Archive for Cage Potato

The Next Big Dumb Thing is Here: ‘Warrior Island’

After watching several cartoonishly corny videos (the first above, more of which we will subject you to after the jump) we’re not sure what “Warrior Island” is, exactly, but from the little we can glean it is even more stupid than X-Arm. If you’re not familiar with X-Arm, watch this and realize the magnitude of the above claim.

We’ll mostly let the videos speak for themselves but it appears as if something called Global Proving Ground (GPG, to help this future pop culture phenomenon get rolling) is pitching a reality competition television show that will, in some way, include martial artists pitted against one another on an island. They are holding tryouts – you don’t want to miss the audition tapes below – and we, the ardent GPG fans will vote on who we want to see on the island, or something to that effect.

Oh yeah, they are also trying to bilk “fighters” out of $ 9.95/month for supposedly expert advice from a tatted up doctor that looks like every annoying guy at any MMA event ever.

In the opening trailer we see several shirtless, fat men running pained and barefoot through some vaguely Polynesian beach forest, at least one emaciated looking dude doing the same, and an unidentified Dan Severn jogging with a gray t shirt on.

The camera cuts to other exotic locations where actors perform the clunkiest sparring demonstrations you’ve ever seen: The world’s least flexible ninja doing Karate, two guys battling ever. so. slowly. with Wu Shu swords on the Great Wall of China, or something, while tinny-sounding sword clashing audio is superimposed over the video. Wait until you see the thrilling Pankration demonstration or the two guys who don’t know what Sambo is, demonstrating what Sambo is.

The audition tapes contain one perfectly nice gentleman that says he’s practiced Kung Fu every day since 1970. As he prances around delicately, completely off balance for fighting at almost every juncture, take comfort knowing that, no matter how bad your day is going, at least you haven’t wasted 42 years of your life doing something useless every day.

Audition tapes and an appeal from Dr. Douchebag after the jump.

The biggest dufus in the videos, however, is the interviewer who, when he comes in to frame, we realize is wearing a camouflage hat, a black gi and an American flag-colored belt. This is the guy in charge, ladies and gentlemen.

They also have a mentally disabled kid auditioning. So there’s that.

Not only is this sham of an organization ok with insulting an audience and trying to swindle perfectly healthy adults, they’re also fine with stringing along mentally disabled folks. That kid is only guy in the video with credibility, as far as we’re concerned, and we hope that off camera he beat the crap out of everyone else in the room.

Looks like he probably could.

Audition Tapes:

Dr. Douchebag:

- Elias Cepeda


Nick Diaz Continues Quixotic Legal Battle Against Nevada Athletic Commission: Requests Judicial Review From Court

(As you can clearly see, there’s no way I could have smoked any weed before UFC 143 because I had not picked even a single nugget yet. I rest my case.)

Since he tested positive for marijuana metabolites after his UFC 143 loss to Carlos Condit and was suspended for a year and fined nearly $ 80,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), Nick Diaz has fought the punishment in just about every place he could, and continued Wednesday by filing a Memorandum of Points and Authorities to support his petition for judicial review. So far, Diaz and his high-profile legal defense team have struck out in appealing to the Nevada State Attorney General and the NSAC itself in a hearing.

The NSAC has thirty days to respond and after that a judge will hear Diaz’ petition. Luke Thomas and MMA Fighting spoke with a member of Diaz’ legal team:

The Commission needs to understand that it cannot act with impunity in the exercise of its authority…In Diaz’s opinion, while fighters must respect the lawful authority of state athletic commissions, they should not accept unjust and unlawful disciplinary action. Further, Diaz finds it bizarre that the Commission is vigorously policing legal marijuana use outside competition while at the same time endorsing and sanctioning the use of steroids and testosterone — which has a direct effect on fighters and their opponents in competition. The Commission needs to refocus itself on protecting fighters and the fairness of the combat sports they regulate. Diaz believes this legal proceeding may provide the Commission a helpful push in the right direction, for the benefit of all fighters and the reputation of the sport itself.

Diaz’s petition has some interesting and seemingly compelling parts to it, including his lawyers’ contention that marijuana metabolites are not, in fact, banned substances. But they also continue to stretch out some arguments.

In what way does the NSAC “endorse and sanction,” the use of steroids? It is true that the commission has recently begun to issue therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy to every single some fighters who have applied for them. They could theoretically issue some for marijuana use to those, like Diaz, who are legally allowed to use it in their home state of California to help with various ailments.

The thing is, NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer has said that Diaz has never applied for a TUE for Marijuana. If part of Diaz’s argument is that he has a legal right to use marijuana out of competition and that he should have the same right to use as those who have been granted TUE’s, he probably should have applied for one at some point. Then again, we are talking about a man who once stated that he couldn’t move out of his shitty neighborhood because he didn’t major in buying a house during his time at Stockton U, which I can only imagine is run like Harvard post Method Man and Redman’s arrival.

