Archive for Cage Potato

‘UFC 150: Henderson vs. Edgar 2′ — Extended Video Preview


(Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

Frankie Edgar is the UFC’s official king of fighting the same guy back-to-back. He did it in 2010 with BJ Penn, in 2011 with Gray Maynard, and now he’s heading into fight #2 against Ben Henderson, the Philippians-quoting WEC standout who bullrushed the UFC and out-pointed four consecutive opponents to win the lightweight belt. (In case anybody cares, Randy Couture is at #2 on the immediate rematch leaderboard thanks to his rivalries with Pedro Rizzo and Vitor Belfort; then there’s a handful of guys who have had one immediate rematch, and that’s it. It’s a pretty short list.)

What makes the rematch at UFC 150 different for Edgar, of course, is that he won’t be a defending champion this time. Though he fought his ass off against Bendo at UFC 144, the numbers simply weren’t on his side. (Plus, he ate that face-shattering upkick at a moment when he really needed to maintain his momentum.) Ben Henderson is just as iron-chinned, aggressive, and hard-working as Edgar, so maybe the biggest advantage in the matchup is the fact that Henderson is a large lightweight, and Edgar isn’t. Will this be the fight that finally convinces Frankie to seek his fortune at featherweight? Or will he reclaim his belt with another unbelievable display of heart?

Later in the video, Jake Shields discusses his return to middleweight, following a welterweight run in the UFC that never quite left the ground. He’ll be facing Ed Herman, whose quiet comeback includes three consecutive stoppage victories, two in the first round. You’d have to call Shields the favorite here, but Herman has been surprising people lately, and he knows how much a win over Shields would do for him. By the way, only nine fights are currently confirmed for the card, which makes it the lightest lineup in recent memory. UFC 150 goes down Saturday, August 11th, at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

Cagepotato

Anderson Silva Camp Thinks UFC Middleweights Are “Amateur Kids,” Rallies for GSP Just to Be Difficult


Anderson Silva, shown modeling for Rolling Stone while showing us his war face.

It’s no secret that the UFC middleweight division is a bit of a mess right now. With Michael Bisping set to fight Brian Stann, Alan Belcher squaring off against Vitor Belfort, Cung Le fighting Rich Franklin and Chris Weidman and Tim Boetsch sitting on the sidelines, it’s no wonder we’re possibly looking at a middleweight tournament to sort this mess out. In theory, the tournament would give Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva plenty of time to go to barbecues and fight Light-Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones while the division sorts itself out. In reality, that will never happen.

With the middleweight division being such a gigantic question mark, it may make sense to just ask someone in Anderson Silva’s camp who they’d like to see him fight next. There’s just one small problem: Anderson Silva’s camp are, how should I say this, pricks. Case in point, here’s what Silva’s manager Jorge Guimaraes said about the possibility of Anderson fighting Chris Weidman, Tim Boetsch and Alan Belcher, who have all recently called out “The Spider” (via Tatame):

“That’s a big joke. Everybody saw that it worked for Chael, and he got really famous with that, and now everybody wants to be on the spotlight. No opponent makes sense for Anderson at this moment*. Unless we do a catchweight against Georges St. Pierre.** They didn’t offer the fight, but he’s the only one that could do a super fight. Anderson has the biggest paycheck in the UFC, and you can’t promote an event with these amateur kids that are coming up now.***”

*Except for, you know, the winners of the fights in the first paragraph that aren’t Le vs. Franklin. Include Weidman and Boetsch on that list, too.

** So, a guy who is undefeated, has won five fights in the UFC’s middleweight division and just destroyed a consensus top middleweight doesn’t make sense, but a welterweight who has been nursing an injury, is booked to unify the UFC Welterweight Championship/Interim Championship in November and will then need time to put on weight for a middleweight fight does. Right, sure, why not? Just tell me, is Chael Sonnen the middleweight champion of this parallel universe you’ve created, or did Travis Lutter manage to knock him out?

Look, the rest of us have given up on this Silva/GSP super fight years ago. With the time it would take for GSP to put on enough weight to fight at 185 – not to mention rehab from an injury in the all-too-likely case he gets hurt in November – it’s safe to assume that ship has sailed. Silva/GSP is pretty much an MMA pipe dream, the same way that Pacquiao vs. Mayweather is one for boxing.

***Didn’t we have this exact same discussion before UFC 117? And then didn’t Chael Sonnen make himself famous by calling out Anderson Silva, like you, you know, just said seconds earlier?

Eh, I give up. If you guys in the comments section have any better ideas for Anderson Silva that don’t involve middleweights, Jon Jones or Georges St. Pierre, let us know.

Previously: Anderson Silva Camp Doesn’t Want Weidman or Lombard, Brings up Luke Rockhold Just to Be Difficult.

Cagepotato

WTF?! of the Day: Shogun Rua to Receive a Title Shot With a Win Over Brandon Vera?


(In order to cut company expenditures, the UFC recently fired Joe Silva in favor of the new, cost-efficient method of matchmaking seen above.) 

If you are the type of person who is quick to pick up on patterns, you may have noticed that more than a couple of our articles today have featured a headline ending in either the cynical question mark or even the full-on flabbergasted question mark followed by an exclamation point. And indeed, everything from Frank Mir’s temporary descent into the Strikeforce ranks to the idea that a Los Angeles hockey team did something worth writing about has left us nearly speechless. But this one tops them all, Potato Nation.

According to a recent interview that FOX Sports conducted with Dana White, if Mauricio “Shogun” Rua manages to defeat Brandon Vera impressively at UFC on FOX 4, he will have earned a title shot against the very same man that took his title, Jon Jones.

Wait, WHAT?!

Besides the fact that Shogun was, at the risk of receiving even more hate mail than usual, owned by Jones at UFC 128, the man has gone win-loss in his past six fights for Christ’s sake. Can we at least let him collect two wins in a row before we declare him the top contender in the division? And the last we checked, it isn’t 2006 anymore, so how a win over Vera justifies a title shot is simply beyond any measure of sound reasoning that we could possibly offer you. Is this just a ploy by The Baldfather to try and hype the hype-less card that is UFC on FOX 4, or is the UFC’s matchmaking department on a permanent lunch break? As if the Mendes/McKenzie pairing wasn’t odd enough, now this nonsense happens.

