Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Truth About Knockouts

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Yves Edwards was having a dream. In the dream he sat in the locker room before his fight with Sam Stout at UFC 131 in Vancouver, talking with his coaches and his wife.

That's how he knew it was a dream, because his wife was there in the locker room with him, and also because everything seemed just a little too strange, like a photograph that seems perfectly clear out of the corner of your eye but goes blurry as soon as you look directly at it.

At one point, Stout came into his room to talk to him mere minutes before the two were supposed to fight. He doesn't exactly remember what they talked about, but he remembers it being strange, too. A backstage conversation with a guy you were about to fight. The kind of stuff that could only happen in a dream.

Only later did Edwards realize he was actually awake, that the fight was already over, and that he'd been knocked out cold in the first round.

"I don't even remember leaving the cage," Edwards said. "You really lose that time. I watched [the fight], and I still don't remember it."

It was almost as if somebody else had gone out and lost the fight for him. He knew it was him in there, but he had no memory of it. Gradually, some of it came back to him. He remembered taking Stout down and being surprised that it wasn't more difficult to do. He remembered making a mental note that he could do it again later in the fight. He remembered landing a straight left, slipping and falling on a head kick attempt, and then scrambling quickly back to his feet.

After that, nothing.

Not the right hand he threw or the left hook that Stout countered with. Definitely not the feeling of his body going limp from the punch, sagging forward for just a moment before collapsing to the mat, his head whipping back and bouncing off the canvas with a sickening thud that echoed over every voice in the arena.

The things that happened over the next fifteen or so minutes -- waking up on his back with doctors hovering over him, leaving the cage, the short conversation he had with Stout on the arena floor, the walk back to the locker room -- are things that he knows must have happened, but has no recollection of. It's as if someone hit the restart button on his brain.

That someone, of course, was Stout. And the button was located somewhere in the vicinity of his chin.
You're hoping it happens, but you never know when it's going to happen.
-- Pat Barry

You keep getting in the cage often enough, trading leather with men who punch people for a living, and eventually this will happen to you. With the thin four-ounce gloves -- not to mention the elbows, the knees, the kicks that thwack the side of your head like a baseball bat -- it's less a question of if than when. On any given night in any given cage, somebody's number is likely to come up.

When you're on the receiving end of the knockout, you usually have to watch the replay to find out what happened. When you're the one delivering, you watch it just to relive a moment you're in no danger of forgetting anyway.

As former IFL lightweight champion Ryan Schultz once described the feeling of landing a knockout blow, "it's a little like punching your fist through a bowl full of jello."

Or as UFC middleweight Tim Credeur put it, "like punching a bag of light bulbs."

According to Pat Barry, who knocked out scores of opponents in his kickboxing career, you rarely know which blow is going to be that magic shot that turns out the lights.

"Knockouts, from my experience, are pretty surprising," said Barry. "They're never really planned. You remember when Rashad Evans knocked out Chuck Liddell with that right hand? If he would have known that that right hand was going to knock [Liddell] out, he wouldn't have thrown that looping left hook right after. Most knockouts via punch are followed with another punch, because you didn't expect it. You're hoping it happens, but you never know when it's going to happen."

It's also somewhat difficult to figure out exactly why it happens, said John Brenkus, the host of ESPN's "Sport Science." In Brenkus' southern California studio, his team has tested the force of every imaginable strike with every imaginable surface, from boxing gloves to MMA gloves to bare knuckles. He can tell you exactly how hard a Cain Velasquez punch is, but, Brenkus said, "what's happening inside the body when it hits you, I think that's still up for debate."

Part of the difficulty in figuring out the exact physics of the knockout lies with how hard it is to test in a controlled setting, according to Brenkus.

"You can't hook somebody up and hit them in the head and see what happens. It's way too dangerous."

What you can do, Brenkus said, is figure out what's happening inside the skull, even if you don't always know why one blow causes it and a similar one doesn't.

"It's really about jostling the brain. When people talk about being hit on the button, it's being hit on a place on your particular skull that forces the brain to move. The button does exist, but it exists not because you can just hit it and something happens, but because the amount of force in that specific spot forces the brain to move and that creates havoc."

You just have to accept that there's a chance that somebody is going to clip you."
-- Leonard Garcia
It's when the brain slams into the skull that the system shuts down, Brenkus added, but causing that reaction isn't just a matter of sheer force -- it's also about how focused that force is. Take Lyoto Machida's jumping front kick knockout of Randy Couture, which Brenkus called the "best example of physics meeting physiology."

"We went back and we analyzed it up one side and down the other," he said. "When you look at the surface area of the point of contact, it is so much smaller than a normal punch. It was just underneath his big toe."

That concentration of force in such a small area rather than a larger one, like a fist or an entire foot, was like the difference between getting hit by a hammer and getting hit by an oar. One small point of contact focuses the impact on just the right spot rather than allowing it to spread out.

But just as some people have greater bone density or more flexible limbs, Brenkus said, some have a button that's harder to press. Fighters like Mark Hunt, for instance, displayed a seemingly superhuman ability to take punches for years, most likely because of an anomaly in his physical makeup that made his brain harder to jostle for one reason or another.

But then there are also those, like Liddell or Wanderlei Silva, whose chin goes from rock solid to dangerously fragile seemingly all at once.

