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Tag: Luke Rockhold

UFC 172: The Card That Helped MMA Not Suck Anymore


(Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

UFC 172 wasn’t terribly interesting on paper. “Who cares about Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira and a bunch of other mismatches?” we all asked. And we were right to. MMA had been in a slump. Good cards were sparse–islands in a sea terrible TUF finales, awful Fight Pass exclusives, and PPVs not worth the $60 price tag.

Last night changed all that (well, it did if you ignore UFC 173)

I know what you’re thinking. “Tone down the hyperbole a bit, Matt…and by a bit we mean several orders of magnitude.” Let me explain.

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UFC 172: Jon Jones Dominates Glover Teixeira in Unanimous Decision Victory


(“No disrespect to Glover, he’s a great challenger. I just think making eye-contact with other men is super-gay.” / Photo via Getty)

Welcome to CagePotato’s liveblog of UFC 172: Jones vs. Teixeira, aka “probably the most stacked card we’ve ever done in UFC history.” (Warning: The previous statement has not been evaluated by the Department of Consumer Affairs.) In the main event, light-heavyweight phenom Jon Jones will attempt to make his seventh consecutive title defense against hard-sluggin’ Brazilian Glover Teixeira. Plus: Anthony Johnson makes his UFC return against Phil Davis, and Luke Rockhold tangles with Tim Boetsch.

Round-by-round results from the UFC 172 pay-per-view broadcast will be available after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and shoot us your own thoughts in the comments section or on twitter @cagepotatomma.

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“Rumble” Returns to the UFC! Faces Phil Davis at UFC 172 in Baltimore


(Oh how we’ve missed you, old friend.)

Anthony Johnson‘s redemptive arch as a fighter is one on par with something typically reserved for a Hollywood movie. The hard-hitting Georgian was once the talk of the town at 170 lbs., lauded as easily the most dangerous potential challenger to Georges St. Pierre‘s throne and a mountain of a challenge for anyone in between. Problem was, Johnson suffered from what is now known as “Lineker’s Syndrome” — the inability to actually make weight for two consecutive bouts in the division he was supposedly competing in.

Johnson’s struggles on the scale seemed as if they would be a thing of the past when he announced that he would be moving up to middleweight, but lo, they only got worse. Johnson missed weight by a staggering 12 pounds for his middleweight debut against Vitor Belfort, was choked out in the first round at UFC 142, and promptly fired by the UFC.

Looking back now, it’s laughable and damn near inconceivable to picture “Rumble” as a welterweight. Once exiting the UFC, Johnson immediately moved up to light heavyweight, then heavyweight, scoring vicious knockouts of Jake Rosholt and DJ Linderman (see above) as well as a decision victory over Andrei Arlovski along the way. Most recently, Johnson dropped back to light heavyweight to violently KO Strikeforce veteran Mike Kyle at WSOF 8 (notice a pattern here?), his third successive win since signing with the WSOF back in 2012.

His weight issues finally behind him, Johnson’s hard work over the years will come to a head at UFC 172, when “Rumble” faces top light heavyweight prospect Phil Davis in a fight that will place the winner on the short list of title contenders.

Also on tap for UFC 172…

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Fight Night 35 Salaries: Luke Rockhold, Cole Miller (?!) Top a Half Million Dollar Payroll


(Now that Cole is financially better off, maybe he can afford to stop stealing his fight trunks from Cody McKenzie’s dresser. Photo via Getty.)

About midway through the Fight Night 35 main card, I headed to a local bar with some friends for trivia night, my intention being to halfheartedly watch the card to completion whilst shoveling down pull pork nachos and trying to figure out who the 14th President of the United States was without using the smartphone I don’t even have.

Amidst a crowd of heavily inebriated Bostonians, I attempted to get the bartender to change one of the 15 plasma screen televisions surrounding me to FOX Sports 1. She changed it to FOX, at the exact moment American Idol was starting, which drew some strange reactions from the bar patrons that in turn forced me to hang my head in shame until she made it back around. When she finally did, and after a brief back and forth about what FS1 exactly was, she informed me that “we don’t play fights here” before switching to CNN.

This intolerance left me cold inside, colder than any amount of nachos could ever hope to warm. But I tried, dammit. I really tried…

What does any of this have to do with the Fight Night 35 salaries? Nothing, I guess. I just thought it would interest you to know that MMA bias is still alive and rampant, even in some of the sport’s most gung-ho cities. Join us after the jump to see the saddening result of this intolerance.

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UFC Fight Night 35 Aftermath: Rockhold TKO’s Philippou With Body-Kick, Dana White Returns Fire on GSP at Post-Fight Press Conference


(Props: FOX Sports)

Erasing the bitter memory of his unsuccessful Octagon debut, Luke Rockhold began building his own UFC highlight-reel last night at UFC Fight Night 35 with a first-round body-kick TKO of Costa Philippou. Rockhold picked up a $50,000 Knockout of the Night bonus for the effort. At the post-fight press conference, Rockhold did what every surging middleweight does after a big win — he called out Michael Bisping:

“I’m looking at anyone in the middleweight division to get myself back into (title) position,” Rockhold said. “I already let it be known Bisping’s out there. A lot of people are calling him out, but Bisping went on national TV and told everybody he was the unofficial Strikeforce champion. He calls it a joke and this and that, but I say he’s got bad taste and he needs to pay for it.”