Apparently attempting to soften the blow of such a ridiculous statement by following it up with an equally insane one, White also stated that, were Shogun to lose (or win in unimpressive fashion), then the winner of the Machida/Bader fight would receive the next title shot.

I now know what Bill Murray’s character felt like in Groundhog Day, because I am either reliving the same dream over and over again, or the UFC matchmakers have seemingly forgotten that Lyoto Machida was just choked unconscious by Jones at UFC 140, or that Bader was taken to lunch by Jones at UFC 126. What I’m saying is…

Now, whereas one could possibly see how Bader has earned a shot if he gets past Machida — he will have knocked off two straight ex-champions in as many fights — he also outgrappled an overweight and apathetic Rampage Jackson in one of those wins. And unless Machida is able to defeat Bader by flying crescent Shaolin monk kick, it will be hard to understand why he’s earned another shot so quickly. Meanwhile, Alexander Gustafsson has put together a five fight win streak (and not to mention, hasn’t already faced Jones and lost in dramatic fashion before) and wasn’t so much as mentioned in the list of potential contenders.

Granted, Jones has yet to defeat Dan Henderson, but if he does, is this really where the UFC wants their champion to go from here? Essentially, Jones will be returning to the scene of a rape to give one of his victims another go-around on the off chance that they still wont identify him this time. While we’re at it, why not give Travis Lutter another shot at Anderson Silva?

It may sound a bit dramatic, but if Jones beats Hendo at UFC 150, we will officially have crossed over into some alternate universe where Eric Koch is the most deserving fighter currently receiving a title shot, outside of the interim champs at bantamweight and welterweight. Think about that for a second.

-J. Jones

Cagepotato

Gilbert Melendez Finally Booked to Fight Someone Other Than Josh Thompson on September 29th


(And to think, if I hadn’t accidentally called Dana “Baldfather” during that interview, I’d be fighting Ben Henderson right about now.) 

When we first heard word that Strikeforce was considering booking a completely unnecessary fourth match between lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thompson, we more or less saw it as a sign that Strikeforce’s lightweight division, not unlike their heavyweight, welterweight, and pretty much every other division, was simply biding its time until the UFC inevitably absorbed it. We were elated to find out shortly thereafter that Thompson was making the whole thing up, possibly under the belief that if the rumor gained enough steam, Scott Coker would sit idly by and let the match happen again and again until Thompson finally emerged victorious.

Fortunately, someone had good enough sense to book Melendez a fight against top contender Pat Healy on September 29th instead, which will make for Melendez’s fifth title defense should he be successful. Although Healy can’t hold a candle to Thompson as far as turning in exciting performances goes (Thompson’s snoozer against K.J. Noons outstanding), it will be nice to see Melendez finally face off against the only other lightweight in the division who stands at least a snowball’s chance in Hell of beating him.

Strikeforce made the announcement earlier today via its official Twitter account:

We’re coming to Sacramento, and we’re bringing @GilbertMelendez@BamBamHealy & @dc_mma with us…http://www.strikeforce.com/news/SF4-pressrelease-news … Tix on sale this Sat!

Healy has been playing the role of hype train derailer for his past few fights now, submitting prospects Maximo Blanco and Caros Fodor in back-to-back contests before most recently earning a hard fought unanimous decision over a guy that is best known for becoming Shinya Aoki’s eternal bitch at K1 Dynamite!!! 2009. Now 6-1 in his past 7 Strikeforce appearances, Healy has more than earned his shot at Melendez in a division that has less than 5 contenders still remaining.

Who you got?

-J. Jones

Cagepotato

Video: Joseph Benavidez Responds to Michael Bisping’s Flyweight-Hate at UFC 152 Press Conference


(Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

Five UFC 152 headliners were in Toronto yesterday for a press conference to hype up the event, including Joseph Benavidez and Michael Bisping, who were seated next to each other — a somewhat awkward situation, considering Bisping’s recent slam on the 125-pound division. When a reporter inevitably asked Benavidez what he thought about Bisping’s “no one cares about little flyweights” comment, Joe pulled no punches:

“It was pretty silly of course when I heard it, but it’s Michael Bisping. Everyone pretty much expects something ridiculous to come out of his mouth, right? I mean, that’s pretty much what he does.”

Said Bisping: “Listen pal, when you were a glint in your dad’s eye, I was kicking ass in the UFC.”

“And probably saying ridiculous things, also,” Benavidez continued. “It’s not gonna change the fact that [Demetrious Johnson and I are] the top two guys in the world and that we’re going out to make history that night. So everyone that supports us, thanks and we love you. Everyone that doesn’t, including Bisping, I think you soon will and you’ll be excited for this. So yeah man, it’s gonna be great, and [*pats Bisping on the shoulder*] glad to have you on the card as co-main, buddy.”

Ooooooh, burn! Notably absent from the press conference was BJ Penn, which made Rory MacDonald question where his opponent’s was at. As MacDonald said later in the press conference (via MMAMania):

“I don’t know where BJ is at. You know, he didn’t even show up to this. He is dropping out of the VADA testing. Last time I saw him he looked really out of shape. I don’t know where his head is at in this, but, he better get serious or I am going to hurt him very badly.”

Dropping out of the VADA testing? That’s a shame; it was such a well-thought out idea, especially the part about holding the results until after the fight so everybody can still get paid. With the mythical Motivated Penn nowhere in sight, I think MacDonald has a good shot of stopping BJ within three rounds — something even Rory’s mentor couldn’t pull off.

Cagepotato

[VIDEO] The Culinary Union Attacks Mandy Moore & The UFC In Latest Propaganda Piece


(Forget Mandy Moore, but Kim Kardashian? Now there’s a role model we can all support!) 

Ugh.

