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The 25 Most Essential MMA Twitter Feeds: 2013 Edition


(Despite what your grandmother thinks, Twitter is not a euphemism and does not warrant a squirt of Dawn in your mouth.)

By Jason Moles

Back in 2010, the brain trust at CagePotato HQ compiled a list of the 25 most essential MMA Twitter feeds to follow. Boy, do we sure know how to pick ‘em. Miguel Torres, Kimbo Slice, Mayhem Miller, Reed Harris, Shane Carwin, and Strikeforce have all since faded out of relevance or gone off the deep end. Wait, Reed does what now? Are you sure? Nevermind — we’re back with an updated list of who you should really be following on Twitter, and this time we’ve actually put some thought into it instead of blindly tossing darts at our screen while simultaneously using a Shakeweight. Please note, this is 2013 and if you don’t already know you should be following Dana White, Arianny Celeste, or Ariel Helwani, you’re probably the reason Jon Jones is defending his title against Chael Sonnen this Saturday at UFC 159. Speaking of the gangster from West Linn…

twitter.com/sonnench

Bio: “Godfather of integrity; dual masters in dominance and modesty; once outboxed Hemingway; & author of this year’s bestseller, available NOW on Amazon”

If you thought Sonnen refused to break kayfabe only when the cameras were rolling, you must not have been paying attention because his gimmick is boundless. The People’s Champion maximizes his 140-character limit with every emasculating jab at his opponents, peers, and detractors in the MMA media. The American Gangster is the only man on Twitter to follow absolutely no one, not even his own mother.

Sample Tweet: “15 – the number of letters in the word hydropneumatics as well as Chael beats Jones. #4/27/13″

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ESPN Segment On UFC Salaries to Air Sunday Morning; UFC to Counter By Releasing Unedited Lorenzo Fertitta Interview


(“If they aren’t with us, they’re against us, and in that case we will crush them.”)

The much ballyhooed ESPN: Outside the Lines (which we originally erroneously identified as E:60) episode dealing with UFC salaries and the assertion that the promotion is becoming a monopoly will air Sunday morning on the sports network and Dana White says he’s looking forward to it.

According to the UFC president, the company is preparing to counter-program the show with the uncut and unedited version of the interview with UFC chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta to expose ESPN and the outlet’s main MMA analyst Josh Gross, who contributed to the episode.

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Helwani Interviews Marquardt, Twitter Asplodes

“Doc comes back and says, ‘Nate, you have the testosterone levels of a 35 year old man,’ and I just broke down. ‘Doc,’ I told him, ‘I’m only 32! Is there anything you can do to help me?’

You have to hand it to the team at MMAFighting for nailing down the exclusive with Nate Marquardt yesterday. Everybody wanted to talk to him, but it was Ariel Helwani who welcomed Marquardt and manager Lex McMahon to the microphone for a heart to heart. Mike Chiappetta provided the Cliff’s Notes version of the interview to get the ball rolling on Twitter, and the discussion quickly took off.

The short interview was dissected and commented upon in real time on Twitter, and the reactions continued throughout the evening. What follows is only a *small* sampling of Twitter’s response to Nate’s release and the subject of Hormone Replacement in MMA. Keep in mind that Marquardt already has a Twitter dedicated to getting him back in the UFC, and a matching hashtag #BringNateBack that saw plenty of use yesterday as well.

It was also interesting to note that a lot of Zuffa fighters were unwilling to touch the subject. Usual Tweeting suspects were strangely silent on the hot topic; take from that what you will. On the other hand, there were a few fighters who had some choice words on the subject, and they did not beat around the bush.

Go ahead and wade through this collection of Tweets from yesterday, and then share your expert analysis and vital opinion in the comments. Is Nate a good guy that has made some bad choices? Is he a nefarious schemer looking to get any advantage he can? What about the larger issue of HRT/TRT/PEDs in MMA? Should Dana continue to clean house until fighters learn to stay away from anything questionable? Should athletic commissions just legalize everything from horse steroids to heroin?

After all, PRIDE was awesome, right?

[RX]

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Quick Quote of the Day: Jon Jones Breaks the Gym Code, Talks Sparring With Rashad

If you’ve ever trained in an MMA gym, you know that much like Fight Club, the first rule of sparring, is you don’t talk about sparring. Talking about how you tapped out or knocked out a sparring partner in practice is considered bad etiquette and in some cases, it could get your ass beat.

In a recent interview with ESPN’s Josh Gross, UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones touched on the taboo subject of who handled whom when he and former training partner Rashad Evans rolled and sparred at Jackson’s MMA in Albuquerque.

