Cagewriter

  • Take a closer look at Benson Henderson’s win over Nate Diaz (VIDEO)

    Take a closer look at UFC on Fox 5's main event through Fuel TV's Fight Flashback. It shows how champion Benson Henderson and challenger Nate Diaz prepared moments before their fight, as well as different angles of the bout. Nick Diaz, Nate's brother and also a UFC fighter, winces as he watches his brother get kicked. You'll also hear advice from both men's corners, including Henderson's saying, "You know why he's talking, right?"

    You can also see the same treatment for other bouts on the card here.

  • Strikeforce confirms January card will be its last

    (Getty)From the second Ronda Rousey's UFC bout with Liz Carmouche was announced, Strikeforce's end was rumored. The promotion has been teetering since having to cancel two cards in a row in September and November. Now, the Zuffa-owned, Showtime-backed promotion has confirmed that their January show will be their last.

    “Since 2009, Showtime has been a great partner and we appreciate its support of Strikeforce and our athletes,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said via the promotion's website. “For our final event, we’ve loaded the card with some outstanding fights. This is going to be a memorable night for the sport of mixed martial arts.”

    The event takes place Jan. 12 in Oklahoma City, and will feature:

    Nate Marquardt vs. Tarec Saffiedine
    Daniel Cormier vs. Dion Staring
    Josh Barnett vs. Nandor Guelmino
    Gegard Mousasi vs. Mike Kyle
    Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Ed Herman
    Pat Healy vs. to be determined
    Roger Gracie vs. Anthony Smith
    Tim Kennedy vs. Trevor Smith
    KJ Noons vs. Ryan Couture
    Jorge Gurgel vs. Adriano Martin
    Estevan Payan vs. Michael Bravo

    It's a fun card for the finale to a promotion that has provided memorable moments but was plagued with inconsistency.

    Read More »from Strikeforce confirms January card will be its last
  • We want your UFC 155 picks

    (Getty)

    UFC 155 is just over a week away, so it's time to start making your picks. Do you want your picks to show up on Cagewriter? Cool. We want the same. Here's how it works:

    1. Check out the UFC 155 main card:
    Junior dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez - for heavyweight title
    Joe Lauzon vs. Jim Miller
    Tim Boetsch vs. Constantinos Philippou
    Alan Belcher vs. Yushin Okami
    Derek Brunson vs. Chris Leben
    Leonard Garcia vs. Max Holloway

    2. Pick a fight, and head to Cagewriter's Facebook page.

    3. Tell us who will win, how they'll win it, and why. The why is important. Don't forget it.

    We'll pick a few predictions per fight, and run them here with picks from Kevin Iole and me. It will be a yabba-dabba do good time.

    Read More »from We want your UFC 155 picks
  • Dana White praises openly gay Liz Carmouche: ‘It takes a brave person’

    (Getty)When Liz Carmouche steps into the octagon to fight Ronda Rousey for the UFC women's bantamweight belt, it will be a historic moment. Not only will UFC 157 feature the first UFC women's fight, it will also be the first time an openly gay fighter will fight in the UFC.

    UFC president Dana White praised Carmouche, an ex-Marine, for coming out.

    "There's a lot of gay athletes out there and athletes and actresses. It takes a brave person to come out and admit it because they're always afraid of what its going to do to their career or how people are going to treat them afterwards. I love what she did."

    White came under fire in 2010 when he used a gay slur on one of his video blogs. He later apologized. When talking about Carmouche, he addressed his own reputation and shared his thoughts on same-sex marriage.

    "I know I have the big ‘homophobe' persona and people think I'm some homophobe. I'm the furthest thing from it. I think it's ridiculous it's 2013 and the government tells two people they can't marry each other. Who is the government to tell two people who say they love each other they can't be married? It's ridiculous."

    Though it's not quite 2013, it's encouraging to hear White say not only that he supports Carmouche and same-sex marriage but that he hopes other fighters find the courage to come out, too.

    Among the NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA, there are no active and openly gay players. Retired athletes, like basketball player John Amaechi and football player Wade Davis, have come out after they stopped playing.

    However, athletes like Carmouche show that the tide is turning and athletes are more comfortable with not hiding their sexuality. Openly gay athletes like diver Matthew Mitcham and Natasha Kai have competed in the Olympics. More and more athletes are speaking out in favor of LGBTQ rights.

    Read More »from Dana White praises openly gay Liz Carmouche: ‘It takes a brave person’
  • Dan Henderson’s camp not happy that his UFC 157 bout isn’t the main event

    (Getty)At UFC 157, Ronda Rousey's first defense of the women's bantamweight belt against Liz Carmouche is the main event. It's the only title fight on the card, and title fights getting main event status is a rule the UFC doesn't often break.

