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The Best Photos of UFC 90

Anderson Silva Patrick Cote MMA UFC
(Photo courtesy of NBC Sports.)

Props to UFC.com, NBC Sports, The Chicago Tribune, NationalPost.com, and MMA Weekly.

Anderson Silva offers Patrick Cote a handAnderson Silva Patrick Cote UFC 90Josh Koscheck Thiago Silva UFC 90Gray Maynard Rich Clementi UFC 90Gray Maynard Rich Clementi UFC 90Sean Sherk Tyson Griffin UFC 90Sean Sherk Tyson Griffin UFC 90Thales Leites Drew McFedries UFC 90Matt Horwich UFC 90Shannon Gugerty Spencer Fisher UFC 90Josh Burkman Pete Sell UFC 90Arianny Celeste ring girl UFC 90Anderson Silva UFC 90

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UFC 90 Bonuses + Videos

What a bizarre night. If, like me, you can’t quite make sense of what you saw last night, the video above gives you another chance to sort through it all. What does it say when Bruce Buffer provides more intensity than the main event?

Bonus awards for UFC 90 were $65,000 a piece and it played out like this:

Fight of the Night: Sean Sherk and Tyson Griffin
Submission of the Night: Spencer Fisher
KO of the Night: Junior Dos Santos

Awarding bonuses this time around must have felt like a strange process. There were only two submissions (Thales Leites’ choke of McFedries was not impressive enough somehow) and one knockout, and picking a fight of the night had to be a lot like picking a favorite Arena League football team. Apparently 15,359 people showed up to be disappointed by the most unsatisfying UFC in recent memory, with a live gate totaling $2.85 million.

Dos Santos’ vicious knockout of Werdum is after the jump, along with the so-called fight of the night and more.

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Video: Sean Sherk Training for Tyson Griffin


(Props: MMA Madness)

If you’ve ever wondered where Sean Sherk gets his endless gas tank, check out the agony he puts himself through at Minnesota’s Athletic Performance Inc. Their infamous “Caveman Training” sessions push cardio and muscle endurance to the absolute limit, incorporating everything from steeply-inclined treadmill-running to what looks like double-dutch rope-swinging, which I guess isn’t just for little girls and fairies anymore. Even the insanely conditioned Muscle Shark is sucking air and checking his watch before long. Sherk returns to action at UFC 90 (October 25th, Chicago) against Tyson Griffin, who has gone to a decision in his last five fights — which shouldn’t be a problem for Sean.

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UFC 90 Gets Fisher/Guillard, Franca/Tibau; Sherk vs. Griffin Rumored

Melvin Guillard Dennis Siver UFC MMA
(Melvin Guillard shuts down Dennis Siver. Photo courtesy of UFC.com.)

MMA Weekly has confirmed that UFC 90 (October 25th, Chicago) will feature a lightweight bout between Spencer Fisher and Melvin Guillard. Fisher (21-4, 6-3 UFC) is coming off a decision win against Jeremy Stephens at the TUF 7 finale in June, while Guillard (21-7-2, 4-3 UFC) is coming off a 36-second KO of Dennis Siver, which won him the “Knockout of the Night” bonus at last month’s UFC 86. Seems like a decent matchup, though Fisher’s coach Pat Miletich isn’t so pleased: “Spencer has no reason to fight that guy,” Miletich told MMA Weekly. “I don’t think Melvin’s earned the right to fight him yet. I think Spencer should be fighting somebody where he’s got something to gain.”

Also in the lightweight division at UFC 90, Sherdog reports that Hermes Franca (who has dropped his last two fights to Sean Sherk and Frank Edgar) will be facing Gleison Tibau (who has dropped his last two fights to Tyson Griffin and Joe Stevenson). It goes without saying that the loser of this match could find himself bounced out of the UFC. Tibau currently trains at American Top Team, and Hermes Franca — a former ATT member — considers him a friend.

MMA Weekly also lists a third high-profile lightweight bout — between Sean Sherk and Tyson Griffin — on its UFC 90 Rumors page. The event will feature the middleweight title fight between Anderson Silva and Patrick Cote, as well as a potential #1 welterweight contender match between Thiago Alves and Diego Sanchez.

In other UFC news…

Wanderlei Silva will return to the Octagon in December against Unknown Fighter.

— Ever wonder why Luke Cummo looks so damn healthy and energetic? Partly the pee-drinking, mostly the pre-fight fasting.

— Brock Lesnar isn’t ruling out a return to pro wrestling.

Dana White allows you into his world.

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Tyson Griffin May Face “Maximus” in July


(“Maximus” could be battling T-Griffin at UFC 86.)

We mentioned yesterday that lightweight Tyson Griffin would likely be fighting at UFC 86 — the event featuring a headlining battle between Rampage and Forrest Griffin on July 5th. An opponent had not been named, although we suggested it could be Nate Diaz due to Nick’s bro recently calling Tyson out. It now looks like Griffin’s opponent will be Marcus “Maximus” Aurelio.

