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Ranking the 5 Best Signature Submissions in UFC History


(Farm Boy Strength: No can defense. Photo via Getty.)

In the brief history of the UFC, there have been a handful of submissions so unique, so brilliant, so positively Raven that they became synonymous with the fighters who dared attempt them in the octagon. That a sport as old as jiu-jitsu is still capable of evolving and expanding its techniques is a credit to the dedication and inventiveness of the modern mixed martial artist, and a fact that has led to many a thrilling moment inside the cage.

Recently, UGer Tycho made the painstaking effort of cataloging and graphing every single submission ever executed in the octagon by frequency. Not wanting to let such a thorough and digestible work simply come and go, we decided to focus on the rarest of rarities, the aforementioned “signature” submissions, and rank them according to brutality, ingenuity, and of course, brutality. Enjoy.

#5 – The Hughes Headlock (a.k.a “Dave Schultz Front Headlock”)

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Six Massive UFC Fights That Could Actually Happen in 2014


(Meanwhile, Alex’s friends were parked outside with a giant magnet. / Photo via Getty)

By Nasir Jabbar

With Georges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva, and Cain Velasquez all currently out of action due to injuries or bitter hiatuses, UFC executives will be scratching their heads trying to come up with marquee fights in 2014. But amidst this gloom, there are a few massive fights that could still happen. Some are more realistic than others, but if the stars align, these matchups would no doubt fill the void. Let’s run them down in order of probability…

Major fights within reach

Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson 2 or Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier: Very few gave Gustafsson the chance to last twenty-five minutes with the champ, let alone nearly dethrone him. The two engaged in a thrilling yet technical battle at UFC 165, which was as entertaining as it was controversial — making a rematch very interesting and potentially lucrative for the UFC. Prior to his first meeting with the Mauler, Jones had dominated every one of his opponents, which led to the New Yorker searching for his “Frazier”, the worthy rival who would define his legacy. Gustafsson could very much play that role as they look to meet again.

On the other hand, Daniel Cormier could play that role just as well. Unlike Gustafsson, Cormier has a genuine dislike towards Jones which would only add hype towards the fight. But, of course, the two potential challengers would have to get by Jimi Manuwa and Rashad Evans, respectively, to get their title shots. And of course there’s a hard-hitting Brazilian named Glover Teixeira who might derail these plans altogether.

Jose Aldo vs. BJ Penn: Incredibly, Penn is looking to become a three-weight world champion as he embarks on his unexpected new life as a featherweight. Before his year-long break from the sport, Penn had been fighting at welterweight without much success. (He hasn’t won a match since his quick knockout of Matt Hughes back in November 2010.) Penn will make his 145-pound debut against old rival Frankie Edgar as he looks to avenge, not one, but two defeats. Even though there is a connection between Penn and Aldo’s head coach Andre Pederneiras, the Prodigy would surely jump at the chance to compete for a belt.

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Five UFC Title Rematches That Urijah Faber Should Look to For Inspiration


(Photo via Getty)

By Scott Sawitz

After taking the fight on less than a month’s notice, Urijah Faber will step into the main event of UFC 169 (February 1st, Newark) against Renan Barao, who took a definitive and dominant five-round decision over the former WEC stalwart at UFC 149, for what was then supposed to be an interim title in the bantamweight division. With Dominick Cruz vacating his title due to yet another injury, Faber will have his third opportunity to win UFC gold. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have much time to prepare for Barao, who’s become one of the toughest outs in all of MMA.

Faber’s year-round commitment to being in near peak condition — a Team Alpha Male requirement, it seems — affords him this luxury of taking a fight on short notice. Over 18 months have passed since the California Kid walked out of the cage against Barao on the losing side, and what could have been Faber’s last UFC title fight has turned into something else entirely. With four wins (and three submission finishes) over highly ranked opponents marking a stellar 2013 campaign, Faber willed himself into title contention one more time by running roughshod over the UFC’s 135-pound division.

