(“And he’s nothing without his ground-and-pound. And he’s nothing without his groin strikes, which still haunt my nightmares.”)
After Alistair Overeem‘s upset knockout loss to Antonio Silva at UFC 156, it seemed like every MMA fan on Twitter wanted to be the first to say “Called it!” Overeem, as the narrative goes, has a cat-heart, folds under pressure, doesn’t have the cardio to go three 5-minute rounds, his monstrous physique came from unnatural means, it was just a matter of time before he was exposed as a fraud, and everybody knew it all along. Well, you can add Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic to the list of notable Reem-haters. As the legendary striker explained in a recent interview with fightsite.hr, he predicted Bigfoot would beat Overeem, partly because Overeem wasn’t fighting with his usual chemical enhancements. Here’s what Mirko had to say (translation via BloodyElbow):
“I wasn’t surprised by Silva’s victory at all and I had believed he would win. I don’t want to come off as a smart-ass or say I knew it all along, so I’ll explain why I’d believed so. First, Silva is a big tough guy with a huge heart who had demolished Fedor and he needs no better reference than that, and Alistair hugely underestimated him and belittled him with his arrogant statements, so this mobilized Silva in the best possible way. Second, Silva is a natural heavyweight, and Alistair — for the first time since way back in 2007, when he began to gain huge weight — fought without the drugs he had used constantly for years, including testosterone and all the other shit that goes with it.
“Watching the weigh-in, I saw that his muscles mass was nowhere near his usual, he had the weight, but he wasn’t nearly as carved out and defined, since he couldn’t take anything because he was watched by the Athletic Commission. This also reflects on the psyche of a man who’s been using stuff to increase his strength, endurance, pain tolerance and aggressiveness for years, and now there was none of that. Alistair is an excellent fighter, but he still owes that excellence to something that’s dirty and unpermitted, and, in the end, very dangerous to health.
As Reddit/MMA reminds us, today is the seventh anniversary of Fedor Emelianenko and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic‘s meeting at PRIDE Final Conflict 2005, an instant classic that still ranks among the greatest heavyweight fights in MMA history. Emelianenko had already held the PRIDE heavyweight title for two-and-a-half years by the time he made his belt defense against Cro Cop, and entered the match with a PRIDE record of 10-0 with one no-contest. Meanwhile, Cro Cop had earned his shot at Fedor on the strength of a seven-fight PRIDE win streak that included victories over Alexander Emelianenko, Josh Barnett, Kevin Randleman, and Mark Coleman.
Though both fighters would later complain that they came into the fight less than 100% healthy, Emelianenko and Filipovic put on a thrilling war for the entirety of the three-round, 20-minute fight. Cro Cop started strong, breaking Fedor’s nose with punches and punishing him with kicks to the body, but Fedor regained momentum as Cro Cop’s cardio began to fade, slugging his way to a unanimous decision victory. It was Emelianenko’s toughest fight to that point, and arguably his most entertaining. As for Filipovic, he may have fallen short of the PRIDE heavyweight title that night, but his greatest career triumph was just around the corner.
After the jump: If you have the time to spare, the complete fight is below…
Being an MMA fan ain’t easy sometimes. Hyped-up fights turn out to be snorefests, scandals damage the sport’s legitimacy, incredible parlay bets get wrecked by incompetent judging, forcing us to explain to our kids once again that Santa Claus most have lost our address this year. On today’s CagePotato Roundtable, we’re discussing the fights and moments that made us want to give up on MMA entirely and follow [*shudder*] baseball for a while. Let us know your own lowest fan-moment in the comments section, and if you have a topic for a future Roundtable column, send it it to email@example.com.
