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Tag: John Gunderson

ShoFIGHT 20 Recap: Grove is now Champion, Fickett is now Homeless

It’s easy- perhaps even a bit lazy- to compare the embattled MMA fighter Drew Fickett to the similarly troubled Scott Hall. In their primes, both men performed on their respective sport’s biggest stages against recognizable names. In Fickett’s case, this meant a run in the UFC and notable victories over Dennis Hallman, Kenny Florian, Josh Neer, Josh Koscheck and Kurt Pellegrino.

Yet it’s arguable that both men are more famous for their self-destructive, chaotic lifestyles outside of sport than they are for their accomplishments. Both men have well documented struggles with addiction, have been fired from major promotions over their drunken antics and have attempted to stay relevant in their respective sports with increasingly tragic results.

Case in point: Last night’s ShoFIGHT 20, which took place on the campus of Drury University in Springfield, Missouri. The show was essentially a who’s who of washouts from bigger promotions, which included (aside from Fickett) John Gunderson, Karo Parisyan, Kendall Grove, Lyle Beerbohm, Marcus Aurelio, Charles Bennett, “Smilin’” Sam Alvey and Roli Delgado. This card saw Fickett matched up against submission specialist Jonatas Novaes.


Mac Danzig’s Injury Forces More Changes to UFC Fight Night 22

Matt Wiman Mac Danzig UFC 115
(Poor vegan son-of-a-bitch can’t catch a break. Photo courtesy of MMABay)

Due to a chest injury suffered in training, TUF 6 winner Mac Danzig has withdrawn from his co-headlining rematch against Matt Wiman at UFC Fight Night 22 (September 15th, Austin). Danzig and Wiman previously met at UFC 115 in June, with Danzig losing by a controversial first-round technical decision; the referee stopped the fight due to a guillotine choke despite the fact that Danzig didn’t tap and wasn’t out, leading to an unfortunate "WTFIYP?" moment in the cage. It was Danzig’s fourth loss in his last five fights, and he’ll now have to wait a little longer to redeem himself.

Stepping up against Wiman at the Austin event will be TUF 8 lightweight winner Efrain Escudero, who’s coming off his unanimous decision victory over Dan Lauzon at UFC 114, and was originally supposed to face John Gunderson on the prelims. Now, Gunderson is expected to face returning UFC vet Yves Edwards (38-16-1, 6-4 UFC), who hasn’t competed in the Octagon since his TKO loss to Joe Stevenson at UFC 61. Since then, he’s made appearances in Bodog Fight, EliteXC, Strikeforce, and Shine Fights, and most recently scored a decision over Luis Palomino at last week’s Bellator event.


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.


Exclusive: John Gunderson Balances UFC Career, Day Job, Fatherhood, and Opponents Going M.I.A.

John Gunderson UFC 108 weigh-in
(Photo courtesy of MMA Junkie)

By Elias Cepeda for CagePotato

After an impressive seven-year career competing around the Northwest and as a member of the Nevada Lions in the IFL, John Gunderson (22-7) finally got his ticket to the big show when we was invited to fight Rafaello Oliveira as a late replacement at UFC 108. Though he lost that match by decision, his performance was enough to earn him a second shot — and that’s when things got tricky. A scheduled meeting with Paul Taylor fell apart when Taylor withdrew from the match not once but twice. Luckily, Canadian newcomer Mark Holst has agreed to replace Taylor at the TUF 11 Finale on June 19th. Gunderson took some time to update us on his upcoming redemption-match, and his quest to find success in the UFC while juggling his other two jobs — personal trainer and soccer dad.

CAGEPOTATO.COM: After taking your first UFC fight on short notice you had a full camp and were set to fight Paul Taylor in April at UFC 112 but then the bout didn’t happen because he pulled out. What happened there?

JOHN GUNDERSON: I got the fight with Paul Taylor in Abu Dhabi and flew all the way out there, weighed in and apparently that night Taylor started having problems. He had migraines and got real sick and wasn’t able to compete. The UFC turned around right away and put me on the finale card against Taylor again. But about three or four weeks ago I found out that Paul Taylor pulled out again and now I’m fighting Mark Holst. They didn’t tell me why and I didn’t even ask.

Let’s back up for a second and talk about what it was like to have gone through an entire camp, then go all the way to Abu Dhabi and have your opponent not compete. When did you find out and how disruptive was it?

