Tag Archive for surprising

Robert Whittaker Gives Surprising Update on Health Situation; Champ Excited for Rockhold-Romero

Things are looking up for UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker.
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Surprising arrest made in connection with Anthony Pettis car attacks in Milwaukee

A suspect has been arrested by police in connection with the recent attacks against Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight contender Anthony Pettis, who was twice victimized by car bandits at his Milwaukee residence.

The surprising part? The perpetrator is just 13 years old.

“It`s scary to see where the youth is at,” Pettis told FOX 6 Now. “I feel there has to be some changes and I think I`m in a position where I can make some changes so it`s up to me to go out there. Instead of how do I replace my belongs, how do I make it right for everybody else?”

Start here.

Not long after his cars were set on fire (see the video here), Pettis had to watch his Range Rover get robbed in broad daylight. Probably not the kind of thing anyone needs to be dealing with in the weeks leading up to an interim title fight.

The recent arrest stems from last month’s theft (watch it).

Pettis battles fellow 145-pound contender Max Holloway at the upcoming UFC 206 pay-per-view (PPV) event this Saturday night (Dec. 10, 2016) inside Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

For much more on that fight click here.

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Friday Link Dump: Watch The UFC 200 Press Conference LIVE, Greatest Jon Jones Moments, Surprising Presidential Celebrity Pals + More

Preview: 1st ‘Last Chance’ Olympic Wrestling Qualifying Tournament (Bloody Elbow)

In Conor McGregor’s Catfight with the UFC, There’s Plenty of Blame to Go Around (Bleacher Report)

Evangelista Santos: From Cockfighting to Bellator (MMAFighting)

To Interim, or Not to Interim? That is the Question, and UFC fighters are Torn (MMAJunkie)

The Nine Greatest Jon Jones Moments (Low Kick)

R.I.P. Chyna: Remembering a Wrestling Icon (Screen Junkies)

Virtual Reality Porn, Via Room Service, is Coming to Las Vegas Hotels (Escapist)

These “Fixed” Photoshopped Photos Are Hilariously Getting Out Of Hand (Radass)

Prince Has Died and The World is Freaking Out (EveryJoe)

The Most Surprising Presidential Celebrity Pals (MadeMan)

The post Friday Link Dump: Watch The UFC 200 Press Conference LIVE, Greatest Jon Jones Moments, Surprising Presidential Celebrity Pals + More appeared first on Cagepotato.

Cagepotato

Friday Link Dump: Watch The UFC 200 Press Conference LIVE, Greatest Jon Jones Moments, Surprising Presidential Celebrity Pals + More

Preview: 1st ‘Last Chance’ Olympic Wrestling Qualifying Tournament (Bloody Elbow)

In Conor McGregor’s Catfight with the UFC, There’s Plenty of Blame to Go Around (Bleacher Report)

Evangelista Santos: From Cockfighting to Bellator (MMAFighting)

To Interim, or Not to Interim? That is the Question, and UFC fighters are Torn (MMAJunkie)

The Nine Greatest Jon Jones Moments (Low Kick)

R.I.P. Chyna: Remembering a Wrestling Icon (Screen Junkies)

Virtual Reality Porn, Via Room Service, is Coming to Las Vegas Hotels (Escapist)

These “Fixed” Photoshopped Photos Are Hilariously Getting Out Of Hand (Radass)

Prince Has Died and The World is Freaking Out (EveryJoe)

The Most Surprising Presidential Celebrity Pals (MadeMan)

The post Friday Link Dump: Watch The UFC 200 Press Conference LIVE, Greatest Jon Jones Moments, Surprising Presidential Celebrity Pals + More appeared first on Cagepotato.

