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21 Humans Who Make Being Human Look Really, Really Hard

Tag: MMA

Heath Herring to Propel Another Heavyweight to Stardom at UFC 99


(People tell him to stop going to that damn epileptic barber, but Heath just won’t listen.)

Remember yesterday when we told you that Cain Velasquez was going to be back in action at UFC 99 in Germany, and we were hoping he’d see a step up in competition?  Well, our wish has been granted, as MMA Weekly reports that Velasquez will face noted heavyweight stepping stone Heath Herring in Cologne this summer.

Herring, who is 2-3 since migrating to the UFC, last saw action as a one-man pony ride for Brock Lesnar in a decision loss that left Herring with a fractured orbital bone and Lesnar with a title shot.  Before that Herring won a victory over Cheick Kongo, who briefly thought he was a wrestler, and lost a decision to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira despite rocking Big Nog with a head kick early on.

If what we saw in Herring’s performances against Lesnar and in his UFC debut loss to Jake O’Brien are any indication (remember what Velasquez did to O’Brien?), getting matched up with another big wrestler that the UFC has high hopes for is not a good sign for “The Texas Crazy Horse.”  Velasquez seemed to have really rounded out his skill-set in his last fight, and he could put a serious hurting on Herring. 

If he does, it’s basically Velasquez’s pass into the upper echelon of the UFC’s heavyweight class.  If he doesn’t, Herring gets to keep hanging around in his win one, lose one fashion.

No word yet on who Velasquez’s AKA teammate Mike Swick will face, but there is this:

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‘TUF 8′ Standouts Showcased on UFC Fight Night 18 Card

UFC MMA Carlos Condit Martin Kampmann

The UFC has released the finalized lineup and bout order for UFC Fight Night 18, which will go down April 1st at the Sommet Center in Nashville. Leading up to the main event between the WEC’s final welterweight champion Carlos Condit (who has won his last eight fights) and Martin Kampmann (who is 5-1 in the UFC) will be three televised bouts featuring alumni from The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir — all of whom are undefeated in their professional careers.

Lightweight winner Efrain Escudero (11-0) will take on the heavy-handed Jeremy Stephens (14-4), who’s coming off a submission loss to Joe Lauzon at Fight Night 17 earlier this month. The infamous Junie Browning (3-0) will get a big step up in competition when he faces ATT submission specialist and TUF 5 alum Cole Miller (14-3). And in the light-heavyweight division, TUF 8′s 205-pound winner Ryan Bader (8-0) will welcome Carmelo Marrero (10-2) back to the Octagon. The official lineup is below:

MAIN CARD
Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann (WW)
Efrain Escudero vs. Jeremy Stephens (LW)
Ryan Bader vs. Carmelo Marrero (LHW)
Junie Browning vs. Cole Miller (LW)

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Sylvia/Mercer Boxing Freak Show to Headline Adrenaline III

Tim Sylvia MMA hunter
("Well I might be an asshole, but I’m the asshole who just killed this bobcat, so what’s up now?")

MMA Junkie has confirmed the ugly rumors: Tim Sylvia will be strapping on some boxing gloves to take on Ray Mercer in the headlining match of Adrenaline III (May 30th; Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, Atlantic City). Though the bout was originally proposed as an MMA match between the former UFC heavyweight champ and the dude who got choked out by Kimbo Slice, Sylvia’s manager Monte Cox had this to say:

"We changed and thought it would be a lot more interesting in boxing. In boxing, who knows who is going to win. Mercer just beat a guy who is 30-2. He was ranked fifth in Europe and Mercer just beat him…I don’t care if he’s 47 (years old). He’s been boxing his whole life, won an Olympic gold medal, went to split decision with Lennox Lewis. Believe me, he’s going to hit hard. Tim’s going to have a hard time."

Here’s the problem as I see it: There aren’t too many people who want to watch Tim in an MMA match anymore, let alone competing in a less-interesting sport, against a guy who was a champion in 1991. (Though don’t get us wrong, Mercer’s a boxer and Sylvia isn’t, so this actually could turn into another high-profile, embarrassing loss for the Maine-iac.) But honestly, why headline an MMA card with such a meaningless exhibition? Does this mean that Sylvia, who has lost three out of his last four fights, might be transitioning to a new sport? Could we be that lucky?

Well, not so fast. Sylvia’s fight against Ken Shamrock may have fallen apart, but Cox is angling to get Timmy on Affliction’s third fight card against Paul Buentello, as long as it’s not too close to May 30th. Affliction III looks like it’ll go down in June, with Emelianenko vs. Barnett headlining.

