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Meet the Star Wars Episode VII Cast (So Far)

August, 2008

Irvin Cops to Painkiller Use

James Irvin MMA UFC
(“Indeed I did have a relationship with methadone that was not appropriate.”)

In a letter received by the Nevada State Athletic Commission yesterday, James Irvin admitted using methadone and oxymorphone prior to his July 19th beatdown at the hands of Anderson Silva; Irvin had tested positive for the heavy-duty painkillers in a post-fight piss-test. As the Sandman wrote:

“In the days leading up to my fight with Anderson Silva, I experienced some residual pain in my foot from a previous injury. I made the extremely poor choice to take some pain medications that I did not have a prescription for. I realize this was an ignorant and dangerous decision.”

Irvin, who tore his ACL and MCL during a fight with Thiago Silva at UFC 71 in May 2007, also broke his foot earlier this year while preparing for a scheduled fight against Rashad Evans, which was to go down at UFC 85. According to Sherdog, Irvin accepted the Anderson Silva fight only days after re-entering the gym following his recovery period from the foot injury. Irvin has been temporarily suspended by the NSAC pending a disciplinary hearing, and likely faces a longer suspension and a fine.

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Tito Ortiz Seeking to Annoy as Many MMA Organizations as Possible

Despite announcing that he had signed a “ground-breaking record” deal with Affliction, Tito Ortiz is now said to be negotiating with other organizations, including Elite XC and the crazy Kentuckians of the AFL. It seems only fair. Why should Affliction get to hog all the Tito crazy? Their contract negotiations with him are said to be troubled, so that could be the impetus for him looking elsewhere. He’s even said to be in talks with the UFC, which might be the source of this anonymous quote:

“I don’t know if we’re really negotiating, or simply helping Tito stroke his giant ego,” one frustrated company representative said Sunday, Aug. 17.

Why does it have to be an either/or situation? Why can’t it be both? This is Tito Ortiz we’re talking about. Most of his actions are designed to boost his ego.

The idea that Tito could end up back in the UFC is, in a word, insane. Not only is he not enough of a draw at this point to justify the price tag or the headache, but Dana White seems to genuinely hate him too much to give him any more money or TV time. It would seem more likely that the UFC is trying to drive the price up on Affliction, but that’s just one man talking sense.

If Ortiz does sign with the AFL — the organization known for giving huge contracts to lesser-known female fighters and putting many of their economic eggs into the AFL-brand dress pants basket — I think it’s safe to say that they will officially be the zaniest and least viable MMA organization in existence. Now that I think about it, that does seem like the appropriate home for Tito.

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HDNet Fight of the Week + Strikeforce News


(Props: MMA Scraps)

HDNet brings us an absolute war between Jesse Forbes and Chris Camozzi for the “Fight of the Week.” If you like a bout that gets bloody early and only becomes more so before a surprise finish, then you are going to love this one. If you don’t like that, maybe you should check out a sport more your speed. How about women’s team handball?

In other HDNet news, Strikeforce’s October 3 event in Denver will air live on the cable network, MMA Weekly reported today. This is in addition to their late-night offering on NBC, which means Strikeforce is very quietly becoming one of the most visible MMA organizations on TV. No word yet as to whether their September event from the Playboy Mansion will make it on to TV, but we sure hope so. Purely because of the fights, of course.

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‘TUF 8′ Cast Photo + Bader’s Audition Vid

TUF 8 Ultimate Fighter Mir Nogueira UFC MMA
(Click for larger image.)

SpikeTV just sent out the first cast shot of the Ultimate Fighter 8 gang, in which it appears that Big Nog has intimidated some of his guys into wearing socks on the mat.

You may also be interested in Ryan “Darth” Bader’s Ultimate Fighter audition video, which we’ve posted below. Not only is Bader a promising fighter, he also enjoys keg stands, naked pool-lounging, bro’ing out with CB Dollaway, and having sex with women. He also has some incredibly unoriginal taste in highlight-reel music. I already hate this person.


(Props to ‘Crooklyn’ on the UG.)

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Kang Sets Sights on Belt Defense, “Beastman”

Denis Kang MMA

We haven’t heard much from Denis Kang since his shocking loss to Gegard Mousasi at DREAM’s Middleweight Grand Prix Opening Round in April, but our buddy Damon D at BetUS.com’s Fight Talk Radio tracked him down for an interview about his future prospects. It turns out the American Top Team-trained “Super Korean” will be continuing his world travels in the near future. On August 31st, he’ll be defending his SpiritMC heavyweight title against Kim Jae Young, who Kang has already defeated twice (both times by first-round stoppage); you may recall that Kang’s insistence on competing in these Korean squash matches was what sunk his negotiations with the UFC.

But then things get interesting: On October 25th, Kang will face former UFC fighter Marvin Eastman in the newly re-launched Raw Combat league in Calgary. Which is good news for his legions of Canadian fans, and not-so-good news for us Americans. (Have Affliction and EliteXC not gone after this guy? And if not, WTF?) Anyway, to hear Kang’s take on why Fedor is the greatest fighter in the world, and why his training mate Patrick Cote might have a chance against Anderson Silva, listen to the damn interview.

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Cast Announced For “Ultimate Fighter” Season 8


(Admit it, the camera loves him.)

It’s almost time again for everyone’s favorite MMA-themed reality show, Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter.” A lot of you were disappointed to hear that Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Frank Mir would be coaching this edition, but does that mean you’ll follow through on your empty threats not to watch when the show premieres on September 17?

Season eight is all about the lightweights and light heavyweights, and the official cast was announced today by Sports Illustrated. Yours truly even has an article about what to expect and what to watch for this time around, which you can read and then send me a hateful email about here. As for the cast list, feast your eyes:

LIGHTWEIGHT

Jose Aguilar
Age: 25
MMA Record: 17-3-0
Trains With: Grapplers Edge
Location: Las Cruces, N.M.

