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Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against UFC — Details Inside [UPDATED]

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Today in Head Trauma: Gray Maynard Signs 8-Fight Extension, Jens Pulver Unretires AGAIN + More


(Woah, hold on a second, Nate. We both see those tiny Christina Aguilera monsters scurrying around on the canvas, right? Photo via Getty.) 

Thanks in part to Joe Rogan’s heartfelt and brutally honest call for UFC heavyweight and close friend Brendan Schaub to retire, head trauma has once again been thrust into the limelight of the MMA blogosphere (along with, you know, that multimillion dollar lawsuit thingy). And honestly, it’s a difficult discussion to have when the people calling for so-and-so’s retirement are the very same who have a good chuckle every time some dude gets felled like a oak tree. If we tune in each weekend with the expectation (and dare I say it, hope) of seeing a fighter get his lights turned off, then who are we to tell them when *we’ve* grown tired of seeing it happen?

Look no further than the case of Gray Maynard, for instance. Just a few years ago, Maynard was considered to be one of the toughest fighters in the lightweight division — a man who was just barely edged by Frankie Edgar after inflicting some trauma of his own on the former champ. In the time since, “The Bully” has dropped four out of his past five contests, with every last one of those losses coming via an increasingly difficult to watch form of TKO.

The cries for Maynard to simply give up on his dream and retire have grown louder with each skull-shattering loss, but the TUF 5 alum has refused to hear them. In a move that is sure to draw the same cringeworthy reaction from those critics, Maynard recently signed an eight fight extension with the UFC that will most certainly account for a couple more black spots on his brain in the not-so-distant future.

After the jump: More details on Maynard’s eight-fight deal. Plus, Pat Barry goes on the defensive (no!), and Jens Pulver unretires again (NOOOO!!!!).

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SadGIF of the Day: Cody McKenzie Gets Knee-KO’d at M-1 Challenge 54


(Homeless man takes dive at Russian MMA ev–oh wait no, that’s just Cody McKenzie. GIF via caposa)

After a promising start, Cody McKenzie‘s MMA career has turned into one extended shrug emoticon. In just 12 months, the former UFC lightweight/featherweight has given us the Nike shorts incident, a victorious debut at 180 pounds (!), and drew a pint of blood to make welterweight. Blugh. Today, Cody showed up at M-1 Challenge 54 in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he was knocked out in the first round thanks to a well-timed knee from Beslan Isaev.

So why was Cody McKenzie, of all people, booked for a fight in Russia in the first place? Who knows. If we had to guess, we’d say that his salmon-fishing boat took a wrong turn at the Bering Strait. Cody now returns to the U.S., where he’ll prepare to be the star witness in the class-action lawsuit against the UFC.

(Do witnesses even give testimony in class-action lawsuits? I have no idea how this works. But it is, indeed, a funny image.)

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Hot Potato: 17 Photos of Smokin’ Cage Wars Ring Girl Chelsie Aryn

Just in time for the holidays, Babes of MMA has once again come through with the gift that keeps on giving, that of T-n’-A. Chelsie Aryn is a 22-year-old model and ring girl for Cage Wars, an amatuer MMA promotion out of…Albany, NY?! By gawd, that’s less than an hour’s drive from my hometown!

Check out 17 of our favorite photos of Ms. Aryn in the gallery after the jump, and make sure to follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or all three!

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Watch the UFC 182 Extended Preview Because Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier Hate Each Other and Myles Jury Is Out of Lollipops or Something


(Props: UFC on YouTube)

And here we have the nine-minute extended video trailer for UFC 182: Jones vs. Cormier, which goes down January 3rd in Las Vegas. The verbal beefin’ between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier is nothing new, but hey, there’s more of it here. Plus, we get a segment on the lightweight co-main between undefeated 26-year-old Myles Jury and red-hot veteran Donald Cerrone. Myles Jury kind of seems like a real-life version of that “bring a rocket-launcher” guy from the NOS commercials. As for Cerrone…well, you already know who that dude is.

