Archive for Cage Potato

Georges St. Pierre’s Return Bout Against Carlos Condit Pencilled In for November 17th

If you ever wanted to tie things up, Matt Hughes, now is the time.

The UFC’s Welterweight division has been going nowhere fast for quite some time now. In the time since champ Georges St. Pierre was sidelined with an injury and lengthy recovery, we’ve controversially crowned a interim king who’d prefer to sit and wait for the champion to reemerge rather than fight the rest of the weight class’s top contenders, which is pretty much the exact opposite of what an interim champ is supposed to do.

Now, finally, it looks like frustrated fans have some good news: Carlos Condit has a date with “Rush” marked on his calendar. The bad news? It’s written in pencil and we still have to wait five months to see it.

As reported by, UFC 154, slated to go down on November 17th in Montreal, will feature the ‘unification’ of the two Welterweight straps. St. Pierre last defended his title against Jake Shields at UFC 129 in April of 2011. Assuming that Georges recovers in time for this scrap, will nineteen months of ring rust make for an even more conservative performance from the champ?

Also on the card, Johny Hendricks will square off with Martin Kampmann for a title shot against the winner of the GSP-Condit bout. Expect Kampmann to handle the pressures of a number-one contender bout well; he fought for and won a shot at this very title just last weekend with his come-from-behind victory over Jake Ellenberger. Huh…didn’t see that one coming.

If things go to hell and GSP isn’t fully recovered in time for the bout, look for “The Hitman” to step up and face Condit for the interim title. “The Natural Born Killer” has previously stated that he’d like a chance to avenge his last loss to Kampmann in the event that GSP’s return is delayed.


‘UFC on FX 3′ Main Card – Live Results and Commentary

For some reason, “IT’S CHARLIE TIME!” just didn’t have the same ring to it. Care to guess who deserves credit for this image?

The main card of the UFC’s third card on FX is almost upon us, and we’re sure that you’re almost just as interested as we are. But don’t let the lack of big men and big names get you down- we still have some interesting fights on our hands. Eddie Wineland battles Scott Jorgensen for bantamweight relevance, Josh Neer looks to maintain his momentum in the welterweight division against Mike Pyle, Erick Silva looks to establish himself as The Next Next Big Thing against Charlie Brenneman and Ian McCall meets Demetrious Johnson in The Most Anticipated Rematch of the Night to determine who advances in the UFC’s Flyweight tournament.

Okay, so on paper it’s nothing to write home about. But it’s free fights on a Friday night, okay? Look, we know you don’t have plans or anything, so stop pretending to be Mr. Popular and join us after the jump for round-by-round results and commentary. Handling tonight’s action will be Seth Falvo, who promises that there will be no more obscure professional wrestling references this evening. Please stand by.

Remember when I used to have witty things to say? Me neither. Let’s get crackin’.

Eddie Wineland vs. Scott Jorgensen

Round One: No glove touch here, as Wineland looks to control the center of the cage early. Nice right hand by Wineland, but Jorgensen lands a stiff jab that stops Wineland from following up with anything. Jorgensen attempts to clinch, but Wineland gets away. Another nice right hand from Wineland. Leg kick Jorgensen. Wineland drops Jorgensen with a stiff jab, but Jorgensen clinches up and looks for a takedown. Nice trip though by Wineland, who ends up in Jorgensen’s guard. They’re back up, and Wineland is using his jab well to keep Jorgensen outside. They exchange punches, with both guys landing as this round comes to an end.

Round Two: Nice takedown by Jorgensen, although Wineland immediately gets back up. Jorgensen lands a knee as Wineland gets up. Leg kick Jorgensen. Wineland lands a nice straight right, and another. Both guys are bleeding, or maybe Jorgensen’s hair dye is just running (Wineland is definitely cut though from that knee). Jorgensen lands a takedown, but once again Wineland immediately gets back up. Nice jab by Jorgensen. Wineland is having a lot of success landing that right hand, even though Jorgensen isn’t getting rocked by any of them. Nice exchange here, but it’s interrupted as Wineland’s mouth guard almost falls out. We’re back on, and Wineland finally manages to drop Jorgensen with one of those right hands. Some follow-up ground and pound and that’s all she wrote. Yep, that definitely isn’t hair dye running down Jorgensen’s face now.

