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Tag: Shayna Baszler

Bethe Correia to Face Shayna Baszler at UFC 176, Because Grudge Match


(We now to go to our post-fight celebration expert, Michael Kelso, for analysis.)

Not since Nick Diaz invented the Stockton Heybuddy have we seen a fighter gain so much notoriety for a hand gesture, but that seems to be the case with one Bethe Correia. Whether us MMA fans will admit it or not, we all get a semi at the thought of an honest grudge match between MMA fighters, and when Correia silently dissed the “Four Horsewoman” following her victory over Jessamyn Duke at UFC 172, it was pretty much a done-deal that she would face one of the three remaining members in her next UFC contest.

But being that Marina Shafir just turned pro and that Ronda Rousey is Ronda Rousey, all roads lead to Shayna Baszler, the ten year veteran and final member of the ill-named MMA supergroup. As such, UFC officials announced last night that Correia and Baszler will in fact throw down at UFC 176: Aldo vs. Mendes 2 on August 2nd in what is sure to be billed as “an intense rivalry between a rising contender and a savvy veteran.”

More on this matchup, including Rousey’s thoughts on Correia as a potential opponent, are after the jump.

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Comparing and Contrasting Shayna Baszler and Julianna Pena’s TUF 18, Week 2 Blogs


(Photo via Getty.)

By now, you probably know (or have heard from an outside, spoilery source) that Julianna Pena scored a massive upset over Shayna Baszler in yesterday’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter 18, choking out the WMMA pioneer in the second round of their scrap. The shocking victory was made all the more impressive by the fact that everyone in the TUF house, every assistant coach, Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, Dana White, cameramen 1-3, the Mayor of Television, 4 out of 5 dentists, Bono and the Duke of Lacrosse Team knew that Baszler was all but a lock to win the season, let alone some preliminary fight against a 4-2 nobody.

But no one believed that Shayna Baszler was fighting a certified tomato can more than Shayna Baszler. If that sounds like an insult, it isn’t. The fact is, Baszler was only setting herself up for disappointment with her weigh-in card tricks and chest-puffing statements like “[Pena] doesn’t deserve to be in the same ring with me. She should be coming to my seminars and learning.” Well it looks like THE THUDENT HATH BECOME THE TEACHER, THAYNA. (Ed note: Apologies, I sometime write with a lisp.) 

In any case, other MMA websites who aren’t CagePotato were able to secure exclusive access to both Pena’s and Baszler’s TUF 18 blogs (or at least, that’s what we keep telling ourselves) and have passed along their thoughts on what was surely an emotional week on the show for both fighters. Which is where we come in: To highlight the most interesting blurbs from said blogs and punctuate them with the occasional fart joke. God I love my job.

We shall begin with Ms. Baszler’s blog, the somewhat pretentiously titled “Queen’s Manifesto” (courtesy of TheMMACorner). Not only is it the more personal blog of the two, but it also showcases the delusional and often contradictory lengths at which a fighter must sometimes go to justify a loss.

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TUF 18 Episode 2 Recap: Some Pussy-Ass Bullsh*t


(The front of the card says, “You will die, bitch.” The back of the card says, “But I’ll be in the hot tub tonight around 10 p.m. if you want to hang out, no pressure, I just think you’re cool and you look like you could use a backrub.”)

It’s been a long time since we’ve had a good ringer on The Ultimate Fighter. I’m talking about guys like Roy Nelson or Mac Danzig, who entered the TUF house with literally ten times more experience than some of their cast-mates, and performed like men among boys, cruising to the glass-trophy with shocking ease.

In recent seasons, the talent pool on TUF has dried up to the point where you simply don’t see that kind of fighter anymore; every hot prospect or free agent that’s not immediately snatched up by the UFC gets poached by Bellator or World Series of Fighting, and they don’t have to beat the hell out of near-amateurs on a reality show between sessions of binge-drinking and furniture-abuse.

Of course, since this is the first time that The Ultimate Fighter has featured women, the range of experience in the female bracket is stunning. You’ve got Peggy “Daywalker” Morgan, the 2-0 rookie. Jessamyn Duke, Sarah Moras, and Jessica Rakoczy each have just four pro fights under their belts (and Rakoczy has a losing record). Somehow, these girls are supposed to compete with Shayna Baszler (15-8), who carries over a decade of professional experience with her, and a history of gnarly submissions that include two (two!) wins by twister.

Shayna Baszler was supposed to be the first female ringer in TUF history*. Unfortunately, she knew it just as much as we did, and became convinced that winning the show was a foregone conclusion. She got cocky. She got really cocky. She got really, really, embarrassingly cocky. And she paid for it.

Here’s how last night’s episode played out…

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The TUF 18 Cast List Features a Who’s Who of Female Bantamweights and a Who’s That of Male Bantamweights


(Well if there’s one thing we know about Tonya Evinger, it’s that she can generate a lot of power even off her back.) 

