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Gambling Addiction Enabler: ‘UFC 161: Evans vs. Henderson’ Edition

(What could have been. *cues Charlie Brown music* Photo via AlphaEntertainmentOnline.)

This Saturday night, Zuffa heads up North to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada for another injury-altered card which saw Renan Barao vs. Eddie Wineland cancelled due to an injury suffered by the interim bantamweight champion (you guessed it, the actual bantamweight champion was also unavailable due to injury) and replaced by Rashad Evans vs. Dan Henderson as your main event. So…who’s looking forward to all the excitement of 50+ takedown attempts? You guys? ANYONE?!

Join us now as we try to find a way into the winner’s circle by highlighting a few undercard and all main card bouts for UFC 161. All betting lines courtesy of BestFightOdds.

Undercard bouts:

John Maguire (-250) vs Mitch Clarke (+210)

Mitch Clarke will be looking for his first win in his third contest inside the Octagon against -250 betting favorite John Maguire. Both fighters are coming off back-to-back losses and may be fighting for the right to stay in the UFC, so to assume that both men will be giving an honest fight would be an understatement. John Maguire looked outstanding in his first two outings but clearly hit the wall when facing more well-rounded fighters in the 170lbs division. Playing MMA math is not always wise, but Maguire may win this fight due to the level of competition he has faced in the UFC compared to that of Mitch Clarke. Maguire to win.


Booking Roundup: Uriah Hall Draws Nick Ring for UFC on FOX Sports 1:1, Soa Palelei’s Return Finally Set

Perhaps the only thing more dangerous than accepting a coaching gig on The Ultimate Fighter is being heralded by Dana White as “the next Anderson Silva” while still participating on the reality show. Ten seasons ago, it was Phillipe Nover who drew the unjust and bombastic comparisons to the pound-for-pound king. Though a loss to Efrain Escudero — who would also become one of the show’s more notorious washouts — in the season’s finale may have not derailed his hype train entirely, his consecutive losses to Kyle Bradley (ouch.) and Robert Emerson (OH COME ON!) surely did. But just as every story has a happy ending, Nover now earns his living pushing the stretchers, not lying on them.

This past season, we were similarly informed that Uriah Hall was “the nastiest guy in Ultimate Fighter history,” and told by Chael Sonnen himself that Hall was not only at Silva’s level, but above it. To be fair, there was plenty of visual evidence to lend credence to this claim, but that didn’t stop newcomer Kelvin Gastelum from spoiling Hall’s championship run before it could even begin at the season’s finale.

In any case, if Hall doesn’t want to end up changing bedpans for crotchety geezers in the future (not that there’s anything wrong with that), he better bring his A-game when he meets fellow TUF-finalist Nick Ring at the much anticipated UFC on FOX Sports 1:1 card in August. That’s right, Bostonians, not only do we get Overeem vs. Brown, Alves vs. other Brown, Lauzon vs. Johnson, and (potentially) Henderson vs. Grant, but now we get to see Uriah Hall’s make-or-break fight in the UFC. Expect some Eddie Gordo-level shit to go down in this one, Potato Nation.


Roy Nelson vs. Stipe Miocic Added to UFC 161; Soa Palelei Gets the Boot

(Hey, it could have been worse, right? / Photo via Getty Images)

In an effort to beef up a card that recently lost a title fight due to injury, the UFC has just added a heavyweight bout between Roy Nelson and Stipe Miocic to the main card of UFC 161 (June 15th, Winnipeg). It’s an unexpected booking, to say the least — and not just because it gives Nelson a speedy seven-week turnaround between fights.

“Big Country” is currently on the hottest streak of his UFC career, picking up his third-straight first-round knockout against Cheick Kongo at UFC 159 last month. Meanwhile, Miocic is a much lower-profile prospect, whose hype as an undefeated wrecking machine fell apart when he was TKO’d by Stefan Struve last September. In other words, the matchup is a bit of a step down for Nelson, who doesn’t have much to gain here other than the possibility of earning his fifth UFC Knockout of the Night bonus.

In addition, Miocic was already booked on the card against returning Australian banger Soa Palelei, who has knocked out his last eight opponents while competing in Australia. (See, now that matchup made sense.) But with UFC 161 in need of extra star power, Roy Nelson replaces Palelei, who will be sitting this event out unless he’s needed as an injury replacement. But don’t cry for Soa — he once stood up Danga for an interview, so he’s pretty much dead to us. What, you thought Dana White was only guy who could hold grudges?

In a related story, MMAJunkie reports that UFC officials are currently seeking a replacement opponent for Eddie Wineland, and if they can lock one down, UFC 161 will feature six fights on the pay-per-view card instead of the usual five. The current lineup is after the jump…


Mark Hunt Is Totally Still Gonna Fight Junior Dos Santos at UFC 160, Y’all — But Just in Case, Roy Nelson Is Standing By

(This shit again? Oh, yes. This shit again. / Photo via Getty Images)

Twitter rallies, brutal victories and even celebrity endorsements could not get Mark Hunt what he deserved — a clear path to the UFC heavyweight title. When Hunt was booked for UFC 160 against former champion Junior Dos Santos, however, it looked like the New Zealander’s violent campaign had finally paid off.

