BOSTON - AUGUST 28: Nate Diaz (R) connects with a right hook to the face of Marcus Davis during their UFC welterweight bout at the TD Garden on August 28 2010 in Boston Massachusetts. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

UFC 141: Alistair Overeem Defeats Brock Lesnar By TKO In 2:26 Of First Round

UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem has all the making of a great card, with the added bonus of featuring prominent Bay Area fighters like Nate Diaz and Jon Fitch. For more on the event and MMA in general, check out Bloody Elbow.

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UFC 141 Results: With Brock Lesnar Retiring, How Do We Look Back On His MMA Career?

At UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem, former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar, announced his retirement from the sport of MMA. Nothing about this move was surprising, as many figured he wasn't going to have another fight before his tilt with Alistair Overeem was announced. Leave it to a patented Uberknee and the slightly inferior-sounding Uberliverkick to force a man into retirement. Doesn't quite roll off the tongue, does it?

Still, it's curious to see the varied responses in regards to Lesnar. Most consider him a joke, a sideshow who was brought in for eyeballs and for the most part, that is how he got started. Lesnar got a title shot very early on and wouldn't you know it, he started to do well. It's interesting to see how fans are treating his retirement. Many of the people who were his fans are thanking him for the things he did, a lot of his previous detractors are actually grateful for the eyeballs he brought to the sport, and there are quite a few who legitimately believe he is one of the better heavyweights of this generation.

Could that be true? Let's take a look at the numbers.

Lesnar finished his MMA career with just a 5-3 record, winning four of those fights in the UFC, and losing three. In his first ever UFC fight, Lesnar fought perennial contender and former interim UFC Heavyweight Champion, Frank Mir. He lost that fight by submission, but looked good before it was applied. Following that, Lesnar beat down Heath Herring, before challenging Randy Couture for the UFC title. Lesnar won via TKO in the second round, and then went on to avenge his loss to Mir by brutalizing him in the second round. Following that, he came from behind to submit Shane Carwin to defend his title a second time.

After that, he lost to Cain Velasquez, which was followed by his lost to Overeem on Friday. Keep in mind, only two other fighters have ever defended the UFC Heavyweight title on two consecutive occasions: Couture, and Tim Sylvia. Lesnar is also the only fighter to defend the title against two former champions. Six of Lesnar's seven fights in the UFC were against former champions of major organizations - five from the UFC, and Overeem, who has held titles in Strikeforce, Dream and outside of MMA in K-1.

All of those things considered, it's a lot easier to remember Lesnar a little bit more positively. Was he over-hyped? Certainly so (and personally, this writer is not a fan of his), but the things he did were far beyond what could have legitimately been expected of him from a level-headed standpoint. Now, it's certainly true that Lesnar received the title shot against Couture because of his name and his history with the WWE, but shouldn't we be grateful for that?

Lesnar brought eyeballs to the sport, and the potential circus-fight element of it all was somewhat invalidated by the fact that he actually, you know, won fights with the premier MMA organization in the world. He brought a lot of eyeballs to the sport. UFC 100 was a turning point for the UFC and the sport of MMA, and without Lesnar, who knows where they'd be right now? Certainly not broke and destitute, but what about the new deal with Fox? What if that doesn't materialize?

Think what you want about the legitimacy of Lesnar and his merits as a fighter, but everyone should be happy that he was in the UFC, all things considered. Plus, we wouldn't have got to see Velasquez maul him and Overeem get a nice boost from beating him the way we all knew he would.


UFC 141 Results: Nate Diaz Can Walk The Walk To Backup His ... Well, You Get It

Allow me to get a bit away from the analyst in me to speak as somewhat of a fan. Despite the fact that I write for SB Nation Bay Area and that both Nick Diaz and Nate Diaz represent this region to a degree, I've always been very against the both of them. There's something about the both of them that really got on my nerves, and I took great joy in seeing them lose. Unfortunately, they rarely lost.

That being said, Nate has turned me into a pretty big fan of late. He's shown a ton of improvement, and a lot of the things he used to do, he doesn't anymore. I was always put off by the things Nick says, his interviews, his attitude and the way he carries himself around his opponents. I've never been outspoken against his antics because, really, there's nothing more annoying than an outraged fan who thinks other people care about the fact that he doesn't like somebody's personality (looking at you, Jon Jones haters).

But I do think it's worth noting that I like the direction Nate is going. You can debate his future in the lightweight division for hours upon hours, but I really like the fact that he's no longer giving idiotic interviews like Nick, and that when he talks big game before a fight, he usually backs it up and doesn't keep it personal after the fight. Nick occasionally will carry himself well after a fight, but usually, he's disrespectful and punkish. That's OK - you won't find any of the silly "bad for MMA" talk from me - I'm simply not a fan.

