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Tag: Igor Pokrajac

UFC 131 Injury Curse Continues; Pokrajac Latest to Withdraw

Igor Pokrajac James Irvin UFC photos Versus MMA
(Pokrajac chokes out James Irvin at UFC on Versus 2, but contracts the Sandman Curse in the process. Props: Francis Specker)

UFC 131 was never going to be remembered as the most stacked event of the year, but it did have a lot of crowd-pleasing names on it. Then, Brock Lesnar fell ill with a flare-up of diverticulitis, TUF 11 winner Court McGee tweaked his knee in training, and Mac Danzig’s chest injury snubbed out a compelling bang-up with Donald Cerrone. Throw in injury withdrawals from supporting players Anthony Perosh and Rani Yahya, and you’re left with a ghost-ship of a card that’s making Joe Silva work double-shifts.

Now, just days before the third UFC event in three weeks, the card continues to lose bodies. Due to an undisclosed injury*, Croatian light-heavyweight Igor Pokrajac has been forced to withdraw from his fight against Krzysztof Soszynski, and will be replaced on short notice by Mike Massenzio. (Pokrajac was already an injury replacement for Anthony Perosh, which means that this UFC 131 injury curse has affected K-Sos as much as anybody.)

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Bonnar Says he Felt ‘Guilty’ Not Brawling with Pokrajac

(Props: MMA Weekly)

Can’t exactly blame Stephan Bonnar for showing up at the postfight press conference of the “TUF 12” finale this weekend looking like the cat that ate the balding, 6-foot-tall Croatian canary. Something tells me Bonnar isn’t great with secrets, but leading up to his co-main event bout with Igor Pokrajac he did a pretty good job keeping a lid on the fact he wasn’t going to go out there and fight like the same, old swing-for-the-fences “American Psycho” we’ve all come to know, love and worry about. Nope, Bonnar looked every bit the smart and savvy vet in there on Saturday and the result was a unanimous decision win. Weird, huh?

“Everyone expected me to brawl,” says a half proud, half sheepish Bonnar in the above vid. “I knew what I was going to do, but I kind of let on that I was going to brawl. I feel sneaky, I feel surreptitious. It feels good, though. I felt a little guilty out there for not going toe-to-toe but hey, I got the win.”

Indeed. Also, someone should tell Bonnar that it’s not “sneaky” to analyze your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses in order to devise a strategy you think gives you the best chance to win. That’s just called, you know, professional fighting.

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‘The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck’ — Live Results and Commentary

Cody McKenzie TUF 12 finale UFC
(Above: "Remember, remember, the fourth of December, the Gunpowder Treason and plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot, brah." 
Below: You know what to do, honey. / Photos courtesy of UFC.com)

Welcome, fight fans, to the first leg of a liveblog double-header on CagePotato.com. The TUF 12 Finale gets rolling on Spike at 9 p.m. ET, with Team GSP lightweight finalists Jonathan Brookins and Michael Johnson battling for the highly coveted glassware, Stephan Bonnar trying to build a winning streak against Igor Pokrajac, and Demian Maia tangling with rangy TUF 3 winner Kendall Grove. Plus, five other TUF 12 vets will do their best to hang on to their UFC contracts, including Nam Phan, who clashes with hardy slugger Leonard Garcia in the UFC’s first-ever televised 145-pound feature. (Yes, the UFC has featherweights now!)

Round-by-round results await you after the jump; refresh the page every few minutes to get all the latest. Please toss in your two cents in the comments section, and don’t forget to check in at our viewing party at PlayPhilo.com for a chance to win a UFC: Ultimate 100 Greatest Fights DVD set. 

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Grove vs. Maia, Bonnar vs. Pokrajac Added to TUF 12 Finale in December

Stephan Bonnar UFC 116 gif pose funny
(Stephan Bonnar: He will stand there all day like that.)

The finale show for The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck — slated for December 4th at the Palms in Las Vegas — just picked up its first two official matchups. According to a press release sent out by Spike this morning, the event will feature a middleweight contest between former title contender Demian Maia and TUF 3 winner Kendall Grove. Maia most recently outpointed Mario Miranda at UFC 118 in Boston, while Grove is coming off a split-decision win over Goran Reljic at UFC 116.

Also on the card, Stephan Bonnar will try to follow up his TKO victory/Fight of the Night against Krzysztof Soszynski (also at UFC 116) when he meets Igor Pokrajac, the man responsible for choking James Irvin out of the UFC. With his 1-2 Octagon record, Pokrajac isn’t exactly a step up in competition for Bonnar after the K-Sos fight. But it’s a fight that Bonnar can win, and if you don’t like seeing Bonnar win fights, we have one question for you: Why do you hate America so much?

