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Tag: Lyoto Machida

Brandon Vera Insists He’s “Not Dodging Nobody”

In an attempt to dispel the rumors that he may be a punk for avoiding Lyoto Machida, Brandon Vera claims he had good reasons for turning that fight down (he needs time to train with awkward kung fu enthusiasts) and insists that Wanderlei Silva and Dan Henderson both turned down fights against him. So now who’s the punk? Answer: everyone but Machida.

It’s all here in this MMA Rated video, where Vera goes on to say that he moved down to light heavyweight to take the fight against Reese Andy as “a favor”.

Seems like a lot of UFC fighters are doing favors in order to get this July 19 Anti-Affliction card off the ground. And you know what they say, fighters are like the mob when it comes to favors. One day — and that day may never come — they’ll call upon you and ask for a favor in return. That is what they say, right? If not, they should.

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Rumor of the Day: Wanderlei vs. Thiago?

Wanderlei Thiago Silva Lyoto Machida MMA UFC
(Silva, Machida, & Silva: Attorneys at Brawl)

Via FiveOunces:

According to the June 23 print edition of the Wrestling Observer, [Wanderlei] Silva’s likely next opponent is undefeated light heavyweight prospect Thiago Silva. The bout could take place in October despite the fact that Wanderlei Silva has reportedly asked not to be scheduled to fight again until December.

The Observer indicated that Wanderlei Silva was given a choice of facing either Thiago Silva or Lyoto Machida. A specific reason for why Thiago Silva is considered the more likely option than Machida was not given, although Dave Meltzer indicated that the UFC is having trouble finding willing opponents for Machida.

Damn son, this Machida got everyone shook! But I ain’t mad: With their similarly aggressive styles, Wandy vs. Thiago has the potential to be a fantastic fight. Still, the UFC will eventually have to throw one of the Silvas at Machida, because it seems that only a hyper-aggro fighter who’d be willing to literally chase Machida around the cage (and absorb some damage in the process) would stand a chance of beating him. In the meantime, the UFC needs to go to their hungry/struggling 205-pounders and demand that they fight Machida; preferably, their LHWs who are sloppy enough for Machida to submit or knock out (lookin’ at you, Lambert). The Dragon will almost surely be fighting for UFC’s light-heavyweight title one day — it’s time to start getting him over with fans, and he’ll need to finish some fights before that happens.

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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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