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Tag: Todd Duffee

Dana White Talks Sonnengate, PEDs in MMA and the Firings of Todd Duffee and Efrain Escudero

(Video courtesy YouTube/MMAFighting)’s Ariel Helwani spoke to Dana White ahead of UFC 119 this weekend in Indianapolis and besides the match-ups on the card the UFC president spoke about all of the hot topics on the minds of fans and pundits alike including his take on Sonnengate, if he feels there is a PED problem in MMA and why he cut Todd Duffee and Efrain Escudero.

Here’s what the baldfather had to say:

About Sonnen’s current mental state and whether or not he will support his appeal:
"I’ve spoken to him a couple of times. I saw him at the opening of the UFC gym in Los Angeles and then I talked to him yesterday I think. He’s in a really good place. Listen, there’s more to this story than meets the eye and it will all come out in the athletic commission hearing. People look at me and they say, ‘You’re the commissioner of this thing.’ No, no, no. The way that this works is, the athletic commission oversees us. Every time these guys step in and compete, the athletic commission drug tests them and everything else. Everyone thinks that ‘Dana White has the commission in his hand,’ but the commission doesn’t give a shit what I think, what I have to say — nothing. You’re dealing with the government. That’s like thinking that Dana White can tell the IRS what to do. That’s never going to happen. So, Chael is gonna have to go in front of the commission and we’re going to have to wait and see how this thing plays out."


Wednesday Morning MMA Link Club

(Sakuraba vs. Mayhem at DREAM.16: A fight so amazing, it can only be described as ‘Fantasista’. Props:

Some selected highlights from our friends around the MMA blogosphere. E-mail for details on how your site can join the MMA Link Club…

– Todd Duffee Released By The UFC; Manager Calls Him an "Ass" (MMA Convert)

– Ariel Helwani goes backstage with MMA broadcast icon Mauro Ranallo. (MMA Fighting)

– Want a pair of tickets to UFC 119: Mir vs. Cro Cop? All you need is a name and an e-mail address… (

– Kendall Grove confirms fight with Demian Maia at TUF 12 Finale in December (Five Ounces of Pain)

- Ring Girls Round-Up: Shark Fights Angels (LowKick)

– After Defeating James Toney, Does Randy Couture Have One Last Title Run Left? (Versus MMA Beat)

– Brock Lesnar’s Most Unintentionally Hilarious TV Spots (Watch Kalib Run)

– Exclusive Bellator 27 Photo Gallery (Fight! Magazine)

– After escaping from a mental institution last month, MMA cult hero Viacheslav Datsik is still at large, and preparing for his comeback. (MiddleEasy)

– 10 MMA Photos That Will Scare Your Children and Make You Cry Yourself to Sleep (MMA Scraps)


Exclusive: Scott Epstein, Eddie Bravo, Todd Duffee and Michael Jai White Tapped for Never Back Down II

(Shit just got real…at least more real than the first movie.)

I know what you’re thinking, "They’re making another Never Back Down movie?"

The answer is "yes," only this time around the studio is gearing the film towards MMA fans and not the popped collar American Eagle pink polo shirt sporting crowd of its predecessor, which earned $41-million at the box office.

They’ve made some steps in the right direction by hiring longtime martial arts practitioner Michael Jai White to direct this darker installment and to give it what he calls "more of a ‘The Dark Knight’ feel" and less of a "Melrose Place vibe." White knows first hand what that entails, considering he starred as mob boss Gambol in the acclaimed second film of the Chris Nolan helmed Batman franchise.

Also adding some credibility and substance to the film will be 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu founder Eddie Bravo, who will write part of the score for, star in and help choreograph fight scenes for the movie, UFC heavyweight Todd Duffee, who will play one of the fighters in the film and 10th Planet black belt instructor Scott Epstein, who will do double-duty as the movie’s lead as well as a fight coordinator. 