In what is undoubtedly a new low for the hypocritical, sciolistic dingbats behind the anti-UFC machine known as The Culinary Union, a video was recently released attacking the UFC’s sweetheart, Mandy Moore, as a result of her long time ties with the promotion. Beautiful, innocent, harmless Mandy Moore. Using the same blissfully ignorant and fact-less approach as fellow propaganda pushers The April and Wayne Show, The Union’s newest video is little more than a two minute smear campaign aimed at the UFC, using footage of everything from Dana White’s rant against Loretta Hunt to Rampage Jackson’s near impregnating of a certain CP reporter as “evidence” that Ms. Moore (and any other UFC proponent, for that matter) is unfit to be a role model for our children. IT MAKES TOTAL SENSE, YOU GUYS.

For those of you who are not familiar with The Culinary Union, allow us to give you a little background. The Culinary Workers Union, Local 226 of Las Vegas, Nevada is the organization that has been a thorn in the UFC’s side for the past few years now, and for all the wrong reasons. They are best known for both leading the fight to ban MMA in New York and attempting to influence the Nevada State Athletic Commission to pass an “MMA Bill of Rights” in Nevada. They were also more than partially responsible for noted ignoramus Bob Reilly’s rise to the New York State Assemblyman chair, an atrocity in and of itself that has justly earned them the ire of MMA proponents nationwide.

Using such ludicrous arguments as “The UFC promotes violence against women, gays, etc.” and backing such “clever” smear websites as unfitforchildren and unfitforprimetime, The Culinary Union has hid beneath the false guise of social responsibility in an effort to mask the fact that their true dispute with the UFC stems from the Fertitta owned, anti-union Station Casinos, which TCU has been trying to unionize for some time now. In other words, The Culinary Union is basically a group of pretentious wolves in sheeps clothing who have the nerve to pull the ethics card on the UFC (and anyone associated with it) while simultaneously using unethical bordering on libelous means to achieve their results. Results that they only chase after because of a completely unrelated gripe they hold with the owners of the UFC.

And now they’ve gone after Mandy Moore.

In the words of Hubert J. Farnsworth: “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.”

I’d like to make one thing clear; the words used by Dana White were, and still often are, completely inappropriate for a man of his level to be making. The same goes for FoGriff’s rape tweet and basically anything Rampage Jackson has done in his career outside of fighting. But claiming that Moore is supporting the somewhat crass tendencies of DW and other fighters simply by supporting the sport in general is beyond ridiculous. By that logic, any fan of the NFL is an advocate for murder, dog fighting, and statutory rape, because clearly we are all mindless drones whose belief systems go hand in hand with that of the average athlete/promoter. What I’m saying is, you should all be ashamed.

-J. Jones

Cagepotato

Simply Put, It Sucked: Assembling the Best Tweets Regarding the Crappiness of UFC 149


(Well said.)

Twitter holds an interesting place in the MMA landscape. On one hand, it often comes across as little more than a medium for fighters to vent their frustrations with the foresight and competency of a middle school dropout, or to aid in the ongoing series of endless, needless arguments that constitute 90% of the internet nowadays. Seriously, I was on one of those porn sites that allow comments the other day and stumbled across a heated argument concerning what the woman fellating the donkey onscreen was probably thinking. My guess was that she was reconsidering her choice to forgo those online courses for some quick cash and a shot at Fame (which coincidentally was the horse’s name), but the two (probable) gentlemen involved in said dispute seemed to think she was trying to determine the ethnicity of said horse (if that’s a thing), and which race she likely decided upon. Did I mention she was blindfolded? She was blindfolded.

On the other hand, “The Twitter” has shown on several occasions that it can serve as more than a battleground for our petty arguments, and can actually be used as a tool to unite people from opposite ends of the planet over a given cause. Although it failed in the end, Twitter was almost solely responsible for giving Mark Hunt the opportunity of a lifetime, or bringing Tim Sylvia back to the UFC to dominate 85% of the promotion’s heavyweights like we all know he would (I mean, have you even seen his workout regimen?).

And one thing that the collective minds of Twitter seemed to reach an agreement on was that UFC 149, to put it professionally, sucked major donkey dick (see how I brought that all together? I’m less a writer, more a prophet). So in order to bid what will ultimately go down as one of the most disappointing main cards in UFC history adieu, we’ve collected some of the funniest tweets from around the Twittersphere, some from actual fighters, others from random jagoffs with the simple ability to hashtag UFC 149 after their comment, for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.

We shall begin with the far and away greatest tweet of the night, which surprisingly enough came from Bellator welterweight champion and Ambien substitute Ben Askren, who you may recall suffered a first round TKO at the hands of Dana White the last time we saw him on Twitter:

Self deprecating humor? Check. A rip on the UFC? Check double plus. Adhering to the classic “This is more______ than _____”, Family Guy cutaway formula? Check fuckin’ mate.

DID WE JUST BECOME BEST FRIENDS?!

The second best fighter tweet of the night went to the Thugjitsu Master himself, Yves Edwards, for this simple, yet effective burn:

Lord knows I love me a movie reference, and although Gladiator was a somewhat obvious choice, it fits the mood of whatever the hell Boetsch/Lombard was supposed to be like a glove.

Dan Henderson, who has pwned Dana White before using the social networking device, was a little more frank with his assessment of the event:

Check out some more of our favorites below.

Joe Rogan, who told it like it is (as we’ve come to expect): “Well ladies and gentlemen, that was not a good fight card. I enjoyed the prelims and the main event had it’s moments but overall not so good.”

Siyar Bahadurzada, for his on-point judging abilities: “Both lost this fight… The referee lost too! Fuck, even the crowd lost… And the viewers back home too. You get paid to fight!!!!!!!”

George Roop, for being a Debbie Downer during Barao’s entrance: “Barao comes out to all I do is win. Sadly his entrance already has more action then the rest of the card.”

Our boys over at MiddleEasy, for their time tested eloquence when evaluating Hector Lombard‘s performance: “That screech you hear in the distance is the Hector Lombard Frate Trane crashing and igniting in a fiery blaze.”

MMAWeekly’s Damon Martin also hopped on the Lombard Frate Hate Trane: “‘Hector Lombard is the man to challenge Anderson Silva!’ said no one ever after watching that fight.”

