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Submission Namesakes: Five Fighters and the Holds That Bear Their Names


(Does a Kimura by any other name hurt just as much? Pic: JudoInfo.com)

To enter the cage, to square off against another man trained to hurt you, makes you a tough guy. To make him surrender—the fight, his pride, his win bonus, his status in the sport—makes you a fighter. To become so proficient, so inventive in the art of submission that they name a particular form of kicking another man’s ass in your honor, that makes you immortal. One by one these men will fall, each and every one of them, but every time a limb is cranked, every time a man is rendered unconscious, their legacy will live on. Here’s a tribute to five men whose names grace the finer side of fighting.

The Kimura

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NostradaMMAs: Four Future UFC Rematches and How They’ll Turn Out

Tito Ortiz Rashad Evans UFC 73 draw MMA photos
(Ah, 2007 — when picking up a draw against Tito Ortiz could be the greatest accomplishment of a fighter’s career.)

By Jared ‘DangadaDang” Jones

In a sport where upsets come as easily as a lone, well placed punch, the rematch has become not only commonplace, but a huge commodity for the UFC as well. Fight fans worldwide have embraced the rematch because they offer a chance to witness a fighter’s redemption first-hand. Sometimes these matches provide us with instant classics, and set in place the even more lucrative Trilogy, while others serve only to confirm what we already knew.

Tito Ortiz, the man behind some of the UFC’s most profitable rematches and trilogies, is looking to continue his path to redemption and possibly contendership (!) when he takes on Rashad Evans at UFC 133. Though the odds are against him, his recent win over Ryan Bader proved to us that he can still choke someone out when it’s called for. (No Brett, you’re doing it wrong.) And since Ortiz stepped up to the plate, so shall I. Here are four upcoming UFC rematches and how I believe they will go down…

Tito Ortiz vs. Rashad Evans – UFC 133
Tito Ortiz Rashad Evans UFC 73
(Click image to watch video.)

What happened the first time: Ortiz was able to secure a takedown within the opening minute of the fight, giving him the edge in a grappling-and-clinch-heavy first round, but after repeatedly grabbing the fence in the second frame, referee Big John McCarthy deducted one point from Ortiz, nullifying a round he would have won. Rashad was able to mount some offense in the third and secure a takedown of his own, resulting in a draw across the board.

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Odd Men Out: Five UFC Stars With Uncertain Futures

They had all the momentum in the world — and then it fell apart. Whether it was due to poorly-timed losses, fan-unfriendly fighting styles, or both, these UFC fighters have reached a holding pattern in their careers, and will need a few dramatic performances to break out of it…

Demian Maia

After kicking his UFC career off with five-straight submission victories, Demian Maia began drawing comparisons to Royce Gracie Himself. A 21-second knockout loss at the hands of Nate Marquardt put the reins on his hype, and a bland stretch of five consecutive decisions — including his debacle of a loss to Anderson Silva and his most recent defeat by Mark Munoz — snuffed that hype out for good. It’s not just that Maia’s been relegated to the middle of the pack. With all the heat generated by outspoken middleweight contenders like Chael Sonnen, Chris Leben, Michael Bisping, and now Jason Miller, Maia is barely a blip on the radar these days.

Miguel Torres

(Photo props: Ed Mulholland)
From 2004-2009, Torres racked up 17 straight wins (15 by stoppage), won the WEC’s bantamweight title and defended it three times in breathtaking fashion. Not only was he one of the most dangerous fighters in the sport, he was also one of the most consistently entertaining. Back-to-back stoppage losses to Brian Bowles and Joseph Benavidez changed all that. Torres re-located his training camp to Tristar gym in Montreal and re-emerged as a more cautious, measured fighter who jabbed a lot. It was the right choice for his fight record, as he won his next two matches against Charlie Valencia and Antonio Banuelos, but it was clear that we weren’t watching the same mulleted buzzsaw that we knew and loved. Then, at UFC 130, he got outwrestled by undersized up-and-comer Demetrious Johnson. No more win streak, no more fan-favorite cred — Torres is back at square one.

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If You Can’t Make It, Fake It: The Five Least-Successful Crossover Stars in MMA History

James Toney UFC MMA walkout shirt
(James Toney, shown above with one boxing glove, one MMA glove, and an artist’s depiction of what he might look like if he lost 85 pounds.)

