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Tag: Tyson Griffin

[EXCLUSIVE] Nick Newell Steps up at World Series of Fighting 4


(Photo via World Series of Fighting)

By Elias Cepeda

Like many kids, young Nick Newell dabbled in a number of sports as a child. First, there was soccer, then karate and baseball.

Nothing really stuck with him, however, until he joined his high school’s wrestling team as a freshman. The fact that he was missing the lower portion of his left arm didn’t seem to matter to Newell.

His family had always encouraged Nick to take part in whatever interested him, like all the other kids, and now his interest was in combat sports. “I really loved one on one aspect,” he tells CagePotato in the days leading up to his fight against Keon Caldwell on tonight’s World Series of Fighting 4 event in California.

“I don’t like depending on anyone else to get the job done. At the end of the day, you have no excuses no one to blame.”

That Newell lost his first fifteen wrestling matches didn’t put a damper on his enthusiasm for wrestling, and it also didn’t bring scorn of teammates mad that he was losing so much. “I was the team’s only 103 pounder so if I went out there and got a forfeit win it was better than nothing,” he tells with a laugh.

“I got my balls busted because I was a freshman but that was about it. The wrestling team is a family. And the coach had a lot of faith in me expected a lot out of me, even when I sucked. He always believed in me. Everyone saw how hard I worked as well. You’re together six days a week and you develop a bond.”

During college Newell decided that he wanted to fight MMA because, well, he saw MMA fights and knew that he could be good enough to do it. “I knew that I wanted to fight when I went to see fights for the first time,” he says.

“There were some fights around where I was training wrestling in college and some friends asked if I wanted to go see some fights. I said, ‘yeah, I’ll go.’ When we were watching I thought to myself, ‘I could beat these guys.’ So, instead of just talking about it, I went out and started training and did it.”

Indeed he has. The lightweight has put together a perfect 9-0 record as a professional over the past four years and became the XFC champion.

Tonight, he makes the step up to The World Series of Fighting.

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WSOF Check-In: Lightweight Tournament Announced, Newell & Spong Prepare for Fights This Saturday


(Learn more about lightweight rising star Nick Newell and the challenges he’s overcome | Video via MMA World Series Youtube page)

We’ve been following lightweight prospect Nick Newell’s unlikely and inspiring career for some time now here at CagePotato, and this Saturday he makes his next big move at the World Series of Fighting 4 event in Ontario, California. Newell will face TUF veteran Keon Caldwell.

Even though Newell hasn’t yet won his WSOF debut, the promotion announced that a win over Caldwell would earn Newell a spot in its upcoming lightweight tournament, which will crown the promotion’s inaugural 155-pound champion. If Newell does indeed enter that tournament, he’ll have a chance to prove once and for all that he’s truly a UFC-caliber fighter.

Why, you ask? Well, simply because the tournament is stacked with top international lightweights including a number of UFC veterans. Dan Lauzon will be in the tournament, as will the winner of an excellent WSOF 4 match up between Tyson Griffin and Gesias Calvacante.

Of course, all this doesn’t sit so well with Keon Caldwell’s camp, who tell MMA Junkie that they are worried of unfair treatment from the WSOF. While Newell has been publicly guaranteed a spot in the lightweight tournament if he’s victorious this weekend, Caldwell has been given no such offer. (“I just think they’re on the Nick Newell hype train,” said Caldwell’s trainer Richard Cox.)

Also fighting this Saturday will be kickboxing star Tyrone Spong, who will be headlining WSOF 4 against California-bred knockout artist Angel DeAnda. It will be Spong’s second World Series of Fighting appearance following his beat-down of Travis Bartlett in November. You can check out a lil’ video of Spong hitting people and acting cocky after the jump. Above, you can enjoy a mini documentary show on Newell’s life that takes you inside his camp, family, and home.

