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Tag: lightweights

Jake Ellenberger’s Twin Brother Just Signed With the UFC, So Let’s Check Out a Few Videos of Him in Action


(HAHAHAHA! That’s not a normal sized pencil at all!! Via Joe’s Twitter.) 

Joe Ellenberger is a lot more than just the twin brother of longtime UFC welterweight contender Jake Ellenberger, he’s also a legitimate fighter who has been a veteran of the game since 2005. Currently 14-1 in his professional career, “Excalibur” has scored 11 first round stoppages over mixed competition, including two TKO wins over Strikeforce Challengers vet Joe Wilk.

His most recent stoppage of Wilk, which took place back in 2012, was apparently enough to earn him a call up to the UFC, as Ellenberger broke the news of his four-fight signing via Twitter yesterday.

A couple more interesting facts about “Excalibur”: In 2009, he was diagnosed with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, a rare disease that destroys red blood cells. He was not only told that he would never fight again, but was given less than five years to live. Thankfully, Ellenberger was later prescribed Soliris, and for the low, low cost of $400,000 a year (Ed note: OBAMACARE!!!! *shakes fists at sky*), has made a complete recovery.

So in honor of Joe’s signing (and incredible struggle), join us after the jump to check out a few videos of Ellenberger™ Lite in action.

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Heart & Soul of MMA: Caros Fodor, And the Heroism of Companionship


(Photo via OneFC)

By Elias Cepeda

From the cage to the battlefield, some forms of bravery are easy to recognize. Then there are the daily acts of minor heroism, the kind that never get publicized. While everything Caros Fodor has accomplished in his career has made him worthy of respect, it’s his lifetime commitment to another fellow human being that makes him truly stand out as an unsung hero. Caros represents the heart and soul of MMA, and his story deserves to be heard.

*******

It had already been one of the more interesting work conversations I’d gotten to have with a fighter this year when I asked a last question as sort of an afterthought.

Seattle-based lightweight Caros Fodor was open in discussing his former life as a Marine with me. A Strikeforce/UFC vet who currently competes for OneFC, Fodor always wanted to be in the military, enlisted right out of high school and found himself in boot camp at just 17 years of age on September 11, 2001. From there, he was sent to Kuwait, and eventually Baghdad in the spring of 2003 as a part of the United States’ invasion of Iraq.

The realities of war — civilian casualties, cruelty to and destruction of the host nation, and bureaucratic banalities — changed Caros’ mind about wanting a career in the military. The carnage he’d taken part of also left him angry and suffering from PTSD when he returned home.

He had nightmares. He drank. The nightmares wouldn’t stop so he drank more. Caros and his friends went out most nights and started brawls.

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Shit Just Got Real: Cody McKenzie Returns to Lightweight, Meets Sam Stout at ‘UFC on FOX 9′


(“Don’t…take…the blue pill…” Photo via MMAFighting.) 

After likely saving his own UFC career by ending Leonard Garcia’s at UFC 159, it is being reported that TUF 12 alum Cody McKenzie will return to the lightweight division at UFC on FOX 9: Pettis vs. Thomson to take on veteran slugger Sam Stout.

Both fighters are arguably in a must-win situation, as both have dropped 3 of their past 5 contests. The cards are clearly more stacked against McKenzie, however, as his three octagon wins have all come over fighters who have since been released by the UFC — Aaron Wilkinson, Marcus Levesseur, and Garcia. “The AK Kid” was also recently dubbed “the worst fighter in the UFC” by Chael P. Sonnen, but he did provide the single greatest moment in The Ultimate Fighter history, so who the hell really knows what the future holds for this goofy, affable sonofabitch.

Stout, on the other hand, was most recently choked out by James Krause at UFC 161 in a Fight of the Night-earning affair. Prior to that, he notched a decision victory over Carlos Fodor at UFC 157. Prior to that, Stout was routed by John Makdessi at UFC 154 in a fight that highlighted his somewhat skewed interpretation of MMA scoring.

Official CP Prediction: Stout lights up McKenzie for a solid two rounds before running directly into the Alaskan’s signature McKenzietine. Upon waking up, Stout will retire from the sport in his post-fight interview, claiming that “He’s getting too old for this shit” and just wants a desk job. But in a shocking turn of events, Stout will immediately change his mind, snatch the mic from Joe Rogan’s hand, and inform the attending audience that he will be challenging the Michael Chandler/Eddie Alvarez winner for the Bellator lightweight title at an event TBD.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH ZEBENYAAAAAAA!!!!

-J. Jones

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And Now He’s Retired: Paul Taylor Hangs It Up After Latest Injury


(Admit it. You’re gonna miss that face. | Photo via MMAWeekly)

UFC lightweight Paul Taylor has retired from MMA competition after the most recent of a long string of injuries forced him out of at least his fourth fight in the last three years. Taylor hasn’t fought since his knockout win against Gabe Ruediger in February 2011.

