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Tag: Kevin Burns

Chris Lytle Reflects on a Life in the Fight Business, Drops Some Knowledge on the UFC’s New Guys

Chris Lytle

As fighters go, Chris Lytle is uncommonly honest with himself.  He’s one of the few guys in this sport who, when asked about his goals, doesn’t give you some boiler plate answer about a title shot.  He’s in his mid-thirties, in one of the UFC’s deepest divisions, and he’s coming off a loss.  He knows there probably isn’t much time left, so he wants to make the best of the opportunities he has to put on a show.  

In this candid interview Lytle talks about some hard lessons learned in the fight game, why he’s perfectly content to fight a guy like Kevin Burns on a Spike TV TUF Finale card, and what advice he has for the new crop of fighters who will be just breaking into the UFC on Saturday night.

CagePotato.com: Thanks for talking with me, Chris.  It seems like the past couple of years your focus has really shifted to being in good fights rather than racking up consecutive victories.  Is the quality and entertainment value of your fights more important to you now than wins and losses?

Yeah, I mean, obviously I don’t want to say that I don’t care if I win or lose.  It’s painful to me when I lose a fight.  I go out there to do what I came to do and win, but I don’t want to win at any cost.  I want to put on an exciting fight and win.  When I do that, it’s great.  When I lose, obviously I didn’t do what I wanted to do.  But I’d rather go out there and fight the way I want and lose an exciting fight than win a boring decision.  That’s my mentality.  I want to fight my way.  I want to win, but that’s not the only thing on my mind.

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Keith Kizer: MMA Instant Replay in the Works

Anthony Johnson UFC eye poke
(Anthony Johnson does his Bushwick Bill impression following his July 2008 fight against Kevin Burns.)

If Keith Kizer has his way, Dan Miragliotta and Steve Mazzagatti’s ability to fuck up fights by not paying attention could be severely limited by the year’s end. The Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director revealed yesterday on the GoodSports radio show that his commission is trying to figure out how an instant replay system could be incorporated into MMA, to be used only when a potentially illegal blow leads to the immediate end of a match (i.e., Mostapha Al Turk getting eye-poked by Mirko Cro Cop, and Anthony Johnson’s repeated pokes by Kevin Burns). As Kizer explained:

"Actually it was [UFC VP Marc Ratner's] idea years ago, and it just never went anywhere — mainly because of technology — but now I think we’re finally there…The problem with instant replay is, of course, even in football once the next play starts you can’t go back and review something. It’s the same with boxing or MMA. You can’t go back at the end of the round and look at whether something happened, say, one minute into the round. Had the ref called it differently, the rest of the round might have happened differently. Once there’s some action in that contest, you can’t go back…
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Bader, Burns Face Lengthy Medical Suspensions After TUF 8 Finale

Ryan Bader UFC MMA The Ultimate Fighter TUF 8
(Ryan Bader, mid-"Woo!" Photo courtesy of UFC.com)

According to the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s list of medical suspensions issued after Saturday’s Ultimate Fighter 8 finale, newly-minted light-heavyweight winner Ryan Bader may not be immediately ready to begin his post-TUF career in the UFC due to a possible injury to his right hand. Bader must get the hand x-rayed and cleared by a doctor; without an official go-ahead, he’ll be out of action until June 9th.

Kevin Burns — who should just be happy to still be breathing after being knocked half-dead by a vicious Anthony Johnson head-kick — has to serve a mandatory suspension until February 9th with no contact until January 25th for possible left-orbital and left-ankle fractures. If his injuries aren’t cleared by a doctor, he could also be out until June 9th. Six other fighters from the event also took home medical suspensions — details are after the jump.

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Anthony Johnson Exclusive: “His Confidence is Going to Fuck Around and Get Him Knocked Out”


("Rumble," pre-eye poke.)

Anthony Johnson has repeatedly insisted that he doesn’t hold a grudge against Kevin Burns for poking him in the eye and leaving him with a severely damaged retina during their July bout.  It’s the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which refused to overturn the TKO loss on his record, that really bothers him.

In our exclusive interview, Johnson tells his side of the story, and tells us why Saturday night’s rematch on Spike TV is going to turn out much differently.

CagePotato.com: Here we are a few days from the rematch, how is your eye, and what was the recovery from the surgery like?

