This Saturday night, you can join us for all the action during our UFC 160 liveblog, but today you can prep for the pay-per-view card with these “Countdown to UFC 160” documentary hype videos, broken up into three segments for the ADD-afflicted among you.
Australian publication The Age is passing along the news that TUF 8 winner Ryan Bader has been forced to withdraw from his upcoming UFC 160 bout with Brazilian phenom Glover Teixeira due to injury. Luckily, his replacement opponent makes for an arguably more exciting potential fight, as it is being reported that streaking light heavyweight slugger James Te Huna has been brought into the fold in Bader’s absence. Early reports are also predicting that the fight will be a slugfest of epic proportions that winds up on every pundit’s “Top Ten Fights of the Year” list by the end of 2013, converting hoards of new fans to the sport and simultaneously blowing their minds in the process. Thank God we’re not setting ourselves up for disappointment.
Currently 5-1 in the UFC and on a four fight win streak, Te Huna is on the heels of a come from behind victory over Ryan Jimmo at UFC on FUEL 7. After getting rocked by a head kick in the first round, Te Huna showcased his resiliency (and a much improved grappling game) in the latter two rounds, controlling Jimmo en route to a unanimous decision victory. The victory followed up a record setting performance by the Aussie against Joey Beltran at UFC on FUEL 4 in which Te Huna anded 71 significant strikes in the first round.
Speaking of win streaks, Te Huna will be facing a guy with one of the longest active win streaks in the sport when he fights Teixeira, who is fresh off a unanimous decision victory of his own over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC on FOX 6, his eighteenth in a row.
A win for either man will (probably) establish them as the next, next challenger to the light heavyweight title, so who do you think will come out of this one on top, Potato Nation?
(It’s kind of offensive that the UFC promos keep referring to Barao as a “monster.” He’s a human being, okay? An aggressive, scary human being whose mother just happens to be half-cthulhu / Photo via MMAJunkie.)
Leading us through today’s UFC on FUEL 7 liveblog is Alex Giardini, who will be laying down round-by-round results from the main card broadcast after the jump beginning at 3 p.m. ET. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and please share your own thoughts in the comments section.
Currently riding a 17 fight win streak that includes victories over such UFC veterans as Wilson Gouveia, Marvin Eastman, and Sokoudjou among others, Jimmo is undoubtedly one of the hotter prospects to enter the UFC’s light heavyweight division, but he will have his hands full with Te Huna, who has rapidly been developing his ground game to balance out his striking prowess. Who do you like for this one, Taters?
Also on tap for UFC on FUEL 7 is a welterweight battle featuring your favorite Icelandic cyborg, Gunnar Nelson…
(A replay of Weidman’s incredible standing elbow and the savage ground-and-pound finish, via fueltv.)
With so many contenders clogging up the upper echelon of the UFC middleweight division — all with their hands out for a title shot — Chris Weidman had to do something extra special to get noticed in his fight against Mark Munoz last night. Because let’s face it: Until now, his name wasn’t setting off alarm bells with many casual fans. Sure, the Serra-Longo-bred wrestler/grappler was 4-0 in the UFC, but his personality wasn’t “colorful” enough to create hype around his fights (à la master salesmen Sonnen, Bisping, Mayhem), and if your most impressive performance in the Octagon is a submission win over Tom Lawlor, you still have a long way to go, right?
So this is how you make your name in the UFC. Step 1) Utterly dominate an opponent who was himself thought to be one of the next challengers to the middleweight title. Step 2) Finish the fight in a way that immediately clinches a spot on future “Best Knockouts of 2012″ lists, both for its technical brilliance (the Spider-esque timing of that standing elbow!) and for its hard-to-watch brutality (uh, you gonna stop this one any time soon, Josh?). Step 3) Call out Anderson Silva after the fight — hell, go ahead and say you can submit him — just four days after Silva re-cemented himself as the most untouchable 185′er in MMA history.
And so, a main event that was not officially a #1 contender’s match might turn out to be one after all. Sure, there are bigger names than Weidman in the title hunt — and maybe he’ll have to fight somebody like Alan Belcher or the Lombard/Boetsch winner before he gets the opportunity — but no matter what the future holds for him, Chris Weidman is a star now. In one fight, he went from being a semi-anonymous contender to the name on every UFC fan’s lips.
