betty brosmer photos
Classic Crush: 31 Photos of Betty Brosmer, Legendary Pin-Up Girl

Tag: Renan Barao

Five UFC Title Rematches That Urijah Faber Should Look to For Inspiration


(Photo via Getty)

By Scott Sawitz

After taking the fight on less than a month’s notice, Urijah Faber will step into the main event of UFC 169 (February 1st, Newark) against Renan Barao, who took a definitive and dominant five-round decision over the former WEC stalwart at UFC 149, for what was then supposed to be an interim title in the bantamweight division. With Dominick Cruz vacating his title due to yet another injury, Faber will have his third opportunity to win UFC gold. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have much time to prepare for Barao, who’s become one of the toughest outs in all of MMA.

Faber’s year-round commitment to being in near peak condition — a Team Alpha Male requirement, it seems — affords him this luxury of taking a fight on short notice. Over 18 months have passed since the California Kid walked out of the cage against Barao on the losing side, and what could have been Faber’s last UFC title fight has turned into something else entirely. With four wins (and three submission finishes) over highly ranked opponents marking a stellar 2013 campaign, Faber willed himself into title contention one more time by running roughshod over the UFC’s 135-pound division.

With the rematch set, and Faber looking ahead to what could (once again) be his last shot at a UFC belt, one imagines that the Duane “Bang” Ludwig-led Team Alpha Male squad has a much different game plan in mind for Faber against the Brazilian champion. Ludwig, who has spoke of his fondness for watching fight video in preparation, should have five UFC title rematches on his mind while preparing his fighter for next month’s bout. Each of these fights contain profound lessons that could help Faber become the first Team Alpha Male member to hold a UFC championship belt. Let’s begin…

Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos 2 @ UFC 155

(Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

Lesson: Make your opponent fight your game

Read More DIGG THIS

UFC Gambling Odds: Every Title Fight Currently Scheduled for 2014 Is Basically a Squash Match


(Photo via Getty)

The betting line for Renan Barao vs. Urijah Faber has been released, with Barao nearly a 3-1 favorite to defend his bantamweight title at UFC 169 next month. That’s unsurprising, considering that Faber is coming into the fight on less than a month’s notice and already has a loss to Barao on his record. What’s interesting is that every other title fight that the UFC currently has scheduled in 2014 is an even bigger mismatch, in terms of gambling odds. Take a look at the numbers below, via BestFightOdds

UFC 169, February 1st
Renan Barao (-280) vs. Urijah Faber (+220)
Jose Aldo (-624) vs. Ricardo Lamas (+501)

UFC 170, February 22nd
Ronda Rousey (-400) vs. Sara McMann (+318)

UFC 171, March 15th
Johny Hendricks (-387) vs. Robbie Lawler (+323)

UFC 172, April 12th
Jon Jones (-600) vs. Glover Teixeira (+495)

In fact, the only UFC title fight with a slightly closer better line than Barao vs. Faber is Chris Weidman (-255) vs. Vitor Belfort (+195), which hasn’t been tied to a specific event yet. So, which longshot is worth sticking money on? Considering that Lawler and Belfort have the power to change a fight with a single punch/kick, I could think of stupider ways to blow my money than putting small action on those dudes. Your thoughts?

Fun fact: A $2 parlay bet on all six underdogs listed above would net you a hypothetical profit of $11,935.41. Just sayin’.

Read More DIGG THIS

BREAKING: Dominick Cruz Tears Groin & Vacates Title, Faber vs. Barao II at UFC 169


(“That’s UFC Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz leading today’s pack…wait a minute…he appears to be veering off the track and…yep, he’s headed for the medical tent. This cannot be good, ladies and gentlemen.” Photo via Getty.)

To borrow a phrase from the Co-Main Event Podcast, “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?”

Dominick Cruz is injured. A-G-A-I-N. Groin tear this time. He has vacated the bantamweight title (a lot of that going around lately…) and in his absence, interim champion Renan Barao has been promoted to undisputed champ and will rematch Urijah Faber at UFC 169 with his first official defense on the line. The announcement was made by Dana White on Sportscenter at 4:30 EST.

Faber will be fighting on less than a month’s notice. It should be noted that the last time these two met, the result was the worst card of the year.

All things considered, I’m kind of excited for this. No, seriously. It’s not just that my New Year’s Resolution was to be less cynical (also, stop waking up naked in cornfields with blood on my hands). This has been a long time coming for Cruz.

Read More DIGG THIS

UFC Super Bowl Weekend 2014 Card Headlined by Dominick Cruz vs. Renan Barao, Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas


(“Let’s keep it goin’ for Paula Sack, folks. She’s beautiful, talented, *and* she can burp the alphabet in two languages.” / Photo via Getty)

The UFC confirmed last night that UFC 169 — the promotion’s Super Bowl Weekend card that’s scheduled for February 1st, 2014, in Newark — will be headlined by a pair of title fights in the bantamweight and featherweight divisions.

