After winning TUF, Bader went on a four-fight winning streak which culminated in a knockout over Keith Jardine and a unanimous decision over PRIDE Fighting Championships veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. These two fantastic wins put him within arm’s reach of a title shot.
But then “Darth” stepped inside the cage with Jon Jones.
Like everyone the now-light heavyweight champion has faced in his career, Bader was demolished handily. Following his lose to “Bones,” he got submitted by Ortiz, giving “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” his first win since 2006.
It might have been easy to write Bader off at that point but the Arizona State University wrestler has roared back with two straight wins including his most recent, a one-sided decision over Quinton Jackson at UFC 144.
Next weekend (August 4) at UFC on Fox 4, he tries to make it three in a row against another former champion in Lyoto Machida. Before he steps inside the Octagon with “The Dragon,” let’s take a look at how Bader won TUF.
Are you ready?
The TUF hopefuls touch gloves in the center of the Octagon and Bader immediately pressures Vinny Magalhães against the chain-link fence. The American throws a leg kick his opponent’s way and Magalhães responds with one to the body before circling away.
An inside leg kick from Bader connects and he dodges out of the way as Magalhães throws one of his own. A hook from “Darth” lands as does the counter from the Brazilian. The two exchange punches but nothing of consequence lands and Magalhães backs Bader up by doubling up on his jab.
Early into the fight, it’s as even as it can get.
Another leg kick from Bader and nearly a minute into the bout, we haven’t seen a sniff of his vaunted wrestling credentials. Perhaps the Brazilian’s submission acumen has given the American reservations about taking the fight to the mat.
After Magalhães throws another body kick, Bader opens up with his hands some more, landing a couple of counter punches. Shortly thereafter, he lands a nice two-punch combination which snaps his opponent’s head back. It’s becoming apparent Bader likely won’t need his wrestling in this bout.
A head kick from the Brazilian misses and Bader rushes in with a knee to the body which jars Magalhães’ frame against the cage. Bader slips on a body kick but the submission wizard fails to make anything out of the opportunity.
Bader is constantly pressuring his opponent, throwing all manner of strikes his way. Bader will fake the jab only to come across with a hook and then will change levels to attack the body. All the while, Magalhães finds himself back against the cage.
Then, suddenly, an anvil of an overhand crashes behind Magalhães’ ear and the Brazilian drops to the mat. He instinctively flips over onto his back but is met with a vicious hammerfist. Again instinctively, he turns back over onto his stomach to avoid the onslaught but Bader is unrelenting in his attack.
Magalhães curls up on the mat and the referee is forced to save him.
The heavy-handed wrestler has become the latest TUF champion.
Can he experience similar success in Los Angeles against Machida?
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.
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
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
Urijah Faber, the man who put lighter-weight mixed martial artists on the map in North America, heard the jeers of the crowd during his UFC 149 main event against Renan Barao, and the profane chants afterwards.
There was nothing wrong with Faber’s unanimous-decision loss to Barao per se. It was a well-contested, technical fight.
But it also just so happened that the moment at which it became obvious the former World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight champion’s day as a top title contender are at an end occurred right after some of the worst action seen in the Octagon in quite some time, and the crowd wasn’t in the mood for a 25-minute chess match.
“You never want to hear boos, but you’re more concerned with the guy who’s trying to take your head off,” said Faber. “I had a broken rib, and sore legs, and all kinds of stuff. It’s unfortunate, I don’t ever want to be in a fight where people are booing, but, you know, I did my best out there tonight, but Barao fought a smart fight.”
It was an unfortunate moment in the career of a proud warrior. Fighters at featherweight and under are able to headline and co-headline major events in large part because Faber’s excitement level in the cage during his WEC heyday and charisma outside helped the little guys force their way onto the main stage.
Time eventually caught up with Faber, like it does for every fighter. Elite opponents learned to shut down the flurries which led to his inventive finishes. He never seemed to regain that extra spring in his step after his brutal loss to Jose Aldo Jr. And he was given more opportunities to regain championship glory than most, even as his detractors never seemed to come up with better alternatives for his spot on the card.
So yes, Faber deserved better than what he got from the crowd on Saturday night. You don’t chant “Bulls–” at the guy who has been the antithesis of that word. Urijah Faber has never given the fans less than 100 percent, even when his best wasn’t quite enough.
