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Tag: Jon Fitch

More UFC 82 Notes: Arlovski Snubbed, Fitch Earns Title Shot

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— Further support for the “Andrei Arlovski is leaving the UFC” theory: Though he got a rapturous response from the crowd on Saturday, Andrei Arlovski wasn’t given the honor of a post-victory interview with Joe Rogan, like Jorge Gurgel, Diego Sanchez, and Josh Koscheck were granted in earlier undercard fights. As soon as he chalked up his win, a commercial for Harley-Davidson filled the jumbotrons. Nothing to see here, folks. Luigi Fioravanti was similarly snubbed after his win over Luke Cummo, but I just figured it was because nobody cared to hear him. Anyway, all appearances of civility are out the window.

— Speaking of the Pitbull, one of his current sponsors is do-it-yourself online print shop CafePress. So that’s another thing we have in common.

— In the press conference after UFC 82, Dana White said that Jon Fitch would be next in line for a title shot after “this whole Matt Serra and Georges St. Pierre thing gets figured out.” White implied that Fitch could have sat out and waited for his title shot, but instead he stepped up and took the fight with Wilson. Ouch, Karo! With his win over Chris Wilson, Fitch tied Royce Gracie’s ’93-’94 streak of eight-consecutive victories in the Octagon, which hadn’t been matched since.

— Also during that press conference, Dana White revealed that he recently made Randy Couture another offer to fight Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. “We’re waiting to hear back from him,” White said.

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UFC 82: Liveblog of a Champion

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Guest Liveblogger Ben Fowlkes of The Fighting Life here, all set and ready to go for UFC 82. I’m looking forward to a good night of fights, which I’m warming up for by watching Dana White swear through the countdown show. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Click the “MORE” link and refresh the page every few minutes for round-by-round updates.

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There Will Be Cash: UFC 82 Bonus Predictions

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(Andrei Arlovski could be one paid motherfucker tomorrow.)

Our monthly roundup in which we express fight predictions via the UFC’s customary “Of the Night” payouts. Last time didn’t go so hot, but we have a good feeling about UFC 82. Again, here’s the lineup:

MAIN CARD
Anderson Silva vs. Dan Henderson
Heath Herring vs. Cheick Kongo
Chris Leben vs. Alessio Sakara
Yushin Okami vs. Evan Tanner
Jon Fitch vs. Chris Wilson

PRELIMINARY CARD
Andrei Arlovski vs. Jake O’Brien
Luke Cummo vs. Luigi Fioravanti
Josh Koscheck vs. Dustin Hazelett
Diego Sanchez vs. David Bielkheden
Jorge Gurgel vs. John Halverson

Fight of the Night: How could it not be Silva vs. Henderson? It’s rare that the Octagon hosts this much combined talent. We see this one going into the championship rounds, with both men pounding the hell out of each other along the way. As you know, we’re leaning toward Silva.

Knockout of the Night: Andrei Arlovski. Other MMA pundits have said that the undefeated O’Brien will grind his way to a lay-and-pray victory, but Arlovski is coming into this fight with the combined rage of 10,000 insulted Soviets, and he’ll be looking to prove that undercards are beneath him. There’s a chance this could be his last fight for the UFC, so putting an exclamation point at the end of his Octagon career would be a priority; we’ll say KO/TKO, round 2. Dark horse: Jon Fitch. His fight against Chris Wilson may look like a mismatch, but Wilson’s ground skills are underrated. Still, we see Fitch putting Wilson out on his feet early.

Submission of the Night: Josh Koscheck. Speaking of mismatches…Koscheck’s recent performances haven’t been awe-inspiring, and he knows he needs a dramatic win against the gift-wrapped Dustin Hazelett, who’s never faced an opponent as skilled as Kos; it’s looking like a first-round armbar. Dark horse: Sanchez over Bielkheden. Same deal as with Koscheck — Bielkheden is being brought in for his UFC debut to build Sanchez’s confidence, and on paper, Sanchez’s ground game scores much higher. But if Ali Sonoma is still fucking with his concentration, we’ll stop short of saying this is a guaranteed win for Nightmare…

See it differently? Let us know in the comments…

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CagePotato Exclusive Interview: Chris Wilson

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(“I’m ready to go in there and shock the world.”)

By CagePotato Special Contributor Ben Fowlkes

Chris Wilson is in a difficult spot. The Team Quest welterweight and former member of the IFL’s Portland Wolfpack was offered his first UFC fight just a few weeks ago, against one of their toughest, most highly touted 170-pound contenders: Jon Fitch. Of course he accepted, but now oddsmakers have him as one of the biggest underdogs going into UFC 82. In this exclusive interview he indulges in a little straight-talk about taking a pay cut to fight in the Octagon, training with Dan Henderson, and how he plans to prove everyone wrong on Saturday night.

CagePotato: Jon Fitch is obviously a tough fighter, and he’s riding a fourteen-fight win streak. What are you expecting from him and how are you planning to deal with it?
Chris Wilson: I expect him to come in and do the things he does best, which is throw hard punches, try to get you in a corner, and get on top. That’s his game plan. That’s where he’s most comfortable and that’s what’s worked for him, and I don’t see him trying to change that now. If he were looking to come in and show how good his striking is, I think he would try and do it against someone with much less chance of knocking him out. But if he’s going to stand in front of me it will make his night a lot harder.

