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

Tag: welterweight

Melvin Manhoef vs. Cyborg Santos II Has Been Booked, So Let’s Celebrate By Watching Their First Slugfest [VIDEO]

Melvin Manhoef is so explosive that his leg kicks destroy everything including Melvin Manhoef. Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos is such a fearless badass that he willingly and repeatedly stuck his Elmer Fudd in Cristiane Justino‘s rabbit hole (do not click this link to confirm). So obviously, when these two met at Cage Rage 15 back in 2006 with Manhoef’s light heavyweight title on the line, the result was every bit the epic slugfest that fans had predicted it would be.

For nearly ten minutes, Manhoef and Santos traded heavy leather and heavier kicks and knees, leaving both men gasping for air before the second round even got under way. It wasn’t until a flurry by an exhausted Manhoef finally found its mark that Santos was defeated, marking an insane fight in the Cage Rage books and a ridiculously improbable comeback win for Manhoef.

And now, the two are set to do battle once again (*BRAAAAHM*). MMAFighting is reporting that Santos and Manhoef have agreed to meet in a welterweight contest on April 13 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The fight will not only serve as Manhoef’s debut at 170 lbs, but as a title match for the vacant Gringo Super Fight welterweight belt. A prestigious achievement if there ever was one.

Although both guys have fallen on harder times since their original battle — Cyborg has gone 7-7 since and Manhoef 15-9 — there’s simply no way that this fight will leave a bad taste in the mouths of those who have witnessed the mayhem depicted above. I can only pray that we will be able to say the same about Shogun vs. Hendo II come March 24th.

-J. Jones

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Following Back-to-Back KO Losses, Martin Kampmann Announces His Hiatus From MMA


(What, and miss out on all the fun times like these?)

Earlier today, we learned how fighters like James Te Huna deal with a pair of tough losses, by dropping a weight class to save their career. Now, we bring you another increasingly popular solution amongst MMA fighters faced with temporary setbacks: The Hiatus.

That’s right, longtime UFC welterweight and one of the most exciting fighters in the sport’s history, Martin Kampmann, is taking an extended break from MMA. Having just celebrated his ten year anniversary as a professional, Kampmann told MMAJunkie radio that he needs some time to fully recover from the tough (T)KO losses he has suffered in his past two fights with Johny Hendricks and Carlos Condit, stating:

I’ve had a lot of tough fights, and even the ones I win, I sometimes make them tough for myself. I’m just taking a long break. No rush to get back in the cage. Let my body recover and get good.

I enjoy fighting, but I’ve just had my 10-year anniversary as a professional fighter. I feel a little burned out right now. That’s why I’m taking a break. I don’t want to get in there unless I feel like it. I love training, I love fighting, but I want to have the fire again to go in. If I don’t have the fire, then I think that means I need to take a break.

Personally, I feel the worst for Kampmann’s surgeon, who is definitely not going to be able to afford that four bedroom villa in the Palisades now that his most popular client has decided to stop visiting him every month or so. #1percentproblems

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The UFC’s Future More Uncertain Than Ever in the Wake of GSP’s Departure


(Photo via Getty)

The UFC can undergo a new renaissance or it can further fade into Toughman on FX-level obscurity—and it’s actions in the aftermath of GSP’s hiatus (and possible retirement) from MMA will determine which path the company takes.

GSP’s departure has come at a devastating time. The UFC is in a rut. TUF has long since stopped being the advertising vehicle/farm system it was years ago. Ratings are down. The worst part of all is that PPV—the UFC’s chief source of revenue—is lagging too. The culprit is a lack of stars, or rather the UFC’s apparent inability to replace the fading ones.

The UFC lost Chuck Liddell. The UFC lost Brock Lesnar. Rashad Evans, a good draw in his own right, is aging, as is the recently-toppled Anderson Silva. Ronda Rousey lost her luster and already put an expiration date on her career.

Now they’re short a Canadian superhero, a man who’s drawn an average of 800,000 buys over the last three years. And there are no young studs to pick up the slack. Jon Jones and Cain Velasquez are not fit to carry the company on their shoulders judging by the buyrates on their recent PPVs. The UFC’s young, great ethnic hopes—Tiequan Zhang, Erik Perez, and Erick Silva—haven’t developed as planned. Most importantly, the strategy of grooming Rory MacDonald to be GSP’s replacement has failed (or has at least been delayed).

