regret gifs
15 Moments of Instant Regret [GIFs]

Tag: K-1

Beware the Bowing, Humble Man: 5 Things We Learned Over 5 Days in Japan

By Elias Cepeda 

I spent last week in Tokyo, Japan, to cover the Glory year-end championship kickboxing event and interview and train with luminaries of Japanese MMA. I’m only now beginning to process everything I experienced and saw but here are five immediate take aways.

1. Japanese Fans are No Longer Silent During Fights, But They are Still Hella Observant

Watching Pride events on television years ago, I used to marvel at how attentive and respectful the Japanese fans in live attendance seemed. During most of the action, it seemed as though you’d be able to hear a pin drop in even the largest of super arenas because the fans watched in almost complete silence.

Then, a fighter might make a minor adjustment towards a submission that most American fans would not be able to recognize as the offense it was, and the previously silent Japanese crowd would “ooohh,” and “ahhh.” In my American fight world of boorish booing, louder t-shirts and indifference to any aspect of fighting that wasn’t a competitor being knocked unconscious, Japan seemed like a magical place where people watched fights live with the understanding and respect they deserved.

This past Saturday, I watched a Glory kickboxing event live inside the Ariake Coliesum in Tokyo, Japan. It wasn’t MMA, but I was still excited to not only watch the great strikers on the card, but to experience a Japanese crowd in person for the first time.

Well, they are no longer silent during fights. Apparently that part of fight-viewing culture in Japan has changed in the past ten years or so.

Fans shouted throughout bouts and hooted and hollered. Still, they seemed to know what was going on much more so than American crowds I’ve been a part of or witnessed. Little bits of the fight were still appreciated by the crowd and they showed tremendous support to anyone who showed perseverance and heart in a fight, even if it wasn’t the crowd favorite.

Read More DIGG THIS

Legend 2 Mini-Recap: A Neck Crank? A F*CKING NECK CRANK?!!


(“He got Mark Coleman’d,” indeed. Video via whatever Youtube channel this is.) 

Remember how we said the guy who replaced Aleks Emelianenko against Mirko Crop Cop at Legends 2 probably stood a better chance of defeating the Croatian than Emelianenko did? Well consider this the saddest “we told you so” in CagePotato history. And quite possibly the first.

It’s been a strange journey for Mirko Cro Cop ever since he “retired” from the sport at UFC 137: he’s broken a CP ban, armbarred a sumo wrestler in his MMA return, and somewhat surprisingly won a K1 Grand Prix. Why a legend like Cro Cop — who has admitted to being “worn out” for years now — feels the need to continue competing is beyond us, and honestly, we’re past the point of arguing about it. It’s not like he’s been getting brutally, repeatedly KO’d or anything, and besides, we were still peeing our pants with excitement when his rematch with Emelianenko was announced.

But after watching his fight with Alexey Oleinik at Legend 2 last Friday, we think it’s safe to assume that Mirko has officially entered the “Money Up Front” phase of his MMA career.

Read More DIGG THIS

‘Glory 11′ Exclusive: Five Questions With Kickboxing World Champion Tyrone Spong


(Photo via Glory/Tyrone Spong’s Facebook page)

By Elias Cepeda

Ten-time world champion Tyrone Spong made a name for himself punching and kicking people in the head as a kickboxer but has recently begun to establish a reputation for, well, punching and kicking people in the head in MMA competition. The Dutch striker is 2-0 in MMA but will next compete this Saturday under kickboxing rules at Glory 11 in Hoffman Estates, IL; you can watch the action live on Spike TV starting at 9 p.m. ET. CagePotato sat down with the “King of the Ring” and asked him five questions about his training, legacy, “real Muay Thai”, his upcoming opponent and his future plans.

CagePotato: What made you decide to branch out from kickboxing and start fighting in MMA as well? Was it just a matter of being able to make more money by fighting more and in different sports? And how hard has it been for you, physically and mentally, to balance it all?

Tyrone Spong: For me, being active in different disciplines — it’s a challenge but I enjoy doing that. Of course all pro fighters need to make money but what I’m really trying to do is build a legacy as one of the greatest of all time in combat sports. So far, everything is going well. But the training and fighting so often is hard. It’s hard. The key for me is to have my physical condition up there all the time. So, I always train. Then, once I get a fight, if it’s an MMA fight I focus on that or if it’s a kickboxing fight, I focus on that.

Read More DIGG THIS

[EXCLUSIVE] Ray Sefo – Once a Fighter Always a Fighter


(Photo via RaySefo.com)

By Elias Cepeda

I’ve been speaking with Ray Sefo for a few minutes now and it doesn’t seem like he understands my question. I asked the multiple time Muay Thai world champion and successful kickboxing and MMA coach why he ever felt the need to step out of his comfort zone and fight under MMA rules.

The former K-1 star, now in his early forties, has fought three times in MMA and will once more tonight on the World Series of Fighting 4 card in California. The striking legend is also the President of WSOF.