Fernando Bernstein
Age: 25
MMA Record: 2-0-0
Trains With: Progressive Martial Arts
Location: San Clemente, Calif.

Junie Allen Browning
Age: 22
MMA Record: 2-0-0
Trains With: Four Seasons Martial Arts
Location: Lexington, Ky.

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Affliction’s Pay-Per-View Numbers Maybe Not So Bad After All


(If you won’t pay to watch Fedor beat up this man, what will you pay for?)

The quest to figure out how much money Affliction made off their first event continues, and in the latest installment Dave Meltzer revises some of his earlier figures. You may recall that Meltzer first reported that “independent estimates” had pegged the number at 50,000-85,000 pay-per-view buys — far from the “well over 100,000″ that VP Tom Atencio was claiming. In a recent issue of his Wrestling Observer newsletter (via MMA Payout) he says the organization may have done six figures after all:

It’s been hard to narrow down a buy rate for the Affliction show. Promoter Tom Atencio has claimed the figure was more than 100,000. Updated cable sources we’ve checked with have estimated from a low of 65,000 to a high of 100,000. Either way, the number is both excellent by the standards of a promotion with no television (it beats anything TNA has done with 2 million weekly TV viewers), but as noted over and over, it’s a substantial money loser.

A high of 100,000 isn’t so bad for a first pay-per-view event, really. If the reports keep changing at this rate maybe they’ll crack 200,000 some time around Christmas. Though by then we’ll all be speculating about the success of their second show, and Tom Atencio will be claiming they did well over 500,000 buys. Thus the circle of life goes on.

Slightly related: There’s some speculation that recently-signed Affliction fighter Chris Horodecki may face Dan Lauzon (Joe Lauzon’s brother) at “Day of Reckoning” in October. Like Horodecki, Lauzon is also just twenty years old and yet looks like he’s fourteen. Maybe after they fight they can both go hang around out in front of a liquor store together and try to convince someone to buy them beer.

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Fight of the Day: Hamman vs. Suganuma II


(Props: MMAScraps.com)

As mentioned on Saturday, Jared Hamman avenged his questionable-stoppage loss to Po’ai Suganuma in the main event of Friday night’s ShoXC card. For those of you who missed the fight, it was a wild one, with Suganuma “all over Jared Hamman like a bad rash” in the fight’s opening minutes before Hamman chopped the Hawaiian down with a series of punches midway through the first round; the video is above.

Related: We’d previously wondered what was up with Pro Elite’s recent strange behavior; though they’ve canceled two upcoming events, Sam Caplan at FiveOuncesofPain reports that the company is not on the verge of collapse. If you’re interested in Pro Elite’s current financial situation and how they might improve their condition in the future (and if you have some time to kill), we suggest you read Caplan’s full analysis here.

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Weekend Quote Roundup: Assassin, Predator, Hellboy + More

Anderson Silva James Irvin UFC MMA
(Photo courtesy of UFC.com.)

“It was interesting…karma comes around. Honestly what I thought of it was that Karma’s a bitch with a red dress.” — Houston Alexander on James Irvin’s loss to Anderson Silva. Alexander also told TheMMANews that he’s renewed his UFC contract for an additional four fights.

“Joe Silva was telling me to lose some weight and gain some muscle. He said I need the UFC look.” — Roy Nelson on the UFC’s “No Fatties” policy. Luckily, Affliction is a judgment-free zone.

“We know how to beat Anderson Silva. The only way to beat him is to push the pace. Go forward all the time. You can’t let him get confident and comfortable in the centre of the Octagon. You have to push the pace for five minutes every round. If I do that, I can catch him. I’ll take care of him.” — Famous last words from Patrick Cote.

“I would fight any one of the UFC lightweights, but the problem is that I will never put my foot in the octagon after they (UFC) tried to be funny. I would rather have bleeding hemorrhoids than fight for the UFC. The Japanese MMA audience is the best in the world. They make magic! I would rather have one true Japanese MMA supporter than one million fake mainstream supporters that will turn their back on you as soon as you lose a fight. I don’t care about things that are mainstream.” — Joachim Hansen, who was offered half his contracted salary by the UFC after Zuffa bought PRIDE.

“I think that shot pretty much changed the whole dynamic of the fight. I sure would like to know what would have happened if it hadn’t landed. Once that right hand landed it was like I was fighting half blind, or pretty much blind at that point. It was all pretty much downhill from there. I just tried to come back and mount some type of offense. Unfortunately, I was never able to mount anything that significant…After getting rocked with a shot like that, and not being able to see, you’re more in survival mode.” — Heath Herring on the fight-opening punch from Brock Lesnar that sent him ass-over-teakettle.

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Must-See: Kimbo Trains Tomlinson; Franklin Talks Hamill

(Props: FiveOuncesofPain)

In part one of Nike’s new commercial series “Train Like LT,” San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson goes to what’s supposed to be Kimbo Slice’s broke-ass backyard and does some training “the old-school way,” which involves bench-pressing air conditioners and leg-pressing a compact car. If part two doesn’t begin with him running the gauntlet that’s at end of this clip, we’re going to be very disappointed. Speaking of Kimbo, he also makes a split-second appearance in this new commercial for Madden NFL ’09.


(Props: MMA Mania)

Also, Rich “Ace” Franklin talks us through his UFC 88 matchup with Matt Hamill in the above clip, acknowledging that he’ll probably be on his back a couple times during the fight. Regarding his permanently blackened eye, Franklin said “Jorge Gurgel only hits me when I deserve it.” That poor, poor man…

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