(Photo via Getty)
By Alex Giardini
The weekend is in the books, and although many of you were indulging in baseball playoffs and college football madness, there was plenty of MMA to equally boast and complain about. Apart from the always-vibrant regional circuit, which included MFC 41 and SFL 35 last Saturday night (watch a dude go through the cage door looking like he was on the wrong end of a Stone Cold Stunner right here), there were four major MMA shows taking place in 48 hours, two of which came from the same promotion that may or may not be ruining the sport with its inflated and overstressed schedule.
To top it all off, there were also a handful of stories outside the cage to boast about, some amusing and some downright miserable.
Here is the Cage Potato “Weekend Roundup,” and quite frankly, the only recap you need:
Bellator vs. Battlegrounds MMA
It wasn’t exactly the showdown anyone anticipated, yet Bellator 127 went head-to-head against the hopeful Battlegrounds MMA, the upstart group that hired WWE legend Jim Ross and former UFC trash-talking guru Chael Sonnen to lead the way in the commentary booth for the return of the epic one-night tournament.
First, let’s get Bellator out of the way. These weekly Bellator shows will thankfully come to an end, and we can’t wait for Scott Coker to put on monthly shows better than the five UFC shows Zuffa runs per month, even though season 11 has owned so far.
In the main event, Daniel Straus blitzed past Justin Wilcox in under a minute, returning to winning ways after dropping his featherweight strap to Pat Curran back in March. Karo Parisyan’s comeback came to a stop at the hands of Fernando Gonzalez in a catchweight bout, after the latter dropped him and continued to deck him into oblivion. Another catchweight fight saw Rafael Silva defeat another UFC veteran, Rob Emerson, and Kendall Grove surprised the majority of his naysayers by choking out Christian M’Pumbu. Check out the highlights here.
As for Battlegrounds MMA, it was the perfect mix of sensation and shit show. The tournament format made a return, but we can sort of see why MMA can do without it. The show was a little long (not nearly as long as you-know-who), and with all due respect to the combatants participating, it would be hard to say the event would have acquired the same intrigue had it not been a one-night, eight-man welterweight tournament.
Since most of you care about the commentary team, they were a lot better than Mike Goldberg & Joe Rogan, Jon Anik & Brian Stann/Kenny Florian, generic English guy & Dan Hardy, and even Michael Schiavello & Pat Miletech. Both Ross and Sonnen offered something different in the booth, ranging from the “American Gangster’s” steroid jokes and ranking a ring girl, to Ross’ dry humor and still intact punch lines.
The unlikely winner of the whole shebang was Roan Corneiro, defeating three men in one night (including two finishes), and then stripped of $ 15,000 by the Oklahoma Athletic Commission for “showing up late” to a medical. Since the grand prize was a whopping $ 50,000, earning just $ 35,000 to topple three foes in one night is pretty atrocious. Other notable tournament highlights include Cody McKenzie making weight by donating a pint of blood and then losing to Brock Larson by submission, Joe Ray mauled Luigi Fioravanti, and Trey Houston upset Jesse Taylor with a slick first-round armbar.
UFC Sweden Actually Turned Out To Be A Good Show
UFC in the afternoon is a little odd. Depending on which coast you reside on, you have limited time when waking up in someone’s bed that you don’t recognize, and realize you’re about three ferry rides away from your home. Some of us would just keep chilling, but you know, their partner can turn out to be Leo Johnson.
Anyway, Twitter, the best social media app on the fucking planet, blew up with so-called MMA journalists and enthusiasts making fun of those watching the UFC Sweden prelims around noon without being paid for it. We tend to agree.
The UFC Fight Night 53 main card was pretty damn entertaining, mainly because all the Swedes and their affiliates lost. Rick Story shocked by emphatically defeating the overhyped Gunnar Nelson, and then completely blew his post-fight interview by not calling someone out. The co-main event saw Max Holloway knock out Akira Corassani, and the Wiki-less Ilir Latifi also fell to Jan Blachowicz due to a mean kick to the body. The action opened up with Mike Wilkinson upsetting Niklas Backstrom with a nasty knockout. The best part was when the latter walked up to Dan Hardy in the midst of talking to the Englishman and simply said, “that’s fucked up, man …(something else)…”
Donald Cerrone & Hapless Canuck Get Inked
After promising his boss he wouldn’t wakeboard or commit to other crazy shit on fight week, UFC lightweight Donald Cerrone got some pretty interesting ink on his foot. To be honest, there should be more instances of a blonde Bettie Page riding a rocket-penis in the sport.
WoW the feet hurt!! Would way rather take 30 unanswered uppercuts to the face lol @benguntattoo
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If you thought that was bad, check out this moronic UFC-loving sap getting UFC Halifax inked on his freaking forearm, complete with the iconic Chuck Liddell pose.
Seriously, dude, don’t ever read CagePotato again. You’re banned.
UFC Halifax Was Longer Than The Ten Commandments
Speaking about UFC Halifax, who doesn’t love the UFC doubleheader?
UFC made its debut in Nova Scotia this past Saturday night with UFC Fight Night 54, showcasing the fight card on multiple backup platforms after FOX Sports 1 flipped them the bird and said, “we’re finishing baseball first, Mitch Gagnon.”
The event was pretty lackluster in general, minus Rory MacDonald’s official coming out party as the real Patrick Bateman. He finished Tarec Saffiedine in the third round via knockout, and there’s a good chance he’s next in line for the welterweight championship. Also on the card, Miesha Tate’s boyfriend lost to Raphael Assuncao in the co-main event.
As for the rest of the main card, check Wikipedia. If Dana isn’t doing post-fight scrums anymore, we aren’t either.
War Machine Is Back On Twitter
War Machine, real name John … you know what? Fuck War Machine. Up next …
UFC Newcomer Creates Go Fund Me Page
Every time the fighter pay issue is brought up in the media, the UFC brass (primarily) completely shuts down the remarks, citing backstage bonuses, unknown contract clauses, and general media stupidity to fight their cause.
In this instance, Nina Ansaroff, who makes her Octagon debut against Juliana Lima in a women’s strawweight bout at UFC Fight Night 56 in Brazil, has created a “Go Fund Me” page upon entering her first fight for the promotion hopeful of “world fucking domination.”
This has to be one of the saddest instances of fighter pay in the goddamn world. Not only did Cat Zingano’s paycheck raise a few eyebrows last week, but also that’s just another example of how flawed the pay system is. Ansaroff is an Invicta FC veteran, riding a five-fight winning streak, and fought both Carla Esparza and Barb Honchak early on in her career. As it stands, the fighter has raised $ 960, with a projected goal of $ 5,000.
There are many ways to spin this, but I guess we can just give it a rest and say it’s business, right?
Josh Burkman Threw WSOF Title Fight, But Not Really, Laughs In Ben Askren’s Avatar
Josh Burkman returns to the Octagon after six years away, facing the power-punching Hector Lombard at UFC 182. He left his post at WSOF, and his not-so-cryptic tweets were rather interesting.
The “People’s Warrior” claimed he threw his welterweight title fight against Steve Carl back in October 2012, just to get back into the UFC’s grace. It was a little hard to believe since the scrap was a back-and-forth battle that saw Burkman go out due to a triangle choke.
After some back-and-forth clowning with Ben Askren on Twitter, Burkman reiterated that he would never throw a fight, and was simply tooling the current One FC welterweight champion (as per his chat with MMA Fighting).
Actually, promotions do release champions.
That reminds me … was Burkman dating Arianny when that whole thing with the pictures …. uh, nevermind