Ariel Helwani, for riding the wave of awesomeness that was every fight before Ebersole/Head, then crashing back to earth during the main card until he could tweet no more:

“Whoa? Matt Riddle showing some pretty great technique. This card really is a blessing!”

“Hold the phone on those blessing tweets.”

“Gulp.”

And finally, AJ Hoffman, a sports radio host, MMA writer, and self-described “all around good guy”, for pleading his case to DirecTV: “Fight of the Night= Me and my cable company when I try to convince them a homeless guy broke in and ordered that BS PPV.”

So, Potato Nation, were there any other notable tweets/complaints that tickled your funny bone last Saturday? Or were you too bogged down by self loathing and the depression that comes with essentially having flushed a 50 dollar bill down the toilet to even notice?

-J. Jones

Cagepotato

‘UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao’ Aftermath — Filling in the Blanks


Fact: You had a 63% better chance of seeing a fight at a Calgary Flames game than you did at UFC 149, according to a study I made up for this caption. Props: The Calgary Sun

When I first sat down to write this aftermath, I wrote five paragraphs of a Jim Cornette rant about how dreadful the main card of UFC 149 was to sit through. Even the most jaded UFC fan boys – the types who comment “Its fights stop complaneing ur not real UFC fan if u dont liek this TapouT tribal tatz NEVER BACK DOWN!!!!!” on YouTube videos of Jacob Volkmann vs. Antonio Mckee- would be hard-pressed to say that UFC 149 was worth watching, let alone paying for. Then I realized that that wouldn’t be fair. Not because a longwinded rant about boredom isn’t a fair assessment of the main card, but rather it isn’t fair to the fans to force them to relive the lowest of the low points from last night. We can all agree that the less that is written about the main card, the better.

So in that spirit, I give you the first ever Cage Potato Fill-In-The-Blank aftermath. Simply pick one of the applicable fighters listed below and plug his name into the blanks. The result will be a mostly accurate analysis of both his performance last night and the future ramifications brought on by it. Enjoy.

Applicable Fighters*: James Head, Brian Ebersole, Cheick Kongo, Shawn Jordan, Tim Boetsch**, Hector Lombard.

I know that the Polly Pessimists and Debby Downers who make up the MMA media are often too hard on fighters, but in this case it’s well deserved: The performance of  __________ at last night’s UFC 149 absolutely sucked. He let a golden opportunity slip through his fingers, and seemed perfectly content with this while doing so. If last night was a first date with a perfect ten, then he showed up in sweatpants, took her to Whataburger and then asked for gas money on the ride home.

Before last night, only the most hardcore UFC fans knew who __________ was. While the casual fans would have probably recognized the name “__________,” their knowledge of his career either ended there or they knew him for the wrong reasons (i.e. his physical appearance, his collegiate sporting achievements, some fights he lost; etc.) With the UFC 149 injury curse draining the card of every big name other than Urijah Faber, this was __________’s big chance to get over with these fans, to make a name for himself in his weight class and to prove that he deserves more time on the Pay-Per-View portion of cards and higher profile fights. A gutsy, entertaining performance arguably would have done this; a gutsy, entertaining victory certainly would have. 

Instead, __________ let Matt Riddle steal the spotlight. Simply put, Riddle capitalized on the way that Siyar The Great’s injury granted him a spot on the main card in ways that no one else did. Despite a terrible “low blow” (that was completely clean) that prevented Riddle from finishing Chris Clements in the first round, Riddle kept his composure and outgrappled Clements for the rest of the fight. In the third round, Riddle managed to lock in a standing arm-triangle choke off of a failed spinning backfist attempt from Clements. Once he took the dynamic Canadian striker to the ground, he tightened the choke and earned the tap. The $ 65k Submission of the Night bonus he took home should compliment all of the new fans and increased exposure he earned from this performance nicely.

I emphasize that __________ let Riddle steal the spotlight. While “Deep Waters” put on an entertaining fight for the Calgary fans, __________ did his best to put them to sleep. We were reminded throughout the night of  __________’s  __________ (knockout power/creative offense are your choices here). Rather than actually using it, __________ opted to take part in three rounds too abysmal for even ProElite to acknowledge. I understand that you have to fight intelligently to pick up a victory at this level, and that getting careless while trying to give the fans a good fight is a great way to end up on the canvas. But that doesn’t justify three rounds of avoiding any type of meaningful engagement with your opponent. Although, to be fair to __________, his opponent wasn’t exactly chasing him around like Nate Quarry. 

This was supposed to be a coming out party for __________, and did he ever waste it. His performance doesn’t warrant a step up in competition. It doesn’t warrant a spot in the main event in the near future. Rather, it just further exposed the flaws in his game that detractors have been quick to point out. If you’re still on The  __________ Bandwagon, stretch out. You’ve got plenty of room to do so.

*No, I’m not including Renan Barao vs. Urijah Faber. Yes, the fans were quick to boo, but at that point it was mostly out of instinct. Watch the fight again if you don’t believe me. Sure, it wasn’t exactly Torres vs. Mizugaki, but it was a solid showcase from both fighters. In the end, the bout proved exactly what we already knew: Urijah can’t check a leg kick, he’s been choking in title fights ever since losing the WEC Featherweight Championship to Mike Brown (seriously, he’s 0-5 in his last five title fights. Eat your heart out, KenFlo.), and a guy doesn’t go thirty fights without a loss unless he’s a special talent.

Chris Clements also gets a pass. Sure, he didn’t go out and win, but Matt Riddle was just the better man last night. Sometimes that happens in MMA.

**For what it’s worth, Boetsch injured himself in the second round of his fight last night. Not that he looked amazing up until that point in the fight, but it’s worth pointing out.

Two more things: Fight of the Night went to Bryan Caraway and Mitch Gagnon for their highly entertaining battle that kicked off the prelims on FX. It was pretty much all downhill from there. And knockout of the night? Former Cagepotato.com contributor Ryan Jimmo. Seven seconds. Bitches.

