Win or Lose at UFC 162, Anderson Silva is the Greatest Ever

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(“It is true greatness, to have in one the frailty of a man, and the security of a God.” – Sir Francis Bacon / Image via Stephen Torreno)

For as long as man has competed against one another, man has been keeping score. What was once recorded on a stone tablet is now saved on a laptop somewhere in the annals of sports history. A quick search for “greatest of all time” will reveal a list of several sports, both familiar and alien. Click on ‘Basketball’ and you’re redirected to a page for Michael Jordan, ‘Hockey’ for Wayne Gretzky. When you reach the ‘M’s,’ somewhere between ‘Marathon Running’ and ‘Motocross,’ you’ll find the sport that connects us all — Mixed Martial Arts. One more click of the mouse and you’re staring at the image of unequivocal excellence, and he goes by the name Anderson Silva.

The unassuming Brazilian stares back at you, championship belt draped over his shoulder. If you didn’t know any better, you’d never in a thousand years peg him as the guy who’s left a pile of broken bodies from multiple weight classes in the wake of his seven-year, seventeen-fight win streak. Among the casualties are five (current and/or future) members of the illustrious UFC Hall of Fame. Those battle-tested titans of the arena were no match for “The Spider.” How could they be? The UFC middleweight champion posses otherworldly skills and ability, and an uncanny penchant for violence. Which reminds me; one of the greatest things about modern record keeping is the ability to relive history through streaming video. Check this out:

During Silva’s sensational career, he’s amassed a spectacular number of UFC records. And while a summary of his accomplishments fail to do his legacy any justice, they’re too remarkable not to mention. The 38-year-old Muay Thai savant owns records for the most knockdowns landed (17), longest winning streak (16), and longest title defense streak (10). The São Paulo native is the most accurate striker in the organization, landing 67.8% of the significant strikes he hurls his opponent’s way. What’s more is that 63% of his opponent’s significant strikes touch nothing but air. Did you know he’s tied with Joe Lauzon for the record for most post-fight bonuses (12) and he’s been awarded Knockout of the Night honors (6) more than any fighter to have ever stepped in the Octagon? His numbers are outstanding, but they only tell half the story.

When talking about a fighter’s greatness, you always recount the reasons he’ll be remembered for generations to come. For Silva, an unparalleled fighter with a unique combination of grace, speed, precision, power, artistry, and fundamental soundness in multiple disciplines, it’s difficult knowing just where to start. We could talk about his dominance, records, or any of the “Holy S***!” moments he’s given us, of which there are many. Instead, let’s talk about the perseverance displayed in his extraordinary comeback at UFC 117 against Chael Sonnen and the rivalry that lead to the UFC’s biggest rematch since Liddell vs. Ortiz 2.

During the summer of 2010, after months of listening to a previously unimaginable amount of trash talk, Anderson Silva was locked in steel cage with the man who insulted his credentials, country, and wife. If you expected to see Silva throw Sonnen a beating so bad his mother wouldn’t recognize him, you were sorely disappointed. Quite the opposite occurred at Oakland’s Oracle Arena that night. We all know the story by now. For four and a half rounds, Chael Sonnen treated the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt like a flank steak, pounding and hammering away until was good and tender. Mere mortals (with healthy, uninjured ribs) would’ve tossed in the towel between rounds, but not the champ. He was hell bent on victory…and he got it in the closing frame of the bout when he trapped the American in a triangle choke. Silva’s warrior spirit and unrelenting will to succeed not only shocked the fight world, but also gave way to arguably the most anticipated fight in the history of the promotion.

Two years later fans were treated to another epic showdown. At first, the middleweight tilt looked to be a rerun of their initial encounter, with Sonnen dominating Silva from bell to bell of the opening round. Unfortunately for the gangster from West Linn, Oregon, the champion capitalized on his missed spinning backfist in the second with a vicious ariel attack and never let off the gas. Anderson couldn’t have penned the storybook ending any better than what played out in Vegas that night. During his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, Silva forgave Sonnen for his anti-Brazil rhetoric, going as far as to invite him to a barbeque, and then walked back to the locker room the undisputed baddest man on the planet.

They say heroes are remembered and legends never die. I hope that’s true. I hope all of our great-great grandchildren know of the intense feud between Silva and Sonnen and the last-second miracle that took place on the blood stained canvas in Oakland. By then, all sports records will have vacated their homes on Dell or Mac hard drives and moved to the cloud — a much cushier and convenient place to reside.

But what about Georges St. Pierre or Jon Jones, you ask? Have they not reigned supreme in their respective divisions, fought legendary battles, overcome adversity, and racked up their own impressive stats? Of course they have. But no matter what the numbers say in the end, Silva will still come out on top when it comes to mesmerizing performances and likeability.

A quick word association game helps confirm this. Someone says “GSP” and you immediately think “boring.” They say “Jon Jones” and you think “spurious.” But when someone utters the name Anderson Silva, you immediately think of greatness. And not just individuals either — blue chip sponsors like Nike, Philips, and Burger King agree as they have all attached their sails to his ship. Fans, fighters, and media alike generally agree that “The Spider” is the pound-for-pound king. He’s doesn’t serve up lukewarm leftovers like the champ a weight class below nor does he polarize the crowd like the champ a weight class above. As if that weren’t enough, Silva is known for his charity work such as visiting sick kids in the hospital. In a sense, he’s everything a promoter, fan, or writer could ever ask for.

When DMX’s “Ain’t No Sunshine” hits the speakers in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas this Saturday night, as Anderson Silva walks out for the main event at UFC 162 against undefeated Chris Weidman, the world will watch with great anticipation to see if history repeats itself or if it will be made anew. But what if I told you it doesn’t matter whose hand Herb Dean raises at the end of the night? Because it really doesn’t. Silva has nothing left to prove. In a sport where participants risk career-ending injuries most days of the week, the champion has been a force to be reckoned with for the better part of twenty years. Savor it, enjoy it, and most of all, appreciate it. No matter what happens after Silva and Weidman touch gloves in the middle of the Octagon, it won’t take away a modicum of legacy from Brazil’s Spiderman.

The 25 Most Essential MMA Twitter Feeds: 2013 Edition

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Back in 2010, the brain trust at CagePotato HQ compiled a list of the 25 most essential MMA Twitter feeds to follow. Boy, do we sure know how to pick ‘em. Miguel Torres, Kimbo Slice, Mayhem Miller, Reed Harris, Shane Carwin, and Strikeforce have all since faded out of relevance or gone off the deep end. Wait, Reed does what now? Are you sure? Nevermind — we’re back with an updated list of who you should really be following on Twitter, and this time we’ve actually put some thought into it instead of blindly tossing darts at our screen while simultaneously using a Shakeweight. Please note, this is 2013 and if you don’t already know you should be following Dana White, Arianny Celeste, or Ariel Helwani, you’re probably the reason Jon Jones is defending his title against Chael Sonnen this Saturday at UFC 159. Speaking of the gangster from West Linn…

twitter.com/sonnench

Bio: “Godfather of integrity; dual masters in dominance and modesty; once outboxed Hemingway; & author of this year’s bestseller, available NOW on Amazon”

If you thought Sonnen refused to break kayfabe only when the cameras were rolling, you must not have been paying attention because his gimmick is boundless. The People’s Champion maximizes his 140-character limit with every emasculating jab at his opponents, peers, and detractors in the MMA media. The American Gangster is the only man on Twitter to follow absolutely no one, not even his own mother.

Sample Tweet: “15 – the number of letters in the word hydropneumatics as well as Chael beats Jones. #4/27/13″

twitter.com/JoshGrossESPN

Bio: “Born and raised in Los Angeles. Don’t Tread On Me.”

