On today’s show, Pat and the guys welcome in 2X State Champion, 2X NCAA Champion, member of the 2008 Olympic wrestling team, former ONE and Bellator Welterweight Champion, and one of the hottest names currently in the UFC coming off a victory at UFC 235, “Funky” Ben Askren, joins the show for an incredible conversation. They cover why the UFC/Dana White ducked him for so long and why Dana still hates him, what he wants to do with the rest of his career in the UFC, what it was like fighting in Asia for a large part of his career, some of his hobbies outside of the Octagon, his thoughts on Conor McGregor, and what some of the defining moments of his career have been (2:01-45:07). The guys also have some HUGE Tim Tebow news, chat about kids today and the issues with a participation trophy society, discuss winter weather sports, where Antonio Brown’s landing spot will be as the Steelers say he should be traded by Friday, what the deal with the anti-vaccine crowd is and where it all started, what the deal with Jim Carrey is right now, and Pat chats about his upcoming plans for Orlando including going to the Avatar theme park down there. It’s a good one. Come and laugh with us, cheers.
Bare knuckle boxing has finally set up legitimate roots in the US and I predict it’s just a matter of time before its popularity surpasses that of MMA.
Bare Knuckle boxing is currently sanctioned in Wyoming and Mississippi. Other states are reportedly hesitant right now, which is reminiscent of when MMA was first introduced to the US. The UFC had a definite fight on their hands and it took a long time for states to jump on board but they were the first to break ground on something like this. I anticipate the acceptance of Bare Knuckle Boxing to happen much quicker because of the path laid by the UFC.
MMA has already accelerated Bare Knuckle Boxing’s growth because of how quickly it has attracted former UFC fighters like Chris Lytle, Kendall Grove, Phil Baroni, Bec Rawlings, Johny Hendricks, Melvin Guillard and Chris Leben. All of these fighters have spoken well of their experience in the new sport, which is sure to help attract more fighters in the near future. The bigger the names, the bigger the PPV numbers and as we all know…money talks. That’s all these other states are waiting on.
I’m sure, just like when MMA first came on the scene, conservative legislators will speak on how barbaric it is and that there are medical concerns but it’s already a forgone conclusion that cuts, blood and broken hands pale in comparison to traumatic brain injury issues that the NFL is negotiating. Yes, fighters do get knocked out but that’s way different. Fighters that suffer a knockout are sidelined, via medical suspension, for a minimum of 60 days. MMA has already successfully defended this and the removal of 4 ounce gloves isn’t significant enough of an argument to put Bare Knuckle Boxing in a separate category.
So, why do I think Bare Knuckle Boxing will surpass MMA’s popularity? For the casual observer, Bare Knuckle Boxing is a sport that eliminates everything that is boring about boxing and MMA. Grappling aficionados, like myself, enjoy when fighters get to showcase their wrestling and jiu-jitsu skills and end a fight with a submission on the ground. But let’s face it, the masses want blood. They want to see to fighters go to war and bang it out on their feet. I’ve seen three Bare Knuckle Boxing events so far and this is exactly what you get.
Regular boxing matches are too long. Fighters typically conserve energy for the first half of the fight and the gloves offer enough padding to make knockdowns and knockouts, the exception more than the rule. With no gloves, the opposite is true. A Bare Knuckle Boxing match is 5 two-minute rounds as opposed to most pro boxing matches, which are typically 10-12 three-minute rounds. This means Bare Knuckle fighters have to get after it, which means Bare Knuckle viewers get an exciting damn show.
The quickest way for a sport to grow is to be more appealing to more people than your competitor. I am a boxing fan and even more of an MMA fan, but Bare Knuckle boxing is way more exciting to watch. The organizations are paying high enough purses to attract top tier MMA and boxing talent and putting them in a faster-paced, more intense arena and the payoff is going to be very huge. Good for them and good for us.
