Steroids in MMA
Which MMA Fighter Will Test Positive For Steroids Next?

Tag: Michael Johnson

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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GIF Party: ‘UFC on FOX 2: Evans vs. Davis’ edition


Swanson vs. Roop provided an early candidate for Side-Punchface of the Year. Props: UFC.com

Remember how last night, you invited your non-MMA fan friends over to introduce them to our sport? You spent the past week talking about how Chael Sonnen is one of the best trash talkers in professional sports, and how technical and talented these fighters were. You figured that after three fights that were guaranteed to be exceptional, your friends would be won over to MMA fandom. Then you’d continue to drink and be merry all night, and we’d all meet up here today for our traditional post-UFC event GIF party where we all high five over how awesome the fights were.

Well, it didn’t quite work out that way. Instead, you found yourself doing damage control as you watched three fights worth of sloppy brawling, wall and stall and Chael Sonnen’s blatant swaggerjacking of homage to “Superstar” Billy Graham. You tried to convince them that the fights are usually nothing like this, and that these guys gassing out and the end of the first round are world class athletes. Eventually, one of your friends said “I bet Pacquiao would destroy ANY of these guys” as the rest of your friends grabbed their coats and said they’d call you next time they wanted to watch the fights.

Okay, so last night sucked. But we’ve been planning this party all week, and we’ll be damned if we cancel it at this point. So grab an alcoholic beverage, put on your gaudiest Affliction shirt and join us for our traditional post-UFC event GIF Party.

As always, praise be to Zombie Prophet at IronForgesIron.com for the GIFS.

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Booking (Rumor) Roundup: Svedish Edition


(Ain’t that the truth.) 

Yesterday, the UFC announced that its second UFC on FUELTV event was set to transpire in Stockholm, Sweden, prompting fight booking rumors to materialize faster than an Ikea entertainment center. First off, a clash between middleweight strikers Brian Stann and Alessio Sakara is apparently in the works, and promises to be what JR would call, “a good old fashioned slobber knocker.”

After putting together a three fight win streak between 2008 and 2010, “Legionarius” has not fought since dropping a unanimous decision to last minute replacement and fast rising middleweight contender Chris Weidman at UFC Live 3. Sakara was set to face Jorge Rivera on two separate occasions, at UFC 118 and 133, but was forced to pull out from both fights due to some bad fish and a torn ACL, respectively. Stann similarly saw a three fight streak snapped at UFC 136, when he was dominated on the mat by Chael Sonnen en route to a second round arm triangle submission. Given Sakara’s somewhat suspect chin, you gotta imagine this match is Stann’s to lose.

When the UFC first announced the location of this event, there were a couple of names, mainly Alexander Gustafsson and Papy Abedi, that most figured would have to be included on the card. Though “The Mauler” has yet to be given an opponent, Abedi has already been booked to take on James Head. Abedi will be looking to rebound from a first round submission(!) loss to Thiago Alves in his UFC debut back at UFC 138 when he takes on Head, who is also coming off an unsuccessful octagon debut. The Oklahoma native was choked out by Nick Ring in the third round of their UFC 131 battle.

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Wednesday Morning MMA Link Club

Brittney Palmer calendar photos 2012 UFC ring girl
(“Okay, bring in the giant banana-dong.” Photo courtesy of Brittney Palmer’s Facebook page.)

Some selected highlights from our friends around the MMA blogosphere. E-mail feedback@cagepotato.com for details on how your site can join the MMA Link Club…

- The Ten Most Interesting Octagon Offerings in the Next 100 Days (Five Ounces of Pain)

- Scott Jorgensen Welcomes Jeff Curran Back to Big Leagues at UFC 137 (5thRound)

- Former UFC Fighter Justin Wren Puts Career on Hold to Answer Divine Call (MMA Fighting)

- Cung Le Discusses His Fighting Future, Says if It’s Not With the UFC He’s Done (LowKick)

- The Top Ten Exhibitions of Denny’s Street MMA (MiddleEasy)

- Dan Henderson’s Greatest Hits (MMA Convert)

- All Balls Brawl: An MMAmania Interview Exclusive With Gesias Cavalcante (MMA Mania)

- Nate Marquardt and the Issue of Accepting Responsibility (FightOpinion)

- Fight Nerd Cinema: “Ip Man” Movie Review (TheFightNerd)

- The 20 Goofiest MMA Fighters Ever (BleacherReport.com/MMA)

- UFC to Air Cruz vs. Johnson on Versus (MMAPayout)

- ‘TUF 12′ Finalist Michael Johnson Faces the ‘Sassangle’ at UFC on Versus 6 (NBC Sports MMA)

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In Spite of His UFC Success, Pablo Garza Says His Mom Still Doesn’t Know Exactly What It Is He Does For a Living


(Garza picking up the first UFC win in Ontario in impressive fashion.)

After racking up nine straight wins in the regional circuit, Pablo Garza suffered the first loss of his career under the bright lights of the WEC. Determined that he belonged in the big show, “The Scarecrow” made his way to Las Vegas to try out for The Ultimate Fighter 12, but failed to make it into the house when eventual finalist Michael Johnson knocked him out of the competition in the qualifying round.

Garza walked away from the show determined to improve. He was given another shot to prove that he belonged in the Octagon at the TUF 12 finale and he took the opportunity and ran with it as he knocked out Fredson Paxiao 51 seconds into the opening frame with a picture-perfect, $30,000 Knockout of the Night garnering flying knee.

