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Tag: Mauricio Rua

CagePotato Roundtable #33: What is the Greatest One-Minute Fight of All Time?


( *sigh* They just don’t make squash matches like they used to. Photo via Getty.)

How good can a fight *really* be if it ends quicker than Michael Bisping’s prom night? That’s just the question we’re trying to answer this week, and we’ve got a whole slew of special guests to help us: Sydnie Jones of WomensMMA (making her second CP Roundtable appearance), Tim Burke (formerly of BloodyElbow), MiddleEasy Editor-in-Chief Jason Nawara, and MiddleEasy writer Nick Robertson. The topic: What is the Greatest One-Minute Fight of All Time? Join us for yet another thrilling CagePotato Roundtable, won’t you?

Ben Goldstein

Anderson Silva vs. Chris Leben is an obvious pick, I know. The 49-second demolition from Ultimate Fight Night 5 has been anthologized in dozens of Internet lists — from “Worst Game Plans of All Time,” to “Most Spectacular UFC Debuts” — and kicked off the greatest win streak in UFC history. It’s a flawless victory, in the Mortal Kombat sense of the phrase.

Coincidentally, Silva vs. Leben synchronizes perfectly to my favorite under-a-minute song of all time, “Wasted” by Black Flag, which is officially listed at 51 seconds, but includes about two seconds of dead air at the end. For your convenience, I’ve overlaid the Silva vs. Leben fight with “Wasted” in the video above, so you can see what I mean.

The whole thing is fast, dumb, and violent, just like MMA at its best. And when Leben collapses to the mat at the end of the fight, as Keith Morris shrugs off the final line “I was wasted,” it’s such a perfect summary of Leben’s persona. He’s reckless, self-sabotaging, often intoxicated, always driving forward with no regard for the consequences. He’ll wake up the next morning with a massive headache, take a couple bong rips, and go skateboarding without a helmet, because fuck it, if it’s your time to go it’s your time to go.

Honorable mention: Ronda Rousey vs. Alexis Davis, which is the “I Like Food” by the Descendents of MMA fights.

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CagePotato Presents: The 10 Best UFC Brawls of the Year (So Far)


(This photo and all photos after it via Getty)

By Jared Jones

It’s the halfway-ish point of the year, which means that we are a mere six or so months away from handing out our annual Potato Awards in categories such as “MMA Fail of the Year”, “Media Shill of the Year”, and the always coveted “Krazy Horse Bennett Arrest of the Year.” But because you Taters have been good this year, we’re going to allow you to open one present early: Our definitive ranking of the best UFC brawls of the year, so far.

It’s been a rocky year for the UFC, to say the absolute least. Pay-per-view numbers are tanking, fan interest is waning due to market oversaturation, and even the promotion’s new video game has been plagued by (albeit hilarious) technical issues. But the great thing about the UFC/MMA in general is that all can be forgiven with a few great fights, and these 10 brawls are undoubtedly the kernels of corn hidden amongst the soggy floor-turds that the UFC has been shitting out this year.

To repeat: This list is only dedicated to the best *brawls* of the year, which implies a fight in which both participants take their fare share of licks. TJ Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao was a one-sided beatdown, albeit a brilliant one-sided beatdown, and therefore bears no mention here. Except that I just mentioned it. God damn it.

Let’s just get to the top 10 brawls of the year, nearly all of which contain links to full fight videos for your viewing pleasure…

#10 – Kevin Souza vs Mark Eddiva: TUF Brazil 3 Finale

(Check out Souza vs. Eddiva in its entirety here.)

A classic example of two guys with more heart than brains (or defensive capabilities) leaving it all in the octagon, Kevin Souza vs. Mark Eddiva opened up the FS1 prelims for the TUF Brazil Finale in a huge way.

Watching Souza vs. Eddiva was kind of like watching two women play Tekken for the very first time, in that both fighters only seemed to understand how one button on their controllers worked — for Eddiva it was leg kicks, for Souza it was the overhand right. These two techniques were traded with absolutely zero setup for two highly entertaining rounds, earning both men a $50,000 “Fight of the Night’ bonus in an evening of otherwise unmemorable decisions and memorable-for-all-the-wrong-ways squash matches. It was Souza, however, who walked away from the fight victorious via an always rare standing TKO.

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The Greatest Fights in MMA History Tournament: Vote Now in the Finals!

