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Tag: Nate Diaz

Armchair Matchmaker: ‘UFC on FOX 7: Henderson vs. Melendez’ Edition


(“Well, Joe, I’d just like to thank God for giving me the strength to-OH SHIT HERE COMES THE REST OF ‘EM.” Photo courtesy of Getty Images.) 

Let us begin this week’s edition of the Armchair Matchmaker with a few fun facts about last Saturday’s UFC on FOX 7 event

-With eight (T)KO’s, UFC on FOX 7 tied UFC 92 for the most (T)KO finishes in a single UFC event in the promotion’s history.

-In defeating Jordan Mein via second round TKO, the resurgent Matt Brown now holds the third longest win streak (5) amongst active UFC welterweights, as well as the record for (T)KO finishes in the welterweight division. Yet incredibly, the FOTN check Brown received was the first end of the night bonus he has earned in some 15 UFC fights.

-Frank Mir, like, really dropped the ball against Daniel Cormier.

Now, using those absolute truths and a little speculation, let’s decide who the biggest winners and losers from UFC on FOX 7 should face next, shall we?

The Winners

Ben Henderson: Well, we already know who he’ll be facing next, so that one is pretty easy. The question now becomes: How do you see Bendo taking it? Split decision, unanimous decision, or the always rare majority decision?

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UFC on Fox 7 Salaries: Frank Mir Earns as Much as Benson Henderson? Frank Mir Earns as Much as Benson Henderson.


Since we can only post so many “U Mad?” GIFs in one day, this will have to suffice.

The UFC paid out a total of $1,518,000 in disclosed salaries and end of the night bonuses to the fighters on last night’s UFC on Fox 7, according to the California State Athletic Commission. Both former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir and current UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson took home $200,000 for their performances last night, making them the two highest paid fighters on the card. Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez took home the evening’s third-highest disclosed salary at $175,000.

The entire disclosed payroll is below, via MMA Junkie. Keep in mind that the following figures account for neither sponsorships and undisclosed “locker room bonuses,” nor do they include deductions for taxes, insurance, and licensing fees. Also, since there were no submissions on the card, two fighters took home a Knockout of the Night bonus.

Benson Henderson: $200,000 (includes $100,000 win bonus)
def. Gilbert Melendez: $175,000

Daniel Cormier: $126,000 (includes $63,000 win bonus)
def. Frank Mir: $200,000

Josh Thomson: $145,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus and $50,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
def. Nate Diaz: $15,000

Matt Brown: $110,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus and $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
def. Jordan Mein: $66,000 (includes $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus)

Chad Mendes
: $56,000 (includes $28,000 win bonus)
def. Darren Elkins: $24,000

Francis Carmont: $38,000 (includes $19,000 win bonus)
def. Lorenz Larkin: $23,000

Myles Jury
: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Ramsey Nijem: $14,000

Joseph Benavidez: $66,000 (includes $33,000 win bonus)
def. Darren Uyenoyama: $12,000

T.J. Dillashaw: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Hugo Viana: $8,000

Jorge Masvidal: $60,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)
def. Tim Means: $10,000

Anthony Njorkuani: $36,000 (includes $18,000 win bonus)
def. Roger Bowling: $12,000

Yoel Romero: $70,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus and $50,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
def. Clifford Starks: $8,000

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UFC on FOX 7: Henderson vs. Melendez — Live Results and Commentary


(Premature celebration. Always a great idea. / Photo via CombatLifestyle.com. For more images from this set, click here.)

Tonight at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, top-ranked lightweight contender Gilbert Melendez will finally get his chance to prove himself in the Octagon — with Benson Henderson‘s belt on the line — while undefeated phenom Daniel Cormier will attempt to justify his own swelling hype in a heavyweight matchup with Frank Mir. Add in all the other UFC vs. Strikeforce matchups, and you basically have MMA’s version of the Sharks vs. the Jets, but with the dance steps replaced by middle fingers in your got-damn face. So will the latest batch of Strikeforce crossovers make the grade or will they go up in smoke?

Taking you through the action tonight is our good friend Elias Cepeda, who’s giving us round-by-round results from the UFC on FOX 7 main card broadcast after the jump beginning at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and share your own thoughts in the comments section.

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Dumbest Idea Ever of the Day: Nate Diaz is Headed Back to the Welterweight Division, Y’all


(“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein, clearly foreshadowing the career of Nate Diaz.)

