Viewing entries tagged
Chael Sonnen

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28 Things We Learned from UFC Fight Night on Fox Sports 1

Sometimes a UFC Fight Night comes and goes so fast you miss the story behind the story.  Don't worry, Raf's got you covered.  Check out the 28 things that we learned from the premiere of Fox Sports 1 (a.k.a. "Fox Sports Juan"). 1.  Sometimes you can have the best guillotine of the evening and still lose the Submission of the Night bonus to some other guy.

2.  Never let Ovince St. Preux inside of your guard.

3.  This is what Ronda Rousey would look like if she starred in a sequel to a Nicholas Sparks movie. #TheNotebook2

 

4.  Sometimes if a fight is too close to call the judges will side with the person who took more time to put on their shirt.

5.  It's never impolite to ask the ref, "do I have to hit this guy anymore?"

6.  Try as we might, fights are not "Best 2/3."

7.  For whatever reason, Conor McGregor was really over with this crowd. #Boston #Irish #Drunk

8.  The best offense does not involve letting your opponent tire out his fists by hitting you multiple times in the face.

9.  Turns out, Wet Willies have no effect on Max Holloway.

10.  Sometimes Conor McGregor thinks he's the Irish Batman.

11.  Maybe everyone deserved a Submission of the Night bonus?

12.  Yeah, basically jiu-jitsu is pretty awesome.

13.  Brad Pickett does a pretty sweet impression of a Picasso painting.

14.  A knuckle sandwich is a real thing.

15.  This is the last time Uriah Hall ever takes a page out of Chun Li's playbook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16.  Uriah might have lost the fight the minute he got caught trying to complete the maze in John Howard's hair.

17.  Uriah's pretty much over this decision. But in all fairness, Howard did throw more high fives during the fight.

18.  Matt Brown was probably a little more inspired to knock out Mike Pyle after getting the bird flipped at him inside the cage.

20.  Whoa, whoa, whoa, how the shit did this happen so fast?

21.  "Oh, pleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease work, I'm so losing..."

22.  "No way, that worked!"

23.  "Oh my God, everything hurts BUT THIS IS AMAZING!"

24.  Best Belly-to-Belly guard pull ever.

25.  "Is Chael Sonnen gonna have to choke a bitch?"

26.  Seems Chael is one of the few lucky enough to know "levitation guard."

27.  Joe Rogan has no problem being called "a middle-aged comedian", as long as it comes from the Don Rickels of MMA.

28.  "No, but seriously... can someone explain what just happened?"

That'll do it for us.  If for some reason you missed some of the highlights, here are a few Fox Sports Juan put together for everyone to enjoy.  It's perfect for the person who's said, "you know, I like my slow motion replays, but I just wish they were shown at a much slower frame rate."

Good night and good fight, golks.

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UnimPRESSed RELEASE: Fox Sports Juan

UnimPRESSed RELEASE: A new COLUMN that sifts through MMA PRESS RELEASES so you don’t have to.  We hope you enjoy it: FoxSportsJuan

Dana White wants you to save the date: Saturday, August 17th.  On that day, he and seven-and-a-half consecutive hours of UFC action are coming your way to help launch the brand spanking new Fox Sports 1 Network.

Yep, you heard me right.

Not Fox Sports West.  Or Fox Sports Northeast.  Or Fox Sports Due East.  We’re talking the Fox Sports 1 Network, here, people (sorry former fans of the SPEED Network)!

So say good bye to Fuel TV and waking up after a mid-afternoon airings of “Iron Man 2” on FX to wait for some preliminary UFC action.  It also means we all better call our local cable provider and ask them where we can find this tragically named sports network (is the Spanish version of this new network Fox Sports Juan?).

Dana White, doing his part to help the FOX conglomerate beat the living crap out of the ABC/ESPN synergy machine, has promised that the Aug. 17th fights will be “the strongest fight card the company has ever put on television.”  So take that Cain Velasquez, Junior Dos Santos, Rashad Evans, Nate Diaz, Benson Henderson, Alexander Gustafsson, BJ Penn, Jim Miller, Johny Hendricks, Josh Koscheck, Demetrious Johnson, and Rampage Jackson (just to name a few).

So far, only a match between Thiago Alves vs. Matt Brown has been announced for the fight night that will take place from the Boston T.D. Garden.  But that doesn’t mean Chael Sonnen isn’t doing his part to bring some star power to the proceedings.

