stanley kubrick movie tattoos
20 Absolutely Insane Tattoos Inspired by Stanley Kubrick Movies

Tag: On this day in MMA history

On This Day in MMA History: The New Old Vitor Belfort TKO’s Rich Franklin at UFC 103

If not for the PED controversies that have plagued him since 2006, Vitor Belfort would be one of the most inspirational figures in MMA history. We’re talking about a fighter who picked himself up after each high-profile defeat and kept clawing his way forward, who started his career as a young destroyer at heavyweight, then reinvented himself as a light-heavyweight when that didn’t work out, then reinvented himself as a middleweight when that didn’t work out, then floated anywhere between 185 and 205 pounds depending on what the moment called for.

This December, after more than 18 years in the sport (!), the 37-year-old Belfort will challenge Chris Weidman in a middleweight title fight at UFC 181. The fight represents yet another career peak for Belfort, and will define his third stint in the UFC, which began five years ago today — September 19th, 2009 — when Belfort TKO’d Rich Franklin at UFC 103.

Heading into the fight, Belfort was enjoying the kind of momentum that had been rare in his career. Following his decision loss to Dan Henderson (and positive steroid test) at PRIDE 32, Belfort won a pair of fights under the Cage Rage banner — becoming the promotion’s light-heavyweight champion in the process — then dropped to middleweight and brutally KO’d Terry Martin and Matt Lindland in Affliction. Shortly after Affliction’s ugly demise, the UFC re-signed Belfort and booked him for a 195-pound catchweight fight against former middleweight champ Rich Franklin, who had gone back up to compete at light-heavyweight and 195 lbs. (aka “Franklinweight”) since his second loss to Anderson Silva. Fun fact from the UFC 103 wiki page:

It was announced on July 20, 2009 that Rich Franklin would headline UFC 103 against Dan Henderson. It was then announced on July 31, 2009 that fans were not happy with the announced headliner of Henderson-Franklin 2 so they changed the main event to feature Rich Franklin vs. Vitor Belfort. “Fans didn’t like it, so we changed it,” White said.

I only vaguely remember this moment in UFC history where fan sentiment could actually influence which fights get made. Now, we pretty much have to eat what they give us.

Read More DIGG THIS

On This Day in MMA History: Frank Mir Breaks Tim Sylvia’s Arm, Ken Shamrock KO’s Kimo at UFC 48: Payback

It might be hard to believe when looking at him now, but there was a time not too long ago when Tim Sylvia was paid money to compete in physical activities. I know right? I’m seriously. It was the mid-2000′s, and ”The Maine-iac” weighed in at a svelte 265 pounds. He was also the UFC Heavyweight champion, but looking back, I think the former accomplishment is arguably more impressive than the latter.

Regardless, after testing positive for stanozolol in his second title defense over Gan McGee at UFC 44, Sylvia would voluntarily relinquish his belt in disgrace*…and wind up receiving an immediate fight against Frank Mir for the belt he had just vacated at UFC 48 on June 19th, 2004 — ten years ago today.

It did not end well.

Read More DIGG THIS

On This Day in MMA History: Vitor Belfort, Marvin Eastman, & The UFC 43 “Goat Vagina” Incident


(Oh, so *that’s* how The Rock does it.)

It might surprise you to learn that years before Vitor Belfort was just a TRT-fueled killing machine, well, he was slightly younger, 4-Hydroxytestosterone-fueled killing machine (progress!). In fact, during his second UFC run in the early aughts, Belfort had already been in the game long enough to draw comparisons to his “old” self despite being just 26 years old at the time. And no one was more privy to the *first* career rebirth of “The Phenom” than Marvin Eastman, who became Belfort’s most infamous victim to date at UFC 43 on June 6th, 2003 — 11 years ago today.