The conventional wisdom -- or perhaps popular myth -- has long held that once the off-switch gets pressed, it only becomes easier and easier to hit it in every successive outing. There's very little evidence to support this theory, according to Brenkus, but the more likely answer is far simpler.

"It's like everything else. Knees blow out over time. Shoulders blow out over time. Your ability to withstand a big punch wears down over time. It happens to everybody. Father Time catches up with you, and you can only take so many blows to the head. ...You can only jostle your brain inside your skull so much before a little bit of the movement causes a big reaction."

That might explain why, for many aging fighters, one knockout tends to beget more knockouts. Then again, not all fighters buy that explanation.

"I think it's mental," said Barry. "The guys who get knocked out once and then go out and get knocked out again and again, I think it's because they're scared of that knockout. Like Andrei Arlovski. He's in the ring, and he's just waiting to get knocked out again. He's not even trying to win the fights anymore. You can see it in his body language. He's waiting, hearing that clock count down."

But even if the phenomenon of the sudden glass jaw is less physical than mental -- even if it's mostly in a fighter's head -- what's he supposed to do about it?

Take Barry, for instance. He'd never been knocked out in either kickboxing or MMA, and he seemed to be no more than a punch or two away from finishing off a wounded and wobbly Kongo. All it took was one right hand followed by one off-balance uppercut to change that. He woke up on his back with no memory of the last few seconds, and had to watch it again on video to find out how he got there.

"I watched the replay and was like, oh man, I got knocked out with my eyes open," Barry said. "I'm the guy who gets knocked and is still staring at the ceiling. My mom's watching this. How am I going to explain this to her?"

Now he has to go into every fight with that image bouncing around somewhere in his mind. Now he knows -- rather than simply suspecting or fearing -- that no matter how well he's doing at any moment, he's just one punch or kick or knee away from another nap on the mat and another loss on his record.

For some fighters, that's a mental hurdle that's tough to clear -- and they don't necessarily need to be knocked all the way out in order to be haunted by it. That's how it was for Leonard Garcia, who was rocked for the first time in his featherweight title fight against Mike Brown at WEC 39.

"That was something that had never happened to me," said Garcia. "Never. I'd never had my bell rung like that. Of course, he hit me right behind the ear and knocked my equilibrium out. That was explained to me later and I didn't have a concussion or anything. But just knowing somebody could do that to me, that was a mental thing for me."

Garcia was so woozy after that shot, he got submitted moments later and lost his chance at a championship. Worse, he started carrying that concern into his fights, he said. With his brawling style, it presented an instant problem.

"I tried to change my game up a little bit and I thought about it way too much. It affected my ability to go out there and fight like I needed to fight. I struggled with that, and I think I finally found that comfort level. You just have to accept that there's a chance that somebody is going to clip you."

But no matter how bad it looks from the couch or the cageside seats, for nearly every fighter who has started the night on his feet and ended it on his back it's still the defeat that hurts the most.

"From the other end, it really does seem scary," explained Edwards, who said his wife "freaked out" after seeing him KO'd by Stout. "Sitting, watching your friends get knocked out, and hearing them say the same things over and over again afterwards, or asking the same questions, it does seem scary. But on this side it doesn't feel as bad as it looks from the other side. It sucks. But honestly, it sucks more to have lost than to have gotten knocked out."

And that's the part of the fear all fighters have to live with. A football team with the lead can run out the clock. A baseball team can pitch around the big hitters. A fighter has nowhere to hide, and he's never so far ahead that he can't be beaten by one perfect punch.

Once it happens, he has to find a way to put it out of his mind and take that risk all over again. For Edwards, who is still under medical suspension following the knockout that UFC president Dana White called "one of the nastiest I've ever seen," that might be the hardest step in his journey back inside the cage.

"I'm not scared to get hit, like I know some guys have been after they get knocked out, where they're not the same again," he said. "I've see that happen a lot, and I don't feel like that. Of course, that's what I'm saying right now. I might get in the cage four or five months from now and be like, man, I don't want to get hit. I don't think that will happen. I hope not."

'The Truth About' is a recurring series on that takes an in-depth look at various aspects of the sport. For past installments, such as 'The Truth About Trading Tomorrow for Today' and 'The Truth About Making Weight' click here.


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UFC 133 conference call: Evans was going to fight anyone put in front of him; Even Leben and Sonnen called to fill in

The UFC held an impromptu teleconference this morning to discuss the big change at the top of the UFC 133 card in Philadelphia on Aug. 6. After some headaches, Phil Davis is out, Tito Ortiz is in. Rashad Evans and Ortiz met back in 2007 at UFC 73. The fight ended in a draw.

Cage Potato blogged the call and had these interesting notes:

- The UFC found out last week that Davis' knee was injured, but were awaiting MRI results to see if he could fight.

- Machida agreed to the fight, then his�management later proceeded to ask for "Anderson Silva money," but Dana said when he accomplishes what Anderson has in his career, he'll be paid the same money he is paid.

Note: During a Yahoo! Sports' video discussion of the Ortiz-Davis-Machida-Dana-Evans sage, Kevin Iole said "Silva money" is somewhere in the seven-figure range.

- Tito stepped up and took the fight at the same monetary terms of his contract. Dana says that the UFC signed the deal with Tito a long time ago and that they didn't renegotiate his contract for the last fight because they figured he would lose against Bader and it would be his last fight.

Note: Ortiz made a base salary of $450,000 for his fight at UFC 132.

