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Tag: UFC

Several Days Removed from Heart Attack, Shane Del Rosario Still in Critical Condition but the Outlook is Grim


(Photo via Getty)

UFC heavyweight and Strikeforce vet Shane Del Rosario suffered two heart attacks on Tuesday, November 26th. Though Del Rosario has not passed away as some reported, the outlook is still grim—the 30 year old has no brain activity.

In case you don’t remember Del Rosario, he made his name in Strikeforce with a submission win over Lavar Johnson. He came up short against Stipe Miocic in his first UFC fight. He last appeared in the Octagon back in December 2012 in a losing effort against Pat Barry. He was expected to fight at UFC 168 but had to withdraw due to injury (a rib injury seemingly unrelated to his current predicament).

It’s tragic and highly atypical for such a young, athletic individual to suffer a heart attack. Del Rosario’s manager stated that the fighter’s doctors believed it was called by a condition called Long QT Syndrome—an exceedingly rare heart condition that can lead to death-inducing arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).

Unfortunately, it’s highly probable that Del Rosario will be taken off life support soon. At the time of writing, there have been no updates on this front. We will provide any news as it becomes available. The CagePotato staff is hopeful that it will be the good kind of news.

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Heart & Soul of MMA: Said Hatim, And The Virtue of Staying Ready


Said Hatim (center) cuts weight on a treadmill in Minsk, Belarus this week with student Andrei Arlovski (right) and coach Dino Costeas (left) | Photos via HatimStyle

By Elias Cepeda

MMA has come quite far in the past decade but very few fighters are featured on national television, sponsored by big companies and able to focus 100% of their energy on the sport. Many more put in the blood, sweat and tears without the bright lights or big bucks, filled with and fueled by love and an inexplicable drive to simply be a better fighter.

They hold down full-time jobs, have families and are known only to those truly in the know. They are the heart and soul of MMA.

Said Hatim is one such fighter.

The idea was initially proposed half-heartedly. Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski had recently booked his next fight — a main event contest on the Battle in Minsk card in his home of Belarus on Nov. 29 — and jokingly asked his Muay Thai coach Said Hatim if he also wanted to fight on the card.

Said was a pro kickboxer and boxer for years and has coached and trained with high level fighters like boxer Mike Mollo, UFC veteran Clay Guida, top Bellator featherweight Mike Corey and TUF veteran Mark Miller but his lone, albeit successful, MMA fight had taken place five years ago. Since that time, Hatim has focused on coaching and submission grappling tournaments.

Sure, he’d make the trip to Europe with Arlovski to be in his corner as he usually does, but Hatim was now 38 years old and half a decade removed from his last fight. “The Pitbull” was suggesting that Hatim add to his coaching responsibilities on fight night with his own contest against a much younger competitor. Said didn’t hesitate.

“Andrei told me that he was fighting in a main event November 29 and asked me, ‘Oh, do you want to fight too?,’” Hatim recounts to CagePotato.

“We were joking like that. I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll fight.’”

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You Can Calm Down, The UFC Is Not Holding 54 Events Next Year


(Subtle.)

By Matt Saccaro

Earlier today, Ariel Helwani tweeted that there was going to be 54 UFC events in 2014, or at least that was the plan.

But there won’t be as many as 54 events, and it’s possible that many of the extra events won’t even be on television. Lorenzo Fertitta elucidated the UFC’s plans for 2014 in an interview with Ariel Helwani. Predictably, the UFC is focusing on international growth in 2014.

“We are looking at expanding our Fight Night product,” said Fertitta. “We have the bottom tier, we have the Ultimate Fighter which we’re taking around the world now. We have obviously the series on FOX Sports 1. We just got done filming The Ultimate Fighter: China which will air in January in China. We’ve got The Ultimate Fighter: Canada and Australia in production right now. We’re in pre-production for series in other various countries around the world. That’s our base,” he said. But TUF is only one piece of the global MMA puzzle. The more important piece, at least according to Fertitta, are the mid-level Fight Night cards.

“In the middle of the pyramid we have our UFC Fight Night brand,” he said. “We’re gonna take that Fight Night product and expand it into Europe and into Asia next year…We’re gonna add fights in those regions so when you add them on to the 33 we’d do this year, it gets into that 40-ish type number.”

Regarding the highly controversial number of 54, Fertitta claimed that he misspoke. He also teased about where the events would be televised (if anywhere).

