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Tag: Shogun Rua

Old Dog, Same Tricks


(Chuck picks the exact wrong time to go to his happy place.)

I know, I know — more Chuck Liddell stuff.  But remember Howard Davis Jr. saying that Liddell needed to work on avoiding right hands and keeping his eyes open when the punches are coming at him?  Well, Zak over at Watch Kalib Run found this picture of him doing neither, and it really drives Davis Jr.’s point home.  Turns out keeping your eyes open is pretty crucial to avoiding punches, and avoiding punches is pretty crucial to winning fights.

If you want to feel even worse for Liddell, TMZ has a somewhat strange video of his pre-fight warm-up (thanks to OB&I for the tip) and Fightlinker has a gif of Dana White nearly knocking Chuck down with a friendly slap on the back in the Octagon. 

If you want to be reminded that it wasn’t always depressing losses and the inevitable ravages of age for "The Iceman," we got you covered after the jump.

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The Potato Index: UFC 97 Aftermath


(A tough night in so many different ways. Photo courtesy of SI.com)

Even our supercomputer had trouble dealing with the data from a bizarre main event at UFC 97.  We had to hit it with a broomstick a couple times just to keep it chugging.  Not a great Saturday night for the UFC, but at least it’s over now.  Let’s see who’s up and who’s down.

Anderson Silva -129
Against Cote, the computer was willing to cut him some slack based on past performances.  But two lackluster showings in a row, followed by an inability or unwillingness to comprehend why fans might have been unsatisfied, that equals a big drop.  Is this the Silva we can look forward to from now on?

Thales Leites -176

You get the opportunity of your lifetime and spend most of it flopping onto your back?  We think you’re going to regret that decision.  How Leites thought this strategy might yield a victory is a real mystery.  What the UFC can do with him now is another.

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Videos: The Fight That Retired Chuck Liddell, + More From UFC 97

Mauricio "Shogun" Rua took home a $70,000 Knockout of the Night bonus for putting Chuck Liddell away, but he also ended "The Iceman’s" career with the TKO victory.  At least that’s what UFC prez Dana White said at the post-fight press conference, telling reporters "It’s over."

Liddell didn’t make any declarations that were quite so final, but he seemed resigned to the fact, admitting it was "probably the case" that he is now retired.  Man, what a downer.  Thanks a lot, Shogun.

The other $70,000 bonuses went to Matt Wiman and Sam Stout for Fight of the Night (really?), and Krzystof Soszynski for Submission of the Night.  Anderson Silva did not receive a bonus.  We imagine that when he asked Dana White why, Dana looked at him with disappointment in his eyes and said, ‘You know why.’

More videos are after the jump.

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Chuck Liddell’s Revamped Game Plan: Avoid Right Hands


(Yep, still painful to watch.)

Want to know how Chuck Liddell’s going to beat “Shogun” Rua at UFC 97?  Simple: keep his eyes open and avoid right hands.  That’s essentially what Olympic gold medalist boxer Howard Davis Jr., who helped train Liddell for this fight, told MMANews.com.  Davis said he spent a lot of time working with Liddell on “avoiding the right hand, slipping and blocking the right.”

That sounds almost so basic as to be stupid, but then you remember Liddell’s recent knockout losses to both Rashad Evans and “Rampage” Jackson.  The right hand counter did him in both times.  Now he’s got Davis helping him, so, problem solved?

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Ben vs. Ben: UFC 97 Edition


(‘No, it isn’t funny. What happened to the dress I bought you? The one with an actual neckline? It’s like you want people to stare or something. Oh, now I get it.’)

You know what time it is.  Time to get serious about the important questions surrounding UFC 97.  Questions like, ‘What the hell are we getting for our money here?’ and ‘What’s up with your stupid face, stupid?’  That’s right.  It’s Ben vs. Ben time.

What exactly does Chuck Liddell have to do to prove that he’s still got it?  Is anything less than a devastating KO going to be enough?
 
BG: It’ll either have to be a knockout, or an incredibly dominant decision victory where all three judges score it 30-24 and Shogun Rua‘s face looks like hamburger afterwards. Here’s the deal: There’s no way that Shogun could have magically set the clock back to 2005 in the three months since he barely defeated Mark Coleman at UFC 93, and I think we all expect a shabby performance out of him tomorrow night. So Chuck basically has to prove that although he may no longer be able to hang with younger, more complete fighters, his skills haven’t deteriorated as much as Rua’s have.

If both fighters turn in mediocre efforts, the UFC will have a hard time figuring out what to do with them. (You can’t cut the winner and the loser. Can you?) That was probably Dana White’s motivation for calling out Liddell in public and demanding a dazzling performance — if Chuck fails again, there’s no obvious next step with him, promotion-wise. Do you throw him against talented up-and-comers like Luis Cane and Jon Jones, who might smash his old ass?  Do you try to build him back up against complete cans? Either way, he won’t be in important fights anymore, and that may not be an option for the UFC, or for Chuck himself.

BF: The only way a decision victory would be enough for Liddell is if a) Rua fights like it’s the 2005 Pride GP all over again, b) Chuck still comes close to finishing him several times, and c) after the fight all we can talk about is what amazing heart and conditioning Rua showed in merely surviving that assault.

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: UFC 97


(After he was so excited about finally meeting Kevin Federline, Chuck was extremely disappointed to find out that K-Fed had a better picture pose than he did.)

