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Tag: Nate Diaz

[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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UFC on FOX 5 Salaries: Ben Henderson Needs to Hire Mauricio Rua’s Agent, Like, Pronto


(I had to downgrade from my platinum toothpick for this shit?!) 

The UFC recently released the figures for UFC on FOX 5, and suffice it to say, it pays much better to be a fading legend than it does a rising star, or a lightweight champion for that matter (Author’s note: I guess Bisping was right after all *dials revolver*). Check out the full list of figures below, then get our thoughts on the matter after the jump.

Benson Henderson: $78,000 (includes $39,000 win bonus)
def. Nate Diaz: $50,000

Alexander Gustafsson: $60,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)
def. Mauricio Rua: $175,000

Rory MacDonald: $42,000 (includes $21,000 win bonus)
def. B.J. Penn: $150,000

Matt Brown: $54,000 (includes $27,000 win bonus)
def. Mike Swick: $48,000

Yves Edwards: $32,000 (includes $16,000 win bonus)
def. Jeremy Stephens: $24,000

Raphael Assuncao: $38,000 (includes $19,000 win bonus)
def. Mike Easton: $14,000

Ramsey Nijem: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Joe Proctor: $8,000

Daron Cruickshank: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Henry Martinez: $8,000

Abel Trujillo: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus)
def. Marcus LeVesseur: $8,000

Dennis Siver: $62,000 (includes $31,000 win bonus)
def. Nam Phan: $10,000

Scott Jorgensen: $41,000 (includes $20,500 win bonus)
def. John Albert: $10,000

Thoughts…

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‘UFC on FOX 5′ Ratings Update: Henderson vs. Diaz Was the Ninth Most Watched MMA Fight of All Time in the U.S.; Kimbo Still Reigns Supreme


(Well, you can’t say he didn’t warn you. / Photo courtesy of Getty Images. Click for full-size version.)

According to a Yahoo! Sports report, Saturday’s UFC on FOX 5 broadcast averaged 4.4 million viewers, with viewership climbing steadily through the night until it peaked at a hearty 5.7 million sets of eyeballs for the main event of Benson Henderson vs. Nate Diaz.

Although total viewership still fell short of the first two UFC on FOX offerings, the 4.4 million average for “Henderson vs. Diaz” nearly doubled the audiences of the last two FOX broadcasts, which both averaged just 2.4 million viewers apiece. More importantly, “Henderson vs. Diaz” was television’s most-watched broadcast on Saturday night among males 18-34, males 18-49, adults 18-34, and adults 18-49. As Dana White told Yahoo!: “We just killed it. We killed it in every demo.”

The ratings performance was also enough to clinch Henderson vs. Diaz as the ninth most-watched MMA fight of all time in the United States. Four years ago, the top ten list was dominated by Kimbo Slice — and not much has changed since then. Here’s Dave Meltzer with an update on MMAFighting.com (number rankings added for clarity):

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Much Ado About Not That Much: Nate Diaz’s Middle Finger Incites Overblown Criticism


(Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here, this is the War Room!” Screenshot via Deadspin/ Tim Burke)

By Elias Cepeda

If you’re anything like me, there were a couple times during Saturday’s UFC on Fox telecast where you angrily shouted at the television. I wasn’t upset at a favorite fighter getting beaten or even vainly yelling out instructions per the common ridiculous spectator custom.

No, I, and perhaps you as well, got upset when Fox repeatedly cut away from the action to show a long overhead shot of an empty UFC Octagon. As Maggie Hendricks at Yahoo! Sports confirmed, those cut-aways were not technical goof ups. ”[Nate] Diaz threw up the middle finger at his opponent, and the network cut away instead of risking a fine from the Federal Communications Commission,” Hendricks wrote on her CageWriter blog.

One of the gestures came while Diaz was working for a heel-hook on Benson Henderson, who was sitting in a near full-split position on the canvas. The champion was unfazed by Diaz’s gestures as he had prepared for the Stockton native’s tactics, both physical and psychological.

“It’s something I actually had a little bit of a hard time with, but once my training partners got together, they all started talking crap to me in the middle of sparring and I’d get angry,” Henderson revealed on Fuel TV’s post fight show. “They helped control it and I did a pretty good job of being very focused and not letting that affect my emotional state in the middle of the fight.”

So, what’s all the fuss been about on the net since then? On Yahoo’s front page, Hendricks’s story was linked to with the headline, “Fighter’s tasteless moves rattle television broadcast.” Yes, the network that has brought us Cops, Temptation Island and The Simple Life was “rattled” and nearly brought to its sweet, innocent knees by Nate Diaz‘s tactical posturing during his fight.

