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Matt Hughes Says Loss to Penn at UFC 123 Pushed him One Step Closer to Retirement

(Well, it could be worse, I guess; my kid could be a Brock fan.")

Well, it looks like Matt Hughes may be taking his KO loss to BJ Penn at UFC 123 a bit harder than we thought.

The former UFC welterweight champ wrote on his blog this week that the outcome of the fight has him more closely considering retirement.

Here what Hughes’ thoughts are on the situation:

"A lot of people have been asking about the fight and how I am doing. Of course, the fight didn’t go like I had planned it. I knew BJ was going to be in shape, but I didn’t know he was going to come in with a game plan and really look for my tendencies. I think BJ knew I was going to come in throwing my jab and I think he had a game plan for that," Hughes explains. "He hit me with a hard right hand that I never saw coming. It’s funny how styles make fights and I’m not at all like Frankie Edgar. So it just kind of stinks that BJ came off two losses and then ended up beating me in less than 30 seconds. I knew BJ was going to be tough that first round. I was trying to get him into the second and the third round where I could wear on him, slow him down and soften him up a little bit; but it just didn’t go that way."


And Now He’s Fired: Gerald Harris (Wait, What the F*ck? Seriously?)

Maiquel Falcao Gerald Harris UFC 123
(Remember to include "proficient in jabbing" on your resume. / Photo courtesy of

UFC middleweight contender Gerald Harris confirmed last night that he has been released by the UFC following his decision loss to Maiquel Falcao at UFC 123. Yes, Gerald Harris, the SportsCenter highlight-maker and all-around nice guy, who had come into the fight with a 3-0 Octagon record and two Knockout of the Night bonuses under his belt. Even considering how lackluster his fight last weekend turned out, this has to be the most unexpected UFC firing in recent memory. Is the UFC so dead-set on trimming their roster with the influx of WEC talent that they’ll bounce a rising star for one bad showing? Maybe. But get this…


Four Rubber Matches That Absolutely Need to Happen

BJ Penn UFC 123
(We should all be that fired up, at least once in our lives. Props:

When BJ Penn knocked out Matt Hughes at UFC 123, one of the greatest rivalries in MMA history finally got its conclusion. And while not every two-fight series needs an immediate tie-breaker — the Internet has already informed Dana White what we think of Lesnar vs. Mir III — there’s something incredibly dramatic and satisfying about a good rubber-match. Off the top of our heads, here’s a few others we’d like to see…

Jason "Mayhem" Miller vs. Tim Kennedy
Tim Kennedy Jason Mayhem Miller MMA photos
History: Kennedy def. Miller via decision @ Extreme Challenge 50 (2/23/03), Miller def. Kennedy via decision @ HDNet Fights: Reckless Abandon (12/15/07)
Why it needs to happen again: Look, I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for Jason Miller to agree to a catchweight fight with Nick Diaz under 185 pounds. Mayhem hasn’t even fought for Strikeforce since he squashed Tim Stout in April, and Kennedy is still without an opponent himself after dropping a decision to Jacare Souza in August — and he’s already mentioned that he wants another go-round with Mayhem. Strikeforce has two talented, unattached middleweights at their disposal with a storyline already in place. It doesn’t take rocket appliances to figure this out, guys.


Timing Error Robs Maiquel Falcao of Submission Victory at UFC 123

(Props: TheProwler31 via MiddleEasy)

After a strong start against Gerald Harris at UFC 123, Maiquel Falcao checked out in the third round, deciding to coast to a decision victory rather than try to finish the fight — a terribly anti-climactic ending to what might have been a career-making performance. But things would have turned out a lot differently if not for a monumental screw-up by the timekeeper.

As the above video proves, the horn went off about six seconds before the first round actually should have ended. That wouldn’t make much of a difference in most fights, but Falcao had Harris in a fully-sunk rear-naked choke at the end of the round, and Harris seemed dangerously close to either tapping or passing out. Instead of picking up his eighth-consecutive first-round victory, Falcao became the night’s official scapegoat for boring point-fighters. Not that Big Rig’s behavior in the last five minutes of the fight should be excused, but that shit ain’t fair. I wonder if the timekeeper had money on Harris…


Irresponsible Speculation Alert: What’s Wrong with Lyoto Machida?

(In a world without fences, Lyoto Machida could just back up and circle out of any situation. PicProps: ESPN.)

As noted in this morning’s Armchair Matchmaker, the last time we saw Lyoto Machida really look like Lyoto Machida was May, 2009, when he delighted GIF creators worldwide by making Rashad Evans go all googly-eyed while winning the light heavyweight title by second-round knockout at UFC 98. Though we joke about it, it’s worth pointing out that at the time Machida’s defeat of Evans capped a run of seven wins in the Octagon all dominant enough to prompt the UFC broadcast team to prematurely ejaculate all over the beginning of “The Machida Era.” Can’t really blame them. Dude did look poised for a nice, long run with the gold. Naturally, cue obligatory disappointment in 3 … 2 … 1 …

Since then (as you know) Machida has looked increasingly mortal in three consecutive appearances – a gift decision over Shogun Rua at UFC 104, the karmically-justified follow-up KO by Rua at UFC 113 and Saturday night’s split decision loss to Rampage Jackson at UFC 123, in a fight admittedly difficult to score because of its general shittiness. After watching Machida seemingly dry up and turn into a brittle, hollow husk of his former self during the last 18 months, is it wrong/unjustified to wonder aloud what the fuck is going on here? Was this guy just overrated from the start? Is he simply on a cold streak? Is something wrong with him? Obviously, it would be reckless and irresponsible for us to speculate … then again, reckless and irresponsible speculation is basically what we do. In light of that, here’s a few ideas (read: wild guesses) about what could be ailing the former light heavyweight champion … 


