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Tag: Phil Davis

Why More Fighters Need to Talk Sh*t (Hint: It Works)


(What are you gonna do against the largest arms in the world, brother? / Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

MMA is the ultimate “nice guys finish last” sport. It’s called prize fighting for a reason, and “I respect him; he’s a great opponent” doesn’t sell.

This is no secret. Just look at how Chael Sonnen—a perennial mid-carder who nobody knew or cared about—resurrected his career with carefully executed, bombastic trash talk.

Why am I telling you this if it’s common sense? Because it’s only common sense to people who appreciate MMA for what it is—real-life pro wrestling. Unfortunately, most hardcore MMA fans (and some media members) refuse to see it this way. They either believe in a non-existent code of honor, or an even less corporeal competitive architecture. “It’s a sport,” they maintain. “It should be only about competition. Besides, who wouldn’t want to see the best fighters go at it, even if they have less charisma than a light bulb?” The answer to that question: Most of the country.

There’s a sport with no flash, no glitz, and none of the other maligned “entertainment” trappings of the UFC and the WWE. It’s called amateur wrestling, and nobody watches it. MMA turning into amateur wrestling hurts the fighters. If there’s no viewers, there’s no money. It’s crazy that people still need to be reminded of this, but selling the fight is equally as important as fighting the fight. To quote The Simpsons, “Every good scientist is half B.F. Skinner and half P.T. Barnum.”

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Jon Jones Goes Heel on Instagram, Trolls Phil Davis and Chuck Liddell


(Props: instagram.com/jonnybones)

The lead-up to Jon Jones‘s UFC 172 fight against Glover Teixeira was dominated by two basically-irrelevant stories — Phil Davis trying to start a trash-talk war with Jones, and Chuck Liddell’s dubious claim that he would have beaten Jones back in his prime. You can imagine Jones’s glee when Davis got some karmic comeuppance at the hands of Anthony Johnson, and Liddell was forced to watch his homeboy Glover get beat up in new and surprising ways.

At the UFC 172 post-fight press conference, Jones gave Anthony Johnson multiple high-fives for his work and said that Davis was off pouting somewhere. But still, more salt needed to be rubbed into Mr. Wonderful’s wounds. So last night, Jones released a quick highlight reel of Davis getting roughed up by Rumble, followed by a wordless appearance that communicates all it needs to. Jones’s caption is “Crumble me like a cookie?”

Jones also posted this photo of a depressed-looking Chuck Liddell, with the caption “Talking all that trash before the fight.. you mad bro?” The message is loud and clear — if Jones doesn’t have the chance to beat you in an actual fight, he will still kick you in the face on social media. Meanwhile, Anthony Johnson continues to be a super-nice guy, but who’s interested in that?

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Armchair Matchmaker: UFC 172 Edition


(“Hate to say Bones told you so…” Photo via Getty.)

It wouldn’t be hyperbole to say that UFC 172 was easily the greatest card of 2014 thus far. With brilliant, jaw-dropping finishes from top-to-bottom and perhaps the most complete performance of Jon Jones’ career, UFC 172 was a faith-restoring night of fights to say the least, and one that dramatically altered the fates of those who competed on it.

But today, we look forward. While Jon Jones‘ victory over Glover Teixeira can only mean that a highly-anticipated rematch with Alexander Gustafsson is surely on the horizon (a rare instance of the MMA Gods actually granting us a wish with no strings attached *fingers crossed*), there are still several potential matchups worth discussing, so let’s see what the future holds for UFC 172′s biggest winners and losers…

Anthony Johnson: What can you say about “Rumble” that hasn’t already been said? He looked damn-near perfect against Phil Davis, shutting down the four-time NCAA Division I All-American’s takedown attempts with ease and making him look like even more of an amateur on the feet. After two rounds had passed, we were all left wondering how Davis was ever considered the favorite heading into this matchup, and when/if Johnson’s gas tank would expire. It never did, and in his first fight back in the UFC since 2012, Johnson firmly established himself as a top contender at 205 lbs.

Personally, I think “Rumble” should use this opportunity to finally call out GSP, but a match against the Ryan Bader-Rafael Cavalcante winner probably makes more sense from a logistical standpoint. Bader has become a weigh-station for future contenders over the years (and I say that with all due respect), so should he get past “Feijao” at UFC 174, he would make for a fine addition to Johnson’s highlight reel (again, with all due respect). And if Cavalcante emerges with the W, you’ve got yourself a slugfest for the ages right there.