    That didn't sit well with Dan Henderson's camp. He is fighting Lyoto Machida on the same card, and doesn't like being the second biggest name on the card. Gus Pugliese, Henderson's striking coach, told this to Gracie Magazine:

    “Where I come from, there’s a pecking order for anything in life,” he said. “I believe in paying dues. In this particular case, ‘Hendo’ and Machida paid their dues a long time ago. For someone new to come in and have a free ride just seems unfair to them and the whole sport they helped build.”

    There's a legend about Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis from their time touring together during rock 'n' roll's infancy. A dispute arose over which man would close. Berry's camp won out, and he was given the last slot on the show. Lewis took his earlier spot, whipped the crowd into a frenzy with his performance and set his piano on fire during "Great Balls of Fire." He reportedly said to Berry, "Follow that!" as he left the stage.

    While Henderson shouldn't literally set the octagon on fire like Lewis, the lesson from this possibly apocryphal story remains. If he wants to be the fighter everyone remembers from UFC 157, he can be. It doesn't matter if he is first, last, or somewhere in the middle of the card. Fans remember great fights. No one cares when they happened.

    Read More »from Dan Henderson’s camp not happy that his UFC 157 bout isn’t the main event
  • Bellator, Spike hoping Thursday nights are alright for fighting

    (Sherdog)Now that their yearlong stint airing on MTV2 is over, Bellator is focused on their move to Spike and Thursday nights. Starting on Jan. 17, Bellator will air on Thursday nights at 10 p.m. ET with a premiere featuring title bouts between Michael Chandler and Rick Hawn and Pat Curran vs. Patricio Freire.

    Bellator CEO and Spike president Kevin Kay talked to Cagewriter with smiles on their faces as they discussed what this move can mean to the tournament-based promotion. Kay, who worked with the UFC from it's debut of "The Ultimate Fighter" Spike, said it's the night that makes the most sense for the show.

    "TNA Impact is there. We launched "The Ultimate Fighter" after WWE. I wouldn't say wrestling fans are always MMA fans, but there is crossover. It's one of the best lead-ins we can give Bellator. I like 10 o'clock because research says that's when guys get control of the remote. For all those reasons, it felt like the right place."

    Read More »from Bellator, Spike hoping Thursday nights are alright for fighting
  • Check out photos from ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ 16 finale

    Check out Tracy Lee's pictures from the finale of UFC's 16th edition of "The Ultimate Fighter." Catch Pat Barry's knockout, Rustam Khabilov's suplex and more.

  • Watch a flying reverse triangle choke (VIDEO)

    Canadian fighter Wolfgang Janssen doesn't have a nickname. Perhaps he doesn't have because his name is Wolfgang Janssen, and a nickname is not necessary. Perhaps it's because he can do stuff like this, and now will be known as the guy who won by a flying reverse triangle.

    Janssen is an undefeated featherweight with all three wins by submission.

    Thanks, MMA Fighting.

  • Pat Barry headlines the weekend’s Three Stars

    (Getty)

    It was a full weekend of fights on FX. The UFC crowned three new winners in "The Ultimate Fighter" franchise, and in 21 bouts by the UFC, 14 ended in a submission or knockout. That makes choosing the stars a more difficult but still really fun proposition.

    No. 1 star -- Pat Barry: Barry is no longer the guy who can't defend anything on the ground. He dealt with Shane del Rosario's submission attempts in the first round to come back for a punishing knockout win. It earned him a $40,000 Knockout of the Night bonus.

    No. 2 star -- Rustam Khabilov: In his first UFC bout, Khabilov showed that a suplex can be more than just a thrilling way to take down an opponent. Khabilov used it again and again to set Vinc Pinchel up for a knockout.

    No. 3 star -- Hector Lombard: The former Bellator champ lost his UFC debut to Tim Boetsch in a way that made Lombard look like he wasn't the heavy-handed star we saw before his UFC days. But the way he stayed out of Rousimar Palhares' leg locks and got the knockout reminded the MMA world that Lombard is pretty good at this MMA game.

    Do you agree? Who were your stars from the weekend? Speak up on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments.

    Read More »from Pat Barry headlines the weekend’s Three Stars
  • Pat Barry’s heartfelt plea to ‘hug your friends’ (VIDEO)

    On Friday, Pat Barry and all of the fighters on Saturday's "The Ultimate Fighter 16" finale had one task to accomplish. They had to make weight. Even for a small heavyweight like Barry, it's the only thing on a fighter's mind the day before a fight.

    Still, the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary could not be ignored. No matter a fighter's focus, he was still affected by a gunman taking out 27 people, including 20 children. Several of Saturday's fighters mentioned the shooting, and UFC commentator Joe Rogan somberly spoke of the tragedy before Saturday's broadcast. Barry's speech after knocking out Shane Del Rosario was particularly memorable. (Skip to the 2:00 mark.)

