Archive for Cage Potato

Manny Gamburyan Suffers Thumb and Elbow Injuries, Forced Out of UFC 157 Fight Against Chad Mendes

(Man, could you imagine if he was like four feet closer to his opponent when he threw that punch? Devastating. / Photo via MMAWeekly)

When you think about it, it is really remarkable how successful and durable UFC featherweight Manny Gamburyan has been in his MMA career considering how many serious and ill-timed injuries he’s sustained. The Armenian judoka lost TUF 5 after suddenly injuring his shoulder during the finals against Nate Diaz and has been sidelined multiple times since then.

Well it happened again, just two weeks before another crucial fight for him. SI‘s Melissa Segura first reported via twitter earlier today that Gamburyan has pulled out of his scheduled UFC 157 fight against fellow top featherweight contender Chad Mendes, due to a broken thumb and fractured elbow. Gamburyan later confirmed the report to MMAJunkie.

I just want to apologize to the fans and (UFC President) Dana White and the UFC. I’ve been training really hard. We’ll fight down the road for sure. My team was the main event, and we’ve been training together for many years, and I really wanted to be part of it too,” Gamburyan said, referring to his teammate Ronda Rousey, who will be fighting Liz Carmouche in the UFC 157 main event.

Gamburyan estimates that he’ll be sidelined for three months, but will know more when he meets with an orthopedic doctor next week. “The Anvil” hasn’t competed since his unanimous decision win over Michihiro Omigawa at UFC on FOX 4 in August, which snapped a three-fight losing skid.

Now, the question is who Chad Mendes will fight instead. Though the UFC has been giving Mendes cupcake after cupcake since his failed title challenge against Jose Aldo in January 2012, “Money” is in no mood for another easy match. As he tweeted this evening:

So manny’s out. How bout we find out who the real number one contender is @ricardolamasmma

Considering that Ricardo Lamas just fought two weeks ago — crushing Erik Koch at UFC on FOX 6 — we’d call that matchup a long-shot. Lamas is knocking on the door of featherweight title contendership, and probably wouldn’t want to risk his place in a line for a fight against one of the division’s beasts on two weeks’ notice. We’ll keep you posted if and when Mendes gets a new dance partner for the 2/23 card.

- Elias Cepeda


Bellator 88 Results & Videos: Shlemenko Knocks Out Falcao to Win Middleweight Title, Mike Richman Scores Another Head-Kick KO

(The Shlemenko vs. Falcao stoppage, via Troll Smasher)

Last night’s Bellator middleweight title fight between ever-twirling Russian Alexander Shlemenko and hard-sluggin’ Brazilian Maiquel Falcao didn’t disappoint. After an evenly-pitched first round that featured both men making statements with their striking — and Falcao mixing in a couple takedowns — Shlemenko focused his attacks on the body in round 2, hurting Falcao with a liver punch then dropping him with a short right hand. Shlemenko fired down a few more body shots from above before KO’ing Falcao with a precision head-shot. Shlemenko earns the vacant middleweight title in impressive fashion, and will now take a break until the Season 8 middleweight tournament produces his first challenger.

Also on the Bellator 88 card, the featherweight tournament quarterfinals were highlighted by returning contender Mike Richman, who scored his third knockout under the Bellator banner with a head-kick-and-punches stoppage of Mitch Jackson — pretty much the same thing he did to Jeremy Spoon last October, only this time with Dan Miragliotta doing his lovable late-stoppage thing. You can watch the Richman/Jackson KO after the jump, along with five more stoppages from the event. Full results are below.

Main Card
- Alexander Shlemenko def. Maiquel Falcao via KO, 2:18 of round 2
- Marlon Sandro def. Akop Stepanyan via majority decision (28-28, 29-27, 29-27) – Stepanyan was docked a point in round 2 for fence-grabbing
- Mike Richman def. Mitch Jackson via TKO (head-kick and punches), 4:57 of round 1
- Alexandre Bezerra def. Genair Da Silva via submission (armbar), 1:40 of round 1

Preliminary Card
- Frodo Khasbulaev def. Fabricio Guerreiro via submission (arm triangle), 1:15 of round 2
- George Hickman def. Stephen Upchurch via submission (rear-naked choke), 2:19 of round 1
- Clay Harvison def. Ururahy Rodrigues via KO, 3:34 of round 3
- Ronnie Rogers def. Shane Crenshaw via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
- Joe Elmore def. Jerrid Burke via KO, 4:11 of round 2

(Mike Richman vs. Mitch Jackson)

(Alexandre Bezerra vs. Genair Da Silva)

(Frodo Khasbulaev vs. Fabricio Guerreiro)

(George Hickman vs. Stephen Upchurch)

(Clay Harvison vs. Ururahy Rodrigues)

(Joe Elmore vs. Jerrid Burke)


Live ‘Dog Alert: Dan Henderson Is a 2-1 Betting Underdog Against Lyoto Machida

(By the way, he’s supposed to be Danny Zuko from Grease. I’m guessing these costumes were not his idea.)

Dan Henderson fans, get your cash out. MMA Mania gives us the heads-up that Hendo is as high as a +196 underdog for his UFC 157 fight against Lyoto Machida on February 23rd. (In other words, a $ 100 bet on Henderson would return $ 196 in profit if he wins.) Considering that Henderson is coming back from a knee injury, it’s understandable that the oddsmakers don’t have complete faith in him. But considering how dangerous Henderson has looked in his last four fights — the epic war with Shogun Rua at UFC 139, and his knockouts of Fedor, Feijao, and Babalu in Strikeforce — it still feels like he’s being sold short.