Of the all the amazing and crazy knockouts we’ve seen in the UFC over the years, this might top them all. This is a prime example of when situational awareness meets desperation. Yair Rodriguez slips a left hand from The Korean Zombie, Chan Sung Jung, and realizes that Jung’s momentum is carrying his unprotected face over his shoulder and toward his right hip. So Rodriguez throws a desperate right elbow upward, as if he was starting a chainsaw, and lands it on Jung’s chin.
The precision, timing and situational awareness required to pull this off is baffling. Especially, when you consider how fatigued he had to be after battling for nearly 5 rounds. The Korean Zombie was literally 1 second away from winning this fight. By that, I mean this elbow landed with 1 second left on the clock at the end of the 5th and final round. Fortunately for Rodriguez and us, desperation can cause some unbelievable shit to happen in the octagon.
My favorite knockout before this one also occurred during a moment of desperation and ironically enough, happened 12 years ago to the day, before this fight (November 11, 2006). In the TUF 4 finale, Scott Smith caught a liver punch from Pete Sell that sucked the life out of him. As he was going down, Sell rushed him and Smith mustered one last burst of energy and managed to throw a haymaker that caught Sell on the chin and knocked him out.
Moments like these remind us that these men and women are not only skilled mixed-martial artists, they’re also warriors. Something that the rest of us lost, through evolution, still lives inside them and thank God for that because it’s fun as shit to watch it unleashed.
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is fighting in the co-main event tomorrow for UFC Fight Night 139. If things go his way, he could walk out of the octagon with two more UFC records and I am fucking excited!
Cerrone is 20-8 in the UFC. At 20 victories he’s tied with Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre for most wins in UFC history. That’s some great company to be in. Cerrone’s 14 victories by stoppage, has him tied with Vitor Belfort and Anderson Silva for the most wins by stoppage in UFC history. Also great company to be in. So, a win by knockout, TKO or submission tomorrow night…secures both records.
To say this dude has had an impressive career is an understatement. He already holds the UFC record for most knockouts stemming from a head kick, with 6. No one else has more than 4. He also has 13 UFC fight night bonuses, which puts him in a tie for 3rd for that record.
After the retirement of Chris Lytle, Donald Cerrone became my guy. I love well-rounded fighters that put on exciting fights and these guys both fit the bill. Championships aren’t important to me, it’s how you perform in the octagon that wins me over. It’s the fighters that, even when they lose, earn fight of the night bonuses because of the battle they waged. Cerrone lost a unanimous decision to Benson Henderson in a WEC Lightweight Championship fight in 2009 and the fight earned Fight of The Year honors. This is the shit I’m talking about!
Fighters like Cerrone are special animals. They raise the bar. Every time they fight an elite opponent, they force that fighter to fight the best fight of their career because that is the only way you’re going to beat them. They bring it each and every time they glove up.
The fact that he’s a real-life cowboy, drinks Diesels at post-fight and never goes on Joe Rogan’s podcast without a dip in…doesn’t hurt either. Could he be more my guy?! Nope. I hope he puts Mike Perry to sleep with a head kick in the first round, earns knockout of the night honors and then goes on to break every single UFC record in the book.
Mike Perry is a well-rounded fighter with a significant advantage in both size and power and Cerrone has also lost 4 of his last 5 fights. I personally think he got fucked in the decision loss to Robbie Lawler but, nevertheless, Perry is the odds on favorite at -185. However, Perry is 4-3 in the UFC, and has a loss to Max Griffin earlier this year. I know he’s a physical specimen, but I think at this stage in his career, he’s vulnerable to a technician of Cerrone’s caliber. I’m also a big believer that great fighters fight great fights at great moments.
So, I’m taking Donald Cerrone at +185 because I think tomorrow is his destiny. There’s no way in hell he’s letting anything, or anyone, prevent him from breaking the most coveted of all UFC records, most wins. At 35-years-old, I fully expect Cowboy to have one of his best performances of his career and that will simply be more than Mike Perry can handle.