One of the sport’s most seasoned journalists has articulated what many people couldn’t (and frankly still don’t) understand about what they witnessed in the cage since 2000. His name is Josh Gross and he will not play nice if it compromises the integrity of his craft or the oath he took upon entering the profession — even if it means getting blackballed by the UFC President himself. Gross always offers interesting insight with a wealth of knowledge to back it up.

Sample Tweet: “Least surprising headline in a while: NY won’t regulate MMA in 2013. So bye-bye UFC 20th anniversary in Madison Square Garden.

twitter.com/thejadebryce

Bio: “Actress/Bellator/FHM/Maxim/Playboy/Pacsun For pretty eyes see best in others.For pretty lips spk kindly.For poise walk knowing not alone.Live a beautiful story”

After interviewing Ms. Bryce at the end of last year, I realized that she is one of the most remarkable people I’ve ever met. She’s one of the Bellator MMA ring card girls and she’s trying to feed the starving kids in Africa. No, seriously, she is. Twitter is Jade’s way of giving back to her fans and it shows. Male and female followers alike love her photo shoot pics and inspirational quotations. We’re sure you will too.

Sample Tweet: “Sharing a hotel room with a drunk psycho model. ???? Seriously think she might hit me. I’m trying to just play dead.”

twitter.com/MMACurmudgeon

Bio: “The MMA Curmudgeon loves the sport of mixed martial arts. The MMA Curmudgeon hates dirtbag reporters and reprehensible fighters. Beware”

We have our suspicions about who is at the helm of this brutal Twitter troll, but at the end of the day, it just doesn’t matter. As the name suggests, following this guy is like listening to a crotchety old man talk about this generation’s lack of aptitude. MMA Curmudgeon says what most are thinking but too afraid to tweet for fear of the Baldfather wrath. Retweet at your own risk.

Sample Tweet: “Only MMA media would make the secret hero of the Ronda Rousey story. If White has a dry spell, he can count on Yahoo for a BJ.”

twitter.com/Fightnomics

Bio: “Dropping science in the cage with statistics & analytics. Quantifying underlying drivers of the fight game, and ending barroom disputes everywhere.

Over the last several months, Reed “The Fight Scientist” Kuhn of Fightnomics has been dropping databombs on cage potatoes like you on this site — breaking down everything from submission success rates to striking performance by division. But over on his social media home-base he takes it a step further and laces you with timely truths about the guys you’re watching on the big screen at Hooters. Bonus: Fightnomics’ pithy tweets enable you to sound like you actually know what you’re talking about.

Sample Tweet: “In over 61 total minutes in the Octagon and 859 total strikes attempted, Darren Elkins has yet to throw a single leg kick

twitter.com/ZProphet_MMA

Bio: Multimedia Editor

This is the guy who was behind Teh Gifs, amazing little video snippets of the most gnarly action in the cage, so we won’t hold it against him for collecting a paycheck from one of our competitors. If you like watching incessant KO kicks and flying submissions, this guy has you covered.

Sample Tweet: “GIF – We end todays trip down memory lane with Edson Barboza vs. Terry Etim

twitter.com/RondaRousey

Bio: “World / Olympic medalist in judo, Strikeforce / UFC Champ in MMA”

“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey is many things, as you can glean from her bio, but she’s more than that. She’s the first female fighter to ink a deal with UFC, she took the cover spot on ESPN the Magazine‘s Body Issue, and she’s undefeated! When she’s not trash-talking her opponents or putting the Kardashians on blast, Rousey is sharing her journey to superstardom with all of her 278K+ followers through instagram. It’s there you’ll get the access not even puppets are privileged to. Expect the arm snatcher to amp up her game throughout the next season of TUF.

Sample Tweet: “A guy wearing his cell on his belt is the male equivalent of a chick wearing uggs

twitter.com/MMAPayout

Bio: “Leading source for news and analysis of the business of MMA. From financials to marketing and from the latest business deals to regulation.”

You will know you have transitioned from casual fan to serious fan when you start caring about numbers. We’re talking PPV buys, TV ratings, and fight purses — the stuff the big boys talk about while others sit at the kiddie table and play UFC Undisputed. Every day you’ll be provided the latest news whenever money changes hands in the MMA world. What’s more is the “Payout Perspective” you get that will help you better understand the way the game is played backstage.

Sample Tweet: “Court denies Bellator’s Motion to Dismiss Alvarez Counterclaims

twitter.com/BjornRebney

Bio: CEO of

Quite possibly the second most influential man in all of mixed martial arts, Bjorn Rebney never lets the spotlight blind him like it has others. Follow the face of the Toughest Tournament in Sports for fight announcements, personal commentary, and as of late, giveaways. Even if you’re not one to follow a “suit,” you should tag along until the lawsuit with Eddie Alvarez is over just to see it unfold firsthand.

Sample Tweet: “Today, you can get the App at . Download it and use it tonight while watching the event on .”

twitter.com/goldberg_ebooks

Bio: N/A

I’m unsure of the story behind this parody account, but it makes me legit LOL on a regular basis — unlike “The Mitrione Minute.”

Sample Tweet: “Todd Harris And Bass Rutten Are Starting To Make Me Look Competent. SO Yeah I Feel Pretty Good”

twitter.com/fundafighter

Bio: “We provide an alternative sponsorship platform for fighters that empowers them to execute their next MMA project, funded by fans.”

Inspired by Evan Tanner’s simple approach to sponsorships, MMA trainer Firas Zahabi and company launched FundaFighter. You the fan can sponsor your favorite fighter on their way to the top of the division. Maybe you help buy new equipment, and another time it’s supplements. Once the goals are reached, rewards are given out based on how much you donated. If you’re looking for a worthy cause and want to help support the sport, give these guys a follow.

Sample Tweet: “Pick up a one-of-a-kind fight-worn memento from ‘s historic first female FOTN win Saturday night here:

twitter.com/lorettahuntmma

Bio: “Happy wife, NFL and MMA writer for SI, NYT bestselling author. Thank you, readers, and God bless.”

Along with a few others that pop up on this list, Loretta Hunt is a consummate professional who has lent a great deal of credibility to our sport. She is one of the pound-for-pound best sports writers today. When you follow the right people, you’ll be privileged to “listen in” to the pros. Imagine Midnight in Paris but from your apartment at three in the afternoon.

Sample Tweet: “Just caught Mr. on , as part of its “Making It In America” series, following a TQ fighter’s prep for bout in Moscow”

twitter.com/BensonHenderson

Bio: “just your average joe, trying to live the american dream…oh yeah and my best friend was born in a manger…”

When he’s not defeating the best Zuffa can throw at him, Benson “Smooth” Henderson is retweeting anything and everything anyone writes about him. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing, because as champion his game should be winning. Let the other guy hype the fight. Oh, wrong guy. I apologize. Henderson also shares quite a few pictures for the fans. Follow his training and words of inspiration right here.

Sample Tweet: “The thing about dieting guys, is that every1 is unique, what works for me won’t work for everyone…

twitter.com/MindOfHelwani

Bio: “Video Interviewer, Company Man, Beef Squashing Propagandist, Professional stirrer of the pot. People love me because I don’t make them read.”

I swear this is the last parody account on the list of top 25 essential MMA Twitter feeds to follow. Okay I take that back. Kind of. You be the judge. Subconscious Helwani is exactly what I’d expect an alter ego of an admitted smart mark pro wrestling fan to be like. Essentially, it’s one big trash talk marathon and no one is safe. While it’s eerily similar to @MMACurmudeon, the tone is a bit more personal. If you’ve ever wanted to see a video journalist snap at people he feels are inferior in every way, here’s your chance.

