Though the UFC could have been considering a matchup with Florian, Ken-Flo plans on sharpening his wreslting until the spring.

Related: Tyson Griffin vs. Nik Lentz is also being targeted for UFC 123, and Clay Guida has his next opponent set; he isn’t naming names, but it’s a "big one" against a guy with "ALOT of power in his hands."


Exclusive: Kurt Pellegrino to Train Rocky 4-Style With GSP’s Camp in Montreal for Next Fight

(I understand having to run in the cold, but why do I have to wear these thrift store clothes to do it?) 

Prior to his UFC 116 bout with George Sotiropoulos, Kurt Pellegrino raised a lot of eyebrows when he proclaimed that if he lost the fight, he would promptly retire from the sport. 

At only 31-years of age, it isn’t like Pellegrino’s best years were behind him — in fact, some might argue that he is better than he ever was, which made his vow even more newsworthy.

Following the fight, Pellegrino, who held his own in the bout and nearly finished Sotiropoulos at the final bell, revealed that he had torn his meniscus and ACL in the first round of the fight and that he wasn’t goin’ out on a loss that just didn’t sit well.

We spoke to Kurt yesterday to discuss the fight, the injury and the surgery he has to undergo as well as his roles as a fighter and family man and his future in the sport.

The interview is after the jump.


Armchair Matchmaker: UFC 116 Edition

Brock Lesnar already has a date with Cain Velasquez — potentially at UFC 119 in September — but the fates of all the other winners and losers from Saturday night are still up in the air. So let’s run down a few of the notables and try to determine who they should take on next. You’re really gonna have to start paying us, Joe.

Shane Carwin: Word on the street is that the winner of Junior Dos Santos vs. Roy Nelson at UFC 117 will receive the next heavyweight title shot after Velasquez, which means the loser could be a good opponent for Carwin’s return fight. Cigano and Big Country are both skilled enough to drag Carwin into round 2, where he’ll either crumble again, or prove to everyone that cardio is not his achilles heel.

Chris Leben: He called out Wanderlei Silva following his unbelievable submission victory over Yoshihiro Akiyama, and the Axe Murderer is down with it. Seems like a no-brainer to us. Who wouldn’t want to see two of the UFC’s most beloved brawlers beat the stuffing out of each other? Dana White says he wants to have Leben fight again soon rather than have him sit out the rest of the year while Silva’s knee heals up. But after two fights in two weeks (and $100,000 in bonus money), we think Leben could use a nice vacation.


UFC 116 Post-Fight Press Conference

(Now who’s laughing? I mean at my MMA career, not my tattoo.)

Just a reminder that we will have the post-fight presser right here at approximately 1:00am ET.

Will Chris Leben get Submission of the Night and Wanderlei Silva as his next opponent?

Will Sotiropoulos-Pellegrino or Soszynski-Bonnar get fight of the night?

Will Gerald Harris get Knockout of the Night for his slam KO of David Branch or will Dana give it to a main card fighter?

Who is getting dropped and who is getting a title shot next?

All of these questions and more will be answered below.


Eddie Bravo Explains UFC Departure

("I recommended Gus Johnson as my replacement. I heard he trains twice a week.")

Eddie Bravo contacted Cage Potato last night to expound on the news reported by Gareth Davies Wednesday that he had resigned from his post as an analyst with the UFC.

Although he confirmed he has indeed left the organization, he says his departure was an amicable one and that the move was necessary to allow him to focus more on his growing number of schools and students and will not restrict him from cornering his fighters in the Octagon.

"Yes, I quit to focus on cornering George [Sotiropoulos] and [Dan] Hardy. It was an amazing seven years with Zuffa," Bravo explained via text message. "I owe Dana, Lorenzo and Frank to the death."


Wednesday Morning Link Club: Yep, This Is Really Happening

James Toney

Some selected highlights from our friends around the MMA blogosphere. E-mail for details on how your site can join the MMA Link Club…

– Was Fedor Another Victim of EA’s Cover Curse? (MiddleEasy)

– Shane Carwin: ‘One of Us Will Need Help Leaving the Octagon’ at UFC 116 (MMA Fighting)

– Spike To Telecast Weigh-Ins For UFC 116 Lesnar-Carwin (Watch Kalib Run)

- George Sotiropoulos Will Fight Anyone (

- Three Strikes and You’re Out: How Groin Shots Are Changing the Outcome of Fights (Five Ounces of Pain)

– Photo Gallery: M-1/Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum (FightMagazine)

- Fedor Emelianenko’s Career in 69 Seconds (MMA Scraps)


Videos: Shinya Aoki vs. George Sotiropoulos, Shin vs. Testicles

(Aoki vs. Sotiropoulos, Shooto: Champion Carnival, 10/14/06. Props: MiddleEasy. Fight starts at the 4:00 mark.)

Before he was a rising lightweight star in the UFC, George Sotiropoulos was just another Australian prospect trying to make a name for himself. In October 2006, Sotiropoulos found himself in the ring with Shinya Aoki, who had become the 170-pound boss of Shooto earlier that year. As you’ll see, Georgie spent the entire first round desperately defending leg-lock attempts. Clearly outmatched in the grappling department, he tried a different strategy as soon as round two started — he punted Aoki directly in the groin. The Tobikan Judan couldn’t continue, and the fight was ruled a DQ loss for Sotiropoulos. It wasn’t the first time that Aoki was stopped due to a foul, and it wouldn’t be the last. In 2005, Aoki earned a DQ victory over Shigetoshi Iwase thanks to a low blow, and his first meeting with Gesias Cavalcante ended in a no-contest due to some illegal elbows to the back of the head. Bad luck or overacting? And speaking of nasty nut shots…

After the jump: Former American Gladiator/"MMA fighter" Justice Smith kicks a man in the balls as hard as he can, in the name of science. 


UFC 110 Post-Event Notes: Bonuses, Complaints, and Next Moves

UFC 110 Wanderlei Silva Michael Bisping
(When you know you’ve won a fight, you don’t have to run around with your arms raised, making a big show for the judges. You can just lay on the mat, drooling like a champion. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Following a successful debut in Australia this weekend, the UFC handed out $50,000 performance bonuses to the following lucky bastards:

Fight of the Night: George Sotiropoulos and Joe Stevenson, for their main-card three-rounder. Silva/Bisping might have been a closer battle, but Sotiropoulos gave the Sydney crowd what they paid for — 15 minutes of Aussie domination.

Knockout of the Night: Cain Velasquez, for his first-round smashing of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in the headlining bout.

Submission of the Night: Chris Lytle, for scoring UFC 110′s only sub, a kneebar of Brian Foster during the prelims. Amazingly, Lytle has won seven end-of-night bonuses in his last eight UFC appearances.

In other news…