It’s crazy how life goes full circle: When I was ten years old, Doug Flutie was my favorite NFL player. I begged my dad to buy me Flutie Flakes for breakfast, so that I too could grow up and be a successful, albeit undersized quarterback for a small market football team. My dad refused, which explains why I’m now a writer (You’re welcome, Andrew Luck). After all, I was too young to remember the real Doug Flutie, the Heisman Trophy winning Boston College quarterback who helped make the USFL somewhat relevant. Flutie may have still been a talented quarterback — especially for his age — but he had clearly lost a step by the time I started watching football.
Thirteen years later I was on the phone with my dad, talking about one of the most lopsided fights he had ever seen. I spent the entire conversation trying to convince him that the small, pudgy guy he just watched get destroyed by a no-name oddity was at one point the most dangerous fighter on the planet. As you may have guessed, I’m specifically referring to Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Silva. But really, Fedor’s entire Strikeforce run can be summed up the exact same way. Perhaps Fedor was too old, perhaps the heavyweight division had simply caught up to him, or perhaps it was a combination of the two. But one thing is clear: By the time that Fedor made his way to Strikeforce, he was no longer the untouchable fighter that he had once been.
Even in his lone victory, a second round knockout against Brett Rogers, he was arguably losing the fight before connecting with the fight ending right hand. And Brett Rogers is no Apollo Creed; he’s barely a pimple on the ass of Vodka Drunkenski. He’s a gatekeeper in every sense of the word — just legitimate enough for EliteXC to have kept him away from a “prime” Kimbo Slice, but not legitimate enough to pose any threat of beating a true contender. We had all the warning signs that Fedor was going to be a bust signing after this fight, yet we chose to ignore them because hey, he won, right?
It’s not like Cro Cop has never pondered retirement before, but if last night’s K-1 bout against fellow kickboxing legend Ray Sefo truly marked the end of the road for Mirko Filipovic, then Cro Cop is going out on the highest note possible.
Last night at the Arena Zagreb in Zagreb, Croatia, Mirko Filipovic defeated Ray Sefo by unanimous decision in the main event of “Final Fight”. While both men fatigued in the latter rounds, Cro Cop utilized a diverse striking attack and didn’t take too much damage from the heavy handed Sefo on his way to the victory. Was it the most inspiring performance ever? Not quite. Still, it’s nice to see a legend like Cro Cop go out on a victory over a legitimate opponent.
When I was ten years old my uncle bought me a brand new Playstation game that helped blossom my love and interest in combat sports. K-1 Revenge came out in 1999 and it introduced me to many kickboxing legends that I admire and still enjoy watching today. Names like Ernesto Hoost, Peter Aerts, the late Andy Hug, Mike Bernardo, and many more. One name in the game that really stood out to me at the time was Mirko Tiger. Not because of his style or the way he played, but it was his name itself that I just found to be very cool. He wasn’t the best fighter in the game, but the ring announcer mentioning the name ‘Mirrrrrkooooooo Tiiiiggggeeeerr’ has always stuck in my head.
Eventually I got older, found out that his real name was Mirko Filipovic, became more familiar with his kickboxing accomplishments, and of course his run in PRIDE. The man who would later be best known as ‘Cro Cop’ began his kickboxing career in 1996 following in the footsteps of fellow Croatian legend Branco Cikatic. The southpaw of course got the nickname Cro Cop from his days working as a commando in the Croatian polilce anti-terrorism unit.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way as soon as possible: Last night’s UFC 137 was nothing that it was supposed to be. The odds of things playing out as they were supposed to with this card were slim from the beginning, with Nick Diaz compromising the initial main event with his decision to no-show press week and GSP having to withdraw from his match with Carlos Condit. But at least we could rest assured that BJ Penn would deliver some karma to Nick Diaz in the form of a quick beating, right?
Throughout the first round of last night’s main event, it looked that way. BJ Penn’s counter striking proved too much for Diaz early on, as Penn outworked the Strikeforce champion, managing a takedown as well. But by the second round, Nick Diaz came back to take complete control of the fight. His better conditioning allowed him to keep Penn against the cage and unleash strikes at will. By the third round, BJ Penn’s defense was completely ineffective, as Nick Diaz continued to batter Penn. With his eleventh straight victory, Nick Diaz looks as ready for Georges St. Pierre as anyone has in a while. The bout also earned both men the 75k Fight of the Night honors.