With the rematch set, and Faber looking ahead to what could (once again) be his last shot at a UFC belt, one imagines that the Duane “Bang” Ludwig-led Team Alpha Male squad has a much different game plan in mind for Faber against the Brazilian champion. Ludwig, who has spoke of his fondness for watching fight video in preparation, should have five UFC title rematches on his mind while preparing his fighter for next month’s bout. Each of these fights contain profound lessons that could help Faber become the first Team Alpha Male member to hold a UFC championship belt. Let’s begin…

Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos 2 @ UFC 155

(Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

Lesson: Make your opponent fight your game

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The 23 Worst Things About Being an MMA Fan


(Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

1. Having to explain that the UFC is not the WWE.

2. Boxing vs. MMA discussions.

3. MMA “lifestyle” brands thinking you’re a goon who’ll only wear clothes if it has skulls, wings, or a tribal pattern on it.

4. Hearing casual fans talk about Kimbo Slice every time you decide to catch a PPV at a bar.

5. Hearing non-MMA fans talk about “this rolling around on the ground” every time you decide to catch a PPV at a bar.

6. The obscene cost of being an MMA fan (PPVs, Fight Pass, etc.).

7. Other MMA fans saying you’re not a TRUE fan because…[insert bullshit reason].

8. After the fight scene in a movie or TV show, everyone glares at you because they know you’re about to bash it for how unrealistic it was.

9. Debates about who was the GOAT.

10. People still going on about how awesome Pride was. Yeah, it was awesome, but it’s still dead and it ain’t coming back!

11. Dealing with other “fans” who “train UFC”

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The Nine Most Disappointing Debuts in UFC History


(Photo via Getty)

By Adam Martin

Tomorrow night in Georgia, former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold returns to the Octagon for the first time since having his face kicked into space by Vitor Belfort at UFC on FX 8 last May. Although Belfort was coming off a blistering head kick KO of Michael Bisping at UFC on FX 7, many were still picking and betting on Rockhold to defeat “The Phenom” in his UFC debut, and the betting line surprisingly closed as a pick ‘em.

Things didn’t go Rockhold’s way that night, to say the least. In hindsight it’s not such a bad loss considering what Belfort did to iron-chinned Dan Henderson in his next bout, but it was still incredibly disappointing for the highly-touted Californian to be knocked out in less than five minutes when — on paper at least — the fight with Belfort should have been much more competitive.

Of course, Rockhold isn’t the first UFC fighter who fell short of expectations in his Octagon debut. The question is, will he rebound in his second fight, or fall deeper into “bust” territory? Read on for our list of eight other fighters who didn’t live up to the hype in their first UFC appearances, and let us know if we’ve left out any notable disappointments.

Ben Rothwell

(Photo via Getty)

After the IFL collapsed, the promotion’s former heavyweight champion Ben Rothwell made his way over to the UFC and debuted against fast-rising contender Cain Velasquez at UFC 104. Although Rothwell’s aura of invincibility had been cracked by Andrei Arlovski’s limbs at Affliction: Banned the previous summer, there was still hope that he could get back to his winning ways and make a run for the UFC heavyweight title.

But against Velasquez, it was clear that Rothwell was thoroughly outclassed by a far superior mixed martial artist, and “Big Ben” suffered the second true knockout loss of his career. In hindsight, it’s not surprising that Rothwell couldn’t hang with Velasquez, the current UFC heavyweight champion, but at the time it was a harsh reality check for those hardcore MMA fans who believed in Rothwell after his IFL run.

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5 MMA Fighters Who Left at the Right Time


(One of these men is on this list. The other one continues to jerk us around. / Photo via Getty)

By Mark Dorsey

Following Anderson Silva’s devastating leg-break against Chris Weidman at UFC 168, many observers hoped that one of the greatest fighters of all time would decide to retire in order to spend time with his family and count all of the “Anderson Silva money” he’s earned from fighting. Hell, even Silva’s son was hoping he would hang his gloves up. But following successful surgery, Silva has expressed his desire to return to the cage. Hopefully this is not the case. Silva has nothing left to accomplish in the sport, and at 38 years old, he would be facing a steep uphill battle to recover and earn back his belt.

