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Tag: Ultimate Fighter Finale

Maybe Steve Mazzagatti Isn’t the Worst Referee in the History of the World


(Props: MMA TKO)

Though Dana White has previously suggested that he’s not even qualified to watch MMA, Steve Mazzagatti once again found himself in the center of an officiating crisis at last night’s "Ultimate Fighter" Finale.  This time, Mazzagatti made the unpopular, though ultimately correct decision to stop the Jon Jones-Matt Hamill bout when he saw these illegal elbow strikes from Jones.  In order to figure out whether the illegal blows were really the cause of the damage that left Hamill unable to continue, Mazzagatti became the first UFC ref to consult the video replay now at his fingertips thanks to a recent NSAC ruling.  NSAC director Keith Kizer later called it an effective use of the replay, sayng, "The only call you can make in that situation is a disqualification."

Of course, if you still wanted to bust Mazzagatti’s chops, you could ask him why he didn’t stop the fight sooner, back when Jones was unloading on Hamill from the mount.  Jones was so thoroughly dominating him that he even had time to glance up at Mazzagatti as if to say, ‘You’re seeing this, right?’  It works for Roy Nelson, but Jones wasn’t so fortunate. 

Looks like "Bones" got a little too creative for his own good this time out.  This one will go down as a loss on his record, but no one will forget the way he was dismantling Hamill prior to venturing outside the rules for a few regrettable seconds.

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The Potato Index: TUF 9 Finale

Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida
(Guida turns taking a shot into an art form. Photo courtesy of UFC.com)

After another fun, free MMA weekend we turn once again to the Potato Index to tell us where everyone stands.  Those of you who are confused by what the numbers mean, just think of every fighter starting at his own particular zero coming into the event.  Then we make up a number to reflect how far he’s climbed or fallen after his latest fight.  Kind of like the stock market, but way more fun and only slightly more bullshit.

Diego Sanchez +104
Whatever you think the final scores should have been, Sanchez won that fight.  He was a whirlwind on the feet and even managed to be the aggressor from the bottom when it hit the mat.  But does a decision victory here equal a title shot?  We wouldn’t mind seeing Sanchez vs. Gray Maynard to establish a clear contender.

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Chris Lytle Reflects on a Life in the Fight Business, Drops Some Knowledge on the UFC’s New Guys

Chris Lytle

As fighters go, Chris Lytle is uncommonly honest with himself.  He’s one of the few guys in this sport who, when asked about his goals, doesn’t give you some boiler plate answer about a title shot.  He’s in his mid-thirties, in one of the UFC’s deepest divisions, and he’s coming off a loss.  He knows there probably isn’t much time left, so he wants to make the best of the opportunities he has to put on a show.  

In this candid interview Lytle talks about some hard lessons learned in the fight game, why he’s perfectly content to fight a guy like Kevin Burns on a Spike TV TUF Finale card, and what advice he has for the new crop of fighters who will be just breaking into the UFC on Saturday night.

CagePotato.com: Thanks for talking with me, Chris.  It seems like the past couple of years your focus has really shifted to being in good fights rather than racking up consecutive victories.  Is the quality and entertainment value of your fights more important to you now than wins and losses?

Yeah, I mean, obviously I don’t want to say that I don’t care if I win or lose.  It’s painful to me when I lose a fight.  I go out there to do what I came to do and win, but I don’t want to win at any cost.  I want to put on an exciting fight and win.  When I do that, it’s great.  When I lose, obviously I didn’t do what I wanted to do.  But I’d rather go out there and fight the way I want and lose an exciting fight than win a boring decision.  That’s my mentality.  I want to fight my way.  I want to win, but that’s not the only thing on my mind.

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Videos: Diego Sanchez In The Gym; Clay Guida, Like Carrot Top, Does His Best Work In Vegas


(Props: MMA Videos)

As we count down to the "Ultimate Fighter" season 9 finale on Spike TV this Saturday night, take a look at some of Diego Sanchez‘s preparations in the gym.  Looks like someone plans on countering Clay Guida‘s wrestling with the old fake kick/side kick combo.  Good times, good energy.  

After the jump, Guida chats with MMACanada.net, whose interviewer simply could not sound more Canadian, and says he isn’t worried about people thinking he’s boring.  Dude’s just living to eat, sleep, drink, and punch Diego Sanchez. 

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Diego Sanchez Exclusive: ‘I’ve Evolved, Clay Guida Hasn’t’

Diego Sanchez

Diego Sanchez headlines Saturday night’s “Ultimate Fighter” Finale on Spike TV just a little over four years after becoming the show’s very first winner.  Now he takes on Clay “The TUF-Slayer” Guida in a fight that, according to Sanchez, will catapult him into an immediate lightweight title shot.  Does that mean the same title shot is on the line for Guida?  Not so much, says “The Nightmare.”  He also had some interesting things to say about positive thinking, the upcoming B.J. Penn/Kenny Florian title fight, and how he feels about being the UFC’s resident weirdo.  All this and more in our exclusive interview.

CagePotato.com: This is your second fight at lightweight.  Is the weight cut easier for you this time?

The weight cut’s gone great.  It’s been a lot better this time around.  I’ve been able to apply the right supplement and nutrition programs.  I feel right on point.  This week I was at about 171, and that’s right where I want to be.  The last ten pounds or so and the last couple days shouldn’t be too tough.  Then I’m fight ready.