“If you’re booing during the Faber vs. Barao fight, you’re not a fan of MMA,” said UFC president Dana White. “You’re here to see some crazy, you know, old UFC. That was a good fight, a technical good fight between two of the best in the world. So if you were booing that fight, you know, you came here to see lions in the cage or something, a guy vs. a dragon or something.”
UFC 149 Notes
After all is said and done, was UFC 149 the worst pay-per-view event of all-time? While those who plunked down money to buy the pay-per-view or attend the event in Calgary may think otherwise, the “honor” still goes to UFC 33.
For those who weren’t around at the time, let’s put it this way: Zuffa learned more about how not to put on a PPV in that one night than at any other point during their tenure.
The Sept. 28, 2001 card at Mandalay Bay was the first sanctioned UFC event under Unified Rules in Nevada and was supposed to be Zuffa’s big hometown coming-out party, with three title fights on the bill.
Instead, a nightmare unfolded. All six main-card fights went the distance. The last two, with Jens Pulver defending the lightweight title against Dennis Hallman and Tito Ortiz defending against Vladimir Matyushenko, were the worst back-to-back title fights in UFC history. The card ran so long that cable operators in much of the country pulled the plug on the main event. While that may have been a mercy killing, fans weren’t happy: UFC 33 did 75,000 PPV buys, a number the company would only surpass once in their next 10 events. Zuffa learned their lessons in a hurry, as this card served as the impetus for the five-fight PPV format, and we’ve never had another card with three title matches.
The fact White invoked UFC 33 during the post-fight press conference, in and of itself, tells you this UFC 149 was a memorably bad show. But while UFC 149 gave UFC 33 a run for its money, fans at least got to see an action-packed undercard and a solid PPV opener in Matt Riddle’s win over Chris Clements. So UFC 33 remains the champion of bad cards.
UFC 149 Quotes
“When I fought in Manchester, England, they were very cruel to me. One fan actually spit directly in my face and he was lucky enough where it hit my mouth. … I don’t have anything against English people. But to be disrespected like that, that was the part that really upset me. Everybody up here on this table is a world-class athlete and we should be treated as a world-class athlete. And for some butter-toothed Brit to spit in my mouth, that was some bull.” – Matt Riddle, trying to get Dan Hardy’s attention.
“Why the hell would I fight Riddle? There is no value in it for me and I’d forced to look at him more than I have to now.” – Hardy’s response Sunday on Twitter.
“It’s the unfortunate thing about hype. When there’s a lot of hype behind you and you don’t live up to the hype, it goes away real quick.” – White, on Hector Lombard.
“This company makes money, and I like breaking records. We broke the gate record tonight and I’m embarrassed by it. I was excited when I heard and now I’m embarrassed. The undercard delivered — they were awesome — and the main card did not.” – White’s summation of UFC 149
To Dana White, simply for manning up and admitting that the main card turned out terrible. Can you imagine a major boxing promoter coming out and doing the same? Heck, after the Manny Pacquiao-Tim Bradley judging fiasco last month, Bob Arum openly bragged about how much money he’d make off the rematch. Part of the reason fans are loyal to the UFC product is that on the rare occasions the company produces brutally bad events, White calls it for what it is, then goes out and works twice as hard to come up with something to make up for it. Here’s a guess White will spend the next few days lining up middleweight fights that will take the attention of Saturday’s fiasco.
To just about everyone involved in the Cheick Kongo-Shawn Jordan stinker. There were enough bad calls in this fight to make an NBA ref shake his head. Kongo, a veteran with a fierce striking game, chose a game plan that seemed to involve nothing more single strikes followed by minutes upon minutes of dry humping. He stuck with it even during third-round exchanges in which it was clear Jordan could barely lift his arms. Jordan’s management put their guy in with a fighter the level of which he clearly wasn’t ready. Ref Yves Lavigne must have been daydreaming about Montreal beating Calgary in the Saddledome to clinch the 1986 Stanley Cup during Kongo and Jordan’s periods of inactivity. And judge Jeff Blatnick, who hands out 10-10 rounds like Halloween candy, somehow saw a tie round in there, even though Kongo clearly won all three. Add up all these bad calls and you have the clubhouse leader for worst fight of the year.
Stock up: Matt Riddle
No, we’re not going to go nuts and proclaim Riddle the next big thing at welterweight after defeating Chris Clements. But the guy who joined The Ultimate Fighter without a pro fight gave the Calgary crowd their last big thrill of the night with just an awesome submission, as he locked in an arm triangle choke while standing, took it to the ground, and finished the fight there, earning submission of the night honors. Then Riddle stole that show at the post-fight press conference in calling out Dan Hardy for his next fight, prompting White to promise to make the bout on the spot. Hardy is scoffing at Riddle on Twitter, but if nothing else, Riddle has ensured there will be interest in his next fight, no matter the foe.