Full Results:

Main Card:

Renan Barao def. Urijah Faber via unanimous decision
Tim Boetsch def. Hector Lombard via split decision
Cheick Kongo def. Shawn Jordan via unanimous decision
James Head def. Brian Ebersole via split decision
Matt Riddle def. Chris Clements via submission (arm- triangle choke), 2:02 of Round Three

Preliminary Card:

Nick Ring def. Court McGee via unanimous decision
Francisco Rivera def. Roland Delorme via KO (punch), 4:19 of Round One
Ryan Jimmo def. Anthony Perosh via KO (punch), 0:07 of Round One
Bryan Caraway def. Mitch Gagnon via submission (rear-naked choke), 1:39 of Round Three
Antonio Carvalho def. Daniel Pineda via KO (punches), 1:11 of Round One
Anton Kuivanen def. Mitch Clarke via split decision

@SethFalvo

Cagepotato

UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao — Live Results & Commentary



(I have nothing funny to say about the Faber/Barao face-off, but oh man, does Shawn Jordan look like the human embodiment of a penis crawling back up inside a body or what? / Photos via the UFC 149 weigh-in gallery on MMAFighting.com.)

Tonight’s UFC 149 card in Calgary will answer several burning questions. For instance, can Urijah Faber keep his spot as the #1 bantamweight contender — and earn a relatively meaningless interim title belt in the process — or will the red-hot Renan Barao-Rao bump him out of line? Will Hector Lombard‘s trail of destruction continue in the Octagon, or is redneck judo the antidote to actual judo? (Sub-question: If Lombard wins, will his post-fight interview be awkward as hell?) And how many points will Cheick Kongo be docked during his fight with rookie Shawn Jordan? Excited yet? No? Well fucking get excited, okay?

Live round-by-round results from the “Faber vs. Barao” PPV main card will be piling up after the jump starting at 10 p.m. ET, courtesy of defending liveblog champion Anthony Gannon. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and whenever you see something ill, type “Whoa” in the comments section.

Sup, Potatoheads. And here we are, UFC 149, yet another card I volunteered to liveblog that the injury gods decided to go and get all medieval on with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch. Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber were supposed to settle up their trilogy of hatred. The stakes were high, with not only dominion on the line, but the loser would have had to allow the winner to sleep with his girlfriend, and give him a foot massage, and not be tickling or nothin’. Gimme a break, yo, Pulp Fiction was on before. But anyway, Cruz went down, so now it’s Faber vs Renan Barao for a fake interim title. Sexiyama was supposed to suffer his fifth straight loss to Thiago Alves. That aint happening. Shogun was supposed to welcome Thiago Silva back from a suspension for submitting a non-human urinalysis. Nothing doing. Silva is out and Shogun will now face Brandon Vera in a couple of weeks. Vitor, Bisping, Big Nog, all had to bang out with injuries. Wtf. WTF!!!!!

They say shitty things happen in three’s. And for the most part that’s true. Last year my cat ran away, my girlfriend slept with a guy I know who has much bigger hands than I do, and a guy at work I had publicly referred to as a “twat” was promoted higher than me.  Suffice to say it was not a very good year. This is my second jinxed card in a row now. If there’s a third, I’m quitting, changing my name to Lance, marrying a girl with a bunch of shit in her face, and selling high-grade heroin out of my house.

Still though, for all the brutal ravaging this card went through, it’s still pretty decent. I don’t feel nearly as violated as I did when I hit the “Buy” button for UFC 147. Making that purchase was about as much fun as sharing a single shower head with four other dudes, which I’m not ashamed to say I know a little something about (in boot camp you freaks). It’s just a chaotic scene. There are parts flying this way and that, dudes with soap in their eyes jockeying for position, and in such a disorderly situation, things happen – things that the decorum of Cage Potato dictates not be spoken aloud.

Anyway, let’s do this thing.

First up is Matt Riddle vs Chris Clements

Riddle is rockin’ some serious hair. Trust me, if there’s one thing in this world I know its bad hair. I went from a gigantic orange afro, right about the time that the movie Annie came out (you can imagine how magical those formative years were for me), to the prerequisite awful hair of the 80’s, to the white-boy fade of the 90’s, to the Marine Corps high and tight, to my current state of baldness – not in any sort of American History X kind of way, mind you, just an unkind genetic predisposition. So I get rough hair, and Riddle is sporting some serious locks tonight.

Respect though for coming out to Iron Butterfly.

DAYUM, Clements rolls out to “Rocking Robin.” I’m not quite sure what to make of this.

Round 1: Rachelle Leah is back and that’s pretty freakin’ great. Clements threatens with a hook, backs off. Riddle misses a jab. Riddle with a single leg, scores a trip takedown. Clements up, but eats a couple shots. Riddle with a right hook, then a kick to the ribs. Clements lands a leg kick, then an elbow, then an uppercut. They clinch, and separate. Nice right by Clements. Riddle lands a knee, and has Clements in a clinch. Riddle lands a nasty body kick, Josh Rosenthal steps in to stop the action, thinking it was a nut shot, that was a screw up. Tough break. Riddle scores another takedown. Clements is up, and Riddle is working for another takedown, takes Clements’ back instead. He lets Clements up. Riddle has a knack for not sticking with his grappling. The round closes, and it should belong to Riddle.


Round 2:
Leg kick by Clements to start things off. Nice punch/kick combo by Clements. Riddle working a takedown against the cage. He gets it, but Clements is trying to wall walk. Riddle plants him again. He’s got a hook in. Losses it. Now he has Clements’ back with both hooks in, turns that into a body lock, and he’s pounding him. Still pounding him, just waiting for an opening. Clements lands a huge back elbow, but Riddle is still on his back working for a choke. He spins to side control. Another decent elbow by Clements. And another. Clements is up. Riddle lands a jab, Clements answers with a body kick. Clements sprawls to stuff a takedown, and now he’s on top, delivering some hurt. Riddle responding with elbows from the bottom to close it out. Riddle controlled most of it, probably took that one too.