In other bonus news, featherweight Cole Miller won Submission of the Night for his second-round rear-naked choke of Sam Sicilia — which Miller followed up by calling out Donald “Clownboy” Cerrone in the post-fight interview — while middleweights Yoel Romero and Derek Brunson both got $50,000 bumps for FOTN. Highlights from both those matches are embedded at the end of this post.

Romero — who earned his third-consecutive KO/TKO win in the UFC by stopping Brunson with savage ground-and-pound in the third round — claims to have not pooped his pants during the match, despite damning Vine evidence to the contrary. However, Romero can’t deny the dick-punch he landed on Brunson. That was ugly, bro.

In injury news…

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UFC Fight Night 35: Rockhold vs. Philippou — Main Card Results & Commentary


(Luke and Costa face off in front of the wax replica of Dana White that the UFC has been sending to non-essential events. No offense, guys. At least you’re not on Fight Pass. / Photo via Getty)

Look, what can we tell you about UFC Fight Night 35 that we haven’t already expressed via dog GIFs? Luke Rockhold and Costa Philippou are a pair of highly-regarded middleweights who are trying to avoid a two-fight losing streak. Supporting their main event is a worthwhile list of TUF vets (Brad Tavares, TJ Dillashaw, Cole Miller, Sam Sicilia), a former flyweight title challenger (John Moraga), and a fast-rising knockout artist named Yoel Romero. It’s on cable TV, and early enough to watch while you’re eating your salisbury steak. Take it or leave it.

Handling our liveblog of the “Rockhold vs. Philippou” FOX Sports 1 main card is Matt Kaplan, who will be sticking round-by-round results after the jump beginning at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and if you’re watching along with us, join the conversation in the comments section.

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All Fighters Make Weight at ‘UFC Fight Night 35: Rockhold vs. Philippou’ Weigh-Ins

All 24 fighters competing on tomorrow’s Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Philippou card made weight at today’s weigh-ins, which went down at the Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia at 4 p.m. EST.

Although the event got off to a smooth start, things took a turn for the worse during the main event staredown. For seemingly no reason, Philippou suddenly decided to blind Rockhold with a Three Stooges-style double eye poke (a signature move of his), causing the final Strikeforce middleweight champion to stumble off stage and knock himself unconscious. Stepping in to fight Philippou on extremely short notice will be Mayhem Miller, who promised to “Force-feed that Cypriot his own ass and then drag his assless corpse to the local cineplex” before launching into a series of robot and Batman sounds. Should be a hell of a fight.

That’s a lie. None of that happened. The full weigh-in results for Fight Night 35: Rockhold Miller Lucky Patrick vs. Philippou are after the jump.

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GIF-Ranking the ‘UFC Fight Night 35: Rockhold vs. Philippou’ Main Card Fights By Interest Level

Tomorrow night, the UFC returns to Georgia to deliver an action-packed evening featuring a who’s who of “Who’s that?” with Fight Night 35: Rockhold vs. Philippou. I’m kidding of course, because Fight Night 35 is at least attempting to make up for its lack of name power with a six-fight main card, and you know what they say about quantity over quality (it never fails!).

So as has become tradition with every great (or at least mediocre) fight card, it’s time to rank the Fight Night 35 main card fights according to our — and therefore, your — interest level. Let’s do this!

#6 – Cole Miller vs. Sam Sicilia 

The only reason we ranked this fight last is due to the fact that a win won’t do much for either man other than secure their job for another fight. But don’t get us wrong, there’s plenty to watch for in this showdown between TUF alums. Cole Miller has dropped three out of his past five fights, but that didn’t stop him from calling out half the lightweight division (including “Colin Magoober”) after narrowly defeating Andy Ogle at Fight Night: Munoz vs. Machida last October. We expect him to go full heel against Sicilia, who recently saved his career and broke a two-fight skid by tearing through Godofredo Castro like a dingo through a baby at Fight Night 32. This one probably isn’t going the distance.

Speaking of dogs, it had completely slipped my mind that Bjorn Rebney once drove a railroad spike through a dog’s head and now it’s literally all I can think about. Ranking:

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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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Luke Rockhold vs. Costa Philippou Booked for Main Event of Strikeforce Challengers UFC Fight Night 35


(Luke’s been training hard with his acting coach, Tim Kennedy. / Props: @lukerockhold)

Eleven days after swinging through Singapore with UFC Fight Night 34: Ellenberger vs. Saffiedine, the UFC will be hosting another completely non-essential Fight Night card in Georgia. The UFC confirmed last week that UFC Fight Night 35 will take place Wednesday, January 15th at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, GA.

Headlining the event will be a five-round middleweight bout between Luke Rockhold and Costa Philippou — both of whom are coming off losses. Rockhold became one of Vitor Belfort’s head-kick KO victims during his UFC debut in May, and then pulled out of a UFC 166 matchup with Tim Boetsch due to a knee injury. As for Philippou, the Cypriot striker just had a five-fight win streak snapped when he was dominated by Francis Carmont at UFC 165, losing by unanimous decision.

Rockhold and Philippou still rank among the better contenders in the UFC’s surging 185-pound division, but their last performances wouldn’t seem to qualify them for a UFC headlining spot, even on an irrelevant small-market Fight Night show. But hey, nobody’s forcing you to watch it, and if anything crazy happens, we’ll be sure to link to the GIF on our Facebook page. That’s the CagePotato Promise™.

Two other bouts — Cole Miller vs. Sam Sicilia and T.J. Dillashaw vs. Mike Easton — have also been reported for Fight Night 35, which marks the UFC’s first stop in Georgia since Jones vs. Evans in April 2012. The event is slated to air on FOX Sports 1.

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