Perhaps BJ Penn was just pulling a Jamie Varner last night, and announcing his retirement out of frustration. But if he wasn’t, it’s hard to argue against his decision. BJ Penn is 1-3-1 in his last five fights, with his sole victory coming over the recently retired Matt Hughes. If it wasn’t clear from his draw against Jon Fitch that he would never be a champion in the UFC again, it became pretty obvious after watching him gas out and get picked apart last night. Penn’s legacy can’t improve at this point, but it can certainly diminish with more losses to contenders in the UFC. He’s making the right move by retiring; let’s just see if he actually sticks to it.
(It’s confusing, because in Strikeforce, standing elbow strikes during weigh-ins are totally legal. / Photo via CombatLifestyle. For more photos from this set, click here.)
After five years in the wilderness, Nick Diaz is finally returning to the Octagon tonight, at UFC 137 in Las Vegas. (As expected, Diaz is much, much less excited about this than we are.) His opponent is BJ Penn, a living legend and former two-division UFC champion whose future in the sport very much depends on his performance tonight.
Round-by-round results from the “Penn vs. Diaz” pay-per-view card will be piling up after the jump starting at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, courtesy of CagePotato liveblog assassin Matt Kaplan. Refresh the page every few minutes for the latest updates; as with our last UFC PPV liveblog, we’ll be including “next page” links to reduce spoilage, so click ‘em as the night goes on. Thanks for being here, and let us know how you feel in the comments section.
It’s hard to define someone like Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, a man who is perhaps the most multi-faceted, not to mention intriguing figure in MMA. Aside from his incredible list of credentials including time in both the Croatian elite Special Forces Unit and Parliament, the man has amassed a mixed martial arts and kickboxing resume that reads like a Hall of Fame list in either sport.
But come Saturday night at UFC 137, Cro Cop will simply be fighting for the right to continue his career, or maybe just to end it on his own terms. In a way, Filipovic is kind of like the Metallica of the heavyweights, with his 2006 Pride Grand Prix win being his Master of Puppets. And, like Metallica, everything since then has been well…just kind of downhill. The devastating loss to Gabriel Gonzaga was his ReLoad, the bittersweet win over Pat Barry his Death Magnetic, and the back-to-back knockout losses to Frank Mir and Brendan Schuab his Lulu. Except, unlike Lulu, those losses only felt like an hour and a half of pure shit.
Frank Mir thinks Alistair Overeem will suffer a similar fate as Mirko Cro Cop if and when he finally fights for the UFC.
Either Mir doesn’t know anything about Overeem or he’s trying to needle his way into a fight with the heavyweight Strikeforce, DREAM and K-1 champion when he transitions to the Octagon. Whatever his intentions are, it’s likely the only thing Mir will succeed in doing is pissing off “The Reem.”
Here’s what he had to say in a recent interview he did with MMA30′s Dave Farra:
“With all the guys with the wrestling ability I dont think Overeem will do as well as a lot of the fans would like him to do. Obviously the guy’s from from K-1 and I can’t say enough about his stand-up. He’s a great fighter and he has a pretty wicked guillotine — at least he did at light heavyweight he [did],” mir explained. “I haven’t really seen him establish it since he put the weight on. He has some submissions off his back and he moves around, but he’s been fighting in boxing rings and stuff, but going to fight in the cage, which he’s he’s had fights in cages, but you get someone like a Velasquez or Carwin or Brock, they’re going to change levels and push you against a cage and rip you down. So I think Overeem is going to have to deal with the cage now. When youre a striker, it’s an issue.”
