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

June, 2008

‘Bigfoot’ Agrees to Face Kharitonov for EliteXC Title + More Matchup News

Sergei Kharitonov PRIDE MMA

According to Sherdog, Antonio Silva has verbally agreed to fight Russian PRIDE standout Sergei Kharitonov for EliteXC’s vacant heavyweight crown at “Saturday Night Fights” on July 26th, pending approval from the California State Athletic Commission; the CSAC previously blocked Silva from competing at K-1 Dynamite!! USA last June due to a pituitary gland tumor, but “Bigfoot/Pezao” underwent surgery last summer to have it removed.

Kharitonov holds a career record of 15-3, with notable wins over Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem, and Semmy Schilt. If the matchup comes together, it would certainly alleviate some of the concerns we’ve had regarding the EliteXC heavyweight title’s legitimacy, considering that Kharitonov is more talented and deserving of a belt than any other heavyweight currently on their roster. So keep your fingers crossed, and you might just see Silva vs. Kharitonov headlining the three-fight Showtime card that will lead into the CBS broadcast.

In other news…


Must See: “Too Small,” Krazy Horse vs. Mishima, TUF 8 Promo

The best highlight video of the week, featuring the world’s greatest lightweights (and Melvin Guillard) laying waste to their opponents. Watch it and take pride in your naturally petite frame. Props to Chris Keller via “CRE” on the UG.

Here’s the PRIDE Bushido 9 fight between Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett and Dokonjonosuke Mishima, in which the Horse quotes Forrest Gump, extolls the virtues of masturbation, tears apart a stuffed animal, and gets subbed with a heel-hook. Props to MMAScraps.


Jared Shaw Says Gary Shaw Not Being Pushed Out

Gary Shaw Elite X
(Who could fire that lovable face?)

Yesterday MMA Payout reported that Gary Shaw might be on his way out the door at Pro Elite now that CBS is becoming more of a player. It’s not hard to imagine why. There’s the tracksuits, the not-so-nuanced views on MMA, the general sleaze factor that comes oozing out of the man’s pores. But son Jared Shaw (Elite XC’s VP, a position that is no doubt his by merit alone) has come to his defense in an interview with Ariel Helwani of MMA Rated:

All the reports I have read have been absolutely erroneous. There’s no truth to CBS pushing Gary Shaw out or anything like that. Gary might not be as much in the limelight because of his other business, which is boxing. He’s also spending a little more time at home with the rest of his family. You’re going to see Jared Shaw everyday so you don’t have to think that Gary Shaw is gone. I don’t know why they would keep one Shaw and not another. We’re both here and Gary is still a major force. He’s still spoken to everyday…He’s a major part of this company and everything he’s done as a promoter we’ll continue to utilize and continue to follow his lead.

Oh well then, that rumor is put to rest. Like Jared, I can’t imagine why they’d keep one Shaw and fire the other. I mean, if you were going to get rid of one, wouldn’t you also get rid of…uh-oh. I just had a terrible thought. Jared, maybe you should think about updating the old resume, if you know what I’m saying.

The explanation that his “other business” is taking up too much of his time seems odd, especially since his work as a boxing manager hasn’t been going so well lately. But Jared assures us that everything is juuuuuust fine:


Elite XC Announces Antonio Silva Versus Someone Else For Heavyweight Title

(Let the search for an opponent begin.)

Elite XC officially announced its July 26 event in a press release sent out to the media today, noting that the card will feature three title fights: Robbie Lawler-Scott Smith for the middleweight title, Jake Shields-Nick Thompson for the vacant welterweight title, and Antonio Silva-TBA for the newly created Elite XC heavyweight title. Because nothing says ‘this belt isn’t very important‘ like announcing a title fight with only one participant a month out from the fight.

The Silva bout, along with two others, will air live on Showtime. The other two title fights will air live on CBS alongside two other bouts.

Said Pro Elite Executive Chairman Doug DeLuca, “One venue, two networks and seven exciting world class fights adds up to an entertaining and memorable mixed martial arts event in prime time.”

That one venue is the Stockton Arena in Stockton, Calif., home to such sports teams as the Stockton Thunder and the Stockton Lightning.

As you may have guessed, the Nick Diaz-Thomas Denny bout is one that Elite XC is relying on to drive ticket sales, and it is expected to be one of the four bouts featured live on CBS. We had originally hoped that Diaz would face Elite XC 160-pound champ KJ Noons on the card, but after Noons’ father’s negative remarks about the Diaz brothers and the city of Stockton, it’s may be best for that not to happen.

