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

Tag: title fight

XFC Lightweight Champion Nick Newell Stripped of Title Over Alleged Refusal to Defend it at XFC 24

Ever since he was dubbed the winner of our “Proving Grounds” competition a couple years back, we have repeatedly sung the praises of undefeated, congenial amputee fighter “Notorious” Nick Newell. We’ll spare you the obvious cliches, but to say that Newell’s dramatic (also, absolutely devastating) run under the XFC banner — which culminated in a first round submission victory over Eric Reynolds to claim the promotion’s lightweight title – was anything less than inspiring would be a disservice.

Unfortunately, Newell’s influential story has turned into that of controversy recently.

Newell was scheduled to defend his newly-earned title against fellow undefeated prospect Scott “Hot Sauce” Holtzman at the upcoming XFC 24, but according to XFC President, John Prisco, Newell has refused to defend his title against anyone but a UFC veteran and has thusly been stripped of his title. Prisco spoke directly through XFC’s official website and he was rather candid:

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Update: Aldo vs. Pettis to Serve as Main Event of UFC 163 in Brazil [UH-DUH!]


(The loyalty of your fellow Brazilians doesn’t mean shit when you’ve grabbed the last Giga Pet off the shelf on Black Friday. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.)

Well alright, alright, alright, it looks like the UFC will be returning to the motherland yet again in 2013.

After initially refusing to fight lightweight contender Anthony Pettis, then requesting that the fight be held at a catchweight (sound familiar, Andy?), it was announced a couple weeks ago that featherweight champion Jose Aldo would in fact be fighting Pettis for the featherweight title at an event and location TBD. If Aldo was victorious, however, he would receive the next shot at the winner of the Ben Henderson/Gil Melendez lightweight title fight on April 20th. Brazilians, man. They treat their belts like Sauron’s Ring.

In either case, it is being passed around that both an event and location have been named for the upcoming “superfight,” which is apparently what we’re calling it now: UFC 163, at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Because of course Brazil.

No other fights have been announced for the event, but it might interest you to know that Aldo is currently resting at a very modest -155 favorite over Pettis at 5Dimes. So, do whatever you want with that bit of info.

So…how about this new pope business?

-J. Jones

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John Moraga (Yes, THE John Moraga) to Face Demetrious Johnson Next at the TUF 17 Finale in April


(Aaaannndd in the blue corner, fighting out of…uh…parts unknown, and sporting a professional record of…*cough*teen and one…Juan Mordana!) 

Right now, the UFC’s flyweight division consists of less fighters than there are students in the average Introduction to Genetics and Evolution class at Kentucky Mountain Bible College. And while this doesn’t exactly provide fans with a plethora of matchups to get excited about, it does provide several of the division’s fighters with a short path to a title shot. Take John Moraga, for instance, the flyweight fighter sporting a 2-0 UFC record who was announced earlier today as the next challenger to Demetrious Johnson’s throne. Moraga will be given a chance to shock the world in the main event of the upcoming TUF 17 Finale, which transpires from the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 13th.

To be fair, Moraga has about as impressive a two fight (UFC) win streak as you can have, especially given the size of the pond he is swimming in. After knocking out the highly-touted former Tachi Palace Fights champion, Ulysses Gomez, in his promotional debut, Morega scored a third round come-from-behind submission victory over experienced octagon vet Chris Cariaso at UFC 155. In fact, the only loss you’d find on the 14 fight record of Moraga dates back to December of 2010 and came, ironically enough, to the last man that was defeated by “Mighty Mouse,” John Dodson. Like we said, it’s a(n appropriately) small pond.

So this is a bit of an odd pairing, sure, but if Moraga’s debut performance was any indication, the dude can trade with the best of them and has some devastating KO power to boot. But as was the case with Dodson, this fight won’t be a question of when Moraga lands, but if he can land when dealing with the inhuman speed of Johnson.

Also scheduled for the TUF 17 Finale…

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Confirmed: Ben Henderson to Challenge Frankie Edgar for Lightweight Title at UFC Japan


Confirmation comes at the 12:35 mark of the press conference highlights. Props to MMAFighting.com for the video.