Sample Tweet: “If you reported the Wandy story, and feel like your reputation took a “hit” . you have bigger issues than a tricky Brazillian.

twitter.com/Jon_Anik

Bio: “UFC commentator/play-by-play voice for events on FX/FUELTV. Host, ‘The Ultimate Fighter Live’ on FX. Identical twin. Riley’s Dad.” (This will soon be updated to say “Riley and Tatum’s dad.” On behalf of Potato Nation, congrats!)

On top of all his duties listed above, Jon Anik also hosts UFC Ultimate Insider on Fuel TV. On Twitter, you’ll notice his love of all things Boston (his hometown) and his ever-growing bromance with @KennyFlorian. He tweets betting lines and retweets some of the day’s best stories from around the net.

Sample Tweet: “For those who’ve inquired, of course Josh Thomson deserved a post-fight interview in the Octagon. Simply a timing issue when we’re on FOX.”

twitter.com/FrontRowBrian

Bio: “Coming soon….”

FRB has had run ins with the likes of Ariel Helwani, Luke Thomas, and Nate Quarry. Regardless of what side of the fence you sit on, watching the verbal sparring could get you through the worst of bad days. If that weren’t enough, he’s scooped more than his share of journalists and broken news on the UG days before anyone else caught wind of it. FRB isn’t your average fan, but he’s not exactly a journalist either. To hear him tell it, he’s a character in the MMA community who tweets what’s on his mind. From UFC locker room stories to WWE pop culture references, FRB brings his A game every day and seems to enjoy fielding his followers questions.

Sample Tweet: “If Nate Diaz wants to want fight at 170 and stay gainfully employed, he better consult Vitor Belfort’s gimmick doctor. Really poor decision”

twitter.com/davemeltzerWON

Bio: “Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter () and ()”

For over 25 years, Dave Meltzer has written the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, an insider’s perspective at professional wrestling. Since UFC 1, Meltzer has also parlayed MMA coverage into his analysis, sometimes drawing the ire of Vince McMahon and Dana White. Meltzer’s reputation as an analyst of the cable TV and pay-per-view businesses is well established as evidenced by his impressive resume. At the end of the day, if you’re not following @davemeltzerWON you’re missing out on incredible “combat sports entertainment” commentary.

Sample Tweet: “Lots of name women fighters trying out for TUF right now, including Invicta fighters. Shannon Knapp told them they all could”

(pic props: @UFC_Tonight Twitter)

twitter.com/UFCTonight

Bio: “UFC Tonight is the official weekly news and information show of the UFC. Tuesday nights at 10/7p ET/PT on FUEL TV.”

Since most of you don’t have Fuel TV, following UFC Tonight is an absolute must. Tweets come in heavy on Tuesday night as they do their best to keep you in the loop on late breaking news and fight announcements during the show.

Sample Tweet: “Cruz on Faber – “He’s had 5… I’m not here to give more title shots. I’m here to beat the best guys. I’m going to fight Renan Barao next.””

twitter.com/rosenamajunas

Bio: Future UFC Women’s champ (She left it blank, so I took it upon myself to connect the dots.)

Pat Barry’s thugged-out girlfriend, Rose Namajunas, is undefeated and currently fighting under the Invicta FC banner. She finishes fights in spectacular fashion and is sponsored by this site. What’s not to love?

Sample Tweet: “After my fight with THE ORIGINAL BLACK POWER RANGER!!!

twitter.com/MMARoasted

Bio: “MMA Jokes by Comedian Adam Hunter. Ronda Rousey said it’s her new fav follow. Hope you enjoy. Check out

We’ve all seen some fading celebrity with enough moxie to endure the publicly humiliating spectacle that is the Comedy Central Roast. Take that kind of humor/vitriol and aim it at everyone in the MMA community and you’ve got the MMA Roasted Twitter feed. Come for the funny, stay for the irony.

Sample Tweet: “Bendo’s fiance just hired Stripper Ramsey Nijem for her bachelorette party.

twitter.com/malkikawa

Bio: “THE BEST DAMN SPORTS AGENT AROUND”

As President and CEO of First Round Management, Malki Kawa has knowledge of many facets of the fight game outside the cage. Continually sitting at the negotiating table, Kawa represents the likes of Jon Jones, Frank Mir, Benson Henderson, and Miesha Tate, giving him one of the most talent-rich stables since D-Generation X. Follow him for news on the happenings of his fighters and find out what he thinks of the competition on fight night.

Sample Tweet: “Whoop his ass no problem “: would you be able to take out in a three round fight?””

twitter.com/mauroranallo

Bio: “Combat Sports Broadcaster for Showtime Boxing, InvictaFC. Host of with Mauro Ranallo on my website.”

Mauro Ranallo is affectionately known as the “Bi-Polar Rock & Roller” whose rap sheet spans four decades including notable stops in Calgary, Alberta, Canada for the legendary Hart family’s “Stampede Wrestling,” Saitama, Japan for Pride FC, San Jose, California for Strikeforce, and most recently, Kansas City for Invicta FC. Tweeting at you with all the Chi power one can muster, Ranallo fill your need of WWE, MMA, and boxing opinions and notes all in one place.

Sample Tweet: “Fathers of Boxers have taken over for the Bobby “The Brain” Heenans, Jim Cornettes & Jimmy “Mouth of the South” Harts of the world.”

twitter.com/shanknapp

Bio: “President Invicta Fighting Championships”

Women’s MMA is here to stay and Shannon Knapp knows it. Invicta FC is the world’s premiere female MMA promotion and if you want to keep your finger on the pulse, you’ll need to check out Knapps’s feed. You can usually find her using social media to share interviews and articles about her ferocious ladies.

Sample Tweet: I just got word from CEO of and we had the most ppv ever sold on Ustream! So proud of our athletes and staff! :)

twitter.com/JonnyBones

Bio: “Youngest world Champion in UFC history, Fighting toward Greatness, Glorifying Christ, Breaking down walls, Living amazed, Will YOU be a witness? #607 #585 #505″

Not only is Jon Jones arguably the greatest fighter of all time (of all TIME!), but he also speaks English. That’s +100 in my book. (Sorry Anderson, but no one understands what you’re saying. Obrigado!) Take Jones’s twitpics detailing his diet and free time combined with tweets of inspiration and greatness and you’ve got a refreshing tweet mixed in with the rest of the garbage you read. The cherry on top is a carefully protected behind the scenes look at the life of a young champion.

Sample Tweet: “Okay I’ll stop I don’t want to come across as preachy.. I respect everyone’s beliefs, just sharing a few of my own

twitter.com/TommyToeHold

Bio: “Host of TTTHS! I’m a cartoon character! New shows every Wednesday! Inquiries, fan mail, or anything else: TTTHSmail@gmail.com”

Tommy ToeHold is the funniest real fake guy in the Twitterverse. His weekly talk show is half TMZ, half Dr. Phil. Each episode recaps the highlights and low lights of the past week in MMA including interviews with champions, up-and-comers, and media personalities from around the globe. Hit him up on Twitter and bust his chops. Best insult wins Viewer Comment of the Week on the TTHS.

Sample Tweet: “I made a Best of Dana White on !!! And yes…there will be a Diaz and Chael compilation in the future. :)

Who’d I miss? Is there anyone you think is undeserving of the Top 25?

*This article originally appeared on CagePotato.com.

