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Tag: Vladimir Matyushenko

Ranking the ‘UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Dodson’ Fights by My Own Interest Level


(“Thanks Jay. Joining me now backstage is none other than…uh…wait a minute. You’re Anderson Silva’s son, right?”)

If you’ve been watching the NFL playoffs on FOX over the last couple weekends, you’ve surely noticed the frequent UFC promos throughout the broadcasts hyping a “World Title Fight” on January 26th between “Johnson and Dodson.” At no point is the word “flyweight” ever mentioned — because that would be a turnoff to casual fans, I guess? — and in most of the live promos I’ve seen, Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson‘s first names aren’t even included. Basically, they’re hoping that the mere promise of a “title fight” will be enough to lure some football fans into tuning in this Saturday night, even if those viewers have no idea who the headliners are, or what belt they’ll be fighting for specifically.

By sticking to the ironclad rule that a title fight will always get headlining-priority no matter who else is fighting on the card — a policy that previously drew some fan-criticism when Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche was given the UFC 157 main event spot over Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida — the UFC has painted themselves into a corner. Johnson and Dodson simply aren’t as well-known, marketable, or admired as some of the other fighters competing at UFC on FOX 6, namely Quinton Jackson, Donald Cerrone, and Anthony Pettis.

It’s a problem, because TV ratings and buyrates are so closely tied to who’s headlining each event. Instead of perhaps making Rampage vs. Teixeira or Cerrone vs. Pettis the headliner, the UFC is choosing to keep things vague (“world title fight!” “Johnson!”) and hope for the best. We’ll see if that proves to be the right decision, or if the ratings will plunge compared to the strong showing of UFC on FOX 5. I know the UFC wants to pump up its budding flyweight division, but I can’t help wondering if they’re doing themselves a disservice when there’s so little heat around that weight class. Could they re-consider their “championship fight always gets the main event” policy down the road?

Since I’ve been thinking about this lately, I’ve decided to present my own rundown of which fights I’m actually looking forward to this weekend. If you see things differently, please hurl some abuse at me in the comments section. Let’s begin…

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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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You’ve Got To Be F*cking Kidding Me: Jose Aldo Now Out of UFC 153 With Foot Injury


(Can you help me, Siri? Well, you can start by wiping that fucking dumb-ass smile off your shiny, lifeless, screen! And you can give me a bit of fucking good news: a fucking pay-per-view, that actually fucking happens, a fucking title fight, a fucking healthy fighter! Five fucking fights and a ringside seat!)

Well, if the news that Rampage Jackson was out of UFC 153 with an elbow injury wasn’t enough to get you fired up, then maybe this will. Making sure to cap off the summer with a bang, the injury curse of 2012 has struck again. And once again, featherweight champion Jose Aldo is the victim, as he has suffered a foot injury that has forced him out of his UFC 153 bout with Frankie Edgar, whom you may recall was stepping in for an injured Eric Koch. Whom you may recall was originally supposed to face Aldo at UFC 149 until Aldo injured himself for the first time.

It may not have happened yet, but we’re going to go ahead and claim that GSP is out of UFC Whatever with a torn Whachamacallit.

The news was once again delivered by Dana White via his Twitter.

Now Aldo is out with foot injury. Main and co main in the same day!! Another amazing day at the UFC. We have some work to do.

The injury is apparently related to the motorcycle accident Aldo was involved in just under a week ago, which shows us that the injury curse has moved on from simple hope crushing to full-on psychological warfare. Fuck you, injury curse. Fuck you right in the pooper.

So…Edgar vs. Sonnen, anybody?

In related injury news…

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‘UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem’ Aftermath: Out With the Old, In With the New

So it’s official: horse meat > beef jerky. (Photo: UFC.com)

There was a time when the UFC had trouble drumming up any interest at all in their heavyweight division—can you say ‘Arlovski vs. Buentello for the title!!!’?—but those days are long gone. One could point to the growth of the sport attracting big men from other sports, or credit training camps for churning out well-rounded fighters, but much of the interest in the revitalized division has been carried by the broad, skull-tatted shoulders of one man.

