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Tag: Mark Coleman

Ben vs. Ben: UFC 93 Edition


(Hold up, Chris.  You wore a t-shirt that says "Ireland" to the UFC 93 press conference in Ireland?  That’s cheap heat, bro.)

We know you’re excited about UFC 94 after the premiere of “Primetime” this week, and you’re also pretty pumped about the new season of “Rock of Love Bus” (it’s the same show, but on a bus!), though that’s no excuse for losing sight of more pressing matters, like UFC 93.  We haven’t.  We even have some questions swirling around in our heads, and our couples therapist keeps telling us we shouldn’t keep that stuff bottled up, so here we go…

Who wins the Dan Henderson-Rich Franklin bout and how?  Will the UFC make a big deal out of the victor being the TUF 9 coach, and will whoever it happens to be even pretend to be excited about the job?

BF: The more I think about it, the more I can’t see this fight ending in anything other than a decision.  Both these guys are tough to finish (unless you’re Anderson Silva, in which case, all the middleweight division is your playground), and neither of them is likely to be fighting with the kind of reckless desperation that would lead to a quick ending.

That said, I think Franklin is the better all-around fighter.  All he has to do is keep Henderson from taking him down and holding him there while peppering him with elbows, which is undoubtedly Hendo’s game plan.  “Ace” is going to end up on his back once or twice, but he’ll take over in the second and third rounds and start picking Henderson apart.  Franklin by unanimous decision, 29-28 on all three scorecards.

Afterwards, Rogan will make cursory mention of Franklin being the next TUF coach, and Rich will be unable to completely hide his total lack of enthusiasm, despite his best efforts to be polite.  The UFC will be anticipating this, so instead they’ll focus their attention on Michael Bisping’s grinning reaction to the proceedings.

BG: Tough, tough fight to call, but I agree with your assessment of the matchup. Dan Henderson is a little further past his prime than Rich Franklin is, and Ace’s striking is a little sharper. In fact, I say Franklin gives Henderson the first TKO loss of his career around the 3:30 mark of round three, after controlling the standup and stuffing a few takedowns in the first two rounds. Between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Wanderlei Silva, and Takanori Gomi, former PRIDE legends seem to be cursed lately, and Hendo will be the next to go down.

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: UFC 93


(Anyone else feeling suddenly very uncomfortable?)

Odds for the five televised bouts at UFC 93 are out on all the big betting sites.  Since the undercard (with the possible exception of the Martin Kampmann-Alexandre Barros bout) is made up mostly of guys you don’t know well or at all, it’s probably best that the off-shore experts don’t entice you to guess your money away.  Then again, maybe you have a hot tip on Tom Egan that you’re just dying to act on.

The most favorable odds on the ‘net are compiled, as usual, from our friends at BestFightOdds.com.  

Rich Franklin (+115) vs. Dan Henderson (-125)
Mark Coleman (+320) vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (-336)
Alan Belcher (+275) vs. Denis Kang (-271)
Jeremy Horn (+275) vs. Rousimar Palhares (-455)
Marcus Davis (-131) vs. Chris Lytle (+121)

Thoughts…

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Videos: Rampage Pleads, Shogun Trains

“Who knew that not sleeping and not eating could mess with your mental state?” says “Rampage” Jackson in this post-guilty plea interview with the OC Register.  

If you had asked me that question before this incident, my answer would have been: everybody.  Everybody on the face of the earth knows that not sleeping and not eating will cause you both physical and mental problems, up to and including death.  After seeing this video, however, I realize I would have been wrong to say that, because at least one person had to find out the hard way.

In this video from Bad Boy, "Shogun" Rua gets his train on in preparation for his bout with Mark Coleman at UFC 93 next weekend.  At least in the gym, this looks more like the old Shogun we all knew and loved, the Grand Theft Title-era Shogun, if you will.  Now we just have to wait and see if that transfers into the Octagon after so much time off.

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Exclusive Interview: Mark Coleman Talks UFC Return

Mark Coleman UFC MMA PRIDE Mauricio Rua
(Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)

It came as no surprise to MMA fans when Mark Coleman was inducted into the UFC’s Hall of Fame last March. After all, the former Olympic wrestler became the UFC’s first-ever heavyweight champion when he defeated Dan Severn at UFC 12 in February 1997, and his legendary career has also seen him win PRIDE’s 2000 Grand Prix and score victories over the likes of Don Frye (twice), Ricardo Morais, and Mauricio Rua. What was surprising was that at 43 years of age, Coleman announced he was returning to the Octagon, and would take on the hulking Brock Lesnar in his first fight back.