You remember how we previously discussed the wolfpack-like sense of loyalty that seems to exist between the members of Team Cesar Gracie? Or how they would rather retire than face another member of their loyal platoon in glorious mixed martial arts competition? Well, since Nate Diaz’s training partner/homeboy Gil Melendez is fighting Ben Henderson at UFC on FOX 7 this weekend and is going to win the fight with 100% certainty (and the fight after that, and the fight after that…), the former #1 contender might as well get to steppin’. That’s according to him, at least:

I’m not huntin’ (the title) right now, honestly. My boy is about to put it down and hold the belt for the next … I don’t even know how long. I’m probably gonna bail up outta this weight division as soon as this fight is done. I fought everybody at lightweight already. 

That’s right, despite compiling an 9-4 UFC record at lightweight that included a(n unsuccessful) title shot against Ben Henderson last December, Diaz is presumably headed back to the division that saw him score wins over a couple of guys who have since been fired and get absolutely manhandled by Dong Hyun Kim and Rory MacDonald. Pardon my language, but boy, you have smoked yourself retarded.

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Breaking Down All Eight ‘UFC vs. Strikeforce’ Bouts on This Saturday’s Henderson vs. Melendez Card

As we pointed out on Facebook earlier today, the entire main card of this Saturday’s UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Melendez event features a UFC veteran taking on a former Strikeforce standout. What’s more, there are four fights on the prelims that fit this same pattern. While the UFC has set up cards along national lines in the past — see UFC 58: USA vs. Canada and UFC 117: USA vs. Brazil, Pretty Much they’ve never been this overt with their UFC vs. Strikeforce matchmaking. Will the UFC vets fight harder in an attempt to defend their turf? Will the Strikeforce crossovers band together to continue their invasion of the Octagon? Take a look at all eight matchups below and let us know which side you think will emerge victorious.

Headshot images via Card/The UG.


BENSON HENDERSON vs. GILBERT MELENDEZ (for UFC lightweight title)
The odds say: Bendo is a strong favorite to defend his belt at -250.
We say:
When you put this much talent into the cage at the same time, anything can happen. But while we think this fight will be closer than the betting line reflects, there’s been an unbreakable, unstoppable quality to Henderson’s performances during his 6-0 UFC run. Until we see how Melendez actually performs in the Octagon, we’re picking the champ.


FRANK MIR vs. DANIEL CORMIER (HW)
The odds say: Cormier is a virtual lock at -375.
We say:
That sounds about right. Cormier has all the skills to be a future UFC champ, and barring any freakish leglocks, Frank Mir is just a stop along the way.

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[VIDEO] UFC on Fox 7: Melendez vs. Henderson — ‘Road to the Octagon’ Preview Show


(Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

It’s as simple as this — Saturday’s UFC on Fox 7: Henderson vs. Melendez card features top-ranked fighters and heavy stakes. As such, we love getting a lil’ something extra in anticipation of it. This UFC on Fox 7: Road to the Octagon documentary gives us just that, including behind-the-scenes footage with Benson Henderson (competing at a Jiu Jitsu tournament with his mom, working out with the NFL’s Larry Fitzgerald), Gilbert Melendez (at home and at work with his ex-fighter fiance and business partner, chilling with his tight-knit ‘Skrap Pack’), Frank Mir (crying, and on a flight to New Mexico to conduct the first training camp of his career away from his wife and twenty kids) and more pre-fight action from Josh Thomson, Nate Diaz, and Daniel Cormier.

It’s a good way to waste your lunch hour today — better, at least, than talking to that weird guy at the office who always just eats a can of soup for lunch, like, every day. (Seriously? Get some protein in there, you’re a grown ass man.) Anyway, watch it and tune in Saturday. It’s free, so you’ve got no excuse not to, fight fans.

-Elias Cepeda

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Let the Great Fallout Begin: Nate Diaz Leaves Team Cesar Gracie Management


(Ronaldo Souza’s alligator dance: You’re doing it wrong. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.) 

Well, well, well, isn’t this peculiar.

When Nick Diaz starting lobbing accusations of negligence at his own team during the UFC 158 post-fight press conference last month — a team that prides themselves on a wolfpack-like sense of loyalty if nothing else — we initially wrote it off as little more than the fleeting words of a man grasping at straws to save his MMA career. Nick’s attitude regarding his most recent retirement only drove this notion home. That being said, it was hard not to at least speculate that Diaz’s longtime coach/manager/muzzle, Cesar Gracie, could be at least partially responsible for the Stocktonian’s ongoing troubles over the years. Dana White seemed to agree, calling Gracie “a dick” who “plays bullshit games.”

