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Tag: UFC on Fox Sports 1 1

UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen Aftermath – New Beginnings


(Photo courtesy of Josh Hedges via Getty Images.)

By George Shunick

On paper, UFC Fight Night 26 – or UFC on Fox Sports 1 1, or UFC Fight Night: Sonnen vs. Shogun, or whatever else people were calling this card – looked to be one of the strongest of the year. Usually those cards tend to be solid, but still fall a little short of the hype. This wasn’t one of those cards. All but one or two fights delivered in some form, often with jarring, violent finishes. It was all the UFC could have hoped for to cap off its run on Fox Sports’ new network.

Let’s start at the top; Chael Sonnen managed to control Mauricio “Shogun” Rua for the majority of the first round before shocking everyone by finishing Shogun with a guillotine choke. For Sonnen, this was a big win; it legitimizes his jump to 205, and he managed to submit an opponent with very high level submission grappling ability. It also netted him an extra $50,000 for one of the UFC’s Submission of the Night bonuses. Now everyone from Lyoto Machida to Vitor Belfort is chomping at the bit to get a shot at him. He’ll probably move on to fight either one of them, or Wanderlei Silva in a gimme matchup. As for Shogun, he was eulogized elsewhere before the fight. The hard truth is he hasn’t been the fighter he was since his third knee surgery after the second Machida fight, and getting hammered by Jon Jones and Dan Henderson probably didn’t help matters. Getting finished by Sonnen in the first round is evidence of that. It’s not quite time to hang up the gloves, but that day is drawing ever nearer for the 31 year-old.

On a slightly more enjoyable note was the shocking ending to the Travis Browne-Alistair Overeem co-main event. Overeem held the edge in power and technique, and it showed from the beginning. Overeem hammered Browne with shots from all angles, but particularly knees to the midsection. Browne was dropped a number of times but was never out of it, always maintaining an intelligent, if not necessarily effective, defense. But Overeem, as he is wont to do, began to tire. As he plodded forward, Browne unleashed a front kick that, while lacking the snap found in Anderson Silva’s or Lyoto Machida’s, was still sufficient to drop Ubereem. Browne followed with hammerfists and Mario Yamasaki stepped in. It was slightly premature, though Overeem had no complaints.

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Chael Sonnen Still Not Licensed for UFC on FOX Sports 1 Main Event, Due to Alleged ‘Moral Turpitude’


(You left out “accidental racist.” Screen-cap via ESPN/this.)

A week from this Saturday, Chael Sonnen is scheduled to face Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in the main event of UFC Fight Night 26 in Boston. That’s the plan, anyway. The problem is, Sonnen still isn’t licensed to fight — and the reason for the delay goes beyond his controversial usage of testosterone replacement therapy.

As first reported by MMAJunkie, the Massachusetts State Boxing Commission will hold a closed-door meeting today to determine whether Sonnen should be licensed for the August 17th FOX Sports 1 event. The special session was organized after a complaint was filed by Unite Here, the union lobbying group with interests in food service and gaming. (Yes, those guys again.) As if trying to keep minors out of UFC events wasn’t chickenshit enough, Unite Here is now trying to block a UFC headliner’s performance based on “moral turpitude.” Here’s an excerpt from their complaint:

Chael Patrick Sonnen is scheduled to compete in a professional mixed martial art event put on by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (“UFC”) at the TD Garden on August 17, 2013. We anticipate that Sonnen will apply for a professional unarmed combat license in accordance with 523 CMR § 6.01. We urge that the license be denied because Mr. Sonnen has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.

The Commission has the authority to deny an application for a license “if it finds that the applicant has performed any act which would, if performed by a licensee, subject the licensee to discipline pursuant to 523 CMR 20.00 and 21.00.” 523 CMR § 6.13(1). “A license issued by the Commission may be suspended if the holder is arrested or convicted on a charge involving moral turpitude.” 523 CMR § 20.15.

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Oh Great, Boston City Councilor Stephen Murphy Wants to Ban Minors from Attending MMA Fights


(At first, I chose this image because I couldn’t think of anything appropriate to use for this piece. Now, I’m not sure there’s anything more appropriate. Via The Boston Jam.)

From visa issues to Chael Sonnen’s struggles to obtain a therapeutic use exemption for TRT, it feels like almost anything that could inconvenience the UFC’s return to Boston for UFC on Fox Sports 1:1 has. So I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising to see that just weeks before the event, an anti-MMA activist is doing his part to bring as much negative publicity to the sport as possible. What is surprising, though, is that this isn’t necessarily just another instance of “crazy person says something stupid about MMA.”

Boston City Councilor Stephen Murphy – backed by “Parents Say No to UFC” – has filed a resolution that aims to ban minors from attending MMA fights. Before we go any further, two things are important to point out. Number one, obviously Parents Say No to UFC is run by the Culinary Union. Number two, this bill has no chance of becoming a law before the August 17th fight card, so don’t sell that ticket you bought for your son (or daughter!) yet.

