MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: replacement

Yushin Okami Officially the UFC’s Unluckiest Fighter

Yushin Okami
(This was going to be part of a new tourism campaign for the nation of Japan, but even they thought Okami was too boring.)

It’s not enough that Yushin Okami keeps getting overlooked in the UFC’s middleweight title picture.  Now an injury has forced him out his UFC 98 bout with Dan Miller, further pushing him into the land of the also-rans.  So who will replace Okami against the larger of the two Miller boys?  How about Ed Herman, who absolutely no one brings up when the conversation turns to guys who deserve a shot at Anderson Silva.  And the most telling part is, Herman vs. Miller feels like a fight that makes perfect sense.

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Some Fighters Booked to Fight Other Fighters, According to New Reports

Jens Pulver WEC MMA
(Better get the next ice-pack ready. Photo courtesy of Yardbarker.)

Alright, let’s get to it…

— After an injury forced Josh Thomson to drop out of his Strikeforce rematch with Gilbert Melendez, a replacement has reportedly been found, according to The Fight Network. Taking on Melendez at Saturday’s "Shamrock vs. Diaz" event will be Rodrigo Damm, an 8-2 veteran of Bodog Fight and Sengoku. Damm hasn’t competed since last August, when he was choked out by Eiji Mitsuoka at Sengoku Fourth Battle.

— Winless since his WEC debut against Cub Swanson in December 2007, Jens Pulver will be given another chance to score a victory at WEC 41 (June 7th, Sacramento). Lil’ Evil will be facing 20-year-old up-and-comer Josh "The Fluke" Grispi (12-1), who has gone 2-0 in the WEC with first-round stoppages over Mark Hominick and Micah Miller. WEC 41 will be headlined by the rematch between Urijah Faber and Mike Brown.

TUF 7 winner Amir Sadollah has an opponent for his much-delayed return at UFC 101 (August 8th, Philadelphia). MMA Weekly confirms that Sadollah’s welterweight debut will come against Johny Hendricks, a 5-0 transfer from the WEC’s defunct 170-pound division who won a unanimous decision over Alex Serdyukov at WEC 39 last month. Also on the card will be another welterweight bout between Tamdan McCrory (who’s coming off a submission victory over Ryan Madigan at UFC 96 in March) and John Howard (who most recently won a Fight of the Night bonus for his split-decision victory over Chris Wilson at UFC 94 in January). UFC 101 will be headlined by the lightweight title scrap between BJ Penn and Kenny Florian.

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With Shamrock Out, Bobby Lashley Will Face…Jason Guida?


(‘Who me?’)

Our good friend Ariel Helwani over at Versus.com has the scoop on Ken Shamrock’s replacement against Bobby Lashley for Roy Jones Jr’s “March Badness” event, and it’s Jason Guida, brother of UFC lightweight Clay Guida.  If that name sounds familiar for another reason, it’s probably because Guida was scheduled to be a participant for season eight of “The Ultimate Fighter,” but couldn’t make weight and was ruled ineligible after much pain and suffering and exposure of genitals.  Now the 17-19 Guida will take on Lashley, who’s appearing in just his second pro fight.

As late replacements go, this isn’t a terrible one.  Guida is experienced, though not exactly a stand-out.  The guy’s lost his last three fights and has competed in an array of different weight classes with very mixed (read: unremarkable) results.  But at least he’s not really old and – judging from his physique – doesn’t seem to be on steroids.  He’s also a passionate cornerman, for what that’s worth.

Though Guida lacks the name recognition of Shamrock, he’s the kind of fighter who a hot prospect like Lashley ought to be able to beat if he is indeed a hot prospect.  If he can’t, then he isn’t.  Simple as that.  Now please, don’t anybody go and do something to screw this thing up.

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“Lil’ Heathen” in For Franca at UFC Fight Night 17


(Watch out for the uppercut, Joe)

Give the UFC this much, they don’t wait until the last minute to secure a replacement when someone goes down with an injury.  Earlier today we told you about Hermes Franca pulling out of his main event bout with Joe Lauzon and then starting a bizarre internet rivalry.  This afternoon UFC.com announced that Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens would be taking Franca’s place on Feb. 7.

You might remember Stephens as the guy who was on his way to losing a decision against Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 91 before he unfurled a murderous uppercut in the third round that knocked Dos Anjos out cold (see above).  It was an exciting finish that made us remember him and the totally sweet nickname "Lil’ Heathen" (even though it rhymes with his last name and we kind of hate that), but Stephens vs. Lauzon still feels like exactly what it is: a replacement bout.

