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Tag: Thiago Alves

Maybe Jake Ellenberger Should Have Gotten the Bright Idea to Ask For the Fitch Fight

(Jake Ellenberger, seen here working for his money like a sucker.)

Those among us who aren’t pro fighters might think that Jake Ellenberger got a pretty sweet deal today. Because Ben Saunders volunteered to step in for Thiago Alves against Jon Fitch on late notice, Ellenberger now doesn’t have to do any work on Saturday night, and yet he still gets paid as if he had fought and won. Seems like a clear-cut ‘Nice, Playa‘ situation if we ever saw one.

But according to what he told Cagewriter, Ellenberger is still a little bummed about training for weeks just to end up a spectator in Newark this weekend:

"I was disappointed. Ben Saunders asked for the fight, Dana liked that, so our fight took a backseat. …It took me by complete surprise."

Ben Saunders Will Take on Jon Fitch at UFC 111, May Earn Title Shot with Win

(Ben Saunders: 170 pounds of knees, elbows, and unfortunate facial hair.)

With Thiago Alves out of UFC 111 due to brain irregularities, the UFC has tapped Ben Saunders to take on Jon Fitch just two days before the event. This means that Jake Ellenberger, who was originally scheduled to face Saunders as a replacement for the nauseatingly-wounded Martin Kampmann, is now screwed out of the fight he worked his tail off to prepare for. The upside is, he’s reportedly still getting his show and win money, all for doing nothing more than being cool about the whole thing. Looks like the wings and beers at a Newark-area Hooters are on Ellenberger tonight.

So what does this new match-up mean, aside from more changes to our UFC 111 FightPicker? For Saunders, it means a chance to step up in the ranks with a more high-profile victory. TMZ reports that Dana White has said he’ll give Saunders a title shot if he beats Fitch, which seems like a move that would sure piss off Josh Koscheck and Paul Daley with a quickness. Fitch has less to gain with a win over Saunders than with one over Alves, but at least he can call up his AKA teammate Mike Swick to get some scouting info on the lanky striker.

Kudos to the UFC for making lemonade out of this unfortunate batch of irregular lemons. Guess it helps to have a roster of fighters willing to scramble their plans at the last minute to accommodate your wishes.


Fitch/Alves to Be Replaced on UFC 111 Main Card with…Pellegrino/Camoes?

(And just like that, the dreaded "May not be broadcast" label is wiped clean.) has reacted quickly to the news of Thiago Alves’s removal from the UFC 111 card, and the way things look now it appears as they’ve decided to bump the fight between Kurt Pellegrino and Fabricio Camoes up from the prelims to fill the hole in the pay-per-view broadcast. If you ask us, Ricardo Almeida/Matt Brown might have been a better choice, or even Nate Diaz/Rory Markham, but once again, no one in the UFC front office asked us. That never fails to sting the old pride, either.

The change means that all you FightPicker players are going to want to update your answers to reflect your feelings on who will win the suddenly more important Pellegrino/Camoes showdown. If you don’t it might just cost you that Apple iPad, and wouldn’t that be a shame?


BREAKING: Thiago Alves Out of UFC 111 With ‘Brain Irregularity’

TMZ breaks the awful news

UFC’s Thiago "Pitbull" Alves will not fight at Saturday’s UFC 111, because a CAT Scan shows an irregularity in his brain, TMZ has learned. Thiago was scheduled to rumble with Jon Fitch on Saturday, but a pre-fight CAT Scan revealed an irregularity. A source close to 26-year-old Pitbull tells TMZ the irregularity involves an artery in the brain.
UFC honcho Dana White tells TMZ he will fly Pitbull to a specialist for further evaluation. White says, "If it’s true, it can be career-ending." No one will replace Pitbull on Saturday.

We heard chatter last night that the UFC was looking for a new opponent for Fitch, but with UFC 111 just two days away, any attempts to find a respectable replacement might be futile. A weird-looking artery in the brain is serious, scary business. Hopefully this is something that can be addressed medically so that Alves doesn’t have to retire when so much of his career was still ahead of him. We’ll update you when we get more details on the Pitbull’s health and when we know which preliminary card match will be promoted to the main card.


New Year’s Day Link Dump

("The Theory of Competition." Props: Tap or Sleep via Fightlinker)

– Diego Sanchez’s amazingly drunken acceptance speech at the World MMA Awards. (Watch Kalib Run)

– The UFC 108 injury curse claims matchmaker Joe Silva. (MMA Weekly)

– Shinya Aoki sort of apologizes for awful behavior at Dynamite!! 2009. (Sherdog)

– Fitch vs. Alves rematch rescheduled for UFC 111 in March. (MMA Mania)

– "Best of PRIDE" highlight series debuts January 15th on Spike TV. (MMA Junkie)

– Rashad Evans credits Rampage Jackson with helping him cope with loss. (MMA Fighting)

– Which fighters were the biggest UFC draws in 2009? (MMA Payout)

– The worst NBA draft picks of the decade. (Bleacher Report)

– Get psyched for Bikini Model Search 2010. (Bullz-Eye)

– Five things to watch for in the Rose Bowl. (Scores Report)

– Hey, check out this monkey eating Jell-O. (Asylum)

