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Tag: Gilbert Melendez

Khabib Nurmagomedov Wants Gilbert Melendez on Epic Super Bowl Weekend Card


(When ‘Thriller’ starts playing, Gil starts dancing. No exceptions. Photo via Getty.)

Begin praying to the benevolent Gods of good health and fortune, Potato Nation, because the UFC’s already stacked Super Bowl weekend card (UFC 169) is about to get even more stacked-er.

Prior to his unanimous decision victory over Diego “Sherm Sticks” Sanchez in a Fight of the Year-nominee at UFC 166, final Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez was asked by FOX LA who he’d like to fight next were he to get by Sanchez. Barring another title shot, Melendez more or less called out fellow top contender Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Seemingly in response to Melendez, Nurmagomedov posted the following to his Instagram account (which is the most intimidating form of social media communication, if you ask me) yesterday:

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Report: Tatsuya Kawajiri Signs With the UFC, Hoping to Make Debut at January Singapore Event


(Tatsuya Kawajiri highlight via Kid Milly. The video says “Fight, Billy, fight!” but the music says “Dance, Billy, dance!”)

Some moderately interesting news out of Japan today (no, not the countries newfound enthusiasm for abstinence), as it is being reported that former Strikeforce title challenger Tatsuya Kawajiri has signed with the UFC.

Currently riding a five fight win streak (with four finishes) and sporting an overall record of 32-7-2, Kawajiri has long been considered one of the greatest Asian lighterweight fighters currently competing today. With victories over Joachim Hansen, Yves Edwards, Josh Thomson, Gesias Cavalcante and Krazy Horse to his credit, it seemed as if a call up to the UFC was inevitable for the former Shooto champion.

Although Kawajiri’s signing has yet to be confirmed by the UFC, sources close to “Crusher” told MMAJunkie that Kawajiri is hoping to make his promotional debut on the UFC’s inaugural Singapore-based card, “Fight Night 34,” in January. Given that Kawajiri’s only stateside appearance resulted in an annihilation via elbows to Gilbert Melendez in their Strikeforce lightweight title fight at Strikeforce: Diaz vs Daley, we can’t really argue with his logic.

We will have more on Kawajiri’s signing as details are made available.

-J. Jones

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Armchair Matchmaker: ‘UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos III’ Edition


(Quick, someone call Wanderlei Silva‘s plastic surgeon! Photo via Reddit MMA)

Now that we’ve all come down from the meth-like high that UFC 166 provided, let’s get down to some business, shall we? Fans and pundits of the sport alike have previously hailed our armchair matchmakers as “The most sagacious, in-depth and intellectually gratifying reading experiences in all of mixed martial arts reporting,” so let’s hope we can work our magic for Saturday’s biggest winners. Besides, AMC FearFest starts soon and we will be checking out for the rest of this month once that gets underway.

Cain Velasquez: Well, according to Dana White during Saturday’s media scrum, Velasquez will be facing Fabricio Werdum next. Don’t be fooled by Werdum’s recent three-fight killing spree, though; Velasquez will have “Vai Cavalo” butt-flopping all over the mat inside of two rounds. That greedy sonofabitch.

Daniel Cormier: To hell with who Cormier should be matched up with next, I want to be matched up with Cormier’s kickboxing coach and learn the art of the turning side check kick, STAT. In all seriousness, we’d like to see the former Olympian matched up with fellow grappling stud Phil Davis next. Davis is fresh off a split decision over Lyoto Machida at UFC 163, and if Cormier is as insistent on cutting to LHW as he seems, Davis would make for a perfect litmus test.

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UFC 166 Highlight Videos: Velasquez Dominates Dos Santos, Nelson Pays the Troll Toll + The FOTY Frontrunner


(Velasquez vs. Dos Santos highlights, via the FOX Sports Youtube page.) 

To put it bluntly, UFC 166 was the kind of faith-restoring UFC event that effectively silenced even the most cynical of the sport’s detractors (henceforth known as “garbage-assers“). Featuring a trio of wars and a pair of brutal first round finishes on the main card alone, UFC 166 staked its claim as an early frontrunner for “Event of the Year” at this year’s Potato Awards and will likely achieve the same notoriety at awards ceremonies that actually transpire.

In the evening’s main event, Cain “El Emperador Finale” Velasquez selfishly opted to ruin the heavyweight division for the foreseeable future with a dominant fifth round TKO of former rival Junior Dos Santos. Elsewhere on the card, Roy Nelson was routed by another top 5 competitor in Daniel Cormier, Gilbert Melendez attempted to punch the crazy out of Diego Sanchez to little avail, and Gabriel Gonzaga reaffirmed that a man with a pedostache is not to be toyed with. Twas a momentous night, indeed.

Thankfully, FOX Sports has compiled some highlight videos of the evening’s greatest slugfests and made them available for viewing on their Youtube page. Although these snippets won’t fill the bottomless void created in the soul of, say, your friend Dave who insisted on skipping UFC 166 to attend a Lady Gaga concert with his bitch of a girlfriend, they will give you the chance to confirm that Dave is a tiny, tin-eared man who lacks intestinal fortitude and any semblance of deductive reasoning. Fucking Dave.

We’ve placed the highlight video for Velasquez/Dos Santos III above, but join us after the jump to relive the rest of what was truly a historic night for both the UFC and MMA in general.

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[VIDEO] Dana White Talks Bad Judging, Title Contenders & Much More at UFC 166 Post Event Press Scrum


UFC president Dana White spoke with assembled press after UFC 166 Saturday night in Houston. Per usual, all topics were on the table including judging, reffing, who is and isn’t on the chopping block and the future of the heavyweight and light heavyweight division title scene.

Who’s up next for Cain Velaszquez? Is there a chance Alexander Gustafsson and Daniel Cormier could fight next?

Check out Uncle Dana’s interesting and non-committal answers alike to these questions and more in the video above.

- Elias Cepeda

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UFC 166 Aftermath: The Latest Emperor


(Cain Velasquez admires his violence on the big screen. / Photo via Getty)

Suddenly, the rivalry between heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos seems a little less competitive than was hoped for. Many observers were treating this fight as merely the latest engagement in a battle for the heavyweight crown that was to last for years ahead. Less a conclusion to a trilogy and more a precursor to a tetralogy or beyond, it was expected that this fight would see a more competitive affair showcasing the strengths of both men. That didn’t happen. Velasquez absolutely dominated Dos Santos, flooring him in the third before finishing him (sort of) in the fifth. It’s clear now that Cain Velasquez is the unstoppable force. Despite his unquestioned stature as the second best heavyweight in the UFC, Junior Dos Santos is not the immovable object.

Pace and pressure are amorphous terms reliant on context; it’s more difficult to conceive of these finishing a fight than something we can easily discern like a punch or kick. Yet it was the relentless forward motion and unending attack of Velasquez that led to the finish last night and the dominance that preceded it. Dos Santos had his moments; he landed a number of hard shots to open the first round, and landed a nice elbow against the cage to end the second. But other than that, it was all Cain. He didn’t dominate from bell to bell like he did in the second fight, but he wore down Dos Santos over the course of the first two rounds before capitalizing in the third. Velasquez floored Dos Santos with a counter overhand right, and almost finished the fight there; Herb Dean put his hand on Velasquez’ shoulder at one point, but reconsidered.

Things didn’t improve for Dos Santos afterwards, and in the fifth round he went for a desperation front choke. As Cain attempted successfully to escape, Dos Santos rolled, crashing his forehead on the mat. Either disoriented or utterly exhausted, Dos Santos could not continue and Velasquez secured the latest stoppage victory in UFC history. At the undisputed pinnacle of his weight class – the first heavyweight to truly claim this distinction since Fedor Emelianenko – it’s hard to imagine anyone toppling Velasquez soon. Daniel Cormier, who fought earlier in the evening, is his wrestling coach and is moving down to 205. Fabricio Werdum, his presumptive opponent, can submit anyone but will unlikely be able to take the fight to the ground against a wrestler of Cain’s caliber. A future rematch with Dos Santos is not inconceivable, but a different result is at this point. Despite his heart, his chin and his skills, it seems that Dos Santos is not destined to be the foil to Velasquez that we hoped he would be; Velasquez is the heavyweight division’s emperor.

Speaking of Daniel Cormier…

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UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3 — Main Card Results & Commentary


(It’s a classic battle of “BROWN PRIDE” vs. “KIND OF SELF-CONSCIOUS ABOUT MY RECEDING HAIRLINE” / Photo via CombatLifestyle.com. Check out more UFC 166 weigh-in photos here.)

Appropriately, the UFC’s latest visit to the fattest city in America is loaded with heavyweight talent. In addition to the highly anticipated trilogy match between current champion Cain Velasquez and former champ Junior Dos Santos, UFC 166‘s main card will also feature Daniel Cormier‘s allegedly final appearance at HW against Roy Nelson, as well as Gabriel Gonzaga‘s punch-out with Shawn Jordan. On the lighter end of the scale, lightweight Gilbert Melendez looks for his first UFC win against Octagon veteran Diego Sanchez, and former flyweight title challenger John Dodson welcomes Darrell Montague to the promotion.

Handling play-by-play for the “Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3″ PPV broadcast is our buddy Anthony Gannon, who will be stacking live results after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and say whatever you feel like saying in our lawless cesspool of a comments section. Thanks for being here.