These guys are probably the two best wrestlers in the Heavyweight division. They both have a vicious ground and pound game. Cormier is a better striker but Brock has a significant size and strength advantage. Both know how to put on a show. What’s not to like?! The fact that it might never happen now…that’s what.
Brock Lesnar just signed a new deal with the WWE to remain on as the signature champ. He had planned to lose to Roman Reigns in August and then return to the UFC to fight Daniel Cormier in 2019 but Reigns was diagnosed with Leukemia so he has bigger things to focus on. So now Brock has this new deal with the WWE for multiple shows that run at least to Wrestlemania in April.
His deal does allow him to fight in the UFC but with the WWE schedule he has to maintain, some people inside the MMA community are doubting that he’ll do so before April. No big deal, he can just fight Cormier after April, right? Wrong. Cormier has already announced that he is only fighting one more time and then retiring on his 40th birthday in March. This could fuck up everything.
Yup. So, if this fight doesn’t happen, what does this mean for the UFC? Well, the good news for them is it’s not nearly as devastating to them as it is to me. This is my best guess at what would happen. Assuming that Jon Jones beats Alexander Gustafson in December, which he will, Cormier will fight Jones for the third time in hopes he can erase the sting of the previous two losses to Jones and become the first fighter in UFC history to retire while holding two belts. He’ll lose to Jones but it’s worth the risk. Then Cormier will sign a deal with the WWE. He said previously that if the Brock fight didn’t happen he’d give Stipe Miocic a rematch, but I think the thought of avenging his losses to Jones will overpower any sense of obligation he has in defending the heavyweight title against a guy he just knocked out.
Well, what about Brock? Jon Jones has already gone on record saying he wants to move up to Heavyweight to fight Brock. This would break PPV records for the UFC so I’m sure Dana White will be more than willing to let that happen. So, Brock will lose to Jones and then return to the WWE and Jones will go on to demolish everyone in the UFC until he chooses to retire or until he fucks up again and gets kicked out of the organization for life.
That’s my best guess at what happens if Brock and Cormier don’t fight. Maybe more of a personal wish than a guess but there’s a basis for credibility here. What’s not a guess is, regardless of how any of this shakes out, everyone involved is going to make a shit ton of money and they have one man to thank for it. The Beast Incarnate, Brock Lesnar.
MMA fans went crazy in 2004 when these two legendary UFC rivals first faced-off in the octagon. They went even crazier when they had their rematch in 2006…
Now, Golden Boy Promotions is promoting Liddell vs. Ortiz 3 as The Trilogy. Technically, yes…it’s the third fight so it’s The Trilogy but those other two fights were a long ass time ago. 12 years to be exact. 12 fighter years. That’s like 80 in human years. So, The Trilogy is misleading to me. In my mind, The Trilogy is synonymous with Grand Finale, which this is definitely not. They should call it The Third Fight That Doesn’t Mean Shit. It’s more accurate…but I get that it’s wordy.
So, why is Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions making this fight happen? Does anyone care? These guys fought twice while in their prime. Liddell knocked Ortiz out in their first matchup and won by TKO stoppage in the second. So, Liddell goes down in history as the better fighter. That’s how fighting has always worked. But now in an era where Viagra helps old men think they’re not old and the Internet helps the ridiculous make more money than the legitimate, the rules have changed.
UFC President Dana White, who also happens to be a close, personal friend of Chuck Liddell, begged him to retire from the UFC in 2010 after tarnishing his legacy and risking his future well-being by taking cringe-worthy beatings in 5 of his last 6 fights. He just wasn’t physically able to compete at the top level anymore and he was too far into his career to suppress his instinct to stand toe-to-toe and bang. That’s a recipe for disaster for a fighter well past his prime and White knew that over 10 years ago.