I really liked the way Diaz carried himself after the fight with Donald Cerrone at UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem. More than that, I liked the fact that he even mentioned before the fight that it wasn't personal, that he just wanted Cerrone to be as uncomfortable as possible before a fight. That's the way you should do it.

At least in my opinion.


UFC 141 Results: Alistair Overeem May Not Have Been Facing A Dedicated Brock Lesnar, But No 'Fix' Here

Leading up to UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem, many folks figured they had the main event figured out pretty well. Brock Lesnar is a poor striker who would have to wrestle to pick up the win, while it was very likely that Alistair Overeem would use his vaunted status as a K-1 Champion to batter Lesnar into a TKO before any wrestling can actually be done. Well, a could of knees to the body, punches to the head and a sweet liver kick, the prevailing theory of Overeem picking up a quick TKO victory came true.

So why are so many people acting as though there is some kind of funny business going on?

To explain, there are folks commenting all over about how Lesnar didn't look like he was really there to fight, and have insinuating that the UFC fixed the fight in favor of Overeem, paying Brock to lose before he retires, whether it means he's gone from the public eye, or gone for different things, such as the WWE. Not only are those insinuations far-fetched in their inception, they're also ridiculously idiotic in their application. How about we take a good look at some of the truths, yes?

For one, how about we all agree that Dana White and the UFC wanted Alistair Overeem to win on Friday? Is that a fair assessment? It probably is, considering that, even if Lesnar won, most assumed he wasn't long for the sport. Add to that the fact that the guy embarrassingly turtled up in his last fight and actually ran from Cain Velasquez, and you get a fighter that is unappealing and disappointing to counter-act the potential new audience he'd attract. So yes, sure, White wanted Overeem to win.

But how do you go from that to immediately assuming a fixed fight?

Was the fight easier for Overeem because Lesnar wasn't trying 100% to win? That's certainly a possibility, but why does that have to come back to White and the UFC? The whole crux of Lesnar's retirement is based on the fact that he wants to move on, doesn't like the public, and certainly doesn't like to get hit in the face really damn hard. In other words, sure Overeem may have beaten a fighter that wasn't really putting all of his effort into trying to win, but that's almost certainly due to Lesnar and Lesnar alone.

Lesnar was distracted, distant and seemed to lack any kind of concentration or dedication to beating Overeem. That comes from Lesnar's own mind though, and does not at all enforce any kind of conspiracy theory regarding "the fix." Before the fight, people imagined that Overeem was going to maul Lesnar, who would crumple, and that's exactly what happened. Call it open and shut.


UFC 141 Results: Did Jon Fitch Lose His Last Chance To Get A Title Shot With Loss To Johny Hendricks?

For the Bay Area-based Jon Fitch, Friday night's loss at UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem was much more than that, it was a probable evaporation of Fitch's chances at another shot at the UFC Welterweight Championship. Fitch had more to fight for than ever on Friday when he entered the octagon against Johny Hendricks, and he certainly looked like it - before the bell sounded to begin the fight. He looked extremely confident coming down to the octagon, and he bounced with a renewed enthusiasm the likes of which we've never seen from him.

The confidence was likely due to the recent injury to Welterweight Champion, Georges St. Pierre, who took a bad ACL injury and will miss somewhere around a year, but potentially longer. That meant that the title was up for grabs - in interim fashion - at UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit when another Bay Area fighter, Nick Diaz, squares off with Carlos Condit. Fitch has only lost to GSP in the UFC, and he lost big time. Even if he had put together another five, six, seven wins - it would have been unlikely that he got another shot at gold, so long as GSP was the champion.

But with St-Pierre's injury, it really did open the door for Fitch.

Unfortunately for him, Johny Hendricks was looking to bolster his chances as well, and had a door of his own open. He'll be fighting nothing but top contenders from here on out, and he'll be paying just as much attention as the other contenders to the UFC 143 matchup between Diaz and Condit. Hendricks came out with one simple plan: hit Fitch really hard and see what happens, in his own words following the event.

Well, he hit him - and hard. Fitch immediately went down and Hendricks followed up with another shot under the chin before the referee got in to stop it just 12 seconds into the fight. It was a great highlight reel knockout, and Hendricks is on his way up.

But for Fitch, this could certainly mean his chances of ever getting another shot at the title are gone. It's not some huge losing streak by any means, but this, following the draw against B.J. Penn, sets him back pretty far. It hurts his chances especially if GSP returns, but more than that, it represents a shift in the welterweight division. For so long, Fitch was the No. 2 welterweight in the world, with GSP at the top. Now Fitch just got knocked out, and two others are set to fight for the title.


UFC 141 Results: Nate Diaz Progressed Against Donald Cerrone, But Can He Compete With The Division's Best?