Meanwhile, Mark Munoz drops down the ladder where hungry middleweight up-and-comers like Constantinos Philippou and Francis Carmont are on their own heat-seeking paths to contendership. In other words, the UFC middleweight division has never been deeper and more exciting — which makes it the worst possible time to take a high-profile loss, especially one in which you weren’t competitive for a single moment of the fight. We haven’t seen the last of the Filipino Wrecking Machine by any means, but it’s going to take him a long time to claw his way back to where he was before Wednesday night.
Riding shotgun on the card are Joey Beltran and James Te Huna. The Mexicutioner picked up a victory and a tapeworm while away from the UFC; he returns tonight as a light heavyweight to slug it out with the heavy-handed Kiwi. Someone’s getting concussed.
All of the cool kids are inside talking about the fights. If you’re cool, you’ll join us too.
Though it lacked the shoulder-checking excitement of the UFC 148 weigh-ins, last night’s UFC on FUEL 4 weigh-ins were not without their fair share of close calls. Mainly, that of Rafael Natal, Francis Carmont, and Alex Caceres, who all had to drop trou in order to make weight for their scheduled contests with Andrew Craig, Karlos Vemola, and Damacio Page, respectively. Caceres went au naturale right off the get-go to make 136, whereas Natal and Carmont managed to shed a pound following the aforementioned removal of their trousers, which must have been lined with a paper thin piece of iron or had a ham sandwich in the back pocket. Mark Munoz, on the other hand, squeaked in at the 186 pound limit for his main event matchup with fellow wrestling standout Chris Wediman.
And speaking of ham sandwiches/UFC 148, Subway aficionado Jay Glazer sat down alongside Ariel Helwani and recently dispatched middleweight contender Chael Sonnen to break down tonight’s main event, as well as discuss Sonnen’s UFC 148 loss and his future in the sport after the weigh-ins had concluded. We gotta give props to Glazer, who came right out and asked Sonnen, “What the hell were you thinking with that spinning elbow?” to which Sonnen responded in good humor, “I wish I could tell you…but I fell down like a doofus and I gotta live with it.” That you do, Chael. That you do.
Check out both of those videos and the full weigh-in results after the jump, and make sure to swing by CagePotato at 7 p.m. EST, where we will be liveblogging all the action in between heated games of Battleshots.
It’s hard to imagine at this point in his career, but there was a time not too long ago that Brandon Vera was knocking on the door of a heavyweight title shot. Consecutive losses to Tim Sylvia and Fabricio Werdum quickly squashed this notion, and perhaps in an attempt to save his career, Vera dropped to light heavyweight. The results thus far have been nothing short of disastrous.
Since dropping to 205, Vera:
1. Scored a weak UD over Reese Andy in his debut at UFN 14
2. Was made Keith Jardine’s personal whipping boy at UFC 89
3. Was nearly bear hugged to death by Randy Couture at UFC 105
4. Had his face ground into a fine powder by Jon Jones at UFC Live 1
5. Suffered the second most embarrassing loss in UFC history* when Thiago Silva used him as his personal set of bongos before treating his face like that of a three dollar hooker at UFC 125. But hey, the fight was changed to a no-contest, so that’s something, right?
6. Had his arm broken by a guy he was supposed to destroy at UFC 137.
(Take it easy, Rashad. You don’t want to break this puppy, do you?)
The medical suspensions list for UFC 135 was just released yesterday and included a couple surprising entries of note, mainly that of Jon Jones. The defending champ, who seemed to walk away from the match unscathed, was suspended 180 days, with the chance of physician clearance after 45 days. It makes you wonder whether the doctor’s found something significant enough to give Jones such a lengthy recovery time, or if it was simply a precautionary measure. Rampage Jackson, on the other hand, was suspended 60 days with no contact for 45.
Additionally off-putting was the suspension of James Te Huna, who was given a six month waiting period (or one month with a doctor’s clearance) following his quick knockout victory of Ricardo Romero, who was suspended for 60 days with no contact for 45. It also appears that Aaron Riley wasn’t fooling about his broken jaw, as he is out for 3 months minimum to heal that sucker up. Check out the full suspension list after the jump.