Cagepotato

Friday Link Dump: Watch The UFC 200 Press Conference LIVE, Greatest Jon Jones Moments, Surprising Presidential Celebrity Pals + More

Preview: 1st ‘Last Chance’ Olympic Wrestling Qualifying Tournament (Bloody Elbow)

In Conor McGregor’s Catfight with the UFC, There’s Plenty of Blame to Go Around (Bleacher Report)

Evangelista Santos: From Cockfighting to Bellator (MMAFighting)

To Interim, or Not to Interim? That is the Question, and UFC fighters are Torn (MMAJunkie)

The Nine Greatest Jon Jones Moments (Low Kick)

R.I.P. Chyna: Remembering a Wrestling Icon (Screen Junkies)

Virtual Reality Porn, Via Room Service, is Coming to Las Vegas Hotels (Escapist)

These “Fixed” Photoshopped Photos Are Hilariously Getting Out Of Hand (Radass)

Prince Has Died and The World is Freaking Out (EveryJoe)

The Most Surprising Presidential Celebrity Pals (MadeMan)

The post Friday Link Dump: Watch The UFC 200 Press Conference LIVE, Greatest Jon Jones Moments, Surprising Presidential Celebrity Pals + More appeared first on Cagepotato.

Cagepotato

Friday Link Dump: Watch The UFC 200 Press Conference LIVE, Greatest Jon Jones Moments, Surprising Presidential Celebrity Pals + More

Preview: 1st ‘Last Chance’ Olympic Wrestling Qualifying Tournament (Bloody Elbow)

In Conor McGregor’s Catfight with the UFC, There’s Plenty of Blame to Go Around (Bleacher Report)

Evangelista Santos: From Cockfighting to Bellator (MMAFighting)

To Interim, or Not to Interim? That is the Question, and UFC fighters are Torn (MMAJunkie)

The Nine Greatest Jon Jones Moments (Low Kick)

R.I.P. Chyna: Remembering a Wrestling Icon (Screen Junkies)

Virtual Reality Porn, Via Room Service, is Coming to Las Vegas Hotels (Escapist)

These “Fixed” Photoshopped Photos Are Hilariously Getting Out Of Hand (Radass)

Prince Has Died and The World is Freaking Out (EveryJoe)

The Most Surprising Presidential Celebrity Pals (MadeMan)

The post Friday Link Dump: Watch The UFC 200 Press Conference LIVE, Greatest Jon Jones Moments, Surprising Presidential Celebrity Pals + More appeared first on Cagepotato.

Cagepotato

Chopped: Seven of the Most Surprising UFC Cuts in Recent Memory


(Photo via Getty. Depression via reality.)

The news that Jake Shields had been axed by the UFC on Tuesday was not taken lightly by MMA fans who had referred to the former Strikeforce champion as “Jake Shieldzzzz” for years prior. Days later, we are still trying to make sense of the decision to cut Shields following his first loss in two and a half years, but it was an easy one to make in the eyes of Dana White, who basically told reporters that Shields was released because he didn’t “WAR!!” enough.

As several publications have noted, the firing of Shields has once again highlighted the UFC’s ever-burgeoning “entertainment over sport” mindset when it comes to the legitimacy of their product. It’s the reason guys like Leonard Garcia and Dan Hardy remained with the promotion after two, three, four losses in a row and why Ben Askren was never even given a shot in the first place despite being a top 10 welterweight on damn near everybody’s list. Where just a few years ago, the Tank Abbotts of the world were ridiculed for their one-dimensional, bar brawler-esque approach to MMA, they are now being praised for their ability to entertain and absorb punishment over actually win a fight.

MMA is a sport. The UFC is a spectacle. White’s belief that Gina Carano would deserve an immediate title shot should she sign with the promotion is proof of this. The signing of Brock Lesnar after one fight is proof of this. James Toney is proof of this. We are living in an era of the UFC where the “Just Bleed” guy has risen from psychotic fanboy to upper management, and unfortunately, the firing of Jake Shields was not the first of its kind…

Jon Fitch

(Photo via Getty.)

Otherwise known as the UFC firing that opened the floodgates of criticism for an entire week back in 2013, the release of perennial contender Jon Fitch was initially met with shock and outrage by fans and pundits of the sport alike, despite the fact that none of us could sit through an entire Jon Fitch fight without checking our cell phones or throwing pencils into the ceiling out of boredom if our lives depended on it.

