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The World MMA Awards Are a Goddamned Travesty


(Arianny Celeste, accepting her third-consecutive award for Journalist of the Year. / Photo via Getty)

By Mike Fagan

I sort of remember where I was when Fighters Only announced the first World MMA Awards. What a moment. I sat there at my desk in my two-bedroom apartment in beautiful Henderson, Nevada, reading the announcement and nominee list. I may have thought something like “This won’t last more than a year” or maybe I just finished reading and moved on with my life. December 2008 was a wild time, man.

Yet, here we are during the annual War on Christmas in 2014 and the World MMA Awards are going strong with their seventh annual edition. They proved the maybe-fictional version of my 2008 self wrong.

Fighters Only released this year’s nominee list on Monday, and I have some thoughts. Allow me to list them for you…


1. Someone ran the nominee photos through the “2003” filter. The World MMA Awards built itself a flashy website complete with a sweet animated countdown clock and high-res background video of last year’s awards and 2014 UFC highlights which I’m sure cost a lot of money to license (wink wink). Yet when you click through to vote, you find headshots of nominees that look like they were shot on a flip phone a decade ago.

2. International Fighter of the Year is still a thing. For the first two years, International Fighter of the Year was known as European Fighter of the Year, which, okay, Fighters Only is a UK publication or whatever. They renamed it for 2010, and fighters “outside the Americas” are eligible. Now I’m not sure of the point. Every winner of the award (including the original Euro winners) had a presence in the United States the year they won. Plus, MMA is a global sport, and international fighters aren’t disqualified or handicapped from winning Fighter of the Year proper. The first three winners were non-Americans Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre (who technically isn’t eligible for International Fighter of the Year anyway), and Jose Aldo. You could always present a non-UFC Fighter of the Year and prevent things like…

3. Emanuel Newton nominated for Fighter of the Year.

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Crazy Enough to Be True: Ten Wild MMA Predictions for 2015


(Heading into 2015, these are the two most famous people associated with MMA. I’ve got nothing snarky to add to that.)

By Seth Falvo

With yet another year coming to an end, CagePotato.com is reviving an old holiday tradition: MMA predictions for the upcoming year that are so wild and outrageous that some of them might actually come to fruition. If you’re looking to read statements along the lines of “JOSE ALDO REMAINS DOMINANT AT FEATHERWEIGHT YOU GUYZZZ,” kindly move along; there are plenty of other two-bit MMA writers “brave” enough to state such obvious things for you. Still here? Then let’s grab some eggnog and see what 2015 has in store for us.

1. CM Punk‘s First UFC Opponent Won’t Even Have a Sherdog Profile When the Fight Is First Announced.

Look, the last thing that I want to do is get all high and mighty about the UFC’s decision to sign CM Punk; the UFC is a sports entertainment company, so why wouldn’t they sign the hottest free agent in sports entertainment? But at the same time, Punk’s qualifications to fight in the major leagues are non-existent. We’re dealing with a guy who, up to this point, has dabbled in jiu-jitsu and sparred a few times. Forget a UFC-caliber fighter — most people can’t even beat an experienced amateur fighter after less than a year of serious training. So let’s not even joke about whether or not CM Punk’s first UFC opponent will have his own Wikipedia page, because he obviously won’t. If the UFC expects any sane athletic commission to sanction a bout featuring Punk, they’re going to have to find somebody so obscure that not even the folks at Sherdog will know who he is.

2. A Member of the Official UFC Rankings Committee Is Accused of Partaking in a “Pay for Rankings” Scandal.

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The Top Ten Worst UFC Rankings Panelists


(Darren Uyenoyama was released by the UFC after going 0-2 last year. At the time of this writing, three different UFC ranking panelists still have him listed as a top 10 flyweight. Read on for more disturbing facts! / Photo via Getty)

By Cody Severtson

“These panelists may have a direct effect on how much fighters get paid.”

I kept telling myself that as I filtered through each UFC panelist’s ranking data, shaking my head in total disbelief.

For quite some time, MMA media, fighters and fans alike campaigned for better fighter pay. With the UFC announcing a six-year sponsorship deal with Reebok this past Tuesday (totaling an estimated $70 million), we were told that every penny would go into the fighters’ pockets. After all, the UFC’s primary reason for making this deal was to add a layer of professionalism to their organization, one which would make them in a way, similar to other major sports organizations.