It may be too early to declare that a new era has begun, but last night proved that the old one is on life support. The Prudential Center is used to watching some pretty lopsided beatdowns, but even the hometown crowd seemed surprised at what they were watching. Unlike the Nets, fans actually expected Shogun to put up competitive effort.
Last night was business as usual for the newly crowned LHW champion, Jon Jones. Shogun, who landed only eleven strikes all night, was outclassed in literally every aspect of the fight. It’s no exaggeration to say that Jones made Shogun look like the 23 year old fighting a legend of Pride. For that matter, it’s barely an exaggeration to say that Jones made Shogun look like the untrained mugger he stopped in the park earlier that day. It’s tempting to prematurely declare the Jon Jones Era after last night. But let’s wait until he defends the belt first.
As Japanese MMA seems to slowly dwindle away from the glory days of the sport, hardcore fans like myself shed a tear for our great loss. It wasn’t just knowing those obscure 135-pounders whose names had syllables our gaijin tongues could barely pronounce, or the fact that it was the land where stomping and soccer-kicking a human being in the face was perfected into a sweet science. More than that, it was the stars that were produced that we came to know and love, whether they were fighting someone on their level or tearing open a tomato can — and that is where this list begins.
Blatant mismatches aside, JMMA gave us so many beautiful fights with men like Fedor Emelianenko, Mirko “Crocop” Filipovic (go tell your favorite TUF noob that his last name is not Crocop and relish in their confusion), Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Ikuhisa Minowa and Kazushi Sakuraba. For every epic bout that went into the history books for their unbelievable drama, we had other fights that we remember for less than pleasant reasons. Yes, the freak show fights! What would a JMMA event be without a match worthy of a 1930′s carnival? The big question here was how do I rank something that is mediocre to begin with? Well, I’m as clueless as you are, so let’s get started on this journey down “Freak Show Lane,” across the street from “What Were They Thinking? Boulevard”…
10. Daiju Takase vs. Emmanuel Yarbrough
Pride 3, 6/24/98
This was the first freak show fight in Pride history, and earns a place on this list for that merit alone. It pit 169 lb. Daiju Takase against 600 lb. Emmanuel Yarbrough, who most fans will recall was clobbered into submission by Keith Hackney and his broken hand at UFC 3 (Yarbrough has no luck in any event associated with the number three). The sumo plodded around the ring tossing his hamhock arms at Takase, while the smaller Japanese fighter fled and slowly wore down Yarbrough.
Takase makes the mistake of going for a lazy single leg on Yarbrough, which results in the large fighter flopping onto his belly and absorbing Takase into his flesh. As Stephen Quadros lamented, “This is horrible! This is like “Jaws!” Eventually, Takase slid out from the greasy underside of Manny, and in an ending eerily similiar to his UFC 3 fight, Takase went to town with clubbing hands to his exhausted opponent’s face, leading to a tapout in the middle of the second round.
If you were one of the poor bastards who suffered through UFC 119‘s woeful main event, you may have noticed Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic and Frank Mir having a little chat in the third round. Mid-fight trash talk, perhaps? A friendly "is that all you got, bitch?" maybe, or the ever-reliable "you ain’t shit"? Not exactly. As Cro Cop explained to Index.hr (translated by Fighters Only), he was asking if Mir would be kind enough to let go of their clinch so they could stand and bang. The exchange basically went like this:
Cro Cop: Let me go, let’s go to the center and fight. Mir: Let’s go to the mat. Cro Cop: OK — if I’m on top. Mir: We’ll stay in the clinch.
Eventually the ref broke them up and Cro Cop got his wish, even though he was knocked out by a knee to the jaw shortly after. Filipovic now joins the super-exclusive club of whacked-out MMA fighters who try to negotiate better positions during a fight, only to be refused by their opponents and then lose in humiliating fashion. At this point, the only other member of that club is Paulo Filho.
