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Tag: rivalries

Power-Ranking Michael Bisping’s Grudge Matches, By Level of Anger

For Michael Bisping, every match is a grudge match. The TUF 3 winner never met a fellow fighter he couldn’t take the piss out of in his 21-fight (!) UFC career, and to be totally honest, I’m kind of starting to love the dude for it.

Truly the silver-tongued, tea-sipping Diaz brother is his highness Count Bisping, who has found himself in yet another war of words with former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold heading into their Fight Night 55 headliner on November 7th. Ben Fowlkes attempted to get to the bottom of Bisping’s seemingly endless dickishness in an interview published on MMAJunkie yesterday, and according to the Brit, pre-fight trash simply serves as his way of keeping the constant eat-train-sleep schedule from growing stale. According to Rockhold, however, Bisping is just “a prick that most people don’t like.” A regular Felix Unger and Oscar Madison these two are, I tells ya!

But as heated as Bisping vs. Rockhold has been thus far (see their “Counterpunch” segment above, their rooftop staredown, etc.), it doesn’t hold a candle to Bisping’s verbal sparring matches with Hollywood Henderson and that Bully Beatdown host guy whose life he destroyed. So it is through rage-filled, bloodshot eyes that we take a look back at Bisping’s most heated rivalries and rank them on a scale of Berk to Arselicking Plonker.

#9 — Charles McCarthy 

So the saying goes, “Opinions are like assholes, and Michael Bisping is one opinionated asshole.” He’s also a guy who was never shy on confidence, which Charles “Chainsaw” McCarthy took issue with heading into their fight back at UFC 83. Oddly enough, it was actually McCarthy who attacked Bisping first through the media, telling CBS Sports:

(He’s) real arrogant, and, you know — not much else, really. He’s gonna get choked out April 19.

I have very little regard for that guy. I can’t wait to go in there and get my arm around his neck. It’s going to be a cool experience. I hope to put him to sleep before he decides to tap.

Bisping was quick to respond via his blog, The Countdown, with the following shot at McCarthy’s self-hyped BJJ credentials:

Next week’s Countdown will be filed after I’ve come face-to-face with the reigning BJJ uber-master of the galaxy. If anyone wants me to ask him for an autograph for you, please e-mail me, but keep your requests down to six per person.

Whaddya think of that one, Kelso?

When it came time to put words aside, Bisping was simply too much for his fellow TUF alum, overwhelming McCarthy with a barrage of knees (that in fact broke McCarthy’s arm) and forcing a stoppage inside of the first round. It was Bisping’s first true grudge match in the UFC, and one that would set the precedent for years to come.

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On This Day in MMA History: Chuck Liddell KOs Tito Ortiz at UFC 47, Ten Years Ago Today

By Ben Goldstein

I have a couple theories on how superstardom is created in combat sports:

1) Every great fighter needs a great rival to stand in opposition to — an equally skilled counterpart who can push him competitively and generate personal animosity.

2) You either have to be an entertaining talker, or the guy who beats the living shit out of the entertaining talker. (The WMMA corollary is: You either have to be a beautiful woman, or the girl who beats the living shit out of the beautiful woman.)

Both of these theories can help explain why Chuck Liddell was — and continues to be — a cultural phenomenon, and arguably the most famous MMA fighter of all time. They also help explain why some of today’s UFC champions struggle to find the same kind of relevance.

Ten years ago today, Chuck Liddell cemented his stardom by knocking out Tito Ortiz at UFC 47: It’s On!, which took place April 2nd, 2004, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Even though it was a non-title fight, Liddell vs. Ortiz 1 was the most compelling, highly-anticipated bout in UFC history to that point — a once-in-a-blue-moon meeting of two rivals who were both incredibly talented, and opposites in every measurable way. It had a storyline as dramatic and exaggerated as any pro-wrestling feud, and yet, somehow, it was real.

Chuck Liddell was the hero, of course. Humble and laconic, Chuck talked with his fists. The only time he showed emotion was after he knocked a guy out, after which he would gallop around the cage, then lean back with his fists at his sides, screaming at the air, the usual deadness in his eyes replaced by unrestrained insanity. He had a cool nickname and a cooler mohawk. He was a white guy, and yes, that does matter. His name was “Chuck,” for God’s sake.

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Quote of the Day: Dana White Says Sonnen vs. Silva is Still Not Signed on Account of TUF Brazil 3 Issues


(“Let me tell you something, mudda fucka, you’re lucky I feel entitled to my fair share of Fight Pass ad revenue or I’d smash your face right now!”)

In the lead-up to the third season of TUF Brazil, there were several audacious claims being made that Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva is “the greatest rivalry in the history of mixed martial arts.” A rivalry isn’t truly great until it involves a Twitter war, a reality show, and a (possibly staged) on-set brawl on said reality show, is essentially what we’re being told. (Author’s note: In which case, allow me to cast my vote for TUF Japan: Sakuraba vs. Gracie.)

