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21 Humans Who Make Being Human Look Really, Really Hard

Tag: Georges St. Pierre

#1 Contender Match? Not So Much…

Kenny Florian Roger Huerta UFC MMA
(“Considering our fight is pretty much meaningless now, we’re just gonna bro out for a while, if that’s cool.”)

Partly because of BJ Penn’s restlessness and partly because of Roger Huerta’s stalled contract negotiations the UFC is no longer promising that the winner of Saturday’s match between El Matador and Kenny Florian will get an immediate title shot. During an appearance on TAGG Radio, Dana White edited previous statements about the fight’s #1 contender status:

“There’s no guarantees that Florian and Huerta are going to get a title shot after this fight,” White said of Saturday’s lightweight bout. “It definitely puts them in the mix … but definitely, if St. Pierre beats Fitch, it’s looking like it’ll be GSP (vs.) B.J. Penn.”

The thing is, that’s not exactly how Penn sees it. The Prodigy recently told MMA Weekly that he’s 170-bound no matter what happens in tomorrow night’s main event:

“I’d feel okay facing anyone for the welterweight title…It would be great to put on a big fight with me and St-Pierre, but then again, it’s about me fighting the best fighter and if Fitch goes down and proves he’s the best fighter, then he’s the man.”

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Exclusive Interview: Jon Fitch

Jon Fitch is well aware of his underdog status going into tomorrow night’s title fight with Georges St. Pierre. He knows not many people are expecting him to win, but he doesn’t seem to care. In this exclusive interview he talks about what it’s going to take to beat GSP and why he feels he still isn’t getting the respect he deserves from fans and “self-proclaimed experts.”

CagePotato.com: Hey Jon, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Now that we’re so close to the fight, how are you feeling?

Great. Training went really well. Had a great camp, a lot of people have been helping me out. I feel really confident. I feel really great right now.

Who did you have working with you to help you get ready for GSP?

The usual guys like Josh Koscheck and Mike Swick, everybody at AKA. And then Jake Shields was coming in for three weeks or so, helping me out. Even Brock Larson, who was a former opponent of mine, was in town helping me out for a couple of weeks. So I had really great guys working with me.

Was Koscheck able to give you any special insight about GSP based on his fight with him?

Yeah, he helped me with little things, like what GSP’s strength is like, what his speed is like, stuff like that. Just knowing that he’s fast and strong is one thing, but knowing how fast and how strong is another. Knowing how I compare to him in those departments, those kinds of things really helped.

I heard you say before that Koscheck didn’t really work his wrestling before his fight with GSP. Is that true? I’d imagine you’re not making the same mistake in your training.

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The Gambling Man’s Guide to UFC 87


(That’s not the face of a man you want to bet against, is it?)

You can learn a lot about life by gambling on sporting events over the internet. Mostly what you learn is that oddsmakers and bookies are smarter than you 90% of the time. The key is knowing that you know less than the oddsmakers and bookies and working around it (I think Socrates said that). Another thing you can learn is that some people actually bet on preseason football. Seriously. You might as well bury your life savings in the backyard and hope it grows into a money tree. At least that way you know where it is.

Fortunately for the off-shore gambling economy, UFC 87 is a stacked and somewhat unpredictable card, so the temptation to try and win some cash is almost irresistible. Our odds today come from Betus.com, and as always you should read Damon Durante’s MMA Betting for ‘Tards if you still don’t know how odds work.

Georges St. Pierre (-350) vs. Jon Fitch (+250)

It’s not exactly shocking to see GSP as the favorite, but the way people have been jumping on the Fitch bandwagon of late, claiming that he presents all kinds of new problems for the champ, I’m surprised the line isn’t a little closer. But there’s a reason it’s not. GSP is an incredible athlete who seems to be at the height of his powers, both mentally and physically. Fitch’s greatest strength is his wrestling, and you aren’t going to outwrestle GSP. Ask Josh Koscheck and Matt Hughes. You certainly aren’t going to finish him that way, and five rounds worth of trying for takedowns is going to leave you vulnerable to catching knee-in-the-face disease, which is known to be fatal to your title hopes.