The cast list for TUF 18: Rousey vs. Zingano Tate Again was released earlier today, and among the female bantamweights competing for that glass plaque and a contract worth almost $10,000 a year for the next 10 years are such familiar faces as Shayna Baszler, Tonya Evinger (the power bottom pictured above), Tara Larosa and Roxanne Modafferi to name a few. There’s also Valerie Letourneau, a 4-3 Canadian slugger who should not be confused with Mary Kay Letourneau, the schoolteacher who diddled a “lil slugger” back in 1996.

Among the male participants, however, you will not find nearly as many recognizable names. Or any. The lone exception to the argument we just presented would be Cody “Bam Bam” Bollinger, a 14-3 KOTC and Bellator veteran who you might have seen get TKO’d by season 8 featherweight tournament winner Shahbulat Shamhalaev (no joke, I spelled that correctly on my first try) back at Bellator 76. Despite the lack of familiar faces, there are a lot of (albeit modest) undefeated records on the men’s side of the equation, which calls to question why the 1-3 Jessica Rakoczy would be selected given her-oh now I see why.

Check out the full cast list after the jump, then give us your predictions as to who the early favorite should be in our newly-upgraded comments section.

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Invicta FC 4: Esparza vs. Hyatt — Complete Main Card Video, Prelim Insanity, Photos + More


(Complete Invicta FC 4 main card broadcast, courtesy of Invicta FC)

Saturday’s Invicta FC 4 event at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, KS, was supposed to be a significant step forward for the all-female promotion, as the main card was presented as an Internet pay-per-view for the first time. (Previously, Invicta’s events had been streamed online for free.) Unfortunately, the broadcast turned out to be a technical fiasco. Due to issues with payment processing and an uncooperative streaming partner, paying customers were unable to log on to watch the event. Even after the paywall was removed — and full refunds were offered to those who had already shelled out cash — the stream was still unreliable.

It was a worst-case-scenario for Invicta FC, whose budding fanbase might be wary of paying for similar broadcasts in the future. In a post-event interview with Ben Fowlkes at MMAJunkie, Invicta president Shannon Knapp seemed to acknowledge that securing a TV deal for her promotion has become more critical than ever, in the wake of their failed iPPV experiment.

As for the fights themselves? They certainly had their moments, although the main card was further cursed by a near-total lack of stoppages. In the headliner, former collegiate wrestler Carla Esparza and late-replacement Bec Hyatt waged war in Invicta’s first strawweight (115 pounds) title fight. Esparza’s relentless takedowns and top control helped her win all five rounds on the judges’ scorecards, but the colorful Aussie didn’t make it easy for her, stinging Esparza with her striking every time the women were on their feet.

The event’s official “Fight of the Night” award went to Alexis Davis and Shayna Baszler, who turned in a fantastic grappling battle that ended in the third round when Davis put Baszler to sleep with a rear-naked choke. It was the only bout on the main card that didn’t go to the scorecards. We suggest that you skip to the 2:02:59 mark of the video above to watch the fight — or just check out these two photos that tell the story pretty well by themselves…

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Invicta FC 3 Recap and Videos: Penne Becomes Inaugural Atomweight Champ, Baszler Thrashes D’Alelio


(Joanne Calderwood vs. Ashley Cummins. Fight starts at the 1:35 mark. Someone nearly shits their pants around the 4:45 mark.)

Over the past several months, we’ve heard a lot of hoopla regarding the plight of women’s MMA and the lighter weight classes in general. According to some self-proclaimed experts, these fighters stand next to no chance of providing exciting finishes because of their “frail bones” and their “cabbage fingers” and their “lady parts that prevent them from committing gruesome acts of beautiful violence.” And while it should be noted that I normally obtain most of this expert testimony during my weekly NO MA’AM meetings, I must admit that the ladies of Invicta Fighting Championships are pretty much shattering every pre-conceived notion that one could have when approaching women’s MMA or the lighter weight classes. Last weekend’s Invicta FC 3 event did not stray far from the pattern established by the first two events, which is to say, it delivered exciting fights and brutal finishes from top to bottom.

In the evening’s main event, submission specialist and general hottie Jessica Penne made history by becoming the promotion’s first champion in the atomweight class, controlling the previously number one ranked atomweight Naho Sugiyama easily before submitting her midway through the second round with a slick triangle choke. Penne improved to 10-1 as a professional with the win and likely set up a showdown between herself and “The Karate Hottie” Michelle Waterson, who picked up a hard fought split-decision win over Lacey Schuckman earlier in the evening, down the line. I’m not saying I will be watching that fight with ulterior motives, but I am saying that I will be watching it alone. With the curtains closed. With no pants on.

After the jump: A boatload of fight videos from the event, including Shayna Baszler’s domination of Sarah D’Alelio, Stephanie Frausto’s lightning quick submission over Amy Davis, and Julia Budd’s brutal beatdown of Danielle West.