Shock was quickly replaced by sadness when it was revealed why Fitch was cut; despite being ranked #9 by the UFC’s own rankings system, Fitch was apparently “too fucking expensive” for the UFC – a multi-billion dollar corporation that paid James Toney half a million dollars to lay down and die — at $ 66,000 to show. Old Dad said it best:

You’re telling me that Fitch, who’s already had a better career than 90 percent of active welterweights, and who’s been with the same organization for more than seven years, has priced himself out of a job with $ 66,000 in show money? Seriously? Take away taxes, training expenses, his management’s cut, and all the other miscellaneous stuff that eats into a fighter’s pay, and that’s not a ton of take-home cash for a night of professional cage fighting. If that’s too much for a guy like Fitch, most other fighters should go ahead and start working on that law school application right now because the future is grim.

Yushin Okami

(Who’s got two thumbs and will be out of a job come Monday? THIS GUY. Photo via Getty.)

Listed as the #6 middleweight at the time of his release, Yushin Okami had scored 3 victories in as many fights until a first round knockout loss to #4 ranked Jacare Souza at Fight Night 28 apparently signified that the times had passed him by. Said Dana White:

He’s been with us forever. He was always a tough guy and was right up there, but it’s almost like he’d become a gatekeeper. I like Okami, and you’ve heard me say this many times, that a win over Yushin Okami meant something. But he was never able to get over the hump and win one of those [significant] fights. We have a lot of guys coming in and I’ve been saying this all year: We have a full roster and there are guys who deserve opportunities. When you bring guys in, someone has to go. That’s why these fights are so meaningful.

“You know, sometimes you just have to cut a guy in the top 10 to make room for the 0-0 yoga instructors who really deserve a shot.”

Gerald Harris
Gerald Harris Dave Branch UFC 116 slam knockout KO
(Photo via Getty.)

Proof that one underwhelming fight can get your fired regardless of your record, TUF 7 alum Gerald Harris was let go by the UFC following his lackluster decision loss to Maiquel Falcao at UFC 123. The insanity in this decision being that the loss was Harris’ first under the UFC banner, and came following three straight TKO wins, two ‘Knockout of the Night’ awards, and an appearance on the Sportscenter Top 10. Harris has fought seven times since his departure, going a respectable 5-2 in such organizations as the WSOF, Dream, and Legacy Fighting Championships, but will likely never fight in the UFC again because he had an off night that one time back in 2010.

Meanwhile, Jared Hamman, who joined the UFC around the same time as Harris, has been smoked in his past three fights by Costas Philippou (legit), Michael Kuiper (fired) and Magnus Cedenblad (no Wiki page), and is 2-5 in the UFC overall, yet is still listed as an employee of the UFC. Politics, ladies and gentleman.

Come to think of it, you could just as easily swap Harris with Falcao, who was also fired for coasting to victory over Harris at UFC 123 (although it was later revealed that Falcao’s release stemmed from an assault case). In hindsight, it was clearly a good move on the UFC’s part, but at the time it was almost unprecedented to see a fighter booted after a win.

Cagepotato

UFC 171 Tweet-Sized Stats: 26 Surprising Facts for Hendricks vs. Lawler


(Fan-made poster by Frank G.)

By Reed Kuhn

Note: Reed’s book ‘Fightnomics’ is available now on Amazon (in Kindle and paperback versions), featuring 336 pages of statistical analysis on UFC fighters and the “hidden science” behind their fights. If you’ve been a fan of his Databomb columns on CagePotato, pick up a copy today.

With UFC 171: Hendricks vs. Lawler coming up this Saturday, I decided to put together another batch of interesting facts and stats about the event, all of which fit inside Twitter’s 140-character limit. Feel free to tweet ‘em out yourself during the event, and let us know which ones surprised you the most. (And of course, follow @cagepotatomma and @fightnomics if you’re not doing so already.) Let’s begin…

The Good

7 of the Top 15 ranked @ufc welterweights are competing at #UFC171. That includes numbers 1, 2, 3, 6, 11, 12, & 14. Post GSP-era starts now.

Welterweight sluggers at #UFC171: punch for punch @TWooodley has the highest WW Knockdown Rate-13%. Lawler-10%, Lombard/Hendricks-6%. Ave=4%

Myles Jury has the best head striking defense at #UFC171. He makes opponents miss 93% of the time. Next best is Tyron Woodley at 80%.

