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Tag: Michael Johnson

UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen Aftermath – New Beginnings


(Photo courtesy of Josh Hedges via Getty Images.)

By George Shunick

On paper, UFC Fight Night 26 – or UFC on Fox Sports 1 1, or UFC Fight Night: Sonnen vs. Shogun, or whatever else people were calling this card – looked to be one of the strongest of the year. Usually those cards tend to be solid, but still fall a little short of the hype. This wasn’t one of those cards. All but one or two fights delivered in some form, often with jarring, violent finishes. It was all the UFC could have hoped for to cap off its run on Fox Sports’ new network.

Let’s start at the top; Chael Sonnen managed to control Mauricio “Shogun” Rua for the majority of the first round before shocking everyone by finishing Shogun with a guillotine choke. For Sonnen, this was a big win; it legitimizes his jump to 205, and he managed to submit an opponent with very high level submission grappling ability. It also netted him an extra $50,000 for one of the UFC’s Submission of the Night bonuses. Now everyone from Lyoto Machida to Vitor Belfort is chomping at the bit to get a shot at him. He’ll probably move on to fight either one of them, or Wanderlei Silva in a gimme matchup. As for Shogun, he was eulogized elsewhere before the fight. The hard truth is he hasn’t been the fighter he was since his third knee surgery after the second Machida fight, and getting hammered by Jon Jones and Dan Henderson probably didn’t help matters. Getting finished by Sonnen in the first round is evidence of that. It’s not quite time to hang up the gloves, but that day is drawing ever nearer for the 31 year-old.

On a slightly more enjoyable note was the shocking ending to the Travis Browne-Alistair Overeem co-main event. Overeem held the edge in power and technique, and it showed from the beginning. Overeem hammered Browne with shots from all angles, but particularly knees to the midsection. Browne was dropped a number of times but was never out of it, always maintaining an intelligent, if not necessarily effective, defense. But Overeem, as he is wont to do, began to tire. As he plodded forward, Browne unleashed a front kick that, while lacking the snap found in Anderson Silva’s or Lyoto Machida’s, was still sufficient to drop Ubereem. Browne followed with hammerfists and Mario Yamasaki stepped in. It was slightly premature, though Overeem had no complaints.

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UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen — Main Card Results & Commentary


(Personally, I’d stay away from any mortgage service that advertises on Chael Sonnen’s butt-cheeks, but hey, that’s just me. / Photo via MMAFighting.com)

The UFC is going all-in for their big debut on FOX Sports 1. Tonight’s UFC Fight Night 26 main card broadcast features a former UFC light-heavyweight champion (Mauricio “Shogun” Rua), a three-time UFC title challenger (Chael Sonnen), a former Strikeforce/DREAM/K-1 champion (Alistair Overeem), a former WEC champ (Urijah Faber), one of the two most bonus-decorated fighters in UFC history (Joe Lauzon), the man responsible for ending the Griggs Era (Travis Browne), an American hero who pre-emptively shattered a terrorist’s nose (John Howard), the owner of the greatest knockout in TUF history (Uriah Hall), and that gritty son of a bitch Matt Brown. If only all UFC card were this stacked and this free.

Handling the main card play-by-play for the UFC’s return to Boston is our man Oliver Chan (aka “O Chan”), who will be hand-delivering “UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen” live results after the jump beginning at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and keep the conversation poppin’ in the comments section. Thanks for being here.

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Interview: A Healthy, Thankful Joe Lauzon Readies to Battle at Home in Boston Saturday Night


(Lauzon still carries a little reminder from his most recent war against Jim Miller. / Photo via Getty)

By Elias Cepeda

“I’m definitely excited and equally scared,” Joe Lauzon says while driving through some nasty Boston traffic this past Wednesday. On Saturday, the Massachusetts lightweight will fight in front of his home town at the Boston Garden on the UFC Fight Night 26 main card — but that isn’t what has Lauzon excited and scared.

The 29-year-old just found out that he and his girlfriend are expecting their first child together, a boy. “Obviously I want everything to go smooth and have a healthy kid. There’s all kinds of stuff to be worried about,” he confesses.

That’s Joe the expecting father talking. Joe the fighter doesn’t expect a child to change anything at all for him.

“Having a kid doesn’t change anything for me, fight wise. There’s a little bit with timing — I don’t want to fight right before or after he is born, but other than that…I train really hard and I fight really hard. I don’t think having a kid will change any of that,” he says.

So don’t expect platitudes from Lauzon about how being a dad adds or takes away from his motivation, as has often been said by other fighters. Joe likes to scrap, always had, always will.

And, after a pretty long lay-off, Lauzon has a good, tough bout ahead of him Saturday against the underrated Michael Johnson. 2012 saw Lauzon raise his star with a win and two Fight of The Year candidates, but he has yet to fight in 2013, choosing to let old injuries heal and wait for a chance to fight in Boston.