Dana White said that Dos Santos would get a title shot should he beat Hunt, so if Hunt crushed those plans, then he would be the unquestioned #1 contender in the division, right? UFC gold appeared to be within stumpy-limb striking distance for the former K-1 Grand Prix Champion.

Alas, ‘The Man’ just didn’t want to see Hunt get his. Last week, a 2002 arrest from which no charges resulted magically came to the attention of U.S. officials, who as of yet have refused to issue the New Zealander a visa to travel to the states, threatening his chances of competing at the “Velasquez vs. Bigfoot 2″ event on May 25th. (If you have to ask who ‘The Man’ is in this situation, you are clearly a part of the conspiracy against Mark Hunt. Narc.)

The UFC is not giving up on Hunt fighting at UFC 160, though they do appear to be hedging their bets. “To put anything to rest, we are confident the issue will be resolved and we anticipate Mark competing in the co-main event for UFC 160,” the UFC’s Director of Communications, Dave Sholler, told media during a Tuesday teleconference. ”Our team is working through that issue and we anticipate Mark making his way to the United States this weekend.”


Wait, So Now Roy Nelson Wants to Fight Daniel Cormier for a Shot at the Light Heavyweight Title?

(Man, the Jack Links people are gonna be pissed when they realize their mascot is jumping ship for Subway.) 

Alright, so we all know that Daniel Cormier is fat. And, of course, we all also know that fat people are what Roy Nelson eats for his three squares each day. Preferably after they’ve been dipped in a vat of sausage gravy and deep fried.

The guy’s big.

As such, fans and fighters alike have often wondered aloud if the two would be better suited at a lighter weight class – say, light heavyweight. However, both guys continue to kick ass at heavyweight, which kinda makes it hard to say that they should feel a sense of urgency to drop a weight class (except, you know, so as not to die in ten years from a heart attack, Roy).

Nelson is coming off a knockout of professional Greek Statue Model, Cheick Kongo, and Cormier just dominated his second former UFC heavyweight champion. There has been talk of the two facing each other next. But there’s also been talk, mainly from Dana White, that Cormier could get an automatic shot at champion Jon Jones should he choose to drop down to 205lbs.

At first, it seemed liked both Nelson and Cormier were down to face one another, but then “Big Country’s” manager made him look like a chicken – a succulent, golden-fried chicken — by nixing the proposed matchup. Fortunately, Nelson spoke with Bloody Elbow recently and cleared things up once and for all. We guess.

As far Daniel [Cormier], I think the reason Mike, my manager, said anything about Daniel is because he’s supposed be getting an immediate title shot at 205. If he’s going down to 205, it doesn’t really make any sense to fight him, unless we’re going to fight for a 205 contendership. Then hey, we can do that, too. 


Friday Link Dump: Insane Chimp-Fight, King Mo’s Pro-Wrestling Debut, 100 Worst Yearbook Photos + More

Insane Chimp Fight – Watch More Funny Videos
(Well, that escalated quickly. Watch out for the appearance of the stick-sword at 1:02. Props:

Roy Nelson: “It Only Takes One Shot to Become a Champion” (BleacherReport)

One Year After Much-Heralded Deal, King Mo Lawal Quietly Has First U.S. Pro Wrestling Match (MMAFighting)

Mark Munoz’s Low Point, And The Battles Fight Fans Rarely See (MMAJunkie)

“Metamoris 2: Gracie vs. Aoki” Video Trailer (

Shannon Ihrke, Invicta FC Ring Girl: Top 10 Sexiest Photos (FightDay)

Cheick Kongo Turned Down Four Fight Contract Before UFC 159 (BloodyElbow)

Diego Sanchez Isn’t Impressed With Ben Henderson, Sees a Lot of Holes in His Game (MiddleEasy)

8 Creepy Dating Apps You Shouldn’t Download (MensFitness)

The 100 Worst Yearbook Photos Ever (WorldwideInterweb)

Reese Witherspoon’s Dash Cam Arrest Video Is Her Best Performance Yet (FilmDrunk)

The Most Surprising Clutch NBA Playoff Performances of All Time (Complex)

Brittney Griner Signs With A Chinese Team Because It Pays A Lot More (Deadspin)

The Funniest Counterfeits Ever Photographed (DoubleViking)

Avoiding the Dreaded ‘Friend Zone’, Part 1 (EgoTV)


Roy Nelson’s Manager Says a Fight With Daniel Cormier Wouldn’t Make Sense

(Y’know, drinking a gallon of buttermilk every morning doesn’t make much sense either, but that never stopped him from doing it. / Photo via Joshua Wood @ MMAValor)

Roy Nelson‘s knockout of Cheick Kongo last weekend marked his third first-round KO victory in a row, and earned Big Country the first three-fight win streak of his UFC career — which means that the UFC has to start treating him like a legitimate heavyweight contender again, rather than a gray-bearded novelty act. So who’s next on Big Country’s menu? Following UFC 159, Dana White suggested that either Mark Hunt or Daniel Cormier could be the next opponent for Nelson, which makes perfect sense if we’re putting together matchups solely based on body type.