Not that Diaz would have a clear path if he actually did apply. There’s no reason to believe that the NSAC would grant him their first exemption ever for marijuana, and there are not really guidelines for permissible amounts of THC or metabolites the way there are for testosterone.

In any case, at least Diaz is clearly not retired and obviously wants to get back to fighting as soon as possible (Ed note: Yeah, until he loses again). We’ll keep you posted on developments with this story as they are made available. To check out Diaz’ full petition to the court, click here.

- Elias Cepeda


[VIDEO] Full UFC 154: St. Pierre vs. Condit Press Conference

(“Don’t worry, Carlos, I’ll let you hold a real belt for a minute after this photo op is over.”)

Earlier today, the UFC held its official press conference to announce the long awaited showdown between welterweight “champion” Georges St. Pierre and “interim champion” Carlos Condit at UFC 154. And we may have had to do some regrettable things for this guy in a parking lot to get it, but we’ve managed to snag the full video of the press conference for your viewing entertainment.

Join us after the jump to hear Condit and GSP engage in a good old fashioned battle of politeness. Seriously, GSP is so nice that he even declares Condit to be the true champion at one point. Condit tries to fire back by stating that St. Pierre is ”the best in the world,” but one does not simply ”out-nice” a Canadian.

Man, if GSP didn’t have it in him to break that “nice guy” Dan Hardy’s arm when given the opportunity, we might be in for the first double DQ via Kalib Starnesian backpedaling in UFC history come UFC 154. Only time will tell, I guess.

-J. Jones


[VIDEO] The UFC’s Totally Honest Hype Trailer for UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar

I just watched the first official trailer for UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar and I’m stoked, Nation. Not because the brief montage of fight film, music and narration fooled me into thinking that Stephan Bonnar somehow isn’t a gigantic underdog against Anderson Silva, but rather because the trailer is so honest about his chances and what we’re likely to see. It’s a nice change of pace.

Check it out above and see what I mean. After injuries jacked up UFC 153′s main event twice as well as the originally scheduled co-main, the UFC did the best they could by getting the world’s best fighter on the card and throwing a fearless, aggressive, entertaining fighter at him. The trailer serves as a reflection of this, as it basically tell fans, “Look, Anderson Silva is probably going to knock Bonnar out and we all know whenever ‘The Spider’ does that it’s hella exciting. But if somehow that doesn’t happen, and Bonnar wins, well that would be as big of an upset as we’ve ever seen, and dang, wouldn’t that be exciting, too? Please watch us. It’s been a rough year.”

Listen, I’m a Pride FC head, so I don’t need much convincing to get into crazy cool freak show match ups. In fact, I spend hours every Sunday morning scouring the Interwebs for tapes of Fedor fighting Zulu Jr.Cro Cop kicking Dos Caras’ mask off, and things of that nature, so you’re darn tooting I’ll watch Silva challenge himself at a higher weight class against a guy who’s beaten, barely lost to, or at least survived against the best the light heavyweight division has offered him over the last seven years.

I know “The American Pyscho” is just a nick name, but there really is something off about that Stephan Bonnar character. He’s a smart, educated guy that doesn’t mind throwing both of those things out the window in an instant for the sake of a good scrap. Blood doesn’t faze him and he may think that he’s a Samurai. Put it this way, here in Chicago we’re pretty certain that the Honey Badger stopped giving a fuck after rooming with Bonnar at Purdue University freshman year.

- Elias Cepeda


UFC Tonight & Ultimate Insider Recap: Updates on Rory MacDonald, Jon Jones, and the Greatest Flying Knees in the UFC

Another Tuesday night has come and gone which means Fuel TV was the destination of choice for most MMA fans. At least it probably was, if A.) you are lucky enough to have the channel and B.) weren’t too busy watching Tosh.O or Sons of Anarchy. Now that I think of it, I’m guessing a total of four of you actually watched last night. Not to worry, Potato Nation taters you guys, we watched UFC Tonight and UFC Ultimate Insider for you and laboriously jotted down all the juicy news and rumors for your enjoyment. Here’s what you missed:

Reminder: UFC on Fuel 5 starts at 4pm ET this Saturday. Plan your weekend accordingly.

Speaking of UFC on Fuel 5, one half of the main event Stefan Struve attempts 4.5 submissions per 15 minutes of fighting but has 0% takedown defense. That is not a typo. He has been grounded each of the four times an opponent has attempted to take him to the canvas. I’m no expert, but isn’t that a little troubling? Maybe it’s all just a part of “Skyscraper”‘s master plan considering 16 the BJJ purple belt’s 24 victories come by way of submission. It’s kind of hard to argue with results like that.