Stock down: Hector Lombard
If you comb through the hundreds of fighters who have stepped into the Octagon over the years, you’re bound to find one or two who have overcome a UFC debut as putrid as Lombard’s performance against Boetsch. But sometimes you just have to call a bust a bust. Not only was Lombard’s win streak in part a matter of matchmaking about a half-step above Kimbo Slice vs. Bo Cantrell, but even the numbers touted in Lombard’s favor don’t hold up to scrutiny. For example, Lombard did fight seven opponents with UFC experience during his 20-fight win streak, but their combined UFC record was 11-17; a number which drops to 7-16 if you take out Brian Ebersole, who is about to drop to lightweight.
So, in summation: Lombard’s record was a hype job of the sort usually only seen in boxing; he lost his debut to a guy who broke his foot during the fight; and White brusquely dismissed his prospects afterwards. If Lombard does manage to get to the title, it will be one long, long road.
Fight I Want to See Next:
Renan Barao vs. Mike McDonald. My MMAFighting.com colleague Luke Thomas tweeted on Saturday night that he spoke to UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz’s head coach, Eric Del Fierro, and that Del Fierro told him Cruz is at least four months away from returning to training due to his torn ACL. Even assuming that all goes well once Cruz is back to all-out training, that’s a long time for a champ to stay on the sidelines. So hopefully, the UFC will inject some meaning into their interim championship. Barao, who didn’t react to his victory as though an interim title is meaningless, indicated his willingness to fight whoever the UFC wants him to fight. McDonald was the other name seriously considered for the Faber bout in a thin bantamweight division before Barao was picked. So if Cruz is out for the forseeable future, then Barao vs. McDonald is the way to go.
Anthony Perosh vs. Joey Beltran Anthony got caught, plain and simple. His three fight winning streak was broken, but he will be back for more. A match with Beltran would be nice, as it would allow him to prove himself in standup. Joey is known for brawling, and I am sure Anthony wants to prove …
MMA H.E.A.T. brings you UFC President Dana White’s media scrum, which took place directly after the UFC 149 post-fight press conference. The first-ever UFC show in Calgary was by all accounts a disappointing show in terms of action, and Dana lets us know how he feels about the fights that took place. He also discusses the Middleweight landscape, when Cruz vs Barao might happen and what he thinks can be done about the reffing and judging in MMA.
It is exactly 12 months ago that ONE Fighting Championship was launched and it has been perhaps the most eventful year in the history of Asian MMA. Organizations have come and gone in that time, but on the eve of its biggest show yet ONE FC has well and truly made good on its stated ambition to be the single biggest promotional player in the continent. Today ONE Fighting Championship is Asia’s largest MMA organization with approximately a 90%+ market share in Asia.
Rewind to last June and ONE FC announced that it would be holding a press conference on July 14th to announce its formation and ambitions, which included a show at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in September. This news wasn’t universally well received and Legend FC, a Hong Kong based promotion which was just about to put on it’s first ever show in the neighbouring territory of Macau, also had dreams of Asian domination.
On the eve of the ONE FC press conference, Legend FC put out a press release to announce, amongst other things, that it would be putting on shows in Singapore and Indonesia in 2012. It was little short of a declaration of war and this rivalry was only reinforced when Legend FC chose to wait until midway through ONE FC: ‘Battle of Heroes’ in Jakarta in February to announce that it’s eighth card would be taking place in exactly the same city the following month.
At the time, it appeared that the two promotions would be going head to head and Legend FC seemed determined to take on ONE FC, deliberately timing the announcement of a distribution deal with ESPN to coincide with a ONE FC press conference to announce a 10 year partnership with ESPN Star Sports. It was a provocative gesture which succeeded in that much of the media gave both announcements equal significance, although whereas ONE FC coverage is now broadcast regularly on both the ESPN and Star Sports channels Legend FC has yet to appear on a single ESPN affiliated channel.
What appeared to be blossoming into an epic inter promotional rivalry has since subsided because Legend FC has suffered a series of setbacks. Legend FC’s Jakarta show was cancelled not once, but twice amid rumours of poor ticket sales and financial difficulties. At the same time, URCC, the largest Filipino MMA organization announced that it had lodged a complaint against Legend FC for unethical and illegal conduct with the Games and Amusement Board.