Then again, you have to consider how Henderson matches up with Machida specifically. Sure, Hendo can turn your lights off with that H-Bomb if you stand in front of him, but he might have a problem with Machida’s skill at evasion and his perfectly-timed attacks from unorthodox angles. Are the odds juicy enough to warrant a bet on the old ‘dog?

In a related story, Ronda Rousey — who opened as a ridiculous -1500 favorite against Liz Carmouche — is currently sitting at a still-ridiculous -1050.


War No More: Josh Barnett Rejects UFC Contract

(“Don’t worry about me, Josh. I’ll be telling the media how much of a fucking joke you were to begin with by this time tomorrow.”)

It is being reported by multiple sources that Josh Barnett has officially turned down a UFC contract, despite the fact that we did literally everything within our power to hype up his return. The ungrateful son of a bitch former UFC heavyweight champion has been in negotiations with the organization to rejoin their ranks after his most recent home, Strikeforce, exited the fight game with a whimper last month.

Barnett’s manager, Leland LaBarre, seemed to suggest that show cash was not their issue with the UFC’s offer, which is pretty surprising considering the ridiculous rate Barnett was receiving over at Strikeforce. According to LaBarre, there were other, undisclosed issues between Barnett and the UFC that simply could not be worked out:

We agreed on guaranteed compensation.In fact, we never even countered. We accepted their original offer. There are some outlying issues – one in particular – that as of this point we were unable to agree on.

It is interesting that LaBarre felt comfortable making public what could very well have been a private development in contract negotiations, but would not detail what the sticking point is. Our guess: The UFC wouldn’t let Barnett go overseas on occasion to wrestle the likes of Bob Sapp. That, or they placed a special stipulation in his contract that forbid him from using a post-fight interview as a platform to quote biblical scripture or whatever the hell he was talking about at the final Strikeforce event.

Barnett’s professional record currently stands at 32-6. He has dropped only one of his ten MMA contests in the last six years — to Daniel Cormier in the finals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix last May. What do you think the one issue that kept Barnett from signing could be, Nation, and do you think he’s pushing his luck turning down a UFC contract at this point in his career?

- Elias Cepeda


Spike TV Reveals Details of Two New MMA Reality Shows Featuring Randy Couture

(Photo via

Earlier today, Spike TV and Bellator executives and former two-division UFC world champion Randy Couture hosted a media conference call to give more details about the two television projects “The Natural” will be involved with as part of his multi-year agreement with the cable network and rising fight organization.

The first, titled Fight Master: Bellator MMA will be a reality television fight competition show, reminiscent of the one Spike famously created with the UFC back in 2005, which also featured Couture as a coach on its first season. This time around, Couture will serve as a coach along with Frank Shamrock, Greg Jackson and Bellator fighter Joe Warren. Thirty-two welterweight contestants will vie for a spot in the Fight Master house, and sixteen will make it in to compete for $ 100,000 and a slot in a future Bellator tournament.

Spike and Bellator say that Fight Master: Bellator MMA will tape in the fall of 2013 and that the show will feature more fighter choice and autonomy than in past shows of this type. The Emmy award-winning Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri, who created The Amazing Race will serve as the show’s executive producers.

Spike and Bellator also announced a second reality show that Couture will be a part of. MMA Rescue will feature Couture using “his years of expertise in the business of mixed martial arts to help turn struggling gyms into thriving enterprises.” That’s actually new ground for MMA programming and sounds pretty cool, as far as we’re concerned. Fight fans who have, for years, been subjected to watching restaurants, bars, tattoo shops, and hair salons get turned around will now get their very own version of the business rescue reality-show format.

The Hollywood Reporter has also reported that MMA Rescue “will be produced by Couture [and] his manager Samuel Spira” and that “Production on MMA Rescue likely will begin after Fight Master wraps.”

Couture said that he felt he was “coming home to Spike” with this new agreement. The former fighter and Dana White BFF also expressed excitement at reprising his coaching role.

“Coaching is where I started before I started MMA and its something I’ve always had an affinity for,” Couture told CagePotato. “I’m a much better technical athlete than I was in 2005 and I’m looking forward to sharing that with the fighters.”

- Elias Cepeda


According to Mirko Cro Cop, Alistair Overeem Is Nothing Without His Drugs [HATE]

(“And he’s nothing without his ground-and-pound. And he’s nothing without his groin strikes, which still haunt my nightmares.”)

After Alistair Overeem‘s upset knockout loss to Antonio Silva at UFC 156, it seemed like every MMA fan on Twitter wanted to be the first to say “Called it!” Overeem, as the narrative goes, has a cat-heart, folds under pressure, doesn’t have the cardio to go three 5-minute rounds, his monstrous physique came from unnatural means, it was just a matter of time before he was exposed as a fraud, and everybody knew it all along. Well, you can add Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic to the list of notable Reem-haters. As the legendary striker explained in a recent interview with, he predicted Bigfoot would beat Overeem, partly because Overeem wasn’t fighting with his usual chemical enhancements. Here’s what Mirko had to say (translation via BloodyElbow):

I wasn’t surprised by Silva’s victory at all and I had believed he would win. I don’t want to come off as a smart-ass or say I knew it all along, so I’ll explain why I’d believed so. First, Silva is a big tough guy with a huge heart who had demolished Fedor and he needs no better reference than that, and Alistair hugely underestimated him and belittled him with his arrogant statements, so this mobilized Silva in the best possible way. Second, Silva is a natural heavyweight, and Alistair — for the first time since way back in 2007, when he began to gain huge weight — fought without the drugs he had used constantly for years, including testosterone and all the other shit that goes with it.

