MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: Spike

[EXCLUSIVE] For Prize & Pride: Joe Warren on MMA, Wrestling And Doing What is Needed


(Photo via USA Today)

By Elias Cepeda

MMA fighters are typically quite good at talking about participating in the sport in philosophical terms. It is human chess, it is the ultimate competition, they feel peace in the cage or ring after the bell sounds, they get a thrill out of it, it is the most pure sport expression of martial arts, etc.

Most MMA fighters are pretty smart and since they participate in a constantly attacked and judged sport, many have come to see themselves as ambassadors for the sport on the whole.

It is important to remember, however, that professional fighters are prize fighters. That is, no matter what auxiliary benefits they get for fighting other trained athletes, they do it for money.

Fighters fight to put food on their plates and roofs over their heads. Joe Warren never forgets this.

The former Greco Roman wrestling world champion is in his car driving to his home state of Michigan on a recent afternoon. In tow, are the reasons he fights – his family. After winning a world championship, Warren was focused on making the U.S. Olympic team in 2008 and going to Beijing and winning gold.

A failed marijuana test and ensuing two-year suspension slammed that door shut for Warren. It was only then, at the relatively ancient age of thirty two, that he decided to follow in the footsteps of other world-class wrestlers turned fighters like Mark Coleman, Dan Henderson and Matt Lindland and fight MMA.

“I was training to win a world championship, I won a world championship and then didn’t get to wrestle in the Olympics,” Warren tells CagePotato on the ride to Michigan.

“While training for wrestling, some of the best fighters ever were in the room. Guys like Randy Couture, Matt Lindland and Dan Henderson. So, it was always in my mind. I started to do a little bit of color commentary but I didn’t have any credibility in fighting because I hadn’t fought. So, I decided to take some fights. I had some babies now and I needed to keep making cash.

So, I called Dan [Henderson] and they got me a fight instantly. In a month, I was in the Featherweight World Grand Prix. I flew out there starting fighting.”

Not only did Warren jump right into the fire against champions like Chase Beebe, “Kid” Yamamoto and Bibiano Fernandes in his very first three fights back in 2009, he did so with only a month of MMA training in his pocket. “I went in there strictly a wrestler,” Warren says.

“I flew out to Team Quest maybe a month before my first fight in Japan. I didn’t have a chance to learn the fighting aspect of it. It was just about safety – keep my hands up.”

Despite his lack of experience and, frankly, skills, Warren did well. He beat Beebe and Yamamoto before losing by submission to Fernandes. Then, he moved on to Bellator and won their featherweight title.

Read More DIGG THIS

The Entertainer: Quinton Jackson Heads Into an Uncertain Future

By Elias Cepeda

The past week or so has been an exciting one for fans of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. It’s also been a little bit of a worrisome one as well.

Jackson has gushed about his new deal with Bellator and the TNA Impact professional wrestling organization. He says he’ll only be asked to fight when he wants to, that he’s excited to finally get to try out a long-time love of his — pro wrasslin’ — and that the Viacom family that owns Bellator might create opportunities for him on television and in movies, through their Paramount pictures movie house.

Jackson left the UFC earlier this year, not just on a three-fight losing streak, but also embittered by what he felt was poor treatment from the organization. Likening promoter/fighter relationships to that of personal, romantic ones, Jackson told CagePotato last week, “…me and Bellator, we tongue kissing right now, baby.”

The fan in me has a soft spot for Jackson. Like many of you, I’ve watched him fight for over a decade. He’s always done so with courage and in exciting fashion. Back in the day, “Rampage” may have also been the most accessible top fighter in the world. There was a time where he set up a phone line specifically for fans. He made the number public and waited for calls. When they came in, he’d pick up whenever he was available, and chat with whoever wanted to talk to him.

Not a whole lot to dislike about a guy like that, right? So, if Jackson has found a new, better situation for himself, where he feels happy, no one can begrudge him that.

The thing is, we’ve seen this situation play out before with the fighter. Being enamored with an organization before ultimately souring on them, and feeling rejected and disrespected when it was all over. While with Pride, Jackson often seemed quite happy. He defended the Japanese promotion in public and compared it favorably to its competitor at the time, the UFC.

By the time the UFC signed Jackson, however, he acted as if it was a life-saving event. I remember speaking with Jackson near the end of his Pride tenure and again shortly after he’d signed with the UFC.

At that time, Jackson didn’t only express satisfaction with his new UFC contract, he spoke of Dana White as if he were a personal friend who had saved him and done him a favor. Six or so years later, Jackson and White routinely trash each other publicly.

