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Tag: Kazushi Sakuraba

Hunt vs. Bigfoot x Scramble Fight-Picking Contest: And the Winners Are…


(Image courtesy of Scramble. Buy the shirt for $44.99 right here.)

Thanks to everybody who entered last week’s UFC Fight Night 33 fight-picking contest! I kind of enjoyed the free-for-all style that we tried this time, and I think we’ll do it like that from now on. Anyway, we’ve just sifted through your entries, and while there were a bunch of basically-correct guesses, a couple were more correct than the others. They were…

- Simon Cossette, for predicting a unanimous decision win for Ryan Bader against Anthony Perosh. With his entry of (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), Simon nailed two of the three judges’ scores, and missed the third one (30-26) by a single point.

- Lasha Lasha (?), for being the only person to predict that Soa Palelei would beat Pat Barry by first-round knockout. In fact, L.L. was the only person to predict a win for Palelei, period.

Those two talented fight-pickers have just won an official Sakuraba t-shirt from Scramble. So Simon and Lasha, please check the “other” folder of your Facebook messages today, as we’ll be sending you instructions on how to claim your prize. Thanks again to Scramble for hooking us up with all these shirts. If you need any Christmas gifts for the MMA/grappling fan in your life, swing by Scramble today!

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Hunt vs. Bigfoot Fight-Picking Contest: Win a Sakuraba T-Shirt From Scramble!

We still have a couple of those awesomely official Kazushi Sakuraba t-shirts from Scramble laying around, so how bout we put ‘em up for grabs in one more fight-picking contest? This weekend in Brisbane, Australia, hard-hittin’ heavyweights Mark Hunt and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva will meet in the five-round main event of UFC Fight Night 33. Also, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua returns against James Te Huna, Pat Barry slugs it out with Soa Palelei, and Ryan Bader faces Anthony Perosh. (Are you noticing an Oceania vs. The World theme, here?)

To make things a little more interesting for this contest, we’re going to tweak the rules a little bit: Instead of having you submit predictions for the main event only, we’re going to allow you to submit a prediction for any fight on the card. The two closest guesses will win the Saku shirts. Your picks should be in this format…

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St-Pierre vs. Hendricks Fight-Picking Contest: And the Winner Is…


(Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

The crazy thing about last week’s UFC 167/Scramble fight-picking contest was the fact that so many of you were basically right, even though the fight couldn’t have been any different from what we expected. Yes, Georges St-Pierre won by decision…again. He also took the longest sustained beating of his entire career. Who could have predicted that? Certainly not us.

But despite all the “GSP by decision” entries that came in, only one fight-picker predicted that St-Pierre would win by split-decision: Daniel Rogoff, who also got two of the judges’ scores exactly right. Congrats, Daniel, you’ve earned an official Kazushi Sakuraba t-shirt from Scramble! We’ve already sent you a Facebook message about how to claim your prize; please check your “Other” folder today.

Since only one person guessed the outcome correctly, we’re going to go back on our word a little and only award one t-shirt today instead of two. To make up for it, we’ll give you guys one more chance to win a Sakuraba t-shirt by the end of the month. Stay tuned, and thanks again to Scramble for making this happen.

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St-Pierre vs. Hendricks Fight-Picking Contest: Win a Sakuraba T-Shirt From Scramble!

Maybe you struck out in last week’s caption contest, but the fine folks at Scramble are giving you guys another chance to win an official Kazushi Sakuraba t-shirt in this week’s fight-picking contest!

As you might have heard, Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks are going toe-to-toe this weekend at UFC 167 in a welterweight title fight. According to the oddsmakers, GSP is a -225 favorite against Hendricks — the champ’s narrowest line in over four years. But how will the fight end exactly? Shoot us your prediction in the comments section, and the two closest guesses will each win a shirt. Your entry should be in this format…

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Kazushi Sakuraba/Scramble T-Shirt Caption Contest: And the Winners Are…

Thanks to everybody who entered this week’s caption contest to win an official Kazushi Sauraba t-shirt from Scramble! As promised, we’re giving away three t-shirts to the captions that we’ve deemed shirt-worthy. But first, some honorable mentions:


(Photo via Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

Noa Schmitz: Chandler attempted the sitting Stone Cold Stunner to no avail.

