(Though they were locked in a tender embrace, Forrest couldn’t fight the feeling that they were slowly drifting apart. Photo courtesy of SI.com)
The data has been crunched and the numbers are in. See who’s up and who’s down after UFC 106 with another edition of the Potato Index.
Forrest Griffin +73 Is there anyone who needed a win more than FoGriff? No robbery here, he took over in the later rounds and earned that decision. He continues to be the 205-pound division’s workman fighter, even if he’s still quite a ways from being in the title hunt again.
Tito Ortiz -82 As usual, Ortiz follows up a loss with a lot of complaining and a litany of injury-related excuses. Some things never change. Still, in a strange way it’s kind of nice to have our old villain back again.
(Tito Ortiz complains about not getting UFC 106‘s Fight of the Night bonus, and disputes the scoring of his match against Forrest Griffin. Koscheck’s expression at 2:34-2:36 pretty much sums it up. Props: Cagewriter)
— Though Josh Koscheck and Dana White have reportedly butted heads in the past, it’s clear that Kos is back on DW’s good side. For his second-round submission of Anthony Johnson at UFC 106 last night, Koscheck picked up both the $70,000 Submission of the Night bonus, and a $70,000 Fight of the Night bonus (which Johnson also received). As Dana White explained, "I have to publicly say that [Koscheck] always steps up, always wants to fight, fights the best in the world, and I’m blown away with his performance tonight." Still, is that enough justification to reward the chaotic mess that Koscheck vs. Johnson turned out to be?
(Bruce Buffer is fairly confident that Griffin will outstrike Ortiz to a unanimous decision. Joe Rogan is peaking on a DMT trip and is desperately trying to keep his shit together as Tito’s head explodes into a screaming ball of golden phosphorescence. / Photo courtesy of the UFC 106: Weigh In Pics set on CombatLifestyle.com.)
After an ancient curse claimed Brock Lesnar, Mark Coleman, Ricardo Almeida, and Karo Parisyan — and even threatened the velvet voice of Mike Goldberg — we’ve finally arrived at tonight’s bedraggled UFC event, which will be headlined by a do-over between Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin. Guiding us through the action this evening is special guest liveblogger ChadDundas; please make him feel welcome. Round-by-round results from the UFC 106 pay-per-view broadcast are after the jump, beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and say a little prayer that Josh Koscheck doesn’t accidentally gouge his eye out in the locker room while putting on his cup.
We’re just one day away from the return of UFC legend/unbearable heel Tito Ortiz at UFC 106, and the former light-heavyweight champ promises to go out guns blazin’ against Forrest Griffin: "I gotta put on a show, I gotta win, I gotta stop him, I gotta do what I need to do in my game to make Forrest quit." Though Ortiz claims to have improved his striking for this fight, he also won’t be giving up his bread and butter. "Every time he kicks he’s gonna be taken down. A lot of fighters don’t take advantage of that when they see Forrest kick, they try to check all the kicks. The hell with that. I’m putting him on his back. Back to the old Tito Ortiz, man, my ground and pound where it’s lethal…they’ll be carrying him out on a stretcher."
Later, Ortiz says that he doesn’t have a problem with the way that the UFC has used his name to build the careers of Griffin and Lyoto Machida, and regarding the rash of injuries and illnesses in the UFC as of late, he’d fight Forrest with a broken leg (which he clarifies he doesn’t have, but still). The only thing that matters to him right now is becoming a world champion again, one match at a time. And if that gets in the way of roles in Mark Wahlberg flicks, so be it.
And yes, he’s wearing the shades again. There’s a reason for that…
(Some glib video analysis of your UFC 106 betting options alongside Cagewriter‘s Steve Cofield and RawVegas.tv‘s Dave Farra.)
My father has a saying about betting on MMA fights: ‘I’m not loaning you any money, and if you so much as touch that spare change jar I’ll beat you with a shovel while you’re sleeping.’I have no idea how that was supposed to help guide me, or for that matter, any of you, when it comes to deciding who to bet on at UFC 106 this Saturday night, but I can tell you with 100% certainty that he meant it when he said it.