After returning to Croatia, Filipovic did another interview in which he flagrantly violated a recent CagePotato Ban — bad Mirko! — and assured everyone that he’ll be returning to the UFC. Twice, in fact…
After an unsuccessful stint in rehab, the Gambling Addiction Enabler has returned to do what it does best — make large, ill-advised wagers simply for the thrill of gambling. We’re not saying you should follow our betting advice, necessarily, but there are plenty of opportunities to beat the bookies at UFC 119, which goes down this Satuday in Indianapolis. The betting lines are below, courtesy of bestfightodds.com. If you can’t afford to waste real money, please hit up MMA FightPicker and throw down some virtual PotatoChips on the fights. And if you don’t know what these numbers mean, please read this first.
MAIN CARD Frank Mir (-220) vs. Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (+215) Ryan Bader (-165) vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (+155) Chris Lytle (-125) vs. Matt Serra (+120) Evan Dunham (-204) vs. Sean Sherk (+190) Melvin Guillard (-150) vs. Jeremy Stephens (+140)
SPIKE TV PRELIMS CB Dollaway (-295) vs. Joe Doerksen (+270) Matt Mitrione (-140) vs. Joey Beltran (+136)
UNAIRED PRELIMS Thiago Tavares (-290) vs. Pat Audinwood (+240) Steve Lopez (-115) vs. Waylon Lowe (-115) T.J. Grant (-150) vs. Julio Paulino (+145) Mark Hunt (-215) vs. Sean McCorkle (+200)
Though Nogueira had to undergo knee surgery in 2009, his latest injury is possibly hip-related. Big Nog has also battled staph infections in recent years, which delayed his meeting with Cain Velasquez, and supposedly affected his first performance against Frank Mir at UFC 92. After suffering the only two stoppage losses of his career in his last three fights, it seems that Nogueira has finally learned his lesson about fighting hurt. But after so many tough battles, injuries, and illnesses, will his body ever fully recover?
(No wonder Chuck doesn’t want to retire. I’d fight Fedor, Velasquez, Lesnar and Dos Santos in a four-man tag-team match for $500,000)
The Vancouver Athletic Commission released the fighters’ salaries, medical suspensions and revenue figures from UFC 115. According to the report, Chuck Liddell was the highest paid fighter on the card that took in a $4.2 million live gate with a "show" pay of $500,000 USD. Not a bad gold watch for his UFC retirement fight.
Fighters salaries totalled $1.85 million, which accounted for 31% of the live gate of the event. 17,669 attended the second Canadian show put on by the UFC in 2010; 1,296 of whom were comped tickets by the promotion and 1,752 watched the action from private suites. According to the release, only 138 tickets went unsold for the show.
Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic was the second highest paid fighter with $150,000 which included a $75,000 win bonus for his rear naked choke submission over Pat Barry. Cro Cop also took home an additional $85,000 for submission of the night, but bonus awards and undisclosed back room bonuses paid out by the UFC are not included in the commission’s salary summary.
12 fighters, including Rich Franklin, Chuck Liddell, Pat Barry, Mirko Filipovic and Rory MacDonald were handed 180 day suspensions while the remainder of the fighters were given from 45-14 days off from training and fighting for lesser injuries or precautionary reasons.
"I definitely wasn’t going to quit — I’ve broken bones before and continued fighting — but there was part of me that was wondering what kind of strategy I was going to use to win the fight with a broken left arm in the second and third rounds."
…proving once again that knocking your opponent out early is always the best gameplan. (Are you listening, Pat?) Liddell woke up from his knockout with a horribly split lip and a gash over his left eye, but that didn’t stop him from making an appearance at his afterparty. A photographic timeline of Chuck’s night continues after the jump.
Here we go with tonight’s liveblog for UFC 115: Liddell vs. Franklin, which will attempt to answer a plethora of burning questions. Do abs make you a better fighter? Does shaving off your porn stache give you a better chin? Will Tyson Griffin finish his third UFC opponent? Will Pat Barry be able to reach Cro Cop’s melon with a head kick?