“Is that what I said? 54? It won’t be quite that. I think I misspoke. It’ll be in the 40′s. Right now, we’ll have some news coming up on where they’re gonna air. I think we’re gonna have some ground-breaking ideas as far as where that’s gonna be available.”

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Nick Diaz Is Still Retired And Will Be For the Foreseeable Future


(Nick Diaz yawning while fighting GSP. / Photo via Getty)

Nick Diaz takes his CagePotato bans seriously. After retiring following his loss to Georges St.Pierre at UFC 158 back in March, he stayed retired.

And he’s going to stay that way.

“I offered Nick Diaz a fight last week and his manager called me back saying he’s retired,” said Dana White.

One must wonder who Dana White offered up. There was once talk of Diaz vs. Machida, as well as Diaz vs. Bisping. Yet neither of those fights came to pass.

It’s unfortunate that Diaz, one of MMA’s most divisive (yet popular) and exciting fighters has decided to stay out of the sport while fighters like Matt Hamill have decided to grace us with their painfully mediocre presence once more.

Instead of returning to the Octagon, Diaz decided to found the clusterfuck-laden WAR MMA promotion which was about as successful as YAMMA Pit Fighting.

But even if he stays retired, Diaz will have a lasting legacy in MMA despite never capturing a UFC title.

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[EXCLUSIVE] Michael Chandler Doesn’t Mind Being Overlooked as Long as He’s Champion


(Photo via Bellator)

By Elias Cepeda

Throughout the UFC and Bellator’s highly-publicized bidding war over lightweight Eddie Alvarez, I couldn’t help but wonder what Michael Chandler felt about all this. There was Alvarez, hard sought-after and recognized as one of the best fighters not already in the UFC, and there was Chandler — the man who’d beaten him soundly in an incredible fight and took the Bellator title.

Chandler was the champion. Chandler had beaten Alvarez, yet his opponent was the one who had corporate giants fighting for him. I got a chance to speak with the Bellator lightweight champion as he heads into his rematch with Alvarez this Saturday at Bellator 106.

The 24-year-old fighter was philosophical as he looked back at being the overlooked champion. “Unfortunately it’s not a perfect world and fighters can’t just train and fight,” Chandler says of Alvarez’s legal battles.

“There’s all kinds of things that go around it. All that bickering…I try not to worry about all the outside stuff. People are going to say things and talk. You can read into things and they can affect you mentally. That’s no good for you at all. It’s never good to get caught up in all that. The reality and beauty of the situation is that we are professional athletes with a platform that people are going to hear and see. It’s good to be on a platform like that. It is something to keep me grounded and excited for November 2. I want to prove myself.”

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The UFC’s HIV Awareness Campaign Is Seriously Called ‘Protect Yourself at All Times’


(I suppose that would make Forrest’s loss to Anderson Silva a regrettable night of unprotected blackout sex in a truck-stop bathroom. / Image via OutSports)

The UFC has announced plans for a campaign to increase awareness of HIV and AIDS, particularly among high-risk groups. Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole spoke with UFC chief operating officer Lawrence Epstein about the campaign recently.

“The Center for Disease Control & Prevention said the awareness about HIV and AIDS among those under 35 is surprisingly poor. Given that the UFC’s strength is with the 18-to-34-year-old demographic, chief operating officer Ike Lawrence Epstein felt it was natural for the company to team with the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada to promote the Protect Yourself at all Times, campaign,” Iole reported.

Yes, that’s really the name of the campaign. We’ll get back to that in a moment.

According to the story, half of all new HIV cases in the last two years have been reported in people under the age of 30. The 18-34 demographic is certainly the UFC’s sweet spot so it makes a lot of sense for them to help out with awareness-building efforts.

The promotion partnering with organizations in the LBGTQ is also a great move. We always hear about the post-fight screenings that UFC fighters must take for PEDs and drugs of abuse, but they all also have to be tested for HIV, which gives spokespeople for the new campaign, including Forrest Griffin, a personal angle to talk about the issue:

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Times Are Getting Hard, Boys: Jon Fitch Moves Cross-Country to Take Health Club Job


(As if Fitch didn’t have *enough* douchebags trying to get photos with him in public. / Props: Getty)

The past year hasn’t been easy for former perennial welterweight title contender Jon Fitch. After a loss to Demian Maia, Fitch was still ranked by the UFC as one of the division’s very best, but that didn’t stop the promotion from firing him.

