MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: ufc 156

Photo of the Day: Alistair Overeem & Badr Hari are InstaFriends/Training Partners Now, Apparently


(“Of course I’d love to train with you, old pal! And since we’re such good friends now, you wouldn’t mind telling the police that I was at your house from the hours of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. last night, would you chum?”) 

Abraham Lincoln was once infamously quoted as saying, “What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself.” It’s a quote I could not help but reflect on in the days following Alistair Overeem’s devastating, hype-deflating KO loss to Antonio Silva at UFC 156. To be fair, it was just as much the media’s fault for filling Overeem’s head with premature discussions of his inevitable UFC title reign as it was his own, but in either case, his arrogance was surely on full display in his lackluster performance that night. Thankfully, we learned not to do the same thing with Uriah Hall.

In either case, it appears that the slice of humble pie Overeem was served last February was not taken lightly by the former Strikeforce heavyweight champ, as he recently posted the above photo on his Instagram account showing himself alongside former K1 rival and terrorizer of the Amsterdam nightclub scene, Badr Hari, along with the following caption:

Badr Hari & me at mikes gym after a great training session. The REEM vs Badr III might just happen… In training.

If you recall, Overeem and Hari engaged in a brutal (albeit brief) pair of fights a few years back — first at Dynamite!! 2008, then at the KI World Grand Prix semifinals in 2009 –with each man emerging victorious in one bout by way of (T)KO. You can find videos of both fights here and here.

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Interview: Who the Hell Is Isaac Vallie-Flagg, Anyway?


(“I don’t do anything but go forward and punch people. That’s what people want to see.” Photo via Getty Images)

For several Strikeforce veterans transitioning to the UFC, last month’s “Aldo vs. Edgar” event was their opportunity to sink or swim. Hard-charging lightweight Isaac Vallie-Flagg — who had scored wins over Brian Melancon and Gesias Cavalcante during his Strikeforce stint — was given a stiff test against Yves Edwards during the UFC 156 FX prelims broadcast. And though most casual fans probably weren’t familiar with him before the match started, they certainly took notice after Vallie-Flagg’s gritty performance netted him a split-decision victory. Not bad for a 2-1 underdog.

With his spot on the UFC roster somewhat more secure, we called the Jackson’s MMA product last week to learn a little more about his Octagon debut, and his path from teenage troublemaker to new factor in the UFC lightweight division. Enjoy, and please follow Isaac on twitter @IKEVF.

CAGEPOTATO.COM: Let’s talk about your most recent fight, against Yves Edwards. I heard afterwards that you had the flu or something. Did that start coming on before the fight?
ISAAC VALLIE-FLAGG: Yeah, it was actually really funny. Joe Stevenson is a good friend of mine, and he was coming to help me cut weight. And he shows up and gives me this gigantic hug because I haven’t seen him in a little while, and then he goes, “I’m really sick dude, I’ve got the flu.” And I say, “Joe, why did you touch me?” I was hoping that I could fight it off, but I already had kind of a bigger weight cut getting down, because I was really heavy when I got the call, and my body just couldn’t take it. I started to cough Wednesday, and by Thursday and Friday I knew I was sick. I was just trying not to let it get in my head. And afterwards, as soon as I stepped out of the cage, it’s like my body told me to chill out and get some rest.

How much did that affect you during the fight? You still looked strong in the third round — if anything, it looked like Yves was fading, not you. Do you think you could have pushed harder and gotten a finish if you weren’t sick?
I don’t know if I would have finished Yves, but I would have punched a lot more. I’ve watched the fight a few times and I wasn’t happy with how upright I was, and I wasn’t throwing all the combinations that I wanted to.

Did you find yourself affected by the so-called “Octagon jitters,” where the adrenaline dump wears you out when you’re fighting in the UFC for the first time?
It’s funny, because everybody was like, “Oh man, this is the big show, and you’re gonna freak out,” but I felt more comfortable fighting in the UFC than I have any time before. I really felt like I was fighting where I should have been fighting the whole time.

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Is This Real Life?: Alistair Overeem’s ‘UFC 156′ Drug Test Comes Back With *Below* Average Testosterone Levels


(You think Antonio Silva‘s training methods are too tough, Alistair? Just wait until Jillian Michaels gets ahold of you. Photo via Getty Images.) 

Well, this would be a hell of a lot more triumphant news had Alistair Overeem not been tenderized like a cheap cut of (horse) steak at UFC 156, but you’ll be happy to know that Overeem, along with all of the 22 fighters who competed on the card, passed their post-fight drug tests with flying colors. Here’s where things get weird; Overeem’s test did come back with abnormal results, just not the kind you’d expect. And no, it wasn’t for Mary Jane. MMAJunkie passed along the results:

But with his blood test form his UFC 156 fight, his testosterone total level actually fell below the normal range of 250-1,100 nano grams per deciliter (ng/dL). Overeem’s total testosterone came in at 179 from the test, which was administered the morning after the fight at 8:25 a.m. on Feb. 3.

All other levels within the blood test came back within the normal reference range. 