The UFC’s future is still on the backs of aging warhorses whose knees are beginning to buckle.

Yet there is still hope.

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Bellator CEO Appears Ready to Let Welterweight Champ Askren Leave for the UFC


(I would totally wear that shirt. But if somebody asks me who it’s supposed to be, I’d tell them it’s Rob Tyner. / Photo via MMADiehards)

Former Olympic wrestler Ben Askren is undefeated in 12 fights since he began fighting MMA in 2009, has won his last two by TKO, and has beaten many of the best welterweights outside of the UFC. It’s little wonder why fans have been curious how the Bellator welterweight champion would do against the best in the world in the UFC and even champion Georges St. Pierre, if only because of Askren’s superb wrestling.

In the not so distant past, however, Askren has gone above and beyond to be a company man for Bellator and has insisted he had no interest in the UFC. Fine, we don’t like you anyway, you’re boring and not pretty, UFC President Dana pretty much responded.

But last week, when White was asked whether the UFC would speak with Askren, whose contract is up with Bellator, White said that his promotion would indeed talk to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Freestlye wrestler.

That was trippy enough, but it’s a testament to the fact that the UFC usually seeks out the best fighters in the world, no matter how popular or “exciting” MMA fans or White himself think they are. Bellator, however, seems to be taking a different approach.

While the organization has been snapping up aging and losing former UFC fighters left and right, their CEO now says that they are not even interested in re-signing Askren — a home grown elite fighter of their own.

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[EXCLUSIVE] Matt Brown Reflects on Becoming The UFC’s Unlikeliest Welterweight Contender


(Can Matt Brown keep rolling through the division’s elite? / Photo via Getty)

By Elias Cepeda

Since the beginning of 2012, UFC welterweight Matt Brown has won six consecutive fights, all but one by KO/TKO within the first two rounds. His most recent was a startlingly fast and violent knockout of the previously red-hot Mike Pyle in under thirty seconds this past Saturday at UFC Fight Night 26.

All of a sudden, Brown is more than a tough and exciting fighter — he’s the owner of the most impressive win streak in the division outside of Georges St. Pierre and Johny Hendricks, who meet one another with GSP’s title on the line in November.

Brown has been calling out the champion and, well, now it makes sense. CagePotato spoke with the contender Sunday while he celebrated with family far away from the lights that shone on him kindly in Boston during his latest victory.

“It’s weird, man,” Brown muses while sitting with kids playing and shouting around him. “Obviously, I’m real happy with the result but I do feel a little unfulfilled. It wasn’t the type of fight I prepared for at all. But you take what you can get, right?”

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Dumbest Idea Ever of the Day: Nate Diaz is Headed Back to the Welterweight Division, Y’all


(“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein, clearly foreshadowing the career of Nate Diaz.)

You remember how we previously discussed the wolfpack-like sense of loyalty that seems to exist between the members of Team Cesar Gracie? Or how they would rather retire than face another member of their loyal platoon in glorious mixed martial arts competition? Well, since Nate Diaz’s training partner/homeboy Gil Melendez is fighting Ben Henderson at UFC on FOX 7 this weekend and is going to win the fight with 100% certainty (and the fight after that, and the fight after that…), the former #1 contender might as well get to steppin’. That’s according to him, at least:

I’m not huntin’ (the title) right now, honestly. My boy is about to put it down and hold the belt for the next … I don’t even know how long. I’m probably gonna bail up outta this weight division as soon as this fight is done. I fought everybody at lightweight already. 

That’s right, despite compiling an 9-4 UFC record at lightweight that included a(n unsuccessful) title shot against Ben Henderson last December, Diaz is presumably headed back to the division that saw him score wins over a couple of guys who have since been fired and get absolutely manhandled by Dong Hyun Kim and Rory MacDonald. Pardon my language, but boy, you have smoked yourself retarded.

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Hector Lombard Enlists Mike Dolce to Make Welterweight Test Cut Following Upcoming Nose Surgery


(Alas, it appears that the joyous age of ice cream cake and tomato cans has come and gone.)

