Steroids in MMA
Which MMA Fighter Will Test Positive For Steroids Next?

March, 2008

Evan Tanner Is Dead Broke

(“The picture above was taken at the end of a week and a half of hardcore Blackjack.” Ed. note: [*shakes head*])

Cue Debbie Downer. Evan Tanner posted another journal entry today about how he’s already lost all the money he earned from UFC 82, and is now completely broke. Like, broke to the point of digging through dirty laundry and storage boxes to find enough change to buy a can of off-brand tuna, which is all he’s been consisting on for days. Hungry, and without money to buy food. Like, homeless person broke. And why? Because he spent a week and a half in a casino trying to win enough cash to pay his bills and other debts, and ended up losing what little he actually had. And also? He’d do it all over again if he could.

The subtext here is that Evan Tanner has replaced the delusions and denials of an alcohol addiction for the delusions and denials of a gambling addiction, but I’m not sure if he’s made the connection yet. I’m tempted to just copy+paste his entire heartbreaking/infuriating story, but here’s the meat of it:

For those of you who don’t know, when a fighter competes in the UFC, the purse is usually broken into two equal parts. There is a guaranteed purse the fighter receives just for showing up, and then there is the bonus purse, the other half, the fighter receives if he wins the fight. I knew that if I won the fight, I would be able to get everyone paid back, pay off the invoices I owed for the Team Tanner gear, pay my web designer, and have enough left over to get me to my next fight. Well, as we all know, the fight didn’t go as well as I had hoped. I only got the guaranteed purse, minus the medicals and other deductions. Considering the amount of money I owed, this didn’t really leave me much money to work with.

What was most important to me, more important than my own comfort, was paying back the people that had helped me out, and paying off my obligations. It is nothing more than a man should do.

But then it hit me, the thought that I could take what I had left down to the casino, and that maybe, just maybe I would get lucky, and make enough money to pay the last of my bills. That’s what I did. I took my money down to the casino……And I did get lucky, lucky enough to think I was going to get it done. I played hard. I don’t do anything halfway. I put my time in. I was so deep into it that I lost reference. I went at is for a week and a half, staying up all night, playing blackjack for 24 hours straight sometimes, forgetting to eat, not wanting to sleep…

In the end, I lost not only what I had won, but the little bit I had started out with as well. So I spent a week and a half gambling, staying up all night, not eating, dealing with all of the emotional ups and down of winning and losing, and I don’t have much to show for it, except that now I’m broke, I’m feeling really worn out, I’m a little depressed, and my sleep scedule is backwards.

Now you may ask if I regret it, if I would do it differently if I could, if I would take it back. NOT A CHANCE!!!!! … I went for it. I put it all on the line. I always will. I knew what the consequences would be if I failed, and I was willing to accept them. So any of you reading who might be feeling a twinge of sympathy, don’t. I made my decisions, and I accept the consequences. I’m no victim. And to those who are thinking about preaching at me, don’t bother. I won’t hear you. I haven’t accomplished anything in this life worth remembering by playing it safe. That’s boring to me anyway.

Great accomplishment only comes with great risk. I’ll accept the crippling, gut wrenching disappointment of risking all, and failing, but only by putting my whole heart and soul, my whole being into something, will I have the chance to walk among the stars. Those who risk nothing, those who live their lives in fear, will never have that chance. Failure is not a sin. It’s being too afraid to even try, that is a sin.

…which I guess is a noble attitude, if we were talking about anything other than gambling in Vegas. Failure, according to my definition, is putting up your tuna money against the turn of a card, and for an addict, success means avoiding risky behavior altogether. Evan will undoubtedly relapse unless he gets into a program, with a sponsor, somewhere far away from his current situation. We hope he realizes that those who are “preaching” at him only want to save his life.


Chuck Liddell’s 2 Seconds of Hollywood Glory

Our favorite author makes an appearance in the upcoming Owen Wilson flick, Drillbit Taylor. Blink and you’ll miss it. Seriously…

Wonder how many takes it took to get a coherent performance from Chuck?


Scoops: Roy Jones Vs. The Spider, EliteXC’s CBS Date & More

Not a giant parade-style announcement, but the reported date for the EliteXC’s first event on CBS is May 31st. Ads are supposed to begin during tomorrow’s coverage of the NCAA basketball tournament (go Big Blue, by the way).

And now for some more news from the afternoon:

— Anderson Silva recently stated he wanted a new challenge — specifically to box mega-star Roy Jones, Jr. Jones has now addressed Silva’s goal to take him on outside the MMA world. The former boxing champ was interviewed about his next fight and “Spider” Silva’s name came up. From MMAFightline:

“The trip was great. The fans over there seemed highly interested in having me go over there to showcase my talents and put on a show with him. They know if I’m there it’s guaranteed to be a good show. Right now I’m also hearing that this guy Silva is really talking about fighting me in a boxing match and I think that’s bigger than Beyer. If he comes up again, I mean he got on his website that he wants Roy Jones Jr, if he’s serious that might mean more to me than going to Germany and fighting Beyer. In Germany I know I’m going to knock Beyer out because that’s the way I have to win over there. But with Silva, I know I can outbox him and be good. It would be smarter for me to fight I don’t know his first name, but Silva first and then Beyer or the winner of Bernard and Calzaghe.”