Though that match was scrapped when Coleman suffered a knee injury, Coleman is now fully recovered and will begin the next chapter of his career at UFC 93 on January 17th — just over ten years after his last UFC appearance. He’ll also be competing as a light-heavyweight for the first time, in a rematch against Mauricio Rua. (Infamously, their first fight ended with a broken arm and a foot on Wanderlei Silva’s neck.) We caught up with The Hammer to talk about the mental challenges of MMA, his gameplan for the fight, and what may be in store for the future…

***

CAGEPOTATO: Hey Mark, thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me. What have you been up to this week?
MARK COLEMAN: Just trying to keep myself together mentally and emotionally. It’s getting close to the fight, and at least half this sport is mental so I’m trying to stay strong. Physically, I feel fine; training went well, and I just gotta get through a few more practices and I’ll be ready to go.

Could you tell us more about those mental and emotional challenges that come up before a fight?
Just in general, it’s a tough sport. It’s the most demanding sport in the world, so you gotta keep the warm-up doubt out, you gotta stay mentally strong, you gotta believe in yourself, stay confident, because if you don’t believe in yourself, you don’t stand a chance. But I believe I can do this. I put in a lot of hard work, and I plan on winning the fight.

Would you say your health is 100%, or is your knee injury from last year still somewhat of an issue?
No, the MCL healed up 100%, it’s not a problem.

This is the first time you’ll have to cut weight for an MMA match. How much of a challenge will that be for you, and how are you making it happen?
Surprisingly, it’s not going to be as difficult as I thought. Right now I’m just a little under 220 pounds. I had a very strict diet combined with hard training, and the weight came off pretty good. I don’t anticipate there being a problem making weight. I don’t think I lost too much strength, and I’m very pleased with that as well.

You’ve said that you’ll have a strength advantage on Shogun. Does that mean your plan will be to outwrestle him?

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Videos: Bas Rutten Highlight Reel, UFC 94 In-Depth Preview + More

The best reason to tune in to HDNet’s Inside MMA has always been to watch Bas Rutten act like a spastic, free-associative maniac. The above clip from the show’s "Best of 2008" episode collects Bas’s craziest moments, from his heroin-addict pantomimes to his beloved Tony Montana impression. If him and Robin Williams ever met, the world might explode. Check out the latest episode this Friday at 9 p.m., as Renato Sobral, Vitor Belfort and Carlos Condit join Bas and Kenny in the studio.

Here’s the extended trailer for UFC 94: St. Pierre vs. Penn 2 (January 31st, Las Vegas). BJ Penn delivers the money line in their segment: "If Jon Fitch reminds [St. Pierre] of the Terminator, he’s gonna think I’m God." Later, in the Lyoto vs. Thiago segment, Dana White cackles about how Tito Ortiz couldn’t land anything on Machida in his last fight, while Rogan gets enthusiastic about Machida’s karate skills. We also get to hear Machida pronounce "with Tito" as "wiffa Cheeto," which is always good for a laugh.

After the jump: Mark Coleman says he’ll have a strength advantage against Mauricio Rua at UFC 93, while Rua looks forward to showing the Hammer what a healthy Shogun is capable of.

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UFC 93 Extended Video Trailer



UFC 93 goes down January 17th in Dublin, Ireland, and while most people are understandably psyched about the Rich Franklin/Dan Henderson light-heavyweight main event, I’m just as interested to see what happens between Mark Coleman and Mauricio Rua. Who will be rustier after their long layoff? The injury-prone Shogun, whose last cage appearance was his choke-out loss to Forrest Griffin in September 2007? Or Hall-of-Famer Mark Coleman, who hasn’t notched a victory since his TKO-via-broken-arm win over Rua almost three years ago? Will Coleman really try to turn their grudge match into a stand-up war? Will Phil Baroni and Wanderlei Silva jump in and start brawling after the fight is stopped, like last time? You gotta admit, the match has potential.

Also at UFC 93, Denis Kang makes his UFC debut against Alan Belcher, and Marcus Davis and Chris Lytle have their long-awaited "takedowns are for pussies" match.

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UFC 93 Lineup Close to Complete; Davis/Lytle Stuck on Undercard?

 
(Props: MMA Mania)

Nine bouts have been officially confirmed for UFC 93 (January 17th; Dublin, Ireland) — though there are some surprises in the card’s arrangement. Here’s what we have so far:

MAIN CARD
Rich Franklin vs. Dan Henderson
Mark Coleman vs. Mauricio Rua  
Alan Belcher  vs. Denis Kang 
Antonio Mendes vs. Andre Gusmao
Dennis Siver vs. Nate Mohr 

UNDERCARD
Marcus Davis vs. Chris Lytle
Jeremy Horn vs. Rousimar Palhares 
Tomasz Drwal vs. Ivan Serati  
Thomas Egan vs. John Hathaway

How you gonna leave the Irish Hand Grenade off the main card in Dublin? It’s blasphemy, especially when he’s already promised the fans a pussy-free slugfest with Chris Lytle. It’s also strange to see Horn/Palhares on the untelevised card, when you consider who actually did make the cut.

