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Tag: Royce Gracie

CagePotato Roundtable #10: Who Was the Worst Major MMA Champion Ever?


(Come on Tim, you haven’t even read the column yet. Maybe we wrote nice things about you, okay?)

Today on the CagePotato Roundtable, we’re talking paper champs — the one-and-dones and never-shoulda-beens who weren’t quite worthy of the gold around their waist. To limit our scope a bit, we’re only focusing on major MMA promotions like the UFC (including tournament champions), PRIDE (even though all their champions were awesome), Strikeforce, the WEC, and probably Bellator and DREAM as well if anybody cared enough to mention them. Joining us this week is our dear friend Kelly Crigger, the retired solider and best-selling MMA author who’s currently elevating rugby-awareness at American Sin Bin. Read on for our picks, and please, please, please send your ideas for future Roundtable topics to tips@cagepotato.com.

Jared Jones

For four months in 2001-2002, Dave Menne — the fighter who Phil Baroni famously steamrolled at UFC 39 — was the UFC’s middleweight champion. That’s right: The belt that Anderson Silva has proudly worn for the last five-and-a-half years used to belong to this guy. Menne won the title in September 2001 by beating 5-0 newcomer Gil Castillo, and went on to compile an overall record of 2-4 in the Octagon. Gentlemen, the floor is yours. Good luck.

Kelly Crigger

The worst major MMA champion of all time has to be Carlos Newton. For starters when you say your fighting style is Dragon Ball Z Jiu Jitsu to pay homage to a Japanese anime character, there’s a screw loose somewhere.

Secondly, when Newton won the UFC welterweight title, there wasn’t exactly a deep talent pool of competition. MMA was still evolving and techniques were as sound as using bubble gum on a car engine. I will admit that he beat a very experienced and talented Pat Miletich to get the strap, but that’s the lone gem in his dreadlocked crown. Today every weight class has a laundry list of accomplished fighters and an alternate list of accomplished fighters waiting in the wings in case they tweet something controversial and Mr. White fires all of them. The point is, he didn’t exactly climb a ladder of giants to get to the belt.

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According to Dana White, BJ Penn and Tito Ortiz are “Definitely” Headed to the UFC Hall of Fame


(My qualifications? HERE’S my stinking qualifications!)

It looks like we’ll have to start drafting up new t-shirts to falsely promise you guys, because according to a recent interview with MMAFighting, UFC President Dana White was rather frank about his desire for both former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz and former lightweight and welterweight champion B.J. Penn to be placed in the UFC Hall of Fame in the near future. Though the jury is still out on whether or not Penn will return to the octagon following his hasty retirement in the aftermath of UFC 137, DW had nothing but positives to say about “The Prodigy” when asked on the possibility of his placement in the HOF:

Definitely. The thing about B.J. Penn is that what he brought to the lightweight division, there was a point in time when we first bought this company when people thought guys in the lighter weight divisions couldn’t be stars and couldn’t see pay-per-views and couldn’t cross over. B.J. Penn was definitely that first crossover guy for us. He’ll be back. It’s tough, when there are 16,000 people in the arena chanting your name, it’s tough to walk away from that. B.J. Penn is a fighter. You hear some of these guys, and Tito was one of these guys, he said he wanted to be famous. B.J. Penn is a fighter.

So there you have it, Penn will join long-time rival Matt Hughes, as well as Randy Couture, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Mark Coleman, Royce Gracie, Chuck Liddell, and Tapout co-founder Charles “Mask” Lewis in that deluxe octagon in the sky. After a pair of unsuccessful title bids at 155, Penn won the welterweight title in his welterweight debut by defeating the then untouchable Hughes by first round rear-naked choke at UFC 46. Penn would vacate the UFC shortly thereafter, citing a lack of challenging fights, and would not taste UFC gold again until beating the ever-loving shit out of Joe Stevenson at UFC 80 to claim the vacant lightweight strap. He would defend the belt three times until being upended by Frankie Edgar at UFC 112.

When addressing the possibility of Tito Ortiz joining those illustrious ranks, White did not shy away from the pair’s well-documented rocky history, and in fact stated that, in retrospect, it helped make the UFC what it is today.

Hear more from The Baldfather after the jump. 

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Gallery: The 25 Most Awkward Photos in MMA History


(Don’t play that shit around Senator Harry Reid. This is the man who *invented* invisible lat syndrome.)

As the editor of an MMA website, I’m constantly bombarded with images of tattooed skinheads engaged in gay foreplay. And yet, there are times when I’m faced with an image that even makes me uncomfortable. Check out 25 of the most chillingly awkward MMA photos in the gallery after the jump, laugh nervously, then avert your eyes in shame…

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The Roots of Fight ‘What the Gracies Mean to Fighting’ Contest


(Video courtesy of YouTube/RootsofFight)

If you were to ask 100 MMA fans to define mixed martial arts in a word, their responses would differ greatly. If you asked the same census group to define the sport in a name, nearly all would give you the same answer: Gracie.