There’s also word that CBS is using its increased financial stake in the company to try and influence matchmaking. CBS apparently felt there weren’t enough stars on this card and MMA Payout claims it has sources attesting to “significant internal pressure” to put a big name like Gina Carano on this event in order to generate more fan interest.


The AFL Is Financed by Fairy Dust, Gypsy Tears

AFL BJ Santiago MMA
(Sean McClure, Jon Hatton and B.J. Santiago of the AFL: the dumbasses in question. Photo courtesy of

Okay, you want to talk delusional? Then read this wild-ass profile of William “BJ” Santiago, CEO of the American Fight League, that was recently dug up by MMA Payout. You may remember the AFL as the upstart Kentucky-based fight club that just signed Tara LaRosa to a monumental $500,000+ four-fight deal, as well as ex pro-wrestler Bobby Lashley and possibly Kim Couture. Anyway, Santiago has big, big dreams, and doesn’t foresee any difficulties in paying for them. Witness:

In its first year, the group forecasts revenues between $15 million and $20 million. By 2009, the AFL plans to double those revenues. The group will have events in 12 to 15 states this year. Within two years, there will be an AFL event taking place every week somewhere in the country.

Both Santiago and Hatton attribute this success [Ed. note: you mean *will* attribute this *projected* success?] to the organization’s pursuit of two unique agendas: a minor league or grassroots style professional circuit and a positive public image campaign…

Veteran, credentialed fighters will tour throughout the country in any of the 33 states where fighting is legalized. Rankings, as well as matches, are determined based on earned points, with fighters also competing for a predetermined purse…

Amateurs and pro-rookies are given an opportunity to prove their worth in the grass roots system. This local or “farm” system allows fighters to gain experience and reputation based on a point system. Such a platform allows fighters to move up in the sport, Hatton said.

Let’s skip ahead a bit because the details only get more convoluted from there. Hey guys, how about other revenue streams?


Video: Jason Miller vs. Tim Kennedy

(Courtesy of HDNet Fights.)

If you happen to do your social networking on Facebook, heads up: HDNet Fights’ Facebook page now features a “Fight of the Week,” presented in a high-quality, wide-screen format. The latest joint (above) is a three-round gem from last year’s “Reckless Abandon” event — the rematch between Jason “Mayhem” Miller and Tim Kennedy, which contained the classic Kenny Rice line “It would look like Rob Zombie has stepped in and started directing this fight.” To keep on top of the latest HDNet Fights news and to see more fights of the week, swing by their Facebook page and become a fan.


Fights That Shouldn’t Happen, Vol. XVII: Ken Shamrock-Royce Gracie III

(One of these two men is still telling this story.)

What do you do when you’re an over-the-hill fighter who has repeatedly refused to take the dignified route to retirement? Apparently you challenge another over-the-hill fighter who you faced a couple of times back when you were both still relevant to the sport. That’s the only possible explanation for why Ken Shamrock thinks it’s a good idea to call out Royce Gracie like it’s 1995 all over again:

The second time I beat him in every aspect of the fight; in fact his corner had to carry him out. Fans have been calling for a rematch ever since. After this particular fight Royce left the UFC. As a matter of fact I ran the entire Gracie family out of the UFC. His talk is cheap. Let’s settle it in the cage. I heard Royce agree to a rematch three times now, every time he has come up with a reason not to fight me. Royce and my brother Frank should get together and write a book about how to set up fights and not fight.

At least Shamrock’s smack-talking skills haven’t atrophied at the same rate as his physical ones. Where this statement goes from being the typical crazy Shamrock banter to being completely out of touch with reality is when Shamrock claims that “fans have been calling for a rematch ever since.”

Really? Fans want to see a rematch of the thirty-six minute stallfest that ended in a draw? What fans? Where do they live? Could they accurately be described as fully functioning adults?

Fightlinker claims to think it’s a good idea as long as they do it in Japan with extended rounds. If the fight does happen, it had better not be in a place with an athletic commission, and any time you admit that you could only put on a fight in a place where there is no official oversight, aren’t you basically admitting that it’s a fight that is not athletically meaningful?


Look Who’s Learning The Kneebar

(Now maybe work on defending it. Just saying.)

