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Tag: Robbie Lawler

Matt Hughes Predicts the Demise of Strikeforce


(This Christmas, why not give the gift that will rest on your child’s bedside table, silently judging him while he sleeps?)

Matt Hughes doesn’t want to alarm anyone, but he’s pretty sure that Strikeforce is doomed. It’s no one’s fault — other than Showtime, which is totally at fault — but we all might as well accept it, according to Country Breakfast.  Hughes updated his blog today, discussing the disappointing turn of events that led to his bro-4-life Robbie Lawler going fightless on Saturday night. Hughes makes vague reference to Showtime’s interference in the process, and seems to believe that this will be Strikeforce’s undoing, sooner rather than later. Wrote Hughes:

Last week I was in California with Robbie, Pena, and Foster, hoping they would find a replacement so Robbie could fight. It didn’t happen and I guess I’m just spoiled being with the UFC. From what I understand, Showtime really likes to stick their nose in Strikeforce’s business and because of that I don’t think that Strikeforce will be around for much longer; but enough with that.

That’s a bummer. Especially for all the fighters planning on competing on their next CBS show in April. For all we know, Strikeforce may not even be around by then. Someone better go tell Scott Coker, but be gentle. This isn’t going to be easy for him to hear.

Hughes didn’t stop with visions of Strikeforce’s coming collapse, however. He also answered critics who say that his planned scrap with Renzo Gracie in Abu Dhabi on April 10 is a pointless bout:

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Robbie Lawler vs. Trevor Prangley Bout Removed From Saturday’s Strikeforce Card

Robbie Lawler St. Louis Fredbird
("Okay Robbie, I’ll take the fight under two conditions. First, we do it at a catchweight of 195. And no pre-fight drug test. That one’s kind of non-negotiable." Photo courtesy of flickr.com/photos/shosports.)

Though Robbie Lawler was slated to face South African veteran Trevor Prangley at this Saturday’s Strikeforce: Le vs. Smith event, plans changed when Prangley was forced to pull out due to a knee injury suffered in training. Strikeforce scrambled to find another opponent for Ruthless this week, but a suitable replacement didn’t turn up, so Lawler’s fight has been scrapped altogether. Bummer. Lawler hasn’t competed since his first-round submission loss against Jake Shields in June; the organization hopes to place him on their "Miami" show on January 30th.

With Lawler vs. Prangley off the docket, the Strikeforce: Le vs. Smith lineup looks like this…

Showtime televised card (10 p.m. ET/PT)
Cung Le vs. Scott Smith
Josh Thomson vs. Gilbert Melendez (for unified lightweight title)
Matt Lindland vs. Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza
Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal vs. Mike Whitehead

Preliminary card
Antwain Britt vs. Scott Lighty
Daisuke Nakamura vs. Justin Wilcox
Juan Nunez vs. Luis Mendoza
Bobby Stack vs. Alex Trevino
Alex Crispim vs. A.J. Fonseca

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With Signing of Melvin Manhoef, Strikeforce Just Got 47% More Psycho

Listen up, Strikeforce middleweights.  If you woke up this morning feeling an unexplained aching sensation in your skull region, it’s not an allergic reaction to last night’s Nyquil and Vicodin cocktail, it’s just your body preparing itself for what’s to come.  It’s all because terrifyingly aggressive Dutch striker Melvin Manhoef just signed with Strikeforce to fight exclusively for them in the U.S.  That means Manhoef will still be able to do his thing in Japan from time to time, but he’s expected to make his Strikeforce debut some time between now and early 2010, and is supposedly even being considered as a replacement opponent for Robbie Lawler on the December 10 "Evolution" event in San Jose.

The thing about Manhoef is, while he will almost certainly never be champion in an organization with so many adept grapplers, he’ll also never be in a boring fight.  Yeah, he can be taken down and submitted, and ideally you’d like to see more improvement in that area of his game from a guy who’s been in the sport for that long.  But the man is a human tornado of pain.  To put it in terms Dana White would appreciate, if you had a basketball game on one corner, a baseball game on another, a football game on a third, and a fight on the fourth, a crowd of people would still walk to the next block to see Manhoef go crazy on some poor bastard.  I mean, the guy knocked out Mark Hunt for crying out loud.

