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Tag: Rousimar Palhares

Sokoudjou and Gurgel Get Laid Off + More UFC News


(Photo courtesy of daylife.com.)

Well, it looks like the Octagon will be short one dreadlocked Camaroonian. Multiple sources have confirmed that charismatic Team Quest fighter Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou has been released from his fight contract following his TKO loss to light-heavyweight up-and-comer Luis Cane at UFC 89 last month; the defeat dropped Soko’s UFC record down to 1-2, and his overall record to 5-3. Though he entered the UFC on a wave of hype last year with quick knockout victories over PRIDE stars Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Ricardo Arona under his belt, Sokodjou’s relative inexperience was exposed in his unsuccessful debut against Lyoto Machida, and now he’s been pink-slipped to sharpen up his game elsewhere.

Speaking of fighters who never lived up to the promise of their pre-UFC performances, Rich Franklin’s BFF Jorge Gurgel has been cut — despite winning a $60,000 Fight of the Night bonus at UFC 91 — and picked up by Strikeforce. Gurgel’s decision loss to Aaron Riley earlier this month was just another frustrating example of Gurgel brawling his way to defeat rather than use the fearsome jiu-jitsu that earned him a 9-1 record (with all wins by submission) before being signed by the UFC. Within the Octagon, Gurgel went 3-4, with all but one fight going to a decision.

Though he told MMA Junkie that the cut was "very humiliating" and "a crushing of my childhood dream," he also sounded hopeful in a press release distributed by Strikeforce, saying "To me, this is like a new start. I’m coming in fresh…I make some bad decisions because I have too much fun. I have never used my Jiu Jitsu in the UFC…[people] ask me why I don’t use my Jiu-Jitsu. I have so much fun standing up and I completely think I’m winning all the time…I will always bring the same intensity and I’m always going to fight 110 percent. I just want to be able to use everything that I know."

UFC 91 PPV numbers and more after the jump…

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UFC 88: The Highlights


(Chuck Liddell vs. Rashad Evans)


(Nate Marquardt vs. Martin Kampmann)


(Dan Henderson vs. Rousimar Palhares)

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Friday Link Dump: UFC 88 Edition


(Photo courtesy of Combat Lifestyle.)

- Do some UFC 88 pre-partying with Randy Couture. (Xtreme Couture)

- Mario Sperry betting on a Palhares victory, literally. (Tatame)

- Stone Cold Steve Austin breaks down Kimbo Slice-Ken Shamrock. (YouTube)

- Arguing over UFC 88, Randy’s return, and more. (MMA Rated)

- Martin Kampmann is ready to “kick ass.” (MMA Mania)

- Brock Lesnar got jokes. (Steve Cofield)

- One punch KO’s bully. (Nothing Toxic)

- Jerry Seinfeld/Bill Gates team up to produce something…strange. (Wall Street Fighter)

- Sarah Palin steps up to the mic. (Holy Taco)

- 11 craziest Ann Coulter moments. (Screen Junkies)

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Dan Henderson Still Dreams of Greatness


(The good, not-so-old days…)

The way Dan Henderson sees it, this fight with Rousimar Palhares is just a step he has to take in order to get that rematch with Anderson Silva. In a recent interview with Yahoo! Sports he admitted to not knowing who Palhares was when he accepted the fight — though he did some internet research and figured it out — and then went on to diagnose what went wrong for him against “The Spider” and how he plans to remedy that the next go-round:

“He’s got holes in his game,” said Henderson, who won the first round of the fight, before getting tired and being submitted in the second round. “He’s very athletic and can get away with it. I felt my conditioning was off. I got a little tired and didn’t push the takedown in the second round. If I’d have gotten it, I’d have won the round. I should have been more aggressive when I had him down in the first round. I didn’t expect to finish him so I didn’t try. I was looking to win the round.”

First off, it’s pretty generous to go ahead and attribute the loss entirely to fatigue in the second round. It’s true that Henderson did look to have Silva somewhat figured out in that first round. Trouble is, championship fights go five rounds, and if you don’t plan to finish someone, you’d damn well better be ready to go all five.

