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MMA Diet Guru Mike Dolce Says Rampage Jackson Was a Candy-Cheatin’ Nightmare, And He Could Get Cormier Down to 205 ‘This Friday’


(If this is a bad time, Mike, we can come back later | Photo via CombatLifestyle)

We just read a Q&A between the Las Vegas Sun and strength, conditioning, and diet specialist Mike Dolce — he prefers the term “performance coach” — and you should too. Dolce has worked with some of the biggest names in MMA in recent years, helping them get healthy and, notably, drop tons of weight before fights.

In the interview, Dolce discusses up-and-coming clients of his, who he thinks will become world champions next, his toughest projects ever, what his plan for Daniel Cormier is, and more. Check out some highlights below and then head over to the Sun to read the rest.

On Chael Sonnen, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and the toughest weight cut Dolce has ever overseen:

Chael was 233 pounds six weeks before the Michael Bisping fight. To go from 233 to 185 in six weeks is insane. The hardest issue — I would have to say Rampage is the hardest I’ve ever had to deal with. Not because he was the biggest or heaviest because he wasn’t. I helped Duane Ludwig lose 42 pounds in 13 days to fight Jim Miller on short notice here in Las Vegas. He went from 198 to 156 in 13 days with my coaching. It took eight weeks to do the same with Quinton.

Now it was so much easier with Duane because Duane is a professional; he’s a good guy with a big heart. He just got down to the business of working with no complaints, no objections, no obstacles. Some of these other guys, Rampage being one of them, everything was a challenge. He’s shown that not just with myself but with every business deal he’s ever been in.

On what made Jackson such a “challenging” client before his 2010 fight against Rashad Evans:

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[EXCLUSIVE] Greg Jackson Discusses New Challenge of Coaching on Bellator ‘Fight Master’


(Greg poses with two of his bitter rivals, who he definitely did *not* split a basket of hot wings with later that evening. / Photo via Getty)

By Elias Cepeda

Bellator’s Spike TV reality fight competition show, Fight Master, debuts tonight (10 PM / 9 PM Central). On the show, fighters compete for $100,000 and a Bellator contract as a part of a team led by one of four coaches. Looking towards tonight’s premiere, we sat down with one of those coaches — Greg Jackson — to discuss the unique challenges the show posed to him as a coach and more.

CagePotato: Why did you decide to take part in Fight Master?

Greg Jackson: I think it’s because I do MMA all the time. It was just something different. There are different rules. Not so much the rules in the cage but in terms of the whole structure of the tournament and this amount of time to prepare fighters.  I look at it as a challenge — can I still do well with all these new parameters and this new structure? You give me a new challenge and I’m the type of guy who likes to figure it out, like a puzzle.

CP: There are four of you main coaches on Fight Master (Jackson, Joe Warren, Randy Couture, Frank Shamrock) but each of you brought assistants along. Who did you bring with you as assistant coaches for the show?

GJ: I brought two coaches — Joey  Villasenor and Damacio Page.  They are two guys with lots of experience. Not only are they excellent coaches but they come from Albuquerque like I do. They come from the same neighborhoods and they can help give it an Albuquerque feel.

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[VIDEO] Josh Burkman Chokes Jon Fitch Out Cold in 41 Seconds

No one saw this coming. Months after being released by the UFC despite being ranked in their own top ten and having one of the roster’s best overall records, Jon Fitch debuted at World Series of Fighting (WSOF) Friday night against Josh Burkman and got choked unconscious in just forty one seconds.

The fight was was a rematch of the pair’s 2006 UFC bout, which Fitch won via rear naked choke. Burkman was released by the UFC in 2008 but since that time has been on a tear.

After a few moments of feeling one another out, Fitch pressed forward with punches but got caught, first by a short right hand and then a left hook by Burkman. Fitch stumbled and then fell to the floor.

