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

Tag: TJ Grant

TJ Grant vs. Benson Henderson Sums Up the UFC’s Most Frustrating Problem: Their Inability to Create New Stars


(TJ Grant, doing his impression of a UFC fan who’s just been told that TJ Grant will be headlining a pay-per-view. Photo via MMAJunkie)

By Matt Saccaro

Most casual fans couldn’t pick Benson Henderson — a world title holder — or TJ Grant — a man challenging for a world title — out of a lineup.

That’s not either guy’s fault. Benson Henderson managed to get the nod from the judges in his last three title defenses, scoring victories over the likes of Gilbert Melendez and Nate Diaz. And TJ Grant has put together a five-fight winning streak, most recently sending Gray Maynard down faster than Zynga’s stock price.

But that’s the problem: A fight between two guys who have done nothing but kick ass isn’t moving the needle. It’s not that the populace has run out of fucks to give about Henderson and Grant, they just never gave any in the first place.

Want proof?

Look at the estimated buyrates for Henderson’s PPVs. Henderson hasn’t been on a PPV since UFC 150 in August 2012, a card that earned a pathetic 190,000 buys. People don’t want to part with their cash to see Benson Henderson, so the UFC started giving him away for free on FOX. Bendo main evented two FOX cards which performed okay ratings-wise.

The UFC is putting Henderson back on PPV at UFC 164 for his title defense against TJ Grant. This PPV is a Battle of the Blackwater moment for the UFC. If UFC 164 can boast a decent buyrate, then the theory that the UFC can use FOX to create the next generation of stars will be proven true, and the UFC’s future will be a little more secure. But if UFC 164 fails as hard as UFC 150 did — if promoting a fighter TWO TIMES on one of the biggest networks on television failed to make that fighter a draw — then the UFC is in trouble. That would mean one champion who would be dead weight on a card, in addition to the champions from the lighter men’s weight classes who have all yet to establish themselves as major PPV draws.

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Booking Update: Shogun vs. Sonnen to Headline ‘UFC on FOX Sports 1:1′, T.J. Grant vs. Ben Henderson Gets Top Billing at UFC 164


(God damn right.)

It’s official, Nation: Chael Sonnen vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua WILL headline UFC on FOX Sports 1:1, a.k.a “the best television card the UFC has ever done.” While at first glance, a fight between two guys coming off losses doesn’t seem like a great main event for a card this stacked (and makes you wonder if the UFC had a planned main event to begin with), it’s surely a matchup that fans can get excited about nonetheless. And if they aren’t, Sonnen will fondle every available Sportscenter anchor within a 500 mile radius to ensure that you are at least aware that the fight is going down.

The matchup was all but a done deal for next weekend’s UFC 161 card until visa issues forced Sonnen to bow out of the fight he had — like a true American Gangster – offered to take on short notice just days ago. Rua was thusly pulled from the card altogether, but hinted that a potential showdown with Sonnen could take place over the summer.

Sonnen vs. Shogun will now headline the August 17th-scheduled card that already includes such marquee matchups as Alistair Overeem vs. Travis Browne, Thiago Alves vs. Matt Brown, and Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Johnson. Oh yeah, and Uriah Hall and Conor McGregor will be on the card as well. If you’ll excuse me, I need to go take a printout of this lineup behind the bushes for a few minutes.

In other fight booking news…

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UFC 160 Salaries: Cain Velasquez Makes 400 Large; Dos Santos, Hunt, Grant Also Crack Six Figures


(It’s cool, he’s used to it. / Photo via MMAFighting.com)

The UFC paid out $1,733,000 in disclosed salaries and performance bonuses to the 24 fighters who competed at UFC 160, with heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez‘s $400,000 flat fee eating up 23% of the total. (Coming soon: The “Occupy Velasquez” movement, led by Jacob Volkmann and John Cholish.) Heavyweights Junior Dos Santos and Mark Hunt made over $200k for their co-main event bout — including their $50,000 Fight of the Night bonuses — while the night’s other big winner, TJ Grant, just made it to the six-figure mark.

