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

April, 2008

Video: “Uniquely Fierce Creatures?”

Courtesy of our broheems at Ariel Helwani, who has the power to control women with his mind, sent out Arianny “#1” Celeste to gauge the MMA/UFC knowledge of Montreal residents before UFC 83. But the only thing they can seem to agree on is how hot Arianny Celeste is. Creepy middle-aged guy at 3:22 FTW!

For more Arianny goodness, check out MMARated’s UFC 83 afterparty photo gallery.


Exclusive: Mac Danzig Talks Latest Win, TUF Stigma, and More

Mac Danzig
(‘I’m here to eat some hummus and kick some ass. I am all out of hummus.’)

Mac Danzig may be one of the most accomplished fighters yet to win Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t feeling the same pressure to live up to the hype that other winners have labored under. His submission victory over Mark Bocek on his first UFC pay-per-view this past Saturday was a good start to his UFC career, but Danzig is hoping that it’s just the beginning.

In this exclusive Cage Potato interview Danzig talks about the price of celebrity, about his future in the UFC’s lightweight division, and about his hard-fought victory in Montreal. First of all, congratulations on your victory. Looking at this matchup beforehand, it seemed like you were a pretty heavy favorite, 5-1 according to some of the betting lines. Were you expecting Mark Bocek to be as tough as he was?

Yeah, I knew it would be a really tough fight. I thought it had potential to be tougher than it was. The betting lines don’t really mean anything to me and I try not to look at them. I was kind of pissed when I did see them, actually, because I thought to myself, ‘Man, they’re not giving this guy enough credit.’

It’s kind of a tough situation for me because everyone’s just expecting me to steamroll this guy. He didn’t have a big name and so people didn’t realize how tough he was. It’s really a no-win situation because people just expect me to win and if I don’t it really messes up my status in the sport. If I do win, it’s like, hey, no big deal. But I knew how tough he was. He and I have a common opponent, this guy named John Mahlow, and he took me to a decision while Mark Bocek submitted him in the first round. So I knew what he was capable of and I knew it was going to be a tough fight.

Toward the end of the fight when he was cut and his eye was swelling up pretty badly it looked like you were able to land the straight right at will, like he couldn’t see it coming at all. Was that something you noticed right away and did you try and exploit that?

When I first cut him with that knee and I saw how bad it was I thought there was a chance they might stop it because of the cut. But I wasn’t going to wait around for that to happen. I wanted to finish him. It was a pretty nasty cut, though. The blood was squirting about two feet out at one point, so I was thinking to circle to my right and stay on his left side where he might have trouble seeing.

When the doctors checked him out he got a little breather and he came back in there with a sense of desperation, trying to swing for the fences and get a knockout. I felt like I was on my way to setting up a pretty good knockout before they stopped it to look at the cut, but who knows.

Going into this fight – your first since winning The Ultimate Fighter – what was the pressure like? Were you feeling that burden of being a TUF winner?


ProElite Opens the Books

(Gary Shaw: “The soup, salad, and breadsticks are on me.”)

Following in the footsteps of the floundering International Fight League, ProElite released its 10-K annual report last week, which revealed that even though EliteXC’s CBS deal might turn their fortunes around, things are still tough all over in the MMA world. Some highlights:

— ProElite has lost $31.3 million through 2007, including $27.1 million in 2007 alone.

— The company generated $5.3 million in revenue last year, including $4.6 million in live gate revenue and $447,679 in television and pay-per-view revenue.

— ProElite spent $9.6 million on events in 2007, including $2.9 million in production costs paid to Showtime. The company actually received no license fee from Showtime last year and absorbed all the production costs. ProElite will be receiving a licensing fee this year, however, reported to be between $50,000 (for ShowXC events) up to $500,000 (for major events).

— cost the company $3.3 million in 2007, while generating only $68,782 in revenue. Lesson: Social networking may be the hip trend these days, but good luck making a buck with it if your name isn’t Facebook or MySpace.

— EliteXC live events prez Gary Shaw earned $435,724 last year, $78 of which went to his wardrobe.

— As with the IFL, ProElite’s auditors have expressed “substantial doubt” about the company’s ability to sustain operations at this rate of financial loss.

So, ProElite didn’t earn a cent from Showtime for licensing last year, and the “Strikeforce on NBC” deal is a straight-up infomercial-style time buy. It may have seemed strange that these smaller leagues beat the UFC to network television, but when Dana White says “we’re not going to sign any deals that don’t make sense,” this is pretty much what he’s referring to.


