MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: Mike Easton

‘UFC on FUEL 9: Mousasi vs. Latifi’ Aftermath — Hype Trains and Hipbones


Eh, still more exciting than the Rocky musical. Photo courtesy of Josh Hedges/Getty Images.

Let’s start off by stating the obvious: The last-minute main event of yesterday’s UFC on Fuel TV 9 was an anti-climactic ending to an otherwise gratifying afternoon of sanctioned violence. As hard as we tried to convince ourselves that Swedish prospect Ilir Latifi could be an interesting opponent for highly-regarded Strikeforce import Gegard Mousasi, the actual fight was completely unspectacular. This isn’t to say that either fighter deserves criticism for his performance, but rather, that this sort of thing will happen when a guy who earned a UFC contract by virtue of being willing to replace his injured training partner headlines an event on four days’ notice.

Despite walking out to the Rocky theme, it immediately became clear that a Balboa-esque upset – or even a Wepnerian display of resilience – was not in store for Latifi (though the cuts on his face were vintage Chuck Wepner). Latifi was completely incapable of avoiding Mousasi’s jab, which prevented him from getting close enough to The Dreamcatcher to actually put his wrestling prowess to use. As carefree as Mousasi looked – did he even blink during those rare occasions when Latifi landed punches? – he was in complete control throughout the bout, jabbing his way to a unanimous decision victory.

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UFC on FUEL 9: Mousasi vs. Latifi — Live Results and Commentary


(Well I hope you’re happy, Wanderlei.)

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to our liveblog for UFC on FUEL TV 9 — or as we like to call it, “The event that Alexander Gustafsson’s eyebrow murdered.” Luckily it’s free, and there are still enough decent scraps on the card to make up for the utter randomness of the headliner, including Ross Pearson vs. Ryan Couture, Matt Mitrione vs. Philip De Fries, and Diego Brandao vs. Pablo Garza.

Heading up today’s play-by-play is George Shunick, who will be sticking live results from the “Mousasi vs. Latifi” main card broadcast after the jump beginning at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT. Refresh the page for all the latest, and please throw down your own thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for being here. We definitely owe you one.

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CagePotato Databomb #6: Breaking Down the UFC Bantamweights by Striking Performance


(Click chart for full-size versionFor previous Databombs, click here.)

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

It’s almost time for the interim bantamweight championship fight between Renan Barao and Michael McDonald. But first, let’s examine the whole UFC bantamweight division in several key striking metrics. As one of the youngest divisions with quite a few newcomers, there were several chart busters who have performed either really well in a certain metric, or in Mike Easton’s case, really poorly, so those outliers are noted. Usually those fighters will regress towards the mean, but they’re worth keeping an eye on. A full explanation of the chart and variables is included at the end of this post.

As a group, the 135’ers are the hardest to hit, as illustrated by their lowest power head striking accuracy of any UFC division. But they manage to maintain a high pace of action, with the second-highest significant strike attempts per minute average. (Flyweights have the highest.) So which fighters get the awards in this frenzied group?

The Winners

Sniper Award: Rangy southpaw Alex Caceres leads the division with 48% power head striking accuracy. Though he has yet to score a knockdown in the UFC, the Bruce Lee superfan has definitely put on entertaining fights including sharp striking, rapid pace, and some very retro body suits.

Energizer Bunny Award: Johnny Bedford has been outstriking his UFC opponents more than 2:1 on his way to two finishes. Bedford’s size has been an advantage for him in one of the smallest weight classes, and we’ll see if he can continue his streak.

Biggest Ball(s) Award: In addition to outworking his opponents, double award winner Johnny Bedford is 2-0 in the UFC with two knockout finishes. But an honorable mention also goes to knockout machine Michael “Mayday” McDonald, who has landed four knockdowns during his 5-0 streak with Zuffa. McDonald gets his biggest test yet against higher volume striker and interim champ Renan Barao, in an interesting contrast of power and finesse.

The Losers

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Booking Roundup: Jorge Masvidal Gets a Slippery Debut Opponent, Pickett vs. Easton Set for ‘UFC on FUEL 9′


(Just like his mentor Kimbo Slice, Ray would find himself done in by the much smaller man when all was said and done.) 

