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

May, 2008

Ben vs. Ben: The Elite XC Argument


Remember when you were a kid and your parents would argue and it was really loud and you got scared so you went to hide under the bed and cry until it was over? This is kind of like that. Except instead of your parents it’s Ben Goldstein and Ben Fowlkes, the two editors of Cage Potato, and we actually care about you. We’re still not coming to your Little League games, though.

Could James Thompson rain on the Kimbo Slice hype parade? If so, what then?

Fowlkes: Look, we all know Elite XC didn’t make this fight because they want to be in the James Thompson business. They brought him in because he’s knockout fodder, and also because he’s big and scary looking and to the average sports fan he seems like a monster. Kimbo beats him, then they sell Kimbo as a monster slayer. That’s their plan, no doubt about it.

That said, a guy like Thompson should never be completely counted out. He hasn’t looked good lately. This much is true. But when you’re 6’5″, and hovering in the 265 region, you’re never more than one good punch or knee away from victory. Even so, I have hard time imagining him winning this. His flash chin, his reliance on aggression over technique, that spells trouble.

If he were to win, well, Gary Shaw would cry. That’s the first thing that would happen. Then Elite XC would immediately begin hyping a lukewarm rematch. Basically, they’d lose a lot of steam. Almost all their steam, to the point where their steam levels would be dangerously low. Which is why Shaw will do anything short of leaping into the cage himself to stop it from happening.

Goldstein: It’s kind of a moot point considering there’s absolutely no way in hell that the Colossus will win this fight. MMA pundits talk about Thompson’s need to take the action to the ground against Kimbo — but since when was Thompson ever skilled on the ground? Just because Slice is a novice in MMA, it’s automatically assumed that Thompson’s jiu-jitsu is far superior? His brief stint at Xtreme Couture gave us hope that he’d be rounding out his game, but now he’s back in his comfort zone, working out at an outfit with the sadly appropriate name “London Street Fighters.”


Gary Shaw With More Wacky Kimbo Comparisons

(Shaw gazes upon the wonder that is Kimbo.)

Apparently it’s not enough to make the erroneous Kimbo Slice-Mike Tyson comparison anymore. With Elite XC’s big event just a day away, Live Events President Gary Shaw is kicking it up a notch. Now Kimbo isn’t just the Mike Tyson of MMA, he’s the Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods, too. Shaw made the case at yesterday’s final presser in New York City:

“The first time I introduced Kimbo, I was introducing him as a YouTube sensation with over 10 million hits. I knew he was a star then. I knew he could be a superstar. There are great basketball players, but nothing like Michael Jordan. There are great golfers, but nothing like Tiger Woods. Every once in a while there is someone who crosses over that line to a superstar. You just know.

“When Mike Tyson walked in, the place erupted. When someone else walked in there were only a few claps. Well, Kimbo Slice is a superstar. He is probably the most recognizable name in all of MMA. On May 31, when he gets in the cage, he will be the single most known face of MMA.

“(UFC’s) Dana White will be at home watching us on CBS. When he rips Kimbo Slice, it only proves he is an idiot. When he says that BJ Penn is the best fighter in the whole family and can knock out Kimbo Slice, the DEA should raid his home. I know BJ Penn would never say that and is probably embarrassed. Although BJ Penn is the best fighter in the family, he’s not the smartest Penn (JD, his brother, is an executive at EliteXC).

“Kimbo has a complex side to him as well. He is intelligent. He is well-read, well-versed. He is street through and through. He has not forgotten where he came from. On the bus ride over here, he told me he bought two 26-inch TVs and is going to give them to someone needy in the work area in Newark. He wants to leave Newark with a positive impression. It not only says something about Kimbo but the MMA family. I am telling you, Kimbo Slice is real.”

That’s got to be the first time the statement, “He is well-read,” was followed by, “He is street, through and through.” Shaw went on to reveal that Kimbo will use his fight purse to adopt and care for a bunch of cute, furry animals, and then will return to his homemade laboratory to find a cure for cancer before being named Poet Laureate of the United States — so fuck you, Charles Simic.


WEC 34: Faber vs. Pulver — Fight Card Rundown

Urijah Faber Jeff Curran WEC
(Urijah Faber: Never a dull moment.)

Though EliteXC’s CBS show is grabbing most of the attention for this weekend, WEC is putting on its biggest event to date on Sunday at Sacramento’s ARCO Arena, headlined by the monumental featherweight championship match between Urijah Faber and Jens Pulver, and also featuring Miguel Torres, “Razor” Rob McCullough, Jeff Curran, Chase Beebe, and Charlie Valencia. If you get Versus, you can watch the action live starting at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. — and judging from recent WEC shows, missing it wouldn’t be in your best interest. Let’s take a look at the four main card fights…

Urijah Faber [champion] vs. Jens Pulver (featherweight title fight)
Don’t let his beautiful anaconda choke of Cub Swanson at WEC 31 fool you — Jens Pulver is still a stand-up banger, and his greatest advantage over the California Kid is his dynamite-loaded striking. Faber will probably try to trade shots for a while, but he’ll eventually employ his superior wrestling to get the fight to the mat and look for a submission or ground-and-pound TKO. If Faber can neutralize Pulver’s boxing and avoid getting caught early, the hometown boy’s relentless aggression and inventiveness will win the day. Prediction: Faber via 3rd-round submission.