If there's any kind of negative to take from Nate Diaz' big, dominating victory of Donald Cerrone on Friday at UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem, it's Nate's potential future in the lightweight division. By beating Cerrone, Diaz shot himself up the ladders into relevance, while eliminating a potential title contender (for now) in Cerrone, but while the strong elements of his win may give him hope against the division's elite, the negatives are a strong reminder that he has a long way to go.

Though it's unclear just how many of the times Diaz fell down as part of his gameplan to try and lure Cerrone to the ground, he took an awful lot of leg kicks and definitely hit the ground because of them. As part of his volume punching strategy, he also tired himself out later in the fight. He was able to maintain said punching throughout, but his balance was certainly off. An entirely gassed and battered Cerrone was able to land kicks from start to finish.

Part of that is Diaz' tendency to trust in his chin and forsake defense altogether, but another part of that was fatigue. Either way, could you imagine Diaz leaving his lower body so exposed against this iteration of, say, Gray Maynard? Diaz would sure be dumped on his back, much like Dong Hyun Kim did to him. And what of his inability to put Cerrone away? What happens if he takes on Frankie Edgar? We've seen it a couple times now - Edgar coming back from a volume beating.

That all being said, Diaz has improved leaps and bounds in each of his last two fights. His striking looked amazing against Takanori Gomi, and against Cerrone at UFC 141, he put on the best performance of his career ... again. Maybe he will be ready for the division's best after another fight against a high level opponent.


UFC 141 Results: Nate Diaz, Donald Cerrone Earn Fight Of The Night; Johny Hendricks Gets Knockout Award

UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem is in the books and it was a great way to finish 2011, or better yet, it was a great way to head into 2012 and an exciting new deal with Fox. Alistair Overeem came into the UFC and brutalized Brock Lesnar en route to a first-round TKO and a shot at Junior dos Santos and the UFC Heavyweight Championship. We had a thrilling co-main event in which Nate Diaz peppered Donald Cerrone for three-straight rounds, and we had a huge, huge upset as Johny Hendricks scored a 12-second knockout of the Bay Area-based Jon Fitch.

On top of all of that, Lesnar retired from MMA for good, which is certainly huge news. There's bound to be plenty more coming out of this, but you can expect a huge step-up in competition for Hendricks and Diaz - not to mention Overeem, who will have his hands full with dos Santos.

The UFC announced the bonuses for the night of fights, and of particular note is the fact that there is no submission of the night because, of course, the card featured no submission finishes.

Fight of The Night Bonus: Nate Diaz, Donald Cerrone

Knockout of The Night Bonus: Johny Hendricks

Both of those are $75,000 bonuses - both of the fighters involved in the fight of the night get the same $75,000 bonus. Hendricks beat out Overeem's TKO of Lesnar and Alexander Gustafsson's thrilling knockout of the veteran, Vladimir Matyushenko.


UFC 141 Results: Brock Lesnar Announces Retirement Following Loss To Alistair Overeem

Brock Lesnar's big MMA comeback on Friday night did not go quite as well as he might have hoped, but at least he was able to walk away from the evening with his head held high.

Brock Lesnar hadn't fought in the UFC since losing the Heavyweight Championship to Cain Velasquez in October of 2010. Since then, Lesnar has had a string of health issues that have kept him out of action, including a debilitating bout of diverticulitis that led to a surgery in May. That surgery involved removing and repairing a sizable portion of Lesnar's colon, but he appeared to be on track for a comeback.

He did indeed return on Friday night at UFC 141 in Las Vegas, where he took on the debuting Alistair Overeem. The fight was to determine the number one contender for the title, currently held by Junior Dos Santos. Overeem won the bout by TKO due to body kicks and punches in 2:26 of the first round.

After the match, an unusually humbled Lesnar announced to the crowd that it would be the last time they would see him in action in the Octagon. He promised to Dana White and everyone else that he was officially announcing his retirement from mixed martial arts. He stated that he had promised his wife and children that if he had won, he would fight the title match and then retire, but if he lost, he would retire immediately. He kept his promise and referenced his recent surgery and health problems as fueling his decision.

Lesnar could have a long career still ahead of him as an MMA coach, commentator, or personality. It is also impossible to rule out a potential return to professional wrestling, which carries fewer unexpected possibilities of permanent damage than does something like a series of brutal kicks to a surgically-repaired stomach. It has been rumored that the WWE has been trying to lure back Lesnar for a few years now.

For complete UFC 141 coverage and results, please stay tuned to this StoryStream.


UFC 141 Results: Alistair Overeem Earns Title Shot Against Junior Dos Santos With Quick TKO Of Brock Lesnar

The highly-anticipated main event of UFC 141 on Friday night lived up to the hype, although it was perhaps shorter than anticipated.

The heavyweight fight between Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem was to determine the number one contender for the UFC Heavyweight Championship, currently held by Junior Dos Santos. The fight was Overeem's debut in the UFC and Lesnar's first since losing the title to Cain Velasquez in October 2010.