Choosing to walk away from a long, fruitful MMA career is not an easy decision. Most fighters continue to compete long after they should have walked away. Nevertheless, every once in a while, an astute fighter realizes that their best days are behind them, and they decide to leave the sport for greener pastures. The following list is a tribute to five fighters who decided to leave MMA at the right time.


(Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

Georges St-Pierre recently decided to leave the sport of MMA for an undetermined amount of time. The reason why GSP’s decision to vacate his welterweight title is so incredible is because it’s so rare to see athletes leave at the top of their game. We’re used to dominant athletes staying too long, unable to give up the roar of the crowd and the lure of the paycheck. The list of accomplishments on GSP’s resume is long, varied and practically unparalleled in the sport of MMA. His in-cage achievements make him a legitimate candidate for the greatest of all time, with only fighters like Anderson Silva and Fedor Emeliananko even worthy of being mentioned in the same breath.

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CagePotato.com Presents: The 2013 Potato Awards


(These are the UFC’s two most bankable stars heading into 2014. Deal with it.)

2013: The year that testosterone became Public Enemy #1 and legends went out the door — either voluntarily or on stretchers. Like all years in this still-young, still-dangerous sport, 2013 reminded us why MMA continues to hold our attention, with its thrilling battles, LOL-worthy embarrassments, and train-wrecks of the human and promotional varieties. And so, the CagePotato staff bids farewell to 2013 with another round of dubious “awards,” recapping the highs and lows of the last 12 months. For better or worse, this is the crap that stood out. Use the page links below to navigate through our somewhat-chronological list of 30 award-categories, and Happy New Year to all of you lovely people!

Page 1: Submission of the Year, Greatest MMA Play-by-Play Call of the Year, The Krazy Horse Bennett Arrest of the Year Award / Most Bizarre News Story of the Year, Knockout of the Year

Page 2: Greatest Fight Canceled Due to Injury, Greatest Unsanctioned Fight of the Year, Worst Event of the Year, Best Female Newcomer

Page 3: Worst Fight of the Year, The Cecil Peoples Shittiest Decision of the Year Award, Comeback Fighter of the Year, Worst Use of Social Media

Page 4: “WTF?” Moment of the Year, Greatest Hype-Deflation, The “Really? You’re Just Gonna Keep Doing That Shit That Gets You in All That Trouble?” Award (a.k.a. “The Koppenhaver”), Comeback Fight of the Year

Page 5: Most Embarrassing Knockout of the Year, Failed Propaganda of the Year, Fight of the Year, Photo of the Year

Page 6: The Inaugural Kalib Starnes Award for Outstanding Cowardice in Battle, Media Shill of the Year, Best Event of the Year, Worst Performance in a Drug Test

Page 7: The Dana White Crazy Freakout of the Year Award, Catchphrase of the Year, The Steve Nelmark Memorial “Is He Dead?” Award, Most Awkward Interview

Page 8: Gnarliest Injury of the Year, MMA Fail of the Year

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Five Obvious but Overlooked Things Fans Need to Remember About the UFC


(Just keep repeating to yourself, “Nobody’s making me watch this…nobody’s making me watch this…nobody’s making me watch this…”)

By Matt Saccaro

The UFC has come under fire lately for several reasons: Declining numbers, oversaturation, the fading of their stars, launching a digital network with a questionable premise, not hiring Ben Askren and so on. When we fling insults at the UFC, we need to remember a few things about the company in order to put these negative occurrences and circumstances into perspective. Let’s start with the most obvious but frequently-ignored point:

1. The UFC is a business.

The purpose of the UFC is to make its owners money. The UFC does not exist to feed fighters’ families. There’s not much else to say on this front. Companies have to make money to be viable. Yeah, it sucks that some guys get paid an absurdly small amount of money for what they do, and it sucks that the UFC is upping the PPV price.

