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Vitor Belfort Breezes Through NSAC Licensing Hearing, Will Face Chris...

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Chael Sonnen: Future NSAC Advisor, and Other Lowlights From Today’s NSAC Hearing


(“I’d like to present the commission with exhibit A, and remind them that they are standing in the presence of greatness.” Photo via Getty.)

At this point, I’m convinced that Chael Sonnen could literally crawl through a river of shit and come out clean on the other side. His ability to put on a fancy suit and speak in slightly nuanced platitudes without the necessity of a translator has apparently cast a spell over MMA fans, fighters, promoters, and commissioners, from which they will never wake up.

Case in point, at today’s NSAC hearing — you know, the one where Vitor Belfort was granted a fight license because whatevs — Sonnen was handed down his punishment for failing two random drug tests in a row prior to UFC 175. After thankfully opting against a defense (outside of whatever this was) for his drug test failures, Sonnen was raked over the coals by the commission for “trying to flat out cheat the system.”

“You don’t get to stop one prohibited drug and start using five prohibited drugs,” said the Assistant AG of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, “You’ve gotten to be kidding me that you’re sticking a needle in you with EPO and HGH and didn’t know it was prohibited.”

Surely, a swift punishment was just moments away.

LOL NOPE. Despite facing a potential lifetime ban from MMA and fines totaling upwards of $250,000, the NSAC opted to slap Sonnen with a (completely meaningless now that he’s retired) two year suspension and a fine totaling 0.00 dollars. Then they offered him a f*cking job. Ahh, sweet justice!

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Vitor Belfort Breezes Through NSAC Licensing Hearing, Will Face Chris Weidman at UFC 181 in Las Vegas



(Yes, it was broadcast on Fight Pass. No, Rogan and Goldie weren’t calling the action, although that would have been amazing. / Screencap via UFC Fight Pass on Twitter)

In retrospect, we should have known better to expect the Nevada State Athletic Commission to crack down on Vitor Belfort. Too much money was on the line.

Belfort appeared at an NSAC licensing hearing today, in the wake of his positive test for elevated testosterone in February. It was the second time that Belfort has failed a drug test in Nevada, following a steroid bust in 2006. And yet, Belfort cruised through the proceedings, walking away with a conditional license that would keep him sidelined until December and require him to undergo random blood and urine testing at his own expense. The commission’s decision to re-license Belfort was unanimous.

Directly after Belfort’s license was secure, the UFC announced that the Brazilian veteran would fight Chris Weidman in a middleweight title fight at UFC 181, December 6th in Las Vegas.

Belfort was humble and cooperative during today’s hearing, throwing himself at the mercy of the commission, but his version of events were never challenged. Here’s an excerpt from MMAJunkie’s report that suggests how toothless the NSAC’s hearing was:

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BTW, The Guy With the Coolest Nickname in MMA is Returning to Competition at Bellator 123


(Photo via Sherdog.) 

Truly great fighter nicknames are hard to come by in MMA. If they aren’t blatant attempts to sound intimidating using some well-worn cliche like “The Assassin” or “The Hitman”, they’re alliteration or pun-focused atrocities like “The Muscle Shark” Sherk or “Twinkle Toes” Trigg. I swear to God, if one more fighter calls themselves “The Pitbull”, I am going to walk into the nearest MMA gym with a fully loaded AK-47 and just start spraying bullets.

Worst of all, the nicknames many MMA fighters choose often fail to fit their personalities/fighting styles. Bob Sapp is not a “Beast.” Likewise, TUF 19 winner Corey Anderson does not beast 25/8, because the constraints of time prevent him from doing so. Justin McCully may be illiterate, but he is definitely not “The Nsane1.” And so on, and so forth.

But in the late aughts, there was one MMA fighter who rose to prominence in the UFC thanks largely to his inventive and more importantly appropriate nickname: Tamdan “The Barn Cat” McCrory.