So say goodbye to the fight banners, the sponsor-covered shorts, and the walkout shirts! For the next six years, it’s Reebok only, baby! Any sponsors that the fighters and their managers have already secured will be banned from being visible inside the Octagon. Depending on the loyalty of sponsors, we could end up seeing a lot more of this. Conversely, if the UFC does overhaul the ranking system and a fair pay structure is implemented, sponsor loyalty won’t be an issue. A new ranking system should provide an unbiased/accurate/educated selection of each division’s top 15 — a system that will award the UFC’s athletes with the fair and adequate sponsorship money they deserve.

As of right now, a fighter’s sponsorship cut will be tied directly to where they sit in the UFC rankings. That’s right… the same rankings done by the always reliable UFC-approved voting panelists. According to DFW, the current panelist voting system will soon be updated; White aims to narrow down the current field of panelists to a select few “legitimate, credible and ethical guys” in order to gain better results. Unfortunately for White, every “legitimate, credible, and ethical guy” in MMA media has already recognized the blatant conflict of interest this system presents and has refused to participate in the ranking system.

With that said, I have put together a list of the 10 worst panelists currently contributing to the UFC’s divisional rankings. Let’s get started.

10. Bruno Massami (GazetaEsportiva.net)Sergio Pettis came into the UFC with a lot of hype, he was undefeated, the former RFA flyweight champion, and Anthony Pettis’s younger brother. Sergio won his bantamweight debut against short notice opponent and former #9 flyweight Will Campuzano. However, he followed his debut with a submission loss to the unranked Alex Caceres, before bouncing back with a forgettable decision victory over unranked Yaotzin Meza. Massami, like many panelists, may have personal favorites in the UFC, but rankings must be unbiased, objective, and logical. None of those criteria apply when Massami placed Sergio as the #10 bantamweight.

9. Steve Juon (Wrestling Observer) – From my analysis the bantamweight division appeared to give most panelists problems. The division itself had 101 records of questionable rankings. The closest division to having as many problems was middleweight with 28 recorded rankings issues. Now when I analyzed my data it wasn’t just a matter of pointing out who had Tim Kennedy at #7 when I think he should be #8. No, I noted every instance of downright BAD ranking. Steve Juon apparently missed the last few years of the bantamweight division as this is how he has the top names in the division seeded…

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The Top Ten Times Dana White Buried His Own Fighters


(Warning: The Danascowl has appeared. Brace for impact. / Photo via Getty)

By Mike Fagan

They say pimping ain’t easy, and that’s probably true for promoting too. (There’s a whole host of other uncomfortable comparisons to be made between the two professions as well.) Pimping is probably a lot harder when you constantly denigrate your talent. “Yeah, Mary? She makes a weird squealing noise when you bang her. But hey, it’s your money.” Yet, that’s exactly what UFC president Dana White does. Here are the top ten instances of Dana White burying his own fighters.

Honorable Mention: Antonio Silva

The UFC buried him. Literally.

10. (Tie) Kenny Florian and Nate Marquardt

Kenny Florian and Nate Marquardt are two very different people. Where Florian is a suave, dark-haired Massachusetts lifer, Marquardt is a ginger mountain man who made sure to list himself first and foremost as a Christian on his Twitter bio. They have one thing in common though: Dana White called them both chokers.

Nate Marquardt lost a close fight to Yushin Okami at UFC 122. Okami was 9-2 in the UFC heading into the fight, and would go on to fight Anderson Silva for the title in his next appearance. That didn’t stop Dana White from calling Marquardt a choker and blasting the Greg Jackson-led corner (more on him in a bit!) for telling Marquardt he was leading on points.

As for Florian, White said he didn’t want to “take anything away from Gray Maynard” and wasn’t “bad-mouthing” or “trying to disrespect” Florian after UFC 118. But that’s exactly what he did when he said Florian “chokes in big fights” before reducing his performance to standing and staring at Maynard. Florian’s five UFC losses came to Diego Sanchez, Sean Sherk, B.J. Penn, Maynard, and Jose Aldo — all champions or title challengers. Maybe, just maybe, the overachieving Florian just wasn’t on their level?

