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Tag: Rich Franklin

Congratulations, Cain Velasquez, You’ve Ruined the Heavyweight Division!


(Cain Velasquez may not kick like Anderson Silva, but his dominance over heavyweight will parallel Silva’s period of dominance over middleweight. / Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

After the events of UFC 166, the heavyweight division is now the UFC’s least thrilling.

Heavyweight is the new middleweight. That is to say that the heavyweight division under Cain Velasquez‘s brutal, face-rearranging reign will resemble the middleweight division under Anderson Silva during his peak — a boring division where no fighter is a threat to the champ. A division where everybody says, “Meh, who cares about who’s challenging for the heavyweight title? Cain is going to destroy him anyway.”

The only fighter to ever humble Cain Velasquez was Junior Dos Santos. But Dos Santos couldn’t repeat his success. Velasquez wrought terrible vengeance on the Brazilian in the rematch at UFC 155, and then again in the rubber match at UFC 166.

Earlier this year, I predicted that the UFC heavyweight division would become stagnant and dull:

Both men are insanely talented. But that’s the problem — they’re both so talented that the rest of the fighters in the division aren’t a match for them. The only challenge to Velasquez is Dos Santos. The only challenge to Dos Santos is Velasquez.

I was right and wrong.

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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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POLL: Michael Bisping vs. Rich Franklin at Moneyweight — Yay or Nay?


(Once Bisping sees Franklin’s Harlem Shake call out video, this shit will be on like Donkey Kong.) 

In a recent interview with MMAWeekly, former middleweight champion Rich Franklin dispelled rumors that he would be retiring following his brutal knockout loss to Cung Le at UFC on FUEL 6 and stated that he would in fact like to face outspoken middleweight contender Michael Bisping next, possibly even at one of those catchweights he loves so much:

I look at my Twitter and a lot of people talk about (Michael) Bisping. That would be an exciting fight and something the fans would want to see. I’m an exciting fighter, he’s an exciting fighter, and we both like to throw down. Since my ultimate goal is not to go back and capture the 185-pound title, it doesn’t really matter to me if it’s at 185 or a catchweight or 205. Wherever the UFC needed me, I would fight, as long as the fight made sense. 

While this matchup does possess some novelty value and the potential to secure an end-of-the-night bonus at the very least (not unlike Franklin’s pairing against Forrest Griffin at UFC 126), it would also represent a significant regression in the title aspirations of Bisping. Considering Franklin has no intentions of fighting for a title in the future, let alone the one controlled by the incubus of his neverending nightmares, agreeing to the fight would in its own way represent a Michael Bisping who has potentially reached the same realization. Which would be kind of sad, because honestly, a humbled Bisping is a boring Bisping.

Then again, if we’ve learned anything in the past few months, it’s that wins are wins regardless of weight class. If Bisping were to accept the fight, he might do so under the belief that a win over a post-prime but still dangerous legend like Franklin would do more for his career than a win over the likes of say, another Alan Belcher. In either case, would you be interested in seeing this fight come to fruition?

Vote in our poll after the jump and make your case in the comments section. 

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CagePotato Databomb #8: Breaking Down the UFC Middleweights by Striking Performance


(Click chart for full-size versionFor previous Databombs, click here.)

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

The UFC Middleweight division has long been ruled by the most feared and successful striker in MMA history, champion Anderson Silva. And perhaps more so than in smaller divisions, striking has been a good predictor of success at Middleweight. So examining this division in core striking performance metrics should provide good insight to how fighters will fare against each other in standup. A full explanation of the chart and variables is included at the end of this post.

But first, let’s see how the whole division stacks up against each other, and look at the winners and losers.

The Winners

Sniper Award: Two fights into his UFC career, cross-trained Dutchman Michael Kuiper has landed 49% of his power head strikes. We’ll see if he can maintain this in his upcoming matchup with veteran brawler Tom Lawlor in Sweden. Honorable mention must be given to Anderson Silva who has maintained 40% accuracy over his lengthy and dominant career. And also noteworthy is Italian boxer, Alessio Sakara, currently on the bench for health reasons.