What is a barn cat, exactly? Well, I’m glad you asked…

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Today in Trolling: Josh Thomson Says Larger Fighters Are ‘One Dimensional’, ‘Not Mixed Martial Artists’


(Awww…who could stay mad at that face? / Photo via joshpunkthomson)

This Saturday, lightweight veteran Josh Thomson leads off the UFC on FOX 12: Lawler vs. Brown broadcast with a fight against Bobby Green, and naturally, “The Punk” decided to talk a little trash in the media to build some heat. The problem is, his insults weren’t directed at Green, or anybody else in his weight class. Instead, Thomson used a Fox Sports interview as a platform to bury the UFC’s three heaviest divisions.

Basically, Thomson was arguing that it’s harder to come by a finish at 155 pounds or below (which is true), because the fighters are much more talented and well-rounded (which is debatable). And sure, maybe it could have come out better:

You hit 185, 205, and heavyweight, those guys are always just good at like one thing, two things, but they’re not great all the way around. There’s ways to finish them. So if you’re a well-rounded athlete, you can finish those guys. You can find ways to finish those guys.

With 55-pounders and below, good luck, man. Everybody’s good all around — they’re good wrestlers, they’re good jiu-jitsu guys, they’re good standup guys, they’re game to throw down and they’re always in shape. 170 is kind of like the limbo — like there’s some well-rounded guys in there…

You start getting in the 185′s, 205, heavyweight, they start being one-dimensional, two-dimensional fighters. They’re not mixed martial artists. They’re not as good as the 55-pounders and below. They’re just not. To me that’s just a fact.

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Barnburner Alert: Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier a Go for UFC 178


(“No, I’d rather not fight Ronda Rousey at UFC 176. Why would you ask me that, Joe?” Photo via Getty.)

Maybe it’s just me, but people seem to be riding pretty high on this Conor McGregor character following his first round destruction of Diego Brandao at what Kevin Iole referred to as “the greatest UFC event of all time” with 100% sincerity. Great job, Kevin. I hope Dana gave you the week off for partaking in such blatant shillery.

Right, back to McGregor. Following his win over Brandao, the Irish phenom was called out by Dustin Poirier on Twitter, who had a late September matchup in mind. McGregor quickly agreed at the Fight Night 46 press conference, and as luck would have it, they are now set to meet at UFC 178: Jones vs. Gustafsson II on September 27th.

“The fights were good and the crowd loved the show.” — Kevin Iole, describing UFC 75 to his fullest capabilities before declaring Fight Night 46 as the greatest UFC event of all time. If you ever thought this MMA writing stuff was easy, you’re right.

I’m sorry, I keep getting off track. Anyway, here’s what Poirier had to say about McGregor and how he carries himself on The MMA Hour yesterday. Spoiler: It is not exactly a ringing endorsement…

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Fitness Motivation: 21 Photos of Sexy Women Holding Dumbbells


(Shannon Ihrke, shot by Fitness Gurls. Check out the full gallery after the jump.)

This week’s batch of fitness motivation photos focuses on the humble dumbbell — the training equipment of choice for sexy ladies staring pensively off into the distance. Check out the photos below for our 21 favorite examples of girls using free weights, with special appearances by Paige Hathaway, Jamie Eason, and Eva Andressa. Enjoy, and click here for more inspiration…

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Update: Khabib Nurmagomedov Out Until January 2015 With Torn Meniscus


(Khabib Nurmagomedov and Rustam Khabilov — just a couple of legitimate businessmen. / Photo via TitoCouture.)

We wanted to pass along a quick update on Khabib Nurmagomedov, who made history on Friday by pulling out of a fight against Donald Cerrone just 20 minutes after he agreed to it. (Beat that, Lil’ Nog!) According to Nurmagomedov’s manager Mike Constantino, the undefeated lightweight suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee, which will require surgery. He is expected to be out of action until January.

And so, Nurmy officially goes 1-0 in 2014, with his sole Octagon appearance resulting in a decision win against Rafael dos Anjos in April. With the lightweight division so crowded with contenders, a long layoff means that Nurmagomedov will have his work cut out for him when he returns, in terms of climbing back up the contender ladder. As for Cerrone, his next fight is once again TBA. Got any suggestions?