Forrest Griffin (-135) vs. Tito Ortiz (+130) Josh Koscheck (+109) vs. Anthony Johnson (-115) Amir Sadollah (-185) vs. Phil Baroni (+186) Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (-143) vs. Luis Cane (+150) Karo Parisyan (-105) vs. Dustin Hazelett (-105) Marcus Davis (-205) vs. Ben Saunders (+190) Jake Rosholt (-169) vs. Kendall Grove (+165) Paulo Thiago (-260) vs. Jacob Volkmann (+250) Brock Larson (-465) vs. Brian Foster (+400) Caol Uno (-285) vs. Fabricio Camoes (+235) George Sotiropoulos (-455) vs. Jason Dent (+355)
(Don’t miss next week’s episode of ‘My Baroni,’ when Phil accidentally makes a date with two different ring girls on the same night!)
You may have been so excited about Tito Ortiz bringing his one-man Schadenfreude act back to the UFC that you forgot all about it, but another Octagon veteran returns at UFC 106, and it’s the NYBA himself, Phil Baroni.When last we saw Baroni he was fending off allegations that he was pharmaceutically-enhanced before losing a one-sided decision to Joe Riggs in Strikeforce.Now he’s one of the rare fighters to get another shot in the UFC immediately after a loss, and he takes on Amir Sadollah this Saturday night in a contest between two guys in desperate need of a win.
“Look, I’ve said it all already,” Baroni said. “The trash talking is starting to sound like a broken record, even to me. Nothing that I say is going to affect the outcome of the fight. Nothing he says is going to affect the outcome of the fight. There is no need to hype it up because he is a big name among the fans after winning the reality show. I’m coming to reestablish myself in the UFC at his expense, and I’m sure he is coming to do the exact same thing at my expense, since he lost his last bout. …I’m done with all that, at least for now.I’m not focused on that stuff. I’m focused on my training. I’ve got a tremendous opportunity in front of me, and I’m doing everything that I can to properly prepare so that I can take full advantage of it.”
Phil, it’s like I don’t even know who you are anymore.
He’s back, and he wants his belt back. In this UFC 106 promo clip, Tito Ortiz says he plans on rebuilding himself towards the light-heavyweight title one fight at time, starting with his upcoming rematch against Forrest Griffin. "Can he withstand the pound…and pound…and poundage that I’m gonna do on him?" Ortiz asks in his usual eloquent style. "I ain’t lookin’ for submissions, I’m gonna look for hurtin’ him." Probably the most interesting part of this clip is the footage at 1:36-1:46 of Griffin storming out of the Octagon following his loss to Anderson Silva, which wasn’t shown in the original UFC 101 broadcast; Ortiz didn’t think that was too cool, by the way. At the end, Tito stares into the camera, breaking the fourth-wall: "I’m willing to die for my cause. Are yuh?"
With UFC 106 poppin’ off in three weeks, it’s time for the replacement headliners to start selling their match. In the above video, Tito Ortiz talks about going from a wrestling-based training camp for Mark Coleman to switching things up for Forrest Griffin. He says that main event status is comfortable for him, and that the pressure is on Forrest. And of course, he takes time to dump some hate onto his old nemesis Lyoto Machida for running his way to a "robbery" decision against Shogun Rua last Saturday: "Step up and be a man and fight, man. This is MMA, this is not boxing where you win by points…I’m going to look for a knockout, or I’m just gonna look to hurt [Griffin]. My job is to prevail and to make sure I entertain the fans who watch."
After the jump: A somewhat less focused interview with Forrest Griffin, in which he and Ron Frazier touch on Griffin’s refusal to wear condoms, to the great disgust of Todd Duffee.
(The abridged version of the fight, which Ortiz won by unanimous decision.) When it happened: 4/14/00, at UFC 25 When it should have happened: Spring 2003 Why: Ortiz vs. Silva was an entertaining scrap between two young contenders for the UFC’s vacant "middleweight" belt. If they met three years later, it would have been a superfight. By the end of 2002, Ortiz had defended his title five times — he’d lose it in September 2003 to Randy Couture — while Silva was PRIDE’s middleweight ruler, owning a 12-0-1 record in the promotion and two successful title defenses. With Ortiz at the end of his reign and Wandy near the middle of his, it would have been an ideal moment to establish bragging rights for one of MMA’s two leading organizations. Prediction: Depends on where the fight was held. If Ortiz had home-field advantage, he’d probably still be able to grind out a decision win. In Japan, it would be Wanderlei via soccer-kick death.
(Click the image to go to the video. Sanchez def. Florian via TKO, 2:49 of round 1.)