– The top 10 New Year’s resolutions that all men should make. (Ask Men)

– Denzel Washington trains to kick ass for Book of Eli. (Screen Junkies)

– The top 10 NASCAR women of 2009. (All Left Turns)

– World leaders you didn’t know were drunk. (Made Man)

– Dominican kid goes berzerk on his classmates. (Nothing Toxic)

– Jessica Cho is your Girl of the Day. (Break)


Jon Fitch’s Latest Opponent: Mike Pierce

Mike Pierce Brock Larson MMA UFC
(Mike Pierce takes Brock Larson for a ride during the "Diaz vs. Guillard" prelims in September. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Poor Jon Fitch. Two weeks ago he was "So excited!" about his rematch with Thiago Alves, which was set up when his original opponent Ricardo Almeida went down with a knee injury. But Alves soon had to pull out for the same reason, and Fitch is now faced with a nightmare scenario for any top contender — a dangerous opponent with little name-value. As reported by MMA Mania, Fitch will now compete at UFC 107 (December 12th, Memphis) against Mike Pierce, a 10-1 up-and-comer who recently scored a major upset over Brock Larson during his Octagon debut at UFC Fight Night 19. Before he joined the UFC, Pierce toiled in regional promotions where he picked up wins over TUF castmembers Mike Dolce, Mark Miller, and Paul Bradley. He’s currently riding a six-fight win streak.

Obviously, Fitch should take this one; just as he derailed Paulo Thiago‘s hype train at UFC 100 after the Brazilian scored a freak upset against Josh Koscheck, Fitch will probably do the same thing to Pierce, who’s coming off the biggest win of his career. But once again, it’s a fight that doesn’t do much to move him towards another shot at the welterweight belt. Unfortunately, when your opponents are struck down with injuries, and you’ve already had a shot at the champion, and you won’t fight Josh Koscheck and Mike Swick because of your camp affiliation, your options tend to be limited.


Thiago Alves Out of UFC 107 With Knee Injury

Thiago Alves GSP MMA UFC
(It’s particularly disappointing because Thiago’s face had just returned to normal.)

When it rains, it goddamned pours. The latest big-name UFC fighter to be scratched from an end-of-year card is Thiago Alves, who just went down with a knee injury — most likely a torn posterior cruciate ligament, if you want to get specific. Alves was scheduled to rematch Jon Fitch at UFC 107, and was coming in as a replacement for Ricardo Almeida, who suffered his own knee injury last week. No word yet on how long this will keep Alves sidelined, or if Fitch will be getting a replacement-replacement opponent for the December 12th show in Memphis. Matt Hughes, if there was ever a time to shut AKA’s collective mouth, it’s now. As it stands, UFC 107′s lineup looks like this:


Fitch’s ‘BIG Fight’ May Be Alves Rematch After All

(Fitch vs. Alves, 6/28/06.)

Though we previously eliminated Thiago Alves in our Fitch’s-next-opponent guessing game, it turns out that the Pitbull is a strong frontrunner for Ricardo Almeida‘s replacement. A source close to the UFC told MMA Junkie that Fitch and Alves will meet at UFC 107 (December 12th, Memphis); Alves’s original opponent for the event — Paulo Thiago — will be booked in another match.

Alves is obviously a bigger name than Almeida, but Fitch’s Twitter enthusiasm still threw us off. Who gets psyched about a rematch with a guy you already beat, unless it’s for a title? Reacquaint yourself with Fitch and Alves’s UFC Fight Night 5 scrap above, which starts with Alves having to take out his tongue ring, and ends with a TKO victory for Fitch at the end of the second-round thanks to a well-placed upkick.


The Best Photos of UFC 100

Dan Henderson Michael Bisping UFC 100 MMA

Photos courtesy of The Las Vegas Sun,, Sherdog, and MMA Weekly. Click all for larger images; lots more after the jump.

Brock Lesnar Frank Mir UFC 100Frank Mir Brock Lesnar UFC 100Frank Mir Brock Lesnar UFC 100Brock Lesnar UFC 100

Georges St. Pierre Thiago Alves UFC 100Georges St. Pierre GSP Thiago Alves UFC 100GSP Thiago Alves UFC 100Thiago Alves Georges St. Pierre UFC 100


The Potato Index: UFC 100 Edition

Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir UFC 100
(Lesnar-Mir provides a chilling preview of Lesnar-Sable later on that same night. Photo courtesy of USA Today.)

It’s time to see who’s up and who’s down after an epic weekend, and the Potato Index’s arbitrary numerical rankings system is here to help.  It’s like the stock market, only dumber.

Brock Lesnar (the fighter) +117
Sure, it was all brute force and not a lot of flashy technique.  And yes, he resembled a schoolyard bully more than a martial artist.  But the fact is Lesnar got the job done, and in convincing fashion.  Now the question is, could he beat someone his own size?

Brock Lesnar (the person) -56
We honestly didn’t think it was possible for Lesnar to hurt his own image so much even in victory.  But disrespecting everyone you can think of, from your opponent to a UFC sponsor, and then ending by suggesting that you might “get on top of” your wife (that really sounds like a satisfying sexual experience for her, BTW) is a good way to go about it.  Press conference apology was a good idea, but way too half-assed to make a dent.