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

Tag: Tom Atencio

Dead MMA Fighter of the Month: Justin Levens


(Photo via the Justin Levens Remembrance Album on CombatLifestyle.com / Props to Deadspin‘s brilliant “Dead Wrestler of the Week” feature for the inspiration.)

By Ben Goldstein

All murder-suicides are shocking. Not all of them are entirely surprising.

On December 17th, 2008, UFC/WEC veteran Justin Levens and his wife Sara McLean-Levens were found dead inside their condominium in Laguna Niguel, California, both from gunshot wounds. Initial evidence suggested that Justin was the shooter. “It was a chest wound that penetrated her heart and killed her, and his was to the head,” said O. C. Sheriff Coroner’s Office spokesman Jim Amormino.

Amormino confirmed that painkillers and anti-depressants were discovered in the Levens’s home, along with the handgun Justin allegedly used to end their lives. Police had visited Justin and Sara at least twice in the previous month, once to investigate a possible drug overdose.

At the time of his death, Justin Levens was 28 years old and hadn’t won an MMA match in over two years. He’d gone 0-5 in 2007 — an agonizing year in which his close friend and IFL teammate Jeremy Williams committed suicide, also by shooting himself — and was dealt a six-month suspension by the California State Athletic Commission in July 2008 when a pre-fight drug test came back off-the-charts for the painkiller Oxymorphone. For the last five months of his life, Levens was unable to earn a living as a fighter, and fell deeper into a spiral of depression and prescription drug use.

Justin didn’t leave a suicide note. There were no signs of a struggle. He and Sara had already been dead for four days when their bodies were discovered.

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Video: The Women, They Love the GSP


(Props: afflictionvideos)

You know, just once I’d like to be referred to as "God" by a long line of hot chicks. Anyway, here’s Georges St. Pierre signing some of his new 2010 calendars last weekend at the Affliction store at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. To quote Todd Duffee, the ladies want to romance him, and the boys want to bromance him. This video is particularly worth watching because it reveals Tom Atencio’s new role at Affliction — awkwardly stumbling through interviews with UFC stars. (It’s cool, because he says he’s drunk!) Later, Randy Couture shows up to tell Tom about his upcoming "Advil and Viagra" fight with Mark Coleman. Semi-related: According to Randy, reports of GSP’s Olympic wrestling bid have been blown way out of proportion.

Bonus, after the jump: The badass new trailer for Spike’s Best of PRIDE.

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‘Ultimate Chaos’ Results and Videos: Lashley Tears Through Sapp, Yvel KOs Rizzo, Atencio Breaks Hedderick


(Bobby Lashley vs. Bob Sapp. Props to MMA Scraps.)

We were promised a train-wreck — what we got was slower and far less dramatic. (An ice-cream truck crashing into a tree, maybe?) Bobby Lashley got down to business right away in his main event fight with Bob Sapp at last night’s "Ultimate Chaos" show in Biloxi, taking the Beast down immediately and working some steady ground-and-pound in half-guard for a couple minutes, until Sapp tapped from the abuse. Unfortunately the ref didn’t see it, so Lashley was forced to beat on the helpless 322-pounder some more until a second tap finally caught the ref’s attention. Lashley moves to 4-0 in his budding MMA career, and plans to fight again in September.

The co-headlining fight looked like it was going to turn out the same way, with Pedro Rizzo quickly establishing top position on Gilbert Yvel and throwing down elbows. But Yvel stayed active, kicked Rizzo off and escaped to his feet. Back to his comfort zone, Yvel unleashed a striking assault that sent Rizzo to the mat, and knocked him out cold with strikes from the top. Yvel increased his record to 35-12, with 30 wins by KO/TKO; after the fight, he confirmed that he’ll be facing Paul Buentello at Affliction: Trilogy on August 1st.

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Affliction’s Tom Atencio Talks “Ultimate Chaos” Fight, Doesn’t Give a Damn What the Critics Think

Affliction VP Tom Atencio
(What’s he looking for?  A war.)

I spoke with Affliction VP Tom Atencio for this week’s SI column on his fight with local card dealer Randy Hedderick at tomorrow night’s “Ultimate Chaos” event in Biloxi, Mississippi.  Contrary to my suspicions before our talk, I came away convinced that Atencio isn’t doing this so much as a self-promotional Affliction publicity stunt, but rather because he genuinely wants to.  What makes me think so?  Mostly his reluctance to even talk about the fight, as well as mild surprise that anyone would want to talk about him considering the other fights on the card.

He also offered some insight on his life as a highly-publicized but low-level MMA fighter, as well as his career as a fight promoter.  And naturally he managed to slip in some shots at the UFC…

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Tom Atencio Is a -160 Favorite Against Randy Hedderick


("After I’m through with you, your face is going to be as stylishly distressed as our premium denim." Photo courtesy of OCRegister.com.)

Betting odds have been posted for some of the key matchups at this Saturday’s Ultimate Chaos show (props to BloodyElbow for the tip), and oddsmakers have labeled Affliction VP/occasional fighter Tom Atencio as the favorite in his fight against Randy Hedderick, who is 4-3 as an amateur and will be making his pro debut against Atencio. Hedderick welcomes the attention that comes with fighting The T-Shirt Guy; in a recent Ultimate Chaos press release, he was quoted as saying:

“So many people have come up to me saying, ‘Beat his ass,’ and that’s what I’m going to try and do…I must admit, I do have a few Affliction T-shirts, but my girlfriend bought them for me. [Ed. note: SNAP.] I’m enjoying this and can’t wait to get in the cage with Tom. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime for me.”

