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

Tag: Zuffa

And Now He’s Retired (And Likely Blacklisted): Wanderlei Silva Retires and Buries the UFC

Wanderlei Silva has retired after a storied career in mixed martial arts.

It’s just a shame he had to do it after a drug test scandal and before he was set to appear in front of the NSAC.

What made it worse–or better depending on your perspective–is that Silva trashed the UFC in his 13-minute retirement video (which, by the way, he says “isn’t a goodbye,” for whatever that’s worth).

Here are some of his most poignant lines:

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BookPotato: Art Davie’s “Is This Legal” and the UFC’s Old School Age of Insanity


(Photo via Ascend Books)

By Matt Saccaro

My father was an avid martial arts enthusiast. I remember treading into the basement where he had set up a heavy bag, a speed bag, and free weights. There was also a television, and on that television was usually boxing…but sometimes there’d be mixed martial arts—specifically the UFC.

I knew about the UFC throughout most of my childhood, and sometimes I’d even watch the cards with my father. However, I didn’t start getting deep into the TapouT-clad rabbit hole until high school. When I first got my driver’s license, my friends and I headed to the mall. Our objective: Pick up as many old-school UFC DVDs as we could find. We bought one of each they had in stock (I think our first haul was UFCs 1, 3, and 8).

We decided to watch in order. We popped the DVD in, and hit play.

“Hello, I’m Bill Wallace and welcome to McNichols are-*BELCH*”

We died laughing. But Wallace’s infamous burp in the first 15 seconds of the broadcast wasn’t the only bizarre and insane thing to happen during the first UFC event. By the end of UFC 1, I asked myself “What lunacy was going on behind the scenes?” because clearly, things were chaotic behind the curtain.

It’s been a decade since then, and in that decade I’ve read several books that elucidated the circumstances around the UFC’s birth—Clyde Gentry’s No Holds Barred and Jonathan Snowden’s Total MMA being chief among them. These books, while fantastic, don’t offer the same level of insight into the primordial UFC scene than Is This Legal: The Inside Story of The First UFC From the Man Who Created It by UFC co-creator Art Davie.

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A Brief History of MMA — The Real Version, And the Zuffa Version


(Commodus: The original Just Bleed Guy.)

Note: This timeline of MMA’s history is extremely abridged for the sake of brevity. If you’re interested in the topic, Jonathan Snowden’s Total MMA and Shooters, and Clyde Gentry’s No Holds Barred cover MMA history in detail better than I ever could.

By Matt Saccaro

MMA History

684 BCE: Pankration—a hybrid martial art whose name means “all powers”—is introduced into the Olympic games.

19th century: Various mixed rules contests take place throughout the United States, ultimately morphing into what we now call professional wrestling. (Seriously, I can’t recommend Shooters enough for information about this phase of combat sports’ evolution.)

1898: Edward William Barton-Wright invents Bartitsu–a martial art combining boxing, judo, savate, and stick fighting and one of the first dedicated “mixed martial arts” in the entire world. This mixing of styles occurs 42 years before the birth of Bruce Lee, the so-called “father of MMA.”

1905: President Theodore Roosevelt conceptualizes MMA on a whim in a letter to his son, Kermit. “With a little practice in [jiu-jitsu], I am sure that one of our big wrestlers or boxers, simply because of his greatly superior strength, would be able to kill any of those Japanese,” he says in reference to watching a Japanese grappler submit an American wrestler named Joseph Grant.

1914: Judo ambassador and all around tough guy Mitsuyo Maeda arrives in Brazil. In the coming years, he’ll begin teaching the Gracie family judo techniques, planting the seeds for BJJ.

Early-mid 20th century: Vale Tudo competitions emerge in Brazil, and ultimately gain popularity. The Gracie family rises to prominence and enjoys success in these “everything allowed” contests.

1963: Gene Lebell fights Milo Savage in North America’s first televised mixed-rules fight.

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Former WADA President and IOC VP Says Zuffa’s New Drug Testing Policy is a Farce


(“No athlete under my watch has ever gotten away with using a rubber fake piss-filled wang. And that’s a fact.”)

When asked about the announcement yesterday that Zuffa is adopting a pre-contract drug screening policy and that the parent company of the UFC and Strikeforce would be stepping up its random drug testing strategy, the former head of the World Doping Agency and one-time vice president of the International Olympic Committee dismissed the news as simply being smoke and mirrors.