Burkman pounced and locked up a guillotine choke on Fitch, rising back to his own feet to crank on the neck. Fitch, his neck still locked to the right side of Burkman’s torso in the choke hold, worked for a take down instead of immediately defending the submission.

Fitch got Burkman to his back but the underdog held on to the guillotine choke from his half guard. A moment later, Fitch went limp, Burkman let go of his prone body and stood over the former number one title contender with his arms raised in the air.

Check out the stunning video above. What do you say, nation? Does beating a top ten fighter like Fitch now thrust Burkman into the global welterweight top ten rankings?

Should Burkman get a call back to the UFC? Where does Fitch go from here?

Interview with Burkman about the huge win after the jump.

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The Entertainer: Quinton Jackson Heads Into an Uncertain Future

By Elias Cepeda

The past week or so has been an exciting one for fans of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. It’s also been a little bit of a worrisome one as well.

Jackson has gushed about his new deal with Bellator and the TNA Impact professional wrestling organization. He says he’ll only be asked to fight when he wants to, that he’s excited to finally get to try out a long-time love of his — pro wrasslin’ — and that the Viacom family that owns Bellator might create opportunities for him on television and in movies, through their Paramount pictures movie house.

Jackson left the UFC earlier this year, not just on a three-fight losing streak, but also embittered by what he felt was poor treatment from the organization. Likening promoter/fighter relationships to that of personal, romantic ones, Jackson told CagePotato last week, “…me and Bellator, we tongue kissing right now, baby.”

The fan in me has a soft spot for Jackson. Like many of you, I’ve watched him fight for over a decade. He’s always done so with courage and in exciting fashion. Back in the day, “Rampage” may have also been the most accessible top fighter in the world. There was a time where he set up a phone line specifically for fans. He made the number public and waited for calls. When they came in, he’d pick up whenever he was available, and chat with whoever wanted to talk to him.

Not a whole lot to dislike about a guy like that, right? So, if Jackson has found a new, better situation for himself, where he feels happy, no one can begrudge him that.

The thing is, we’ve seen this situation play out before with the fighter. Being enamored with an organization before ultimately souring on them, and feeling rejected and disrespected when it was all over. While with Pride, Jackson often seemed quite happy. He defended the Japanese promotion in public and compared it favorably to its competitor at the time, the UFC.

By the time the UFC signed Jackson, however, he acted as if it was a life-saving event. I remember speaking with Jackson near the end of his Pride tenure and again shortly after he’d signed with the UFC.

At that time, Jackson didn’t only express satisfaction with his new UFC contract, he spoke of Dana White as if he were a personal friend who had saved him and done him a favor. Six or so years later, Jackson and White routinely trash each other publicly.

During a media conference call last week, Jackson said that Bellator promoter Bjorn Rebney is a guy who “gets it,” and is the type of boss he’s been waiting for his entire career. Jackson says that things are different this time around.

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Classic Knockout Of The Day: Melvin Guillard’s Boxing Debut Doesn’t Go Well


(Props: TheMrsCountryman. Fight starts at the 2:23 mark, knockout happens at 4:16. And yeah, the audio doesn’t work in this clip, so feel free to hum a tune of your choice.)

Ten months before making his UFC debut at the TUF 2 Finale in November 2005, Melvin Guillard decided to take a pro boxing bout in Las Vegas against a Detroit-based fighter named James Countryman. The fight did not go well for Melvin.

About a minute and a half into the match, Countryman lands a big overhand right that levels Guillard. The Young Assassin springs to his feet and nods his head a couple times to signify that yes, he got smacked with a good one, then goes right back into the fight. Seconds later, Guillard catches a left hook from Countryman flush on the jaw and falls backwards into the ropes, unconscious. Game. Over.

