erika eleniak photos
Classic Crush: 20 Photos of Erika Eleniak, Super-Babe of the ’90s

Tag: Lyoto Machida

Brandon Vera: Punk-Ass Bitch?

Brandon Vera UFC

Lyoto Machida to Tatame.com, via MMA Mania:

“It’s true. I was offered to fight at [UFC Fight Night 14], but Brandon Vera did not want it. I do not know what happened, but he did not accept the fight.”

Hey, I wouldn’t accept a fight against Machida either — then again, I don’t have a reputation to uphold. As previously reported, Vera will instead be fighting IFL vet Reese Andy at UFN 14, which seems like a more appropriate opponent for Vera in his light-heavyweight debut — especially since the match requires Vera to cut weight for the first time and fight just six weeks after his last appearance. Machida is the guy you send in when you want someone to lose in a particularly embarrassing way, not when one of your popular rising stars is riding back-to-back losses and desperately needs to be re-established. Still, does this mean we could be seeing the return of The Dragon, free on SpikeTV?

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CagePotato ‘Power Rankings’ Updated

Thiago Alves UFC
(Comin’ for that #1 spot…)

2008 is shaping up to be the busiest and most exciting year in MMA’s history — which is a great thing, unless you’re trying to keep your top ten lists current, in which case it’s a total pain in the ass. Though there aren’t many profound changes in the latest update to our Power Rankings page, recent events have caused some fighters to drop due to losses (i.e., Matt Hughes, Sean Sherk, Hayato Sakurai, Masakazu Imanari) some to jump up after big wins (Wanderlei Silva, Thiago Alves, Power Rankings newcomer Gegard Mousasi), and some to secure their already impressive positions (Lyoto Machida, Urijah Faber, Robbie Lawler). Give it a look, and click on each weight class for additional notes and to leave comments. And stay tuned, as Sunday’s DREAM.4 card could produce some changes in the middleweight list, and July 21st’s Affliction event could lead to a massive re-shuffling of the heavyweight deck.

(BG)

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Pic of the Day: Jenna Jameson Boos Ortiz/Machida Decision @ UFC 84

Jenna Jameson UFC 84

Either that or she’s going over lines for her next movie. Hey-oh!

(Props: MMAFightGirls)

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The Best Photos of UFC 84

Wanderlei Silva UFC 84
(Wandy’s triumph; courtesy of UFC.com)

BJ Penn Sean Sherk UFC 84
(Penn outboxes Sherk; courtesy of Sherdog)

Tito Ortiz armbar UFC 84
(Tito Ortiz comes within a ball-hair of submitting Lyoto Machida; courtesy of Las Vegas Sun)

Michael Jackson at UFC 84
(Michael Jackson takes in the fights; courtesy of TMZ)

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UFC 84: Live [Results] Like a Suicide?!*@

Forgive the G’n'R reference, but I’m really that excited. Click the “more” link and refresh your browser every few minutes for live updates from the “Ill Will” pay-per-view broadcast, beginning at 7 p.m. PT. Good luck to the fighters, the betters, the pickers, and the soon-to-be pukers.

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‘Ben vs. Ben’: The UFC 84 Argument, Pt.1

BF(BF)
BG(BG)

Fowlkes and I spend a lot of time pondering and writing about MMA. Often, we disagree. With that in mind, we’d like to present the first installment of a new feature where we argue about the topics of the day — in this case, all the major themes coming out of Saturday’s UFC 84. This one’s actually a two-parter; come back tomorrow for spirited debate on Wanderlei Silva’s future, the necessity of ring girls, and the intensity of BJ Penn and Sean Sherk’s personal relationship.

***

QUESTION: What will be the best fight of UFC 84?

Goldstein: The best fight of a given event generally starts with a large dose of drama and ends with a decisive finish. Penn/Sherk has drama out its ass — these guys hate each other — and Ortiz/Machida has it too, as it’s Ortiz’s last fight, and one that Dana White desperately wants him to lose. But I wouldn’t bank on Ortiz/Machida to be a particularly exciting match. Both fighters are questionable finishers (five of Machida’s last seven matches have gone to a decision, compared to four of Ortiz’s last seven) and before his punking of Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Machida was widely thought to be a boring fighter. The UFC set this match up to make Ortiz look less marketable, and it isn’t likely to be a barn-burner.