Following a 5-1 run in PRIDE between 1999-2001, Belfort returned to the UFC in June of 2002, dropping a hard-fought unanimous decision to Chuck Liddell at UFC 37.5: As Real As It Gets (eesh) upon arriving. Belfort was then matched up against the 5-2 “Beastman” for the latter’s promotional debut. The size and reach difference between the mountainous Belfort and the compact Eastman was immediately noticeable and immediately exploited by Belfort, who proceeded to tie up Eastman in a muay Thai clinch and knee his stout opponent’s face off of his face in just over a minute’s time.

Described by Joe Rogan as “a goat’s vagina” and “the worst cut he’d ever seen” in the moments after it occurred, the axe-wound Belfort opened up on Eastman’s forehead remains the Citizen Kane of MMA cuts to this day. To check out a full, bloody replay of Belfort vs. Eastman, join us after the jump.

Read More DIGG THIS

On This Day in MMA History: Tito Ortiz Knees Guy Mezger into Submission and Somehow Still Loses at UFC 13

Believe it or not, there was a time long, long ago when Tito Ortiz was something other than a dopey, stuttering mass of injury excuses and self-congratulatory speeches — “The pre-Jenna Era,” as it’s sometimes called. Yes, “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” preferred to let his fists, knees, and elbows do the talking for him back in the late nineties/early aughts, and we respected him so, so much more for it. Of course, he got off to a rough start in his first night as a professional fighter, when he kneed Guy Mezger into submission and *still* lost at UFC 13 on May 30th, 1997 — 17 years ago today.

To be fair, Ortiz’s actual MMA/UFC debut came just hours earlier, and ended in a 31-second TKO of Wes Albritton. But it was his main event showdown with Mezger, a Pancrase veteran and member of the Lion’s Den camp, that would go down as the first of many controversial moments in the future Hall of Famer’s career.

After besting Mezger on the feet in the early-going and brushing off his takedown attempts, Ortiz unleashed a vicious barrage of knees to Mezger’s noggin’, eliciting what many believed (ringside announcers Bruce Beck and Jeff Blatnick included) to be a tap from Mezger. Big John McCarthy would eventually intervene to check the cuts on Mezger’s head, where he would clarify his belief that Mezger was not tapping, but rather attempting to block Ortiz’s knees (a fact that remains disputed to this day). In any case, Big John would restart things on the feet and Mezger would secure a fight-ending guillotine shortly thereafter, sparking a decade-long rivalry between Ortiz and the Shamrock brothers.

After the jump: A collection of full fight videos from UFC 13, including the UFC/MMA debut of fellow HOFer Randy Couture, Vitor Belfort vs. Tank Abbott, and Enson Inoue vs. Royce Alger.

Read More DIGG THIS

On This Day in MMA History: Paul Daley Sucker Punches Josh Koscheck, Earns Lifetime Ban From the UFC

By Ben Goldstein

Banning a cage-fighter for punching his opponent in the face is kind of like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500. Of course, context is everything in MMA. Between the first horn and the final horn, you’re allowed to inflict massive head trauma and wrench limbs until they break apart, as long as you avoid the relatively small list of no-nos set forth in the Unified Rules. But if you hit a guy directly after the fight is over? You’re garbage, and nobody wants you.

I’m not trying to call that hypocritical in any way. In fact, it’s these small distinctions — these subtle nods to context and polite behavior — that prevent mixed martial arts from devolving into pure barbarism. Otherwise, MMA would eventually become Thunderdome, and nobody wants that. Well, I’m sure some people want that. But we’re not sociopaths, are we? We’re sports fans. At the end of the day, having fights end with mentally handicapped man-children literally dying in the cage does us no good as a society.

(By the way, how many times have I referenced Master Blaster while running this site? Dozens of times? Thousands? Indeed, it has been a long journey.)

Four years ago today — May 8th, 2010 — at UFC 113 in Montreal, Paul Daley spent three rounds being smothered by the superior wrestling of Josh Koscheck. The fight was as dull as it was predictable. Clearly, Koscheck wasn’t interested in a standup battle against Paul Daley, one of the most dangerous welterweight strikers in MMA history. So, Kos scored a few takedowns and hung out in top position for fifteen minutes. And when it was all over, Paul Daley got to his feet and popped him one.

