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

April, 2008

‘EliteXC: Primetime’ — Tix Now on Sale


Tickets for CBS/EliteXC’s first “Saturday Night Fights” card (May 31st; Newark, NJ) are now available at Ticketmaster and Prices range from a mere $18 in the mezzanine nosebleeds to a whopping $1,003 for VIP ringside seating (the $3 covers the bag of peanuts they bring you). A press release sent out by ProElite yesterday contained the following notable quotes…

“This is a tremendous opportunity for me and I will have a solid game plan for it. The world will be watching. I’ll be ready.’’ — James Thompson

“I don’t take anyone lightly. I’ve got a big target on me.’’ — Gina Carano

“I’m totally pumped. Gina always comes to fight and doesn’t seem to have an off day. I think on paper we are probably even. One of my greatest advantages is definitely that I have a very aggressive striking style. I think it’s more aggressive than Gina’s.’’ — Kaitlin Young

“I am sick and tired of what’s been going on and someone’s going to pay and that someone is Villasenor. I am going to knock the s— out of Villasenor and then go after one of the champions again.’’ — Phil Baroni

Note to CBS: After Phil Baroni fights, do not give him the microphone.


On Kimbo Slice: Bas Rutten For The Defense

Bas Rutten
(“El Guapo” reminds you: don’t hate the player, hate the game.)

by Ben Fowlkes

Arguing over Kimbo Slice has been a favorite pastime of MMA fans, journalists, and even fighters, ever since the big man entered sanctioned competition. Well, Bas Rutten has heard all the criticism, and he has something to say.

In the latest episode of HDNet’s “Inside MMA”(Props: MMA Junkie), Rutten took aim at those who would attempt to disparage his protégé.

“He’s good to the fans, and he treats the people good. He talks good about the other fighters. He never talks bad. They talk bad about him, but not the other way around.

“He trains hard. He’s a role model. The guy’s never been in jail, and (yet) they say he’s a thug. The guy is doing a really good job, but everyone is just asking about him all the time, and it drives the other fighters nuts.”

Now, far be it from me to disagree with “El Guapo”, but there might be more to it than that. Rutten has some good points, namely that jealousy could be playing a part in the acrimony that comes from other fighters. Not only are they probably sick of being asked about him, but the guy is making six figures a fight with Elite XC. Other guys who have been paying their dues since the nineties consider themselves lucky to make that in a year, so you can understand why that might irk them.

But something about the assertion that since Kimbo has never been to jail we shouldn’t call him a thug rings false to me. First of all, do we really want to start giving people credit for staying out of jail? And second, maybe the reason people accuse him of being a thug is because he used to participate in illegal underground fights for the pornographers that he did security for.


Mir/Nogueira Rumor Returns, in Mutated Form

(“Aim for the one in the middle.”)

Earlier today, we reminded you that a fight between heavyweights Frank Mir and Justin McCully was slated to go down at UFC 86; shortly after, the matchup disappeared from the UFC 86 fight card page. So what happened? Well, if you’ll remember way back to last week, we reported that Mir had signed to be a coach on the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter, competing against a team led by Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. We stand by that report, but it would also make sense that the UFC would now try to convince Mir and Nogueira to headline UFC 85, which still lacks a credible main event — unless they give up and put the card on SpikeTV for free, in which case Bisping vs. Leben is fine by us. We’ll update you if anything is formally announced.

In other UFC news…

Charles McCarthy has retired. When I first saw that headline I was like, “OMFG, no more Krazy Horse?!” Then I realized they weren’t talking about Charles Bennett, but about that douche who couldn’t fight nearly as well as he trash-talked vs. Bisping last weekend. Good luck with all your future endeavors…?

— The UFC is reportedly negotiating with FOX for a network TV deal, but is going through their entertainment division as opposed to the sports division, just as it tried to do with CBS and NBC. As MMAPayout writes, “In theory, the promotion would enjoy greater editorial control as an entertainment property, which was reportedly a sticking point in its negotiations with HBO and CBS.”