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UFC Signs a “Spirit Sponsor”


(Actual slogan: "The One With The Deer On It.")

If you’ve been feeling like recent UFC events have lacked ‘spirit,’ I have some good news for you.  The UFC now has an “official spirit sponsor,” and it’s Tequila Cazadores.  Giddy-up.

According to a recent press release, “Tequila CAZADORES will be featured nationally through Pay-Per-View broadcasts, digital and print media content as well as venue signage throughout the year. In addition, Tequila CAZADORES will host special adult consumer tastings, events, and promotions to support the Sponsorship.”

That’s right, UFC-related tequila tastings.  Is it just me, or did it suddenly get dangerously awesome in here?  And I do mean literally dangerous, because there are very few scenarios that begin with feeding tequila to testosterone-fueled young men and do not then move directly to chairs being thrown, shirts removed, faces punched, and property damaged.  But hey, where I come from we just call that spirit.

Now begins the countdown to the moment we hear Joe Rogan say, “Talk us through the Tequila Cazadores replay.”  It’s still better than Mickey’s Fine Malt Liquor.  Oh, how far we’ve come.

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Bowles Out, Mizugaki In for WEC 40 Fight Against Miguel Torres


(Takeya Mizugaki vs. Daichi Fujiwara, 6/22/08. Fight starts at the 1:08 mark; Mizugaki’s in the white trunks. Videos of two more Mizugaki wins are after the jump.)

MMA Weekly reports that the WEC‘s #1 bantamweight contender Brian Bowles has suffered an "undisclosed injury" [update: it was a back injury suffered during a training session at ATT] and has been forced to pull out of his title scrap with #4 P4P fighter Miguel Torres at WEC 40 (April 5th, Chicago). It’s an incredibly tough break for the undefeated Bowles, but on the bright side, the WEC has managed to pull a very credible replacement directly out of their asses. Stepping in for Brian will be Takeya Mizugaki, an 11-2-2 veteran of Shooto and GCM Cage Force who’s on a five-fight win streak, and who MMA Weekly currently ranks as the #6 bantamweight in the world. Mizugaki is expected to sign a five-fight contract with the WEC.

Speaking of which: WEC 39 is this Sunday in Corpus Christi, and will be broadcast live on Versus. The card will feature the featherweight title fight between Mike Brown and Leonard Garcia, Jose Aldo vs. Chris Mickle in a featherweight contender match, and lightweight bouts between Bart Palaszewski and Ricardo Lamas, and Rob McCullough vs. Marcus Hicks.

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Exclusive Interview: Scott “LionHeart” Blevins Cannot Be Stopped

Scott LionHeart Blevins MMA
(Photo courtesy of myspace.com/scottthelionheartblevins.

As losing streaks go, the one that Scott "LionHeart" Blevins is currently riding has to be one of the roughest in the sport. Sherdog lists the Indiana-based fighter’s record as 0-13, with all losses by first-round stoppage, and no match lasting past the 2:10 mark. But that doesn’t account for all of his fights — it doesn’t include his losses to David Love or Ryan McIntosh, for one thing, and it doesn’t include his victory-via-DQ over Eddie Mirabella, whose win was reversed after he threw his mouthpiece into the crowd.

Yes, Blevins’s fights generally end badly. The first time I heard about him, I had to know two things: 1) Was this some kind of joke? 2) If it wasn’t, why keep doing it? When I finally tracked Scott down, a few days after his most recent loss to Chico Camus at an Evolution Fighting Championship event in Wisconsin earlier this month, he was on the way to the hospital, due to a mysterious ailment that had laid him out. But he took the time to explain that despite the losses, despite the haters, despite a family that thinks he’s crazy, this shit is the furthest thing from a joke. As for why he keeps doing it, well, you’ll have to keep reading. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…LionHeart.

***

CAGEPOTATO.COM: How frustrating is it to put yourself on the line again and again, and still fall short of winning?
SCOTT "LIONHEART" BLEVINS: Well, I admit it does get to me, but I know I gotta keep on trying and I know that eventually I’m going to get those wins. It’s just going to take some time to do it. Each fight is different and I do see an improvement in myself each time I step in the cage. But I’ve had some tough competition throughout my career.

What went wrong in the Chico Camus fight?
He got me to the ground and I ate a bunch of his elbows. His trainer is Duke Roufus, and Duke is one of the top guys out of Wisconsin, and he just trains those guys harder than what most guys train. Chico is a top-notch fighter. He’s undefeated.

