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Wednesday Morning MMA Link Club

James McSweeney Ultimate Fighter TUF 11 UFC afterparty fist pose
(Rule #17 of the Fighter Fist Pose: Never rest your head on the shoulder of a chubby man in a floral-print shirt, as it will completely negate the fist-pose’s power. / Photo courtesy of the TUF 11 Finale: Afterparty pics gallery on

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– Fabricio Werdum: ‘I will choke Fedor in the first round’ (Five Ounces of Pain)

– Jan Finney Isn’t Going to “Cuddle” Cris Cyborg (FightMagazine)

– Ten Things We Learned From WEC 49 (

– Biggest Story Heading Into UFC 116 Is Not Brock Lesnar, It’s Shane Carwin (WatchKalibRun)

– ‘Strikeforce: Los Angeles’ Fighter Salaries (MMA Fighting)

– Kendall Grove Says Spike TV Controls ‘The Ultimate Fighter’, Not the UFC (MiddleEasy)

– MMAScraps Radio: Cain Velasquez, Ben Rothwell and Chris Barnett (MMA Scraps)


The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale: The New Guys

(Travis Browne’s knockout of Brian Campbell)

(Travis Browne’s knockout of Abe Wagner)

Along with the six TUF 11 castmembers getting a shot on the preliminary card of this Saturday’s Finale show, two Octagon first-timers will also be trying to make a big impression. Get to know them below, and tell us how you think they’ll fare in the comments section…

Experience: 9-0 record with appearances in Bellator, King of the Cage, and Gladiator Challenge. Five of his wins came within the first minute of the fight. Most recently scored a 35-second knockout of Aaron Brink at a GC event in February, which followed an eight-second knockout of Abe Wagner two weeks earlier and a nine-second knockout of Brian Campbell last November.
Will be facing: James McSweeney (4-4, 1-0 UFC)
Lowdown: At 6’6", 250 pounds, and with a Carwin-like habit of ending fights early, Travis Browne could make a very nice addition to the UFC’s heavyweight roster. Based out of the Alliance Training Center in San Diego, "Hapa" works as a professional dog trainer when he’s not knocking people unconscious. Browne was exposed to drug and gang culture in his native Hawaii at an early age, but escaped his rough upbringing and found a positive outlet for his aggression in jiu-jitsu. He was not selected to appear on Bully Beatdown, which really bothered him.


Czech Beast Karlos Vemola to Make UFC Debut Against Jon Madsen in July

(Karlos Vemola HL reel, with narration by Cookie Monster. Props: gangstervideoscouk via Fightlinker)

With his hulking appearance and string of first-round stoppage victories, Karlos "The Terminator" Vemola is already drawing hype as a Euro version of Shane Carwin. The Czech Republic-bred London Shootfighters product has gone 7-0 in his MMA career so far — primarily in England’s Cage Fighters Championship league — with five of those wins being decided in the first minute of the fight; his longest match lasted 3:14, and his shortest ended in just five seconds. And so, the UFC is giving Vemola a shot, slating him against TUF 10 wrestling specialist Jon Madsen (5-0), who most recently out-pointed Mostapha Al Turk on the preliminary card of UFC 112. Vemola vs. Madsen is slated to go down at UFC 116, July 3rd in Las Vegas.

Besides his intimidating build, Vemola has a couple of good story-lines coming into the match. He’s a training partner of Al Turk, so there’s the trusty revenge angle. He also has personal history with another TUF 10 vet, James McSweeney, who previously accused Vemola of using steroids; Vemola and McSweeney were supposed to fight for CFC’s heavyweight title at one point, but McSweeney withdrew from the match to move to the United States. If Vemola can smash Madsen, maybe he and McSweeney will have their date after all.


The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale: Preliminary Card Results

Justin Wren hot pants TUF 10
(Justin Wren: The mohawk and tattoo say "badass." The leopard-print shorty-shorts say "barback at a gay nightclub." / Photo courtesy of the UFC TUF Finale: Weigh Ins set on

Spoilers after the jump…


‘TUF 10′ Episode 11 Recap: Hey, Can We Just Cram the Last Four Fights Into One Episode and Be Done With This Goddamned Thing?

TUF 10 rashad's playroom

After his latest “Do you wanna be an [expletive] fighter” speech on the last episode, Dana White is surprised that nobody is stepping over Matt Mitrione to take his spot, which is strange because Scott Junk made it very clear that he’d just do that, wrecked eye notwithstanding. One guy who definitely isn’t down to fight is (wait for it) Kimbo Slice, who’s concerned about his arthritis-stricken knee and starts throwing out excuses. Bottom line is, he won’t be able to perform at full strength, and he can’t stomach another loss, so he’d just rather not fight, if that’s cool.

“I am in no position to fight a kickboxer like James McSweeney at this point,” he says, adding that it would “demise” him a little bit taking the fight knowing he wasn’t healthy. Dana White is a little taken back; he didn’t expect this from Kimbo, whose gameness was supposed to be his best quality. But that’s the situation. The season’s poster boy turns out to be a total bust. I demand a refund.