Wait, Overeem’s testosterone level was below normal?! I think this occasion calls for a very special head-splosion clip:

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Ratings Update: UFC 156 Prelims Set Record Numbers, Epic KO Fails to Boost TUF 17


(“I’LL ASK YOU ONE MORE TIME, JAY, WHO TATTOOED THIS AFFLICTION SHIRT TO YOUR BACK?!”) 

If the first month is any indication, 2013 is going to be a good year for MMA. There hasn’t been a significant injury in weeks (sorry Patricky), title fights are almost starting to make sense, and on top of it all, the UFC’s primetime ratings are slowly beginning their climb out of the abyss. Throw in the fact that Bruce Buffer’s upcoming autobiography is all but a shoe-in for a Pulitzer and we are left with little to complain about. It feels…good.

So before we jinx ourselves, let’s get to the great news regarding the preliminary portion of UFC 156, which was able to pull in record numbers during its run on FX last Saturday despite the fact that it featured several debuting fighters and not a lot of name power. As MMAFighting’s Dave Meltzer reports:

Saturday’s UFC 156 prelims drew 1,897,000 viewers, topping the previous UFC on FX record of 1,860,000 viewers set two weeks earlier for the Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping card from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The number was a huge increase from the prelims on FX on Jan. 26 before the FOX network special from Chicago’s United Center which did 1,208,000 viewers.

The largest previous audience on FX for prelims before a big show came on July 7 when theUFC 148 prelims did 1.8 million viewers. But that was to be expected, since there was more interest in UFC on that day with the Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen middleweight title rematch than any day over the past two years. 

After almost ten minutes of research, we have determined that there are only two real explanations for the UFC’s sudden viewership jump:

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According to Mirko Cro Cop, Alistair Overeem Is Nothing Without His Drugs [HATE]


(“And he’s nothing without his ground-and-pound. And he’s nothing without his groin strikes, which still haunt my nightmares.”)

After Alistair Overeem‘s upset knockout loss to Antonio Silva at UFC 156, it seemed like every MMA fan on Twitter wanted to be the first to say “Called it!” Overeem, as the narrative goes, has a cat-heart, folds under pressure, doesn’t have the cardio to go three 5-minute rounds, his monstrous physique came from unnatural means, it was just a matter of time before he was exposed as a fraud, and everybody knew it all along. Well, you can add Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic to the list of notable Reem-haters. As the legendary striker explained in a recent interview with fightsite.hr, he predicted Bigfoot would beat Overeem, partly because Overeem wasn’t fighting with his usual chemical enhancements. Here’s what Mirko had to say (translation via BloodyElbow):

I wasn’t surprised by Silva’s victory at all and I had believed he would win. I don’t want to come off as a smart-ass or say I knew it all along, so I’ll explain why I’d believed so. First, Silva is a big tough guy with a huge heart who had demolished Fedor and he needs no better reference than that, and Alistair hugely underestimated him and belittled him with his arrogant statements, so this mobilized Silva in the best possible way. Second, Silva is a natural heavyweight, and Alistair — for the first time since way back in 2007, when he began to gain huge weight — fought without the drugs he had used constantly for years, including testosterone and all the other shit that goes with it.

Watching the weigh-in, I saw that his muscles mass was nowhere near his usual, he had the weight, but he wasn’t nearly as carved out and defined, since he couldn’t take anything because he was watched by the Athletic Commission. This also reflects on the psyche of a man who’s been using stuff to increase his strength, endurance, pain tolerance and aggressiveness for years, and now there was none of that. Alistair is an excellent fighter, but he still owes that excellence to something that’s dirty and unpermitted, and, in the end, very dangerous to health.

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UFC 156 Salaries: Rashad Evans is Officially Overpaid


(Rashad’s best days as a fighter may be behind him, but the man has mastered the art of walking away from fictional explosions.)

Despite what the title implies (or outright states, whatever), I don’t honestly think that Rashad Evans is making more than he is worth at this point in his UFC career. The man is a TUF winner, a former champion, and a relatively marketable draw who consistently resides in the upper-echelon of the division. That being said, when I came across the salary figures for UFC 156 and noticed that Evans had walked away from his unanimous decision loss to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira with an event high 300K, that was the first thought that entered my mind. I apologize for deceiving you and will see myself out.

But before I go, I’ll say this: The figures for UFC 156 were pretty standard, with everyone not named Chico Camus and oddly enough Ian McCall clearing five figures. I guess it’s hard to consider “Uncle Creepy” a UFC bust when the poor bastard’s making less than the average TUF alum to fight.

The full list of salaries is after the jump, along with our whimsical analysis, so check them out and let us know what you think in the comments section. Per usual, these numbers are void of any locker room bonuses, PPV cuts, training expenses, licensing fees, etc.

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The UFC 156 Post-Fight Media Scrum Video In Which Dana White Basically Bans Randy Couture From the UFC

Wow. We all knew that the fallout from Randy Couture’s deal with Bellator would be swift and harsh, but if Dana White’s words during the UFC 156 post-fight media scrum were any indication, the UFC HOFer might find himself SOL (Author’s note: I get paid by the acrostic) when his son makes his promotional debut as well.

