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Tag: UFC middleweight

Coincidence Much? Chael Sonnen Returning to Middleweight After “Fight Night” Bout With Shogun Rua

We are shocked, Potato Nation. SHOCKED WE TELLS YOU.

For reasons that are not yet understandable despite being clearly explained to us, P4P G.O.A.T., multi-division UFC champion, possessor of the arms and the charms, the hefty lefty, the flyin hawaiian, the Juggernaut, bitch, Chael Phinneus Sonnen Esq., recently announced that he will be returning to the middleweight division after he defeats Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at Fight Night: Sonnen vs. Shogun on August 17th.

It’s a goddamn travesty is what it is. As we all know, Sonnen was last “defeated” by light heavyweight “champion” Jon Jones via technical knock out (emphasis on “technical”) at UFC 159 in a fight that he would have undoubtedly won had referee Keith Peterson not been in Jones’ pocket and prematurely stopped the fight. So discouraged by the evident corruption at 205, Sonnen broke the news of his middleweight return on UFC Tonight yesterday:

I’ve moved to Southern California and am training at Reign with Mark Munoz. My new contract, which is a five-fight deal, was finalized today.

I’ll return to middleweight after beating Shogun. There are two guys I want to get matched up with: Vitor Belfort, because he’s awesome and he’s on an incredible roll. And Wanderlei Silva, who I’ve heard is going back to middleweight. The landscape has completely changed. I’ve got a new contract and I’m returning to the weight class.

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[VIDEO] Alan Belcher Rallies for Chris Weidman, Accidently Proves Jorge Guimaraes’ Point

With Vitor Belfort now set to fight Jon Jones at UFC 152, Alan Belcher was left without an opponent for UFC 153 in Rio. Many of us began to speculate as to who the UFC would call in to replace Vitor Belfort in a fight that had possible title implications. Nah, I’m just kidding, we were all way too busy talking about bitchassness, trolling your way into title shots and over-saturation to worry about Alan Belcher. Let’s get back to the real issues of today.

Not so fast. Alan Belcher released a video blog yesterday to discuss the whole Jon Jones saga. Interestingly enough, Belcher first discloses that he won’t be fighting at UFC 153 because he wants to let a back injury he suffered while training heal. In his words:

Rewind a little bit: Three or four weeks back, I had a real bad back problem. I went to the doctor, found out that I had a spinal fracture, so that put me out for three weeks. I didn’t bend my back, I just kept it straight. I’m like “I’m just going to get the rest I need to make this fight happen and push through it.” I was getting back in there training, and it took me a whole week to get my mind wrapped back around it, but I was like “This is a huge fight, I’m going to do it,” and there is no way I was going to back out of that fight. Once I started back and I got going, I put a lot of thought into it and I was going full force ahead.

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Anderson Silva Camp Thinks UFC Middleweights Are “Amateur Kids,” Rallies for GSP Just to Be Difficult


Anderson Silva, shown modeling for Rolling Stone while showing us his war face.

It’s no secret that the UFC middleweight division is a bit of a mess right now. With Michael Bisping set to fight Brian Stann, Alan Belcher squaring off against Vitor Belfort, Cung Le fighting Rich Franklin and Chris Weidman and Tim Boetsch sitting on the sidelines, it’s no wonder we’re possibly looking at a middleweight tournament to sort this mess out. In theory, the tournament would give Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva plenty of time to go to barbecues and fight Light-Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones while the division sorts itself out. In reality, that will never happen.

With the middleweight division being such a gigantic question mark, it may make sense to just ask someone in Anderson Silva’s camp who they’d like to see him fight next. There’s just one small problem: Anderson Silva’s camp are, how should I say this, pricks. Case in point, here’s what Silva’s manager Jorge Guimaraes said about the possibility of Anderson fighting Chris Weidman, Tim Boetsch and Alan Belcher, who have all recently called out “The Spider” (via Tatame):

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Report: Alan Belcher vs. Vitor Belfort Being Targeted for UFC 153 in Rio


(Buy all of the Lombard stock you can….wait…he WHAT?! THEN SELL DAMMIT, SELL!!) 

If you are the type of MMA fan that gets his news from CagePotato and only CagePotato, we’d like to thank you for your dedication. Surely you will be rewarded in the afterlife for your selfless sacrifice. At the same time, you’ve more than likely missed out on all of the middleweight calamity that has happened over the past few days, as we deemed it less important than photos of mutilated hands, anti-Mandy Moore smear campaigns, and things of that nature. Clearly we made the right choice, but like we said, we appreciate your dedication.

