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Tag: Randy Couture

The Price of Wisdom: Age and Knockouts in MMA


(Photo via CagedInsider.com)

Ed. note: Reed “The Fight Scientist” Kuhn is a Washington D.C.-based strategy consultant whose pioneering work in MMA stats analysis earned him a position as Strategic Advisor for Alchemist Management, as well as contributing gigs for the UFC, Sherdog, and Fight! Magazine. Using the information available to him as a research fellow with FightMetric, Reed examines historical trends and data to uncover new ways of looking at the sport — and predict what’s most likely to happen in a given matchup. In the coming weeks, Reed will begin providing exclusive columns and analysis to CagePotato.com. The following was originally published on his site, FightNomics. For further reading, check out “Small Fish, Bigger Pond: The UFC/WEC Merger’s Hidden Secret” and “Diamond in the Rough: Is Nate Diaz Built for a UFC Championship?” Follow Fightnomics on Twitter and Facebook.

At UFC 129 Randy Couture entered the Octagon for the last time to the cheers of over 55,000 fans in Toronto’s Rogers Centre, a massive venue normally reserved for major league baseball and Canadian football games. From a dimmed broadcast platform set up in the cheap sets, I watched alongside the cast and crew of the one-time, live pre-show experiment known as “UFC Central.” As Lyoto Machida lined up across the cage, I pointed to my analysis of the matchup, noting specifically that Machida’s evasiveness and striking ability was the key here, as was Couture’s age. Randy Couture was 47 years old and a veteran at grinding out victories. But his only hope was to neutralize Machida’s laser-like strikes via clinching and dirty boxing, possibly even ground and pound. And that wasn’t in the cards. Even from our distant vantage point, we all knew it.

Analysis of Machida showed extremely accurate striking and similarly excellent striking defense. His takedown defense was also strong, a result if his uncanny ability to maintain distance, which would eliminate any advantage a wrestler might have over him. Couture on the other hand, was a decent striker, but allowed his opponents to land their own strikes with better than average success, indicating poor striking defense. His wrestling acumen led to a good shooting takedown success rate, though surprisingly little success from the clinch. The fight’s outcome was right there in front of us on the paper. At -325, Machida was a strong but not overwhelming favorite, and yet that betting line failed to capture how much of an advantage he really had. The “Dragon” was 15 years younger than the “Natural,” a spread that generally leads to an 80% win rate for the younger fighter. On top of that, it was clear that he was going to keep his distance, meaning he could send his strikes through Couture’s loose defense at will.

As the fight began, Kenny Florian and Stephan Bonnar watched with slight grimaces while Couture pressed forward and tried desperately to get a hold of the elusive Machida. During these scrambles Machida landed punches out of nowhere with his typical blazing speed and accuracy. When the first round ended, it was almost a relief that Couture was still standing – a small victory for Father Time. But that relief was short lived, and the now famous crane kick that ended the illustrious MMA career of Randy Couture connected with his chin barely a minute into the second round. Couture’s head snapped with the impact of the surprise kick, and his body immediately crumpled to the mat before the kick was even retracted. Moments after recovering, as Randy stood flashing his Hollywood grin and confirming the retirement we were all expecting, one of his teeth fell out in his hand.

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Cheesy WWF Promo Photos of the ’80s/’90s, And Their MMA Counterparts [GALLERY]

Our friends at With Leather just put together an incredible/awful collection of cheesy WWF promo photos from the late ’80s and early ’90s, and as we were browsing through some of these gems while drinking our coffee this morning, we couldn’t escape the eerie feeling that we’ve seen these faces elsewhere. The same snarling mugs, the same wacky personas — it’s obvious that some of our favorite MMA fighters owe a debt to these guys. So follow us back to pro wrestling‘s golden age, and allow us to make some startling comparisons.

Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart was the original…
Hillbilly Jim was the original…
Legion of Doom were the original…
Junk Yard Dog was the original…
Ultimate Warrior was the original…
The Honky Tonk Man was the original…
Tatanka was the original…
Big Boss Man was the original…
George “The Animal” Steele was the original…

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[VIDEOS] UFC Legends Gracie, Couture, Coleman, and Ortiz Discuss Favorite Fighters, Respect + More


(The gang discusses favorite/greatest MMA fighters. Spoiler alert: You probably don’t agree with them.) 

If you’ve visited CagePotato in the past year or so, you are undoubtedly aware of the entertainment that a roundtable discussion between friends can bring. From memorable fighter run-ins to the P4P baddest motherfuckers ever, we have held many a debate in this fashion, and as is usually the case, the UFC and FuelTV have once again decided to ride in on our coattails. They began with the thoroughly captivating Champions edition, which featured the likes of Forrest Griffin, Jon Jones, Chuck Liddell, and Frank Mir discussing everything from the dark days of the UFC to its meteoric rise, and have continued the series recently with a panel of fighters that can only be described as “legendary.”