Montreal-based lawyer Dick Pound told the Canadian Press that by testing athletes in the month or so prior to and the day of a contracted bout, Zuffa is leaving a wide window of opportunity open for PED use the rest of the year by its athletes.

“It’s complete illusory and obviously intended to be that way.The minute you know when you’ll be tested, it’s very easy to make sure you don’t test positive.”

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UFC Sues New York for Breach of First Amendment Rights

Zuffa has launched another salvo against the state of New York in it’s continued bid to have mixed martial arts regulated in the Empire State.

This time, the parent company of the UFC and Strikeforce has resorted to a lawsuit filed today in New York U.S. district court against New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. According to The Wall Street Journal, the plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that the ban of MMA in New York violates the First Amendment, which states:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The portion of the amendment that Zuffa is focusing on is the “freedom of speech” part, which also covers freedom of expression. Because one of the three words in the term “mixed martial arts” is “arts,” Zuffa lawyers will attempt to argue that the sport is a form of artistic expression, and as such, should not be criminalized in the state.

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Strikeforce Isn’t Rushing to Name New Champions (And That’s Totally Fine)

Great belt, or the greatest belt? PicProps: AnnieSHOSports/Twitter

After another fun night of heavyweight action, the Strikeforce Grand Prix finals are set: Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier will fight to be recognized as the best heavyweight in the world, except for those guys in the UFC. Or the guys that have left Strikeforce in the past few months. Whatever.

Anywho, you may have seen pictures of the GP championship belt that showed up last week, and heard that Coker and company are still lukewarm about the idea of calling the GP winner the Strikeforce champion. We thought that didn’t really make sense, and Josh Barnett agrees. At the Strikeforce press conference Saturday night, Barnett tried to twist Coker’s arm a bit, asking: “Why don’t we sweeten the pot?” Barnett asked. “Why don’t we put that title on the line between me and Cormier?”

Coker, bless his heart, didn’t want to commit to that, and you have to wonder: “Why?”

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Zuffa Threatens UbiSoft, Software Company Taps Out

The game in the video above is Fighters Uncaged, a fighting game for the XboX 360 that utilizes the XBoX Kinect motion control system to turn the game player into the game controller. The on-screen character replicates the movements that the player makes in his living room, and virtual beatdowns ensue. That’s the concept, at least. In reality, the game has been beaten up so bad by critics that Dana White wanted to fire it.

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Potato Nation Poll: What’s the Biggest MMA News Story of the Year?


(Whatcha gonna do, brother, when Anik-amania runs wild on you?!)

By Jason Moles

In the first three quarters of 2011, the mixed martial arts landscape has changed radically.

We have witnessed the ascension of a smaller promotion with the aid of a hip cable channel and the ruination of a former mecca of MMA at the hands of natural disasters. Fighters have been busted for elevated Testosterone levels, arrested for their various transgressions, cut after a bad showing in the Octagon, and ensured that their job was secure after losing an unprecedented four fights straight.

Of all the things we’ve seen thus far, two news stories are head and shoulders above the rest in terms of impact. The announcement of Zuffa’s acquisition of Strikeforce and the recent news of UFC signing a television deal with FOX are the top two pound-for-pound news stories of 2011. Which story carries more significance? Which is the bigger game-changer? Only here at CagePotato, you the reader get to decide.

But first, let’s lay out both sides of the argument…

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Business as Usual: Josh Barnett Forced to Cancel Pro Wrestling Gig Against Jerome Le Banner Due to Zuffa Pressure


(Sorry, kids. Christmas is canceled this year.)

Josh Barnett is currently scheduled to face Sergei Kharitonov in the semi-finals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, September 10th in Cincinnati. He was also scheduled to face kickboxing legend Jerome Le Banner in an August 27th pro-wrestling match for IGF in Japan, because he’s Josh Barnett, and fake-fighting dudes that he could just as easily fight for real is what he does, damn it.

But while that sort of thing wouldn’t have batted an eye under Scott Coker’s droopy watch, Zuffa runs a much tighter ship, and won’t run the risk of Barnett suffering an injury in a worked puroresu match two weeks before he has to show up for a legit cage-fight. As Fighters Only reports:

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Overeem Added to October Glory Card in Moscow; Your Move Zuffa

United Glory announced today that Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem is slated to compete in its next event scheduled for October in Moscow, Russia.

According to the poster for the event, “The Reem” will be joined by fellow Golden Glory fighters Sergei Kharitonov and Siyar Bahadurzada on the card.

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