To add insult to injury, Chinese promotion RUFF took advantage of Legend FC’s lack of financial muscle to start systematically signing up some of the best fighters on the roster including reigning bantamweight champion Jumabieke Tuexan as well as Haotian Wu and Wang Guan. For a Chinese promotion losing so many local fighters has been a serious setback and is one of the reasons that, while the UFC is heading to the 16,000 capacity Venetian in Macau, Legend FC still struggles to sell more than a thousand or so tickets at a small ballroom nearby.
While Legend FC’s relationship with other promotions has deteriorated to the point that some have pursued formal complaints ONE FC has pursued a much more inclusive policy, attempting to unite the entire continent through the ONE FC Network. This approach also contrasts sharply with that of the UFC which is known for its aggressively exclusive strategy and it has allowed ONE FC to form alliances with the likes of the URCC, Road FC, DREAM and DEEP which means the roster effectively includes around 90% of the top fighters in Asia.
While Legend FC has stagnated with the promised shows in Singapore and Indonesia apparently no closer to materializing ONE Fighting Championship has routinely sold out major stadiums in Singapore, Jakarta, and Kuala Lumpur and next month’s event in Manila is reportedly on course to completely sell out the 16,500 capacity Areneta Coliseum in the Philippines.
ONE FC has succeeded in attracting a number of blue chop sponsors including Sony, Energizer, Schick, Carl’s Jr, Toyota and Chevrolet which should help to guarantee the long term financial future of the promotion and also allows it to pay by far the highest purses in Asia. PRIDE, DREAM, Strikeforce and Bellator veteran Shinya Aoki has been telling people that the contract he recently signed with ONE FC was the most lucrative of his entire career and the budget has also been used to good effect elsewhere as anyone who has seen the ESPN Star Sports broadcast will testify that ONE FC is currently the only Asian MMA organization which can compete with with the world class production of UFC.
If it was a war between the two promotions, and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that this was the case, there has only been one clear winner. ONE Fighting Championship has become the superpower of Asian MMA while Legend FC has completely failed to fulfill its ambition to expand outside the Chinese territories and looks increasingly like a a small town show.
One of the most significant moments of the past year came when the MMA media reported that after years of financial difficulties DREAM was finally dead. This news instantly rendered a number of the most sought after fighters in the region as free agents and ONE FC has been the main beneficiary, fending off the challenge of the UFC to sign Shinya Aoki, Bibiano Fernandes, Masakazu Imanari and, reportedly, Tatsuya Kawajiri. At present ONE FC is the only Asian promotion competing to sign world class fighters and has access to by far the best roster in the continent, particularly when you take into consideration the ONE FC Network.
Another interesting development has been the formation of the Super Fight League in India. This organization has wealthy backers which makes it a major player, but it is focussed exclusively on a market which, to date, has shown little to no interest in the sport of MMA and the SFL has struggled to sell tickets or attract sponsors not already affiliated to the owners.
The SFL is not ready to give up just yet and took the extreme measure of deciding to give away all of its tickets for free to anyone willing to attend the last show. A reality TV show is being filmed at the moment and it appears that the money men behind this promotion are not willing to admit defeat just yet, despite such a slow start.
A year ago there were a number of promotions vying for regional supremacy but the landscape has been radically altered as ONE FC has left rivals in its wake by putting out sold out shows in some of the biggest indoor arenas in South East Asia.
The UFC signed a TV deal with Fox which finally made it available across Asia and also returned to Japan for the first time in almost a decade, with an excursion into Macau already booked for November. I predict the rivalry between ONE FC and the UFC is likely to be the biggest story of the next 12 months as these two MMA juggernauts start to go head to head.
Dana White has been promising to put on a card in the Philippines for years and Singapore has also been mentioned as a destination by UFC officials but, by booking the biggest indoor arena in Manila, ONE FC has achieved in just under a year something the UFC has been struggling to make any headway with for the best part of five years.
ONE FC has already got the better of the UFC once by signing Fernandes from under their noses after it had been announced that the DREAM Bantamweight Champion was already booked to appear at UFC 149. After leaving the smaller local promotions like Legend FC trailing in its wake expect ONE FC’s next big battle to be waged with the UFC.
Canadian middleweight Nick Ring bounced back from his first professional defeat, as he took a unanimous decision from “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 11 winner Court McGee at UFC 149 “Faber vs. Barao” on Saturday at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Recent News on Sherdog.com