Guillard would go onto a successful career in the UFC, but has never boxed professionally again. Countryman boxed for four more years, compiling a 14-1 record through March 2009. Interestingly enough, Countryman’s final boxing match was a decision win against none other than Karl “KJ” Noons, the current UFC lightweight and former EliteXC champion. Noons fought three more boxing matches that year, winning all three of them, and put together an 11-2 boxing record overall before devoting himself to MMA full time — which maybe wasn’t the greatest choice, in retrospect.

- Elias Cepeda

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UFC Lightweight Reza Madadi Reportedly Arrested For Burglary in Sweden


(Reza Madadi — the John Dillinger of purses.)

The Swedish tabloid Expressen is reporting that UFC lightweight Reza “Mad Dog” Madadi was arrested Friday on a charge of grand theft in his home country. Bloody Elbow summarized and translated the article for details of the alleged heist:

“One of Sweden’s most successful star athletes, in his sport, is suspected for a smash-and-grab burglary on Stureplan in Stockholm. The loot was luxury handbags worth a million kronor (SEK) [approximately $150,000]. The sports star, who denies [the] charges, was arrested after a dramatic car chase.

Madadi was not specifically named in the tabloid article, which referenced prior legal troubles of the Iranian-Swedish fighter — including a 2009 arrest for an alleged cash depot robbery* — but court documents later confirmed that Madadi was indeed arrested last Friday. Madadi is said to have a public defender representing him and is fighting the charges and maintaining that he is innocent. If he is convicted, BE reports that he could face up to six years in prison.

Madadi’s last fight was a submission win over Michael Johnson at UFC on Fuel 9 in Sweden. The lightweight was scheduled to face TUF 15 winner Michael Chiesa next in Seattle this coming July until he encountered visa problems and was removed from the card.

After the jump: lots more details from the handbag heist, via the Expressen article.

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Nate Diaz Manager Mike Kogan Won’t Stop, Can’t Stop, Making His Client Look Bad


(Mike Kogan’s profile pic courtesy of FindABearTonight.xxx)

At this point, we all know that Nate Diaz has been suspended and fined for calling Bryan Caraway a “Fag” through his twitter account. Other than deleting and re-wording his original tweet, Diaz has been silent on the matter since originally criticizing Caraway for accepting the Submission of the Night bonus cash that was originally designated for Pat Healy until “Bam Bam” tested positive for marijuana metabolites after choking out Jim Miller at UFC 159.

Diaz’s new manager Mike Kogan, however, just can’t seem to shut up about it all — and he’s making his client look even worse in the process.

Immediately following Diaz’s tweet, Kogan issued a ridiculous justification to MMA Junkie that showcased a stunning lack of self-awareness.

Guess what? The word faggot, at least in Northern California, and where Nate is from, means bitch,” Kogan said. “It means you’re a little punk. It has nothing to do with homosexuals at all. So when Nate made the comment that he made, he didn’t make it in reference to homosexuals or calling Caraway a homosexual. He just said it was a bitch move.”

Separating the word “faggot” from its many historical applications for insulting gay people, as Kogan tried to do, is a stretch. But let’s say that it was possible to separate them. We’d still be left with Diaz publicly calling someone a “bitch” — another word commonly used to insinuate homosexuality, and far more often used to insult women — and Kogan defending the usage of that word just as strongly.

Even if we recognize the obvious fact that Diaz’s tweet was insensitive, few people would crucify him simply for using those slurs in a moment of frustration. All we’re asking for is a little reflection, and some recognition of the fact that, though you may not be a bad dude deep down, that was an insensitive thing to say and a sincere apology is warranted. Or, again, to at least shut up about it all.

Kogan seems far too dense to do that. The manager was recently on MMA Fighting’s MMA Hour and went out of his way to insist that both he and Diaz are offering no apologies.

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[VIDEO] Cheick Kongo, Fashion King of Los Angeles

Cheick Kongo owns and operates a high-end clothing boutique in Los Angeles called FragoLA. I’ve got nothing clever to say about that right now because that true statement is pretty weird and awesome sounding on it’s own, isn’t it?

