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

April, 2008

Chuck Liddell’s Injury Is Disturbingly Real

(Any guesses on what they had to black out in the lower-left corner?)

Last night, the UFC officially confirmed Chuck Liddell’s hamstring injury and pullout from UFC 85. To quiet down the cynics who suggested that Chuck simply didn’t feel like traveling all the way to England to fight Rashad Evans, they released the above photo of a man showing off an enormous strawberry while cupping his taint ever so gently; apparently, it’s Liddell. According to Dana White:

“Chuck Liddell tore his right hamstring during training last week, and being the warrior that he is, he still wanted to fight, which is the reason why everyone in the world loves him. But I wouldn’t let anyone fight with his leg looking that way. Let him heal and come back and fight when he is 100 percent. We’re adding fights to the card and rearranging it so the UK fans won’t have to worry, we’ll still be bringing an amazing card to London and the O2 Arena.”

Sherdog is floating the rumor that James Irvin may step in to face Evans, though that certainly wouldn’t be the show’s main event. (It must be said that, historically, Irvin has performed very well against African-American fighters.) You’ll know more when we do…


Could Cain Velasquez Be the Future of the Heavyweight Division?

I admit it: I didn’t know much about Cain Velasquez before his UFC debut. Word had it he was a big time college wrestler, a two-time All-American at Arizona State and Pac-10 wrestler of the year in 2005. Call me cynical, but it’s hard to accept that at face value these days. Plenty of guys are great college wrestlers, only to become mediocre once they lace up the gloves.

Velasquez (3-0), however, seems like he might have a real future. He dismantled Brad Morris (9-3) in their undercard bout, and while Morris was also making his UFC debut – and while a win over him may or may not mean a great deal – it doesn’t change the fact that Velasquez looked good on Saturday night.

There’s something about a decorated wrestler who’s won all of his first three bouts via TKO that you have to like. Sure, Jake O’Brien started the same way before eventually being dropped from the UFC for reasons that seemed at least partially style-related, but with Velasquez training at AKA and putting people away like this, he seems like he might be someone to keep your eye on in the heavyweight division.


F**k! Chuck Liddell Injured, Out of UFC 85

(Sorry Nate, the Iceman has been doing the goofy-punch for years.)

It seems that the curse of Mauricio Rua extends past Shogun himself. MMARated brings us the disappointing news that Chuck Liddell recently sustained an injury and will not be fighting Rashad Evans in the main event of UFC 85 (June 7th, London); Liddell and Evans will supposedly face each other later in the summer. Liddell was originally supposed to fight Rua in UFC 85′s main event, but Rua ruptured his ACL and was replaced by Evans. No other information on Chuck’s condition is available at the moment.

Since UFC 85 doesn’t have a title fight attached to it — the other notable bouts on the card are a heavyweight match between Brandon Vera and Fabricio Werdum, and a welterweight bout between Marcus Davis and Mike Swick — Chuck’s injury represents a big loss for the event. If I was Dana White, I’d be calling Michael Bisping right now to see how his knees were doing. Not only is the Count a huge draw in his hometown, but he’s also two dominant wins away from being a credible opponent to Anderson Silva (from a marketing standpoint, at least). Unless they want the Spider on ice for the better part of a year, dreaming about boxing money, the UFC would be wise to arrange those fights for Bisping as soon as possible; and six weeks is about as soon as it gets. Nate Marquardt is already penciled in on the card to face Thales Leites. Why not poach him for an opponent?


And It’s Official: Starnes Gets Walking Papers

(Yeah, hilarious.)

If you told me six months ago that one day we’d publish three posts involving Kalib Starnes within a seven-hour period, I would have thrown my scotch in your face and damned you as one of Satan’s deceitful minions. And yet here we are…

As we all knew he would, Kalib Starnes has been formally let go by the UFC for embarrassing the proud nation of Canada with his relentless backpedaling. And it wasn’t a cordial goodbye, either. Said Dana White: “He just doesn’t belong in the UFC and after his performance the other night, he should consider a new line of work.”

We’re all still scratching our heads at what exactly Starnes’s game plan was on Saturday night. As a couple commenters pointed out in our last post, there’s a report going around claiming that Starnes’s performance was boring on purpose, intended to protest the UFC’s low salaries and failure to pay medical bills; apparently, he didn’t get his broken ribs paid for after his fight with Kendall Grove. The fight with Quarry was the last on his contract, and he wanted to use it to “screw over the UFC.” To which we can only say, buddy, you think you were underpaid before UFC 83? We can’t wait until you find out what the pay’s like for smoker matches up in British Columbia.

(Props: FiveOuncesofPain)


What’s To Become Of Kalib Starnes?

Nate Quarry
(Combat Lifestyle chronicles the stuff Kalib Starnes’s nightmares are made of)

Kalib Starnes did his best to turn a fight with Nate Quarry into a track meet at UFC 83 on Saturday night. Normally, that might make him nothing more than the subject of a few days worth of open mockery on the internet, but in this case it’s bound to become more than that, and it should.

