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Tag: Michael Bisping

Video: Countdown to UFC 89

In the official UFC 89 hype video we continue to hear about Chris Leben‘s transformation as a fighter, which has quickly become one of the main storylines heading into this event. Oddly, with all the talk about Leben’s transition from brawler to technically sound MMA fighter, whenever anyone talks about his strengths they inevitably end up talking mostly about the characteristics of a brawler (hard-hitting, looping punches, good chin, etc.) while ascribing to Michael Bisping the characteristics of a technical fighter (straight punches, apparently, which is laughable to Chris Wilson). Not saying Leben isn’t a different fighter these days, just saying the whole thing is interesting.

Anyway, give it a look and you won’t be disappointed. Despite burning through all the stock footage of British landmarks in existence, it’s another solid effort from the Countdown crew.

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Chris Leben’s Got Your Perspective Right Here

Chris Leben
(The people’s philosopher.)

When it comes to getting drunk and going crazy on The Ultimate Fighter, Chris Leben is sort of like the Neil Armstrong of the field. He did it first, when no one even knew whether it could be done, and so forever after people wanted to know what his thoughts were when other people did it. The difference is that while Armstrong stayed pretty involved and interested in the space program (God, this is a terrible analogy), Leben says he doesn’t really keep up with new installments of TUF. Which is why he might be forgiven for getting a little frustrated when asked about Junie Browning’s drunken freakouts during a media conference call to promote UFC 89:

You know, every time someone gets drunk on that show I get called by one of my friends who says, ‘You know, this guy reminds me of you. He was drunk and out of hand.’ You know, a house full of fighters…I got a saying, fighters are like strippers, they ain’t paying their way through college. What I mean by that is we all got a bunch of problems and skeletons in the closet.

Here’s my question: does Chris Leben have any sayings that don’t involve strippers? This is the same guy who, during the first season, coined the phrase, “I’ll come in smelling like booze and dirty strippers and still put the stamp on kids!”

Not that it wasn’t awesome, and not that his stripper/fighter analogy isn’t many times better than my Leben/Armstrong analogy, but dammit, comparing fighters and strippers seems like it isn’t doing either group too many favors.

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Friday Link Dump

- Drew Fickett gets waaaaaay too personal in forum post. (UG)

- Kim Couture calls Jared Shaw a perv, no one is terribly surprised. (Steve Cofield)

- Kenny Florian struggles for answers on “MMA Live”. (ESPN)

- Michael Bisping responds to Chris Leben with dry British sarcasm. (Fighters Only)

- TUF 8 ratings rebound with Junie Browning’s alcohol-fueled antics. (MMA Payout)

- Marcus Aurelio says Hermes Franca is a bad person. (MMA Rated)

- Bobby Lashley goes from WWE to ATT. (AmericanTopTeam.com)

- Brett Rogers to fight TBA for EliteXC in November. (AOL Fanhouse)

- The sad state of product placement. (Wall Street Fighter)

- Tribute to the naughty nurse. (Holy Taco)

- Eric Cartman’s most evil moments. (Screen Junkies)

- Japanese wrestler beaten by coach. (Nothing Toxic)

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In Depth: Bisping/Leben, Jardine/Vera, Alves/Sanchez

From Spike.com: Chris Leben says his loopy, wide-open style knocks people out. He also refuses to lose, check the news and read the interviews. Damn…dude is like the white Shonie Carter. Skip to the -5:14 mark for the ridiculous ending to his fight against Terry Martin; there’s your warning to not get cocky, Count. Later in this video, we look at the matchup between the Dean of the Mean and the Truth, also at UFC 89.

From CBS.com, for some reason: A preview of the UFC 90 welterweight feature between Thiago Alves and Diego Sanchez. “You are going to see the strongest Sanchez you have ever seen before,” Sanchez says. “The result is gonna be a dominating submission victory.”

(Props: “Card” on the UG)

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Exclusive: Chris Leben Talks Fighting Bisping and the Judges at UFC 89 in England

Chris Leben’s first shot at Michael Bisping didn’t exactly go as planned. Soon after signing to fight “The Count” at UFC 85 in London, Leben was forced to return to Oregon to deal with an outstanding warrant resulting from a DUI arrest before he could leave the country. Though Leben and the UFC were hoping to resolve the matter quickly, the judge had other plans. Leben was sentenced to thirty-five days in jail, prompting the UFC to scratch him from the card.