And if we’ve learned one thing from Dana White, it’s that if the guy says it’s gonna be the biggest card ever presented on live TV… then he’s gonna throw moderate amounts of money at fighters to put on a set of fights that will definitely (maybe) last longer than a minute and four seconds!

Here’s the best part: The company is getting away from their habit of adding insignificant numbers to the end of their television event names (“Wait, was this UFC on FOX 5?  Or is it UFC 157, I’m confused!”).

There will be no Fox Sports 1:1.  Instead, pre cards will be called FOX UFC Saturday Prelims and FOX UFC Saturday (which still makes it sound like they’re appearing on the FOX Broadcast Network, but I’ll take the dropped numbers as a minor victory here).  There's also still the question of how they brand cards that don't take place on a Saturday, but hell even NBC tells you to watch Sunday Night Football on an occasional Thursday or Saturday night once and again, so I suppose we'll get there when we get there.

Now even if you’re annoyed with the thought of having to find a new network, you better get used to it.  That is, if you want any part of the Ronda Rousey/Cat Ziagano Ultimate Fighter series this fall (Wednesdays at 10pm).

But that’s not all!  The UFC is also kicking in a set of live fights to air in prime time on August 28th and September 4th, just to try and sweeten the deal.  The Sept. 4th date is especially important as that card will lead into the 18th season premiere of The Ultimate Fighter.

AND, because you were all wondering what this move from FOX scripted Broadcast affiliates might mean for UFC Tonight, don’t fret.  Your favorite show (that you catch only via clips on YouTube) will now be expanded to an hour format (and will remain a weekly fixture). Which is great news for Kenny Florian's hair stylist and Chael Sonnen’s fireside chats!

I know that was a lot of information to sift through, but that’s why I’m here.  To read through all the press releases you don’t want to read in the first place.  And if you somehow fall out of love with the UFC by then, then don’t worry you can get excited about Regis Philbin’s new Fox Sports 1 chat show.

Yep.  This network knows how to pull out all the stops.

Until next time, fight fans.

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For Argument's Sake: Chael Buys the WWE

We here at VERBAL TAP are proud to present the latest addition to our website: a column that by-passes the rumor, the fact-checking, and maybe even the research to ask, “But what if…”  Without further ado, we hope you’ll indulge a little segment we like to call For Argument’s Sake: ChaelSonnen-610x406Over the weekend Chael Sonnen reportedly told some dirt rag that he wasn’t interested in just being in the WWE, he’d rather buy the company outright.  Now we've all learned to take most things that Chael says with a grain of salt (i.e. "Hispanic accent"), but according to said dirt rag’s “very reliable sources,” he apparently isn’t joking this time.

Of course, anyone who knows a single thing about the WWE knows that the company is far from ever selling its half-billion empire to a mouthy UFC fighter with a few "investor friends" (also it's a publicly traded empire, but I'm getting ahead of myself here).  That doesn't even include the insane death grip that Vince McMahon and his family have on the business, which many speculate will eventually be run by his daughter Stephanie and her real life husband/occasional sledgehammer enthusiast HHH.

But, for argument's sake, let's just pretend this could happen.  Imagine the possibilities.  The overlap between Chael the UFC fighter/entertainer/promoter isn't all that different from the potential of Chael the WWE wrestler/entertainer/promoter.  He has a love/hate relationship with fans (that works perfectly here!).  We all know the man cut's a mean promo.  He's got a strong wrestling background that's proven helpful to guys like this.  And this.  And, hell, even this guy.

I mean even Chael's own book cover looks similar to Kurt Angle's.

But, even if you don't buy all of that, consider the following irrefutable argument:

Sonnen Roperumblecling

If "The Bad Guy" can channel Shawn Michaels, it goes to say he is a natural for the Royal Rumble (thus becoming a #1 contender for one of the two World Championship titles, see how fast this is all coming together?).

Now that we've proven that Chael is a good fit for the organization, what if he got his full wish and actually got to run the company (shh, quiet logic, you have no place here)?  Don't worry, I've got you covered.