“…and licking the blood off his face while I’m punching him…”

BJ Penn, God bless him, has not given up on the blood-licking thing — and he vows to do it again when he fights Sean Sherk. Check out the pre-fight hype in these new UFC 84 promo videos, which run down the matchups between Penn and Sherk, as well as Silva vs. Jardine and Oritz vs. Machida.

(Dana White: “BJ Penn is a fucking *fighter*.”)

(Dana White on Wanderlei Silva: “This guy, loves, to fucking, *fight*.”)

(Dana White on Tito Ortiz: “I think he has the will and desire to be successful. He doesn’t have the will and desire to be the best fighter in the world.”)

(Props: BloodyElbow)


UFC 85 Rumor Mill: Bisping vs. Leben on SpikeTV?

(Decisions, decisions…)

Though the UFC has confirmed none of this yet, some strong UFC 85-related rumors are circulating that we wanted to pass along. The word is…

— James Irvin will indeed fight Rashad Evans, replacing an injured Chuck Liddell.

— The main event will feature Michael Bisping taking on Chris Leben. (Thanks for listening, guys!)

— UFC 85 will possibly be broadcast on SpikeTV. That would be enough to appease American fans — with four solid matchups on the main card (including Vera/Werdum and Davis/Swick), it’ll be at least as entertaining as an “Ultimate Fight Night” — but a show without a true big-name headliner could potentially slow the UFC’s momentum in the U.K.

We’ll let you know when any of that is formally announced.

Somewhat related: You think seven weeks is a short layover for Michael Bisping? Well, Rich Clementi is only getting five before his next fight. “No Love,” who just scored a hard-fought split-decision victory over Sam Stout on the undercard of UFC 83, has been booked to replace an injured Rob Emerson in a lightweight match against Terry Etim at UFC 84 (May 24th, Las Vegas). Clementi has won his last three UFC bouts, including submission victories over Melvin Guillard and Anthony Johnson, while Etim took his first career loss via unanimous decision against Gleison Tibau at UFC 75.


Dear Guy Attending This Live MMA Event: An Open Letter

UFC Just Bleed guy
(In retrospect, this was a cry for help that his friends really should have noticed)

Dear Guy Attending This Live MMA Event,

Hey dude, how’s it going? I can’t help but notice that you’re sitting in the seat right behind mine. That’s cool. It’s just that – and I don’t want to sound like a jerk here or anything – you’re kind of driving me crazy.

I know you’re just trying to have a good time, but I have a couple of tips for you. Five, to be exact. Just hear me out:

1. You don’t need to catcall the ring girl every time she gets up to ply her trade. The first couple of times? When you shouted out crude expressions about parts of her body that you found attractive, once even suggesting that you would have sexual intercourse with her if given the chance? Yeah, I think she got the point then. You don’t have to keep doing it seven fights in. She knows how “totally freaking hot” she is without you screaming it at her.

2. Take it easy with the boo’s. Don’t get me wrong, I think expressing displeasure is your right as a ticket buyer. Maybe it’s even part of the fun. But if you boo at everything, I worry that soon you will make the act of booing seem meaningless.

It’s like in that last fight, when you booed as soon as the action hit the mat. Then you booed after the stand-up, and at the end of the round. You see that security guard? He’s coming over here to take your beer away. Then you’ll really have something to boo about.


Quote Stew: Lindland, Dana, ‘Big Dan’ + More

(“Oh, hello poor people.” — philanthropist Calvin Ayre.)

“The only organization that wasn’t willing to make me an offer was the UFC. They don’t want the best fighters; they want the best fighters that they can control.”
Matt Lindland on his new deal with Affliction. Lindland also revealed that EliteXC approached him with an offer, but was outbid by the t-shirt company turned MMA-promoter.

“We’re going to make the WEC the smaller weights and the UFC will be the heavier weights. We’ll probably take some of the guys in the higher weights, the champions over there and bring them into UFC. We’re still trying to figure that out.”
Dana White on further distinguishing Zuffa’s MMA properties. He told the Canadian Press that the UFC has no plans to install a 145-pound division or a women’s division.

“While I know I can win against any lightweight in the world on a given day, I fell twice in a row [to Kenny Florian and Josh Neer]. Therefore, I’m going to bow out. Good luck to those guys. I’m going to drop down to 145 lbs and see if those guys down there will embrace me.”
Din Thomas on his future plans, which will hopefully include the WEC’s featherweight division.

“You’ve likely heard the rumblings and rumors… and for once…. it’s true… I’m packing it in! Well, who am I kidding? I was really more of a brand ambassador for Bodog the past while anyway – but it was fun while it lasted.”
Calvin Ayre announcing his retirement from Bodog, which will be restructuring and returning its focus to gaming, and not so much on money-losing fight promotions.