9. Jose Aldo

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The 7 Biggest UFC Busts of All Time: 2014 Edition

It’s been quite a while since we first penned our list of the 7 Biggest UFC Busts of All Time, and a lot has changed in the time since. While some of our choices are even more relevant now than they were when the list was originally published in July of 2009, most of them seem either inaccurate or simply out of date in light of current circumstances. Knowing what we know now, we’ve decided to update our list to align with today’s MMA landscape. Enjoy.

#7 – Robert Drysdale

Robert Drysdale had already achieved the distinction of being one of the most credentialed Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitors and sought-after coaches in all of MMA when he signed with the UFC last year. He had also picked up six straight first round submissions in professional competition, and was primed to make some huge waves in the UFC’s light heavyweight division.

But oh, if only it were that simple. Drysdale was first scheduled to take on Ednaldo Oliveira at UFC 163 until he was forced out of the bout at the last minute due to a “lingering staph infection” and definitely not the fact that he had been denied a therapeutic use exemption for TRT days prior. He was then scheduled to face Cody Donovan at UFC 167, but was denied licensure after an out-of-competition drug test came back with an absolutely absurd 19.4:1 testosterone-to-epitestosterone (T/E) ratio.

You’d think the UFC would have shitcanned Drysdale right then and there, but The Baldfather is nothing if not a softie for guys with a great ground game (lol!). Drysdale was given another shot at the TUF 19 Finale in July, and to his credit, he actually managed to show up and submit Keith Berish in just over 2 minutes. The post-fight drug test, however, would reveal that Drysdale was once again competing with an unnatural level of testosterone flowing through his veins. But hey, at least his T/E ratio was only 12:1 this time!

One fight. Two failed drug tests. And to our knowledge, Drysdale is still employed by the UFC. Let’s hope he can get his sh*t together long enough to pick up one legitimate win before all is said and done.

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Throwback Thursday: Alistair Overeem’s Eight Greatest Squash Match Performances


(Simon says, “Die.” Photo via sescoopes)

If the bookies are to be believed, Alistair Overeem should tear through Ben Rothwell like tissue paper at Fight Night Mashantucket tomorrow. Currently listed as high as a 7 to 1 favorite over “Big” Ben, Overeem is already making some pretty bold claims about his next run at a title, which cannot possibly backfire a second time. Hell, Overeem might even throw Anthony Johnson a pity beatdown on his way to said title, just for kicks. He’s THAT confident.

Then again, confidence has never really been an issue for Overeem, and it’s easy to see why. When he is paired up against anyone less than a top contender, Overeem fights as if he’s been beamed down from a distant planet (let’s call it, “Pectoria”) to remind us humans of how puny and insignificant we are in the grand scheme of it all. Even his nickname, “The Demolition Man”, is otherworldly in its awesomeness.

And while it’s true that Overeem has struggled against upper echelon competition throughout his career, it’s also true that there isn’t a fighter alive who crushes cans quite like he does (not that Rothwell is by any means a can). Ubereem is the foremost purveyor of squash matches, indeed, so let these eight videos serve as a testament to his greatness.

In Which The Uber Makes Gary Goodridge Cry Out in Agony

By the time Gary Goodridge got around to fighting Alistair Overeem, he was a 42-year-old (though oddly enough, introduced as 32) relic of his former self who was waist deep in the eight-fight losing streak that would end his MMA career. Overeem, on the other hand, had just obliterated Mirko Cro Cop‘s testicles at DREAM 6. To say that these men’s careers were heading in opposite directions would be a slight understatement.

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Renaming ‘The Four Horsewomen’: Six Pro-Wrestling Stables That Better Describe the Group


(The Iconic Four Horsewomen: Ronda Rousey [not pictured], Three Other Chicks, and King Kong Bundy in a dress. Photo courtesy of TitoCouture.com)

By Seth Falvo

“If you’re gonna take a baseball bat to a Horseman, finish the job! Because there’s one rule of gang fighting. See, we are the original gang and we’re the most vicious in all of professional wrestling history. They send one of yours to the hospital, you send two of theirs to the morgue.”