Randy Couture, Royce Gracie, Mark Coleman, and Tito Ortiz sit in for this edition, and dish on respect, favorite fighters, regrets, and the time Wanderlei Silva nearly soccer kicked Mike Van Arsdale’s head from his body. Tito Ortiz manages to air out his regrets without once mentioning Affliction or dick pics, and should be commended for his incredible ability to mentally blackout painful memories.

Join us after the jump for a collection of videos featuring the legends talking shop. We know this isn’t exactly breaking news or anything, but it’s real slow out there today, so why not take a trip down memory lane in the meantime?

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Mirror, Mirror: UFC Fighters and Their Sports Star Counterparts


(Oh, you said you have a *flaggy* tattoo? I must have misheard you.) 

By Nathan Smith

During a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Dana White said, “Globally, we’re already bigger than the NFL.” From a global stand point that may be true, but in the Pulp Fiction-esque United States, the NFL is still Marsellus Wallace. The UFC may never gain the notoriety that the NFL has in America but stand-out fighters continue to ink major product endorsement deals. Anderson Silva (Burger King, Budweiser), Georges St. Pierre (Gatorade, UnderArmor) and Jon Jones (Nike) are paving the way to success for future mixed martial artists. Although big-time corporate sponsorship for fighters is in its infancy, the other major professional sports leagues have seen their athletes gain almost as much notoriety outside the lines as within.

The UFC was purchased by Zuffa just over a decade ago and has been charging towards global domination ever since. Sure, the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL (well, maybe not the NHL) playoffs and championship contests annihilate the UFC ratings-wise but the premier MMA organization is gaining at a rapid pace. Take into account the combined several hundred years of history the 4 “major” professional leagues hold and it is glaringly apparent that the UFC and its stars are closing the gap like a fat dude towards a parked Roach Coach.

Comparing the UFC’s ratings and popularity with the aforementioned leagues is somewhat asinine and it would not be fair or rational to compare athletes from other sports with UFC fighters – but you have visited Cagepotato.com. We have never been accused of being fair or rational and matching fighters with their counterparts from around the world of other sporting organizations seemed as logical as a booze-filled headset.

Anderson Silva and Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan has become the benchmark to which all athletes are measured, although the comparisons have transcended far beyond the realm of athletics. Any activity or event draws comparisons to #23 (or #45 whatever). From Ken Jennings being the Michael Jordan of Jeopardy, to Joey Chestnut being the Michael Jordan of gluttony or Peter North being the Michael Jordan of male climax volume, Jordan is synonymous with superiority. In every single poll taken in the last decade regarding the “Top 100 NBA players in History” the battle is for #2 through #100. Michael Jordan is considered the greatest of all time in his medium (and I am not talking about minor league baseball).  Anderson Silva, with his perfect 15-0 record and 10 consecutive title defenses in the UFC, has done things that may never be accomplished again in the history of mixed martial arts. Some day a fighter may come along (if he hasn’t already *foreshadowing*) and surpass Silva’s records but until his numbers fall, Anderson Silva is the Michael Jordan of MMA – period.

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TUF or WTF?: A Season-by-Season Retrospective of The Ultimate Fighter


(Thanks to tufentertainment.net for the fitting logo.)

By Nathan Smith

With the recent announcement that Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin have been named as the coaches for the next installment of The Ultimate Fighter series, the MMA universe immediately launched into a full-blow orgasmic ticker-tape parade complete with tons of flying confetti and a marching band belting out death metal tunes. Once I heard the news, it was as if my life instantaneously turned into a beer commercial and the entire Potato Nation was invited. There was a rad pool-party, barbeque, a plethora of hotties, endless alcohol, and an overall quest for fun.

Well . . . . . actually, none of that happened. In fact, when word spread that Nelson and Carwin would helm the next season of TUF, it was officially filed under “WTF?” Judging from the comment section, most of the CP brethren didn’t care for the choices either. TUF is coming off a season that saw the ratings dip lower than they ever had, which could partially be blamed on the move to FX and the dreaded Friday night time slot. Regardless of the variables for the ratings drop, something drastic needs to be done, but is anybody really convinced that Carwin and Nelson are the answer to TUF’s slow and painful demise? Let’s start from the beginning and take a look back to see if this runaway train can be coaxed back onto the main rail.