It all comes down to this. The semifinal round of our Greatest Fights in MMA History Tournament is in the books, and two finalists have emerged after a pair of close battles…

- Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua 1 defeated Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar 1, with 55.6% of the vote. And so, a recent epic replaces an older one in the pantheon of all-time great MMA fights. Had to happen eventually.

- Don Frye vs. Yoshihiro Takayama defeated Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen 1, with 52.8% of the vote. I’m surprised it was this close. Kudos to Silva vs. Sonnen 1 for making it competitive, and for their scrappy underdog run in this tournament overall.

So which fight deserves to call itself The Greatest Fight in MMA History — Henderson vs. Rua 1 or Frye vs. Takayama? Vote now, and come back on Wednesday when we reveal the winner!

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The Agony of Being an MMA Fan


(Indeed, all life is pain.)

By Adam Ackerman

I was reminded of something on Sunday night. Not only that I haven’t been to church in decades, but also that it can really hurt to be a fan of a specific fighter. I felt a sense of anger, sadness, and frustration when Mauricio “Shogun” Rua was knocked out by Dan Henderson. I haven’t felt that in years, not since June 26th, 2010, when Fedor Emelianenko suffered his real first loss. That night, I realized it may be better to be a fan of the sport of MMA, and not of individuals. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my favorites, but I try to look at every fight objectively and analytically.

It’s difficult not to put feelings and emotions into a fighter’s performance, because fighting is such an emotional sport. Fighters can’t always win, and don’t compete often. If seeing your favorite guy or gal win makes you happy, and watching them lose makes you sad, you could be in for one hell of a roller-coaster ride.

Being a fan of a fighter is not like being a hockey fan. The Red Wings can lose 15 games in a row and they could still go on a winning streak and make it to the playoffs. No big deal, they have a chance one or two times every week to start over. Not so much in this sport.

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‘UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Henderson 2′ — Fight Highlights, Bonuses, And Event Recap


(Shogun vs. Henderson 2 highlights via Fox Sports)

Dan Henderson and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua fought for the second time last night in Natal, Brazil, and though we weren’t treated to another five-round dogfight, the rematch turned out to be nearly as incredible as their first meeting. This time, it was Henderson who was getting beaten up in the early rounds, as an energized Shogun Rua came close to finishing the American legend on more than one occasion. It seemed like Henderson’s heart, experience, and still-solid chin were the only things keeping him alive going into round three. And then…boo-yah.

All it took was one right hand directly across the chin to snap Shogun’s head back and send him into a backwards somersault across the mat. Arguably, referee Herb Dean could have stopped the fight as soon as Shogun went ass-over-teakettle, but he allowed Hendo to follow up the knockdown with some controversial blows to the back of the head, as Shogun groggily clung to Henderson’s leg. To those of you who expected Herb Dean to penalize Henderson during the finishing sequence: You haven’t been watching MMA for very long, have you?

Henderson and Rua each earned $50,000 Fight of the Night bonuses for their headlining battle, and Dan Henderson also scored a $50,000 Performance of the Night award. (The unofficial Broken Nose of the Night award went to Shogun.) The other Performance of the Night bonus went to Godofredo “Pepey” Castro, who wrecked Israeli UFC newcomer Noad Lahat with a flying knee in the first fight of the night.

The Pepey/Lahat KO was just one of five matches at UFC Fight Night 38 that ended in the first round. Notably, middleweight vet CB Dollaway TKO’d TUF Brazil 1 winner Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira in just 39 seconds with an impressive display of counter-punching, which you can watch below…

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Classic Fight: Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 139 [VIDEO]


(Video is after the jump.)

This Sunday at UFC Fight Night 38 in Brazil, Dan Henderson and Mauricio Rua will meet in a rematch of one of the greatest fights in UFC history. Their first bout went down back in November 2011 at UFC 139, and featured five rounds of mutual abuse that was more like a two-man demolition derby than a professional MMA fight. In the end, Hendo earned a unanimous decision with 48-47 scores from all three judges — although it would have been a different story if the fight was scored under Stockton Rules.

It might be overly optimistic to think that these two living legends could produce a sequel that rivals their first meeting, especially when you consider that Hendo is now 43 years old, has gone winless since the first Shogun fight, and may already be considering the end of his career. The only thing Sunday’s fight will determine is which guy gets to keep plugging away a little longer. To call it “the most anticipated rematch in UFC history” is laughably inaccurate.

Still, if you’ve been a fan of Henderson and Shogun’s long, decorated careers — and if you consider yourself an MMA fan, it’s pretty likely that you idolized at least one of these guys at some point — it’s not a bad free fight for a Sunday evening. Check out their epic first match below and shoot us your predictions for Shogun vs. Henderson 2 in the comments section.