Eddie Wineland def. Scott Jorgensen by KO, 4:10 of Round Two

So these are some lovely commercials, huh guys? Oh man, another Adam Sandler movie? I can’t wait to watch that, said nobody ever.

Mike Pyle vs. Josh Neer

Round One: They come out swinging, although neither guy lands anything of significance. Nice takedown by Pyle, who ends up in Neer’s guard. Pyle tries to pass to side mount, but Neer uses his butterfly guard and attempts a knee bar. Pyle is now back in Neer’s guard, throwing some punches. Neer attempts a triangle, but Pyle is out and back in Neer’s guard. Both guys are back up now, and Neer is landing some nice knees in the clinch. Neer looks to have Pyle hurt, as he throws some punches to Pyle’s body and has Pyle backing up. Neer goes in for the kill, but out of nowhere Pyle lands a vicious, if not desperate right hand that knocks Neer out cold!

Ladies and gentlemen, I do believe the word I’m looking for is “dicknailed”. As in, that poor young man they call “The Dentist” just got dicknailed.

Mike Pyle def. Josh Neer via KO, 4:56 of Round One

Erick Silva vs. Charlie Brenneman

Round One: They touch gloves, as Brenneman looks for a takedown and gets kneed in the face for his effort. Silva looks for a spinning back kick, but Brenneman earns a takedown. Silva is back up, but Brenneman stays on him. Brenneman gets another takedown, but Silva is looking for some foot locks. Brenneman escapes, and pushes Silva against the cage looking for a takedown. He fails, and they’re free. Brenneman lands a nice cross, and earns another takedown. Once again, Silva is almost immediately up, although he is rewarded for his efforts by being pushed into the cage by Brenneman. Brenneman works his wall and stall, as the crowd boos loudly. They’re separated, and Silva throws another spinning back kick. Silva is showing little respect for Brenneman’s hands, as he’s holding his quite low and throwing a lot of spinning kicks. Silva gets Brenneman down, takes his back, sinks in the rear naked choke and earns the tap.

Textbook finish there by Silva. May we now dub him the Next Next Big Thing? We’ll discuss that more tomorrow.

Erick Silva def. Charlie Brenneman via submission (rear naked choke), 4:33 of Round One

If the rest of this card was any indication, we’re in for one hell of a main event. Great fights all around. And now, for the rematch we’ve been waiting for.

Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall

Round One: They touch gloves, and we’re underway. Leg kick McCall. Head kick attempt from Johnson. They clinch, and Johnson ties up McCall against the cage, earning a double leg takedown. McCall is back up, and we’re back in the center of the cage. Leg kick Johnson, followed up by a 1-2. Head kick attempt by McCall. Johnson lands a huge right hand that drops McCall, and Johnson is in McCall’s guard. Johnson grabs McCall’s back as McCall gets back up, but “Uncle Creepy” avoids the takedown, lands a knee and we’re back in the center of the cage. McCall now has Johnson against the cage and looks for a takedown, but Johnson immediately escapes. Nice hook from McCall, as Johnson attempts a takedown. Great job by McCall reversing the takedown, as both guys get back to their feet. McCall lands a nice hook, and Johnson looks for a takedown as this round comes to an end. Good start to this fight.

Round Two: McCall blitzes Johnson at the start, and earns a takedown. Johnson is down momentarily, but McCall can’t keep him there. McCall wobbles Johnson with an uppercut, but he can’t capitalize. Johnson now has McCall against the cage and lands a few knees before McCall switches position. We’re back to the center of the cage, with Johnson attempting to blitz McCall, although nothing lands. We have a leg kick catch Johnson low, so now we have a break in the action. The break is short lived, and we have a glove touch as soon as we’re back on. McCall earns a takedown off the break, but once again, he can’t keep Johnson down. McCall attempts to take Johnson’s back, eventually getting it and scoring a suplex. Johnson gets up and catches McCall with a nice straight right, pinning McCall against the cage and throwing knees. Nice spinning elbow from McCall, and we’re back in the center of the cage. With forty five seconds left in this round, Johnson lands a nice uppercut and looks to clinch, but McCall escapes. Head kick attempt by McCall, who earns a nice throw as this round comes to an end.