But it does remind us that Hendo is still a credible middleweight title challenger at a time when the UFC is desperate for them (no offense, Patrick Cote…okay, a little offense). When viewed through that prism, Henderson-Palhares is suddenly a lot more interesting. Can Henderson show that he’s got his cardio act together, and is thus deserving of another shot at Silva? Will fans give a damn if he does, or is Silva too far out in the stratosphere of pound-for-pound brilliance for the UFC to drum up sufficient interest in rematches with people he’s already beaten?

We’ll have to wait and see, but if Henderson goes out on Saturday and throttles Palhares, don’t be surprised if it’s followed by Mike Goldberg doing the old UFC hard sell on Henderson as number one contender. First he has to win the fight though, and preferably look for a finish this time.

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UFC 88′s Middleweights Size Each Other Up, Lesnar and Couture Talk Strategy


(Dan Henderson and Rousimar Palhares)


(Martin Kampmann and Nate Marquardt)

Courtesy of ESPN video. After the jump: The latest episode of MMA Live, where Dana White discusses Randy Couture’s return to the UFC (and calls Fedor “irrelevant” again), Randy and Brock have an in-studio face-off, and Frank Mir teaches us the armbar that broke Tim Sylvia’s arm.

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Ben vs. Ben: The UFC 88 Argument


(‘Sup, pussies.)

It’s that time again, Potato Nation. Cage Potato’s two Bens square off on a host of issues swirling around UFC 88, including what’s to become of Rich Franklin as a light heavyweight, who has the best chances to score an upset on Saturday night, and more. Let’s get it, as they say, on.

Does Chuck Liddell really deserve a title shot if he beats Rashad Evans?

Goldstein: A two-fight win streak isn’t much, but it’ll be more than any other top-tier UFC light-heavyweight contender can boast on Sunday morning, with the exception of Lyoto Machida and Thiago Silva — and one of those guys is going to take his first loss next month. The question really is: Who deserves it more, Chuck or the winner of that all-Brazilian eliminator match?

In terms of creating a title fight that fans want to see, Liddell has to be at the front of the line. Chuck vs. Forrest will get fans insanely fired up. The alternative is watching Forrest and (probably) Machida dance around each other for five rounds — I have my doubts about the entertainment value of that matchup. And not to play the race card, but I understand why an American MMA organization is hesitant to create a situation where three of its five champions, as Mike Goldberg would say, “speak the Portuguesa.” (I’m counting Big Nog as one of them, of course; he’s my pick to come out on top of the imminent four-man heavyweight “tournament,” but that’s another debate.)

Chuck’s been unwaveringly loyal to the UFC during his career, and he deserves to be treated well in his final years with the company. If that means jumping ahead of someone who may deserve it more in terms of merit, so be it. Though if they want to put Liddell against Anderson Silva in December before he gets a shot at the belt, well, that’s cool too.

Fowlkes: When it comes to the UFC and title shots, I like to remind myself of a line from the movie Unforgiven: deserve’s got nothing to do with it. In a perfect fighting world, the fight would be set up so that the winner gets a title shot, regardless of who that is. But we both know that even if “Sugar” wins he’s not shooting to the top of the list. So the question is, would beating Evans be enough to reasonably justify putting Liddell up against Forrest Griffin next, which is the fight the UFC really wants to make?

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Dan Henderson to Return at UFC 88

Dan Henderson UFC
(Photo courtesy of DanHenderson.com)

MMA Weekly reports that Dan Henderson’s next Octagon appearance will be a middleweight bout against Rousimar Palhares at UFC 88 (September 6th, Atlanta). Palhares (8-1) is the Brazilian Top Team rising star who pwned Ivan Salaverry so hardcore during his Octagon debut at UFC 84 that Salaverry retired from fighting. Henderson is coming off of back-to-back title fight losses, to Quinton Jackson at UFC 75 and Anderson Silva at UFC 82. Palhares has serious potential, to be sure, but his relative lack of experience puts him at a great disadvantage against one of the most accomplished fighters in the world. Still, if Palhares can pull off an upset, he’ll put himself in the mix for a middleweight title shot.

In other UFC fight-booking news…

Joe Lauzon has agreed to fight Kyle Bradley at UFC Fight Night 15 (September 17th; Omaha, Nebraska). Bradley, a Team Voodoo product and veteran of various regional leagues, made his Octagon debut as a welterweight at UFC 81, where he was destroyed by Chris Lytle in 33 seconds. He’ll now be fighting at his natural weight of 155.