The opening minutes of the main event saw the two men testing one another with short and light jabs. Lesnar opened a small cut over Overeem's right eye with one of the jabs, but Overeem quickly went to work on Lesnar, repeatedly clinching and delivering devastating knees to the body.

Overeem kept pressing the attack with knees and kicks to the body, before unleashing a huge right kick to the liver that left Brock clutching his body and slumping to the ground, leaning against the cage. Overeem kept on Brock with a flurry of punches before the fight was waved off at 2:26 of the first round, awarding Overeem the fight and becoming the number one contender by TKO.

For complete UFC 141 coverage and results, please stay tuned to this StoryStream.


UFC 141 Results: Nate Diaz Unloads Nonstop Punches On Donald Cerrone, Wins By Unanimous Decision

The UFC 141 co-main event was a lightweight fight pitting Stockton native Nate Diaz against "Cowboy" Donald Cerrone.

The bad blood between these two fighters leading up to the fight continued into the ring, as referee Herb Dean asked for the fighters to shake hands before the opening bell and Cerrone responded by giving Diaz the middle finger.

Diaz and Cerrone went toe-to-toe from the start, but Diaz clearly took the first round, continually peppering Cerrone with unending punches, including straight right after straight right that left Cerrone looking dazed and fighting with his mouth open.

Cerron fared a bit better in the second round, knocking down Diaz with a head kick that appeared to not do much damage after Cerrone walked away without capitalizing and Diaz got right back up. Cerrone's best offense in the second round was with his kicks, but Diaz appeared to easily take the second round as well. Cerrone was bleeding from the nose and mouth by the time the round ended.

The fight remained standing into the third round, as again Diaz kept landing combinations that Cerrone appeared unable to answer. Cerrone looked winded but managed a sweep and a couple of good knees to the body. Still, Cerrone was able to capitalize and looked unwilling to take the fight to the ground, although he was clearly losing the standing game by quite some measure. Cerrone tried a flying knee with about 0:45 left but it missed. The two fighters both tried flurries in the final ten seconds, but Cerrone was visibly exhausted. The horn sounded to end the fight and the two men finally shook hands and congratulated one another.

Diaz inevitably took the unanimous decision by scores of (30-27, 30-27, 29-28). The crowd seemed surprised for some reason, raining down boos on Diaz after the decision was read. Diaz apologized to Cerrone for "all the [stuff] that went down" as he was interviewed after the fight, stating, "That's just TV."

For complete UFC 141 coverage and results, please stay tuned to this StoryStream.


UFC 141 Results: Johny Hendricks Drops Jon Fitch With Immediate Round One Knockout

Since losing his welterweight title match against Georges St. Pierre way back in 2008, San Jose fighter Jon Fitch has slowly been inching his way back into title contention. Over the past three years, he's gone an impressive 5-0-1 and looked to be one of the next in line for another shot at the belt.

All of that came to an immediate, brutal end on Friday night at UFC 141.

In the second fight of the main PPV card, Fitch faced off against Johny Hendricks, who was 7-1 in UFC fights entering the bout.

The two fighters came out and stood toe-to-toe for just ten seconds before Hendricks threw an enormous left hand that knocked Fitch flat on his back and for all intents and purposes, out cold. Hendricks pushed forward and threw another punch to the jaw before referee Steve Mazzagatti threw himself on Fitch to end the fight. Fitch seemed to come to almost immediately after Mazzagatti waved it off, but it was clear he had been knocked out from the first punch and the stoppage was necessary.

I would be shocked if this did not receive Knockout of the Night honors. It was a huge, shocking KO out of nowhere.

For complete UFC 141 coverage and results, please stay tuned to this StoryStream.


UFC 141 Results: Alexander Gustafsson Scores Flash Knockout Win Over Vladimir Matyushenko

The second match on the main card of UFC 141 pitted light heavyweight stalwart Vladimir Matyushenko against Alexander Gustafsson, who had won three UFC fights in a row entering Friday's event.

Matyushenko is 40 years old and faced off against a lithe Gustafsson, who is 16 years the junior of the 40-year-old Russian and a full five inches taller.

Matyushenko came out headhunting right away as the two fighters felt one another out and circled. Matyushenko attempted a huge combo, missing with both swings, the second of which was so powerful that it threw him off-balance. The two continued to circle for two minutes.

Suddenly, Matyushenko lunged in and Gustafsson threw out a straight left hand that clipped Vladimir on the jaw and dropped him immediately. The referee waved off the fight and the fourth straight UFC win went to Gustafsson.

On replays, the punch from Gustafsson seemed to be almost out of shock at the charging Matyushenko, who just ran right into it and put his own lights out.

