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

Tag: ufc 156

So Can We Just Assume That Frankie Edgar vs. Jose Aldo Will Be Marred By Controversy, Then?


(Yep, that guy in the middle is going to be the referee. And that’s not even the scariest part.)

It is a pretty well known fact that Frankie Edgar has been at the center of some controversial decisions during his run as the UFC lightweight champion (and before it, and after it…). It is also a pretty well known fact that Steve Mazzagatti has been responsible for more botched calls in his refereeing career then Carly Rae Jepsen was in 2012. It is also also a well known fact that many of the current judges in MMA couldn’t tell a leg kick from a kneebar if their lives depended on it.

So with all that in mind, you’d think the Nevada State Athletic Commission would try their hardest (or try at all, really) to ensure that the upcoming featherweight title fight between Edgar and Jose Aldo at UFC 156 would be held under the supervision of the sport’s finest referees and judges, as to avoid any controversy that could possibly come as a result of their own incompetence. You would be wrong. As MMAJunkie reports:

During a meeting Tuesday in Las Vegas, the Nevada State Athletic Commission tapped veteran referee Steve Mazzagatti to officiate UFC 156′s main event.

Additionally, the commission named Adelaide Byrd, Jeff Collins and Junichiro Kamijo to judge the featherweight title fight, which pits champ Jose Aldo (21-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) against ex-lightweight champ Frankie Edgar (14-3-1 MMA, 9-3-1 UFC). 

My God, that was like reading over the list of dinner specials at a Tallahassee Denny’s establishment. At 4 a.m. Sure, the food looks decent enough when doctored up on the glossy menu, and besides, you’re already half in the bag. But then you happen to take a glance at the nutritional facts…and your heart suddenly sinks with the realization that there is no way your night doesn’t end with anything but rhythmic bouts of explosive diarrhea and shame.

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After Passing Seven Drug Tests in the Last Nine Months, Alistair Overeem Gets His License Back


(We now return to your regularly-scheduled maulings. / Photo via MMAWeekly)

Due to the comically-elevated levels of testosterone he produced during a random drug test last March, Alistair Overeem has spent the last nine months unable to re-apply for licensure with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Overeem’s time-out came to an end this morning, when the Dutch heavyweight appeared at a Nevada State Athletic Commission hearing to seek the re-instatement of his license, and was unanimously approved, making his scheduled UFC 156 bout against Antonio Silva official.

What’s particularly interesting is what Overeem had to accomplish to make that happen. Here’s MMAWeekly with the details:

According to Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer, in the last nine-plus months, Overeem has submitted a total of five drug tests of his own accord, all of which came back negative. In addition, the commission tested Overeem randomly on Nov. 16 and Dec. 21, 2012, with those tests also returning negative results.

“I’m ready to get my life back on track,” said Overeem when speaking to the commission.

Following his failed drug test last year, Alistair Overeem denied that he used performance-enhancing drugs and claimed ignorance, blaming his high T-levels on an “anti-inflammatory medication that was mixed with testosterone,” prescribed by his doctor to treat a rib injury. Though Overeem wasn’t subject to the standard fine and suspension that he would have received from the NSAC if he pissed hot for steroids, the Reem lost out on an imminent UFC heavyweight title shot against Junior Dos Santos, and was forced to do appearances in Gainesville, Florida as penance. Jesus. Who says the UFC isn’t hard on cheaters?

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Erick Silva Out, Tyron Woodley in Against Jay Hieron at UFC 156


(“Come on, you guys, give him a hand for trying.”)

If you were looking over the UFC 156 fight card and thinking to yourself “Hey, this card is almost too stacked. I could really use a lackluster fight to make a sandwich or go to the bathroom during,” well then do we have some great news for you. Now that Erick Silva has fallen victim to the great injury curse of 2012 (2013 status pending), it appears that Strikeforce welterweight Tyron Woodley has been called over to the UFC in his absence. As was the case with future highlight reel victim Lucas Martins, Woodley will be making his promotional debut on short notice against a much more experienced opponent. However, unlike Martins, Woodley actually finds himself in a matchup that he stands a good chance of winning.

