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Tag: Leonard Garcia

Ben vs. Jared: UFC 159 Edition


(“How ’bout we say ‘triangle choke, round 2.’ I’ve got a t-shirt riding on this.” / Photo via MMAFighting.com)

With UFC 159 slated for tomorrow night, CagePotato founding editor Ben Goldstein and beloved CP staff writer Jared Jones have teamed up to argue about all the important themes surrounding the event. So how will the absurd light-heavyweight title fight end, exactly? What will happen if Alan Belcher actually lets Michael Bisping take a free shot to his face? Can the third women’s UFC fight possibly live up to the first two? How many more fights can Leonard Garcia lose before the UFC gives him the ol’ heave-ho? Read on, and throw down your own opinions in the comments section.

Will Jon Jones immediately demolish Chael Sonnen, or will he play around with Chael a little before demolishing him? And will Chael retire after the loss?

BG:
 I rarely make sweeping statements about who will win an MMA fight because 1) anything can happen in this crazy sport, and 2) the things you write on the Internet often come back to haunt you. But yes, Jon Jones will win this fight. I absolutely guarantee it. Sonnen’s best weapon — his relentless wrestling attack — will dash apart against Jones’s own wrestling, which is precision-tuned for the sport of MMA. Quickly out of options, Chael will throw his patented “I give up” spinning backfist, fall down against the cage, and will whisper a quick prayer to his God before Jones literally eats him and shits him out. And I do mean literally, okay? Literally.

I’m leaning towards a quick beat-down in this fight rather than an extended clowning, because Jones takes his job too seriously to “play around” with an opponent. (He’s not exactly Mr. Fun, we’ve noticed.) And once Chael feels the power of a large light-heavyweight, he’ll realize what a bad idea this whole thing was in the first place. To exit the sport directly after another humiliation wouldn’t fit in with Sonnen’s blustery self-image, so I think he’ll take at least one more fight — maybe at middleweight, maybe at light-heavyweight — before calling it quits. Once he starts losing to non-champions, he’ll wisely make the switch to full-time UFC talking head and occasional hair-texture tester.

JJ: Mark my words, this fight will be Jon Jones’s UFC 97 (or UFC 112, depending on which fight you thought was worse). Jones may not be a fun-loving guy, as you stated, but it also appears that the tryptophan-induced honeymoon between these two TUF coaches has passed, leaving behind only apathy in its wake. If you’ve noticed in the past, the foes “Bones knows” on a personal level seem to last the longest in the cage with him (Rampage, Rashad) — perhaps out of respect, perhaps because they are both tough as hell — so I think we should start preparing ourselves for a tepid, five-round affair highlighted by Bones’s jab and Sonnen’s desperate attempts to convert a single leg.

And when all is said and done, Sonnen will snatch the mic out of Joe Rogan’s hand, and in an attempt to mimic [enter professional wrestler name here]’s infamous retirement speech, will announce that, and I quote:

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Cody McKenzie Rebooked in Do-or-Die Fight Against the Un-Do-or-Dieable Leonard Garcia at UFC 159


(“No, Leonard, I don’t know how they make Dippin’ Dots either.”)

When Leonard Garcia and Cody McKenzie were originally booked to face each other back at UFC 155, we categorized the pairing as a “loser leaves town” match. What fools we were; although McKenzie was forced out of the fight with an injury, his replacement opponent in Max Holloway was responsible for Garcia’s fourth straight loss in the UFC*. And while a whole bunch of guys got the axe shortly thereafter, Leonard Garcia was somewhat surprisingly not one of them.

We double-checked the list of fired fighters, then we triple checked it. We even created a flowchart to try and make sense of things, but it appears that as long as Garcia continues to treat strategy like Lloyd Irvin treats consent, he will always have a place in the UFC. It’s a luxury that his upcoming opponent, TUF 12 alum Cody McKenzie, cannot afford.

McKenzie and Garcia have in fact been rebooked for UFC 159 in what has to be a do-or-die fight for at least McKenzie, who has dropped three of his past four UFC contests including a 40 second KO via body punch loss to Chad Mendes in his last outing. Again, according to our chart, McKenzie’s current place on the “100 heavy” UFC roster makes about as much sense as Garcia’s, so expect these two to put on a show come April 27th. One of their UFC careers could depend on it.

So who takes this one, Potato Nation, the one-trick pony or the one-track mind?

The full lineup for UFC 159 is after the jump. 

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Incredibly, Leonard Garcia Will Keep His Job, Despite Fourth-Straight Loss at UFC 155


(Eyes closed? Hands nowhere near his chin? Yep, that’s a man who has made his peace with getting punched in the mouth. / Photo via Tracy Lee)

UFC featherweight Leonard Garcia has had a rough last couple of years, going winless in 2011 and 2012, including his split-decision loss to Max Holloway this weekend on the UFC 155 prelims, but at least his new year won’t get immediately worse. UFC prez Dana White has promised that Garcia will not be cut from the organization’s roster, despite racking up his fourth-consecutive loss.