- Rashad is definitely the next in line, but Dana is still sore over him sitting out waiting for Shogun and if Tito beats Rashad he is in title contention.

- Rashad told them to get any opponent they can and not to bother calling him for approval because he would fight anyone who accepted the bout.

- Machida's relationship with the UFC could be strained because of his contract demands. White pointed out that Lyoto was begging him to get back into the cage to fight and he said "he had his chance."

- Bringing in a 205?er from Strikeforce didn't cross White's mind because in his words "Who would I have brought in?"

- Middleweights Chris Leben and Chael Sonnen both texted Dana to offer to fight Rashad.


Mike Van Arsdale Paul Varelans Jovany Anaconda Varela Tony Vartanian Cain Velasquez Brandon Vera Renato Verissimo

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

For Openly Gay Fighter Liz Carmouche, MMA Offered Open Arms and Bloody Noses

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When Liz Carmouche first walked into the San Diego Combat Academy, she wasn't sure how the team would take having a lesbian training partner. MMA seemed like a man's world, and maybe not the most accepting one for women in general. For a homosexual woman like herself, Carmouche thought, the reception would only be colder.

But after five years in the Marines under the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, Carmouche had decided that she was done lying about who she was.

"After having to keep that aspect of my life secret while I was in the military, I realized that it wasn't the person I wanted to be," Carmouche said. "I wanted to be open and honest about it and take the risk rather than hiding it."

But as it turned out, her teammates were more accepting than she thought, and a whole lot less surprised to hear the news.

"It's pretty funny, because it was obvious to all of us, I think," chuckled Carmouche's coach, Manny Hernandez. But that wasn't what stood out to him the most. Instead, he noticed her strength, her athleticism, and above all else, her willingness to take a beating and eagerness to give it right back, even after she got her nose bloodied and smashed in her first sparring session.

"That's something you can't teach," Hernandez said. "She really loves hurting people."

And in the world of the gym, that meant much more to her training partners than her sexual preference. Her fighting ability and work ethic trumped everything else, and no one seemed to care who she shared her bed with at night. For Carmouche, this was a welcome revelation.

"I thought, of all things, a male-dominated sport and a sport where you're engaging in this physical combat, that I was definitely going to come across that. I thought I'd come into contact with some stereotypical person who's anti-homosexuality, whether it be men or women. But I found the opposite. All they care about is a good, quality person who's a good training partner. Apart from that, what you do with your personal life, they really don't care."

But as much as Carmouche loves MMA now, there was a time when she couldn't stand it. The first time she saw a video of a fight, during her second tour in Iraq, she was appalled by the violence and the blood.

"Somebody showed me a fight where somebody had gotten cut on the forehead and was just gushing blood and kept going throughout the fight," she said. "I couldn't grasp the concept that anybody would want to do that. I thought this was sanctioned street fighting."

The more she looked into it, however, the more she found that something about unarmed combat appealed to her, for very similar reasons that the Marines had: it was a challenge. It was a chance to test herself, to get stronger, and to improve her overall conditioning.

At least, that's how it started, as some glorified workout routine.

"The first time I got to really hit somebody in the face, that changed everything," she said.

It wasn't long before she was training with the pros on Team Hurricane Awesome -- a name Hernandez said they at first jokingly came up with after fighting in Mexico, where "all the team names are just ridiculous."

Carmouche learned quickly and developed as a fighter in no time, Hernandez said, but she was also a little too intense for some.

"We had a few more females in the beginning, but they pretty much all decided it wasn't for them once Liz joined," he laughed. "She cut our membership in half, pretty much. It definitely drew a line in the sand as far as who were hobbyists and who was serious about competing."

Now she trains almost exclusively with men, and even some of them have been forced to ask themselves some tough questions after catching a beating from Carmouche, Hernandez said. Down at the gym, these are the kinds of stories that are funny for everyone except the male victim involved. Like the one about the guy who got a concussion at the hands of Carmouche, then stumbled into the bathroom and threw up all over himself while sitting on the toilet.

"At our school we look at it like, she's an athlete," Hernandez said. "She can definitely f--k you up. That is something that happens. There are male fighters in the lighter weight classes who will high-tail it out of here, because they didn't sign up to get beat up by a chick. But it happens."

Carmouche bypassed amateur MMA and went straight into the pros, in part because, according to Hernandez, they couldn't find any other amateurs willing to fight her.

"People would get a look at her and they wouldn't want any part of it," he said.

In her first six months of pro competition, Carmouche rattled off five straight wins. Still, when she got the offer to step in on short notice against Strikeforce 135-pound women's champion Marloes Coenen back in March, even Carmouche was caught by surprise.

She'd been fighting for about a year, while Coenen had more than a decade in the sport and more than four times as many fights as Carmouche. She got the call as she was just sitting down to dinner, and the offer was hard to process at first, for a couple of reasons.

"I was training like I do year-round, but I didn't have a fight coming up so I thought, you know, I'm going to enjoy a nice meal. I made some potatoes, some chicken with some actual seasoning on it, and I think I even baked a cheesecake. As I was sitting there, I got the phone call asking, 'What would you think about taking a shot at the title?' ...Then it was like, well, I guess I'm not going to get to eat this."