Report: Tito Ortiz Will Face Matt Hamill at UFC 121, Not Forrest Griffin

Matt Hamill Tito Ortiz UFC 2006
Matt Hamill Tito Ortiz UFC 2006
("Time it was and what a time it was…")

Contradicting earlier reports that had Tito Ortiz facing Forrest Griffin in a meaningless rubber match, has confirmed that Ortiz will instead face off against Matt Hamill at UFC 121 (October 23rd; Anaheim, CA). The Huntington Beach Blah Blah hasn’t competed since his split decision loss to Griffin at UFC 106, and hasn’t won a fight since his third TKO victory over Ken Shamrock in October 2006. Hamill is coming off his majority decision over Keith Jardine at the TUF 11 Finale, which got the Dean of Mean bounced out of the UFC. Technically, Hamill has won his last four fights, including the Jon Jones DQ. If you’ll recall, Hamill was a member of Team Punishment on TUF 3, so this fight will have extra significance when Hamill beats Tito’s ass. In other UFC 121 booking news…


The Potato Index: UFC 114 Edition

Mike Russow Todd Duffee UFC 114
(In retrospect, eating that gallon of chili before the fight was probably a bad idea. / Photo courtesy of MMA Fighting.)

Sorry for the delay on this one, dear readers — the Potato Index was waiting on its customary bribe from the UFC before it could give favorable rankings to the fighters at "Rampage vs. Evans." Now that the check has cleared, we’re ready to roll. So who went from zero to hero? And who went from classy to gassy?

Rashad Evans +125
Sugar’s measured, wrestling-based gameplan didn’t exactly transform the haters into fans, but he achieved something a lot more important — he beat an arch-rival and stayed relevant. Rampage can keep his legion of devotees; Rashad is getting a title shot against Shogun, so eat it.

Quinton Jackson -150
Except for his brief blast in the third round, Quinton was just too slow and too predictable. Ring rust was obviously an issue; still, we’re more concerned about Jackson’s ongoing unwillingness to do anything other than box. Those who don’t evolve in this sport are destined to get their asses dug by hungrier competitors. Rampage’s days as an elite light-heavyweight may be numbered.


UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans — Live Results + Commentary

Quinton Jackson Rashad Evans UFC 114 weigh-ins face-off staredown("I dare you to open your mouth, Rashad. Just give me one reason to tell you yo breff stank." Photo courtesy of the UFC 114: Weigh In Pics gallery on CombatLifestyle.)

It’s been a long time coming. Tonight in Las Vegas, after sixteen-and-a-half years of promoting fights, the UFC is putting on its very first event headlined by two African-American competitors. It’s a historic moment that’s sure be the talk of MMA news and speaks volumes about the development of the sport in this country, as well as the shifting attitudes toward…oh, who the hell am I kidding, THERE’S GONNA BE SOME BLACK ON BLACK CRIME!!!!!

Tonight’s lineup features the grudge-iest of grudge matches between TUF 10 rival coaches Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Rashad Evans, in a fight that will most likely determine the UFC’s next light-heavyweight title contender. Also: Michael Bisping battles Dan Miller in the co-main, Todd Duffee gets his long-awaited second course, Lil’ Nog toys with late-replacement Jason Brilz, and Diego Sanchez returns to familiar welterweight haunts against tough British prospect John Hathaway. But first, Spike TV gives us a couple of guaranteed bangers in their Prelims broadcast. Round-by-round UFC 114 results will be piling up after the jump, beginning at 9 p.m. ET. Hit refresh every few minutes for all the latest, and pass the wings, bitch, because it’s about to pop off…


MMA FightPicker Head-to-Head: UFC 114 Edition

Rashad Evans headphones
(There’s only one song that can put Rashad Evans in the proper headspace before a fight: Lee DeWyze‘s cover of "Beautiful Day." Photoprops: allelbows.)

We’re going to try a little something different for this week’s H2H column. Instead of going through all the MMA FightPicker questions for UFC 114, we’re just going to cover a handful of them, and pepper in a few questions that Mike Russell has generously pulled out of his ass. (By the way, have you joined a FightPicker pool yet for this weekend? Because you really should. No, really. No, seriously.) Check out our analysis of Saturday night’s card below, and make sure to come back tomorrow for our always-entertaining liveblog of the fights, starting with the Spike TV prelims broadcast at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT. And let’s begin…

Quinton Jackson vs. Rashad Evans @ UFC 114: Who will win?
MR: I’m picking Evans. I just think that Rashad’s wrestling and conditioning will be too much for Rampage. The fact that we never saw Quinton without a shirt on, that it’s rumored he was smoking like a chimney while on the set of The A-Team and that his face looks like Anthony Anderson’s makes me bet against him.
BG: Yeah, I have Evans by decision for this one. Besides the conditioning disadvantage, Rampage has become such a one-dimensional boxer in his last fights. He could always catch Rashad with a knockout punch, but he’s not going to present anything that will surprise Evans.

