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Tag: UFC 77

On This Day in MMA History: CagePotato.com Launches, Immediately Begins Insulting People

On October 21st, 2007 — six years ago today — a snot-nosed MMA blog called CagePotato.com took its first breath, and for the most part, nobody gave a damn. The entire writing staff for the site’s launch consisted of one person, a young magazine-industry refugee named Ben Goldstein (that’s me). My professional credentials consisted of the following: I was a casual fan of the UFC, I had been laid off from a lad-mag called Stuff a couple months earlier, and I needed a job. Any job, really. So, when a friend of a friend named Jonathan Small* called me one day and said he was looking for some warm bodies to launch a few dude-oriented websites for Break Media (now Defy Media), I jumped at the chance. After all, the rent was due.

Though many long-time fans of CagePotato know the site’s history in its broad strokes, few know the details behind its launch. I was hesitant to talk about my personal background in the early days of the site’s existence, because I didn’t want to be exposed as a MMA noob, which I totally was**. Before CagePotato launched in 2007, I hadn’t written a single thing about MMA, and I had never managed a website. I had interviewed actresses and reviewed books, done features about hurricanes and porn stars, but the world of MMA blogging was completely foreign to me. Still, I enjoyed the sport, recognized that it was growing in popularity, and figured I had learned enough about short-form entertainment writing from five years of magazine gigs to make a snarky blog about MMA a modest success. Incredibly, I was right.

The first post I ever published was this Aftermath-type recap of UFC 77, the event where Anderson Silva TKO’d Rich Franklin for the second time, and Tim Sylvia picked up his final win in the UFC. At that point, most of what I knew about MMA came from Wikipedia, but the basic ball-busting tone of CagePotato was present from the beginning. An excerpt:

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Sylvia’s ego, Franklin’s face get battered at UFC 77

How hated, exactly, is Tim Sylvia? Let’s put it this way: He got booed more after his win over Brandon Vera on Saturday night than Anderson Silva did after knocking out Rich Franklin in Ace’s hometown of Cincinnati — while Silva was wearing Pittsburgh Steelers colors. Now that’s hate.

Scoring a unanimous decision over the good-humored, charismatic Vera in a fight that generally consisted of the two men clinching on their feet against the fence, Sylvia did nothing to change his image as a boring fighter who relies on his size to win matches. But you gotta feel for the dude; it can’t be fun to get booed at weigh-ins, and to have Brandon Vera explain to the crowd after the fight, “he’s a nice guy once you get to know him.” (Vera, it should be said, didn’t look too impressive against the Maine-iac, was responsible for most of the clinching that made the fight so dull, and should probably give up the ice cream and drop down to light heavyweight.)

The middleweight championship bout between Franklin and Silva was a lot more action-packed, but ended much the same way as their first meeting, with Franklin eating knees until he hit the mat and the fight was stopped (this time at 1:07 into the second round). Franklin looked outmatched from the start, and was nearly knocked out by a punch at the end of the first round but was saved by the bell before Silva could take full advantage; as soon as Franklin started stumbling to the wrong corner, it was obvious that this one would be over soon. In fact, Franklin was so dazed after the fight that a member of his team had to remind him to wish his wife Beth a happy birthday during the post-mortem with Joe Rogan. (She turned 30, by the way, and I’m sure it was the best birthday ever.)

As for the rest of UFC 77’s main card:

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