Ariel Helwani popped on the screen for a minute to update us on the injury status of a one Jonathan Jones – and it’s not looking good. The reigning UFC light heavyweight champion has been medically suspended indefinitely pending x-rays. Let’s just hope it looks better than this.

Helwani also talked with the still recovering hipster, Rory Macdonald. As of now, he’s feeling much better and is able to do some conditioning work and hit pads.It’s not much, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction, which is more than I can say for the fashion advice he’s been receiving. Moving along, Macdonald‘s doctors say he will be able to start camp in two weeks and the VADA drug testing for his upcoming fight against BJ Penn is still part of the plan as far as he knows.

Newly minted Jakks action figure UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson says he wants to defend his title as often as possible. When asked who he thought was next, “Mighty Mouse” said he’d be paying special attention to UFC on FX 5 on October 5th, when TUF 14 contender Jon Dodson meets UFC noob Jussier Formiga in a “#1 contender” bout. Make of that what you will.

Funniest line of the show came from Johnson when he said that the people booing were intoxicated, so he wasn’t really affected by it.

This week’s UFC Tonight poll question was ‘Who Do You Want To See Jon Jones Fight Next?’ The results we’re actually quite surprising. Take a look for yourself. Dan Henderson racked up 45% of the votes and was the majority decision by fans. Alexander Gustafsson had 23%, Lyoto Machida took 14%, and Chael P. Sonnen only garnered 18% of the vote. Maybe Sonnen will need to do a little more than talk smack before he gets a crack at Jones.


UFC Ultimate Insider took, you guessed it, an inside look at the career of Glover Teixeira. Here’s what you should know, if you didn’t already. Teixeira has been around for awhile. He started training MMA in 2001 and eventually wound up being the main sparring partner of UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell between 2004 and 2006. Unfortunately, according to Ed Soares, the Brazilian was here illegally. You know what that means.

It took three years to get his green card, but when he finally did, Joe Silva was one of the first to know. Now back training at The Pit under the tutelage of “The Iceman” and watchful eye of John Hackleman, Teixeira is determined to make an impact in the cage. Liddell warns other 205-ers that Glover’s only getting better so they better take their shot at him sooner rather than later.

To close out the show, Joe Rogan ranked his Top 8 Greatest Flying Knees. Here they are:

#8.) Travis Browne vs. Chad Griggs at UFC 145

#7.) Thiago Alves vs. Matt Hughes at UFC 85

#6.) Pablo Garza vs. Fredson Paixao at The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale

#5.) Spencer Fisher vs. Matt Wiman at UFC 60

#4.) BJ Penn vs. Sean Sherk at UFC 84

#3.) Carlos Condit vs. Don Hyun Kim at UFC 132

#2.) James Irvin vs. Terry Martin at UFC 54

#1.) Jose Aldo vs. Cub Swanson at WEC 41



Street Fight of the Day: “Bumblebee” Digs “Big Red” A Shallow, Snowy Grave [VIDEO]

Here at CagePotato HQ, we’ve decided to take a break from our regularly scheduled programming to bring you this street fight video. On the scale of Worst…Street Fight…Ever to Redneck Defends Fiance’s Honor, Wins on Points, we’d have to rank it somewhere above the latter, if only for the decisive, not to mention completely unexpected finish it provides. Plus, an onlooker shouts, “Kick his ass, sea bass!” and there’s even a very audible “F*ck him up!” tossed in for good measure, so this video basically appeals to all audiences.

As you can see, the fight looks to be pretty even until kid in the shorts (a.k.a “Bumblebee”) smartens up and uses his opponent’s fight attire against him. It’s all downhill from there, as “Bumblebee” sinks in a guillotine before tossing “Big Red” to the frozen tundra. But the best part comes on Big Red’s way down to the frigid earth, as our boy Bumbles promptly delivers a kick that nearly caves his foe’s face right in, which is kinda what I thought the UFC 152 main event was going to look like after Belfort bum-rushed Jones and came within inches of having himself DQ’d.



[VIDEO] Ed O’Neill a.k.a. Al Bundy and The Gracies Breakdown Vitor Belfort’s “Nearacle” Armbar

(O’Neill, seen here earning his brown belt the hard way.)

Until Ron Swanson graced the small screen with his mustachioed, government busting, breakfast food-loving presence, Al Bundy was considered to be far and away the manliest man ever created in the history of television, bar none. Perhaps in an attempt to live up to his character’s Polk High legendary athlete status, portraying actor Ed O’Neill took up BJJ some 22 years ago and received his black belt under Rorion Gracie in 2007. An avid MMA fan, we’ve seen O’Neill talk shop with such legends as Chuck Liddell on Fox Sports’ Barfly, but recently, he decided to join Ryron and Rener Gracie for one of their infamous Gracie Breakdowns to discuss and demonstrate Vitor Belfort’s near miracle (or the shortened “nearacle” as we’ve dubbed it) armbar of Jon Jones in the first round of their fight at UFC 152.