Watching the weigh-in, I saw that his muscles mass was nowhere near his usual, he had the weight, but he wasn’t nearly as carved out and defined, since he couldn’t take anything because he was watched by the Athletic Commission. This also reflects on the psyche of a man who’s been using stuff to increase his strength, endurance, pain tolerance and aggressiveness for years, and now there was none of that. Alistair is an excellent fighter, but he still owes that excellence to something that’s dirty and unpermitted, and, in the end, very dangerous to health.

I don’t think he was concerned by that, he wanted success at any cost. And the third thing is, Alistair had behaved so arrogantly that someone needed to put him back in his place. His belittling of Silva was repulsive, saying that after beating up Silva he’d go for the belt, and at the weigh-in and entering the arena he acted like he invented the fighting sport, and he’s been behaving with so much arrogance lately that I’m glad Silva put him back in his place and taught him a lesson! Congratulations Silva, from the heart!

Considering how their fight in 2008 turned out, it’s understandable that Cro Cop would still hold a bit of a grudge against Overeem. But according to Tim Marchman on, there’s also a pot-calling-the-kettle-black element to Cro Cop’s hate-rant. (“Kickboxer-with-sprawl who made a rep smashing tiny dudes in Japan fights under commission testing, grows love handles and loses to decent but unremarkable Brazilian heavyweight? Hmm…“)

Then again, Cro Cop is just saying what many fans were already thinking in the wake of Overeem’s loss. Was the Demolition Man’s hype really warranted? How much of his sudden heavyweight success was earned legitimately? And now that he’s competing under such heightened scrutiny from athletic commissions, will he ever be the same fighter again?


Gina Carano Talks Her Future in MMA, Ronda vs. Cyborg, And Is Still Cute as a Button [VIDEO]

(We’ve placed the video after the jump; when you see it, you’ll understand.)

Because it has been over three years since Gina Carano has fought, we don’t hear from the former “Face of Women’s MMA” as often as we’d like to, but the fighter-turned-actress was in New Orleans for the Super Bowl over the weekend, and filmed a rare interview with SB Nation in which she tried to clear up whether or not she is actually retired from MMA and what she thinks about the elusive Ronda Rousey vs. “Cyborg” Santos mega-bout.

On being called a current fighter, Carano drew an important distinction. “I haven’t fought in three years and right now I’m focusing on films…that’s what my focus is,” she explained. “I think that if your focus is fighting, then you’re a fighter and that’s not my focus right now.”

“Conviction” wouldn’t close the door on her ever fighting again, however. “You can’t say that.”

“I wake up every morning and I surprise myself. I wake up to a new me. I still train.”

She last sparred about two weeks ago, in fact, and “felt really good.”

Carano went on to say that Rousey deserves the hype and attention, and also called shenanigans on Santos claim that she’d be facing certain death if she were to cut down to 135 pounds — the prerequisite for her fighting Rousey, according to UFC President Dana White. Carano doesn’t believe that Uncle Dana is being unfair to “Cyborg” by making the former 145 pound champ drop down to 135 in order to fight in the UFC and, potentially, against Rousey.

“I don’t think so…she made it down there a lot easier than I made it down there. That’s for Cyborg to figure out,” Gina said.

“It bummed me out that Ronda and Cyborg weren’t the first [women's] UFC least we’re in there.”

- Elias Cepeda


UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar Aftermath — Parlay Destroyed

Photo via Getty Images

“I don’t think that was supposed to happen.”

That was the text I received this morning from a friend who is very much a casual MMA fan regarding last night’s UFC 156. Even though I assumed that my friend was talking about the end result of Bigfoot vs. Overeem, that statement could just as easily apply to almost any other fight on the card. We’re all familiar with the cliché that any fighter can beat anyone else on any night at this level, but we rarely see the underdogs win as frequently – and as convincingly – as they did last night. Simply put, it was an awful night for the guys who were supposed to win.

So let’s start off with the fight that went exactly as we all assumed it would: Jose Aldo defeated Frankie Edgar by a close, yet unanimous decision. Naturally, Edgar grew stronger as the fight went on. And naturally, the fight was close enough to justify an immediate rematch if one were to be booked (it probably won’t but who knows), because that’s just how Frankie Edgar fights work.

It’s impossible to be disappointed with Frankie Edgar’s effort in any given fight, and last night was no exception. Edgar provided Aldo with his stiffest challenge to date – after the champion returned from the longest layoff in his career, mind you – but Aldo was simply the better fighter.

Aldo used his leg kicks, a stiff jab and great takedown defense to control the bout during the first two rounds. Despite Aldo winning the third round, Edgar began to build momentum that he would have on his side for the rest of the bout. The crowd came alive in the fourth round after a magnificent slam from the challenger, and Edgar took the fifth round with his combinations. In the end, it was too little too late, as the judges all saw the fight in favor of Jose Aldo.