Where do you train for your fights?
I’m from Mentone, Indiana, and I run Fighting Dragons Mixed Martial Arts, and I do that pretty much seven days a week. It’s based out of my house, because I haven’t found a facility for it yet. My training regiment is basic stuff — boxing, jeet kune do, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, kickboxing. It’s a mix of everything. But I try to move around to different gyms in Indiana, and I try to find [training partners] at my weight who have the same skills.

You compete as a 135-pounder. How much weight do you have to cut before each match?
I don’t cut weight. I’m actually 130 pounds. I did take a match at 125 once, but I lost; the guy was just really, really tough.

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On Fedor, Russia, and Why Good Guys Can Be So Boring


(A joy so pure, so simple, it can only come from two ice cream cones.)

Noted author and smug smartass Matthew Polly traveled to Russia to witness firsthand Fedor Emelianenko’s loss at the Sambo World Championships in St. Petersburg in November.  He tells the tale in an article for Slate.com that contains several interesting insights about Russia and none of the cloying, faux-intellectual bullshit that usually finds its way into any Slate article (“Was Kevin Costner’s ‘Waterworld’ an Ahead-of-Its-Time Eco-Parable?” asks one such article.  No, asshole.  No it wasn’t).   

While the whole thing is interesting, even if you don’t care about Russian history or why St. Petersburg is a bizarrely beautiful and yet poorly-designed city, the last page is where we get serious about the mystery of Fedor.  What we end up learning, though, both in the Slate article and the full post-Sambo loss interview on Fightlinker, is that Fedor is either too nice to be interesting or else an impenetrable enigma.  And maybe we just choose to believe the latter because it’s more fun.

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Arianny Celeste: Yep, Still Hot

Arianny Celeste hot ring girl UFC MMA

Apologies if you’ve seen these photos before, but they were new to us. Props to F-Listed (via Holy Taco) and MissAriannyCeleste.com.

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Arianny Celeste sexy ring girl UFC MMA Maxim Arianny Celeste sexy ring girl UFC MMA Maxim Arianny Celeste hot ring girl UFC MMA Arianny Celeste hot ring girl UFC MMA

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Videos: The Enemy Speaks, Ryan Couture Scores His Second Win + More

CagePotato readers Jeb R. and Jamie sent in the above footage of Bob "Boooooooo!" Reilly‘s press conference from Friday, in which the New York Assemblyman compared MMA to prostitution, argued that the sport would actually be economically harmful to the state, and claimed that it would breed more violence in society. All incredibly valid points from a well-informed, not-at-all-senile government official. (Reilly also says that he could fill the Pepsi Arena for a dogfight, which, if that’s true, he might consider leaving the bureaucracy field for the more glamorous and lucrative world of fight promotion.) It’s one thing to read about this joker on our website; it’s quite another to hear these specious non-arguments come out of his mouth. Again, sign our petition if you haven’t yet for some reason, and if you can keep your emotions in check and your arguments high-minded, feel free to get in touch.

Below: Randy Couture‘s son Ryan increased his amateur MMA record to 2-0 on February 15th with this second-round submission victory over fellow lightweight Art Martinez at a Tuff-N-Uff event in Las Vegas; the fight starts at the 3:48 mark. Watch as Couture almost locks in a triangle in the first round, then an armbar, but Martinez manages to survive until the bell. (Damn those two-minute rounds.) It’s all good, though — Couture immediately takes advantage of some bad positioning by Martinez in the second frame, and it’s tap or nap.


(Props: XtremeCouture.wordpress.com)

After the jump: UFC announcer Mike Goldberg unwinds after Saturday’s show by working some Muay Thai combos with a training partner. In a crowded bar.

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Gina Carano Getting Her Own Round 5 Figure


(An excuse to post this picture again?  Why not.)

Round 5 sent out a press release today announcing Gina Carano as the newest addition to their stable of fighters willing to be made into disproportionate MMA action figures.  Carano is the first female fighter to sign on with Round 5, and they expect her figure to drop along with their fourth series this summer.

In the release Carano says the normal stuff about how excited she is to be a part of this, so on and so forth, and then there’s this: “When I was a little girl my dad always joked about making a ‘Gina doll’ and I smile when I think it has become a reality.”  

He joked about making a doll of his daughter?  As in, for her?  Or just, you know, to have around the house, in case anything happened to the original?  I don’t get it, but I find it vaguely troubling.

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