Woodley will be squaring off against Jay Hieron, a Bellator/IFL/Strikeforce veteran who has simply not been able to put it together in the octagon, going 0 for 3 in the promotion thus far. After we hyped the hell out of his UFC return, Hieron put on an incredibly disappointing — not to mention tepid — performance against Jake Ellenberger at UFC on FX 5, resulting in a unanimous decision victory for the Omaha native. You guys remember that fight, right? Anyone? Who am I kidding, not even Hieron’s mom remembers that fight.

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UFC Booking Orgy: Bader vs. Janitor, Struve vs. Hunt (Take 2), Faber vs. Menjivar + More


(Even in the off-season, the dude stays in killer shape. Props: @ryanbader)

We’ve got four new UFC fight announcements for you this morning. If you begin to feel overwhelmed, just remember your safe word, and pray that I have mercy on you, you worthless little dung beetle.

- As first reported by ESPN, light-heavyweights Ryan Bader and Vladimir Matyushenko will meet at UFC on FOX 6: Johnson vs. Dodson, January 26th in Chicago. Both guys are returning from being smashed in their last fights: Bader suffered a knockout loss to Lyoto Machida in August, while the Janitor has been sidelined due to injury since being TKO’d by Alexander Gustafsson last December.

- MMAWeekly reports that streaking heavyweights Stefan Struve and Mark Hunt will meet at the UFC’s next Japan event — UFC on Fuel 8, March 2nd at the Saitama Super Arena. The beanpole Dutchman and stocky Kiwi were originally scheduled to meet at UFC 146 back in May, but Hunt was forced to pull out of the fight on short notice with a knee injury.

A proven fight-finisher, Struve has stopped his last four opponents in the Octagon (Pat Barry, Dave Herman, Lavar Johnson, and Stipe Miocic), while Hunt has earned victories over his last three (Chris Tuchscherer, Ben Rothwell, and Cheick Kongo). Though Hunt will enjoy a sort of home-field advantage — he’s had nine previous MMA fights at the Saitama Super Arena, while Struve will be making his Japanese debut — he will also be giving up 13 inches (!) in height.

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Jose Aldo Says Edgar Fight Will Tell Him if He’s Ready For Lightweight


(One of these men is a bantamweight, the other is a lightweight. They will fight at featherweight Feb. 2nd)

We were already plenty excited for former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar‘s challenge of featherweight king Jose Aldo — which will finally take place February 2nd at UFC 156 — but it turns out the stakes are larger than we thought. Aldo says that if he beats Edgar he will know he’s ready to move up to 155 pounds and challenge for that belt.

Edgar is trying to see if his speed will translate at featherweight and bring him more gold. Aldo is similarly using the fight as a litmus test for his readiness to take on the lightweights of the world. MMA Fighting’s Dave Doyle has the report.

“I’ve considered going to lightweight,” said Aldo. “As soon as my trainer decides that I can go up, then I will. This fight with Edgar will be a turning point. If I can win [against] him well, then I can prove that I can go [to 155 pounds].”

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“The California Kid” is Back, Faces Vaughan Lee in #1 Contender Bout at UFC 156 [BA DUM TSSH]


(“It looks like this artist…*puts on sunglasses*… finally got his SHOT at fame. YEAAAAHHHH!!!) 

There is perhaps no fighter in MMA history who has looked more deadly in victory and more broken in defeat than former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber. After dropping his umpteenth title bid (albeit one of those pesky interim ones) to Renan Barao at UFC 149, many MMA pundits were calling for “The California Kid’s” retirement, because in their eyes, being able to beat 98% of your division just isn’t good enough to warrant your existence.

Yet for some reason, it appears that Faber still wants to continue making boatloads of cash in this thing called MMA, and will return at UFC 156 to face off against Vaughan Lee.

Who in the blue Hell is Vaughan Lee, you ask? Good question.

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Erick Silva vs. Jay Hieron Booked for ‘UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar’ Card in February


(The way Erick leaves the cage after a victory? Totally ripped off from Van Morrison. / Photo via Esther Lin @ MMAFighting)

After having his momentum slowed by a beast-mode version of Jon Fitch last month, Brazilian welterweight prospect Erick Silva will attempt to rebound against veteran Jay Hieron at UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar, February 2nd in Las Vegas. The UFC confirmed the booking last week.