We’ll soon know the answers to these questions and many more. Remember to refresh often.
(He will hurt you, but only as much as is absolutely necessary.)
Those of us who were a little concerned with Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic’s apparent inability to put away Anthony Perosh at UFC 110 should just calm down a second, says the former Pride great. According to Cro Cop, the reason he didn’t put away a bloodied and battered Perosh was because he “couldn’t do that to him when he was so bloody.” This claims prompts the inevitable question, you getting soft on us, Mirko?
It’s hard to say just yet, but it seems as though Filipovic will cut you some slack if you take a fight out of your weight class on short notice:
“I admire Perosh for accepting the fight. There were much better fighters there who turned it down but I understand why; they did not have time to prepare. [But] I am very sorry that I had to hurt Perosh. I tried to fight with as much consideration for him as I could. I even avoided the ground because I am 7, 8 kilos heavier than he is.”
("Hmm. This is not how things went down during my positive visualization sessions." Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)
After being soundly thrashed by Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic on two days’ notice at UFC 110, Anthony "The Hippo" Perosh has been signed to a four-fight deal by the UFC, according to a report on InfiniteMMA. Perosh sports a career record of 10-6, a UFC record of 0-3 (including losses to Jeff Monson and Christian Wellisch in 2006) and victories over a bunch of random Australians. On paper, he has absolutely no chance of making an impact in the UFC’s light-heavyweight division, and the UFC’s next Australian event won’t be until next year at the earliest. But it just goes to show you that dreams do come true when you ignore your natural instinct for self-preservation and take guaranteed losses against larger MMA legends who have gone through actual training camps. Kudos, Anthony.
We’re still waiting to hear if anybody got un-signed after UFC 110. As predicted, Keith Jardine and Stephan Bonnar are in danger after taking their third-straight losses, but Dana White’s affection for the Dean and the Psycho could potentially save their jobs. Igor Pokrajac is toast, though, no question. Stay tuned…
If you didn’t follow his pre-UFC career, you probably figured that Anderson Silva’s Octagon debut would be relatively competitive. Chris Leben was a dangerous brawler who had won five straight in the Octagon against solid competition, while Silva was…some sort of Brazilian from Japan, I guess? In actuality, the Spider was quickly becoming the most lethal striker in the business, and had spent the previous two years brutalizing guys like Lee Murray, Jorge Rivera, and Tony Fryklund as the middleweight champion of Cage Rage. So all that stuff the Crippler said about pressing the action against Silva, rough-neckin’ him, throwing him around, blasting him in the face, breaking his jaw, then sending him back to Japan where the competition’s a little easier? Oh my God, player. He might as well have been talking about how he was bringing the karate aspect back into jiu-jitsu — that’s how out of touch with reality he seemed, in retrospect.
Chances are, you’ve watched this clip a hundred times by now, so you know what happens next: Anderson Silva makes his name in the U.S. with one of the most flawless victories in MMA history and earns an immediate title shot against Rich Franklin, while Leben begins his slow drift out of relevance. And these days, all of Silva’s fights look like mismatches.
It was a classic matchup of skill vs. morbid obesity. The comically large son of legendary Brazilian scrapper Rei Zulu, Wagner da Conceicao Martins (aka "Zuluzinho") managed to build up a sizable undefeated record in vale tudo matches before joining PRIDE in 2005, where he mauled sumo wrestler Henry "Sentoryu" Miller in his debut. But things like size, pedigree, and professional record mean very little when you’re fighting Fedor Emelianenko. To the untouchable PRIDE heavyweight champion, Zuluzinho was nothing more than a giant punching bag.
In just 26 seconds, Fedor put ‘Zinho on his ass with an inhumanly fast left hook, abused him on the ground a bit, knocked him back down with a right as soon as the giant got to his feet, then went into beastmode until Zuluzinho tapped from the onslaught. This fight proved once and for all that "big and slow" is not the best combination for beating Fedor. If only Hong-Man Choi and Tim Sylvia got the message in time.
