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

Tag: UFC on FUEL 8

[VIDEO] Mark Hunt Brings the Pain/Emotions in New ‘UFC on FUEL 8′ Promo

We don’t know about you, but there are so many UFC events being strewn across so many different channels these days that we are starting to forget some of them even exist until about a week out. It’s not something we’re complaining about, but by a show of hands, how many of you realized that UFC on FUEL 8 is going down this weekend in Japan? Well, it is, and it features a headlining fight between Brian Stann and Wanderlei Silva that all of the world’s leading scientists have predicted will end inside of three rounds.

Scheduled just one fight before Stann vs. Silva, however, is a heavyweight contest that shines a spotlight on two of the division’s most unexpected rising stars: Mark Hunt and Stefan Struve. After suffering brutal knockout defeats at the hands of Junior Dos Santos, Roy Nelson, and Travis Browne, many MMA pundits were content to write off Struve as an upper-level gatekeeper who simply wasn’t title-contender material and probably never would be. However, following his most recent TKO victory over the then-undefeated prospect in Stipe Miocic at UFC on FUEL 5, Struve established himself as a legitimate threat in the heavyweight division, one who would make his case for a future title shot with a win this weekend.

But perhaps no fighter in the UFC possesses a greater comeback story than Hunt, who saw his career resurrected in the UFC following a six fight losing streak between 2006-2010. In the time since, Hunt has collected three straight wins in the octagon and even survived a fight with Cheick Kongo with both testicles intact. Despite his introverted nature, “The Super Samoan” has become an inspirational figure if there ever was one, and that inspiration takes center stage in the latest UFC on FUEL 8 promo.

We’ve placed the video above, so check it out and let us know if Hunt’s inspirational story will somehow help him overcome the 12.5 inch reach disadvantage he will be facing against the 6’11″ Struve this weekend. My guess is it won’t, but where inspiration oft fails, an atomic butt drop usually succeeds.

-J. Jones

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Hector Lombard vs. Yushin Okami Added to UFC on FUEL 8 in Japan

The UFC confirmed last night that a middleweight matchup between knockout king Hector Lombard and perennial contender Yushin Okami has been added to the PRIDE fanboy circle-jerk that is UFC on FUEL 8: Silva vs. Stann, March 3rd in Saitama, Japan. Both fighters scored victories last month, with Lombard destroying fellow fireplug Rousimar Palhares in the first round of their match at UFC on FX: Sotiropoulos vs. Pearson, and Okami (somewhat less impressively) earning a decision against Alan Belcher at UFC 155.

In keeping with the theme of UFC on FUEL 8′s main card — which will feature such legends as Wanderlei Silva, Takanori Gomi, and Mark Hunt — Lombard and Okami also competed for PRIDE early in their careers. Lombard lost decisions to Akihiro Gono and Gegard Mousasi under the PRIDE Bushido banner in 2006, while Okami submitted Steve White via strikes (at PRIDE The Best Vol.3 in 2002) and outpointed Ryuta Sakurai (at PRIDE Bushido 2 in 2004). Video proof is after the jump.

Though Michael Bisping might argue that he and Vitor Belfort are the only two middleweights worth a damn at the moment, another savage knockout performance from Lombard could place him in the proverbial “mix.” Your predictions for this one, please.

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Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann Confirmed for ‘UFC on FUEL 8′ Headliner, Diego Sanchez Returns to Lightweight vs. Takanori Gomi


(“Yeah, I have a question for the group: Is anybody *not* getting too old for this shit?” / Photo via Sherdog)

A pair of former PRIDE champions will be anchoring the UFC’s return to Japan. As confirmed by the promotion yesterday, UFC on FUEL 8 is slated for Sunday, March 3rd, at the Saitama Super Arena, with Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann booked for the main event. [Update: The fight will take place at light-heavyweight.] Both men are coming off of decision losses, with Silva dropping his rematch to Rich Franklin at UFC 147 in June, and Stann losing to Michael Bisping in September.

Though Silva probably has little recollection of the last time he competed in Saitama, the Axe Murderer became an MMA superstar in Japan, where he went undefeated through his first 20 fights in PRIDE and held the middleweight title for over five years. But his current stint in the UFC — where he’s won just three of eight fights since 2007 — has suggested that Silva is nearing the end of the road, and his next bad loss could be his last. Can he come up with another heroic effort against the All American?

Speaking of PRIDE legends, longtime lightweight champ Takanori Gomi will be welcoming Diego Sanchez back to the lightweight division at UFC on FUEL 8. Gomi has won his last two UFC fights against Eiji Mitsuoka and Mac Danzig, while Sanchez is coming off a decision defeat against Jake Ellenberger in February. Sanchez hasn’t competed at 155 pounds since being utterly shredded by BJ Penn during their lightweight title fight three years ago.

Pretty damn good for a free card, right? Keep in mind that the event will also feature the heavyweight battle between Mark Hunt and Stefan Struve, plus the following newly-announced supporting bouts…

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UFC Booking Orgy: Bader vs. Janitor, Struve vs. Hunt (Take 2), Faber vs. Menjivar + More


(Even in the off-season, the dude stays in killer shape. Props: @ryanbader)

We’ve got four new UFC fight announcements for you this morning. If you begin to feel overwhelmed, just remember your safe word, and pray that I have mercy on you, you worthless little dung beetle.

- As first reported by ESPN, light-heavyweights Ryan Bader and Vladimir Matyushenko will meet at UFC on FOX 6: Johnson vs. Dodson, January 26th in Chicago. Both guys are returning from being smashed in their last fights: Bader suffered a knockout loss to Lyoto Machida in August, while the Janitor has been sidelined due to injury since being TKO’d by Alexander Gustafsson last December.

- MMAWeekly reports that streaking heavyweights Stefan Struve and Mark Hunt will meet at the UFC’s next Japan event — UFC on Fuel 8, March 2nd at the Saitama Super Arena. The beanpole Dutchman and stocky Kiwi were originally scheduled to meet at UFC 146 back in May, but Hunt was forced to pull out of the fight on short notice with a knee injury.

A proven fight-finisher, Struve has stopped his last four opponents in the Octagon (Pat Barry, Dave Herman, Lavar Johnson, and Stipe Miocic), while Hunt has earned victories over his last three (Chris Tuchscherer, Ben Rothwell, and Cheick Kongo). Though Hunt will enjoy a sort of home-field advantage — he’s had nine previous MMA fights at the Saitama Super Arena, while Struve will be making his Japanese debut — he will also be giving up 13 inches (!) in height.

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