About a month ago, the UFC’s welterweight title picture cleared up after nearly two years of confusion. Champion Georges St. Pierre returned after a long injury-induced lay off to face and beat interim champion Carlos Condit and Johny Hendricks stopped Martin Kampmann to establish himself as the clear number one contender to the St. Pierre’s belt.
Despite this, St. Pierre lobbied to face the suspended Nick Diaz, who had a shot against St. Pierre but then gave it because of, you know, reasons, lost to Carlos Condit and then tested positive for marijuana metabolites. Diaz will indeed get another crack at St. Pierre on March 16th in Montreal, assuming he decides to pick up a phone for media conference calls and make all his flights, and Hendricks will risk his earned #1 contender status against Jake Ellenberger on the same night.
Speaking to MMA Fighting this weekend, Hendricks said that the UFC made him take the Ellenberger fight and stuck to his “Georges is running scared,” line. “Man, he’s scared,” Hendricks said.
Rory MacDonald has the kind of lifeless, black eyes that would make Dr. Sam Loomis shiver at night. For an example of this, see his post-fight call-out of Carlos Condit at UFC on FOX 5, in which he delivered a speech so precise and monotone that it begged audiences to ask whether or not he had practiced it over and over and over again on the collection of flesh-covered marionettes he keeps locked in that one room in his house with a deadbolt on the door.
Obviously shaken up by MacDonald’s speech was that of Dana White, who, fearing he would end up as a bald cap on one of those marionettes, caved into Rory’s demands faster than the French in insert war of your choice here. So just five days out from his dominant win over B.J. Penn, MacDonald has already been booked to rematch the ironically-nicknamed “Natural Born Killer” in Condit at UFC 158 in Montreal. The man responsible for both MacDonald’s only professional loss and the shrine of hair and blood samples that looms over the Canadian’s fireplace, Condit is fresh off a title-losing bid to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 154. Condit and MacDonald first met at UFC 115, where despite stealing the first two rounds, “Ares” found himself eating elbow sammiches for the majority of the third until referee Kevin Dornan called a stop to the bout with just seven seconds remaining. It is no coincidence that Kevin Dornan has been missing ever since.
And speaking of people getting exactly what they wanted, it looks like GSP will likely be defending his title against rival Nick Diaz at the same event, although according to Dana White, the “deal isn’t done yet.” Diaz’s manager, Cesar Gracie, confirmed that the former Strikeforce welterweight champion has been offered the bout, but if you ask us, we’d recommend that you save your excitement for the moment these two are actually staring at each other from across the cage. Celebrating before that is simply setting yourself up for disappointment.
(18 seconds in = that moment when you realize you’ve literally been screaming obscenities on national television for the past 15 seconds. Props to FightersOnly.)
We should all be thanking our lucky stars for tape delay, because if it weren’t for the quick minds (and fingers) of the UFC’s censorship department, some of our children might have had their minds permanently tainted by the obscene gestures and naughty words used by two men trying to beat the ever-loving shit out of each other last Saturday night. And that is unacceptable. I mean, violence is one thing, but the middle fingerbeing thrown about all willy-nilly?! I don’t want my illegitimate children growing up in that kind of cold, harsh world.
And God forbid the censors had let the onslaught of f-bombs delivered by BJ Penn‘s trainer during his introduction (as captured above) slip past them, or we would have had a full blown crisis on our hands. As you can see, the gentlemen to the top left of the screen — likely through some sort of Hawaiian, mumbo-jumbo voodoo ritual that involves the repeated shouting of curse words — somehow absorbed all of the energy Penn was supposed to have stored up for his fight with Rory MacDonald in the moments beforehand. It’s the only explanation of how Penn gassed in a minute and a half, and the defense I am prepared to use whilst trapping my disappointment in his performance deep in the recesses of my soul.
Anyway, I spent most of my morning drowning my sorrows in alcohol compiling a playlist of awesome, semi-MMA-related videos from around the web that will last you through your lunch break, so check ‘em out after the jump.
Dana just said GSP told him I want Nick Diaz. Dana said that’s probably the fight we’ll make. Dana said that GSP doesn’t ask for much, so he feels like he has to do it. Silva and Hendricks will have to wait.