Kongo has always gone for a minimalist type of style (think, his vale tudo shorts, necklace and wire-rimmed glasses weigh-in uniform) so I suppose it makes sense that the former UFC heavyweight has chosen to invest in a store selling the latest seasonal offerings from expensive designers. Ok, it doesn’t really make sense but it is a hell of juxtaposition – A bear-voiced 240 pound professional fighter asking little Angelino women if they are finding everything alright – so, check out the video above, if only for the novelty of it all.

Karyn Bryant models some of FragoLA’s finest while interviewing Kongo in the store. I won’t say the interview is bad, I just couldn’t understand much of what was going on. Neither could Bryant.

Kongo shadily refuses to reveal how he keeps prices so low on his men’s and women’s designer duds and, for some reason, talks a lot about how he is black. I’d personally never before noticed that he was.

Kongo’s accent and weird “humor” make for an awkward sit-down. Any tater that gets through all sixteen minutes gets a special place in my heart and a shout-out in my next event live-blog.

So, in conclusion, Cheick Kongo owns and operates a high-end clothing boutique in Los Angeles called FragoLA. Wow.

- Elias Cepeda

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UFC ‘From All Angles’ Preview: Anderson Silva Is the Black Dana White [?], And Chael Sonnen No-Showed That Barbecue [VIDEO]

Tonight, at 9:30pm EST on Fuel TV, a taped sit-down interview with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will premiere. As often as we get to see the champ knock heads around inside the cage, we don’t often get longer, in-depth interviews with him, and certainly not in English.

Karyn Bryant‘s interview with Silva tonight looks to be in English and promises to be in-depth — hopefully much more so than the fun stuff shown in the teaser video above. We’re certainly not complaining any time we get to hear Anderson’s high-pitched jokes in English, however.

Silva says, without much explanation, that he’s the “black Dana White,” for one. Silva manages to get his back-handed barbs in, per usual, and it’s a good time.

“Sometimes Dana [is] cranky. ‘Come on man, smile!’” Silva says.

“I have my problems for Dana but I love him.”

Awww.

Anderson has love for his favorite punching bag, Chael Sonnen as well — although he and his family have given up hope that Sonnen will show up to Silva’s house for that barbecue the Spider invited him to.

“No go,” said a disappointed Silva when asked if Chael ever came by to grub up with his clan. “No go. I wait for Chael for long, long time. My wife talk to me, ‘hey, Chael no come?’ [I told her] ‘No baby. Baby, no.’”

See more of Anderson Silva’s sensitive side revealed tonight on Fuel TV.

- Elias Cepeda

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UFC Launches Paid Subscription YouTube Channel — But Is It Worth Your $5.99/Month?

Youtube, universally known as the source for free videos of everything kitten, fighting or sexy (and the rare, sexy kitten fight) finally detailed their plan to allow certain content providers to offer paid subscriptions. A few dozen of YouTube’s one million revenue-generating accounts have been announced as now having premium content channels that will cost anywhere from .99 cents to $7.99 per month — including the UFC’s massively popular channel.

UFC Select will offer subscribers event replays, episodes of The Ultimate Fighter and classic fights for $5.99 a month. For years, all YouTube content has been free but the word is that this new paid subscription pilot program was created to satisfy complaints major content creators like the UFC who wanted to make more money than they are making from ads on their free YouTube videos.

It is unknown what the revenue split from subscriptions will be between YouTube and companies like the UFC. However, the New York Times reports that the video hosting website took 45% of revenue from ads on free videos. Malik Ducard, the director of content partnerships told media during a teleconference this week that the paid subscription revenue split would be similar.

Maybe that’s a good deal for the UFC, maybe not. A move like this certainly helps us understand the UFC’s aggressive legal strategy of shutting down sites and people who stream events live and even use taped footage in highlight videos. They want to continue to monetize the content that they have invested heavily in to create.

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