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Tag: UFC on FOX 9

UFC on Fox 9: The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly


(Uh…guys? I’m pretty sure that’s Herb Dean. / Screencap via r/MMA)

By Mark Dorsey

Before we get into the endless promotion for the year-ending and stacked UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2, let’s take one last, clear-eyed look at what went down at WEC UFC on Fox 9. The injury-cursed event seemed destined to be a disappointment to many fans who consider the lighter fighters boring, especially considering it was the lightest fight card in UFC history, with an average weight of just over 145 pounds. The fact that the fights were taking place at the Sleep Train Arena seemed like a bad omen, foretelling the coma-inducing boredom that might have resulted from a night of decisions. Nevertheless, despite the haters, the smaller guys provided a card of highly entertaining fights and they showcased why many MMA purists consider them the most exciting fighters in the sport.

The Good
• Too often, referees only get noticed when they screw up. However, the officials for this card should be praised for a solid night of work in which they did their jobs properly and kept the focus where it belongs: the fighters. Props to John McCarthy, Herb Dean, and Mike Beltran for getting through the 11-fight card with no critical errors. Even Dana White, who has been openly critical of MMA officiating in the past, praised both Big John and Herb Dean, saying, “These are the best guys” and complimented his one-time nemesis, McCarthy, saying, “When John is in that Octagon, he is in absolute and total control.”

• Much has been written lately about the success of Team Alpha Male under head trainer, Daune “Bang” Ludwig. Saturday night gave the camp an opportunity to showcase how deserving they were of that praise, with four fighters from the Sacramento-based crew competing. As a whole, the team didn’t perform flawlessly, but they did manage to win two of their four fights. It was a great night for Urijah Faber, as the hometown hero steamrolled Michael McDonald and established himself — again — as the top contender in the Bantamweight division. Chad Mendes also did what he needed to, beating Nik Lentz by unanimous decision. On the losing side, Danny Castillo dropped a close decision to Edson Barboza that many thought should have been a draw, and Joseph Benavidez got knocked out cold by Demetrious Johnson. Other than Benavidez, Team Alpha looked good, and judging from their backstage reaction to Urijah Faber’s win, they truly are a tightknit group that will continue their upward trajectory.

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UFC on FOX 9 Salaries: The Year of The Rhino “The California Kid” Continues


(UFC on FOX 9 Phantom Cam highlights via Fox Sports.)

Before snuffing out Joseph Benavidez at UFC on FOX 9 last weekend, flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson proclaimed that he wasn’t fighting to be the best, but rather so “when I’m done fighting, I never have to work again.” Johnson doesn’t want Anderson Silva‘s record, he wants Anderson Silva money, one could say. “I want my son and my wife to have a good life and never have to worry about anything,” he continued. Ever the heel, that Mighty Mouse is.

Now that the UFC on FOX 9 salaries have been made available, it’d be hard to declare that Johnson isn’t well on his way to achieving the financial security he so desires. The flyweight champ might not be making “Anderson Silva money,” but he managed to bank $175,000 for just two minutes work on Saturday, which makes for a nice chunk of change when combined with that X-box One money he is surely making.

Now 4-0 in 2013 with three submission victories to his credit, Urijah Faber topped the $1,007,000 payroll, banking a cool $200,000 for his second round, SOTN-earning win over Michael McDonald. Dude is looking more and more like Vitor Belfort by the day, so let the year of the Rhino ”The California Kid” continue. Join us after the jump for the full list of disclosed salaries, as well as our thoughts on the payout.

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Watch: Highlights from UFC on FOX 9′s Fight of the Night—Edson Barboza vs. Danny Castillo [VIDEO]


(Video via MSN)

Edson Barboza vs. Danny Castillo was the best fight in a pretty decent night of fights overall. What made it so special? Well, with the above highlights, you’ll be able to see for yourself.

First of all, it was a fantastic mixed martial arts contest. MMA fights turn into C-level kickboxing or 15-minute bouts of clinching too often these days. Barboza-Castillo reminded us what the sport is capable of in terms of excitement. There were near KOs, there were takedowns, there wear submission attempts. Their match represented the full range of fighting.

Second, the fight represented a comeback—not a Tim Boetsch vs. Yushin Okami level comeback—but a comeback nonetheless. Castillo brutalized Barboza in the first round; it appeared the Brazilian striking phenom was out of his depth. Barboza manged to reverse fortunes in the second round with leg kicks; his shins were meat tenderizers.

The third round was close, but it was ultimately Barboza that got the nod from the judges, winning via majority decision.

For their efforts, both men took home an extra $50,000 as part of the “Fight of the Night” bonus.