And indeed, it appears that even the members of Team Cesar Gracie are starting to grow tired of his shit, as it was recently announced that former lightweight title challenger Nate Diaz has left the team — managerially, at least — for greener pastures (via MMAMania):

According to a report from Ariel Helwani on Tuesday’s (April 9, 2013) edition of “UFC Tonight” on FUEL TV, the Stockton, Calif., native has enlisted the management services of Mike Kogan, who heads Real Talk Entertainment, representing notable names such as UFC heavyweight Roy Nelson and former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Muhammed Lawal, among others. 

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CagePotato Databomb #5: Breaking Down the UFC Lightweights by Striking Performance


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

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

Last week we broke down the UFC Featherweight division in key striking metrics. This week we’ll look at the largest (numerically) UFC division, the Lightweights. A full explanation of the chart and variables is included at the end of this post.

The Winners

Sniper Award: Daron Cruickshank finally showed off his striking skills in his second UFC appearance against Henry Martinez on the UFC on FOX 5 card in Seattle. With nearly 50% accuracy, he looked like he was practicing on a heavy bag before mercifully dropping an iron-chinned Martinez with a head kick KO. Interestingly, the “Detroit Superstar” is set to face another division sniper, John Makdessi, in March at UFC 158.

Energizer Bunny Award: Tim Means is two wins into his UFC career, and has almost doubled the standing output of his two opponents. He also maintained good accuracy and scored two knockdowns in those performances.

Biggest Ball(s) Award: Melvin Guillard has been punching above his weight for a long time in the UFC. To date Guillard has 12 knockdowns, putting him 3rd all-time in the UFC behind Anderson Silva and Chuck Liddell. Not bad for a lightweight.

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UFC Booking Alert: Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson Added to Next FOX Card; UFC 159 Gets Nelson vs. Kongo, Miller vs. Healy, Davis vs. Magalhaes


(Above: “Grrrrrr.” / Below: “Haaaaaay!”)

After coming up short in his title challenge against Ben Henderson last month, UFC lightweight Nate Diaz will be returning to the Octagon at UFC on Fox 7: Henderson vs. Melendez (April 20th, San Jose), where he’ll face former Strikeforce champ Josh Thomson; CSNBayArea broke the news yesterday.

Thomson hasn’t competed in the UFC since his 2-1 stint for the promotion in 2003-2004, which ended in an unfortunate/incredible highlight-reel knockout against Yves Edwards. Since then, “The Punk” has spent most of his career fighting for Strikeforce, where he built an entertaining rivalry against Diaz’s training partner (and UFC on FOX 7 title challenger) Gilbert Melendez. Thomson briefly held Strikeforce’s lightweight title after winning a decision against Melendez in June 2008, and has picked up wins over Pat Healy, Gesias Cavalcante, and KJ Noons since then. His most recent appearance resulted in a split-decision loss to Melendez during their rubber-match last May.

Of course, the other thing Thomson is known for is his frequent injuries, and there’s a lot that can go wrong between now and 4/20. Let’s hope this one sticks together. In related news, the UFC has added three big matchups to their UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen card, which takes place the following weekend (April 27th) in Newark, NJ…

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‘UFC on FX 7′ Video: Khabib Nurmagomedov Elbows the Living Sh*t Out of Thiago Tavares, Calls Out Nate Diaz


(Props: YouTube.com/fueltv. Skip to the 0:51 mark for the violence.)

Khabib Nurmagomedov‘s first-round knockout of Thiago Tavares at Saturday’s UFC on FX 7: Belfort vs. Bisping immediately joined Melendez vs. Kawajiri and Miocic vs. Del Rosario in the pantheon of vicious elbows-from-above MMA finishes. The win also upped Nurmagomedov’s career record to a remarkable 19-0, and represented his third straight win in the Octagon. It’s clear that the Russian Sambo/Judo ace has the potential to make a serious impact in the UFC’s lightweight division. So who should he face next? Well, he’s got an opinion about that.

After the fight, FUEL TV’s Heidi Androl talked to “The Eagle” about his ball-busting t-shirt at the weigh-ins and his training at American Kickboxing Academy. Nurmagomedov also mentioned that he really wants to face Nate Diaz in his next fight. It was a smart bit of post-fight matchmaking, as a meeting with Diaz could give Nurmagomedov the exposure that he’ll need to break into the title mix.

On the other hand, Diaz might not want to face a relative newcomer without much name value. (As with the frequently-ducked Glover Teixeira, there just isn’t much upside to fighting a dangerous, non-star like Nurmagomedov.) Though I’m sure Diaz vs. Nurmagomedov would be an entertaining scrap, I wouldn’t be surprised if the UFC books Khabib against another mid-level opponent before letting him in the cage with Top 5-caliber competition. Any other ideas on who Nurmagomedov should take on next?

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