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[VIDEO] Bad Ass Women on The March: McMann, Davis, Carmouche & More Win at Invicta FC 2

2004 Olympic wrestling silver medalist Sara McMann won a hard-fought unanimous decision over Shayna Baszler after three rounds at last night’s all-women Invicta FC 2 event. Baszler rocked McMann with a left hook late in the fight but McMann had evidently gotten far enough ahead on the judges’ scorecards to get the win. Check out the full fight video above.

Scores were 29-28 (twice) and 30-27 for McMann. “That was by far the toughest and most skilled fighter I have ever fought,” McMann said post-fight of Baszler.

With the win, McMann improves her MMA record to 6-0. Baszler dipped to 14-7.

Full results via MMAFighting, as well as video of Liz Carmouche‘s submission win over Kaitlin Young, are after the jump.

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Full Lineup Set for ‘Strikeforce Challengers: Villasenor vs. Cyborg’

Cris Cyborg Evangelista Santos MMA
(Cristiane and Evangelista’s high school class voted them "Most Likely to Push Your Shit In." Photo courtesy of Showtime Sports.)

No rest for the hardcore MMA fan: Strikeforce’s second "Challengers" event goes down this Friday at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington — a day before the TUF 9 finale in Las Vegas. Headlining the Strikeforce card will be a middleweight matchup between two exciting strikers: Team Jackson product “Smokin’” Joey Villasenor and Chute Boxe veteran Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos. Both guys are coming off extended layoffs; Villasenor hasn’t competed since his first-round TKO win over Phil Baroni last May, and Santos is coming back from an elbow injury suffered in a Sengoku fight against Siyar Bahadurzada in September.

Also on the card: Highly-regarded welterweight Nick Thompson takes a middleweight fight against Tim Kennedy out of desperation, UFC vet Jorge Gurgel makes his Strikeforce debut against bully-beater Conor Heun, and Sarah Kaufman and Shayna Baszler will test out Strikeforce’s new five-minute-rounds policy in the night’s sole women’s feature. Not bad for premium cable. The full lineup is after the jump.

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Elite XC on CBS: Unreasonably Specific Predictions


(Insert lame “picture in a picture” joke here.)

I’ll admit it, I’m having a hard time getting excited for this Elite XC event tomorrow night. Part of it is the hangover from the huge MMA weekend we just had with Affliction, UFC, and Dream all crammed into a couple of days. After that sensory overload, I feel like a teenager who took way too much acid: there are no highs and no lows for me right now, plus I’m frightened by bright colors and strong breezes.

Another part of it is the fight card. It’s not a bad card, just kind of uninspired. Nothing leaps out at you as a match you absolutely have to see. As an attempt at making things more interesting, here are some unreasonably specific predictions for Saturday night’s show. I look forward to hearing how hopelessly wrong I am in the comments section.

Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith

I’d like to say that I predicted stoppage by accidental eye-poke for the first meeting, but it isn’t so. TKO by Lawler seems to be the smart choice, even though Lawler seemed unable or unwilling to really go after Smith and finish him when he had him hurt the last time. That won’t be the case this time. Lawler will stun Smith with an uppercut, then finish him off with a left hand that will drop him without putting him all the way out. The ref will move in to stop it just a little bit too soon (this is on CBS, after all) and Smith will make that I-just-can’t-catch-a-break face. The CBS commentators will then attempt to claim that it was the fight of the year.

When Will It Happen: 3:14 of round two.

What to Watch For: After the victory, the stone-faced Lawler will look only about as happy as a man who just found a good parking space at the mall.

Nick Diaz vs. Thomas Denny

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The Women of Elite XC vs. Dana White

The UFC’s reluctance to put on female fights became a topic for discussion on Tuesday’s Elite XC conference call. Shayna Baszler and Christiane Cyborg, who will square off on the CBS portion of the card, each had different though equally telling responses:

QUESTION: When asked if he has any interest in setting up any female divisions in the UFC, Dana White politely questioned the depth of talent. What is your response to that?

Shayna Baszler: I don’t care what Dana White has to say. If he wants to question the depth of talent; that is just going to give companies like EliteXC one more thing to tap into that he’s not. He wants to question the depth of the female division, but every fight, every female fight that ProElite has put on has been a showcase of women’s talent and has been “fight of the night” type material. If he wants to give that avenue to others to pursue, then, fine. The more the merrier. I don’t care. I just want to fight the best. I don’t know, if he wants to question that, then I’d question the talent of his heavyweight division.

Cristiane Cyborg: I’d love to fight Dana White to show him how tough women are.

Oh, snap! Ok, not really. He never questioned their toughness, which makes me think Cyborg misunderstood the question, and there is probably just as much reason to question the depth of women’s MMA as there is to question the depth of the UFC’s current heavyweight division, so we’ll rule that one a tie for the moment.

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