Related: According to an MMAJunkie report, the TUF 12 Finale will also host a welterweight battle between Johny Hendricks (9-0, 4-0 UFC) and Rick Story (11-3, 4-1 UFC).

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UFC Live: Jones vs. Matyushenko — Preliminary Card Results

James irvin weigh in photos UFC Live Jones vs. MatyushenkoJames irvin weigh in photos UFC skinny emaciated
(Back from the grave: James Irvin yesterday [left], and in March [right]. Photos courtesy of CombatLifestyle)

Spoilers after the jump…

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James Irvin Getting One More Chance, Back at Light-Heavyweight

James Irvin skinny middleweight UFC
(Well, he certainly has his mother‘s cheekbones. Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.)

Adding to the long list of horrible stuff that has happened to him in his career, James Irvin‘s last fight at UFC of Versus: Vera vs. Jones was an utter disaster. The Sandman looked painfully emaciated in his first attempt at middleweight, and crumpled to the mat after taking an eye-punch from Alessio Sakara. It was the fourth time in his last five appearances that Irvin has ended a fight on the mat writhing in pain or otherwise immobilized. (See also: Anderson Silva slicing him up, his blown out ACL/MCL against Thiago Silva, and the DQ victory via illegal knee he endured against Luis Cane.) Truly, the Octagon has become a dangerous place for James Irvin. Unfortunately, quitting doesn’t seem to be an option.

Despite the fact that he hasn’t won a fight in over two years, MMA Weekly is reporting that Irvin will get one last shot to redeem himself at UFC on Versus 2 (August 1st, Salt Lake City). Irvin will be heading back up to 205 — thank God — to face Igor Pokrajac, the Cro Cop disciple who has gone 0-2 in the Octagon, dropping fights to Vladimir Matyushenko and James "Hey, Tuna" Te-Huna. Obviously, it’s a must-win for both guys, though if Irvin can make it through the fight without any serious injuries, you have to consider that a victory in itself.

Related: UFC on Versus 2 will also host a middleweight contest between Yushin Okami and Mark Munoz. Rebounding from his UFC 104 loss to Chael Sonnen, Okami turned in one of the most impressive performances of his career when he beat down Lucio Linhares at "Florian vs. Gomi" in March. Munoz is a perfect 3-0 at middleweight, and most recently scored a TKO over Kendall Grove in UFC 112′s Fight of the Night.

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UFC 103: The New Guys

Paul Daley MMA
(Props: Esther Lin)

With a full 13 bouts scheduled for UFC 103, fight fans are going to get their money’s worth tomorrow night in Dallas. Six fighters will be stepping into the Octagon for the first time, most of them trying to make the transition from hometown hero to big-time player. Read on to get acquainted with all the new faces, from Semtex to Tractor to Carny...

PAUL DALEY (WW)
Experience: 21-8-2 record, with 16 wins by KO/TKO. Was the former welterweight champion of Cage Rage. Holds stoppage victories over Duane Ludwig, John Alessio, Jess Liaudin, and Xavier Foupa-Pokam.
Will be facing: Martin Kampmann (15-2, 6-1 UFC)
Lowdown: You should already know about this guy. He knocks dudes out, and has never been knocked out himself. Still, if Kampmann can get this one to the ground, it’s a wrap. UFC.com tries to put a positive spin on the reality of the situation: "Chances are, when Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley is around, you’ll either witness a Knockout of the Night or Submission of the Night."

STEVE LOPEZ (LW)
Experience: 12-1 record, primarily in Midwestern regional leagues. Holds a submission-via-strikes victory over The Gooch. Last competed in October 2008, when he scored a decision win over Alejandro Villalobos.
Will be facing: Jim Miller (13-2, 3-1 UFC)
?Lowdown: A South Bend native and member of the Bulldog Fight Team, Lopez comes to this fight as a replacement for Thiago Tavares. The UFC first noticed Lopez when he tried out for TUF 9 — and injured his shoulder in the process. The former wrestler was inspired to try MMA when he saw The Smashing Machine, and made his pro debut in February 2007 at a four-man tournament, which he won via two consecutive knockouts. He just wants to get in there and scrap: “Win or lose, I hope the fans say ‘man, this kid’s tough – he’s got heart and he don’t back down.’ And this fight is the type of fight I’m looking for – Jim Miller, Roger Huerta, Tyson Griffin – I’m looking for grinders. Those just have Fight of The Night written all over them. I’m not afraid to stand and bang, and I can take a whuppin’. We throw down hard in practice, I’ve never been knocked down, and these are the fights that interest me.”

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