Brock Lesnar’s 2008 debut in the Octagon brought interest, intrigue, and—most importantly—eyeballs. Lots of them. Speculation over whether the big man could survive against a real fighter was rampant, but before long we were asking if anyone could survive in a real fight against him. He quickly smashed his way to the top of the 265 lb. heap, but his skid down that mountain was just as fast. Following two brutal, first-round losses to Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem, Brock is ready to hang up the gloves. Looking back at his brief career, if it is truly over, one thing becomes painfully clear: Brock Lesnar doesn’t love fighting; Brock Lesnar loves beating people up. While those two interests often intertwine, they quickly diverge when you start getting tagged. For all of the debates over Brock’s questionable chin and concerns for vegetable-rejecting body, the real downfall of his MMA career was his heart. He doesn’t love this fighting game, and MMA is a cruel mistress. If you can’t fully commit to her, you can expect to find a pile of shredded “Clutch Gear” shirts on the doorstep when you get home from the bar. Brock seems to have gotten that message and is packing his things and moving on with his life.

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‘UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem’ — Live Results + Commentary


(Upon encountering the crazed polar bear, Alistair stretches his arms out, hoping to make himself appear larger. / Photos courtesy of CombatLifestyle.com. For more from this set, click here.)

529 pounds of mean son-of-a-bitch will be colliding tonight in Las Vegas as former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar takes on Strikeforce/DREAM/K-1 champion Alistair Overeem in the main event of UFC 141. Plus, Nate Diaz and Donald Cerrone settle their beef in the lightweight division, and Jon Fitch goes for his tenth-straight decision against Johny Hendricks. But first, the final Spike TV prelims broadcast ever, featuring a TUF winner and a pair of WEC standouts. Not a bad way to kick off New Year’s weekend.

Round-by-round results from UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem will be piling up after the jump beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT; refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest. And while you’re waiting, feel free to share your New Year’s resolutions in the comments section.

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Vladimir Matyushenko: I’m at the Peak of My MMA Career


(Photo via Scott Hirano for Lowkick)

This Friday, MMA veteran Vladimir Matyushenko will step inside the Octagon for the 11th time in his career, facing Alexander Gustafsson on the main card of UFC 141 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Currently enjoying a two-fight winning streak in the UFC, Matyushenko will look to solidify his place as a Top 10 UFC light-heavyweight against the 16-years-younger Gustafsson.

Matyushenko is 26-5 in his MMA career, with the UFC’s reigning 205-pound champ Jon Jones being the only man to beat the Belarusian since 2009. We had an opportunity to speak to “The Janitor” who shared thoughts about the future of his Mixed Martial Arts career, his experience advantage over Alexander Gustafsson, and the rematch with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira he has been chasing for years.

Visit Lowkick.blitzcorner.com to read the interview and see exclusive photos from Matyushenko’s training camp.

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: UFC 141 Edition


(Two words: Cultivating mass.)

Oh my God, you guys. We are just two days away from a match so epic that it threatens to implode our entire universe and send it spiraling down a black hole quicker than a Duane Ludwig knockout. And since most of us are still trying to financially recover from Christmas (only to spend nearly as much on New Year’s Eve, ironically), why not place some bets with us and end this sumbitch on a bang instead of a whimper? Check out the betting lines, courtesy of BestFightOdds, along with our Negrodamus-esque advice below.