When the list of Strikeforce fighters headed to the UFC was first made available to the public, the most glaring omission fans noticed from the get-go was easily that of Jorge Masvidal, the former lightweight title challenger who was set to face Pat Healy at Strikeforce’s final event before he was forced to withdraw due to injury. While a couple of fighters had been left off the list because they had already booked fights in the UFC (most notably Tyron Woodley and Bobby Green), fans were left scratching their heads in regards to Masvidal, who had both an open calendar and the kind of skills that could make a big impact in the sport’s highest promotion despite their apparent decision to pass him over.

Well you’ll be happy to know that “Gamebred” has in fact been brought over to the UFC and will be making his promotional debut at the lightweight-heavy UFC on FOX 7 card set for April 20th. Across the cage from Masvidal will be Tim Means, the 18-3 powerhouse who basically summed up the injury curse of 2012 when he was pulled from his UFC on FOX 5 fight with Abel Trujillo at the very last second for being KO’d by a sauna floor (Author’s note: By now, you’re likely attempting to compliment me on the clever wordplay displayed in this article’s title. I can only ask that you hold your applause for a time when my brilliance is less obvious.) Currently 2-0 in the octagon, we last saw Means at UFC on FX 3: Johnson vs. McCall, where he delivered the most painful one minute beating in recent memory to opponent Justin Salas. Expect fireworks in this one, Taters.

Masvidal vs. Means is just one of many intriguing fights that have been booked today. Join us after the jump to check out the full list…

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UFC on FOX 5 Injury Update: Raphael Assuncao Beat Mike Easton With a Fractured Arm

Although the undercard of UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Diaz was punctuated with walk-off head kick KO’s and last second submissions, the evening’s greatest display of game planning arguably took place before the main card as well, during the bantamweight preliminary fight between Raphael Assuncao and Mike Easton. Using a Machida-esque strategy of evasion and counter-striking, Assuncao was able to not only frustrate Easton, but completely limit his normally hyper-aggressive offensive output en route to a unanimous decision victory.

Impressive to say the least, but even more impressive when you consider the fact that Assuncao was able to do so with a fractured arm he suffered in the first round. Assuncao tweeted the photo yesterday along with the following tweets:

If November is the month of the hairy-lipped mountain man, then December is officially the month of the one-armed warrior.

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“UFC 148: Silva vs Sonnen” Aftermath (Part Two): Seizing (And Destroying) the Moment


Props: MMAfanmade.tumblr.com

Let’s get one thing straight: Last night’s co-main event was by no means a legacy-cementing fight. The legacies of both fighters had been cemented well before last night, with both Forrest Griffin and Tito Ortiz being very influential in the UFC’s push towards the mainstream, being involved in unforgettable fights and holding the light-heavyweight championship. While winning the trilogy would be a nice way to cap off an otherwise lackluster rivalry, it would be nothing more than another “W” in the grand scheme of things. Especially for Tito – while Forrest is arguably worthy of a Hall of Fame induction, Tito already has been inducted.

Which perhaps explained why Tito Ortiz seemed more aggressive throughout the fight: Forrest had little to lose, Tito had nothing to lose. While the aggression of “The People’s Champion” seemed to have Forrest Griffin on the verge of defeat a few times during the fight, in the end it wasn’t enough. For the majority of the fight, Griffin managed to outstrike Ortiz en route to the unanimous decision victory.

Really, there is little more to be said for the actual fight. Two aging veterans entered the cage and performed like aging veterans. Both men looked slow, both men gassed out early, and if it weren’t for the names involved, this fight would have had zero chance of taking home the $75k Fight of the Night honors. If you want to watch the fight again, watch the fight again - if you missed it, you didn’t miss much.

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UFC Booking Roundup: Barao to Fight Menjivar, Jorgensen & Neer Have Next Opponents


Photo courtesy of fighthousemanagement.com

Yesterday, the UFC announced that top bantamweights Renan Barao and Ivan Menjivar are now scheduled to meet at UFC 148. Barao, who was initially scheduled to meet Jeff Hougland at the event, confirmed the switch on his Twitter account by saying “Menjivar is my new opponent at UFC 148. I know him.” Brevity is the soul of wit, people.