Round Three: They trade punches, as McCall clinches up and lands a few knees. Head kick attempt by McCall, followed by a takedown attempt. Johnson lands a knee on McCall, but Uncle Creepy gets Johnson against the cage and looks for a takedown. Johnson is out, and now earns a takedown against the cage. He grabs McCall’s back, and almost lands a huge straight right as McCall escapes. Great knee there by McCall. Johnson catches a leg kick and lands a few punches. McCall now manages to get Johnson against the cage, and tries for another foot sweep. Jump knee by McCall. McCall has Johnson back against the cage, as the two exchange knees. Johnson escapes, and lands a straight right and a nice teep. McCall once again has Johnson against the cage, and lands a knee. With thirty seconds left, Johnson gets McCall against the cage and works for a takedown. McCall attempts another foot sweep as this round comes to an end.

It appears that there won’t be another round. Tough fight to score. This one could go either way.

Official Result: Demetrious Johnson def. Ian McCall via Unanimous Decision

Johnson calls McCall the toughest guy in the UFC, even tougher than the entire bantamweight division. We’re reminded to play Xbox 360, and Johnson is out. McCall says he’s sorry for the loss, we’re reminded that this won’t be the end of Uncle Creepy in the UFC (Wait, does that mean someone out there thought he’d get cut if he lost?!) and we’re all done here.

Enjoy your evenings, everyone. We’ll have plenty to discuss tomorrow.


[VIDEO] Aleksander Emelianenko’s Streak of Bizarre Near-TKO’s Continues

(Seen here: How Aleksander Emelianenko won his last fight.) 

To get you in the mood for the brief, albeit saddening story we are about to tell you, you should first watch this. Now then…

Perhaps you are familiar with the tale of Henry Bemis, a lowly, nearly blind bank teller oft ridiculed for his near crippling obsession with the written word. Specifically, doggerel. Henry was a simple man, one who found more excitement in the whimsical tales of Charles Dickens than he did through actual interactions with his fellow man, a conundrum that had adverse effects on his occupation in more than a few instances. But what could he do? A passion is a passion, so in order to satisfy both his personal needs and his work requirements, Henry would often sneak into the bank’s vault during his lunch break and escape into whatever world his book of choice would provide for him.

On one such occasion, Henry happened to be reading the daily newspaper, which claimed that a new H-Bomb was “Capable of Total Destruction.” Before he could even grovel over such a morbid discovery, said bomb went off, killing not only everyone in the bank, but utterly destroying the entire planet. Left alone with only his thoughts, Henry decided to commit suicide via revolver to end his misery. But before he could do so, he found that the town’s library was amazingly still intact. Left with the quiet he so desperately craved, not to mention all the books he could read, Henry had basically found his utopia. That is, until he tripped and broke his glasses, rendering himself incapable of reading the very texts that he had found solitude in for as long as he could remember. Dooming him to a life of (literary) blue balls, if you will, and eventual suicide.

If recent history has indicated anything, it is that Aleksander Emelianenko is the living incarnation of the character portrayed by Burgess Meredith in that November 1959 episode of The Twilight Zone, and his most recent fight against Ibragim Magomedov at M-1 Challenge 33, which went down last night in Dzheirakh, Russia wrote this notion home with a resounding “Uuuuuuuuuggggggghhhhh….”

At 22-8, Magomedov was perhaps the most legit opponent the younger Emelianenko has faced since, well, the last time he faced Magomedov in 2009, wherein he earned a TKO victory in under 1 minute. While that may invalidate the previous sentence, the rematch did not go quite as smoothly for Emelianenko. As if you can even use the word “smoothly” to describe anything that has happened to Aleks in the past five or more years.

Taking place at a venue that fulfilled both fighters dreams of finally being able to walk down a barren, exposed hillside on their way to the ring, the first round of Emelianenko/Magomedov II was highlighted by some beautiful shots of Russian mountain ranges in the background and nothing else. Given Emelianenko’s ability to finish opponents without ever actually touching them, perhaps he was under the impression that his Jedi powers would lead him to victory once again.