Brandon Vera’s one-year goal is to win both the UFC’s heavyweight and light heavyweight titles. After he steamrolls through Nogueira (or whoever, really) and Quinton Jackson (or Forrest?), he plans on buying Rampage a car with a vanity plate that says “LOSER.” Just another sad example of the delusional behavior brought on by extended Norco abuse.


New ‘Gladiator’ Loses Shit, Beats Husband

(Erin Toughill, limbering up before a pill-induced rage.)

In a development that will set female American Gladiators back ten years, MMA fighter Erin Toughill — who will be appearing alongside Gina “Crush” Carano in the next season of the spandex-and-ball-cannon freak show — was slapped with a restraining order last week by her husband Clark Bevans, who also happens to be an MMA fighter. As TMZ reports:

[Bevans] claims Toughill went “insane” with jealously, and accused him of being “a pedophile, sociopath and homosexual.” Aside from allegedly beating him on several occasions, Bevans claims Toughill smashed the windshield of his RV. He also says Toughill “bodychecked, hockey style” a trainer at Gold’s Gym he had dated years before. … Bevans has filed for annulment. As for the restraining order, it was granted.

Sadly, that description only scratches the surface. Combing through the criminal report reveals the most amazingly batshit craziest bits. For example:

— “Over a twelve month period, during and after our marriage, Respondent obtained over nineteen (19) prescriptions for NORCO, a narcotic similar to “Oxycontin.”

— “We both came clean about dating other people during our separation…lmmediately after the “coming clean” session, Respondent went insane that I had dated others, despite the fact that she slept with two of my best friends and is currently engaged to a fellow marine friend of mine. Since then, Respondent tapped into my cell phone and has harassed, stalked and threatened most of the people that she found in my text messages (women). Said parties include my attorney, my hairdresser, my manager, various employees, a restaurant owner and her daughter and even the janitor at Gold’s Gym. She has even gone around and accused me of sleeping with my friend Andrew.”

— “On April 4, 2008…Respondent arrived at Shear Talent Hair Salon, barged in at 10:15 a.m. and yelled ‘Who’s Shelley Smith?’. Ms. Smith is my hairdresser. l had not seen her in over a year. A couple of days prior, via text message only, we confirmed a haircut appointment for me at 11:00 a.m. for the 4th. Respondent then yelled out – ‘Great, just wanted to see the bitch that was fucking my husband while we were married.’ [ed. note: LOFLZ!] When I arrived and learned all of this from Ms. Smith and others in the salon who were shaken up, I realized that once again, Respondent is accessing my T-Mobil account.”

Wait, it gets better…


NSAC Tests BJ Penn and Your Sense of Irony, All in One Day

B.J. Penn
(Just look at how good it feels to be drug-free.)

The Nevada State Athletic Commission has officially begun their off-competition drug-testing program, and their first testee was UFC interim lightweight champion B.J. Penn. While the NSAC does have some cause for concern about the presence of illegal substances in the upcoming UFC lightweight title bout, it probably isn’t Penn they need to be worried about.

Never fear though, because this week Sean Sherk is required to submit to an additional drug test by the NSAC. They also made him acknowledge that he is responsible for whatever substances end up in his body by whatever accidental/magical means. Because trust is something that you earn, Sean.

MMA Weekly reports that Penn came back clean for both performance-enhancing and recreational drugs, and quotes NSAC executive director Keith Kizer, who offers this completely unnecessary rationale for the program:

“Random testing throughout the year will further deter any fighters considering taking non-approved substances. The additional testing, which will be paid for by the Commission, will help us keep the sport of unarmed combat safe and fair for all fighters.”

The new testing program really only highlights questions as to why this didn’t begin sooner. Testing athletes only before events takes the element of surprise out of the picture, allowing them to cycle on and off with a firm testing date in mind.

Perhaps part of the reason this took so long to get off the ground is the commonly held belief that fighters are taking steroids in order to be stronger and faster on fight night. In fact, as Hermes Franca’s admission of steroid guilt after the Sherk fight taught us, the big benefit of steroids for MMA fighters is the aid in the physical recovery process.