Diaz’s last Octagon appearance resulted in a somewhat controversial decision loss to Carlos Condit during their interim welterweight title fight in February. Afterwards, Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites in a post-fight drug test, and caught a year-long time-out. Diaz has been on the sidelines ever since, waiting, planning, talking mad shit. And now his big opportunity has arrived again, which he hopefully won’t blow this time. Meanwhile another contender has spent the last 12 months actually fighting people and winning — LOL, what a sucker! — beating three of the UFC’s toughest welterweight contenders in the process.
As you can imagine, Hendricks isn’t too happy with all of this…
(Diaz, seen here preparing the only gameplan that hasn’t been thwarted by Anderson Silva in the octagon yet. And no, that’s definitely not a hash pipe next to the dartboard. Props be to MiddleEasy.)
Nick Diaz may be a shortsighted, virulent, pot smoking, press conference-skipping delinquent who didn’t go to college for buying houses, but damn it, we can’t help but love the guy’s “take on all comers” attitude when it comes to fighting. Blame it on the increased popularity of the sport, the ridiculous string of injuries, or whatever you want, but suffice it to say, the Diaz mentality of accepting fights is a fading one. It seems we can’t go a day without hearing that so and so turned down a fight with this guy, or that this champion will maybe fight this one under a ridiculous set of circumstances, and honestly, this prima donna nonsense has all but completely quelled our interest in seeing the “superfights” we would have killed for just a couple months ago.
But before you jump down our throats, we (or at least I) do not blame Georges St. Pierre for turning down the Anderson Silva fight. Because like GSP said, there are still several viable contenders in his division and he is just coming off an 18 month layoff. Plus, if Anderson wants to fight the smaller man, he should pony the fuck up and drop down to his weight class. And since Silva is (for whatever reason) dead set on fighting a smaller opponent next, Cesar Gracie recently threw Diaz’s name into the fold as a potential future opponent, because why the hell not at this point:
We’re pushing for the GSP fight. That’s what we’re going to push for, GSP or Anderson Silva. That’s the two fights that interest us the most, and that’s the one’s we’re going for.[Silva's] people are into it. We’re into it. The fans, I think, would be into it. We’ve got convince Dana about it now. Obviously the fight that makes sense to them, and I don’t disagree, is Anderson-GSP, and like I said, I would watch that fight. That would be great to watch. But let’s get real. If GSP just absolutely says no, then what? You can’t make a guy fight. That’s the thing. And Anderson, if they want to promote a superfight and if the stars align, I think Nick would be into it.
If you watched the UFC Primetime documentary mini series on Georges St. Pierre and Carlos Condit you saw that Condit brought multi-time Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion Caio Terra champ into his camp to help him train. What you may not have realized is that Terra had also been affiliated with Cesar Gracie and his team of fighters, including welterweight contender Nick Diaz.
Cesar and his Gracie Fighter team don’t play that, apparently. Last night Cesar posted on twitter that Terra was off their squad.
Cesar Gracie ?@CesarGracieBJJ
@jakeshieldsajj @GilbertMelendez @nickdiaz209 @NateDiaz209 @caioterrabjj @graciemag_br Caio Terra is no longer affiliated with our academy
Gracie got personal on his facebook account, reportedly. According to the UG Blog (who are friends with Cesar on Facebook because they are so cool, evidently), Gracie posted, “”OK we all saw that someone from our team got a camera and a few bucks put in their face and decided to show his true colors and stab his team mates in the back.”
“No worries, that person is gone for good and I can’t be happier. That person would also be wise not to show his sissy little face around here again.”
Strikeforce lightweight champion Gil Melendez‘ coach Cesar Gracie recently told Tatame that his fighter is still injured, not “training hard,” and will not fight on what many assume will be Strikeforce’s final event in January. “I think he never recovered from the shoulder injury and will not be able to fight in January,” Google Translator tells us that Gracie told the Portuguese outlet.