Since entering the UFC almost a year ago to the day and bringing with him an unprecedented amount of hype (and one hefty price tag to boot), former Bellator middleweight kingpin Hector Lombard has been through some pretty tough times. After seeing his 25-fight win streak snapped via boredom in his UFC debut, Lombard scored a rebound TKO victory over Rousimar Palhares before succumbing to the patented grapplefuckery of Yushin Okami at UFC on FUEL 8. 

And although Dana White is not ready to label Lombard a bust just yet — and rightfully so, for Okami can and has grapplefucked the best of ‘em — it’s become quite apparent that Lombard isn’t quite the eater of worlds that he was made out to be in Bellator. Then again, when you’re paired up against guys like Trevor Prangley and “Whisper” Goodman, it’s hard not to build such a reputation. In either case, it appears that Lombard has realized that at just 5’8″, perhaps the middleweight division isn’t where he belongs anymore.

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Oh, The Irony: Ben Askren Not Impressed by GSP’s Performance, Is “100 Percent Sure” He Could Beat Him


(“You see, Georges? THIS is how you dominate someone for five full rounds without ever coming close to finishing them!”) 

Likely because he has failed to stir up any interest in the cage with his fighting style, which often feels like watching The English Patient at half speed, Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren has become quite the prominent Twitter troll over the years. And honestly, his Twitter beefs and troll tactics have quickly become the most entertaining part of his mixed martial arts career.

Just last week, for instance, Askren lashed out at Michael Bisping — who is scheduled to face Askren’s friend/training partner Alan Belcher at UFC 159 – via one hilariously xenophobic and self-deprecating rant. And now, he’s got his sights set on UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, who apparently did not do enough in his title defense against Nick Diaz at UFC 158 to earn Askren’s much sought after hespect. Via Askren’s Twitter:

Have we seen GSPs dark side yet? Or is he saving it for rounds 4 & 5?? I saw more viscous things happen at the youth wrestling tourney!

After tonight I am 100% sure I could beat GSP… GSP is no longer an aggressive striker. He will not out wrestle or grapple me. He gets tired. Simple enough.

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With Alessio Sakara Rematch Cancelled, Patrick Cote Announces Move to Welterweight


(Welterweight, middleweight, we don’t care. Just don’t ever lose that twinkle in your eyes, you handsome son of a bitch.) 

Although Patrick Cote managed to secure his first UFC win since 2010 at UFC 154 last month (by way of DQ), we’re still not quite sure if his decision to cut down to welterweight falls into “last ditch effort to save career” territory or not. Regardless, Cote recently told MMAWeekly that he is planning on cutting down to 170 for his next bout now that his UFC 158 rematch with Alessio Sakara has been cancelled due to Sakara’s kidney issues. His reasoning: They build middleweights a lot bigger than they used to.

We’ve been thinking about it since about a year now. I think now it’s the time. I was a pretty decent middleweight a couple years ago, but now those guys are really, really big. They’re cutting from like 230, 225, and I’m walking around at 205 so I spoke with my coach and my nutritionist and it’s doable so we’re going to do it.

Although it seems like Cote might be exaggerating those numbers a little bit, one must first consider that Anthony Johnson walks around at upwards of 230 pounds and used to fight in the same division Cote is shrinking down to. Hell, Thiago Alves still fights at 170 and that dude regularly eats Adam Richman under the table in between training camps.

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Johny Hendricks Holding Out For Title Shot


(Ain’t no tantrum like a Big Rigg tantrum)

In the whole welterweight/middleweight title/super-fight mess of excitment and speculation going on right now, number one 170 pound contender Johny Hendricks is one of the few people giving real talk. “I’m not going to fight unless it’s for a belt,” Hendricks told MMAJunkie Radio Friday.

The former NCAA Division I wrestling national champion solidified himself as the number one contender to Georges St. Pierre’s welterweight crown with five straight wins, his last three against Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck and Martin Kampmann. Despite earning his shot, Hendricks is far from a lock to be the next one to fight St. Pierre.

Middleweight champion Anderson Silva is chasing a super fight with the Canadian and St. Pierre surrogates are lobbying for his next fight to be against his rival Nick Diaz. Diaz is currently serving a suspension for testing positive for marijuana metabolites before his last fight, a loss to Carlos Condit.

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