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Tag: UFC debut

Paulo Thiago and Five Other Fighters Who Never Lived Up to Their UFC Debuts


(“Quick Paulo, more spinach!!!” Photo via Getty)

I think it was midway through the second round of Paulo Thiago‘s bout with Gasan Umalatov on the TUF Brazil 3 Finale undercard that I began to feel a heavy, sinking feeling in my stomach. I thought it was just fight fatigue at first, my body’s way of telling me to step away from the television and do something, anything to negate the effects caused by a (by that point) six hour binge of manure ads, Linkin Park-dubbed promos, and the occasional MMA fight.

It wasn’t until the Thiago-Umalatov decision was handed down, however, that I was able to identify the cause of my discomfort. Paulo Thiago, real-life superhero and a fighter I have unapologetically rooted for since watching him knock out Josh Koscheck in his promotional debut at UFC 95, is likely on his way out of the UFC.Old Dad best summed up my feelings about Thiago, tweeting after the decision “Is it time for me to admit that Paulo Thiago is probably never going to be as awesome as I want him to be? Maybe, yeah.

The fact is, Thiago has consistently underwhelmed since scoring violent finishes over Koscheck and Mike Swick early in his UFC career, dropping six of his past eight fights and only scoring decision wins over IDon’t and GiveaFuck. While I won’t go as far as to call his upset wins “flukes,” it’s safe to say that Thiago has unfortunately fallen into the category of UFC fighters who were never able to exceed the hype generated by their UFC debuts. Fighters like…

Houston Alexander 

MMA fans knew knew less than nothing about Houston Alexander before he was matched up with Keith Jardine at UFC 71. Sure, he looked like something out of a Scared Straight program, but at just 7-1 as a pro, he seemed well out of his league against “The Dean of Mean.” Even Jardine, fresh off the biggest win of his career over Forrest Griffin, was baffled by the matchmaking, all but dismissing Alexander in some uncharacteristic pre-fight trash-talk.

But as Raymond Atkins once wrote, “Hubris is when God screws you over for being a smartass.” And screw over Jardine he did. In less than a minute’s time, the TUF alum found himself lying face down on the canvas thanks to a barrage of uppercuts so vicious that even his mouthguard was forced to flee for its life.

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Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza Draws Costa Philippou for UFC Debut at UFC on FX 8 in May


(“OH GOD, OH GOD. I CAN’T FIND A PULSE, YOSEMITE!”) 

Considering Anderson Silva has all but left the middleweight division for the more lucrative worlds of light-heavyweight squash matches and straight-to-DVD cop films, we think it’s going to be pretty difficult for the UFC to put their patented “winner gets a title shot” rub on the upcoming UFC on FX 8 card scheduled for May 18th. Sure, the event features both a headlining fight between top contenders Vitor Belfort and Luke Rockhold and now a middleweight clash between Ronaldo Souza and Costa Philippou, but when your division’s champion has been turning down the matchups that have been offered to him for months now, to what extent can you start promoting number one contenders?

Be that as it may, UFC on FX 8 will now feature a pair of middleweight showdowns that should have title implications written all over them, as the pairing of Souza and Philippou was just made official a few hours ago. Since losing his Strikeforce middleweight title to Rockhold in September of 2011, “Jacare” has collected three straight stoppage victories, including a first round kimura submission of Ed Herman at Strikeforce’s final event last month.

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Unluckiest SOB Ever Draws Edson Barboza for UFC Debut at ‘UFC on FX 7′


(Sad. He was so young.) 

Not too long ago, I wrote a piece about six of the worst possible opponents debuting UFC fighters have drawn in the past. As I predicted, it was almost universally panned by you Taters, but if I could update the article today, a feller by the name of Lucas “Mineiro” — which I can only assume means “Marked for Death” in Portuguese – Martins would be included somewhere on that list. Because now that Justin Salas has withdrawn from his UFC on FX 7 fight with Edson Barboza, the UFC’s matchmaking department has thrown the poor bastard pictured above into the octagon on short notice in Salas’ place (for his UFC debut, no less), presumably with a steak tied around his neck and a guaranteed bed at the nearest hospital.

Martins record may currently stand at a perfect 10-0, but the combined record of his opponents is just 27-24. Adding to that is the fact that he’ll be taking on an Edson Barboza that is on the heels of his first professional loss and will likely be looking to reestablish himself as one of the top lightweights via Martins’ untimely destruction. So yeah, expect this one to go down in roughly the same fashion as the Anglo-Zanzibar War or Michael Bisping on his prom night, which is to say, quickly.

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Hioki vs Roop Added to UFC 137


Well, don’t act too excited.

When Japanese featherweight Hatsu Hioki officially joined the UFC, we all felt pretty cool for calling that one. We even suggested a first opponent for him in Kenny Florian. Well, turns out the UFC brass doesn’t see things the same way that we do. I’ll pause for you to add your own sarcastic comments.

Rather, Sherdog is reporting that George Roop will be Hioki’s first opponent in the UFC. This fight is scheduled to take place at UFC 137 in Las Vegas. So far, the only other fight to be announced for UFC 137 is the welterweight showdown between Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz and UFC champion Georges St. Pierre. George Roop is 2-1-1 under Zuffa as a featherweight, most recently punching out Josh Grispi at The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale back in June.

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Hatsu Hioki Joins the UFC Featherweight Division

Hatsu Hioki has officially joined the UFC, announced this morning via Twitter.  The Child of Shooto relinquished his lightweight title in late May, and we all kind of assumed that he was headed stateside.  Well, call us Nachodamus.

By now ya’ll know that Hioki  has some prime wins under his belt (something you can’t always say about fighters competing on the other side of the Pacific), including Mark Hominick (twice) and an upset over Marlon Sandro for the Sengoku featherweight strap.  Hioki hit a rough stretch in 2007, dropping consecutive decisions under the Shooto banner, but he hasn’t really lost since if you don’t count the decision loss to Michihiro Omigawa that the judges hung on him–and we don’t.

No word yet on who Hioki will face off with for his debut, but may we suggest Kenny Florian?

[RX]

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