As a big fan of TUF 12′s Cody McKenzie, I’ve come to realize that it’s hard to fault the guy for his nonsensical and often self-destructive decisions, especially when it comes to choosing his opponents. The man reaches for the stars, dammit, and will simply not be told that he doesn’t have the right to call out Frankie Edgar, or Jose Aldo, or Chad Mendes, despite the fact that just managed to bring his win-loss ratio in the UFC to the .500 mark.
No, “The AK Kid” wasn’t one to overthink, or even realizethe fact that he had dropped 3 out of his last 4 fights heading into his do-or-die bout with Leonard Garcia at UFC 159, which is why it makes total sense that he, now a featherweight, is calling out top lightweight contender Josh Thomson, like he didn’t just save his UFC career by beating a guy on a four-fight losing streak. How can you not love this kid?
Back in 2010, the brain trust at CagePotato HQ compiled a list of the 25 most essential MMA Twitter feeds to follow. Boy, do we sure know how to pick ‘em. Miguel Torres, Kimbo Slice, Mayhem Miller, Reed Harris, Shane Carwin, and Strikeforce have all since faded out of relevance or gone off the deep end. Wait, Reed does what now? Are you sure? Nevermind — we’re back with an updated list of who you should really be following on Twitter, and this time we’ve actually put some thought into it instead of blindly tossing darts at our screen while simultaneously using a Shakeweight. Please note, this is 2013 and if you don’t already know you should be following Dana White, Arianny Celeste, or Ariel Helwani, you’re probably the reason Jon Jones is defending his title against Chael Sonnen this Saturday at UFC 159. Speaking of the gangster from West Linn…
Bio: “Godfather of integrity; dual masters in dominance and modesty; once outboxed Hemingway; & author of this year’s bestseller, available NOW on Amazon”
If you thought Sonnen refused to break kayfabe only when the cameras were rolling, you must not have been paying attention because his gimmick is boundless. The People’s Champion maximizes his 140-character limit with every emasculating jab at his opponents, peers, and detractors in the MMA media. The American Gangster is the only man on Twitter to follow absolutely no one, not even his own mother.
Sample Tweet: “15 – the number of letters in the word hydropneumatics as well as Chael beats Jones. #UFC159 #4/27/13″
During Thursday’s (March 28) passes as we ran wrestling exercises I lost my balance and pitched eyebrow in a very unfortunate way when I hit my head on one burpelaren. Immediately after it happened, I went to the hospital and sewed three stitches. I was quite prepared to compete until the doctors called and told me that cut is unfortunate and will not have time to heal in time until the gala.
It is of course extremely sad when träningscampet has gone very well. In addition to the eyebrow, I am in my best form and completely ready for the match. It is also sad for my opponent, Gegard Mousasi, who has also been training long and hard for this match.
I and my team have done everything we can to get set up and race despite the injury, but the decision is unfortunately not in our hands. I am extremely sorry for this and I feel with Gegard Mousasi. I also suffer with the fans who have been looking forward to this event and this match. Would also like to thank my entire team who have helped and supported me all the way. The next step now is that I sit down with the team and planning the future.
(“You see, Georges? THIS is how you dominate someone for five full rounds without ever coming close to finishing them!”)
Likely because he has failed to stir up any interest in the cage with his fighting style, which often feels like watching The English Patient at half speed, Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren has become quite the prominent Twitter troll over the years. And honestly, his Twitter beefs and troll tactics have quickly become the most entertaining part of his mixed martial arts career.
(“I drink coconut water because it’s the world’s greatest natural source of electrolytes. Plus, Obama has been putting cyanide in our tap water since March 2010. Open your eyes, people.” Photo via Esther Lin/Showtime)
One of the more enjoyable aspects of MMA — and the athletes who participate in it – is that even as the sport has grown exponentially in popularity over the past half-decade, the personalities that comprise it have remained extraordinarily candid in their interactions with the general public. It keeps fighters down to earth relative to athletes in other sports — Chris Kluwe excluded — and creates a sense of community between the fans and fighters that is unique to MMA. Of course, every now and then, a fighter (or promoter) will take things a step too far.