And we gotta say, Bundy O’Neill definitely knows his stuff. His assertion that Jones may actually welcome wrist control from the guard as a way of setting up an elbow strike is an incredibly astute observation to make and one I hadn’t personally considered when dissecting Jones’ game, so a kudos is in order for the Emmy-nominated star of Modern Family. Although Vitor has admitted to easing off the armbar when he heard Jones’ arm pop, the Gracies believe that had Jones not attempted to slam his way out of the armbar, Belfort would have never even come close to pulling it off in the first place. We know Jones claimed that he needed to embrace his Jiu-Jitsu a little more after the fight, and perhaps moments like this confirm that, but the fact that the champ was able to submit a black belt like Belfort with a picture perfect Americana shows that he surely knows a thing or two about the ground game when he needs to.

Check out the full video, which also breaks down Jones’ fight-winning Americana, below.

OK, Potato Nation, O’Neill vs. Seagal in a no holds barred fight to the death: Who takes it?

-J. Jones


UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort Aftermath

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski | US Press Wire)

By Elias Cepeda


Only time will tell if Jon Jones was correct in saying that if he put in a great performance at UFC 152, fans would forgive him for turning down Chael Sonnen as a last-minute replacement to the never-was UFC 151. He certainly did put in a great performance in defending his UFC light heavyweight championship Saturday night against Vitor Belfort.

Other than a tight arm bar attempt that Belfort snapped on from his guard early in the first round that looked to very nearly win the fight for the 10-1 underdog, Jones dominated the fight up through a fourth round Americana submission that earned him the win. Jones didn’t spend much time messing around on the feet before going for and scoring a take down in the first round.

After he withstood his arm being hyper extended and freed himself from Belfort’s hold, Jones went about methodically tagging the Brazilian with short elbows from inside his full guard, opening up a cut over The Phenom‘s right eye that bled for the rest of the fight.

When they were on their feet, Jones kept his distance, landing with front leg side kicks to Belfort. Vitor’s best chance at winning this fight always seemed to be if he could manage to unload his fast hands in the type of flurry that smoked Wanderlei Silva over a decade ago, or knocked out Rich Franklin and Yoshihiro Akiyama more recently.

Belfort landed some good single shots, including a couple head kicks, but he was never able to pull the trigger on combinations that could have possibly backed Jones up or hurt him. Belfort mostly let Jones walk him backwards before getting taken down, as he did years ago in his second fight against Randy Couture, without making the champion pay for trying to get inside.

A beautiful front leg side kick to the ribs from Jones in the third pretty much put the nail in the fight’s coffin for Belfort. The kick dropped the former champ and from there on out, he went to his comfort zone of the guard in order to try and catch breathers, even though strategically, it seemed suspect.

One can’t really blame Belfort for making the poor choice of pulling guard after he got hurt from the body kick. We don’t know exactly how injured he got from it, and people do strange things when they’re hurt. He took a beating from his guard after that but he hung tough until Jones passed and locked on the shoulder lock from the cross-side position.

However, it was a bit disappointing to see him not try to employ the best strategy off of his back before the body shot. Sure, Belfort went for and nearly got an arm bar off the bat. After getting taken down early in the fight, it might have made sense for the Jiu Jitsu black belt to shoot up an arm bar on Jones. They were still relatively dry since it was early in the fight, and why not give Jones his first real submission test of his career?

But after that failed, Belfort would have been best served trying with all his might to get up to his feet every time he was put on his back. Instead, he played an old school Brazilian Jiu Jitsu closed guard game, for the most part.

Belfort didn’t try to scramble back to his feet against his larger wrestler of an opponent, choosing to look for submissions from his guard. In that guard, Belfort didn’t try to control Jones’ posture much, either. He instead played a double wrist control game that just got him elbowed over and again for his trouble.

Before guys like Chuck Liddell paved the way with cage walking, having being on your back against the cage while fighting a wrestler was a death sentence. These days, however, many downed fighters search out the cage so that they can get, first, to their elbows, then to their hands, squat up, stagger their stance to defend another take down, and then circle away from their cage once on their feet.

There’s no guarantee that Belfort would have been able to successfully get back to his feet if he tried against Jones, but he sure needed to try to have a chance to win the fight. Belfort has never used the best game plans throughout his still-storied career, but Jones is nothing if not cerebral and calculating as a fighter.

You can look at his tactic of trying to take away Belfort’s best chance of winning – his hands – by using his reach until he quickly went for take downs as micro evidence. You can also look at his decision to not fight Sonnen when Henderson pulled out of UFC 151, and instead wait four weeks to fight Belfort, as an example of Jones’ intelligence.