A Fond Farewell: The Six Most Memorable Moments in Strikeforce History

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In what comes as absolutely no surprise to anyone with a double-digit I.Q. or higher, Strikeforce will reportedly put the final nail in the coffin after their next event, which is currently scheduled for January 2013. Like any good friend, we tried to talk them out of their appointment with Dr. Kevorkian. Sadly, our friend just could not be reasoned with, leaving us no other options — we have to prepare for the funeral.

Here at CagePotato HQ (read: my desk at work when the boss is in the crapper), we feel it only necessary to start writing the eulogy now, while the memories are still vivid, in an attempt to bring comfort to the grieving family and friends when the time comes. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane, shall we, and look back fondly at the most memorable moments in Strikeforce’s storied mixed martial arts history.

Frank Shamrock Gets a Friendly Stockton Greeting From Nick Diaz

In the spring of 2009, Strikeforce served up a hot matchup between former UFC champion and MMA legend Frank Shamrock and the future Strikeforce Welterweight champion and world-renowned trash talker Nick Diaz. As you can glean from the above photo and the ensuing nut grab you can see on YouTube at roughly the 3:23 mark, these two were about as cordial as a Kentucky Derby winner who had just spotted Alistair Overeem waiting in the stable with a knife and fork.

The remarkable thing about the whole ordeal was that Diaz remained true to himself at the risk of coming across as a disrespectful punk, not willing to play nice simply to placate other people, even if they did sign his paycheck. In all of the press conferences that have been held over the years, fighters have generally been pretty calm and polite — so much so that you have to wonder if they realize that the guy they’re shaking hands with is the same guy who’s getting paid to cave his face in come fight night. Not the Stockton, Calif. native, though, who’s about as subtle as he is media friendly. You’ll never have to guess what the Cesar Gracie product is thinking. This classic photo by Esther Lin is a reminder of just that.

Gina Carano vs. Cris Cyborg, The Biggest Women’s Fight In History

Before Ronda Rousey stole Dana’s heart, before Bellator ever had a woman’s tournament, and before Invicta FC ever promoted an entire fight card with nothing but female combatants, there was Gina Carano. The world loved her after being introduced to her on the revamped American Gladiators as “Crush.” From there she went on to become one of the most searched for people of the year — being named in Maxim‘s Top 20 Hot List didn’t hurt either. To say that the future Hollywood starlet had a following is a bit of an understatement. The buxom brunette was more than just a pretty face though, sporting an impressive 7-0 record heading into the inaugural Strikeforce women’s featherweight championship fight against the roid-fueled always-game Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos.

I’m a firm believer that more people were interested in seeing Carano fight than they were in WMMA. That being said, it doesn’t change the facts. Scott Coker had big brass balls to promote an MMA event with two women’s names on the marquee and broadcast it on Showtime to boot. At the time, no one had any real sense of how successful the ladies would be at selling tickets or drawing the coveted 18-34 year-old television viewers. That’s how it is when you’re blazing a trail.

The fight was lopsided and with literally only a second to spare in the first round, “Cyborg” punched her way to a TKO victory earning her a place in Strikeforce history as the first women’s champ. According to the events Wikipedia page, Coker’s gamble paid off.

The event averaged 576,000 viewers on the Showtime cable network. It peaked with 856,000 viewers for the night’s main event between Carano and Santos. The Carano vs. Cyborg event set a new MMA ratings record for Showtime, eclipsing a card headlined with Kimbo Slice and Tank Abbot, which averaged 522,000 viewers. It also more than doubled Strikeforce’s previous offering, Lawler vs. Shields, an event that averaged 275,000 viewers.


Arguably the Greatest Round in MMA: Nick Diaz vs. Paul Daley

Lately, when the UFC kicks off another abominable installment of The Ultimate Fighter, they host a special two-hour (or more!) season premiere wherein all the hopefuls are cheered on as they drink donkey ejaculate paired off and given one five-minute round in the Octagon to prove their mettle. Sadly, most of the neanderthals that drag their knuckles up the cage steps aren’t particularity familiar with clocks or the concept of time.

Again and again, we see guys completely oblivious to the beating they’ve been dished out and are content to clean their plate. All the while Dana and Lorenzo are baffled that the kids don’t just go for broke, swing for the fences, something (anything!) instead of pulling guard or playing patty-cake. In short, the fights to enter the TUF house are the polar opposite of the championship bout between Nick Diaz and Paul “Semtex” Daley.

These two welterweight bad boys had no intentions of leaving the opening frame, let alone leaving it in the hands of the judges. Fists flew with ill ambition. Caution was not only thrown to the wind, it had a jetpack strapped to its back and shot out of a cannon. If you didn’t know any better, you might’ve thought they were told the loser of the bout would have to spend a year in jail with War Machine because neither man seemed to conserve energy for the “championship rounds” — instead opting to kick it into high gear when the tide shifted in their favor.

This one round is a casual fan converter. Have your buddy from work/gym/AA meetings watch this and soon you’ll only have to pay half price for the next PPV.

Zuffa Purchases Strikeforce

The beginning of the end for the San Jose-based fight promotion came as a shocker to many in the MMA business. One fateful March morning, all was the same as it had always been, with Strikeforce chugging along in the massive shadow cast by the juggernaut that is the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Then suddenly, the game got switched as Dana White and Co. added another name to their list of conquests. Cries of “business as usual” notwithstanding, the nineteen months since have been anything but. Without a doubt, this moment has forever changed the landscape of MMA and is one of the more memorable in all of the sport’s history — not just Strikeforce’s.


(Photo via Sherdog)

The Last Emperor is Dethroned: Fabricio Werdum Subs Fedor Emelianenko

Man + Myth + Legend = Fedor. Luck + 1 soul traded to Satan = Werdum.

Emelianenko, much like the Titanic, was quite the spectacle to behold back in the day. The media lauded them heavily for reasons both real and imagined. And, as history records it, both ended up sinking despite the popular notion that both were invincible.

Going into the fight, “The Last Emperor” was high atop a 31-1 record; not losing a fight in over a decade — and even that sole loss was due to an illegal blow. (Not exactly a “defeat,” right champ?) For the record, Werdum was no slouch; his only loss in the previous two years came at the hands of current UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos. Still, no one thought the reigning ADCC heavyweight champ had a chance to defeat the legendary Fedor, let alone finish him barely a minute into the first round. To put into perspective just how unlikely of an outcome this was, just take a look at the betting line.

Such a monumental shift in paradigm made for an incredibly historic night. I’m not sure the words “Holy Sh*t!” have ever been uttered by so many people at once. It’s been said that crews working in the International Space Station a whopping 220 miles above Earth’s surface could hear those two words. No matter how old you get or how shot your mind is, if you were an MMA fan in 2010 you will forever recall the night Fedor’s myth got busted.

Strikeforce Nashville Brawl by snakerattle79

‘Strikeforce: Nashville’ Brawl Broadcast Live on CBS

When you watch a fight on TV, no matter the combatants or their records, you know full well that anything can happen and that both men have a chance of winning — however small it may be. Even Fabricio Werdum had a chance, albeit not a good one, to upset Emelianenko. What happened in the final moments of the Strikeforce: Nashville event was not even in the realm of possibility. It had absolutely zero chance of happening — and yet it did.

The infamous picture of Nick Diaz (man, he sure has been talked about a lot today) drawing back his fist, mean mug in full effect, is the image that nearly every fight fan conjures up when discussing the biggest black eye on the sport. My colleague Jared Jones has already covered the ins and outs of this epic post-fight confrontation, eliminating the need to rehash the details here, but no way could this list be complete without the most electrifying, controversial, ridiculous, and horrifying moment in the six-plus-year history of Strikeforce MMA. For those who get it, no further explanation is needed. For those who don’t, no explanation will suffice.