For complete UFC 141 coverage and results, please stay tuned to this StoryStream.


UFC 141 Results: Jimy Hettes Dominates Nam Phan En Route To Win By Unanimous Decision

The UFC 141 main card is underway live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

In the opening bout of the PPV proper, California native Nam Phan took on Jimy Hettes in a featherweight matchup. The 145-pounders went right at it, with Hettes especially aggressive in the first round.

Hettes, who was an undefeated 9-0 coming into the fight, grabbed a guillotine less than two minutes into the opening round and got Phan to the ground. After releasing the guillotine, he rained down blows on Phan, who was rocked by at least one of the shots. Phan gave up his back and turtled, and was able to survive long enough to get back to his feet. Hettes took him down again with a throw, quickly establishing side control and trying for an arm bar throughout the final minute, all the while raining down blows to Phan that opened a cut over Phan's right eye. Phan was able to survive to the bell.

In the second round, Phan was quickly taken down again, but managed to get the upper hand for a short while, tossing in a few shots while trying to keep the fight upright. Hettes was back in control in short order, and dominated almost the entirety of an uneventful second round.

The third round opened with Hettes bulling Phan against the cage for the majority of the first two minutes before Phan found his feet and opened some distance. The two stood and traded a few shots, which is what Phan clearly wanted, landing a solid body shot. Hettes got wise and muscled Phan back to the cage before taking him down again. Hettes went for an arm triangle before deciding to just take his share of shots at Phan's unprotected face, including a huge flurry in the final 0:10.

The official result was a unanimous decision on scores of (30-25, 30-25, 30-26). Just a brutally one-sided fight as Hettes wins his second UFC fight to improve to an undefeated 10-0.

For complete UFC 141 coverage and results, please stay tuned to this StoryStream.


UFC 141 Results: Manny Gamburyan Loses By Decision, Plus Full Preliminary Card Results

The preliminary card for UFC 141 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas is in the books. As the PPV gets underway with the five main-card fights, headlined by Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem to determine the No. 1 contender for the UFC heavyweight title, currently held by Junior Dos Santos.

All five preliminary matches went the distance. One notable California fighter lost his bought while another fighter out of California lost his. Manny Gamburyan, who made it to the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 5, fights out of Hollywood. He lost his preliminary fight against Diego Nunes by unanimous decision and has now lost three fights in a row.

Danny Castillo, fighting out of Sacramento, took home the winner's purse in his fight against Anthony Njokuani. He is now 3-1 in the UFC.

Featherweight bout: Manny Gamburyan vs. Diego Nunes

Nunes defeated Gamburyan via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

Lightweight bout: Jacob Volkmann vs. Efrain Escudero

Volkmann defeated Escudero via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

Welterweight bout: Dong Hyun Kim vs. Sean Pierson

Kim defeated Pierson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Lightweight bout: Anthony Njokuani vs. Danny Castillo

Castillo defeated Njokuani via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).

Featherweight bout: Ross Pearson vs. Junior Assunção

Pearson defeated Assunção by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).

For complete UFC 141 coverage and results, please stay tuned to this StoryStream.


UFC 141 Lesnar Vs. Overeem: Jon Fitch Could Be A Whole New Fighter Against Johny Hendricks

And suddenly, Jon Fitch has a real, tangible reason to drive to win fights in the UFC. If that seemed like a bad novel in which "and suddenly" is used to describe the plot twist, that was the desired effect. Because if Jon Fitch's career has been anything in the UFC, it's a bad novel. Sure, there's the occasional high point of action, but for the most part, it's been an over-powered hero who dispatches foes in the most mundane ways possible.

That is to say, outside of when said hero was humiliated and humbled by the villain (in Fitch's book, anyway), Georges St-Pierre.

In other words, Fitch has dominated opponent after opponent, only to make it to GSP, where he would be thoroughly dominant. Since losing to GSP in his last outing, Fitch has done seemingly enough to make it back to a shot at the UFC Welterweight Title, but the organization has been hesitant to give him a third shot, mostly because of the fact that his style hasn't shown that he's improved enough to challenge GSP.

But now, GSP has a bad injury to his leg and the title is up for grabs in an interim fashion at UFC 143 when Nick Diaz takes on Carlos Condit. GSP could be out for a year or more with the injury, and at his age, some are wondering if he'll even be back in the octagon. His surgery has reportedly went well, but at this point, everything is up in the air, as is the usual case with an ACL injury.

Fitch could work his way back into title contention, though following a draw with B.J. Penn, he has a ways to go. Still, if Fitch puts together some wins, the UFC has no grounds to prevent him from getting a shot, though there are some other fighters ahead of him. Diego Sanchez and Jake Ellenberger are set to fight in February, so Fitch could be in line after that. It really all depends on when GSP returns.