After being priced out of his job with the UFC, the top-ten ranked Fitch next fought and lost to Josh Burkman in his World Series of Fighting debut. Now, Fitch finds himself apparently unable to make ends meet through fighting alone and he has packed up his family and moved them from San Jose, California, to Syracuse, New York, to take a job at a mega-gym called Pacific Health Club.

“There are financial things to take into consideration — it’s a salaried job with guaranteed income and health benefits for my family,” Fitch told MMAFighting in a recent interview.

“Those are huge, really. Honestly, California is falling apart. The whole country’s kind of falling apart. But the cost of living here in California is ridiculous, and the taxation in California is ridiculous. I’m not sure it’s any better in New York yet, but I’ve got to start doing something, thinking outside the box trying to keep yourself and your family above water and outside the sinking ship.”

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UFC to Set Time Limit on How Long Injured Champs *Cough*DominickCruz*Cough* Can Be Inactive Before Being Stripped of Titles


(“Wheeeeeeee!” / Photo via @TheDomin8r)

UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has had horrible luck over the past two years. He’s torn the ACL in his knee twice, endured multiple surgeries, and has not fought a single time. Yet, he’s remained the official champion of the division while interim titlist Renan Barao has defended his belt twice.

Cruz hopes to be back early in 2014 and head straight into a unification bout against Barao. If he doesn’t, however, he may finally find himself stripped of his title. And according to UFC president Dana White, the organization will now make plans to set a time limit for how long champs can stay champs while sidelined.

“We have thought about it, and we will do it,” White told members of the media Monday. “We’re probably going to do that soon.”

It is about time the UFC did this. We don’t have a negative word to say about Cruz who has earned everything he’s ever gotten and who we feel genuinely bad for given all his bad luck, but it looks plain silly for Barao to be only an interim champion at this point. White seems to agree with those conflicted feelings.

“It’s a combination of me feeling really bad for him, and him being such a good person. … Do I think we let it play out too long? Maybe. But if I look at who the champion is, then I say no. I feel bad for the kid,” White said.

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[VIDEO] Anderson Silva Breaks Down Technique & Fighting Tactics for Group of British Dudes

It is rare that we seem to get revealing, sincere and engaged comments from former UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva in the quick-hit, superficial interviews that he’s grown used to and apparently tired of over the past seven years or so. However, a video of Silva conducting an intimate seminar in the London three weeks ago shows “The Spider” in great form.

The future hall of famer takes his time working with the students, carefully answering their questions in English about fight tactics, techniques and opponents. Anderson is talking about the thing he loves and does so expertly – fighting – with people who themselves train and who are informed and interested in learning from him. Guess that’s the secret to getting good stuff out of Silva, huh?

Check the video out to see Silva break down his favorite positions on the ground from off his back and detail how he pulled off some of his best moves. Also, he does all of it in glasses and a sweater. Baller.

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Tito Ortiz Attempts to Unite Fellow Disgraced UFC Fighters for Event-Crashing


(Tito Ortiz makes another stop on his global goodwill tour | Photo via @TitoOrtiz)

Tito Ortiz, Ken Shamrock, Randy Couture, Quinton Jackson and Frank Shamrock are all former UFC champions that are currently personas non grata to the organization and its President Dana White. (Not coincidentally, four of those five guys currently have some role in the Bellator organization.) For that reason, Ortiz seems to think it would be pretty funny if they all went to the UFC’s 20th anniversary show November 16th in Las Vegas.

@ShamrockKen @frankshamrock @Randy_Couture @Rampage4real maybe we should crash the show. I will buy the tickets.” Ortiz recently tweeted.

Apparently, some of the other guys liked the idea. Tito’s former mortal enemy, Ken Shamrock, tweeted back, “I like TITO’s idea,” and then, “I will stand beside you Tito. – frank lets go!!!!!,” encouraging his brother to join them.

So we guess to Ken, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Or something. Ken told Tito to send him a direct message through twitter so they could totally discuss deets, and then sent out a “hi randy” shout out to Couture.

Couture, who is probably smarting more than anyone else about not being allowed at UFC events ever since Dana banned the two-division UFC champion from cornering his son Ryan, then weighed in. “feel sorry for the security guys dana sends to have us removed :) hope they have guns !,” he tweeted, apparently still in character as Toll Road from The Expendables.

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