Before I begin, please keep in mind that some of these plans will be written in kayfabe (pro wrestling speak for “fake reality”), which may seem odd for Sonnen until you realize most of his UFC career has been spent “in character.”  With that, please consider the following multilayered plan:

  1. Revive “Tough Enough” with Chael as a coach.  Love ‘em or hate ‘em, we’ve already seen the impact Sonnen can have as a mentor to young athletes.  He's good for ratings, he'll promote the hell out of the show, and since he's trained with the host of the last incarnation (Stone Cold Steve Austin) for his UFC fights, I'm sure he'll have the blessing of the bionic redneck.
  2. Trash-talking your way into a championship match isn’t just welcomed, it’s required.  Lots of people think Chael talked his way into a fight for the Light Heavyweight title (he did!)—and, in this world, it’s exactly the kind of thing that's expected.  Only this time, the WWE Superstars now have the added benefit of going through a rigorous Chael Sonnen media preparation class, with lessons ranging from: playing up to the home crowd, utilizing new media to cut promos, and, of course, proxemics
  3. Steroids are mandatory for all on the WWE roster (just to even the playing field, of course).  It’s really more of a health issue.
  4. Chael also gets control of WWE’s film division.  It’s a well established fact the Chael-CM Punkcompany's film division has been hurting for a hit.  Why not invest in a low-budget action adventure?  He's already friends with CM Punk; put the two of them together in a buddy cop comedy and let the moderate box office magic happen ("One of them's a straight edge, the other lives on the edge. West Linn Gangsters, Summer 2015!").  Besides, I hear that Chael's got great connections to secure filming locations.
  5. Chael becomes new Mr. McMahon.  In it's Attitude hey day, the WWE, (I'm sorry) WWF created a fictionalized version of it's owner, Vince McMahon, that was designed to be so evil it could put over any other wrestler.  And he'd wrestle matches just to give fans the escapism of watching their boss get the crap kicked out of them.  It was a genius idea and one that helped to solidify the anti-hero status of Stone Cold Steve Austin—a model that has since been used to help elevate other wrestlers who have needed notoriety or exposure over the years.  Vince is CrazySince the Attitude era, Vince has made fewer on-screen appearances to fill whatever storytelling void is needed, but has admitted himself that at his age he doesn't really need to get in the ring all that much anymore (even if he still does bat shit crazy stuff like this).  And even now with HHH filling in for the role of corporate guy who occasionally wrestles as an "in betweener," he doesn't have the same pathos to pull this kind of high-wire act off (the fans still identify too much with him after all these years).  What the WWE needs is someone it can turn against.  A symbol.  Someone who can be an extremely non-silent guardian.  A watchful protector, if you will.  But how does Chael become the new Dark Knight of the WWE...
  6. Chael Sonnen vs. HHH at Wrestlmania 30: I know many of you will argue that current WWE roster guys like CM Punk or even former UFC champ Brock Lesnar would make for an ideal opponent, but hear me HHH-Challenges-Lesnarout here.  Sonnen comes out to say he wants to buy the company, HHH comes out to confront him says “the family will never do it,” Sonnen challenges him to a match at the 30th anniversary of Wrestlemania for control of the company.  BOOM.  There you have it.  A new main event to headline Wrestlemania.  HHH loses via a run in from CM Punk, allowing Chael to hit his finisher (a spinning back fist) and Chael now “runs” the WWE.

Well, there you have it.  Problems solved, everyone makes money.  I'll be waiting by my mailbox for my royalty checks if anyone's looking for me.

In the meantime, let me know if I missed any magic in the possibilities of Chael Sonnen running the WWE (along with your argument as to which finisher would be a better fit for Sonnen) in the comment section below!

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NEXT TIME on VERBAL TAP: Adam Cella

We couldn't be happier to announce that on the next installment of VERBAL TAP, we will be speaking to Ultimate Fighter cast member Adam Cella (@AdamCellaMMA). Despite getting eliminated early in the competition by a well-documented kick from Uriah Hall, Cella proved to be quite the house and fan favorite with his honest, mid-west wit and impressions of other cast-members (which we will be asking him about).

Some of you may also have seen Cella take the UFC Light Heavyweight champ to the limit in this Ultimate Fighter digital extra.

Additionally, Cella, being ever the great sport that he is, also allowed us to have some fun at his expense with this face.

adam cellasFaithful Ultimate Fighter fans may recall this as the face that Cella made moments after his friend and teammate Bubba McDaniel (@BubbaTheMenace) lost a preliminary fight to eventual Ultimate Fighter champion Kelvin Gastelum (@KelvinGastelum).

But what we'd like to ask you fight fans is: What's going on here? 

Give us your best captioned joke on it and we'll throw it at Mr. Cella himself to select a winner.