Armchair Matchmaker: UFC 123 Edition

Bruce Buffer UFC 123 jump
(Seriously, who let that mouse into the Octagon? Props:

Here’s what we know: BJ Penn and George Sotiropoulos already have dates at UFC 127 in Australia. Karo Parisyan has been fired (again), and Matt Brown will surely be let go as well after suffering his third-consecutive submission loss. (Tyson Griffin also lost his third-straight on Saturday, but will remain in the promotion, as the judges’ decision in his fight against Nik Lentz was utter horseshit.) So where do UFC 123‘s other winners and losers go from here? As usual, we have a few suggestions…

Quinton Jackson: This one’s fairly obvious, assuming that nobody really wants to see an immediate rematch between Jackson and Machida. Rampage should get the winner of Jon Jones vs. Ryan Bader at UFC 126. The winner of that fight gets a title shot. Bada-bing, bada-boom.

Lyoto Machida: Once an unstoppable force in the light-heavyweight division, it’s now been a year and a half since the Dragon has put on a dominant performance against anybody. At this point, the UFC needs to re-build Machida against a mid-level contender. Give him Matt Hamill, who deserves a step up after handling Keith Jardine and Tito Ortiz. Alternately, you could throw Machida in against Randy Couture, and see if the Natural’s gift for game-planning can carry him through against the Dragon. Of course, that matchup might not be pointless enough for Randy, so don’t get your hopes up.


UFC 123 Aftermath: Rampage Jackson Sticks to a Game Plan … and Other Shocking Developments

(Same time tomorrow? Same time tomorrow. PicProps:

OK, three things: 1) Did Rampage deserve to win? Yes. 2) Was it a great fight? No. 3) After spending much of the last couple years making movies and generally acting disinterested in the fight game, did we think Jackson had it in him to beat Lyoto Machida leading up to UFC 123? No we did not, but we were wrong. Look, we’re not going to try to sell you a bill of goods that says Rampage looked outstanding out there on Saturday night. He didn’t, but he looked better than he has in some time and he implemented a solid, if unexciting game plan. Props to the much maligned Lance Gibson for cooking up a strategy (controlling the distance, punching off the break, trying to mix in some takedowns) that on this night was good enough to win two rounds against a suddenly very ordinary seeming Machida. Do we need to see them do it again? Meh … not really, so we’re glad UFC President Dana White is also opposed to the idea. Feels nice to agree with Dana for once.

BJ Penn is the real story here. Pretty much everyone on the planet said leading up to his third bout with Matt Hughes that the key for the former lightweight and welterweight champion was to come in motivated and in shape. Well, Penn proved very motivated this weekend. Crazy-eyed, mumbling-to-himself motivated. Unintelligible-after-the-fight motivated. So motivated that we had no time at all to see what kind of shape he was in after he came out of his corner like a house of fire and knocked Hughes cold in just 21 seconds. Now, if you thought Penn-Hughes III was a weird booking for Penn following his back-to-back losses to Frankie Edgar at 155-pounds, just wait to hear who Big DW says he’s got next …


UFC 123 Live Results and Commentary (Murder City Edition)

(“So then I said, ‘Hey Tim, Dana told me if you beat Rizzo he might let you back in the UFC.’ Man, you should’ve seen his face. I think the poor fucker believed me.” PicProps: CombatLifestyle)

I went to Detroit once. During the summer of 1998 my band played at a bar called the Old Miami in the city’s Cass Corridor neighborhood. It was the kind of place where Vietnam veterans hung their actual purple hearts on the wall and tacked up fading snapshots of fallen fellow soldiers with the letters “KIA” scrawled above their heads in ballpoint pen. I kept expecting Dennis Hopper to wander in and say something like, “This is a heavy scene, man.” In fact, the whole town was like a living embodiment of every Bruce Springsteen song ever written. It was kind of cool, in an anthropological sort of way. Needless to say, the middle-aged ex-grunts who hung out at that bar didn’t seem to appreciate our particular brand of balls-to-the-wall, angsty hardcore music. Weird, I know.

I imagine not much has changed. In a lot of ways, war-torn old Detroit is the perfect setting  for Quinton “Rampage” Jackson to stage a comeback fight. Both are getting on in years and still carry an aura of unpredictable violence despite the fact that their best days are probably behind them. I don’t even know what city Machida is like. Where do they drink the most piss? Santa Barbara? Probably Santa Barbara. Anyway,  we’ll be going live at 10 p.m. Eastern. As always, be sure to hit refresh early and often to keep up with the latest happenings.


Friday Link Dump

(Video courtesy YouTube/

- KahLOne presents: Legend of Dragon and Tiger (thegarv)

– 7 celebrity TSA body scans (holytaco)

– Penn changing things up with new coaches for UFC 123 (mmafighting)

– What her Facebook photos say about her (mademan)

– Joe Lauzon seems really concerned about Sotiropoulos’ legwear (fightersonly)

– New Green Hornet trailer busts out Kato-Vision (screenjunkies)

– Like Velasquez, Swick won’t commit to picking Koscheck to beat GSP (Tatame)

– Martha Higareda gallery (tuvez)

– Yankees to offer Jeter more than fair (scoresreport)

– Forrest Griffin & Michigan football (youtube)

– Don Frye calls Brock an embarrassment (hurtsbad)

– Machida’s brother weighs in on Rampage match-up (gustavoblat)

– Yesterday’s episode of MMA Live (espn)


Reminder: UFC 123 Weigh-ins Live Right Here at 4:00 pm ET

Just a reminder that we’ll be streaming the UFC 123 weigh-ins today live from the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Check out the main card preview videos while you wait and the UFC media player of the weigh-ins after the jump.

(Video courtesy YouTube/

(Video courtesy YouTube/