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Tag: Travis Lutter

The 10 Greatest TUF Winner Fails of All Time

Dan Henderson Michael Bisping
(Where’s your glass trophy now, playboy? Props: thesun.co.uk)

By CagePotato contributor Jim Genia

In a perfect world, The Ultimate Fighter would give us an up close and personal look at some of the most promising mixed martial artists out there, vying for greatness in the crucible of combat. But in reality, it’s become a perversion of manufactured drama and prefabricated stars — stars made bright not by the depth of the competition they must face but by the trouncing of whatever hapless wannabes a SpikeTV producer chose at the tryouts. You see, it stopped being about “who’s the best” a long time ago, and was twisted into “who makes for the best TV,” so what we get now is more Jersey Shore than Ultimate Fighting Championship, only instead of Snooki and JWoww’s cleavage we get an IFL champ or Sengoku veteran beating the ever-loving crap out of people with maybe a handful (if that) of fights.

That’s why, when a TUF winner loses in Octagon — sometimes after facing real UFC-level competition for the first time — it’s totally awesome! Because, sure, Michael Bisping, Joe Stevenson and Mac Danzig are tough, likeable guys, but don’t try to fool us into thinking they’re the definition of “badass” just because they defeated a personal trainer from New Orleans, a boxer from Maine and some kid who should be working on a farm. We’re not the ignorant general public flicking through the channels, we’re knowledgeable MMA fans. We know better!

Therefore, here, in no particular order, is a list of the ten greatest TUF winner fails of all time. It’s a list based not on animosity towards any particular fighter, but on animosity towards the Spike TV executive who skipped over the few hundred fighter hopefuls with real talent and real skill, and instead chose the clown with the funky hair, the drinking problem and the propensity for trashing houses…

Michael Bisping vs. Dan Henderson, UFC 100
British fighter Michael Bisping was a stud in the UK MMA scene (which is a lot like saying you’re a gold medalist in the Special Olympics) when he got the call to compete on TUF, and he took Season 3 top honors after beating, well, pretty much no one of note. But he continued to rack up wins on the pay-per-views, defeating such marginables as Elvis Sinosic, Charles McCarthy and Jason Day. However, TUF 9 saw him pitted against Dan Henderson as an opposing coach, and we were supposed to believe the inevitable Octagon conflict between them would be competitive. It wasn’t, and fans everywhere rejoiced over a knockout so devastating Bisping has no recollection of anything to do with the weekend of July 11, 2009 and about nine days before and after.

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And Now He’s Fired: Efrain Escudero

Efrain Escudero Charles Oliveira UFC Fight Night 22
(Poor kid. He didn’t even get a chance to go on a three-fight losing streak. Photo courtesy of MMAFighting.com)

Following his submission loss to Charles Oliveira at UFC Fight Night 22, TUF 8 lightweight winner Efrain Escudero has been released from his UFC contract. Escudero confirmed the news last night via Twitter, writing "I was released by the Ufc today speaking to strikeforce and bellator. Taking a week off and make my way back!!!!!"

Escudero becomes just the second Ultimate Fighter-winner to be pink-slipped in the show’s five-and-a-half-year history; TUF 4‘s Travis Lutter got canned in April 2008. TUF winners tend to get a lot of leeway in their UFC careers — check out the spotty records of guys like Mac Danzig and Kendall Grove — but missing weight and garbage-ass performances will get you on the UFC’s bad side no matter who you are. Escudero struck out big time last week when he missed weight by an unacceptable four pounds, then lost to an up-and-comer in a fight that was entertaining despite Efrain’s best efforts to stall.

We’re sure Effy will land on his feet, and may even battle his way back to the UFC one day. But between this and Todd Duffee‘s firing two weeks ago, it seems like the UFC is becoming less interested in giving second (or third) chances to fighters who aren’t performing up to expectations.

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Heads-Up: Jason MacDonald vs. Travis Lutter Headlines MFC 22, Tonight on HDNet

Jason MacDonald Travis Lutter MMA MFC
(You know it’s a meaningless fight when the promoter starts nodding off. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

If you like to keep tabs on the careers of UFC washouts, tonight’s "Maximum Fighting Championship 22: Payoff" show in Edmonton is a great opportunity to see a bunch of them in action. Headlining the event will be a middleweight clash between submission specialists Jason MacDonald (21-12, fired from the UFC earlier this year after back-to-back losses to Wilson Gouveia and Nate Quarry) and Travis Lutter (9-5, fired from the UFC last year after back-to-back losses to Anderson Silva and Rich Franklin). It will be Lutter’s first fight since the Fraklin match, which took place nearly 18 months ago.

Also on the card, welterweight veteran John Alessio (25-13, 0-3 in the UFC) takes on Luigi Fioravanti (15-5, fired from the UFC after his loss to Anthony Johnson in February), while light-heavyweight David Heath (13-5, axed by the UFC after three straight losses in 2007-2008) rumbles with TUF 3 also-ran Mike Nickels. Plus: Marvin Eastman, Pete Spratt, and a lightweight meeting between Antonio McKee and Carlo Prater that was supposed to be a title fight until Prater missed weight. Folks, it doesn’t get any more average than this — you may or may not want to miss it.