As for Penn and Sherk — how can this be anything less than legendary? Penn tends to make any fight exciting, and both guys will be looking to finish. Penn has to exploit his striking advantage and avoid being laid on by Sherk; a dull fight is not in Penn’s best interest, strategically speaking. I think Sherk is too tough to get stopped earlier than the third round, and if the fight goes into the championship rounds, his conditioning advantage will kick in. So Penn has this sweet spot of the third round where he’s most likely to win, and as the minutes and rounds tick by, anticipation will amp up the drama even further. If BJ wins, he’ll be the UFC’s undisputed lightweight ruler, and his reaction could be just as memorable as the fight itself.

Fowlkes: While I agree with your preconditions for what makes a great fight, I don’t necessarily think it will be Penn-Sherk that turns in the best performance of the night. Seems to me that you’re forgetting about Wanderlei Silva/Keith Jardine. That has plenty of drama — Silva needs a win badly and Jardine needs something to force the UFC to stop overlooking him — and it features two guys who like to stand and bang, which always yields great potential for a decisive finish.

On top of that, when’s the last time you saw Wanderlei in a boring fight? Tell me. I demand to know. I think Sherk-Penn will be worth the pay-per-view price alone, but Silva-Jardine is going to produce some fireworks either way, my friend.

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UFC 84: ‘Ill Will’ — BG’s Official Picks

Keith Jardine UFC
(Listen, buddy: win first, skanks later.)

As promised yesterday — here are the final picks I’m making for my ipecac bet with Ryan of Fightlinker. Will they be enough for me to avoid vomity humiliation? Well, Ryan has mentioned that he’s predicting Wanderlei Silva and Tito Ortiz will win their bouts, and I don’t see the rest of his choices being any less duhtarded. We’ll be scoring this on the three-point system: one point for calling the winning fighter, and additional points for correctly calling the method of victory (one point) and round (one point). How fun! My picks are below; feel free to debate them in the comments section. — Ben G.

MAIN CARD
B.J. Penn def. Sean Sherk via submission, 3rd round : I went over this in my UFC 84 gambling guide. Fowlkes made some good points yesterday, but I still think Sherk is going out like Joe Stevenson, with a bloody face and an arm around his neck. Just because Sherk’s two losses didn’t come via submission doesn’t mean that he’s unsubmittable, especially against someone as talented as Penn.

Keith Jardine def. Wanderlei Silva via decision: I also went over this in the gambling guide. (By the way, if you want to see a short video version of me making those exact same points, check out this clip from CombatWire.com.) Jardine was able to outsmart Chuck Liddell when they fought, and Wanderlei Silva is basically a dumber version of Chuck. I think the most logical pick is another decision win for Jardine.

Wilson Gouveia def. Goran Reljic via KO/TKO, 2nd round: I don’t like to pick against guys with undefeated records, but that rule shouldn’t apply when a fighter has less than eight pro fights, and Reljic (7-0) has beaten absolutely nobody you’ve ever heard of. I wouldn’t assume that Gouveia’s ground skills are necessarily better than Reljic’s, but I can see him catching the Croatian with a heavy shot, Lambert-style. Also, betting against the American Top Team is generally a bad move.

Lyoto Machida def. Tito Ortiz via decision: Machida isn’t a fight-finisher, and unless he’s in the cage with Ken Shamrock, Tito really isn’t either. But Machida is far more well-rounded, and his tendency to take his opponents out of their rhythm is well-documented. I’m very confident that Machida will win, and he could easily do it via TKO or submission, but given the recent fight histories of these two, a decision feels likely.

Thiago Silva def. Antonio Mendes via KO/TKO, 2nd round: Undefeated record + UFC experience + ATT = a total lock. Eight of Thiago Silva’s 12 wins have come via first-round stoppage; ten come via KO/TKO. The only advantage that Brazilian UFC newcomer Antonio Mendes has is that he’s 3-0 against guys named Silva. He is a hard-ass, though, and I don’t foresee a steamrolling. I say Mendes gets through round one, shaken but not quite out.

As for the undercard…

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: UFC 84 Edition

Wanderlei Silva UFC 84
(“Gimme $2,000 on Jardine.”)

This has already been getting some play on the forums, but for those weak bastards who haven’t joined yet, betting odds for UFC 84′s three marquee match-ups have been released. Shall we take a look?