But it was the second round where things ended in decidedly anticlimactic fashion, as has become the norm for Aleks. After landing a few decent combinations and battering Magomedov’s face in the process, Emelianenko’s fingers go all Kevin Burns on his opponent’s eye at the 2:49 mark, halting the action. Although the poke doesn’t appear to be all that significant, nor intentional, Magomedov is pissed nonetheless, and takes a moment to collect himself. When the bell signifying that third round is about to begin is rung, Magomedov claims that he cannot see (at least that’s what us English speakers took away from it) and after a couple minutes of confused shouting from everyone including the judges, the fight is called.

A doctor stoppage TKO win for Emelianenko at 5:00 of round two.

We know, we’re also confused.

Word has it that Emelanenko later stormed off, screaming “It’s not fair!” until he could no more, and for good reason. For, not unlike Mr. Bemis and his books, it seems that all Emelianenko really wants to do is have a good old fashioned throwdown, yet every opponent he steps into the ring against will simply not allow that to happen. And on the off chance that he actually finds a book worth reading, so to speak, Aleks drifts off before he can even finish the first chapter. We honestly feel a bit sorry for the guy, who appears all but unable to end a fight in satisfying faction these days.

Hopefully the win bonus he received for such an odd victory will help ease his pain.

-J. Jones


Mamed Khalidov Has Been Offered a UFC Contract That Apparently Ain’t Worth Diddly Squat

(Khalidov’s most recent bit of UFC-washout dispatching handiwork at KSW 19.) 

If you’ve even been a semi-regular reader of this site over the past few months, then you are probably familiar with our nuthuggery when it comes to Polish powerhouse Mamed Khalidov. With a record that currently stands at 25-4, Khalidov has made a name for himself as of late by quickly and violently decimating any challenge placed before him under the KSW banner. His diet has consisted mainly of ex-UFC talent including James Irvin, Jesse Taylor, Jorge Santiago, and Matt Lindland, and he has not lost a fight since March of 2010 (in a rematch with Santiago). In those fights, Khalidov has proven to be as dynamic and powerful a striker as he is a lethal submission savant, and with the Biblical-scale plague of injuries currently sweeping through the UFC’s roster, now seems like a better time than any for Khalidov to test himself in the sport’s highest promotion, don’t you think?

Well, even though it is being reported that Khalidov has in fact been offered a contract by Dana & Co, the jury is still out on whether or not we’ll actually be seeing him stateside anytime soon. The reason, as it always is, boils down to simple dollars and cents. Or lack thereof.

Even though Khalidov hasn’t faced a legitimate test since his aforementioned rematch with Santiago (who, let’s face it, has proven to be less than UFC material), he is looking to prove himself to a whole new audience, and the UFC would obviously be the best place to do so. The contract Mamed was offered, however, is apparently so weak that he is considering turning it down because he makes a great deal more competing under the KSW banner. That’s right, the same promotion that can’t even afford to hire ADHD-free judges can somehow manage to outbid the promotion that is willing to pay Nick Diaz three hundred thousand dollars just to show up to a press conference. You gotta love the places incompetence can bring you in today’s society.

According to FightersOnly, Khalidov currently makes around $ 30,000 a fight under his current KSW contract, which isn’t bad at all. When you consider that less than half of his fights under the promotion have lasted over two minutes, it makes that number look even more better. But if the UFC isn’t even coming close to matching that offer, Khalidov might as well plow through the next season of The Ultimate Fighter scrubs and get locked into one of their paltry contracts. The fact that he is considering turning down the contract must mean that the number offered is far below the 30K he makes a fight over in his native Poland, which is pretty sad considering his skill set and record.

But looking at things from the UFC’s perspective, Khalidov is a generally unknown (even to some more knowledgeable fans) prospect who hasn’t been legitimately tested in a couple of years. He lacks the drawing power, and could, like his Sengoku counterpart in Santiago, prove to simply not be at UFC level within just a couple fights. But that’s why they’re called gambles.

