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Tag: Gilbert Melendez

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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Booking Alert: Gilbert Melendez Taking on Diego Sanchez at UFC 166


(Listen to Stephan Bonnar‘s last line to Diego Sanchez in this classic TUF: 1 clip and tell us the guy doesn’t belong in the UFC Hall of Fame.)

The UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3 card (October 19th, Houston) is starting to fill out. In addition to the heavyweight title fight rubber-match and the Lombard vs. Marquardt welterweight bout, a fight between former #1 lightweight contenders Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez is the latest booking to be confirmed for the fall event at the Toyota Center.

Melendez is coming off of a razor-thin decision loss to champion Benson Henderson at UFC on FOX 7. Despite the ‘L’ on his record, the former Strikeforce champion lived up to the hype in his UFC debut and looks to get back into title contention ASAP by facing Sanchez.

“The Dream” has won three out of his last four bouts, including his victorious return to the lightweight division this past March when he earned a decision over Takanori Gomi. Melendez looked better than ever in his last bout, but Sanchez has a tendency to make any fight a competitive scrap…most of the time, at least. Who do you pick in this one, ‘Taters?

- Elias Cepeda

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Armchair Matchmaker: ‘UFC on FOX 7: Henderson vs. Melendez’ Edition


(“Well, Joe, I’d just like to thank God for giving me the strength to-OH SHIT HERE COMES THE REST OF ‘EM.” Photo courtesy of Getty Images.) 

Let us begin this week’s edition of the Armchair Matchmaker with a few fun facts about last Saturday’s UFC on FOX 7 event

-With eight (T)KO’s, UFC on FOX 7 tied UFC 92 for the most (T)KO finishes in a single UFC event in the promotion’s history.

-In defeating Jordan Mein via second round TKO, the resurgent Matt Brown now holds the third longest win streak (5) amongst active UFC welterweights, as well as the record for (T)KO finishes in the welterweight division. Yet incredibly, the FOTN check Brown received was the first end of the night bonus he has earned in some 15 UFC fights.

-Frank Mir, like, really dropped the ball against Daniel Cormier.

Now, using those absolute truths and a little speculation, let’s decide who the biggest winners and losers from UFC on FOX 7 should face next, shall we?

The Winners

Ben Henderson: Well, we already know who he’ll be facing next, so that one is pretty easy. The question now becomes: How do you see Bendo taking it? Split decision, unanimous decision, or the always rare majority decision?

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UFC on Fox 7 Salaries: Frank Mir Earns as Much as Benson Henderson? Frank Mir Earns as Much as Benson Henderson.


Since we can only post so many “U Mad?” GIFs in one day, this will have to suffice.

The UFC paid out a total of $1,518,000 in disclosed salaries and end of the night bonuses to the fighters on last night’s UFC on Fox 7, according to the California State Athletic Commission. Both former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir and current UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson took home $200,000 for their performances last night, making them the two highest paid fighters on the card. Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez took home the evening’s third-highest disclosed salary at $175,000.

The entire disclosed payroll is below, via MMA Junkie. Keep in mind that the following figures account for neither sponsorships and undisclosed “locker room bonuses,” nor do they include deductions for taxes, insurance, and licensing fees. Also, since there were no submissions on the card, two fighters took home a Knockout of the Night bonus.

Benson Henderson: $200,000 (includes $100,000 win bonus)
def. Gilbert Melendez: $175,000

Daniel Cormier: $126,000 (includes $63,000 win bonus)
def. Frank Mir: $200,000

Josh Thomson: $145,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus and $50,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
def. Nate Diaz: $15,000

Matt Brown: $110,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus and $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
def. Jordan Mein: $66,000 (includes $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus)

Chad Mendes
: $56,000 (includes $28,000 win bonus)
def. Darren Elkins: $24,000

Francis Carmont: $38,000 (includes $19,000 win bonus)
def. Lorenz Larkin: $23,000

Myles Jury
: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Ramsey Nijem: $14,000

Joseph Benavidez: $66,000 (includes $33,000 win bonus)
def. Darren Uyenoyama: $12,000

T.J. Dillashaw: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Hugo Viana: $8,000

Jorge Masvidal: $60,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)
def. Tim Means: $10,000

Anthony Njorkuani: $36,000 (includes $18,000 win bonus)
def. Roger Bowling: $12,000

Yoel Romero: $70,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus and $50,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
def. Clifford Starks: $8,000

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The Winner of Gray Maynard vs. TJ Grant at UFC 160 Next in Line for Lightweight Title Shot


If you think Gilbert Melendez deserves an immediate rematch, don’t bother reading the article. Just stare at this GIF for five seconds and go directly to the comments section.

