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Tag: Randy Couture

Monday Memo: Ben Askren’s ONE FC Win, “Bitches in a Beauty Salon,” And a UFC Champion’s Pay Gripes


(Photo by Mags Icasiano/Rappler)

By Brian J. D’Souza

Five under-the-radar stories you may have missed last week…

BEN ASKREN WINS…NOW WHAT?

Exiled from Bellator, refused a contract with the UFC, and having rejected an offer from the World Series of Fighting, undefeated welterweight and 2008 Olympian Ben Askren chose to seek his fortunes in Singapore-based ONE FC.

Last Friday, Askren improved his record to 13-0 in his promotional debut against Bakhtiyar Abbasov (now 11-3), winning in the first round via arm-triangle choke. This marks the third opponent in a row that Askren has finished. Where does this leave the American wrestler?

Askren spoke to CagePotato.com earlier this year and said that he believed he was the best welterweight in the world, with a caveat: “I definitely agree that [Johny Hendricks] should be ranked number one because I haven’t had the ability to prove I’m number one.”

Askren pointed to bantamweight Bibiano Fernandes and lightweight Mike Chandler as top fighters outside the UFC who could give a good challenge to the UFC’s champions at their respective divisions, but he was adamant that the bulk of the sport’s top talent lies within the UFC.

Unfortunately for Askren, there is no reason why the UFC—or any other MMA promotion—has to sign top contenders like himself. Combat sports have always been a business, with the promoter’s mandate being to maximize revenue.

Unlike the organizational titles in place in MMA, there are world titles sanctioned by third parties in boxing. This means that contenders can climb the ladder with each win against ranked opposition, earning leverage towards a title shot. The system is wide-open to corruption—managers and promoters often pay cold hard cash to advance their boxers in the rankings, evidenced by the 1999 IBF rankings scandal. However, with the right backers, fighters can have more career traction in boxing than currently exists in MMA.

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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.

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Friday Links: The Best UFC Fight Night Abu Dhabi Knockouts (So Far), UFC Expands Drug-Testing Policy, The Most Florida Moments in Florida History + More


(This might be the smoothest “look low, kick high” knockout we’ve ever seen. / Props: MiddleEasy)

Thales Leites Earns His First-Ever Knockout Victory in the UFC, During Fight Night Abu Dhabi Prelims (Facebook.com/CagePotato)

Johnny Bedford Knocks Rani Yahya Out With Headbutt, Loses Mind at ‘No Contest’ Announcement (BloodyElbow)

Ramsey Nijem Destroys Beneil Dariush at Fight Night Abu Dhabi [GIF] (ZombieProphet)

Cheaters Beware! UFC Boss Dana White Confirms Promotion Is Drug Testing ‘The Whole Card From Now On’ (MMAMania)

Randy Couture: A UFC Doctor Introduced Vitor Belfort to TRT (BleacherReport)

Alistair Overeem Officially Decides to Join Jackson-Winkeljohn (MMAFighting)

25 Students Who Are NOT Having Their Best Day (PopHangover)

The Seven Most Florida Things to Ever Florida (HolyTaco)

This Emma Watson/Sofia Vergara GIF Will Give You Nightmares (EveryJoe)

8 Reasons Why We Should All Love Stephen Colbert (EscapistMagazine)

The Elder Scrolls Online: The First 10 Levels (GameFront)

20 Photos You’ll Laugh at Way More Than You Should (WorldWideInterweb)

Hopped Up: The 12 Best Double IPAs (HiConsumption)

This Video of a Little Kid Flopping During a Game Proves That the Future of Basketball Is Probably Doomed (Complex)

The 101 Hottest Celebrity Instagram Pictures This Week (Guyism)

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3 Ways Dana White Will React to GSP’s Talk About Drug Testing


(Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

One of Dana White’s greatest talents is burying fighters. When old, broke war dogs speak out against the UFC, White cuts them down with assertions that he “makes millionaires” and labels detractors as “goofs” and “dummies.”

But can White do that to Georges St-Pierre, who recently called out the UFC for their drug testing policies. Well, we’ve already had a small taste of White’s verbal stylings. He questioned GSP’s manhood, implying that GSP airing his grievances with the media was somehow cowardly. He also said GSP’s actions were “kooky,” and that his claims were ridiculous.

That was just the opening salvo. What’ll Dana White say about his former meal ticket six months from now, a year from now, two years from now, when GSP’s relevance fades and insulting him carries less risk?