Hate him if you still want for not taking a new opponent on what was essentially three days’ notice, or for supposedly taking money out of the pockets of other fighters. Hell, maybe his recent apparent conversion to the Amish faith has you a bit perplexed.

But what you have to admit is that Jones has always done exactly what he’s supposed to as a fighter – win and win convincingly, and after the dust has settled, he’s still the light heavyweight champion, richer for securing a win bonus and submission of the night award, and for not having spoiled his new Nike contract with a loss out of the gates.

Jones may not be the most self aware kid, yet, and he can sound sanctimonious. But he told us straight out that he was making the decision he thought best for his career, to allow him to continue to provide for his family, when he turned down Sonnen for UFC 151, and there’s no way now to say that he didn’t make the right move.

Take away the fact that it isn’t smart for any world-class fighter to switch opponents on just days’ notice, and we still have the fact that Sonnen was a much more dangerous fighter for Jones to face, with not half the credibility of Belfort.

Sonnen is bigger than Belfort and actually had the wrestling to put Jones on his back and test him there, where he never really has been before. Sonnen is also coming off of a loss and has never been a champion. Belfort was a former two-time champion and future hall of famer that was riding a win streak and is also known for an exciting style.

Other than the arm bar in the first, Jones was able to beat Belfort on cruise control, something that would have been a lot less likely against Sonnen, who has shown he is willing to forge ahead into danger just to give his superb wrestling a chance to win him fights. Love Jones or hate him, but he’s the champion for good reason.

Deal with it.

Mini Mighty Men

Demetrious Johnson gets better with each fight. It wasn’t too long ago that he was awarded a gift decision against Miguel Torres before getting dominated by Dominick Cruz in their 135 pound title fight, or that long ago since he drew with Ian McCall in a fight faded in at the end.

But now Johnson is the first ever UFC Flyweight champion and it is because he is undoubtedly the best in the world at 125 pounds. He earned a split decision win over Joseph Benavidez Saturday night that was competitive but not as close as the judges saw it.

Joe B was the favorite coming into the fight, in some ways for good reason, but Johnson showed up at his best, was slicker on the feet, had better wrestling time and got stronger as the fight wore on, dominating the fifth round before being awarded the championship belt. Johnson cut angles on his feet masterfully, often getting out of the way of Benavidez’ wild but powerful striking and leaving him punching air.

While Benavidez mostly shot for take downs from far away without setting them up very well with strikes, Johnson timed his shots for when Joe was swinging for the fences. Once that happened, Mighty Mouse would change levels, get his hips in deep on Benavidez, catching him off guard, and dumping him to the ground.

I think the official take down tally was Johnson, 5, Benavidez, 0. Even without his sharper striking and dominant positions earned, that would have gone a long way in the judges eyes for Johnson. Benavidez shouldn’t fall that fall down in the rankings with his effort.

He himself landed some good shots on the feet and secured dominant positions at times on the ground, notably a guillotine choke attempt from the mount early in the fight. Perhaps he and McCall can each get tune-up fights before fighting one another for another shot at Johnson.

Whoever you scored the Flyweight title fight for, you’d have to be an idiot to not appreciate the technique, speed, perpetual motion and willingness to mix it up that both fighters showed. Evidently, Toronto MMA fans in attendance at UFC 152 are idiot.

The crowd inexplicably booed at multiple points during the fight between Johnson and Benavidez. We don’t get it.

Maybe it was their small size. If so, here’s some truth for those fans and any other flyweight haters that may be reading now – If you don’t enjoy watching the lighter weight classes in fighting it isn’t because they’re not exciting, its because you don’t like that those tiny guys could kick your ass.

But hey, to each their own. For those that don’t like watching elite MMA we know of a certain just-announced boxing extravaganza happening later this year that might be more your speed.


UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort — Live Results & Commentary

(“And *that’s* what I think of your wife’s titties. Yeah! Boo me, bitches! BOO MEEEEEEEEEEEE!” / Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle. For more photos from this gallery, click here.)

In the breakneck world of the UFC, a six-week hiatus between events feels like an eternity. But absence makes the heart grow fond, and if you’re anything like us, you’re super freakin’ pumped to watch some fights tonight. It doesn’t matter that the UFC light-heavyweight champion is defending his belt against a middleweight in a PRIDE New Year’s Eve-caliber squash match, or that the flyweight championship co-main event will very likely go to decision, or that Michael Bisping is the biggest asshole east of the Atlantic. Because when you add those guys up — and toss in Brian Stann, featherweight fight-finisher Charles Oliveira, and the return of Matt Hamill — you’ve got one of the most talent-rich UFC main cards of the year. Thanks, Jon.