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Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against UFC — Details Inside [UPDATED]


(The lawsuit’s plaintiffs are listed as “Cung Le, Nathan Quarry, Jon Fitch, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated.” / Photo via Getty)

UPDATE: The actual legal filing can be read right here, and the full audio of the conference call is below, via MMAFightCorner.

The reported class-action lawsuit against the UFC filed by current and former fighters will be officially announced this afternoon. The communications firm Turner4D sent a notice to CagePotato.com and other MMA media entities yesterday afternoon, stating that the plaintiffs’ names and other details will be provided during a news conference beginning at 1 p.m. PT / 4 p.m. ET. The conference will be held at Hyatt Place San Jose/Downtown in San Jose, California. Autograph seekers are advised to wait by the bar and act cool.

CagePotato will be listening in to the proceedings via telephone machine, and we’ll type out important updates about the UFC class-action lawsuit below as we get them. Stay tuned, you guys. #TheTimeIsNow

Even before the call starts, Greg Savage of Sherdog passes along some info: “The civil action is [titled] Cung Le, et al v. Zuffa, LLC, d/b/a Ultimate Fighting Championship and UFC…Media packet states that Cung Le, Jon Fitch and Nate Quarry are the participants in the suit…The case was filed today in the Northern District of California in San Jose. It seeks treble damages and injunctive relief under the Sherman Antitrust Act.”

Yes, those are all guys who have expressed frustration with the UFC in the past. (See: Here, here.)

The call is kicked off by Joseph Saveri, an antitrust lawyer based in San Francisco. He introduces Le and Quarry (who are on the scene in San Jose), and Fitch who is participating by phone. Saveri also introduces other lawyers who are participating, including antitrust experts Benjamin Brown and Robert Maysey.

Saveri: “Today, there is only one real promotional option for MMA fighters — the UFC.” Saveri outlines the lawsuit that was filed by the aforementioned fighters this afternoon. Essentially: The UFC has monopolized the MMA industry, destroyed competitors, and as a result, MMA athletes have been unable to obtain what they’re worth. They’ve also lost ownership of their likenesses.

Brown: “Elite MMA fighters earn a mere fraction of the revenue compared to boxing…UFC’s profit margins are among the highest in all of sport…UFC has monopolized the highest level of the sport.”

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So Mickey Rourke’s Homeless, Mentally Unstable Opponent *Definitely* Took a Dive


(The immortal words of Jim Ross don’t even do this finish justice.)

In news that literally anyone could have seen coming, the homeless, mentally unstable man that Mickey Rourke fought in Russia last month has finally admitted to taking a dive.

Speaking to TMZ earlier today, Elliot Seymour confessed that he was paid $15,000 to go down due to a body shot in the second round of Rourke’s return to the ring — 10K up front and the rest when he returned to the U.S. Seymour additionally stated that he was specifically told not to hit the 62-year-old actor in the head, but that he also did not believe Rourke was in on the fix.

“Mickey’s a stand-up guy.” said Seymour. “Being a powerful person, you have a lot of people that are kissing up to you for various reasons.”

A video of Seymour’s full interview after the jump. 

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UFC Still Hasn’t Informed Its Champions How Much They’ll Make (Or Lose) From Reebok Sponsorship


(RIP, @XBOX mouthpiece. / Screencap via MMATKO)

When the UFC and Reebok announced their six-year uniform agreement at the beginning of this month, we could only speculate at how good or bad this would be for the UFC’s fighters, based on the few details that were available. The reported “tier system,” of paying fighters according to their official media rankings (LOL, SMDH) was still a mystery, in terms of how exactly the pie would be divvied up.

But of course, CagePotato is just a mid-level MMA blog trying to find its way in this world with zero access to Zuffa executives. The crazy part is, the UFC’s own stars are still in dark about what the sponsorship agreement will mean for their finances, two weeks after the announcement was first made.

Case in point: MMAJunkie published an interview with Demetrious Johnson yesterday, in which the long-reigning flyweight champion wondered aloud what the UFC’s new sponsorship landscape will mean for his existing sponsorship with Xbox, which is now basically deceased; Johnson will not be able to wear Xbox logos in the Octagon when the UFC/Reebox partnership officially kicks in next year. Johnson’s comments were somewhat shocking, because it seems like he knows as little about the Reebok deal’s specifics as we do. Here are some choice quotes…

A guy like Nick Diaz, for example, comes out with all his Metal Mulisha, all his sponsorships,” Johnson said. “Let’s say from those sponsorships he makes like $80,000 to go in the octagon. That’s a nice payday just for wearing sponsorships.