If you don’t believe it, get your fill after the jump.  Unless you’re a fan of Sakuraba, Evangelista Santos, or intact brain cells.

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Matt Hughes Eyeing April Return

Matt Hughes
(Hughes isn’t even going to pretend to be interested in Dana White’s slides from his vacation to Disneyworld.  Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Matt Hughes may finally have a date for his next UFC bout, though he doesn’t have an official opponent just yet.  According to his blog, Hughes says he’ll likely be back in action on April 10, which would put him on the UFC 112 fight card.  He says he’ll tell fans "who and where" he’ll be fighting when it’s officially confirmed.  Renzo Gracie has been mentioned as a possible opponent for Hughes, though the Brazilian later shot down reports that the two would get it on as soon as February.  The mere fact that Hughes hasn’t publicly shot down the idea of facing Gracie, as he has with almost every other plausible suggestion offered to him, is somewhat encouraging. 

In other news via Hughes’ blog, Robbie Lawler and his wife are expecting a baby boy in February.  Hughes acknowledged that the information wasn’t "quite public, but I’ve never been that guy to keep my mouth shut."  It’s probably best he went ahead and told us.  A quick glance at Robbie Lawler’s blog reveals that he’s written a grand total of twelve entries in a year and a half, and none since July.  And here I always just assumed that Lawler’s blog would be a steady stream of You Tube clips of kittens doing cute stuff.  Guess you never really know anyone as well as you think you do.

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The Potato Index: WEC/Strikeforce Double Feature

Brett Rogers KO's Andrei Arlovski
(How’s taste this career-shattering loss? Photo by Esther Lin for Showtime Sports.)

What a weekend of fights, and amazingly, all without the benefit of the initials “UFC.”  Instead we had Strikeforce and the WEC (okay, a Zuffa property, but still) teaming up to blow our minds without charging us fifty bucks for a pay-per-view.  Now we begin the difficult task of using the Potato Index’s completely arbitrary numerical rankings system to see who’s up and who’s down after the eventful weekend.

Mike Brown +209
He beat Faber fair and square, no flukes needed, and he also proved he can last through five tough rounds.  Instead of making broken hand-related excuses for Faber, let’s finally all give Brown the unqualified props he clearly deserves.

Urijah Faber -37
We can play the ‘what if?’ game with his broken hand all we want, but that’s the fight game.  That he still fought well and fought hard afterwards, even in a losing effort, deserves to be mentioned.  But he’s not the world’s best featherweight as long as Brownie is around, and that deserves mentioning too.

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Videos: Jake Shields vs. Robbie Lawler, Joe Riggs vs. Phil Baroni


(Props: MMA Scraps)

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“Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields” — Blow by Blow

Robbie Lawler Jake Shields MMA Strikeforce
("Guys, you can get some of those cupcakes *after* we take this face-off picture, okay? Guys?" Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Hello, and welcome to a special "From Press Row" edition of the CagePotato liveblog. That’s right – I’m typing to you from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis tonight, not from my usual spot on my couch in Brooklyn. The good part? I’m about 25 feet from the cage and wedged between some of the brightest minds in MMA journalism. The bad part? Slamming beers, eating wings, and loudly showing bias towards my favorite fighters is frowned upon here, apparently. But we’re gonna try to have a good time anyway. Live round-by-round results are after the jump, starting at 9 p.m. CT. Hit that "read more" link and refresh the page every few minutes to get all the latest. Time to do work, son.

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“Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields” Weigh-In Results

Kevin Randleman MMA Strikeforce
(Kevin Randleman is athletic *and* explosive! Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

All fighters successfully weighed in today for Saturday’s Strikeforce event, which will be held at the Scottrade Center and broadcast on Showtime. CageWriter passes along this little detail from the weigh-in:

Phil Baroni came out in a bathrobe, and yelled at the Showtime employee trying to direct the fighters for cameras. Nick Diaz responded to a fan who yelled, "Nick the [expletive]" by flipping the middle finger.