Handling our liveblog for the UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort pay-per-view broadcast is beloved CagePotato feature writer Jim Genia, who will be stacking round-by-round results after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and tell us what you’re drinking in the comments section.

UFC 152 preliminary card quick results:
- Vinny Magalhães def. Igor Pokrajac via submission (armbar), 1:14 of round 2
- TJ Grant def. Evan Dunham via unanimous decision (29-28 x 2, 30-27)
- Sean Pierson def. Lance Benoist via unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
- Marcus Brimage def. Jimy Hettes via unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
- Seth Baczynski def. Simeon Thoresen via KO, 4:10 of round 1
- Mitch Gagnon def. Walel Watson via submission (rear-naked choke), 1:09 of round 1
- Kyle Noke def. Charlie Brenneman via TKO, 0:45 of round 1

Greetings, Potato dudes.  It is I, Jim Genia, about to render you some UFC 151 livebloggery.  You ready for some MMA jibber-jabba?

First up: Cub Swanson vs. Charles Oliveira

Swanson was more or less a ham-and-egger during his tenure in the WEC, but he’s been looking good in the Octagon of late.  Oliveira, meanwhile, failed to make the featherweight cutoff by 0.2 pounds, so it’s okay to call him “Fatty” for this bout.

Round 1: Both men start off be feeling each other out with various kicks and punches, with Oliveira’s reach advantage apparent from the outset.  The Brazilian gets a takedown before a minute passes, but Swanson’s guard is solid and in no time the WEC vet is back on his feet.  If that brief turnabout instills Swanson with any confidence of his chances on the ground, his power on the feet makes it all irrelevant.  The American blasts Oliveira with a left hook body blow, and a few second later he wings an overhand right to the eye socket that drops the Brazilian like a sack of potatoes (tenuous pun intended).  That’s all she wrote.

Cub Swanson def. Charles Oliveira via KO (Punch) at 2:40, Round 1.

Next: Matt Hamill vs. Roger Hollett

TUF veteran Hamill – the toughest deaf dude around – returns from retirment to take on the Canadian Hollett, whose claim to fame is almost getting ganked by Bellator’s rigorous fighter contracts.  Question: how does Hamill choose his walkout music?  Okay, I’m going to hell.

Round 1: Hamill comes out aggressive, chasing his foe down with jabs and low-kicks.  It takes nearly a minute for Hollett to lose the deer-caught-in-the-headlights look and fire back with a right hand of his own, but someone stepped into this cage with a boatload of confidence, and it ain’t the Canadian.  The chase continues, with Hamill landing about six strikes for every one of Hollett’s.  The TUFer gets the takedown with a minute and a half left in the round, and after dumping Hollett onto the canvas, he wrestler-rides him and peppers the turtled fighter nonstop with a barrage of short punches.  Hollett makes it back to his feet with ten seconds left and nails the American in the gut with a punch, and then the bell rings.

Round 2: Hollett comes out pretty stiff, but Hamill just stands there, so the UFC rookie throws a few single punches and a spinning back-kick.  A minute and a half in, Hamill rushes forward and easily gets the takedown, but nothing really happens while he’s in Hollett’s guard, and the Canadian kicks him away and stands.  Hamill looks winded – did his barrage in the first round tire him out?  Hollett gains in confidence, and when it becomes apparent that Hamill is less-than-dangerous, Hollett opens up a little more with his punches (and he even throws another spinning back-kick).  The pace slows even more, with Hamill looking like he didn’t know this bout was slated for three rounds so he trained only for one.  He does get another takedown in the waning seconds of the round, but, blah.  The bell rings.

Round 3: Hamill comes out moving forward a little more, and after a minute passes, he shoots for a double-leg and succeeds in getting his foe down near the cage.  Hollett rolls to his knees and turtles again, so again the American rides him and feeds him some love-taps.  With a little over two minutes left Hollett gets back to his feet, but Hamill shoots for another takedown and we’re left wondering if the Canadian spent too much time training spinning kicks and not enough time wrestling.  Not much output by Hamill in terms of ground and pound from top position, but when referee Dan Miragliotta stands them, Hamill effortless gets Hollett down.  Time runs out with Hamill huffing and puffing while delivering the kind of punches from above that would instill fear in no man.  Regardless, it’s pretty obvious who deserves the decision.

Matt Hamill def. Roger Hollett via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Next: Michael Bisping vs. Brian Stann

Bisping, a TUF 3 winner and the UFC’s resident mouthy Brit, is about to do the man-dance with Stann, who’s a strong puncher, a former WEC champ, and is most famous for being a member of the G.I. Joe team.