By Jared “DangadaDang” Jones

During its rise to popularity, Mixed Martial Arts has become known for the incredible physical conditioning, talent, and (depending whose side you’re on) heart of its athletes. It is a sport built on dedication; simply put, no amount of pink gloves and flirting with overweight TUF alums will make you an MMA fighter.

But as with any sport’s increase in mass appeal, MMA has seen its share of hacks, wannabes, scallywags and jabronis attempting to grab 15 more minutes of fame through a career in “that Ultimate Fighting stuff.” In light of James Toney’s continuing efforts to shake the MMA world with the use of side check kicks, I give you the five worst instances of C-to-D-list celebrities giving MMA the old community-college try.

5. Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson
Kimbo Slice MMA UFC photos

The phrase “meteoric rise” comes to mind — one minute you were watching Kimbo smoke blunts in the background of semi-public orgies and the next he was being touted as the most formidable opponent to take Brock Lesnar’s crown. Mr. Ferguson landed on our radars through a series of brutal street fight videos in which he fought guys named “Afro Puff,” “Byrd,” “Chico,” and “Mayor McCheese.” These internet videos went viral so ferociously that the now-defunct EliteXC built him up to be their marquee star by feeding him other hopeless big lugs like “Bo” and “Tank.”

Kimbo was given his first “legitimate” opponent in James Thompson as the headlining bout of EliteXC: Primetime in May 2008. Despite possibly tapping to a guillotine in the first round and being on the receiving end of over 1,000 elbows in the second, Kimbo was able to pull off a rare standing-TKO of Thompson late in the third. (Good lookin’ out, Dan.)

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Five of the Worst Weight Cuts in MMA History


(“Can you tell me what the scale says? I can’t see over my cheekbones.” Props: CombatLifestyle)

By Ben Goldstein

Tired of fad diets? As MMA fighters have proven for years, the best way to effectively take off pounds is to dehydrate yourself until you nearly die — a miraculous system known as “brutal weight cutting.” Here are some of the sport’s greatest success stories…

Sean McCorkle
Lost: 55 pounds in three months, before his submission win over Mark Hunt at UFC 119 (9/25/10)

After charming his way into a UFC contract, Indiana-based super-heavyweight Sean McCorkle was faced with a dilemma — making 265 pounds for the first time since middle school. “Big Sexy” had 12 weeks to come down from his walking weight of 320, which forced him to get very familiar with chicken breast, apples, and oatmeal.

By weigh-in day, it seemed like the world was conspiring against him. “The cut was an absolute nightmare, and the commission scales were off the morning of the weigh-in,” McCorkle explained. “I told them that and the commission said they weren’t. I said I couldn’t possibly be three pounds heavier [on the day of weigh-ins] than I was last night when I didn’t eat or drink anything. So I went to cut an extra three pounds that morning. It took me two hours to cut the weight. Then I weighed in at 263 pounds and I wanted to strangle somebody.” Compared to that, making Mark Hunt cry “uncle” with an armlock was the easy part.

Jake Shields
Lost: 20 pounds in one day before his split-decision win over Martin Kampmann at UFC 121 (10/23/10)

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The 11 Greatest MMA Ring Girl Videos of All Time

UFC ring girls Chandella Arianny Brittney photos videos MMA ring girl videos
(They’re even better when you add motion and sound. Props: UFC.com)

As you’re well aware, CagePotato is a passionate supporter of professional hot chicks. But instead of throwing another photo gallery at you this week, we thought we’d switch it up and pay tribute to the best MMA ring girl videos we’ve ever come across. If we’ve left out one of your favorites, please post a link in the comments section. Enjoy…

#11: Rachelle Leah Gets Surprised in Her Hotel Room

Gratuitous semi-nudity is the best kind of semi-nudity. Damn, nice abs.

#10: Ali Sonoma and Arianny Celeste Shoot for Muscle Pharm

Ali Sonoma is another UFC Octagon Girl Hall of Famer, and she’s never looked better than in this clip. When you see the photographer start to drone on and on, just skip to 2:37 for more Ali.

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The 16 Most Notorious Arrests in MMA History


(Spit-bags: The sure sign of a bad time. Photo courtesy of TMZ.)

