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Tag: Robbie Lawler

UPDATED: Shields/Riggs Bout Bumped From Shamrock vs. Diaz Lineup, Shields/Lawler in May

Jake Shields Gilbert Melendez MMA Strikeforce
(Jake Shields, pictured here with his son Gilbert Melendez.)

Multiple sources have informed FiveOuncesofPain that a welterweight matchup between Jake Shields and Joe Riggs, which was slated to go down at Strikeforce’s "Shamrock vs. Diaz" event on April 11th, has been scrapped. Writes 5oz:

Neither Riggs or Shields is injured and one source indicated that Shields is being saved for a possible headlining slot against Robbie Lawler during a tentative Strikeforce event scheduled for May in Seattle. Additional sources have confirmed that the possible Lawler vs. Shields matchup could be officially announced by Strikeforce officials during a Thursday press conference in Los Angeles as early as today.

While he was the 170-pound champ of EliteXC, Shields had entertained the notion of going up in weight to challenge Robbie Lawler, due to the lack of challenges at welterweight. We thought the new bodies at Strikeforce would keep Shields entertained at 170 for a while longer, but it sounds like he’s more interested in big fights than welterweight tune-ups, and we respect that. Besides, weight classes are more of a suggestion than a rule at Strikeforce anyway.

Update, 5:30 p.m. ET: Shields vs. Lawler has officially been announced for Strikeforce’s May event, which will take place somewhere in Washington state. It will be a non-title fight, contested at middleweight.

In other Strikeforce news, former UFC heavyweight champ and PRIDE vet Kevin Randleman has reportedly signed a deal to return to MMA competition under the Strikeforce banner. Randleman last competed at Sengoku II last May, where he won a unanimous decision over Ryo Kawamura. Though "The Monster" was terrifying in hs prime, he has lost seven of his last ten fights. The date of his next match and his opponent have yet to be announced.

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CagePotato Power Rankings Updated

Shane Carwin UFC 96 MMA
(Shane Carwin — one of the ten best heavyweights in the world. Photo courtesy of UFC.com)

In the wake of UFC 95, WEC 39, and UFC 96, we’ve tidied up the heavyweight, light-heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight, and featherweight top ten lists in our Power Rankings section. Some notable changes…

— Shane Carwin enters the heavyweight list at #9 after taking out his first Top 20 opponent in 69 seconds.

Keith Jardine leaves the light-heavyweight list (temporarily, at least) after his loss to Quinton Jackson on Saturday. He may have beaten a post-peak Chuck Liddell and a pre-peak Forrest Griffin, but it’s unclear if he has what it takes to beat a high-level opponent when they’re at their best.

Robbie Lawler and Jake Shields drop a spot due to inactivity. Not their fault, but whaddya gonna do. Luckily, their stints in Strikeforce begin soon.

Josh Koscheck falls to #8 on the welterweight list after being upset by Paulo Thiago. Kos definitely still has the talent of a top-ten fighter — he’s just made some unfortunate choices.

— Jose Aldo ascends to #6 on the featherweight list after his fourth brutal stoppage win in the WEC.

Check ‘em out and let us know if you see things differently.

Unrelated, but important: Thanks so much for all your awesome nominations in our Best MMA Bars forum thread. We’re going to start compiling our list soon, so if you have any others to share, please let us know!

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Strikeforce’s Coker Talks Fighters, Potential Matchups


(More headkicking in store for Shamrock in ’09?)

Ever since Strikeforce purchased “select assets” from Pro Elite we’ve been wondering a) which select assets, and b) what the hell does he plan to do with them?  In an interview with USA Today, Coker inched closer to answering those questions, saying he’s spoken with 10 Pro Elite fighters and only one of them has tried to renegotiate his deal (we assume this was Kimbo Slice insisting he take a pay cut and be place on the untelevised undercard).  

Coker also said he “would like to invite K.J. Noons to fight [Strikeforce lightweight champ]" Josh Thomson, and added that he’s in talks with Noons’ agent, Mark Dion, to make that happen. 

You’ll recall that Noons essentially turned his back on EliteXC when they tried to make him fight Nick Diaz on CBS and Noons was unhappy with the payscale and with rematching Diaz in general, who was slated to make more than him despite losing the first meeting due to a cut stoppage.  Thomson is a quality, name opponent, and if Noons decides he doesn’t want to fight him either, we in the MMA world would probably do well to forget about “King” Karl altogether and let him box his little heart out.

As for other fights on Coker’s mind right now…

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American Gladiators Cancelled, But Carano May Have a New Job Soon

 
(Let’s remember the good times. Props: Old, Bald, & Irish.)