Round 1: As soon as Bruce Buffer announces that this bout is sponsored by Corn Nuts (“Corn to the core!”), expectations for fireworks are suddenly high.  The bout begins with Stann coming forward, Bisping circling out to his opponent’s weak side, and then some huggery against the cage.  They seperate about a minute and fifteen seconds in, and for about a minute they stand in front of each other and display some sweet boxing punches and footwork.  The Brit tries to mix things up with a takedown attempt – which Stann expertly stuffs – and then to two ding each other with kicks tot he man-berries.  After a brief pause they resume the bangfest, and after Bisping fails another takedown attempt, he eats a knuckle sandwich that wobbles him.  He survives to the bell.

Round 2: Bisping is clearly the better boxer technically, but Stann’s got the edge in power, so after about thirty seconds have passed in the second he goes for – and succeeds in getting – a takedown.  He lands in side-control, yet the dominant position yields no fruit and Stann reverses him.  The two scramble and wind up on their knees, and the Brit briefly gains the upper-hand with front head-control before they return to their feet.  With thirty seconds left Bisping nails another takedown, dumping the American onto his back, and the round ends with Bisping trying to land some big leather from above.

Round 3: Forty seconds into the third round sees Bisping getting another takedown, but Stann pops back up and feeds the Brit a right hand.  The TUF winner can clearly win on points if he can maintain the pressure with his takedowns and his jab, but Stann’s got the power to turn his thick Cockney accent into something Professor Higgins would be proud of, so anything can still happen.  Does the American manage to find the KO?  No.  Thanks to a three more takedown attempts, two of which are successful, Bisping is able to avoid slumber, and when time runs out it’s no stretch to imagine the Brit did enough to take it. 

Michael Bisping def. Brian Stann via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Postfight, Bisping gives props to his opponent, stating that Stann is a “tough son of gun”.  Joe Rogan strokes him re: his cardio, and Bisping says that he’s hungry.  “This is mah time.”  Then he asks Rogan if he “laks dags”, and tries to sell him a Perriwinkle blue trailer.  Or something.

Next: Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson

It’s time for the first-ever UFC flyweight championship bout, with Benavidez and Johnson vying for a belt that probably weighs more than they do.  Seriously, Frank Mir has eaten more than their combined poundage in one sitting, so ascribe value to this fight accordingly.

Round 1: Benavidez takes the center of the Octagon and Johnson flits about like a yellowjacket, wary of the Team Alpha Male reps power while he tries to give him his sting.  Johnson succeeds in tagging him with a left, and after some brief (but furious) wrestling clinchwork, they continue to zoom about.  After Johnson hits him a right hand, Benavidez turns up the heat with his wrestling – clearly trying to slow his foe down.  With about three seconds left in the round, Benavidez rolls for an ill-advised kneebar, and Johnson pegs him with one hammerfist before the bell rings.

Round 2: Johnson continues to be an elusive ball of movement, and when Benavidez manages to tie him up in the opening seconds of the second round, Johnson is able to stifle every attack.  When they reset, Benavidez does score here and there with the occasional kick and punch, divining where his opponent will be with probably skill mixed with magic.  At the three-and-a-half minute mark Benavidez flubs a takedown, Johnson shucks him off and gets behind him briefly, and Benavidez manages to score in the final seconds.

Round 3: Benavidez keeps up the pressure and tries to land something heavy, and “Mighty Mouse” doesn’t let up in zooming in and out.  A right hand by Johnson manages to open a small cut near Benavidez’s eye, and at the three-minute mark Benavidez gets Johnson down for all of .4 seconds before they’re back on the feet.  Johnson nails him with another solid punch before the round ends – which probably earns him the round.

Round 4: Benavidez blasts Johnson with a right hand 45 seconds into the fourth, and he pounces on the fallen fighter and sinks a tight guillotine from mount.  Johnson survives, though, and swivels into a heelhook attempt.  Benavidez defends and gets back on top, but Johnson escapes back to his feet and winds up on top briefly when Benavidez whiffs a throw.  A seconds later they’re back on their feet, and Johnson flips the script and gets a takedown of his own, then another.  The round ends with Johnson in side-control.

Round 5: The final round, and I’d say it’s nigh-impossible to know for sure who’s ahead on points.  Forty seconds in and Johnson gets a double-leg takedown, and when Benavidez gets back up to his feet, Johnson dumps him down again.  But again they stand, and we’re back to the lightning-like delivery of strikes.  Johnson gets another takedown about a minute later – his ability to change levels making all the difference in the world.  Benavidez keeps looking for that stunning punch or kick, and he even goes for a fruitless takedown attempt of his own, and the clock runs down to zero with the crowd booing and Benavidez unable to hit Johnson with anything with meaning.  So who is the UFC’s inaugural 125-pound king?

Demetrious Johnson def. Joseph Benavidez via Split Decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46)

Postfight, and Rogan asks him if winning is everything he expected.  Johnson says Benavidez is a great opponent, that “it means the world”, and that he did his job.