The Gambling Addiction Enabler had a somewhat rough go at Strikeforce thanks to Frank Shamrock deciding to go ahead and get old out of nowhere (okay fine, in retrospect, probably should have seen that one coming), but he managed to cut his losses by picking Scott Smith to pull off the minor upset against Benji Radach.  With underdogs proving profitable, maybe your favorite compulsive gambler will have to take a long look at some of the major ones on the UFC 97 lineup.  Maybe put down a big bet on a certain middleweight challenger who nobody thinks has a chance in hell…

Odds today come from BestFightOdds.com:

Anderson Silva (-500) vs. Thales Leites (+456)
"Shogun" Rua (+170) vs. Chuck Liddell (-172)
Brian Stann (+151) vs. Krzysztof Soszynski (-150)
Nate Quarry (+110) vs. Jason MacDonald (-110)
David Loiseau (-112) vs. Ed Herman (+110)
David Bielkheden (+240) vs. Mark Bocek (-255)
Antoni Hardonk (+275) vs. Cheick Kongo (-261)
Steve Cantwell (+265) vs. Luis Cane (-275)
Eliot Marshall (+120) vs. Vinny Magalhaes (-150)
Xavier Fouka-Pokam (+300) vs. Denis Kang (-300)
T.J. Grant (+177) vs. Ryo Chonan (-187)
Sam Stout (-125) vs. Matt Wiman (+120)

Best bets…

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Videos: Lesnar Talks Trash on Mir, Rogan Talks Liddell, + Something Really Weird


Brock Lesnar talks with "Inside MMA’s" Ron Kruck about Frank Mir and that silly "make believe" belt that Mir took off of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.  Isn’t it adorable the way Frank thinks that hunk of metal and leather is real?  Just precious.

Joe Rogan swigs Diet Coke and waxes philosophical about the Chuck Liddell of old and the old Chuck Liddell of the present ("the guy’s thirty-nine years old, cut him some slack").  Honestly, it’s a pretty candid assessment of where Liddell and Shogun Rua are at this point in their respective careers, if perhaps a little too apologetic on Shogun’s behalf.  Rogan didn’t seem as willing to make excuses for Rua’s poor conditioning back when he was burying him from the broadcast table at UFC 93.

After the jump, something extremely disturbing, and at the same time boring.

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Just How Detached From Reality Is Chuck Liddell?


(Go ahead.  Tell Chuck you forgot to order the ice cream cake for his birthday party.  I’m sure he’ll understand.)

As Chuck Liddell prepares to try and prove to Dana White and the rest of the MMA world that he still belongs in the UFC, some recent comments seem to suggest that he maybe he has suffered serious head trauma after all.  Regarding his goal to take back the UFC light heavyweight strap, Liddell told Fighters Only:

“I don’t plan on letting [Rashad Evans] stay champ for long. I thought I was winning that fight. I made a mistake, got caught and dropped. I was winning the fight up until then.  People ask me about retiring after that fight. It wasn’t like I got my ass kicked and then got knocked out. I was winning the fight, got sloppy for a second and got caught. I made a mistake.”

[Sigh]  I can’t help but feel like he’s using the old ‘got caught’ explanation as a crutch here.  Yes, he got caught in the sense that he left himself wide open and was absolutely hammered by a right hand from Evans.  But he wasn’t really winning the fight up until then.  He wasn’t losing, either.  The fight was fairly even with little significant action.  And then he got knocked out.

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The Potato Index: UFC 93 Aftermath

Mark Coleman Shogun Rua UFC 93
(Mark "Frankenstein" Coleman staggers into an uppercut.  Photo courtesy of NBC Sports.)

Thanks to our psychic abilities, we know exactly what two questions went running through your precious little head immediately after the curtain dropped on UFC 93: 1) How did I fare in the Cage Potato UFC 93 Pick-em Contest?, and 2) What will the Potato Index’s arbitrary numerical ratings system say about this event?

The answer to the first question is coming soon.  There are, after all, a lot of entries to sort through, and for that we thank you.  The answer to the second question begins…now!  Potato Index!!!!

Dan Henderson +23

He won the fight.  That’s the good news.  He didn’t look spectacular doing it, and we aren’t dying to see more of that particular style in the future, but a win is a win.  Now we have Hendo-Bisping to look forward to.  And that’s, you know, okay…

Rich Franklin -8

Honestly, this decision easily could have gone the other way (just ask the judge who scored it 30-27 Franklin), but it didn’t.  This loss isn’t a sign that Ace is washed up and he didn’t want to coach TUF anyway, so it’s not the end of the world.  It is, however, an indicator that he’s just treading water in the UFC for now, going neither up nor down.  There are worse fates.  At least this one pays.

Mark Coleman -54

Poor, poor Coleman.  Literally.  He says he didn’t have the money for a proper training camp, hence the non-existent cardio and an enthusiastic but misinformed Phil Baroni in his corner.  But what did we expect?  The man was great once, but nothing lasts forever, even cold November rain and explosive wrestling ability.  Please, either fight someone else in your age bracket, or call it quits.  We say this because we care.

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The UFC is Somehow Pleased with “Shogun” Rua’s Efforts, + More Bonus News from UFC 93


(The end result of Coleman and Rua’s own gentlemen’s agreement to show up out of shape and keep their hands at their waists in all punching exchanges.)

Despite looking sloppy and tired against Mark Coleman at UFC 93 in Dublin on Saturday, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua apparently did enough to pocket some bonus money and secure a fight with Chuck Liddell at UFC 97 in Montreal this April.  All for beating a very beatable Coleman, whose gas tank seems to have shrunk to a gas can with age.  Now Rua’s got a few months to get ready for Liddell, who is not quite as old or easy to punch in the face.  Good luck, buddy.

Rua’s labored attempts to put Coleman away earned them both a $40,000 bonus for one of the event’s two (2!!) Fights of the Night. 

The other went to Chris Lytle and Marcus Davis, for putting on the promised stand-up battle that we will probably not end up talking about at the water cooler, except perhaps to wonder outloud why, if Davis wanted such a memorable war, he spent so much of the fight moving backwards and away from his partner in this particular dance.

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