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‘UFC on FOX 5′ Post-Fight Press Conference Notes: The Winners Look Towards the Future, Nate Diaz Discusses His F*cked-Up Eye


(“Ayo, is it cool if I use that toothpick to pop this thing?” Photo courtesy of Tracy Lee/Cagewriter)

By Nathan Smith

As usual, I drew the short straw, so I had to cover the post fight press conference — I actually volunteered because I am a sad lonely man — and Dana White was not there to moderate (double shit!). You Taters can watch the video for yourselves and get put into a coma or take my word within this posting as gospel. I am fairly certain that nobody was upset with “the best fight card to ever be aired on network TV” even though three of the four fights ended via decision.

Benson Henderson was not only magical during his five-round domination of Nate Diaz but he was seemingly able to conjure his inner David Blaine and make a toothpick mysteriously appear in his mouth at the end of the fight. The UFC Lightweight champ was simply dominant and once he finally arrived at the podium, he also showed the charisma of a world champion. With both an eloquent vocabulary and a seemingly levelheaded delivery, Henderson owned the dais (although he talks really really really fast).

When asked about the Scut-Farkus Toothpick Affair and if he actually had a sliver of wood in his mouth during the fight, Henderson was calm and smooth (go figure).

“I can not confirm or deny that. I normally do. It’s a bad habit, but whatever. Majority of the time I have it in. It is what it is.”

Bendo did his best to downplay his one-sided beating by showing respect to his animated opponent.

“Nate’s a good dude. He’s an emotional fighter and he’s an emotional guy. He is trying to do what it takes to get himself worked up.  After the fight he (Diaz) said ‘Good job — great fight and congratulations.’”

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UFC on Fox 5 Aftermath: Toothpickgate, A Changing of the Guard and Glorious, Glorious Violence


Ben Henderson’s Glorious Toothpick of Absolute Victory? Props: BloodyElbow.

When it comes to UFC on Fox 5, it’s hard to know whether to start with the top or the bottom. Ben Henderson’s dismantling of Nate Diaz was a statement performance in a division where title fights have been been subjected to controversy and questionable decisions for the past two years. (Frankie Edgar’s KO of Gray Maynard notwithstanding.) And he did this with a toothpick in his mouth the entire time! No, that’s not necessarily legal, but it makes the performance even more incredible. But on the other hand, this was probably the best, most violent preliminary card in recent memory, highlighted with KOs from Yves Edwards and Daron Cruickshank. And that’s not even touching the rest of the main card. We have much to discuss, Potato Nation.

So let’s start with the top. Ben Henderson, toothpick and all, dominated Nate Diaz. He kicked the legs out from under him, tossed him into the fence at will, and when they engaged on the ground, it was on Henderson’s terms. Diaz was able to maneuver into position for leg lock attempts in the third round, but beyond that he didn’t have much to offer Henderson. (Humorously, during one of those exchanges, Diaz raised his fist to Henderson’s face, and the camera immediately cut to a crowd shot. Yeah, wonder why…) Diaz never gave up trying, to his credit, but Henderson demonstrated that he was clearly the superior fighter of the two. Henderson was able to drop Diaz on multiple occasions, and while he was able to finish the Stockton fighter, he was able to damage him to the degree that even Diaz conceded victory when the final bell sounded. Henderson came out with a smart gameplan and executed it in violent fashion. Whoever challenges for the title next will have a serious issue on their hands, because with Frankie Edgar gone, Henderson finally looks secure on his throne.

The rest of the main card undoubtedly saw a – pardon the phrase – changing of the guard last night. Alexander Gustafsson was able to bloody and batter Mauricio “Shogun” Rua en route to a clear cut decision. Shogun came out strong, and while none of the judges saw fit to give him the first round, some observers (myself included) did. He used leg kicks, connected with the heaviest shots, and even though he got taken down, was easily able to avoid damage and return to his feet. However, rounds two and three weren’t up for debate. As Shogun tired, he began to throw desperate, flailing strikes which Gustafsson easily evaded. The Swede was content peppering Shogun from outside, dominating the clinch exchanges, and taking Shogun down at will throughout the latter rounds. It wasn’t the most impressive performance, and may not land him a title shot, but it’s easily his most significant victory in the UFC. For Shogun, it’s a sad day when a once great fighter can barely fight 15 minutes. He’s got a couple of fights left in him, but not much more.

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