First off, Antonio Mendes vs. Andre Gusmao. Both of these guys got owned in their UFC debuts; Mendes was steamrolled by Thiago Silva at UFC 84, and Gusmao was overwhelmed by Jon Jones’s explosive athleticism at UFC 87 and lost a unanimous decision. So we’re letting them fight each other on the main card? No, this has to be some kind of mistake.

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Friday Link Dump

Kim Couture Strikeforce weigh-in
(Someone’s nervous. Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)

- Kim Couture’s opponent misses weight, looks scared. (Xtreme Couture)

- That UFC ad campaign trashing other sports? Yeah, it was bullshit. (Fightlinker)

- “Ninja” Rua says his bro is fixing to mess Mark Coleman up. (Tatame)

- “Human Weapon” arrested for rape, but D.A. won’t file charges. (TMZ)

- “Babalu” Sobral will break his hand on Southworth’s face if need be. (NBC Sports)

- Strikeforce betting odds. Feel like putting a fin on “Bang” Ludwig? (BestFightOdds)

- Joe Riggs only regrets that he didn’t get to smash Kimbo first. (MMA Rated)

- Men 18-34 are stupid, apparently. Bummer. (Holy Taco)

- Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler.” Count me in. (Screen Junkies)

- Wal-Mart’s new CEO shakes things up. (Wall Street Fighter)

- The rare ‘party girl parking garage beatdown’ caught on tape. (Nothing Toxic)

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UFC 93 to Air for Free on Spike?

MMA Rated is floating the rumor that UFC 93 from Dublin, Ireland will be shown on a delayed free broadcast on Spike TV on January 17. This makes sense when you consider the UFC’s increasingly consistent practice of using UK cards on Spike as a way to pump up forthcoming pay-per-views, such as they’re doing later this month with UFC 89 airing for free from England just a week before UFC 90 in Chicago, which you’re going to have to pay for.

The only thing that might make us wonder if we won’t end up paying $45 for this one is the fact that the main event for 93 is slated to be a light heavyweight clash between Dan Henderson and Rich Franklin. The card is also said to include Mark Coleman and “Shogun” Rua reprising their meeting in Pride, hopefully this time without the freakish injury and ensuing Hammer House-Chute Boxe brawl (Okay, they can brawl again, but only if they have another uncomfortable “apology” backstage afterwards).

Oddly, January 17 is also the date that Affliction was originally rumored to be considering for their second show. That’s before Tom Atencio said they had no date and admitted he wanted no part of any direct competition with the UFC, which is perfectly understandable. A free show of that magnitude on the same night would have really put Affliction in a bind, but as of right now it looks like they’ll squeak in between the free show from Dublin and a January 31 pay-per-view with (God willing) a Georges St. Pierre-BJ Penn superfight main event.

If this all holds true, UFC 93 might be the best UFC event in a very long time to air for free. And yes, I know Spike TV isn’t technically free since it’s on cable, but come on. You have internet access but no cable? Dude, you gotta move out of your mom’s house.

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UFC 93 in Dublin Officially Announced With Two Marquee Matchups

Mark Coleman Mauricio Shogun Rua PRIDE MMA
(A legendary PRIDE rivalry will be settled in the Octagon in January.)

Confirming rumors that were circulating yesterday, the UFC announced via UFC.com that Dublin would indeed be playing host to UFC 93 on January 17th; the event will be held at the O2 Dublin.

Only two matches have been announced so far — but they’re worth the price of admission by themselves. The main event will be a light-heavyweight fight between Rich Franklin and Dan Henderson, a long-awaited pairing that seemed to be in jeopardy when Franklin moved up to 205. Does this mean that Hendo will be hanging around at light-heavyweight for a while? And would the fight interfere with him being a coach on the upcoming US vs. UK season of TUF? We’ll get those answers to you as soon as we can.

Here’s where the matchmaking gets kind of brilliant. The co-main event will be another light-heavyweight contest, between UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. If you’re up on your MMA lore, you’ll remember that Coleman handed Shogun his only loss in PRIDE — a TKO due to broken arm at PRIDE 31 in February ’06 — which led to the infamous Chute Boxe/Hammer House brawl (the entire incident can be seen here). Now Rua will get a chance to settle the score, once and for all. Sure, Coleman hasn’t fought since getting armbarred by Fedor Emelianenko at PRIDE 32 in October ’06, and Rua has been battling injuries since his loss to Forrest Griffin at UFC 76, but you can’t beat that storyline…

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