Main Card
Brock Lesnar (+110) vs. Alistair Overeem (-130)
Nate Diaz (+240) vs. Donald Cerrone (-280)
Jon Fitch (-230) vs. Johny Hendricks (+190)
Vladimir Matyushenko (+285) vs. Alexander Gustafsson (-345)
Nam Phan (-230) vs. Jimy Hettes (+190)

Preliminary card (televised on Spike)
Ross Pearson (-300) vs. Junior Assunçao (+250)
Anthony Njokuani (+155) vs. Danny Castillo (-175)

Preliminary card (Facebook)
Dong Hyun Kim (-360) vs. Sean Pierson (+300)
Jacob Volkmann (-260) vs. Efrain Escudero (+220)
Matt Riddle (-115) vs. Luis Ramos (-105)
Manvel Gamburyan (+200) vs. Diego Nunes (-240)

Thoughts…

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Alexander Gustaffson vs Vladimir Matyushenko Booked Again, This Time for UFC 141

A compelling light heavyweight matchup between former IFL champion Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko and rising star Alexander Gustaffson has just been booked for UFC 141. The match was originally intended to transpire at UFC 133 in Philadelphia, but Matyushenko was forced to pull out due to a last minute injury. Matt Hamill stepped in for “The Janitor” and was subsequently beat into retirement by Gustaffson, so it’s fair to say that Matyushenko has one of his toughest tests to date ahead of him. Well, other than that one guy, which I’m pretty sure was a fluke.

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Rich Franklin Removed From UFC 133 Following Lil’ Nog Withdrawal; Hamill in for Matyushenko

Rich Franklin beat up MMA photos black eye
(Awww, looks like Cindy got into momma’s makeup drawer!)

When it comes to finding replacements for UFC 133‘s increasingly cursed lineup, UFC matchmaker Joe Silva has clearly reached the “eff this noise, I’ll be at the bar” stage of the process. The latest update is that Rich Franklin has been removed from the card entirely, after his original opponent Antonio Rogerio Nogueira went down with a shoulder injury this weekend. For the record, King Mo twitter-offered to step up against Ace — a compelling possibility in its own weird way — but the UFC ignored his ass. Anyway, it’s a real shame. All those ice baths for nothing.

As a result, Vitor Belfort vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama is now the co-main event of “Evans vs. Ortiz II”, and Brian Ebersole vs. Dennis Hallman has been promoted to the main PPV card. (Yeah, you still have to pay for this one. Sorry.)

And damn, we didn’t even tell you: Vladimir Matyushenko pulled out of his prelim fight against Alexander Gustafsson last week due to injury. Stepping in to replace him will be none other than Matt Hamill, who’s coming off his decision loss to Rampage Jackson in May. I know, it’s impossible to keep up with all these lineup changes at this point, which is why we put the current UFC 133 fight card after the jump. Pray that things don’t change much from now until August 6th.

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Wednesday Morning MMA Link Club


(The UFC Fighter Summit has a storybook ending. Congrats, Janitor.)

Some selected highlights from our friends around the MMA blogosphere. E-mail feedback@cagepotato.com for details on how your site can join the MMA Link Club…

- BJ Penn and Jake Shields Want to Fight Each Other (LowKick)

- Shane Carwin’s Cardio Under Microscope at UFC 131 (NBC Sports MMA)

- Rashad Evans Explains His Nightclub Altercation With Jon Jones; Insists ‘Bones’ Ducked Him (MMA Mania)

- Mac Danzig Out of Next Month’s Anticipated Clash With Donald Cerrone, Vagner Rocha to Replace (Five Ounces of Pain)

- Matt Mitrione: If Ortiz Is Still Upset After Confrontation, ‘Then We Can Scrap’ (MMA Fighting)

- Your Favorite Hooters Girl to Serve Ring Cards at ‘UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber II’ (5thRound)

- This Will Be the Strangest Seven-Second Knockout You Will See This Year (MiddleEasy)

- Mark Coleman ‘Would Drop Everything’ To Fight Herschel Walker (MMA Convert)

- Video: Hector Lombard Gets Pissed at Reporter After Bellator 44 (TheFightNerd)

- Going Medieval: MMA’s 20 Worst Beatdowns (BleacherReport.com/MMA)

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