During a media conference call last week, Jackson said that Bellator promoter Bjorn Rebney is a guy who “gets it,” and is the type of boss he’s been waiting for his entire career. Jackson says that things are different this time around.

Read More DIGG THIS

New Spike Reality Show Announced for Bellator Fighting Championships


(Bellator’s charmingly “WTF?” fight-finishes are coming to a reality show near you.)

Though Bellator Fighting Championships has been putting on high-quality fights for three years now, the organization and CEO Bjorn Rebney have been careful to not wage war with the UFC. However, it was announced today that Bellator will step just a little bit closer to direct-competitor status, with a reality show to air on the same cable network that gave the UFC its big break by airing The Ultimate FighterSpike TV.

After the UFC and Spike could not come to terms on continuing their partnership, Spike’s parent company Viacom bought Bellator, announcing that the new organization would begin airing programming on Spike in 2013. We now know that part of that will be a reality show featuring Bellator fighters and produced by The Amazing Race producer, Bertram van Munster.

“Some of the most physically-gifted and fascinating athletes in the world fight in Bellator, and I believe that they make ideal subjects for an innovative non-scripted series,” van Munster said in a statement released by Spike today.

Read More DIGG THIS

Viacom’s Purchase of Bellator Fallout: Four Overlooked Things That Will Likely Happen Because of the Deal


(Well, at least *some* of the inevitable changes will be good.)

When it was announced today that media giant Viacom had purchased Bellator Fighting Championships, most of us probably overlooked the bigger picture of what the deal means to the landscape of MMA. At a glance, better financial backing and being on a more popular channel like Spike means better fights and bigger paychecks for fighters, but behind the scenes the scope of the deal is likely much bigger than we know and the aftershocks will be felt for some time.

Check out four of the biggest likelihoods that will come out of the purchase after the jump.

Read More DIGG THIS

Bellator to Stream Preliminary Fights On Spike, Still Not Admitting They’re Leaving MTV2

Bellator is really stepping up their game with these promo videos. VidProps: BellatorMMA/YouTube

Well this is interesting: following in the pioneering steps of the UFC, Bellator is announcing that they will begin streaming the undercard fights on the series of tubes known as the internet.

That’s not the interesting part. The interesting part is who they’re partnering with: Spike. Yep, those guys.

According to a press release sent to the CagePotato Desk for Serious Journalism, You Guys (not actually a real place), the undercard fights will go live on Spike.com at 7pm ET as a lead-in for the main card broadcasts on MTV2 starting at 9pm. As we reported last week, the main cards will also be broadcast in HD on EPIX, which we personally confirmed is a extant channel that wasn’t made up by some Viacom dude with a stupid-long job title.

The press release included a quote from some Viacom dude (Executive Vice President, Digital Entertainment, MTV Networks Entertainment Group), a guy by the name of Erik Flannigan:

“Fight fans have been coming to our site for years for great mixed martial arts clips and information,” said Flannigan. “Now we are thrilled to provide them with action-packed live fighting each week.”

Read More DIGG THIS

Five Reasons Zuffa Won’t Buy Bellator


“So then I said to Dana, I said, ‘Look, big guy, you take that check, and you roll it up real tight…’”

With the UFC’s current deal with BFF network Spike set to run out at the end of the year, Zuffa has been looking at other options on television, including buying a stake in cable network G4. It’s been fertile ground for all manner of rumors, but one piece of speculation that kept popping up was that Zuffa may be looking at buying Bellator Fighting Championships. This is not really a new idea, and it’s understandable given Zuffa’s demonstrated willingness to swallow its competition, but it ain’t happening.

Sure, Zuffa has pockets deep enough to write a check for the young up and coming promotion, but would they actually be interested in doing so? What would such an acquisition do for the UFC? Could they convert Bellator’s circular steel to Zuffa’s angular cage? Do they need Bjorn Rebney to come up and teach the finer points of running tournaments? Are guys like Eddie Alvarez, Ben Askren, Joe Warren, and Hector Lombard valuable enough to justify a takeover?

Well, short answer: no. Everyone knows that you can’t octagon a circle, so Zuffa would likely have a handful of round cages with nothing to do with them. Who wants a cage that doesn’t reflect your company’s logo? Come on, people, that’s just elementary.