Personally, I think Khalidov will fair quite well in the UFC’s middleweight division, and should be offered a contract that reflects a good degree of confidence in his abilities. Check out a few of his most recent performances and give us your assessment.

Khalidov vs. Santiago 1 (unfortunately, we cannot find a video of this fight that doesn’t include some crappy European techno in the background, so just turn off your speakers for this one.)

Khalidov vs. Taylor 

Khalidov vs. Lindland 

-J. Jones


[VIDEO] Randy Couture Comes Out Against TRT, Talks Junior Dos Santos and The Expendables 2

(Titty Relaxation Therapy > Testosterone Replacement Therapy any day of the week.) 

Randy Couture has made some pretty bold claims ever since retiring (again) from the sport, a few of which have left more than a few fans scratching their heads, and others writing it off as pure senility. It’s comforting, however, to see that a guy who fought in the sport’s highest promotion until he was 47 years old take a stance on the TRT issue that has seemingly plagued the UFC’s finest as of late. With everyone from Frank Mir to Dan Henderson seeking and/or receiving therapeutic use exemptions for TRT, as well as guys like Nate Marquardt suddenly claiming that they no longer need it, most people can’t make heads or tails of the legitimacy of the increasingly popular issue.

Luckily “Captain America” is here to put things in perspective:

You know, I understand it. There’s this whole movement out there for anti-aging. It started out with guys in their 50′s who, naturally as you get older, your testosterone levels deplete. Your body quits producing more, and they want to feel and recover and do the things they did when they were younger. I understand that.

But I think there are natural ways to jumpstart your body’s own production rather than put an external source of testosterone in your body. And I think putting the external in only compounds the issues that your already having. I think the problem…obviously Chael, Marquardt, there’s been several athletes that have been using TRT.

I think for them, it’s not a function of having depleted levels of testosterone, it’s wanting to have testosterone levels of a 21 year old again, because when you were 21, let’s face it, you recovered better, you’re probably gonna compete better, especially if you’re 32 and have that experience going into a fight. 

Couture goes on to mention several of the methods he used to stay young at heart, which included marrying, then divorcing lunatics at least ten years his junior on the regular. True dat, brother.

But Couture’s greatest bit of wisdom on TRT came when he simply stated that the positives are by far outweighed by the negatives:

[MMA Commissions] designate what the top line is for a natural human being, and unfortunately, if you get carried away with TRT, you’re gonna cross that line and you’re gonna come up positive in a test. 

In our profession, to be banned from making a living for probably a year, and trashing your reputation, it’s really not worth it. 

This, ladies and gentlemen, is why Couture is one of the guys you go to when you’re trying to make sense of things. Because, like your war-hardened Grandpa, he can both school you in a debate on almost any subject and still kick your ass if things get physical.

Speaking of grandfathers, for those of you hoping that Couture was just biding his time before he attempts to become the first AARP card-holding heavyweight champion, we are sorry to inform you that Couture “doesn’t want any part” of Junior dos Santos. He also states that he picked Mir to win over dos Santos, proving that some of those senility theorists might just be onto something.

-J. Jones


Knockout of the Night: Centrifugal Forces Are Like, SO in Right Now

(The fact that Aldama’s feet look something like this surely didn’t help matters.) 

My God. As if it wasn’t crazy enough that CP reader Jason Jenkins was able to pull off that insane tilt-a-whirl KO just last week, now this shit happens. Matter of fact, while we’re naming knockouts after carnival rides, we’d like to be the first to officially dub this baby, which took place at Total Gym Peleas Amateur Chapo Challenger 1 in Mexico last weekend, “The Scrambler.” Not only because it certainly scrambled the brains of it’s recipient, Esteban Santillanez, for quite some time, but also because the kick looked like it was thrown by a man who forgot to buckle his safety harness on the aforementioned ride.

Christian Aldama is the man behind the incredible kick, which awaits you after the jump.

(Props to MiddleEasy for the find.) 

Now compare that to Jenkin’s knockout, which we’ve thrown below as a little reminder.

(Knockout comes around the two minute mark.) 

It’s up to you to decide, Potato Nation. Which knockout is your front-runner for KOTY?

