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The 10 Greatest TUF Winner Fails of All Time

Dan Henderson Michael Bisping
(Where’s your glass trophy now, playboy? Props:

By CagePotato contributor Jim Genia

In a perfect world, The Ultimate Fighter would give us an up close and personal look at some of the most promising mixed martial artists out there, vying for greatness in the crucible of combat. But in reality, it’s become a perversion of manufactured drama and prefabricated stars — stars made bright not by the depth of the competition they must face but by the trouncing of whatever hapless wannabes a SpikeTV producer chose at the tryouts. You see, it stopped being about “who’s the best” a long time ago, and was twisted into “who makes for the best TV,” so what we get now is more Jersey Shore than Ultimate Fighting Championship, only instead of Snooki and JWoww’s cleavage we get an IFL champ or Sengoku veteran beating the ever-loving crap out of people with maybe a handful (if that) of fights.

That’s why, when a TUF winner loses in Octagon — sometimes after facing real UFC-level competition for the first time — it’s totally awesome! Because, sure, Michael Bisping, Joe Stevenson and Mac Danzig are tough, likeable guys, but don’t try to fool us into thinking they’re the definition of “badass” just because they defeated a personal trainer from New Orleans, a boxer from Maine and some kid who should be working on a farm. We’re not the ignorant general public flicking through the channels, we’re knowledgeable MMA fans. We know better!

Therefore, here, in no particular order, is a list of the ten greatest TUF winner fails of all time. It’s a list based not on animosity towards any particular fighter, but on animosity towards the Spike TV executive who skipped over the few hundred fighter hopefuls with real talent and real skill, and instead chose the clown with the funky hair, the drinking problem and the propensity for trashing houses…

Michael Bisping vs. Dan Henderson, UFC 100
British fighter Michael Bisping was a stud in the UK MMA scene (which is a lot like saying you’re a gold medalist in the Special Olympics) when he got the call to compete on TUF, and he took Season 3 top honors after beating, well, pretty much no one of note. But he continued to rack up wins on the pay-per-views, defeating such marginables as Elvis Sinosic, Charles McCarthy and Jason Day. However, TUF 9 saw him pitted against Dan Henderson as an opposing coach, and we were supposed to believe the inevitable Octagon conflict between them would be competitive. It wasn’t, and fans everywhere rejoiced over a knockout so devastating Bisping has no recollection of anything to do with the weekend of July 11, 2009 and about nine days before and after.


‘UFC Fight Night 22: Marquardt vs. Palhares’ — Live Results and Commentary

Nate Marquardt Chandella Powell UFC weigh-ins photos
(Sometimes you forget how enormous Nate Marquardt is, and then you see him standing next to Chandella Powell and you’re like "damn, bro." / Photo courtesy of the UFN 22 Weigh In Pics gallery on

What happens when you put two massively-jacked, notoriously aggressive middleweights in a cage together, one of whom is returning from a three-month suspension for his complete disregard of his opponents’ safety? Great things, we’re sure! Live play-by-play for tonight’s UFC Fight Night 22 event on Spike will be poppin’ off after the jump starting at 8 p.m. ET. Check your local listings before wading into spoilers, and refresh the page every few minutes to get all the latest results for Marquardt vs. Palhares, Efrain "El Gordo" Escudero vs. Charles Oliveira, Jim Miller vs. Gleison Tibau, and the outspoken Cole Miller vs. TUF 9 champ Ross Pearson. Be sure to stick around afterwards for the premiere of The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck — or just read our episode recap tomorrow morning.


Bum Rush Rant: Cole Miller Lashes Out at Fighters Who Do Just Enough to Get By, Calls Cecil Peoples the ‘Antichrist of Judging’

Cole Miller Ross Pearson UFC Fight Night 22 weigh-in photos
("Wrestling should be a means to an end…You should be taking guys down so you can ground-and-pound the living piss out of them." Photo courtesy of the UFN 22 Weigh In Pics gallery on

If Cole Miller‘s match against Ross Pearson at tonight’s UFC Fight Night 22 event is boring, it won’t be Cole’s fault. The lightweight standout prides himself on being an exciting fight-finisher, and has stopped three of his last four opponents by submission. Miller was a guest on the latest installment of CagePotato’s Bum Rush Radio Show, and gave us an earful about the growing trend of point-fighting "underachievers" in MMA and why judging in the sport sucks so badly. Check out an excerpt from Miller’s segment below, and please subscribe to The Bum Rush Show on iTunes!

CAGEPOTATO.COM: I just saw your interview with, where you referred to Frankie Edgar as a "bouncy wrestler type" who doesn’t try to finish, and is content to just stick and move and score the occasional takedown for points. Was Frankie dominating BJ Penn really not that impressive to you?
COLE MILLER: No, I thought it was very impressive. I don’t think you can say anything about his skill set. It’s just more like, I look back at his past fights — and it’s not so much Frankie Edgar, it’s just a trend with all weight classes and all these fighters — and it’s becoming more like boxing where these guys are just trying to do enough to win the round. "Let’s do just enough to get by. Let’s get that 10 points. And then let’s get that 10 points again. Oh, I’m up two rounds to none? Man, let’s just ride this out. Let’s just survive and do enough to just stay competitive, and man, I got that 29-28 at the very least."