That’s just something we have to deal with though. If you don’t like it, vote with your dollar. If enough people tune out, Zuffa’s wallet will know and they’ll either change their tune accordingly or lose money.

2. The UFC is an international company.

There’s been talk about the UFC hiring unfit-for-television jobbers lately. It’s true but necessary. The UFC is headed to distant lands where MMA is in its most nascent stages. The talent pool in these places is more like a mud puddle. The UFC has to work with what it’s given in China and Singapore. Deepening foreign talent pools can only happen by growing the sport overseas, and growing the sport overseas can only happen when they have foreign (foreign to us, home grown to them) fighters on the card. And since there aren’t many great foreign fighters, the UFC has to scrape the bottom of a very empty barrel. This results in fighters getting a place in the “Super Bowl of MMA” who shouldn’t even be in the bleachers, let alone on the field.

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Six Things the UFC Can Learn from the WWE Going Into 2014


(On second thought, make that seven things. Photo via With Leather.)

By Seth Falvo

On paper, my timing couldn’t possibly be worse. Aside from the fact that there are dozens of “What the UFC can learn from the WWE” articles on the Internet, last week’s edition of Monday Night Raw – the company’s flagship television program – brought some of its worst viewership numbers of the past fifteen years. With this week’s edition competing against a Monday Night Football game between two teams still in playoff contention for the casual fans, it’s doubtful that those numbers improved by much.

So then why am I writing yet another article about what a company that sells choreographed “fights” experiencing some of its lowest viewership numbers can teach the UFC? Because the WWE’s idea of “terrible numbers” involves only averaging 3.53 million viewers. To put that into perspective, the TUF 18 Finale main card drew 1.129 million viewers. That’s right, the WWE is in panic mode because their weekly Monday night show only attracted three times as many viewers as a UFC event.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to suggest that the UFC resort to ridiculous storylines, assigning character gimmicks to fighters, forcing celebrity guests into shows, forming an ill-advised partnership with a dying pro-wrestling promotion, or any of the other things that would make most MMA fans roll their eyes. Nor am I going to ignorantly blame the UFC for less than spectacular fights, controversial finishes, and other things that a legitimate sports league cannot possibly be expected to control. On the contrary, my first suggestion is something that the UFC actually used to do better than the WWE…

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GSP Does Better Than Finish Fights, He Finishes Careers


(When he’s not lifting five-pound dumbbells, he’s ruining careers. / Image courtesy of GSP RUSHFIT)

By Nathan Smith

I know what a lot of you were thinking (and by “a lot” I mean nobody): Where is The12ozCurls with his obligatory fluffy, ball-washing post on Georges St. Pierre pertaining to his upcoming fight? Well, I hate to disappoint my dozens of CagePotato fans and Twitter followers (seriously, *bottom lip quivers* I got like 50) so I will give you what you want. What most of you want is more ammo to fire in my direction if/when GSP loses. And judging from the current CP Fight Picking Contest stats, a majority of you think Johny Hendricks is going to put my beloved Canadian to sleep on Saturday night. You are all entitled to your opinion no matter how wrong it might be.

Let me explain: GSP has dominated the welterweight division for the better part of a decade. He has systematically vanquished each foe with a combination of athleticism, technique, cardio and sound game-planning. There is no debating that. Yet most of the flat-billed hat-wearing mouth-breathing meatheads that scream “KNEEEEES!” whenever there is a clinch, constantly talk shit on GSP because he is a boring fighter that doesn’t finish (and because he is handsome . . . . really really handsome).

That is the knock on one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time—that he’s ambien personified—but upon further review, GSP has done far more long-term damage to his last 8 opponents than ending a fight via TKO or submission. He effectively sent their careers into the toilet, which is far worse than just knocking them out cold. All of the following fighters were the #1 contender for the UFC WW Championship but each one was sent packing like my ex-wife (What? Too soon?). I’ll start with all the fights after GSP kneed Matt Serra’s kidneys into oblivion and became the undisputed champ back at UFC 83.

Take a look at the first guy who’s career GSP derailed after the jump.

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