Round 3: They bro hug it out to start the final frame. Front kick by Clements. Huge body shot by Clements, then a knee. He has Riddle up against the cage. They separate. Riddle throws a head kick that skims Clements’ head, he appears unfazed. Riddle scores another takedown. Riddle went for a choke, and Clements is up. Riddle has an arm triangle standing, takes him down, keeps the hold, and taps him out with it! That was sweet.

Matt Riddle wins by arm triangle at 2:02 of the third round.

Next up we have Brian Ebersole vs James Head

Is it me or does James Head require a good nickname? His name just begs for one. Please feel free to sound off with your suggestions in the comments section. I’ll go first, “Sloppy.”

Ebersole is rocking the arrow, only it’s not as bushy as last time.

Round 1: Ebersole shoots immediately, Head sprawls. He shoots again, Head easily defends. They trade blows. Ebersole lands a kick to the body. Head attacks with a right followed by a knee, Ebersole with another kick. They trade jabs. Head shrugs off a half hearted takedown attempt. Head is unloading against the cage. Ebersole escapes. Head checks a leg kick. Nice combo by Ebersole. Oof, nice right to the mug by Ebersole. He shoots again and gets stuffed. Ebersole is sticking with the takedown, and he gets it, Head has him in a guillotine, but that shit aint happening on Ebersole. He has Head against the cage, trying to keep him down. Head uses the cage to push off, but he escapes. Ebersole with a cartwheel kick, and not surprisingly, Head ends up on top to end the round.


Round 2:
Ebersole again shoots immediately, Head sprawls. Ebersole charges forward with a straight left, whiffs Head. Head with a knee that barely skims Ebersole’s arrow. Straight left by Ebersole, and they clinch. Lands another straight left, then a body kick, mostly blocked. Ebersole has double under hooks, but still can’t get the takedown. Head gets his arms back, and they separate. Head lands a couple good head shots. Ebersole responds with a jab, then sloppily shoots again. Stuffed. He lands a straight to the body, then an uppercut to Head. Head going for a head clinch, not happening. Head scores on a hook. Head with a strong knee to the head, and Ebersole gets a takedown off it. Ebersole not really doing much ground and pound, and he gets swept by Head. Nice. Head is on top, but the round closes before he has a chance to mount any offense.

Round 3: Again with the weak takedown attempt. Body kick blocked by Head. Another takedown attempt, Head has a front choke, but Ebersole is impervious to that shit. Another very weak takedown try. Head with a hook followed by a knee. Good right by Ebersole. Head has Ebersole’s back, gets the takedown, but Ebersole was able to escape. Body kicks blocked by Head. Another shot defended by Head. Ebersole looks like someone gave him a Valium.  Knee to the body by Head. Ugly fight, and the fans are expressing their displeasure. Another agonizing shot by Ebersole. Defended by Head. Head charges forward with a couple decent shots to the grill. The fans are booing all the half-ass takedown attempts. Ebersole on top, but the round ends. Rough fight to watch, and to score.

The decision is in, and it’s 29-28 Head, 29-28, Ebersole, and 29-28 Head with the split decision.

The big guys are next, Cheick Kongo and Shawn Jordan.

There’s only one certainty tonight, and that is that Kongo will do a double chest thump continuously from the time he begins his walk out to the first time he knees Jordan in the sack.

Jordan may not look it, but this cat is an athlete. He can run the 40 in 4.6 seconds, stick the landing on a back flip, and fold his eyelids back.  I have a searing, lifelong jealousy of people who can do that nasty-ass eyelid thing.

And of course, Kongo is not doing the chest thump thing. I fail.

Round 1: They touch and it’s on. Kongo with a huge leg kick. Jordan pushes Kongo into the cage, going for a takedown. Kongo defending well, but Jordan is relentless with it. Kongo is out of danger, but he still has his back to the cage. Jordan going for it again. Kongo with a nice, wide base defending. Jordan with a punch to the ear. Kongo reverses and has Jordan’s back standing. He’s delivering a couple shots to the side of the head. And the karma gods step in as Kongo takes an elbow to the pills. Kongo is pretty miserable right about now, on his knees recovering.And they’re ready to resume. Kongo with a high kick, blocked. Jordan with a wild side kick, misses by a mile. Leg kick by Kongo. Kongo charges in with jabs, and has Jordan up against the cage. Kongo is looking for a takedown of his own, Jordan defending with an underhook. He reverses and has Kongo against the cage now, going for another double leg, switches to a single leg, then a high crotch, unsuccessful. Kongo with a knee as the round ends.

Round 2: Kongo opens with a knee to the body. Jordan has him against the cage again. Kongo reverses, and delivers a couple knees to the body. Jordan reverses and looking for another leg. Kongo has an underhook, defends. Another knee by Kongo, and a counter shot by Jordan. They’re in the clinch again, trade knees. They separate. Kongo with a nice straight right, and Jordan pushes him into the cage again. Kongo going for a takedown, stuffed. Now Jordan going for another leg, it just aint happening. Kongo takes his back standing, and punches to the temple. Kongo with a neck crank, going nowhere with that. Jordan is down and Kongo is on his back, but Jordan reverses and ends up on top in half guard. Who woulda thought this would turn into a grappling match? Jordan controlling, but doesn’t land much in the way of ground and pound.

Round 3: A lot of fists a flying to open up, but nothing landing, and they clinch again. Kongo is pressing Jordan up against the cage looking for a takedown. Jordan lands an elbow, Kongo responds with a knee. Kongo misses a jab, then lands a right. Jordan going for a double, switches to a single, that just isn’t there. Kongo with a knee to the body. Jordan throws sloppy shots, Kongo locks up with him again. Jordan with an uppercut that skims Kongo’s face. This is a brutal clinch war. Kongo looking for a neck, but Jordan doesn’t have one. Good knee to the body by Kongo. Jordan going for old faithful, that takedown that hasn’t worked yet. Knee to the head by Kongo. Jordan misses an uppercut. The round closes with the fans voicing their displeasure.

The judges score it 30-28, 30-27, and 30-27 for Cheick Kongo.

