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Tag: UFC 126

Wednesday Morning MMA Link Club


(Midwest snow storm, you just got served. Props: twitter.com/hypeordie)

Some selected highlights from our friends around the MMA blogosphere. E-mail feedback@cagepotato.com for details on how your site can join the MMA Link Club…

– Unorthodox Ways Front and Center for Jon Jones (Versus MMA Beat)

- After Losing $3.2 Million Lawsuit, Another Former Employee Sues TapouT (MMA Convert)

– Why Vitor Belfort is Fighting Anderson Silva for the UFC Middleweight Title this Weekend (LowKick)

– Four Fight Main Card Official for Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Hendo (FightMagazine)

– The Japanese Comic Book Version of Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez Is Far Cooler Than the Real Thing (MiddleEasy)

– Bellator Finalizes Featherweight Tournament Field With Addition of 19-0 Newcomer Malegariet (Five Ounces of Pain)

– Sengoku 17 Postponed in Response to Media Negativity (MMA Fighting)

– Outside the Ring: Fedor Emelianenko (MMA-Scraps)

– Boredom Overcomes American Kickboxing Academy (5thRound)

– Strikeforce Champion Nick Diaz Talks Contenders Daley, Woodley (SBNation.com/MMA)

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Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin Would Like to Propose a Side Bet


(VidProps: YouTube/UFC)

A week or so ago, when we noted that nearly every claim made in the official UFC 126 trailer was at least debatable (if not an out-and-out lie), the one fight saved from our incredulity was Forrest Griffin vs. Rich Franklin. Maybe that’s because the best hype the UFC could drum up for this bout was to have its voiceover guy dramatically bellow, “Former champions Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin will battle it out!” Yep, that feels … accurate. But if, like us, you think this meeting between two old warhorses lacks a certain sizzle, you’re not alone. Even the fighters themselves appear to understand this fight needs a little something extra to get people really emotionally invested.

And so Griffin, that mischievous little imp, would like to propose a gentleman’s wager on the outcome of this scrap: Loser gets tattooed.  A bemused Franklin – who from the looks of this vid has spent the last seven months since his victory over Chuck Liddell making sure that lifetime membership at the tanning salon pays for itself – seems oddly cool with the idea. He suggests the loser must get inked-up with a picture of the winner, which to us is a truly inspired idea. Unless you guys have any other suggestions.

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Photo of the Day: Vitor Belfort is Almost as Big as Brock Lesnar

 
("Has anyone ever told you that you look like a skinny Brock Lesnar?")

Either his Viking beard made him seem a bit bigger than he was or former UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar has lost a few pounds since losing his belt to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121 in October. Keep in mind that Brock weighed in at 264 pounds for that fight and Belfort has to make 185 by Saturday for his middleweight championship bout with Anderson Silva. There doesn’t seem to be a 79-pound difference between them.

Let’s hope it’s because Brock is skinny and not because Vitor is still well above his normal pre-cut weight. The photo was taken on Friday, meaning "The Phenom" *should* have been somewhere between 205-215 pounds.

Having had weight issues on more than one occasion in the past, forcing promotions to allow his fights to be contested at catch weights, it would be a shame to see Belfort pull a Paulo Filho and make the bout a non-title affair, especially if he were to beat Silva.

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In Case You Forgot: Kid Yamamoto Makes His UFC Debut This Saturday


(Yamamoto def. Federico ‘Kiko’ Lopez via KO, 1:41 of round 1, 5/29/10)

It’s a sad state of affairs when one of the greatest featherweight fighters of all time can arrive in the UFC with virtually zero fanfare, buried on a preliminary card dark-match against a young contender. Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto enters the Octagon for the first time this Saturday at UFC 126, and while that would have been a major story three years ago, times have changed. 

