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Dan Henderson vs. Daniel Cormier, And the UFC’s Tradition of Sacrificing Its Legends


(Photo by Esther Lin for MMAFighting)

By Bear Siragusa

Allow me to paint you a picture:

He shuffles forward on stiff legs, his arms occasionally jabbing out in slow, tired fashion. There is a man standing across the cage who advances and strikes him. A blow to the head. He staggers, but still shuffles forward, like something undead. Twice more he is struck in the head. With the third blow he goes stiff, like a corpse already in the grip of rigor mortis. He topples backwards like a stricken tree, to lay rigid and unmoving.

Sound familiar? Well, it should. It was the main event of UFC Fight Night in Abu Dhabi between Roy Nelson and Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira. (Watch the carnage here.) It was a fight that, bottom line, shouldn’t have happened. Nogueira has suffered the most knockdowns (8) in UFC heavyweight history, and his previous knockout losses to Frank Mir and Cain Velasquez proved that Big Nog’s formerly armor-plated chin was becoming vulnerable. So why put him in the Octagon with one of the most devastating right hands in the UFC?

This kind of thing has become common in MMA.

MMA promotions have made it a habit to put beaten and tired legends of the sport in fights that they can’t hope to win. Look no further than Nelson vs. Nogueira, Overeem vs. Mir, Cro Cop vs. Mir/Schaub/Nelson. The UFC assumes that fans want to see these fights, but really, only a certain kind of fan wants to see these fights — the same fans who would gladly watch George Foreman and Muhammad Ali go at it again. One more time. For old times’ sake.

Which brings us to the scheduled UFC 173 bout in May between Dan Henderson and Daniel Cormier.

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The Bellator Pay-Per-View vs. UFC 173: Which Card is Actually Worth Your Money? [POLL]


(“Sorry bro, it was either rent or Fight Pass. Easiest decision I’ve ever made.”)

As a couple of you readers noted after taking a gander over the recently updated UFC 173 lineup, the card is somewhat lacking in big fights department to warrant it’s $54.95 price. You could even go so far as to call it garbage-ass (I wouldn’t necessarily agree, but I’d die to defend your right to say it). In any case, several television providers similarly unveiled the price of Bellator’s upcoming pay-per-view earlier today, and at $39.95 for standard definition/$44.99 for HD, the Internet’s reaction has been critical to put it lightly. I know, I’m as shocked as you are.

While there are surely a few fights of merit on each card (read Seth’s breakdown of Bellator 120 here), both UFC 173 and the Bellator PPV are hard sells to even the most hardcore of MMA fans at their current prices. The question is: Which card would you actually consider paying for? 

Vote in our poll after the jump, then make your case/air your grievances for either card in the comments section.

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Dan Henderson vs. Daniel Cormier Officially Booked as UFC 173 Co-Main Event in May


(Cormier opens a can of whoop ass on Phil Cumens…er…Paul Cummings…let’s just call him “Pete” at UFC 170. Photo via Getty.)

Although the fight was originally being targeted for UFC 175 on 4th of July weekend, Dana White broke the news on Sportscenter earlier today that the light heavyweight #1ish contender match between Daniel Cormier and Dan Henderson has officially been booked as the co-main event of UFC 173: Weidman vs. Belfort vs. Machida Barao vs. Dillashaw, which transpires on May 24th from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The fight will serve as a quick turnaround for Henderson, who was getting his ass handed to him by Mauricio Rua at Fight Night 38 in March before scoring a miracle comeback KO via H-Bomb in the third round of their hotly-anticipated rematch. Cormier, on the other hand, barely broke a sweat in his last fight: a 79-second TKO over Pete Cumpins…Pat Culmings (damn it, so close!) at UFC 170.

Recovery advantage: Cormier. Age, speed, size, and strength advantage: Also Cormier. “You darn kids quit skateboarding on the sidewalks!” advantage: Hendo. Call me crazy, but I’m liking Hendo here.

The full UFC 173 lineup is after the jump.

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Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva Re-Re-Booked for UFC 175 Co-Headliner, Dos Santos vs. Miocic Switched to Sao Paulo Main Event


(Silva gives the universal gesture for “Ay man, times is hard, maybe I’ll get your money next week?”)

The mystery of when Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva will actually fight each other — if at all — has taken another twist. The TUF Brazil 3 coaches were first slated to settle their television rivalry at UFC 173 on May 25th in Vegas. Then, it was bumped to a week later in Sao Paulo, Brazil. And now, according to UFC president Dana White, the matchup has been pushed back five more weeks, and will serve as the co-main event of UFC 175: Weidman vs. Machida. Allegedly. Pending any sudden injury announcements.

The latest re-scheduling has caused a ripple effect of fight-reshuffling behind it. Since Chael vs. Wandy had been scheduled to headline the 5/31 Sao Paulo Fight Night card, the new headliner of that event will be Junior Dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic. And since that fight was slated as the UFC 173 co-headliner, the UFC is scrambling for another fight to support Barao vs. Dillashaw and Lawler vs. Ellenberger. Just let me know when this stuff starts to become a little confusing. I actually keep a cheat-sheet in my pocket to keep it all straight. It’s a little scrap of paper that says “www.wikipedia.com“.

Anyway, we’ll update you when Sonnen vs. Silva is canceled.

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UFC Booking Alert: Robbie Lawler to Face Jake Ellenberger at UFC 173


(Robbie Lawler storms the Octagon, refusing to leave until Joe Silva offers up a sacrifice. / Photo via Getty)

UFC 173 just got a little more star power. An intriguing welterweight bout between Jake Ellenberger and Robbie Lawler just got added to the May 24th card.