Oh yeah, I’ve never gone through anything like that. The day of the fight we actually got on the bus to take us from the hotel to the event center which was literally five minutes away. So I was an hour, hour and a half out from fighting and that’s when they told us. You can imagine, go all the way out to Abu Dhabi after losing my first UFC fight. In the back of your head you are thinking that if you don’t win this one, that’s it. So leaving the hotel, I was ready. I felt like it was taken from me but the UFC gave me another opportunity right away so…

Wait, you were on the bus and that’s when you found out? Did you have a period of denial at first, like did you think there was still some chance that you would get to fight?


Exclusive: Paul Taylor Medically Unfit to Fight at UFC 112

 (Roger Huerta was right. This tattoo does make you punch harder.)

Just hours before the curtains are set to come up on the UFC’s debut show in the United Arab Emirates, has learned that the preliminary bout between Paul Taylor and John Gunderson has been pulled from the fight card because Taylor has been deemed medically unfit to compete.

According to sources at the event, Taylor’s removal from the card is due to health complications resulting from his weight cut.

We’ll have more details as they become available.

Kevin Iole from Yahoo! Sports confirms via Twitter post that Taylor is suffering from a severe migraine headache.


Exclusive: UFC 108 Curse a Blessing for John Gunderson

(Gunderson looks for a guillotine against Wagnney Fabiano in an IFL bout back in 2007.)

There is one upside to having an event so plagued with injuries and illnesses that it barely limps its way onto pay-per-view.  With so many holes opening up in the fight card, that means some UFC first-timers are bound to turn someone else’s misfortune into their own big break.  One such Octagon newcomer at UFC 108 will be IFL vet John Gunderson.  He’ll be taking on Rafaello Oliveira, who was supposed to fight Sean Sherk, who got moved up to face Jim Miller when Tyson Griffin pulled out.  That’s the kind of event this has been, and that’s the convoluted chain of events that led to Gunderson getting his shot in the UFC just a little over two weeks from now.

"I actually found out last night," said Gunderson.  "[Evan] Dunham saw it online and he told me about it.  After practice I checked my cell phone and sure enough there were a bunch of texts from my manager about it."


Broken Hand Forces Another Switch at IFL GP


Two days after the IFL announced that Shad Lierley broke his toe during practice and would be replaced at the IFL World Grand Prix by John Gunderson, we’re now getting word that John Gunderson has aggravated a hand injury in training, and will be replaced by Portland Wolfpack member Ryan “The Lion” Schultz. With a record of 17-9-1 (4-2 IFL), Schultz is just as credible an opponent for lightweight favorite Chris Horodecki as Gunderson was, but Horodecki beat Schultz via TKO when they fought last year, and their rematch will likely turn out the same way.

Can the IFL please just give Horodecki the title already? He’s clearly cast a Polish-voodoo curse on their lightweight division, bringing injury to those who would dare compete against him. And what’s going to happen when Schultz mysteriously blows out his knee? Do they just give the next mediocre fighter on the list a shot at the belt? I say bring in Hard Gay and be done with it. Word on the street is, he’s impervious to spells…

UPDATE: Ryan Schultz is the guy who gave Roger Huerta his only professional loss, way back in June 2004 at SuperBrawl 36. And because I didn’t mention it before, I’d just like to point out that this is actually the third time Chris Horodecki’s opponent for the IFL Grand Prix has been swapped; he was originally scheduled to fight Wagnney Fabiano, who dropped down in weight class when the IFL decided to offer a featherweight title.


Gunderson to Replace Lierley at IFL Grand Prix

(Shad Lierley falls against Chris Horodecki, 6/1/07)

So much for the “Fight of the Year” rematch. The IFL just sent out a bummer of a press release stating that lightweight contender Shad Lierley broke a toe during practice, and won’t be able to compete at the IFL’s World Grand Prix on December 29. Lierley was scheduled to face Chris Horodecki for the league’s lightweight title. Filling in for Lierley will be John “Guns” Gunderson, a member of Ken Shamrock’s Nevada Lions team who has gone 2-2 during his time with the IFL.

Ah well — Horodecki would have whipped his ass anyway. I’m going to find out who was responsible for breaking Lierley’s toe, so we can put him on CagePotato’s official “Do Not Train With!” list along with Matt Arroyo, Richie Hightower and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou.