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Video Tribute: The Eight Most Insane Moments in DREAM History


(“You’ll never get me Lucky Charms!”)

For nearly four years, the Japanese MMA promotion DREAM did its best to carry the mantle of PRIDE, presenting the same mix of top international talent and freak-show comic relief, all inside of a traditional ring, rather than a filthy American cage. But we were hit with some sad news this weekend as multiple sources reported that DREAM has ceased day-to-day operations, and will no longer be producing events. So as we like to do when great MMA traditions die, let’s take a look back at some of the fights that made this promotion so unique, so entertaining, and so balls-out insane…

#8: Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Melvin Manhoef
DREAM.4, 6/15/08 

Though Kazushi Sakuraba’s fame was partly based on his willingness to absorb damage from larger fighters, the level of savagery that Melvin Manhoef inflicted on him during their meeting at the Yokohama Arena probably should have convinced Saku to walk away from the sport. The moment when Manhoef drags Saku away from the ropes by his leg so he can dive in to continue the assault (see the 2:43 mark above) remains one of DREAM’s most indelible and brutal moments.

#7: Shinya Aoki vs. dumb-ass gaijin
DREAM.7, 3/8/09

Another tradition that DREAM inherited from PRIDE? Absurd mismatches. At the time of this fight, Aoki was widely considered to be a top-3 lightweight, while Gardner was an obscure 13-7 journeyman who was coming off a loss to Brian Cobb. Aoki’s domination on the mat was no surprise, but the fight became legendary for how it ended. Stuck with Aoki on his back, Gardner took advantage of a brief pause in the action — and the near-silence in the Saitama Super Arena — to wave to the crowd and shout “Hello Japan!” Aoki immediately wrapped up Gardner’s neck and choked him out, causing the crowd to break out in laughter and Bas Rutten to cry “Oh my God it is so dumb! So dumb! Why?!” Some things just can’t be explained, Bas.

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The 10 Greatest Undefeated Fighters in MMA: 2012 Edition

In June 2010, we posted a list of the ten greatest fighters who had yet to take a loss. By November 2011, none of their perfect records were still intact, proving once again what a cruel bitch this sport is. Half of the fighters on our original list — Shane Carwin (#1), Megumi Fujii (#2), Ryan Bader (#6), Evan Dunham (#7), and Lyle Beerbohm (#10) — have even lost *twice* since then. So we decided to start over from scratch and come up with a new ranking of undefeated MMA fighters. Check it out, and let us know who you think will hold onto their ’0′ the longest. -BG

#1: DANIEL CORMIER (10-0, six wins by first-round stoppage)

Notable victories: Jeff Monson at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum (UD), Antonio Silva at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov (KO R1), Josh Barnett at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier (UD)

Next fight: TBA

The former collegiate wrestling star and Olympic competitor went through hell to get to where he is today. Less than three years after kicking off his MMA career, Cormier battled his way to a career-defining matchup against ex-UFC champ Josh Barnett — a catch-wrestling savant with four times as many fights on his pro record as Cormier — in the finals of Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Grand Prix. But Dan didn’t need to turn the meeting into a grappling match. As he also demonstrated against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in his previous outing, Cormier packs enough speed and punching-power to win fights with his striking alone. It’s only a matter of time before he enters the UFC to take on the best in the world, and we have a feeling he’ll make an immediate impact.

#2: MICHAEL CHANDLER (10-0, eight wins by stoppage)

Notable victories: Patricky Freire at Bellator 44 (UD), Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 58 (sub R4), Akihiro Gono at Bellator 67 (TKO R1)

Next fight: TBA

Michael Chandler is the perfect example of how a tournament can transform a fighter from unheralded prospect to breakout star. After winning his first two Bellator appearances by swift first-round stoppage in 2010, Chandler was invited to participate in the promotion’s season four lightweight tournament. The Xtreme Couture product sliced through it, starting with a first-round submission of Polish prodigy Marcin Held, and ending with a decision win over knockout artist Patricky “Pitbull” Freire in the finals. Then, Chandler did the unthinkable — he took the lightweight belt from Eddie Alvarez, choking out the formerly untouchable Bellator champ in the fourth round of an insane Fight of the Year candidate last November. (A follow-up non-title match against Akihiro Gono was little more than a one-minute showcase of his killer instinct.) In eight months, Chandler went from 5-0 up-and-comer to newly-minted champion with a win over a top-ten ranked opponent. Is it okay if we use the “meteoric rise” cliché, just this once?

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MMA Video Tribute: Josh Barnett’s Five Greatest Submissions


(Come on…hasn’t Mark Hunt suffered enough?)