Next, the main event: Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfort

UFC light-heavyweight demigod Jones earned his belt by destroying the best in the division.  Belfort earned this shot at the belt because Dan Henderson is old and damn his old knee and UFC 151 being cancelled.  Boo!

Round 1: Jones comes out in his usual crouch and Belfort responds by trying to kick him in the head (!).  The champ stands, plants a side-kick on Belfort’s knee, and almost effortlessly takes the Brazilian down.  However, before Jones can mount any offense, Belfort swings into an armbar from the guard, and sweet Jesus does he almost get it.  “Bones” defends, and after some work, manages to slip out of it.  From within Belfort’s guard, Jones delivers punishment, rendering him bloody while fending off two more armbar attempts.  The round clearly goes to Jones, but damn was that initial armbar close.

Round 2: Belfort starts off the second round winging a high-kick, while Jones seems to find joy by keeping the Brazilian on the end of his low side-kick.  The length of the champ’s limbs are most certainly presenting the challenger with a riddle, and though Belfort is able to fire off a couple more high-kicks and throw some punches to the body, the riddle remains unsolved.  With about a minute and a half left in the frame, Belfort pulls guard, but aside from a triangle choke attempt with only a few scant seconds left on the clock, neither man really hurts the other.

Round 3: Jones keeps up the long-distance onslaught with his kicks, and a minute into the round he lands one to the body that crumples the Brazilian.  Jones delivers an axe-kick to the body, but again, from within Belfort’s guard, he does nothing and they end up back on their feet.  With two minutes left, Belfort pulls guard, yet all Jones can seem to do is pass to half-guard and grind him half-heartedly.

Round 4: Belfort has about five seconds of pep in him, and he uses it to throw a high-kick and a few flashes of leather.  But he pulls guard and Jones doesn’t hesitate to slide into side-control, where he deftly applies the keylock that earns him the tap out.  Jones defends his belt.

Jon Jones def. Vitor Belfort via Submission (Keylock) at :54, Round 4

Postfight, and Jones says “he got that armbar in every way, shape and form… But I worked too hard to give up.”  He goes on to say he was going to let it break.  “It was numb.”  How does the win feel with all the adversity?  “It feels great…  I really feel like a stronger young man talking to you today.”

Rogan gives kudos to Belfort, too.  Says Belfort, the arm “was cracking and popping.”  The Brazilian alludes to a training injury that factored in to him dropping from that kick to the body.  Then Jones and Belfort join in and praise God together, and toss Watchtowers into the audience.


That’s it for me, amigos.  Adios, and don’t forget to tip your waiter.


UFC “Can’t” Disclose Who Applied for Therapeutic Use Exemptions for TRT at UFC 152

Props: MMA Fan Made

By George Shunick

The UFC’s unofficial support for Testosterone Replacement Therapy may just have become more or less official. Because the Ontario Athletic Commission doesn’t engage in the pesky business of drug testing, responsibility falls to the UFC to do so. This isn’t the first time this has happened, and certainly the UFC’s own policies have caught fighters doping. But things are a little different now – fighters have a legal means of obtaining synthetic testosterone, the primary component of many anabolic steroids. The flipside of this is that they need to acquire a therapeutic use exemption in order to use TRT, which at least illuminates who is using the stuff to enhance their performance.

Or at least it would be illuminated if the UFC were to release the names of fighters who requested TUEs, which they are obligated to do when dealing with a commission that gives a damn about at the very least appearing to maintain some semblance of professionalism. Since Ontario’s athletic commission doesn’t happen to belong to that exclusive group, the UFC can not disclose if a fighter on the UFC 152 card has requested a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).” [Emphasis added.]

Of course, this is bullshit. The UFC is completely capable of disclosing that information. The UFC simply will not disclose if a fighter requests a TUE. Which is strange, given that Dana White seems to be such a fan of the practice. If TRT is “great,” “absolutely fair,” and “legal,” why bother with the secrecy? It appears to be a tacit admission that the process is, at best, ethically dubious. Which it is – it allows a select group of fighters who possess naturally lower levels of testosterone, possibly resulting from prior steroid use, to use synthetic testosterone during their training camps and daily lives so long as they bring their testosterone levels within normal limits by the time of their fights. Functionally, it’s the same thing as a steroid cycle.

The only positive about TRT is that it’s public. But for UFC 152, thanks to the incompetency of the Ontario Athletic Commission and the UFC’s suspect disclosure policies, it won’t be. You would think that if you had an aging fighter who has bulked up almost twenty pounds from his previous bout – while training with, among others, Alistair Overeem – and is fighting in the main event, you’d want to alleviate any suspicions among observers. But this is the UFC we’re talking about. They don’t handle suspicion; they dismiss it and anyone who bothers to express it.