seth rogen james franco the interview
Six Other Seth Rogen/James Franco Films That Should’ve Been Canceled

Tag: Shinya Aoki

‘DREAM 18′ Full Fight Videos: Manhoef vs. Kang, Aoki vs. McKee, Baroni vs. Sakurai + More


(Melvin Manhoef def. Denis Kang via knee-to-the-body KO, 0:50 of round 1. Fight starts at the 3:44 mark, but we’ve got the video cued up to the *real* action.)

From Mirko Cro Cop arm-barring a professional wrestler, to Bob Sapp scoring a massive upset over Alistair Overeem (in arm-wrestling), New Year’s weekend in Japan was loaded with, shall we say, “sports entertainment.” But there was at least one legit event — the hybrid DREAM 18/Glory 4 MMA-kickboxing spectacular that went down December 31st at the Saitama Super Arena. Thanks to Suhwaniya Fight Club, we’ve got complete videos of all eight MMA fights that took place that night, which featured such stars as Shinya Aoki, Melvin Manhoef, Marloes Coenen, Phil Baroni, Michihiro Omigawa, and Bibiano Fernandes. Enjoy, and welcome to 2013 everybody.


(Shinya Aoki def. Antonio McKee via submission due to eye-punch, 0:24 of round 2)

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Eduardo Dantas, Bellator, And the Folly of Letting Your Guys Fight Elsewhere


(Dantas vs. Nam @ Shooto Brazil 33, 8/25/12. Skip to 4:26 for the knockout.)

By Jim Genia

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “folly” as “lack of good sense or normal prudence and foresight.” Bellator president Bjorn Rebney, however, likely now defines it as making the ridiculous mistake of letting one of his champions fight somewhere else. This past weekend, Bellator bantamweight king Eduardo Dantas was allowed by his American employers to take a fight closer to home in Rio de Janeiro, for the promotion Shooto Brasil. There, he met Oregon-based fighter Tyson Nam — a 12-4 regional competitor and, by all appearances, easy prey. And guess what? Dantas got knocked the heck out in the first round. Yeah, Bellator done goofed.

If there are unwritten rules to promoting MMA events, somewhere near the top of the list has to be “never let your champs fight in other shows.” Because, really, while the reward for said fighter winning is the implication that your organization is superior in terms of the quality of its competitors, the risk is that your guy could get his butt kicked.  In that scenario, what’s implied (or sometimes stated explicitly) is that your fighters suck — or, at the very least, that the fighters in the other shows are better.  And who wants to be the one with the weaker fighters?

Not the UFC, that’s for sure.  Take for instance the failed contract negotiations to get heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko into the Octagon, and the alleged stipulation that Fedor, if he signed with the UFC, wouldn’t have been allowed to even compete in sambo tournaments in Mother Russia. Do you think Dana White wants tarnished fighters? He doesn’t even want them losing in something that’s not even mixed martial arts! (Sadly, this wasn’t always policy; see below.)

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Barnburner Alert: Eddie Alvarez to Face Patricky “Pitbull” Freire in Final Bellator Appearance

Eddie Alvarez Bellator tk
(Suck it, Javier Sotomayor.) 

In what will either make for a triumphant or disastrous turning point in Eddie Alvarez’s career (specifically, his marketability), the former Bellator lightweight champion has been booked to take on Brazilian knockout artist Patricky “Pitbull” Freire at Bellator 75, which goes down on October 12th at Caesar’s Windsor in Canada.

After collecting seven straight wins under the Bellator banner (6 by way of stoppage), Alvarez lost his lightweight strap in dramatic fashion, falling prey to a fourth round submission in a battle for the ages at Bellator 58 to Michael Chandler. Most recently, Alvarez earned some much sought after revenge when he battered and dispatched Shinya Aoki in the first round of their Bellator 66 throwdown, and immediately began  making his case for a potential spot amongst the UFC’s ever growing lightweight roster thereafter. It just goes to show what beating up a man in multi-colored pastel tights can do for one’s confidence.

