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10 Defining Fights in the Unknowable Life of Fedor Emelianenko


(“Mr. Fedor thinks you are a very amusing little man. He would enjoy it very much to see you dance for him … Dance! Dance, I say!” PicProps: Fedor’s Website)

Even by his own lofty standards for peculiarity, Fedor Emelianenko had a pretty enigmatic week in America leading up to his second appearance inside the Strikeforce cage. When he wasn’t no-showing scheduled appointments or turning interviews into literal games of telephone by funneling his quotes through a comically long series of interpreters and middlemen, Fedor plodded through his obligations to hype tonight’s fight against Fabricio Werdum with the same kind of indecipherable stoicism he usually shows his doomed opponents.

Amid rumors that his retirement was imminent and that he was planning a life in politics at home in mother Russia (both of which he’s denied), the whole circus served only to remind us how little we really know about Fedor. Aside from a few half-hour Showtime specials, a handful of feature stories — the best known of which was actually written by M-1 executive Evgeni Kogan, so it has to be considered no more substantive than an M-1 press release – and his own stilted and translated post-fight interviews, there is shockingly little primary source material on Emelianenko.

What we’re told, over and over again, is this: Because of his old-school Soviet sensibilities and deeply religious nature, Fedor has no need for fame or for money and apparently has no desire to be known or understood by the fans who’ve elevated him to near God-like status in hardcore MMA circles. He’s a simple, conservative-minded man who chooses to live in relative seclusion, train with a select group of close friends and views nearly everything else as bothersome, needless distraction. Yeah, that last part made him sound a little bit more like Brock Lesnar than any of you are comfortable with admitting, huh?

But as much as he remains a mystery outside the cage, he’s given us ample evidence of what’s capable of inside it. In preparation for tonight’s bout with Werdum, we give you our choices for the 10 fights that have, in different ways, defined his career thus far …

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The 7 Most Triumphant Losses in MMA History

Losing isn’t always the end of the world. Sometimes, taking an ass-kicking — or getting screwed out of a well-deserved victory — can be the best thing for a fighter’s career. Don’t believe us? We’ll start with one that should still be fresh in your minds…

#7: Jason Brilz‘s split-decision loss to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
UFC 114, 5/29/10
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira Jason Brilz UFC 114
(Early front-runner for Punch Face of 2010. Photo courtesy of UFC.com)

What happened: Lil’ Nog was originally supposed to face Forrest Griffin at UFC 114, until Griff was struck down by a shoulder injury three-and-a-half weeks before the event. The UFC had to book a replacement, and fast, so they called up wrestling specialist Jason Brilz. Like a true warrior, Brilz put down his beer, blew off his 10-year wedding anniversary, and stepped up to the plate. On paper, he should have been destroyed by the sharp hands and top-flight experience of Nogueira. Instead, Brilz nearly choked Nog out with a guillotine in the second round, wobbled him with strikes, out-wrestled him, and arguably controlled the majority of the fight. But after the last horn sounded and the scores were added up, only one judge saw it his way.

Victory in defeat:
If you didn’t know who Jason Brilz was before last weekend’s show, you do now. Brilz picked up even more classy-points by not bitching about the decision: "I’m not upset. Sure, I’d have liked to win. Everybody likes to win. I think I went out there and I proved to people, but more importantly I proved to myself, that I can compete with the top dogs. That’s sort of what I’ve been aiming for my whole career.” We don’t know exactly what Jason’s future holds, but it’s looking a lot brighter now. The $65,000 bonus check probably doesn’t hurt either.

#6: Jon Jones‘s disqualification loss to Matt Hamill
TUF 10 Finale, 12/5/09
Jon Jones Matt Hamill TUF 10 Finale

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The Top 10 Conspiracy Theories in MMA


(“Hey sweetheart, you ever seen the missing frames from the Zapruder film? Would you like to?”)

If MMA folks sometimes seem a little suspicious that The Man is out to get them it’s because there was a time in the sport’s short history when The Man really was out to get them, and not just in the Rampage-Jackson-on-the-55-Freeway kind of way. A number of factors, including efforts by finagling lawmakers to kill MMA in the late ’90s and the glut of misinformation about the sport that still percolates in many mainstream media reports, have created a bit of a bunker mentality among its hardcore supporters.

At this point, when events fall apart, judges issue hinky decisions or another fledgling organization goes under, some of us are all too quick to assume that it’s the work of sinister forces beyond our control. Whether true or not, MMA’s past is rife with rumors of secret plots, backroom deals and widespread collusion.