To sum up the middleweight soap opera in a few sentences, Vitor Belfort tried to call out Chris Weidman, stating both a respect for the fact that Weidman is the top dog at 185 (as we previously stated), and realizing that a win over Weidman would be the easiest path to another shot at Anderson Silva. Weidman promptly denied Belfort, claiming that he had all the respect in the world for the former LHW champ, but simply put, “[he] had his shot” and “right now is my time.”

Meanwhile, in the outskirts of Mississippi, Johnny Cash enthusiast Alan Belcher switched his sights from Michael Bisping to that of Vitor Belfort, which seemed appropriate to us considering that we also called for this matchup. Being that there is no way in hell that a fight between Belfort and Belcher could be anything short of extraordinary, for reals this time, we imagine that most of you agreed with us.

Well, it appears that the dominoes are falling into place like a house of cards, because Belfort and Belcher have verbally agreed to face one another at UFC 153 in Rio, via their respective Twitter accounts.

Hear what was said after the jump.

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Could We Be Looking at a Middleweight #1 Contender Tournament By the End of 2012?


(Our approximate reaction upon hearing the news.) 

When we laid out a possible plan to sort out the UFC’s middleweight division earlier this week, we did so by offering several plausible matchups that we felt would most effectively separate the true contenders from the delusional gatekeepers. Some applauded our effort, some offered different, yet equally effective alternatives, and some relied on the time tested effectiveness of sending death threats to our Twitter account, or what they assumed was our Twitter account. MWAHAHAHA!!!

However effective you thought our plan may have been, it’s looking like the UFC could be pursuing a completely different and much more intriguing option to solve the dilemma at 185 lbs.: a good old fashioned tournament. And although the flyweight tournament had some hiccups of its own, we would be hard pressed to find a more efficient method of determining a number one contender than this. But before we jump the gun, just check out what Dana White recently told Ariel Helwani (and what BG just implied) and decide for yourself:

We’re working on so much crazy shit right now — you know how I get. I get all nutty and start telling you shit I’m not supposed to be telling you. We’re working on really, really exciting stuff that we’re just going to kill it at the end of this year. Some really fun stuff…. I am very excited about the 185-pound division — it’s all I’ve been talking about for the last four days. I was on the road, in Australia, on the phone every day talking about the 185-pound division. It’s never been more exciting. I will let the cat out of the bag on Saturday about what we are going to do. Whoever wins on Saturday, I will have answers for you at the press conference.

We hate to prematurely celebrate, but…

After the jump: A full video interview with Dana White, in which he discusses all things UFC 149, the alleged nastiness of Hector Lombard, and his continuing hate-hate relationship with Dave Meltzer.

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CagePotato Presents: The State of the UFC’s Middleweight Division


(So, Anderson, who would *you* like to face next?) 

By Jared Jones

Let’s face it, the current state of the middleweight division is that of anarchy, a notion made all the more bewildering when you consider that it has been trapped beneath the crushing, totalitarian rule of the same king for the better part of a decade now. Yet somehow, it seems we can barely go a day without hearing that Vitor Belfort wants to fight so-and-so for the next title shot, or Michael Bisping wants to fight this guy for the right to do the same. Or that guy. Or that guy.

And indeed, the issue of solving who should rightfully receive the next beatdown shot at Anderson Silva is a tough one, dividing fans on a level that only TRT, vaseline, or Steven Seagal could match (scratch that, *no one* likes Sensei Seagal). Thankfully, CagePotato is here to clean up the mess instead of making it for once, so join us as we lay out in detail what must be done to organize the middleweight division’s long list of contenders in order of title shot worthiness (I swear to God I had something better for that). Feel free to debate this list if you want, but this is how it’s got to be.

On the Outside Looking In 

Michael Bisping

We know we like to poke fun at the guy, but in total seriousness, you’d have to be insane to believe that Bisping deserves a shot at the middleweight title. Yes, he is 4-1 in his past 5, as is the case for many of the UFC’s top middleweights, oddly enough. And yes, there’s little denying that Bisping has looked more tenacious and well rounded as of late than he ever has. But first, take a look at the names that make up his win streak. The biggest win he has under his belt in the past few years is Yoshihiro Akiyama, a 1-4 now welterweight who has been a complete bust in the UFC. Other than that, you have a now retired reality show host, a retired journeyman, and Dan Miller, who we absolutely refuse to say anything bad about.