So why is Murphy so opposed to allowing minors to watch MMA? His reasoning is pretty much the same mixture of cognitive dissonance and “Think of the goddamn children!” that you’d expect from a person who is likely being paid to be offended by a combat sport. Via BostonMagazine.com:

According to Murphy, fighters from the UFC, which is the professional level of the mixed-martial arts sport, have joked about rape, used foul and abusive language that’s demeaning to women, and used homophobic slurs, all of which, he said, set a bad example for Boston’s youth. He said the sport uses alcohol sponsors to fund the fights, which adds to the negative image that can be imposed on children.

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UFC on FOX Sports 1:1 Loses Thiago Alves and Akira Corassani to Injury; Mike Pyle and Steven Siler in as Replacements


(On the bright side, my Thiago Alves Fathead is still in pristine condition.)

The run of awful luck for UFC welterweight Thiago Alves shows no sign of ending. After snatching defeat from the jaws of victory against Martin Kampmann in March 2013, Alves was forced out of his UFC 149 return fight due to an injury. The Brazilian striker was scheduled to come back from his long layoff at UFC on FOX Sports 1: Shogun vs. Sonnen (August 17th, Boston) against gritty* 170-pounder Matt Brown, but has now pulled out of that fight because of a tear in his left biceps tendon. FOXSports1′s twitter account broke the news yesterday, adding that Brown will instead face Mike Pyle.

From an competitive standpoint, I’d call that a fair trade. Matt Brown is on a five-fight win streak with all but one of those wins coming by KO/TKO, and Pyle has been victorious in his last four (with three of those wins via KO/TKO), and is coming off a split-decision win against Rick Story at UFC 160. Both fighters have griped about not getting enough respect from fans and media despite their recent success, so this is a perfect opportunity to see who really deserves it.

Also off the “Shogun vs. Sonnen” card is featherweight Akira Corassani, who we thought was already doing hard time for purse-snatching or something. [Ed. note: Different guy.] Corassani was supposed to face former WEC champ Mike Brown** on the card, but is now out with an undisclosed training injury, and will be replaced by TUF 14 vet Steven Siler.*** Unfortunately, Corassani has developed a bad reputation for pulling out of fights, after not being able to fulfill previous bookings at the TUF 14 Finale, UFC on FUEL TV 2, and UFC 156.

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Nick Ring Pulls Out of August Fight With Uriah Hall, Probably After Watching That Spin-Kick Video


(“mumblegumblemurglegurgle…anyway, you do that for like 10 minutes and usually the guy cums.” / Screen-cap via FuelTV)

About a month ago, we reported that TUF 17 finalist Uriah Hall would face Canadian middleweight Nick Ring at UFC on FOX Sports 1 1: Shogun vs. Sonnen (August 17th, Boston). On Friday, we posted a video of Hall using one of his infamous spinning back-kicks to drop a training partner who had the audacity to kick him in the head. Today, we learned that Ring has withdrawn from his fight against Hall under mysterious circumstances. Coincidence?? Yeah, it’s probably a coincidence.

Though details are sketchy at this time, MMAJunkie reports that Ring has been forced out of his scheduled match against Hall, and will be replaced by Josh Samman — a fellow TUF 17 vet who was eliminated by Kelvin Gastelum in the show’s semi-finals, but returned at the TUF 17 Finale to score a second-round TKO against Kevin Casey. So it’s like Hall and Samman never left the show, and are now competing for the TUF 17 bronze medal, while Dylan Andrews sits in the corner shouting “what about meeeeeeeee?!?

The current lineup of ‘UFC on FOX Sports 1 1′ is after the jump…

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Gamblers Beware: Chael Sonnen Opens As Slight Favorite Over Shogun Rua


(Meanwhile, Shogun could be found outside the event’s velvet ropes, insisting to the bouncer that his girlfriend was already inside. / Photo via Getty)

Just a heads up, Potato Nation: The betting lines were released for the UFC on FOX Sports 1:1 headlining matchup between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Chael Sonnen yesterday. Surprisingly enough, “The American Gangster” has opened as a slight favorite (-139) over the former champion (+100) despite being on the heels of back-to-back losses and winless in the light heavyweight division since approximately ever.

Although Shogun is also coming off a tough loss to Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Diaz and has in fact gone loss-win in his past seven UFC contests, many fans predicted that he would emerge a favorite over Sonnen based on his track record alone. It should also be noted that Shogun has never lost back-to-back contests in his MMA career. On the other hand, Rua’s inconsistency on fight night is always a potential issue and it would appear that the oddsmakers are not predicting a vintage Shogun performance come August 17th.

On a positive note, DW & Co. were able to clear up the legal snafu that was threatening to implode UFC on FS 1:1, so there’s that, we guess.

While fate would predict a Shogun win, the bookies would say otherwise. Which will you put your faith in, Nation?

