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

Tag: UFC 96

Brandon Vera Puts Celebration Gripes in Perspective

Watch Steve Cofield’s video interview with Brandon Vera and see if you aren’t suddenly glad that “The Truth’s” formerly-overpaid ass is sticking around in the UFC.  The best part is when he addresses Matt Hamill’s post-fight celebration after knocking out Vera’s friend and training partner, Mark Munoz, at UFC 96.  Hamill caught some flack for acting like he just made a half-court shot worth a million bucks during halftime at a Laker game, when all the while his opponent was still crumpled in a motionless heap against the cage.

As Vera explains at the 3:30 mark, winning a fight in the UFC (particularly by bonus-worthy KO) is actually a lot like winning the lottery:

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Video: Miguel Torres Rolls Out of Bed to Co-Host “MMA Live”

A slightly hungover-looking Miguel Torres showed up to co-host this week’s edition of ESPN’s "MMA Live," and despite looking like he wants to throw up a couple times he does a pretty good job.  I mean, he’s no Kenny Florian, but MMA’s best internet TV show is such that they can plug almost anyone into the fighter seat and Jon Anik and Franklin McNeil can carry them across the finish line.  Anyone, except Stephan Bonnar, who shows up midway through this episode to stare blankly and stumble through sentences like a robot that is running out of power.

One of the more interesting topics in this episode is whether the delay in the Brock Lesnar/Frank Mir heavyweight showdown helps or hurts Lesnar.  Given his relative inexperience with MMA (particularly the old submissions game, if you know what I mean), you might think that more time in the gym would only benefit the big man.  But Torres offers the fighter’s perspective, suggesting that what will really benefit him is getting in the cage as soon as possible and becoming a better fighter through experience.

What are your thoughts, Potato Nation?  Does this rescheduling give Lesnar more time to develop, or does it simply screw with his training schedule?

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UFC 96′s Best Photos

Pete Sell Matt Brown UFC 96 MMA

Props to UFC.com, MMAWeekly, Sherdog, and CombatLifestyle.

Joe Rogan Columbus MMA UFC 96 Patt Brandon Vera UFC 96 MMA Patt Brandon Vera UFC 96 MMA Kendall Grove Jason Day UFC 96 MMA Gray Maynard Jim Miller UFC 96 MMA Matt Hamill Mark Munoz UFC 96 MMA Matt Hamill Mark Munoz MMA UFC 96 Matt Hamill UFC 96 MMA Matt Brown Pete Sell UFC 96 MMA Matt Brown Pete Sell UFC 96 Pete Sell UFC 96 MMA Keih Jardine Quinton Rampage Jackson UFC 96 MMA Keith Jardine Quinton Rampage Jackson MMA UFC 96 Quinton Rampage Jackson Rashad Evans UFC 96 MMA face-off Shane Carwin UFC 96 MMA Miguel Torres Mike Goldberg MMA UFC

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Shane Carwin: A Man in Need of a Nickname


(I know, tons of words rhyme with Shane, but let’s think this through.)

There’s a discussion brewing in our forums right now, begun by user LuketheDuke, with the goal of finding a suitable nickname for UFC heavyweight Shane Carwin.  Luke is right, here.  Carwin doesn’t have a nickname (that we know of — maybe he’s keeping it a secret?), and after knocking out Gabriel Gonzaga and cracking the all-important top ten in the Cage Potato Power Rankings, the time is now.  

Trouble is, after looking through your forum posts I see that many of you are in love with the rhyming nickname.  This disappoints me.  As awesome as suggestions like Shane “The Great Dane” Carwin and Shane “You’ll Need a Cane” Carwin are, rhyming nicknames always seem forced.  Although at least T Rex rhymed the last name with his submission: Shane “Darwin” Carwin (since the dude is bringing survival of the fittest back to the UFC’s heavyweight division).  I like that.

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Pete Sell Is Okay; Yves Lavigne Admits to Screwing Up


The one person in the MMA world not criticizing Yves Lavigne for his refereeing decisions in UFC 96’s Matt Brown/Pete Sell bout is Pete Sell.  And that makes sense.  Just like Josh Koscheck asked all refs everywhere to let him get beaten into unconsciousness before stopping his fights, Sell also wants the opportunity to try and get back in the fight, even when it’s a really bad idea:

"I want always to be given the chance to fight back, not matter what," Sell said Tuesday. "I thought he did good with that. … I want any referee that judges the fight to always give me the benefit of the doubt that I’m always willing to fight."

But willingness to fight isn’t so much the issue.  It’s whether he’s capable of fighting intelligently, or whether he’s so dazed that he’s taking needless punishment.  The referee is there to make that decision because we don’t trust individual fighters – guys like Sell, whose tremendous heart could get him seriously hurt in such a situation – to make that decision for him.  

Lavigne failed in that task, and he knows it:

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CagePotato Power Rankings Updated

Shane Carwin UFC 96 MMA
(Shane Carwin — one of the ten best heavyweights in the world. Photo courtesy of UFC.com)

In the wake of UFC 95, WEC 39, and UFC 96, we’ve tidied up the heavyweight, light-heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight, and featherweight top ten lists in our Power Rankings section. Some notable changes…

— Shane Carwin enters the heavyweight list at #9 after taking out his first Top 20 opponent in 69 seconds.