A lot of people talk about Octagon jitters when a guy has his first UFC fight. You’ve fought in front of big crowds before in several different organizations, so how do you think your first UFC fight will affect you?
It’s hard for me to say that I won’t be affected by it because I haven’t been there yet. But like you said, I have fought in front of crowds of many thousands of people. Maybe not as many as the UFC brings in, but I know what that kind of pressure feels like. There are certain things that I think will help me deal with it. Being an underdog helps take some of the pressure off me. Also, it helps that I’ve been to UFC events and cornered my teammates there. I’ve walked through that tunnel and out into the arena with the screaming fans. Even if it wasn’t me who was fighting that night, at least I know what to expect. I guess I just have to wait and see.

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Afternoon D’light: Fitch Names Next Champ & More


(Future MMA heavyweight champ?)

Slower than molasses today. Here are some snippets for ya’:

— Jon Fitch talked to 5oz of Pain recently about who he thinks are the next big things in MMA coming from his camp, AKA (via MMA Fightline).

There are two guys that stick out the most. One is another Purdue wrestler that just graduated named Nathan Moore. He’s been training with me out here and he was also a team captain at Purdue. He fights at 185 (pounds). Tremendous ability. He’s more of an athlete than I am and a better wrestler than I am. He’s picking up the striking and jiu-jitsu very quickly so he’s a name to watch out for in the next couple of years.

And then the biggest one is Cain Velasquez. I like to call him “Sugar Cain.” He’s a heavyweight and he’s the biggest and baddest heavyweight you guys have ever seen. He’s going to turn the heavyweight world upside down in another year or two. Nobody is going to be talking about Kimbo. Nobody is going to be talking about Fedor or Randy. Everybody is going to be talking about Cain.

…he’s fought a couple of fights for Bodog. The problem is that we can’t find fights for him because won’t just take fights against him. I think what’s going to happen is that he’s going to fight at UFC 83. I think he’s got a fight and they’ve got him on that card. So he’ll be making his debut, I think, at UFC 83. I’m not 100 percent sure on that but he’s been training for that and I think that’s going to happen. He’s tough. He was an All-American at Arizona State. He’s just a tremendous athlete.

Bold statements. We’ll wait this one out.

— I was disappointed with Dan Henderson‘s appearance on “Rome Is Burning” this afternoon. Hendo may not be the greatest interviewee, but Rome mostly just stuck to softball questions that didn’t give us much new info or stoke the UFC 82 fires. There is to be a second appearance on “Rome” this week by Hendo, so maybe then we’ll get a better scoop.

— David Loiseau will be the headliner for “HCF: Crow’s Nest” when he faces Todd Gouwenberg on March 29th in Quebec. Loiseau’s nickname is “The Crow”. Get it…”Crow’s Nest”? Originally, “Cyborg” Santos was going to be in the fight, but Gouwenberg stepped in after Santos was dropped by HCF because he plans to fight in a World Victory Road show coming up. The Crow is 1-4 in his last five. Grouwenberg is 4-1 during that stretch.

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Sanchez, Fitch Get New Opponents at UFC 82; Koscheck/Hazelett Officially Added

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(Diego Sanchez, auto-erotic-asphyxiating.)

Though he announced earlier that he’d be taking on Roan Carneiro at UFC 82: “Pride of a Champion,” TUF 1 winner Diego Sanchez sent out a new MySpace bulletin this morning saying that he’ll actually be facing David “The Scandinavian Lion” Bielkheden, a 12-5 Swede who will be making his UFC debut. No reason for the switch was given. We don’t know much about Bielkheden, but judging from this highlight video, the dude’s a strong wrestler who knows his way around a ground-and-pound:

In other UFC 82 news, Sherdog reports that Team Quest welterweight and IFL vet Chris Wilson has agreed to face Jon Fitch, replacing Akihiro Gono who’s out with a broken hand. It would be the first UFC fight for Wilson, who has beaten his last four opponents, including IFL standouts Jay Hieron and Rory Markham. Unfortunately, facing Wilson is one of those “nothing to gain, everything to lose” situations for Fitch. We’re confident that Fitch will keep his perfect UFC record intact, but a win wouldn’t move him any higher in the welterweight rankings and a loss could significantly delay his much-deserved title shot.

Also — and my God this card is getting stacked — Josh Koscheck and Dustin Hazelett have agreed to face each other at “Pride of a Champion.” Koscheck is coming off a disappointing decision loss to Georges St. Pierre in August of last year, but he will likely dominate Hazelett, whose last fight was a submission victory over Jonathan Goulet at UFC Fight Night 11 in September.

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Boring But Important: UFC Edition

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(Jeremy Horn, giving Chael Sonnen the business.)

— Middleweight veteran Jeremy Horn will be returning to the UFC at February 2nd’s “Breaking Point” event, replacing Thales Leites, who broke his hand during training and had to pull out of a scheduled match with Nate Marquardt. Horn has compiled an astounding professional record of 77-16-5 since turning pro in 1996, and holds notable wins over Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin. His last UFC fight was at UFC 60 in May 2006, where he defeated Chael Sonnen by armbar.

— Welterweight contender Jon Fitch, who has gone 7-0 since joining the UFC in 2005 and hasn’t been defeated since 2002, will face Akihiro Gono at UFC 82: “Pride of a Champion.” Gono is the former PRIDE vet who tied Tamdan McCrory into a pretzel during his Octagon debut at UFC 78, picking up a Submission of the Night bonus in the process. Fitch has also reportedly re-signed with the UFC for three more matches.

— The lineup for UFC 80 is official. (Yes, it will be airing live and on tape delay.) The lineup for the following week’s Ultimate Fight Night card is nearly set as well.

— The UFC’s PPV buys in 2007 decreased 5% compared to 2006. During those two years, UFC 66 (Liddell vs. Ortiz, 12/30/06) was by far the most popular event, with 1,050,000 buys; the three least popular cards — UFC 58, 64, and 72, with 300k, 300k and 200k buys, respectively — were all headlined by Rich Franklin.

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