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: ‘UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos’ Edition

By Dan “Get Off Me” George and Jared Jones

This weekend, the be all end all title fight between Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez is going down at UFC 166, so to ring in this special occasion, we’ve decided to switch things up for this edition of the Gambling Addiction Enabler. Not only will you be receiving the trusted, well-researched advice of Dan “Get Off Me” George, but additionally, CagePotato staff writer (and former GAE master-picker) Jared Jones will be jumping in to deliver the onslaught of gifs and contradictory advice that you all know and love.

Without further ado, let’s get to the fights in question…

Stay the Hell Away From:

Hector Lombard (-185) vs. Nate Marquardt (+155)

DG: This fight should be at pick’em odds — proposing either fighter as a clear favorite is simply reckless and ignorant of the fact that both fighters have been prone to shockingly inconsistent performances as of late. On any given night, these guys can end a fight in spectacular fashion. Does Nate “The Great” show up and fight the Lombard we saw against Okami and Boetsch, or does he meet the man they call Shango and fight like he did against Saffiedine and Ellenberger? I’ll tentatively pick Marquardt here.

JJ: Well, if it’s “reckless and ignorant” that you want, you’ve come to the right source. (*sets fully-loaded revolver on table and spins it*)

I’m surprised you neglected to mention that Lombard will be fighting at welterweight for the first time in his UFC career, in what is one of the most transparent “Dropping a weight class to save your career” bouts in MMA History. Also, Lombard’s weight cut is going so poorly that he’s already talking about moving back up to middleweight. He’s assuming, of course, that the UFC won’t sever their ties with someone as overpaid as him following this weekend, which is wishful thinking in my opinion. Lombard is basically Rousimar Palhares + striking and since Marquardt already beat Palhares, MMAMath predicts a dominant victory for Marquardt 9.9 times out of 10. Reckless? Yes. Ignorant? Yes.

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Diego Sanchez Has Been Going Through Some Times, Brother [VIDEO]


(“If I could tell that young Diego Sanchez anything…anything…it wouldn’t matter because he wouldn’t have listened anyway.” Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

Thanks to his 2009 beating at the hands of BJ Penn and a shaky 2-2 stint at welterweight, UFC fan-favorite Diego Sanchez has lost a great deal of the “perennial contender” aura that he’d held during his early ascension. So is The Nightmare Dream still relevant in the year 2013? The jury is still out on that question: Sanchez made his return to lightweight earlier this year in Japan, missed weight by three pounds, then barely snuck off with a split-decision win against Takanori Gomi.

Still, Sanchez has a massive opportunity to redeem himself next month at UFC 166 when he faces former Strikeforce champ/UFC lightweight title contender Gilbert Melendez. In this new profile video, Sanchez explains how some poor personal decisions left his MMA skills fading and his bank account drained, leading to some rough times in his career. Now, he’s reunited with Greg Jackson, focused and humble, and has a wife and son to fight for. It’s the set-up to a Cinderella story. Can he scrap his way to a happy ending?

Related:
- Mark Coleman Has Been Going Through Some Times, Brother
- Ian McCall Has Been Going Through Some Rough Times, You Guys [VIDEO]

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Benson Henderson Says He’ll Break Anderson Silva’s Title Defense Record by 2016


(Sounds like a good plan, but wait until you’re married for a year, and your wife’s all like, “Bensonnnn why do you spend all your time defending your title, what about meeeeeeeee, we never go anywhere anymorrrrrrre.” Ugh. Am I right? Back me up here, married guys. / Photo via MMAFighting)

It seems like one of MMA’s most untouchable records, but Benson Henderson is convinced that he will beat former middleweight champion Anderson Silva‘s consecutive title defense streak of ten.

“I’m going to break it in 2016,” the ever-confident UFC lightweight champion told MMA Fighting.

I should be able to break it by 2015, but because I’m getting married I’m going to take some time off for my honeymoon. That’s going to set me back by about three to four months. But I have it down exactly. I know when I’m going to break it. It’s going to be early 2016. I know what number I need to get. I know the amount of hard work it’s going to take for me to get there. I know how much I’ve got to get beat up, I know how much I’ve got to practice. I’m aware of it. I know it. Now my goal is to go out there and go do it.

Well, alright. We can’t hate on Henderson. The kid has earned what he has, to say the least, and by all accounts works crazy hard. He’s also just a flat-out incredible fighter and looks better each time out.

That said, considering that he has just three consecutive successful title-defenses right now, with an attempt at a fourth coming Saturday at UFC 164, and that two of those bouts were incredibly close — against Frankie Edgar and his last against Gilbert Melendez — predicting ten straight seems a bit outlandish.

It’s not that Henderson isn’t capable of winning seven more straight, it’s just that he’ll probably continue to fight to close decisions a lot considering the parity of the lightweight division. One of these days, the judges might not see things his way; you’re rolling the dice every time you let the scorecards decide the fight, and you can’t always expect the judges to behave rationally.

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