Keith Jardine leaves the light-heavyweight list (temporarily, at least) after his loss to Quinton Jackson on Saturday. He may have beaten a post-peak Chuck Liddell and a pre-peak Forrest Griffin, but it’s unclear if he has what it takes to beat a high-level opponent when they’re at their best.

Robbie Lawler and Jake Shields drop a spot due to inactivity. Not their fault, but whaddya gonna do. Luckily, their stints in Strikeforce begin soon.

Josh Koscheck falls to #8 on the welterweight list after being upset by Paulo Thiago. Kos definitely still has the talent of a top-ten fighter — he’s just made some unfortunate choices.

— Jose Aldo ascends to #6 on the featherweight list after his fourth brutal stoppage win in the WEC.

Check ‘em out and let us know if you see things differently.

Unrelated, but important: Thanks so much for all your awesome nominations in our Best MMA Bars forum thread. We’re going to start compiling our list soon, so if you have any others to share, please let us know!

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Betting Post-Mortem: UFC 96


(Well, this sure didn’t help.  Photo courtesy of UFC.com)

After my meager success at WEC 39, I decided to up my wagers just a little with the hopes of getting my profits into double digits following UFC 96.  The results were…mixed.  Here’s how I did, in case you’re keeping score of my finances at home.

Bet: $50 on Shane Carwin at +140
Result: Won $70 profit
What I Learned: Plenty of you told me I was crazy for betting on a guy who was undefeated against bunch of scrubs.  One of you even claimed Gabriel Gonzaga would have beat Randy Couture if not for a headbutt.  But I went with my gut and profited.  So there.  Who’s the jackass now?  You are.  You’re the jackass.  I’m the guy with an extra seventy bucks in my pocket.  I’ll be at the strip club if you need me.

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From A Different Angle: The Fight!/Cage Potato UFC 96 Pre-Party


(The Buff clocks in to do a little work.  I don’t know about you guys, but I’m feeling kind of sexy.  I have no idea why.)

I’m sure you couldn’t tell from my post-party report, but I have to confess here that I am not a professional photographer.  I know, you had no idea, but it’s the truth.  The good news is that Combat Lifestyle’s Tracy Lee is a professional photographer and she was also at the party capturing all the action I missed, and doing so using a camera that was not the cheapest one she could find at Best Buy three years ago. 

To put it more succinctly, her photos are much better than mine.  Some of my personal favorites are after the jump, but you can head over to her UFC 96 pre-party gallery and see them all.

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The Potato Index: UFC 96 Aftermath


(You look sleepy, Gabe.  Maybe time to grab a quick nap?  Photo courtesy of UFC.com)

Who’s up and who’s down?  The Potato Index is here to tell you with our post-event wrap-up of arbitrary numerical rankings. 

“Rampage” Jackson +121

He won a fight he was supposed to win, even if it took him 2 2/3 rounds longer than many thought it would.  Jackson said he needed the work, and he looked good from start to finish.  But will he still be glad he went through rounds when he has to get back in the gym and prepare for Rashad Evans in two weeks?

Keith Jardine -15

“The Dean of Mean” fought hard and, if nothing else, proved his chin isn’t so suspect after all.  The guy has a lot of heart and he’ll fight anyone (except his Jackson camp buddies).  There’s always a place in the UFC for someone like that.

Shane Carwin +154

Didn’t we tell you this guy was a beast?  Gonzaga broke his nose in the opening seconds and it barely slowed Carwin down.  The knockout blow didn’t even seem like it had all his power behind it, but it didn’t matter.  Another first-round KO, and this time against a notable opponent.  This guy is headed for big things.

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UFC 96 Payouts: Only One Superstar on This Card


(Fight night Danavlog reveals that someone is a little self-conscious about his weight.)

The UFC paid out $762,000 in base fighter payroll for UFC 96 in Columbus, Ohio, and they dispersed this money according to their usual principles: from each according to his ability, to each according to his marketability.  Full disclosed payout figures are below.  For a more accurate accounting, imagine Rampage Jackson, Keith Jardine, and Matt Hamill all pocketing an extra $60,000 for their end of the night bonuses:

Quinton Jackson — $325,000 (includes $100,000 win bonus)
Keith Jardine — $55,000
Shane Carwin — $32,000 (includes $16,000 win bonus)
Gabriel Gonzaga: $60,000
Matt Brown — $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
Pete Sell — $12,000
Matt Hamill — $40,000 ($20,000 win bonus)
Mark Munoz — $12,000
Gray Maynard — $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
Jim Miller — $9,000
Tamdan McCrory — $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
Ryan Madigan — $3,000
Kendall Grove — $44,000 (includes $22,000 win bonus)
Jason Day — $5,000
Jason Brilz — $10,000 (includes $5,000 win bonus)
Tim Boetsch — $12,000
Brandon Vera — $60,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)
Michael Patt — $5,000
Shane Nelson — $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus
Aaron Riley — $6,000

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