Miguel Torres [champion] vs. Yoshiro Maeda (bantamweight title fight)
Miguel Torres owns one of the most impressive records in MMA (33-1, 21 wins via submission), but he didn’t start getting name-checked as one of the best fighters in the world until he tore through Chase Beebe in February to win WEC’s bantamweight title. Torres has never been stopped, and he avenged his sole loss to Ryan Ackerman in 2003 by submitting him two years later. Known more as a striker, Maeda is a seasoned veteran of Pancrase and DEEP, and made his impressive U.S. debut at WEC 32 when he delivered a knockout body-kick to Charlie Valencia midway through the first round. It’ll be a tough test for Torres, but he’s looked incredibly impressive in his last few matches, and he’s got enough momentum to defend his belt. Prediction: Torres extends his streak of five-straight submission victories to six, and does it in the second round.

WEC Versus


“Ill Will” Medical Suspensions Released

Sean Sherk UFC 84
(Yeah, you should probably get that looked at.)

The Nevada State Athletic Commission announced that six fighters have received medical suspensions related to their losses at UFC 84. They are…

Sean Sherk: Suspended until July 7th, with no contact until June 24th (laceration on right cheek)

Keith Jardine: Suspended until November 21st, with no contact until July 9th, but could be cleared by a doctor to compete as early as July 24th (nasal fracture)

Tito Ortiz: Suspended for six months or until clearance by a doctor (injured left hand and wrist)

Wilson Gouveia: Suspended for six months or until clearance by a doctor (broken nose and ribs)

Kazuhiro Nakamura: Suspended for six months or until clearance by a doctor (broken nose)

Jason Tan: Suspended for six months or until clearance by a doctor (broken nose)

Update from MMAMania:

Goran Reljic — The Croatian is suspended until June 24 and there is no contact allowed until June 15.
Antonio Mendes — The Brazilian is suspended until June 24.
Terry Etim — The British lightweight is suspended until June 24 and there is no contact allowed until June 15 because of a right cheek laceration.
Christian Wellisch — “The Hungarian Nightmare” is suspended until June 8 and there’s no contact allowed until June 1.

After the jump: The third episode of ESPN’s “MMA Live,” where Jon, Kenny, and Franklin run down Kimbo Slice’s controversial main event status, UFC 84′s results, Sunday’s WEC show, and the matchup between Fedor Emelianenko and Tim Sylvia; plus, Bas Rutten demonstrates another nasty neck-crank.


Baroni, Villasenor Fight For Piece of the Hype Pie

(That’s the hype pie right there. It tastes like cherries and forgotten dreams.)

It’s not easy to get your share of the spotlight when you’re fighting on the same card as Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano. Maybe that’s why Phil Baroni and Joey Villasenor decided to turn up the heat in a recent conference call. The hell of it is, it might even work if they keep after each other like this:

Question: Joey, do you think you have the advantage in overall technique?

Villasenor: I think my overall game is improving daily. I have power with movement. It’s about executing. Overall, we all know that Baroni has stand?up power, but I’m going to try to expose him with my movement. So, it’s just all about executing.

Baroni: Basically to sum it up, Villasenor is going to run. He basically just said that he (will) bring his track shoes and chase me. He’s going to run. It doesn’t matter because in the cage you can run, but you can’t hide. I’m going to find you, I’m going to hit and everyone’s going to think about you.

Oh, Baroni. We can always count on you to make statements that are at once inflammatory and also kind of unclear. For instance, first saying Villasenor will run and then saying he will chase you. I’m no physics expert, but if Villasenor is chasing wouldn’t that mean Baroni would be the one running?

And what does he mean when he says that he’s going to hit and everyone will “think about” Villasenor? Does he mean people will feel bad for him? Or does he mean that people will really think about him in an existential sense? Or does even Baroni have no idea what he meant? I don’t know, but fortunately they didn’t end on that cliffhanger.


Sokoudjou Explains Why He Called Out ‘Shogun’ Rua

(“The African Assassin” in a quiet moment of shirtless reflection.)

In case you missed it, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou had a brief, but memorable message for Mauricio “Shogun” Rua following his victory over Kazuhiro Nakamura at UFC 84. All right, it wasn’t much of a message. He basically just said “Shogun”, and left it at that, but something tells me he wasn’t referencing the James Clavell novel. These remarks only confirm my suspicion:

“I would love to fight that guy. I’ve tried to fight him ever since I fought in Pride and he’s been ducking me. Shogun has been ducking me since the Pride days. Shogun’s camp told me that to fight him, I had to fight [Evangelista] Cyborg [Santos] first. I told them I want to fight Shogun, not Cyborg, and then Pride went away and now he’s in the UFC and he hasn’t fought for a minute. I know he got injured for his last fight, but I think by the time I’m ready to fight again hopefully he should be ready and will take the fight.”