We’ll monitor this one closely and keep ya’ posted if it looks like this thing might actually happen.

— Although he sometimes sounds like a moron, Bill Goldberg’s latest “Toe-to-Toe” is below for your viewing pleasure. This enstallment features Frank Shamrock and Cung Le training for their March 29th fight. We learn that Cung Le employs some kind of witchcraft smoke remedy to help his muscles recover, and am I crazy or does Frank Shamrock occasionally exhibit the same kind of manic energy as this dude? Check it out:


Kimbo Slice Gives Charlie Horses

Keep this in mind the next time a cute girl offers you 25 bucks to do some “fucked up shit.”


Quick Poll: What’s Stupider?

(Google Image Search result #1 for “freak show.” Apologies.)

From FightOpinion:

Nikkan Sports has a report claiming that Antonio Inoki is interested in Kurt Angle making his MMA debut on the IGF 4/12 Osaka Prefectural Gym show. According to Inoki, Angle will likely participate with open-fingered gloves and that it may be a 3-way MMA match involving Naoya Ogawa & Josh Barnett. Making this story even better is the fact that Angle has to work a TNA PPV the next day (4/13) in the States.

From Fightlinker:

DEEP is putting on a ‘Megaton’ grand prix, which means it’s a big fatty fest. Not only is this the most awesome concept ever, but if you’re a fat fuck too, you get free booze!

DEEP has announced the match-ups for their Megaton GP. I expect the fighters going at it with a lot of heart and maybe not the best of skills in this event. All in all, should make for some exciting fights.

Also, audience members weighing in at over 100kg can expect a 500yen drink coupon.

I guess the better question is — which of these events would you rather watch with your buddies while stoned? Hook us up, Mark


Fight of the Day: Sergei Kharitonov vs. Murilo “Ninja” Rua

One of Kharitonov‘s best performances, from PRIDE Total Elimination in April 2004. What was expected to be mainly a grappling match between Sergei and Ninja turned into a wild slugfest, with both fighters throwing leather until Rua’s legs give out at the 1:58 mark. (Also check out Kharitonov’s butter-smooth judo toss at 0:50.) We can’t wait until this dude steps into the ring with Mirko…


Exclusive Interview: Bodog Matchmaker Eric Nicholl

(The Bodog Girls: “ridiculously gorgeous.”)

Though he’s only thirty years old, Eric Nicholl calls the shots as matchmaker for BodogFIGHT‘s Vancouver-based operation. It’s a job that demands his attention 24/7 — Nicholl has to juggle phone calls, e-mails, meetings, fighters’ demands, contracts, and a host of other details on a daily basis — but he makes it look easy. Fresh off of a well-deserved vacation, Eric took a moment to chat with us about matchmaking, Bodog’s much-jeered payouts, Matt Lindland‘s gripe, and who his choice is to play him on the big screen.

CagePotato: How did you get the Bodog job?
Eric Nicholl: It’s kind of a unique situation. The company that really does all the marketing and advertising is Riptown Media, and I had transitioned from operations about 3 ½ years ago into marketing/PR for BodogFIGHT. So I was basically the initial person that was going through doing the media interviews. And it kind of developed from there. With mixed martial arts, I’ve got seven years of kickboxing underneath my belt and I wrestled in high school. And I also attended university on a full football scholarship. Contact sports and hand-to-hand combat has always been a passion for me. Basically, BodogFIGHT totally evolved. I kind of got to come along with it. I got to work alongside some really key people in the industry, like Miguel Iturrate, our original matchmaker. I studied under him since the beginning of August, 2006.

Describe what you do, in a nutshell.
Not only do I focus on matchmaking, but I also look at fighter relations. I look at scouting, single fight, multi-fight contracts, purse negotiations. I look at sponsorship proposals. My day, I come in, I’ll fire up my computer and I’ll just scan through the list of guys getting a hold of my e-mail and they want to be fighters. ‘What do I have to do?’ I’ve kind of taken the approach that I’m going to reply to every single one of these guys. If they reply back, fantastic. If they actually fill out the bio stuff that I need, if they have some amateur fights, I want to see video of it. I want to see what their style is, how finely tuned their skills are. I want to see what they look like in a ring, on a canvas. I’d say out of about a hundred people that actually reply back to me, I’ll get five or six that will actually complete the bio form that I need from them. Once it gets to there, I’d say maybe two out of a hundred will actually make it to the cut, where I can say, “Okay, great, you’re an up-and-comer, I can match you against another up-and-comer and let’s see if you guys can make the cut.” It’s a swift process.

Tape is critical. Typically what I’ll do (everyday), I’ll catch up on my e-mail, I’ll go through the forums, all the message boards, all the sites, just to see what’s going on to stay up on all the news as I possibly can. If there’s nothing super important, typically I’ll have meetings — planning for different events, who we want to work with. The people we want to work with — the different organizations — is a key factor. It’s a small niche industry and I want to surround myself with the most positive people.