Tomorrow night in San Jose, Josh Barnett will face the greatest challenge of his post-PRIDE career when he meets Daniel Cormier in the finals of Strikeforce’s World Heavyweight Grand Prix. (FYI, we’ll be liveblogging the Showtime main card starting at 10 p.m. ET, so don’t make any big plans.) Barnett’s comfort-level in the cage and catch-wrestling expertise have led him on a four-year winning streak, and one more victory could earn him an improbable return to the UFC. In honor of this pivotal moment for the Warmaster, we decided to round up his five greatest submissions. Enjoy, and shoot us your predictions for Barnett vs. Cormier in the comments section…


(Josh Barnett vs. Semmy Schilt; UFC 32, 6/29/01)

Barnett’s first submission in the Octagon came against gigantic kickboxer Semmy Schilt, who had made his UFC debut the previous month by smashing Pete Williams. Wisely, Barnett avoids the standup game entirely, immediately taking the Dutchman to the mat. Schilt is absolutely helpless underneath the Babyface Assassin, and eventually gives up mount. Barnett waits for the right moment then attacks Schilt’s arm, giving up position in the process. It doesn’t matter — Barnett sinks the armbar at the 4:21 mark of the first round and establishes himself as a fearsome heavyweight grappler.

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The Tweet Beat: Eight Fighters You Should Be Following on Twitter and Why


(It turns out Miguel was actually making grape jokes, which I have no problem with whatsoever.) 

By Nathan “The 12ozCurls” Smith

Here at CP, I see “us” as a bunch of cynical, condescending, annoyed class-clowns that have a genuine love for the sport of MMA. We love great fights and enigmatic fighters, it’s really that simple. Whether it is a fighter’s personality or in-ring performance, we try our best not to be “nut-huggers,” but sometimes these things happen in MMA (Damn you Georges!). Because I wanted to curb any bias towards fighters that I might have, I tried my best to not be like a 14 year-old girl, so I avoided Twitter like an invitation to a Mike Whitehead BBQ – but I have given in. Not to the invite, but to my status as a new member of Twitter, and I must admit, there are some pretty damn compelling, comical, and surprisingly elegant MMA fighters that can wax poetic in 140 characters or less.

“Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one and they think everyone else’s stinks.”  I believe that phrase was coined by Sigmund Freud or the Dalai Lama…or George Carlin. Whoever came up with the analogy was clearly a genius with a tremendous affinity for “Dirty” Harry Callahan. So take a big whiff because these are the MMA fighters that I think you should be following on Twitter with a few examples from their recent timelines.

Kenny Floriantwitter/@kennyflorian

We were all introduced to KenFlo on TUF 1. Although he was somewhat overshadowed by more flamboyant participants and in-house scuffles, he’s elevated himself within the UFC as one of its most versatile members. Whether as a fighter or broadcaster, he displays his wit and charisma like a true pro, but on Twitter he mixes in self-deprecation with an almost narcissistic vibe.

“When I’m being threatened, I will start doing splits to let ppl know what’s up. I always get mistaken for a talented dancer or gymnast.”

“Is a bow tie & no shirt too formal for a charity event I’m going to next week?”

“Guys, stop putting high expectations on fighters. @rory_macdonald didn’t steal my hairdo, he borrowed it. #Respect”

“If you’ve never taken a man’s shoe & beaten him with it then you’ve never been in a street fight. #KenFloFacts”

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Gallery: The 29 Most Awkward GIFs in MMA History


(That look in Chuck’s eyes — we know it well. / Full gallery is after the jump.)

Since our 25 Most Awkward Photos in MMA History gallery was such a big success, and because we could all use some stupid fun on a Friday afternoon, we decided to put together a GIF-based sequel. Enjoy the uncomfortable hilarity, and if we left out any of your favorites, please post some links in the comments section. Have a great weekend, Potato Nation!

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Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans, And Four More ‘Good Friends, Better Enemies’ Rivalries


(“You and I were long friends; you are now my enemy, and I am yours. – Ben Franklin)

By Jason Moles

Friendship is, and always will be, one of life’s trickiest puzzles. It is also one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences a person will ever have. But despite all of the wonderful joys that come from having a friend, not all friendships are made to last the sands of time like Fred and Barney. How could they? Ego, pride, and the opposite sex often reduce the strongest of bonds to mere ashes. And we wouldn’t want it any other way because some guys make good friends, but much better enemies. Here’s a look at five classic friendships gone awry…

Jon Jones – Rashad Evans

In a time when instant gratification is king, the world is still awaiting the showdown between former friends and training partners, ‘Suga’ Rashad Evans and Jon ‘Bones’ Jones. Jackson’s MMA used to be a place where the two sweat and bled together, side by side, day after day — as friends. These two were more like brothers than Ken and Frank, so much so that they vowed never to fight each other, suggesting someone would fake an injury to avoid the confrontation at all costs.