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Anthony Pettis vs. Gilbert Melendez *Tentatively* Booked for UFC 181 on December 6th (Tentatively.)


(Your captions, please. via Pettis’ Twitter)

I would like to begin this article by proposing a new category for this year’s Potato Awards, “Most Excruciating Absence By a Champion (a.k.a “The Dominator Award”)” and preemptively awarding it to lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. Or maybe Cain Velasquez. No, definitely Pettis. Iiiit’s been nearly a year since we last saw “Showtime” secure said championship via a first round submission over Ben Henderson, and thanks to his coaching gig opposite Gilbert Melendez on TUF 20, it will be at least another half a year before we see him compete again.

That’s because earlier today, Pettis told MMAFighting that his fight against Melendez has been scheduled for December 6th at UFC 181. I honest-to-God want to believe that both men will make it to that date intact, but the TUF coaches curse has fooled me five too many times to place any real faith in Pettis’ words. But there you have it: December 6th. UFC 181. Vegas.

As for how the season itself is going, Pettis seems to have found the space between “it sucks” and “ERMAHGERD BERST SERSERN ERVER!!!” that Dana White has never been able to…

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Video: Leonard Garcia Drops Legacy FC Title in Submission Loss to Damon Jackson; ‘Bad Boy Era’ Comes to an Abrupt End


(Highlights via AXS TV. Full fight video is after the jump.)

Earlier this year, we marveled at the improbable career comeback of Leonard Garcia, who had gone from UFC washout with five-straight losses to a Legacy FC featherweight champion with three-straight victories. I mean, sure, he was beating Legacy FC-caliber competition, but he was finishing those guys; he didn’t have to rely on loud grunting and impressionable judges to make it happen.

Well, we must have cursed him, because the Bad Boy Era has ended as quickly as it began. Garcia was defeated in his first attempted title defense at Legacy FC 33 on Friday night, tapping out to an arm-triangle choke against 25-year-old Texas native Damon “The Leech” Jackson at the 1:32 mark of round 1. Jackson increases his undefeated record to 9-0, with all wins via stoppage within the first two rounds. So maybe we should keep an eye on this guy.

Garcia was originally supposed to defend his title at Legacy FC 29 in March against Shane Howell, but Howell dropped out of the fight on short notice due to illness. (“Garcia then proposed to his girlfriend in the cage to apparently salvage the trip.”)

2014 is now The Leech Era. Please spread awareness.

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Help Wanted: What Was Your Worst Experience at an MMA Gym?


(“Hey, I’m Jon. So…do you want to be the mommy or the daddy?”)

Fresh off our masterful performances in Friday’s Roundtable discussion of one-minute fights — the New Yorker calls us “irreverent“! — the CP staff has decided to rest easy for a while and let you write the next one. Yes indeedy, it’s time for another crowd-sourced edition of the CagePotato Roundtable. The topic is: What Was Your Worst Experience at an MMA Gym?

Were you suckered into training poison-hand techniques at a McDojo? Did you catch a gnarly staph infection from unwashed mats? Did a friendly sparring session with Hector Lombard leave you with a debilitating injury? Were you slapped around for selling steroids out of the locker room? (Hey, it happens.) Maybe you’d feel better if you shared your story with the Potato Nation.

Send your stories to tips@cagepotato.com by next Wednesday (7/30), and we’ll run the best ones that Friday. If you’d like to remain anonymous, please say so in the beginning of your email. Thanks guys!

Previously on the Crowd-Sourced CagePotato Roundtable…
- What Was Your Most Memorable Run-In With an MMA Fighter?
- What Was the Most Memorable Fight You’ve Ever Been In?

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Our Prediction…Pain: Bellator Signs Melvin Manhoef (!) and Re-Signs Paul Daley

I pray for the poor locals who get matched up against these guys for their big debuts.

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Quote of the Day: Tim Kennedy Goes Nuclear on Vitor Belfort’s (Alleged) Drug Use, Says Belfort Won’t Be Able to Compete Clean

"I don't care if he's like, drinking Jesus' blood like he says he is or whatever, it doesn't work that way. Like, he's been using steroids for like 15 or 20 years, and he still is using them."