“There’s no way in hell we’re cutting Leonard Garcia,” White told assembled media after the fights on Saturday.

Garcia’s UFC job security cuts both ways. On the one hand, he’s a balls-to-the-wall fighter who is always exciting, if sloppy. A guts and glory fighter like Garcia is a promoter’s dream. He doesn’t have to be great to be marketable.

On the other hand, Garcia has only managed to win three times in his last eleven fights as a Zuffa fighter. Such a poor winning percentage in an active UFC fighter is an aberration, to say the least. Typically, even exciting fan favorites are cut loose after two or three consecutive losses and told to go put together a win streak on the regional circuits before they are brought back to the UFC.

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Cody McKenzie, Karlos Vemola Out of UFC 155 With Injuries; Leonard Garcia and Chris Leben Get New Opponents [UPDATED]


(“Aw thanks bro, these chips are so clutch. Say, you’re not an undercover cop, are you?”/ Props: CombatLifestyle)

Already smacked down by injuries to Forrest Griffin, Chris Weidman, and Gray Maynard, December 29th’s once-epic UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2 card just got hit with another pair of withdrawals, less than two weeks before showtime.

First up: Cody McKenzie, the affable guillotine-choker who got gut-shot KO’d by Chad Mendes in his last appearance in July, has pulled out of his preliminary card bout with Leonard Garcia due to an undisclosed training injury. The UFC is currently searching for a replacement opponent for Garcia, who is looking to rescue his career after losing his last three matches. We’ll update you if/when Bad Boy gets a new booking. Update: Garcia will be fighting Max Holloway, who has won his last two fights against Pat Schilling and Justin Lawrence.

Speaking of undisclosed injuries, Czech wrestler Karlos Vemola is out of his main card match against Chris Leben, and will be replaced by Strikeforce vet Derek Brunson. After winning his first nine pro fights, Brunson has dropped his last two, a knockout loss to Ronaldo Souza and a decision loss to Kendall Grove. Leben vs. Brunson will remain on the UFC 155 main card, and will mark Leben’s first UFC appearance since his TKO loss to Mark Munoz in November 2011, and subsequent one-year suspension for oxycodone and oxymorphone. The Crippler is currently taking it one day at a time.

UFC 155′s bruised lineup is after the jump. Check it out, and ponder what could have been…

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Loser Leaves Town Alert: Leonard Garcia vs. Cody McKenzie Booked for UFC 155


Clearly, there are zero inappropriate jokes to be made here.

In the territorial days of professional wrestling, the loser leaves town match was a way for wrestling promoters to wrap up a storyline when one of the wrestlers left his company for a rival promotion. Even though MMA is much different from professional wrestling, our sport still books these fights every so often. It isn’t exactly uncommon for the UFC to book fights between two not-quite-contenders, where the losers receive a pink slip and a call from Ray or Bjorn.

Case in point: The UFC announced yesterday that featherweights Leonard Garcia and Cody McKenzie will meet up at UFC 155. With both men being a combined 3-7 in their last ten fights (2-8 if you aren’t blind, deaf and dumb), and both coming off of less-than-impressive losses, the loser of this fight will almost certainly be spending time outside of the UFC.

On paper, Leonard Garcia is heading into this bout in worse condition than his opponent. Garcia has only won once in his last five fights, and that victory was a total bullshit decision over Nam Phan. The only thing that may save Garcia is the fact that he’s usually entertaining in defeat – his Zuffa career includes a total of five Fight of the Night awards, one Knockout of the Night and 2010′s Fight of the Year, a total bullshit victory over The Korean Zombie at WEC 48. Oh, and if you haven’t noticed, judges have an inexplicable love for the guy.

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Four Reasons to Be Sort-Of Interested in ‘UFC on FX 3′


(Props: ThePeoplesCecil via MMAFanMade. Click for full-size version.)

The UFC makes a stop in Sunrise, Florida, tomorrow night for their latest UFC on FX event, featuring a flyweight rerun, a handful of veterans on the main card, and a murderer’s row of nobodies on the prelims. But is it skippable? Maybe not. After studying the card, we’ve found a few somewhat credible reasons to watch this thing. Read on, and if you’re around tomorrow night, be sure to come back to CagePotato.com for our liveblog of the “Johnson vs. McCall” main card, which kicks off at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.

#1: It’s make-or-break time for Leonard Garcia.
The last time that “Bad Boy” beat anybody decisively was his first-round TKO of Jens Pulver at WEC 36, back in November 2008. That was ten fights ago. Since then, Garcia has gone 3-5-1, with all three of those wins coming by split-decision. Two of those wins are widely considered to be bullshit robberies, and were later avenged in rematches with the “losing” fighters, Chan Sung Jung and Nam Phan. Basically, Garcia’s record since 2009 should really be 1-7-1, and even that lone legit victory (against Jameel Massouh at WEC 42) could have easily gone the other way.