In the main event, bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz will emerge from a 28-month hibernation to face Renan Barao, the interim champ who’s been steady wrecking fools in Cruz’s absence. UFC president Dana White has “made it pretty clear” that if Cruz has to pull out of this title unification bout with another injury, he’ll finally be stripped of his belt and Barao will be named the official champion.

In the co-main event, 145-pound champ (and Barao’s Nova Uniao homeboyJose Aldo will attempt to make his sixth UFC title defense against top contender Ricardo Lamas, who’s 4-0 in the UFC including stoppage wins against Cub Swanson and Erik Koch. Aldo is coming off his four-round shredding of Chan Sung Jung at UFC 163, which gave the Brazilian his 16th consecutive victory overall, as well as a broken foot.

Got any predictions, Potato Nation? And are two competitive title fights in the lighter weight classes just as interesting as one Jon Jones squash match?

Read More DIGG THIS

The Top 24 Mixed Martial Artists Who Lost Their First Fight


(Renan Barao: Started from the bottom, now he here. / Photo via Getty)

By Adam Martin

At the UFC 165 post-fight presser last month, UFC president Dana White showered praise upon UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao, calling him one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport and remarking that the media hadn’t given enough credit to his eight-year, 32-fight undefeated streak, which has remained pristine since May 2005.

Barao has only tasted defeat once, and it was in the first fight of his career. The fact that he’s rebounded with the longest current undefeated streak in mixed martial arts — despite the fact that his first loss could have ruined his confidence forever — is absolutely amazing to me, as many young would-be prospects have crashed and burned in their debuts, never to be heard of again.

It got me thinking: What other mixed martial artists lost their first fight but then went on to have great success? I expected to bang out a list of ten fighters, but once I started doing the research, it blew my mind that some of the best fighters to ever compete in the sport, and a number of currently top 10-ranked fighters, actually lost their very first fight.

And so, I compiled a list of the top 24 MMA fighters of all time who lost their first fight. The list is based on accomplishments in the sport, overall skill level, and potential. Enjoy, and if I somehow missed somebody notable, please leave a comment below and explain why he or she should be included.

Honorable mentions: Matt “The Wizard” Hume (5-5), Wesley “Cabbage” Correira (20-15), Ryan “The Big Deal” Jimmo (18-2), Rodrigo Damm (11-6), James Te Huna (16-6)

24. Travis “The Ironman” Fulton (249-49-10, 1 NC)

(Photo via ThunderPromotions)

On July 26, 1996, at the age of 19 years old, Travis Fulton fought Dave Strasser in his MMA debut at Gladiators 1 in Davenport, Iowa, losing the fight via first-round submission. He then went on to win 249 fights, the most wins in mixed martial arts history. Fulton also holds the record for most fights (309) and most knockout wins (91) in MMA history.

Mind = blown.

Was Fulton a can crusher? Yes, yes he was. Or, should I say, yes he is, as he beat some nobody in his native Iowa just this past March. But you don’t win 249 MMA fights by accident, and Fulton deserves a place on this list based on volume alone.

Read More DIGG THIS

UFC Welterweight Yan Cabral Robbed at Gunpoint Near Nova Uniao Gym


(Photo via Getty)

Crappy story coming out of Rio today, ‘Taters. Yan Cabral, the teammate of UFC champs Jose Aldo and Renan Barao who made an impressive debut for the promotion Wednesday night at UFC Fight Night 29, was robbed at gunpoint just two days later near his Nova Uniao gym in Rio. MMA Fighting‘s Guilherme Cruz first reported this story in the states.

The robbers either got real lucky or were following Cabral for some time as the undefeated Brazilian welterweight was coming from the bank where he had taken out money to pay manager and head coach Andre Pederneiras. Two men with guns pulled up on motorcycle, pointed a gun at Cabral’s head and took his backpack, containing his training gear and cash. Fortunately, Cabral was not injured during the robbery.

“I’ve lived in Rio 15 years and this never happened,” Cabral told O Dia. “It was a big shock.”

Read More DIGG THIS

UFC to Set Time Limit on How Long Injured Champs *Cough*DominickCruz*Cough* Can Be Inactive Before Being Stripped of Titles


(“Wheeeeeeee!” / Photo via @TheDomin8r)

UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has had horrible luck over the past two years. He’s torn the ACL in his knee twice, endured multiple surgeries, and has not fought a single time. Yet, he’s remained the official champion of the division while interim titlist Renan Barao has defended his belt twice.

Cruz hopes to be back early in 2014 and head straight into a unification bout against Barao. If he doesn’t, however, he may finally find himself stripped of his title. And according to UFC president Dana White, the organization will now make plans to set a time limit for how long champs can stay champs while sidelined.

“We have thought about it, and we will do it,” White told members of the media Monday. “We’re probably going to do that soon.”

It is about time the UFC did this. We don’t have a negative word to say about Cruz who has earned everything he’s ever gotten and who we feel genuinely bad for given all his bad luck, but it looks plain silly for Barao to be only an interim champion at this point. White seems to agree with those conflicted feelings.