Alex Garcia’s UFC debut lasted just 43 seconds. He landed 9 total strikes, dropped his opponent and won by KO. He opens FS2 #UFC171 prelims

Best Takedown Defense at #UFC171 goes to Tyron Woodley-94%, Dennis Bermudez-89%, Hector Lombard-79%

Highest paced striker at #UFC171 is Jake Shields. He averages 17 strikes per minute while standing, and outworks opponents by 75%
[Ed. note: WTF???]

Jake Shields has already beaten 3 other ranked welterweights competing at #UFC171, including Carlos Condit, Robbie Lawler & Tyron Woodley

Arms Race: Ovince St. Preux has the longest reach at #UFC171 at 79”. His opponent Nikita Krylov has the 2nd longest reach at 77.5”

Two fights into his UFC career and Nikita Krylov has yet to be hit with a head jab. He also hasn’t landed one yet himself #UFC171

.@jakeshieldsajj has spent more minutes in control on the mat than any other fighter at #UFC171 & 17% of that time was in full mount.

Carlos Condit & Jake Shields are most likely to advance position while on the mat at #UFC171. Each average several advances per takedown landed

The Bad

Hector Lombard (36) and Jakes Shields (35) are the two oldest competitors at #UFC171. When they face each other it’s 71 years combined age in the Octagon

With a reported reach of 62″, Jessica Andrade has the shortest wingspan of any fighter in UFC history #UFC171

Worst Takedown Defense to date at #UFC171 goes to Nikita Krylov. Opponents were 4 for 4 in takedown attempts against him

The most experienced UFC veteran at #UFC171 is Diego Sanchez. In his UFC career he’s been hit in the head 920 times total (5th all-time)

Jake Shields is the least accurate striker at #UFC171, he only lands 12% of his power head strikes

No one at #UFC171 has attempted more takedowns in the UFC than Diego Sanchez. Of his 133 attempts, however, he has only landed 19%.

The Weird

There will be (at least) 11 Southpaws competing at #UFC171 which is more than any card in @ufc history. It’s the most UNorthodox card ever!

In the main event at #UFC171 both fighters will come out Southpaw. And with the nicknames given to them when they were two: Johny & Robbie.

Most likely to attempt a takedown at #UFC171 are Johny Hendricks & Jake Shields. Each average 1 attempt per minute they are on their feet.

Most likely to mix up his striking attack at #UFC171 is Carlos Condit. He throws body and leg kicks way more than average

Young Guns at #UFC171: Nikita Krylov, Kelvin Gastelum & Jessica Andrade are all just 22 years old. Justin Scoggins turns 22 in May

Arms Race: Jimmy Hettes will have the biggest Reach Advantage at #UFC171. His reach is 71” and he’s facing Dennis Bermudez-66”

Although Robbie Lawler rarely attempts takedowns, his success rate is 70%, the highest at #UFC171. Myles Jury is 2nd at 64%

Rick Story, the lowest of the 6 ranked Welterweights at #UFC171 has a UFC win over Johny Hendricks, the highest ranked Welterweight

No one at #UFC171 faced more takedowns than Carlos Condit (81). He defended 41% leaving opponents with a high collective takedown success %.

Cagepotato

TUF 18 Finale pulls off surprising numbers for FOX Sports 1

Saturday night’s Ultimate Fighter Finals showed a substantial increase from the last several live events on the network, drawing 1,129,000 viewers for a show headlined by Nate Diaz vs. Gray Maynard and the men’s and women’s final from the recently-completed Ultimate Fighter season.

The number is up 56 percent from the 722,000 viewers of the previous live event on Fox Sports 1, a show in a similar time slot, headlined by Vitor Belfort vs. Dan Henderson. With their long histories as MMA names dating back to the 90s, and Belfort battling for a title shot, that show should have been figured to be do substantially higher numbers than Saturday. The UFC event before that, on a Wednesday, did 641,000 viewers for a show headlined by Tim Kennedy vs Rafael Natal.

The show was the sixth most-watched program on the nearly four-month old station, and second-highest for a UFC program, trailing only the Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Chael Sonnen show on the network’s launch, that did 1,780,000 viewers.