A guy with Fitch’s natural ability always has a shot, but not one I’d want to bet on. If you do though, that’s cool. Maybe poverty will be good for you.

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Ben vs. Ben: The UFC 87 Argument


(Next big thing, or MMA’s Ryan Leaf?)

With a blockbuster UFC 87 lineup as our fodder, it’s time again for Cage Potato’s editors to argue like an old married couple that only got hitched because of an unexpected pregnancy. We don’t love each other and yet we don’t know enough to expect better from our lives, so here we are. In this edition we debate topics such as what’s to become of Brock Lesnar on Saturday night and beyond, who will be the number one lightweight contender when the dust finally settles, will Rampage Jackson be back in the UFC any time soon, and more. Let’s grimly get it on.

Will Brock Lesnar revive his MMA career with this fight, or will he officially be a bust once UFC 87 is in the books?

Fowlkes: Clearly the UFC isn’t interested in giving Brock Lesnar a lay-up to help jumpstart his MMA career, and you have to respect that. Heath Herring is tough and experienced and, had a couple things gone differently for him, he could easily be the top heavyweight contender right now instead of Frank Mir, who won all of two straight fights to achieve that distinction.

Lesnar is a physical specimen who is athletically gifted, this we know. But what else do we know about him? He hates airplanes and gays, prizes staying home, and is vulnerable to submissions. Basically, we don’t know what he’s really capable of as an MMA fighter. Strength won’t be enough against Herring (who will have spent the last couple months drilling his wrestling if he has any sense at all) and strength is about all we can count on from Lesnar at this point.

Herring is too crafty a veteran to get overwhelmed by pure power. He’s going to pick Lesnar apart on the feet and submit him late in the second or early in the third, and when he does you should turn up your TV so you can actually hear the air going out of Lesnar’s hype balloon. The UFC will give him a young up-and-comer next, just to see what he has left, but this is the point where he goes from a top prospect to another guy fighting for contract survival.

Goldstein: Yeah, Herring’s probably been drilling his wrestling. You know who else has been drilling his wrestling? Brock Lesnar. I wouldn’t be surprised if either fighter pulled a win out of this match, but there’s one thing that’s guaranteed: At some point, Herring will be taken down and put on his back. Seriously.

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Dana White’s Video Blog Should Really Be More Interesting Than This

Yesterday we referred you to the first edition in Dana White’s UFC 87 video blog (a vlog, if you will). If you missed it, allow me to sum up: he sat around in his office for two minutes talking about how excited he was for UFC 87. Yeah, not exactly “Citizen Kane”. The second edition is above, and while it’s an improvement in the sense that he actually does stuff, it’s still incredibly boring. Sure, he flies around in an awesome private jet, but didn’t we already know or at least assume he did that? Where are the escorts and live animals that I always imagined were on that plane with him? Where’s the magic?

It would be fine if I really believed that Dana White’s life were this uninteresting, but I don’t. I’m sure there are plenty of great moments throughout each day that involve him yelling into a cell phone and threatening to crush people, then actually crushing those people, then auditioning new Octagon girls without the intention of hiring any, then having some lunch.

But we don’t get any of that. We get him standing in a hotel room and talking us through his daily schedule, which is always going to be boring unless you’re someone like Gary Busey and your schedule involves you being batshit crazy all day.

I really hope this thing picks up a little momentum as we get closer to the event, because this sounds like a great idea. But right now it just looks like someone convinced him to give up two minutes of every day in non-consecutive stretches, and the result is a tired, cranky Dana White and a bored audience. Maybe time for a special guest star in the next episode? My money’s on GSP.

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Exclusive Interview: Kenny Florian

UFC fighter Kenny Florian
(Whose house? KenFlo’s house.)