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Joe Stevenson Talks Nate Diaz, TUF Experiences, and Explains Why He’s Not Afraid of Being Cut by the UFC

Joe Stevenson began his UFC career on the second season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”  On Saturday night he returns to fight another TUF alum, Nate Diaz, on the season nine finale in what might prove to be a make-or-break outing for him.  In our exclusive talk with him, Joe “Daddy” tells us why he changed training camps after his decision loss to Diego Sanchez, whether he’s worried about being cut, and why he might be hesitant to appear on a new season of TUF if he were coming up through the ranks today.

CagePotato.com: So you’ve been in New Mexico with Greg Jackson’s team preparing for this fight.  What made you decide that it was time for a change of training camps?

JS: Honestly, I’ve been here for going on seven weeks now and it’s been great.  I was feeling a little stagnant and I knew that if I didn’t try something different I would regret it.  If you don’t try all your avenues you’re going to end up when your fifty wishing you’d done something different and I don’t want to be that person.  On top of that, there’s great coaching here, great strategy, and they’ve given me a different outlook on the way I fight.  I’m just excited to let people see it now.

You mentioned strategy and that’s something a lot of people talk about when it comes to Greg Jackson.  How is his way of strategizing for a fight different from what you’ve been exposed to in the past?

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Matt Brown Says Screw It, Won’t Fight at TUF Finale

Matt Brown and Pete Sell UFC 96
(‘Why won’t you die!?’)

Apparently deciding that if he can’t fight Anthony Johnson he’d rather fight no one at all, Matt Brown has opted to sit out and heal up instead of taking a bout against a replacement opponent at the “Ultimate Fighter 9” Finale on June 20.  Johnson pulled out with an injured knee earlier this week, putting an end to a fight we were really looking forward to on account of the guaranteed aggression that would have resulted from putting those two guys in one cage.  

Brown reportedly decided to nurse some nagging injuries rather than fighting a late replacement, and you really can’t blame him.  Who knows, maybe the bout will still happen a little ways down the road.  It just seems too good not to.

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The Potato Index: The Week That Was


(‘Now we go for ice cream!’  Photo courtesy of NBC Sports.)

It was an MMA-tastic week what with the “Fight for the Troops” and the Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale both within a few days of one another, plus a little Adrenaline thrown in the mix.  And while the big boys mostly sat this one out and let the young up-and-comers vie for the spotlight, there were still plenty of gains and losses made.  Now it’s time to sort through the wreckage and see who’s up and who’s down with our arbitrary numerical rating system.

Josh Koscheck +87

Even after putting a hurting on Yoshida, the future is uncertain for Kos.  Is he the best welterweight no one really wants to see all that badly?  

Ryan Bader +102

Wrestler-turned-TUF winner proves he’s got more than just takedowns in his arsenal, going upside Vinny’s head with a big right hand.  Satisfying ending, but let’s see what he can do against a real UFC fighter before we get too excited.

Vinny Magalhaes -48

Trying to prove you can do something other than the thing you do really, really well is admirable, though not all that bright.

Phillipe Nover -19

For a guy who does so many things well, there sure is a huge hole in his game.  I’d get that fixed if I was you.

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Exclusive Interview: Kevin Burns Talks Eye-Poke Fiasco and Saturday Night’s Rematch with Anthony Johnson


(Photo courtesy of NBC Sports.)

The first meeting between Kevin Burns and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson was marred by an accidental eye poke that halted the bout midway through the third round.  It was an unsatisfying end for both men, as Johnson would need surgery for a damaged retina and Burns found himself with a victory that he couldn’t really enjoy.

As the two prepare for a rematch to settle the score at Saturday night’s "Ultimate Fighter Finale," Burns talks with us about his decision to fight with the injured hand, his perspective on the eye pokes, and what he thinks of the attention the strange bout has brought upon himself and Johnson.

Check back later today for an interview with Johnson, who gives his often very different perspective on the events of that night.

CagePotato.com: Thanks for talking with me, Kevin.  Coming into this rematch, how do you mentally approach a fight like this, under these strange circumstances?

Mentally I’m approaching it like I would any other fight.  I’ve been in the cage with Anthony so I kind of know what to expect, I know what he’s going to bring to the table.  Other than from a game plan prospective, I’m not approaching it any differently.  Now I can utilize all of my standup skills.  Now that my hand’s 100% I can actually throw a left jab, a left hook, things that I haven’t been able to do.  That may make things a little different for him, but it will be good for me.

Tell me about the situation with the hand.  What happened to it?

I broke my hand three times in sixteen months.  The bone wasn’t completely fused, but if it was any other person doing normal things, not doing what we do, you probably wouldn’t notice it.  I can lift weights, I can do pretty much anything, with the exception of hitting something solid.  If I had hit something solid at that point, I had about a 95% chance that the bone would have fractured back through and I would have been back to square one.  

So instead of delaying my fighting career I decided to take a page out of Bas Rutten’s book in the old Pancrase days in Japan and use palm strikes.  They did it successfully, so I figured why can’t I?  I threw a lot of successful palm strikes earlier in the fight.  I couldn’t throw a closed jab, so I had to use that.  Unfortunately my finger went into his eye in that last palm strike that I threw in the third round.

The one in the third round ended it, but it seemed like there were several other pokes leading up to that one.  Where you aware of those, and did you feel it when it happened the last time?

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Exclusive Video: In The Gym With Diego Sanchez and Evan Tanner


CagePotato.com Interviews Evan Tanner – Watch more free videos

CagePotato.com got a chance to catch up with both “Ultimate Fighter” season one winner Diego Sanchez and former UFC middleweight champ Evan Tanner as they prepare for their respective bouts on the “Ultimate Fighter Finale” this Saturday night. Check out the above clip to hear Evan Tanner discuss his hiatus from MMA, the pretty boys in the sport, and what will become of that awesome beard of his.

Diego Sanchez is after the jump.

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