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Booking Update: Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Johnson Added to ‘UFC on FOX Sports 1 1′


(Props: @UFCFighterArt)

The last time we saw Joe Lauzon, the UFC lightweight veteran lost a bloody, gutsy decision against Jim Miller at UFC 155, fighting gamely to the last bell after spending the entire first round being hit with every strike ever invented in the history of martial arts. The resulting Fight of the Night award gave Lauzon his twelfth UFC performance bonus — and his tenth in his last ten fights (!) — placing him back into a tie with Anderson Silva as the most bonus-worthy fighter in UFC history. But the loss also dropped Lauzon’s 2012 record to 1-2, which means it’s rebound-time once again.

Multiple sources are reporting that Lauzon will return to the Octagon in a hometown appearance at UFC on FOX Sports 1 1 (August 17th, Boston), where he’ll face TUF 12 finalist Michael Johnson. Johnson could use a victory here even more than Lauzon; with losses to Reza Madadi and Myles Jury in his last two fights, Johnson’s back is squarely against the wall.

Fun fact: Lauzon has never lost two consecutive fights in his entire career. Fun opinion: He’s probably going to keep that streak alive in Boston. The question is, which end-of-night bonus is he most likely to earn here?

Previously: Matt Brown vs. Thiago Alves Planned for UFC on Fox Sports 1 1

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Diego Brandao vs. Pablo Garza Joins ‘UFC on FUEL 9′ Along With Two Other Fights


(Only Brandao can make a mouthful of Tropical Skittles seem so Goddamn intimidating. Photo via MMAWeekly.) 

A plethora of fights have recently been announced for the UFC’s return to Sweden on April 6th, starting with a featherweight scrap that is all but guaranteed to deliver some high-level thrills. Since winning the TUF 14 plaque back in December of 2011 following a dominant run on the show, Diego Brandao has gone just 1-1 in the UFC, dropping a unanimous decision to Darren Elkins in his sophomore appearance at UFC 146 before scoring a UD win of his own over Joey Gambino at UFC 153. For his next appearance, the 5’7″ Brazilian will be forced to somehow negate the distance created by 6’1″ Pablo Garza, who recently bounced back from a two-fight losing streak (including a UD loss to TUF 14 runner-up Dennis Bermudez) by retiring Mark Hominick at UFC 154. 

These subtle Cake references doing anything for you guys? OK, I’ll stop.

Although Garza hinted at a drop to 135 following his win over Hominick, it appears as if he will be looking to build a little momentum at featherweight before doing so. That, or Garza came to realization that he already resembles Brian Robeson at the end of Hatchet come fight night and dropping another ten pounds would likely kill him.

Also on par for UFC on FUEL 9 is a lightweight pairing between Reza Madadi (1-1 UFC) and TUF 12 runner-up Michael Johnson (4-3 UFC), both of whom are coming off losses at UFC 153 and UFC 155, respectively. Middleweights Tom Lawlor and Michael Kuiper will also meet at the event. Lawlor most recently dropped a controversial decision (controversial meaning “bullshit” in this case) to the highly-touted Francis Carmont at UFC 154, whereas Kuiper last scored a second round TKO over Jared Hamman at UFC 150. 

The full lineup for UFC on FUEL 9 is after the jump.

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UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez II — FX Prelims Results & Commentary


(I don’t care what they’re arguing about. I’m always going to side with the guy who’s not wearing bikini briefs. / Photo courtesy of Esther Lin’s UFC 155 weigh-in set on MMAFighting.com)

As an appetizer to tonight’s UFC 155 pay-per-view blowout, the UFC has slated four promising preliminary matchups on FX, featuring battle-tested sluggers (Melvin Guillard vs. Jamie Varner, Brad Pickett vs. Eddie Wineland) and streaking rising stars (Erik Perez vs. Byron Bloodworth, Michael Johnson vs. Myles Jury), all looking to close out 2012 with a bang, bro.

Handling the liveblog for this leg of our journey will be Anthony Gannon, who will be jotting down round-by-round results after the jump beginning at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and if you’re watching along with us, shoot us your own thoughts in the comments section.

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Armchair Matchmaker: ‘UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot’ Edition


(Having recently established himself as the alpha male, the Bigfoot eagerly races off into the jungles of Brazil to copulate with the herd’s last remaining female.)

We may be a few days removed from UFC on FX 5, but that doesn’t mean that the future has already been determined for the night’s biggest winners. Joe Silva and Sean Shelby may be the best in the biz, but even they could probably use a bit of matchmaking advice — or at least a backup plan– considering that half of the fights they book in the aftermath of this event will be cancelled due to injury, arrest, or a classic case of bitch wife. This is where the Armchair Matchmaker comes in, for what are sports without over analysis, needless speculation, and a headscratching appearance from Liam Neeson? By the end of this article, you will have witnessed at least one of these.

Here we go.

Antonio Silva: You might chalk this up to laziness, but pairing the rebounding “Bigfoot” against Stefan Struve seems like an awesome idea to us. We know Stefan called out Fabricio Werdum following his big win over Stipe Miocic at UFC on FUEL 5, but we think this matchup makes just as much sense, if not more. Both men have recently reestablished themselves at legitimate threats and Werdum 2.0 (you know, the one that can do this to people on the feet) seems like he would put on a clinic against either man. It would be a stretch to declare that either Struve or Silva are exactly title-worthy material yet, so let these two big men slug it out and give the winner a top contender. It’s a classic battle of Chin vs. Lankiness – Jay Leno vs. Conan O’Brien in an MMA ring, if you will — and would surely deliver an exciting finish inside the distance.