Arn Anderson, Horseman. August 5, 1996.

Those four sentences do more than anyone else could possibly hope to do in order to establish why “The Four Horsewomen” are anything but. On Saturday night, Horsewoman Shayna Baszler had the opportunity to get revenge on Bethe Correia, the fighter who outpointed Horsewoman Jessamyn Duke at UFC 172 and proceeded to downright ether the stable during her victory celebration. Not to ruin the outcome, but let’s just say that The Four Horsewomen now have to send four of Bethe’s friends to the morgue if they’re still trying to push that angle.

That the legendary Four Horsemen never feuded with nobodies like Hardbody Harrison — and sure as hell never jobbed to sub-.500 fighters — is completely besides the point. “The Four Horsewomen” have become such a tired joke that even mocking people who criticize how loosely they resemble The Four Horsemen on your social media accounts is completely worn out. Since we’re all in agreement that they need a new name, let’s look to some professional wrestling stables who The Four Horsewomen have resembled far more closely. Here are six that fit the description…

The Wyatt Family


A backwoods cult that’s gotten tremendously over with professional wrestling fans, despite accomplishing very little of note.
Why it works: Both factions are led by a compelling, charismatic eccentric.
Why it doesn’t: No offense to Bray Wyatt, but Ronda Rousey has accomplished far, far too much for this comparison to work.

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25 Things You Can Do Between Fights During a UFC on FOX Sports 1 Broadcast


(26. Stare at this picture of Dana White for 45 minutes. / Photo via Getty)

The gap between fights on FS1 broadcasts is massive. We realized it was senseless to just watch all the commercials. Instead, let’s all be productive with our time. Here’s a list of several (but not all) things you can do during the huge amount of time in between fights.

1. Watch several fights from a previous UFC PPV on Fight Pass.

2. Go get ice cream or pizza.

3. Perform the recommended amount of daily exercise.

4. Read a chapter from the latest trendy YA novel.

5. Try to educate the heathens next to you at Buffalo Wild Wings about the finer points of MMA.

6. Do DDP Yoga.

7. Read a chapter from Matt Hughesautobiography (don’t worry, it’s not exactly War and Peace).

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Five of the Greatest UFC Washouts Competing Today


(Photo via Getty)

Over the weekend, welterweight scrapper Josh Neer picked up his third straight win since being ousted from the UFC for a third time back in February of 2013 with a first round armbar over Travis Coyle, capturing the VFC (so close!) welterweight title in the process. It was a victory that may very well earn “The Dentist” yet another chance in the octagon, where he may very well washout yet again in four or so fights.

With all due respect, that’s just the level of fighter Neer seems to be; a perpetual gamer with good enough skills to destroy anyone on the local circuit while never quite being able to establish himself in the big leagues — which is saying something for a guy who holds victories over the likes of Melvin Guillard, Duane Ludwig, and Mac Danzig. But while Neer may never be a title holder in the UFC or even a contender, it would be hard to deny that he’s one of the most dangerous guys competing outside of it today.

Here are five more of those guys, listed in no particular order.

Josh Burkman 

A staple of the UFC’s welterweight division during the late aughts, Josh “The People’s Warrior” Burkman has had the most unexpected non TRT-induced career resurgence this side of Mark Hunt. After receiving his walking papers following a unanimous decision loss to Pete Sell at UFC 90 (with a 5-6 record overall), Burman all but vanished from the public eye. The reason behind his disappearance was similar to that of countless MMA veterans before him: Injury.

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The 21 Best Accessories in MMA History


(Alistair Overeem wielding Mjolnir / Photo via Getty)

Sometimes fans need more to remember a fighter by than just a performance or a gimmick. They need an accessory to associate that fighter with–and the very best fighters understand this and know how to accessorize.

We brainstormed at Castle CagePotato as to what accessory was the greatest of all time. After several thought-sessions ended in magic ice cream binges and Martin Luther cosplay sessions, we decided to just list off all the best ones rather than just decide which one among them was the best:

1. Fedor Emelianenko’s sweater.

2. Donald Cerrone‘s cowboy hat.

3. Khabib Nurmagomedov‘s Dagestani hat.

4. David Rickels’ caveman club and dinosaur.

Get the rest after the jump!

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