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UFC 172: The Card That Helped MMA Not Suck Anymore


(Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

UFC 172 wasn’t terribly interesting on paper. “Who cares about Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira and a bunch of other mismatches?” we all asked. And we were right to. MMA had been in a slump. Good cards were sparse–islands in a sea terrible TUF finales, awful Fight Pass exclusives, and PPVs not worth the $60 price tag.

Last night changed all that (well, it did if you ignore UFC 173)

I know what you’re thinking. “Tone down the hyperbole a bit, Matt…and by a bit we mean several orders of magnitude.” Let me explain.

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UFC 172: Jon Jones Dominates Glover Teixeira in Unanimous Decision Victory


(“No disrespect to Glover, he’s a great challenger. I just think making eye-contact with other men is super-gay.” / Photo via Getty)

Welcome to CagePotato’s liveblog of UFC 172: Jones vs. Teixeira, aka “probably the most stacked card we’ve ever done in UFC history.” (Warning: The previous statement has not been evaluated by the Department of Consumer Affairs.) In the main event, light-heavyweight phenom Jon Jones will attempt to make his seventh consecutive title defense against hard-sluggin’ Brazilian Glover Teixeira. Plus: Anthony Johnson makes his UFC return against Phil Davis, and Luke Rockhold tangles with Tim Boetsch.

Round-by-round results from the UFC 172 pay-per-view broadcast will be available after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and shoot us your own thoughts in the comments section or on twitter @cagepotatomma.

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Phil Davis Trolled the Sh*t Out of Jon Jones During Yesterday’s UFC 172 Conference Call


(Via MMA H.E.A.T.)

We don’t normally listen to pre-event conference calls for a multitude of reasons, the most obvious being that we are only allowed to participate in them when using a fake name/publication (mine being Chip Chessworth of FistFighter.com). That these calls are typically chock-full of the same softball “sports journalism” questions and answers we’ve heard a thousand times over (and sound as if they were recorded on a potato) only solidifies our stance, but yesterday’s UFC 172 conference call proved to be a rare exception to the rule we established earlier in this sentence.

Jon Jones, Glover Teixeira, Phil Davis, and Anthony Johnson were on hand to answer questions ahead of their respective showdowns this weekend. Roughly five minutes into the call, the conversation shifted to the possibility of Jones moving up to heavyweight for a fight with Cain Velasquez as he had previously hinted at. When Jones stated that he was no longer interested in the fight because he had plenty of challenges left in his actual weight class, Davis used the opportunity to needle the shit out of the champion to hilarious effect.

We’ve cued you up to the first exchange above, but join us after the jump for the full transcription (via Bleacher Report) because like we said, shit was recorded on a potato.

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“Rumble” Returns to the UFC! Faces Phil Davis at UFC 172 in Baltimore


(Oh how we’ve missed you, old friend.)

Anthony Johnson‘s redemptive arch as a fighter is one on par with something typically reserved for a Hollywood movie. The hard-hitting Georgian was once the talk of the town at 170 lbs., lauded as easily the most dangerous potential challenger to Georges St. Pierre‘s throne and a mountain of a challenge for anyone in between. Problem was, Johnson suffered from what is now known as “Lineker’s Syndrome” — the inability to actually make weight for two consecutive bouts in the division he was supposedly competing in.

Johnson’s struggles on the scale seemed as if they would be a thing of the past when he announced that he would be moving up to middleweight, but lo, they only got worse. Johnson missed weight by a staggering 12 pounds for his middleweight debut against Vitor Belfort, was choked out in the first round at UFC 142, and promptly fired by the UFC.

Looking back now, it’s laughable and damn near inconceivable to picture “Rumble” as a welterweight. Once exiting the UFC, Johnson immediately moved up to light heavyweight, then heavyweight, scoring vicious knockouts of Jake Rosholt and DJ Linderman (see above) as well as a decision victory over Andrei Arlovski along the way. Most recently, Johnson dropped back to light heavyweight to violently KO Strikeforce veteran Mike Kyle at WSOF 8 (notice a pattern here?), his third successive win since signing with the WSOF back in 2012.

His weight issues finally behind him, Johnson’s hard work over the years will come to a head at UFC 172, when “Rumble” faces top light heavyweight prospect Phil Davis in a fight that will place the winner on the short list of title contenders.