In light of that, here are CagePotato.com’s Top 10 MMA Conspiracy Theories. Many of them you’ve probably heard before, but perhaps a few will be new to you. Some are ludicrous, while others probably contain a kernel of truth. At least a few are enough to make a man question everything he thought he knew about life and the universe around him.

The truth is out there, motherfuckers.

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The Ten Most Notorious Lawsuits in MMA History

Quinton Rampage Jackson courtroom trail lawsuit mohawk
("Objection, your honor! There’s no way Mr. Jackson can do justice to the character of B.A. Baracus!")

By CagePotato contributor Jim Genia

Last week, legendary promoter/murderer Don King filed a legal injunction against the Shine Fights organization to put the kibosh on their “Worlds Collide: Mayorga vs. Thomas” main event, a bout that would’ve seen pugilist Ricardo Mayorga — whom King manages in the realm of boxing — take on UFC vet Din Thomas in the pro boxer’s MMA debut. Though the event’s subsequent collapse can’t completely be blamed on King, his legal cock-blocking of the headlining attraction certainly didn’t help.

Of course, this isn’t the first time a handful of legal documents and a judge have affected the MMA world, and though the history of the sport is a relatively short one, it’s a history rife with broken contracts, copyright infringements and countless other court-based fisticuffs. Who’s filed a lawsuit against whom? How many fighters know too well the insides of a courtroom? What happens when you sell the UFC a lemon? The answers to these questions and more can be found when examining the top ten lawsuits in MMA history.

10) Zuffa v. The Ghost of Pride: There’s an old Greek saying that goes, “Buying from the Yakuza is like passing out at Mike Whitehead‘s house — one way or another you’re going to get screwed.” Zuffa learned this the hard way when they purchased the Pride Fighting Championship from Dream Stage Entertainment, for they soon discovered that the whole thing had been held together by organized crime money and Scotch Tape (and not even real Scotch Tape, but that cheap knockoff stuff you buy at the dollar store). Consequently, in February 2008, Zuffa filed suit against DSE alleging that they were sold a clunker. DSE in turn countersued, complaining that Zuffa went back on its promise to keep Pride alive.

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Black Eyes: MMA’s 13 Most Shameful Moments of All Time


(You can’t mention MMA and black eyes in a story without a "what’s up" to Rich "perma-periorbital hematoma" Franklin)

With the recent rash of unfortunate post-fight antics and TMZ newsworthy stories that seem to have plagued mixed martial arts in recent months, Cage Potato has saved you a whole lot of Googling and have compiled our list of the 13 biggest black eyes the sport has experienced over the years.

*Note: If the first fight you ever watched was Bobby Southworth vs. Lodune Sincaid, chances are you may not recognize the bulk of the fighters named below.

The list (in no particular order) is after the jump.

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Six MMA Rule Changes That Need to Happen Immediately


(Also, groin kicks will be allowed in cases when one fighter clearly had it coming.)

By CagePotato contributor Jim Genia

In the beginning it was anything goes, with 200-pound karate stylists taking on 600-pound sumo wrestlers and Brazilians feverishly jumping up and down shouting “Vale tudo! Vale tudo!” as they beat opponents with sticks. For a new American promotion called the Ultimate Fighting Championship this made for some serious pay-per-view buy rates, but it also made the general public somewhat upset, so rules were introduced. Suddenly gone was the wrestler’s ability to run down his foe with a tractor. Also gone was the kickboxer’s ability to use a prison-shiv. With a new list of fouls and weight classes, “no-holds-barred fighting” became the MMA we know and love today. Unfortunately, over the course of ten years the evolution of the sport has created a new set of problems, and the time has come to implement some very necessary additional rule changes. Here, in no particular order, are the six most important:

A Two-Round Limit on Dry-Humping
When ground-and-pound turns into lay-and-pray and it becomes painfully obvious that the guy on the bottom can’t stop takedowns and the guy on top couldn’t out-grapple a passed-out teenager on prom night, then watching what transpires is akin to torture. At the last Strikeforce/CBS outing, we learned by round 3 that Gegard Mousasi knew no wrestling and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal knew nothing but wrestling. Every round after that was like watching Twister ™ night at the retirement home: boring, horrifying and sad. There needs to be a two-round limit on dry-humping — maybe stand them up immediately or let them duel with pistols at 20 paces. Anything is better than five rounds of man-loving-man.

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Videos: The Top Five Worst MMA Ideas

Sometimes in mixed martial arts, ideas to improve or add to the sport are born, that, although they may seem like great notions at the time, often aren’t. Even the creators of the world’s most popular MMA promotion have had their flops. We’re just glad there were people there to film them.