Check out the full list of UFC 160 salaries below — courtesy of the Nevada State Athletic Commission via MMAMania — followed by our traditional rundown of who’s underpaid/overpaid. Keep in mind that the numbers don’t include additional income from undisclosed “locker-room bonuses,” sponsorships, or cuts of the pay-per-view that some of the UFC’s stars are entitled to, or deductions for taxes, insurance, and licensing fees.

Cain Velasquez: $400,000 (no win bonus)
Antonio Silva: $75,000

Junior dos Santos: $290,000 (includes $120,000 win bonus, $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
Mark Hunt: $210,000 (includes $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus)

Glover Teixeira: $98,000 (includes $24,000 win bonus, $50,000 Submission of the Night bonus)
James Te Huna: $30,000

T.J. Grant: $100,000 (includes $25,000 win bonus, $50,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
Gray Maynard: $45,000

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UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Bigfoot 2 — Main Card Results & Commentary


(Yep. A whole lot of regrettable tats in this room. / Photo via MMAFighting.com)

Sit back, warm up your jaws, and get ready for CagePotato’s main card liveblog of UFC 160. The pay-per-view broadcast will be popping off at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, and your friend George Shunick will be sticking round-by-round results after the jump.

On tonight’s menu: Cain Velasquez will attempt to defend his heavyweight title against his old buddy Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, while ex-champ Junior Dos Santos and Mark Hunt throw down for the next crack at the belt. Plus, light-heavyweights Glover Teixeira and James Te Huna put their three-fight win streaks on the line, lightweights Gray Maynard and TJ Grant meet in a potential #1 lightweight contender’s match, and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone opens things off by roping an outmatched calf named KJ Noons.

Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and let your voices be heard in the comments section. Thanks for being here, guys.

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Ben vs. Jared: UFC 160 Edition


(Cain doesn’t see an enormous head. He sees a big, beautiful, blood-piñata, just waiting to burst open and spill its bounty. / Photo via MMAFighting.com)

BG and Danga are back mahfuckas, baaaaaaaaaaaaam! [*cough*] Excuse me. What I meant to say was, UFC 160 goes down tomorrow night in Las Vegas, so CagePotato founding editor Ben Goldstein and staff writer Jared Jones have teamed up once again to discuss all the important themes surrounding the event. Which heavyweight fight on the main card is more likely to end in an upset? Should we write off KJ Noons as nothing more than UFC shark-bait? What’s a Nurmagomedov gotta do to get some respect around here? Read on, and throw down your own opinions in the comments section.

It seems pretty obvious that the UFC is trying to set up Dos Santos vs. Velasquez III, but who stands the better chance of throwing a wrench in their plans, Hunt or Silva?

Jared: ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THIS. The last I checked, Mark Hunt was riding high on the most unexpected win streak in UFC history, turned his last opponent’s jaw into mashed potatoes, and will now be harboring the kind of silent-but-deadly rage that can only be brought about by jet lag. “Bigfoot” is coming off an upset win over a sans testosterone-abusing Overeem, sure, but picking him over the man, the myth, the pseudo-Mexican who reenacted the rock scene from Cannibal Holocaust on him almost a year ago to the day? No thanks, my dude.

Ben: I hate to agree with this jackass — and how dare you try to persuade me by linking to a track from Primus’s underrated Rhinoplasty EP, Jared — so for the sake of argument, I’ll go ahead and say ARE *YOU* KIDDING *ME* WITH THIS?? Mark Hunt has built up a dubious win streak slinging haymakers against guys who allowed him to do so. Junior Dos Santos is far too disciplined to become another victim of the same old rock-’em-sock-’em Super Samoan routine. In a brawl, Hunt has a chance against anybody. But this won’t be a brawl — it’ll be boxing match, and JDS is about as good as they come in that department.

