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Armchair Matchmaker: UFC 121 Edition

Jake Shields Martin Kampmann UFC 121
(Worst ‘America’s Got Talent’ audition ever. Photo courtesy of

Cain Velasquez has a date with Junior Dos Santos, and Jake Shields — God help us — is still likely to face the winner of GSP vs. Koscheck. But the fates of UFC 121‘s other winners and losers are yet to be determined. As usual, we have some brilliant suggestions…

Brock Lesnar: Assuming that nobody really wants to see a Lesnar vs. Mir rubber match, there are a surprising lack of options for the new ex-champ. If Roy Nelson beats Shane Carwin at UFC 125, Lesnar vs. Big Country would make perfect sense. (Lesnar vs. Carwin II is also an option for down the road, considering Carwin never felt like Brock beat him fair and square.) But at the moment, the best available opponent for Lesnar is Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who’s coming off his own nasty loss to Velasquez. The fading Big Nog would likely take a beating, but the UFC needs to re-build their most bankable star against a credible name, and letting Lesnar whale on a legend is an effective way to do it.

Martin Kampmann: The first name that comes to mind is Dan Hardy, though the UFC probably wants to avoid the possibility of one of their British stars dropping three straight. So how ’bout this: Nate Diaz. The TUF 5 winner and moneyweight contender is facing Dong Hyun Kim at UFC 125. If Diaz wins, Diaz vs. Kampmann is a great matchup between two guys who are on the same upper-middle region of the welterweight ladder. If Diaz gets outgrappled by DHK, then Kampmann gets a rebound against an "easier" opponent. Either way, it’s a scrap.


UFC 121 Aftermath, Part Two: A Few Things That Seem Far Less Important By Comparison

(Your Brazilian SWAT training is no match for the power of positive thinking, Paulo. PicProps:

Mostly by virtue of the hype surrounding the main event, UFC 121 succeeded in preserving the aura of a big time fight show despite the fact that many of the bouts were … what’s the nice way to say this … terribly boring. Even still, a bunch of stuff happened that we need to mention: Jake Shields pretty much proved that it’s physically fucking impossible for top fighters from other organizations to look good in their UFC debuts.  Diego Sanchez defeated Paulo Thiago using the sheer supremacy of his personality. Gabriel Gonzaga showed that he’d be better off climbing to the top of a half-finished construction site and tossing barrels down at his opponents than try to strike with them. Tito Ortiz looked done like dinner, thus taking the next ironic step in his journey toward becoming – as we suggested on last week’s Bum Rush – the new Ken Shamrock.

Was it thrilling? Nah, but the ultimate crumbling of Casa de Lesnar made up for all of it. Shoot, it even reduced Dave Camarillo to tears. What more do you want?


UFC 121: Lesnar vs. Velasquez — Live Results and Commentary and Beards

Brock Lesnar Cain Velasquez UFC 121 photos
(Above: "Look, everybody in Minnesota grows a beard in the winter, and most of us use deer urine to keep it soft and shiny. I’m sorry if the smell is unfamiliar to you." Below: It’s nice to see that someone else appreciates the long and brave career of Dana Delany. / Photos courtesy of
Tito Ortiz Dana Is My Hero t-shirt UFC 121

With Brock Lesnar gunning for a historic third-consecutive heavyweight title defense against Mexican-American upstart Cain Velasquez, belt-collector Jake Shields making his first appearance in the Octagon, and Tito Ortiz possibly making his last appearance in the Octagon, there’s a lot on the line tonight in Anaheim. Round-by-round results from UFC 121 can be found after the jump, starting with the Spike prelims at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all latest, and please let your voice be heard in the comments section.


Bizarro World Video: Strikeforce Fighters and Personalities Make UFC 121 Predictions

(Video courtesy Fight!Magazine)

If a reporter were to ask Dana White who he was picking to win from an upcoming Strikeforce card, the UFC president would likely answer with something to the effect of, "Are you retarded? I don’t fucking watch Strikeforce. That show is garbage," before walking away in disgust.

It’s sad when pride and despising the competition gets in the way of being a fan of decent match-ups and it becomes the norm for reporters to pretend that other competing organizations don’t exist when talking to promoters.

Fight! Magazine’s Danny Acosta defied convention at the release party for the EA Sports MMA game this week and asked Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, commentator Frank Shamrock and fighters Dan Henderson and Fedor Emelianenko for their picks for UFC 121 on Saturday night.

Shamrock came off like his usual arrogant self, proclaiming that he won’t watch Jake Shields’ UFC debut and that he hopes Kampmann kills him, but the rest of the Strikeforce crew give thoughtful insight into which fighters and why they will win the main and co-main events of the card.


UFC 121 Press Conference Notes: Kampmann Not Guaranteed Title Shot if He Beats Shields and There is Movement in MMA in New York

(They were polar opposites with hearts of gold and a weakness for terrible chest tattoos.)

If you didn’t catch today’s UFC 121 press conference, you didn’t miss a whole hell of a lot more than the usual answers to the usual questions, but there were a few interesting tidbits revealed by UFC president Dana White including that he will be travelling to New York tomorrow to discuss some movement in the sanctioning of MMA in the hold-out state and the fact that he considered giving Jake Shields a title shot in his first UFC fight based on his record and accomplishments outside the Octagon.

Reflecting off of another, "Do you see MMA in the Olympics in the future?" question he was lobbed at the presser, White explained that things in New York are "moving faster than [he] could have imagined" and that he will be meeting with some unnamed individuals in that regard on Thursday.