Yeah, that sounds about right. The numbers are after the jump. Don’t forget to swing by tomorrow night starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT as we liveblog the televised card. Fire up, Potato Nation!

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Friday Link Dump

Robbie Lawler Strikeforce MMA St. Louis mascot Fredbird
(Fredbird hypes up Robbie Lawler before he throws out the first pitch at yesterday’s Cardinals/Reds game at Busch Stadium. Photo courtesy of Esther Lin/Strikeforce.)

- Urijah Faber and Mike Brown fill out Sports Illustrated‘s "Cheerleader of the Week" questionnaire. Hilarity ensues. (Asylum)

- Due to Cung Le’s movie career, Strikeforce will soon introduce an interim middleweight belt. (CageWriter)

- As if Team U.S.A. needed another reason to hate Jason Pierce. (SPIKE)

- Fedor Emelianenko discusses why he couldn’t sign with the UFC. (MMA Fanhouse)

- USA Wrestling is trying to bribe wrestlers not to jump ship to MMA. (Fightlinker)

- It’ll be Choi vs. Minowa and Mousasi vs. Sokoudjou in the second round of DREAM’s "Super Hulk" tournament. (MMA Mania)

- Kenny Florian will join the broadcast team at WEC 41 on Sunday. (MMA Junkie)

- Weigh-in results for tonight’s Bellator show. (MMA Madness)

- Mike Brown discusses how he got his start in fighting, and how his loss to Joe Lauzon turned his career around. (Scores Report)

- Urijah Faber is packing on leg muscle and working on a clothing line. (Ask Men)

- Redneck backyard MMA fight ends in head-kick KO. (NothingToxic)

- Spiders Flee From Paris Hilton’s Vagina. (HolyTaco)

- Trailer and production photos from It Might Get Loud, starring Jimmy Page, Jack White, and the Edge. (ScreenJunkies)

- Wreck of the Week: Drunk Fan Edition. (AllLeftTurns)

- Daily Market Madness. (WallStreetFighter)

- The Citizen Kane of beer pong trick-shot videos. (Break)

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Ben vs. Ben — Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields + WEC 41 Double-Feature

Jake Shields Robbie Lawler MMA Strikeforce
(My God, the animosity between these two. It’s like the entire room could burst into flames at any moment.)

MMA fans have a full dance-card this weekend, with Strikeforce putting on a stacked Showtime event on Saturday night (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT), and the WEC following it up on Sunday night with a show on Versus headlined by featherweight champion Mike Brown’s second meeting with Urijah Faber (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). Be sure to come back here Saturday night for the Strikeforce liveblog — and get psyched for the whole shebang by reading the latest installment of the longest-running MMA argument on the Internet. Ben vs. Ben starts right now

Brett Rogers says he wants to stand and bang with Andrei Arlovski on Saturday. That sounds like a horrible idea for "The Grimm," given that Arlovski is just as big and strong as he is but with much more technical striking. Does Rogers stand a chance with that strategy, or is he an unconscious man walking at this point?

BG: WTF? Is Rogers supposed to take Arlovski down and sub him out with his battle-tested Grimjitsu? I’m not trying to hate on Brett’s ground game, because none of us have actually seen it; he’s a brawler, and thus far he’s only had to face other brawlers. Arlovski, on the other hand, actually has some submission skills in his back pocket. So while we know that Rogers will be fighting an uphill battle on Saturday night, I’d say his odds decrease even further if the fight goes anywhere else besides stand-and-bangville.

Brett’s only shot is to stick to his bread-and-butter and swing those hamhocks. The fact that Arlovski’s hands are far more technical means that the Grimm will probably get picked apart. But Arlovski’s unreliable chin makes him vulnerable to what Rogers brings into the cage. That’s what makes this fight compelling for me: Brett Rogers definitely should not be able to beat Andrei Arlovski — but he just might.

BF: With regard to the submission skills in Arlovski’s back pocket, I hope your finger slipped and you really meant to type ‘submission skill.’ As in, his straight achilles lock. That’s all the dude’s got on the mat and he goes to it like it’s his signature killer move, so let’s not pretend that there any Arlovski-platas in the near future.

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