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NBD, But CagePotato Was Just Quoted By THE F*CKING NEW YORKER

Let it be written that on this day, validation was spelled C-A-G-E-P-O-T-A-T-O.

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CagePotato Ban: Saying You Don’t Care If Your Opponents Are Using PEDs

You think it makes you look like a badass. Instead, it makes your sport look like a joke.

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Is MMA About to Enter a New Golden Age?

MMA was headed for a perplexing time when it was simultaneously bigger than ever but smaller than ever, when the fighters were more talented but less popular than ever. A series of fortunate events and circumstances can change all that.

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UFC Fight Night 46 Results: Conor McGregor Tears Through Diego Brandao

Conor McGregor wowed the Irish audience with his destruction of Diego Brandao at UFC Fight Night 46.

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UFC Fight Night 46: McGregor vs. Brandao — Live Results & Commentary

Round-by-round results for the King of Dublin's UFC homecoming and the rest of the main card scraps will be right here beginning at 3 p.m. ET / noon PT.

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Dana White Enters the “Public Burial” Phase of His Break-Up With Nate Diaz

Maybe White will eventually figure out that the common denominator in all of his hostile relationships is himself. Nah, he won't.

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Friday Links: A Day in Dublin With Conor McGregor, Dana White Hoping for Ronda vs. Gina in December, Kids Swearing in Movies + More

Some must-see highlights from our friends around the Internet.

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CagePotato Roundtable #33: What is the Greatest One-Minute Fight of All Time?

How good can a fight *really* be if it ends quicker than Michael Bisping's prom night? That's just the question we're trying to answer in this week's CP Roundtable.

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Barnburner Alert: Donald Cerrone vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov Reportedly Booked for UFC 178 in September [UPDATE: GOD DAMN IT]

Not only is it a fantastic matchup, it could potentially produce a title contender, as both men are currently hovering around the top of the 155-pound division.

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Video: Dana White and Kazushi Sakuraba Discuss the Bad Old Days of PRIDE

The sociopathic matchmakers at PRIDE wanted Sakuraba to fight Fedor Emelianenko at one point; that was the only fight he ever turned down.

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Non-MMA Video of the Day: Stuart Scott’s Beautiful, Inspiring Speech At Last Night’s ESPYs

"When you die, it doesn't mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”

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UFC Fight Night 45 Video Highlights: Donald Cerrone vs. Jim Miller, Edson Barboza’s Nasty Body Kick TKO + More

If you didn't tune in to UFC Fight Night 45: Cerrone vs. Miller last night, slap yourself in the face.

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Jessamyn Duke’s Fight Night 45 Loss Was Due to a Broken Hand, Not Getting KTFO, According to Shayna Baszler

"Lost due to a cut, IMO."

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Ronda Rousey Wins ‘Best Female Athlete’ at 22nd Annual ESPY Awards

Sure, it's just a silly cable TV sports award. But Ronda winning "Best Female Athlete" is kind of a big deal.

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Fight Night 45: Cerrone vs. Miller — Liveblogging the Fights You Actually Care About

Round-by-round updates and results for the two or three essential fights on tonight's Fight Night card.

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Bellator 123 Adds Cheick Kongo vs. Lavar Johnson, King Mo vs. Tom DeBlass, And the Debut of Bobby Lashley [#FridayNightWars]

On September 5th, Southeastern Connecticut is going to host way more top-notch MMA than it deserves, honestly.

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CagePotato Ban: Calling For “Superfights” That Are Anything But

If Jon Jones vs. Anderson Silva taught us anything, it's that the only matchups good enough to actually warrant the "superfight" moniker are never going to happen.

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TUF 8 Winner Efrain Escudero Gets Another Ticket Back to UFC, Will Face Francisco Trinaldo

If you put together a list of the most successful Ultimate Fighter winners in the show's history, TUF 8's Efrain Escudero would definitely not be on that list.

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