Out of the Blue: The Explosive Rise of Johny Hendricks

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Johny Hendricks vs Martin Kampmann

(Destroys some of the UFC’s toughest welterweight contenders; still afraid of spiders. / Photo via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting)

At the end of 2011, UFC Magazine (now known as UFC 360) released their Complete Fighter and Event Guide for 2012, highlighting who they thought were the movers and shakers in each division. Surprisingly absent from the list was welterweight wrestler-turned-knockout-specialist Johny Hendricks. Fast forward a year and he’s next in line to face Georges St. Pierre for the gold. After his 46-second KO of Martin Kampmann at UFC 154, Hendricks’ emergence as a legitimate threat to and rise to the top of the 170lb. division is undeniable.

Although this past year has seen the Oklahoma native’s stock price triple — thanks in large part to his powerful left hand — he was anything but an overnight success story. To hear Hendricks’ diehard supporters tell it, he’s always been this good; we’re just now noticing it. One quick Google search is all it takes to confirm; the two-time NCAA Division I National Champion (2005, 2006) has been just as dominant in the cage as he was on the mats, though he no longer seems to be interested in playing the bad guy.

Starting his professional MMA career in 2007, Hendricks only competed on regional cards in Oklahoma at first, racking up a 3-0 record with all wins by stoppage. That was until he signed a multi-fight deal with the now-defunct World Extreme Cagefighting where he continued his winning streak against Justin Haskins by TKO in December 2008. Three months later at WEC 39, Hendricks was featured in the last welterweight bout in company history, defeating Alex Serdyukov in a Fight of the Night performance. After Reed Harris and company announced their intentions to focus solely on the lighter weight classes, Johny Hendricks was in need of a new home. Although his fights in the blue cage were few, they were the perfect appetizer for the next stage of his slow-cooking career.

It wasn’t long before the UFC came calling, looking for a relatively unknown prospect to throw in against Amir Sadollah at UFC 101. If they were hoping to bolster The Ultimate Fighter season 7 winner’s record with an easy win, they were in for a rude awakening. In less time than it takes to nuke a Hot Pocket, the OSU graduate had improved his undefeated record to 6-0 after punching Sadollah until the ref pulled him off.

The Team Takedown product went on to win his next three fights, most notably TKO-ing Charlie Brenneman in the second round. Now at a perfect nine wins and zero losses, Hendricks’ would face his toughest challenge to date, Rick “The Horror” Story. Call it fate, call it destiny, call it what you will, but no one can remain undefeated forever. Story took home the unanimous decision victory at the TUF 12 Finale, serving the four-time All-American his first defeat in the cage.

They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but they don’t know what it’s like to lose a fight in front of thousands in attendance and millions watching at home on live TV. That’s the sort of thing that sticks with a guy, regardless of where it happened. The sour aftertaste must have been a fearsome motivator, considering the five-fight win streak and three Knockout of the Night bonuses the welterweight has racked up in the wake of the solitary blemish on his record.

Since that UFC publication hit newsstands, “Bigg Rigg” did what BJ Penn and Georges St. Pierre could not — finish Jon Fitch. It took only twelve seconds for the southpaw to stamp his trademark on the fight and turn off the lights with a left straight. A full training camp later, perennial contender Josh Koscheck showed up to derail Hendricks’ hype train — one that was steadily gaining steam. Promoters will tell you that styles make fights and in this case, it almost bought another mark in the ‘L’ column.

The judges scored the bout 29-28, 29-28, 28-29. Luckily for our hero, two of the judges gave Hendricks the nod thus furthering his win streak. That’s not to say, however, that the fight couldn’t just as easily have went the other way. Both Hendricks and Koscheck had moments of dominance. The momentum shifted back and forth throughout the duration; as soon as one fighter appeared to have the upper hand, the holes in his game were exploited only to have the same thing done to him. In the end, it was Kos who went home upset.

It’s fights like this that make writers everywhere thankful they’re not judges.

Speaking of judges, Hendricks gave them the night off over the weekend in Montreal. In what many considered to be a title-eliminator, the twenty-nine year old utilized his best-in-class left hand to quickly dispatch Martin Kampmann, effectually declaring himself the number one contender to GSP’s welterweight championship. If a 46-second knockout isn’t a compelling enough argument in support of that, I don’t know what is.

Looking back on the past 12 months, it is clear that Johny Hendricks is not only a highly-skilled fighter with an elite wrestling pedigree worthy of gracing the pages of UFC 360′s 2013 power list, but he’s also the most qualified, well deserving challenger for the welterweight crown. But that doesn’t mean he’s who I want to face GSP next.

Chael Sonnen: What’s Next for the Gangster From West Linn, Oregon?

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Once again, the curtain was pulled back and we saw that he was just as human as you or I, despite his best attempts to convince us otherwise. Once again we witnessed his mystique fade into oblivion with every gloved fist to the face. For a moment, it appeared as if he had been fooling us this whole time. He had to have been. I mean, how can a guy be so unbelievably amazing in the Octagon and do what no other before him has ever come close to doing, and still come up short again?

Now that the cameras have stopped rolling, Chael P. Sonnen finds himself at a crossroads in life, a time when decisions like changing weight classes or changing careers — decisions of great consequence — have to be made,  or so it would seem. Some have tossed around the idea of retirement for the thirty-five year old southpaw. Need I remind you that Sonnen is the one that said, You cannot ‘retire’ from a sport unless you win a world championship. You only quit.”? Even after two title shots against UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, Sonnen is still a lot like my second favorite type of bra: strapless. Add that to the poetic role reversal of Silva making a quip about having his wife fix him a steak after the fight — that twist of the knife, delivered with a champion’s smile — and you can better see how dejected the American Gangster is feeling after his performance at UFC 148.

Maybe you, like many others, think the former politician should change weight classes or go take his shtick to WWE. It’s absurd to think he would move down to 170lbs. given the reported 20+ pounds he had to cut the day before the weigh-ins. Similarly, a move to the 205lb. division isn’t exactly any less of a career suicide than propositioning Dana White to ‘Free CagePotato’ in a hotel lobby. But that WWE idea seems totally legit, right? WWE thinks so too, even if there are others who would advise against it.

I’m not saying that I wouldn’t tune in to watch Sonnen on Raw, if only to see how he’d respond when he’s encouraged to let his character become his identity, and everything he says is scripted. (Oh wait.) But the thing you’ve got to realize is that there is a world of difference between being a wrestler and being a ‘rassler, and if you need an explanation then you probably love drinking cheap pop and don’t mind being called Mark even if it’s not your name. Sure, Sonnen can cut a promo that would make “Rowdy” Roddy Piper proud, has a familiarity with performance enhancing injections, and a silo full of charisma, but he’s a competitor at heart. With a successful pizza restaurant lining his pockets, he doesn’t need to strap on a pair of tights and trade figure-four leg-locks with CM Punk — especially when he’s a pugilist, a fist-fighter, a gangster from the mean streets of Oregon. When you need a sports entertainer, go call up Brock Lesnar. When you need a cage fighter, you call Chael Sonnen.

What then, does Sonnen do now if he can’t beat the champion, but he’s better than everyone in his weight class? Do you give him another rematch? That’s what he’d like to see happen, but that idea has been nixed by the Baldfather himself. Death threats notwithstanding, it’s far more probable that “The Bad Guy” will eventually find himself in a soccer stadium in Rio standing across the cage from the likes of Vitor Belfort, whom Sonnen’s mother just absolutely loves, or Wanderlei Silva, whom Rex absolutely loves. Given the stuff he’s said about them, I’m sure both of these Brazilians would be more than happy to be Sonnen’s next dance partner.

