Michael Bisping was his usual snarling-mad self while facing off with Tim Kennedy today, in advance of their meeting at Wednesday’s TUF Nations Finale. Kennedy decided to hold his tongue during the verbal assault — he’s a strong, silent type, who prefers to do his talking on the Internet — but that point-and-head-shake gesture at the end definitely got his point across. Anyway, this fight is in two days. Get excited.
UFC women’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey and upcoming challengerSara McMann had their first official staredown yesterday at a media event in Los Angeles, which luckily didn’t end in an awkward face-butt. (Although the pretend crane-kick that McMann flashed was kind of awkward in its own way.) It’s hard to imagine these two undefeated Olympic medalists developing an intense hatred for each other by the time they meet in the cage at UFC 170, which is a little over six weeks away. And that’s perfectly fine. We don’t need a “storyline” for every title fight, do we? Can’t this just be a simple squash match between two talented athletes who respect each other?
After the jump: Rousey gives her thoughts on her UFC 168 fight against Miesha Tate (and the resulting handshake controversy), the pressure of being the face of WMMA, her inability to pronounce “tournament,” and her love of Fedor Emalienenko. Plus, Sara McMann discusses how she got the opportunity to compete for the UFC title, preparing for Ronda, and motherhood.
On Monday, the UFC kicked off an insanely ambitious promotional tour that will take the headliners for UFC 165, UFC 166, UFC 167, and UFC 168 to five countries over five days. The “UFC World Tour” stopped at the Club Nokia at Nokia Live in Los Angeles yesterday, and the fighters had a chance to get up in each others’ faces, while the meatheaded fans in attendance shouted whatever came to mind, like they were at home watching it on TV. You can check out the video above. Some highlights…
0:17-1:00:Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate come out dressed like office temps. They mean-mug each other, and Rousey gives Tate the ol’ Stockton Heybuddy walking away. The crowd fires off various catcalls. Dana’s goony mug at 0:41 says it all.
1:10-1:52:Georges St. Pierre and Johny Hendricks face off, with Hendricks looking noticeably jacked. The crowd chants “USA!” A fan asks Hendricks what he weighs, and Hendro says “215,” flexing like a boss.
2:35-3:07:Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson get very close. Gustafsson rolls his tongue around in his mouth, preparing himself for the incoming kiss…but it doesn’t come. Breaking with tradition, Jones actually shifts his head and looks directly into the eyes — nay, the soul — of Alexander Gustafsson. Jones hoists his belt, then pop-and-locks his way off stage. The crowd boos.
During Thursday’s UFC on FX 8 pre-fight press conference, Vitor Belfort did that thing he loves to do where he held his right fist out to Luke Rockhold‘s chin during their photo-op staredown. Luke was not amused. So, after the two headliners weighed in today at Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil, Rockhold just walked straight through Belfort’s fist-pose, making body contact with the Brazilian fighter. Belfort shoved Rockhold, and Bootleg Dana had to separate them.
Video of that incident is above, and the full “Belfort vs. Rockhold” weigh-in results are after the jump. Be sure to come back to CagePotato.com tomorrow night at 9 p.m. ET for our liveblog of the main card!
If there’s one thing that Michael Bisping knows how to do, it’s convincingly sell eachandevery one of his fights as a “grudge match.” If there’s a second thing Michael Bisping knows how to do, it’s make a bunch of promises about said fights that he has no intention of following through with. Set to face Alan Belcher at UFC 159 this weekend, Bisping has already made sure to check both of those items off his list. First, he promised fans that he will knock Belcher out in the first round — something he has promised ad nauseum over the years yet hasn’t actually done since 2008 — and at today’s UFC 159 presser, he successfully convinced us that his fight with Belcher really is a grudge match. Touche, Mee-kale.
In either case, Bisping and Belcher made sure to get the shit-talking started early at today’s presser, and we’ve thrown the video above for your enjoyment. So check it out, then let us know how many times you think Bisping will point at Belcher’s face and scream “You’re dead!” come weigh-in time. He seems to enjoy doing that.
(Quick poll – Which is funnier: Miller’s hair or Shields’ attempt at a mean mug?)
You can hate on the over-the-top theatrics of professional wrestling all you want, but there’s no denying the sport’s influence on the world of MMA. Do you think we would have ever seen Jonathan Ivey break out “The People’s Elbow” in a fight if The Rock hadn’t done it first? And how about that Chael Sonnen character, who we would all just write off as another boring wrestler if not for his Billy Graham-esque heel routine? The list goes on and on, but greater than the signature moves, greater even than the whimsical trash-talking pro wrasslin’ has inspired in our great sport, is the post-fight cage confrontation.
It has been responsible for some of the most unintentionally hilarious highs and Gus Johnsony lows that MMA has ever seen, yet we can’t seem to look away when such an inherently silly situation is presented in the aftermath of a fight. The UFC clearly understands this, and in an effort to set up everyone’s dream match of Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones Georges. St. Pierre, both the UFC and Silva’s manager have hinted that not only is the middleweight champ going to be in attendance at UFC 154, but should St. Pierre emerge victorious, the two will face off in the cage and lay the foundation for the next great MMA superfight. So with that in mind, we’ve compiled a brief, albeit memorable, video tribute to the post-fight confrontation. Enjoy.
Yes, Anderson Silva initiated contact. Yes, he appeared to lunge in for a kiss at the 1:05:35 mark. Yes, it took Dana White and two other dudes to hold him back. By comparison, Chael Sonnen was cool as a cucumber during the climactic staredown at today’s UFC 148 press conference. Congrats, buddy, you’re in his head. Now what?
Update: An edited version with audio is after the jump, courtesy of MMAFighting.
Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans, this Saturday night — rivalries will be settled, swagger will be jacked, special nights will be ruined. The two light-heavyweights met face-to-face yesterday at a press conference in Atlanta, and though Jones and Evans are all talked out at this point, their staredown was enough to get us hyped up in the home stretch to UFC 145. After the jump: Video highlights from the press conference.
Staredown gif via ‘unfilter’ on the UG. The full UFC on FOX 2 press conference video is after the jump, in which Dana White clarifies that Chael Sonnen is not actually the middleweight champion, nor will he be challenging for the light-heavyweight or heavyweight titles after this fight.