The Season That Started it All 

The inaugural season of TUF featured future Hall of Famers Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture as the competing coaches who would go mano y mano at the PPV after the season finale. For fans of the UFC, that was good enough for most to initially tune in for the Fertitta-funded experiment. It still remains the best crop of young talent and personalities to ever grace the show; future stars like Forrest Griffin, Stephan Bonnar, Josh Koscheck, Chris Leben, Diego Sanchez, Mike Swick, Kenny Florian, and Nate Quarry were all complete unknowns vying for stardom in a fledgling sport. You mix in the whole “fatherless bastard” angle and the show was off and running even before the awe-inspiring climax between (pre TRT) FoGrif and The American Psycho. Even before that, we were treated to the greatest speech of all time that has since been condensed into a few words. “Do you wanna be a fighter?” Though there were other memorable moments from the seasons that followed, Zuffa should have quit while they were ahead because it would never be this good again. The unrefined personification of immature talent, undeniable aspirations and gonzo-sized balls oozed from the boob tube during every episode.

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Friday Link Dump: Rockhold vs. Kennedy Breakdown, UFC on FUEL Salaries, Korean Zombie Out for Surgery + More


(Our bros at MMA: Inside the Cage were on the scene for UFC 148, interviewing everyone from Jon Jones to Pete Rose to Jim Norton, and re-igniting the feud between Eddie Bravo and Royler Gracie. Could the Beard’s days really be numbered?)

Strikeforce Main Event Breakdown: Luke Rockhold vs. Tim Kennedy (MMAFighting)

Full Fighter Salaries for ‘UFC on FUEL: Munoz vs. Weidman’ Fight Card (BleacherReport/MMA)

UFC 149 Interview: Urijah Faber Discusses Headlining Fight With Renan Barao (HeavyMMA)

Paul Daley vs. Rudy Bears Welterweight Showdown Completes Bellator 72 Bill (Sherdog)

Sly Stallone Gives Randy Couture His Props at ComicCon [VIDEO] (TitoCouture)

Shoulder Surgery, Not Jose Aldo, On The Horizon For ‘The Korean Zombie’ (Fightline)

This Is What Arianny Thinks About You. Deal With It. (Facebook.com/CagePotato)

25 Spectacular Sunsets at Baseball Stadiums (EgoTV)

Comparing Jordan’s Dream Team To Kobe’s Dream Team (TurdFergusonBlog)

6 Signs She’s Interested You Might Miss (MadeMan)

The Greatest Moments in Celebrity Cosplay History (WorldWideInterweb)

An Important Discussion About the ‘NBA Superstars’ Videos (WithLeather)

The 25 Biggest Hip-Hop Fails of 2012 (So Far) (Complex)

The World’s Best Airport Gyms (MensFitness)

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CagePotato Roundtable #14: Who Was the Greatest American Fighter in MMA History?


(Little known fact: The original version of America the Beautiful contained a fifth verse about Don Frye’s shorts.)

In honor of our country’s 236th birthday, we’ve got a special CagePotato Roundtable discussion for you guys: Who was the greatest American MMA fighter of all time? Because let’s face it, America is exceptional, and we produce the best goddamned fighters in the world. SORRY LIBERAL MEDIA, I SAID IT. Enjoy, and if you have an idea for a future Roundtable topic, please send it to tips@cagepotato.com. And hey, be careful with those bottle rockets, okay?

Ben Goldstein
 

What do MMA legends Chuck Liddell, Matt Hughes, Tito Ortiz, Kazushi Sakuraba, Wanderlei Silva, Randy Couture, and Mark Coleman have in common? They all started their careers within 11 months of Dan Henderson‘s professional debut in June 1997. And where are those guys now? Retired, pretty much retired, retiring this weekend, completely washed up, close to retirementretired, and retired unless Herschel Walker picks up the phone. Meanwhile, Hendo is preparing for his next title fight in September. Does the TRT help? Sure, though I don’t think you can credit Henderson’s heart, balls, and H-bomb power to a little hormonal help. (You also have to give some props to the Jam Gym.)

I’d stack Dan’s accomplishments up against any other fighter in this roundtable discussion — the unprecedented two-division title reign in PRIDE, the five single-night tournament sweeps, the stunning knockouts of Wanderlei Silva, Michael Bisping, and Fedor Emelianenko — but what makes him America’s MMA G.O.A.T. is his incredible longevity. Dan Henderson has been a top-ten fighter longer than anybody else in the history of the sport. I can only think of two other MMA fighters who started their careers 15 years ago who are still considered viable stars, and neither of them are American: Vitor Belfort, whose career was plagued by long stretches of injury and inconsistency, and Anderson Silva, who’s a freakish exception to any rule.