So you see, nothing is really going to change. Chael Sonnen will keep doing what he’s been doing for years…and so will we. He’ll get a phone call from Joe Silva with a name and a date. He’ll sign that contract and, should he get the itch, relentlessly talk trash about his opponent until the point of insanity. All of the major radio hosts will get a heaping pile of witty one-liners, memorable quotes, and sound bytes that will live on forever, like the one about Nogueira trying to feed the bus a carrot.

On the appointed night, as soon as his music hits those speakers, he’ll make that walk and do his job. As for you and I, we’ll eat it up — every last minute of it — and we’ll throw down our money and buy the next card he’s on because we can’t help but want to see him try to back up his outrageous claims. We’ll continue to turn a blind eye to Sonnen’s slightly less-than-honest material and laugh at the absurdity and hilariousness of it all, enabling him to stick with the gimmick that’s brought him so far already.

When the time comes, Sonnen will play his part. What else would he do with himself? An athlete can quit, but a performer will always find his way back to the spotlight.

Old Spice, Chevy, and Six More Corporate Sponsors That Should Tap Into MMA

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In the ever-competitive world of professional mixed martial arts, the men and women are fighting for more than just the fans and their next paycheck; they’re fighting for survival. When you barely have enough money left for yourself after paying your training partners, coaches, and buying nutritional supplements, it’s time to find another source of income. Most do this in the way of sponsorships — you know, like the Nike deal Jon Jones recently signed, or Anderson Silva’s relationship with Burger King. And if more of these well-known mainstream companies would sponsor a few fighters, the smaller companies that currently sponsor fighters could move to guys and gals who are still making their way up the ranks without anyone losing out. Let’s look at the companies that best suit MMA, how they should be involved, and why it makes sense.

Company: Old Spice
Ideal fighter to sponsor: Cheick Kongo, Alistair Overeem

Why it makes sense: Standing 6′ 4″ and weighing 230 pounds, and 6′ 5″/263, respectively, the Frenchman and the Dutchman are the most physically imposing fighters in the UFC’s heavyweight division. Old Spice is known for their funny commercials targeting the same audience watching PPV’s on a Saturday night. In the past, Old Spice has used NFL players Brian Urlacher and Ray Lewis as spokesman for their ‘Swagger’ line of men’s body products, as well as jacked Expendables cast-member Terry Crews. And if those guys can do it, why not Kongo and Overeem? In particular, “The Demolition Man” is the type of guy you want your customers to think they’ll be more like by using your product. Alistair could even make his commercial debut by eating the horse the original Old Spice Guy rode in on.

Company: Chevrolet
Ideal fighters to sponsor: Joseph Benavidez, Demetrious Johnson

Why it makes sense: The 2013 Chevy Spark may be small, but what it lacks in stature, it more than makes up for in heart. The potential to save drivers a small fortune on gas is enough to get most excited, and the 18-34 male demographic includes cash-strapped college guys and new dads — definitely a bunch a dudes looking to save a few extra bucks any chance they can get. Who better to market your product than your Ultimate Fighting counterparts, the UFC’s two smallest and most fuel-efficient contenders?

Both the fighters and the mini-cars are well equipped, fast, and flashy. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the unbelievably high MPG, which means you won’t ever have to worry about running out of gas when you enter the championship rounds. Isn’t it obvious that this is a match made in mini-heaven?

Company: Lunesta
Ideal fighters to sponsor: Jon Fitch, Jake Shields, Ben Askren

Why it makes sense: From Lunesta’s website: “When you want to sleep, do you lie awake? When you get to sleep, do you wake up often during the night? Sleep is here on the wings of LUNESTA. Some sleep aids are approved to help you fall asleep and others to help you stay asleep. Prescription LUNESTA is approved to do both.”

4 out of 5 doctors recommend you watch a fight featuring Jon Fitch, Jake Shields, or Ben Askren, if you do not wish to use or cannot afford prescription medication. It’s a known fact; these boring wrestlers will put you to sleep before they even break a sweat. While most fans spew vitriol every time these fighters are mentioned, a large percentage of the audience is insomniacs and singing their praises. MMA managers these days tell their guys in the gym to make themselves into a brand. It just so happens that the brands these guys have created have the same tags as Lunesta: sleep, helps me sleep, cures insomnia, best sleep I’ve ever had.

Company: Tampax
Ideal fighter to sponsor: Ronda Rousey

Why it makes sense: Hear me out. Back in 2009, Tampax signed Serena Williams of tennis fame to an endorsement deal during their “Outsmart Mother Nature” campaign. The commercial was clever and effective. After watching it, you believed that one of the best female tennis players to ever step onto a court could go on with life as usual, despite her monthly visitor, with no major adjustments to her schedule. Skip ahead to present day where Strikeforce Women’s champion Ronda Rousey graces the cover of ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue, appears on Conan O’Brian, and has a two-part all-access pass look at her life filmed by Showtime. Sounds like Tampax has a fresh face with enough exposure to take home a larger share of the feminine hygiene products sales. Rousey is the perfect example of a woman that demands a lot out of her girlie products. Training for a championship bout consists of running, strength training, kickboxing, and most of all, jiu jitsu — and all of the rolling around that comes with it. Just like there’s no crying in baseball, there are no time outs for leaks. Not to worry, she has Tampax in her corner.

I envision some poor soul getting a text from his girl while he’s out getting snacks for fight night. She asks him to do the unthinkable — pick up some tampons and hurry back. So he makes his way to the pink aisle and scans a ton of pink boxes that may have been written in gibberish. He wants to make this as quick as possible so there’s no time to ask his damsel in distress what kind she wants. He’ll just have to figure this out on his own. *Boom!* “Yep, these are the ones Ronda Rousey uses, so they must be good.” he says to himself. Brand association is a powerful tool — one that makes a deal like this all but certain in the years to come.

Company: Jimmy John’s
Ideal Involvement: Submission of the Night

Why it makes sense: Since Brock Lesnar‘s departure, Jimmy John’s has been absent in the MMA world. This is a shame for all gourmet sammich lovers. The ‘Submission of the Night’ will no longer be presented by TapouT; instead it’ll replaced by Jimmy John’s with the “Subs so fast you’ll freak” tagline. It may seem a little cheesy, but who doesn’t like cheese on their sub?

Company: Listerine
Ideal fighter to sponsor: Lyoto Machida

Why it makes sense: Remember that thing I said about brand association? The same is true of word association. When you see a picture of “The Dragon,” you immediately think, “That guy drinks his own urine!” At the suggestion of Chael Sonnen on UFC Today, Lyoto buys himself a bottle of Listerine to freshen his breath after his morning constitutional. Listerine, not being one to walk away from cash on the table, inks a deal with Machida. The deal consists of a new commercial, a sticker on his shorts and banner, and a vlog leading up to his fight showing him using the product. Next thing you know, thousands of kids from strip mall dojos are out tossing Listerine in their parents shopping cart.

Seriously though, Listerine has sponsored garlic festivals in years gone by and it’s time they launch a major campaign promoting the mouth rinse’s effectiveness at eliminating bad breath. In such a bleak economy, people are cutting corners at every turn. Sadly, parent company Johnson & Johnson’s consumer products sales fell by 2.4% in the first quarter of the year. To keep the stockholders happy, they should consider helping Machida cleanse his mouth if they want to revitalize their earnings.