As for what happens next? That’s just about anyone’s guess. Frankie Edgar isn’t sure if he wants to stay at featherweight or move back up to lightweight for his next fight (although his boss has made it pretty clear where he feels Edgar should be). Dana White mentioned in the post-event press conference that Anthony Pettis texted him asking for Jose Aldo, and I don’t think anyone would complain about that fight being booked. Well, anyone except for Ricardo Lamas and Chan Sung-Jung, who would like to remind everyone that they exist and fight at featherweight. We’ll keep you up to date as this sorts itself out.

Elsewhere on the card…

- Lil’ Nog upset Rashad Evans, taking home a unanimous decision victory. Jon Jones may have very well beaten the aggression out of Rashad, as he seemed content with letting Nogueira occasionally jab his way to the victory. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but it was certainly enough to squash the ongoing Rashad Evans vs. Anderson Silva discussions for the time being. The less we say about this fight, the better.

- Dead serious question: Are we keeping that awesome Manto t-shirt we were trying to give away, or did one of you degenerate gamblers play the odds and predict that Bigfoot would knock out Overeem in the third round simply because no one else predicted that?

On paper, Antonio Silva defeating Alistair Overeem may very well be the most underrated upset of all time. I write this because the gambling lines had Silva at +315 - which actually made him less of an underdog than Jamie Varner was when he deflated Edson Barboza’s hype – even though I can’t think of a single reason that anyone thought Antonio Silva might win this fight. At least Jamie Varner was fighting a promising, yet unproven prospect. Silva, meanwhile, was taking on a proven destroyer who was going to issue a Cormeir/Velasquez-esque beating on his way to a title shot.

I can’t think of one advantage anyone was giving Silva before the fight, except for the token “Well, he IS pretty big, I guess.” And for the first two rounds, that’s exactly how the fight went down. Overeem didn’t look like he was ever close to finishing Silva, but it was convincing enough to justify the hype he’s been riding. And then round three happened. Holy shit, did round three happen. You’d swear Silva’s plan all along was “Let Overeem think he an defeat you, then humiliate him.” It was equal parts this and this, basically.

So the big question now is, where exactly do we go from here? It sounds like Overeem will be fighting Junior Dos Santos, and Bigfoot Silva will be doing anything but fighting Velasquez for his next fight. I like both of these ideas. Although JDS is a big name in the division, he is also coming off of a rather humbling loss and needs a victory to stay at the top of the division. Expect fireworks from that one. Also, after the beating that Cain Velasquez put on Bigfoot Silva – and even the beating that Overeem put on him during the first two rounds – I’d like to see a little more out of Silva before talking about him as a title contender.

- It’s almost like Demian Maia read all that mean stuff we published about him as a middleweight, because he has been on an absolute tear since dropping to welterweight. Maia took Jon Fitch down at will last night, and had Fitch defending against ground and pound and submission attempts the entire fight. There’s no other way to say it: Maia managed to out-Fitch Jon Fitch and actually be entertaining while doing so. Let that sink in.

- Ian McCall is officially a bust signing. McCall was considered the top flyweight on Earth before the UFC implemented the weight class, and signed to be an immediate contender in the new division. McCall quickly found that it’s a lot easier to be number one when anyone who can beat you is in the UFC fighting at bantamweight, and once he was matched up against stiff competition, he’s proven to be a tough, yet very beatable opponent.

- If you bet $ 100 on a Bobby Green, Demian Maia, Antonio Silva and Lil’ Nog parlay, you would have been put in a mental institution before the fights last night. You would have been released just in time for the main event, $ 33,663 richer.

- Fight of the Night went to Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar, Knockout of the Night went to Bigfoot Silva and Submission of the Night went to Bobby Green. All bonuses were worth $ 50k.

Full Results:

Main Card:

Jose Aldo defeats Frankie Edgar via Unanimous Decision
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira defeats Rashad Evans via Unanimous Decision
Antonio Silva defeats Alistair Overeem via TKO (Strikes), 0:25 Round Three
Demian Maia defeats Jon Fitch via Unanimous Decision
Joseph Benavidez defeats Ian McCall via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card:

Evan Dunham defeats Gleison Tibau via Split Decision
Tyron Woodley defeats Jay Hieron via KO (Strikes), 0:36 in Round One
Bobby Green defeats Jacob Volkmann via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke), 4:35 Round Three
Isaac Vallie-Flagg defeats Yves Edwards via Split Decision
Dustin Kimura defeats Chico Camus via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke), 1:50 Round Three
Francisco Rivera defeats Edwin Figueroa via TKO (Strikes), 4:20 Round Two



UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar — Main Card Results & Commentary

(“The name’s Frankie. I fight dudes twice.” Photo via MMAFighting)

Tonight at UFC 156 in Las Vegas, Jose Aldo goes for his fourth-consecutive UFC featherweight title defense, while former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar attempts to become the third fighter in UFC history to pick up a belt in two different weight classes. And that’s just the cherry on top of a stacked Super Bowl Eve card, which is loaded with big names and high stakes from start to finish.

Also on the menu: Alistair Overeem returns from suspension to clinch his heavyweight title shot with a win over Antonio Silva, while a victory for Rashad Evans over Lil’ Nog could set him up for a middleweight title fight against Anderson Silva for some reason. Plus, Jon Fitch and Demian Maia look to continue their recent surges in the welterweight division, while Joseph Benavidez and Ian McCall square off at flyweight because honestly, who else are those guys going to fight?

