Following his shocking upset loss to Kelvin Gastelum last week, Bubba McDaniel emerged a much humbler man in the opening moments of yesterday’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Jones vs. Sonnen. With Team Sonnen now back in control of the fight selections, this week’s matchup pitted highly-touted Swede Tor Troeng against Team Jones’ #2 pick and self-appointed captain Josh Samman. Was Samman able to overcome his nagging injuries and regain control for Team Jones, or did Troeng notch “another on for the bad guys?” Check out the entirety of last night’s episode above and join us after the jump for a full recap to find out.
- The episode kicks off with Jimmy Quinlan constructing a hammer for Tor (pronounced Thor. GET IT?). Although the prototype is laughably undersized, Quinlan showcases some MacGuyver-esque resourcefulness when building Troeng a life-sized model. If Josh Samman turns out to be less a human fighter and more a mole in need of whacking, he is pretty much screwed now.
(“Then it’s settled: I’ll win the first fight, you’ll win the rematch, and Chael will win the rubber-match via surprise run-in after blinding the referee.”)
During our typical mid-afternoon routine of checking out Brazilian porn sites sport sites and using Google translate to help us out with comprehension — some Brazilian things don’t need translation, but some do — we stumbled across the latest vague and too-good-to-be-true Anderson Silva fight news. Recently, we had a tease about Silva finally fighting the rightful number one contender to his belt, and yesterday we read that, according to “The Spider,” he wants to face UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jonesthis year.
SportTV says that last Wednesday Anderson told a bunch of Brazilian cats that he expects to fight Jones this year in New York City but that the bout would need to be a non-title, catch-weight affair. Apparently, fighting James Irvin, Stephan Bonnar, and former champ Forrest Griffin at light-heavyweight is one thing, but fighting the biggest and best talent we’ve ever seen in the division at 205 is another.
And tonight’s episode, featuring a showdown between the highly touted Uriah Hall (Team Sonnen) and the all but completely overlooked Adam Cella (Team Jones), promises to deliver not only one of the most violent KO’s in the show’s history, but in the history of the sport. That is according to noted TUF hypeman and occasional UFC president Dana White, of course.
So in order to do a little TUF-hyping of our own (I know right? WHAT YEAR IS THIS?!), we’ve thrown a preview of tonight’s episode above for you all to check out. And indeed, if the audience’s reaction is any indication, then someone is going down in a big way during the night’s main event. Unfortunately for you spoilerphobes, if you freeze frame the video around the 45 second mark, you can see that the fighter strapped to the stretcher appears to be of the African American persuasion. A bit of intentional misleading by the TUF production team, or a massive upset in the making? And more importantly, how many of you Taters will be tuning in to find out?
After the jump: A little more video hype, featuring a sneak peak of Ronda Rousey’s special on Real Sports, which airs February 19th on HBO. Liz Carmouche’s special, on the other hand, will be airing tonight on Lifetime After Dark in the form of a 30-second trailer during the network’s coveted 3 a.m. spot. We kid, we kid; Liz didn’t get a special.
Here at CagePotato, if we’re going to take the time to put together a rankings or list, it’s probably going to be one like this one. That doesn’t mean, however, that we’re opposed to taking part in others’ rankings. Take, for example, the Yahoo! Sports Top 10 MMA Pound for Pound Rankings, the voting for which is done by a panel that includes many luminaries of the MMA journalism community and also, for some unknown reason, me.
The latest Yahoo! Sports Top 10 list was released this week (panel voting and publication of the rankings are done monthly) and there are some familiar faces as well as some changes. Anderson Silva maintained his long-time top spot, followed by Jon Jones and then Georges St. Pierre in the number three spot.
Cain Velasquez made it back on to the list after beating Junior Dos Santos in their recent return bout. A number of notable fighters were not eligible for the list because of inactivity (Dominick Cruz, Alistair Overeem) and suspension (Nick Diaz, Overeem again).
Jose Aldo was eligible because he is fighting so close to the end of voting, and he took the number four spot. The rankings may soon get shaken up again after tonight’s UFC 156.
Frankie Edgar drops down to featherweight to try and take out Aldo. Would Aldo get a bump in the rankings by beating a former lightweight champ? Would Edgar skyrocket in the rankings if were to win a championship in a second weight class?
Also, will Overeem justify the media’s crush on him with an impressive fight against BigFoot that will propel him into the Top 10? Check out the full rankings Top 10 after the jump and then let us know your Top 10 in the comments section.
You’d think that Jon Jones would understand the importance of having a tremendous reach advantage, considering it’s one of the key elements of his own success in the UFC. But I’ve already said too much. Read on for our quick breakdown of the best and worst moments from last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen, which produced the season’s first middleweight quarterfinalist.
- The sheer glee on the faces of the castmembers as they enter the TUF mansion for the first time, especially the ones who are used to living a much more humble lifestyle. Not a single one of them goes straight to the booze closet and starts breaking shit. Luke Barnatt is just thankful for six weeks of free food. The house is “astronomically extraordinary,” according to Gilbert Smith. Enjoy it guys, because that beautiful house will soon become…YOUR PRISON.