Read More DIGG THIS

On This Day in MMA History: Toby Imada Inverted Triangle Chokes His Way Into MMA’s Eternal Highlight Reel

Showcasing the semifinals of their very first lightweight tournament as well as the promotional debuts of future UFC fighters Joey Beltran, Waylon Lowe, Dave Herman, and inaugural Invicta FC flyweight champion Jessica Penne, Bellator’s fifth event was truly stacked for it’s time and featured just one decision on its 9-fight card. But none of the finishes held a candle to the moment when Toby Imada choked out Jorge Masvidal with an inverted triangle choke in the evening’s headlining fight on May 1st, 2009 — five years ago today.

A little background: After securing tournament quarterfinal victories over Alonzo Martinez and Nick Agallar, respectively, at Bellator 1, veteran journeyman Toby Imada was set to face off against rising up-and-comer Jorge Masvidal, who in addition to being a rather prolific street fighter had already scored stoppage victories over Joe Lauzon and Yves Edwards in his young MMA career. After two rounds of fighting, Masvidal looked every bit the dynamic striker (and gambling favorite) he had been billed as, having punished Imada with hard shots and vicious ground-n-pound for the majority of the contest.

But for every ten Jones vs. Teixeiras, there is one Russow vs. Duffy, so to speak.

Read More DIGG THIS

On This Day in MMA History: Gabriel Gonzaga Cro-Cops Mirko Cro Cop at ‘UFC 70: Nations Collide’


(To this day, we still cannot watch this knockout without mourning what could have been.)

Heading into his UFC debut against Eddie Sanchez at UFC 67, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic was already considered by many to be the far and away best striker in the UFC’s heavyweight division, if not in all of MMA. His left high kick had become the thing of legend thanks to his devastating wins over Aleksander Emelianenko, Igor Vovchanchyn and Wanderlei Silva in PRIDE, to the point that it kinda-sorta became our slogan. And after he defeated Sanchez via a first round TKO set into motion by that very same kick, we figured it was only a matter of time before we saw “Mirko Cro Cop: UFC Heavyweight Champion” pasted on every UFC poster imaginable.

But as they so often do, the MMA Gods threw a wrench into our (and Mirko’s) plans at UFC 70: Nations Collide on April 21st, 2007 — seven years ago today. In a heavyweight title eliminator match that served as the evening’s main event, the Croatian special forces officer was paired against Gabriel Gonzaga, a Cro magnon-looking Brazilian who had scored three consecutive finishes (two TKO, one sub) in his first three UFC contests. Cro Cop was listed as over a 5-to-1 favorite across the board.

Any notion that the fight would be an easy win for Mirko was erased in the first round, however, as Gonzaga managed to take Filipovic down on multiple occasions and batter him with vicious elbows from on top for the majority of five minutes.

And then, it happened.

Read More DIGG THIS

On This Day in MMA History: The Gina Carano Lip Bite Gif Was Born (Also, Nick Diaz Fought Frank Shamrock)


(Oh God…can’t…control…the hnnnnnng.)

Although Gina Carano may have stepped away from our beloved sport years ago, her ability to captivate and stimulate MMA fans in gif form remains unmatched to this day. But none of the truly amazing photos, screengrabs, or gifs Carano has been responsible for over the years hold a candle to the night she was captured biting her lip at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz on April 11th, 2009 — five years ago today.

In fact, nothing Carano has done since — not the sexy dance or Haywire or even fighting for the Strikeforce Women’s championship — quite compares to the glorious night she bit her lip while staring directly into the soul of our wieners, and I say that with all due respect. Because above all else, Carano has always been a bit of a trailblazer. She brought women’s MMA into the mainstream and was one of the sport’s first crossover stars, to the point that she is still being used to promote WMMA despite leaving it behind some 5 years ago. She also was the first female fighter to bite her lip on camera, capturing the imagination of the country in doing so. And for that last thing, we give thanks.

