The MMA Ten keeps you updated on the latest news from the world of the UFC and beyond. This week: The MMA version of “Poke-man,” CM Punk gets paid in full, Chael Returns and more!
Poke-man, MMA Style
Travis Browne had a rough night at UFC 203. He hurt his hand (more on that later), lost to Fabricio Werdum, and put on a rather shoddy performance. His title hopes are all but gone. Unfortunately for both Werdum and him, this gnarly eye poke was his best strike of the night.
I’m thinking that Paul Thomas Anderson could make a There Will Be Blood II and they can use Browne’s fingers instead of a drill bit. That is deep.
Crack ‘Em Travis Browne Style
One of the odder moments of UFC 203 occurred when Fabricio Werdum threw a punch that was blocked by Travis Browne’s hand. The result was Browne getting injured, turning away from Werdum and signaling to the ref that he needed time.
But there are no timeouts in MMA, except for ones called by the refs. Fighters will quickly petition for one if they are poked in the eye or kicked in the crotch, but short of that, if you stop fighting the ref has no choice but to stop the fight because the fighter is not intelligently defending him or herself. You get injured and can’t continue, fight’s over. Period.
The ref made a horrible decision to grant Browne time there, although it didn’t matter in the end with Werdum getting the win. But check out what happened to Travis Browne’s hand with these pictures Browne’s manager sent to Fox Sports.
Browne will have surgery to fix the digit. You will have lunch later than planned.
CM Punk Gets Paid in Full
CM Punk finally made his UFC debut against Mickey Gall and it went down just about how everyone thought it would. Punk raced across the cage only to get double-legged and put on the canvas where Gall had his way, battering Punk with hard shots before getting him to tap out to a rear-naked choke.
The good news for Punk is he got paid $500k for his effort. People can make fun of him all they want, but as someone who has trained martial arts, I can say that what Punk did was nothing short of amazing. The journey is far more difficult than the fight itself, something echoed by many fighters.
Punk, seemingly a multi-millionaire, subjected himself to the daily grind of training, learning, sparring, and strength and conditioning for almost two years. The physical and mental exhaustion, the aches and pains, the self-doubt, the pressure — all of it rode squarely on his shoulders. Making it more remarkable, Punk had never really done any of this before. I’m certain he will forever believe it to be one of the best accomplishments of his life, even with the loss.
All that said, we still have to have a little fun with Punk. The Crying Jordan meme never gets old to me, so let’s take a look the CM Punk Crying Jordan Meme!
Miocic Retains Title; Jon Jones Next?
Stipe Miocic successfully defended his UFC heavyweight title against Alistair Overeem at UFC 203, and one of MMA’s greats took notice: Jon Jones.
I'm starting to realize the hype is real with that guy. He's legit, I would be the challenge of a lifetime https://t.co/ybke2pAtAC
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) September 12, 2016
A superfight with Miocic would be entertaining, and I would love to see that happen. But Mr. Jones has some other fish to fry first: getting his UFC light heavyweight title back. Then again, Jones has always made waves about eventually moving up to heavyweight. He took his strength and conditioning to a new level during his time off and has the height and reach to fight heavies.
Stipe Miocic is down with it, telling TMZ: “He’s a great guy, we’ve talked before, very nice guy to me. Like I said, I’ll fight whoever they want me to fight. If they want me to fight Jon, I’ll fight Jon or whoever they want me to fight next — Cain, JDS, Werdum — I don’t care.”
It’s a Trap!
Several UFC fighters and coaches got stuck in elevators in Cleveland before the UFC 203 weigh-ins. I’d rather go one-on-one with Brock Lesnar then be stuck in an elevator with 10 other people. The fart stench alone could be deadly. The guys had some fun with it though, as documented by Team Alpha Male coach and former UFC fighter Justin Buchholz:
We loaded up the elevator after weigh ins and it dropped with the door open!!! Thank you God we only fell one floor and we were only trapped for like 10 min in the basement cause we were running out of air. 🙏🙏🙏 @urijahfaber @sneakytommy @fabiopradobjj @yancymedeiros @sugarraysefo @fabriciowerdum @kings_mma @eric_xcmma @babalusirongym @cbdolloway
Unfortunately for C.B. Dollaway, his elevator event was much worse. When the car that Dollaway was in dropped, he suffered an injury to his back and could not compete on Saturday night. Imagine the countless hours of training to fight on a huge UFC show only to get sidelined by a malfunctioning elevator. Life is cray.
Olympic Gold Medalist Wants UFC Fight
American Kyle Snyder won the gold medal for wrestling at the Rio games, the youngest American to ever capture gold in wrestling. He made his next step crystal clear with one tweet:
I want to fight @ufc
— Kyle Snyder (@Snyder_man45) September 11, 2016
Fox Sports caught up with Snyder, and he told them why he wants to fight MMA.
