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Junior dos Santos Predicts Knockout of Shane Carwin at UFC 131

On Thursday the UFC announced in a conference call that Brock Lesnar was pulling out of his scheduled fight with Junior dos Santos because of his ongoing bout with diverticulitis. They also announced that Shane Carwin, who lost to Lesnar in July, would be the replacement fighter.

Before Carwin was named as the replacement, dos Santos had called out Lesnar by suggesting he did steroids and saying he has a weak chin. His confidence and comments haven’t stopped now that he has a new opponent.

According to Sherdog, dos Santos has already predicted victory. “It’s gonna be a great fight with tough blows from both sides,” dos Santos said. “I would say that it will end by knockout.”

Dos Santos did call Carwin an excellent fighter, but of course he still thinks he’ll win as any fighter should. Carwin was supposed to fight Roy Nelson on New Year’s but had to pull out because of neck pain that later required surgery. He hasn’t fought since losing to Lesnar in July, and he was in the news in August for being named in a steroids bust.

Carwin gave Lesnar all he could handle in their fight last summer and should be a challenge for dos Santos. Though it won’t generate the buzz and pay-per-view buys without Lesnar participating, this is a fairly even matchup that should be quite exciting. As of now I’ll go with Junior dos Santos to win it.

GSP Resumes Training with Eye Healed

In December, Georges St. Pierre beat Josh Koscheck by unanimous decision, peppering his eye constantly to the point it swelled up and shut (here are pictures). Six months later, the exact opposite happened to GSP; his eye was poked/punched by Jake Shields, impairing his vision during the fight.

St. Pierre was suspended 60 days pending medical clearance from an opthamologist. It looks like GSP has received some sort of clearance, because he tweeted late Friday that “My eye is back 100%!!! Can’t wait to start back training tomorrow!”

Now that GSP is back training, the question once again becomes whom will he fight next? Many fans who once were clamoring for a GSP-Anderson Silva dream matchup have now changed their tune. They’ve been unimpressed by St. Pierre’s inability to finish fights recently and don’t think he would be able to hang with Silva. Instead, they’re now pushing for a match with Nick Diaz who has run through the Strikeforce welterweight division winning his last 10 fights.

I still would like to see GSP-Silva while both fighters are still arguably at their peak. Silva is 36 and may only have a few prime years left, so why waste time by having each fighter face someone else? If Silva can beat Yushin Okami in August, then the superfight between the two pound-for-pound studs is what I want to see.

Brock Lesnar has Diverticulitis, Shane Carwin Will Face Junior dos Santos

Brock Lesnar is battling diverticulitis again and has been forced to pull out of his scheduled June 11th fight against Junior dos Santos, the UFC announced Thursday. Shane Carwin will step in and replace Lesnar by taking on dos Santos.

On a conference call with the media, Lesnar said the diverticulitis is not as serious as last time when he was afflicted by a “mystery condition” and had to pull out of his November 2009 fight. But it impacted his training. The diverticulitis will not end Lesnar’s career, but he is seeking treatment for the intestinal condition. Lesnar said he was at Mayo Clinic for 14 hours on Wednesday and said his immune system has been run down.

Lesnar said he’s been dealing with symptoms the past three months and that the condition prevented him from properly preparing for a title fight. It was only a year and a half ago that Lesnar had to pull out of his UFC 106 fight against Shane Carwin. After undergoing surgery, Lesnar was able to return to the Octagon and face Carwin at UFC 113 in July, 2010.

The good news is that Brock should be able to recover from the condition and continue fighting. Also, the replacement fight is enticing as well — Shane Carwin vs. Junior dos Santos should be a fun battle. Dos Santos probably doesn’t have the same negative feeling towards Carwin as he did Lesnar, but these are two of the top heavyweights in the UFC.

UFC To Pay Fighters to Use Twitter

Generally speaking, Twitter is nothing but trouble in the world of professional sports.  While there are plenty of players who have used Twitter as a tool to interact with fans and make themselves more accessible, there a ton of others who have abused the social networking tool and used it to lighten their wallets.  We have seen players fined for tweeting during halftime and others ruin the public’s perception of them by tweeting about extremely sensitive subjects.  Athletes like Chad Ochocinco have used their Twitter account to create a complete sideshow.