Melendez already pulled out of a no-win title defense against Pat Healy and, though we have no doubt he is still battling injury, has to also realize that other than the purse he’d get for fighting, he would be risking far more than he might gain by fighting one last time in the doomed organization. If Strikeforce is dissolved while Melendez is the champion he will almost certainly, at long last, be brought into the UFC fold.
Should he lose, he might still be brought over but if he is, he would be worth far less and would probably have a longer route to a UFC title shot. As Strikeforce champion, Gilbert could always make a claim for an immediate or close-to-immediate title shot under the “let’s unify this thing” type of argument made most recently and successfully by his teammate Nick Diaz.
Here at CagePotato HQ (read: my desk at work when the boss is in the crapper), we feel it only necessary to start writing the eulogy now, while the memories are still vivid, in an attempt to bring comfort to the grieving family and friends when the time comes. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane, shall we, and look back fondly at the most memorable moments in Strikeforce’s storied mixed martial arts history.
Frank Shamrock Gets a Friendly Stockton Greeting From Nick Diaz
In the spring of 2009, Strikeforce served up a hot matchup between former UFC champion and MMA legend Frank Shamrock and the future Strikeforce Welterweight champion and world-renowned trash talker Nick Diaz. As you can glean from the above photo and the ensuing nut grab you can see on YouTube at roughly the 3:23 mark, these two were about as cordial as a Kentucky Derby winner who had just spotted Alistair Overeem waiting in the stable with a knife and fork.
The remarkable thing about the whole ordeal was that Diaz remained true to himself at the risk of coming across as a disrespectful punk, not willing to play nice simply to placate other people, even if they did sign his paycheck. In all of the press conferences that have been held over the years, fighters have generally been pretty calm and polite — so much so that you have to wonder if they realize that the guy they’re shaking hands with is the same guy who’s getting paid to cave his face in come fight night. Not the Stockton, Calif. native, though, whoe’s about as subtle as he is media friendly. You’ll never have to guess what the Cesar Gracie product is thinking. This classic photo by Esther Lin is a reminder of just that.
(Quick poll – Which is funnier: Miller’s hair or Shields’ attempt at a mean mug?)
You can hate on the over-the-top theatrics of professional wrestling all you want, but there’s no denying the sport’s influence on the world of MMA. Do you think we would have ever seen Jonathan Ivey break out “The People’s Elbow” in a fight if The Rock hadn’t done it first? And how about that Chael Sonnen character, who we would all just write off as another boring wrestler if not for his Billy Graham-esque heel routine? The list goes on and on, but greater than the signature moves, greater even than the whimsical trash-talking pro wrasslin’ has inspired in our great sport, is the post-fight cage confrontation.
It has been responsible for some of the most unintentionally hilarious highs and Gus Johnsony lows that MMA has ever seen, yet we can’t seem to look away when such an inherently silly situation is presented in the aftermath of a fight. The UFC clearly understands this, and in an effort to set up everyone’s dream match of Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones Georges. St. Pierre, both the UFC and Silva’s manager have hinted that not only is the middleweight champ going to be in attendance at UFC 154, but should St. Pierre emerge victorious, the two will face off in the cage and lay the foundation for the next great MMA superfight. So with that in mind, we’ve compiled a brief, albeit memorable, video tribute to the post-fight confrontation. Enjoy.
(When the TUF producers decided to shoot Koscheck’s reaction to Two Girls One Cup, little did they know what traumatic psychological issues they would uncover.)
Say what you want about Josh Koscheck — seriously, do it now and in great detail — but if there’s one thing that male nurse hatin’ sumbitch isn’t, it’s afraid of a tough fight. His resume is easily one of the most impressive in the division and although he hasn’t been able to strike gold, he has more than earned his current status as a perennial contender. Sure, he has his shortcomings, but should we chastise a man just because he prefers his motorboats to be of the male ass variety rather than that of the female chest? For is the ass not but the chest of the South?
While you ponder those roundtable-worthy questions, consider the words of Dana White, who said in a recent interview that Nick Diaz would need a big win over a top guy at 170 before he would be considered back in the title picture. Being the remarkably generous company man that he is, Koscheck has apparently already agreed to play the role of stepping stone one last time (see Johny Hendricks, Thiago Alves), calling out Diaz over Twitter yesterday.