For three-plus rounds the little-known Carmouche took it to the champion, taking her down and battering her with punches until it looked like the referee would have no choice but to stop it. Coenen did just enough to survive, however, and in the fourth round locked up a triangle choke off her back, trapping Carmouche and forcing her to tap out after coming painfully close to what would have likely been the biggest upset in the history of women's MMA.

"I felt too confident," Carmouche said, looking back on the first loss of her career. "I thought there was no way she was going to be able to get the triangle on, and on top of that I accidentally walked into the choke rather than out of it. That little mistake cost me. Up until that point, I was winning. But that mistake was worth losing. I'd rather take that chance and lose to someone who's the best in the world than beat someone nobody has ever heard of."

Nothing stings quite like coming so close and still going home empty-handed, but at least the fight put her on the map even in defeat. Suddenly people knew Carmouche's name and knew what she could do.

The downside was, once she'd proven herself against the champion, she knew there was no going back to the lesser-known, similarly inexperienced opponents she'd built up her record against in the beginning. That much became clear when she got her next fight offer -- a three-rounder with former champ Sarah Kaufman at this Friday night's Strikeforce Challengers event in Las Vegas.

In Kaufman, Carmouche faces an opponent much like herself. One who pushes the pace and is "super-scary," according to Hernandez. She's also an experienced pro with five years in the sport and a 13-1 record, so it's not as if Carmouche is getting much of a step down in competition. But as Hernandez explained, that's nothing new for Carmouche.

"She's f--king amazing," he said. "She's fighting guys who have two or three times her experience, and doing well."

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Carmouche's story, however, is how little attention it's gotten. Now that the UFC and Strikeforce are both under the Zuffa banner, she's the first openly gay fighter to compete for the world's largest MMA organization.

If she were a male fighter, that would be headline news, and it would probably be met with more of a mixed reaction. But in Carmouche's case -- and much to her relief -- it seems less remarkable than how far she's come as a fighter in such a short period of time. And for that, Carmouche said, she might have the peculiar mindset of the male-dominated sport to thank.

"When they look at two women, it's 'lesbian action,'" she said. "That's attractive to them. Two men doesn't have that same appeal to them. Two women is just much more appealing to them, because they find it attractive."

It's a depressingly simple explanation if you're one of the sport's male fans, but maybe an accurate one. Regardless, the open and honest life Carmouche is able to live as a lesbian MMA fighter still stands in stark contrast to the one she lived as a gay Marine under Don't Ask, Don't Tell, she said.

"It was really difficult. I wouldn't say I came out so much as I came into my own. I really discovered what my sexuality meant to me and what that meant to me as a person. I was able to come out to my family, but other than that I couldn't come out to co-workers or to friends because of what that would mean for my military life and my career. That made my life difficult, because I felt like I was constantly conflicted and at war with myself every day that I faced people."

In her new life as a pro fighter, and with the support of her team behind her, that's one problem she no longer faces. Now all she has to worry about is the woman standing across the cage from her on Friday night -- and in Kaufman, she faces one who likes hurting people and mixing it up just as much as she does.

Just as it was when Carmouche first stepped on the mats, that's the great equalizer. It's the blind fairness of sport, the only thing that matters when the cage door finally swings shut. And that's exactly the way Carmouche wants it, even if she never expected to find it here.


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mods do me a favour :)

ban me for a week. don't ask. just do.


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UFC 138: Leben vs. Munoz

UFC 138: Leben vs. Munoz When: February 5th, 2011 Where: LG Arena in Birmingham, England How: (Spike TV – Same-day Tape-delay) Who: John Hathaway vs. TBD Brad Pickett vs. Renan Barao Terry Etim vs. Edward Faaloloto Anthony Njokuani vs. Paul Taylor Thiago Alves vs. Papy Abedi Mark Munoz vs. Chris Leben Help spread the [...]


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Anthony Pettis Vs. Jeremy Stephens Booked For UFC 136

By <a href="">Chris

Howie</a> <Br>
MMANEWS.COM Staff Writer<Br><Br>

Former WEC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis will attempt to pick up his first win since transferring over to the UFC as it was announced over the weekend that he will take on Jeremy Stephens in lightweight action at UFC 136.<Br><Br>

Pettis was originally promised a shot at the UFC Lightweight title but a rematch and subsequent injuries to both Champion Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard forced Pettis off the sidelines and into a match against Clay Guida. Pettis would lose his UFC debut, along with his title shot, to Guida at UFC on Versus.<Br><Br>

Stephens has won his last two fights and will look to further himself up the lightweight ladder when he takes on Pettis.<Br><Br>

Ironically enough, Edgar and Maynard will finally fight their rematch in the main event of UFC 136 on October 8th in Houston.<Br><Br>

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Jake Shields Set To Face Jake Ellenberger At UFC Fight Night 25

Ever since he lost to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 129, many fight fans have been wondering what?s next for Jake Shields. The loss to GSP was the first in quite some time for the former Strikeforce champion, and it was honestly a bit of a blowout performance by the UFC?s premiere Welterweight kingpin. Recently, [...]


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Bellator adds inspirational fighter Rad Martinez to tournament

On Sunday, ESPN's "Outside the Lines" shared the heart-wrenching story of Rad Martinez, an aspiring fighter who is also responsible for taking care of his father, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. The story is on the long side, but well worth your time:

Even with all those responsibilities, Martinez has put together a 9-2 record which includes a win over UFC veteran Joe Brammer. Now, Martinez has been signed to fight with Bellator in their featherweight tournament. From the Bellator press release:

"Rad not only has an incredibly uplifting, powerful story, but he's also a fierce competitor who will be a great addition to the Bellator family," said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. "We're proud to have Rad under the Bellator banner, and expect big things from him inside the Bellator cage."