Yamamoto made his name in K-1′s MMA shows as a lightning-fast knockout artist, but his reputation took a major hit in 2008-2009, when he followed-up a long knee-injury layoff with two decision losses against Joe Warren and Masanori Kanehara. (He also divorced his hot wife in 2009. So, bad times all around.) Last year, Yamamoto dropped to bantamweight for the first time in his career to face journeyman Federico Lopez at Dream.14. Showing flashes of his old self, he finished the fight in less than two minutes, crumpling Lopez with a right hook and smashing him with shots on the ground until the ref intervened.

Of course, it’s too early to say that the Kid is "back" — his opponent, Demetrious Johnson, is a tough customer who’s looked impressive in his last two wins in the WEC, and having a successful Octagon debut is easier said than done. Can Yamamoto jump-start his career in the U.S., or is it too late for him to make an impact? Check out some of his greatest victories after the jump, and remember the good times…

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Rich Franklin: The CagePotato Retrospective Interview

Rich Franklin UFC MMA photos
("When you put your focus on one thing, you tend not to focus on the journey. Once you get there, it’s not going to be as big of a deal as you thought it was going to be.")

This Saturday, Rich Franklin will step into the Octagon for the 18th time to face Forrest Griffin in the co-headlining feature of UFC 126. During his 12-year career, Ace has experienced everything from championship glory to bitter defeat, and now stands as one of the sport’s most revered statesmen. “I think that what people will remember me for is that I’m a tough competitor who’s put on entertaining fights for the fans all these years," Franklin tells CagePotato. "And I’m happy with that kind of legacy.”

Rich was generous enough to give us some phone-time recently, and instead of asking him about his gameplan for Forrest, we discussed Franklin’s career as a whole, from the moment he decided to pursue MMA as a full-time job, to the fight that changed his life, to every other notable moment that helped forge the fighter he is today. Let’s begin…

The Early Days, 1993-1999
Rich Franklin: “I started training in traditional martial arts in 1993, then I saw the first couple UFCs and started doing some jiu-jitsu. I was training at a Royce Gracie chapter here in Cincinnati, and the guy who was leading my class was a blue belt. By today’s standards, if the best you had in your area was a blue belt, you’d be way behind the times, but in 1994 it was a big deal to have that kind of a resource. So I was doing jiu-jitsu, working with kickboxing coaches, and of course I’d been watching the UFC, learning off instructional tapes and all those kinds of things.

I started fighting at these little local amateur shows out in Richmond, Indiana, and clearly at that point in time, I was just light-years ahead of the competition that was showing up at the event. The promoter told me, ‘These are amateur events, I don’t really have anybody for you to fight.’ But there was a gentleman there who said, ‘You know what, I run a pro show, and I’ll pay you to fight." And he offered me 200 bucks. I was like, ‘Wow, I can make money fighting? This is great. I’m gonna make 200 bucks." I was bankin’.

RICH FRANKLIN (5-0) vs. AARON BRINK (7-4)Franklin’s first regional title fight
IFC: Warriors Challenge 11, 1/13/01
Result: No contest due to accidental injury, after Brink’s leg slipped through the cage.

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Vitor Belfort Says Despite Opinions to the Contrary, His Troubled Past Will Not Affect His Fighting Future


(Video courtesy YouTube/SNETCF)

The big question mark whenever Vitor Belfort’s doubters talk about how successful the Brazilian powerhouse will be in upcoming bouts like his middleweight championship tilt with Anderson Silva on Saturday night at UFC 126 is where his head’s at.

When his sister Priscilla was kidnapped in 2004 in the week prior to his UFC 46 championship bout with Randy Couture, "The Phenom" admitted that the situation was weighing heavily on his mind. Because he spoke openly about the emotional effect loing her had on him, many assume that he never really got over the ordeal even after her kidnappers substantiated fears that Priscilla was dead, confessing in 2007 to her killing.

Subsequently, most of Belfort’s detractors chalk his eight MMA losses up to him being mentally fragile, even though they all came against present and future champions and only two were via stoppage. If being beaten by Chuck Liddell, Alistair Overeem, Randy Couture and Dan Henderson in their prime makes you a mental midget then guys like Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva must be psychologically retarded as well.