Round-by-round results from the Aldo vs. Edgar pay-per-view card will be stacking up after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, courtesy of George “Bigfoot” Shunick. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and please toss your own thoughts into the comments section.

OK, Potato Nation, welcome to the live chat. I’m not sure who came up with my nickname, but rest assured, I am more eloquent than cro-magnum Brazilians with gigantism. We’ve seen some impressive action thus far, but it should pale for what is about to come. (Side note: have we seen impressive fights so far? I’ve been on a road trip to North Carolina for most of the day, so I haven’t actually seen any of the fights. I’ll just assume they went well.) Fitch-Maia. Silva-’Reem. Evans-Lil Nog. Edgar-Aldo. Let me repeat that one. Edgar-Aldo. This is a legitimate super fight, folks. Hopefully my shitty Hilton internet service holds up so I can deliver to you, dear reader, a play by play worthy of the magnitude tonight holds.

OK, checked the results. The fights seem like they’ve been pretty good. I feel better about my baseless assumption now. Also, some predictions: Benavidez over McCall by decision, Fitch over Maia by decision or (gasp) late TKO, Overeem over Bigfoot by TKO, Evans by decision over Nogueira, and… Edgar over Aldo by decision. I think Jose will wear down over the course of the fight, and Edgar will take the last three rounds. Of course, being a Frankie Edgar fight with historically poor officials, there’s no guarantee the decision rendered will be just. We’ll see.

RIPPING IT INTO PIECES. UFC 156 has begun. Also, I hate Stemm. It comes with the territory, I guess. And by “it,” I mean shitty nu metal.

Ian McCall vs. Joseph Benavidez

If facial hair had any impact on the outcome of the fight, not only would Ian McCall absolutely destroy Joe Benavidez tonight but he would sit atop any pound-for-pound list this sport has. (Tiki Ghosn would be ranked dead last.) Unfortunately for him, that’s not how things work. Still, he’s an excellent fighter. I think Benavidez is better, but this – like all the flyweight fights – should be a barn-burner.

Round 1

Mazzagatti reffing this. Gets booed. Fighters touch gloves… aaaaaaaand my (PAID FOR) stream craps out. Well, this sucks. The action picks up with 3:30 left in the fight. McCall lands a hard combo, but Benavidez hurts him with a counter! High kick from Joe blocked. McCall getting his feet under him. Accidental low blow by Benavidez. Fight resumes, Benavidez still in control. Nice left right hook by McCall, who is slowly finding his range. Low kick Benavidez. McCall tags Benavidez with a right. Benavidez is cut. Lands a strong body kick. Round ends, 10-9 Benavidez, as far as I can tell.

Round 2

Apparently a headbutt was what caused Beanvidez’ cut. Second round begins, Benavidez takes the center. McCall tries to catch a kick but doesn’t get it. Jab by Benavidez, then a body shot. High kick from McCall blocked. They exchange with nothing of significance landing. Benavidez missing overhand rights. Body kick by McCall. Benavidez really looking for the overhand right, but so far hasn’t hit anything with it. Ducks under a big hook from McCall, takes the center of the Octagon. Uppercut by Benavidez, now working against the fence. They break. Beanvidez is throwing hard punches but not really landing anything. McCall, however, hasn’t landed much either. Benavidez counters a low kick. Nice right jab by McCall. Benavidez goes to the body. Benavidez slips, McCall tries to take his back, but Benavidez gets half-guard. Now McCall has his back! Benavidez scrambles, but McCall still maintains control, working ground and pound now. Benavidez stands, McCall lands a knee from a body clinch. Round ends, 10-9 McCall.

Round 3

McCall’s corner tells him that Benavidez has nothing off his back. They touch gloves. Big right hand by Benavidez! Doesn’t knock McCall down, but he felt it. Benavidez stuffs McCall’s shot, and lands an elbow. They separate. Body kick from Benavidez. Leg kick drops McCall, who was going for a kick of his own. McCall back up, Benavidez looks for a superman punch and misses. Nice right hook from McCall. Benavidez getting sloppy again, but lands a short right. Nice body kick by Benavidez, followed by a left. McCall perfectly times a takedown and almost passes to side control, but Benavidez stands up. Big body kick from Benavidez. They exchange low kicks. McCall lands another kick, but Benavidez returns fire with a combination. Low kick from Benavidez, followed by a combination. McCall lands a right, but misses a takedown. They exchange in the center of the octagon. Another body kick from Benavidez, who stuffs another takedown. The round ends, 10-9 Benavidez. Time to go to the judges…

Aaaaaand, it’s unanimous. 29-28 on all three scorecards for Benavidez. The right call. McCall collapses in despair, and Benavidez reaffirms his title intentions to the crowd. Goldberg mentions that the “stars” are in attendance tonight, and then proceeds to mention the tight end of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Most people in Jacksonville don’t know who the Jaguars tight end is. Just saying.

Jon Fitch vs. Demian Maia

Stoked for this fight. Hoping for a ground war. Better not get a stand up farce. Either’s in the cards. Speaking emphatically. Deal. I like Demian Maia, but coming out to Linkin Park? -100, sir. Conversely, Jon Fitch coming out to Johnny Cash? +100. Also, Fitch’s walkout shirt of a man fighting a bear? +100. Jon Fitch is winning the points game, people. Dominating it. Time to step your games up.