In the featherweight tournament, Martinez will be in the cage with such fighters as Patricio Pitbull, Pat Curran, Ronnie Mann, and Marlon Sandro. If he wins the tournament, he will face featherweight champ Joe Warren. All of these fighters train full-time, and have been doing so for years.

One of the challenges that Martinez faces is that he doesn't get as much training time as his competitors, which can be downright dangerous� in the cage. Hopefully, Bellator will give Martinez the support he needs before his fight so that he can be as well-prepared as his opponents when he gets in the cage.


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Sin Cara gets busted for drugs

---Quote--- has reported that Sin Cara (Luis Ignascio Urive Alvirde) has been suspended for 30 days due to his first violation of the company's wellness policy.
---End Quote---...


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Rivera Vs. Sakara Preview


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Jon Jones & Rampage Jackson Bicker Over ?Excuses? at UFC 135 Press Conference

Jon Jones and Rampage Jackson may not dislike each other as much as they dislike Rashad Evans, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to shower each other with compliments leading up to their title fight at UFC 135 either. The pair were the feature presentation in a UFC 135 press conference that was held in [...]


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Few hugs and compliments following the fight, Cruz-Faber verbal feud to be continued

Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber kind of buried the hatchet after their fight on Saturday night. Faber was gracious in defeat, but you can bet when they meet again in the future for a third time, the trash talk will resume.

These guys don't like each other. Faber thinks Cruz is disrespectful and has a chip on his shoulder. Cruz has to be driven nuts by the fact that Faber is a fan favorite and he's not.

Both said they enjoyed dumping on the other during the lead up to UFC 132.

"It's fun. I'm a trash talker in the first place. I respect all the fighters out there, but even my best friends know I'm kind of a jerk sometimes," smiled Cruz.

Then came a little backhanded compliment for Faber.

"It was fun to talk trash. Sometimes it's easy to talk trash about a guy like Urijah," said Cruz.

The UFC bantamweight champ said he's adjusted to being the villain and there's probably little he can do to change it. So why stress over it?

"I can't control the crowd, but you gotta figure out a way to make it work for you. I can't remember the last time I got cheered for coming out for a fight. I just go with it. It hypes me up," said Cruz.

After the 12,947 in attendance at the MGM Grand Garden Arena went nuts for Faber during his walkout, Cruz even poked at the crowd by coming out to Maino's "Remember My Name."


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Brandon Vera returns to the Octagon at UFC 137 against Eliot Marshall

After a ten month hiatus from competition Brandon Vera will finally step back into the ring with Ultimate Fighter 8 alumnus Eliot Marshall looking to squash to the Californian?s hopes of returning to form after a string of losses temporarily cost ?The Truth? his job earlier this year. The two light heavyweights, who are both [...]


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Alistair Overeem out of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, replaced by Daniel Cormier

It wouldn’t be a day in the MMA world without an injury that cancels a high profile fight. Alistair Overeem, the current Strikeforce heavyweight champion and part of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, is out of the tournament with a toe injury. He was scheduled to square off against Antonio Silva in the semi-finals of [...]


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Spike TV adds "UFC Prelims" special for "UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard III"

Spike TV continues to bring free fights to MMA fans. has learned that the cable channel has now committed to broadcasting a pair of fights from October's "UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard III" event.

News of the new special comes just hours after reported that September's UFC 135 will also receive a "UFC Prelims" special.


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Middleweights Tom Lawlor and Chris Weidman booked for UFC 138 in November

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

The month of October has been getting a lot of love from the UFC this week, with the organization filling up fights for three separate cards over the last few days. But the month of November has its own big event in UFC 138, with the Heavyweight Championship bout between Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos coming to the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

Though that main event hasn't officially been announced, the UFC has officially confirmed one fight for the event, as middleweights Tom Lawlor and Chris Weidman have verbally agreed to meet on the card.

Lawlor was supposed to face Kyle Noke at UFC on Versus 5 next month, but a minor injury took him out of his training camp and forced him off the card. This booking means he'll have been out of action for over a year before he gets back into the cage, but he'll look to build upon a win over Patrick Cote in his last fight last October.

Weidman has been very impressive in his two UFC fights this year, and though he's still young in his career he'll be out to continue the run he's had to kick off his career. Entering the UFC at 4-0 to take on Alessio Sakara at UFC on Versus 3 in March, Weidman surprised a lot of people with a very good performance in taking a unanimous decision in that fight. In his second UFC appearance at UFC 131 last month, he snatched a a standing guillotine on Jesse Bongfeldt as time was running out in the first round and forced the tap.

Penick's Analysis: This is a very good middleweight matchup, and should be a good fight for this event. Lawlor's been out of action for a while with his injuries, but he is a good fighter capable of challenging most fighters in the division. For Weidman, he gets an opportunity to take a fight against someone a lot of fans know and get more exposure after two very good fights to kick off his UFC run. If he can add a third against Lawlor he'll continue climbing up the ladder.


Ivan Titenkov Sylvester Terkay Harout Terzyan James Thompson Nick Thompson Josh Thomson Din Thomas

Jon Jones ? A Powerful Offense Is The Best Defense Versus Rampage Jackson At UFC 135

Jon Jones – A Powerful Offense Is The Best Defense Versus Rampage Jackson At UFC 135.