If you watched UFC on Fox 7′s main event between UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson and former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez, you saw an extremely close fight. In the end, Henderson walked away with a split decision victory that many fans felt should have went to Melendez. While the debate over who won the fight continues to rage on [Author Note: For what it's worth, Fight Metric stats seem to confirm that Henderson won.], the talks of an immediate rematch have already been squashed.

By the end of the post-event press conference, Dana White confirmed that the winner of the upcoming bout between Gray Maynard and TJ Grant at UFC 160 – which takes place on May 25 – is next in line for a shot at the lightweight title. At this time, there is no target date for Henderson’s next title defense. In White’s own words:

Gray Maynard is ranked number three. TJ Grant is ranked number seven. Those guys are gonna fight at UFC 160 on May 25. The winner of that fight is gonna fight Ben Henderson next.

So, we’re now pretending that those “official UFC rankings” are influencing how fighters earn title shots? I’m sure Chad Mendes, Ricardo Lamas and Chan Sung Jung will be thrilled by this recent development.

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UFC on Fox 7 Aftermath: Nasty Finishes & A Disputed Decision


(Photo by Esther Lin | MMAFighting)

By Elias Cepeda 

UFC on Fox 7 was a violent and almost uniformly fought at a furious pace over the course of twelve preliminary and main card bouts. Eight bouts finished inside of the distance, and the main event was five close-fought, damaging rounds long.

Welterweights Matt Brown and Jordan Mein each got extra $50,000 bonus checks for putting on the fight of the night and Josh Thomson and Yoel Romero each got knockout of the night awards and 50k bonuses.

Thomson returned to the UFC in style by handing Nate Diaz his first ever stoppage loss – a second round TKO stoppage. Romero caught Clifford Starks with a flying knee and won a quick via quick TKO.

Neither Daniel Cormier nor Frank Mir won extra bonuses for their three-round heavyweight bout. Cormier did continue to show that he is a legitimate contender in the division, on the strength of his world-class wrestling skills and speed, despite being vastly undersized.

As they took the center of the Octagon, the smaller Cormier looked like he was facing his uncle in the large former two-time heavyweight champ Mir. Once Cormier got a hold of Mir, over and over again throughout the fight, it was the two-time Olympic wrestler that looked like a man fighting a child.

Cormier clinched with Mir, pressed him against the cage, let go and, on separation, unloaded nasty hooks and uppercuts to the head and body of Mir, along with elbows and knees before clinching back up and rinsing and repeating. As the fight wore on and Mir proved helpless against Cormier’s strategy, referee Herb Dean didn’t like Cormier’s dominance so he tried, as all refs disturbingly seem to be instructed to do, to give Mir more of a chance by breaking up the clinch work quickly but that couldn’t stop the wrestler from continuing to close the distance.

Mir would not be mentally broken despite eating big shots and being ground down, and he fought hard in the third round – throwing hard punches and knees. The ones that did connect, however, were absorbed by Cormier, and he just went back to pressing Mir against the cage and doing short striking work at will.

Cormier fought the smartest fight he could against a much larger, more experienced opponent. The cerebral fighter knew that the middle was his friend. Had he stayed out on the outside, Mir might have used his far superior reach to land big shots.

Had Cormier taken Mir down (he did so once, with a single leg, but did not follow Mir to the ground. Choosing instead, to let the Jiu Jitsu master stand up and eat an over hand right), he would have let the black belt do work where he was most comfortable and dangerous. So, Cormier did what he should have – control the clinch and then use his superior speed to land at will on separation.

I don’t know how long this lightweight/welterweight-heighted phenom will continue to be successful at heavyweight, but so far he can count two former UFC heavyweight champs as wins, as well as the #1 contender to the belt right now, Antonio Silva. It has been fun to watch Cormier figure out how to win fights at heavyweight.

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