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On This Day in MMA History: Randy Couture Puts a Literal Spanking On Tito Ortiz, Unifies the LHW Belts and Becomes the Oldest MMA Champion in Ever

It ended up in the last thirty seconds, in a weird situation. He was kinda outta desperation, he rolled to a kneebar and an ankle lock. He had my leg, I’m sitting and have his feet and all I can see is his butt. You know, he was “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” and I can’t really get my leg out, and it just pops into my head, ‘spank him.’

That’s how former two-division UFC champion and UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture described delivering one of the most humiliating beatdowns in MMA History, ten years ago today. The event was UFC 44: Undisputed. Couture’s opponent was then light-heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, who had successfully defended his title a record five times; a record that would not be broken until last weekend. The date was September 26, 2003 (do you feel old now?).

Believe it or not, there was a time long, long ago when the relationship between the Coutures and the UFC was something other than mutual disdain. It was the early aughts, and after pounding out Chuck Liddell for the interim LHW championship at the previous event, Couture would successfully unify the belts with a five-round drubbing of Ortiz.

While there was no shaming “The Hunting People’s Champ” for losing to a legend like Couture, there was plenty of shame to be seen in the final thirty seconds of the fight, when “The Natural” proceeded to spank his younger foe like he had just found a bag of grass in his sock drawer. For lack of a better word, it was…hilarious.

At 40 years of age, Couture would become the oldest fighter to ever win a UFC title. And he wasn’t even done yet.

But Couture vs. Ortiz wasn’t the only historic beatdown to happen at UFC 44. Not by a long shot…

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On This Day in MMA History: A Main Event Falls Apart, And the UFC Does the Unthinkable


(Don’t cry, son. This little guy is in MMA poster heaven now, just as happy as can be.)

“On This Day in MMA History” pays tribute to some of the more bizarre and infamous news stories of MMA’s past. The following article was originally published on August 23rd, 2012, one year ago today. We’ve placed some related links at the end of this post, to give you a sense of the wide-ranging aftermath of this “sport-killing” moment.

BREAKING: UFC 151 *Canceled* After Dan Henderson Pulls Out With Knee Injury; Jones Turns Down Sonnen, Dana White Incredibly Pissed Off

The rumors were true — and even worse than we thought. Due to a knee injury suffered in training, Dan Henderson has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled light-heavyweight title fight against Jon Jones at UFC 151, and because the UFC couldn’t find a suitable main event replacement, the UFC is canceling an event for the first time in the Zuffa era. Dana White confirmed the news in a press conference held earlier today — describing the cancellation as “probably one of my all-time lows as being president of the UFC” — and he made no attempt to hide his heated emotions during the call. Here are the brass tacks…

- Henderson suffered a partial tear in his MCL during training, which was serious enough to keep him from competing.

- According to Dana White, Chael Sonnen immediately jumped up to take the fight (“I’ll fly to Vegas tonight and fight him,” White quoted Sonnen as saying), and the UFC immediately began preparing behind-the-scenes to promote Jones vs. Sonnen on eight days’ notice. But Jon Jones turned down the matchup, refusing to fight Sonnen on short notice.

- White is extremely upset that Jones, a UFC champion and pound-for-pound candidate, would turn down a fight that would save an event. Even Tito Ortiz never pulled this shit, he pointed out. White lambasted the idea that Jones would turn this fight down for business reasons. “If he was a businessman, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now,” he said. White agreed that his relationship with Jones would change “a lot” after this: “Me and Lorenzo are both disgusted.” Later in the call, White pointed out how Jones turning down the fight now screws all the supporting-card fighters out of paychecks.

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On This Day in MMA History: Anderson Silva Clowns Forrest Griffin, BJ Chokes Out Ken-Flo, And Johny Hendricks Makes a Smashing Debut at UFC 101


(Photo via Getty. Click to enlarge.)