“I was asked by the UFC to help with security when the 2 fighters entered the ring area. They where more worried about Matt than GSP. Next thing I know some wack job is jumping over the barriers and charging the ring. I didn’t want to hurt the guy so I was just going to put him to sleep and then help get him out of there before he hurt someone or himself.”
UFC ref Dan Miragliotta (who comes in at 6’4”, 296 pounds) on his rear-naked-choke of Joe Asshole at UFC 83.


Starnes’s Actual Excuse Is Foot-Related

(Remember when Kalib’s claim to fame was this cut?)

The Fight Network picks up the blue ribbon for being the first to get Kalib Starnes’s side of the story. In a new interview, Starnes does his best to defend himself and debunk some rumors…

On why he jogged around the Octagon for 15 minutes: “Right now, I have a broken foot [that] I sustained with the first kick I threw in the fight…I can barely walk. [Quarry] totally destroyed my thigh with those kicks. I’m not about to stand there and get smashed to pieces. After I knew my foot was broken, I was trying to back up and work off the jab and keep moving so I didn’t get knocked out.”

On the reports that his performance was a protest: “Any report or rumor that I came on any radio station to comment on the fight or circumstances surrounding the fight or in reference to the UFC or Dana White is completely false.”

On his release from the UFC: “[UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva told me that it usually takes a couple of days for their legal department to complete the paperwork and that he would send me all of the paperwork to indicate that my contract has been dissolved. Later on in the afternoon, after I had spoken to Joe Silva, a story was released by some reporter from Yahoo! in which Dana White said that he had released me from my contract. I received no documentation on that, and it came after I asked to be released…I couldn’t be happier than to be released from the most oppressive contract I’ve ever been under in my life.”


Matt Hughes, Schadenfreude, And Life Inside the HIT Squad

Matt Hughes and his hummer
(America, f*ck yeah!)

Here’s what I love about Matt Hughes’ blog: you always get what you came for, even if you don’t know why you’re there. It’s the blog that has everything.

Inspirational stories that sound like they’re taken from bookmarks at the Christian Reading Room? Check. Pictures of Matt and his brother doing a little target shooting? You bet. Even some videos where Hughes and a “personal trainer” attempt some physical challenges designed to sprain your ankles and impress chicks? Absolutely.

But the latest gem over at is Hughes’ take on the GSP-Serra bout. Read carefully. At first you think he’s had a change of heart, then it becomes clear that he just wants to see Serra punished a little more:

“GSP had a good game plan to take Matt Serra down and wear him out. I found myself rooting for Serra at the end of the second round, I wanted him to make it to the third round. I thought if it would get to the third round GSP would decide to stand up with him and possibly knock him out. I just wanted Matt to get beat on for five rounds, not just two; but I knew the ref was about ready to stop it. The UFC said that if Serra loses I get him, but I don’t know when that will be. I’m going to guess six to eight months, so I’ve found myself watching my diet and exercising more.”

The other thing I love about the Hughes blog is the little glimpses we get into his worldviews. For example, there’s a long entry about whether or not it’s a sin to celebrate Easter. There’s also one where he equates “deaths caused by physicians” with gun violence. It kind of makes you wonder why Matt Serra’s “Buy Guns/Sell Guns” gear didn’t win him over on Saturday night.

Of course, there’s fun stuff too. Like this training footage inside the HIT Squad, where Hughes drives home a point about the importance of wearing a mouthpiece. Also, note the mats on the floor and walls of the gym. Yeah, that’s camouflage. Deal with it, freedom-hater.


This Gets You $75,000?

As previously reported, Jason MacDonald picked up the $75,000 Knockout of the Night bonus for his handling of Joe Doerksen at UFC 83. In case you haven’t seen it, the video is above (and if the vid goes down, there’s an animated gif of the fight’s end after the jump). MacDonald put on a brave performance, white-knuckling through a deep kimura attempt by Doerksen in the first round, before taking Doerksen down early in the second and clubbing him with elbows until the fight was stopped.

Well, sort of stopped. Check out the 8:37-8:46 mark — it looks like Mazzagatti tries to stop the fight, but MacDonald presses on and throws three more punches into the face of Doerksen, who’s clearly unconscious by that point. Big John (or even Big Dan) would have thrown MacDonald across the cage, but Mazzagatti can only ineffectually flap his arms. Maybe it was bad sportsmanship by “The Athlete,” maybe bad reffing is to blame; in any case, I don’t think this chaotic moment should have earned anybody 75 large.