Do you interact with other organizations’ matchmakers a lot?
All the time. The bigger camps all around the world…Brazil, the UK…again, these are like promoters/matchmakers, they kind of do everything. I also work very tightly with our commissioner and that’s Jeff Osbourne. I don’t think his word is gospel, but I certainly have a tremendous amount of respect for what he has to say. There are different philosophies that I find amongst these other matchmakers — some people are sport purists, other people are all entertainment value. I find that the right mix of personality of someone that can see the value of the sport as a sport — because it is — but also the value of the sport as an entertainment outlet. At the end of the day, you need to have people watching the show.

What happens when, say, an injury or something leaves you without a fighter just days from an event? Where do you look for a replacement?
Again, that has a lot to do with networking. If someone goes down, I will rely on a local promoter that I’ve made contacts with. And there are certain groups in various regions that have guys who train very hard. A specific example is Eben Oroz — I called him when we did our TV shoot in Vancouver in August of this past summer and it was to fight “DJ.taiki” (Daiki Hata). On four days notice. Daiki is a phenomenal fighter, he’s world-renowned and he (Eben) took the fight last minute. And he stepped in and won a great fight and an incredible upset.

It’s really setting up your network as to who you draw from — and at the end of the day, depending on the level of the fighter, I have probably a thousand bios of fighters all set up by the weight class and I’ll look at them. If there’s a guy that maybe deserves a shot, that’s on the cusp, let’s get him in the ring, let’s give him a shot.

The hours you keep must be crazy.
I have my Blackberry. I work 24 hours a day, every day of the week. One of the reasons for that is I’ve got people in Russia, I have people in Brazil, the U.K., we have fighters in Australia, Japan, so my phone rings all hours of the day…and I’ll answer it.


‘The Nightmare’ to Return in June; UFC Stars to Hit the Big Screen?

(Sanchez, lookin’ like a straight badass.)

Sherdog reports that Diego Sanchez, born-again-hard after his beating of David Bielkheden earlier this month at UFC 82, has verbally accepted a main-event fight against fellow welterweight Luigi Fioravanti at the Ultimate Fighter 7 finale on June 21st in Las Vegas. Fioravanti has a 3-2 record in the UFC, and most recently threw around Luke “Sickly” Cummo at “Pride of a Champion.” It feels like a second tune-up match for Sanchez, but at least it’s relatively high-profile; if Sanchez ever had contract beef with the UFC, it’s been resolved and he’s back on the star track again.

The other UFC news that interests us today is this Variety feature (dug up by MMAPayout) about the potential of MMA stars crossing over into Hollywood. The important bit:

[I]nvestors have approached UFC’s execs about forming a film division that would produce pics that star the league’s fighters. WWE has a similar arm that’s pumped out three pics so far and is readying its fourth.

Does this mean we’ll be seeing a new version of See No Evil starring Tim Sylvia? A “UFC Films” deal could potentially turn into a quagmire of ill-advised cheesiness — but on the other hand, Quinton Jackson needs some better roles than Midnight Meat Train


Genki Sudo’s Dad Buys Him a Rolex, May Have Menopause


Don’t you wish more American fighters had quirky blogs where they detailed the hilarious minutiae of their lives? We’re stuck with the there-but-for-the-grace-of-God heaviness of Evan Tanner’s journal, while Akihiro Gono is complaining about his sexual frustration and Shinya Aoki is describing the pattern samples for his new tights. Anyway, Genki Sudo (of K-1 and Ninja Warrior fame) just updated his blog, Suki MMA translated, and we just wanted to share:

I had my birthday on Mar 9 and decided to buy something for me. The item I choose is a rolex watch. I went to see my parents and told them about buying it. My dad said, you did great in your 20′s and I will pay for it. I thought he is generous because of getting an influence of the metabolic syndrome. I thanked him and he asked me to tell everybody he bought my rolex.

Spread the word, Potato Nation — Genki didn’t pay for that watch himself.


Cro Cop to Fight Kharitonov?


Can you read whatever this language is? Well, according to RedSweat, those bizarre combinations of letters and accent-marks suggest that Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic will take on PRIDE vet Sergei Kharitonov (pictured above) at DREAM 4 in mid-June. As the story goes:

Crocop was supposed to fight Kharitonov at the recent DREAM.1 event but Mirko turned down the bout stating that Sergei would be too tough a match for him after a six month break.

[*cough*]pussy! Sporting a 15-3 record, Kharitonov holds notable victories over Murilo Rua, Fabricio Werdum, and Pedro Rizzo, but he hasn’t fought since a K-1 HERO’s event last September, where he avenged an earlier loss to Alistair Overeem. We hope this matchup is legit, because it seems like a perfect test to determine if Cro Cop still has his fighting spirit, or if he lost it completely in the UFC’s cage.

Allegedly, an official announcement will be made at DREAM 2, which is scheduled to take place on April 29th. That event will host the first round of DREAM’s Middleweight GP.