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Former UFC Contender Tyson Griffin Signs With World Series of Fighting


(Griffin pops Nik Lentz a good one at UFC 123. / Photo via Getty Images)

From Anthony Johnson and Jon Fitch to Josh Burkman and Miguel Torres, World Series of Fighting seems to have no problem with raiding the UFC’s leftovers for usable scrap. Their latest acquisition is Tyson Griffin, the tenacious lightweight/featherweight contender who spent five years in the UFC — and collected five Fight of the Night bonuses along the way — before being cut in October 2011 following a 1-4 stretch that ended in a blown weight-cut and knockout loss to Bart Palaszewski.

Griffin announced the news of his World Series of Fighting signing this morning via twitter, saying that he hopes to compete on WSOF’s August card (date/venue TBA); Griffin’s opponent hasn’t been confirmed yet. Currently training at American Kickboxing Academy, the 29-year-old last competed in November 2012, scoring a unanimous decision over fellow UFC castoff Efrain Escudero in the headliner of Resurrection Fighting Alliance 4 in Las Vegas.

Semi-related: Light-heavyweight kickboxing ace Tyrone Spong has been forced out of his WSOF 3 co-headlining matchup against Angel DeAnda due to visa issues. His return will likely be postponed to the promotion’s August card. Wait a minute…are you thinking what I’m thinking? WSOF 4: Spong vs. Griffin. It’s not like they’re above a good freak show.

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UFC 137 Weigh-In Results: Roy Nelson in Disguise, a Fat Tyson Griffin, and Nick Diaz as Himself

(Highlight video courtesy of MMAFighting.com)

 
It’s been a while since we brought you kids a good weigh-in video, and we’re truly sorry for that. It’s not that we don’t care, it’s just getting pretty rare that someone wears an elaborate costume to the scale, misses weight by an incredible margin, or a high-profile staredown gets personal. And if those are the criteria for a great weigh-ins, last night we hit the mother lode!

Roy Nelson’s been toying with us all about his new, streamlined look, and last night he dangled that carrot in front of us just a bit longer. “Big Country” stepped onto the stage concealing his new figure like the boys at Mercedes test driving a prototype in public. Even with the excess padding (and to be fair, we are just assuming that wasn’t his real physique), Nelson weighed only 252 lbs.

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Video: The Pros Weigh In on Penn vs. Diaz

UFC 137 is just a week away, featuring what some believe to be a welterweight number one contender match between B.J. Penn and Nick Diaz. If you weren’t convinced by our betting advice for the main event, then perhaps the words of Stephan Bonnar, Manny Gamburyan, Tyson Griffin, and Phil Baroni will do your thinking for you. And from the looks of it, you’re thinking B.J. Penn is going to come out on top, because that’s what the consensus seems to be for these pros.

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After 5 Hours at the Dentist, Randy Couture is A-OK Following Career-Ending KO

(YouTube/MMA30tv)

Any time you watch a 47-year-old man get kicked in the face by a levitating karate master – man, if we only had a nickel for every time that happens, right? – you have to wonder how the elder statesman is going to bounce back from it. In the case of Randy Couture, he appears to be recovering nicely. Aside from a small bruise under his eye, the newly retired “Natural” seems in great spirits when he meets up with MMA30’s Dave Fara at a gala event for the Xtreme Couture GI Foundation, which seeks to raise money for wounded vets. Couture also looks fully in control of his faculties, as evidenced when he correctly uses the word “assimilate” in casual conversation.

The teeth however, were more of a problem. In the above vid, listen to Couture discuss the five-plus hours he spent at the dentist getting his pearly-white Hollywood-level choppers realigned. All that, and he even has to go back for more. Nonetheless, The Old Man is taking it in stride, relating to Fara that Lyoto Machida put in a personal phone call to him a couple of days after the fight to make sure he was OK. Couture laughs off the Steven Seagal angle, keeps right on using the word “cat” as much as possible (which is only slightly less annoying than when guys in MMA insist on calling everyone “kid”) and even comments on rumors he personally took out Osama bin Laden. “It was a long plane ride,” says Couture. So you know, (if you’ll excuse the phrase) business as usual. Now if we could just do something about the epaulets on his dress blazer …

The rest of Couture’s quotes are after the jump, followed by a bevy of other Las Vegas-based fighters making appearances to pay homage to the 14-year vet. And damn, check out the jacket on Ray Sefo at 4:15. Looking good.