Riding the momentum of his impressive UFC debut in December, the 27-year-old Fargo, North Dakota native wanted to make another statement in his follow-up fight last weekend at UFC 129 in Toronto against Yves Jabouin. It took him just 4:31 to silence the Canadian crowd and earn himself another performance bonus — this time for Submission of the Night and to the tune of $129, 000.

We spoke to Garza yesterday and touched on a number of topics including  his win over Jabouin Saturday night, what he plans to do with his latest bonus and what his family thinks about his career path.

Check out the interview with the fast-rising featherweight after the jump.

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‘Kid Khaos’ Is Not Impressed With KJ Noons, Michael Johnson, Wanderlei Silva or Cristiano Marcello

(Video courtesy of  YouTube/MrKidKhaos)

Charles Bennett emerged last week from wherever he’s been hiding since being choked out by Drew Fickett during the Shine Fights lightweight tournament just long enough to film himself sipping on a Mountain Dew and puffing on a Black & Mild while calling out a handful of fighters he has beefs with.

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‘The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck’ — Live Results and Commentary

Cody McKenzie TUF 12 finale UFC
(Above: "Remember, remember, the fourth of December, the Gunpowder Treason and plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot, brah." 
Below: You know what to do, honey. / Photos courtesy of UFC.com)

Welcome, fight fans, to the first leg of a liveblog double-header on CagePotato.com. The TUF 12 Finale gets rolling on Spike at 9 p.m. ET, with Team GSP lightweight finalists Jonathan Brookins and Michael Johnson battling for the highly coveted glassware, Stephan Bonnar trying to build a winning streak against Igor Pokrajac, and Demian Maia tangling with rangy TUF 3 winner Kendall Grove. Plus, five other TUF 12 vets will do their best to hang on to their UFC contracts, including Nam Phan, who clashes with hardy slugger Leonard Garcia in the UFC’s first-ever televised 145-pound feature. (Yes, the UFC has featherweights now!)

Round-by-round results await you after the jump; refresh the page every few minutes to get all the latest. Please toss in your two cents in the comments section, and don’t forget to check in at our viewing party at PlayPhilo.com for a chance to win a UFC: Ultimate 100 Greatest Fights DVD set. 

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‘The Ultimate Fighter’ 12.11 Recap: The Easter Bunny

Nam Phan TUF 12 Ultimate Fighter

Note: In addition to the the lightweight finals, three more matches featuring TUF 12 cast-members have been added to Saturday’s finale show. Details are at the end of this post…

"Now, fuck the team," George St. Pierre says to Jonathan Brookins and Kyle Watson to kick off last night’s episode. "There’s no more team." GSP won’t be giving strategic advice to Brookins and Watson for their red-on-red semifinal match; it’s time for them to sink or swim as individuals. John Danaher says this is the fight that should have been the final, as they’re the two most talented athletes.

Watson has seen enough of Brookins to know that he loves to shoot at his opponent’s lead leg for takedowns. In practice, Watson goes over how he’ll make Brookins pay for that, with uppercuts and lead knees. Meanwhile on Team Koscheck, training has ground to a halt. Only Nam Phan is left in the semis, and everybody else is just sitting there with their teeth in their mouth, bitching about their lots in life. Marc Stevens feels like he didn’t learn much from the TUF experience, and the yellow team in general feels envious of all the great guest-coaches that GSP brought in for his guys. Sevak sort-of comes to Koscheck’s defense: "I got a lot of positive things from Josh. I expected less."

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Reminder: ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ Two-Hour Semi-Final Special Airs Tonight at 9 p.m.

TUF 12 The Ultimate Fighter Brookins Phan Watson Johnson

After taking a week off for the Thanksgiving holiday, The Ultimate Fighter is playing catchup tonight with a two-hour episode that kicks off at 9 p.m. The four remaining lightweight hopefuls will be whittled down to two, as Jonathan Brookins takes on Kyle Watson, and Nam Phan rumbles with Michael Johnson. There will be a lot of time to kill in between, so hopefully Georges St. Pierre brings another celebrity guest-coach into the mix. (Kanye?) Tune in, and be sure to read our recap tomorrow morning…

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‘The Ultimate Fighter’ 12.10 Recap: Mad Dogs and Englishmen

(Kyle Watson, Michael Johnson, and John Danaher join host Stephan Bonnar to run down last night’s fights on the latest episode of "The Aftermath." Warning: Danaher drops a "retard" joke within the first 30 seconds of the interview. Anybody else getting a Lanny Poffo vibe from this guy?)

Michael Johnson is one of those dudes who can’t appreciate the sheer hilarity of being sprayed with water. When Sako (or was it Sevak? one of those guys) rigs the sink to blast the next person who uses it, MJ is on the losing end and freaks out. So immature, you guys! Michael is convinced that Alex Caceres is to blame, I guess because he saw Alex pull the same prank the day before. Their quarterfinal fight can’t come soon enough.

But first, Kyle Watson and Aaron Wilkinson will have to face off. GSP says Aaron is a better striker than Kyle, so Kyle needs to get the fight to the ground. Kyle’s plan is to take Aaron down from the clinch, rather than shooting in. Logically, Coach Koscheck advises "English" to keep the fight standing. After three fights in the house, Aaron’s right eye is looking rough. And it’s go-time already…

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