MFC 22 will be broadcast live on HDNet beginning at 10 p.m. ET. The complete lineup and weigh-in results are after the jump…

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The 7 Biggest UFC Busts of All Time

#7: MAC DANZIG (Photo via Paul Thacker.) A five-time King of the Cage lightweight champion with appearances in PRIDE and the WEC, Mac Danzig was one of the most seasoned mixed martial artists to ever appear on The Ultimate Fighter, and few were surprised when he blazed past guys like Ben Saunders, War Machine, and [...]

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Fight Booking News: Mousasi/Sokoudjou, Lutter/Lister + More

Gegard Mousasi Musashi K-1 MMA
("Just out of curiosity, what’s up now, bitch?" Mousasi surveys the wreckage of the similarly-named Musashi in their K-1 match at Dynamite!! 2008.)

— Though he may still be making his U.S. debut for Affliction, Gegard Mousasi‘s next fight will be in Japan. FiveOuncesofPain reports that DREAM’s 2008 middleweight grand prix winner could return at DREAM 9 (May 23rd) to take on Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou; it would be Mousasi’s debut as a light-heavyweight, and his first MMA fight since last September. Sokoudjou currently carries a 5-4 record, and has dropped his last two matches to Luis Cane (at UFC 89) and Renato Sobral (at Affliction: Day of Reckoning). The African Assassin needs a break, but he probably won’t catch one here.

— A battle between two middleweight grapplers who flamed out of the UFC despite loads of talent has been booked as the main event of MFC 21 (May 13th; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). MFC prez Mark Pavelich announced yesterday that Travis Lutter vs. Dean Lister would headline the show, which will also feature Marcus Aurelio, David Heath, John Alessio, and Solomon Hutcherson. Lutter hasn’t competed since his loss to Rich Franklin at UFC 83 last April, while Lister made his most recent appearance at UFC 92 in December, where he dropped a unanimous decision to Yushin Okami.

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Quick Hits: Couture on Kimbo, Lutter on UFC Rumors, CBS on Elite XC Lineup

- ESPN Radio’s Ball Park Frank talks with Randy Couture about a number of topics in this video (props to Steve Cofield), but perhaps most interesting is Couture’s assessment of Kimbo Slice‘s upcoming match with Ken Shamrock. As Couture astutely points out (around the 2:55 mark), a quick KO of Shamrock does more to affirm his over-the-hill status than it does to prove Kimbo’s worth as an MMA fighter. At the same time, if Kimbo goes back and forth with Shamrock will that only serve to prove that he’s not the fighter “Buzz” Berry is? Best case scenario for Kimbo is he looks good, Shamrock looks good, Kimbo wins via late KO. That’s also the least plausible scenario.

- Travis Lutter tells MMA Rated there is absolutely no truth to rumors he might be headed back to the UFC. Though it was originally reported that he might face Joe Doerksen in the Octagon, Lutter says neither he nor UFC matchmaker Joe Silva knew where the rumor came from, which means it’s back to the small time for Lutter. He did have a prediction for the Anderson Silva-Patrick Cote bout, though: “Cote is going to get murdered.” Come on, Travis, don’t sugar coat it.

- CBS executives say they will show five fights from ‘Elite XC: Heat’ on Saturday, even if it will probably cause them to run over the allotted two-hour space. Some fans wondered whether CBS had cut “Ninja” Rua-Benji Radach from the broadcast when the bout wasn’t mentioned in recent promos, but Executive VP Kelly Kahl says the fight is still on and will lead off the CBS portion of the card. That means Elite XC will have to keep its general dicking around to a minimum and still hope for a couple quick finishes to keep from going over. It’s something you’ll want to keep in mind if you’re planning on DVR-ing this sucker.

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Travis Lutter Wants His Damn Money

Travis Lutter UFC

Our friend Ariel at MMARated did an audio interview with Travis Lutter shortly after he was cut by the UFC, and if you’re curious about where “The Serial Killer” goes from here you should give it a listen. Lutter still sounds a little dazed by his layoff — and bitter that he was cut while other two-time-losers like Kendall Grove are still in the mix — but there were some interesting revelations. For example:

— After his dismissal, Lutter e-mailed Dana White about the $36,000 that Xyience still owes him. That e-mail has not yet been returned.
— When he said that fans of MMA suck, he was specifically referring to the ones that send him hate mail; according to Travis, the only person who deserves that kind of hate mail is Osama Bin Laden. [ed. note: I know, right? If only we had his address!]
— Since his firing, he’s been called by the IFL and HDNet/Affliction; he’d love to fight Matt Lindland.
— Lutter still doesn’t know why he gassed against Rich Franklin. He also hasn’t watched the fight yet, because he doesn’t feel like it.
— He says “y’know” more than maybe anyone else in the world, ever.