-J. Jones


[VIDEO] The UFC’s Finest React to the Jon Jones Incident

(R.I.P Geico Gecko. May your free soul never again be confused with a half-rate car insurance plan.) 

You gotta love being a world famous sports figure, amirite? Every move examined under a magnifying glass, a legion of people claiming to hate you despite having never come within 100 miles of you before — it sounds fucking wonderful. Just ask Jon Jones. After he got a little tipsy behind the wheel with a couple of friends and wrecked his Bentley in the process, he no more than could check his pants for a bowl of chocolate pudding before said legions of the blind were ready and waiting to bash him anonymously or throw him their undying support.

Don’t be mistaken, Jones had some of the hate coming. The fact that he stated just one month before his brush up with the law that he would never, you know, have a brush up with the law or anything, made his fall from that high horse all the more painful. But so heavy lies the crown, in fact, that the guys over at Sportsnet called upon such UFC stars as Dominick Cruz, Junior dos Santos, and Frank Mir among other to help us cope with this devastating situation.

If you can’t tell by the sarcasm plastered across the last sentence, we are more willing to forgive Jones for his actions than most. The case seems to be the same with Mir, who was content to give the “we all make mistakes” response when questioned on the issue:

I get mad at people that are quick to judge him, you know, ‘How could you ever drink and drive?!’ And I’m not ever going to say it’s right; it’s wrong to drink and drive. But if you’re a person who drinks, and you’re going to tell me that you’ve never gotten behind the wheel when you’ve had more than one beer an hour, or one shot, or one glass of wine; you’ve drove when you shouldn’t have, and you made a mistake.

The difference is, is that he got bit on his bad mistake. The good thing that now, maybe he can learn from it now, and not continue to do that on, but we all fall down. The point is that you get back up and march forward, you acknowledge what you did…I want to meet the person that’s never screwed up.

Oh, Frank. Only you can have us questioning the legitimacy of your claims one day and in your corner the next.

I don’t know about you, Potato Nation, but I side with Mir on this issue. We’re all human, and we like to treat celebrities as if they are something more than that. The television, the internet — they are like our rear windows into the rest of the world, the strip of land that prevents our peninsulas from breaking away from the motherland, if you will. And as Alfred Hitchcock already showed us, viewing someone’s life through one of these rear windows can truly warp one’s perception in regards to forming an opinion of another person. Granted, Jimmy Stewart’s character happened to be correct in his assumptions in that movie, but what I’m trying to say is that until you truly know the man, don’t be so quick to label him as a terrible person for making a couple of mistakes. We all have.

Then again, Jones could always go with dos Santos’ advice and never drink again, a bit of information that my brain can simply not compute.

-J. Jones


Video Tribute: The Eight Most Insane Moments in DREAM History

(“You’ll never get me Lucky Charms!”)

For nearly four years, the Japanese MMA promotion DREAM did its best to carry the mantle of PRIDE, presenting the same mix of top international talent and freak-show comic relief, all inside of a traditional ring, rather than a filthy American cage. But we were hit with some sad news this weekend as multiple sources reported that DREAM has ceased day-to-day operations, and will no longer be producing events. So as we like to do when great MMA traditions die, let’s take a look back at some of the fights that made this promotion so unique, so entertaining, and so balls-out insane…

#8: Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Melvin Manhoef
DREAM.4, 6/15/08 

Though Kazushi Sakuraba’s fame was partly based on absorbing damage from larger fighters, the level of savagery that Melvin Manhoef inflicted on him during their meeting at the Yokohama Arena probably should have convinced Saku to walk away from the sport. The moment when Manhoef drags Saku away from the ropes by his leg so he can dive in to continue the assault (see the 2:43 mark above) remains one of DREAM’s most indelible and brutal moments.