By Ben Goldstein and Jason Moles

The rule applies in any profession: For every law-abiding nice-guy, there’s an unstable son-of-a-bitch who you’d never want to leave your kids alone with. And so, we decided to take a ride through MMA’s shadowy history of assault, robbery, vandalism, drug-smuggling, and other nasty behavior — the most infamous examples of fighters living dangerously and paying the price…

#16: Jeff Monson
Arrested for: First-degree malicious mischief; assault on a female and injury to real property

It’s never a good idea to have evidence of your law-breaking published nationally. In a bizarre lapse of judgment, heavyweight veteran Jeff Monson was busted after he allowed ESPN the Magazine to photograph him spray-painting an anarchy symbol on the Washington state capitol building. Though the charge packed a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, the Snowman was able to plead down to three months. Just days later, Monson was arrested again when a domestic dust-up with one of his many love-interests resulted in an overturned grandfather clock and a fist-shaped hole in the wall; those charges were later dismissed.

#15: Kim Couture
Arrested for: Domestic violence

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Video Tribute: MMA’s Eight Greatest Public Service Announcements


(Look, we only have this at the top because we couldn’t find that clip of Krazy Horse telling kids to “stay in school, and don’t f*ck with drugs.”)

By Matthew “The Fight Nerd” Kaplowitz

The public service announcement has been part of American culture for decades. Popularized by the perpetually foxy Nancy Reagan in the ’80s, the PSA has taught us everything from not smoking crack to not dumping a pot of boiling oil on your face, and a whole bunch of other not’s. It has also served as a way to punish celebrities and athletes who did something incredibly stupid and got caught.

MMA fighters eventually began to get roped into this as the popularity of the sport rose; some are good, while others should be avoided as much as strangers in pick-up trucks who offer to let you see their puppy. That is why today I present to you the top eight public service announcements featuring MMA fighters. Why? Because knowing is half the battle…

8. Randy Couture VS Crystal Meth

Just say no to drugs! Randy Couture enters the battle against Methamphetamines in this PSA, because when you think crystal meth, think Randy Couture. For a video that is meant to appear sad and claustrophobic, it comes off like an amateur snuff film and loses its impact with the soft-spoken UFC veteran.

Couture has done plenty of these ads, so don’t be surprised if he pops back up on this list. Am I saying he will for sure? No, but if I did, would you stop loving me? I can’t handle any more rejection…oh man, sinking back into that pit of despair. I need some meth. But if I do that, then Randy won’t love me either. Argh, what a vicious cycle! But seriously kids, don’t do drugs. If you feel yourself losing power to your addiction, go punch a hobo instead. It’s much more fulfilling, but don’t take my word for it.

Oh, and I lied. Randy does not appear again on this list. That was the crystal meth talking.

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Rankings Spotlight: The Ultimate Fighter’s 10 Best Non-Finalists

Kyle Kingsbury Fabio Maldonado TUF 13 Finale
(Bader beat him. K-Sos beat him. Lawlor beat him. Now he’s one of the toughest prospects in the light-heavyweight division — proving once again that shaving your head is always a good career move. Photo props to UFC.com)

Not to pee-pee on Tony Ferguson‘s parade, but winning The Ultimate Fighter is no guarantee of success in the UFC. On the other hand, getting eliminated while in the TUF house is no guarantee of failure either. In fact, some of today’s most dangerous UFC contenders are guys who entered the promotion through the reality show, but didn’t even get to fight for the glass trophy. In the wake of Saturday’s TUF 13 Finale, here’s how I’d rank the Top 10 non-finalists from The Ultimate Fighter, based on their current standing in the promotion…

#1: Gray Maynard

On TUF: Was choked out by Nate Diaz in the semi-finals of season 5.
These days: Drew with Frankie Edgar in his first lightweight title challenge in January, but will get another crack at the belt later this year. His pair of title fights against Edgar follow an eight-fight win streak in the Octagon, which included a decision win against Diaz in a rematch last year.

#2: Josh Koscheck

On TUF: Lost a split-decision to Diego Sanchez in the semi-finals of season 1.
These days: A perennial top contender in the welterweight division, Kos will be one of the front-runners for the belt if GSP ever leaves the division; until then, he’ll just have to be content with being “right up there.”

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Six Likely Candidates for MMA Fighter Union President

“My thoughts concerning the state of Wisconsin repealing the collective bargaining rights of public employees? I’m glad you asked…”

Several recent, seemingly unrelated news stories in the MMA world have shared a common theme- unions. It’s the lobbying efforts of one union, Dana White insists, to blame for the UFC’s failure to gain a foothold in New York. And some pessimists credit a fear of unionized fighters–more than simple altruism–for Zuffa’s decision to provide accident insurance for its fighters. With all of the talk about a potential MMA Fighters Union, we took a moment to ponder who’s likely to throw their hat in the ring for union president…

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