Michael Trimarco: Alvarez and Chandler blissfully embrace as they prepare to be picked up by the UFC Helicopter flying over the Long Beach Arena.

Jarrod Walker: “Don’t be ashamed, guys, I always close my eyes when they take the rollercoaster picture too!”

Josh Freimark: “Oh Darling, this date at Jon Hess’ SAFTA Academy was such a romantic idea!”

Jon Garrison: Eddie has turned….someone get Daryl and tell him to bring his crossbow!

Darren Miller: “Come on, guys… let’s work or I’m going to wake you up.”

Shin Kim: The 3rd fight will be a “Don’t wear a Rubber match”.

Yikes. Now that we’re warmed up, let’s reveal the winners…

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Caption Contest: Win an Official Kazushi Sakuraba T-Shirt From Scramble!


(Image courtesy of Scramble. Buy the shirt for $44.99 right here, or £29.99 for our Euro-homies.)

Even today, the name “Saku” can induce feelings of euphoria in old-school MMA fans. Arguably the most important Japanese fighter in the sport’s history, Kazushi Sakuraba‘s fight career embodied the twin virtues of virtuosic creativity and never-say-die gameness. He is, was, and forever will be a legend. And now, you can buy his t-shirt.

Our friends at Scramble have kicked off an official collaboration with Sakuraba, beginning with the t-shirt you see above. Made with Saku’s full cooperation and blessing, the super soft 100% washed cotton shirts feature his stylized “KS” logo on the front — which he’s been rocking on his shorts since his PRIDE days — and the back of the shirt also sports several references to Sakuraba’s nicknames, including IQ Wrestler, Gracie Hunter, and 39. It’s pretty frickin’ sweet to be honest. If you want one for yourself, buy it here…or, take your chances with this week’s caption contest.

After the jump is a Photo of the Year candidate from this weekend’s Alvarez/Chandler rematch that reminded me of Saku just for its sheer bloodiness. Come up with a clever caption and submit it to the comments section of this post by Thursday night at midnight PT. The three best captions will all win a Sakuraba t-shirt, courtesy of Scramble. We’ll announce the results on Friday. Let us know if you have any questions, and good luck!

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The Top 24 Mixed Martial Artists Who Lost Their First Fight


(Renan Barao: Started from the bottom, now he here. / Photo via Getty)

By Adam Martin

At the UFC 165 post-fight presser last month, UFC president Dana White showered praise upon UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao, calling him one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport and remarking that the media hadn’t given enough credit to his eight-year, 32-fight undefeated streak, which has remained pristine since May 2005.

Barao has only tasted defeat once, and it was in the first fight of his career. The fact that he’s rebounded with the longest current undefeated streak in mixed martial arts — despite the fact that his first loss could have ruined his confidence forever — is absolutely amazing to me, as many young would-be prospects have crashed and burned in their debuts, never to be heard of again.

It got me thinking: What other mixed martial artists lost their first fight but then went on to have great success? I expected to bang out a list of ten fighters, but once I started doing the research, it blew my mind that some of the best fighters to ever compete in the sport, and a number of currently top 10-ranked fighters, actually lost their very first fight.

And so, I compiled a list of the top 24 MMA fighters of all time who lost their first fight. The list is based on accomplishments in the sport, overall skill level, and potential. Enjoy, and if I somehow missed somebody notable, please leave a comment below and explain why he or she should be included.

Honorable mentions: Matt “The Wizard” Hume (5-5), Wesley “Cabbage” Correira (20-15), Ryan “The Big Deal” Jimmo (18-2), Rodrigo Damm (11-6), James Te Huna (16-6)

24. Travis “The Ironman” Fulton (249-49-10, 1 NC)

(Photo via ThunderPromotions)

On July 26, 1996, at the age of 19 years old, Travis Fulton fought Dave Strasser in his MMA debut at Gladiators 1 in Davenport, Iowa, losing the fight via first-round submission. He then went on to win 249 fights, the most wins in mixed martial arts history. Fulton also holds the record for most fights (309) and most knockout wins (91) in MMA history.