Now, De La Hoya and company are putting him back in the cage to battle a 43-year-old Tito Ortiz for the third time. A 43-year-old Ortiz who’s still competitive by the way. He beat Chael Sonnen in Bellator 170 in January of last year by rear-naked choke in the first round. Granted, Chael Sonnen isn’t what he once was either, but he’s definitely no walk in the park. Couple that with the fact Liddell hasn’t fought anyone in over a decade and it’s clear to see that the deck is stacked against The Iceman.
So, let’s go back to my initial two questions. Why is this fight happening? Does anyone care? Unfortunately, the answer to the second question also answers the first. Yes, people do care. Enough people to make Golden Boy Promotions a lot of money via PPV and to ensure both Liddell and Ortiz more money than they have ever received for a single fight in their career. That being said, I feel too many people care for the wrong reasons. No one that purchases this fight wants to see Ortiz win. That sucks for him but that’s the fuel that powers this crazy train to Disaster Town. A large majority of old school fans will order this fight because they want nothing more than to relive one more night of Chuck Liddell greatness and there’s no one else they’d rather see take the brunt of that, than The Huntington Beach Bad Boy. THAT’S THE FANTASY! But what’s the reality?
Liddell dies? Not likely, but… Liddell suffers permanent brain damage? Possibly. Liddell loses in embarrassing fashion? Probably. But none of this matters. “The Iceman Cometh” is the bumper sticker of far too many old Chuck Liddell fans; and their belief in his successful return to the sport, despite its lunacy, is unwavering.
Earlier, I blamed Viagra and the Internet for this fight happening and I do believe each plays a role, but mostly I blame Sylvester Stallone. We all loved watching a 60-year-old Rocky Balboa step back in the ring to achieve greatness one last time. Unfortunately, for Chuck Liddell and everyone that loves him, this is real life. And unlike Stallone’s movies, real life doesn’t always have a happy ending.
Sylvester Stallone, if you read this before it’s too late, Chuck needs money. Please cast him in The Expendables 4 so he can cancel this stupid fucking fight and ride out retirement as the badass we remember.
UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar just had, what could be considered, his worst day ever. He got blackout drunk and his brain did what blackout brains do. It kicked right into autopilot and set a course for home. I’m not proud of it but I’ve been there myself. Your brain means well but the problem with kicking into autopilot is…there’s no captain. Autopilot is a computer. It doesn’t know what to do when a flock of geese gets sucked into the engine. You need Sully for that shit.
I’m not defending Stephan Bonnar. He got blacked out drunk, got behind the wheel of a car, drove like a maniac until finally pulling over to pass out and resisted arrest when police tried to wake him. Thank God, for everyone involved, no one was injured or killed. I do, however, feel bad for him. He will deservedly be punished and I’m certain his personal and professional life will suffer. There’s no doubt in my mind if he were still in control of his actions, none of this would’ve happened. So, I feel bad for what he’s going through right now and will continue to go through as he deals with the consequences of his actions.
I’m guessing that was Stephan Bonnar’s worst day. I’m guessing his best day was the historic night he fought that epic battle against Forrest Griffin in the finale of The Ultimate Fighter: Season 1. That fight did more for the UFC than any other fight in the organization’s history. Despite losing a close decision to Griffin, Bonnar was also rewarded a UFC contract and went on to have a career worthy of entrance into the UFC Hall of Fame.
Bonnar has never been one to count out in a fight. If he got knocked down, he got back up and kept swinging. So, let’s not count him out now. He got knocked down but let’s assume he’ll get back up. When I got my DUI I wasn’t famous like Bonnar, but I was a cop. I was a role model for some and I was certainly expected to obey the law and behave in a responsible manner deserving of my position. I was working undercover at the time and going through a divorce. Pretending to be a scumbag everyday while trying to deal with a miserable situation at home had me in a bad spot and that night it all came to a head and I had my worst day.