First EliteXC tanked, leaving Gina Carano without an organization to call home.  But if that wasn’t enough of a kick in the ovaries, American Gladiators has also been cancelled.  We can’t say we didn’t see it coming, but it’s sad nonetheless.  If only the new American Gladiators could have captured some this kind of magic from the old AG, maybe they’d still be around.  Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.  Not only does this mean we may never again see “Crush” tossing old ladies around in a unitard, it also means Hulk Hogan is being released back into the wild, so look out.  

But just when all Carano’s revenue streams look to be drying up, it sounds as if Dana White may actually be serious about getting her signed.  The UFC prez told Five Ounces of Pain’s Gary Herman that Carano, Robbie Lawler, and Jake Shields are all former EliteXC fighters he’d like to sign.  He also chastised fighters for signing with “fly by night companies,” saying they were “wasting their time.”

There you have it, young fighters not in the UFC.  Don’t sign with organizations other than the UFC or you’ll be wasting your time.  Just keep fighting one-offs in tiny regional shows for almost no money.  Then, after the UFC signs you and later cuts you, it won’t be so hard to re-adjust to your life of poverty and despair.  See?  Circle of freaking life.

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Pro Elite Clings to Life, Contracts


(Surely Kimbo’s brilliant legal council will find a way out of this mess.)

Remember when Pro Elite ceased operations and filed for bankruptcy? Well, turns out they didn’t. At least that’s their story now. As fighters still under contract with them have been filing notices to get free, Pro Elite has responded by informing those fighters that the company has not declared bankruptcy and that it intends to stage an event in 2009.

A notice sent out to several managers representing Pro Elite fighters states:

“Elite XC and ProElite are currently downsizing its staff in an effort to improve its business moving forward. As this process is implemented, Elite XC cancelled the event previously scheduled for Nov. 8 in attempt to re-schedule another event in early 2009.”

That’s funny, because if I was running an MMA company that was merely downsizing but which intended to continue promoting events, and suddenly there were widespread reports that my company was filing for bankruptcy, I think I might say something to contradict that right away. I might, for example, immediately issue a statement declaring my intention not to just roll over and die. I might even call the people who had circulated those reports a bunch of lying sons of bitches. What I would not do is say nothing at all until fighters started trying to get free of their contracts, and only then come up with an obviously bullshit reason for not releasing them.

As you might expect, no one is buying this explanation.

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Dana White: ‘Nick Diaz Is a Bad Ass’

Nick Diaz MMA UFC
(Clearly.)

Add Nick Diaz to the list of EliteXC refugees who Dana White may be looking to pick up. During an appearance on TapouT Radio Live, the UFC prez was complementary of Stockton’s favorite son, though he made it known that he doesn’t approve of Diaz’s confrontational antics:

“I think Nick Diaz is a bad ass. Nick Diaz is a tough kid. Nick Diaz doesn’t handle himself right all the time in public. I like him — I respect him as a fighter. I love his attitude. I love the way that kid fights. But you can’t do the stuff that this kid does in public. You can’t get into fights when the fight is over … you can’t do that stuff.”

Of course, we immediately think of Diaz’s in-cage taunts of KJ Noons and his father at EliteXC: The Return of the King in June — and the obscene gestures he makes at the crowd after his fights, which is something of a Diaz family tradition. But Dana White is likely also referring to a bizarre incident that took place after Diaz’s UFC 57 fight against Joe Riggs in February 2006. As Wikipedia retells it:

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Robbie Lawler A Free Man Soon, Perhaps Headed to UFC? Yes, Please.


(‘Sometimes I think there’s a disconnect between how I see myself and how the world perceives me to be.’)

From the sound of things, being a fighter under contract to EliteXC these days is a lot like being in a long distance relationship. You never know exactly what your status is, whether you’re free to make out with other people in bars, whether you’re still getting together over Thanksgiving, and what little contact you do have with one another is always tinged with confusion and regret. Fortunately for EliteXC middleweight champ Robbie Lawler, he has Monte Cox for an agent, and Monte knows just what to do in this situation: write a break-up letter.

Cox filed a breach of contract notice with Pro Elite last week, hoping to get Lawler free and clear of the sinking EliteXC ship so Lawler can ply his trade elsewhere, perhaps in the UFC:

“There’s a warranty clause in the contract that you can challenge if they have enough money to fulfill the contract,” Cox said. “Obviously, right now, they do not. I notified them of what I considered to be breach of contract and they have 30 days to respond. They have to prove they can fulfill it or we’re a free agent.”

[...]

“We’ve done everything we can do,” said Cox. “Now, they may fight [the claim of breach of contract], but we can’t do anything at the moment. Right now, there’s no one at Elite to even talk to us. If I wanted to ask, there’s nobody there.”

