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

September, 2008

Elite XC Strips KJ Noons of Title

KJ Noons EliteXC MMA
(A champion no more.)

Just when KJ Noons was starting to focus on the boxing career he wants so badly, Elite XC has decided to lighten his luggage for him by stripping him of the lightweight title. From a release sent out late last night:

“We are stripping KJ of his championship belt for refusing to defend against Diaz,’’ Lappen said. “It’s a very unfortunate situation but we cannot have belt-holders who refuse to fight the top contenders. We want champions who will fight anyone, anytime, anyplace. That’s the mentality all champions should have.

“I feel very bad for KJ because I like him a lot on a personal level and have always thought he could be a big star. He’s charismatic, has a very exciting fighting style and is a top level fighter. So I’m obviously disappointed that he has chosen to take this stance.

“I don’t understand why he would turn down a chance to be a headliner on CBS on Oct. 4. KJ then turned down the fight again when we offered him a headlining spot on our next SHOWTIME date against Nick. From my view, it is a fight against a top-named opponent in Diaz (someone who beat the No. 1 fighter in the world in his weight class), a fighter KJ has bad blood with and most definitely a fight the fans really wanted to see. It seemed like a great opportunity for KJ to me.

“Personally, I do not think it was a smart career move, but I’m sure he sees it differently. KJ has two more fights remaining on his contract, so we are still looking forward to having him fight for us again soon, but not as our world champion.’’

Aside from the awkward phrase “top-named opponent” — which seems like the worst possible way of saying that a guy isn’t ranked in the top ten but people know him anyway — Elite XC actually makes a firm case here. Even if Noons doesn’t feel that Diaz deserves the shot, and even if he isn’t satisfied with the money he’d get for it (at the rate he agreed to when he signed the contract), the fact is that it’s the fight that both the Elite XC brass and the fans most want to see.

If you want to be the champ, that’s the fight you’ve got to take. If you go out and beat Nick Diaz on network TV, that can only help your popularity and your fight purses down the road, right? For whatever reason, Noons doesn’t see it that way. Enjoy your boxing career, young man.


Friday Link Dump

(Now that’s how you celebrate a victory. Photo courtesy of Combat Lifestyle; to see more photos from this event, click here.)

- Gina Carano discusses marriage proposals and the pitfalls of fame. (MMA Rated)

- Cage Rage heavyweight champ headed to UFC. (Fighters Only)

- TUF 8/Ultimate Fight Night pull strong ratings. (Five Ounces of Pain)

- Rashad Evans’ Microsoft commercial cameo. (MMA Mania)

- Hermes Franca doesn’t respect Marcus Aurelio as a man. (Tatame)

- The Ric Flair of MMA? (Steve Cofield)

- Elite XC to debut 140 lbs. title. (MMA News)

- NFL referee Ed Hochuli responds to an angry reader. (Holy Taco)

- Trash-talking Hobo catches a beatdown. (Nothing Toxic)

- The story of the ‘Uh-Oh Face’ Guy. (Wall Street Fighter)


KJ Noons Won’t Fight Nick Diaz, Would Fight Nate, But Has Decided to Box Instead

KJ Noons has a brilliant plan for the future of his fighting career. Are you ready for this? Instead of fighting Nick Diaz for the Elite XC lightweight title in front of millions of people on CBS, he’s going to fight some nobody in a boxing match that is not on network TV. That will show those bastards at Elite XC.

In an interview with MMA Weekly Noons claims that Elite XC breached his boxing contract — which was one of the two contracts he signed with them — by not offering him any fights, thus leaving him free to pursue boxing matches on his own. His MMA contract with them is presumably still valid since they did offer him the Diaz fight, which he continues to disparage on the basis that Diaz would make more money than him for the fight:

“Tell him to put his money where his mouth is. Put his money up if he wants it so bad, if he’s such a warrior,” Noons stated about Diaz. “He was just (expletive) about how much he got paid on this last CBS card. He’s getting paid 3 times more than me, how do you think that makes me feel?”

“If Dana (White) is listening, I wouldn’t mind fighting his brother too. I’ll get them both (expletive) plastic surgeries.”

He just had to bring up Nate, didn’t he? Maybe the plan is to make the Diaz brothers talk so much smack they cancel each other out, like some sort of shit-talking wave interference theory.