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ONE FC Reportedly Signs Shinya Aoki and…Bibiano Fernandes? Wait, WHAT?!


Pictured: The closest Fernandes has come to landing a punch in the UFC.

After an astonishing 0-0 run in the UFC, it looks like Bibiano Fernandes already has a new home.

It’s being reported by MMAFighting.com that the former DREAM bantamweight champion has inked a deal with ONE FC and is set to make his promotional debut at an August 31 show in Manila, Philippines. An opponent has not been specified at this time.

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Video Tribute: The Eight Most Insane Moments in DREAM History


(“You’ll never get me Lucky Charms!”)

For nearly four years, the Japanese MMA promotion DREAM did its best to carry the mantle of PRIDE, presenting the same mix of top international talent and freak-show comic relief, all inside of a traditional ring, rather than a filthy American cage. But we were hit with some sad news this weekend as multiple sources reported that DREAM has ceased day-to-day operations, and will no longer be producing events. So as we like to do when great MMA traditions die, let’s take a look back at some of the fights that made this promotion so unique, so entertaining, and so balls-out insane…

#8: Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Melvin Manhoef
DREAM.4, 6/15/08 

Though Kazushi Sakuraba’s fame was partly based on his willingness to absorb damage from larger fighters, the level of savagery that Melvin Manhoef inflicted on him during their meeting at the Yokohama Arena probably should have convinced Saku to walk away from the sport. The moment when Manhoef drags Saku away from the ropes by his leg so he can dive in to continue the assault (see the 2:43 mark above) remains one of DREAM’s most indelible and brutal moments.

#7: Shinya Aoki vs. dumb-ass gaijin
DREAM.7, 3/8/09

Another tradition that DREAM inherited from PRIDE? Absurd mismatches. At the time of this fight, Aoki was widely considered to be a top-3 lightweight, while Gardner was an obscure 13-7 journeyman who was coming off a loss to Brian Cobb. Aoki’s domination on the mat was no surprise, but the fight became legendary for how it ended. Stuck with Aoki on his back, Gardner took advantage of a brief pause in the action — and the near-silence in the Saitama Super Arena — to wave to the crowd and shout “Hello Japan!” Aoki immediately wrapped up Gardner’s neck and choked him out, causing the crowd to break out in laughter and Bas Rutten to cry “Oh my God it is so dumb! So dumb! Why?!” Some things just can’t be explained, Bas.

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Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Shinya Aoki Reportedly Booked for Next DREAM Event

Kazushi Sakuraba Ricardo Arona photo eye face bloody MMA photos gallery
(Kazushi Sakuraba during his PRIDE glory days in 2005.)

By Elias Cepeda

When does a person not eagerly anticipate the next time one of his favorite fighters competes? When that fighter should have retired years ago due to the damage he’s endured over the years. That’s the way I’ve feel each time Kazushi Sakuraba gets a new match — not excited, but filled with genuine concern for his well-being. The legendary “Gracie Hunter” may be the best MMA fighter the warrior-nation of Japan has ever produced, but he’s lost four fights in a row, hasn’t won a bout since 2009, and has suffered enough beatings for 12 lifetimes. (This guy knows what I’m talking about.)

What makes Saku’s situation worse is that so many of his early losses were the result of savage abuse at the hands of much larger opponents (Wanderlei Silva, Mirko Cro Cop, Ricardo Arona, etc.), leaving him completely broken down at the age of 42. Sakuraba competed just once in 2011 — getting choked out at Dream 17 by unheralded Brazilian prospect Yan Cabral — and has yet to fight this year, while venturing back into pro wrestling just to stay active.

It is now being reported that Sakuraba will return to the ring at Dream’s next event, for a welterweight match against Shinya Aoki. If there’s a silver lining to rolling out Saku for another pay day, it’s that Aoki is foremost a grappler like Sakuraba, so it’s possible that we could see a technical wrestling and Jiu Jitsu match with minimal blunt strikes hitting the legend. Also, Bloody Elbow’s Anton Tabuena is reporting that the fight, now signed according to him, could be Sakuraba’s final MMA appearance.