Don’t be surprised if the winner of this fight meets the winner of UFC 148′s (expected) main event clash between Urijah Faber and champion Dominick Cruz. Both fighters are 3-0 in the octagon, with Menjivar coming off of a wild, back and forth fight against John Albert at UFC on FUEL, which saw “The Pride of El Salvador” take home a first round rear-naked choke victory and Submission of the Night honors. Meanwhile, Barao has gone twenty nine straight fights without a loss. His most recent fight was a dominant performance against Scott Jorgensen at UFC 143, which saw him take home a unanimous decision victory.

As for Barao’s initial opponent? Jeff Hougland will step in for an injured Mike Easton to fight Yves Jabouin at UFC on FUEL 3.

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Video: UFC on FOX 2 Danavlog (Episode One)

We have really grown to appreciate the behind-the-scenes direction these Danavlogs have begun to take over the past few months. The simple, objective look at these fighters in either their finest hour or their most vulnerable says more than any Hollywood film ever could, and transcends even that of the sport in its ability to make us empathize with the highs and lows of life as a professional athlete.

One facet of the fight game that becomes glaringly evident in today’s episode is the fact that a fighter rarely walks away from a battle unscathed, win or lose. Take Mike Easton for instance, who suffered a slightly torn left hand ligament in his majority decision victory over Jared Papazian. Or Melvin Guillard, who, despite throwing more flying knees than actual punches, has possibly added a TFCC tear to the list of chronic injuries in his hand. Needless to say, if you fear going under the knife, then a fighter’s life is not for you.

Anyway, join us after the jump for some highlights.

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‘UFC on FX: Guillard vs Miller’ GIF Party: The Finishes & Other Highlights

Guillard choking, in every sense of the word. (Photo: UFC.com)

While the ‘UFC on FX’ debut may have lacked the big names of UFC 142, the fights themselves packed just as much fire-power. For the second straight week, six fighters were able to put away their opponent and double their earnings in less than a round. Punches, chokes, and a torrent of brutal hellbows were all used to send grown men into la-la land, and we’ve got the GIF’s to prove it.

(Thanks to Zombie Prophet for the GIFs)

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‘UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller’ Aftermath: Bringing Back the Ban


Barry didn’t check on Morecraft, but it’s safe to say he got some fans. Props: UFC.com

Overall, the UFC’s fourth biggest debut on a television network, which showcased two of the best lightweights coming off of losses and the organization’s second best announcing team, was as successful as it could have been. Sure, there were some long pauses in between the fights, but that’s to be expected when you draw out 60 minutes of actual fighting into a five hour television broadcast. The rattling punches and tapping hands that signaled an early end to many of last night’s fights kept a perfect rhythm with a drum we’ve been beating on CagePotato for quite some time now: The key to victory in mixed martial arts is evolution, not regression. If a fighter wants to stay relevant- or even employed- within the UFC, he needs to develop himself into the most complete fighter he can.

For an example of this, look no further than Melvin Guillard. Both fans and pundits were calling his performance “Vintage Melvin” while the dynamic striker aggressively pursued Jim Miller, arguably coming closer to knocking out the submission specialist than anyone else has. However, after one flying knee attempt too many saw Miller putting Guillard on his back, “Vintage Melvin” demonstrated the same ground game that has always been his kryptonite. An impatient Melvin Guillard did everything he could to get back to his feet, which resulted in Jim Miller taking his back and sinking in the fight ending choke. “The Young Assassin” is now 10-6 in the UFC, with all of his losses coming by submission. While permanently relegating Guillard to the undercards may be a bit drastic, it’s obvious that Guillard will never be a contender unless he fixes those holes in his ground game- something far easier said than done at this point in his career.

Jim Miller did exactly what we knew he needed to do to win. He weathered the storm against Guillard’s attack, he was persistent with his takedown attempts and he kept the fight on the ground once it went there. While a quick submission wasn’t exactly unexpected, it was still impressive enough to earn him Submission of the Night honors.

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