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Tag: Jamie Varner

UFC on FOX 4: Shogun vs. Vera — Live Results & Commentary


(“Then it’s settled. I’ll crouch behind him, and you push him over.” / Photo via CombatLifestyle. For more photos from this set, click here.)

I’ve got an idea: Instead of obsessing about who really deserves the next shot at the light-heavyweight title, let’s just kick back tonight and enjoy some free fights on FOX, two of which happen to feature former 205-pound champions (both Brazilian) facing off against hungry contenders (both American). Throw in a lightweight feature between Joe Lauzon and comeback kid Jamie Varner, and Mike Swick‘s first Octagon appearance in two-and-a-half years, and you’ve got a lineup that should hopefully take some of the sting off that $55 you blew on UFC 149.

The UFC on FOX: Shogun vs. Vera main card kicks off at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, and our man Elias Cepeda will be guiding you through the play-by-play after the jump. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and give us the play-by-play for your own lives in the comments section.

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‘UFC on FOX 4: Shogun vs. Vera’ Preview and Predictions


(“You know the deal, guys. Whoever puts on the most impressive performance tonight gets the title shot.” [*unzips*] / Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.com. For more photos from this set, click here.)

By Ryan Sarr

Who is going to win the “Jon Jones Sweepstakes?” That is the big question heading into the UFC’s fourth venture onto network television tonight. Dana White was so pissed about the boring, lackluster abomination that was the UFC 149 main card, that he decided to award a light-heavyweight title shot to the man who wins the “most impressively“ among the four main and co-main event participants. (Yes, even Brandon Vera)  The only problem with this scenario is that all four men — Shogun, Vera, Machida, and Bader — have each been decisively destroyed by Jon Jones in previous fights.

Nonetheless, this fight card is still very intriguing and offers many reasons to tune in.  First of all: It’s free on Fox. Second, all four main card bouts are likely to be exciting, fast-paced battles. It also marks the return of the very talented Mike Swick to the Octagon, who hasn’t fought in over two years. Finally, we have a chance to see a true Cinderella story play out once again as Jamie Varner gets a chance to take another huge step up in his comeback by fighting on a main card on network television. So, join me as I break down the main card for UFC on Fox 4 and offer my predictions as to who will emerge victorious.

Mike Swick (14-4, 9-3 UFC) vs. DaMarques Johnson (15-10, 4-4 UFC)

DaMarques Johnson said in the fight promo, “There’s a 50% chance I’m gonna win this fight, there’s a 100% chance that somebody’s taking a nap,” and Johnson has the track record to back it up: None of his fights in the UFC have gone the distance. The Jeremy Horn protégé has slick submission skills to go along with his heavy hands. We know Johnson will bring a fast-paced, exciting style into the Octagon, and his opponent Mike Swick will almost certainly do the same.

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Matt Hamill Pulls a Jamie Varner and Un-Retires, Brilliance of His Decision to Be Determined at UFC 152


(No, Rampage, that’s not a white tiger! Bad Rampage! Down!) 

Can MMA fighters just start referring to these so called “retirements” as what they really are (an extended vacation), or do they simply have too much pride? I only ask because, after retiring less than twenty pay-per-views ago (that’s roughly a year in human people time), it appears that TUF 3 light heavyweight alum Matt Hamill will be returning to action at UFC 152, where he will be taking on promotional newcomer and Bellator veteran Roger Hollett.

Being that Matt is one of the more inspirational figures in the sport, not to mention hails from just a few towns away from me, I was initially excited to hear this news. Sure, Matt will probably not be getting his revenge (or whatever you’d call it considering he won) on Jon Jones anytime soon, but he makes for a great addition to any card, and produces good fights for the most part with the occasional skull shattering KO mixed in. However, upon reading over what BG (or at least who I assume was BG, being that I’m the only one who signs his damn posts around here) wrote when Hamill originally announced his retirement, I couldn’t help but reconsider:

Prior to Saturday night, Hamill’s only career losses came against former champions Quinton Jackson and Rich Franklin, as well as his controversial split-decision loss against Michael Bisping…But losing to a mid-level up-and-comer like Gustafsson (Ed note: How things change in a year, amiright?) was apparently the final sign that the game was passing him by. It’s rare to find an MMA fighter who hangs up the gloves before the sport has completely chewed him up. Hats off to Hamill for a fantastic career, and for knowing when to walk away.

Granted, Hammil stated that part of the reason he had decided to retire was due to a “career [that] has been plagued by injuries starting with The Ultimate Fighter and disrupted my training ever since,” so perhaps he has finally had the time to sufficiently heal up. That being said, what do you think of his decision? Will it go the way of Jamie Varner, or is “The Hammer” just setting himself up to get dicknailed?