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The 10 Greatest Light Heavyweight Title Fights In UFC History


(Photo via Getty)

By Adam Martin

That might be the greatest title fight in the history of the light heavyweight division — and I don’t even know who won! What an incredible fight!

Those are the words UFC color-commentator Joe Rogan uttered last weekend at the end of the five-round epic at UFC 165 between UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and challenger Alexander Gustafsson, a fight Jones won via razor-thin unanimous decision.

Although Rogan is often known for his hyperbole, he might have been dead-on that night. Was “Bones” vs. “The Mauler” really the greatest 205-pound title fight in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship? To determine the veracity of that statement, I went back and watched the best light heavyweight fights ever held inside the Octagon, and after countless hours of tape study, I feel as though I’ve come up with a very fair list.

Below I’ve listed what in my opinion are the top 10 light heavyweight fights in UFC history based on a mixed criteria of competitiveness, excitement level, hype, how the fight played out in comparison to its expectations, and how it ended. So without any further ado, let’s get started…

10. Lyoto Machida vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua 1, UFC 104

(Photo via Getty)

Kicking off the list is the controversial first fight between Lyoto Machida and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, a fight that still ranks up there with the worst-all time judging decisions in MMA history.

Machida had just knocked out Rashad Evans at UFC 98 and, in the fateful words of Joe Rogan, the “Machida Era” had commenced. However, “Shogun” had a thing or two to say about that as the former PRIDE star was coming off of two TKO wins over Hall of Famers Chuck Liddell and Mark Coleman, and he wanted to prove to everyone it was he, not Machida, who was the best light heavyweight in the world at the time.

For five rounds, Machida and “Shogun” went toe-to-toe in the Octagon and although Machida definitely had his moments in the match, it appeared to most observers that there would be a new light heavyweight champion crowned, as Rua landed a ton of brutal leg kicks to Machida that left the champ’s torso and thighs looking like a bruised peach.

But while “Shogun” arguably won every round of the fight, the judges somehow saw the fight in favor of Machida, with all three scoring the bout 48-47 in favor of “The Dragon” despite the volume of leg kicks thrown by Rua, leading judge Cecil People to idiotically declare that leg kicks don’t finish fights. UFC president Dana White saw things differently, however, and set up an immediate rematch at UFC 113 where Rua KO’d Machida into oblivion — a happy ending to an infamous screwjob.

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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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And Now He’s Fired: Ryan Couture Released From the UFC Following Back-to-Back Losses [UPDATEish]


(Here we are, just a couple of wild and crazy guys!) 

After collecting an impressive 6-1 streak in Strikeforce, Hyan Couture (son of “Handy”) was among the faces to make the transition to the UFC when the promotion was bought out by Zuffa earlier this year*. Unfortunately, it seems that Couture will also be joining the small-but-growing list of Strikeforce fighters who weren’t able to hack it in the big leagues, as the UFC confirmed his release following two consecutive losses earlier today.

Couture last competed at UFC 164 in August, where he dropped a unanimous decision to TUF 15 *finalist* (ouch) Al Iaquinta on the Facebook preliminary portion (Daaaaang!) of the card. In his UFC debut at UFC on FUEL 9, Couture was TKO’d by TUF 9 winner Ross Pearson in the second round.

Although we’re sure this has absolutely nothing to do with the UFC’s ongoing war of words with Randy Couture and company, it will be interesting to see just how many wins Randy Lite will have to score in smaller promotions before he is invited back. Or, if he is invited back (DUN-DUN-DUN).

UPDATE: Three more profiles have been removed from UFC.com. To see who they are, join us after the jump.

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Tito Ortiz Attempts to Unite Fellow Disgraced UFC Fighters for Event-Crashing


(Tito Ortiz makes another stop on his global goodwill tour | Photo via @TitoOrtiz)

Tito Ortiz, Ken Shamrock, Randy Couture, Quinton Jackson and Frank Shamrock are all former UFC champions that are currently personas non grata to the organization and its President Dana White. (Not coincidentally, four of those five guys currently have some role in the Bellator organization.) For that reason, Ortiz seems to think it would be pretty funny if they all went to the UFC’s 20th anniversary show November 16th in Las Vegas.

@ShamrockKen @frankshamrock @Randy_Couture @Rampage4real maybe we should crash the show. I will buy the tickets.” Ortiz recently tweeted.