I tried to punch him and he literally moved his head out of the way and looked at me like I was stupid for doing it. He looked at me like, ‘Why would you do such a stupid thing?’ He looked at me like, ‘Oh, did you really think you were going to hit me? What a stupid thing to think you slow, slow white boy,’ and then he punched me. I felt embarrassed for even trying to punch him. I felt like some kid trying to wrestle with his dad.”

That’s how UFC light-heavyweight Forrest Griffin described his painful run-in with Anderson Silva, which happened exactly four years ago today, on August 8th, 2009. The infamous one-rounder took place during UFC 101: Declaration at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, an event that was headlined by BJ Penn‘s second lightweight title defense against Kenny Florian. (The Silva vs. Griffin non-title fight was slotted in the co-main event; to date, it was the only fight in Silva’s UFC career that wasn’t a main event.)

If you’ll recall, Silva scored the knockout with a short, backpedaling right hand (you might even call it Petruzelli-esque), after putting on a brief clinic on head-movement and showboating. Afterwards, Joe Rogan called Griffin’s loss “one of the most embarrassing knockouts I think we’ve ever seen,” which is a little unfair when you consider Anderson’s other-worldly talent and the fact that Griffin was half-zonked on Xanax at the time.

Besides the incredible/humiliating knockout in the co-main event, UFC 101 was notable for a few other reasons. For instance…

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On This Day in MMA History: Jon Jones Maybe Not So Damn Perfect, After All

“On This Day in MMA History” pays tribute to some of the more bizarre and infamous news stories of MMA’s past. The following article was originally published on May 19th, 2012, one year ago today. Note: We’ve placed a few more notable anniversaries at the end of this post.

BREAKING: Jon Jones Arrested for DUI in Binghamton, NY

This doesn’t look good, folks. Initially reported by TMZ.com and confirmed by Josh Gross, UFC Light-Heavyweight champion Jon Jones has been arrested in Binghamton, New York on DUI charges after totaling his Bentley. From TMZ:

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ … Jones was involved in an accident at around 5:00 AM in Binghamton, NY. We’re told the car — which Jones crashed into a pole — was totaled and cops arrested Jones on the scene for DUI.

According to our sources, Jones was taken into custody by Broome County Sheriff and bailed out a few hours later … by his mom. Jones is from nearby Ithaca.

Fortunately for Jones, it appears that he only suffered minor injuries, and it does not appear that anyone else was injured from this accident. It is unclear whether or not there were any passengers in the car at the time of the accident.

As of this writing, Dana White’s only response to the incident has been a text to TMZ, saying “Wow, i guess its not my week is it?”. Given the week he’s had, that may be putting it mildly. Neither Jones nor his teammates will be commenting on the arrest at this time.

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On This Day in MMA History: Carina Damm, The Amelia Earhart of WMMA Steroid Busts

“On This Day in MMA History” pays tribute to some of the more bizarre and infamous news stories of MMA’s past. The following article was originally published on May 15th, 2008, five years ago today.

Carina Damm Proves That Steroid Controversies Aren’t Just For Men Anymore

It’s almost always a good thing to be the first woman to do something. That’s because usually, if a woman hasn’t done that thing yet, it means that it’s either really hard or men have been real jerks about it and kept women out like ten-year-olds with a clubhouse. Well, Brazilian Carina Damm just etched her name in the record books by becoming the first female MMA figher to test positive for steroids. That is not the clubhouse you want to be hanging out in. Not unless you love powerlifting and back acne.

Sherdog reported today that Damm tested positive for Nandrolone (that’s right, the same thing Sean Sherk tested positive for) after her April 3 victory over Sophie Bagherdai at Femme Fatale Fighting 4 in Los Angeles. This news comes at a particularly bad time for Damm, since she was recently signed to take on Debi Purcell on an Elite XC card on June 27. Purcell seemed annoyed, though not surprised by the news.