I asked Sefo the question and he began to tell me of how he was introduced to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA by his friend Royce Gracie, the first ever UFC champion, back in 2000 in Japan where they were both competing at the time. He then went on to describe his next step into MMA, then his next, but I felt I had to politely interrupt and reiterate my initial question. I wasn’t asking for a step by step process of how he got into MMA but why he ever decided to.

He had made a name and good living from kickboxing. He transitioned into a full-time career coaching other elite fighters and now Sefo is a top executive at a major MMA organization.

He understands me quite well. Turns out that I was the one that didn’t understand Ray Sefo. “Listen, I’ve always fought,” he explains patiently.

“I’ve been boxing since I was a kid. I did Kung Fu for years. Back home when I started kickboxing my family all thought it wasn’t that big of a deal, they were suspicious of it because boxing was so big. But then they saw me fight and their minds changed. I love to learn and love to develop and challenge myself as a martial artist and fighter. MMA was the next natural step in that.”

I had been confused. To Ray Sefo, fighting isn’t a means of procuring and then protecting status at all costs. He wasn’t afraid of stepping out of his strength and comfort zone and fighting MMA. He isn’t afraid to continue to fight MMA now, in his forties and against younger opponents and risk losing.

For Ray Sefo, fighting is breathing.

Read More DIGG THIS

UFC 160 Aftermath: Guts, Knockouts & Rubber Matches


(Photo via Esther Lin| MMA Fighting)

Antonio Silva is every bit the monster the UFC’s hype machine have promoted him as but champion Cain Velasquez once more proved to be too quick for “Bigfoot.” Just as he did one year ago in their first meeting, Cain wasted little time in stopping Silva in the first round, via ground strikes.

“Pezao” absolutely earned the title shot he received Saturday night – he has a list of victims that include two former UFC heavyweight champions, former long-time pound for pound kingpin Fedor Emelianenko and, most recently, Alistair Overeem – but Velasquez once more proved that the combination of his quickness, relentless pace and striking power are very hard to beat. In the post fight press conference, Silva objected to the stoppage by referee Mario Yamasaki, saying it was premature and that he allowed Velasquez to hit him to the back of the head illegally.

“I do agree the fight was stopped too early,” the Brazilian said.

“It’s clear watching it that I took several illegal blows to the back of my neck.”

It was also clear that Silva was out of the fight altogether before he hit the ground, after Velasquez clipped him with a left and hammered him with a right. Strikes to the back of the head being illegal is one of the least clearly defined, hard to enforce and altogether counterproductive to realistic sport fighting rules that exists in MMA, besides. At the least, fighters should not be allowed to hide behind the rule while laying prone, face down.

Yamasaki did his job and protected Silva from taking more damage by stopping the bout after it was clear Antonio could not move himself out of danger but before the brave fighter was beaten senseless.

Grant vs. Maynard Goes On Too Long

The referee officiating TJ Grant and Gray Maynard’s lightweight contender’s bout can’t say he did the same. Grant dropped Maynard with flush punches and knees to the chin multiple times and delivered more clean punishment to a defenseless Maynard while on the ground before the referee stepped in all too late and called a halt to the bout.

Maynard was out of the fight from the first nasty jaw shot that he took and did nothing to avoid or mount his own offense during many, many shots afterwards from Grant. It all happened quickly but when a fighter does nothing but fall over and over again, he’s been done for awhile and the referee should have recognized this earlier than he did.

The “stakes” of a fight, whether it is a number one contender’s fight like Maynard’s and Grants, or a title bout, shouldn’t matter when it comes to deciding how long a fighter should be allowed to take a beating.

Read More DIGG THIS

[VIDEO] Mirko Cro Cop Gets His Cro Cop On, Wins 2013 K-1 Grand Prix

Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic has finally achieved something he never had up this point in his legendary fight career and has become a world champion. Cro Cop defeated Ismael Londt yesterday in the finals of the 2013 K-1 Grand Prix, held in Zagreb, Croatia.

Prior to the finals, Cro Cop also decisioned Pavel Zhuravlev and Jarrell Miller – a win with some controversy because many observers felt Miller deserved to get the nod from the judges. There was not controversy in the finals, however, as Cro Cop scored a knockdown via left high kick (!) in the second round.

The thirty eight year-old kick boxer, former special forces member and member of Croatia’s Parliament, first fought in K-1 seventeen years ago. He got close but never managed to become champion of the organization’s vaunted Grand Prix before last night. Cro Cop moved on to fight in MMA in Pride and once more got close, twice, to becoming a world champion but on two occasions lost in world title fights – once to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in an interim title bout and once to Fedor Emelianenko.

After the UFC purchased Pride, Cro Cop would go on to fight ten times in the American organization, compiling a 4-6 record and leaving after three straight losses. He has since fought and won once more in MMA competition, this past New Year’s Eve against Shinichi Suzukawa in Japan.

Cro Cop decided to make another run in kickboxing and last night’s home-town win vindicates his decision. Watch his full finals bout in the above video and then highlights of some of our favorite Cro Cop moments after the jump.

Read More DIGG THIS

Bad News: The Spike TV/K-1 Partnership is Apparently Dead in the Water Already


(Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.)