Will they quash their beef after the fight?
MR: No. If anything, I can see them having to be restrained by their corners when it’s all over. If Rashad wins, he’ll likely not be respectful on the mic, but if Rampage has his hand raised he’ll go off about how Rashad pissed him off and he had to teach him a lesson.
BG: For the most part, Rashad has that Team Jackson martial-artist-respect thing going on. If he wins, I think he’ll shout out Rampage as a great fighter who he has a ton of admiration for — even if it’s just to make himself look like the bigger man.


Wednesday Morning MMA Link Club

Dana White t-shirt UFC six deuce
(Come on. Like you wouldn’t rock that. Props: Quik)

Rise and shine, Potato Nation. Here are some must-read stories to kickstart your bloodthirst…

- The Great Debate: Rampage vs. Rashad From a Technical Point of View (MMA Scraps)

- Dana White Thinks a Lot of UFC Main Eventers Are Nobodies (MMA Fighting)

- Dan Miller’s Back Is Against the Wall Against Michael Bisping at UFC 114 (BloodyElbow)

- Shaquille O’Neal is an unlockable character in UFC Undisputed 2010 (MiddleEasy)

– AKA and Greg Jackson look to expand their brands (FightMagazine)

– The Low Blow Episode 150: Takedown Town (Fightlinker)

- Gegard Mousasi Wants King Mo Rematch On New Year’s Eve (MMANews)

- Dominick Cruz: Champions will get younger and younger (FiveOuncesofPain)

– Don’t Mention Todd Duffee’s Dairy Queen Past (WatchKalibRun)


UFC 114 Video Hype: ‘A Day in the Life of Todd Duffee’


"Athletically, I’m pretty much where I’m gonna be — I’m 24, I’m probably in the prime physical peak of my life — it’s the mental side of the game that I really have to develop and work on."

So says Todd Duffee (6-0), the impressive-looking heavyweight prospect who has acquired just seven seconds of professional MMA experience since 2008. Duffee’s blitz of Tim Hague at UFC 102 caught the attention of the MMA world, but his momentum was doused due to a back injury suffered in November. Now, the Xtreme Couture member is set to make his long-awaited Octagon return on the main card of UFC 114 against Mike Russow (12-1, 1 no-contest).

Both guys are known as finishers: Duffee has defeated all of his opponents by KO/TKO, with just one fight making it out of the first round. Russow’s unanimous decision win against Justin McCully at UFC 102 broke a seven-fight streak of stoppage victories, all of which came in the first two rounds. And yet, all of the heat is on the side of the 24-year-old. As he told “Here we have one of the most over-hyped fighters going against one of the most underrated in the heavyweight division. I am highly hyped. Am I overrated? I don’t think so. But I’ve been over-hyped by that seven-second knockout."

We’re about to find out if the Duffee-hype is justified. Russow will be an incredibly tough opponent, and a noticeable step up in competition. But if Duffee juggernauts his way through him, will anybody be that surprised?


Diego Sanchez Returns to Welterweight Division at UFC 114 Against John Hathaway

Diego Sanchez UFC 107 cut bloody BJ Penn
(This is why you should always wear a helmet when doing yes cartwheels.)

After his run at the UFC’s lightweight title ended in bloody failure, Diego Sanchez has decided to recommit himself to his most successful weight class. On Tuesday, the Nightmare confirmed via Twitter that he is indeed returning to welterweight, and will be taking on undefeated British prospect John Hathaway at UFC 114 (May 29th; Las Vegas). Sporting a 12-0 overall record, Hathaway made his Octagon debut last January with a first-round TKO over Thomas Egan, and followed it up with unanimous decision wins over Rick Story and Paul Taylor. The kid’s got moxie, but he’s never fought anybody on Sanchez’s level. Our advice? Try to do exactly what BJ Penn did.

UFC 114 is tentatively being headlined by the long-delayed grudge match between Rashad Evans and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Other rumored fights on the card include:

Forrest Griffin vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueria, which was originally slated for UFC 113 in Montreal, but has apparently been pushed back three weeks.

Todd Duffee vs. Mike Russow; both fighters are looking to pick up their second wins in the UFC. Due to a back injury suffered in November, Duffee hasn’t competed since his seven-second knockout of Tim Hague at UFC 102. Russow also made his UFC debut at #102, earning a unanimous decision over Justin McCully.