Vid thanks to


Lyoto Machida Marzagui Ayoub Paul McVeigh Frank Mir Daniel Moraes Scott Morris Johnnie Morton

The Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix: Lemonade Out of Lemons

Surprise!� Alistair Overeem, Strikeforce?s heavyweight champ and the current ?scariest-looking fighter in the universe?, is out of the organization?s grand prix for reasons that could be anything from the stated toe injury to whispered contract issues to God knows what.� Is it a blow to the tournament that?s been unfolding at a snail?s pace before [...]


Crosley Gracie Gregor Gracie Ralek Gracie Renzo Gracie Rickson Gracie Rodrigo Gracie Roger Gracie

Kendall Grove vs. Joe Riggs Rematch Likely for ProElite's August 27 Relaunch

Filed under: , ,

Kendall Grove looks like he has a new home, and a new opponent.

The longtime UFC fighter, released after his second straight loss in the octagon, is close to finishing a deal to join the returning ProElite promotion, and is likely to face Joe Riggs in his return.

The news was passed along by ProElite vice president of fight operations T. Jay Thompson, who shared it on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour.

Grove (12-9, 1 no contest), had a five-year stretch in the UFC, going 7-6 in 13 fights under the promotion's banner. His run in the octagon was highlighted by wins over former middleweight champion Evan Tanner, as well as Alan Belcher and Goran Reljic.

The Hawaiian seems a natural fit for ProElite's return to event promotion, which will take place at Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu on August 27.

His opponent is most likely to be Riggs, also a former UFC competitor and a veteran of nearly 50 pro fights. He's 34-13 with one contest in his career. Thompson announced Riggs' signing on the show.

If the fight takes place, it will be a rematch of a May 2004 fight in Hawaii, which Riggs won via first round KO.

The August 27 ProElite return is also likely to feature Andrei Arlovski, debuting former NCAA heavyweight champion wrestler Mark Ellis, and BJ Penn's younger brother, Reagan Penn.


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Kotetsu Boku  Tony Bonello Stephan Bonnar Lorenzo Borgomeo  Kyle Bradley  Jai Bradney  Ebenezer Fontes Braga

Josh Grispi vs. Matt Grice booked for UFC 136 in Houston

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Josh Grispi will have one more chance to turn things around in the featherweight division this October, as the UFC announced on Thursday that he will take on Matt Grice in a featherweight bout at UFC 136 in Houston.

Grispi was originally supposed to make his UFC debut in the first Featherweight Championship bout in the organization's history at UFC 125, but when Jose Aldo was forced out of the event, Grispi took on Dustin Poirier instead.

That decision was the beginning of the end of Grispi's status as a top featherweight contender, as he was beaten up by Poirier for three rounds, and followed that up with an even worse performance against George Roop at The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale in June.

He'll now take on former lightweight Grice, who made his return to the UFC at UFC on Versus 4 in June after two years out of the organization. His first stint in the Octagon saw him go 1-3 in four fights, with the sole victory being by split decision. He then won four straight before dropping to featherweight for his return bout against Ricardo Lamas, where he was taken out in the first round.

The fight will likely take place on the preliminary card of the October 8 event in Houston, which is expected to feature at one title fight on the night's pay-per-view card.

Penick's Analysis: It's sad that Grispi has gone so quickly from potential title contender to fighting for his roster spot. It's happened in a six month span, and this is absolutely a desperation fight for him. For Grice, he's already 1-4 in five UFC fights, so a loss in this one will also send him back out. The loser is surely on their way out, so both fighters will need to be at their best in this one.


Ryan Bader  Siyar Bahadurzada Bao Ligao  Josh Barnett  David Baron  Phil Baroni Don Barr

The Truth About Knockouts

Yves Edwards was having a dream. In the dream he sat in the locker room before his fight with Sam Stout at UFC 131 in Vancouver,...


Ivan Pack Ido Pariente Karo Parisyan Sherman Pendergarst B J Penn Anthony Perosh Seth Petruzelli

Who is next for Tito Ortiz? How about Ochocinco

After Tito Ortiz's win at UFC 132, there has been plenty of speculation on his next opponent. Earlier this week, Cagewriter mentioned the possibilities of Chuck Liddell, Fedor Emelianenko, Forrest Griffin, Rich Franklin and Dan Henderson, but another athlete has thrown his name into the ring.

Locked out Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco wants to give Ortiz a fight.

Ortiz isn't the first guy Ochocinco has gone after. He's called out UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva in the past, and has asked UFC president Dana White for a spot in the Octagon. Silva, who is closer to Ochocinco's size, has long been Ocho's target, but now he has moved on to the bigger Ortiz.

NFL collective bargaining agreement negotiations appear to be headed in the right direction, so hopefully, Ochocinco will have to worry about football soon. In the meantime, who else would you like to see the wide receiver fight? Tell us in the comments or on Facebook.


Jason MacDonald Cory MacDonald Matt MacGrath Leonardo Lucio Nascimento Paweł Nastula Kazuhiro Nakamura Yoshihiro Nakao

Dana White Doesn't Rule Out Tito Ortiz as No.1 Contender With a UFC 133 Win

The UFC light-heavyweight championship fight between title-holder Jon Jones and challenger...


