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Tag: Steve Jennum

The Ten Most Random Replacement Opponents in MMA History


(He wore his own shirt in hopes of getting MMA fans to learn his name. Instead, they all asked him if he’s a cameraman for the new Danny Trejo movie.)

By Seth Falvo

By now you’ve heard that Rashad Evans is out of his co-main event clash against Daniel Cormier at UFC 170, and has been replaced by promotional newcomer Patrick Cummins. Unsurprisingly, reactions to this announcement have ranged from “Who is Patrick Cummins?” to “UFC Books Match Between Number One Contender And Twitter User.“ Cummins certainly feels like an unusual replacement opponent, but how does he stack up against other fighters who were granted a shot in the spotlight out of sheer necessity for a warm body to step in and save a fight?

Coincidentally enough, we’ll start with his next opponent…

10.) Injury Replacement Daniel Cormier Wins the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.

(Photo Courtesy of Getty Images.)

The Details: Replaced Alistair Overeem against Antonio Silva at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov (09/10/2011).
Why He Makes the Top Ten: It’s hard to believe that just under three years ago, Daniel Cormier such an unknown prospect that sportsbooks didn’t even bother creating odds for him to win the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, despite creating odds for Ray Sefo and Valentijn “Othereem” Overeem; a $20 bet on Cormier “FIELD” to win the tournament would have netted you $1,000. But when Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem injured his toe/realized fighting in the tournament was pointless and pulled out of his scheduled bout against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, Cormier handled Silva so effortlessly that it was impossible not to take note. Cormier would go on to defeat Josh Barnett for the tournament title, and the rest is history.
Why He Isn’t Ranked Higher: While Cormier may not have been high on our radars at the time, it’s hard to call an Olympic wrestler an “unknown prospect.”

On a somewhat related note…

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MMA Bracketology: Re-Imagining the UFC 2, UFC 3, And UFC 6 Tournaments


(And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why history must be re-written.)

By Matt Saccaro

Tournaments seem like a great way to determine the best competitor from a group of athletes. You have 8 (or 16 or 32 or whatever the number) fighters, put them in a bracket, and then let them fight it out. The last dude standing clearly must be the best because he survived the tournament, right?

At first, that logic seems OK. But upon closer scrutiny, it starts to sound like something Master Shake would try to argue.

Tournaments — like the ones the UFC used to run — are heavily dependent on how the bracket is organized. Some fighters get an easy run, others get a gauntlet.

This got us at Cage Potato thinking: What if some of the early UFC tournament brackets were re-organized or even shuffled just a little bit? Who would end up becoming the “Ultimate Fighters” of the 1990s? Let’s find out!

UFC 2

UFC 2 was the first and only 16-man tournament run by the UFC. The first round of the tournament — save for Royce Gracie’s fight (of course)—didn’t air on the PPV and aren’t on the DVD either.  These “lost fights” from UFC 2 have quite a few interesting characters such as the enigmatic Pencak Silat master Alberto Cerro Leon and the chubby, sweatpants-clad Robert Lucarelli.

Look at the complete bracket and see how many names you recognize. Most of these guys from the UFC 2 dark matches had no chance in the tournament, save for a man named Freek (or Frank) Hamaker.  We’re going to stick with Freek because it rhymes with Reek. A fighter like Hamaker was a rarity in the early days. He wasn’t a hapless striker fated to be embarrassed.  He was a sambo practitioner who trained under legendary European grappler Chris Dolman.

Hamaker’s first (and only) fight was at UFC 2 against the mysterious San Soo Kung Fu man Thaddeus Luster. The fight went like the typical early UFC fight. The guy with grappling immediately took down the guy without grappling and won shortly afterwards. Hamaker withdrew from the tournament after defeating Luster and disappeared to the pornography theater from whence he came.

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