When it happened: 4/9/05, at the Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale When it should have happened: Sometime next year. Why: Kenny Florian had enough talent and heart to make it to the finals of TUF 1 as a 185-pounder, but it was only a matter of time before he was squashed by another talented fighter who was more experienced and better suited to the weight; Diego Sanchez just happened to be that dude. This year, there was talk — hope, even — that Florian could upset BJ Penn at UFC 101, then have a high-stakes rematch against his old nemesis, who had followed him down to lightweight after an impressive run at 170. Unfortunately, Florian succumbed to Penn’s trademark mata leon, and Sanchez was booked to challenge Penn for the title in December. Still, as long as Florian keeps winning, he’ll claw his way back to the Nightmare — and this time, they’ll face each other as two of the best lightweights in the world. Prediction: Sanchez outstrikes Florian to a decision in a far more competitive match than their first meeting.
Fighting for a living is a lot like teasing a really mean dog: you can’t do it forever without something bad happening to you.Even the great ones get to a point where their drive becomes sluggish and their bellies are too full for them to stay hungry, and that’s usually when a particularly bad beating takes what remaining fire they have and douses it with the fury of a God pissing on your dreams.It doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll quit right then, even if they should, but it does mean that they’ll never be the same again.Here now, in chronological order, are the most notorious breaking points in MMA history.
It’s hard to say that Igor Zinoviev was really on his way to being a legend of the sport, because he got stopped almost before he really got started.The former Soviet Army commando was one of the first fighters in the early days of MMA to beat a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt when he TKO’d Mario Sperry, and he took out Enson Inoue the next year.All this came after years of fighting underground brawls in Brooklyn warehouses following the fall of the Soviet Union, so his toughness was never in question.
When he joined the UFC the future was, as they say, wide open.Then he came up against Frank Shamrock, who wasted no time in scooping him up and slamming him down so viciously that it shattered his collarbone and knocked him out cold.It was Zinoviev’s first career loss, and he would never fight again after that.We’re not saying the devastating finish served as the catalyst for Shamrock’s out of control ego over the next 10+ years, but we’re not saying it helped, either.
Three and a half years later, both men need a victory to redeem themselves. Ortiz hasn’t won a fight since his final whipping of Ken Shamrock in October 2006, and hasn’t competed since his unanimous decision loss to Lyoto Machida last May, which was followed by back surgery and a lengthy recovery. Forrest Griffin is now riding a two-fight losing streak after suffering back-to-back knockouts against Rashad Evans and Anderson Silva. Personally, I wouldn’t bet on the guy who’s returning from major surgery — but has Forrest’s chin become too much of a liability? Your thoughts, please…
“The only thing Coleman is afraid of when it comes to Tito is contracting swine flu from that dirty ass d-bag. We all know where he lays his head down at night. Tito wants to get personal with a legend? OK, let’s get personal – we can all go to our porn collections and watch what Tito sleeps with night after night.”
There are only two words we can say about that.They are OH and SNAP.Turns out that Coleman’s purported sissyness is the result of a torn MCL, though DiSabato says Coleman will be ready to fight by January 2 and suggested that the fight be postponed until UFC 108.Presumably that will also give Coleman’s camp more time to have Ortiz tested for swine flu, which, as we all know, is the scourge of the porn industry.
For the second time since his return to the UFC, Mark Coleman has been forced to drop out of a high-profile co-headlining bout. According to Tito Ortiz’s Twitter feed, the Hammer has withdrawn from their UFC 106 meeting, forcing Ortiz to kick someone else’s ass on November 21st. (According to Mark Coleman’s Twitter feed, Coleman is "finally on twitter trying 2 figure out how 2 use this thing lol".)
"I was wrestling with Cris Cyborg, and she’s a tough chick, man — for a girl I expected her not to be so damn tough — and we were just wrestling around and I went for a guillotine, and she slipped out of it, and when she slipped out of it I traded off to a triangle, and I locked the triangle and she went to go pick me up and slam me, she picked me up and slammed me on the ground, and I had no pain, nothin’. I ended up choking her, but at the same time it was just a factor of one of those little small things that I notice like, ‘I’m good, I’m ready to do this and start working,’ but I feel great, man, I feel really good."
Good to hear it, Tito. If you didn’t end up choking out that 145-pound woman we would have thought you were a pussy or something…
After the jump: Brock Lesnar endures the notoriously brutal strength and conditioning training at Athletic Performance Inc. in Minneapolis. This might be your only chance to see what Lesnar looks like when he’s completely broken down and exhausted. Brock’s post-workout nutrition plan? Burgers and waffle-fries, bitch.