Take Ronda Rousey. Just the other day she caught heat for saying that Georges St. Pierre, the most dominant champion in welterweight history and arguably the most complete fighter in the sport, was only famous because he was attractive and Canadian. After the ensuing outcry, Ronda clearly gave the matter a lot of thought and decided to be more conscious of what she said in public forums…and proceeded to tweet an “extremely interesting must watch video” suggesting the Sandy Hook massacre of 20 children and 6 adults in December was the product of a government conspiracy to push anti-gun legislation. Amidst a storm of criticism, she eventually took down the tweet hours later.
Let’s be clear: This is probably the single largest public relations blunder any prominent professional fighter has committed since Quinton “Rampage” Jacksonlived up to his nickname. Rousey originally justified it by saying “I just figure asking questions and doing research is more patriotic than blindly accepting what you’re told.” Which is an interesting thing to say, considering she just blindly accepted what a YouTube video — presumably constructed by a reactionary paranoid living in his mom’s basement — told her, despite an overwhelming amount of evidence to the contrary.
(A glimpse into the nightmare that awaits Stefan Struve if he doesn’t start choosing his battles.)
If I could spend a day inside the head of any UFC fighter – Being John Malkovich style — I would obviously choose Donald Cerrone, who is currently sticking it to Brittney Palmer if I remember correctly. High fives all around, guys! But on the off chance I could crawl inside the head of a second UFC fighter, I would have to go with Cheick Kongo, because based on recent events, I can only assume that his brain functions exactly like one of those twisty-turvey waterslides at your local amusement park.
In the past few days, Kongo has turned down a fight with Daniel Cormier, which is understandable, and turned down a fight with Roy Nelson, which is not so understandable for a guy who is coming off one of the most atrocious winning performances in UFC history. But after turning down the Nelson fight, Kongo sent out this tweet, which challenges the phrase “splitting hairs” on a level my brain has yet to fully comprehend:
I did NOT REFUSE to FIGHT Roy Nelson. I REFUSED to TAKE A FIGHT on SHORT NOTICE. Which is NOT THE SAME AT ALL.
Fine, Cheick, if that helps you sleep at night. I hate to judge a book by it’s cover, but if you were to tell me anywhere else that a man with pectorals the size of dinner plates refused to fight this dude on a month’s notice, I would probably call him a pussy. I said probably.
(This fan-made hype video was first posted to YouTube on September 30th. Wow. CletusDamVan must have read The Secret.)
Ugh, you guys, I had the worst dream last night. I was at home, but it was actually the house I grew up in, you know? I was watching TV, and suddenly all the lights went out. Dana White walked in through the back door. He told me — and here’s the freaky part — that Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen would be coaching the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, and they’d actually be fighting for the light-heavyweight belt in April. I was like, “Why? Why are you doing this?” And he said, “Because I fucking hate you.” And when he said that, I realized it wasn’t Dana White, it was my own father. Then, my teeth started cracking and falling out one by one, and-OH MY GOD NO! AHHHHHHHH! THIS CAN’T HAPPEN! THIS CAN’T HAPPEN! [scene]
Look, we’re not alone in our utter distaste for this booking. Elsewhere on the Internet, pundits have called Jones vs. Sonnen (vs. TUF) a thinly-veiled money grab that reeks of desperation and sets a horrible precedent. But this matchup is now our reality, and we have to deal with reality on reality’s terms. Here’s a sample of the fallout and news updates that yesterday’s bombshell kicked up:
- Tweet of the Day, from Dan Henderson: “I guess I should just quit training to win fights and to be exciting for the fans and just go to shit talking school. @danawhite”. Dan and Chael might be bros from way back, but that clearly doesn’t make this news any easier for Hendo to swallow. It’s insulting, really. Henderson is still the most rightful challenger to Jones’s belt, but an ill-timed injury has apparently put him on the UFC’s “pay no mind” list. Don’t make us say it.