Round 1

Maia immediately shoots. He gets it. Transitions to the back. Fitch stands, and Maia is playing the role of backpack. Maia punching, now going for an RNC. Works the body, goes back for a choke. Fitch defending, elbows Maia’s thigh. Maia going for the choke, but Fitch slowly but surely defends himself. Maia leaves the back, tries to drag Fitch to the ground. He does, but Fitch stands again. They’re clinching against the fence, and Fitch grabs the fence to stop a takedown. He goes down, and Maia throws knees to Fitch’s thigh. Maia throwing strikes from the back as Fitch is kneeling. Maia works the body as the round ends. 10-9, arguably 10-8, Maia.

Round 2

Fitch lands a kick. Then a low kick. Then another. Maia with a right. Fitch returns fire. Maia gets a single, and tries to pass to side control. Fitch stands, however. Counter right by Fitch, but Maia clinches and takes Fitch down. He has one hook on Fitch’s back. Maia gets the other hook in. Maia working for a choke, but Fitch is still defending. Maia working ground and pound. Maia’s got the choke! Fitch somehow survives. Maia still working ground and pound. Dominant performance on the ground from Maia thus far. He’s been utilizing the body triangle to remain on Fitch’s back since he took him down. Fitch continues to defend, but he has no answer for Maia’s positional control. Round ends, again, 10-9 or 10-8 Maia.

Round 3

Crazy Bob Cook tells Fitch, in no uncertain terms, he needs to finish Maia on the feet. Fitch throws a kick, Maia clinches and pushes Fitch into the fence. Fitch defending the takedown as best he can. Now they’re clinched against the fence. Fitch goes down to one knee, and Maia takes his back almost instantly. Fitch finally gets out, but Maia immediately shoots. Fitch can’t get Maia off him, but Fitch goes for a guillotine. Maia drops to half guard, Fitch with a big elbow. Fitch works the body, but Maia stands and pushes Fitch into the fence. Fitch escapes, but Maia is relentless. He gets another takedown. This is exceptional. Maia ends the round in mount. His round and a clean sweep. Did not see this one coming. Maia looks absolutely dominant at 170.

Maia wins 30-27 on all scorecards. Some people in the crowd boo, because some people in the crowd are xenophobic douchebags.

Alistair Overeem vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva

Two things can happen here; Overeem will knockout Bigfoot, or Bigfoot will drag The Reem down and batter him into oblivion. The former is much more likely, but let’s not forget that Overeem is historically a bit of a front-runner. Still, much of that was before “horse meat” entered his life. Should be violent.

Round 1

Props to Joe Rogan to mentioning Overeem’s physique change has “[raised] a lot of eyebrows.” Goldberg immediately changes the subject. Overeem looks pretty confident standing across the ring. Fight starts, no glove touch. (Duh.) Silva misses a low kick. Jab by Overeem. Left to the body, and they clinch against the cage. They break. Jab by Overeem. Left to the body by Overeem and they clinch again. Overeem measuring Bigfoot for a knee. Another right hand from Overeem followed by a knee. Bigfoot works some short body punches from the fence. Silva misses a kick, tries to clinch, but Overeem turns him around effortlessly. Overeem working some knees, but none are seriously hurting Bigfoot. Big knee from Overeem following a right. Overeem’s hands are at his waist. Big low kick from Overeem. Silva returns fire. Overeem tosses Silva around in the clinch. Now working knees to the thighs. Knee to the body from Overeem. Overeem slips and counters with an uppercut. Round ends, 10-9 Reem.

Round 2

Bigfoot’s coaches sound way too optimistic heading into the second. Nice leg kick from Silva, but good counter jab from Overeem. They trade rights and Overeem tosses Silva to the ground. Herb Dean implores them to work 10 seconds after Overeem lands a takedown. Patience, Herb. Bigfoot lands serious elbows from the bottom in side control. Overeem now in Bigfoot’s open guard. Overeem punishing Silva now. Serious shots from the top that echo throughout the octagon. Bigfoot’s guard fails to threaten Overeem, who continues to land big shots to the body. More big shots, now Overeem passes to half guard. Back to full, Overeem stands. Herb Dean stands them up. Overeem misses an overhand. Big right by Silva! Overeem is undeterred. They trade hard jabs at the end. 10-9 Overeem.

Round 3

Big knee from Overeem. Bigfoot LANDS! He’s swarming him!!! Overeem is HURT! HE’S OUT!!!! OVEREEM IS OUT!! WOW!!!!!!!

Bigfoot ran up to a downed Overeem and shouted something at him. It all started from a right hand when Overeem tried to slip. Bigfoot followed with a head kick, then a big uppercut, then unloaded with a monster combination. Wow. Frontrunner for comeback of the year. Wow.

Wow. So, if we’ve learned anything, I guess it’s this; you can put on all the muscle you want, but if you’ve got the chin of a light-heavyweight, well, you’re stuck with that. Wonder what’s going to happen to the heavyweight title picture if Daniel Cormier gets past Frank Mir and refuses to fight Cain.

Rashad Evans vs. Antonio Rogerio “Minotoro” Nogueira

Um, yeah, so this fight is happening. Not really a lot to say about this; it’s designed to put Evans over for either another shot at Jones or a shot at Anderson Silva. He’ll probably look pretty good, because he’s better in all facets of MMA – save jiu-jitsu – than Nogueira. And, frankly, Lil Nog isn’t as good on the ground as his big brother. Unless he manages to hurt Evans and quickly follow up on the ground, I don’t see him taking this.