(Being a champion has its benefits. Props to caliphornia for the image, and props to imakeutap for the headline inspiration.)
Look, I gotta go catch a flight so let’s just get right into it…
agentsmith on "Phil Baroni Possibly Starring in MMA Werewolf Movie": I guess they wanted someone who had experience in rapidly becoming stronger and more muscular via unnatural means. My advice for his potential victims is to just run… he won’t keep up for long.
If you ever find yourself becoming disillusioned with MMA, if you ever find yourself thinking "what am I doing watching guys beat each other up in a cage when I could be working or developing a social life?", watch this video and it’ll all start coming back. Best sport in the world, folks, hands down. If you have time, check out some of logangee’s other work on his official site or his Vimeo channel, especially "Got Soul" and "Fear the Reaper."
After the jump:Shane Carwin debunks the theory of MMA-fighter-as-uneducated-thug, talks about how his mother’s whuppings kept him grounded, and discusses how he matches up with Brock Lesnar. Also, Tito Ortiz beats some kid at UFC Undisputed and celebrates like he just knocked out Fedor.
In the latest installment of Tito Ortiz‘s comeback-trail video blog, Tito helpfully reads us the main details of his UFC 106 bout agreement. It seems that nobody has informed him of the one-pound-allowance rule for non-title fights, and yes, his usual signs of dyslexia are present. ("It’s not going three rounds, no way," Tito says of his fight against Mark Coleman. "I’m taking your ass out in at least two.") Later, he tries to list all the fighters that he’s retired (see the 2:50 mark), and the camera conveniently cuts out after Ken Shamrock. Also, he refers to his fax machine as "the X machine," which made me LOL real hard.
Currently, Ortiz appears to be caught between respecting Mark Coleman as a legendary ex-champion, and disrespecting him because that’s what Tito does. But there is one specific memory of the Hammer that Ortiz is using as motivation: "If you guys pay close attention, when I beat Evan Tanner, and after I slammed Evan Tanner on his head and I jumped up on the Octagon, and I flexed to the audience, Mark Coleman jumped up on the side of the cage, and you can see the disgust on his face. So I think Mark Coleman’s had a little hatred for me for a while. So now he gets the chance. Too bad your chance ain’t gonna be good."
Chilling. Ortiz also predicts a head-kick knockout and vows to get back his title. ("The roads are comin’," whatever that means.) November 21st can’t come soon enough…
MMA compilation-video specialist "Caposa" has just released the fourth installment of a series featuring the year’s most memorable knockouts and submissions in North America. He also has a separate series devoted to Japanese MMA; you can see that, as well as parts 1-3 of this series, by clicking here. And if you do delve deeper into his work, you’ll notice that Caposa favors understated ambient music to soundtrack his vids, adding a soothing counterpoint to the visual brutality. Great stuff. This guy just might join the ranks of such MMA highlight reel legends as GenghisCon and me.
How happy is Tito Ortiz to be back in the UFC? So happy that he would engage in an illicit homosexual kiss with his boss and former rival, Dana White. WHY ISN’T TMZ COVERING THIS?? Later, Ortiz revealed that White "had a hairy lip," and White scrubbed his tongue with steel wool.
After the jump: A quick video profile on new Octagon Girl Natasha Wicks (she’s not just a piece of meat, you guys — she has thoughts, emotions, and she loves the outdoors), some footage of Lyoto Machida training for Shogun, and an underrated Fedor Emelianenko fight, just because.
In a night filled with some less-than-thrilling matchups, at least Anderson Silva and BJ Penn remembered that they were in Philly — and for that, they were rewarded handsomely. Silva earned a $60,000 Knockout of the Night bonus for cleaning Forrest Griffin‘s clock in the first round of their light-heavyweight feature at UFC 101, while Penn scored a Submission of the Night bonus in honor of his fourth-round rear-naked-choke of Kenny Florian. Somewhat suprisingly, additional $60,000 Fight of the Night checks went to Silva and Griffin for their match, even though it wasn’t much of a fight. UFC 101 drew a sold-out crowd of 17,411 spectators for a live gate of $3.55 million, a combat sports record for Pennsylvania. Reportedly, almost 11,000 of those fans were already in their seats by the time the first preliminary match started.