As MMA fighters go, Kenny Florian is as intelligent and articulate a guy as you can hope to find. He’s also a workaholic and an ever-evolving bad-ass in the cage, and his next test against the formidable Roger Huerta should answer any lingering questions as to who deserves to be the UFC’s top lightweight contender. Whether B.J. Penn will stick around to defend his 155-pound title, well, that’s another issue altogether.

In this exclusive interview with KenFlo we discuss training strategies, Roger Huerta’s apparent dissatisfaction with the UFC, being an ESPN MMA analyst, and more.

CagePotato.com: Hey Kenny, thanks for talking with me. How has your training for this fight been going?

Everything’s been going really well. My training camp was awesome. I really didn’t take too much time off. After the Lauzon fight I think I was back in the gym the following week and I wasn’t completely pleased, technically speaking, with my performance, so I wanted to get right back in the gym and improve on those things. With all the commitments I had before this fight, the traveling and all that, I’m glad I got a jump on it early.

What were you displeased with about your performance against Lauzon?

Joe Lauzon just shouldn’t have taken me down like he did. That was the main thing, was the wrestling angle of it. I just wanted to get back and get my hands on a quality wrestling coach so I could really improve in that area. It’s one thing to be able to do it in training, but it needs to be second nature in order for you to use it when you need it in a fight. So I found a great wrestling coach who’s just been a phenomenal addition to my team.

I’ve just been working on a lot of the fundamentals of wrestling, both defensively and offensively, and working on making sure I’m doing things right technically. With wrestling in particular you get a lot of people who will tell you ‘Oh, you should do it this way or that way,’ but having a world class guy to show you this is the way it should be done and here’s why, it gets it into your muscle memory and makes you a stronger fighter.

What do you think Roger Huerta’s greatest strength is as a fighter?

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UFC Could Return to Montreal By Year’s End

Georges St. Pierre UFC MMA Montreal

Dana White has told The Canadian Press that the UFC hopes to return to Montreal in November or December:

“I literally just left a meeting where we were talking about that,” UFC president Dana White told The Canadian Press on Tuesday. “We’re looking to come back to Montreal.”

The UFC’s Canadian debut — “Serra vs. St. Pierre 2″ in April — was a record-breaking event, drawing 21,390 fans to Montreal’s Bell Centre for a gate of $5 million. With a superfight between hometown boy Georges St. Pierre and BJ Penn being discussed for the end of the year, it may be wise to begin making arrangements; if GSP beats Jon Fitch on Saturday, we wouldn’t be surprised if White makes an announcement about the UFC’s next Montreal card shortly after. Said White: “Obviously B.J. is pulling for GSP because he wants to fight him.”

In the same article, White discussed the condition of beleaguered former light-heavyweight champ Quinton Jackson, telling The Canadian Press that Rampage is A-OK:

“It wasn’t psychiatric at all, it was physical,” said White. “He had a physical condition — exhaustion, dehydration that caused delirium.”

White said Jackson, a California native, had remained in Las Vegas for a week after the fight and was fasting — living on energy drinks alone.

“Bad combination,” said White. “Physically and mentally he’s OK. Now he’s got some legal problems, obviously.”

Well sure, exhaustion and dehydration can cause delirium, but what could compel a person to fast and go on a Brawndo bender until they’re exhausted and dehydrated? Could it have maybe, possibly have been a psychiatric issue? See, you didn’t think about that, did you?

(Props: TKO Extreme)

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Jon Fitch is Feeling a Little Overlooked

Jon Fitch has a new blog entry up on UFC.com in which he discusses his training at AKA in preparation for the bout with Georges St. Pierre at UFC 87 next Saturday. Sounds like he’s none too pleased about all this GSP-B.J. Penn talk, as if it’s just a given that St. Pierre will walk though him en route to another meeting with “The Prodigy”:

Working like we do, when people are talking about how good certain fighters are, one of our first questions is, ‘who does he train with?’ That’s always a big question because I don’t care how good you are; if you don’t train with anybody at your level, you’re very limited in how good you can be and how good you actually are.