But before we get into that, lets talk about what went down during the UFC 156 post-fight press conference first (video above). Following his parlay-destroying victory over Alistair Overeem earlier in the evening, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva was not afraid to add insult to injury when questioned on his strategy heading into the third round, stating almost matter-of-factly that Overeem lacked heart:

I work a lot in the gym and I had a good strategy, because we know Overeem [doesn't] have good cardio and no heart. When he punches, he’s a lion, but when [you] punch him, he’s a cat, you know? 

That’s right, Antonio freaking Silva just used the power of metaphor in English to call Ubereem a pussy. Might I direct you to this Scanners gif?

For obvious reasons, Dana White remained noncommittal to the idea of a Silva/Velasquez rematch, but simply stated that he “wouldn’t be opposed to that.” While it’s a decent idea in theory considering Silva’s most recent win, putting a guy who got taken down by Overeem on multiple occasions against the best wrestler in the division — one who practically killed Silva when they first fought, by the way — does not exactly scream “necessary matchup.” Then again, crazier things have happened in heavyweight rematches.

Now, let’s move on to Dana White pretty much banishing Randy Couture from all future UFC events…

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UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar Aftermath — Parlay Destroyed


Photo via Getty Images

“I don’t think that was supposed to happen.”

That was the text I received this morning from a friend who is very much a casual MMA fan regarding last night’s UFC 156. Even though I assumed that my friend was talking about the end result of Bigfoot vs. Overeem, that statement could just as easily apply to almost any other fight on the card. We’re all familiar with the cliché that any fighter can beat anyone else on any night at this level, but we rarely see the underdogs win as frequently – and as convincingly – as they did last night. Simply put, it was an awful night for the guys who were supposed to win.

So let’s start off with the fight that went exactly as we all assumed it would: Jose Aldo defeated Frankie Edgar by a close, yet unanimous decision. Naturally, Edgar grew stronger as the fight went on. And naturally, the fight was close enough to justify an immediate rematch if one were to be booked (it probably won’t but who knows), because that’s just how Frankie Edgar fights work.

It’s impossible to be disappointed with Frankie Edgar’s effort in any given fight, and last night was no exception. Edgar provided Aldo with his stiffest challenge to date – after the champion returned from the longest layoff in his career, mind you – but Aldo was simply the better fighter.

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UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar — Main Card Results & Commentary


(“The name’s Frankie. I fight dudes twice.” Photo via MMAFighting)

Tonight at UFC 156 in Las Vegas, Jose Aldo goes for his fourth-consecutive UFC featherweight title defense, while former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar attempts to become the third fighter in UFC history to pick up a belt in two different weight classes. And that’s just the cherry on top of a stacked Super Bowl Eve card, which is loaded with big names and high stakes from start to finish.

Also on the menu: Alistair Overeem returns from suspension to clinch his heavyweight title shot with a win over Antonio Silva, while a victory for Rashad Evans over Lil’ Nog could set him up for a middleweight title fight against Anderson Silva for some reason. Plus, Jon Fitch and Demian Maia look to continue their recent surges in the welterweight division, while Joseph Benavidez and Ian McCall square off at flyweight because honestly, who else are those guys going to fight?

Round-by-round results from the Aldo vs. Edgar pay-per-view card will be stacking up after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, courtesy of George “Bigfoot” Shunick. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and please toss your own thoughts into the comments section.

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CagePotato Has Vote on Yahoo! Sports Top 10 MMA Rankings, Now Have Your Say


(It’s good to be king)

Here at CagePotato, if we’re going to take the time to put together a rankings or list, it’s probably going to be one like this one. That doesn’t mean, however, that we’re opposed to taking part in others’ rankings. Take, for example, the Yahoo! Sports Top 10 MMA Pound for Pound Rankings, the voting for which is done by a panel that includes many luminaries of the MMA journalism community and also, for some unknown reason, me.

The latest Yahoo! Sports Top 10 list was released this week (panel voting and publication of the rankings are done monthly) and there are some familiar faces as well as some changes. Anderson Silva maintained his long-time top spot, followed by Jon Jones and then Georges St. Pierre in the number three spot.

Cain Velasquez made it back on to the list after beating Junior Dos Santos in their recent return bout. A number of notable fighters were not eligible for the list because of inactivity (Dominick Cruz, Alistair Overeem) and suspension (Nick Diaz, Overeem again).

Jose Aldo was eligible because he is fighting so close to the end of voting, and he took the number four spot. The rankings may soon get shaken up again after tonight’s UFC 156.

Frankie Edgar drops down to featherweight to try and take out Aldo. Would Aldo get a bump in the rankings by beating a former lightweight champ? Would Edgar skyrocket in the rankings if were to win a championship in a second weight class?

Also, will Overeem justify the media’s crush on him with an impressive fight against BigFoot that will propel him into the Top 10? Check out the full rankings Top 10 after the jump and then let us know your Top 10 in the comments section.

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