Nelson’s camp, however, doesn’t agree with one of those names. According to a report from Ariel Helwani earlier this week, Nelson’s manager Mike Kogan said he’s not interested in a fight against Cormier. “He doesn’t think it makes any sense for Nelson,” Helwani explained on UFC Tonight. Instead, Kogan would prefer Nelson to fight Hunt, Antonio Silva (if he loses to Cain Velasquez at UFC 160), or Junior dos Santos…despite the fact that Dos Santos already slaughtered Nelson back in 2010.

It’s obvious why the Nelson camp would want to avoid a guy like Cormier — he’s incredibly dangerous, but he still doesn’t carry the same name value as the other UFC vets that Kogan mentioned. And let’s face it, Nelson’s odds of beating Hunt or Bigfoot are a lot better than his odds of beating DC. (Let’s just forget Kogan said anything about Dos Santos. That’s a damn suicide mission, and we all know it.) From a managerial perspective, it’s solid advice. Devil’s advocate, though: Cormier is rightly ranked as the #2 contender according to the UFC’s official rankings, and beating him would place Nelson closer to a heavyweight title shot than a win over Hunt or Antonio Silva would.

Personally I think Nelson vs. Cormier makes dollars and sense. See what I did there? DID YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE, YOU SON-OF-A-BITCH??? Anyway, let us know how you see it in the comments section.


And Now He’s….Fired(?): Cheick Kongo’s Profile Removed From [UPDATED]

(Cheick Kongo had never seen Deliverance before, yet in that moment, he somehow knew what was coming. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.) 

We know, we know, it’s probably not a good idea to solely base someone’s employment status with the UFC on the existence of their profile, but speculation is the hamster that keeps the wheels of intellectual transcendance and creative spontaneity spinning here at CagePotato. That, and a shitload of coke. For the hamster.

Aaaaanyway, word was passed along this morning that longtime heavyweight contender Cheick Kongo no longer has a fighter profile on, which can only mean one thing in today’s UFC economy: BANISHMENT.

In all honesty, anyone who noticed how much money Kongo was making even in defeat probably could’ve seen this coming. His legendary come-from-behind KO over Pat Barry aside, Kongo has looked like a shell of himself ever since Frank Mir made good on his promise to change him as a fighter at UFC 107. Once a feared striker, the Frenchman seemed like a fish who had intentionally leaped out of water in his pair of grappling-heavy snoozer decisions over Matt Mitrione and Shawn Jordan, the latter of which we dubbed the worst fight of 2012. Kongo would find no relief in his once-adored striking game, either, suffering two first round knockout losses (to Mark Hunt and Roy Nelson at UFC 144 and 159, respectively) in his past three contests.

While it would be easy to take pot shots at a guy who has subtly threatened us with physical violence before, we are going to take the high road here. So join us after the jump for look back at some of Kongo’s greatest hits.


UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen Aftermath, Part Two — These Tired Eyes

(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

If there’s anything positive for Alan Belcher to take away from his loss to Michael Bisping in the co-main event of last night’s UFC 159, it’s that he was right about Bisping being unable to knock him out. Bisping had plenty of opportunities to do so throughout the fight, yet Belcher was too resilient of an opponent. Unfortunately, that’s right about where the positive notes end. Bisping not only outstruck Belcher by a considerable margin throughout their fight, but also avoided all of Belcher’s takedowns. Simply put, Belcher didn’t have any answers for Bisping’s jab-n-jog offense.

And then there was the eye poke that ended up stopping the fight, awarding Michael Bisping the technical decision victory. It was a disappointing way to end an otherwise decent scrap – especially considering Belcher’s previous troubles with that eye. Fortunately, Belcher has since tweeted that he is doing okay.

Perhaps the strangest thing about the eye poke is that this fight wasn’t the only bout on the card to end in technical decision due to an eye poke. Earlier in the evening, the light heavyweight bout between Ovince St. Preux and Gian Villante also ended when St. Preux inadvertently poked Villante in the eye. St. Preaux walked away with a technical majority decision victory. Kind of makes a case for changing the design of MMA gloves.

Elsewhere on the card…


UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen — Live Results & Commentary

(Good. Now that Chael knows what it feels like to make contact with Jon Jones, let’s get this execution over with. / Photo via MMAJunkie)

There’s not much to say about Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen at this point, other than the fact that Jones will be tying Tito Ortiz’s record for light-heavyweight title defenses (5) tonight, and Danga has already written Chael’s retirement rap. Luckily, UFC 159 features some legitimate fights as well, from Jim Miller meeting his taller, skinner doppelganger, to Roy Nelson meeting his polar opposite. Plus: Michael Bisping faces off against some retard from Mississippi (his words, not ours!), and Vinny Magalhaes tangles with Phil Davis.

Handling liveblog duties for this evening is Alex Giardini, who will be delivering round-by-round results from the “Jones vs. Sonnen” main card after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and let us know what’s on your mind in the comments section.