“It’s a combination of me feeling really bad for him, and him being such a good person. … Do I think we let it play out too long? Maybe. But if I look at who the champion is, then I say no. I feel bad for the kid,” White said.

Read More DIGG THIS

Nova Uniao Head Trainer Confirms Renan Barao Is Totally Being Screwed by That Whole “Interim” Title


(And to think, if the guy on the left had won, we’d have a new outright champion by now. Photo via MMAFighting.)

October 1st will mark the two year anniversary (?) of the last time we saw bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz defend his title in the octagon. Multiple ACL tears and a rejected cadaver ligament transplant have seen the once dominant champion sidelined ever since his 2011 battle with now flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. As such, the bantamweight division has been stuck in a perpetual state of limbo, frustrating fans, fighters and most importantly, Dominick Cruz.

But perhaps the only person more frustrated by Cruz’s arduous road to recovery than the champ himself is interim title holder Renan Barao, who recently became the first fighter in UFC history to defend said title twice (via a second round KO of Eddie Wineland at UFC 165). Actually, Barao is the first fighter in UFC history to ever defend an interim belt. Unfortunately, the Brazilian isn’t seeing many benefits of being the closest thing to a champion his division has seen in a dog’s age.

That’s at least, according to Nova Uniao head trainer Andre Pederneiras, who recently appeared on MMAJunkie radio to discuss Barao’s current predicament:

He’s very frustrated because he needs to make money. So many sponsors here in Brazil are not sponsoring him because he’s not the real champion from the UFC. He’s the interim champion. He’s losing money every day.

The sponsors here want a real champion. A linear champion. 

Read More DIGG THIS

Armchair Matchmaker: ‘UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson’ Edition


(Photo of the Year. Hands Down. Via Esther Lin/MMAFighting.) 

Like our esteemed colleague George Shunick, I have never been happier to admit that I was completely wrong in all but writing off Alexander Gustafsson in the weeks leading up to his battle with Jon Jones at UFC 165. And like most of you, I’m still reeling from what was one of the greatest light heavyweight title fights in MMA History and quite possibly the fight of the year, which makes this Armchair Matchmaker piece all the more difficult to construct.

Did Gustafsson get screwed, like Phil Davis would have you believe? Should an immediate rematch be booked between the Swede and the champ? Follow us below to find out what lies in store for Jon Jones and the rest of UFC 165′s biggest winners.

Jon Jones: I might be in the minority here, but I’m going to suggest that the UFC should hold off on booking an immediate Jones/Gustafsson rematch. Here’s why:

Read More DIGG THIS

‘UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson’ Aftermath — We Were Wrong


(A torn-up Jon Jones spins for an elbow during his title-fight war against Alexander Gustafsson in Toronto. / Photo via Esther Lin, MMAFighting.com)

By George Shunick

Let’s be honest here. No one saw last night coming. No one. That’s not to say that nobody believed Alexander Gustafsson was capable of beating or challenging Jon Jones, although those people were probably Swedish, rabid Jones-haters, or height aficionados. But no one predicted that Gustafsson would take the fight to Jones in such a complete manner that in addition to being the first man consistently hurt the champion, he would become the only man to ever land a takedown on Jones in the UFC. And if there was some visionary out there who managed to foresee this twist of fate, he didn’t expect the next wrinkle; that Jones, bent but unbroken, would rise to this challenge in the final two rounds with an onslaught that the challenger seemed to persevere through with only sheer will holding him up. When all was said and done, UFC 165 saw the best light-heavyweight title fight in history, possibly the fight of the year and most significantly, the birth of a rivalry between two young fighters in the sport’s marquee division.

So, first things first…I might have been a little hasty in dismissing Alexander Gustafsson. If there’s some small solace to take in being so incredibly wrong, it’s that there was plenty of company in that regard. The UFC focused on the challenger’s height as opposed to any of his actual skills — although to hear Dana White tell it, that’s because “he’s so tall” was considered a better selling point for UFC fans than constructing an intricate narrative contextualizing Gustafsson and his abilities within the history of Swedish combat sports. (In other words, the UFC thinks its fans are stupid. They’re not entirely wrong.) Others focused on Gustafsson’s relative lack of competition, or his performances relative to those of Jones’s. Almost every pundit came away with the same conclusion; this was Jones’s fight to lose.

That was completely incorrect. In the first round, Gustafsson got in his face, pressured Jones backwards as he landed punches. He took the fight to Jones. It was a smart strategy; Jones likes to keep his distance while he’s standing up through kicks, and moving in takes away the range required to successfully land those kicks. However, this normally comes with a caveat; moving in puts a fighter in danger of being taken down by Jones, which is the last thing they want. But Gustafsson didn’t let that deter him; in fact, he landed the first takedown attempt of the fight, the first in UFC history against Jones. It turned out there was a reason for his confidence. Throughout the fight, try as he might, Jones could not take Gustafsson down. For all the talk you hear about how fighter X is “in the best shape of his life” or “has shown massive improvements,” it rarely rings true. But Gustafsson was the exception to the rule last night.

Read More DIGG THIS
CagePotatoMMA