Even more surprising was that the prelims did 938,000 viewers, even though they started 15 minutes late on FS 1 due to a college football game going long, and featured no major name fighters. The biggest match on the prelims, Akira Corassani vs. Maximo Blanco, only lasted 25 seconds. Four fighters, Drew Dober, Jared Rosholt, Walt Harris and Tom Niinimaki, had never fought previously in UFC.

UFC has only had three shows on the station top that number, Saturday’s main card, the main card the first night, and the prelims before the Nov. 16, UFC 167 pay-per-view event.

Prelims on FS 1 leading into fights on that station have only averaged 375,000 viewers.

UFC also led Fox Sports Live, the station’s sports newscast, to do its third biggest numbers to date. The show, which aired from 12:45 a.m. to 2 a.m., did 377,000 viewers. What was notable is the first 15 minutes of the show, which consisted of an interview discussion after the show that included women’s TUF winner Julianna Pena, as well as rivals Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate, did 896,000 viewers.

This was the first Ultimate Fighter finals on FS 1. The season averaged only half the total audience of the prior season on the higher-rated and more widely distributed FX, barely beating 600,000 live viewers on average. But it drew almost ridiculous numbers of DVR viewers, peaking at 306,000 DVR viewers watching a recording of the original airing of the show between Thursday and Saturday nights.

MMA Fighting – All Posts

Ratings report: UFC 165, UFC 166 PPV numbers are surprising

Ever since the top matches were announced for both UFC 167 and 168, the feeling was that these were going to be two of the most successful events in company history. And from a live gate standpoint, they will be.

But for UFC, the big money and largest company revenue stream is in the pay-per-view arena. Georges St-Pierre has been a strong pay-per-view draw dating back to his first UFC welterweight title win over Matt Hughes seven years ago. When he headlines UFC 167 on Nov. 16 in Las Vegas, it will be riding the momentum of the company’s 20th anniversary.

The combination of Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva and Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate on Dec. 28 is among the strongest 1-2 title match punches on the same show in company history.

Barring an injury, both shows will do very well. That’s not in question. UFC President Dana White’s prediction that 168 will be the biggest pay-per-view success in company history, beating UFC 100, is something that a promoter hyping a show is apt to say. But it seemed very reasonable to expect it to be the biggest show outside of the UFC’s centennial event.

Right now, a UFC Nostradamus has to be feeling somewhat edgy about statements like that.

UFC hasn’t had a blockbuster pay-per-view success since the first Weidman vs. Anderson Silva fight in July topped 525,000 buys. Nobody expected big numbers from the “smaller” guys who headlined in August.  Jose Aldo may be one of the world’s great fighters but he’s never been a North American draw.  Benson Henderson had also never pulled big numbers on pay-per-view.

But the last two months the big boys were playing. Jon Jones had been the company’s consistent No. 3 draw behind St-Pierre and Silva, since he had won the light heavyweight title. He defended in September against Alexander Gustafsson. What could be reasonably argued from a pure talent standpoint, the biggest heavyweight fight in company history, Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos III topped the bill this month.

Of course, talent and fighting skill doesn’t equal drawing power.

Jones vs. Gustafsson from Sept. 21 in Toronto is currently estimated at doing between 300,000 and 325,000 buys. The number looked shocking on the surface, since Jones has always pulled well over 400,000 buys, and hit 700,000 for his fight with Rashad Evans.

There is no question the fight was hurt by two different factors. The first and most important was it came a week after the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Canelo Alvarez boxing match. That fight did 2.2 million buys, the second biggest of all-time.

While UFC and boxing have different audiences, the Mayweather fight transcended boxing and became a cultural event like boxing has only seen a few times since the heyday of Mike Tyson. There is little doubt that a large number of UFC regular big event buyers had either paid $ 75 for, or gotten together with friends for the boxing match. Faced with another $ 45 or $ 55 bill a week later, and having already spent the prior Saturday watching fights with buddies, it’s not just understandable, but expected that the UFC number would be down from usual.

And, no matter how great a fight the main event turned out to be, few gave Gustafsson much of a chance going in.

There was no grudge match aspect like Jones had with Evans, nor was Gustafsson close to as well known a name as any of Jones’ prior opponents. Gustafsson is a lot bigger star today, and if a rematch was to take place, it should do substantially better.