But there is an unsung hero in all this, a person who truly helped launch Carano’s lip-biting career into the stratosphere and one who finally deserves his due credit. I’m talking about the Strikeforce cameraman who was given the simple assignment of filming Gina Carano sitting ringside and used the opportunity to forever cement his place in MMA History, of course. I don’t mean to overstate this, but the way he ever so slightly pushed in on Carano (phrasing) just in time for the lip bite is a moment of filmmaking history comparable to Spielberg’s dolly zoom shot in Jaws.

Georgia O’Keeffe spent most of her career trying to capture the essence of female sexuality, strength, and femininity, and this anonymous Strikeforce cameraman managed to do it in under 15 seconds. So on this day, we salute you, Strikeforce cameraman responsible for the Gina Carano lip-bite gif (“Reeeeal men of geeenius…”).

Oh yeah, Nick Diaz vs. Frank Shamrock also went down on this day five years ago. We’ve thrown a full video of their fight after the jump, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Read More DIGG THIS

On This Day in MMA History: Chuck Liddell KOs Tito Ortiz at UFC 47, Ten Years Ago Today

By Ben Goldstein

I have a couple theories on how superstardom is created in combat sports:

1) Every great fighter needs a great rival to stand in opposition to — an equally skilled counterpart who can push him competitively and generate personal animosity.

2) You either have to be an entertaining talker, or the guy who beats the living shit out of the entertaining talker. (The WMMA corollary is: You either have to be a beautiful woman, or the girl who beats the living shit out of the beautiful woman.)

Both of these theories can help explain why Chuck Liddell was — and continues to be — a cultural phenomenon, and arguably the most famous MMA fighter of all time. They also help explain why some of today’s UFC champions struggle to find the same kind of relevance.

Ten years ago today, Chuck Liddell cemented his stardom by knocking out Tito Ortiz at UFC 47: It’s On!, which took place April 2nd, 2004, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Even though it was a non-title fight, Liddell vs. Ortiz 1 was the most compelling, highly-anticipated bout in UFC history to that point — a once-in-a-blue-moon meeting of two rivals who were both incredibly talented, and opposites in every measurable way. It had a storyline as dramatic and exaggerated as any pro-wrestling feud, and yet, somehow, it was real.

Chuck Liddell was the hero, of course. Humble and laconic, Chuck talked with his fists. The only time he showed emotion was after he knocked a guy out, after which he would gallop around the cage, then lean back with his fists at his sides, screaming at the air, the usual deadness in his eyes replaced by unrestrained insanity. He had a cool nickname and a cooler mohawk. He was a white guy, and yes, that does matter. His name was “Chuck,” for God’s sake.

Read More DIGG THIS

On This Day in MMA History: The UFC Holds Its First (and Last) Ever 16-Man Tournament at UFC 2: No Way Out

On This Day in MMA History” pays tribute to some of the more bizarre and infamous moments from MMA’s past. Twenty years ago today (!), on March 11th, 1994, the UFC held the only 16-man, one-night tournament in promotional history at UFC 2. It was…epic to say the least. 

No weight classes, no time limits, no judges, and up to four fights in one night. Yes, the early nineties truly were a time when men were men. That was at least according to the rules of UFC 2: No Way Out, which somehow managed to up the ante from the promotion’s first event the previous November.

Taking place on the evening of March 11th, 1994, UFC 2 pitted previous tournament contestants Patrick Smith, Jason Delucia, and UFC 1 winner Royce Gracie against a gaggle of unknowns in what would become the promotion’s first and last ever sixteen-man, one-night tournament.

As expected, the tournament served as little more than an informercial for the superiority of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu once again. In just over 9 minutes of total fight time, Gracie dominated Minoki Ichihara, Delucia, Remco Pardoel, and Morris to claim his second straight tournament victory. Being that the UFC has long since abandoned the one-night tournament format due to safety concerns, Royce’s four victories at UFC 2 stands as a record that will likely never be broken in the UFC.

But aside from providing us with the biggest tournament in promotional history, we also have UFC 2 to thank for:

Read More DIGG THIS
CagePotatoMMA