Watch the ‘UFC 121: Lesnar vs. Velasquez’ Press Conference Right Here, Beginning at 5 p.m. ET

UFC 121 poster Brock Lesnar Cain Velasquez

As is tradition during UFC fight week, the major players of UFC 121 are about to assemble for a public press conference at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Beginning at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT, Brock Lesnar, Cain Velasquez, Jake Shields, Martin Kampmann, Tito Ortiz, Matt Hamill, and Dana White will be fielding questions from the media. You can watch the proceedings in the UFC’s media player, which is waiting for you after the jump. And if you need any more help in getting hyped up for this event, be advised that Spike TV will be airing UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin tonight at 7 p.m., followed by the third and final episode of UFC Primetime: Lesnar vs. Velasquez at 9:30 p.m. 


Martin Kampmann Thinks Jake Shields Is a Boring Fighter

Martin Kampmann UFC
(Martin Kampmann: Even when he grooms his eyebrows it’s intense.)

In the lead up to Saturday’s UFC 121: Lesnar vs. Velsasquez show in Anaheim, a major talking point has been Jake Shields‘s highly anticipated UFC debut. Lost in all the hype and Jake-centric media coverage is Shields’s opponent Martin Kampmann, who has taken out names like Paulo Thiago, Carlos Condit, and Thales Leites during his 10-fight run in the Octagon.

Martin was a guest on the latest episode of The Bum Rush Radio Show, where he discussed being underestimated by fans, and agreed with the widespread opinion that Jake Shields is boring a fighter. For the benefit of you lazy bastards who haven’t subscribed to our show yet, we’ve reprinted an excerpt below…

CAGEPOTATO.COM: It seems like all the media attention in this fight is on your opponent. You have Dana White saying Jake Shields will likely get a title shot if he beats you…do you feel overlooked or disrespected in any way by how this fight is being promoted, or presented in the media?
MARTIN KAMPMANN: He’s getting a lot of hype, and I feel sometimes people underestimate me. People underestimated me for my last fight too, they were counting me out then as well, but I proved everybody wrong, and I plan to prove everybody wrong in this fight as well…I’m in the UFC to achieve my goals, and Jake’s just another guy in the way.

If Jake Shields is being offered a title shot if he beats you, do you think the same offer should extend to you? If you beat Shields, are you worthy of the next shot?
Yeah, I definitely think so. If he can earn a title shot coming in from Strikeforce with his first fight in the UFC…this is my 11th fight in the UFC, so I think I’ve paid my dues. Of course it’s up to the UFC who gets the title shot, but I definitely think that it’ll put me up in #1 contender status with a win.


Check Out Episode 8 of The Bum Rush Radio Show With Special Guest Martin ‘Hitman’ Kampmann

(This wouldn’t be the last time Ben and Dana’s paths would cross…)

Chances are, if you’re an MMA media type like Ben, Chad or myself and you get a mid-afternoon call from Dana White on a Saturday, it’s not because he’s inviting you out for Pinkberry.

I won’t give away the surprise, but I will say, if nothing else, although I recommend you check out Ben’s interview with UFC welterweight contender Martin Kampmann, I suggest you listen to the first five minutes of the show to hear what "The Baldfather" had to say to our fearless leader.

All of the usual inane banter, terribly inaccurate predictions and somewhat expert analysis are all still included free of charge.

Instead of waiting with bated breath for us to post the latest episode of the show every other week, make your complicated lives easier by subscribing to The Bum Rush on iTunes HERE.


For The Sake of UFC Fans Everywhere, Please Let Martin Kampmann Beat Jake Shields

(Video courtesy YouTube/

If Jon Fitch has any clout left with the UFC since being fired and re-hired by the organization because of a dispute over signing over his likeness rights to the UFC Undisputed video game franchise, the American Kickboxing Academy fighter may get the winner of the UFC 121 welterweight tilt between Martin Kampmann and Jake Shields.

"The next time a title shot is coming around is probably going to be a while, so I’m kinda thinking I might wanna fight again before the title shot. The winner of Kampmann-Shields would be a perfect match-up. I’ve known Jake [Shields] for a long time. He’s a good friend of mine. I’m all about fighting the best guys in the world and we’ve known for a long time that this day would probably come where we’d have to fight. So be it."

If you recall, Fitch was supposed to get next dibs at the winner of the UFC 124 Kos-GSP showdown, but after his lacklustre win over Thiago Alves at UFC 117, Dana White reneged on giving him the next title shot, saying, "We’ll see," when pressed about it at the post-fight press conference.


Dana White Undecided On Who Should Get Next Welterweight Title Shot After Koscheck

(Video courtesy TheMMAFix)

It looks like Dana White wasn’t thrilled with Jon Fitch’s less than enthralling performance in his win over Thiago Alves at UFC 118 last month, since the UFC president has now rescinded an earlier assertion that the winner of the bout would be next in line for a title shot at the winner of December’s Georges St-Pierre-Josh Koscheck showdown.

During an appearance on Comcast Sportsnet Washington’s The MMA Fix, White said the welterweight title picture is a bit murkier than it seemed a few weeks ago, which may be partially a result of Fitch’s conservative stall and brawl tactics he employed to decision Alves.

"I want to wait for Koscheck and St-Perre to happen and we’ll figure out who gets the next shot," White explained noncommittally.  "By then Jake Shields will have fought…Kampmann…you know…we’ll see what happens. A lot of it is timing too."