It’s like, that’s really what you came here to do? And I’m not talking so much about Frankie [in] this second BJ fight. I’m just using him as an example because it was a recent fight and he’s a guy that has a lot of decisions on his record. Man the guy can really box, the guy’s got awesome boxing, he’s got good footwork, he definitely comes in shape, and he didn’t look like a slouch on the ground, he’s very well rounded, so to say that you’re not impressed with somebody, especially a champion, I think that’s kind of silly…it’s more like the mental approach to fighting. I just think that guys should have more of a finishing outlook on fights. Doing enough to just get by, that’s not something that’s looked well upon.

You look at boxing, why is MMA outdoing it on pay-per-view for the most part? It’s not because people can appreciate the takedowns and the ground game all that much more, even though the general population is becoming more and more educated, it’s because people like to see fights finished. Boxing was not getting the knockouts and you weren’t seeing these devastating knockouts like you used to, and people stopped buying the pay per views because the general public doesn’t want to see 36 minutes of two guys both trying to do enough to win the rounds and get that 10, and get that 10, and get that 10….


‘TUF 9′ Winner Ross Pearson Draws Aaron Riley for UFC 105

Ross Pearson MMA UFC
(Write on his boots at your own peril. Photo courtesy of

After winning a unanimous decision over Andre Winner at the TUF 9 finale to score the season’s lightweight contract, former Team U.K. member Ross Pearson is set to begin his post-TUF career at UFC 105 (November 14th, Manchester). MMA Weekly reports that Pearson will take on Aaron Riley, who’s coming off his own decision win against Shane Nelson at UFC 101.

Team U.K. will be dominating the Manchester card, with welterweight winner James Wilks reportedly fighting Matt Brown, lightweight runner-up Andre Winner booked against Roli Delgado, and coach Michael Bisping slated to fight Denis Kang in the co-headlining bout; the card’s main event hasn’t yet been determined. Elsewhere on the card, Team U.S.A. welterweight nemesis DaMarques Johnson takes on German fighter Peter Sobotta, Paul Kelly faces Dennis Siver — another German fighter; do we detect an Allies vs. Axis theme? — and rising welterweight star Dan Hardy will likely fight Dong Hyun Kim. The event is expected to be broadcast for free on Spike.

Related: "I am going to go for the KO like Hendo!…To me he is not ‘cocky Michael Bisping,’ he is just a sack of flesh and bones across the Octagon that I am waiting to pound on." — Denis Kang


The Lyoto Machida “Karate for MMA” Pick-Off Contest: Round 2

With MMA Madness reporting that Frank Lester vs. Nick Osipczak will be added to the TUF 9 finale, and the Grant/Markham scrap taken off the card, we have a pretty solid idea of what Saturday’s show will look like, barring any last-minute surprises. Here’s the lineup:

Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida (LW)
DaMarques Johnson vs. James Wilks (TUF 9 welterweight finals)
Ross Pearson vs. Andre Winner (TUF 9 lightweight finals)
Joe Stevenson vs. Nate Diaz (LW)
Chris Lytle vs. Kevin Burns (WW)

Melvin Guillard vs. Gleison Tibau (LW)
Mike Ciesnolevicz vs. Tomasz Drwal (LHW)
Brad Blackburn vs. Edgar Garcia (WW)
Cameron Dollar vs. Jason Dent (LW)
Frank Lester vs. Nick Osipczak (WW)

So if you participated in round 1 of our pick-off contest and you still want the Lyoto Machida "Karate for Mixed Martial Arts" DVD set, read on…


The Ultimate Fighter 9.11 Recap: Team U.K. Claims the Lightweight Finals for the Queen

TUF 9 Ultimate Fighter lightweight bracket Winner Pearson
(The completed TUF 9 lightweight bracket; click above for larger image. Props to Wikipedia.)

With Damarques Johnson taking the first finale spot in the welterweight bracket, Team U.S. has momentum, and Dan Henderson says he wants to make the finale "Dana’s nightmare, no U.K. guys." But the Brits have other ideas. First up in the lightweight semis will be Team U.K.’s Andre Winner vs. Team U.S.’s Cameron Dollar, who’s struggling in practice due to injured cartilage in his ribs. "I catch a body shot or a kick, I’m gonna fold in half," he says.

Andre says Jason Pierce gave him some insight into Cameron’s striking, and all he really needs to do is stay away from the big right hook. He looks tight on the focus mitts. Andre also sucks his thumb, it turns out. Cameron says he can’t lose to a thumb-sucker, and prays he has God’s speed and the Devil’s rage.