Being that Sonnen vs. Silva ranks second only to King Kong vs. Godzilla on the list of mythologized rivalries, you’d think that both sides would have signed the bout agreement for their May 31st showdown by now. If anything, you’d think that Sonnen would be the one hesitant to agree to anything in the wake of the TRT ban.

In either case, you’d be wrong, dummy. According to Dana White, it’s actually Wandy who has yet to sign on the dotted line (via MMAFighting):

“Yeah,” White affirmed when asked on Thursday if the fight still has yet to be signed. “There’s a lot more to that story than (I can say).

“He’s not balking,” White said of Silva. “Not even a little bit. It’s not over money either. I can’t tell you. It has to do with the show (TUF Brazil 3). It has to do with the show, that’s all I can tell you.”

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Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva Booked as Coaches of ‘TUF Brazil 3′, Will Fight Sometime Next Year [UPDATED]


(Well, I found this on the Internet so it has to be true. Props: @sonnench)

With all the crap they’ve hurled at each other lately, it’s no surprise that Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva would eventually have to get into the Octagon and back up their slam poetry. But we definitely didn’t see this coming: As confirmed by UFC president Dana White on yesterday’s edition of FOX Sports Live, Sonnen and Silva will appear as rival coaches on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3, which begins filming early next year. The American Gangster and the Axe Murderer will then face off at a 2014 event to be named later.

The reality-show booking is so unexpected because White previously said it wouldn’t happen — for Chael’s own safety. As White explained during a press-conference in Brazil last month:

“People keep asking me if they’re going to be the coaches (for TUF Brazil 3). I can’t have a Brazilian within 10 feet of Chael Sonnen in America. Imagine bringing Chael Sonnen here for six weeks. I don’t think he’d make it…I mean there’s situations in the United States where we had an event where a Brazilian fan started swinging at Chael Sonnen trying to hit him…Brazilians do not like Chael Sonnen.”

So, was White fooling us on purpose? Or did he have a change of heart and realize that, hey, Sonnen’s life isn’t that important anyway. And would any of the show’s Brazilian prospects want to be on Chael’s team? This has the potential to be all kinds of uncomfortable. For the first time in TUF history, a coach may be savagely soap-whipped by his own team. I’m telling you, these Brazilians do not respond well to motivational speaking.

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Exclusive: Brendan Schaub Discusses Upcoming UFC 165 Bout With Friend and Fellow TUF 10 Alum Matt Mitrione


(Schaub and Mitrione, likely watching that video of the Sumo wrestler getting ragdolled just off camera. Photo via Getty Images.)

By Elias Cepeda

Friends and fellow UFC heavyweights Brendan Schaub and Matt Mitrione will finally fight one another this Saturday at UFC 165. Both men were celebrated athletes long before they ever got into MMA and the UFC, with extensive football backgrounds in the AFL and NFL, respectively.

When you get two athletes who hail from similar backgrounds in the cage, there is often an added element of rivalry to the match up. Randy Couture facing Mike Van Arsdale, for example, or “Minotauro” Nogueira vs. Fabricio Werdum.

It doesn’t work that way with football, though, according to Schaub. “Not really,” he tells CagePotato.

“I think Matt is the more decorated football player and that I am more the decorated mixed martial artist. I pride myself on being a martial artist. I have a strong work ethic and was born to compete and fight. Martial arts is my true calling. Who the better football player is doesn’t really matter to me.”

Alright, the question was a silly one. But one still has to legitimately wonder what it will be like for Schaub and Mitrione to go all out against one another in the Octagon. They are not “friends” in the generic, early Tito Ortiz/Chuck Liddell sense. Schaub and Mitrione have been close and in constant contact with one another since they were both participants on the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter.

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[VIDEO] Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate Go Head-to-Head on SportsCenter, Zero Birds Flipped

After witnessing the non-fight that was Jake Ellenberger vs. Rory MacDonald at UFC on FOX 8, Dana White vehemently declared that “fights with trash talk always suck.” It was an odd thing to hear coming from a fight promoter, especially one who made enough money off the Ken Shamrock vs. Tito Ortiz trilogy alone to purchase a chalet bungalow overlooking the finest waterfalls in all of Elysium (TOPICAL!). Also, Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen was a thing that happened.

In any case, let’s hope that the second incarnation of Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate — which is being billed as the biggest rivalry in ALL of MMA Rrrrrrrr *catfight sounds* Snap into a Slim Jim oh yeah! — lives up to the additional pressure it is stacking on the already weighed-down shoulders of WMMA. In the past few days, the champ has flipped off Tate during a staredown, labeled her an Anti-Armenian and allegedly threatened to “cram an entire Lincoln Logs set up her boyfriend’s asspussy.” Allegedly. Anything less than an in-ring decapitation or double KO will be an utter disappointment at this point and the show hasn’t even started yet.

