Berto (left) on his way to a unanimous decision victory over Luis Collazo
I can’t help but feel like I’ve seen this scenario play out before.
Earlier in the week, ES Boxing News caught up with two-time welterweight boxing champion Andre Berto, and spoke to the former champ about the possibility of seeing him fight MMA. The question isn’t exactly posed to Andre without merit – current Bellator fighter James Edson Berto is his brother and his sister, Revelina Berto, is trying out for the co-ed season of The Ultimate Fighter – even though it quickly becomes obvious that Berto is only a (very) casual fan of the sport. As in, he admits that he doesn’t know anything about MMA weight classes and possibly has Jon Jones confused with Anderson Silva (A Jon Jones/GSP super fight?).
Despite this, Berto claims to have spoken to Dana White about competing in the UFC – an idea that White was in support of. According to Berto, White was very complimentary of his boxing career, saying that he is “one of the only guys in boxing that keeps it alive” when they spoke.
(“Gentlemen, I want a good, clean fight. Listen to my commands at all times, protect yourself at all…I’m sorry, did one of you just shit your pants?” Photo via Esporte.)
We hate to keep beating this dead horse*, but the judging over the past couple UFC events has been particularly egregious. While UFC 156 merely suffered from a puzzling split decision or two and a main event that just barely escaped the controversy we predicted it would end in, last weekend’s UFC on FUEL 7 event was a veritable smorgasbord of fatuousness. Thanks in no small to the efforts of judge Aaron Chatfield — who both scored the Che Mills/Matt Riddle fight 29-28 for Mills and gave Paul Sass the first round against Danny Castillo — MMA judging has once again found itself at the center of controversy. That controversy being: Who the hell are these people and how did they waltz into these jobs?
When it comes to the judging, the biggest thing is, judging by nature is subjective. You look at a fight and you have a guy that throws a bunch of punches. One judge — we’ll say [it's] you — is looking at it, and you’re giving him credit, saying, ‘Wow, he’s really active.’ While I’m looking at it saying, ‘He’s not connecting.’
When you’re looking at the UFC, there’s not a whole lot of excuses. You’ve got a monitor in front of you, so [even] when you can’t see, [you can still see]. That monitor gives them the ability to see a fight from a variety of angles, not just from the one they’re sitting at. And so there’s not a lot of excuses to say, ‘Well, I didn’t see that,’ when it comes to the UFC.
After the jump: McCarthy takes aim at his fellow referees and somehow neglects to mention Jerry Poe.
(“Why yes, Dana, the blonde gentleman in the lower left *is* my doctor. What of it?”)
The Sam and Diane relationship between Josh Barnett and the UFC continues to forge ahead, Potato Nation. Fortunately, we have more than an outdated UFC.com profile to go with this time. During the media scrum following the UFC 158 press conference earlier today, Dana White was questioned by MMAMania about the likelihood of seeing “The Warmaster” back in the octagon, and the UFC President was surprisingly optimistic:
I have not (spoken with Barnett). It’s probably going to happen.
There you have it; absolute and undeniable proof that Barnett is back, baby. And here you thought we were just tugging your respective dicks this whole time. Shame on you.
I know this barely constitutes news at this point, but being that anything even hinting at Ronda Rousey seems to be a big hit on this site (mainly so you readers can take a steaming dump on her in the comments section), I am going to set my journalistic integrity — a term I just stumbled across on Wikipedia — aside for the moment and pass along Rousey’s words in regard to another hot topic around here: Canadians. Specifically, how Canadians will love anything that is Canadian because it is Canadian, and how that relates to current welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre.
Everybody keeps coming up to me and saying, ‘Oh, do you think if you didn’t look such a way, people would like you so much?’ I’m like, ‘Dude, if GSP was butt ugly, you wouldn’t want to know who he is so much.’ I think he lucked out a lot that he’s Canadian. I love Canadians. They are the coolest, nicest, most patriotic people, and they will support their countrymen no matter what, and I think that’s commendable. But if GSP wasn’t really good-looking, and really Canadian, he would be really unknown.
(Melendez will) probably come right in and get a title shot. Again, we’ll see.
What has happened to the fighters in Strikeforce is horrible. The way this thing went down is horrible, and they’ve been very patient. What’s happened over there has been completely s—ty.
Right, and we’re sure Hitler felt awfully bad about the living conditions at Auschwitz as well. “No veigh? Zey don’t even get a nice cot to szleep on? Zose bastards!” We’re not comparing Dana White to Hitler, we’re just saying.
(I have no joke prepared. I simply wanted another opportunity to remind you that this was a thing that happened.)
Desperate times call for desperate measures, Nation. And since the ratings for The Ultimate Fighter are nose-diving faster than Charlie Sheen into a silica sandbox, old Dana White has had to step up his obligatory pre-TUF hype a notch. You might recall this from last season’s TUF: Smashes, which Dana declared to be the “CRAZIEST SEASON OF TUF EVER!!!!” in the weeks leading up to it; a claim that — although we cannot refute — we are going to go right ahead and call bullshit on.