Originally, Ellenberger was slated to fight Tarec Saffiedine at UFC 172 in Baltimore next month. However, an injury Saffiedine sustained in training changed all that. Not to diss Saffiedine, but Ellenberger-Lawler is a much more exciting fight to daydream about.

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Renan Barao vs. TJ Dillashaw Bantamweight Title Fight Booked as New UFC 173 Main Event


(“Renan Barao is a MONSTER!” — Barao’s dance coach. / Photo via Getty)

Coming off his first unified bantamweight title defense against Urijah Faber in February, Renan Barao will return to the Octagon at UFC 173 (May 24th, Las Vegas), where he’ll take on Team Alpha Male’s TJ Dillashaw in the main event. UFC 173 was originally supposed to be headlined by the middleweight title bout between Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida, but that match was bumped to July due to Weidman’s knee injury.

Dillashaw had already been booked to face Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 173, but he’s now been promoted to a championship fight, despite being on a one-fight win streak. (It should be mentioned that Mizugaki has won his last four fights. Asian brother can’t get no love, man?) As MMA Junkie reports, the far-more-deserving Raphael Assuncao was also being considered for Barao’s opponent, but lingering injuries will keep the Brazilian contender sidelined a while longer.

Essentially, Renan Barao vs. TJ Dillashaw is one of those title fights that was thrown together out of convenience and desperation. Due to a recent wave of injured champions, the UFC’s options are very limited right now in terms of arranging big fights on short notice. To put it gently, most UFC fans will probably decide to save their $55 when May 24th rolls around, when you consider that the current UFC 173 main card lineup looks like this…

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Dan Henderson Still a BAMF, Offers to Step in Against Lyoto Machida at UFC 173

Just as the sun rises each morning, Dan Henderson wakes up, kills a wild boar with his bare hands, and asks himself, “What can I do next to make all men look like absolute pussies?” Today’s answer: By calling out Lyoto Machida roughly 48 hours after defeating Mauricio Rua in one of the most brutal fights of the year.
(Author’s note: And you mean to tell me that this man needs testosterone *injections*? I CALL BULLSHIT.)

You see, when Chris Weidman was forced to bow out of his UFC 173 title fight with Machida last night due to a knee injury, there weren’t many middleweight contenders lining up to get Munoz’d by “The Dragon.” Strange, I know. But being that Dan Henderson is who Ron Swanson aspires to be, he of course volunteered to step in against Machida — who himself was stepping in for Vitor Belfort – while still shaking off the effects of multiple concussions. Meanwhile, I’m just sitting behind this computer, clacking away at keys and trying to shake off a hangover from last weekend like the shell of a Dan Henderson that I truly am.

Obviously, this fight is never going to happen for a multitude of reasons…

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Chris Weidman Suffers Knee Injury, Title Fight With Lyoto Machida Bumped to UFC 175 in July


(Welp…throw it into the trash-pile with the rest, I guess.)

According to UFC.com, UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman has “suffered a knee injury that will require minor surgery,” and has withdrawn from his scheduled title defense against Lyoto Machida at UFC 173 on May 24th. The fight has already been rescheduled to headline UFC 175 (July 5th, Las Vegas), and a new main event for the 5/24 card will be announced shortly.

No other details on Weidman’s knee are available at this time, though it should be noted that re-booking Weidman for an event six weeks later when he hasn’t even had his surgery yet is mighty optimistic. Wild Conspiracy Theory Time: The UFC invented this injury just to make sure they had a big main event for International Fight Week. Nah, not really. But maybe?

Stay tuned for more details…

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Matt Brown vs. Erick Silva, Junior Dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic Added to May UFC Events


(Brown poses with his two primary investors in Topless Broad FC. / Photo via @IamTheImmortal)

After a poorly-timed back injury robbed him of a chance to fight Carlos Condit in December, Matt Brown will be returning to action on May 10th for UFC Fight Night 40 in Cincinnati. The UFC confirmed yesterday that Brown will headline the event against Brazilian welterweight Erick Silva, who thoroughly styled on Takenori Sato last month at UFC Fight Night 36: Machida vs. Mousasi.

Brown has put together six consecutive wins over the last two years, tying him for the fourth-longest active win streak in the UFC. While it might not be totally logical to match him up against an opponent who’s been steadily alternating between wins and losses during that same time period, you can’t really complain about a booking like this, which pretty much guarantees an insane level of action, and at least one POTN bonus being handed out.

Useless fact: Brown vs. Silva will mark the first time that Brown has competed in his home state of Ohio since his destruction of Pete Sell in March 2009, and the first time that Silva has competed outside of Brazil since his submission win against Charlie Brenneman in June 2012.

In other booking news…

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Martial Arts Fail of the Week: How to Stomp Out a Wrestler

Remember those idiots who taught us BJJ’s five fatal weaknesses (spaz punches and bright red pants being chief among them)?

Well, they’re back. This time, the same “school”—Combatant Extreme Self Defense—is taking on wrestling.

And it’s legit…or at least legit in the sense that the guys who peddle this crap actually believe it works. It doesn’t though. There are more things wrong with this takedown “defense” than are wrong with Vitor Belfort‘s sudden removal from his UFC 173 title bout against Chris Weidman. Let’s just say this: Count yourself lucky if you wind up in a street fight with a “wrestler” who opts to grab your rear leg on a single leg takedown, let alone make thousands of other mistakes.

Stay tuned for next week’s traditional martial art’s fail, where another favorite from the past will be telling us how to defeat boxing with deadly street smarts.

If you see any video that’s good (or bad) enough to make the cut, let us know! Send it to tips@cagepotato.com.

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