If the fact that he has broken training partner’s facial bones with jabs, torn through expensive focus mitts with combinations and sent trainers running for icepacks after holding pads for him are any indication of Shane Carwin’s punching power, getting hit in the face by “The Engineer” might not be something Junior dos Santos should try when he heads to Vancouver next week. We’d recommend he try something less harmful to his health like a butter tart or a Moosehead lager or pale ale.
It was rampant speculation time across the interwebs on Friday, after yesterday’s announcement that Brock Lesnar’s diverticulitis has returned with a vengeance. “Is Brock done?” we all wondered aloud. Is Carwin vs. dos Santos actually a better fight? Can the UFC rebound from a couple of weeks that saw the main events of UFC 130, 131 and 133 all go up in smoke? And, dear God, are Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz next to suffer some bizarre malady, causing a reshuffling of the only PPV still left in one piece? Nobody knows.
What we do know is this: Brock Lesnar turns 34 in July and twice now since 2009 he’s seen his career indefinitely sidetracked by being the world’s only millionaire athlete to get a near fatal disease from not eating enough vegetables. Age has never been particularly kind to jumbo-sized athletes and even for a professional wrestler, Lesnar’s job history has been pretty flighty over the years. So, while we can’t say with any kind of certainty that his MMA career might be over over, Lesnar’s second bout with a strange digestive infection nobody had ever heard of before two years ago can’t exactly be considered a good thing. Apparently, the first time he went through this the UFC forgot to tell us that diverticulitis is something that sticks around for the rest of your life. Whoops. But we digress. What it all means for Lesnar, dos Santos, Carwin and – most importantly – you, after the jump.
(Lesnar was emphatic that this would not be a career-ending malady.)
The UFC held an impromptu conference call today to announce that former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar has been force to pull out of his upcoming UFC 131 bout in Vancouver next month against Junior dos Santos due to a recent flare-up of diverticulitis that has left the North Dakota native physically unable to train for the bout.
An obviously disappointed Lesnar, who spent 14 hours at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN yesterday undergoing a battery of tests, explained that he tried to work through the exhaustion and the pain of the malady, but it was simply too much to deal with while preparing for such an important bout. Both Lesnar and UFC president Dana White echoed the same sentiment that the fight is of secondary importance to Brock’s health and wellbeing, revealing that his symptoms began resurfacing three weeks ago.
(Leg kicks, why have you forsaken me? / Photo courtesy of allelbows.com)
Today, as you know, is Easter — a day in which Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, three days after his crucifixion. To commemorate the holiday, we’d like to take this time to remember notable resurrections in the sport of mixed martial arts. (Because we’re respectful like that.) There’s nothing more incredible than watching a dude get the living crap beaten out of him for minutes at a time, and then somehow, miraculously, finding the strength to knock his opponent dead before the last bell. So without further ado, here are 11 of our favorite “Back From the Dead” MMA fights of all time…
Heading into Ontario’s inaugural MMA show at Casino Rama in Orillia this weekend, the event’s head official “Big” John McCarthy, who will also work UFC 129 later next month in Toronto, made a few media appearances in the Canadian province to help educate fans and the general public about the rules and regulations of the sport.
McCarthy made a stop at Sportsnet for a taping of Primetime Sports where he spoke at length about the differences between refereeing boxing and MMA.
“I also referee boxing. [In both sports] you’re in there for the safety of the fighters and you’re in there to enforce the rules. The safety of the fighters is number one. Your whole job is to try to make sure that both fighters come in and are able to perform at an even platform as far as there’s no advantage to one fighter over the other and get them both out of that ring or that cage in a safe way so they can go back and do it again if they want. That’s what you’re looking for,” McCarthy explained. In MMA you’re making split-second decisions much more than you are in boxing. Boxing gives the referee time, based upon the rules, to make decisions and come up with, ‘This is what I’m going to do in this scenario.’”
“As for Shane Carwin: Jon Olav Einemo. That’s his next opponent. He’s from Norway. He’s 6 foot 6, and he’s the Abu Dabi submission champion.”
The matchup has not yet been tied to a specific date or event. [Update:MMAJunkie says it's happening at UFC 131, June 11th in Vancouver]. A member of Team Golden Glory, Einemo (6-1) signed with the UFC earlier this month, and last competed in June 2010 when he defeated Kresimir Bogdanovic in Bosnia. (At least according to MMAFighting.com; none of the major MMA databases have a record of that fight actually happening.) Before that, Einemo’s most recent appearance was an armbar victory over James Thompson in November 2006. The only loss on his record came at the hands of Fabricio Werdum, who outpointed him at PRIDE 31 earlier that year.
In the aftermath of Fedor Emelianenko‘s upset loss to Antonio Silva last weekend — four months after Brock Lesnar was roughly stripped of his UFC title by Cain Velasquez — MMA’s global heavyweight picture is in a state of flux. So, we figured it was a good time to launch a new rankings feature on CagePotato. Every week, Ben, Mike and Chad will try to justify their top five rankings for each weight division, and we’re kicking things off with the big boys. Check out our thoughts below, and let us know how you see MMA’s current heavyweight top five…
Ben Goldstein 1. Cain Velasquez: I think we can all agree he’s the top dog right now. In one fight, Brock Lesnar’s reputation went from “toughest S.O.B. on the planet” to “man-baby who goes fetal at the first sign of pressure.” You can blame/thank Cain for that. Aside from getting wobbled a couple times by Cheick Kongo, he’s cruised through all nine of his career fights with no difficulty whatsoever.
2. Junior Dos Santos: A future champion who has put together one of the most impressive contendership runs in UFC history. I think he’ll be able to add Lesnar to his list of scalps in June. And then…?
3. Brock Lesnar: With such a massive psychological hole in his game and just a 5-2 overall record, it’s weird calling Brock the third greatest heavyweight in the world. I’m not sure I agree with myself here. But until Werdum and Overeem face off in April, neither of those guys deserves to be called top three either.