Mind = blown.

Was Fulton a can crusher? Yes, yes he was. Or, should I say, yes he is, as he beat some nobody in his native Iowa just this past March. But you don’t win 249 MMA fights by accident, and Fulton deserves a place on this list based on volume alone.

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CagePotato Roundtable #27: Who Suffered the Furthest Fall from Grace in MMA History?


(Taktarov vs. Kerr, as promoted by Bob Meyrowitz. If this doesn’t embody everything about today’s discussion, then what *does*? Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

It was thirty-three years ago today that the absolutely tragic bout between Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes went down — where a younger, far more athletic Larry Holmes beat the aging legend so badly that he actually cried for Ali when it was over. Though Ali is still celebrated as one of the greatest fighters of all time, his legacy has never been the same as it could have been if he simply stayed retired. It’s in memory of this fight that we’ll be talking about falls from grace during today’s roundtable: fighters who stuck around far too long, lost some embarrassing bouts as a result and tarnished their once-great legacies. Read on for our picks, and please continue to send your ideas for future CagePotato Roundtable topics to tips@cagepotato.com.

George Shunick

Tim Sylvia: A name once synonymous with greatness, excitement, and extraordinary physique. Once atop the Mount Olympus of the sport, he reigned supreme over lesser beings for roughly four years, vanquishing the best of the best in his weight class. OK, so maybe I’m exaggerating here. So maybe Tim Sylvia was never exactly a world beater; he was awkward, plodding, fat, had no real ground game to speak of and was the UFC heavyweight champion when all the best fighters in the division were busy competing across the Pacific ocean.

But for all that, he was the heavyweight champion. He even had sex with his greatest rival’s ex-girlfriend. (Leading to this glorious interview with said rival, Andrei Arlovski.) He was relatively wealthy, at least compared to other fighters. Point being, he had achieved all someone who came into this world as Tim Sylvia could possibly hope to achieve. Even once he had lost the title, he still retained the respect that was deservedly owed to him.

Then this happened.

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On This Day in MMA History – Kazushi Sakuraba Born Forty Four Years Ago


(Baby Saku – Already cooler than you or I at age 1)

If the sport of MMA continues to grow in popularity, decades from now there will be legions of fans raised only on the UFC who will have no idea who Kazushi Sakuraba was and is. I’ll feel sorry for them.

To date, Sakuraba is the greatest and perhaps bravest fighter to have come out of Japan in the sport’s history. He became a super star while fighting for the defunct Pride Fighting Championships.

Sakuraba’s prime warring days took place before an appropriate weight class came into existence for him and as a result, the natural welterweight fought light heavyweights and heavy weights. Usually, he beat them.

Sakuraba would, and sadly still does, fight anyone, anywhere and always does so in exciting and unrelenting fashion. He is a jester-samurai if there ever was one, quick with a Kimura shoulder lock or smile. Sakuraba combines excellent wrestling with dynamic submissions and effective stand up striking.

In recent years, Sakuraba has fought on past his health and has taken brutal beatings. Though they make us cringe, they do not and cannot possibly diminish this champion’s legacy.

Win, lose or draw, from lightweight to heavyweight, from Gracies and Wanderlei to “Rampage”, Belfort, Nogueira and “Cro Cop”, no one that has ever gone into the ring or cage with Kazushi Sakuraba has left it without respecting him. Enjoy the highlight videos of Sakuraba and always remember, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

More highlight videos after the jump.

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27 Signs You’ve Been an MMA Fan Too Long


(Image via FAIL Blog, obviously.)

By the CagePotato.com Staff

You know you’re a true MMA fan when it starts to negatively affect your work, health, and personal relationships. Check out our latest list below, and let us know which ones apply to you. Props to Buzzfeed for the inspiration.

1. You roll your wrists while blasting “Sandstorm” before every job interview.

2. Kimbo Slice is your favorite professional boxer and Tank Abbott is your favorite author.

3. You used to drive 25 miles to the nearest video store that carried bootlegged copies of King of the Cage events. Now, you complain because there are too many free UFC events on cable.

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