Training hard twice a day for 4-6 weeks before a fight is bound to leave even the toughest guys in MMA a little banged up, if not downright injured. The knowledge that the NSAC may ask them to pee in a cup when they’re still a month or more away from the fight might make more fighters think twice about seeking help in a syringe.

While there’s no word yet on results of Sherk’s additional drug test, we have to assume that he isn’t stupid enough to so much as ingest a questionable protein shake before his first fight back from a steroid suspension. Regardless, expect the NSAC’s illegal substance awareness meter to be set to ‘ridiculously high’ approaching this event.


Video: Paulo Filho on Rehab, Sonnen

From Sherdog — for the first time since checking into a Brazilian rehab facility last month, undefeated WEC middleweight champ Paulo Filho speaks about his condition and his delayed rematch with Chael Sonnen. Apparently, Filho was addicted to “Rupinal” (possibly referring to Rohypnol, aka “the date rape drug”), and had been suffering from depression even before his first fight in America. As far as Sonnen, “What I have to say is the lion does not deal with men.” Wait a minute Paulo…are you high right now?!


Bookings a Poppin’: Barnett, Monson, Koscheck + More

(“Hey, my name’s Josh and I’m a sex addict.”)

— A heavyweight superfight between Josh Barnett and Jeff Monson has been announced as the main event of Sengoku II (May 18th, Tokyo); the card will also feature fights between Kevin Randleman and Ryo Kawamura, and Roger Gracie taking on an opponent to be named later. In recent weeks, Monson has also been reportedly booked to face Mike Russow at Adrenaline MMA’s debut event (June 14th, Chicago), as well as Kevin Randleman at a Global Fighting event on June 21st in Charlotte, N.C. With those three fights so close together, expect at least one to fall apart. Monson most recently defeated Hakim Gouram at a Ring of Fire event last December.

— Speaking of Adrenaline MMA, Monte Cox has been scurrying around trying to fill its first card. Besides Monson/Russow, the June 14th show is expected to feature IFL vet Bart Palaszewski taking on King of the Cage/UFC vet Jeff Cox, and ex-UFC fighter/boxer Terry Martin taking on Daiju Takase.

— The UFC officially added three fights to UFC 86 (July 5th, Las Vegas): Josh Koscheck vs. Chris “Lights Out” Lytle, Patrick Cote vs. Ricardo Almeida, and Cole Miller vs. Jorge Gurgel. Lytle and Almeida are coming off of impressive stoppage wins at UFC 81 in February, where Lytle picked up the “Knockout of the Night” bonus. UFC 86 will be headlined by the light-heavyweight title scrap between Quinton Jackson and Forrest Griffin, and is also expected to feature bouts between Joe Stevenson and Gleison Tibau, Frank Mir and Justin McCully, and Ben Saunders vs. Jared Rollins.

— As for the Ultimate Fighter 7 finale on June 21st, the UFC has confirmed that Evan Tanner vs. Kendall Grove will be the show’s main event — not Diego Sanchez vs. Luigi Fioravanti, which will get secondary status. Also officially booked are Spencer Fisher vs. Jeremy Stephens, Josh Burkman vs. Dustin Hazelett, Marvin Eastman vs. Drew McFedries, and Jeremy Horn vs. Dean Lister. And of course Tim Credeur vs. CB Dollaway (one would assume).


“Laissez les bons temps rouler”: TUF 7.4 Recap

(Tim Credeur takes a brain-scrambling illegal upkick.)

One of TUF 7‘s brightest prospects had to work his ass off to keep his place in the house on last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter, as Tim Credeur battled his way through a very game (but ultimately too inexperienced) Matthew Riddle. The fight was one of the best in recent TUF history, but before it went down, the following happened:

— Jesse Taylor, who we’ll henceforth refer to as “Mongo,” followed up his brilliant can’t-figure-out-the-dishwasher performance from last episode with a sequence of him not being able to figure out how to open a bottle of beer, then accidentally breaking some wooden window blinds. He also has “questionable spots on his body,” and with Paul Bradley’s herpes scare still fresh in their minds, Mongo’s housemates spray him down with Tinactin. Mongo is unfortunately poised to be the Private Pyle of the house.