Thankfully, the two were able to keep it together during a recent face-to-face appearance on SportsCenter to hype their upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter. You’d think that these two have said all they can say about each other, yet Rousey is still finding new reasons to dislike Tate. Mainly, that smug look of (sexy) disinterest she is always wearing. If DW’s statements about how batshit crazy the both of them are this season have any truth to them, we should expect this conversation to play out several times over the course of TUF 18. 

-J. Jones

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Picking Five Rivalries Better Suited for the Next Season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ Than Canada vs. Australia


(Yeah, we don’t get it either, buddy.) 

Perhaps the most unique thing you can say about last year’s TUF: The Smashes was that it showcased the age old rivalry between England and Australia for fans who might not have known how deep-seated it truly went. It not only raised the stakes between teams to a new level, but it also played a role in the verbal (and allegedly physical) on set squabbles between coaches Ross Pearson and George Sotiropoulos, and culminated in a pretty damn entertaining fight when all was said and done.

And while TUF: Brazil 2 is currently playing LinkedIn to The Ultimate Fighter’s Facebook, there were at least a few of us who were excited to see which rivalry would be showcased on the next other, other version of TUF, which I guess you would label the MySpace of Ultimate Fighters, maybe? I dunno; management keeps telling us that we need to start writing to our key demographic (drunk, agoraphobic 14 year-olds) and I’m just trying to keep up with the times. *stares out window, finishes scotch* 

In any case, MMAFighting has passed along word that the next international season of The Ultimate Fighter will showcase the epic rivalry between…Canada and Australia. I may have lost most of my long term memory in that scaffolding accident, but I can’t seem to recall any conflict every existing between the two –it doesn’t help the Wikipedia page for “Canadian military history” is completely blank.

Why the UFC decided to go with this rivalry (or another season of Australians, for that matter) is anyone’s guess, but here are a few rivalries we think would have better suited the next international season of The Ultimate Fighter…

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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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Stephan Bonnar Wants to Coach ‘TUF 16′ Against Forrest Griffin, Promises Not to Block Any Punches in Trilogy Fight


(Best frenemies forever.)

Through the majority of their parallel UFC careers, Stephan Bonnar has played second-banana to Forrest Griffin. The relationship started with Griffin’s career-launching win over Bonnar in their classic brawl at the first Ultimate Fighter finale in 2005; a rematch the following year resulted in the American Psycho going home with another decision loss and a steroid suspension. While Griffin was winning the UFC light-heavyweight title in 2008, Bonnar was on the sidelines due to injuries, and though Griffin occasionally ate a humiliating loss, Bonnar’s losses were even more embarrassing.

But lately, the two men have begun to shift trajectories. A not-quite-motivated Griffin suffered an ugly knockout against Mauricio Rua in Brazil last year, and is now booked in a relatively needless trilogy fight against Tito Ortiz in July. With Forrest in a holding pattern, Bonnar is now riding a three-fight win streak, with W’s over Krzysztof Soszynski, Igor Pokrajac, and Kyle Kingsbury. In other words, Griffin might be heading down the mountain, while Bonnar is somehow reaching another peak in his career — which makes it an ideal time for the two rivals to meet one last time, perhaps at the end of an Ultimate Fighter gig that would bring their lives full circle. At least, that’s how Bonnar sees it. Here’s what he told MMAJunkie Radio:

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Chuck Liddell Thinks Teammates Should Fight One Another and the Jones/Evans Odds are “Ridiculous”

Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell old classic rare UFC photos MMA
(And to think this all started with a friction-based erection.) 

Chuck Liddell has been through some shit, ladies and gentlemen. He fought through the dark ages of the UFC, and in fact helped spearhead its rise into the mainstream. And he walked that path to glory on the mangled bones and concussed skulls of his dearest friends and family. The man’s nickname is “The Iceman,” for Christ’s sake, and considering that the nickname is written in quotations, it must literally mean that he has ice flowing through his veins. So you can imagine his lack of understanding when it comes to all these pussified, liberal fighters claiming that they won’t fight their teammates nowadays. According to Liddell, these so-called fighters should put their differences aside in the cage, duke it out, and then have a beer afterward. Here’s what he told The MMA Hour

If (a teammate) can beat me, they can beat me. It is what it is. They deserve to fight me then. I’m not going to hold back some guy that’s in my camp if he wants to fight me. That’s not my thing. It’s just a personal choice and a personal opinion, but I think eventually, hey you guys are going at it, then go out and have two beers together afterwards. Go out there and prove who’s best that day, and go out and be friends again.

Given Liddell’s well documented feud with former teammate Tito Ortiz, you can rest assured that he is a man of his word. Hell, the fact that these two can even stand in the same room with each other, let alone pose for these kinds of pictures is pretty amazing after all that they have been through.

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