Taylor was slated to face Anthony Njokuani next month in Manchester but an injury forced the 33-year-old British slugger to pull out of the matchup once again. He promptly announced that he was retiring from MMA competition.

“All his old injuries flared up in training,” a source close to Taylor told Fighters Only. “He’s very disappointed not to be fighting on the Manchester card but there’s nothing he can do, these injuries just won’t go away.”

Taylor ends his career with an overall record of 11-6-1 (with 1 NC), and a 4-5 tally in the UFC. But despite his journeyman’s record, Taylor was a consistently exciting fighter, winning three Fight of The Night bonuses since he began his Octagon run in 2007. (In particular, his UFC 75 battle against Marcus Davis remains one of the greatest one-round fights in UFC history.) Taylor was also key part of the organization’s promotional efforts in his native Britain. Taylor fought six times for the UFC in the UK.

Like Shane Carwin, Paul Taylor had enough talent and heart to have a much longer career in mixed martial arts, but his body simply didn’t cooperate. Enjoy retirement and be well, “Relentless” Paul.

- Elias Cepeda

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Benson Henderson Says He’ll Break Anderson Silva’s Title Defense Record by 2016


(Sounds like a good plan, but wait until you’re married for a year, and your wife’s all like, “Bensonnnn why do you spend all your time defending your title, what about meeeeeeeee, we never go anywhere anymorrrrrrre.” Ugh. Am I right? Back me up here, married guys. / Photo via MMAFighting)

It seems like one of MMA’s most untouchable records, but Benson Henderson is convinced that he will beat former middleweight champion Anderson Silva‘s consecutive title defense streak of ten.

“I’m going to break it in 2016,” the ever-confident UFC lightweight champion told MMA Fighting.

I should be able to break it by 2015, but because I’m getting married I’m going to take some time off for my honeymoon. That’s going to set me back by about three to four months. But I have it down exactly. I know when I’m going to break it. It’s going to be early 2016. I know what number I need to get. I know the amount of hard work it’s going to take for me to get there. I know how much I’ve got to get beat up, I know how much I’ve got to practice. I’m aware of it. I know it. Now my goal is to go out there and go do it.

Well, alright. We can’t hate on Henderson. The kid has earned what he has, to say the least, and by all accounts works crazy hard. He’s also just a flat-out incredible fighter and looks better each time out.

That said, considering that he has just three consecutive successful title-defenses right now, with an attempt at a fourth coming Saturday at UFC 164, and that two of those bouts were incredibly close — against Frankie Edgar and his last against Gilbert Melendez — predicting ten straight seems a bit outlandish.

It’s not that Henderson isn’t capable of winning seven more straight, it’s just that he’ll probably continue to fight to close decisions a lot considering the parity of the lightweight division. One of these days, the judges might not see things his way; you’re rolling the dice every time you let the scorecards decide the fight, and you can’t always expect the judges to behave rationally.

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WSOF Check-In: Lightweight Tournament Announced, Newell & Spong Prepare for Fights This Saturday


(Learn more about lightweight rising star Nick Newell and the challenges he’s overcome | Video via MMA World Series Youtube page)

We’ve been following lightweight prospect Nick Newell’s unlikely and inspiring career for some time now here at CagePotato, and this Saturday he makes his next big move at the World Series of Fighting 4 event in Ontario, California. Newell will face TUF veteran Keon Caldwell.

Even though Newell hasn’t yet won his WSOF debut, the promotion announced that a win over Caldwell would earn Newell a spot in its upcoming lightweight tournament, which will crown the promotion’s inaugural 155-pound champion. If Newell does indeed enter that tournament, he’ll have a chance to prove once and for all that he’s truly a UFC-caliber fighter.

Why, you ask? Well, simply because the tournament is stacked with top international lightweights including a number of UFC veterans. Dan Lauzon will be in the tournament, as will the winner of an excellent WSOF 4 match up between Tyson Griffin and Gesias Calvacante.

Of course, all this doesn’t sit so well with Keon Caldwell’s camp, who tell MMA Junkie that they are worried of unfair treatment from the WSOF. While Newell has been publicly guaranteed a spot in the lightweight tournament if he’s victorious this weekend, Caldwell has been given no such offer. (“I just think they’re on the Nick Newell hype train,” said Caldwell’s trainer Richard Cox.)

Also fighting this Saturday will be kickboxing star Tyrone Spong, who will be headlining WSOF 4 against California-bred knockout artist Angel DeAnda. It will be Spong’s second World Series of Fighting appearance following his beat-down of Travis Bartlett in November. You can check out a lil’ video of Spong hitting people and acting cocky after the jump. Above, you can enjoy a mini documentary show on Newell’s life that takes you inside his camp, family, and home.

