Steroids in MMA
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Tag: Robbie Lawler

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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Gambling Addiction Enabler: Strikeforce – Lawler vs. Shields

Brett Rogers
(If Arlovski comes in with the same game plan as that big-ass tire, at least we know Rogers will be ready for him.)

There are exactly two indicators that something is important in contemporary American society: 1) there is a commemorative plate about it, and 2) you can bet on it.  Don’t believe me?  Then just consider two of the most important things happening in MMA this week – the Strikeforce event on Showtime this Saturday night, and the “Ultimate Fighter” Kimbo-mania that has set the internets on fire. Kimbo Slice is currently a +275 underdog to make it into the final two on this season of TUF.  The fact that there’s even a line this early on tells you what a big deal it is.  Still waiting on that commemorative plate, though.

Of course, if you like something closer to immediate gratification, you can just choose from these lines on Saturday’s Strikeforce fights, courtesy of BestFightOdds.com:

Jake Shields (-115) vs. Robbie Lawler (-105)
Brett Rogers (+300) vs. Andrei Arlovski (-340)
Joe Riggs (+105) vs. Phil Baroni (-115)
Scott Smith (+300) vs. Nick Diaz (-310)
Kevin Randleman (-110) vs. Mike Whitehead (+105)
Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante (-370) vs. Mike Kyle (+300)

The breakdown…

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Riggs a No-Show For Strikeforce Conference Call, Baroni Continues to Talk About His Sex Life


(Some say Goldberg had a legit sexual harassment claim after what happens in the 0:49 mark in this interview, but clearly he was asking for it walking in there dressed like that.)

The war of words between Strikeforce fighters Joe Riggs and Phil Baroni this week seemed to promise an interesting encounter on today’s media conference call to promote Saturday night’s Strikeforce event on Showtime.  The only problem is that Riggs failed to pick up a phone in time, so Baroni was left alone with Jake Shields and the notoriously tight-lipped Robbie Lawler to do all the talking.  Fortunately Baroni had prepared all his life for just such a moment.

Some highlights from the NYBA:

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