- Sonnen wearing wind-pants to every appearance in the gym — gotta love it — and the familiar faces among the assistant coaching staff, including Frank Mir (Team Jones), Vinny Magalhaes (Team Sonnen) and Mike Dolce (Team Sonnen).
- Uriah Hall telling Sonnen he wants to fight the best guys in the house, after Sonnen makes it known that he’d like Hall to get an easy road to the finals. Hall’s attitude is a refreshing contrast to Bubba McDaniel, who is fixated on getting the matchups that would give him the best chance of advancing in the tournament, and spends the first half of the episode lamenting how the Smith vs. Barnatt selection puts Team Jones at risk for losing control of the picks.
“They said they’d stand in front of me so we could exchange blind haymakers, and that we’d go to Arby’s after the fight…but then they started wrestling me, and they all went to Subway afterwards and didn’t even invite me!” *sobs*
Last week, Rampage decided to vent about the unfair treatment he received from Mike Dolce. Yep, the same Mike Dolce who hasn’t even worked with Jackson in over two years. The same Mike Dolce who helped Rampage cut 45 pounds in only eight weeks, saving Rampage the embarrassment of being overweight for his fight against Rashad Evans. That Mike Dolce.
Let’s make two things clear from the beginning: Vitor Belfort is an amazing fighter, and an equally terrible trash talker. He demonstrated both of these things on Saturday night, with both his brilliant finish of Michael Bisping and his callout of Jon Jones immediately afterwards.
Of course, Jon Jones is a little busy at the moment, getting ready for Chael Sonnen and all. Belfort addresses this by asking Dana White to “Take that clown away” so he could have his rematch with Jones instead of having Bones fight Sonnen in the spring.
No one is here to say that Belfort can’t beat Sonnen in the cage – especially at light-heavyweight – but “The Phenom” doesn’t exactly live up to his nickname when it comes to trash talking. Even though I wouldn’t count Belfort’s post-fight interview as a callout of Chael Sonnen, the clown comment definitely left a sour taste in his mouth. Sonnen wasted no time responding to Belfort’s comments, using his commentary gig on the post-event FUEL TV broadcast to issue the following statements:
Swedish sensation Alexander Gustafsson is going to put his six fight win streak and legit claim to #1 contender-ship in the light heavyweight division on the line against Gegard Mousasi April 6. The UFC just announced that the pair will headline UFC on FUEL TV 9 this spring.
If it wasn’t for his young age and the long line of people talking themselves into title shots against champion Jon Jones and the huge mess that has ensued, Gustafsson would likely already be considered worthy of challenging “Bones.” As it stands, Gustafsson has to keep on fighting and winning to earn his shot.
(The best part about wearing a cowboy hat to a press conference? You can be dead asleep, and people will just think you’re carefully considering your answer. / Photo via MMAWeekly)
Donald Cerrone is the type of guy who will go for the kill at every moment of a fight, then blow his resulting bonus-check on a pontoon boat cooze-cruise. He’s not the kind of guy who will hold his tongue when he sees some bullshit go down, even when that bullshit is related to one of his Greg Jackson teammates.
“Yes, I’d have fought. They could call me tomorrow and ask me to fight. I think you need to fight. That’s our job. I don’t think you should curl up and find a way out. So yes, that’s my answer…He’s my teammate, and we have this discussion all the time. I said, ‘You should’ve done it.’ And he goes, ‘Well, you don’t make a million (dollars) to fight.’ And I said, ‘Well, you’re right, but I f—ing fight every time with all my heart.’“
According to a New York State Assembly “insider” quoted in a new report by NY Daily News reporter Kenneth Lovett, “It’s getting harder for [Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver] to keep blocking this,” referring to the bill partially crafted by the UFC to sanction MMA in New York.
“Resistance to it is getting less,” Speaker Silver admitted.
Lovett went on to explain in his report that Assemblyman Robert Reilly — better known around here as “Bob,” and one of New York’s most passionate, confused, and dishonest opponents of MMA sanctioning — is miraculously retiring this week (!!!) and that his departure should take a good deal of steam out of the opposition to MMA in New York. The ban on professional MMA in the state was signed into law by then-Governor George Pataki in 1997, but now even he is calling for the sport’s legalization.
Sources tell The Daily News that if the bill to legalize and regulate professional MMA in New York were brought to a vote in the general assembly right now, it would be passed. However, hurdles remain for the sport and its largest promotion, the UFC. Members of the NY Assembly including Deborah Glick and Daniel O’Donnell still oppose MMA’s legalization, the report says, and they might be able to prevent the measure from getting through committee and to the general assembly for voting.
In addition, the Culinary Workers Union — MMA’s most powerful arch-nemesis in the fight for New York MMA regulation — continues its loud propaganda campaign against the UFC, slamming everything from Dana White’s language to Mandy Moore’s judgment. (Funny story: If you go to the Culinary Union’s anti-UFC website UnfitforChildren.org right now, the lead story is a screen-cap of a CagePotato article. Wisely, they didn’t reprint the article’s first line, which refers to the Union as “two-faced, propaganda pushing arseholes.”)
Nevertheless, UFC President Dana White seems to be as optimistic as ever that his organization will soon put on an event in New York. After UFC 155, the promoter told assembled media that he hoped to host a UFC 20th Anniversary event in Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden this coming fall. “We have a date, and we have a match,” White revealed.