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[VIDEO] Retired Legend Randy Couture Discusses Life and His Identity After the UFC


(Props: KnuckleGame)

Man, you’d think reporters would give it a rest with asking retired fighters like Randy Couture whether or not they have the itch to come back to fighting. I mean, Couture hasn’t fought since April of 2011 when he took on Lyoto Machida at UFC 129 for crying out loud. On second thought, I guess that’s also the last time Georges St. Pierre fought, so…

In any case, we’ve been enjoying a series of video interviews with “The Natural,” done by MMAFighting’s Luke Thomas recently. In the first installment, Randy talks about his decision to retire, and how well it’s sitting with him these days as he jets around the world making blockbuster and straight-to-video films alike, all while running a top MMA gym.

Perhaps most interestingly, Thomas references the just-retired Kenny Florian, who recently spoke about the difficulty of adjusting to no longer being able to identify himself as a fighter, and asks Couture about how he defines himself these days. Is he a wrestler? Is he a fighter? Is he a coach? Is he the Scorpion King? Couture, per usual, gives a thoughtful and earnest response. Give it a look, and check out more from this revealing interview series after the jump.

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[VIDEO] Randy Couture Battles Terrorists at 20,000 Feet in ‘Hijacked’


(Couture locks horns with a killer whale on the set of the upcoming sequel to 1977′s Orca.) 

Randy Couture is sick of these monkey-fighting terrorists on this Monday-to-Friday plane!

With the premiere of The Expendables 2 just a couple of months away, it seems like the former UFC Light Heavy/Heavyweight champion’s film career is just be beginning to take off. Aside from his returning role as Toll Road* in the aforementioned Sylvester Stallone-lead action extravaganza, he also has two other projects either completed or in post-production this year alone. One such project, Hijacked, sees him take on a role with a little more meat, alongside such stars as Vinnie Jones and Dominick Purcell. Although the IMDB page has yet to add a plot synopsis, the Youtube page that houses the trailer provided the following:

A high-octane, pulse-pounding story of one man out for justice in the sky, HIJACKED stars a top-notch cast of action heroes including former UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture(The Expendables, and the upcoming The Expendables 2), Dominic Purcell (Straw Dogs, “Prison Break”), Tiffany Dupont (“Greek”), Holt McCallany (Fight Club), Craig Fairbrass (The Bank Job) and Vinnie Jones (Snatch, Kill The Irishman) .

Special Agent Ross’s (Couture) plans to reconcile with his ex-fiancé are ruined when she boards a private jet that is targeted by hijackers working for the same crime lord he is chasing. With no time to inform his team, Ross wriggles his way aboard the aircraft and risks it all to save the love of his life.

So basically, it’s kind of like Air Force Oneminus the awesomeness of Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford, and thankfully without the suspension of disbelief necessary for us to believe that a woman could ever be Vice President (Sorry, Mrs. Close). Then again, considering Couture’s character is seeking to reconcile with an ex, it will be interesting to see Captain America play against type.

Trailer after the jump. 

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[VIDEO] Randy Couture Comes Out Against TRT, Talks Junior Dos Santos and The Expendables 2


(Titty Relaxation Therapy > Testosterone Replacement Therapy any day of the week.) 

Randy Couture has made some pretty bold claims ever since retiring (again) from the sport, a few of which have left more than a few fans scratching their heads, and others writing it off as pure senility. It’s comforting, however, to see that a guy who fought in the sport’s highest promotion until he was 47 years old take a stance on the TRT issue that has seemingly plagued the UFC’s finest as of late. With everyone from Frank Mir to Dan Henderson seeking and/or receiving therapeutic use exemptions for TRT, as well as guys like Nate Marquardt suddenly claiming that they no longer need it, most people can’t make heads or tails of the legitimacy of the increasingly popular issue.

Luckily “Captain America” is here to put things in perspective:

You know, I understand it. There’s this whole movement out there for anti-aging. It started out with guys in their 50′s who, naturally as you get older, your testosterone levels deplete. Your body quits producing more, and they want to feel and recover and do the things they did when they were younger. I understand that.

But I think there are natural ways to jumpstart your body’s own production rather than put an external source of testosterone in your body. And I think putting the external in only compounds the issues that your already having. I think the problem…obviously Chael, Marquardt, there’s been several athletes that have been using TRT.

I think for them, it’s not a function of having depleted levels of testosterone, it’s wanting to have testosterone levels of a 21 year old again, because when you were 21, let’s face it, you recovered better, you’re probably gonna compete better, especially if you’re 32 and have that experience going into a fight. 

Couture goes on to mention several of the methods he used to stay young at heart, which included marrying, then divorcing lunatics at least ten years his junior on the regular. True dat, brother.

Join us after the jump for the full interview. 

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