Outside of training, I’ve heard some talk over the last few weeks about BJ Penn moving up to 170 to fight GSP at the end of the year. Of course, they’ve forgotten that GSP has a fight with me first. But that just shows you where some people really are still in this sport and how they still have no idea what’s going on. There are a lot of so-called experts out there, but they know nothing about the sport. They’re spectators on the outside watching the sport through a telescope, and they think they’re on the inside and know everything, but they don’t. You can’t let that stuff bother you though. I think it’s funny and it’s just that little extra pleasure at the end of the day when you win and all those people are exposed.

Are we supposed to take this to mean that Fitch thinks GSP is generally overrated? We certainly hope not. Fitch’s win streak and overall skills make him deserving of the respect he’s getting, but so is GSP. Of all the strategic errors you could make when facing the welterweight champ, underestimating him really shouldn’t be one of them. Even if you are right behind him in the all-important Cage Potato Power Rankings.

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Jared Shaw Is Still Around…

Watching this MMA Rated interview with Elite XC’s Jared Shaw where he answers questions as to where he’s been and what he’s doing for the company now (you should also check out their interview with a very drunk Tonya Evinger), I get the strange sense that he’s lying to me. What’s more, I feel like he knows how transparent he seems, but he’s just charging ahead with it anyway. In a strange way, I almost respect that. Almost.

But let’s talk for a moment about Elite XC’s decision of late to push Jake Shields as the world’s best welterweight, which Shaw also claims. Obviously, they like it because it allows them to call out Georges St. Pierre and the UFC, thus piggybacking on the success of their betters. But it also makes them seem a little desperate, and it’s not hard to tell that this is a strategy destined for failure.

It’s not that Jake Shields isn’t a good fighter. He is, but that isn’t the point. The point is that Elite XC has essentially just decided to proclaim him the number one welterweight because he is their number one welterweight, and because it’s the only way they can think of to get some of the UFC magic to rub off on them. Plus, they can be secure in the knowledge that the UFC will never actually take them up on the cross-promotional offer.

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Silva vs. Cote Booked for UFC 90; Penn vs. GSP Possible for December

Patrick Cote UFC
(Patrick Cote: Dead man.)

The UFC has informed the Chicago Sun-Times that UFC 90 (October 25th @ Chicago’s Allstate Arena) will be headlined by a middleweight title bout between Anderson Silva and Patrick Cote. Get a load of how retarded Cote is:

“This guy will need 10 punches to my face to knock me out, and I’ll just need one,” Cote said. ‘”I have a good chance. He won’t exchange with me, and I’m not scared of him.”

Absolutely nothing in the above statement is accurate. And if that 10/1 ratio thing that “The Predator” mentioned sounds familiar, it’s because James Irvin said something idiotically similar before getting his lights turned out — with one punch! ha! — in his fight against Silva. But don’t worry, because Cote knows that the secret to defeating Anderson Silva is head movement:

“If you want to know how not to fight Silva, just watch tape of [the Silva/Irvin] fight,” Cote said. “He was flat on his feet with no head movement. He threw a lazy kick against a world-class Muay Thai fighter, and that’s what happens. I’m not like James Irvin. I’m a better striker, and I’m faster.”

Translation: Cote isn’t making it past the first round. In other UFC news, Five Ounces of Pain is reporting that if Georges St. Pierre successfully defends his welterweight title against Jon Fitch next month, he’ll face BJ Penn on December 27th, at a yet-unnumbered UFC event that is also slated to feature the heavyweight title clash between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Frank Mir. One theory making the rounds is that the Penn/GSP match will be a non-title affair that will be marketed as a “battle of the weight divisions.” As cheesy as that sounds, there’s a certain logic to it — assuming the fight is contested at welterweight, it would seem a little unfair for GSP’s belt to be on the line but not Penn’s. We just hope that the UFC has special “superfight rules” in place that would make Penn vs. St. Pierre five rounds instead of three. More to come…

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