— Rory Markham, a Bettendorf-based IFL standout who most recently submitted Jay Ellis at Adrenaline 1 on June 14th, will be making his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 14 (July 19th, Las Vegas). His opponent will be Brodie Farber, a former Rage in the Cage middleweight champion who’s won his last six fights in the MMA Xtreme organization.

— Thomasz Drwal, the Polish light-heavyweight whose 13-fight win streak was snapped by Thiago Silva at UFC 75, will make his second Octagon appearance at UFC 87 (August 9th, Minneapolis) against 5-0 IFL veteran Andre Gusmao. Drwal was slated to fight David Heath in February, but was forced to pull out of the bout with a knee injury.

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UFC 84: Full Payout Figures

Wanderlei Silva UFC
($225,000: Enough to buy a new pickup truck and a healthy white baby.)

Official salary and bonus numbers for UFC 84′s fighters have been released by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Here’s how the guys stacked up:

B.J. Penn: $250,000 ($125,000 to show, $125,000 to win)
Wanderlei Silva: $225,000 ($150,000 to show*, $75,000 for Knockout of the Night)
Tito Ortiz: $210,000
Lyoto Machida: $100,000 ($50,000 to show, $50,000 to win)
Wilson Gouveia: $93,000 ($18,000 to show, $75,000 for Fight of the Night)
Rousimar Palhares: $85,000 ($5,000 to show, $5,000 to win, $75,000 for Submission of the Night)
Goran Reljic: $81,000 ($3,000 to show, $3,000 to win, $75,000 for Fight of the Night)
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou: $80,000 ($40,000 to show, $40,000 to win)
Thiago Silva: $50,000 ($25,000 to show, $25,000 to win)
Rich Clementi: $40,000 ($20,000 to show, $20,000 to win)
Dong Hyun Kim: $40,000 ($20,000 to show, $20,000 to win)
Sean Sherk: $35,000
Kazuhiro Nakamura: $20,000
Ivan Salaverry: $20,000
Shane Carwin: $12,000 ($6,000 to show, $6,000 to win)
Yoshiyuki Yoshida: $12,000 ($6,000 to show, $6,000 to win)
Terry Etim: $10,000
Keith Jardine: $10,000
Christian Wellisch: $10,000
Jon Koppenhaver: $8,000
Antonio Mendes: $4,000
Jason Tan: $3,000
* Wanderlei Silva’s guaranteed $150,000 salary doesn’t depend on a win bonus.

Overpaid: Wilson Gouveia. Looking back on UFC 84 a year from now, is the two-round almost-war between Gouveia and Goran Reljic going to be remembered by anyone? Yes, Reljic’s relentless left head-kicks were pretty, but Gouveia should have eventually figured out that they were coming. (For us, the presence of Mirko Cro Cop in Reljic’s corner was the early tip-off.)

Underpaid: A lot of people — particularly Shane Carwin, whose Knockout of the Night bonus was robbed from him by Wanderlei Silva. The way I saw it, Carwin’s single-punch, mouthpiece-ejecting KO of Christian Wellisch was more deserving then Wandy’s slightly more prolonged ground-and-pound TKO of Jardine, and Carwin could probably use the money more. Other than that, what the fuck is up with the UFC’s newcomers making three, four, and six thousand dollars to show? Goddamned slave wages. The UFC made $3.7 million off of “Ill Will”‘s gate; they could certainly afford to establish a minimum base salary of $10,000 for their fighters if they wanted to.

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UFC 84 Fight Videos

Get ‘em while they last…

BJ Penn vs. Sean Sherk

Wanderlei Silva vs. Keith Jardine (Knockout of the Night)

Rousimar Palhares vs. Ivan Salaverry (Submission of the Night)

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Rousimar Palhares vs. Negao + Acacio

One UFC newcomer we forgot to mention in our post on the UFC 84 lineup was Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares, a 7-1 Brazilian Top Team fighter who will be facing off against middleweight Ivan Salaverry on the show’s undercard. Five of Palhares’s seven wins have come via first-round submission. To give you a taste of what “Toquinho” is capable of, here are his two fights from a single-night, four-man Fury FC tournament last December, where Palhares defeated Fabio Negao and Daniel Acacio, both by leglock.

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