Leading up to last night’s historic UFC on Fox broadcast, there were rumors that the winner of Benson Henderson vs. Clay Guida would be fighting Frankie Edgar in Japan for the UFC lightweight title. As you know, Ben Henderson went on to defeat Clay Guida by unanimous decision in a Fight of the Night winning performance. Now, it has been confirmed that Ben Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar will be the main event of the UFC’s return to Japan.

Since losing to Anthony Pettis back at WEC 53, Ben Henderson has gone 3-0 in the UFC. Even though all three victories have come by unanimous decision, Henderson has proven that he is incapable of being involved in a boring fight. Likewise, Frankie Edgar is coming off of a come from behind fourth round TKO over Gray Maynard at UFC 136 in October.

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Step Aside, Condit: Diaz Blasts His Way Back Into Title Fight Against GSP

Check out “Dapper” Roy Nelson in the three piece! (Video: Youtube/UFC)

“He’s the most disrespectful human being I’ve ever met, and I’m going to put the worst beating you’ve ever seen on him in the UFC.”

With those uncharacteristically aggressive words, Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre verbally accepted the bout against Nick Diaz in a backstage conversation with Dana White.

And just like that, Carlos Condit’s “guaranteed” title shot went up in smoke faster than a fatty in the 209. All of the events surrounding GSP’s next challenge have been bizarre, but that’s what happens anytime you’re dealing with the “Pride of Stockton”. Just last weekend, MMA’s least credible source, Chael Sonnen, predicted that Condit would get bumped back in line should Diaz get past Penn, and he was right on the money.

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“Rampage” Jackson To Try and Get That Belt Back in August?

If we can believe half of the rumors we hear, this is going to be a busy summer for UFC champs.  According to Fighters Only, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is slated to get a shot at whoever has the belt around his waist after Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida go at it at UFC 98.  That fight is tentatively scheduled for August, perhaps even at UFC 102, the event still shrouded in mystery and speculation.  

If that’s the case, that would put it a mere three months after the Evans/Machida clash.  As you clever devils no doubt recall, Evans balked at fighting at UFC 96 in March because he’d just fought at UFC 92 in December, so you know he’s no fan of the quick turnaround.  Plus, there’s the injury factor to consider.  If Machida wins chances are he will have sustained no damage in the fight, since he can probably count the number of times he’s actually been punched in the face.  But if Evans wins it’s kind of a lot to ask for him to defend his title again three months later.

This is exactly why you need to save your sick days at your job.  No one’s going to believe it when you call in and tell them you came down with a bad case of shingles an hour before you’re supposed to work a double.  Trust me.

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BJ Penn-Georges St. Pierre Up Next, UFC Lightweight Division Officially in Limbo


(‘I don’t want to sound like a jerk, but one of us needs to lay off the tanning salon.’)

We all suspected it, but now it’s real. Dana White said he will give B.J. Penn the fight he wants against Georges St. Pierre some time in the coming months, although where it will go down is another question. When asked if the superfight would take place in Montreal, White answered “probably not”. He also said Penn wouldn’t vacate the lightweight title to fight St. Pierre.

So what does that mean for company man Kenny Florian, who was hoping for a once-promised shot at that title after his victory over Roger Huerta? Looks like he might have some vacation time coming, because St. Pierre and Penn get their wishes granted first. From MMA Weekly:

“They both really want that fight, they both want to fight each other,” said White. “I’m going to let that fight happen and then I’ll figure out what we’re going to do at 155.”

The Penn-St. Pierre rematch will most likely happen on December 27, or at least that’s the most prevalent rumor. That means Florian’s reward for toppling troublemaker Roger Huerta is that he maybe gets a shot at the lightweight strap six months from now. Maybe. Of course, odds are that if Penn beats GSP he’ll never darken the 155-pound doorway again, so we may be looking at a vacant title situation or, worse, another interim title while White waits for Penn to come to his senses and return to the weight class that loves him far more than he loves it.

So is this title freeze a screw job for every 155-pounder in the UFC whose name doesn’t rhyme with T.A. Kenn? Probably. But as long as it means we get to see Penn-St. Pierre II, nobody else seems to mind. Including GSP:

“I want to be a real champion, I want to be the best in the world,” St. Pierre stated. “And to be the best in the world you need to fight the best in the world and I want to give a shot to everybody that deserves it. B.J. Penn deserves it, he’s an incredible fighter.”