Nate Diaz really started this after his Fight Night bout when he suggested that “somebody” should stop being a “weak-ass punk” and fight his brother. Personally, I assumed that Nate was referring to British punk rocker Johnny Rotten, but now that I think about it Noons’ interpretation really makes more sense.


Antonio Silva Is Seriously Fighting That Steroid Charge

Antonio Silva steroids MMA EliteXC
(Photo courtesy of

No, it’s not like he was hoping we’d all forget about it. EliteXC’s heavyweight champion Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva — who pissed dirty, horse-steroid style following his TKO win over Justin Eilers at “Unfinished Business” in July — has enlisted attorney Howard Jacobs to help him formally appeal his suspension. Jacobs is the same lawyer who helped Sean Sherk knock his one-year Nandrolone suspension down to six months. Silva has until tomorrow to file an appeal, then 30 days to request a special hearing for his case. Without the appeal, he would have to appear at the CSAC’s next public hearing, scheduled for November 20th.

As MMA Weekly reports, Silva and his camp maintain that his medical condition of acromegaly, or “gigantism,” precludes him from taking steroids in the first place:

Silva’s American representative, Alex Davis…said that Silva’s tumor has caused him to produce as much as 20 times the normal amount of growth hormone in the body. “It would be completely insensible or even dangerous to make use of any other steroids or substances that could worsen that kind of problem,” he said. Following the CSAC’s suspension, Davis says he had Silva tested for steroids at the Aegis Sciences Corporation — a facility he says is on the CSAC’s approved list of testing facilities — and results were negative.


Caption Contest: Too Tiny to Armbar?

Amir Sadollah Verne Troyer
(For more photos from this event, click here.)

We recently came across this Combat Lifestyle picture of TUF 7 winner Amir Sadollah and Verne Troyer hanging out at Privé, and needless to say, it moved us. I think it’s caption contest time, folks. And what’s on the line? See for yourself after the jump.


Kevin Burns Wants Another Shot at Anthony Johnson

(‘I’m just saying, the guy has two eyes. Why wouldn’t I want a rematch?’)

Kevin “Pokey” Burns feels bad about his victory via sticking his fingers in Anthony Johnson’s eyes back in July. Anthony Johnson also feels bad about it, which is why he appealed the decision in a losing effort. But now Burns says he wants a rematch with Johnson in order to “make it right”:

“I guess what’s really going to be the true-tell sign at the end of the day is when we meet in the cage again, and we have a chance to compete against each other. Then the fans will get to see what they wanted to see, and we’ll get to make it right.”

“I hated more the way the fight ended than probably Anthony did,” Burns said. “It didn’t really come up to par. I’m not that kind of competitor. I would have rather been knocked out, personally, than to win like that.”

While you have to appreciate the old Don Frye ‘let’s do it again, brother’ sentiment, I’m not so sure that Burns really hated it more than Johnson did. Johnson, let’s not forget, had to have eye surgery to repair a detached retina as a result of the debacle. He also still has the loss on his record.

Burns says he’s been taking some heat from fans for the win and wants to clear the air about some of the rumors that have been flying about him:


IFL Still Looking For Buyers, But Doing World’s Worst Sales Job

(Make an offer, but ring announcer Tim Hughes comes as part of the set.)

Even though the IFL has filed for bankruptcy and their best fighters have all signed on with other organizations, they are apparently still looking for a buyer who wants their video library badly enough to pay for it. Jay Larkin told Sherdog that when the UFC used some of their footage to hype former IFL fighters who had signed on with Zuffa, it wasn’t because the UFC had paid for the video, it was because the IFL was just “helping out.” It’s the least they could do, after all the help the UFC did for them.

But check Jay Larkin’s sales pitch when it comes to the IFL:

“You don’t always know what you got till it’s gone. There’s a lot of lessons to be learned,” said Larkin, a longtime boxing programming executive with Showtime. “One of the things I tried to do was do it in a more professional manner. The bottom line is, I feel MMA is a one-organization industry. I think UFC has done a spectacular job of branding, and UFC has become synonymous with MMA. And there’s a couple of hangers-on now. Wall Street’s having a hard time right now. I’d like to see MMA flourish but I’m very skeptical.”

In other words, please buy this stuff, but if you’re anyone other than the UFC, you’ll just be wasting your money.

I once went to Sears to buy a power drill and the stoned college kid working there responded to every one of my questions about various drills by telling me all the bad things about them, finally concluding that the one they had on sale “just generally kind of sucks.” I did not buy a drill that day. As sales strategies go, pessimism and ennui rank somewhere near the bottom. Larkin would do well to keep that in mind.