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Total Jinx Alert: Soares Wants Anderson Silva to Retire ‘Undefeated in the UFC’


("On our way in here, we totally walked under a ladder. Anybody got an umbrella? Pop that shit open." PicProps: Us.)

In other sports, they have rules about this kind of thing. In baseball, dude has a perfect game going, you’re not allowed to go anywhere near him in the dugout, let alone fuck around and say some dumb shit like, “Hey, Nolan! I sure hope you can close out this perfect game!” In football, whenever you hear a play-by-play announcer say something about how a kicker hasn’t missed a field goal all year, well, you pretty much know what’s coming next, right? In MMA these rules seemingly don’t apply, as manager Ed Soares made a recent appearance on MMA Weekly radio and spoke with an apparent disregard for Anderson Silva’s current 12-fight win-streak in the Octagon, and 13 consecutive victories overall.

“In a perfect world, I’d like to see Anderson retire going undefeated in the UFC,” Soares said. “If I could have my perfect world, that’s what I would love to see.”

Well shit, Ed, you unbelievable jinx, you.  If Silva goes out and immediately drops the strap to Vitor Belfort next month, I guess we know who to blame …

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Vitor Belfort Wants Shawn Tompkins to Know He’s Doing Just Fine Training Without Him, Thank You Very Much


("Tell me again what it was like hanging out on the set with Hocky Balboa.")

When a story emerged last week that less than a month prior to the bout Vitor Belfort had jumped ship from training with Shawn Tompkins at TapouT Training Centre in Las Vegas in favor of holding his camp for his February 5 UFC 126 showdown with UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva at Xtreme Couture, the Internet exploded with theories about the obvious fragile mental state of "The Phenom" and fans and pundits quickly began writing off the former UFC heavyweight champ’s chances in the fight.

According to Belfort, the truth is, although he returned to working under the tutelage of Tompkins for this camp, he never really actually stopped training at the Randy Couture-helmed gym.

In a recent Twitter post Vitor (who incidentally trained almost exclusively with the Xtreme Couture coaches he’s working with now like Gil Martinez and Ray Sefo for his planned UFC 122 fight with Yushin Okami that was scrapped in favor of the Belfort-Silva bout next month) wrote that Tompkins was way off in his assessment of the situation.

"I dont think I have anything nice to say other than just ignoring it all. I have the right to choose who to train with. I have loyalty and respect and that is why I didn’t hide[the fact that I was also training at Xtreme Couture] from him," Belfort tweeted. "He tooks this more personally. I made my choice and this is just his opinion of it and nothing more."

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Official UFC 126 Trailer Makes a Number of Dubious Claims


(VidProps: You Tube/UFC)

If you’re anything like us, you got your first good look at the official trailer for UFC 126 on Saturday night during the Fight for the Troops show on SpikeTV and thought, “Wow, almost everything said during that 31 seconds is extremely debatable.” Granted, the UFC is known for its revisionist history and these promotional spots are typically designed to bend the truth however much is necessary to get dudes who don’t really know that much about MMA interested in dropping 50 bones on the per-per-view. Even considering that, this particular commercial seems pretty, uh, erroneous. Anyway, watch it, then follow the jump for our picks of the five most questionable assertions made here …  

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Jon Jones Unhurt After Crashing His Ride, Other Motorist Not So Lucky

(Couple hours later, the owner of an Albuquerque body shop tweeted: “Affluent fighter dude needs complete rebuild on front driver’s side of Chrysler 300. GOD IS GOOD!” PicProps: @JonnyBones)

What is with these young people today and crashing their cars just before big fights? UFC light heavyweight prospect Jon Jones smashed up his Chrysler 300 on Wednesday afternoon while he and a carload of teammates were on their way to a dog park in between training sessions, according to the fighter’s own Twitter account. Jones was uninjured and his upcoming fight with Ryan Bader will reportedly not be effected. One partly hilarious, partly dreadful but altogether telling side note to this is that Jones immediately jumped on his Twitter after the wreck to declare “GOD IS GOOD” … even though he later admitted a woman in the other car left the scene on a stretcher.

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