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Shogun vs. Henderson 2 to Headline March ‘UFC Fight Night’ Card in Brazil [UPDATED]


(2011′s Slobberknocker of the Year is getting a sequel. / Photo via MMAFighting.com)

As first reported by Tatame, a rematch between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Dan Henderson will headline a March 23rd UFC Fight Night event in Natal, Brazil. Broadcast plans haven’t been announced yet; hopefully the UFC doesn’t bury it on Fight Pass, because I’d actually like to watch this one.

(Update: UFC Fight Night 38: Shogun vs. Henderson 2 will take place at the Nelio Dias Gymnasium in Natal, and will be aired live on FOX Sports 1. By the way, March 23rd is a Sunday. The event isn’t happening on Saturday because FS1 is airing a motocross event that day. Seriously.)

Shogun and Hendo first squared off at UFC 139 back in November 2011, with Henderson earning a unanimous decision victory after five rounds of beautiful violence. But as we all know, Shogun was kicking Dan’s ass in last round, and would have won had the fight been scored under the Unified Rules of Stockton.

Rua has gone 2-2 since that night, including savage knockouts of Brandon Vera and James Te-Huna (“The Old Shogun is back! PRIDE neva die!”) and losses to Alexander Gustafsson and Chael Sonnen (“Shogun is finished! PRIDE die, maybe!”). Meanwhile, Henderson has only tasted defeat over the past two years, eating three straight losses against Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, and Vitor Belfort. Hendo’s losing streak led the UFC to make him a borderline-insulting lowball offer during his recent contract negotiations, but apparently the two sides have come to terms.

So are you psyched to see these two living legends do battle once again? Or did you satisfy your PRIDE fanboy fix the first time?

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Five UFC Title Rematches That Urijah Faber Should Look to For Inspiration


(Photo via Getty)

By Scott Sawitz

After taking the fight on less than a month’s notice, Urijah Faber will step into the main event of UFC 169 (February 1st, Newark) against Renan Barao, who took a definitive and dominant five-round decision over the former WEC stalwart at UFC 149, for what was then supposed to be an interim title in the bantamweight division. With Dominick Cruz vacating his title due to yet another injury, Faber will have his third opportunity to win UFC gold. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have much time to prepare for Barao, who’s become one of the toughest outs in all of MMA.

Faber’s year-round commitment to being in near peak condition — a Team Alpha Male requirement, it seems — affords him this luxury of taking a fight on short notice. Over 18 months have passed since the California Kid walked out of the cage against Barao on the losing side, and what could have been Faber’s last UFC title fight has turned into something else entirely. With four wins (and three submission finishes) over highly ranked opponents marking a stellar 2013 campaign, Faber willed himself into title contention one more time by running roughshod over the UFC’s 135-pound division.

With the rematch set, and Faber looking ahead to what could (once again) be his last shot at a UFC belt, one imagines that the Duane “Bang” Ludwig-led Team Alpha Male squad has a much different game plan in mind for Faber against the Brazilian champion. Ludwig, who has spoke of his fondness for watching fight video in preparation, should have five UFC title rematches on his mind while preparing his fighter for next month’s bout. Each of these fights contain profound lessons that could help Faber become the first Team Alpha Male member to hold a UFC championship belt. Let’s begin…

Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos 2 @ UFC 155

(Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

Lesson: Make your opponent fight your game

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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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UFC Fight Night 33: Hunt vs. Bigfoot — Live Results & Commentary


(Rugby: You’re doing it wrong. I think. To be honest, I’m not 100% sure what rugby’s supposed to look like. / Photo via Getty)

The UFC lands in Brisbane tonight for UFC Fight Night 33, and for a free card overseas, this thing is kind of loaded. In the main event, heavyweight contenders Mark Hunt and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva slug it out in a match that is scheduled for five rounds but probably won’t last that long. Also on the card, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua‘s continued status as an active UFC light-heavyweight is on the line against New Zealand native James Te Huna, while Pat Barry and Ryan Bader attempt to bounce back from recent TKO losses against Soa Palelei and Anthony Perosh, respectively. Plus: Julie Kedzie will attempt to humiliate Bethe Correia as badly in the cage as she did during yesterday’s weigh-ins.

Our liveblog of the “Hunt vs. Bigfoot” FOX Sports 1 main card begins at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT. Get round-round results after the jump, refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest updates, and shoot us your own thoughts in the comments section.

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