“Lets say the UFC says, ‘Hey man, you’ve got to wear Reebok tomorrow.’ And he says, ‘OK, that sounds good. Here are all my pay stubs and my contracts for my last fight. They’re paying me $80,000, so what’s Reebok going to pay me?’ They say, ‘You’re ranked second in the world, so we’re going to pay you $2,000 to wear Reebok.’ For me, I think that’s not necessarily fair because there’s basically $78,000 that’s unaccounted for. If UFC’s going to compensate me with the same amount, that’s fantastic. If not, that’s a big boo-boo”…

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The Experiment Ends: Cris Cyborg Throws in the Towel on a Possible Drop to Bantamweight


(If the internet wasn’t broken before, it sure as hell is now. via Cyborg’s Instagram)

Are you sitting down, Potato Nation? We hope so, because we just got word of a story so shocking, so unexpected, that it will rock you to your very core. We’re talking something bigger than the Reebok deal, the fighter lawsuit, and most certainly bigger than the “The Time Is Now” press conference. Are you ready?

Cris “Cyborg” Justino has CANCELLED her drop to the bantamweight division. As She told Tatame:

I can’t. From now on, I will only fight at my weight or in a catchweight. I haven’t fought in a long time and that’s why I want to go back to my division.

We know, we know, nobody could have possibly seen this coming.

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TUF 20 Finale Salaries: Carla Esparza Cracks Six-Figures! Big Time, Baby!


(Getting props from Pat Barry afterwards: Priceless. / Photo via MMAFighting)

The UFC paid out $625,000 in disclosed salaries and bonuses to the 22 fighters who competed at Friday’s TUF 20 Finale. Leading the pack is new strawweight champion Carla Esparza, who doubled her $25,000 show-money by choking out Rose Namajunas, then earned an additional $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus for the effort. Lightweight main-carder Yancy Medeiros was a close second, raking in $80,000 in total prize money.

The full TUF 20 Finale salary list is below, via Sherdog. Keep in mind that these figures don’t include additional revenue from sponsorships or undisclosed “locker room bonuses,” or deductions due to taxes, insurance, and license fees.

Carla Esparza: $100,000 (includes $25,000 win bonus, $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus)
Rose Namajunas: $25,000

Charles Oliveira: $54,000 (includes $27,000 win bonus)*
Jeremy Stephens: $40,000

Daron Cruickshank: $17,000
K.J. Noons: $31,000
Note: The fight ended in a no-contest, and neither fighter was paid a win bonus.

Yancy Medeiros: $80,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus, $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus)
Joe Proctor: $10,000

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[VIDEO] Jamie Varner Calls For a Fighters Union Following UFC on FOX 13 Defeat


(Photo via Getty.)

True to his word, Jamie Varner was more than holding his own against Drew Dober at UFC on FOX 13 last weekend until bad luck befell him. While attempting to slam Dober to the mat, Varner pulled a Maynard and unintentionally knocked himself out, only waking up to find himself in a fight-ending rear-naked choke.

It was a particularly tough loss for Varner, being his fourth in as many contests and coming in front of his hometown crowd, and one that signaled that perhaps the game had passed by the former WEC champ. So for the second time, Varner called it quits in his post-fight interview, stating that it was a decision he had been planning to make for some time.

In an interview with media members after the fight, Varner expanded upon his reasons for retiring, what the future holds for him, and perhaps most importantly, the idea of starting a fighter’s union. Join us after the jump for the full interview.

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Claudia Gadelha’s Sucker-Punch ‘Totally Different’ Than Paul Daley’s, According to Mind-Reading UFC President

Dana White can see into your soul. At least, that’s sort of what the UFC president implied after Claudia Gadelha sucker-punched Joanna Jedrzejczyk following their strawweight fight at Saturday’s UFC on Fox 13 event.

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Cutting Through The Bullsh*t: UFC on FOX 13 Edition

Before the main card action was underway this past Saturday night, we had a pretty eventful weekend already.

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Watch Jon Fitch Scream in Agony as Rousimar Palhares Cranks a Knee Bar at WSOF 16

Rousimar Palhares knee barred Jon Fitch at WSOF 16. In typical Palhares fashion, he held the submission in longer than necessary.

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UFC on Fox 13 Results: Full Fight Highlights from the Entire Main Card

UFC on FOX 13 was a fun event with expected and unexpected outcomes. See the finishes and highlights for yourself.

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UFC on FOX 13: Dos Santos vs. Miocic — Live Results & Commentary

The heavyweights will be swingin' for the fences tonight in Phoenix. Join us for round-by-round results from the main card, starting at 8 p.m. ET.

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Report: UFC to Be Hit With Class Action Lawsuit From Its Own Fighters

Ready for a bombshell? According to Bloody Elbow, current and former UFC fighters are about to file a class action lawsuit against the Zuffa-owned promotion.

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Watch Carla Esparza Choke Out Rose Namajunas (Legit, Legal Video)

Carla Esparza choked out Rose Namajunas last night. Check out the finish as well as the results for the full fight card.

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The Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale: Esparza Taps Namajunas to Become the First Women’s UFC Strawweight Champ

Plus: Charles Oliveira outpoints Jeremy Stephens, and Daron Cruickshank gets eye-poked into a living death.

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UFC on FOX 13 Weigh-In Results, or, The End of the ‘Nate Diaz: Crazy or Cunning?’ Debate

As if it was ever a debate, really.

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Video: These Spinning Elbow Knockouts Are the Gift That Just Keeps on Giving (Concussions)

Yet another late contender for your "Knockout of the Year" lists.

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Crazy or Cunning? Nate Diaz Might Be Smarter Than We Think He Is

With his recent behavior, Diaz is practically jutting his chin out and waving the UFC in with arms outstretched, knowing full well they can’t do a damn thing about it.

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TUF 20 Finale Weigh-In Results: Charles Olivera Misses Weight AGAIN, Aisling Daly Comes in Heavy as Well

The TUF 20 Finale weigh-ins went down earlier today in Las Vegas, and headliners Carla Esparza and Rose Namajunas hit their 115-pound strawweight limits on the button. But not everyone was so successful.

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Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Mentally Disabled Man Gets KO’d in Unregulated Milwaukee Kickboxing Match

And here we thought Mickey Rourke beating up a mentally unstable homeless man would be the worst combat sports-related news item we'd write about in a month's span.

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Falling Tree Knockout of the Day: Theo Michailidis Wrecks Corrin Eaton With a Spinning Back Elbow

Also, I think the ref's t-shirt says "MAKE TEA NOT WAR," which is 1) incredibly British, and 2) kind of unexpected in a combat sports setting.

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FilmPotato: Gina Carano Lands Role as “Vixen” in Kickboxer Remake

We can only hope that her character's go-to attack is the lip bite.

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Interview: UFC on FOX 13’s Jamie Varner Gets Real About Sponsorship Money, Rankings, And Coming Back From a Difficult Year

“I’m the best fighter with the worst luck.”

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Carla Esparza vs. Rose Namajunas Set for TUF 20 Finale Main Event This Friday

The former Invicta FC champ and the fan-favorite "Thug" will meet at the Palms in Las Vegas. Check out the full TUF 20 Finale lineup right here.

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Prediction: Stefan Struve Knocks Out Alistair Overeem in 15 Seconds at UFC on FOX 13

It's practically a Brick Top guarantee.

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Wild Rumor of The Day: Bellator Is Interested in Signing Alberto Rodriguez, AKA Alberto Del Rio/Dos Caras Jr.

“We can confirm that Bellator is looking to sign professional wrestlers to fighter contracts. Alberto Del Rio is one of their targets of interest."

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Knockout of the Day: Serbian Kickboxer Ljubo Jalovi Scores a Vicious Flying Knee at Tatneft Cup 2015

Easily one of the nastiest flying knees you will ever see.

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