Translation: Game on, suckers.

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Heath Herring on Brock Lesnar, UFC Title Shots, and Why You Shouldn’t Even Pretend to Kiss Him

In this MMA Rated interview with Heath Herring, he makes it plain that he is not expecting a new and improved Brock Lesnar at UFC 87 this Saturday night. He also seems to think it’s funny that Frank Mir will fight for the heavyweight title next after beating Lesnar, while he beat Cheick Kongo and somehow ends up taking a step back. Maybe the fact that he’s already been beaten three times by the reigning champ played a part in that decision.

Never one to miss a chance at a light-hearted ending (see also: How’s taste my pee-pee-pee and How’s taste my big pee-pee), Ariel Helwani just has to revisit Herring’s infamous staredown knockout of Yoshihiro Nakao at the end of this interview. Herring laughs it off, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t serious about not wanting to be kissed. Just ask Nakao.

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Belfort and Lindland at Affliction 2 “For The Belt”


(That’s right, we’ll use any excuse to post this picture again.)

Fresh off his victory after knocking out Terry Martin with a broken hand at Affliction: Banned, Vitor Belfort tells Tatame.com that he’ll face everyone’s favorite MMA politico, Matt Lindland, at the organization’s second event in Las Vegas on October 11. The broken hand is healing up nicely and won’t be much of an issue, says Belfort, and he’s not too worried about Lindland’s wrestling skills either:

“It’ll be a great fight, we’ll see who is the best of the world there”, said Belfort, that guarantees his style will be a problem for Lindland. “I saw his fight with Negão and he’s a warrior… He comes be over you, but I don’t think he has the strength to stay over me”, analyzes Vitor, that wants another knockout on his career. “I’ll go to knock him out… My punches are well-aimed and when it hits he won’t stand”, guarantees Belfort.

Belfort also says that he’ll fight Lindland “for the belt”. The only question is, what belt? It’s hard to imagine that it’s the WAMMA belt, since Lindland is currently ranked seventh in the middleweight class there and Vitor is, well, not mentioned. The Tatame homepage says it’s the Affliction belt, but we weren’t even aware there was one.

Then again, maybe there really is no belt at stake. Maybe Vitor just meant it as a figure of speech, kind of like right before the climactic fight scene in “Lethal Weapon” when Riggs asks Mr. Joshua if he wants a shot at the title. That was awesome, by the way.

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Cung Breaks Frank’s Spirit, Arm: EliteXC/Strikeforce Quick Results

Cung'd
(Photo courtesy of Tom Casino @ ProElite)

The dust has barely settled from the EliteXC/Strikeforce event — and what an event it was. For those on the Kimbo watch, he did make a showing during the broadcast and for some reason thought he was in San Francisco. FYI, the fight was in San Jose, and Kimbo also didn’t reveal who he would be fighting on May 31st. Anywho, we all know the headlining event was a war between Frank Shamrock and the undefeated Cung Le. So in the spirit of theatrics, we’ll save the main event results until last.

Let’s get to the quick results:

– Joey Villasenor and Ryan Jensen battled in a slow stand-up fight that garnered boos from the audience due to boredom. Villasenor dropped Jensen once, but the fighter came back and rocked Joey with some shots of his own. Just before the end of round one, Villasenor ends it on a KO. Wake me up for the next fight.

– Mike Kyle fought Wayne Cole for about 42 seconds. The crazy bastard tapped out due to an armbar at that mark in the first round. Cole picked up a well-deserved submission win.

– Gilbert Melendez took on Gabe Lemley in a title fight. Gilbey rocked it in the first, which was mostly on the ground. Herb Dean stopped the fight in the second when Melendez took it to the ground and pounded the piss out of Lemley.

Drew Fickett versus Jae Suk Lim — which was supposed to be Drew Fickett versus Jake Shields until the latter pulled something in his back — ended early in the first via a guillotine choke. The win gave Fickett another notch in his impressive 33-5 belt.

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