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Tyson Griffin’s Featherweight Debut Will Be Against Manny Gamburyan at ‘UFC on Versus 4′

Manny Gamburyan Jose Aldo WEC 51
(And in the background, you can see Jose Aldo getting ready to do this.)

Two months after announcing his intentions to “move to 145 and make a run for that belt,” former UFC lightweight contender Tyson Griffin has his first featherweight dance partner. The Xtreme Couture product will meet Manny Gamburyan at UFC on Versus 4, which is slated to go down June 26th, possibly at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

Griffin is coming off of three consecutive losses (to Evan Dunham, Takanori Gomi, and Nik Lentz), which could make this one of those unfortunate “win or go home” fights. Meanwhile, Gamburyan hasn’t competed since his violently unsuccessful bid for Jose Aldo’s title last September, which broke his three-fight winning streak at featherweight. Gamburyan was booked to face Rafael Assuncao at UFC 128 last month, but was forced to withdraw due to a back injury.

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Gomi Says It’s Necessary to Train Full-Time in the U.S. if He’s Going to Compete in America


(Video courtesy YouTube/Fight!)

As impressive as Takanori Gomi’s knockout win over Tyson Griffin was last night at UFC Live on Versus 2, I think it might be somewhat premature to jump on the bandwagon that a lot of reporters have seemed to have piled onto since last night by making claims like Fight! Magazine’s Danny Acosta that the "old Takanori Gomi is back" and that he was "the biggest star in PRIDE."

Even Gomi,  seems like he wants to further prove himself and obviously he feels that he has improvements to make, which he thinks will only come to fruition if he trains Stateside to learn the "American style of fighting" he referred to in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan after his win last night.

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UFC Live: Jones vs. Matyushenko — Live Updates and Commentary

Jon Jones UFC Live Versus MMA
(Above: Jon Jones works the pads with Phil Nurse in front of onlookers in Las Vegas. Below: Vladimir Matyushenko does nothing with nobody in front of no one somewhere. Photos courtesy of Sherdog.)
Vladimir Matyushenko UFC Live MMA

Jones and Matyushenko. Rogan and Goldie. Munoz and Okami. Arianny and the other girl. Gomi and Griffin. Big John McCarthy (!), assuming he hasn’t been completely relegated to the dark card. It’s been far too long since the UFC has graced us with their presence — particularly on free TV — and it feels good to be hanging with the old gang again. Live round-by-round results from the Versus broadcast will be piling up after the jump starting at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT. Refresh your browser every few minutes for all the latest, and leave us your insightful feedback in the comments section. And please, no unrelated comments about how boring Jake Shields is. At least for one night. Come on, guys, let’s be adults here.

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UFC Fight Booking Alert: Hardy vs. Condit, Gomi vs. Griffin



(Y’know, if you two got to know each other, you’d realize you aren’t so different after all.)

As first reported by MMA Weekly, Dan Hardy will return to the Octagon at UFC 120, tentatively slated for October 16th at the O2 Arena in London. After getting slept on for five rounds in his unsuccessful welterweight title grab against Georges St. Pierre in March, Hardy will look to rebound against Carlos Condit, who’s coming off a dramatic third-round TKO over Rory MacDonald at UFC 115; the stoppage came with seven seconds left in the final frame, and Condit would have likely lost the fight on points. No other fights have been reported for UFC 120, although the event is rumored to host the UFC’s first U.K. Fan Expo.

In other booking news, Tyson Griffin has stepped up to face Takanori Gomi at UFC on Versus 2 (August 1st, San Diego), replacing Joe Stevenson who suffered a knee injury in training. Griffin was most recently outworked by Evan Dunham at UFC 115, losing by split-decision. Gomi might be facing a must-win situation against Griffin, as he was choked out by Kenny Florian in his Octagon debut in March.

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