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UFC on FOX 9 Results: Johnson Devastates Benavidez via Brutal KO, Faber Dominates and Submits McDonald


(And that’s the end of that chapter. Photo via Getty)

For an event that was initially much better on paper and seemed certain to disappoint, UFC on FOX 9 came through. The card was entertaining and ended in one of the best knockouts in recent memory.

The notable happenings on the prelims.

Sam Stout out-pointed Cody McKenzie, tenderizing the grappler’s liver and body throughout the 15-minute contest. The bashing of McKenzie’s body wasn’t the most interesting part though. No, the most interesting highlight from the fight was McKenzie wearing sponsor-less shorts with the price tag still hanging off them. Apparently, he showed up without shorts or even a mouthpiece. Pretty sad.

Zach Makovsky defeated Scott Jorgensen via decision. Interestingly enough, Makovsky—a former Bellator champ—didn’t have to prove himself in WSOF to get a shot in the UFC. Funny how things work out like that, isn’t it?

Pat Healy dropped a unanimous decision to Bobby Green. The crowd booed the announcement (or maybe they were saying boo-urns). The decision wasn’t horrible although it was pretty clear Green didn’t win all three rounds (but somehow 2/3 judges thought he did).

Edson Barboza vs. Danny Castillo elevated the card’s energy level. In the first round, Castillo ran over Barboza like a freight train. He floored the Brazilian striker, unleashed vicious ground-and-pound, and nearly choked him out. Somehow, Barboza survived the torrent of offense and even managed to reverse his fortunes in the second round. In that frame, Barboza made use of leg and body kicks to stymie Castillo and nearly finish him. The third round was a little closer and slower-paced. Barboza walked away with a majority decision.

In the last preliminary fight, rising star and late replacement Ryan LaFlare carved up Court McGee‘s face with pinpoint striking. The Long Islander outworked McGee until the third round, where he started to gas a little bit. But LaFlare’s work in the first two rounds was enough to secure a unanimous decision.

Get the main card recap after the jump.

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UFC on FOX 9: Johnson vs. Benavidez 2 — Live Results & Commentary


(It was then that Demetrious realized his own head was chilly, and the envy built up inside him, poisonous and overwhelming. / Photo via MMAJunkie)

The UFC is setting up shop at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento this evening, and while injuries have hacked this card down to a hobbling shell of its former self, we’ll still happily tune in to watch the Team Alpha Male crew defend its home turf on network television. On the docket for this evening: Joseph Benavidez takes another crack at reigning flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson, local legend Urijah Faber takes on 22-year-old bantamweight phenom Michael McDonald, and Chad Mendes looks for his fifth-straight KO/TKO in the featherweight division against Nik Lentz. Plus, Joe Lauzon and Mac Danzig kick off the broadcast in a battle between a guy who collects a lot of bonus money and a guy with no sponsors.

Handling our liveblog for this evening is Aaron Mandel, who will be banging out round-by-round results from the UFC on FOX 9 main card after the jump beginning at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and let us know how you’re feeling in the comments section.

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Catch the ‘UFC on FOX 9: Johnson vs. Benavidez II’ Weigh-Ins Right Here Starting at 7 p.m. EST

In just a few minutes, the weigh-ins for UFC on FOX 9 kick off from the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. Funny, I didn’t know they named an arena after Francis Carmont, and in America no less (*lights fireworks and releases flock of doves*). If our past few posts about this event are any indication, three fighters will fail to make weight tonight, two fighters will injure themselves backstage, and the entire attending audience will be consumed in a wave of Godzilla’s all-cleansing fire. Seriously, have you guys seen the trailer for the Godzilla remake yet? It looks insane.

Anyway, Team Alpha Male will look to continue their run of dominance under Duane Ludwig (“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Bang Era!”), but they’ll be facing some stiff opposition in the forms of Edson Barboza, Nik Lentz, and Michael McDonald. So swing by CagePotato starting at 7 p.m. EST to catch the weigh-ins and swing by tomorrow at 8 p.m. for our liveblog of the event.

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Matt Brown Details Back Injury, Plan for Recovery and How Carlos Condit Is Still on his Mind


(Brown smashes up Jordan Mein at UFC on FOX 7 in April. / Photo via Getty)

By Elias Cepeda

Last week, UFC welterweight contender Matt Brown herniated two discs in his back and was forced to pull out of his scheduled fight against Carlos Condit this Saturday at UFC on Fox 9. As he explained to CagePotato, he initially hoped a cortisone shot would help him feel well enough to fight, but that didn’t pan out.

Now, he’s benched from most physical activity for a month other than his therapy exercises. The good news is that if rehab goes well, Brown could be back training full contact in two months.

“The prognosis for me is basically that for one month I’ve got nothing but rehab. There’s no bending over to pick anything up and I can’t have any impact in any shape or form. No running. Nothing like any of those types of things,” Brown says.