If you’ve still got love for Lutter, listen to the interview at MMARated.com.

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Quote Stew: Bisping, Quarry, Hunt + More

JI
(James Irvin: Fighting his way off of the C-list.)

“He’s lost his last two fights now, against Franklin and Anderson Silva, so the UFC’s decision makes sense. No fighter can guarantee winning a fight but you can go into a bout in shape. If you can’t go the distance then you’re not preparing well enough and you’re not taking your job seriously. We work for the UFC and it’s our job to get off our a**es and train and be in shape. That’s what we get paid for and if we don’t do that then we’re not doing our job. That’s the way I look at it.”
Michael Bisping on the recent sacking of Travis Lutter.

“I just decided to make light of the situation and be like, hey man, this is what I’m seeing. I’m seeing a running man. That just came to me out of nowhere. When there were ten seconds left I just said to myself, all right, I’m calling the technique the ‘rock-hammer.’ I don’t know if that name will stick or not.”
Nate Quarry on the instant-classic ending of his fight with Kalib Starnes.

“I’m just so happy that he would even take the fight against me. I consider him an ‘A’ level fighter, and I consider myself a ‘C’ level fighter, maybe a ‘B’ level because I just beat Houston trying to claw my way up to the top. So for him to take a step down and fight me, I’m greatly appreciative of the guy, who is someone I look up to as one of those top tier fighters.”
James Irvin on his UFC 85 opponent, Rashad Evans.

“Mentally I think BJ has some quit in him. I’ve seen it, I’ve seen it in the past. If you push him, he’ll quit.”
Sean Sherk on his UFC 84 grudge match with BJ Penn.

“Now that the K1 thing is out of the way it’s all good baby: all MMA and MMA only. These guys (DREAM) want me to fight Aleksander (Emelianeko) in about three weeks time on May 11th! I was like no way because it’s too short a time with no training. I don’t want to risk fighting like that. But if they compensate me enough for taking that risk then it’s all good and I’ll fight. DREAM’s plan was to see how Fedor (Emelianeko) goes and when and if he wins the DREAM title, and then I will fight him…First time I fought him, my wrestling wasn’t great — actually it was pretty shit but I did alright with him. This time I will be ready.”
Mark Hunt, who may eventually be battling the Emelianenko brothers in DREAM. Hunt was submitted by Fedor via armbar at PRIDE Shockwave on New Year’s Eve 2006.

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Travis Lutter Gets Starnes’d By the UFC

TS
(He’s the one getting his ass kicked.)

Looks like the UFC was serious about that whole shedding dead weight thing: Travis Lutter has made history as the first Ultimate Fighter winner to get his contract shredded. Lutter made the announcement yesterday via a MySpace blog entry, which was later confirmed by FightTicker.com. The blog entry suggests that Lutter might have hit the bottle directly after getting the bad news:

I have been released from my UFC Contract.

Friday afternnon I was told by my manager that UFC matchmaker Joe Silza had left my him a message on his phone that I had been released from my UFC contract because of my 2 losses in a row.

And that’s it. At the time of this writing, the post had accumulated eight “kudos.”

Lutter made his Octagon debut at UFC 50 (10/22/04) with a knockout victory over Marvin Eastman, but lost his next two UFC matches against Matt Lindland and Trevor Prangley. After winning a couple of matches outside the Octagon, Lutter was chosen for The Ultimate Fighter 4 (“The Comeback”), where he defeated fellow middleweights Scott Smith and Pete Sell before submitting Patrick Côté via armbar in the final. But Lutter’s been skating on thin ice since he failed to make weight for his championship match against Anderson Silva at UFC 67, causing the card’s main event to be downgraded to an absolutely pointless non-title fight.

The last straw turned out to be his disappointing performance against Rich Franklin at UFC 83, where Lutter was so gassed by the second round that he barely had the energy to get to his feet after Franklin shook out of a leglock attempt. Following the loss, Lutter did an anger-venting interview with FightTicker where he notably said, “fans of this sport just suck…I definitely don’t fight for those people.” Lutter had four fights left on his contract.

The question is, who will get the ax next? So far, the UFC’s roster cuts are following a simple, cold logic: Boring fighting style + one or two losses + nobody likes you = fired. The most obvious upcoming win-or-leave matchup that comes to mind is Evan Tanner vs. Kendall Grove, which headlines the TUF 7 finale on June 21st. Tanner looked like a shell of his former self in his loss to Yushin Okami at UFC 82, and his personal stability is still a question mark; another loss for Grove would make it an unacceptable three in a row. But it would be very surprising if more cuts didn’t take place before that. Any predictions?

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UFC 83: Serra vs. St. Pierre 2 — ‘We, Are, LIVE!!!’

ssp

As Ferrall might say, this “beautiful matchup of warriors and freaks ready to dance” is about to pop off, so pour yourself some iced tea or red wine and settle in. Click the “MORE” link and refresh the page every few minutes for round-by-round updates. Montreal residents, let’s get ready to riot!

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