Energizer Bunny Award: Strikeforce veteran Roger Gracie has been almost doubling the striking output of opponents on his way to a string of submission wins in typical Gracie fashion. Some grapplers use strikes to set up their mat-work, others don’t. Honorable mentions go to former champ Rich Franklin, and Strikeforce champ and crossover contender Luke Rockhold, who each tend to outpace their opponents by over 80%.

Biggest Ball(s) Award: The UFC record holder for knockdowns is Anderson Silva. He is literally the best in the business at dropping dudes. Statistically, when Silva lands a power head strike, there’s a 27% chance it will result in a knockdown, which is just ridiculous. These skills have won him Knockout of the Night honors seven times in the UFC.

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If You Have a Thousand Bucks to Spare, You Can Share a Meal With Rich Franklin


(“Look, I’m an escort not a hooker. I’m just here for good food and good company, and whatever happens later…well, it happens. You’re not a cop, right?“)

I can’t tell if this is a better or worse deal than talking to Ken Shamrock on the phone for $11.99 a minute. A “sports fan experience” company called Thuzio is now selling personal interactions with former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin. Leading off their menu of services

“Lunch or Dinner: $1,000
Invite Rich to join you and your guests for lunch or dinner. You choose the restaurant and you choose what you want to talk about. Ask Rich questions about his career as a professional mixed martial artist. (Up to 2 hours)”

Man, I really want to start a Kickstarter account just so I can take Rich to Arby’s and talk about Anderson Silva‘s career for two hours. Does that make me a terrible person? I don’t know. But if I’m shelling out a friggin’ thousand bucks, I want to make sure my guest of honor is having as bad a time as possible.

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Armchair Matchmaker: ‘UFC on FUEL: Franklin vs. Le’ Edition


(Febreze: It really is that fresh.) 

Although it wasn’t exactly cram-packed with exciting finishes, UFC Macao provided us with plenty to talk about nonetheless. Let’s not act like Bruce Leroy’s Haiduken punch just didn’t happen, because it did and it was either awesome or the dumbest f*cking thing we have ever seen. We can’t tell yet.

Elsewhere on the card, some people beat some other people by decision, so join us as we decipher the judge’s scorecards and try to determine who the night’s biggest winners should face next.

Cung Le: Despite being a healthy underdog with a significant size and slight age disadvantage, Cung Le was able to deliver a spectacular knockout in arguably the most high profile fight of his career. That being said, we’re not going to fool ourselves into thinking the 40 year old is truly in the title mix just yet. At this point, Le appears to be more invested in his film career than in that of his mixed martial arts one (and rightfully so), but the man is still a draw who can both deliver exciting finishes and hang with more than most, so it only makes sense to give him another high profile, low risk fight.

The problem is, there simply aren’t that many of those kind of fights available for Cung in the UFC’s current middleweight pool. Most of the division in currently tied up and Cung has stated that he would like to take some time away to spend with his family, so we think it would be best to give Cung some time off and have him face the winner of the Hector Lombard/Rousimar Palhares battle at UFC on FX 6, or maybe Chris Leben if he is able to get by Karlos Vemola at UFC 155. Who would you prefer, Taters?

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‘UFC on FUEL: Franklin vs. Le’ Fight-Picking Contest: The Winners!


(Bruce Lee would be pleased with your performance, but sort of disappointed about how much of your life you spend on the Internet. Images via Lancaster/Roots of Fight)

Let’s have another round of applause for Cung Le, who gave China its first-ever epic UFC punch-face on Saturday, then followed it up by scaring the crap out of cutman Don House. Only a handful of you predicted that Cung would knock out Rich Franklin during last week’s fight-picking contest, and only two of you thought it would happen in the first round, and that it would net Le a Knockout of the Night bonus. They were…

- Blakethoria: Cung Le Defeats Rich Franklin via TKO @ 2:21 of round 1
KO of the night [Ed. note: The comments section of the fight-picking post is only displaying the most recent 25 comments for some reason, but believe me, it's there.]
- Sniffer-Piffits: Le def. Franklin via TKO @ 4:17 of RD 1, KO of the Night, bitch…..

Well, I don’t think the profanity was necessary, Sniffer, but nevertheless you and Blakethoria have won spiffy new Bruce Lee Movember t-shirts from LancasterLTD. Shoot your real names, sizes, and addresses to contest@cagepotato.com and we’ll get you hooked up soon. The rest of you should consider buying one of Lancaster’s Movember tees. A portion of all sales benefit the cause, y’know.