Fortunately, no one was hurt and I was able to get back up and start swinging again. It took a while to earn back the respect I had lost but I didn’t give up and worked at it every day until that day eventually faded from a defining moment to just a footnote. I don’t know what led Bonnar to this moment but as a fan, and as someone who’s gone through what he’s going through now, I wish him the very best and hope he handles himself appropriately from here. If I could give him any advice it would be this. It’s not your worst day that defines you. It’s what you do after your worst day, that defines you. So, get up brother. Keep swinging.
I’m not sure any athlete in the world has ever sat in a better position than Floyd Mayweather sits right now. He’s 41, which is usually well past the retirement age of most athletes in his sport, yet he’s still boxing, he’s still undefeated and according to Forbes he’s currently the highest paid athlete in the world. Mayweather grossed $275 million for his fight against UFC Champion Conor McGregor and has made $10 million in endorsements this year.
Mayweather dominated this fight, stopping an exhausted McGregor in the 10th round, which brought his record to an astonishing 50-0. Ordinarily, I would say at 41 years old, a boxer who’s 50-0 should think about proudly riding off into the sunset. However, Floyd Mayweather has found the boxing equivalent of the fountain of youth. I mentioned earlier that his last fight was the highest grossing fight of his career and it wasn’t even against a boxer! McGregor was the best standup fighter the UFC had to offer and Mayweather barely broke a sweat. He was about as threatening as a gym pro thrown in the ring to help Mayweather work on his conditioning. Say what you will about Floyd Mayweather, but he is a GENIUS!
The UFC has finally reached a level where an amazing mixed martial artist with a magnetic personality and poetic style of trash talk, can blow up to be a social media monster. Conor McGregor, in my opinion, is the first mixed martial artist to become bigger than the sport and that’s a great thing for the UFC. There is an argument that Brock Lesnar came first and he was bigger than the UFC. This is true but that’s the because Brock came from the WWE which is bigger than everything. Conor came in a nobody.
So, what’s good for the UFC is good for the fighters, right? The bigger the sport gets, the more fighters make, right? Well, not necessarily. The UFC model has always been one that only rewards fighters at the very top of the sport. But even the top fighters aren’t getting crazy rich. McGregor was paid $3 million for fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov for the Lightweight Championship and Khabib was paid $2 million. If you think someone of McGregor’s fame deserves more than $3 million a fight, you’re not alone.
I agree with you, but more importantly, Conor McGregor agrees with you which brings us back to Floyd Mayweather being a genius. Mayweather and his people made a deal with McGregor which guaranteed him $30 million (and rumored to have grossed $100 million) to box Mayweather. We all know how that ended. Mayweather embarrassed McGregor and finished him early with very little effort. This is not a slam on McGregor. On the street, McGregor kills Mayweather. In a MMA fight, McGregor kills Mayweather. But MMA is not boxing and Mayweather is one of the greatest boxers to ever live. He’s been boxing since he could walk. To become a boxer of Floyd Mayweather’s caliber takes a lifetime. I don’t care how well or hard you train, no MMA fighter on the planet is going to get there in 8 months.
But the good thing for everyone involved is, this doesn’t matter. Most MMA fans hate boxers and most boxing fans hate MMA fighters; so when the two fan bases came together to watch what would happen if the best UFC fighter fought the best boxer, it produced monster Pay-per-view numbers.
As we waited patiently to see if there would be a rematch, McGregor returned to the UFC and loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov, handedly, which put a bit of a damper on Mayweather vs. McGregor 2. So, what did Mayweather do? He publicly offered up a fight against Khabib. Keep in mind that Khabib is a grappler and beat Conor in the same way he beats everyone, by grappling. Khabib is no where near the standup fighter that McGregor is. Even with this being the case, Mayweather claims his fight with Khabib will gross even more than his fight with McGregor. And at this point, who would doubt him?
Floyd Mayweather has indeed found the fountain of youth. At what should be the tail end of his boxing career, he finds a way to extend his career another 10 years and make more money than ever. Boxing guys that aren’t boxers! Did I mention yet that he’s a genius?