With his legal troubles now behind him, Leben is getting a second chance at Bisping, this time at UFC 89 in Birmingham, England. In this exclusive CagePotato interview Leben discusses his maturation process as a fighter, his gameplan against Bisping, dealing with hometown judges, and more.

CagePotato.com: Hey Chris. Thanks for talking with me. We’re a few weeks out from the fight. How is your preparation coming?

Really good, really well. It’s been long and intense and I’m kind of just getting to the point now where I’m ready to go fight and get this thing over with.

It seems like things really changed for you when you moved to Hawaii. What has that move done for you?

You know, it’s great. Moving to Hawaii is definitely the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. I had the opportunity to be the head coach at Icon and there are a whole bunch of guys out here training with me who are just great. But besides the gym and the wonderful people out here you have the weather and everything that is Hawaii. It’s been really conducive to my training.

I hear a lot of people say you’re much more mature these days, no longer such a wild guy in and out of the cage. What do you think prompted that transformation?

Losing (laughs). You know, I got away with being a brawler for a long time. And it’s hard to change things when they’re working. But when I fought Anderson I realized, I might be able to beat 95% of the guys out there, but I’ll never be a world champion fighting this way. So I had to go back and change a lot of things. That was one part of it.

And the other part was, you know, coaching. Now that I have a team of amateur guys fighting, it’s hard to tell them to do something if you’re not doing it yourself.

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UFC Quick Hits: Bisping, Mir, Rampage/Wandy, & More

- Michael Bisping has some kind words for Chris Leben in the above ESPN interview, calling the UFC 89 bout his toughest challenge to date.

- Frank Mir astutely summed up what it was like to fight Brock Lesnar, telling Sherdog the experience was “like getting hit by a car that’s moving very slowly and you can’t get out of the way. It bumps and knocks you over and is just overwhelmingly powerful. …I didn’t know where he was half the time. It really felt like I was underwater and somebody was beating the s—-t out of me. I was just drowning under him.” Check out MMA’s undisputed champ of metaphors.

- Sounds like we can forget about seeing Wanderlei Silva-Rampage Jackson tacked on to the UFC 91 card. Yahoo!’s Kevin Iole says it’s more likely that fight will appear on a Super Bowl weekend card, but almost certainly won’t happen in 2008. At least it will give Rampage more time to sort out his legal problems and get comfortable with his new team.

- TUF 6′s Ben Saunders will take on Brandon Wolff at the UFC’s Dec. 10 event for the troops at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. This is the fight that War Machine turned down, right around the same time he made idiotic comments about Evan Tanner. Saunders kept his mouth shut and agreed to fight whoever the UFC asked him to. Guess who still has a job.

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Bisping and Henderson Rumored as ‘TUF 9′ Coaches

Michael Bisping Forrest Griffin UFC MMA ring girls
(Will Michael Bisping follow in Forrest Griffin’s footsteps? Photo courtesy of daylife.com)

From TheSun.co.uk:

Michael Bisping is hot favourite to be named as one of the coaches on the new series of The Ultimate Fighter

The UFC have not yet offered Bisping the coach’s role on TUF 9 because he is scheduled to fight Chris Leben at UFC 89 at the Birmingham National Indoor Arena on October 18.

But SunSport understands Dana White will immediately hand the British star a contract to appear on the show if he overcomes Leben next month.

It is believed Dan Henderson will coach the US team, with the TUF 9 finale featuring him in a clash for the #1 middleweight contender’s spot against Bisping, which could take place in December next year.

As the UFC’s only British star, it makes sense that the TUF 3 winner would be chosen as a coach for the “U.S. vs. U.K.” season of The Ultimate Fighter. But it also makes you wonder who will be picked to lead the British team if Bisping loses to Leben. We’re assuming it would still be Bisping — but then would a fight between him and Hendo really be a #1 contender match? When contacted by MMA Weekly, The Count confirmed that he hadn’t been made an offer yet, but he’d certainly be open to one:

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UFC Quick Hits: Sadollah, Gonzaga, Rampage + More

Amir Sadollah UFC MMA CB Dollaway
(Amir Sadollah could be part of Couture/Lesnar’s supporting cast.)