BJ Penn (favorite) vs. Sean Sherk (underdog)
Our buds at BetUS have Penn as a -230 favorite (you’d have to bet $230 to win $100 back) with Sherk riding the +180 underdog line (a $100 bet would score you $180). Setting aside BJ’s current hype as one of the most talented fighters in the world, he really does hold an advantage over Sherk in every aspect other than conditioning; his standup is better, his submissions are much better, and he’s not going to let Sherk lie on top of him the entire fight. But Sherk’s undeniable talent and accomplishments are preventing oddsmakers from calling this any wider than it already is. If you want to make a high-percentage wager on the Prodigy, do so at BetUS. If you’re going for the longshot, throw down a bill on Sherk at PinnacleSports, where they’re giving the Muscle Shark a juicy +232 line.

Lyoto Machida (favorite) vs. Tito Ortiz (underdog)
BetUS says -220 for Machida and +175 for Ortiz, a slightly closer line than Penn/Sherk, owing partly to the fact that Machida still doesn’t have a win against a top-10 light heavyweight under his belt — not that Ortiz is top 10 anymore, but he could easily be Machida’s toughest challenge to date. Will the Dragon still stomp Ortiz? Yeah, pretty much. Ortiz may be a better wrestler, but that’s about it. Lyoto seems to come from the Anderson Silva school of well-rounded badasses with very few holes in their game, and he’s probably a lot more focused than the stretched-in-all-directions Ortiz, who can hopefully schedule some workouts between reality show appearances, t-shirt company management, sex with Jenna Jameson, and bitching about Dana White whenever there’s a microphone in the room. Pinnacle has Machida at a far more attractive -185, while Ortiz nut-huggers can squeeze a tiny bit more value out of their misguided bet at BetCris, where he’s +180.

Wanderlei Silva (favorite) vs. Keith Jardine (underdog)
Here, folks, is the only smart underdog bet of the lot. BetUs has Wandy as a -185 favorite with Jardine the ‘dog at +145. Look, we know the Axe Murderer was a killer in PRIDE — but he needs to win a couple in the Octagon to convince me that he’s just as fearsome over here. Take away the use of soccer kicks and knees to the head on the ground, biased refs and judges, matchmaking that had him go up against opponents that were tailor-made for his style, (*cough*steroids*cough*), and the confidence that comes from never losing, and we’re not even talking about the same guy anymore. Silva won’t be doing any axe-murdering at UFC 84 — he’s going to be fighting not to lose, and will come out a much more cautious, tentative version of himself. Meanwhile, Jardine is surely working on another great game-plan with Greg Jackson, knowing that if he pulls off another big win his title shot will be waiting. Great risk, great reward, etc. Pinnacle and Sportsbook have Jardine at a solid +150. I don’t think there’s enough value in a bet on Wanderlei, but if you disagree, Pinnacle and Bodog have him at a more reasonable -160.

(BG)

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“…and licking the blood off his face while I’m punching him…”

BJ Penn, God bless him, has not given up on the blood-licking thing — and he vows to do it again when he fights Sean Sherk. Check out the pre-fight hype in these new UFC 84 promo videos, which run down the matchups between Penn and Sherk, as well as Silva vs. Jardine and Oritz vs. Machida.

(Dana White: “BJ Penn is a fucking *fighter*.”)

(Dana White on Wanderlei Silva: “This guy, loves, to fucking, *fight*.”)

(Dana White on Tito Ortiz: “I think he has the will and desire to be successful. He doesn’t have the will and desire to be the best fighter in the world.”)

(Props: BloodyElbow)

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Fight of the Day: B.J. Penn vs. Lyoto Machida

After moving up to 185 pounds to defeat Rodrigo Gracie at Rumble on the Rock 6, B.J. Penn had a revelation — why don’t I just keep eating? Four months later, he competed in his first and only 205-pound match, facing off against Lyoto Machida at K-1 HERO’s 1 (3/26/05). Machida was only 5-0 at the time, but he had already disposed of Stephan Bonnar and Rich Franklin in his second and third fights, respectively. Though Penn threatened from the top in the first round, he had no answer for Lyoto’s size advantage and defensive skills, and lost the decision. Boring? Sure, maybe a little. But it was a significant moment in the careers of both fighters; Penn would drop back down to welterweight immediately after.

(Fight starts at the 5:10 mark.)

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