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Bye, Bye, Bellator: Hector Lombard Offered UFC Contract, Awaiting “Strategic Decision” From Bellator Brass


(Anyone else want to negotiate?)

It’s looking like current Bellator middleweight champion and world renowned can-crusher Hector Lombard may finally get his chance to make waves in the UFC. Yes, it seems the man who has vowed to “take Anderson Silva’s head off” was recently offered a contract with the UFC in light of his dispute-ridden contract with Bellator expiring earlier this month. The Cuban-born knockout artist has been out of action since steamrolling Trevor Prangley in the second round of their catchweight non-title affair back in November of 2011, and has still yet to grant season five middleweight tournament winner Alexander Shlemenko his much deserved rematch. We can likely call that one a wash at this point.

And although that sucks for Shlemenko, we’ve got to admit that we’d much rather see “Lightning” in the UFC. If you recall, Lombard was supposed to make his promotional debut way back at UFC 78 in November of 2007 against Karo Parisyan, but Visa issues forced him to withdraw after he was denied entry into the country. He was eventually replaced by Ryo Chonan, who couldn’t handle “The Heat” and was defeated by unanimous decision.

Five years and countless corpses of MMA journeyman later, we may finally see Lombard live up to his potential.

But before we start setting ourselves up for disappointment, we (and the UFC) are awaiting a move from the Bellator brass, who still have an opportunity to match the UFC’s offer. Bellator CEO told Sherdog that a “strategic decision” would determine Lombard’s future with the company, but that they wouldn’t even begin deliberation until after this weekend’s Bellator 66 event:

We’ve received the final proposed UFC agreement from Hector’s attorney, and right now we are in the process of reviewing it to determine whether we’re going to match the agreement. We’ve got the 60 pages of UFC contract that were forwarded to us by Hector’s counsel.

Out of respect for Hector, I think we will turn [the UFC contract] around very quickly. Obviously, we have a huge event coming up Friday. As soon as that is over, we will sit down with our partners and go through the UFC contract line-for-line and make a strategic decision whether we’re going to match it or pass. [If we pass, we will] wish him the best and let him go knock out everybody in the UFC.

Check out more from the interview after the jump.

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Proud Marine Brian Stann Makes No Apologies for Memorializing His Fallen Military Brothers and Sisters Every Chance He Gets

By Mike Russell


(Marine Corps Captain Brian Stann receiving his Silver Star in March 2006 for bravery and leadership in battle)

Today marks the 236th birthday of the United States Marines, and as such, I thought it would be fitting to print an outtake quote from an interview I did with Brian Stann earlier this month for a recent Fighters Only Magazine story.

When talk turned to the growing contingent of MMA fans who have publicly blasted “All American” for memorializing his fallen military brothers and sisters, Stann, a decorated retired  Marine said that he makes no apologies for paying them tribute whenever he has a public forum to do so.

Read Brian’s take on the subject after the jump.

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Alan Belcher Gets the Nod from His Doctor to Start Training; Says He’s Shooting for a May UFC Return


(Wanderlei vs. Alan will likely happen in April in Toronto since Leben likely won’t be getting across the Canadian border any time soon.)

Alan Belcher got some good news this week regarding the future of his up-in-the-air MMA career.

The UFC 26-year-old middleweight contender was informed by his ophthalmologist during a check-up yesterday that he can resume physical training and that he may get the go-ahead to start light sparring in the coming weeks.

The news came as a welcome surprise for the Biloxi, Mississippi native who suffered a potential career-ending eye injury earlier this year.

"There’s no doubt I miss [training and fighting]; I miss it bad," Belcher told MMAFighting’s Mike Chiappetta today. "I was the kind of guy I’d be training almost every day. You’d have to make me stop because I love it so much. But I did it because it was fun and it makes me feel good about myself. This has been the longest break I’ve taken from training in my entire sports life. I’ve trained every week, almost every day since I was a kid. I started martial arts at eight years old and haven’t missed more than a week, so it was really weird doing nothing for months."

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Alan Belcher’s Eye Isn’t Healing Well

 
(Belcher’s recovery from adetached retina isn’t going well, according to his wife.)

UFC middleweight Alan Belcher underwent a second surgery on his right eye Wednesday to repair a detached retina he thinks he suffered in training, and according to his wife, Ashlee, who sent out a few Twitter updates on "The Talent’s" day under the knife, his vision still isn’t where it should be.

Ashlee said that the next few weeks of healing are crucial in the prognosis of the injury.

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