(A fittingly memorable photo for a fittingly memorable fighter. Farewell to thee, Jeremy Rosewall.)
Because some of you fans (and to be fair, some of us in the media) are still convinced that MMA is a sport and not a form of entertainment, there has been a bit of a reaction to the firing of UFC heavyweight Jared Rosholt — if “(*wanking motion*)” counts as a reaction nonetheless.
So I guess it’s about time that we start taking Stephen Thompson seriously as a title contender, eh?
Matched up against former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks in the main of event of Saturday’s Fight Night 82, the general consensus seemed to be that “Wonderboy” would ultimately succumb to the wrestling prowess of “Bigg Rigg” as several more talented grapplers had before him. Of course, you can’t exactly outwrestle your opponent if you can’t touch him, and it appeared as if Stephen Thompson was fighting from the future.
Utilizing his trademark karate stance and a level of accuracy that rivaled Anderson Silva‘s UFC debut, Thompson not only tore through Hendricks, he did so almost effortlessly. He stuffed the former champ’s takedowns, beautifully managed his distance, and mixed up his attacks with almost machine-like precision, cracking one of the game’s most lauded chins in the process. Once you take away a man’s steakhouse, you take away his fire, I always say, and Hendricks looked like a man without fire on Saturday. The guy with a canon of a left hand just isn’t there anymore, it would seem, and a credit is due to “Wonderboy” for the ease with which he was able to nullify Hendricks.
Fight Night 82 also featured Roy Nelson’s return to the win column, a horrifically broken jaw, and an early contender for “Knockout of the Year,” so check out all the highlights and results after the jump.
The UFC Fight Night 57 main card kicks off on FOX Sports 1 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, and our old friend Matt Kaplan will be stickin’ round-by-round results after the jump. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and shoot us your own thoughts in the comments section or on twitter @cagepotatomma. Thanks for being here.
Australian heavyweight Soa Palelei has been putting together one of the greatest career comeback stories outside of Anthony Johnson. At one time considered to be a one-and-done UFC washout after he lost to Eddie Sanchez at UFC 79, “The Hulk” has won 11 straight fights since 2011 — all by KO/TKO — including three wins in the Octagon.
The quick seven-week turnaround might be less than ideal for Palelei, but fighting in front of a supportive Oceania crowd will more than make up for it. Unrelated fun facts (via BloodyElbow): Palelei got his first tattoo with a wooden chisel and mallet, and Mark Hunt is the only opponent he’d turn down, because “We’re training partners, and we’re like family.”
The current lineup for UFC Fight Night 43 is below…
As for Oliynyk, he most recently caught our attention with his neck-crank submission of Mirko Cro Cop at Legend Fight Show 2 in Moscow last month. The win was Oliynyk’s ninth in a row (all by stoppage), including previous submissions of Jeff Monson, Tony Lopez, and Dion Staring. Overall, Oliynyk has compiled a record of 48-9-1 through 16 damn years of competition. He made his MMA debut when the sport still looked like this. He lost to Chael Sonnen in Bodog seven years ago. He was a YAMMA semi-finalist for God’s sake. And now, at the age of 36, he’s fighting in the UFC for the first time. Do you believe in miracles?
The current lineup for UFC on FOX 10 is after the jump…
(We know we say this a lot, but if you don’t turn down your speakers, this video will render you completely deaf before it even begins.)
You guys remember Jake Rosholt, the former UFC middleweight who taught his dog to fetch him a beer, right? Well it turns out that Jake has a younger, heavyweight brother named Jared who has quietly strung together 8 wins alongside just 1 defeat as a professional mixed martial artist. He also goes by “The Big Show,” which we’re fairly certain is the most original nickname in the history of ever. We literally cannot think of one other person more deserving of such a title. Not. One.
Annnnyway, Jared picked up his eighth win last Friday at C3 Fights – Summer Slamfest 2 via a 34 second KO of KOTC veteran Jason Walraven. You can check out the video above, then we suggest you check out the C3 Sherdog page, if only to appreciate MMA event titles such as Knockout-Rockout Weekend, Slammin Jammin Weekend and Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Weekend. That promotion is single-handedly bringing back awesomely-titled MMA events from their current dark ages, although Red River Riot sounds like some kind of Hostel-esque group sex ritual.
A few sites out there are calling for Rosholt to be called up to the UFC with this win, but what do you think? We say yes, with the only stipulation being that he must repeatedly try whatever the fuck he was going for at the 12 second mark the entire fight.
In this episode of The Reem, Alistair Overeem does some PR work in L.A. ahead of his UFC 141 bout with Brock Lesnar this Friday and spends some time training with Mark Munoz and company at Reign Training Center.
Shame on HDNet and the Octagon Nation Tour for jacking our swagger (6:08 mark) and props to Overeem for punking the last fan in line at the signing. The dude looked like he was going to cry.