But at this point, Fitch should be fighting with a renewed vigor. He's a heavy favorite over Johny Hendricks at UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem on Friday, but he shouldn't be complacent. A win over Hendricks would be good for Fitch, and set him up with some high-level fights, including a potential rematch with Penn, if he doesn't officially retire. In other words, Fitch should fight Hendricks like he hasn't fought in some time - as exciting as possible while still fighting his fight.

There are times when Fitch is exciting. When he's trying to bully a fighter into a takedown so he can work his exhausting (and boring) wrestling game, he's throwing some nice knees and other things of that nature. With Hendricks, he needs to watch out for the counters, as he's a great wrestler in his own right and probably won't be bullied.

Either way, Hendricks could be in for a whole new Fitch at UFC 141.


UFC 141 Lesnar Vs. Overeem: Nate Diaz Has Altercation With Donald Cerrone At Press Conference

Well, Nate Diaz said he wanted to be somewhat of a maniac when he takes on Donald Cerrone in the co-main event at UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem, and he took another step towards that goal on Wednesday. During the UFC 141 press conference, Diaz slapped the signature Stetson hat off of the head of Cerrone, who goes by the nickname "Cowboy." The two were having a faceoff and Cerrone was talking, presumably saying some very bad things about Diaz and probably his mother, too.

Diaz said that Cerrone was trying to "tip his hat into his face", and noted that he wasn't going to take that, true to the Diaz brother form. In a release, Diaz also said that Cerrone was talking himself up, trying to build up his own confidence and that he seemed really fake. Needless to say, Diaz is very confident going into Friday.

Cerrone said he doesn't get paid to fight at press conferences, and that he'll make Diaz pay once they get to the actual fight. Funnily enough, UFC President Dana White is the only person surprised that these guys couldn't get along, suggesting that they were "talking cool" at the press conference. It's probably safe to say that White should have expected nothing less from one of the Diaz brothers.


UFC 141 Lesnar Vs. Overeem: Nate Diaz Will Be A Maniac To Make Donald Cerrone Uncomfortable

Much like his brother Nick, Nate Diaz is kind of quirky. Funny thing about the word "quirky," it can mean a wide range of things, from somewhat funny to indisputably maniacal. When it comes to the Stockton, CA born-and-raised Diaz brothers, it's always been more of the latter than the former. One important thing to note though, is that when the crazy comes out, it's always been a bit more Nick than Nate.

Though Nate shares the same aversion to the media as Nick, he's always been more soft-spoken and entirely less offensive. Once the octagon doors shut, Nate turns into the trash-talking thug we've all come to love, but again, he's always been relatively tame in interviews. Or at the very least, more tame than Nick. Still though, you can never expect either Diaz to be your friend before (or during) a fight. That especially applies for Nate.

The Bay Area-based fighter had a prior standoff with his UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem opponent, Donald Cerrone, and slapped his hand away, refusing a handshake. But it's not necessarily personal, Diaz just wants his opponents to be as uncomfortable as possible heading into the fight. He had a few quotes to the media, via MMA Junkie:

"Let's just say for second you're fighting some maniac from the street that's killed 20 people and they're just like crazy as hell, but you get a fair fight with him, and he's just biting his arm off and talking crazy [expletive], then you're going to fight this nice guy that goes to church, and he just comes up and says, 'Hey, man, nice to meet you, It's going to be a good fight.' Who are you guys gonna feel more comfortable fighting? I'd rather not go in like the rest of these guys."

That's not necessarily a unique view point, but you can leave it to one of the Diaz brothers to put it so ... eloquently. Once the fight starts, Cerrone can expect a lot more jeering, a bit more lunacy and he'll have his hands full. Though Cerrone is favored, maybe Diaz and his mind games will help him out here? Probably not, considering Cerrone has been under some intense pressure before.

Just another reason to enjoy the Diaz brothers, either way.


UFC 141: Lesnar Vs. Overeem Features Simple Main Event, But Can Brock Execute His Gameplan?

The gameplan for both Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem at UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem is pretty straightforward. Lesnar, the Division-1 wrestling champion, is going to try and take Overeem, the K-1 kickboxing champion down to the ground to neutralize his stand-up. On the flip side, Overeem is going to try and shrug off the takedown, all the while trying to beat Lesnar's face into a fine mash. It's all very simple on paper.

But Lesnar's usual gameplan of bull-rushing his opponent to try and bully them into a takedown may not be the smartest move, at least against a guy like Overeem. Unlike Frank Mir and Cain Velasquez, Overeem sports similar size and strength Lesnar, and he's not one to wilt under pressure. More than that, Overeem is the kind of guy who will absolutely punish you if your takedowns don't come at the right time. He's the kind of guy who will steal your soul with a well-placed knee.