Former WWE wrestler Brock Lesnar is getting wise to this jiu-jitsu stuff with help of seven-time world champion Rodrigo “Comprido” Medeiros. While the business end of the submissions is the part that Lesnar should really be worried about, it’s good to see that he’s getting help from someone who knows.

Lesnar’s taking on Heath Herring at UFC 87, and while “The Texas Crazyhorse” has a fair amount of submission victories under his belt, the last one was back in 2003. Herring might rather keep it standing in order to test out the angry four-year-old punching style that Lesnar displayed against Frank Mir.

In a recent interview with MMA Weekly, Herring had this to say about what he expected from Lesnar:

“From my own personal experience, guys that are that green and new, they kind of revert to that adrenaline rush and that’s what I’m anticipating he’s going to do as well. I think he’s going to be pretty wild and come out and do what we saw him do against Frank (Mir).”

Lesnar may be working out with “Comprido”, but Herring says he’s been training with Randy Couture. At least both guys will be well-prepared. One has to wonder though, what becomes of Lesnar if Herring puts a second straight loss on his record?

(Props: the UG, via Five Ounces of Pain)


Dan Henderson to Return at UFC 88

Dan Henderson UFC
(Photo courtesy of

MMA Weekly reports that Dan Henderson’s next Octagon appearance will be a middleweight bout against Rousimar Palhares at UFC 88 (September 6th, Atlanta). Palhares (8-1) is the Brazilian Top Team rising star who pwned Ivan Salaverry so hardcore during his Octagon debut at UFC 84 that Salaverry retired from fighting. Henderson is coming off of back-to-back title fight losses, to Quinton Jackson at UFC 75 and Anderson Silva at UFC 82. Palhares has serious potential, to be sure, but his relative lack of experience puts him at a great disadvantage against one of the most accomplished fighters in the world. Still, if Palhares can pull off an upset, he’ll put himself in the mix for a middleweight title shot.

In other UFC fight-booking news…

Joe Lauzon has agreed to fight Kyle Bradley at UFC Fight Night 15 (September 17th; Omaha, Nebraska). Bradley, a Team Voodoo product and veteran of various regional leagues, made his Octagon debut as a welterweight at UFC 81, where he was destroyed by Chris Lytle in 33 seconds. He’ll now be fighting at his natural weight of 155.

— Rory Markham, a Bettendorf-based IFL standout who most recently submitted Jay Ellis at Adrenaline 1 on June 14th, will be making his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 14 (July 19th, Las Vegas). His opponent will be Brodie Farber, a former Rage in the Cage middleweight champion who’s won his last six fights in the MMA Xtreme organization.

— Thomasz Drwal, the Polish light-heavyweight whose 13-fight win streak was snapped by Thiago Silva at UFC 75, will make his second Octagon appearance at UFC 87 (August 9th, Minneapolis) against 5-0 IFL veteran Andre Gusmao. Drwal was slated to fight David Heath in February, but was forced to pull out of the bout with a knee injury.


Evan Tanner Considers Retirement

Evan Tanner UFC MMA
(Photo courtesy of MMAWeekly)

From his blog:

It was a long walk back to the dressing room after the fight. The doctor was there waiting on me, telling me I had to go to the hospital to get a CAT scan and stitches, letting me know they were giving me a medical suspension of 45 days. I was in no mood for that, and I know I was rude about it. I’ve known him for a while, but I don’t think I ever got his name. If he happens to read this, I would like to offer him my sincerest apology for my disrespectful behavior.

I was pissed off about the fight, f**king sad, f**king raging, on edge, all of it heavy with me, trying to maintain, trying not to explode. Camera men in my face, corner men, doctors, security, paramedics, friends, journalists, too many bodies crowding me, too many hands pulling me too many ways. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breathe, standing there afraid of the man that would come out if I lost control…

Losing sucks. It’s been pretty tough the last couple of days. I’ve been keeping to myself. I haven’t felt like talking with anyone. I haven’t seen anything about the fight. I know I looked really bad. I don’t need to see it, or hear about it to know that. I’ve been having some serious health problems for a while now. They’ve caused me some problems in my daily life and have seriously affected my training. I obviously haven’t been the same guy in the ring.

I’m going to be taking a little time off to see a doctor. If we can’t get this health issue figured out, I’m done, I’m retiring. I don’t want to step back into the Octagon unless I’m 100%, and I can give the fans the type of fight they deserve to see.

There’s only one thing that can bring a man like Evan Tanner out of a funk this deep: A cross-country motorcycle trip.