Hector Lombard vs Tim Boetsch is up next.

Hector Lombard has been inspiring passionate debate in MMA circles for a few years now. His supporters claim his ridiculous record of 31-2-1-1 proves he’s top of the food chain. His detractors claim his win column is populated by guys who eat baked beans out of a can and travel by rail free of charge. Tonight we find out.

All the pressure here is on Lombard. He comes in with a big rep. If he wins, well, no biggy, he was supposed to win. If he loses, he’s the overrated can crusher we’ve been mocking all these years. That’s a heavy load to bear. See Jorge Santiago for reference.

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Lombard’s UFC debut because Dana White said it’s possible he could get a title shot if he’s victorious. This pissed off middleweights Michael Bisping and Mark Munoz something fierce. Of course, both those guys lost their last fights, Munoz badly – very fucking badly – so their opinions really don’t count for much. But, they do make a somewhat valid point. How can a guy come in after beating up fighters with no Wikipedia pages and get a title shot after just one win? It’s unfair dammit, and that’s not what America is about.

Boetsch reminds me of the father I never had, which is bizarre considering I’m five years older than him. I don’t know what it is, he just reminds me of a guy in his 50’s who builds decks for a living and slugs Coors (not that light shit either) from a can. And he’s about to face a guy who is just a tsunami of hurt and angst. I don’t know if I can watch this. I actually fear for Tim’s safety here.

Lombard and his team come out with black bandanas covering their faces like old school bank robbers. That must have some significance, but damned if I know what it is.

Round 1: Boetsch with a leg kick to start things off, then a push kick. Lombard shrugs off a takedown attempt very easily, then lands an uppercut. Lombard with a takedown of his own, and working to pull Boetsch off the cage. He wall walks, and is up. Another leg kick by Boetsch. Lombard is stationary, just coiled up waiting to explode. Tim is mobile, throwing lots of kicks. Push kick to the knee lands. Lombard with an overhand left, misses. Boetsch misses a hook and Lombard lands a short shot. They trade bombs. Lombard whizzes a right hook, barely connects. Good leg kick by Boetsch, goes for a takedown, Lombard stuffs it. Lombard goes high with a kick, blocked. The round closes without much happening. Boetsch probably took it on activity alone.

Round 2: Front kick to the body by Boetsch, Lombard lands a big left. Lombard lands a right then a left, and a low kick of his own. Boetsch tries a Superman punch, misses. Lombard responds with bombs, but does not connect. Boetsch with a side kick to the leg. Leg kick by Boetsch. Lombard lands a decent left, then a leg kick. Boetsch responds in kind. High kick by Boetsch misses, as does Lombard’s. Lombard lands a right hook. Uppercut by Lombard, whizzes the cheek. Low kick by Boetsch, Lombard lands a kick to the body that hurts Boetsch. Now Lombard is on his back, landing short shots to the temple. Tim is back up, Lombard with a takedown attempt, doesn’t score. They’re up against the cage, not doing much. Boetsch goes for a trip, didn’t work.

Round 3: Boetsch starts things off with a hard leg kick. Lombard responds with a shot to the head. Inside leg kick by Boetsch. Huge overhand left misses by Lombard. Lombard stalking, but not throwing anything. Boetsch goes in and eats a left. Another inside leg kick by Boetsch. Lombard shrugs Boetsch off effortlessly, but does not counter. Lombard skims a body kick. Lombard with a trip, but they both get up immediately. The crowd is booing viciously. Boetsch with a jab, pushes Lombard to the cage. Lombard reverses, and goes for a takedown, gets it. Boetsch up, lands a knee, but he’s up against the cage again. The round ends with lots of booing and a general sense of disappointment.

Damn the fans are letting them have it.

It’s 29-28 across the board, split decision goes to Tim Boetsch.

Interestingly, they skip the interviews. Not sure if it’s because of time constraints, or just to spare their hyped up acquisition the awkwardness of the boos.

But whatever, it’s main event time, Urijah Faber vs Renan Barao, baby!

You just gotta love Faber. The whole California surfer-dude thing, it’s not like after all these years it’s played out or anything. “The California Kid” rolls out to “California Love” with his California good looks and you just know your girlfriend who is sitting right next to you wishes she could make passionate love to his splendid ass-chin. Add that to the fact that he’s probably pretty wealthy, and will beat your punk ass down with minimal effort, and yeah, I hate him too. My pathetic jealousies aside, Faber is a bad dude. He’s been doing his thing in MMA for almost a decade and he’s still Top 2 in his division.

So can Renan Barao steal Faber’s soul? He seems like he’s got all the tools. Barao is a classic Nova Uniao fighter – a nasty ass Muay Thai striker who just happens to hold a BJJ black belt, ya know as like a secondary weapon of doom. He’s riding a 29 fight unbeaten streak – referred to as “unbeaten” rather than a “winning” streak because there’s a no-contest sandwiched in there. But petty technicalities aside, the guy is riding the longest non-losing streak I know of. The only problem is that until he got to the WEC in 2010 only one of his opponents had a Wikipedia page, and we all know that’s the true benchmark of a successful fighter. Plus he’s just kinda scary. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had some Gunny Hartman powers of coercion to make a fool choke himself.

Round 1: Barao misses a high kick. And another. Faber charges forward, gets pushed back with a few shots. Front kick by Faber, answered by Barao. Uppercut by Faber. Hook by Barao misses, as does a high kick. Faber answers with a high kick, misses as well. Barao misses a wheel kick. Faber lands an inside leg kick, Barao answers back with one of his own, then hits on a spinning back kick. Then lands a nice knee to the body on Faber. High kick misses by Barao, eats a jab from Faber. Inside leg kick by Barao. Body punch by Faber, then he eats a head shot. They trade jabs. Hard leg kick landed by Barao. Good right by Faber to end the round.