No, Lesnar will need to set up his takedown, or so-says "King" Mo Lawal, former Strikeforce heavyweight champion, via Yahoo!:

If I were Brock, I would establish a good jab, fake ... jab, fake ... fake, jab. Look to shoot off the fakes. You know in wrestling. if the person doesn't respond to your fakes then you shoot next time. If the person responds to your fakes then you throw punches ... It's going to be very important for Brock to set up his takedowns because without the setups, he's getting knocked out or hurt ... Overeem is the wrong person to shoot on out of the blue.

Really, that's great and all - and the general response when talking about wrestlers needing the takedown. Of course a fighter needs to set up his takedowns, lest they get stuffed or worse, kneed into oblivion. But it's worth noting here, specifically due to Overeem's insane strength and striking ability. Lesnar absolutely has to set up every single one of his takedowns to be successful in this fight.

The problem is that Overeem is, again, a trained striker. He'll likely know what's a fake, especially for someone with as rudimentary striking as Lesnar. I'm sure Brock has a series of tells that Overeem will be able to discern rather quickly, so unless Lesnar catches him with something early (a TKO for Lesnar standing is not out of the realm of possibility, solely because of just how big these monsters are, mind you), the more he tries to set up the takedown, the more obvious it might become.

Lesnar's gameplan is very clear. What's not clear is his striking ability needed to execute the gameplan. By all accounts, he's not a great striker and is very telegraphed. If we see a Lesnar who jabs technically and sets up some particularly inventive and surprising takedowns, it will be a totally new Lesnar in the octagon.


UFC 141: Lesnar Vs. Overeem Almost Didn't Happen, But A Terrible Commission Helped

Friday's main event between Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem almost didn't make it through barriers at the athletic commissions. There's an awful lot to the story to consider, and a lot of questionable decisions from more than one person, but with those things having passed and things calmed down a little, it's worth taking another look at what happened. Most of the issues were with the athletic commission, which once again proved its woeful incompetence, something that will eventually be a very big problem in the sport.

It's really hard to say whether or not Overeem should have been granted a license. The fan in me wants to be very excited for the brawl we're almost guaranteed to see on Friday, while the other part of me questions the handling of Overeem's testing. Overeem left the country on the same day that the commission requested a test sample to make sure he hasn't been taking any illegal substances before his fight with Lesnar. His explanation was that he bought the ticket two days prior, and an assistant failed to notify him.

Then, Overeem gave a blood test, which is generally better than a urine test that the commission requests, but he had it administered by a private doctor and had it delivered very late. I don't think I need to explain to you why an unsupervised test shouldn't be admissible. The whole point of commission-supervised testing is to ensure that there's no fair play involved.

Either way, the commission granted Overeem a temporary license pending further testing (which appears to be all good at this point), and that's where the issue is. Whether you believe that Overeem was taking illegal substances or not, you have to wonder how a governing body like this commission lets this kind of thing slide with nothing more than a simple hearing in which they seek only to put Overeem in the corner for a short period of time.

It doesn't help that the commission had no idea what they were doing during their hearing. They had asked Overeem if this was his first fight at heavyweight, even though he's been at this weight for years. How can this commission, while putting on a hearing they scheduled not know about the fighter who has the most pressing issue from the hearing?

Call it outrage if you want, but call it outrage over the commission. The sport of MMA is growing, and growing rather fast - this kind of thing should be a lot bigger news than it is. It probably was overlooked because Overeem is such a beloved fighter. It is quite true that we get a great fight out of it and that Overeem had legitimate reasoning to leave the country.


UFC 141: Lesnar Vs. Overeem Lines And Odds

UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem is set to go down live on pay per view on Dec. 30, and you'd be crazy not to be interested. Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem don't necessarily represent the best that the sport of MMA has to offer, but just take a look at the two of them. Did you look? Can you honestly say you don't want to see which one of them is going to explode and shatter into a million pieces when they collide?

The betting odds have been slowly trickling out, and it's worth taking a look, even though the last few events haven't had any action worth taking. Really, the last couple have either been too close or too far apart with no underdog appeal at all. Donald Cerrone is a solid favorite over the Bay Area-based Nate Diaz, so if you're a firm believe in their abilities (not an irrational belief at all), there's some good money to be made there.

Another solid pick, at least in our opinion, is taking Vladimir Matyushenko as the underdog. The guy is on a tear lately, and over the last ... millennium or so ... he's only lost to current light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Alexander Gustafsson is certainly a promising up-and-comer, but Matyushenko is the definition of dependable veteran. Also tempted to put money on Anthony Njokuani, but let's just assume that odds-makers know something about Danny Castillo that we don't.

Below are some odds, provided by Odds Shark, these ones taken from Bodog.