UFC president Dana White views Twitter quite differently from big wigs like David Stern and Roger Goodell.  White, who is an active Twitter user, recently announced that he will be paying fighters for using Twitter.  According to MMAFighting.com, beginning June 1 UFC and Strikeforce fighters will be awarded bonuses based on how many followers they have and whether or not they tweet creatively.  At the end of each quarter, three bonuses of $5,000 will be given to the fighters with the most new followers, highest percentage of new followers, and most creative tweets (judged by White).

When all the bonuses are paid out, the UFC will end up shelling out $240,000 for Twitter incentives.  With the way the beast has grown, I’m fairly confident that’s a number they can handle.  If you think paying athletes to use Twitter is asking for trouble, remember that you’re questioning the idea of a man who took the UFC from nothing into a fighting league that has arguably surpassed boxing in popularity.  If Dana White says it’s a good idea, it’s probably a good idea.

Bellator MMA Fighter Bryan Baker Proposes in Ring After Fight (Video)

Over the years, we have seen some crazy things happen in the mixed martial arts ring. There have been insane knockout kicks like this one from Anderson Silva and, more recently, this one from Lyoto Machida.  Fighters have even had their ears torn off right in the ring.  If you think I’m exaggerating, have a look at this picture of Kazushi Sakuraba’s dangling ear or these shots of Shigeyuki Uchiyama’s ear laying in the middle of the ring.  Oh yeah, and let’s not forget about Silva’s quirky decision to wear a mask to try and intimidate Vitor Belfort before their fight in February.

As of Saturday night, we may have seen it all.  There was once a point in time where we wondered who had the better proposal between college superstars Ian Johnson and Colt McCoy.  Now, there is a new standard in proposing during or after athletic competition.  Check out the video of Bryan Baker proposing in the ring, courtesy of The Big Lead:

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Mark Hominick Picture After Losing Jose Aldo Fight

Mark Hominick had one of the worst hematomas this side of Hasim Rahman following his fight with Jose Aldo Saturday night. Hominick literally had a second head growing like that Mike’s Hard Lemonade commercial. Well a few days after their fight, fans were demanding a picture of Hominick’s battle wounds and he finally obliged. Here’s the picture he posted on his twitter via 5th Round:

The guy still looks like he went about 25 minutes with Jose Aldo, but at least the forehead looks clean. Honestly though, I thought Hominick fought a great fight against Aldo and that he deserves a rematch. Many people are saying Aldo should fight Kenny Florian, and Dana White is saying Chad Mendes is likely next, but why not a rematch?

Hominick started pounding on Aldo in the fifth round and clearly was outlasting him conditioning-wise. I have no reason to believe Hominick wouldn’t give Aldo his best challenge if they were to fight again. Am I crazy in thinking that? Why shouldn’t they have a rematch?

Now the other question I have is who looks worse, Hominick, or GSP?

Picture: GSP’s Eye After Jake Shields Poke

Georges St. Pierre beat Jake Shields in their UFC 129 fight Saturday by unanimous decision. Many critics (and GSP himself) were disappointed he didn’t finish Shields with a knockout or submission, but part of the problem was GSP got poked/punched in the eye and couldn’t see out of it for most of the fight. Doctors initially feared a detached retina when they examined him because they could not see into the eye. At that point you were probably wondering what the freaking eye looked like, and luckily UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste came through with a picture:

That looks pretty darn bad and it’s no surprise GSP was handed a 60-day medical suspension. I know a lot of folks were disappointed by GSP’s performance, but keep in mind he wasn’t hurt throughout the fight and pretty much dominated things despite not having full vision. As for the folks pushing a Nick Diaz fight, get off of it. There’s only one fight fans should want to see, and it’s GSP vs. Anderson Silva. I know GSP’s team has major concerns about the weight difference, but that’s the one that needs to happen.

Thanks to 5th Round for sharing the link, and how does GSP’s eye compare to Mark Hominick’s injuries?