Speaking of which: How are your moustaches coming along, anyway? Post photos of your mo’ progress on our Facebook page, and there might be a $50 StubHub gift card in it for you. And thanks so much for your continued donations to the Mo’Tato Nation team page!

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‘UFC on FUEL 6: Franklin vs. Le’ Aftermath — Worth Waking up For


Props: Nixson Sysanga via mmafanmade.tumblr.com

If I were to have told you before this event that a FUEL TV caliber card will have seven out of nine fights go the distance, it is doubtful that many of you would have watched UFC on FUEL 6. If I were to have reminded you that because the fights were live from Macau, China, you’d have to wake up at 9 a.m. ET to watch said card, I’m willing to bet we would have had a pretty vacant liveblog this morning. It isn’t often that a card with so many decisions is worth waking up early for, but UFC on FUEL 6 proved to be an exception.

Expectations weren’t exactly high for the evening’s main event, a middleweight contest between Rich Franklin and Cung Le. With neither fighter in the title picture – or even near it – and forty year old Cung Le bloodletting his foot just one week before the fight, this fight had a very high bust-potential. Most of us assumed that Ace would exit the cage with his first victory at middleweight since 2008, and that we wouldn’t be missing much if we started our afternoon nap a little early.

Instead, Cung Le gave us a Knockout of the Year candidate, countering a leg kick with a devastating right hand that secured the victory just 2:17 into the fight. Being the only knockout on the card, Le took home the $40k Knockout of the Night award, but even if every other fight ended in a knockout it’d be hard not to award such a brutal finish the honor. If you happened to miss it, here it is in all of its animated GIF glory:

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‘UFC on FUEL 6: Franklin vs. Le’ — Live Results & Commentary


(Unfortunately, Bruce Lee’s ghost suffered a knee injury in training and will be unable to float above the fighters tonight. Hey, that’s why they say “card subject to change.” / Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.com. For more photos from this set, click here.)

It’s Saturday night in Macau, the special administrative region that never sleeps. While us North Americans are pouring cereal and rubbing crust out of our eyes, the UFC’s first-ever show in China is already in full swing at the CotaiArena. In the main event, a couple of middleweight battle-axes named Rich Franklin and Cung Le will be slugging it out, refusing to go gently into middle age. Supporting them on the main card is an array of international matchups, including Thiago Silva vs. Stanislav Nedkov, Dong Hyun Kim vs. Paulo Thiago, and Takanori Gomi vs. Mac Danzig.

Handling liveblog duties for us this morning is Jim Genia, who will be stacking round-by-round results from the UFC on FUEL 6 main card broadcast after the jump, beginning at 9 a.m. ET / 6 a.m. PT. Refresh the page for all the latest, and let your voice be heard in the comments section. Thanks for being here, guys. We can all take naps later.

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Friday Link Dump: ‘The Comeback of Buck Rydell,’ Hendo vs. Machida Targeted for February, Anderson and Bones Forced to Fight (Not Really) + More


(The Comeback of Buck Rydell, episode 1. Any similarities between Buck and a certain UFC legend are purely coincidental. Keep an eye on the Buck Rydell YouTube page for future installments of the series.)

- Dan Henderson Says He’s Fighting Lyoto Machida at UFC 156 (BleacherReport)

- Pros React to Ronda Rousey Joining UFC, Dissolution of Strikeforce (MMAFighting)

- Rich Franklin Expects Plenty Of Tricks From Cung Le (Fightline)

- Anderson Silva and Jon Jones Kidnapped and Forced to Fight (prebek)

- Dave Herman Agrees to Drug-Rehab Program (MMAJunkie)

To be fair, we heard his first words were “Hello Japan!” (Facebook.com/CagePotato)

- UFC Primetime: St. Pierre vs. Condit Episode One (HeavyMMA)

- The Best-Ever Bond Villains (MensFitness)

- The 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Beats of All-Time (Complex)

- It’s Thanksgiving: Let’s Make a Horrible Music Video (EgoTV)

- The 50 Weirdest Photos on the Internet (WorldWideInterweb)

- 9 Bad Tattoo Ideas No Man Should Ever Get (MadeMan)

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