Company: UPS
Ideal fighter to sponsor: Travis Browne

Why it makes sense: The Heavyweight division is top-heavy and it’s only getting stronger as undefeated contender Travis Browne continues to deliver right on time. UPS is the gold standard for parcel delivery around the world, but they could use help of the MMA community to keep them there. I’ve been told FedEx has gained market share for 54 straight quarters. UPS would be wise to associate itself with a rising star, one that can make a statement in the division. At this stage in the game, “Hapa” is only another win or two before he gets a shot at the gold. Of his 13 professional bouts, 9 have come by way of knockout and two by submission. Exciting fighters tend to have a greater following on social media, which lends itself to contests and giveaways that could endear his followers with the gigantic shipping corporation. Lastly, the play on words at the end of every interview and post-fight speech is perfect: What can Browne do for you?

Company: Dos Equis
Ideal fighter to sponsor: Chael P. Sonnen

Why it makes sense: The gangster from West Linn, Oregon already is The Most Interesting Man in the World. Is there really anything left to say?

Bjorn Rebney Speaks Out on Randy Couture, Eddie Alvarez, And the Real ‘Toughest Tournament in Sports’

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Between preparing to launch a new mixed martial arts reality television show on Spike TV, to selecting venues for 2014, Bjorn Rebney‘s time for small talk is sparse. But the Bellator MMA CEO always seems to have a moment to discuss his favorite topic — how much he loves running the second-largest MMA promotion in the world, and what the future holds in store.

Early Friday morning, just after the Bellator 87 post-fight press conference concluded at the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in frigid Mount Pleasant, Michigan, I had the opportunity to speak with Rebney about some of the important topics that have developed in the past few weeks, and the impact they would have going forward for the ever-expanding fight promotion.

You could tell the man was tired by the look in his sleep-deprived eyes. Sitting on stage, and probably still laughing on the inside after having watched lightweight contender Lloyd “Cupcake” Woodard shave his facial hair after losing a stipulation match to David “Caveman” Rickels not more than five minutes prior to our conversation (the clippings were still on the table next to him), the most powerful man in the building finally had a fleeting moment to collect his thoughts while resting for the first time that day…

On Randy Couture Signing with Spike TV/Bellator:

“Randy’s a great addition to the team and is known to fans everywhere. We’re excited for the role he’ll play in helping Bellator reach the next level. I know you and the other media want more info than that, but wait until Tuesday [February 5th] — that’s when we’re holding the big press conference and that’s when you’ll have all the details of what’s going on. That’s when all the questions will be answered.”

On the Controversial Stoppages Earlier in the Night:

“I have an unfair advantage; we’ve got probably the best sound team in all of MMA production. What I’m able to do is, when there’s any kind of controversial stoppage, I can go back into the truck, super slo-mo things and listen to things. I can hear the things the fighters say because our sound design inside the cage is so spectacular. You can literally hear what the fighter’s saying and what the referee is saying — you can hear everything. I think they were great stoppages. I think Dan [Mirgliotta] did an amazing job and when you see it in slow motion, for example on the knee lock, you hear him scream and then see his head go back and ultimately see one tap. Now it’s a super soft tap, but you see it. Inside the truck, in super slo-mo, you can hear the screaming and see his head go back and that’s a verbal submission. According to the Unified Rules, when your head goes back and you scream out — it’s over whether you tap or you don’t tap. But I thought he did a great job.”

On Whether or Not the UFC’s Insistence That The Ultimate Fighter is the “Toughest Tournament in Sports” is an Attempt to Create Brand Confusion Among New Fans:

“[Laughing] No, I don’t think so. What we do is, we let the fighters make their next fight. You win or you go home. That’s a real sport. You won’t see anyone sitting in a chair in some luxurious office somewhere saying, “I think I can sell that fight.” No, we’ve got the tournament format — something that has been around in sports for ages — and when one fighter wins, he gets one step closer to a title shot. That’s it. You have to win to get a championship opportunity. No one here is going to be able to talk their way into a title shot. That’s how a real sport works.”

On the Latest Developments Regarding Eddie Alvarez‘s Contract Situation:

“You know, we won in court last week so that’s a step in the right direction. There’s still a lot that needs to be sorted out. We still have to meet again [in court] to see what the judge says about the rest of the case. You know, Eddie’s been with us for a long time and I’m hopeful that we can come to terms and work something out. This doesn’t have to be a lengthy process, nor do I hope it to be one. I know what we want and I know what Ed wants, it’s just a matter of getting it down on paper and signing on the dotted line. Will it happen? I’m hopeful, but we’ll just have to wait and see.”

5 Lessons Every Dad Can Learn From an MMA Fight

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As a new dad, I’m sure your wife has hit Amazon for a plethora of books covering myriad of topics from baby names to knowing what to expect until the kid is old enough to drive. Your bank account has become victim of a devious marketing scheme preying on emotionally unstable women. From one dad to another, let me save you a buck or two while enlightening you with some lessons you can’t learn from any book. I’m also going to put it in a way every man can understand.

Raising a family is very much like an MMA fight. MMA fights are just a little shorter and involve less blood, sweat and tears.

Here are 5 things you can learn about fatherhood from an MMA fight.

Nothing Prepares You for ‘Getting Caught’.

At UFC 115, Hall-of-Famer Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell was KO’ed with just five seconds remaining in the first round by Rich ‘Ace’ Franklin. With just a minute left, Liddell was on the way to winning the round. However, with only moments remaining, Franklin landed a straight right. Liddell went down unconscious and it was over. Done.  Just like that.

There will come a time when your kid pees through his clothes, covers your back in puke, or bumps his head at the most inopportune time. You’ll fear that someone is staring at you, judging your every move as if you’re trying to diffuse a bomb Jack Bauer style. Don’t sweat it. These moments happen to even the most prepared dad. Clean yourself off, pick yourself up and walk it off. If the wife asks what happened just say “Hey, I got caught. I’m ready to keep fighting.”

♫ Go to sleep – Little Creep ♫

When Trying to Put Someone to Sleep, Patience is Key

Unlike the fan favorite Knockout, putting your opponent to sleep via Submission is an art form that requires strategy and skill, and doesn’t usually happen in the blink of an eye. It’s not uncommon for a fighter to spend the majority of a fight on the ground setting up their submission. UFC fighter and ESPN Analyst Kenny Florian had ten of his fourteen wins come by way of putting his opponent to sleep (or making them tap, but I don’t suggest you go that far). The reason he’s so good at what he does is two-fold: He practices daily at the Florian Martial Arts Center and he’s patient in the heat of battle.

This translates over to parenthood. Set a routine. Stick to it. Don’t force it, sometimes the lil’ guy just isn’t ready to sleep – that’s why God gave us coffee and RedBull. Above all else, don’t give in. The kid will fall asleep eventually. Just make sure it’s before you do.

Awww c’mon! I sear he didn’t hear that from me.

Never Leave it in the Hands of the Judges

Fighters only have fifteen minutes – that’s roughly one minute for every year you kid will actually care what you say – to get their point across and either finish the fight or convince you that they won. We’ve all seen guys get robbed thanks to a bad judge.

Your success as a father depends not on what some loser on a TV show thinks, but rather on the role you play in your child’s life. Society would prefer that your son or daughter appreciate the finer things in life like bodywash and toothpaste, but other than that who cares what they want. You should raise your kid how you see fit, unless you attend Westboro Baptist Church. In that case, “suck it.”