Here are the CagePotato Top Five Worst MMA Ideas:

#5 - EliteXC: Kimbo Slice vs. Seth Petruzelli

Sure Kimbo may have made it to the UFC in spite of this fight, but besides a recurring night-sweat inducing nightmare for Gary Shaw EliteXc is just a punchline in MMA history.

More vids after the jump.

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The Ten Sorriest Excuses In MMA History


(This is why B.J Penn still wakes up some nights in a terror, convinced that he’s covered in Vaseline and his own blood.)

Whether we want to admit it or not, excuses are as much a part of mixed martial arts as Tapout tees and fist-pose photographs. They have to be. In a world where you must talk yourself into believing that you’re either the baddest man in your weight class or else on your way to becoming it, a loss is something you have to find some way to reconcile, or else have your identity destroyed. That other dude couldn’t have won just because he was the better fighter. No, surely there’s a reason for this temporary setback, and chances are it’s very detailed and probably a little bit ridiculous.

In honor of the post-defeat excuse in MMA, we give you ten of the worst and weirdest attempts to explain away an ass-kicking. They aren’t necessarily untrue (though some are demonstrably untrue), but neither can they turn that L into a W. The best you can hope for is that they make sleeping at night just a little easier for the people who uttered them.

10. Mark Coleman couldn’t afford a proper training camp

(Don’t forget those elbows to the back of the head, either.)

Who beat him: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
When: UFC 93, 1/17/09
Why: When Mark Coleman gassed out like a car owned by Mark Coleman against “Shogun” Rua in his return to the UFC, we initially assumed it was a sign of age. The man was forty-four years old, after all, which for some guys is the age where a strenuous day of yard work can land them in bed for a week. But Coleman cited a different reason after the fight, saying, “I didn’t have any money for a training camp before this fight. Those things cost money and I just couldn’t afford it.”
Why it’s plausible: Coleman is notoriously and permanently broke. Also, you saw how bad he looked in that fight, right?
Why it isn’t: Whether he could afford Randy Couture’s customized diet and trampoline gyms or not, Coleman knew he was headed into a pro fight and it was his responsibility to prepare. Plenty of broke fighters working side jobs at Jiffy Lube manage to get in shape, and without the promise of a big payday. It shouldn’t be so much to ask for a UFC Hall of Famer to do the same.

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The 12 Hottest Women in MMA

Between the ring girls, apparel models, television hosts, and the lady-fighters themselves, MMA is a damn fine sport to follow if you appreciate beautiful women. (And my God, do we ever.) So we figured, why not throw together our favorite females from all corners of the fight game and see how they stack up against each other? Enjoy the pics, and let us know how you’d rank ‘em in the comments section. And if you like this list, Digg it!

#12) MIESHA TATE
Miesha Tate hot MMA fighter
Hot Contender: Spending her high school years on the boys’ wrestling team gave Miesha Tate the grit she needed to fight in cages for a living. These days, "Takedown Tate" is one of the top-ten 135-pound female fighters in the world, and the combination of her nasty ground-and-pound and natural sex appeal has made her a rising star. You can see Miesha in action next month at Strikeforce Challengers 7 as she takes on Zoila Frausto. 
Miesha Tate hot MMA fighter Miesha Tate hot MMA fighter Miesha Tate hot MMA fighter

#11) LAURA CELESTE
Laura Celeste hot MMA model
Hot East Coast Girl: A native of Staten Island, Laura is a local legend among MMA fans in New York and New Jersey thanks to her ring-girl appearances for fight clubs like Ring of Combat and Asylum Fight League. As a professional hot chick, she has tremendous upside; let’s hope this exciting prospect gets her shot at the majors sooner rather than later.
Lauara Celeste sexy MMA modelLaura Celeste hot MMA modelLaura Celeste hot MMA model toplessLaura Celeste hot sexy MMA model ass

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The Hammer: Mark Coleman’s 5 Greatest MMA Moments


(Skip to the 3:15 mark to hear Coleman’s thoughts on the rule changes in MMA that forced him to "learn a lot of other skills.")

Those of you who became MMA fans somewhere between "Iron Ring" and “Bully Beatdown” might not realize this, but there was a time when Mark Coleman was a holy terror as a fighter. We know, he didn’t look like it against Randy Couture at UFC 109, but give the guy a break. He’s 45 years-old and has been using his body (and sometimes his head) as a weapon to hurt other men since 1996. That stuff is bound to take a toll on you, which is why Couture is the exception and not the rule.

After his loss on Saturday night it now seems like Coleman is done, or at least done in the UFC.  At the very real risk of eulogizing Coleman’s career too soon, as we did with Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic’s – Christ, doesn’t anyone quit this sport when they should? – we’d like to pay tribute to the monster Coleman used to be by looking back at some of his finest MMA moments.

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