Come on in past the jump and we’ll lay out our case, woefully uninformed though it may be, as to why Zuffa will not be buying Bellator anytime in the near future. We’ll even open up the floor for comments, if you jerks think you know better than we do. Just remember, if you make us look silly, we’re completely capable of doing humorous things to your log-ins, like adding links to diaper fetish sites and penis pump vendors. You’ve been warned.

Read More DIGG THIS

“UFC’s Ultimate 100″ Voting Begins Today

Wesley Cabbage Correira Tank Abbott UFC 45 MMA
(If I have one regret in life, it’s that I was not able to rate the Cabbage vs. Tank fight more than ten Octagons.)

From a press release sent out by Spike:

In celebration of UFC 100, Spike TV will present a 5-part special, highlighting the best 100 bouts in UFC history, as voted on by the fans. Voting will begin on May 1 on Spike.com (Ultimate100.spike.com) where fans can choose their top 100 fights from an extensive list of bouts selected by the UFC and Spike TV.
Read More DIGG THIS

Joe Rogan’s Spike TV Stand-Up Special to Air After ‘TUF 9′ Finale


(Track 15 on Shiny Happy Jihad.)

The one-hour stand-up comedy special that UFC color-man Joe Rogan filmed in Columbus before UFC 96 has finally gotten an airdate: June 20th at midnight ET/PT, directly following the broadcast of The Ultimate Fighter: U.S. vs. U.K. finale. As Rogan confirmed during an appearance on The Greg Fitzsimmons Show yesterday, his will be the first of several comedy specials that Spike will air this year, and the late-night time slot allows it to be aired uncensored. ("I couldn’t believe it. They don’t have to cut anything.")

Sounds like a kickass night of free entertainment. To refresh your memories, the TUF 9 finale card be lookin’ like this:

MAIN CARD
Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida
Welterweight TUF finalist vs. welterweight TUF finalist (TBA)
Lightweight TUF finalist vs. lightweight TUF finalist (TBA)
Nate Diaz vs. Joe Stevenson
Anthony Johnson vs. Matt Brown

UNDERCARD
Tomasz Drwal vs. Eric Schafer
Chris Lytle vs. Kevin Burns
Melvin Guillard vs.Thiago Tavares
Brad Blackburn vs. Edgar Garcia
Other matches between TUF 9 castmembers (TBA)

Technorati Profile

Read More DIGG THIS

The Potato Index: UFC 95 Aftermath

Diego Sanchez vs. Joe Stevenson
(Photo courtesy of SI.com)

Another UFC event is in the books, which means it’s time again to see who’s up and who’s down according to the Potato Index’s arbitrary numerical rankings system.  It’s kind of like Bob Reilly’s poll, only we admit it’s total bullshit.  And at least this particular brand of bullshit is more fun.

Diego Sanchez +123

“The Nightmare” proved he can cut almost forty pounds and still go three rounds at a steady pace.  That could be bad news for some other lightweight contenders, though it would still be interesting to see how he stacks up against one of the better wrestlers in the division.  Sean Sherk’s not too busy, is he?

Joe Stevenson -88

Another disappointing performance for Stevenson leaves us wondering where he can possibly go from here.  He just doesn’t seem to have enough in his toolbox to hang with the top fighters, and secluding himself in Victorville, which is not known for its elite training facilities, certainly isn’t helping.

Demian Maia +204

If you’re going to do only one thing, you’d better do it extremely well, and Maia does.  He forces another quality opponent to fight on his terms and puts him away with impressive ease.  Is there any middleweight not named Anderson Silva who can pose a significant threat to him at this point?

Read More DIGG THIS

The UFC 95 Pick-em Contest Is Alive and Well


(Two best middleweights, or just Demian Maia and some dude in a track suit?  Photo courtesy of Combat Lifestyle’s UFC 95 presser gallery.)

As UFC 95 approaches you may find yourself itching to do some prognosticating, but whither the pick –em contest?  Have no fear, Potato Nation.  Thanks to user Contraband, bragging rights are on the line in the (Un)Official Cage Potato UFC 95 Pick-em Contest, now jumping off in the forums.

Why not head over there and prove to the rest of us newbs how much you know about MMA by slamming down your picks for Saturday night’s event?  While you’re there, might as well comment on your favorite and least favorite MMA techniques, and take a look at Edith’s ass.  I mean, it’s right there.

If you’re curious as to how we see UFC 95 going down, our picks are after the jump.  And don’t forget about the liveblog on Saturday night.  Seriously, just don’t.

Read More DIGG THIS
CagePotatoMMA