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[UFC on FOX EXCLUSIVE] Joe Lauzon Reflects on Unexpected Success And Dealing With Defeat

By Elias Cepeda 

Amid his national television appearances, eight wins in the UFC and record-setting submissions as a percentage of wins in the promotion, it might be hard to remember that Joe Lauzon is a regular guy who not too long ago worked a nine to five office job like lots of other Americans. Shortly after he graduated from college in 2006 with a computer science degree Lauzon got a shot in the UFC and the storyline for the Massachusetts native typically went like this: Smart college kid is fighting, for some reason.

Lauzon was supposed to be an opponent in his UFC debut, nothing more, for the returning former lightweight champion Jens Pulver. Instead, he stopped the legend in the first round and six years later “Baby Joe” is still at the top of the sport – fighting on this weekend’s UFC on FOX 4 card against former WEC lightweight champ Jamie Varner.

The twenty eight year old is as surprised as anyone.

“I never expected it to go this far,” Lauzon says, speaking of the mixed martial arts career that he began back in high school. “I thought I’d get to do it for a year or so, maybe two years. Maybe I’d make a little bit of money and then I’d have to get back to working a real job. Now I’m dreading going back to a real job,” Lauzon laughs.

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What a Rush! The 14 Greatest (and 3 Worst) Pro-Wrestling Moves Used in MMA


(“Call me Aldo Montoya again, bitch!”)

By Seth Falvo (@SethFalvo)

When Nick Ring walked to the cage on Saturday accompanied by professional wrestling legend Bret “The Hitman” Hart, it was one more example of mixed martial arts’ quirky love affair with professional wrestling. Oh sure, we like to pretend that we have nothing in common with those peculiar Puroresu practitioners because our sport is real, both in terms of the violence and the personalities associated with it. Nonsense. With fake fighters crossing over to the real stuff, real fighters crossing over to the fake stuff, fake matches “borrowing” their outcomes from real fights, real promos “borrowing” from the classic fake stuff and multiple guys dabbling in both sports, the line between the two is arguably blurrier now than it was back when Ken Shamrock was ankle locking fools in the World Wrestling Federation.

It should come as no surprise then that we’ve seen our share of professional fighters attempting honest-to-God professional wrestling moves in real fights. We know, we know: We’re totally not supposed to be trying this stuff at home. But fortunately for us, the following brave men have ignored the countless warnings, the advice of their trainers and their own common sense to provide us with the most entertainingly reckless ways to injure their fellow men.

But before we break out the face paint and spandex, let’s establish how I’ll be ranking such absurd maneuvers. The moves will be ranked based on their immediate effectivenesshow true to form they stay to their kayfabe counterparts, and the competence of their opponents. Let’s face it: Even if you do something insanely cool and difficult from professional wrestling in an MMA fight, if you then get knocked out, you still look like a chump. Let’s also acknowledge that a punch to a downed opponent has no business being called The Worm without the accompanying theatrics. Finally, it’s a lot easier to pull off a complex move in a fight when your opponent totally sucks at fighting. Those are my rules, and if you’re not down with that, I got two words for ya: LET’S BEGIN!

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Is Chael Sonnen Calling it Quits?


(Sonnen tries to remain calm while scanning for the nearest exit at the UFC 148 pre-fight press conference.) 

How the high and mighty have fallen, Potato Nation.

Just a few days after coming up short (again) against Anderson Silva at UFC 148, the rumors and speculations of what lies in store for middleweight contender Chael Sonnen have already begun to take on a life of its own. And at the forefront of those rumors, is the possibility that we may never see perhaps the greatest fight-hyper in the biz in the octagon again. Now, we aren’t normally quick to buy into retirement rumors that come in the immediate aftermath of a fight, even when they are coming from the fighters themselves. Because, as was the case for B.J. Penn and Jamie Varner, these supposed “retirements” were more or less a way of coping with the frustration that comes with of a string of losses (or in Sonnen’s case, a particularly hard loss to swallow), and were over before most of us compile a “Best of” list for either man. The jury is still out on how long Nick Diaz will hold out, but we’re guessing it will likely coincide with his recent suspension.

But regardless of the semi-thesis statement we’ve just laid before you, the head grappling coach at Xtreme Couture, Neil Melanson, feels that we may have seen the last of Sonnen for now. Melanson took over Sonnen’s UFC 148 training camp after Scott McQuary, Sonnen’s longtime head coach, suffered a heart attack a couple months back, and recently sat down with the ironically-titled Verbal Submission Radio to discuss Sonnen’s future in the sport:

Any time you’re a part of training camp or you’re friends with somebody and they lose, you just worry about them like, how are they gonna handle it mentally? Are they gonna come back from this? You know, I don’t know what Chael’s plans are, but I got a feeling he’s done fighting. I don’t know. I’ve just got a feeling he’s done. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think he was serious when he said, ‘If you beat me, I will leave forever,’ and there’s a very good chance of that.