It’s UFC 166 that is more concerning. The early estimates on that show are in the same range, or very slightly up from 165. The Houston show did go head-to-head with the MLB playoffs, college football and HBO boxing.

Nobody should insinuate that Velasquez or Dos Santos are two of the biggest heavyweight stars in UFC history, not when history includes Randy Couture, Brock Lesnar and even Ken Shamrock.  But they are the two best heavyweight fighters the company has ever had. They’ve destroyed everyone in their path except each other, and were split 1-1 in two previous meetings. The Oct. 19 fight would and did determine the top dog of the era. And the show had a deep undercard.

More than 9 million people saw the first Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos fight on television in the United States alone two years ago in the company’s debut on FOX.

It was Velasquez’s only professional loss, a one-punch knockout in barely one minute. First impressions are the most lasting. It may be that no matter how dominant Velasquez has been since, that to millions of Americans who never saw him before, he’s still that guy with all that hype they saw laying on the canvas and not getting up.  Perhaps they simply refuse to believe he’s really that good.

What made this even more perplexing is that Velasquez in particular appeared to be a big-time superstar in Houston’s Toyota Center, where the event sold out immediately and did the third-largest gate in the building’s history.

Some would jump to a conclusion and say it’s a rapidly changing business and people are far less apt to purchase pay-per-views, unless it’s a big blockbuster event that really captures the sports world. But UFC’s business from February through July contradicts that. The UFC had a great deal of success with shows headlined by fighters with more personality, but were not the same level of match ups when it comes to the inarguable top two in a division of the era.

But there is one thing clear. In most of combat sports history, the heavyweights and the big guys captured the imagination of the public. The heavyweight champ was the baddest man on the planet. Today it’s very clear that big personalities who can fight reasonably well trump even the combination of skill, size and fighting ability at the highest level, and even heaviest level, when it comes to what gets people to spend their money.

Perhaps it’s even the magnitude of the next two shows. People have known for months about 167 and 168, which on paper are the two biggest shows of the year. Maybe that weakened the past two shows, as people saw them as secondary. But that may also be grasping at straws for an excuse.

But don’t be too quick to say MMA is on its way down. The UFC has six shows between now and the end of the year, not including Wednesday’s Fight for the Troops show which is free to those in the military. Of those, four are nearly sold out already, the Nov. 9 show in Goiania, Brazil, the Nov. 16 show in Las Vegas, the Dec. 7 show in Brisbane, Australia, and the Dec. 28 show back in Las Vegas.

UFC 167 and 168, both at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, are each expected to top $ 5 million live gates, a figure the company has only hit six times in its history.

Overall, this was not a good week when it comes to MMA viewership on television.

The UFC show on Saturday on Fox Sports 2 did 122,000 viewers. Of the five shows FS 2, and its predecessor Fuel, have broadcast live from Europe in afternoon time slots, this did the fourth best. The biggest, in the same time slot, was the previous show, on April 16 from Stockholm, Sweden, when the Gegard Mousasi vs. Ilar Latifi fight did 236,000 viewers, nearly double.

From a public interest standpoint, Lyoto Machida vs. Mark Munoz should have killed that fight. Machida has spent years as a headliner and was a former light heavyweight champion. Munoz has been around for years on main cards and gotten exposure on FS 1 broadcasts doing analyst work. Mousasi had some exposure from Strikeforce, but had never broken through to any degree in the U.S. market. Latifi was a last-minute sub and a complete unknown.

The difference may be something as simple as seasonal. The only afternoon show on Fuel that did lower numbers live, a Sept. 29, 2012, show that did 111,000 live but another 140,000 for a replay later that day, also was during football season. But headliners Stefan Struve and Stipe Miocic on that show had nowhere near the name value of Machida and Munoz. All the shows that beat the numbers were not going head-to-head with the country’s most popular sport.

The World Series of Fighting show later that night on NBC Sports, did 161,000 viewers in prime time, the lowest that promotion has done to date.

The night before, Bellator on  Spike did 520,000 viewers, its lowest number so far this season.

MMA Fighting – All Posts