Main Card

Brock Lesnar (5-2) +115 vs. Alistair Overeem (35-11, 1 NC) -145
Nate Diaz (14-7) +220 vs. Donald Cerrone (17-3) -280
Jon Fitch (23-3-1, 1 NC) -225 vs. Johny Hendricks (11-1) +175
Vladimir Matyushenko (26-5) +250 vs. Alexander Gustafsson (12-1) -325
Nam Phan (17-9) -230 vs. Jimy Hettes (9-0) +180

Preliminary Card

Ross Pearson (12-5) -260 vs. Junior Assuncao (13-4) +200
Anthony Njokuani (14-5, 1 NC) +160 vs. Danny Castillo (12-4) -200
Dong Hyun Kim -400 (14-1-1, 1 NC) vs. Sean Pierson (11-5) +300
Jacob Volkmann (13-2) -265 vs. Efrain Escudero (18-3) +205
Matt Riddle (5-3) -130 vs. Luis Ramos (19-7) +100
Diego Nunes (16-2) -325 vs. Manny Gamburyan (11-6) +250


UFC 141: Lesnar Vs. Overeem Fight Card

UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem is set to go down live on pay per view on Dec. 30, and the card is packed with great fights from top to bottom. Not only is the main event between former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar and K-1 Champion Alistair Overeem virtually guaranteed to end with some sort of giant man unconscious, but the rest of the card promises fireworks from top to bottom.

On top of that, the Bay Area is being represented well on both the main and preliminary cards (otherwise you wouldn't be reading this, of course!). In the evening's co-main event, Stockton, CA-born and raised Nate Diaz (who trains in San Francisco) is taking on the always-exciting Donald Cerrone. Between the two of them, there's 41 wins, and of those wins, there's 23 submissions, so you can expect a potentially fast-paced submission battle.

The night also features perennial top-three welterweight Jon Fitch, as he takes on the up-and-coming wrestle-boxer, Johny Hendricks, who has a glorious, glorious beard. If genetic freaks trying to maul one another, two wily veterans trying to snap a limb off and impressive beardery in general doesn't get you pumped, then there's very likely something wrong with you.

UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem fight card:

Main Card

Brock Lesnar (5-2) vs. Alistair Overeem (35-11, 1 NC)
Nate Diaz (14-7) vs. Donald Cerrone (17-3)
Jon Fitch (23-3-1, 1 NC) vs. Johny Hendricks (11-1)
Vladimir Matyushenko (26-5) vs. Alexander Gustafsson (12-1)
Nam Phan (17-9) vs. Jimy Hettes (9-0)

Preliminary Card

Ross Pearson (12-5) vs. Junior Assuncao (13-4)
Anthony Njokuani (14-5, 1 NC) vs. Danny Castillo (12-4)
Dong Hyun Kim (14-1-1, 1 NC) vs. Sean Pierson (11-5)
Jacob Volkmann (13-2) vs. Efrain Escudero (18-3)
Matt Riddle (5-3) vs. Luis Ramos (19-7)
Diego Nunes (16-2) vs. Manny Gamburyan (11-6)


UFC 141: Lesnar Vs. Overeem Has Bay Area Significance With Nate Diaz, Jon Fitch

On Dec. 30, the UFC is putting on its customary New Years card, and this one looks to be a good one. UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem is headlined by a heavyweight tilt that pits two of the biggest, angriest guys in the sport up against one another, as Brock Lesnar  looks to rebound after losing his title to Cain Velasquez by spoiling the UFC debut of Alistair Overeem, the ex-Strikeforce heavyweight champion.

For the Bay Area, it will be a big event as well. The Stockton born-and-raised Nate Diaz is on the event's main card, up against Donald Cerrone. Diaz trains with the Cesar Gracie camp in San Francisco and is widely considered to be a "Bay Area fighter." Well, he's got one of the toughest tests of his career, but the same can be argued for Cerrone as well, who has faced middling competition since his dual fights with Ben Henderson in the WEC.

On top of that, Jon Fitch will take on Johny Hendricks on the night's main card, as well. Fitch lives in, and fights out of San Jose and is one of MMA's best fighters, looking to fight his way back to another shot at the UFC welterweight championship. Fitch could easily make an argument for being the best fighter in the Bay Area, along with guys like Jake Shields, Cain Velasquez and Nick Diaz.

Other fighters with links to California are Danny Castillo (fighting out of Sacramento), Nam Phan (born in CA, fighting out of Garden Grove), Vladimir Matyushenko (fighting out of El Segundo) and Manny Gamburyan (fighting out of Hollywood). Both Phan and Matyushenko are fighting on the event's main card and should be part of excellent fights.

Still, the focus is firmly on Diaz, who is expected to put on a great fight against Cerrone. Both of the Diaz brothers, while not necessarily representing MMA well from a public relations standpoint, represent the best and most exciting mixed martial arts action the Bay Area has to offer. On top of that, it's a very competitive fight. Expect more on the event in the coming week.

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