While some would likely say that Rorian and Royce — having respectively founded the Ultimate Fighting Championship and won three of its first four tournaments in decisive fashion — were the impetus behind their answer, most would likely point to Gracie jiu-jitsu originators Helio and Carlos Gracie as the reason for their response.

Carlos and Helio were innovators, who, although they didn’t invent the art of jujitsu, or it’s “successor,” judo,  they did arguably revolutionize the hybrid fighting art, making it more effective than both, especially when used by smaller combatants against larger opponents.

To the brothers, their variation of the centuries old  Japanese martial art form, now known universally as “Brazilian” or “Gracie” jiu-jitsu, was not just simply efficacious in competition; it was equally as useful in self-defense and street fighting scenarios — a point they have stressed since introducing it to the masses more than 80 years ago.

Decades before Rorian and Royce made history with the UFC, their father Helio represented the Gracie name and defended its honor in scores of challenge matches designed to prove that GJJ — an offshoot of Kodokan judo, which was taught to them by Japanese immigrant and judo master Mitsuyo Maeda, was more effective than any other form of martial art.

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This is How Beefs Get Squashed In the Hood [VIDEO]


(Bones’ unorthodox stand-up proved too much for Rashad.)

We’ve all seen street “fights” like the one below when we were younger, where the two combatants spend more time circling and jawing at each other than they do actually settling things the way boys do: by sloppily throwing haymakers until they both gas out.

Apparently in this hood, beef quashing is a community initiative as you can see by the mother screaming encouragement while several adults and kids look on as these two young men nearly get it on. Their stand-up makes Royce Gracie’s look like Badr Hari’s.

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MMA Quoteathon: Stephan Bonnar’s Near Ejection From TUF 1 and Other Poorly Connected Musings

Stephan Bonnar UFC photos pose
(How can you say no to that face?) 

Aside from its placement atop nearly every MMA fan’s “Favorite Fights” list, Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin‘s war at the first TUF Finale is widely considered to be the fight responsible for popularizing MMA into the near mainstream sport it is today. Well, believe it or not, that fight almost didn’t happen on account of Bonnar’s uncontrollable desire for bottom shelf alcohol, specifically, Mad Dog. Although Bonnar has told this story with a slightly different spin before, Dana White recently discussed the craziness that was the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, and how Bonnar almost got himself kicked off the show:

The first season of the ‘Ultimate Fighter’ was the longest season we’ve ever done. It was something like 8 weeks and those guys were losing their (expletive) minds. I almost kicked (Stephan) Bonnar off the show. 

Bonnar turned the shower on, climbed out the window and went to find a liquor store. Remember we took all the liquor out after that big fight? These idiots…we had been driving these guys around for six or seven weeks and the house is in the middle of nowhere. There was no liquor store near there. The guy was walking around for an hour and thirty minutes. So much crazy (expletive) happened that first season. Imagine if I had kicked off him off the show for going to a liquor store? Forrest (Griffin) and Stephan would have never happened. 

No Dana, we would not like to imagine a world in which Griffin/Bonnar never existed. We’d rather imagine one in which Motley Crue serenades our lovemaking sessions with Adriana Lima, thank you very much.

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“Ask Dan” #2: Fighting Royce, Body Paint, Ping Pong, and Drunks


(Beast-Mode: He invented it.)

Thanks to everybody who submitted questions to Dan Severn last week! Today’s installment of Dan’s no-holds-barred Q&A column is loaded with classic stories and grown-man wisdom, so get comfortable and read on. You can support the MMA living legend by visiting DanSevern.com and Dan’s Facebook page, and you can support us by kicking in a few bucks to CagePotato’s Movember Team Page. Keep growing them mo’s, and post your latest moustache photos on our Facebook wall

skeletor asks: Did you ever feel bad during the no holds barred/no weight classes days destroying guys that were so much smaller then you?

Dan Severn: I never felt bad because of size difference but I did sort of feel bad in general because it was not in my nature to be violent. For example, when I had Oleg Taktarov in the cage and was dropping knees on him, and he couldn’t defend himself. The match wasn’t being halted and he didn’t have the rational mindset to tap out. Even my first loss against Royce Gracie, I was staring right into a man’s soul realizing what crude submissions that I knew weren’t working and recognizing that I was going to have to strike this guy. So I struggled more with my conscience then I ever did with an opponent. I think I am cut from a different cloth than a lot of different fighters who came from checkered pasts and were used to getting into fights. I wasn’t used to that. For instance, if you look at the fight between me and Ken Shamrock, he was adopted and grew up on the mean streets fighting. My upbringing was completely different. I don’t really understand that mentality.

