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Tag: Igor Vovchanchyn

PRIDE Neva Die: Kenny Monday’s Oklahoma-Based MMA Promotion Bringing Back Eight-Man, One-Night Tournaments


(Part 1 of Igor Vovchanchyn‘s legendary one-night performance in the 1996 Mr. Powerman tournament. Parts 2 and 3 are after the jump.)

(*fans self off with both hands*)

You guys, I don’t want to pull a Danga and curse this thing by simply mentioning it, but there’s a fairly good possibility that we will see the return of the eight-man, one-night tournament in the near future. Specifically, June 27th at the BOK Center in Tulsa. CALM DOWN, GOD DAMMIT. You’re going to blow it!!

Here’s why we shouldn’t immediately dismiss this gift handed down from the heavens as a manipulative, freakshow marketing attempt being made by some obviously struggling promotion (ala the man vs. woman fight in Shooto or Gina Carano in the UFC. Zing!). For starters, the promotion in question is Battlegrounds MMA, the Oklahoma-based promotion of which former Olympian Kenny Monday is the president. Secondly, former Strikeforce matchmaker Rich Chou is on board as the tournament matchmaker. Thirdly, the promotion has already been granted the go-ahead by the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission, following Battlegrounds managing partner Bryan O’Rourke’s petition to slightly modify the rules passed unanimously.

Read up on the special stipulations for the tournament after the jump, then try not to destroy your computer while thrash dancing in your cubicle.

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CagePotato Roundtable #3: Who’s Your Favorite Fighter to Never Win a Major Title?


(In the heart of the child who made it, the Super HLUK belt is the most prestigious title on the planet.)

CagePotato Roundtable is our new recurring column in which the CP writing staff and some of our friends all get together to debate an MMA-related topic. Joining us this week is MiddleEasy.com founder Zeus Tipado, who was kind enough to smoke an entire bag of PCP and channel the spirit of Wallid Ismail. If you have a suggestion for a future Roundtable column, send it to tips@cagepotato.comThis week’s topic: Who’s your favorite MMA fighter to never win a major title?

Ben Goldstein

We take personality for granted these days. Everywhere you look, the MMA ranks are packed with shameless self-promoters, aspiring comedians, unrepentant assholes, and assorted clown-men. But in the UFC’s infancy, fighters tended to come in two types: Stoic (see Royce Gracie, Dan Severn) and certifiably insane ( see Joe Son, Harold Howard). David “Tank” Abbott changed all that. He entered the UFC with a fully-fledged persona, and managed to stay in character through his entire career. Simply put, he was the UFC’s first villain, and he played that role more effectively than anyone has since.

Heralded as a “pit fighter” — a term invented by UFC promoter Art Davie — Tank’s martial art of choice was hitting guys in the head really hard, which he did while wearing the sort of fingerless gloves that soon become industry standard. It’s difficult to overstate the impact that Tank’s debut at UFC 6 had on a 14-year-old Ben Goldstein as I was watching the pay-per-view at my friend Josh’s house. It wasn’t just that Abbott starched John Matua in a mere 18 seconds, or that Matua’s body seized up when his head hit the canvas. It’s that Tank reacted to the knockout by mimic-ing Matua’s stiffened pose. Tank actually mocked John Matua for having a seizure. Ruthless! And how about his destruction of Steve Nelmark at the Ultimate Ultimate ’96, which had to be the first “oh shit is that guy dead?” moment in UFC history. Tank was a living reminder that the UFC was very real, and very dangerous.

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MMA Video Tribute: 9 ‘Falling Tree’ Knockouts


(Igor Vovchanchyn vs. Francisco Bueno @ PRIDE 8, 11/21/99. Josh Barnett makes the tree-analogy at the 0:41 mark.)

Edson Barboza‘s spinning heel-kick knockout of Terry Etim at UFC 142 wasn’t just an instant-classic because of the technique itself — it was also unforgettable because of the devastating effect it had on Etim, who stiffened up and toppled straight to the mat in slow motion like a felled spruce. The “falling tree” knockout is a rare, brutal moment in combat sports that always gets a rise out of fans. Here are nine of our favorite examples from MMA fights, in no particular order.


(Edson Barboza vs. Terry Etim @ UFC 142, 1/14/12)

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Left Kick, Cemetery: Mirko Cro Cop’s Greatest Hits


(I dare you to mock this picture.) 

It’s hard to define someone like Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, a man who is perhaps the most multi-faceted, not to mention intriguing figure in MMA. Aside from his incredible list of credentials including time in both the Croatian elite Special Forces Unit and Parliament, the man has amassed a mixed martial arts and kickboxing resume that reads like a Hall of Fame list in either sport.