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Bellator 66 Recap: Pay Eddie Alvarez, That Doesn’t Happen (enough) in MMA

Even if you weren’t glued to your Twitter account last night, you still had plenty of MMA news to keep yourself entertained. From a middleweight and lightweight tournament to a post-fight brawl to a referee ignoring a fighter’s cornermen throwing in the towel, there were plenty of things to talk about. All of these story lines came from Bellator 66 last night in Cleveland, Ohio.

While this season hasn’t been a stranger to dangerously late stoppages, last night’s main event, a rematch between former Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and Shinya Aoki, provided one worthy of mention in our worst referee blunders roundtable. Alvarez dropped Aoki early, and although he initially seemed hesitant to jump into Aoki’s guard, Alvarez unloaded some heavy punches that almost immediately put Aoki out cold. When the referee in charge, Jerry Krzys, didn’t stop the fight Aoki’s cornermen threw their towel into the cage. Of course, everyone knows that “throwing in the towel” is just an expression for giving up, and not a sign that the fighter’s cornermen actually believe that the fight should be stopped, right? No? Well then someone should have explained that to Jerry Krzys, who allowed the fight to continue for a few more seconds before stopping the action.

After the fight, Alvarez had a very simple question for Bellator, and an equally simple follow up request: “Bjorn Rebney where you at? Show me the money.” Of course, if Bellator can’t- or isn’t willing to- comply with that request, something tells us that the UFC will.

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Reminder: The Eddie Alvarez vs. Shinya Aoki Rematch Is Going Down Tomorrow at Bellator 66


(Aoki vs. Alvarez 1, 12/31/08)

Cripes, is it April 19th already? We didn’t burn a lot of calories discussing this fight, but the long-awaited rematch between former Bellator lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez and DREAM lightweight champ Shinya Aoki is happening tomorrow night at the I-X Center in Cleveland, as the main event of Bellator 66.

Aoki and Alvarez originally met at Dynamite!! 2008, with Aoki wrenching out a heel-hook victory in just 92 seconds. Now he’s agreed to meet his old foe on American soil, which is very sportsmanlike of him — but keep in mind that the last time he gave an American a rematch on their own turf he got dominated by Gilbert Melendez. Aoki has won all seven of his fights since that loss to El Niño, while Alvarez is coming off his submission loss to Michael Chandler in their Fight of the Year candidate at Bellator 58.

Bellator 66 will also feature the semi-finals of their season 6 lightweight and middleweight tournaments, and get this: We’ll be streaming the Bellator 66 prelims on CagePotato.com tomorrow starting at 7 p.m. ET. So be sure to come back for that, and check out the full event lineup after the jump…

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Awesome Fight Documentary Film Watch: Eddie Alvarez’s ‘No Plan B’

By Elias Cepeda

We may be in a golden age, or at least an incredibly good season for new fight docs, taters.

There’s “Like Water,” on Anderson Silva, “I am Bruce Lee,”  and soon, an interesting-looking doc on lightweight Eddie Alvarez (22-3).

In addition to being a GOP policy stance, “No Plan B,” is a new film by David Klayman that chronicles Alvarez in the lead-up to what may still be his most high profile to date: his bout with former Sports Illustrated cover boy Roger Huerta back in 2010.

The trailer for the movie shows Alvarez at home with family, as well as training and consulting with champion/east coast colleagues Bernard Hopkins and Frankie Edgar. The title of the film is derived from a quote and apparent philosophy of Alvarez’. “…I’m not much of a planner,” he says. “I set a goal and there really is nothing else. So, there is no ‘plan b.’”

Although Alvarez suffered a rare loss in his last fight to Michael Chandler, he will have a chance to avenge a prior defeat when he takes on Shinya Aoki (30-5) at the Bellator card on April 20 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Check out the trailer for “No Plan B” after the jump, and stay tuned for reviews of this and other docs coming soon to CagePotato.

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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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