So perhaps you should take his recent bit of insider info regarding The Ultimate Fighter 17 with a grain (or a 10-pound bag) of salt. The Baldfather recently told MMAFighting that there is apparently one contestant on the upcoming season so dangerous, so terrifying, that he is “scaring the shit out of” his fellow contestants:
I know you guys are going to call bulls— on me and all that (Ed note: Well, at least he’s honest.). I told you guys, last season of The Ultimate Fighter was the worst season in the history of TUF (Again, props DW). This next season is so awesome and so badass. We have a guy on this season of The Ultimate Fighter, every fight he’s in, someone goes to the hospital.
The whole house is terrified of this guy. F– terrified.
Dumbest fight in history. Bob Arum is a moron. You don’t take that fight, you idiot. Why would you do that fight? It’s all about the money, that’s why. That was a money fight, that’s what that fight was done for. He should have fought Bradley. Bradley’s the fight they should have done. He would have knocked Bradley out, he would have got his belt back and now he’s back in the position he should have been in. [Pacquiao's] one of the best fighters in the world. He goes out and fights Marquez again? Bob Arum is the dumbest promoter in the history of the world.
Right…but Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen and Georges St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz are somehow not “money fights.” In case you’re wondering, this is where I’d normally insert a Scanners headsplosion gif, but I’m too busy trying to nurse the puppy I just kicked after reading this quote back to life.
(Diaz, seen here preparing the only gameplan that hasn’t been thwarted by Anderson Silva in the octagon yet. And no, that’s definitely not a hash pipe next to the dartboard. Props be to MiddleEasy.)
Nick Diaz may be a shortsighted, virulent, pot smoking, press conference-skipping delinquent who didn’t go to college for buying houses, but damn it, we can’t help but love the guy’s “take on all comers” attitude when it comes to fighting. Blame it on the increased popularity of the sport, the ridiculous string of injuries, or whatever you want, but suffice it to say, the Diaz mentality of accepting fights is a fading one. It seems we can’t go a day without hearing that so and so turned down a fight with this guy, or that this champion will maybe fight this one under a ridiculous set of circumstances, and honestly, this prima donna nonsense has all but completely quelled our interest in seeing the “superfights” we would have killed for just a couple months ago.
But before you jump down our throats, we (or at least I) do not blame Georges St. Pierre for turning down the Anderson Silva fight. Because like GSP said, there are still several viable contenders in his division and he is just coming off an 18 month layoff. Plus, if Anderson wants to fight the smaller man, he should pony the fuck up and drop down to his weight class. And since Silva is (for whatever reason) dead set on fighting a smaller opponent next, Cesar Gracie recently threw Diaz’s name into the fold as a potential future opponent, because why the hell not at this point:
We’re pushing for the GSP fight. That’s what we’re going to push for, GSP or Anderson Silva. That’s the two fights that interest us the most, and that’s the one’s we’re going for.[Silva's] people are into it. We’re into it. The fans, I think, would be into it. We’ve got convince Dana about it now. Obviously the fight that makes sense to them, and I don’t disagree, is Anderson-GSP, and like I said, I would watch that fight. That would be great to watch. But let’s get real. If GSP just absolutely says no, then what? You can’t make a guy fight. That’s the thing. And Anderson, if they want to promote a superfight and if the stars align, I think Nick would be into it.
Fortunately, Bellator has booked a replacement fight: a 210 lb. catchweight fight between Mike Mucitelli and Matt Uhde, a 3-1 heavyweight from Kansas City. While on the road to Rhode Island for tomorrow’s weigh-ins, Mucitelli filled us in on the entire situation concerning Dan McGuane, as well as what fans can expect from his fight this Friday.
In a way, you know Mike’s background without ever hearing it: The youngest of four children in a lower-middle class family, Mike was drawn to sports at an early age, as all of his siblings were also athletes. Mike played basketball and baseball, but football was his favorite sport because of the physicality. His passion for football eventually led to a scholarship to play for Wagner College.
But Mike’s story is more interesting and complex than the typical “Ex-College Football Player Trying Out MMA” script. Check out our interview with Mike after the jump, and be sure to tune in to the Bellator 81 prelims at 6 PM ET this Friday.
CAGEPOTATO.COM: How soon did you find out about Dan McGuane’s previous conviction?
(“Woah woah, Ronda, slow down. You can’t just waltz in off the street and demand to be in our crew. Fact is, you can’t join until you go through initiation.”)
As us bloggers are apt to do when a pretty girl walks into the room, it looks like we may have prematurely shot our wad when we broke the historic news that Ronda Rouseyhad become the first woman to ever sign with the UFC. That’s correct, you’ve now read two semen-related puns in a row. And it’s only Monday. Anyway, Rousey’s manager recently spoke with ESPN to refute the claims:
“Right now, nothing has changed,” says Darin Harvey of Fight Tribe, noting that Rousey is in Las Vegas to fly with the Thunderbirds, the Air Force demonstration squadron, and not to sign a UFC contract.