Round 2: Barao lands a leg kick, misses a head kick. Faber is doing a great job of not getting his leg demolished. Faber lands a good right, checks a kick. Barao gets poked in the eye, the action is halted. Here we go. Flying knee by Barao misses, and Faber has him against the cage. Faber lands a right. Good leg kick from Faber. Barao with a big leg kick. Nice body shot by Barao. Faber charges forward and misses everything. Another leg kick by Barao. They trade rights. Spinning kick by Barao misses. They trade hooks to the head. Barao with a stiff jab, followed by a leg kick. Barao lands another right, and a brutal leg kick.

Round 3: Overhand right lands by Faber. Big kick/punch combo from Barao, misses a flying knee. Faber goes for a takedown, stuffed. Barao eats a right. Front kick by Faber, eats a left for it. Good straight right by Faber. Huge straight left by Barao, stumbles Faber back. Barao lands a big leg kick. And another. A wild exchange, not much landed by either fighter. Godo uppercut to the body by Faber. Nice right by Barao. Faber with a combo, Barao covers up. Barao lands a nice kick to the leg. And another. Good jab by Faber, but he eats another leg kick. Faber slips a jab, then eats one.

Round 4: Good jab by Faber. Nice overhand left landed by Barao. Faber jumps in, lands to the head. Huge leg kick by Barao. Body punch by Faber. Spinning kick misses by Barao. Faber grazes him with a left. Faber takes a finger to the eye, but he appears fine. Barao lands a left hook. Faber with a jab. Faber lands a low kick of his own. Faber goes for a takedown, Barao stuffs it easily. Barao with a combination, then a leg kick. Good straight right by Barao, followed by a hook to the body. Faber shoots, gets pushed back. They trade shots. The round ends, and Faber is down. He has to get down and dirty, wedgies, wet willies, whatever it takes man.

Round 5: They hut it out, and the final round begins. Barao lands a straight left. Faber misses a kick. Body jab from Faber, then he eats a shot to the mug. Barao with a left hook, then a jab. Faber connects with a left. Then lands a shot to the body. Faber catches a leg, but can’t do anything with it. They trade jabs. Faber pushes forward, there’s nothing there for him. Barao catches Faber’s leg and blasts him. Big left hook from Barao. Superman punch lands from Faber. Massive leg kick from Barao. Then a stiff left jab. Barao lands a big right. Barao misses another spinning kick, and that’s that.

Barring a fluke, Barao got this.

The decision is in, 49-46, 50-45, 49-46 and Renan Barao wins the unanimous decision.

There it is, folks. Renan Barao is the UFC Interim Bantamweight Champion, for whatever that’s worth.

That’s it for me, y’all, thanks for chilling. It’s time to pop a Coors and just be glad that Boetsch is still alive.

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Bellator 72 Recap: Amoussou Takes Tournament, Zaromskis vs. Spiritwolf Finally Ends Without Controversy

Yes, the headline is 100% accurate. Perhaps the third time really is a charm, as Marius Zaromskis and Wachiim Spiritwolf finally had a fight last night that didn’t end with an eye poke just seconds into the fight or a highly questionable stoppage. We know, we’re just as excited as you are.

But first, let’s go over the tournament bouts. In the evening’s main event, judo black belt Karl Amoussou made quick work of Jackson MMA’s Bryan “The Beast” Baker. After an early accidental eye poke from Baker, the two traded blows throughout the opening frame. Then, after a failed Super KickTM from Baker, Amoussou locked in a nasty heel hook that earned the submission just fifty six seconds into the bout. Seriously, that’s how this one ended. Take a look:

Amoussou will now face Ben Askren for the welterweight title. Given his judo background, he may be able to keep “Funky” Ben from lying on top of him for five rounds. Just don’t count on it – we’ve probably said this before about one of Askren’s foes.

In the co-main event, Rudy “Bad News” Bears certainly lived up to his nickname, providing Bellator newcomer Paul “Semtex” Daley with a durable punching bag for two minutes and forty five seconds. The former UFC/Strikeforce contender was never really in danger while outstriking Bears, ending the fight with vicious knees before delivering a nasty left hook. Daley will be in the Season Seven Welterweight Tournament starting in September, while Rudy Bears drops to 14-11, going 1-4 in his last five outings.

In light-heavyweight tournament action, Attila Vegh managed to outstrike Emanuel Newton en route to a split decision victory. Newton managed to find success with body kicks and a suplex in the third round, but Vegh managed to stay on his feet and land combinations throughout the bout. The victory makes it seven in a row for Vegh. Also, Travis Wiuff managed to take Tim Carpenter down early and often en route to a unanimous decision victory. Wiuff sometimes can fight like the Jon Fitch of the Indie Leagues, but damn is he ever effective. If Wiuff can get past Attila Vegh, he’ll have earned his well deserved rematch against Bellator LHW “champion” Christian M’Pumbu

As for Zaromskis vs. Spiritwolf, it ended without controversy, which is about all we can ask for at this point. It was just an added bonus that it wasn’t a bad fight. Spiritwolf shot in for takedowns throughout the bout – sometimes just to try to get Zaromskis to drop his hands, sometimes looking to put him on his back – but Zaromskis defended himself well. In the end, Marius Zaromskis landed strikes far more often than Spiritwolf, earning a split decision victory. Perhaps the new rule changes (specifically the new definition of “aggressive striking”) explain the third judge’s scorecard, as even though Zaromskis landed far more strikes, Spiritwolf’s strikes seemed to do more damage when they landed.

Full Results:

Main Card:
Karl Amoussou def. Bryan Baker via submission (heel hook), 0:56 Round One
Paul Daley def. Rudy Bears via TKO (strikes), 2:45 Round One
Attila Vegh def. Emanuel Newton via split decision
Travis Wiuff def. Tim Carpenter via unanimous decision
Marius Zaromskis def. Waachiim Spiritwolf via split decision

Preliminary Card:
Paul Barrow def. Jason Carapelluci via submission (rear-naked choke), 0:46 Round Three
Ben Saunders def. Brian Warren via TKO (knees), 0:22 Round One
Raul Amaya def. Kenny Moss via verbal submission (injury), 0:30 Round Two
Matt McCook def. Shannon Slack via split decision
Julien Williams def. Ryan DeRocher via technical submission (arm-triangle choke), 1:32 Round Two

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