During the post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White announced that the UFC was looking to host an event at Boston’s legendary Fenway Park by next summer; the Massachusetts state senate passed a bill to regulate MMA last month. White also said that the UFC could add another event to its schedule in October, in addition to UFC 104 (October 24th, Los Angeles). Since Fedor Emelianenko is slated to make his Strikeforce debut sometime in October, the counter-programming motives are fairly obvious here. Game on…
The cameraman got a nice souvenir during this June 2005 scrap between Leonard Wilson and TUF 9 hopefulRay Elbe. Watch as Wilson lands a ferocious spinning back kick at the 0:56 mark, then starts jackhammering until Elbe’s contact lens is blasted into the first row. Suck it, Teila Tuli’s tooth…
Though Dana White was hoping he could announce the signing of Fedor Emelianenko at this afternoon’s much-anticipated UFC press conference, it was not meant to be. DW said he did everything he could possibly do to get Emelianenko into the Octagon and offered him an "amazing" deal, but M-1′s dogged desire for co-promotion sunk the negotiations, which made Dana "fucking miserable." Still, there were some major announcements to share, which are sure to get MMA fans talking:
Well, that settles that. Tito, you have fooled us for the last time. Just as E! banned Speidi, CagePotato will now enact a news ban on Tito Ortiz until he actually does something newsworthy. Seriously. Even if it’s the slowest of slow news days, and the only story going around is that Tito is "very close" to signing a deal with DREAM to participate in their "Super Douchebag Tournament," we won’t cover it until it actually happens. That’s our promise to you.
In this installment of the Tito Ortiz Talks About All the Cool Stuff He’s Got Planned, None of Which Will Actually Happen Show, the Huntington Beach Bad Boy discusses the fight league he’s not starting with Strikeforce called Punishment Fighting Championship, and his not close-to-finalized fight deal with Strikeforce. Honestly, we hate posting these Tito-related non-stories, but maybe some of you are interested in his continuing plunge into irrelevance. Anybody?
Despite the country’s rich martial arts history, Japan didn’t have an MMA star to call its own until the arrival of a brilliant submission artist who would eventually be known as The Gracie Hunter. Kazushi Sakuraba originally toiled as a professional wrestler in the early ‘90s, picking up catch wrestling from Billy Robinson. As a publicity stunt for their employers at Kingdom Pro Wrestling, Sakuraba and Yoji Anjoh entered the four-man heavyweight tournament at UFC Japan, and despite being severely outweighed, Sakuraba was the last man standing.
Last night’s Countdown to UFC 98 special on Spike put a lot of effort into selling Lyoto Machida as a star, running down his backstory and setting him up as a mysterious martial arts warrior with an ancient spirit. I just watched the first half, and decided to pull out a couple highlights for those of you who didn’t get a chance to see it. In the above clip, Lyoto explains exactly why Antonio Inoki slapped the shit out of him, and admits to the pressure that came with being set up as a bagman for Dana White during the Tito Ortiz mess. Also, he explains the historical precedent for his goal of never getting hit.
Reminder: Our UFC 98 liveblog kicks off tomorrow night at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. We’d love to have you stop by.
"When I say this, I mean it, it comes from the heart: I’ll fight anybody, anywhere. So when Scott [Coker] says it’s time to get down and dirty, understand, I’m not coming back to lose, and I’m not coming back to back up…there’s a lot of 205′ers out there, we can have a nice round-robin…we can all bang."
Granted, Randleman made it clear later that he’d really like to fight Tito Ortiz, but we weren’t expecting him to turn down the first fight offered to him after his "bring ‘em on" press-conference speech — especially when his employer could use the help. From a new MMA Fanhouse report:
FanHouse has learned that the newest member of Strikeforce’s light heavyweight division, Kevin Randleman (17-12), was offered to replace Sobral against Cavalcante, but the former UFC heavyweight champion turned down the fight. No specific reason was given.
Remember that awful movie starring the powerhouse acting duo of Jenna Jameson and Tito Ortiz? Sure you do, it’s called “Zombie Strippers!” and reading the plot synopsis alone is guaranteed to lower your IQ. But give Spike TV credit, they recognize when something is so terrible that it’s actually enjoyable (as if the fact that the movie has an exclamation point in its title isn’t a dead giveaway).
That’s why they’re premiering the movie this Sunday night, and making absolutely no bones about how horrible it is with this press release they sent out today:
New York, NY, April 15, 2009 – Described as a combination of "Citizen Kane" meets "The Godfather" meets "A River Runs Through It," Spike TV presents the world television premiere of the sweeping epic "Zombie Strippers!" on Sunday, April 19 (10:00pm-12:00am ET/PT).