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Dana Claims UFC’s True Competition is NFL, MLB; Says ‘Dirty’ Reporters are Gone for Good

(“I kill a communist for fun, but for a green card, I gonna carve him up real nice.” Pic: Underhooks.com)

It took a while for Dana White and the always capable Sergio Non to really get down to business during the UFC boss’ Wednesday interview with USA Today. Both guys spent a lot of time making the obligatory small talk about UFC 129, Silva vs. Okami and which weight class Frankie Edgar should be fighting in before the actual questions came out of the quiver. Once they began in earnest, White characteristically did not shy away from giving us The Full Dana on any number of topics.

Among them, DW expresses his belief that the UFC didn’t really have any competition in the MMA marketplace, even before the acquisition of Strikeforce. Now, we’re not totally sure how that jives with his claims last month that the UFC is not a monopoly, but whatevs. Moving on … Non also becomes (as far as we know) the first “mainstream” reporter to personally ask White about his company’s denial of media credentials to several high-profile MMA reporters during last weekend’s Strikeforce event. White responds by saying those people he’s banned are “dirty, dirty, dirty” and they’ll never be credentialed until somebody pries the UFC from his cold, dead hands. Throughout it all White lists back and forth between sounding totally likable (which kind of kills us to admit, but it’s true) and sounding a little like Tony Montana from Scarface.

If we had to pick one quote to serve as a microcosm for the whole interview – which we present here admittedly totally out of context – it would be this one: “Listen, I own the fucking thing,” Dana says. “At some point, you’ve got to get over it, you know what I mean?”

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Dana White Never Forgets: Josh Gross, Loretta Hunt and Jeff Sherwood Denied Media Credentials for Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley


(Video courtesy of YouTube/CaptainC01)

About a year ago during an email exchange with a member of the UFC’s PR team about an interview I was setting up I pointed out a terribly uninformed article about UFC 115 printed by one of the most influential newspapers in Canada. “I guess Canwest can kiss their media credentials goodbye,” I quipped.

Obviously the sarcasm of my joke was not evident, perhaps due to my lack of a “winky face” at the end, and I got back the following reply:

“As to Canwest, it is unfortunate that the reporter took this view on the event but it would be unfair, and unprofessional, to attempt to combat this view by denying them future credentials. The press are free to print an opinion that may reflect negatively upon us and we would hope to further educate them so that future articles would be more even handed.”

Apparently Dana White doesn’t share the same view.

News came to light today that several longtime members of the MMA media who have attended countless Strikeforce events have now been denied media credentials for this weekend’s Diaz vs. Daley event.

Josh Gross, Loretta Hunt and Jeff Sherwood were all shut out of Saturday night’s first major Zuffa-run Strikeforce show. All three have tumultuous past history with White and it looks like the UFC president isn’t one to forgive and forget.

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Facepalm of the Day: ESPN’s Franklin McNeil Gives Keith Jardine the Edge over Gegard Mousasi

(Well, that explains it.)

When message board commenters gush about how much better The Ultimate Fighter alumni are than the rest of the fighters in their respective division, we typically just give the little TUF noobs a proverbial pinch on the cheek and dismiss their uninformed opinions as being asinine as a result of the impeccable job the UFC and SPIKE did convincing them its true.

But when a so-called MMA expert like Franklin McNeil continually gives the edge to fighters who have appeared on the reality show in bouts against fighters who are widely considered more skilled and are thus ranked accordingly, it makes us shake our heads in disbelief that ESPN, the leader in sports coverage, gives this guy a forum to spew his skewed view of the sport under the guise of journalism. We may print a ton of opinion pieces here, but CagePotato isn’t proclaiming to be the CNN of MMA coverage and we’re clear in stating that editorials contain (sometimes cynically humorous) bias and are not to be taken as fact or even seriously in some cases. ESPN, however, is a different animal than CP.

Josh Gross, you have our sympathy.

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Pat Miletich Serves Josh Gross

“Yeah, you heard me right, four eyes!”

The boys over at MMA Live invited veteran mixed martial arts journalist Josh Gross to the set for their latest episode on Thursday. The banter lightly touched on Strikeforce’s fight bookings (or lack thereof) and Dan Henderson’s legacy before Gross unveiled ESPN’s first official MMA rankings. Cutting edge stuff, guys. While the fighters rounding out their top ten pound-for-pound list did hail from many different weight classes, they all had one thing in common: current contracts with the UFC.

All ten fighters call the Octagon home. No fighters from Strikeforce or Bellator or any Japanese organizations still in existence made their way on to the list. To this former UFC champion, coach, and commentator Pat Miletich took umbrage.

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