Mauro Galvao Arman Gambaryan Manvel Gamburyan Sean Gannon Edgar Garcia Leonard Garcia Andrew Gardner

Rashad Evans appreciates Tito Ortiz taking the rematch at UFC 133, but says he's "going to smash him"

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

By the time UFC 133's main event begins, Rashad Evans will have been out of action for nearly 15 months, and with the lengthy time away from the cage he was ready to fight anyone when Phil Davis was forced out of the event.

Evans now meets Tito Ortiz for a second time, a rematch from the first fight in his career to not end with his hand raised with the two fighting to a draw. After that fight took place, it was a rematch Evans had wanted, but when Ortiz continued a down-slide in his career after that fight, Evans didn't think a rematch would come about.

"The challenge kind of got extinguished a little bit," Evans said in an interview with "He wasn't staying consistently hot. It was something I thought about back then, but as time went on, I thought about guys who would be more of a challenge. Coming off this win, it's looking like he's got a little fire underneath him. He's moving in the right direction, so right now is the perfect chance to fight him again."

However, Ortiz turned things around in a big way earlier this month when he defeated Ryan Bader and snapped his five fight winless streak. For his part, Evans said he was actually rooting for Ortiz in that matchup.

"I'm not going to lie, I was happy for him," Evans said. "I wanted to see him win. He hadn't won a fight in five years... It was like, 'There you go!' I just wanted to see him win a fight. I hadn't seen him do it for so long. Sometimes, it's good just to be happy for somebody."

"I don't think nobody was more surprised than Tito. Tito was over the moon about it, he was so surprised he won a fight."

That said, Evans is ready for the rematch, and feels the experience he's gained since they fought four years ago puts him at a much bigger advantage.

"I've had a lot more experience since then," he said. "I've been in a lot of big fights, had a lot of success, and that says it all. For him, he's been on a rocky road. He's had to go down a path he never walked before. Losing all those times in a row, all that heartbreak, stuff like that. You never know how that hurts someone's mentality..."

"If he wants to fight, I appreciate him taking the fight, but I'm going to smash him. I've been training so long, I just want to fight somebody."

Link to Original Source Article

Penick's Analysis: Evans had a whirlwind week of wondering who he'd be fighting, and went from a slight favorite against Davis to a significant underdog against Lyoto Machida to a heavy favorite over Ortiz. He should have plenty of confidence going into the rematch because he's continued to improve since they first fought while Ortiz just finally won a fight since then. It's going to be a big return fight for him, and if he does what he says he's going to do and "smashes" Ortiz, he'll be right back into a title fight in the division.

[Rashad Evans art by Cory Gould (c)]


Pete Spratt Brian Stann Aaron Stark Kalib Starnes Joe Stevenson Luke Stewart Denis Stojnic

Hendo On Fedor: 'It Doesn't Seem Like His Heart Is Into It'

Two legends of mixed martial arts will meet in the cage later this month in the main event of Strikeforce: Fedor...


Andrei Arlovski Tim Sylvia Randy Couture Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira Brock Lesnar Frank Mir Brock Lesnar

Rothwell interview: ?It?s not a comeback. It?s an unveiling?

Walking into Roufus Sport Academy in Milwaukee, I crossed paths with a man who resembled UFC heavyweight Ben Rothwell, but this one looked slimmed down from the man who beat Gilbert Yvel in a decision at UFC 115. Rothwell sustained a knee injury in that fight, and has been rehabbing his knee since.

This same Rothwell-lookalike made his way through a killer sparring practice, followed by a conditioning session where coach Duke Roufus bounced up and down on this fighter's abs as he did crunches.

Turns out that this was Rothwell, and he's looking at his UFC 135 bout to show how he's improved during the layoff.

"I've really worked hard on myself. It's not a comeback. It's an unveiling," Rothwell told Cagewriter. "I have been off for more than a year, and instead of using it as a layoff I've used it as a huge building block. I posted a few pictures, and people said, 'Whoa, this guy ain't the same.' When I came back to Duke, he said, 'People who are off because of an injury usually gain 20 lbs. You look like you've lost 20 lbs.'

Rothwell has 37 fights under that belt, and he sees that experience as an asset in preparing to end the layoff in a bout with fellow veteran Mark Hunt.

"I've been fighting for so long, and I've had layoffs, I've been out. I think I'm one of the few guys who can come back from such a long layoff and not look like I've missed a beat. I'm really banking on that fact. As far as Americans go, I'm one of the most experienced guys in the sport. I've been fighting the longest. I'm 31-7, and I've gone through a lot, inside and outside the Octagon."

He hurt his knee in the first round of the bout with Yvel, but is proud that he was able to complete the fight with a victory.

"It was a big challenge for me because I knew my knee was hurt, right at the beginning of the fight. I was in a must-win situation. I'm known for having exciting fights, and it wasn't one of my more exciting fights. Unfortunately for the crowd, they didn't like it, but for me, it was a tremendous mental victory because I knew what I was up against. I was on the brink of defeat, and I fought through and I won. I went through a three-round bout on one leg and won."

Back for a title run

Now, Rothwell wants to make a run for the title, in part because he isn't happy with the way other fighters have acted towards fans.