UFC Counter-Programming, Pt. 4

Forrest Griffin Quinton Jackson UFC MMA
(Kimbo who?)

The UFC isn’t going to let EliteXC put an event on network TV without screwing with them a little bit. Just as they aired UFC 84 for free on Spike while the second CBS “Saturday Night Fights” card was taking place on July 26th — effectively stealing away a lot of EliteXC’s young male viewers — the UFC will be airing “UFC 86: Jackson vs. Griffin” on October 4th, opposite “EliteXC: Heat.” (They’ll also be showing “UFC 87: St-Pierre vs. Fitch” the following Saturday, on the night that Affliction was originally supposed to hold their “Day of Reckoning” card.) The UFC has previously tried to take the wind out of their competition’s sails by airing an “Ultimate Iceman” special on Spike during the first CBS “Saturday Night Fights” card in May, and scheduling an Anderson Silva-headlined Ultimate Fight Night during Affliction’s “Banned” card in July.

With Showtime lurking as a potential buyer for Pro Elite, a little less is riding on “Heat”‘s performance — lackluster ratings wouldn’t necessarily mean extinction if they have someone to bail them out. But the UFC could further devalue the EliteXC brand if they can prove that just as many people would tune in to see a UFC re-run as a new fight card from EliteXC. And if “Heat” is a bomb, maybe Showtime will think twice about the purchase.

In other UFC news…


Showtime Looking to Purchase ProElite

Kimbo Slice Gina Carano EliteXC MMA
(Scott: “Come on gang, we gotta raise $55 million to save EliteXC! But…how?”
Gina: “Bikini car wash!”
Robbie: “Pirate treasure hunt!”
Kimbo: “Robbin’ ni**as!”

Sherdog reports that Showtime Networks filed public notice with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday, announcing their intention to negotiate for the purchase of Pro Elite Inc. Showtime, a subsidiary of CBS Corporation, already has a 20% ownership stake in the L.A.-based MMA organization.

What makes the sale likely is how broke-ass Pro Elite is at this point. It’s already been widely reported that the company racked up $55 million in debt during its two years of operation, and to make matters worse, Pro Elite is struggling to obtain enough capital to operate in the short term. According to a new SEC filing, the company has been hustling for $3.5 million in financing, and their failure to secure it in the immediate future “[would] have a material adverse effect on the Company’s liquidity and capital resources and ability to continue as a going concern.” And guess what:

The Company no longer believes that a successful closing of the $3.5 million secured debt (with a funded amount of $3.0 million) will occur. Although the Company has received $1 million pursuant to the Note [ed. note: this refers to a loan made to Pro Elite by Showtime]…the $1 million funding defers such consequences only for a brief period of time while the Company continues to evaluate its options on how to respond to its severe liquidity problem.

Known most for its EliteXC and ShoXC brands, Pro Elite has also acquired such mid-level outfits as King of the Cage, Icon Sport, Rumble on the Rock, and Cage Rage over the last two years — meaning that it would be a powerful asset in the hands of the right manager. And who’s the Showtime exec who would be qualified to run it all? Well, that’s the $55 million question. More to come…


One Night in Omaha with Clay Guida

Alex Trujillo — Clay Guida’s coach and owner of the Midwest Training Center — does the best Mike Goldberg impersonation I’ve ever heard. He has it all just right. The hyperbolic enthusiasm, the local news weatherman voice inflection, the whole package.

“Coming up next!” Trujillo shouts in his Goldberg voice, and it’s enough to get the whole dressing room cracking up. You can see how it helps to have guy like Trujillo around when you’re trying to stay relaxed before a fight. Soon the talk turns to what it would be like if Goldberg did commentary for porn movies. The consensus opinion? It would be awesome.

This is just part of what I was treated to last night as I shadowed Guida before and after his fight for this article. It was, to say the least, a unique experience. There are the guys who say that they just love to fight, and then there are the guys for whom it is obviously true. Clay Guida is the latter. Throughout his preparation there was never a hint of anxiety. Little leaguers have more nerves stepping up to bat.

As Guida sat in his dressing room having his hands taped referee Yves Lavigne came by to go over some basics. Just to clarify, Lavigne took out a sheet of paper that he had folded into thirds and held it up against the back of his own head to show Guida where not to strike. Through it all Guida could barely keep from smiling.