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Jared Shaw Wants Some Love

Elite XC’s Jared Shaw takes a little shot at yours truly in this MMA Rated interview, calling me Ben “UFC” Fowlkes, which I suppose is an implication that I’m pro-UFC and anti-Elite XC, although I like to think that my record as an equal opportunity critic speaks for itself. If an organization does dumb things, it’s my job to point it out. If one organization does more dumb things than others, they’re going to receive more criticism. That’s just how it works. If it makes me a hater, I can live with that. But since when do we all have to like everything?

$kala says he just wants some love for his fighters, not himself. Fair enough, Jared. You do have some good fighters in your organization. Guys like Jake Shields, Robbie Lawler, Wilson Reis, Nick Diaz, and “Ninja” Rua, just to name a few. These are all fighters that I enjoy watching. But your fighters aren’t what you’ve been criticized for, and I think you know it.

Let’s take the event you’ve got this Saturday, for example. On the undercard you’ve got a few interesting scraps between guys like Paul Daley and Jake Shields, Benji Radach and “Ninja” Rua, and a sweet little co-promotional joint between Affliction fighters Andrei Arlovski and Roy Nelson (nice work scoring that, by the way, whether you had anything to do with it or not).

But your main event features a 3-0 fighter in Kimbo Slice, who has yet to face an opponent coming off a win, taking on a forty-four-year-old legend of the sport who hasn’t won a fight or even made it out of the first round in over four years. And that’s your main event.

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Robbie Lawler vs. Joe Villasenor Will Be For The Title

(Champion Robbie Lawler with the most amorphous MMA CEO in town)

Word out of EliteXC (and reported on by MMA Weekly) is that the November 8th showdown between Robbie Lawler and Joey Villasenor will be for the 185 pound title. This is fantastic news for EliteXC and MMA fans alike. Lawler hasn’t faced any true tests since winning the title from an over matched Murilo Rua and so it’ll be good to see him go against some top flight talent in Joey Villasenor. A more recognized name than Scott Smith, Villasenor should provide the EliteXC execs with the paycheck they’ve been looking for.

The now-Greg Jackson taught Villasenor is undefeated since losing a battle to Rua in 2007, and has looked very impressive over increasingly difficult competition. “Smokin’ Joe” suffered a flying knee loss to Lawler back in 2006 PRIDE competition, but both men would attest that they are much different fighters. At any rate, the fight represents a fascinating match from all perspectives.

Both men love to strike and it’s no surprise that most expect this to avoid a decision end. Additionally, the 185 pound title represents EliteXC’s most legitimate division and it’s encouraging to see that the promoters are competent enough to book solid fights when it matters.

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The Top 10 Greatest MMA Bloodbaths

10. Randy Couture vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
(UFC 74, 8/25/07)


At 44 years of age, Randy Couture was the one who was supposed to look busted up after his heavyweight championship match with 29-year-old Brazilian wrecking ball Gabriel Gonzaga. But in one of the greatest triumphs of his career, Couture broke down the bigger, younger fighter with his wrestling and dirty boxing. About three minutes into the first round, blood began to pour out of Gonzaga’s shattered nose, giving Randy’s back a nice, red coat. The steady flow interrupts the challenger’s breathing and vision, leading to a brutal ground-and-pound finish in the third.

9. Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith
(EliteXC: Unfinished Business, 7/26/08)


In the second round of their EliteXC middleweight championship do-over, Scott Smith nailed Robbie Lawler with a series of standing elbows that opened up an ugly gash on the top of Lawler’s head. With blood pouring out of the wound, Lawler turned up the intensity, doing his best to finish Smith before a doctor could stop the fight. About 90 seconds later, he succeeded — but not before a spray of “plasma” fell into commentator Mauro Ranallo’s lap. The video doesn’t really do it justice; you should also check out this photo from the fight, and this photo of the aftermath.

8. Chase Beebe vs. Eddie Wineland
(WEC 26, 3/24/07)

Chase Beebe Eddie Wineland WEC MMA
It may have been the most grisly demolition of a cauliflower ear in MMA history. Midway through a five-round bantamweight title match, challenger Chase Beebe dropped an elbow from the top that burst Eddie Wineland’s overripe right ear, causing it to spray blood several feet across the mat. Wineland, who had already suffered multiple cuts near his eyes from Beebe’s precision striking, soldiered on to the fifth-round bell with what appeared to be a gaping hole in the side of his head. Beebe took home the belt and Wineland hasn’t fought in the WEC since.

After the jump: Things really start to get disgusting.

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