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Franca Out of UFC Fight Night 17 with Knee Injury Just as Internet War with Lauzon Heats Up


(You just hate to see a guy like Franca sidelined for anything other than a steroid suspension or drunk-driving arrest.)

UFC lightweight Hermes Franca has been forced to pull out of his scheduled bout with Joe Lauzon at Fight Night 17 on Feb. 7 due to a torn ACL, according to a post by Franca on the UG.  Franca said he injured the knee last Saturday and will now have it repaired.  He added:

Thank you UFC,my fans, friends for the support, i was training hard and i was so excited ,but there’s      nothing i can do, (could be worse), so Hermes franca will take a break for some recovery,and come back  stronger than ever like i always do!!!!

Nothing like referring to yourself in the third person to remind everyone that you are a professional athlete.  This is the second time in the last week that a scheduled opponent of one of the Lauzon brothers has had to pull out of a fight due to injury.  First Chris Horodecki failed his physical exam prior to a fight with Dan Lauzon, which meant “The Upgrade” had to face “Frantic” Bobby Green and get his testicles jostled.  Now Franca is hurt and the UFC will have to find a replacement to take on Joe Lauzon.

Lauzon, replying to Franca’s post, expressed his disappointment at the news and wished Franca a speedy recovery, real gentleman-like.  Then things got a little weird on the ol’ internets, with this remark from Franca:

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Bobby Green in For Horodecki, + More Affliction Videos


("The Upgrade" will get his chance to earn that t-shirt, after all.  Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

With Chris Horodecki being pulled from Affliction: Day of Reckoning after failing his physical with a bulging disc in his neck, the organization has reached out to 7-1 southern California fighter Bobby Green to step in as a replacement against Dan Lauzon.  Important things to know about Green:

– His nickname is “King,” which is kind of weird.
– He’s never faced anyone of note in any major organization.
– He was suspended for three months and fined $500 after testing positive for marijuana following his victory over Raymond Ayala at Total Fighting Alliance 10 last March.

There, now you’re up to speed.  The question now for Affliction is whether this bout will stay on the pay-per-view portion of the card, or whether it will be pushed down in favor of the Jay Hieron and Jason High bout.  The latter sounds like the better idea, since guys who take fights on a couple days notice aren’t often known for putting on pay-per-view worthy performances.

More Affliction-related videos, like Fedor and Andrei vlogs, are after the jump.

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Koscheck in for Injured Sanchez at UFC 90

Josh Koscheck
(At first he claimed to have other plans that night, but no one was buying that.)

The fates of Diego Sanchez and Josh Koscheck are indeed intertwined in mysterious ways. The UFC sent out a release today announcing that Diego Sanchez has been forced to withdraw from his UFC 90 bout with Thiago Alves due to torn rib cartilage. Stepping in to face Alves on short notice will be Sanchez’s TUF 1 buddy, Josh Koscheck.

From the official release:

“There is nothing worse than having a great fight and then having one of the fighters drop out at the last second,” said UFC President Dana White. “But the one thing the UFC has proven time and time again is our ability to replace fights with ones as good as or better than the original fight, and we’ve done it again with the highly-ranked Josh Koscheck stepping up to replace Diego Sanchez against welterweight wrecking machine Thiago Alves. Hats off to Josh and Thiago, as not many fighters would agree to a matchup this tough on such short notice.”

[...]

“Josh Koscheck is a great fighter and I think he’s an even better matchup for me,” said Alves. “I’m looking forward to fighting him, and I’m gonna knock him out.”

[...]

“I think he’s a tough opponent,” said Koscheck. “He’s on a tear right now in the UFC and for me to step up and fight him, I think it’s gonna be an exciting fight. I’ve been in training since Chris Lytle, I haven’t taken any time off, and he’s a tough guy, so I’ve got to come in and fight him at my ‘A’ game.”

Alves is a tough opponent to step in against on short notice, but how could Koscheck resist such a golden opportunity to grind salt in Sanchez’s torn rib cartilage? The only thing worse than having to pull out of a big fight is having a rival swoop in and take it.

As late replacements go, Koscheck probably makes the most possible sense. Instead of throwing Alves against someone far lower on the welterweight totem pole, he gets someone at right about the same level. This bout, in terms of both quality of competition and future ramifications on the division, has simply made a lateral move. How many times have we been able to say that?

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