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Classic Knockout Of The Day: Melvin Guillard’s Boxing Debut Doesn’t Go Well


(Props: TheMrsCountryman. Fight starts at the 2:23 mark, knockout happens at 4:16. And yeah, the audio doesn’t work in this clip, so feel free to hum a tune of your choice.)

Ten months before making his UFC debut at the TUF 2 Finale in November 2005, Melvin Guillard decided to take a pro boxing bout in Las Vegas against a Detroit-based fighter named James Countryman. The fight did not go well for Melvin.

About a minute and a half into the match, Countryman lands a big overhand right that levels Guillard. The Young Assassin springs to his feet and nods his head a couple times to signify that yes, he got smacked with a good one, then goes right back into the fight. Seconds later, Guillard catches a left hook from Countryman flush on the jaw and falls backwards into the ropes, unconscious. Game. Over.

Guillard would go onto a successful career in the UFC, but has never boxed professionally again. Countryman boxed for four more years, compiling a 14-1 record through March 2009. Interestingly enough, Countryman’s final boxing match was a decision win against none other than Karl “KJ” Noons, the current UFC lightweight and former EliteXC champion. Noons fought three more boxing matches that year, winning all three of them, and put together an 11-2 boxing record overall before devoting himself to MMA full time — which maybe wasn’t the greatest choice, in retrospect.

- Elias Cepeda

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CagePotato Databomb #5: Breaking Down the UFC Lightweights by Striking Performance


(Click chart for full-size versionFor previous Databombs, click here.)

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

Last week we broke down the UFC Featherweight division in key striking metrics. This week we’ll look at the largest (numerically) UFC division, the Lightweights. A full explanation of the chart and variables is included at the end of this post.

The Winners

Sniper Award: Daron Cruickshank finally showed off his striking skills in his second UFC appearance against Henry Martinez on the UFC on FOX 5 card in Seattle. With nearly 50% accuracy, he looked like he was practicing on a heavy bag before mercifully dropping an iron-chinned Martinez with a head kick KO. Interestingly, the “Detroit Superstar” is set to face another division sniper, John Makdessi, in March at UFC 158.

Energizer Bunny Award: Tim Means is two wins into his UFC career, and has almost doubled the standing output of his two opponents. He also maintained good accuracy and scored two knockdowns in those performances.

Biggest Ball(s) Award: Melvin Guillard has been punching above his weight for a long time in the UFC. To date Guillard has 12 knockdowns, putting him 3rd all-time in the UFC behind Anderson Silva and Chuck Liddell. Not bad for a lightweight.

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Gilbert Melendez to “Probably” Receive an Immediate UFC Title Shot When Strikeforce Finally Dies


(And there was much rejoicing…)

If any of you were questioning Gilbert Melendez’s decision to remain off Strikeforce’s final card in January, maybe now you can see his motivation. In a recent interview with MMAJunkie, Dana White revealed that “El Nino” would “probably” receive an immediate title shot when he makes the trip over to the UFC, a statement that will more than likely be responsible for hundreds of conspiracy theories regarding the legitimacy of Melendez’s recent injuries. Of course, this came just before The Baldfather lamented about how bad Strikeforce fighters have had it since the UFC absorbed the promotion (presumably while mimicking Shooter McGavin), so perhaps we should take his statement with a grain of salt:

(Melendez will) probably come right in and get a title shot. Again, we’ll see.

What has happened to the fighters in Strikeforce is horrible. The way this thing went down is horrible, and they’ve been very patient. What’s happened over there has been completely s—ty.

Right, and we’re sure Hitler felt awfully bad about the living conditions at Auschwitz as well. “No veigh? Zey don’t even get a nice cot to szleep on? Zose bastards!” We’re not comparing Dana White to Hitler, we’re just saying.

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Your Champion, Potato Nation: Nick Newell Wins XFC Lightweight Title


(Video via AXSTV)

Former CagePotato Proving Grounds winner Nick Newell kicked, suplex-slammed and choked his way to victory in Nashville, TN last night, earning the XFC 155 pound title in the process. As you can see in the fight video above, Newell took out Bellator veteran Eric Reynolds quickly and improved his unblemished record to 9-0.

Reynolds himself has before gone the distance with both Jorge Masvidal and maybe UFC-bound Eddie Alvarez. Newell beating Reynolds in such dominating fashion, then, has to put him one step closer to consideration for the big leagues.

The southpaw Newell began his attack against Reynolds with rear and and lead kicks, both low and high, before closing the distance and getting behind Reynolds with a body lock. From there, Newell maintained control and bided his time before lifting his opponent high up into the air and slamming him face down onto the mat. Newell quickly spun around to get his legs around Reynolds and took his back.

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