Hieron is an unexpected choice for Silva’s return opponent, as the Thoroughbred is currently in the “hanging on by a thread” stage of his UFC career. When Hieron lost a unanimous decision to Jake Ellenberger during his promotional return fight in October, his lifetime UFC record dropped to 0-3 — which means that if Hieron loses this next fight, he’ll become just the fourth fighter in UFC history to go 0-4 in the Octagon, after Tiki Ghosn, Seth Petruzelli, and John Alessio. And trust me, brother, that is not a club you want to join.

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Booking Alert: Jon Fitch vs. Demian Maia Added to UFC 156 in February


(Demian Maia’s neck-crank of Rick Story — it just never gets old, does it? / GIF via Fightlinker)

With Jon Fitch coming off a redemptive Fight of the Night victory over Erick Silva at UFC 153 — his first win in over two years — the Indiana-bred wrestler is suddenly a factor again in the welterweight division. And so, the UFC will be giving him another opportunity to cement his contender status at UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar (February 2nd; Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas), where he’ll face off against Brazilian grappling specialist Demian Maia. The promotion confirmed the booking last night.

After hitting a wall at middleweight, Maia dropped to 170 earlier this year, debuting with a fluke-ish TKO-via-muscle-spasm victory over Dong Hyun Kim. But against Rick Story at UFC 153, we finally saw flashes of the Old Maia, as he picked up his first submission victory since his triangle-choke of Chael Sonnen in February 2009. And man, was it nasty.

We all know that this is going to be a grapple-fest, and odds are that it’ll go the distance. But considering that Fitch has turned over a new leaf in his approach to fighting — and that Maia has located his jiu-jitsu again — it could be an entertaining scrap. Who y’all got?

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Alistair Overeem to Return From Suspension Against Antonio Silva at UFC 156


(Overeem and Silva [2nd and 3rd from left], back when they were just a couple of hungry up-and-comers, competing in something called a ‘Strikeforce’. / Photo via FCFighter.com)

The UFC has confirmed that heavyweight behemoth Alistair Overeem will return to the Octagon at UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar (February 2nd, Las Vegas), where he’ll face Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. According to UFC.com, the bout “has been scheduled pending licensing approval of Overeem by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. That decision will be finalized in early 2013.”

Overeem’s most recent appearance was at UFC 141 last December, where he smoked Brock Lesnar in the first round. Following that fight, Overeem was booked to challenge Junior Dos Santos for the UFC heavyweight title, but failed a random NSAC drug test in stupendous fashion, and was barred from licensing for nine months. Overeem blamed the test result on “an anti-inflammatory medication that was mixed with testosterone” prescribed by his doctor, which ranks just below Antonio Silva’s “I took a testosterone-booster for my acromegaly” excuse on the believability scale. (Yes, the winner of this fight will be a former steroid suspect, and so will the loser.) Overeem will be able to re-apply for licensure in Nevada next month.

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Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar Confirmed for UFC 156, Super Bowl Weekend in Las Vegas


(Hey Frankie, you should invite Sanchez and Tebow to the fight. I’m pretty sure they’ll be free that weekend.)

The UFC’s traditional Super Bowl weekend blowout will feature at least one title belt up for grabs, as the featherweight championship match between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar has been officially confirmed for UFC 156. Though the event was previously rumored to take place in Brazil in January, UFC 156 will actually be held February 2nd in Las Vegas, at a venue to be named later.

When the two fighters meet, it’ll be Aldo’s first Octagon appearance in more than year, as a pair of injuries have kept him out of the cage since his last title defense against Chad Mendes at UFC 142. It’ll also be Edgar’s first-ever UFC fight at featherweight. Will the former lightweight champ look stronger against an opponent closer to his own size, or will he be sacrificing the speed advantage that served him so well during his long stint at 155 pounds?

No other matchups have been formally announced for the UFC 156 card yet, though Rashad Evans vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has been reported, while Josh Koscheck and Nick Diaz are apparently jockeying for a spot on the lineup as well.

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