“It was obvious she was doing it [steroids], but I was just going to out-cardio and out-muscle her anyways. I’ve been lifting for my whole life, everyday for I don’t know how many years. People have accused me of doing steroids because I have muscles, which isn’t fair. But you can’t go have a normal body and two months later be huge.”

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On This Day in MMA History: The Godfather of North American MMA, ‘Judo’ Gene Lebell Was Born in 1932


(Video courtesy of YouTube/TheFightNerd)

If the first MMA fight you ever watched was Stephan Bonnar versus Forrest Griffin, chances are you have no clue who “Judo” Gene LeBell is, but pull up a chair because you’re about to learn about the man in the pink gi.

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On This Day in MMA History – September 8, 2008: Evan Tanner Found Dead in Southern California Desert

It really doesn’t seem like it’s been three years since the news of former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner’s sudden and tragic passing while out on a solo camping excursion to the desert west of Palo Verde, California sent shockwaves through the MMA community.

Tanner, who was open about his fights with alcohol abuse and his personal demons is said to have called his manager, John Hayner to let him know that his dirt bike had run out of gas a few miles from his camp and that his trip was going well besides the mishap. When he failed to answer calls from friends the next day, police were dispatched and after a brief aerial search, located Tanner’s camp and his remains a few miles away from his abandoned motorcycle.

Hayner told us at the time that the troubled 37-year-old had turned his life around thanks to a move to Oceanside and the rebirth of his career in the UFC where he recently re-signed. Tanner was hoping that the desert trip, which he planned for months and did hours of research for, would leave him feeling rejuvenated and ready to build on the mistakes he made in his last bout — a hard-fought split-decision loss to Kendall Grove at the TUF 7 finale that June.

“He was in a real positive state of mind, he wasn’t having any drinking problems or any of those types of problems. He was really feeling good about his life,” Hayner told CagePotato.com. Here was a famous UFC fighter who didn’t have enough food to eat at times. I’d call him just to make sure he had food in his fridge, but he never let it get him down. Starting over was kind of a theme in his life. He hardly ever lived in the same place more than six months,” Hayner said. “He moved out to Vegas and then found it too shallow for him, so he moved out to Oceanside and had a great place, he was learning to surf, and he was really enjoying his day-to-day life.”

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On This Day in MMA History: August 15 – Cyborg Chases Carano Away From MMA for Two Years


(Surprised they didn’t call this one “Beauty and the Beast.”)

On this day in MMA history two years ago Strikeforce held it’s first event headlined by a women’s championship fight. Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg, which featured a bout between Gina Carano and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos for the inaugural Strikeforce Women’s middleweight (145 pound) championship, took place on Saturday, August 15, 2009 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.

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On This Day in MMA: August 10 – A Star Takes His First Step Towards Greatness and “The Monster” is Born


(Video courtesy of YouTube/CP)

UFC featherweight champion José Aldo made his MMA debut seven years ago at EcoFight 1 in Amapá, Brazil.

Why it matters:

It’s not the fact that Aldo defeated Mario Bigola in just 18 seconds by soccer-kick KO at the event,  it’s that he did it at the age of 17, setting the tone for what would become a dominant career. Bigola retired following the bout and Aldo racked up an impressive 19-1 record, including an undefeated eight-fight tear through the WEC and successful defenses of his WEC and UFC belts.

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On This Day In MMA History: August 9


(Video courtesy of YouTube/IronChefKenichiSakai)

UFC 87: Seek and Destroy went down three years ago at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Why it Matters:


(Video courtesy of YouTube/SemtexRumble617)

Jon Jones made his UFC debut on the card, defeating fellow undefeated fighter Andre Gusmao by unanimous decision. Jones would go on to win five of his next six fights in dominating fashion against some of the promotion’s best fighters including Vladimir Matyushenko, Brandon Vera and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 128 to win the UFC light heavyweight strap in a little more than two-and-a-half years since he first competed in the Octagon. Analysts predict that he will go down as one of the sport’s best fighters. Time will tell.

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