    "If you've got kids, hug 'em like it's the last day. Go hug your parents. Go hug your best friends. And if you have any beef with anybody, [even] from 10 years ago, tell 'em your sorry and love 'em because you never know what's going to happen."

    Read More »from Pat Barry’s heartfelt plea to ‘hug your friends’ (VIDEO)
  • Watch Ben Askren get hit in the face with a cream pie

    Bellator champ Ben Askren was sitting down with the nice people at Sherdog for an interview when BAM. He was hit in the face with a whipped cream pie. Who could have done something so mischievous?

    Yep, that was UFC fighter Alan Belcher. In addition to covering Askren in whipped cream, Belcher is getting ready for Yushin Okami at UFC 155. Askren's next bout is against Karl Amoussou in late January.

    Read More »from Watch Ben Askren get hit in the face with a cream pie
  • Plenty of MMA on cable television this weekend

    (Getty)If you don't feel like leaving your home this weekend, MMA is giving you a plenty of reasons to give in to that urge. Both Friday and Saturday nights will be filled with MMA on cable television. Tune in, order some food, and relax while you watch people pummel each other.

    Here's the line-up:

    Friday night:

    -- UFC on FX 6: Airing both on Fuel and FX, these fights from Australia also serve as the finale of the British-Australian version of "The Ultimate Fighter." Coaches Ross Pearson and George Sotiropoulos will face off in the main event.

    -- Bellator 84: On their last card of this season, Bellator will feature their heavyweight and lightweight finals in live bouts from Hammond, Ind. Tune in to MTV 2 to see Richard Hale and Alexander Volkov in the heavyweight bout, Marcin Held and Dave Jansen in the lightweight bout, a feature fight between Felice Herrig and Patricia Vidonic.

    -- Legacy FC 16: On AXS TV (formerly HD Net), Will Campuzano will fight Jimmy Flick for their inaugural flyweight belt. Collegiate wrestling fans will want to see Darrion Caldwell fight Quaint Kempf.

    Saturday night:

    -- "The Ultimate Fighter" finale: Though Shane Carwin is injured, Matt Mitrione has stepped in to fight Roy Nelson in the main event. Mike Ricci and Colton Smith will fight in the show's finale, and the rest of the card is filled with UFC veterans.

    Check your listings for local times, and enjoy a few nights of nothing but fights.

    Read More »from Plenty of MMA on cable television this weekend
  • Former Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader now working towards MMA career

    Rachel Wray has thrown aside her pom-pons for four-ounce gloves. The former Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader is trying MMA.

    Wray was a cheerleader and dancer through high school and at Arkansas before heading to Kansas City to cheer for the Chiefs. She originally started working out at Title Boxing as a way to keep in shape for dancing, then started training at High-Davis MMA. There, she worked with WEC veteran L.C. Davis and Strikeforce fighter Jason High.

    Wray says she knows people are surprised that she would give up cheerleading for fighting, but she loves it.

    Everyone says "I would never expect you to be a fighter. Being a cheerleader fits you more," or "Why would you give up cheerleading to roll around with sweaty boys?" Well, I have never enjoyed working out so much in my life. I love fighting and am having so much fun with it.  I want to be an inspiration to other girls out there that want to fight but don't
    think they can.

    Wray won her amateur debut with a second-round TKO. As the UFC's women's bantamweight division shows, opportunities for female athletes are growing. MMA will continue to see more unexpected women get in the cage.

    Read More »from Former Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader now working towards MMA career
  • MMA Marketplace: The perfect gift for the old-school MMA fan

    Do you know an MMA fan who proudly reminds you at every opportunity that he's been watching since UFC 1? Who complains about the rules and time limits "ruining everything?" Who rewatches PRIDE fights every weekend? Well, if you drew this person in Secret Santa, Cagewriter has the perfect gift.

    Lenne Hardt, the woman who melodically and memorably announced fighters during introductions during PRIDE bouts, will record your voicemail message or ringtone. Here she is introducing Wanderlei Silva at PRIDE 33.

    That's pretty awesome, and it can be your name that she's saying. Voicemails and ring tones start at $50, and she'll also do wedding announcements. Check it all out here.

    Read More »from MMA Marketplace: The perfect gift for the old-school MMA fan
  • Mark Hominick announces retirement from MMA

    (Getty)After Mark Hominick lost to Pablo Garza at UFC 154, his UFC career appeared to be in jeopardy. It was his fourth straight loss, and it's hard to stay on the UFC's payroll after a skid like that. Hominick announced on "UFC Tonight" that his career was over, but it was his own choice. Hominick has decided to retire.

    "Over the last 11 years, I've followed my passion in the UFC. Now, I'll say UFC 154 was my last fight in the Octagon as I'm retiring and moving on to next phase of my career. I have a young daughter at home and another on the way. I'll always be involved in the sport. But I know the commitment I have to make. I have to make a commitment to this as I have to fighting in the past."