The question now seems to be not so much if Starnes will be released from the UFC, but when. At the post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White did little to hide his displeasure:

“If I was Kalib Starnes and I was fighting in my home country, I’d rather get knocked out than run around in circles the whole fight. I think Kalib Starnes is going to wake up tomorrow and look back on this fight and wish he’d fought a different fight.”

Translation: he’s going to wake up tomorrow unemployed, or at least on his way there.

This wouldn’t be the first time the UFC has cut a guy for failing to put on a show. The same thing happened to Ivan Salaverry in 2005 after a highly, uh, strategic performance against Nate Marquardt. The difference is that even after he was cut, Salaverry seemed contrite and apologetic for his poor performance. Starnes, on the other hand, reacted to criticism with slightly less grace when he shouted obscenities and suggested that a member of Quarry’s corner preferred the company of men.

That exclamation point on the night makes it easier to feel good about seeing Starnes fired from the UFC, but there’s more to this than just what happened in the Octagon on Saturday. For Starnes, this seems to be part of a pattern.


Videos: Serra/St. Pierre, Bisping/McCarthy, Maia/Herman

The Terror gets slaughtered, Chainsaw says “no mas,” and Demian Maia unleashes the Submission of the Night in the second round of his undercard fight against Ed Herman. Get ‘em while they’re hot; for more UFC 83 vids, hit up MMALinker.


Fedor, Lindland Confirm 7/19 Affliction Show

(“We’re here to pick up your daughter.”)

No, it won’t be a re-match of their BodogFight brawl — on Friday, Fedor Emelianenko announced on his website that he would indeed be facing Tim Sylvia on July 19th in the United States, a match that was somewhat called into question when Vadim Finkelchtein started going on about unsigned contracts. Fedor also claims he’ll be fighting in October (date/location/opponent TBA) and New Year’s Eve in Japan (opponent TBA).

Matt Lindland added another piece to the puzzle during HDNet’s SportFight XXII broadcast on Friday night, confirming that he’ll also be competing on the July 19th card, and that it will take place in Dallas under the Affliction banner. Though an opponent for Lindland has yet to be named, The Law named Murilo Bustamante (who choked out Lindland at UFC 37) and David Terrell (who knocked out Lindland at UFC 49) as guys he’d like to fight. According to FiveOunces, Andrei Arlovski, Josh Barnett, Ben Rothwell, and Aleksander Emelianenko are rumored to be fighting on the Affliction card as well.

In unrelated fight-booking news, Frank Trigg has denied earlier reports that he’s signed to participate in DREAM’s middleweight tournament. Said Trigg:

“I haven’t heard anything from [DREAM] in about a week and a half. We started talking about a month ago, but lately, there’s been no communication…We have no contract, and we have no numbers we’re even close to agreeing on. Like I mentioned on TAGG, my wife is very pregnant and can’t fly. She’d miss the whole tournament, and that’s a big deal to take a fight without her there by my side.”


Nate Quarry: Legend

The end of the Quarry/Starnes fiasco at UFC 83. Props to reader “Noah.”


UFC 83 Quick Results, Bonuses, + Press Conference

(Respect the fleur-de-lis. Photo courtesy of MMAWeekly.)

The final tally from last night’s action:

Main Card
Georges St. Pierre def. Matt Serra via TKO (knees to the body), 4:45 of round 2
Rich Franklin def. Travis Lutter via TKO (strikes), 3:01 of round 2
Nate Quarry def. Kalib Starnes via unanimous decision (high-stepping and goofy-punches)
Michael Bisping def. Charles McCarthy via TKO (unable to answer bell), 5:00 of round 1
Mac Danzig def. Mark Bocek via submission (rear naked choke), 3:48 of round 3

Jason MacDonald def. Joe Doerksen via TKO (strikes), 0:54 of round 2
Jason Day def. Alan Belcher via TKO (strikes), 3:58 of round 1
Demian Maia def. Ed Herman via submission (triangle choke), 2:27 of round 2
Rich Clementi def. Sam Stout via split decision
Cain Velasquez def. Brad Morris via TKO (strikes), 2:10 of round 1
Jonathan Goulet def. Kuniyoshi Hironaka via TKO (strikes), 2:07 of round 2

All three Best of the Night bonuses went to undercard fights, and they came in at a whopping $75,000 each. As we saw in a brief clip at the end of the broadcast, Demian Maia picked up the Submission of the Night bonus for his mounted triangle choke of Ed Herman. Jason MacDonald earned the Knockout of the Night for beating down Joe Doerksen (we’ll get the video up soon), and somewhat surprisingly, Jonathan Goulet and Kuniyoshi Hironaka each got the Fight of the Night windfall for their match, which didn’t strike us as all that exciting when they showed it after the main event. It’s too bad they couldn’t give Nate Quarry a few bucks for “Best Humiliation of a Cowardly Opponent of the Night,” but we’ll just have to console ourselves with the fact that Kalib Starnes is probably getting his UFC contract torn up as we speak.


UFC 83: Serra vs. St. Pierre 2 — ‘We, Are, LIVE!!!’


As Ferrall might say, this “beautiful matchup of warriors and freaks ready to dance” is about to pop off, so pour yourself some iced tea or red wine and settle in. Click the “MORE” link and refresh the page every few minutes for round-by-round updates. Montreal residents, let’s get ready to riot!