But come Saturday night at UFC 137, Cro Cop will simply be fighting for the right to continue his career, or maybe just to end it on his own terms. In a way, Filipovic is kind of like the Metallica of the heavyweights, with his 2006 Pride Grand Prix win being his Master of Puppets. And, like Metallica, everything since then has been well…just kind of downhill. The devastating loss to Gabriel Gonzaga was his ReLoad, the bittersweet win over Pat Barry his Death Magnetic, and the back-to-back knockout losses to Frank Mir and Brendan Schuab his Lulu. Except, unlike Lulu, those losses only felt like an hour and a half of pure shit.

But as fans of the sport, we are pulling for Cro Cop to put on a hell of a performance on October 29th. Even at the cost of our parlays, it would be awesome to see some flashes of the old “Cro Cop” in what could be the last fight of his incredible career, which Old Dad has already promised us Mirko will do.

Look at me, blabbering on like some school girl. Let’s take a look and listen at Cro Cop’s greatest hits, “California Dreamin‘” aside.

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Fight-Booking Roundup: Aldo/Brown, Jake Shields, UFC 103 Lineup + Much More

Jose Aldo Cub Swanson MMA WEC
(You know, Cub, in bull riding this would have been considered a victory. Photo courtesy of Newsday.)

— According to an interview on intheguard.tv, WEC featherweight/human highlight-reel Jose Aldo says he’ll be getting a much-deserved shot at Mike Brown‘s belt at WEC 45 (November 11th, location TBA). Aldo has racked up five consecutive TKO/KO victories during his stint in the WEC, most recently slicing Cub Swanson’s head wide open in 8 seconds at WEC 41 last month. Brown made his second successful title-defense at the same event, out-pointing Urijah Faber in a classic five-rounder to pick up his tenth straight win. 

— With Strikeforce middleweight champ Cung Le out of action due to a blossoming acting career, Scott Coker has announced that Jake Shields will fight for the organization’s interim middleweight title in October; the exact date, location, and Shields’s opponent will all be announced later. Shields has long been known as one of the best welterweights in the world, but his first-round choke-out of Robbie Lawler last month proved that he could be very competitive at a higher weight. Plus, his homey’s already got the welterweight division on lock

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WEC, Pride Action Figures Coming Soon


(Toymakers are hard at work trying to capture the essence of Urijah’s chin.)

Not content just to offer UFC action figures — such as the Brock Lesnar figurine complete with phallic chest tattoo — toymaker JAKKS Pacific sent out a press release today announcing that they have signed agreements to produce WEC and Pride dolls as well:

“We are thrilled to extend our relationship with UFC by adding WEC and PRIDE to our action figure roster,” said Stephen Berman, President and COO, JAKKS Pacific. “As the world leader in fighting action figure toys, we plan on dominating the Mixed Martial Arts collector action figure arena. The addition of WEC and PRIDE gives JAKKS a substantial base of fighters with which to work and develop into a broad and exciting line of collectable products for fans.”

“This agreement with JAKKS gives fight fans a premier line of authentic collector action figures,” said Dana White, UFC President. “This is a great partnership that benefits the sport, our athletes and our fans.”

We know what you’re thinking. WEC action figures make some sense, even though they are undoubtedly lesser known than the UFC, but Pride? Aren’t they a little late to the party? That’s like putting out Guns N’ Roses action figures.

To that, we can only say: 1) you would totally buy Guns N’ Roses action figures and you know it, and 2) better late than never.

You’re telling us you don’t want an Igor Vovchanchyn figure, complete with pot belly and extremely tight shorts? Don’t kid yourself. There are tons of great options out there, and hopefully Zuffa has rights to them, since otherwise it doesn’t make much sense what with many of the major Pride stars now in the UFC. We’re just hoping that the Gilbert Yvel figurine comes complete with extended thumbs that fit nicely into the eye sockets of the Don Frye doll. In a perfect world, the Don Frye doll would also have a string that you can pull to make him say, “Gilbert! We can do it again, brother!”

Damn this imperfect world!

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Fight of the Day: Mirko Cro Cop vs. Igor Vovchanchyn

We’re lovin’ the referee-cam perspective in this video of Cro Cop taking on Vovchanchyn at PRIDE Total Elimination (8/10/03). Sure, it made us so dizzy we thought we were going to barf, but it’s worth it to feel like you’re actually in the ring as Cro Cop delivers one of his lights-out head-kicks…

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