Round 1

Evans with a very wide stance. Lands a body kick. Staying just out of range of Nogueira. Faking shots. There’s little action and the croud is getting impatient. Evans throws a high kick that’s blocked. Nog lands a jab. Another jab. Then a straight left. Nogueira seems to be the superior boxer thus far. Another strong jab from Nog. Now a left. Rashad lands a big right hand. Staggers Nogueira, but nothing more. Evans lands a takedown, and punches Nogueira as the latter stands. They break. They exchange glancing crosses. Rashad lands a right. Goes for a head kick, to no avail. Close round. 10-9 Rashad, but I wouldn’t complain about a 10-10.

Round 2

Jab from Nogueira. A left misses. Rashad lands a solid inside leg kick. Lands a right after a level change. Nogueira rushes in and lands a couple shots. Then a left. Rashad lands a right. Now an inside leg kick. Nogueira lands a straight left and avoids Evans’ rush. Denies Evans a takedown. Nogueira lands another combination. Now a left to the body. Another. Nogueira is beginning to take control, although it’s not overt. He’s clearly the aggressor though. Lands another left. Rashad lands a combination, punctuated by a strong right. Nogueira lands a body kick, and then a jab. Another jab, but Evans almost takes Nogueira down. Nog escapes and lands a combination. Rashad lands a big uppercut. Body kick from Nog, followed by a combination as Evans circles. Evans misses a cross. Evans goes for a high kick, but it’s blocked. Round ends, 10-9 Nogueira.

Round 3

Right to body by Evans. Nogueira throws a combination. Evans returns. Neither lands much. Jab from Nog. Lunging right from Evans lands. But thus far, not a terribly eventful fight. Jab from Nogueira again. It seems to be the only consistent offense in this fight. Nogueira accidentally takes a finger to the eye and the fight is halted. Yves Lavigne calls for the doctor. The doctor asks him if he can continue, Nog obviously says yes. Great job, doc. Fight resumes, Nog lands a solid left. Rashad just seems bewildered right now. He shoots for a takedown, but it’s telegraphed. Nogueira lands another jab. Nogueira lands more lefts. Rashad lands a jab, but Nogueira responds. Evans can’t land a takedown because he can’t get close enough to Nogueira before he shoots. Nogueira still landing more than Rashad. Evans lands a solid right, and they trade from the clinch until the bell. 10-9 Nogueira, but really, no one won this one.

29-28 across the board for Nogueira. The right call, which at least makes this fight slightly less unbearable. OK, let’s get to Edgar-Aldo already…

Frankie Edgar vs. Jose Aldo

This fight is actually happening, Potato Nation. I’m not going to say anything else. Just enjoy the moment.

Round 1

Jose Aldo is 26. That never ceases to astound me. FIGHT TIME. They touch gloves. Edgar with a low kick. Edgar moving well. Aldo lands a body kick, but Edgar was circling away. Edgar circling towards Aldo’s right leg though. Edgar lands an inside leg kick. Aldo having trouble finding Edgar, but his defense is solid as well. Uppercut from Aldo, but Edgar returns fire. Nice jab from Aldo. Another one. Very strong. Aldo is beginning to find his timing. He coutners a low kick with a cross. Another one. Aldo is taking charge. Jab glances Edgar. Edgar misses a low kick. Another jab from Aldo. Nice right from Edgar. Another jab from Aldo. Edgar having trouble closing the distance. Edgar lands a right backing up. They exchange jabs. Edgar’s nose is bloodied. Another jab from Aldo. More punches as he moves backwards. BIG leg kick from Aldo. Edgar lands a cross. Another leg kick. Jesus those sound painful. Round ends, 10-9 Aldo.

Round 2

Edgar lands, but his leg is already swollen. Nice right from Aldo, thena  jab. Frankie returns fire with a right. Jab from Aldo misses. Edgar is beginning to adjust to Aldo’s jab. Frankie lands a leg kick. Shoots for a half hearted single. Body kick Edgar. They exchange in the center. Nice jab from Aldo, who stuffs another takedown. BIG leg kick staggers Edgar. Edgar fires back with a right. Another leg kick, which takes out Edgar’s leg. Both fighters land. Another leg kick. Aldo has figured out a weakness and he’s exploiting it. Nice right from Edgar. Edgar lands a combination and avoids a flying knee, pushing Aldo into the fence. They separate. Aldo lands a kick, but Edgar catches it, lands a right and takes him down. Aldo stands up though. Edgar lands a jab. Aldo is beginning to tire. Frankie keeps up the pressure and lands a right. Two jabs from Aldo. Aldo misses a spinning kick and Edgar lands a hook. Round ends, 10-9 Aldo, but Edgar has the momentum.

Round 3

Edgar eats a kick, takes Aldo down, but Aldo pops right back up. Edgar with a low kick. Nice right by Aldo. Edgar backing Aldo up though. Misses an overhand right. A right from Aldo is blocked. They exchange. Front kick from Aldo barely misses knocking Edgar out. Edgar’s nose may be broken, though. Aldo lands a counter hook. They size each other up, and Edgar lands a kick to the body. Aldo with a jab. Aldo using his circling to avoid Edgar’s rushes. Leg kick from Edgar. Another. Another. Left hook from Aldo. Nice combo from Edgar, who catches a kick and answers with his own. Nice uppercut from Edgar. Big right hand from Edgar. Leg kick from Aldo misses. Aldo tosses Edgar’s takedown attempt off. Nice right hand from Frankie. Inside leg kick from Edgar. Nice kick from Edgar. Round ends… 10-9 Edgar?