So drop us a line in the comment section below and do your best (worst)!

And if you've got a question for Mr. Cella, let us know.  We'll be happy to ask!

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FAN CAM: Brawl at UFC 159

EDIT | Surprise, surprise. The UFC took down the original YouTube video invoking copyright infringement (they must be fans of the site, obviously, so we're taking credit for that one). So get in on this while you can folks.

Listen, I want to take more pleasure in the juxtaposition that is two drunk Jersey fans fighting to the sounds of “Born in the USA” at UFC 159. I really do. But I’m not in that mood today. For whatever reason, this fight in the stands is not sitting right with me this evening.

Let’s start with the obvious.

This isn’t the first ironic rodeo for one of the Bruce’s signature songs (and I doubt it’ll be the last). Yes, he deserves better. He’s the goddamn Boss. Surely this fact shouldn’t be lost upon Jersey.

Then there’s the fact that security takes its sweet time to get involved in the situation. I honestly wasn’t sure if they were there or not for a great deal of the video. At one point I convinced myself a cop actually said, “Nah, let ‘em work this out.”

And sure, as perennial target for laughs, we should be able to make fun of Jersey. It’s part of what makes them great. They can take it; they’ve got hundreds of other things wrong with their state anyway (see what I did there?).

While you can try to make a larger argument about this being an isolated event, perpetuated by some cheap beer and a number of misunderstandings, the fact of that matter is this: for a sport that continuously has to assure the masses that it’s a crazy exhibition of mindless violence, this makes us all look bad.

We could try to sweep it all under the rug and pretend it never happened, but I’d prefer to make an example of it. If you go to a UFC, don’t be this person. If you know of a person like this, stop them immediately—either from attending or going out in public to watch the UFC.

There are far too many good people who have a great respect for the honor, defense, and respect aspects of mixed martial arts to let this kind of nonsense go down. So today, I don’t run from this, I say let it be the example. We’re better than this.

Certainly, this extends further than Jersey. Same goes for any other state or territory and it’s not to say that any of our hometowns are without blemish.  I think any rationale person would argue this is kind of nonsense has no place at an event and in the stands.

And, honestly, I’m a little sad to see this happen here after the an audience made headlines only about 10 miles removed and a couple weeks prior at a post-Wrestlemania Monday Night Raw.

You can skip the formalities and jump right in about the one minute mark. The crowd literally stole the show from the performers and the result added something ridiculously entertaining to the proceedings, dare I say… even smart?

Say what you will about pro wrestling, that crowd was so cohesive in their message of being stupid and having fun, it actually makes for a refreshing change of pace. So much so, that the WWE itself produced that video to show how much fun the crowd was having—and even made me believe Jersey might be a good crowd for UFC 159 for whatever reason.  Sadly, the beat down video proves otherwise.

Although, I suppose they might have been drinking because the card was "cursed."  Still not a valid excuse.

So congrats, WWE Universe, you win this round; Drunken UFC guy, you’re on notice.

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Sonnen to Stay at 205, Not Retiring

I think at this point and time there are two people in the world: Chael Sonnen fans and liars.

Well, maybe that's not true, but doesn't that sound like something he'd say.

We've had lengthy arguments about the West Linn gangster for some time now.  But even his biggest critics have to admit in moments of defeat, Sonnen makes a lot more sense than we'd like to admit.

While I'm giving a free pass to Ken Flo for standing by his UFC Tonight partner-in-crime (who seemingly is just happy to see his co-host alive and makes no attempt to hide how much he wants to gush about it), this interview could have really turned into a self-congratulatory PR stint.

Instead, we get some real admissions from Chael: Jon Jones is better than him, there are a few fights left worth pursuing for him, and even a sound reasoning as to why Jones could be the one to beat Anderson Silva (assuming Chris Weidman doesn't do the job first).

I don't know many fighters who can come out of a loss like that and sound this... dare I say... optimistic about the proceedings.  Admitting there were several fronts he was never going to beat Jones at.

This may not erase the multitude of gaffes, illegal wrong-doings or general insults to other human beings and countries that have "crossed the line," but let's be real: there's no denying the bad guy still has a spark in the eye for talking all things UFC.  And I still think he's got some things to contribute to the game.

But what do I know?  Feel free to sound off in the comment section below.  I'll welcome a discussion or even your thoughts on if the decision for Chael to stay at 205 even makes sense.

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