My eye is 100%.  I can see even better now since I had the surgery.  It’s been great so far.  My recovery was, I would say, 3 or 4 weeks.  I stopped wearing my bandage after like two weeks.

Is there not some part of you that really wants revenge against Burns for making you go through that?

For me it’s still a fight.  A fight is always a fight.  I don’t hold any kind of grudge against him.  Everybody thinks I’m going out for revenge, but I’m not.  I’m going out to fight, plain and simple.  Whatever happens in there happens.

How can you not be even a little mad at him?  Are you just the nicest person in the world?

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Exclusive Interview: Kevin Burns Talks Eye-Poke Fiasco and Saturday Night’s Rematch with Anthony Johnson


(Photo courtesy of NBC Sports.)

The first meeting between Kevin Burns and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson was marred by an accidental eye poke that halted the bout midway through the third round.  It was an unsatisfying end for both men, as Johnson would need surgery for a damaged retina and Burns found himself with a victory that he couldn’t really enjoy.

As the two prepare for a rematch to settle the score at Saturday night’s "Ultimate Fighter Finale," Burns talks with us about his decision to fight with the injured hand, his perspective on the eye pokes, and what he thinks of the attention the strange bout has brought upon himself and Johnson.

Check back later today for an interview with Johnson, who gives his often very different perspective on the events of that night.

CagePotato.com: Thanks for talking with me, Kevin.  Coming into this rematch, how do you mentally approach a fight like this, under these strange circumstances?

Mentally I’m approaching it like I would any other fight.  I’ve been in the cage with Anthony so I kind of know what to expect, I know what he’s going to bring to the table.  Other than from a game plan prospective, I’m not approaching it any differently.  Now I can utilize all of my standup skills.  Now that my hand’s 100% I can actually throw a left jab, a left hook, things that I haven’t been able to do.  That may make things a little different for him, but it will be good for me.

Tell me about the situation with the hand.  What happened to it?

I broke my hand three times in sixteen months.  The bone wasn’t completely fused, but if it was any other person doing normal things, not doing what we do, you probably wouldn’t notice it.  I can lift weights, I can do pretty much anything, with the exception of hitting something solid.  If I had hit something solid at that point, I had about a 95% chance that the bone would have fractured back through and I would have been back to square one.  

So instead of delaying my fighting career I decided to take a page out of Bas Rutten’s book in the old Pancrase days in Japan and use palm strikes.  They did it successfully, so I figured why can’t I?  I threw a lot of successful palm strikes earlier in the fight.  I couldn’t throw a closed jab, so I had to use that.  Unfortunately my finger went into his eye in that last palm strike that I threw in the third round.

The one in the third round ended it, but it seemed like there were several other pokes leading up to that one.  Where you aware of those, and did you feel it when it happened the last time?

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Fitch/Gono Slated for UFC 94, Aurelio Cut + More UFC Quick Hits

Jon Fitch Diego Sanchez MMA UFC
(When Jon Fitch says he’s going to wear your ass like a hat, it’s not a threat — it’s a guarantee.)

According to a report on MMA Mania, Jon Fitch will begin his road back to title contention with a fight against Akihiro Gono at UFC 94 (January 31st, Las Vegas). Fitch, who most recently dropped a unanimous decision to welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre at UFC 87 in August, was previously scheduled to face Gono in March, but a hand injury forced “The Japanese Sensation” to drop out of the match; Gono went on to lose a decision to Dan Hardy at last month’s UFC 89. The UFC’s Super Bowl weekend card will be headlined by Fitch’s old nemesis GSP facing BJ Penn, as well as Lyoto Machida vs. Thiago Silva.

In other UFC news…

— Apparently back-to-back losses were enough to get Marcus Aurelio‘s contract shredded. Five Ounces of Pain reports that the American Top Team fighter has been let go following unanimous decision defeats at the hands of Tyson Griffin (at UFC 86) and Hermes Franca (at UFC 90). Though Aurelio has had an impressive career and holds victories over Takanori Gomi, Masakazu Imanari, and Rich Clementi, he leaves the Octagon with a 2-3 UFC record.