-J. Jones

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(Not) Coming to America: Massachusetts State Law Threatening to Derail ‘UFC on FOX Sports 1:1′ [UPDATED]

Not to give any of you Massachusetts-based Taters a full-blown, Buster Bluth panic attack, but UFC on FOX Sports 1: Shogun vs. Sonnen is currently facing some legal issues that could throw a wrench into the plans of several foreign fighters hoping to compete on the Boston card in August, including headliner Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

The Boston Herald first passed along word of a potential issue, which relates to temporary Social Security numbers that must be attained by foreign-born fighters before they are allowed to compete in Massachusetts:

“This law has been in existence since we legalized mixed martial arts in the commonwealth of Mass­achusetts,” said Terrell Harris, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety, which regulates prize fighting.

“It’s been brought to the attention of the UFC more than a few times since we legalized the fighting here. But they’ve chosen basically to ignore the law and hope that they could skirt it somehow,” Harris said. 

When they bring in fighters that are not American citizens, there are exceptions that allow them to obtain a Social Security number,” Harris said.

“The Social Security Administration will issue a temporary work visa but it’s up to them to do their due diligence…the law is the law. The law doesn’t allow us to make exceptions.”

“Indeed it does not.” – Chad Johnson. “Occasionally it does.” – Lindsay Lohan

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In Which We Discuss Urijah Faber vs. Yuri Alcantara, The Head-Scratchingest Matchup of 2013


(CagePotato was sent, anonymously, this picture with this not-so-subtle note attached, “Dear CagePotato, This is Yuri Alcantara.” Photo via MMAWeekly.)  

You might not know this, Potato Nation, but last week it was announced that the already stacked UFC on Fox Sports 1 card picked up another big name in the form of Urijah Faber, the former WEC kingpin and much-beloved UFC bantamweight title challenger. All the major MMA media outlets reported his booking on the August 17th-scheduled card, yet next to no one seemed to be discussing it. You might be asking yourself, “How could one of the WEC’s biggest stars (if not the biggest) — a former title challenger, TUF coach, and ambitious entrepreneur who has his own honorary day in Sacramento — be so unjustly overlooked on such a monumental card?”

The answer is simple: Nobody, including Faber himself, has the slightest idea who his opponent is, or why the fight was booked in the first place.

We are speaking of Yuri Alcantara, the one-fight WEC and five-fight UFC veteran who, even in light of this fight booking, is all but completely unknown by many of the sports casual fans. Hell, even the diehards would probably have to consult Sherdog before pretending to know who Alcantara is. We’re talking about a guy whose most notorious UFC moment came when his opponent faked an injury at UFC on FX 7 and screwed him out of a victory for crying out loud. So he scores a quick KO over a UFC noob last month and suddenly he’s ready for a fighter of Faber’s caliber? Bitch, meet please.

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UFC Booking Roundup: These UFC on Fox Sports 1 Cards Are Downright Stacked


(Stacked enough to mandate a *formal* paisley vest.)

If you somehow still aren’t excited about the UFC on Fox Sports 1 cards, then perhaps this new batch of fight booking announcements will be enough to change your mind. Let’s start off with what is reportedly the co-main event of UFC on Fox Sports 1: Condit vs. Kampmann (aka UFC on Fox Sports 1:2). It appears that top lightweights Donald Cerrone and Rafael dos Anjos have been booked for that honor.

After a rough start to his UFC career, dos Anjos will be riding a four fight win streak into this bout. His last fight was just over two weeks ago, where he edged out Evan Dunham in a very close fight at UFC on FX 8. Likewise, Cerrone last competed almost two weeks ago at UFC 160, where he absolutely dominated KJ Noons on his way to a unanimous decision victory.

This looks like a great fight that will have a direct impact on the UFC lightweight division. If you disagree, well, just realize that not every fight can be Fitch vs. Askren. Sometimes, people like to watch fights because they’ll be fun and entertaining.

Speaking of UFC on Fox Sports 1 booking updates…

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Booking Update: Shogun vs. Sonnen to Headline ‘UFC on FOX Sports 1:1′, T.J. Grant vs. Ben Henderson Gets Top Billing at UFC 164


(God damn right.)

It’s official, Nation: Chael Sonnen vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua WILL headline UFC on FOX Sports 1:1, a.k.a “the best television card the UFC has ever done.” While at first glance, a fight between two guys coming off losses doesn’t seem like a great main event for a card this stacked (and makes you wonder if the UFC had a planned main event to begin with), it’s surely a matchup that fans can get excited about nonetheless. And if they aren’t, Sonnen will fondle every available Sportscenter anchor within a 500 mile radius to ensure that you are at least aware that the fight is going down.

The matchup was all but a done deal for next weekend’s UFC 161 card until visa issues forced Sonnen to bow out of the fight he had — like a true American Gangster – offered to take on short notice just days ago. Rua was thusly pulled from the card altogether, but hinted that a potential showdown with Sonnen could take place over the summer.

Sonnen vs. Shogun will now headline the August 17th-scheduled card that already includes such marquee matchups as Alistair Overeem vs. Travis Browne, Thiago Alves vs. Matt Brown, and Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Johnson. Oh yeah, and Uriah Hall and Conor McGregor will be on the card as well. If you’ll excuse me, I need to go take a printout of this lineup behind the bushes for a few minutes.

In other fight booking news…

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