    In fighting for the UFC and WEC, Hominick had an impressive run as a featherweight. His most memorable moments came in a loss to champion Jose Aldo. Though Hominick had an orange-sized hematoma on his head, he hung in there and came close to coming back for a win in the final round.

    A few months

    Read More »from Mark Hominick announces retirement from MMA
  • Ratings wins in key demographics at UFC on Fox 5 thrills Dana White

    Nate Diaz (L) and Benson Henderson fight Saturday during UFC on Fox 5 (Getty Images)UFC president Dana White was in an extraordinary mood Tuesday thanks to the ratings his fight card on Fox delivered.

    The UFC on Fox 5 card from Key Arena in Seattle improved the performance of UFC on Fox 4 by 83 percent and won all key male demographics in its time slot. The show attracted an average of 4.4 million viewers, doing a 2.5 household rating and a 4 share overall.

    White pointed out that the UFC show trailed the Heisman Trophy ceremony and 48 Hours Mystery in its time slot in terms of total viewers, but UFC on Fox 5 finished as the No. 3 show for the week among males 18-49. In addition, it won the night among males 18-34, males 18-49, adults 18-34 and adults 18-49.

    That younger demographic is what the UFC targets and is coveted by advertisers.

    UFC president Dana White puts the lightweight belt on champion Benson Henderson (Getty Images)"We just killed it," an ebullient White told Yahoo! Sports. "We killed it in every demo."

    The ratings increased during every fight. Matt Brown's knockout of Mike Swick in the opener drew an average of 3.6 million viewers. That number

    Read More »from Ratings wins in key demographics at UFC on Fox 5 thrills Dana White
  • Zoila Gurgel has a good sense of humor about being choked out (VIDEO)

    Bellator champion Zoila Gurgel lost by technical submission in a non-title fight to Jessica Eye over the weekend. It was an impressive showing by Eye, who is 9-1.

    A standing arm triangle isn't a submission you see everyday. Gurgel even had a good sense of humor about it. She posted this picture on her Twitter account.

    (Twitter)Gurgel's caption? "Too soon? Nah. [expletive] happens."

    Read More »from Zoila Gurgel has a good sense of humor about being choked out (VIDEO)
  • Nick Newell wins XFC championship with one hand (VIDEO)

    Lost in the hubbub of UFC on Fox 5 was the historic win by Nick Newell. He won XFC's lightweight championship over the weekend despite having just one hand. He was born with an arm that goes just to the elbow because of congenital amputation. As commentator Pat Miletich points out, Newell used his disability to his advantage in locking in a rear-naked choke.

    The best part of the video is seeing the young fan who also has a congenital amputation go into cage to congratulate Newell. He is now 9-0, with only one win coming by decision.

    Read More »from Nick Newell wins XFC championship with one hand (VIDEO)
  • Benson Henderson and the case of the missing toothpick

    (www.twitter.com/vthind)

    Immediately after UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson was declared the winner of his UFC on Fox 5 bout with Nate Diaz, UFC commentator Joe Rogan asked about a toothpick. Henderson is known for having a toothpick hanging from his mouth outside the cage -- it's been in his mouth every time I've interviewed him -- but he wouldn't fight with a toothpick in his mouth, right? Henderson was elusive and wouldn't really answer Rogan's question.

    He wasn't any more forthcoming in the post-fight press conference.

    "I cannot confirm or deny that," Henderson said. "I normally do, yeah. I have it in through practices, and when I spar, when I fight. It's a bad habit, but whatever. I've gotten away with it so far."

    [Related: Benson Henderson leaves little doubt in win over Nate Diaz | Photos]

    At least he admits that it's a bad habit. It's not illegal, but it is a bad idea. Fighting with a small piece of wood in your mouth opens the door for all kinds of silly injuries. The broken arms and head contusions we're used to in MMA will look like scrapes and bruises if we see a toothpick lodge itself in Henderson or his opponent.

    But maybe it won't ever bother him. When Michael Jordan played basketball, he always had a piece of gum in his mouth. He would chomp, chomp, chomp when at the free-throw line, when bringing the ball up the court, or when trash-talking his opponent. I always was convinced he would choke when going for the ball, but it didn't happen. Hopefully, Henderson's toothpick will be just a nasty habit, and not a nasty injury we can never forget.

    Read More »from Benson Henderson and the case of the missing toothpick
  • Check out pictures from UFC on Fox 5

    Check out Tracy Lee's pictures from UFC on Fox 5, including Benson Henderson celebrating with his mother, Yves' Edwards' knockout punch, and B.J. Penn staring into the Octagon before a fight, perhaps for the final time.

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    Read More »from Check out pictures from UFC on Fox 5