And sure, Hunt has scored a string of upsets against guys like Cheick Kongo and Stefan Struve. Meanwhile, Antonio Silva has scored far more unexpected and dramatic upsets against guys like Fedor Emelianenko and the aforementioned ‘Reem. Bigfoot has heart for days, and fists big enough to dummy up anybody in the heavyweight division on any given night, including the current champion. How many times are you gonna sleep on this guy? #BigfootEra

Gray Maynard vs. T.J. Grant: Who will earn the right to suffer a narrow split decision loss to Ben Henderson next?

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: ‘UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Silva II’ Edition


(Looks like this year’s harvest will be even better. Sanguis Bibimus! Corpus Edimus! Photo via Getty Images.) 

By Dan “Get Off Me” George

This Saturday night, Cain Velasquez will attempt to make WILL MAKE the first title defense of his career in his second term as UFC heavyweight champion when he rematches Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, Mark Hunt will look to continue WILL CONTINUE his Cinderella run in the co-main event against former HW champ Junior Dos Santos, and a possible #1 contender the next lightweight title contender WILL BE DECIDED in the sure-to-be-brawl between Gray Maynard and T.J. Grant. Whew.

With one of the strongests undercards (on paper) in what feels like an eternity, UFC 160 is primed to become, at the very least, a night chock full of wild finishes and entertaining scraps that will leave *no fan* unsatisfied. I really hope I’m not overselling it. Anyway, join us now as we try to underline the right favorites and highlight some possible underdogs in the hopes of finding that ever-elusive payout for UFC 160. The gambling lines, as always, come courtesy of BestFightOdds.

Undercard bouts:

Brian Bowles (-280) vs. George Roop (+240)

Having only lost twice, to Urijah Faber and injuryweight world champion Dominick Cruz, Bowles comes in as a healthy -280 favorite (and rightfully so) against the woefully inconsistent George Roop. Roop is coming off a less than convincing win over Reuben Duran in his return to bantamweight, whereas his opponent is looking to get back on the short list of top contenders in the division. Bowles should be able to close the distance on Roop and get this fight to the mat, where we may see a submission victory for the former WEC champion. Bowles makes the parlay at -140 and the prop bet that he is able to end things before the final bell.

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12 Weird Facts About Point-Deductions in the UFC [MMA STATS]

The tireless researchers at MMADecisions.com have just released a chart detailing every referee point-deduction in UFC history, for fights that went to decision. It’s a surprisingly short list, but it reveals some very interesting facts. We’ve screen-capped the chart above; click it to enlarge, and visit the “History of Point Deductions” page on MMADecisions to learn more about each individual fight.

Now, what does this chart tell us? Well…

1. In over 11 years of UFC events since 2001, only 22 points have been deducted during fights that went to the judges.

2. None of those point-deductions happened in 2003-2005, for some reason.

3. Herb Dean is the leading point-docker on the list with five points total. John McCarthy, Mario Yamasaki, and Steve Mazzagatti all trail him with four apiece.

4. Kicks to the groin lead the list of most-frequently penalized infractions (five deducted points total), with illegal upkicks to a downed opponent coming in second place (four deducted points). Eye pokes show up only once on the list. Still no love for the balls of the face.

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The Winner of Gray Maynard vs. TJ Grant at UFC 160 Next in Line for Lightweight Title Shot


If you think Gilbert Melendez deserves an immediate rematch, don’t bother reading the article. Just stare at this GIF for five seconds and go directly to the comments section.

If you watched UFC on Fox 7′s main event between UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson and former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez, you saw an extremely close fight. In the end, Henderson walked away with a split decision victory that many fans felt should have went to Melendez. While the debate over who won the fight continues to rage on [Author Note: For what it's worth, Fight Metric stats seem to confirm that Henderson won.], the talks of an immediate rematch have already been squashed.