#7: Shinya Aoki vs. dumb-ass gaijin
DREAM.7, 3/8/09

Another tradition that DREAM inherited from PRIDE? Absurd mismatches. At the time of this fight, Aoki was widely considered to be a top-3 lightweight, while Gardner was an obscure 13-7 journeyman who was coming off a loss to Brian Cobb. Aoki’s domination on the mat was no surprise, but the fight became legendary for how it ended. Stuck with Aoki on his back, Gardner took advantage of a brief pause in the action — and the near-silence in the Saitama Super Arena — to wave to the crowd and shout “Hello Japan!” Aoki immediately wrapped up Gardner’s neck and choked him out, causing the crowd to break out in laughter and Bas Rutten to cry “Oh my God it is so dumb! So dumb! Why?!” Some things just can’t be explained, Bas.

#6: Marius Zaromskis scores two head-kick KO’s in the same night
DREAM.10, 7/20/09

“The Whitemare” had already been drawing hype in Europe as a human highlight-reel when he entered the DREAM Welterweight Grand Prix in 2009, but it was his performance in that tournament which launched him as a worldwide sensation. Between his Street Fighter cosplay and in-ring acrobatics, it was clear we were dealing with a special individual. In the final two rounds of the GP, he met Hayato Sakurai and Jason High on the same night, and knocked them both dead in the first round, one with his left leg, and one with his right. Zaromskis took home the DREAM welterweight belt and did it to another poor bastard three months later.

#5: Jose Canseco is not “Super Hulk” material
DREAM.9, 5/26/09 

DREAM’s Super Hulk Tournament was a bizarre convergence of veteran freaks, imposing big-men, and an off-his-rocker baseball player who was only there to make guys like Bob Sapp and Hong Man Choi look legitimate by comparison. The opening round featured Canseco vs. Choi, which has to be the most inexplicable pairing in MMA history. Canseco actually lands first with a big overhand right followed by a body kick, but eventually he remembers that he’s just there to collect a paycheck. Canseco grabs his knee at the 1:12 mark to signify that the dive is coming, then falls down after throwing one more kick and gets pounded on for a TKO loss. After the fight, Nick Diaz did his best to shore up the holes in Canseco’s game, but Jose has yet to take the MMA world by storm.

#4: Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Zelg Galesic — back from the dead, once again
DREAM.12, 10/25/09

On paper, it’s another dramatic example of Sakuraba’s unbreakable spirit, his resilience, his heart. Much like his infamous 2006 fight against Kestutis Smirnovas, Sakuraba survived a terrifying beating — with Galesic smashing him in the head with blows that would have removed most fighters from consciousness — and went on to win by kneebar. Following this victory, Sakuraba went on a four-fight losing streak, including two losses by arm-triangle choke and a TKO loss to Marius Zaromskis that cost him his ear. But the Galesic fight was Sakuraba’s final triumph…if you really want to call it that.

#3: Gegard Mousasi submits a striker and knocks out a grappler
DREAM.6, 9/23/08 

Just like Zaromskis, Gegard Mousasi put his name on the map with two first-round stoppages on the same night in a DREAM tournament. His moment came during the final night of their Middleweight Grand Prix in 2008, where he first faced Melvin Manhoef, who was coming off of his previously-mentioned destruction of Sakuraba. Manhoef’s intimidation factor was at an all-time high, but Mousasi out-grappled the Dutch dynamo and secured a triangle choke submission in just 88 seconds. Next, Mousasi faced BJJ stud Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, who was closing in on a top-ten ranking at middleweight. True to form, Souza put the Armenian Assassin on his back and tried to turn it into a grappling match. Mousasi defended the ground-attacks, kicked Jacare off, then landed a knockout upkick when Jacare tried to dive in with a punch — a wild stoppage, which showcased Mousasi’s versatility and unshakable coolness under pressure.

#2: Shinya Aoki breaks an arm, acts like a dick about it
Dynamite!! 2009, 12/31/09

Technically, the 2009 New Year’s Eve show was a co-promotion between DREAM and Sengoku — with a handful of K-1 matches thrown in on the undercard — and featured nine different DREAM vs. Sengoku bouts. For DREAM lightweight champion Shinya Aoki, there was clearly more at stake than just bragging rights. Stepping into the ring with Sengoku champ Mizuto Hirota, the Tobikan Judan wanted to exterminate with extreme prejudice. It took just over a minute for Aoki to prove that Hirota wasn’t on his level. Shattering Hirota’s arm with a hammer-lock was the exclamation point, and sticking his middle finger in Hirota’s face and then at the crowd was the unnecessary bcc to your entire Gmail address book. Aoki’s mounted gogoplata win over Katsuhiko Nagata the previous year seemed downright merciful by comparison.

