stanley kubrick movie tattoos
20 Absolutely Insane Tattoos Inspired by Stanley Kubrick Movies

Tag: Jamie Varner

UFC on FOX 4: Shogun vs. Vera — The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly


Props: MMA Photoshops

In our efforts to give out high fives and bro grabs over how much fun Saturday night’s fights were, we missed the opportunity to give constructive criticism to some of the evening’s lowest moments. We’ll more than likely still miss out on the constructive criticism here, but sometimes there’s just no way to be helpful about something’s ugliness (no matter how hard you try to be). But before we get caught up in the negativity…

The Good:

Vera and Varner Impressive in Defeat. Before Saturday night, both men were expected to be little more than highlight reel fodder for their opponents. After they came up just short in two of the most competitive, entertaining bouts to be broadcast on Fox, it’d be too easy to make comparisons to Rocky. So instead of making one, I’ll just imply it – problem solved. A loss is never easy for either fighter to swallow, but it could have been much uglier.

Mike Swick’s Feel-Good Comeback Fight. Is it even possible not to feel good for Mike Swick? After losing his last two fights and spending over two years away from the sport, things were looking pretty grim for “Quick.” Watching DaMarques Johnson control Swick for the first round certainly didn’t brighten the mood, either. But if you know somebody who wasn’t cheering while Swick flawlessly finished Johnson, that person has no pulse. In fact, that “person” is probably a zombie. Act accordingly.

Read More DIGG THIS

Armchair Matchmaker: UFC on FOX 4 Edition


(Mike Swick and DaMarques Johnson combine their efforts to create not only the greatest punchface of 2012, but perhaps the greatest punchface of all time.) 

Aside from the disappointing and sudden end that came during the Phil Davis/Wagner Prado fight (which is tentatively being rescheduled for UFC on FX 5), last Saturday’s UFC on FOX event delivered in spades, featuring a main card that not only provided four highlight reel finishes for the night’s big winners, but a quartet of great fights that mainstream audiences had yet to witness on a FOX card. It more than likely came as a surprise to most of us that the card was as successful as it truly was, so with that in mind, we decided to dust off our beloved Armchair Matchmaker and pre-determine the fates of the aforementioned winners and losers from last weekend’s action. Enjoy, and let us know of any other possible matchups you’d like to see in the comments section.

Mauricio Rua: Despite smashing Brandon Vera’s title aspirations in rather brutal fashion, there is no denying that Shogun had some rather dicey moments leading up to the fourth round finish (that guillotine, for instance). After controlling Vera on the ground for the majority of the first, Shogun looked like he was fighting underwater by the end of the second. But as was the case in his previous loss to Dan Henderson, Shogun proved that what he lacks in cardio he more than makes up for in heart.

Still, it will take at least another “impressive” finish over an upper-echelon opponent before we are convinced that Shogun deserves another title shot. His total unwillingness to fight Glover Teixeira causes some pause for concern, and since it appears that Rashad Evans might be headed for 185 in the near future, we are left with only one suitable fit: Alexander Gustafsson. Last weekend basically cleared out the list of potential contenders at 205, and although we’d rather see Shogun and Lyoto Machida complete their trilogy for the right to take on the Bones/Hendo winner, we can’t hate on Dana White for following through on his promise. So if Rua/Gustafsson is all we’re left with, we’d be more than willing to watch these two throw down for a #1 contender spot. Let’s just hope Shogun packs his oxygen tank this time.

Read More DIGG THIS

UFC on FOX 4: Shogun vs. Vera Aftermath: Breaking Even


Shogun was as brutal and entertaining as Machida, but not as impressive in Dana White’s eyes. Props: @raiseyourhorns

After watching the UFC’s first two lackluster efforts on Fox, as well as the organization’s entertaining third effort fail to draw decent ratings, it was no secret that the UFC needed to deliver with last night’s UFC on Fox 4. With “the most impressive fighter” earning the next title shot at light-heavyweight, fighters returning to the spotlight after time in the indie leagues and fighters returning from extended layoffs – not to mention the usual
mix of fighters attempting to make a name for themselves and guys literally fighting for their jobs- it was obvious that the UFC was hoping for something special from everybody involved. Factor in the fact that the UFC was already struggling with ratings before the abysmal UFC 149 just two weeks ago, and it would seem like a night full of stoppages was in order to keep the fans interested in future fights on Fox.

Simply put, this card delivered all that was expected of it and then some. Last night’s fights were exactly what I was hoping to get when the UFC first announced that they had inked a deal with Fox. It was exactly what I want to show the first time viewer who asks what this “MMA stuff” is that I write about. After a rough start with these free cards on Fox, the UFC now stands at an even 2-2.

It wouldn’t be fair to say that the main event bout between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Brandon “The Truth” Vera lived up to its expectations because, let’s face it, there weren’t any. Before the fight, no one could make sense of the potential title implications behind a seemingly blatant squash fight, pitting an aging legend of our sport against a fighter who had been coasting on the brink of irrelevance. Whether we were given a quick, brutal knockout or five rounds of stalling and wheezing, few of us would have been surprised either way.

Rather, it’s fair to say that Shogun Rua vs. Brandon Vera ended up being one of the best fights that the UFC has put on Fox, and easily the most entertaining main event on the network. For four rounds, Shogun outpointed a focused, game Vera on his way to a fourth round TKO. While Vera certainly had his moments – don’t act like your jaw didn’t drop when he locked in that guillotine in the first round – in the end Shogun’s aggressive striking and takedowns were just too much for The Truth.

Read More DIGG THIS

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.

Read More DIGG THIS

‘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.

Read More DIGG THIS

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?

Read More DIGG THIS

[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.

Read More DIGG THIS

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!

Read More DIGG THIS

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.

Read More DIGG THIS

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.

Read More DIGG THIS
CagePotatoMMA