By the end of the post-event press conference, Dana White confirmed that the winner of the upcoming bout between Gray Maynard and TJ Grant at UFC 160 – which takes place on May 25 – is next in line for a shot at the lightweight title. At this time, there is no target date for Henderson’s next title defense. In White’s own words:

Gray Maynard is ranked number three. TJ Grant is ranked number seven. Those guys are gonna fight at UFC 160 on May 25. The winner of that fight is gonna fight Ben Henderson next.

So, we’re now pretending that those “official UFC rankings” are influencing how fighters earn title shots? I’m sure Chad Mendes, Ricardo Lamas and Chan Sung Jung will be thrilled by this recent development.

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UFC Booking Alert: Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson Added to Next FOX Card; UFC 159 Gets Nelson vs. Kongo, Miller vs. Healy, Davis vs. Magalhaes


(Above: “Grrrrrr.” / Below: “Haaaaaay!”)

After coming up short in his title challenge against Ben Henderson last month, UFC lightweight Nate Diaz will be returning to the Octagon at UFC on Fox 7: Henderson vs. Melendez (April 20th, San Jose), where he’ll face former Strikeforce champ Josh Thomson; CSNBayArea broke the news yesterday.

Thomson hasn’t competed in the UFC since his 2-1 stint for the promotion in 2003-2004, which ended in an unfortunate/incredible highlight-reel knockout against Yves Edwards. Since then, “The Punk” has spent most of his career fighting for Strikeforce, where he built an entertaining rivalry against Diaz’s training partner (and UFC on FOX 7 title challenger) Gilbert Melendez. Thomson briefly held Strikeforce’s lightweight title after winning a decision against Melendez in June 2008, and has picked up wins over Pat Healy, Gesias Cavalcante, and KJ Noons since then. His most recent appearance resulted in a split-decision loss to Melendez during their rubber-match last May.

Of course, the other thing Thomson is known for is his frequent injuries, and there’s a lot that can go wrong between now and 4/20. Let’s hope this one sticks together. In related news, the UFC has added three big matchups to their UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen card, which takes place the following weekend (April 27th) in Newark, NJ…

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UFC on FOX 6: Johnson vs. Dodson Aftermath — Reasons to Care About Little Flyweights


Props: KVDZFighting.tumblr.com

By George Shunick

When the UFC first began its relationship with Fox, the results were mixed. The first show had only a 64 second fight, and the next two shows – while solid – didn’t do so well in the ratings. Even as the cards themselves picked up on UFC on Fox 4 and 5, the production of the show was excessively drawn out and was tedious to watch at times. But UFC on Fox 6 showed just how good these cards can be. Packed with excellent, violent fights, and backed with the full might of the Fox marketing machine, this card was the first that fulfilled the potential of MMA on network television.

But let’s talk fights, shall we? I know the flyweights aren’t nearly as respected as they should be in some parts of the fight community, but if you’re still in those parts after last night’s performance, do us all a favor, stop reading and get the fuck out. Because what you just witnessed was one of the best, if not the best 5-round title fights in the promotion’s history. In an extraordinarily competitive fight, John Dodson took an early lead off the strength of his…well, strength. He landed a number of monster lefts that were able to knock Demetrious Johnson down, and showed how he is arguably the most exciting fighter in the entire division.

But it was for naught, because what Dodson has in excitement, Johnson has in sheer stamina, will and technique. He roared back in the latter rounds, particularly the championship rounds, delivering innumerable knees to the head, body and legs, mixing in takedowns, and consistently pushing forward. Dodson was unable to keep Johnson’s pace, and in the final round, Johnson unleashed vicious flurries as Dodson backed up. Though he never wilted, Dodson was defeated. Demetrious Johnson remained champion, and was able to deliver one of the better post-fight shout outs you’ll hear. While Benson Henderson may believe all things are possible through Christ (excuse me, “through CHRIST!!!”), Johnson appears to have sided with a more contemporary deity – the Xbox 360.

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