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With Terry Etim Injured, Jamie Varner Steps In for Another Massive Opportunity vs. Joe Lauzon


(“I call that punch the ‘parlay-wrecker’.”)

When Jamie Varner returned to the UFC last month as an injury replacement against Edson Barboza at UFC 146, virtually nobody gave him a chance. (We called it “the biggest UFC squash-match of the year,” if you want to get specific.) Barboza was the undefeated wheel-kickin’ buzzsaw in the lightweight division, and Varner was just a WEC washout who had lost a decision to Dakota Cochrane the previous year. Varner admitted that Barboza was literally the only guy in the UFC he didn’t want to fight. And yet, he stormed the Brazilian golden boy, knocking him out in one round, and earning another tour of duty in the UFC. The question is, can he do it again?

It was reported yesterday that Terry Etim has withdrawn from his UFC on FOX 4 match with Joe Lauzon — yeah, yeah, that godforsaken UFC injury bug, the world is ending, etc. — and will be replaced by Varner. Inconsistent as of late, Lauzon has gone 3-3 in his last six appearances, most recently getting knocked out by Anthony Pettis in February.

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UFC 146 Medical Suspensions: X-Rays to Determine the Fates of Velasquez, Silva, and Varner Among Others


(And to think that all “Bigfoot” did was ask Arianny for a hug. Image courtesy of Fightcove.) 

UFC 146′s all-heavyweight lineup promised to deliver the violence, and sweet baby Jesus did it ever. We were treated to five finishes in five fights on the main card alone, including what was initially labeled as a broken arm on Lavar Johnson’s part, as well as the above mutilation of Antonio Silva, which more closely resembles a scene from Saw movie (specifically, the pig soup sequence from the third installment) than anything else. But perhaps the most surprising of suspensions to come as a result of Saturday’s action were that of Cain Velasquez and Jamie Varner, whom, despite earning quick and violent finishes against Silva and Edson Barboza, respectively, could be looking at up to six months out of action pending x-rays of their hands. That’s some shit luck for Velasquez, who Dana White pegged as the probable number one contender (in Ubereem’s absence, of course) following his victory.

Though it appears that “Big” Johnson’s arm was not actually broken in the first round of his PPV lead-off scrap with Stefan Struve, he will need to have his elbow cleared by an orthopedist before he can return to action, and is looking at a minimum suspension of just over a month regardless.

Check out the full list of suspensions after the jump. 

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UFC 146 Salaries: Dos Santos, Cain, Mir Sock Away $200k Apiece; Three Others Crack Six Figures


(That awkward moment when fireballs fail to shoot out of your hands.)

The UFC paid out $1,513,000 in disclosed salaries and performance bonuses for last Saturday’s UFC 146: Dos Santos vs. Mir card, with Junior Dos Santos, Frank Mir, and Cain Velasquez‘s matching $200,000 checks eating up about 40% of the total. The full salary list is below via MMAJunkie. Keep in mind that these figures don’t include additional revenue from sponsorships, undisclosed “locker room bonuses,” or percentages of the pay-per-view revenue that are in some fighters’ contracts.

Junior Dos Santos: $200,000 (no win bonus)
def. Frank Mir: $200,000

Cain Velasquez: $200,000 (includes $100,000 win bonus)
def. Antonio Silva: $70,000

Roy Nelson: $110,000 (includes $20,00 win bonus and $70,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
def. Dave Herman: $21,000

Stipe Miocic: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Shane Del Rosario: $20,000

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UFC 146 Aftermath: Five Fights, Five Finishes

By Elias Cepeda


Props: MMAFighting.com

Junior dos Santos is a walking, terrifying public relations smashing machine. Not only did he Babe Ruth it and fulfill his prediction of winning by 2nd round stoppage over former two-time champion Frank Mir Saturday night, but he also provided the best feel-good photo op of the year so far.

Junior trains out of Luis Carlos Dorea’s Champion Boxing gym in Brazil which, in addition to being headquarters for world-class fighters, is home to a vibrant youth boxing program. After training one day, the UFC Primetime cameras caught one of the little tikes hanging asking Junior to take him with him to the states for his title fight.

At the time, Junior said, “we’ll see.” But he ended up bringing the 9 year-old kid and his family to Vegas to watch him win. After beating Mir, he lifted the lucky young fighter onto his shoulders and posed for the cameras along with his coaches.

Dos Santos definitely appears to have the Wanderlei Silva nice guy/maniac fighter balance down pat. Try as I might, that image warms my cynical heart, and I don’t give a damn how orchestrated it may or may not have been. Who doesn’t like watching a kid’s dream come true before their eyes?

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