— UFC lightweight Gleison Tibau has been forced to pull out of his UFC 90 match against Hermes Franca due to a shoulder injury; replacing him will be Franca’s longtime friend Marcus Aurelio. Franca and Aurelio trained together at American Top Team before Franca left the camp, which led to a feud between Franca and ATT.

— During an appearance at Combat Sports Challenge 26 in Colonial Heights, Virginia, TUF 7 winner Amir Sadollah revealed that he expects his next fight to be at UFC 91 in November. His opponent should be announced in the near future.

— UFC 91 will also reportedly feature a heavyweight bout between Gabriel Gonzaga and UFC newcomer Josh Hendricks. Gonzaga is coming off a first-round submission win over Justin McCully at UFC 86 in July, which snapped a two-fight losing streak. Hendricks is a vet of various regional promotions who’s 9-0 with one no-contest in his last ten fights.

Michael Bisping thinks that Quinton Jackson’s next fight will be in December, against either Wanderlei Silva or Mauricio Rua: “[E]ither way, revenge is the dish that’ll be served up on the night! I’m sure whoever he gets in December, everyone at the Wolfslair will be behind him 100 per cent and fingers crossed he’ll get his revenge.”

— The UFC recently reunited eight castmembers from The Ultimate Fighter‘s first season to film an upcoming TV special. MMA Junkie provides some advance highlights, like when Joe Rogan asked the cast how much better they did with the women after being part of the show:

“If you’re in a relationship you want out of, now is the time to speak up,” Stephan Bonnar shouted, laughing.

When no one was willing to talk, Rogan called them “a bunch of (expletives).”

Forrest Griffin, now the UFC’s light heavyweight champion, broke the tension by shouting, “Hey, I don’t know about you guys, but I was doing pretty good with the women before.”

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Rampage to Make New Home at Wolfslair

Quinton Rampage Jackson Michael Bisping MMA UFC
(Big mistake.)

With Juanito Ibarra out of his life, Quinton Jackson was down a trainer and a business manager. But according to Fighters Only Magazine, he’s found both at Wolfslair Academy, the Liverpool, England-based MMA team that’s home to UFC fighters Michael Bisping and Paul Kelly. Jackson has signed a three-year deal that will make Wolfslair responsible for managing all aspects of his career, from training camps to securing sponsorships. According to gym co-owner Anthony McGann:

“After the Forrest fight, he felt that his training hadn’t been quite right. He was deeply disappointed in his performance and he felt like he needed to change some things in his life. He came to us as we’ve all been friends for a long time. He feels that training in England can help him focus, which can be difficult in California because of his star status. He’s relatively unknown in England…He will be training when he can in England and the Wolfslair will be running his camps up in Big Bear when he is preparing for his fights.”

Oddly, McGann mentioned that Jackson’s split with Juanito Ibarra was amicable, and they parted on good terms — which runs contrary to every other report on the subject. As for Jackson, he seems very enthusiastic about his new camp, since their vibe seems to mesh with his own:

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Evolution of an Icon, Chapter 5: In Which Leben Gets A Huge Buddha Tattoo


Chris Leben: Evolution of an Icon (Episode 5) – Watch more free videos

When Chris Leben first showed up to a fight with a tattoo of a samurai holding a severed head sprawling across his back, it seemed like he had finally found something to believe in. In this edition of “Chris Leben: Evolution of an Icon” he adds a different belief system to a different part of his body. Now, you’re probably thinking, ‘What could possibly make Chris Leben want a tattoo of the Buddha when nothing about his life or personal ethos seems to be in keeping with Buddhism?’

Fair question, but what you probably don’t know is that traditional Buddhism actually puts a lot of emphasis on coming in smelling like booze and dirty strippers and still putting the stamp on kids. Plus it looks cool, and nothing’s more American than co-opting the religious symbols of other cultures as ornamentation.

Bisping better be worried now. If he gets hit with Leben’s Buddha arm, it’s lights out.

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