“After two months, assuming rehab goes well, I’ll get a second cortisone shot and should be able to go full contact again.”

If Brown does his physical therapy to a ‘T’, he says he’s told that he should be able to avoid surgery on his back. Despite being so badly hurt, Brown says that he couldn’t bring himself to pull out of the fight on his own.

“I knew in my heart I wanted to do it,” he says.

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The BANG Effect: A Statistical Look at 2013′s Most Improved MMA Team [DATABOMB]


(Duane Ludwig [right] with one of his star pupils. / Photo via Sherdog)

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

An unlikely new coaching star, Duane “Bang” Ludwig has surged to the forefront of the competitive MMA coaching landscape after a fortuitous change of scenery. Ludwig is the obvious candidate for 2013′s “MMA Coach of the Year,” and few would question this, despite little fan awareness of his coaching prowess just one year ago.

Ludwig certainly had a tough 2012 that included three consecutive UFC losses, each one by first-round stoppage, the last of which added a fight-ending and career-threatening knee injury to the insult. But almost immediately after beginning the lengthy rehabilitation process, Ludwig got an unexpected phone call from Urijah Faber, and the creator of the Bang Muay Thai system suddenly migrated from the suburbs of Denver, Colorado to Sacramento, California.

Since Ludwig’s arrival at Team Alpha Male in December of 2012, his team’s fighters have been posting wins and highlight reel finishes at an unlikely pace. It’s even more unlikely, literally, when you consider the low share of TKO finishes that normally occur in the smaller weight classes where most Alpha Male fighters compete. The MMA media have been quick to point to the undeniable results of Team Alpha Male’s performance in the UFC as evidence that Ludwig was the missing ingredient to a team with championship potential. To be fair, the team already included former champions and contenders under Zuffa banners, but none that currently held a UFC belt. Now heading into this weekend’s UFC on FOX 9 card, Team Alpha Male has a chance to rack up not just four more wins, but capture its first UFC title of the Bang Era, and hold leading contender status in several divisions.

With all this hype around a team that is making a lot of noise, it’s a legitimate question to ask: Are they really better, or is this just a nice run of luck? The sudden emergence of Duane Ludwig as the MMA Coach of the Year is an extraordinary claim, and if Carl Sagan were still around (and an MMA fan), he would suggest that we demand extraordinary evidence before reaching such a bold conclusion. So I’m going to run the numbers in excruciating detail just to make sure.

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UFC on FOX 9 is Officially Cursed: Injured Matt Brown Out of Fight With Carlos Condit


(If only the discs in Brown’s back could’ve been “immortal” too. / Photo via Getty)

We don’t want to freak you out, but curses are real. Our last five posts about UFC on FOX 9 have all been injury related. Our sixth post about the event is worst of all: Matt Brown is out of his fight with Carlos Condit due to a back injury.

The best fight left on the card after a series of injuries ravaged it is gone now. If you’re not keeping score, here’s a rundown of how injury-plagued this fight card has been:

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UFC on FOX 9 Loses Another One: John Dodson Out of Jorgensen Fight With Knee Injury [UPDATED]


(“It’s the craziest thing, man. We were in the gym playing daddy-horse like normal, and suddenly I just slipped off Andrei’s back and fell directly onto the Duplo castle I built that morning. Coach is always telling me to pick up after myself. Well, now I know.” / Photo via TitoCouture)

It’s not a real injury curse until replacement fighters start pulling out with their own injuries. And so it goes with former flyweight title contender John Dodson, who joined the UFC on FOX 9 card (December 14th, Sacramento) to fill in for Ian McCall against Scott Jorgensen. Unfortunately, Dodson suffered a “serious knee injury” during a training session at Jackson’s MMA yesterday, and will not be able to compete. We have no other details about Dodson’s condition at this time.

Dodson’s injury marks the sixth fighter-withdrawal from UFC on FOX 9, following Anthony Pettis, the aforementioned Uncle Creepy, Kelvin Gastelum, Jamie Varner, and John Moraga. The UFC is currently trying to secure a second replacement opponent for Jorgensen, who looks to make his 125-pound debut at the event.

Luckily, the main card is still looking solid, with fights like Condit vs. Brown, Faber vs. McDonald, Mendes vs. Lentz, and Johnson vs. Benavidez 2 still intact for the time being. Of course, that could change at any moment, so head down to the comments section and submit your predictions for the next injury to befall the lineup; closest guess by fight night wins a CagePotato t-shirt.

Update: MMAWeekly reports that Scott Jorgensen will now face former Bellator bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky, who is 2-0 since dropping to 125 pounds earlier this year. Makovsky most recently competed last month at RFA 11, where he became the promotion’s flyweight champion with a decision win against Matt Manzanares.

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