Luckily, Matt Mitrione feels healthy again. He tells Rashad that he’s been cleared to fight, and Rashad tells us "I bet he called the doctor and the doctor said ‘listen kid, I told you two days ago you could fight,’” which is hilarious because that’s pretty much exactly how it went down. Finally, Mitrione admits that his head injury story was exaggerated to mess with James McSweeney and keep himself entertained. Ohhhhh, now it all makes sense


‘TUF 10′ Episode 10 Recap: Bump, Set, Spike, KTFO

(Schaub vs. Madsen stoppage, via bothmiddlefingers)

Matt Mitrione is still bitching about his alleged brain damage. He says a doctor’s visit revealed that he has some minor swelling in the brain, which turned into a migraine. As a result, he’s a little slow and it’s taking a little longer for him to say things. Trevor Wittman calls horseshit — swelling of the brain is life-threatening, and the doctor wouldn’t just send him back to the house. Coach Rashad still can’t get a clear read on if Mitrione really wants to continue fighting; he has to want it for himself more than his coaches want it for him. James McSweeney — who’s scheduled to fight Mitrione in the third quarterfinal match — feels that Mitrione is just playing games, and in his book, Meathead just went from "rat" to "two faced little bitch without a heart."

While rolling with Demico Rogers, Kimbo Slice tweaks his knee. He’d obviously be the first fighter to return if Mitrione has to withdraw from the competition, but Coach Rampage is worried that McSweeney would focus on the bum joint with kicks. (In Kimbo’s charming personal dialect, McSweeney is a "tree chopper.") Later, a doctor tells Kimbo that he’s missing some cartilage, but Kimbo won’t get a cortisone shot because big needles freak him out. He suffers through an ice bath outside the TUF house, while his housemates laugh at his agony.


‘TUF 10′ Cutting Room Floor: The Jackass and the Baby

James McSweeney TUF 10 The Ultimate Fighter UFC
(Click the image to watch the clip on

By this point in the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter, you already know that James McSweeney is an unrepentant asshole who dislikes Quinton Jackson, and Marcus Jones is just too gentle for this world. But if you needed any extra proof, here’s a deleted scene in which the bristly Brit tells Jones what a terrible head coach Rampage is. For a second, it looks like Jones will stand up to McSweeney, Titties-style, but Jones instead runs off to "brush his teeth" (i.e., cry into his Dungeons & Dragons pillow). James sort of apologizes without apologizing, and Marcus is left to stew by himself at the pool. In episode four, Marcus gets a blanket party; in episode five, this happens.

And still no sign of Wes Sims…


‘TUF 10′ Cutting Room Floor: Titties Killed a Bird

Rashad Evans Darrill Schoonover James McSweeney MMA UFC TUF 10
(Click the image to go to the video on

For the most part, Team Rashad is all lovey-dovey brotherhood and positive visualization, and that’s clearly worked for them so far. But all is not well in the land of the black-and-yellow. Left out of last night’s episode was an incident in which Darrill "Titties" Schoonover accidentally crushed and drowned a bird in the backyard. As he’s telling the story to Rashad and MVA, he puts on a high-pitched voice — simply to set the scene and give it some much-needed drama — which James McSweeney takes as direct mockery. The spazzy kickboxer gets up in Darrill’s face, and Titties removes his glasses, ready to throw down. "You think you’re a big man?" McSweeney says. "You’ll get fuckin’ served right up…I will knock you the fuck out. I ain’t a li’ul bird."

Rashad is able to chill McSweeney out later, but it’s clear that their little happy-go-lucky bubble has been punctured. Team Rampage assistant Hector Ramirez witnesses the near-debacle and runs to tell Tiki Ghosn that their rival team might be fracturing. It probably isn’t, but after Team Rashad finishes running the table during the round-of-16, his guys will have to start fighting each other, and we may see Schoonover vs. McSweeney before long.


‘TUF 10′ Episode 2 Recap: Too Pooped to Party

Wes Shivers James McSweeney TUF 10

Last week, we saw one of the bloodiest fights in TUF history. This week brought us one of the ugliest, as James McSweeney and Wes Shivers proved that they’re not quite ready for primetime. Plus, Roy Nelson lands on Team Rashad’s shitlist and Kimbo Slice gets picked to fight.

The episode opens with Justin Wren and Roy Nelson talking about how they both want to take out Kimbo. Says Big Country: "I’ve been trying to get that one for years." Foreshadowing!

In practice, Rampage "got specialness" for Kimbo, and his coaches give the Miami Pound Machine a crash course on ground-fighting, while Kimbo tries to sponge it up. Meanwhile, Rashad Evans is feeling good about his team and wants to make sure his guys are mentally strong and moldable, but Roy spends most of his practice time joking around and pushing back against his coaches. Team Rashad assistant coach Trevor Wittman gives him a firm dressing-down in the locker room: "To me, you’re uncoachable…instead of listening, you always have a rebuttal…you got knocked out by Arlovski, do you want that to happen again? If you don’t want to keep it serious, I’m gonna ask Rampage if he needs another guy."