"A lot of these guys, especially champions, I see how they act, and it enrages me. It's not right. It's not fair," he said. "I fight for the fans because without them, I wouldn't be able to do this. A lot of guys talk the talk, but people know when they meet me, I smile in my pictures. I love giving autographs because I am very thankful for everyone that's made the sport possible. That motivating factor has made me who I am now, and it's time to go out and take what's mine."

He wants to be the kind of champ that fans deserve because MMA, and all the people involved in the sport, made such a marked difference on his life.

"When I was 17, 18 years old, I was on a path of destruction. I had no guidance. I had a gorilla on my shoulder. It wasn't even a chip. I was very lost. The sport has completely changed me. It's made me a far more humble person. It showed me the truth about a lot of people, and it showed me the truth about myself. The sport has given me a reason to be a good person. I have a lot that I fight to protect, and this sport gave me all that. I am forever indebted to it."


Ebenezer Fontes Braga Chris Brennan Marcelo Brito  Rob Broughton  Mike Brown  Junie Browning Paul Buentello 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Jason Miller Compares Michael Bisping To Osama Bin Laden... Michael Bisping Will Probably Beat Jason Miller

Jason Miller is back in the news again? but then again, Miller is rarely not in the news. Now that his mega-feud with Nick Diaz is about as dead as it gets, Miller has turned his sights on Michael Bisping, the man he?ll be coaching against during the upcoming landmark fourteenth season of ?The Ultimate [...]


Maurice Smith Randy Couture Bas Rutten Kevin Randleman Randy Couture Josh Barnett Ricco Rodriguez

"Strikeforce and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Henderson" card official with 10 bouts

The fight card for next week's "Strikeforce and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Henderson" card is official with 10 bouts.

The event takes place next Saturday, July 30, at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill., near Chicago.

The Showtime-televised headliner pits Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Dan Henderson against MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko in a non-title heavyweight bout.


Patrick The Predator Côté  Randy The Natural Couture  Dan Cramer Alberto Crane Marcio Pe de Pano Cruz Luke Cummo  Jeff Big Frog Curran

The Top 5 Fights Of June 2011: Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo, Junior dos Santos vs. Shane Carwin, And More

Hello again fans and friends, and welcome to the start of a new once-a-month series! With how insanely stuffed full of good MMA action June 2011 was, I figured it would only be suitable to start a ?Top 5 Fights of the Month? post with June as the inaugural month. Not only will this topic [...]


Spencer Fisher Jon Fitch Kenny Florian Jesse Forbes Xavier Foupa Pokam Hermes Franca Rich Franklin

JZ Cavalcante Post Fight vs Wilcox Wants to Return to Action Soon - JZ Cavalcante

JZ Cavalcante Post Fight vs Wilcox Wants to Return to Action Soon Video by JZ Cavalcante


Kevin Jordan Jeff Joslin Scott Junk  Martin Kampmann Denis Kang Georgi Karakhanyan Alex Karalexis

Junior dos Santos Looking to Exploit Shane Carwin's Lack of Cardio at UFC 131 - UFC 131

Junior dos Santos Looking to Exploit Shane Carwin's Lack of Cardio at UFC 131 Video by UFC 131


Paul McVeigh Frank Mir Daniel Moraes Scott Morris Johnnie Morton Ben Mortimer Curtis Mostat

UFC 135 preliminary card gets light heavyweight bout between James Te Huna and Ricardo Romero

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

The UFC has been quickly filling up their October cards with fights, but they're not finished with events earlier just yet.

September UFC 135 in Denver still has a number of spots open, and the organization has added another fight to that card in a light heavyweight tilt between the Australia-based James Te Huna and Ricardo Romero.

The UFC announced the fight overnight, and it will take place on the night's preliminary card.

Te Huna has appeared twice in the UFC thus far, fighting on both of the UFC's trips to his current country of residence. He's split both of his appearances, defeating Igor Pokrajac at UFC 110 and getting submitted by Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 127 this year.

Romero has also split two appearances in the UFC. In his debut fight at UFC 116 last July, he came back from a first round beating to submit Seth Petruzelli in the second round. However, he was then knocked out by Kyle Kingsbury in 21 seconds in February at UFC 126.

UFC 135 is headlined by a Light Heavyweight Championship bout between Jon Jones and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, and airs live on pay-per-view on September 24 from the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo.

Penick's Analysis: This is a solid preliminary card fight in the division. Both fighters are 1-1, with similar wins and losses each to a similar level of competition, so this is a very logical booking, and the winner will keep themselves relatively in the same spot they're in. As for the loser, they'll be on their last legs at 1-2 in the organization, and will likely be in desperation mode in their next fight. They're not on that yet at all, but this is still a very important fight for both to get back on track.


Volk Han Joachim Hansen Antoni Hardonk Dan Hardy Lee Hasdell Musse Hasselvall Daiki DJ taiki Hata

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Says "Dana White Is Not God"... Most People Would Disagree, Though

Not many people are willing to challenge the word of UFC President Dana White, both inside and outside the UFC. Dana White says all manner of controversial things very regularly, but few fighters are willing to speak out against the man that signs their checks. Interestingly enough, one man that?s decided to do so recently [...]


Shad Lierley  Jushin Thunder Liger Zach Light Scott Lighty Jae Suk Lim Daniel Lima Matt Lindland

Video: Overeem Calls Into The MMA Hour & Drops a Bomb Shell


Murilo Bustamante Evan Tanner Rich Franklin Anderson Silva Pat Miletich Carlos Newton Matt Hughes