We’ve had multiple in-cage showdowns, a twitter beef or two, and a minor club incident since the moment the young rising star confirmed that he would indeed fight the former TUF 2 winner if Dana White really wanted him to. Fast forward a year and the two have still yet to fight thanks to injuries, both real and imagined. Some would argue that “Good things come to those who wait,” but patience is not a virtue most of us possess. We want to see these dudes throw down now! All we are concerned with at this point is who the teacher is and who is the student.

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“So You Wanna Stay a Fighter?”: Six Easy Tips to Keep Your Job in the Cage

“A job, a job, my kingdom for a job!”

Let’s face it: being a professional fighter is pretty much the coolest job on earth. Even if you never get to wear gold, you can party like a rockstar and make a decent living, not to mention the benefits–oh the benefits. Few of us will ever know the pleasure of punching our coworkers in the face—in fact it’s generally frowned upon—and for that I am eternally jealous. But in the corporate world we live and die by a universally accepted code of conduct that one can follow to stay on the straight and narrow. For the professional ass-kicker, the guidelines are less concretely defined. As evidenced by an increase in pink-slips for cage-unrelated activities, mixed martial artists are not issued the same employee handbooks as their 9-5 brethren. With that in mind, here are a few axioms from the office that may prove handy for our leather-throwing friends as they walk the fine line between living large and unemployment.

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The 15 Greatest Knockouts in ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ History


(No, no, not THAT kind of ultimate fighter.) 

Seven years. Fifteen seasons. The Ultimate Fighter has been a part of our lives for nearly a decade, ladies and gentlemen, and not only is it still going strong, but it has spread at the rate of your average zombie apocalypse. With the first international installment of the hit reality show already under way, TUF has seemingly evolved beyond its counterparts, transcending even that of the sport in it’s ability to excite, and often inspire its audience. Sure, the next season of Jersey Shore will feature a piss drunk pregnant woman and a possible probable cokehead and will therefore rule the ratings from here to eternity, but The Ultimate Fighter has something better to bring to the table than fabricated drama. Mainly, sweet ass knockouts.

Seven years of sweet ass knockouts, to be precise. That’s the entire length of Tommy Callahan’s college career.

With these knockouts, we’ve seen underdogs pull off upsets, loudmouths get their comeuppance, and the emergence of future superstars. So in honor of what has already been a KO-ridden season of TUF, we decided to watch every season back to back, and determine the BEST knockout from its respective season. Enjoy.

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Gallery: The 25 Most Awkward Photos in MMA History


(Don’t play that shit around Senator Harry Reid. This is the man who *invented* invisible lat syndrome.)

As the editor of an MMA website, I’m constantly bombarded with images of tattooed skinheads engaged in gay foreplay. And yet, there are times when I’m faced with an image that even makes me uncomfortable. Check out 25 of the most chillingly awkward MMA photos in the gallery after the jump, laugh nervously, then avert your eyes in shame…

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Eight Fighters We Wish Were Better Than They Actually Are


(Step 1. Absorb EVERY kick, Step 2. ??????, Step 3. Profit. Props to the brilliant cine-files over at Pajiba for the inspiration behind this article.) 

Mixed martial arts fans are perhaps the most ruthless group of people out there; a quick scroll down any one of our comments sections only confirms this. One minute, a certain fighter is praised as a ruthless, badass hombre cut from the same cloth as the greatest champions the sport has ever known, and the next, they’re being told to save themselves the embarrassment of another performance and just retire already. It’s a crazy sport.

But then there are those few and far between fighters that we choose to rally behind regardless of where they currently stand in the MMA ranking system. Sometimes it’s simply because they can make us laugh, and other times it’s their “go for broke” mentality that wins us over. Sure, they’ve dropped seven of their last eight, including one to a drunken bar patron who accidentally stumbled into the ring, but all of those fights were like totally awesome, bro, so who are we to complain when they are kept around while other, more talented fighters are let go?

Here are eight fighters we will continue to root for, no matter how quickly their performances make us silently wish otherwise.

#8 – Aaron Riley

(Even when Riley *doesn’t* lose a fight, he still loses the fight.) 
Current record: 30-13-1
Record in last five fights: 2-3

Aaron Riley’s nickname could very well be “TUF Fodder,” because the man has fought nothing but The Ultimate Fighter alums, and often winners, for the better part of his UFC career. And it’s a shame, because the dude always brings the fight to these whippersnappers, but simply hasn’t been able to put any of them away. Most recently, he had his jaw broken again by TUF 13 winner Tony Ferguson at UFC 135. Back at UFC 105, he was made into mince meat by TUF 9 winner Ross Pearson. Set to square off against, you guessed it, TUF 12 alum Cody McKenzie, at UFC on FUEL 3 in May, Riley may be looking at his final chance to prove he can hang with these young guns before he is demoted to the Strikeforce roster. Speaking of a certain Alaskan native…

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