#1: Eddie Alvarez vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri, Fight of the Decade candidate

In May 2008, Eddie Alvarez fought a 15-minute war against Joachim Hansen that had many observers calling it a strong front-runner for Fight of the Year. Two months later, Alvarez topped it. The wild pace, the heart shown by both fighters, the shifts in momentum, and the astounding final sequence (skip to the video’s 7:20 mark) made this match, in my opinion, the single greatest fight in the promotion’s history, and one of the purest examples of the sport that you’ll ever see.

DREAM neva die.

- Ben Goldstein


Good News of the Day: Blagoi Ivanov Recovered from Coma, Released from Hospital

Earlier this year, the future of undefeated Bellator heavyweight prospect Blagoi Ivanov appeared uncertain for the most unfortunate of reasons. However, is reporting that Ivanov has made a “miraculous recovery” over the past ten days, and has been released from Pirogov Hospital in Sofia, Bulgaria. Ivanov will still require treatment, but is determined to eventually fight again.

In February, Blagoi Ivanov was attending the after party of a boxing tournament when a fight broke out. Ivanov attempted to break up the fight when he and two of his friends were attacked by eight men carrying guns and knives. While his friends only suffered minor injuries, Ivanov was stabbed in the armpit, with the blade piercing his heart.

While surgery immediately following the stabbing was successful, Ivanov was placed in a medically-induced coma and remained on life support six weeks after the stabbing. At the time, his physicians did not comment on whether or not they expected him to fully recover from the attack.

Blagoi Ivanov’s 23-year-old assailant is being held indefinitely on charges of attempted murder. His defense team is claiming self-defense, but Ivanov’s friends insist that the attack was unprovoked.

Blagoi Ivanov first appeared on our radar in 2008, when he defeated the seemingly-indestructible (at the time) Fedor Emelianenko in a Sambo match on points (8-5) in the semi-finals of the World Combat Sambo Championships. Ivanov would go on to win the gold medal, and eventually transition to MMA. He racked up a 3-0 record (1 NC) before being signed by Bellator, where he would knock out William Penn in just over two and a half minutes at Bellator 38 and choke out TUF 10 alum Zak Jensen at Bellator 52. His most recent fight was a third round TKO over former UFC Heavyweight Champion Ricco Rodriguez on Christmas Eve, 2011 in Chekhov, Russia.

Doctors expect his recovery to take six months to a year. We’ll keep you up to date on his recovery.


Waachiim Spiritwolf and Marius Zaromskis Scheduled for a Third Inconclusive Bout at Bellator 72

Just look at these two–like a couple of wild dogs you can’t keep apart.

With two bouts and two unsatisfying stoppages already under their belts, Waachiim Spiritwolf and Marius Zaromskis are slated to once more climb into a cage and go through the motions of fighting before a freak injury leaves the viewing audience with a massive case of blue balls.

The pair first locked horns at Strikeforce Challengers 12, where an inadvertent eyepoke just seconds into the fight left Spiritwolf unable to continue. The duo reloaded and clashed once more a few weeks back at Bellator 68, where cageside doctors would call a halt to the bout between the second and third frames due to a cut between Spiritwolf’s eyebrows.

With one ‘No Contest’ and one questionable tally in the win column for Zaromskis, Spiritwolf will have his chance to settle the score on July 20th at Bellator 72.

Oddly, Bellator’s sixth season came to an end before its Welterweight tournament did. Tourney finalists Bryan Baker and Karl Amoussou will get to settle their unfinished business alongside Spiritwolf and Zaromskis.

Baker earned his spot in the finals by notching a workmanlike decision over Carlos Alexandre Pereira and upsetting Ben Saunders on the scorecards. Amoussou choked out Chris Lozano in the opening round of the tournament and snuck past David Rickels with a decision in his following fight.

Bellator 72 will kick off the promotion’s “Summer Series” at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida.