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  • Translator’s pen steals show at UFC 144

    Though UFC 144 started with an impressive knockout by Issei Tamura and Vaughan Lee finishing off Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto, it was the translator Mizutuma's pen that really stole the show.

    The UFC asked a translator into the cage at the Saitama Super Arena to share comments from fighters and commentator Joe Rogan. She used a pen and paper to keep track of everything said. A multi-colored, fuzzy pen.

    After the fights, she tweeted a picture of her pen with the introduction, "Let me introduce my partner."

    If there's one thing MMA needs, it's more flair. Hopefully this pen will open the door for

    Read More »from Translator’s pen steals show at UFC 144
  • Yamamoto's caught in Lee's clutches (Photo by Tracy Lee)

    Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto is snake bitten or maybe it's simply that the division has caught and passed him by. The Japanese legend was shocked by Vaughan Lee in a submission defeat at 4:29 of the first round at UFC 144 in Tokyo, Japan.

    Yamamoto, a huge knockout artist with good wrestling, was controlling the fight. With 1:04 left in the round, Kid got into a mix up with Lee. The Brit threw a bevy of right hand uppercuts and two body shots. Then came a right hook that landed on the Kid's chin. The Japanese legend stepped back and his right leg was like jello. Vaughn charged forward to attack but Yamamoto scored a takedown.

    Still, he was in a no-win situation. Yamamoto was trying to slow the fight down, but he went into the guard of an excellent submission fighter. Lee (12-7-1, 1-1 UFC) quickly threw his legs up. He slapped on a triangle choke and eventually switched to an armbar. Yamamoto held out for a few seconds before tapping.

    Read More »from UFC 144 upset: ‘Kid’ Yamamoto falls again; Gomi posts nice comeback
  • Fukuda, Cariaso and Tamura start UFC 144 with wins

    Tamura with big debut (Tracy Lee)In the UFC's first trip to Japan since Zuffa bought the promotion, Riki Fukuda, Chris Cariaso and Issei Tamura were early winners at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

    Fukuda beats up Cantwell

    Riki Fukuda dominated Steve Cantwell on the way to a 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 decision.

    Fukuda got a takedown quickly in the first round and started throwing several big punches and elbows. Cantwell tried to grab an arm for a submission, but he couldn't do it. He finally returned to his feet to come on late in the round with kicks and a flying knee. In the second round. Cantwell defended a Fukuda takedown with a tight guillotine. As hard as Cantwell squeezed, Fukuda was still able to get out.

    Fukuda took advantage of Cantwell's tiredness and landed several strike combinations. In the last 30 seconds of the round, Cantwell got a takedown and jumped on Fukuda's back. He fell off just before the horn sounded to end the round.

    "My plan was to take him down more, but he had a very strong base.  I was in a car accident the last time so I had to take a break, but it was worth the wait and I would like to thank the UFC for giving me this opportunity," Fukuda said.

    Read More »from Fukuda, Cariaso and Tamura start UFC 144 with wins
  • Fight Day Live is back today (6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT).

    The UFC's official pre-show, hosted by Dave Farra and Megan Olivi, will prepare you for all the fighting action at UFC 144 including the big UFC lightweight title fight featuring champion Frankie Edgar and challenger Benson Henderson.

    As always, you'll get the inside information from our panel of experts, Matt Brown from HeavyMMA, John Morgan from MMAjunkie and Joe Ferraro from UFC Connected. We'll also sit down with UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre to get an update on his recovery from knee

    Read More »from Heavy’s UFC 144 Fight Day Live starts at 6:30 p.m. ET
  • Rampage speaks to Japanese fans and explains why he missed weight

    As if the travel, near-silent crowd and incredibly early start weren't enough to factor into betting UFC 144, along comes the weight snafu of Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. The former UFC light heavyweight champ whiffed badly on making weight at 205 pounds.

    He spoke about being injured in camp, not being able to do his roadwork and trying to cut over 21 pounds in the final days before the fight.

    The severity of the injury is unknown. So is the location. One would have to guess Rampage is dealing with a leg issue. For a guy, who already lacks mobility that can't be a good thing against a wrestler like Ryan Bader. Is all of this enough to put you on Bader's side?

    Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole, Frank Trigg and myself picked the fights on "The MMA Insiders" show.

    You can also bet the over/under on rounds in the Jackson-Bader fight. It's currently minus-165 to go over 2.5 rounds. The main event between UFC lightweight title holder Frank Edgar and Benson Henderson has risen between 15 and 20 cents with the steam on side of the champ.

    Edgar looks up at a very slender Henderson

    UFC 144 betting odds:
    Best plays in bold

    Frank Edgar (-150) vs. Benson Henderson (+130) - Lightweight
    Yushin Okami (-360) vs. Tim Boetsch (+300) - Middleweight

    Read More »from UFC 144 picks, Vegas-style: Who’s still betting Quinton Jackson?
  • An extremely bronzed Akiyama (Getty)

    Sure the weigh-in for UFC 144 was a little later than normal, but it certainly delivered. There was a new Octagon girl, one fighter appeared to have just walked off the set of "Jersey Shore" and Quinton Jackson already booked himself his next fight.

    Yoshihiro Akiyama brought it big time channeling the powers of GTL. We're not sure about the laundry part, but Akiyama certainly hit the gym to get down from his old weight of 185 to his new division down at 170. He also put Snooki to shame with a beautiful tan.

    Meanwhile, it was pretty clear Jackson missed a lot of his gym time. Jackson, who gave hints that he might miss weight during the Dana White's second vlog (2:03 mark), clocked in at a hefty 211 for his fight at 205 pounds. Fuel TV's guest analyst Rich Franklin was exasperated and basically called it a joke. "Rampage" got wind of the comments and snapped at Franklin.

    "My friend already texted me what Rich Franklin said and Rich Franklin need to watch his mouth before I smack him the next time I see him. He a fighter the same way I'm a fighter, he should watch what he say," Jackson said (1:50 mark). "You don't question if a fighter is taking his fight serious or not. I'm a fighter, I take all my fights serious and I'm tired of people saying that."

    Read More »from UFC 144 weigh-in extra: GTL, new Octagon girl and ‘Rampage’ vs. Franklin
  • Jackson reacts to weighing 211 pounds (Getty)

    Based on his condition when he stepped on the scale in Tokyo for the UFC 144 weigh-in, the rumors of Quinton Jackson having a lousy training camp were confirmed.

    The former UFC light heavyweight champion missed the 205-pound limit by six pounds at 211.

    The non-title fight will go on as planned with Jackson giving up 20 percent of his purse to Bader. Based on Jackson's salary from recent fights, that amount could be in the $50,000 range. Jackson was paid $250,000 in his fights at UFC 130 and UFC 135.

    Even at 211, Jackson's face showed the wear of trying to make weight. He was also a little softer than normal in his chest. Both main event fighters, Frank Edgar and Benson Henderson, made weight for their UFC lightweight title fight at 154 pounds. Henderson, the much bigger fighter, was incredibly cut in the midsection.

    Rich Franklin, serving as an analyst on Fuel TV, called Jackson's miss "ridiculous."

    [ Kevin Iole: Benson Henderson's superhero mold may come in handy ]

    Read More »from UFC 144 weigh-in: ‘Rampage’ Jackson misses weight badly, Ryan Bader fight still on
  • In what is a very unofficial study of Japan's interest in MMA, Ariel Helwani hit the streets in Tokyo to find hardcore UFC fans.

    He combs through a bunch of 18-34 year olds and it was hard to find many that had more than a passing interest in the sport. Is this any worse than you'd find on the streets of most American cities? We're guessing yes. In any case, it's an interesting watch.

    On the back end of the video, some of the more educated fans point to a lack of television, poor marketing and few good stories as the reasons for mixed martial arts' downturn in Japan. Others says with a recent

    Read More »from UFC 144 video: The search for hardcore UFC fans in a Tokyo square
  • (Warning: Video contains strong language)

    Dana White takes us behind the scene of UFC 144 week. His latest vlog tracks the pre-fight press conference.

    Quinton "Rampage" Jackson expressed his love of Japan and said he wants to move there for a year. But it's not for a standard reason you'd expect. Jackson's children are of Japanese descent and they speak the language fluently.

    "My kids be talking [expletive] about me man. They fluent. They talk [expletive] about me right in front of my face," Jackson said. "I just want to learn so I can talk [expletive] right back to them."

    White gets some

    Read More »from Between Rampage’s kids and Japanese reporter, UFC folks take a beating in White vlog
  • Sudden death round on tap for UFC’s flyweight tournament

    Johnson will fight in flyweight tourney (Getty)Next week, the UFC will kick off start their flyweight division with a four-man tournament to crown the division's champion. At UFC on FX 2, Joe Benavidez will fight Yasuhiro Urushutani and Demetrious Johnson will face Ian McCall. The winners of those two bouts will meet at a later date to decide the UFC's first 125-lb. champ.

    If either of the three-round bouts happen to end in a draw, MMA fans in Australia and those watching on FX will get a bonus: A sudden death round. Johnson talked about the possibility of an extra round to Tapout Radio (transcribed by Five Ounces):

    "I don't know if anybody has said anything about it, and this is the first time I'm mentioning it, is that we (McCall and myself) had to sign for a 'sudden death' bout," Johnson said. "If it goes to three rounds, and the judges can't decide who the winner is, then we'll do a fourth round."

    Though the likelihood of a draw is small, it does bring the possibility of one of the most exciting circumstances in sports to MMA. Sudden death is thrilling whether it's 10-year-olds playing basketball at the park district or professional football players deciding who is going to the Super Bowl.

    The flyweights will already bring a pace that UFC fans have not yet seen in the Octagon, but also the possibility of sudden death.

    Read More »from Sudden death round on tap for UFC’s flyweight tournament