“I want to fight. Basically what that tweet means. I love wrestling, I really do. I would want to continue wrestling but I want to do both at the same time.
“They put on a great show, it’s really exciting. I think it’s something that I could excel in. I haven’t done much boxing or jiu-jitsu or striking or stuff like that but I think that I could pick it up pretty quickly. The crowd and the way they made the whole thing a big show was just exciting for me. It’s something that I want to do.”
Snyder has something really cool in mind: to become the first active UFC fighter to win a gold medal at the 2020 games in Tokyo.
Chael Sonnen Signs With Bellator MMA
You didn’t think Chael Sonnen was finished, did you? The West Linn Gangster is back, signing with Bellator MMA. Sonnen signed a multi-year deal with the promotion and will begin in the light heavyweight division. “I’m consistently blown away by the product and presentation that Bellator is bringing to the fans,” said Sonnen.
“I’m not nearly done competing and I’m coming after everyone, everywhere. I’m not sticking to one weight class either, I fight at ‘Gangster Weight’ and nobody is safe,” Sonnen said in a Bellator press release.
Bellator president Scott Coker already has some ideas brewing. “He already has unfinished business with Wanderlei Silva, but he also wants to fight guys like Tito Ortiz, Fedor Emelianenko and even Rory MacDonald at middleweight. These are all fights that I’d be very inclined to watch, so hopefully we can put some, if not all of these matchups together starting before the end of the year.”
MMA This Weekend
Bellator 161 goes down Friday night live on Spike at 9/8c. Former UFC heavyweight contender Cheick Kongo goes to war against hard-hitting Tony Johnson in the main event. Former Bellator champ Joe Warren takes on Sirwan “Zohan” Kakai in the co-main event, and undefeated Anastasia Yankova will try to make it to 4-0.
Saturday night UFC Fight Night 94 takes place in Texas with Dustin Poirier and Michael Johnson doing battle in the main event, an important fight for the UFC lightweight division, and one of my 10 Can’t Miss UFC Fights in September.
Another fight from that list is the co-main event, with Derek Brunson against the ultra-dynamic striker Uriah Hall. Plus, former WSOF champ Rick Glenn makes his UFC debut against tough veteran Evan Dunham.
Julianna Pena Says Amanda Nunes is Scared
Business is business, but that doesn’t make you immune to call outs. UFC bantamweight contender Julianna Pena is itching for a title shot against new champ Amanda Nunes and she took to the social media to stir the pot.
#TBT Amanda is ducking me!! She’s waiting to fight Honda. #FIGHTME! I don’t blame her because she knows Honda is the easiest fight in the division now. She’s broken. She’s the easiest pay day for Amanda. Amanda is sitting on the sideline as the “champ” when all the girls before her didn’t! Holly and Miesha are true fighters. They didn’t wait. They didn’t hide their belts and wait for a pay day. They fought. They acted like the champion should. They looked at the next toughest girl in line and said ‘let’s find out who’s best’ like a #champion should. That’s how Amanda got her shot! Had they waited for Honda, there’s no Holly v. Miesha and that amazing dramatic finish that will be remembered for years! There’s no Miesha v. Amanda HEADLINING historic UFC 200! None of that happens if these women stopped and hid their belts and waited for Honda!! Now we have a chance to fight at the first @ufc event EVER at #MSG and you want to sit and wait?! Be a true #champ and get in the cage and prove you’re the champ! If Amanda thinks she can beat me, then what is she waiting for? The fact is she is ducking me. She’s #scared and she should be! I’m the only #undefeated #girl on the #bantamweight roster that has not lost in the #ufc #octagon! 7-0. I’m fighting Amanda next ! Get your popcorn ready and if you don’t believe me ? bet against me and lose the farm then! #quitplayin #quitduckin #dontbescaredhomey #JuliannaPeña #HeartGritDisciplineDetermination #YouCantStopMe #RealTalk @Amanda_leoa #WeAintNewToThisWeTrueToThis #LatinaHeat
A photo posted by Julianna Nicole Peña (@venezuelanvixen) on
Knocked Out Fighters Make For Poor Interviews
Joe Rogan made a solid point after UFC 203 saying that interviewing fighters right after they’ve been knocked out isn’t a really smart venture. Imagine a wide receiver that gets blasted by a DB or linebacker going across the middle of the field. Then imagine someone sticking a microphone in his face immediately as he gets to his feet.
It’s not all that fair and you’re really not getting quality information. UFC commentator Brian Stann elaborated on this and tells the story of what happened to him after getting knocked out by Wanderlei Silva.