First and foremost, we have to thank CP reader Walter Cardenas, who passed along the news (or lack thereof) regarding the much anticipated Spike TV/K-1 deal that was set to kick off in late 2012. And unfortunately, those of you who were looking forward to seeing the Japanese promotion both stateside and on a semi-major network in 2013 are in for some bad news, because according to multiple sources, the deal has already been killed. For starters, the promotion’s webpage on Spike.com is blank. And in less speculative news, Spike TV president Kevin Kay stated the following in an interview with MMAFighting:

We’re probably not going to move forward and continue with K-1. It was a little bit of an experiment. Those guys are great. We’re trying to figure out our kickboxing plans. It did okay. It was a digital play (K-1 aired on Spike.com late 2012). There are other things we can do in the kickboxing spectrum.

News of K-1′s demise (you know, their fourth or so in the past few years) started way back in July of 2012, when promotion insiders declared that the event they had targeted for the end of December at the Madison Square Garden would be “unfeasible.”

Read More DIGG THIS

[VIDEO] Mirko Cro Cop Invents, Plays Brutal New Sport of MMA-Basketball

MMA legend Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic is a man of many skills. Before he was a world class MMA fighter, he was a top kickboxer. Before that, he was a special forces officer in the military of his native Croatia. He also later became an elected member of his country’s parliament.

Filipovic is also no stranger to making ridiculous videos and posting them on the internet. He’s made videos of darkly humorous, (or sometimes just dark) pranks where he’s laughing like a hyena at the end of them. Case in point, the video after the break of him punking the very worthy subject of then Pride television broadcast commentator Mauro Ranallo. There’s also my favorite video with “Cro Cop” refereeing an impromptu boxing match between two aging, drunk men at a backyard cookout, that has unfortunately been taken down from youtube and may be lost to future generations.

Just as he insists is the case with his fight career, however, Filipovic isn’t done with goofy internet videos yet, nation. The above video reveals a basketball hoop installed in his home gym. What “Cro Cop” and his teammates do with that situation is nothing short of awesome.

May we present, Croation MMA-Basketball. There’s dribbling, shooting, pink singlet guy, arm bars, knees and lots of choking. And then “Cro Cop” speaking Croatian at the end in a high-pitched voice, perhaps mocking someone.

Enjoy.

Read More DIGG THIS

Video: Mirko Cro Cop Gets Cheap-Shotted at K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16


(Props: OneStopMMASpot via BloodyElbow)

On Sunday at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2012 Final 16 event in Tokyo, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic learned the hard way that not everyone in the fight business is as sweet as Pat Barry. During the third round of his match against American kickboxer Randy Blake, Cro Cop threw a questionable uppercut at Blake, who was getting to his feet after slipping to the mat. This did not make Randy Blake very happy. The action was called back in, and when Cro Cop moved in to apologize, Blake fired a straight right that put the 38-year-old Croatian on his ass. For the last time: Protect yourself at all times, especially when you’ve just pissed off a former star of the World Combat League.

The moment was reminiscent of Floyd Mayweather‘s controversial stoppage of Victor Ortiz last September, but unlike Ortiz, Cro Cop was able to dust himself off and fight until the last bell, earning a majority decision victory. With the win, Cro Cop qualifies for a spot in the eight-man 2012 Grand Prix Finals bracket, December 26th at Madison Square Garden in New York City, where he hopefully won’t be trying any more of this nice-guy crap.

Read More DIGG THIS

And Now, A Knockout Even More Horrific Than The Demise of Tater Williams [VIDEO]


(From the guys who brought you Shockfights, Wheelchair MMA, and Ultimate Ball, comes the latest fighting craze to hit the UK: Narcoleptic Kickboxing.)  

Q: How do you know it’s a slow news day in the MMA world?

A: When CagePotato covers Jon Fitch interviewzzzz.

Now that we’ve all had time to digest that bit of heartbreaking news, I’ll be bringing you the sweetest knockouts from around the globe for the rest of the day, whether they be of the MMA variety, the kickboxing variety, or of the “two fat dudes throwing down for the right to the last spoonful of gravy” variety. Today’s next knockout comes to us from Los Angeles’ Memorial Sports Arena, which recently played host to the K-1 Rising 2012 US Grand Prix qualifying tournament and featured everyone from Kit Cope to Seth Petruzelli in action. With names like that, K-1 should at least be able to secure a better time slot than Manswers on the Spike TV lineup, right?

Anyways, the “Superfight” phase of the night began with a match pitting Japan’s Shuichi Wentz against American Romie Adanza. While saying that the fight ended in eerily similar fashion to the Tater Williams/Bond Laupua slugfest we witnessed this morning would be blasphemy, both fights did end in less than a minute and with one of the participants putting “five of these across the sneeze” of the other. And in both cases, those five things were toes rather than fingers, so do what you want with that.

But the big difference here was that we were not treated to a hilarious, dubstep(?) soundtracked “Dangler Alert” once one of the fighters was knocked out. Instead, we got to sit back and watch Adanza topple over like a fallen oak and then convulse like a caveman who had just been freed from an iceberg.

You tell us which is more entertaining.

Video after the jump.

Read More DIGG THIS
CagePotatoMMA