The sadists among you who were hoping Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic would go back home to Croatia and rediscover the will to fight by repeatedly kicking a wall at his family’s home, well, you’re about to be disappointed. Cro Cop has now officially called it quits, telling Nokaut.com that he has “no motivation left and it’s time to leave.” He also reportedly told his manager, Zvonimir Lucic, to release the various members of Team Cro Cop, which we assume included a young, bright-eyed intern who refused to accept the news and tried in vain to get a “Cro Cop” chant going even as everyone else filed silently out of the room.
A sad day in MMA history, but a necessary one. The game just ain’t in him no more. We’ve already paid him a tribute, but allow us to dedicate one more video after the jump:
After Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic‘s ugly loss to Junior Dos Santos at UFC 103 on Saturday, it was clear that his will to win has eroded even more than his skills as a fighter. For two-and-a-half rounds, we saw a backpedaling, hesitant, shadow of Cro Cop’s former self get outstruck by someone he would have murdered three years ago. It was obviously the end of the line for Filipovic as a relevant competitor — and nobody sees that as clearly as Mirko himself. As he told jutarnji.hr (translated by Robert K. at bigoddsmike.com):
I fucked up and that’s all there is to it. Maybe the ones who I’ve said that I’m done are right. Obviously I can’t break my mental block in the Octagon. Besides, I’ve been training like a spartan for 20 years now, my body is worn out. The years caught up to me, I’ve been worn out…I want a normal life. I’m entering a cage and thinking about fishing in Privlaka. You can’t win that way.
"I must point out that his victory is a defeat for the sport as such. Don’t get me wrong, Lesnar is a fearsome and very dangerous opponent, but I am old school, I prefer skill and technique. This win was a defeat of martial skills. Much of what he achieved in the fight is a result of pure power… Of course, Lesnar has quality sparring partners, is an experienced wrestler and a man who learns very quickly. But he is yet to have a real struggle. He does not have many fights in his career and I would love to see how he would react to two or three good low kicks."
(You know, Cub, in bull riding this would have been considered a victory.Photo courtesy of Newsday.)
— According to an interview on intheguard.tv, WEC featherweight/human highlight-reel Jose Aldo says he’ll be getting a much-deserved shot at Mike Brown‘s belt at WEC 45 (November 11th, location TBA). Aldo has racked up five consecutive TKO/KO victories during his stint in the WEC, most recently slicing Cub Swanson’s head wide open in 8 seconds at WEC 41 last month. Brown made his second successful title-defense at the same event, out-pointing Urijah Faber in a classic five-rounder to pick up his tenth straight win.
"To me it’s incredible. When they asked me if they could change the fight date I was a bit bothered, because I wanted to fight right away. I’ve been away for some time now. But the Fertitta brothers asked me and I accepted. After that I found out it would be against Cro Cop and was overjoyed. It’ll be a big opportunity in my career. Lots of good things have happened in my life and this is one more. I’m going to make the most of it."
Considering how pissed off Dana White was when Cro Cop first flew the coop, it’s a little surprising that he’s being given a second chance. The UFC must have big plans for him in the heavyweight division. But Santos — who has run through Fabricio Werdum and Stefan Struve in a combined 2:15 of fight time during his stint in the UFC — has a way of laughing at men’s plans, then crapping all over them.
"Actually it was [UFC VP Marc Ratner's] idea years ago, and it just never went anywhere — mainly because of technology — but now I think we’re finally there…The problem with instant replay is, of course, even in football once the next play starts you can’t go back and review something. It’s the same with boxing or MMA. You can’t go back at the end of the round and look at whether something happened, say, one minute into the round. Had the ref called it differently, the rest of the round might have happened differently. Once there’s some action in that contest, you can’t go back…