So let’s peep those odds, shall we?

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Andrei Arlovski Homeless After Affliction Decides Not to Renew His Contract

Andrei Arlovski Brett Rogers MMA Affliction
(Well, you sleep on the job as much as Andrei does and you’re bound to get fired at some point. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Andrei Arlovski’s career options just got even slimmer. After suffering back-to-back first-round knockouts against Fedor Emelianenko and Brett Rogers — both of which were humiliating in their own special ways — Affliction has declined to renew the Belarusian’s fight contract. Affliction VP Tom Atencio did his best to spare Andrei’s feelings:

“His contract has expired and right now we have so many fighters under contract that we are just concentrating on working with them…No, we are not looking at [pursuing a new contract with Arlovski] right now.” 
 
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Dana White Responds to Tom Atencio’s Fight Challenge by Calling Him a Loser

Randy Couture Tom Atencio MMA
(They should have used a safe word. Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.)

Just because Tom Atencio wants to give up a couple weight classes and fight Dana White doesn’t mean it’ll actually happen. Quote of the day, via Kevin Iole:

"If I were him, I’d want to fight me, too," White said. "I’m the guy who is killing all of his hopes and dreams…Why would I fight this goof? He’s neither a fighter nor a promoter. He’s a [expletive] loser. That’s all he is. Let me tell you something: When I was $44 million in the hole, the last thing I was doing was leaving the office and going out to train for a joke of a fight. I was in the office and trying to find a way to make this thing work. Why would I waste one second of my second of my day worrying about this [expletive] guy? He should be worried about the millions and millions of his bosses, or his partners’ money, whoever it is, that’s he’s burning. That’s a complete joke."
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Tom Atencio Got Mad Squabbles, Kid


(Check out the high kick from Tom at the end.  It sure freaked the cameraman out and shut his whole operation down. Props: MMA Videos.)

Yeah, that’s Tom Atencio in the camo trunks getting his scrap on against David Martinez back in 2005.  You have to like the intensity and aggression from t-shirt guy.  He is not afraid to come right after you, guns a-blazin’.  He went on the win this fight via decision and it cemented his place as the rare fight promoter who actually has the grapefruits to get in and fight.  But apparently the positive attention that’s been coming his way since he agreed to his second MMA fight has only emboldened him to get more proactive about painting Dana White as a total punk.  First he suggested that maybe Dana should try being an actual tough guy, rather than just talking like one.  And now he’s stopping just short of issuing a full-on challenge. 

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Affliction’s Tom Atencio Questions Dana White’s Manhood, In So Many Words

Tom Atencio
(Tom wishes a motherf*cker would call him t-shirt guy to his face.)

Affliction VP Tom Atencio saw a rare opening to take a shot at UFC president Dana White during the press conference to promote “Ultimate Chaos” in Biloxi, Miss., and damned if he didn’t make the most of it.  Atencio’s entering into his second MMA bout against Randy Hedderick, who as far as we know does not run either an MMA organization or a t-shirt company.  And while it’s not exactly like fighting for a UFC title, Atencio points out that at least he’s got the balls to do it, unlike some other promoters:

"I’ve been seen in front of the cameras before as far as the business side, but it’s time to fight. I’m doing something Dana White won’t do and that’s fight. He talks like a fighter, so why doesn’t he fight? I’m stepping up to the plate and win, lose or draw I attempted it. I don’t ever think he would fight."

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OMFG: Affliction’s Tom Atencio to Return to the Cage in Lashley/Sapp Undercard

Tom Atencio Dana White MMA Affliction
(He’s not kidding, Dana — tap or nap. Photo courtesy of MMA Mania.)

He might be a "t-shirt guy," but Affliction VP Tom Atencio has enough balls to actually compete in the sport that he promotes. According to MMA Fanhouse, Atencio will be fighting on the supporting card of the June 27th MMA event at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum in Biloxi that will be headlined by Bobby Lashley vs. Bob Sapp. Another heavyweight match between Pedro Rizzo and Gilbert Yvel has also been booked. Said Atencio on his decision to get out from behind his desk and strap on the gloves:

"I love this sport and I am not a wannabe. I’ve fought before and I have respect for anyone who steps into the ring win, lose or draw. They’re doing something that most of the world will never do."

No, Atencio’s fight won’t be a celebrity MMA bout against arch-nemesis Dana White (who could smash Ricardo Arona, by the way). He’ll be taking on a yet-unnamed lightweight, probably at a weight of 160 pounds: "Not sure I can make 155 at 42 years old."

While we give huge props to Tom for the effort, we can’t help reading into what this means for Affliction as an MMA promotion. It can’t be a great sign when their main promoter and two of their heavyweights are planning on keeping busy with other endeavors for the month of June. When asked why he wouldn’t be fighting under the Affliction banner, all Atencio would say is "They don’t think it’s right for me to fight for my own event." (They?) Still no word on when/where Affliction’s third event will be held, if they are indeed having one, but we’ll keep you posted.

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