Griffin is 11-1 and is riding a three-fight win streak. His only loss was to Frankie Edgar 14 months ago. He last fought at UFC 81 when he beat Gleison Tibau via decision — on a side note, Tibau will take on Joe “Daddy” at the same event. Griffin has spent about half his career in the UFC, while Aurelio has three UFC fights under his belt to go with his years in PRIDE. The 16-5 “Maximus” hails from American Top Team and has won his last two — the most recent being an armbar victory over Ryan Roberts at UFC Fight Night 13. Previously, he fell three times in a row, although all was to top talent: Clay Guida, Takanori Gomi, and Mitsuhiro Ishida. The Brazilian is — what else? — a BJJ specialist and more often than not, finishes fights. He has 10 subs among his 16 wins, compared to three decisions. All of his losses were via decision.

This could be one of the best match-ups on the card, which currently looks like this (although not all are confirmed):

– Quinton Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin
– Josh Koscheck vs. Chris Lytle
– Joe “Daddy” Stevenson vs. Gleison Tibau
– Frank Mir vs. Justin McCully
– Tyson Griffin vs. Marcus Aurelio
– Justin Buchholz vs. Corey Hill
– Melvin Guillard vs. Dennis Siver
– Ben Saunders vs. Jared Rollins
– Cole Miller vs. ???
– Steve Bruno vs. ???

And speaking of Joe “Daddy” and “Maximus”, Joe’s newborn son has been named Maximus. For what it’s worth, my aunt had a cat also named Maximus. It had chronic diarrhea and was blind in one eye.

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Got UFC Fight Bookings If You Want ‘Em…

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(Tyson Griffin could potentially settle his grudge with Nate Diaz in July. Photo courtesy of MMAWeekly.)

Ultimate Fighter 6 semi-standouts Ben Saunders and Jared Rollins will meet at UFC 86 (July 5th, Las Vegas). Saunders, who has been working out with the death squad at American Top Team, most recently defeated Dan Barrera via unanimous decision at the TUF6 finale last December, while Rollins suffered a third-round TKO loss during his “Fight of the Night” against Jon Koppenhaver on the same card.

Tyson Griffin will likely be fighting at UFC 86 as well, against a yet-unnamed opponent that could be Nate Diaz. Diaz recently called out Griffin after his star-making triangle-choke of Kurt Pellegrino at UFN 13, and the UFC might give the baby his bottle, so to speak.

— The TUF 7 finale card on June 21st is turning into a full-fledged Fight Night, with three fights booked (so far) that don’t involve the show’s castmembers. Besides the previously mentioned main event between Diego Sanchez and Luigi Fioravanti, Josh Burkman will take on Dustin Hazelett, and Marvin Eastman claims that he’s fighting fellow middling middleweight Drew McFedries; the match will be the last one on the Beastman’s UFC contract. Burkman vows to retire if his fight against Hazelett goes to a decision.

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UFC 81 Bonus Predictions: Five Figures of Death

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Since it was such a success* last time, we thought we’d take another crack at predicting which fighters will pocket tomorrow‘s end-of-night bonuses. But first we’d like to predict the amount of the bonuses themselves. If you’ve been paying attention, you know that the UFC’s Fight/Submission/Knockout bonuses have decreased from $55,000 to $50,000 to $35,000 over the last three pay-per-view events. After the last drastic reduction, the general opinion was that the amounts were going down to recoup some of the money lost to the UFC’s European expansion effort. Now that the show is back in the U.S., they can be a little more generous. And they will — but just enough to demonstrate improvement and shut people up. We’re saying the bonuses will be $40k each. Now let’s get to the fight card:

MAIN CARD
Tim Sylvia vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (heavyweights)
Frank Mir vs. Brock Lesnar (heavyweights)
Jeremy Horn vs. Nate Marquardt (middleweights)
Rob Yundt vs. Ricardo Almeida (middleweights)

PRELIMINARY CARD
Gleison Tibau vs. Tyson Griffin (lightweights)
Chris Lytle vs. Kyle Bradley (welterweights)
Marvin Eastman vs. Terry Martin (middleweights)
David Heath vs. Tim Boetsch (light heavyweights)
Keita Nakamura vs. Rob Emerson (welterweights)

Knockout of the Night: Eastman vs. Martin is a battle between two good fighters who have had terrible luck in the Octagon. The winner will prove that he still belongs there; the loser could very well be banished forever. Thus, we expect both men to come out swinging their asses off. We were tempted to give this a Fight of the Night nod, but it feels too much like a first-round-TKO kind of match. Marvin Eastman has been knocked out every time he’s fought in the UFC. Four of Terry Martin’s last five fights have resulted in KO/TKO victories — and we think he’ll do it again tomorrow night, picking up the bonus in the process. Dark horse: Kyle Bradley. If you want to talk about good fighters who have had rough times in the Octagon, Chris Lytle is Exhibit fucking A (34-15-4 MMA record, 3-7 in the UFC). There’s nothing to suggest that his fortunes will improve at “Breaking Point,” and his opponent Kyle Bradley is a guy who has been paying his dues in regional promotions as a knockout artist. His current seven-fight win-streak includes five first-round KO/TKOs, and he could be on his way to adding one more.

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