Also on tap for UFC 172…

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Alexander Gustafsson’s Head Coach Refutes Alliance Team Split…Or Does He?


(The often scruffy, always inscrutable Alexander Gustafsson | Photo via MMAnytt.se)

Yesterday we shared a report that quoted UFC light heavyweight champion contender Alexander Gustafsson as saying that he no longer planned to train in San Diego with the Alliance team or Phil Davis before fights. “Now I’m in that stage of my career that I will compete three or four times a year, so I can not hold on and go off all the time,” Gustafsson said. “It costs too much and it takes too much time away from my family. It’s simply not worth it.”

Furthermore, Gustafsson said that he believed that he and Davis would soon fight again so, you know…awkward. “We both belong to the top, and that’s not a difficult guess that we’ll meet again soon…it feels better to not train together right now,” Gus said.

Well, Gustafsson’s head trainer Andreas Michael is now saying that the media took the fighter’s words out of context. In an interview with Kimura.se the coach says that the media interpreted Gustafsson’s statements incorrectly in order to “sell” the news. Kimura.se reports that Michael also said that “the partnership between the Alliance and Alex / Allstar Fitness that it will continue cooperation for a long time to come. Thoughts on finishing the fine relationship that the two clubs have between them does not exist and has never existed.

“Rumors of a bout between Davis and Alex is also not [accurate], it is just something the media created out of thin air.”

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Alexander Gustafsson Leaves Alliance MMA and Phil Davis Behind, Opts to Hold Future Training Camps in Sweden


(Image via Getty)

Alexander Gustafsson fought better than ever at UFC 165 in challenging light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Even though he lost on the official score cards, many observers felt that the Swede did enough to become the new champion, and the conventional wisdom was that his training with former foe Phil Davis at the Alliance MMA camp in San Diego was key to Alexander’s improvement.

Gustafsson has announced, however, that he will no longer conduct training camps with the Alliance team nor train with Phil Davis, according to a report from MMA Junkie. “Now I’m in that stage of my career that I will compete three or four times a year, so I can not hold on and go off all the time,” Gustafsson said in a recent interview with Aftonbladet. “It costs too much and it takes too much time away from my family. It’s simply not worth it.”

It may be that Gustafsson believes that he and Davis will be fighting one another again and wants to avoid the untenable situation of fighting a teammate. The two big men fought one another at UFC 112 in 2010, with Davis earning a first-round submission win. Since that time, Gustafsson has trained alongside Davis at Alliance, improving his wrestling skills by working with the former national champion out of Penn State.

“We belong to both the top, and that’s not a difficult guess that we’ll meet again soon,” Gustafsson explained. “It’s not a dream opponent because we are friends, but (if) UFC decides that we should meet…it feels better to not train together right now.”

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Phil Davis Was Not Too Happy About the Jones/Gustafsson Decision [VIDEO]


(Props: Christian Wong via Reddit/MMA)

So much of Alexander Gustafsson‘s recent success can be attributed to his decision to move his training home-base to Alliance MMA in Chula Vista, California, and work alongside Phil Davis, the man responsible for the Mauler’s first UFC loss, back in April 2010. Davis’s influence could clearly be seen on Saturday night in Gustafsson’s markedly-improved wrestling game, as he became the first person to successfully take Jon Jones down in the UFC, and stuffed several of Bones’s own takedown attempts.

In short, Davis and Gustafsson are bros, and Mr. Wonderful took it very personally when Gustafsson came out on the wrong end of the scorecards after the five-round dogfight in UFC 165‘s main event. Davis wasn’t just disappointed by the result — he seemed genuinely shocked that the judges saw the fight for Jones. Of course, Davis isn’t exactly an unbiased observer. But he wasn’t the only one to cry “robbery” after watching the fight.

So what did you think? We have a new poll on our homepage sidebar, over there on the right: Was Alexander Gustafsson robbed at UFC 165? Submit your opinion and we’ll see how the MMA fanosphere really feels about this one. For the record, FightMetric scored it 49-48 for Jones based on striking and grappling performance totals, giving the first round to Gustafsson, scoring rounds two and three dead-even, and giving the championship rounds to Jones. Makes sense to me. That being said, if you’re an MMA judge and you submit two 10-10 rounds for the same fight, you would be put on administrative leave faster than C.J. Ross. That’s just the stupid, counter-productive way things work in the fight game. And that’s why we sometimes get scorecards that don’t reflect the reality of the fight.

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