Round 4

Can Edgar maintain this momentum? Nice right from Edgar. Inside leg kick from Edgar. Nice right. Another leg kick from Edgar. Inside leg kick from Edgar. Spinning back kick from Aldo lands. Aldo lands a leg kick, but eats a couple punches. High kick from Edgar is blocked. Edgar backing Aldo down. Edgar misses a spinning back kick of his own. Edgar’s movemnt is flustering Aldo. Goes for a takedown, fails, but lands punches on the separation. Edgar lands an uppercut. Aldo lands a jab. Left hook from both fighters. Leg kick from Edgar. Combination from Edgar. Edgar SLAMS Aldo down, but Aldo stands. Now they clinch against the fence, Edgar kneeing Aldo, who is trying to break Edgar’s grip. They break. Leg kick Edgar. Combination from Edgar. Fakes a takedown and throw s a combination. Lands a cross. Round ends, 10-9 Edgar.

Round 5

Round starts. Both circle. Edgar backs him up with jabs, but none land. Low kick Edgar. Both land as Edgar jumps in. Aldo barely misses a flying knee. Lands a jab though. Another nice jab. Nice right hand from Edgar. Spinning back kick is blocked by Aldo. Nice jab from Edgar, but Aldo lands a counter left. Edgar doesn’t get a takedown, but lands a knee. Both men miss. Left hook from Edgar. Low kick Edgar. Another one. Nice right from Aldo. Frankie pressuring now, lands a nice knee. Lands a good combination. A jab. Throws a high kick. Another inside leg kick. They exchange crosses. Left hook Edgar. Good combo from Edgar. Edgar with ANOTHER combo. Nice hook. Almost lands a headkick. Both men exchange crosses. Aldo lands a crazy superman punch off the fence, but it’s too little too late for the round. 10-9 Edgar.

Oh great, another Frankie Edgar title fight, another close decision. I had Aldo winning the first two, Edgar winning the last two, and the third round is… close. I gave it to Frankie, but I don’t feel confident in it. Anyway, we go to the judges…

49-46, 49-46, 48-47, all for Aldo. I can see the 48-47. But 49-46? God, I hate MMA judges. Anyway, Jose Aldo says stuff, including that he’s not moving to lightweight just yet. Edgar says other stuff, and congratulates Aldo. Alright, that’s the end of things. Overall, a good, and surprising, night of fights. Thanks for joining, Potato Nation.

Preliminary card results:
- Evan Dunham def. Gleison Tibau via split-decision (29-28 x 2, 28-29)
- Tyron Woodley def. Jay Hieron via KO, 0:36 of round 1
- Bobby Green def. Jacob Volkmann via submission (rear-naked choke), 4:25 of round 3
- Isaac Vallie-Flagg def. Yves Edwards via split-decision (29-28 x 2, 28-29)
- Dustin Kimura def. Chico Camus via submission (rear-naked choke), 1:50 of round 3
- Francisco Rivera def. Edwin Figueroa via TKO, 4:20 of round 2


Catch the ‘UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar’ Weigh-Ins Live Right Here Starting at 7 p.m. EST [UPDATED w/RESULTS]

(While Arianny was surely impressed by Ubereem’s physique, Chandella quickly remarked that she had seen greater stallions than Alistair when put out to pasture earlier that afternoon.) 

Jose Aldo, Frankie Edgar, Alistair Overeem, and the rest of the 22 fighters set to compete on tomorrow night’s UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar card are scheduled to hit the scales LIVE from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas starting at 7 p.m. EST. You know what that means, so join us after the jump to catch all of the weigh-in action. My predictions: Volkmann gets booed, Arianny gets wooed, and Yves Edwards deviates from his usual bag of KC Masterpiece for a tube of Pringles that shoots out a fake snake when he offers a chip to opponent Isaac Vallie-Flagg. Then he turns to his crew of frat bros and yells “Freshman!” before proceeding to paddle the ever-loving shit of the UFC newbie, because it is NOT OK to be a UFC newbie.

Main Card
Jose Aldo (145) vs. Frankie Edgar (144)
Rashad Evans (206) vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (206)
Alistair Overeem (264) vs. Antonio Silva (262)
Jon Fitch (171) vs. Demian Maia (170)
Joseph Benavidez (126) vs. Ian McCall (125)

Preliminary Card
Evan Dunham (155) vs. Gleison Tibau (155)
Jay Hieron (168) vs. Tyron Woodley (170)
Bobby Green (155) vs. Jacob Volkmann (156)
Yves Edwards (155) vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg (156)
Chico Camus (134) vs. Dustin Kimura (139.5*)
Edwin Figueroa (137.5*) vs. Francisco Rivera (137*)

*Wow, the first three fighters miss weight. They will all be given an hour to lose the pounds. 

Update: Figueora and Rivera made weight, but Kimura did not. According to Ariel Helwani, 20% of Kimura’s purse will be forfeited to Chico Camus.

-J. Jones