Behind Every Champion is a Great Corner

Arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter of all time, Georges St. Pierre hasn’t lost a fight since 2007. He’s won Fighter of the Year and Canadian Athlete of the Year three years running. The only thing the man hasn’t done is hold two titles at the same time – although he could have if belts changed hands regardless of weight class.  So what’s his secret? How does he do it?  He’s got a great corner in Greg Jackson and Phil Nurse. Before and after every fight, between every round, these guys help him stay focused, correct his mistakes, and support him every step of the way.

You’d be wise to start building your corner now – and start with your wife. After that, start a support group of friends and other parents that have either been through the kid wars before or are in the trenches right now. They will be the ones to pick you up when you just can’t make it another round.

Always, Always Thank Your Sponsors

Fighter’s shorts often look ridiculous plastered with company logos all over them. The funniest sponsor to date has to be CondomDepot.com – and if shopped there in the first place you wouldn’t have a kid now would you?

When the fight is over and your hand is raised in victory, follow suit and thank your sponsors – those that put money in your pocket or had a helping hand in getting here. Some are parents or an old teacher, others are a good friend or a job you had that worked with your schedule around weeks 39 and 40. Whatever the case may be don’t be an a**hole and pretend that you did it all on your own.

Crazy Enough to Be True: Ten Wild MMA Predictions for 2013

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(You see, kids, this is why we don’t break the fourth rule of Project Mayhem. Photo via Complex)

By Jason Moles

As is customary, nay tradition, around these parts, we’re hitting the eggnog early and often this week — thus, the obligatory Top 10 list to close out another year in the world of mixed martial arts. It’s not all fluff, though: Last year we predicted a champion would test positive for a banned substance and Brock Lesnar would retire. Not bad, huh? So grab a seat while we break out the crystal ball and see what 2013 has in store for us.

1.) Showtime stays in the MMA biz, will announce deal with Invicta FC and others.

MMA is just too popular to completely wash your hands of. Showtime may finally be done with Strikeforce, but that only means they’re now free to partner up with the likes of all-female Invicta FC or the World Series of Fighting, both of which could be looking for more permanent homes after their early success in 2012. Don’t let the Invicta PPV news fool you; they can’t win that battle. No matter who inks the deal, expect Showtime to counter-program at least one UFC event.

2.) A Ronda Rousey loss brings about the swift execution of women’s MMA in the UFC.

After amputating what’s her name in February, Rowdy will move on to calling out every woman possible who she knows cannot make 135 — especially Cyborg. In what comes as a major surprise to fight fans around the globe, Gina Carano accepts her open challenge (perfect timing to publicize her upcoming role in Fast 6) in late spring/early summer. “Conviction” TKO’s her way to victory then ships off to work on the chick version of The Expendables never to return to the cage. Dana White will be inconsolable but manages to release the handful of remaining women under Zuffa contract that don’t parade around in shorty shorts and a push-up bra.

3.) The Ultimate Fighter coaching curse ends in season 17. Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen will take place as scheduled — guaranteed.

Hear me out on this one. Just like you, the Injury Bug desperately wants to see this fight, either to see that fake-ass white boy Sonnen get savaged or to watch Jonny Bones get knocked down a peg or two.  That’s right, neither Jones nor Sonnen will become injured prior to their bout on April 27th. How can I guarantee something so outlandish? Suffice it to say we have our ways of getting things done.

4.) Dana White announces his retirement*.

A man can only go so hard for so long before his body tosses in the towel. Dana White’s battle with Meniere’s Disease combined with international travel will have finally caught up with MMA’s Moses. You’ll all kick yourself for not seeing this coming sooner. First it was a missed event, then it was two. Next thing you knew, DFW was running the broadcasts from his bunker in Vegas. During the breaking interview, Ariel Helwani will shower White with tremendous praise and wish him the best in his future endeavors while trying to keep a straight face on The MMA Hour because he was briefed on the regime change months ago. Helwani nose.

5.) An A-list celebrity tries his hand at MMA.

My sources cannot confirm, but the word on the street is that both CM Punk and Justin Bieber are looking to cash in on the MMA craze before the bubble bursts in 2014. ($%&@! I’ve said too much already.) You already know that Punk is a Gracie trained white belt, but did you know that the annoying little Bieber kid could throw down? Me either, at least not until I saw this. One guy is always one pipe bomb away from the unemployment line and the other, well… has the testosterone of Alistair Overeem at a random drug test, which means he’s constantly in a state of  “Come at me, bro!” These two savvy businessmen are too smart to leave money on the table so they nut up and get in the cage. But you can bet your last dollar “Biebs” won’t be fighting when the Octagon comes rolling into the Philippines.

6.) Roy Nelson‘s penchant for VADA testing comes back to bite him in the butt.

We feel as if we should clarify this particular prediction by saying we do not believe Roy Nelson will test positive for a banned substance or anything of that sort — at least not until the athletic commissions place a cap on fighter’s triglyceride levels. What lies at the heart of #6 is “Big Country”‘s diatribe against the use of PED’s in his sport and his insistence that anyone who wants to fight one of the best heavyweights in the UFC should subjugate themselves to VADA testing. That is, of course, if they don’t have anything to hide. As if guys didn’t have enough on their plate leading up to the fight, he wants them to undergo even more invasive testing, taking away more time from hitting the mitts or rolling with their sparring partner. That’s asking a lot of an opponent, and much of the UFC heavyweight roster will wonder if fighting Roy is worth the aggravation. Don’t be surprised if Nelson only fights once next year.

7.) Bellator surges past all expectations with Spike TV partnership.

What can we say? Bellator is finally coming home. Spike TV reaches a much wider audience because it’s in more homes and occupies a more favorable spot in the channel lineup than Bellator previously enjoyed with MTV 2. Airing right after the popular TNA Impact! will undoubtedly draw in new fans, as will the forthcoming reality show. CEO Bjorn Rebney will also look to add a hot free agent or two to spice things up for his super fights, which will only fuel their ascent as legitimate competition to the juggernaut that is UFC.

8.) Ariel Helwani finally gets slapped for “gotcha” questions.

What do the following fighters have in common besides the obvious: “Rampage” Jackson, Nick Diaz, Josh Koscheck, Hector Lombard, and Tito Ortiz? These are all men who’ve had beef with the Canadian video reporter for one reason or another. Diaz is the one who infamously said that people like Helwani get slapped where he’s from. It’s one thing to throw a few softballs for every hardball you send sailing, but throwing a spitball when the clear understanding is that there will be no spitballs is just bound to get you cold-cocked. Here’s hoping we’re wrong.

9.) Declining PPV numbers force Zuffa to reduce the number of shows in 2014.

The numbers are in and they’re not exactly promising. Many of you have debated whether or not the UFC is over-saturating the market. Others still haven’t recovered from witnessing Ryan Bader upset Quinton Jackson at UFC 144 back in February, and haven’t really noticed much of anything other than their old PRIDE tapes. It’s funny how watching old fights can take us back to a time when everything made sense, you know, like not having back-to-back fight cards or double-booking a Saturday in two different countries. Money talks, so when average Joe hits up @DanaWhite on Twitter to say he’d spend more money buying a bunch of stacked PPVs as opposed to waiting for a really good one every now and then, the Zuffa brass will listen.

10.) Former CagePotato pen-monkeys Ben Fowlkes and Chad Dundas have their Co-Main Event Podcast syndicated nationally and outdraw Jim Rome in the first 90 days.

Listen to any episode and you’ll not need any further evidence that we’re right on the money with this prediction.

Honorable Mention: 2013 will be the first time in years that CagePotato.com doesn’t do, say, publish, or imply anything that will evoke the wrath of Dana White putting us higher atop his black list.

*Announcement scheduled for 04/01/13.

(This article was originally published on CagePotato.com)