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UFC Begins to Transplant Canceled UFC 151 Bouts. Spoiler Alert: None End Up On PPV.


Pictured: Their approximate reactions to finding out “garbage-ass” was a real phrase.

One week ago, Ben published an article voicing concerns over how weak UFC 151′s main card was. But it was cool, because Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson was going to be such an awesome fight. Two days ago, Jones vs. Henderson was scrapped and UFC 151 was canceled. [Ed. note: Damn, two days? Feels like we've been covering this forever.] Even though most of us acknowledged that the cancellation of the event was at least partially due to the garbage-assness of pretty much the entire card, we were too busy talking about Jon Jones ducking Chael Sonnen/Sonnen attempting to troll his way into an immediate title shot (depending on which side of the fence you’re on) to really delve into the issue. But now that the UFC has started to transplant the canceled UFC 151 fights to other cards, it’s time to take a closer look at that issue for a moment.

The bouts from UFC 151 are quickly being rescheduled for different cards, with UFC on FX 5 taking a significant chunk of them. As we covered in yesterday’s link dump, UFC 151′s planned co-main event, Jake Ellenberger vs. Jay Hieron, will now be the co-main event of UFC On FX 5. This won’t be the only fight from UFC 151′s main card that will now be padding UFC on FX 5 – Dennis Hallman vs. Thiago Tavares, Danny Castillo vs. Michael Johnson and Shane Roller vs. Jacob Volkmann will be moved to this card as well. UFC on Fuel TV 6 will now be featuring fights between bantamweights Takeya Mizugaki and Jeff Hougland and flyweights John Lineker and Yasuhiro Urushitani, while Kyle Noke and Charlie Brenneman will do the man dance on the undercard of UFC 152.

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s worth mentioning that absolutely none of these fights – three of which were on the pay-per-view portion of UFC 151, mind you – have made it to the main card of an upcoming pay-per-view. Now I understand that financially, most fighters who were expecting a paycheck on September 1 simply can’t afford to wait until November’s UFC 154 to fight again. But that’s not the issue: The issue is that the UFC could afford to move pay-per-view quality fights *makes this hand gesture* to free television in the first place.

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Josh Koscheck vs. Jake Ellenberger Confirmed as ‘UFC 151: Jones vs. Henderson’ Co-Main Event


(Koscheck doesn’t like curly blonde wigs for the same reason that Jon Jones doesn’t like fake UFC belts. It’s like, bro, you didn’t put in the work, okay? / Photo via Sherdog)

You can’t keep a good man down — or a bad one, either. Coming off his split-decision loss to Johny Hendricks in May, welterweight contender Josh Koscheck will try to bounce back against Jake Ellenberger in the co-main event of UFC 151: Jones vs. Henderson, September 1st in Las Vegas. Ellenberger is also coming off a defeat — his leave-from-ahead* knockout loss to Martin Kampmann at the TUF 15 Finale — which followed a six-fight win streak, including victories over Jake Shields and Diego Sanchez. So which top 170-pounder is going to wake up the next morning with two straight losses?

Koscheck hasn’t started talking trash to Ellenberger on twitter yet, but he did recently call you a sissy and pat his hair on the back. In other notable UFC 151 booking news…

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Booking Roundup: ‘Dan Hardy’s Comeback’ Edition


(We know Dan, he watches over us all.) 

It looks like Dan Hardy won’t be getting that fight against Matt Hughes he was angling for. And thank God, because we hear Hughes’ country breakfasts consist of Ovaltine and Total these days (we kind, we kid; they consist of grilled bobcat).  

After going 0-4 through 2010 and 2011, Hardy has been matched up with a perfect opponent to kickstart 2012, when he takes on UFC veteran Duane “Bang” Ludwig at UFC 146. Hardy, who has not fought since falling to a third round guillotine choke in Chris Lytle’s retirement bout in August of 2011, took some time off to refocus, train, and get pestered by drunken fans. Ludwig also saw his last fight end by way of guillotine, only he chose to adhere to the “tapping is for bitches” rule when he was choked out by Josh Neer at UFC on FX. The loss snapped a two fight win streak for Ludwig, his first since 2008, which included wins over Nick Osipczak and Amir Sadollah.

Although this wasn’t the match Hardy wanted, you gotta imagine he’ll be stoked knowing he’s taking on a fellow slugger with a limited ground game. But it will be interesting to see if Hardy follows a more subdued gameplan here. Like we said, the man’s dropped 4 straight, and another loss could mean his Zuffa career. Then again, the only reason that he is still in the UFC is thanks to his consistently exciting performances, so a snoozer against Ludwig seems unlikely. Let’s just sit back and enjoy what is sure to be a war, ladies and gentlemen.

In other UFC 146 news…

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