Now, Garcia finds himself on the preliminary card of an FX show, against Matt Grice, whose overall UFC record stands at 1-4, including the first-round TKO loss that Grice suffered against Ricardo Lamas in his last fight. Garcia vs. Grice has all the markings of a “win or go home” match. It doesn’t matter if Leonard turns it into an exciting brawl — if he loses, he’s on extremely thin ice, and we may not see him back again.

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Melvin Guillard to Be Strangled by Fabricio Camoes at UFC 148 and Other UFC Fight Booking Announcements


(Dammit! This was so much easier to escape in the video game!)  

On the heels of two straight submission via rear-naked choke losses courtesy of Joe Lauzon and Jim Miller, former “top contender” Melvin Guillard’s stock is probably at an all time low. The UFC, likely recognizing Melvin’s need to step up his ground game or GTFO, are not cutting him any slack, as they have paired him against 3rd degree (uh-oh) BJJ black belt (not good) under Royler Gracie (dear God) Fabricio Camoes. The worst part: Camoes is coming off a submission by rear-naked choke victory at UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller.

Game. Set. Soon.

Look, we’ve got mad respect for Melvin Guillard; how can you not love someone whose idea of avoiding the takedown is repeatedly throwing flying knees? But this does not look good for “The Young Assassin,” who may very well get the boot if he is submitted for the seventh time in his UFC career come July 7th. Come on Zuffa, you can’t even give him some low-level nobody to squash first?

Matter of fact, it looks to us like the UFC is trying to punish each and every member of The Blackzilians for Anthony Johnson’s colossal mistake. Have the Zuffa attorneys not informed DW and Joe Silva that judging a certain group of people based on one isolated incident is considered profiling, and could lead to a huge backlash from said group? If we could think of any examples from American history, say from around the 1960′s, that could possibly help prove this point, we would. Unfortunately, no such example exists. Perhaps we’re just lucky.

Join us after the jump for a ton of fight booking news…

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CagePotato Roundtable #2: What Was the Greatest Robbery in MMA History?

CagePotato Roundtable is our new recurring column in which the CP writing staff and some of our friends all get together to debate an MMA-related topic. Joining us this week is former CagePotato staff writer Chad Dundas, who now writes for an up-and-coming blog called ESPN. If you have a suggestion for a future Roundtable column, send it to tips@cagepotato.com.

CagePotato reader Alexander W. writes: “The Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall fight inspired my suggestion: Greatest robberies in MMA history. I’d be curious to hear the variety of opinions out there. Surely that fight was a top ten.”

Chad Dundas

There are a lot of things about Pride Total Elimination 2003 that don’t make sense when viewed with modern MMA sensibilities. How to even comprehend a world where a skinny, haired-up, suit jacket-wearing Dana White could bet Pride bigwigs $250,000 that Chuck Liddell was going to win that company’s 2003 middleweight grand prix? Or comprehend that a bizarrely dangerous and clearly-enunciating Liddell showed up in the first round of said tournament and KTFOed an impossibly svelte Alistair Overeem? Or that Overeem had an old dude in a robe and shriners hat accompany him to the ring while carrying a big foam hammer? Or that on this night somebody got tapped out with a sleeve choke? Or that Wanderlei Silva fought Kazushi Sakuraba and it didn’t just make everybody feel sad and empty?

No sense at all.

What does still sort of make sense is this: After watching Liddell sleep Overeem, there was no way on God’s green Earth that Pride judges were going to let another UFC emissary walk out of Saitama Super Arena with a win*, so they conspired to pull off one of the greatest screwjobs in MMA history when they awarded Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira a unanimous decision over Ricco Rodriguez. The indisputable fact is, Ricco whipped Big Nog good that night, taking him down, brutalizing him, shaking off his feeble submission attempts and controlling pretty much the whole affair. At least, that’s how I remember it. Unfortunately, due to Zuffa’s ongoing war on Internet piracy it seems their bout will only be remembered by history and by the creepy old man who answers the queries you submit to the Sherdog Fight Finder.

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Video: Leonard Garcia Says GSP is ‘Like a Girl When it Comes to Heights’


(Video courtesy of YouTube/FightHubTV)

When fans criticize fighters for shoddy performances, they often forget that the men and women who compete in the cage and often display superhuman feats of strength and resilience are human beings and not just machines that are packed away in the closet between fights. They have problems just like everyone else.

Even though some of us realize this, it’s always surprising to hear stories about things these tough guys (and girls) can’t do or are afraid of.

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Cerrone: Diaz Done F*cked With the Wrong Cowboy


(“You got a pretty mouth, Nate.”)

During Steve Cofield’s Vegas-based ESPN Radio show today, Donald Cerrone recalled an incident he had recently with Nate Diaz,  and to put it lightly, he isn’t impressed with the level of disrespect his UFC 141 opponent showed him.

According to Cerrone, the confrontation happened at the open workouts for UFC 137 and he had no warning that it was going to go south quickly when he approached his teammate and friend Leonard Garcia who happened to be talking to Nate at the time.

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