When I was inside Royce’s guard, from my perspective I was in the dominant position because as a wrestler, I was used to being on top. As I am fighting I can see Royce looking over to his father in his corner, and I could see exactly what was going through his mind. His mind was saying, “Hey dad, I’m hanging in here but if you want to throw in the towel, I wouldn’t hold it against you.” Helio actually had the towel in his hand and lifted his arm up a little bit and then shook his head no. I remember thinking, you old bastard…you would sacrifice your kid for Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

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Video Timeline: MMA’s Greatest Techniques of the Year, 1993-2011

Nick Diaz Takanori Gomi PRIDE 33 gogoplata
(Ah, 2007. A very fine year for gogoplatas. / Photo via Sherdog)

By Ben Goldstein

Over the last two decades, MMA has evolved so consistently that fighters are still finding new and unexpected ways to destroy their opponents — while causing fans to spit their beers in shock. We decided to take a lil’ spin through MMA history and identify the single most awe-inspiring technique from each year since the sport’s modern inception. We expect you to disagree with us; there’s a comments section just for that purpose. And away we go…

1993: Royce Gracie’s Rear-Naked Choke
vs. Ken Shamrock @ UFC 1, 11/12/93

(Fight starts at the 3:54 mark)

You have to remember that in the early ’90s, a well-placed roundhouse kick to the head was considered the pinnacle of martial arts. What Royce Gracie introduced to fight fans in his early UFC run was something much more practical, less flashy, and a little bit scary. Gracie’s submission of Ken Shamrock — and the similar hold he used to stop Gerard Gordeau in the finals — proved that skill beat size, and pajamas beat man-panties.

1994: Dan Severn’s Suplexes
vs. Anthony Macias @ UFC 4, 12/16/94

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: UFC 134 Edition

Anderson Silva Royce Gracie UFC 134 Rio Brazil
(The Royce Gracie of our generation poses with the Anderson Silva of his generation. Props: facebook.com/ufc)

On August 27th, Rio de Janeiro will be Blowout City. Aside from two matches on the preliminary card — Loveland vs. Jabouin and Assuncao vs. Eduardo — every fight at UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami features a fighter who’s a 2-1 favorite or higher. In times like these, it’s not about picking the winners, it’s about picking the upsets. So where they at? Check out the UFC 134 gambling lines below (via BestFightOdds), and consider our advice after the jump.

Main Card (PPV, 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT)
Anderson Silva (-471) vs. Yushin Okami (+425)
Maurício Rua (-220) vs. Forrest Griffin (+225)
Brendan Schaub (-230) vs. Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira (+216)
Edson Barboza (-300) vs. Ross Pearson (+280)
Luis Cane (-200) vs. Stanislav Nedkov (+195)

Spike TV Prelims Live (8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT)
Thiago Tavares (-205) vs. Spencer Fisher (+200)
Rousimar Palhares (-275) vs. Dan Miller (+252)

Facebook Prelims (6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT)
Paulo Thiago (-389) vs. David Mitchell (+340)
Raphael Assunção (-160) vs. Johnny Eduardo (+149)
Erick Silva (-270) vs. Luis Ramos (+246)
Yuri Alcantara (-437) vs. Felipe Arantes (+379)
Ian Loveland (-195) vs. Yves Jabouin (+180)

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Wednesday Morning MMA Link Club


(Jake Salyer of Tulsa, Oklahoma, manages to pull off a double-armbar submission in his MMA debut. The Diet Butcher would be proud. Props: GorillaTacticsMMA via ‘Okwiseguy’)

Some selected highlights from our friends around the MMA blogosphere. E-mail feedback@cagepotato.com for details on how your site can join the MMA Link Club…

- Lorenzo Fertitta: I Would Love to Do Anderson Silva vs. Dan Henderson at UFC on FOX (MMA Mania)

- Cain Velasquez Talks UFC 139 Title Fight, Jon Jones, Alistair Overeem, and Being a Father (BleacherReport.com/MMA)

- Going Streaking: Anderson Silva’s Record UFC Run on the Line at UFC 134 (NBC Sports MMA)

- Phil Baroni: Nobody Dry Humps the New York Bad Ass and Gets Away With It! (Exclusive Interview) (LowKick)

- ‘MiddleEasy/Whoa! TV Gym Expeditions’ Visits Birmingham, England (MiddleEasy)

- Felice Herrig on This Weekend’s Cancelled Fight and State of Women’s MMA (TheFightNerd)

- Royce Gracie Wants One More UFC Fight, but Ready to Move on Without It (MMA Fighting)

- “Strikeforce HW GP Semifinals” Official Trailer (5thRound)

- Josh Neer Headed Back to the UFC Against Keith Wisniewski in October (Five Ounces of Pain)

- “(UFC) Is the Only Sports Property That Is Pure and Works Literally Around the Entire World.” (FightOpinion)

- UFC Hopes to Be in Pre-Production on Australian Version of The Ultimate Fighter by the End of the Year (MMA Convert)

- FOX Deal May Be Just What New York Needs (MMA Payout)

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