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Burns/Johnson Rematch Set for TUF 8 Finale

Kevin Burns Anthony Johnson UFC MMA
(Photo courtesy of UFC.com.)

Finally, a little goddamned justice around here. MMA Junkie reports that Kevin Burns and Anthony Johnson — whose first fight at July’s “Silva vs. Irvin” event ended in a controversial TKO win for Burns after Johnson dropped in pain due to repeated eye-pokes — will get a do-over at the Ultimate Fighter 8 finale (December 13th, location TBA). Both fighters have agreed to the fight and it should be finalized in the next few days.

Burns was suffering from a hand injury at the time of his first meeting with Johnson, and was unable to strike with a closed fist, which led to his fingers finding their way into Johnson’s eyeball several times. As if the laser surgery and stitches required to fix his detached retina wasn’t agonizing enough, Johnson recently lost an appeal filed with the Nevada State Athletic Commission to have his loss to Burns overturned. So this is really good news. The only question is, will Steve Mazzagatti be reffing the rematch as well? Nah, too risky…

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Kevin Burns Wants Another Shot at Anthony Johnson


(‘I’m just saying, the guy has two eyes. Why wouldn’t I want a rematch?’)

Kevin “Pokey” Burns feels bad about his victory via sticking his fingers in Anthony Johnson’s eyes back in July. Anthony Johnson also feels bad about it, which is why he appealed the decision in a losing effort. But now Burns says he wants a rematch with Johnson in order to “make it right”:

“I guess what’s really going to be the true-tell sign at the end of the day is when we meet in the cage again, and we have a chance to compete against each other. Then the fans will get to see what they wanted to see, and we’ll get to make it right.”

“I hated more the way the fight ended than probably Anthony did,” Burns said. “It didn’t really come up to par. I’m not that kind of competitor. I would have rather been knocked out, personally, than to win like that.”

While you have to appreciate the old Don Frye ‘let’s do it again, brother’ sentiment, I’m not so sure that Burns really hated it more than Johnson did. Johnson, let’s not forget, had to have eye surgery to repair a detached retina as a result of the debacle. He also still has the loss on his record.

Burns says he’s been taking some heat from fans for the win and wants to clear the air about some of the rumors that have been flying about him:

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Anthony Johnson Loses Appeal; Loss Via Eye-Pokes Will Stand

Anthony Johnson Kevin Burns UFC MMA
(Kevin Burns shows off his flawless gouging technique. Photo courtesy of UFC.com.)

It’s probably not the way he wanted to make UFC history, but Anthony Johnson has officially become the first fighter to lose a fight in the Octagon via eye-pokes. After being handed an idiotic TKO loss at July’s “Silva vs. Irvin” card against Kevin Burns — who poked Johnson in the eyes multiple times throughout their fight until Rumble collapsed to the mat in agony during the third round — Johnson filed an appeal with the Nevada State Athletic Commission to have the result overturned to a DQ victory, or at least a no-contest. Unfortunately, it was rejected:

“Based on advice from the Nevada Attorney General’s office, the appeal was rejected due to lack of remedy,” Kizer revealed to MMAFrenzy.com.

Horseshit. Are they saying they have no way of changing results after the fact? That Steve Mazzagatti‘s decisions can never be overruled by a higher authority? Johnson had to undergo laser surgery to repair a detached retina and needed stitches in his eye — it would have been nice for the NSAC to acknowledge that they don’t condone what he had to go through. Still, Johnson has managed to keep a positive attitude through the entire experience. As he told TAGG Radio, “They can keep the loss on my record if they want to because I know I will come back better and stronger next time.”

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Poke!

Kevin Burns eye poke
(Courtesy of MMA-Core.com)

In case you’re wondering what a TKO via eye poke really looks like, here’s a close-up view from the Anthony Johnson-Kevin Burns debacle that you can watch again and again. Notice how, after the poke and the ensuing uppercut, the left hand that Burns comes back around with also has the fingers extended outward in poke-ready mode. I would suggest refining his punching technique, but it did result in him getting the win. As my grandfather used to say, if it ain’t broke, why not poke?

In other UFC Fight Night news, check out the below video of the post-fight press conference. Skip to 6:45 to hear Dana White give his take on Affliction and their fighters. Then he goes ahead and bashes the IFL one more time, mostly out of habit.

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