Apparently, some of the other guys liked the idea. Tito’s former mortal enemy, Ken Shamrock, tweeted back, “I like TITO’s idea,” and then, “I will stand beside you Tito. – frank lets go!!!!!,” encouraging his brother to join them.

So we guess to Ken, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Or something. Ken told Tito to send him a direct message through twitter so they could totally discuss deets, and then sent out a “hi randy” shout out to Couture.

Couture, who is probably smarting more than anyone else about not being allowed at UFC events ever since Dana banned the two-division UFC champion from cornering his son Ryan, then weighed in. “feel sorry for the security guys dana sends to have us removed :) hope they have guns !,” he tweeted, apparently still in character as Toll Road from The Expendables.

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Jose Aldo Preemptively Endorses TRT, Insinuates That Randy Couture Used PED’s [THE FUCK?!]

Although the figures have yet to be made public, early estimates indicate that UFC 163: Aldo vs. Korean Zombie pulled in terrible pay-per-view numbers, to put it nicely. It makes sense, given what the card was facing: A main event featuring one of the lower weight classes (one that was downgraded due to injury, no less), a main card lacking anything resembling star power or intriguing matchups, a bigger PPV at the end of the month, etc. Hell, even Dana White was too caught up in the media whirlwind that was the UFC World Tour to attend the event.

While there’s no denying Jose Aldo’s talents as a fighter, his ability to market himself and draw in big PPV numbers is somewhat less convincing. And with “Scarface” relegated to the sidelines for the rest of the year, what better time than now to start building up his heel persona? We all know that occasionally saying some crazy/accusatory shit in interviews boosts your pay-per-view sales, so who cares if it earns you some dirty looks in the locker rooms?

The reason we say all this is because in a recent interview with Tatame, the normally reserved featherweight kingpin not only came out in support of TRT and stated that he plans on using it in the future, but insinuated that beloved MMA icon Randy “The Natural” Couture was probably on steroids at one point or another during his career.

I don’t see the problem with using TRT. Everybody uses [steroids], from the champion to the newcomer. I believe we [from Nova Uniao] are the only ones that don’t do that, because Andre (Pederneiras) was always against steroids. I think it’s wrong to criticize someone who came forward and said they take TRT. 

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Four UFC PPV Main Events That Were Worse Than Rampage vs. Ortiz


(For ten years, Rampage has been haunted by the memory of that brutal photo-bombing. And on November 2nd, he’ll have his revenge. Bellator 106: Bitter Homeboys, only on pay-per-view.)

By Matt Saccaro

The announcement of Bellator’s inaugural pay-per-view was met with almost-universal criticism in the MMA world. And with good reason. Tito Ortiz vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson would have been a terrible main event in 2009, let alone 2013. But with the way people have been mocking it, you’d think that it was the first time a major MMA promotion had a bad fight main eventing a PPV.

This, of course, isn’t the case. The UFC has put on several PPVs whose main events rival Rampage-Ortiz in outright shittyness. For some reason, those PPVs didn’t draw the media’s collective derision like Rampage-Ortiz did. (It’s almost as if the mainstream MMA media is being coerced by some powerful, credential-wielding force…) But that’s OK; CagePotato is here to bring those terrible main events to justice.

So just what has the UFC given us to watch on Saturday nights that was as bad as the upcoming Rampage-Ortiz train wreck? Let’s have a look.

UFC 106: Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin II

Cracked skull vs. Xanax-laden stupor.

People might not agree with this pick, but Ortiz-Griffin II was an awful main event. By 2009, Ortiz wasn’t important enough to pay for — no matter who he was fighting. Going into the fight with Forrest Griffin, he was 1-2-1 in his last four fights, with his only win coming against Ken Shamrock in 2006. Tito’s best days were far behind him. In fact, he hadn’t beaten anyone NOT named Ken Shamrock since 2006 (and, coincidentally, it was Forrest Griffin who he beat).

Griffin, too, had whatever the opposite of “a head of steam” is going into UFC 106. Rashad Evans embarrassed him at UFC 92, taking the light heavyweight belt in the process. But what Evans did to him seemed tame compared to the legendary beat down that Anderson Silva bestowed on Griffin at UFC 101.

Put these ruts together and you get an overpriced PPV — $60 to watch two guys who would never be relevant again.

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