Well, now he’s gone and done it. It was one thing to subtly call out “Shogun” on the UFC broadcast, but if the storied history of Chute Boxe in Pride has taught us anything it’s that accusing a Brazilian of ducking you is the quickest way to send him into a murderous rage. Who knows, it might just the motivation that the oft-injured Rua needs to get back in the Octagon. No way can he let this slide.


Videos: James Thompson vs. Butterbean, Ross Geller + More

Just a little something to whet your appetites for Saturday. James Thompson has suffered some quick and embarrassing knockouts in his career, but this freak bout against Eric Esch at Cage Rage 20 in February 2007 was maybe the most humiliating. The announcers warn Thompson of “Buh’ah’bane”‘s infamous overhand right — but alas, poor James cannot hear them, and he’s out seconds later.

More video awesomeness after the jump…


Tito Ortiz: Gone Fishin’

Tito Ortiz Jenna Jameson UFC fishing
(Oh my God that looks fun!)

Despite being offered a four-fight contract extension before his bout with Lyoto Machida last Saturday, and despite his vague statements during the post-fight interview, Tito Ortiz confirmed last night that he’s absolutely not coming back to fight in the UFC. “Me going to somewhere else is 100% happening,” Ortiz said, like some sort of caveman, or Indian chief, or Yoda. “The way [Dana White] treats me, I can’t continue on with them. He’s a monster and I’m going to go elsewhere where they respect me.”

Ortiz will now begin a three-week tour in support of his autobiography This Is Gonna Hurt, and will then go about deciding where to fight next. He hopes to compete again this fall, and according to MMAWeekly, he’s considered starting his own MMA organization.

In other UFC news you can use…

The Ultimate Fighter 7‘s resident psycho Matt Brown (6-6), who was out-hustled by Amir Sadollah on last night’s episode, will be taking on TUF 6 castmember Matt “No Regard” Arroyo (3-1) in a welterweight match at the TUF 7 Finale (June 21st; Las Vegas, NV). Brown and Arroyo previously met at an RFC event in November 2006, where Brown won by TKO. At this point, Brown is only the fifth TUF 7 fighter expected to have a spot on the finale card, in addition to the show’s two finalists, and an all-but-confirmed match between Matthew Riddle and Dante Rivera.


The Gambling Man’s Guide To Elite XC

(Oddsmakers say, don’t blink.)

If betting odds are any indication of how a fight will go, then the question in the Kimbo Slice-James Thompson bout this weekend isn’t so much what will happen but rather how long it will take. Of course, you can also bet on those other guys/girls who happen to be fighting, but it doesn’t look nearly as fun. Let’s take a look at the odds, shall we?

Kimbo Slice (-600) vs. James Thompson (+400)

For those of you not experienced in gambling away your money on MMA fights, the above line means that you’d have to bet $600 on Slice to win $100 (assuming he’s victorious). On the flipside, a $100 bet on Thompson would net you $400 if he won. If you’re interested in stimulating the off-shore economy, you go ahead and make that Thompson bet.

Those lines confirm what we already know: Kimbo is a heavy favorite. Perhaps suspecting that action on this fight might be lean, Bodoglife has provided some other options.


Busta Rhymes In The Place To Be (Elite XC)

(Whoo-ha, bitches. Whoo-ha indeed.)

This morning I woke up, drank my coffee, checked my email, and became suddenly concerned that perhaps I’d wandered into a time warp. Was it 1996? Had I slipped through some tear in the space-time fabric? If not, then how do you explain this email from Elite XC:

Multi-platinum rap music star Busta Rhymes will bring his unique brand of hip-hip to the Prudential Center on May 31st at MMA’s (Mixed Martial Arts) first primetime television event on the CBS Television Network.

Performing the track “Don’t Touch Me (Throw Some Water On ‘Em)” from his upcoming Interscope Records release “Blessed,” Rhymes will set the stage for up-and-coming MMA heavyweight contender Brett Rogers’ bout against John Murphy at the milestone event, “CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS.”

My first reaction was, are you shitting me? But as I read on it became clear that Elite XC was not, in fact, shitting me at all. Busta Bust will be in full effect on Saturday night.

The thing about fighters coming out to live music is it usually seems like a better idea than it actually is. Then again, if anyone can pull it off, it would have to be someone who is animated like, say, a Busta Rhymes.

Those of you who don’t care for the whole hip-hop/nightclub feel of earlier Elite XC promotions and were hoping that CBS might curtail some of that, you’re about to be disappointed. Then again, if you don’t like Busta I can only assume that you did not come of age in the nineties, otherwise you would have an irrational affection for him that you find yourself still unable to explain lo these many years later.