— Matt “Chipper” Riddle is chomping at the bit to fight. His goofy enthusiasm rubs Dante Rivera the wrong way, and some trash talking ensues. Rivera claims he’ll retire from fighting if Riddle ever beats him, and after it’s announced that Riddle has been picked to face Tim Credeur, Rivera tries to bet Riddle $500 that he’ll lose the fight. Riddle refuses, and accuses Rivera of trying to get inside his head. “I live inside your head,” Rivera says. “You’re my son right now.”

— Tim Credeur knows that the Ultimate Fighter experience is a do-or-die moment in his career; if it doesn’t work out, he may need to find a different line of work. And the fact that he could be derailed by some punk-ass mama’s boy visibly upsets him. “For [Riddle], it’s a cool time, it’s neato mosquito,” Credeur says. “But for me, this is not neato.” He then says “let the good times roll” in French.

— Rampage tries to instill hatred of Team Forrest in his guys by suggesting that “Team Brown Nose” gets better treatment. “I bet their gloves fit them,” he says. In one scene, he goes to CB Dollaway for his take on what the next matchup might be; Dollaway may be emerging as Rampage’s consigliere.

So, Tim Credeur (Team Forrest, 10-2) and Matthew Riddle (Team Rampage, 1-0) finally go toe-to-toe, and it’s a wild one.


Could ‘Redbelt’ Be Legitimately Good?

Davvid Mamet, writer/director of 'Redbelt'
(‘You don’t like my movie? Tell me, which one of us has been nominated for an Academy Award and a Tony? That’s what I thought.’)

When word spread that famed writer/director David Mamet was behind a new movie about MMA, expectations ran high. Then the trailer came out and many fine MMA websites were quick to conclude that perhaps it wasn’t a film designed with the MMA aficionado in mind. And yet, Rolling Stone would have us believe that the movie is actually good.

It’s quite a conundrum. Enough to make us think we’ll actually have to see it before disparaging it.

I mean, okay, Randy Couture is in the movie. So is Tim Allen, and according to Peter Travers he is “superb at lacing charm with venom,” which becomes a difficult statement to believe right around the time the word ‘superb’ manages to sneak in there. All this begs the question: is Peter Travers (and by extension Rolling Stone) insane, or is there something to this buzz?

It’s worth noting that while ‘Redbelt’ got three out of four stars, so did ‘Leatherheads’. I’d suggest here that their ranking system is flawed, except they gave ’10,000 B.C.’ only one star, and that’s accurate as all hell. The review includes a brief plot summary of ‘Redbelt’ that makes the film seem, well, hokey, but let’s not forget that David Mamet has earned some street cred. To wit…


UFC Cast-Offs Join Forces for Something or Other

(We couldn’t find a picture of Tito posing with a 40 oz. bottle of Mickey’s malt liquor, but this is pretty close.)

If you needed more proof that Tito Ortiz is truly, madly, deeply done with the UFC after fighting Lyoto Machida at UFC 84, here goes: The Huntington Beach Bad Boy has just inked a major sponsorship with Mickey’s, which will see the “Fine Malt Liquor” developing promotions, events and packaging featuring Ortiz. Mickey’s will also be involved in cross-promotion with Ortiz’s Team Punishment clothing brand.

Unless you’ve sustained trauma to your hippocampus recently, you’ll recall that Mickey’s was the official beer sponsor of the Octagon until the UFC found greener pastures with Anheuser-Busch/Bud Light, and that Tito Ortiz was one of the UFC’s franchise-carrying fighters until he shifted his focus to acting, dating a porn star, and being a general pain in Dana White’s ass. And now they’ll be together, grumbling about how they never needed the stupid UFC anyway. Wonderful.

Still, this Mickey’s sponsorship could be pretty cool, depending on what Tito does with it. As long as he doesn’t demand a “Mickey’s Replay” every time he’s done banging Jenna…