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

January, 2009

UFC 91 Replay Kicks Serious Ratings Ass (Among Men 18-34)

(Legend has it that at the exact time the fight re-aired Randy Couture complained of a bizarre pain in his facial region.)

The UFC’s most recent counter-programming effort – a replay of UFC 91 free on Spike TV during this weekend’s Affliction: Day of Reckoning event – apparently did pretty well with its target demographic, according to a Spike TV press release.  The replay peaked with 3.3 million viewers, making it “the highest rated show among Men 18-34 in all of television (broadcast or cable) in its timeslot.”  

Okay, that’s a lot of conditional phrases.  It’s like us claiming to be the most popular website with the word “potato” in the name (so take that that is also run by two guys named Ben.  See?  Not that impressive when you put it like that.  Although we are the ones lending a hand to New York MMA fans with our “lift the ban” petition, so give us some credit.

On the whole, the 2.5-hour event averaged 2.3 million viewers, according to Spike, "easily making UFC 91 the most-watched taped UFC event in network history."

Again, more conditionals, but the point is that even if you don’t think the UFC’s event replays work as effective counter-programming to hurt their competitors, they still reach millions of people and are the best thing Spike TV has going for it on any given Saturday night.  Sorry, “Manswers” fans, but it’s true.


Could This Be the End of Lil’ Evil?

Jens Pulver Urijah Faber MMA WEC
(Jens Pulver finds himself in an all-too-familiar spot against Urijah Faber at WEC 38. Photo courtesy of

From via MMA Mania:

well shit. damn that body shot hurt like no other and damned if I fell into his choke, and well fight is over. I never meant to get all emotional in the interview after the fight but when he asked me if I am still relevant it got me thinking. I could hear the crowd and boy I have to tell you it was loud and really started to move me inside that cage. Thus the F bomb at the end, I guess I was saying that to myself just happened to be out loud. There is nothing but doubt running through my mind, wondering if I am hanging on to long or am I really just at the point of turning things around. I do feel great when I am getting prepared, just had so many things going against me this time it was tough to get away for a good solid two months to give myself the best chance of winning. I do not know where I am gonna go from here and I do not know if you all just watched the last fight for lil evil. I know this I have battled all they put in front of me and I know I have always tried to do my best out there. I have been open and honest for the most part when talking and answering any question asked. I love this sport and I have loved watching it grow and become bigger and bigger as each month passes. I guess it is time to just go home and figure out where to go next. I can say this it has been an honor to fight in front of all of you who have taken the time [to] watch and all of you who take the time to come on here and say whats up. I wish you all the best in the world. again my apologies to my family, my camp at AMC and to my fans. 

Sucks to hear a legend like Pulver come face-to-face with the end of the line. But to me, Pulver’s loss to Urijah Faber on Sunday didn’t prove much — we already knew he couldn’t hang with the California Kid. Any fighter needs to do some serious re-evaluation after taking three straight losses, but the WEC can at least partially be blamed for Pulver’s last one. They’re the ones who booked him against Faber (again) after he was already on a two-fight skid, and didn’t let him postpone the match to March even though he was dealing with a new baby and the death of a close friend.

Between the two losses to Faber, Pulver got wrecked by Leonard Garcia, who may become the WEC’s next 145-pound champion. But in his first fight in the WEC, he choked out the very-respectable Cub Swanson in 35 seconds. Has Pulver really deteriorated that much in the last two years, or did he just run into Garcia on a good night, and Faber on any night? Why pack it in when you’re still skilled enough to beat good fighters (though not great ones), and when fans still love to watch you compete? Or is there no point when you know you’ll never be a champion again?


Affliction Looking at July/August for Event #3

Oscar De La Hoya Donald Trump Fedor Emelianenko Tom Atencio Vadim Finkelstein
("Yes, thanks you very much for this commemorative dinner plate.")

Though we enjoyed much hearty debate about how quickly Affliction’s MMA promotion would crash and burn after "Day of Reckoning," the official company line is that a third event will be held this summer, possibly in Anaheim (again) or Atlantic City. As Tom Atencio told FiveOuncesofPain:

"We’re going to have a third event. It’s just a matter of when. Possibly in July, possibly in August. I’m just not really sure. We’re looking and we’re sitting down, trying to figure everything out.”

Atencio, like everyone else, expects Fedor Emelianenko vs. Josh Barnett to headline this theoretical third show, saying "That’s what I’m hoping for but right now I’ve got to sit down with these guys and figure everything out." Sounds like they’ve got a lot of figuring to do, so we’ll just leave them alone for now. In the meantime, these post-"Day of Affliction" news bits may interest you…

— The paid attendance for Saturday’s event was 8,946 for a live gate take of $1,512,750, though some of those tickets could have been paid for by Affliction itself. If Tom Atencio’s total attendance figure of 13,228 spectators was accurate, then over 4,000 seats were straight-up given away. Affliction’s debut show, "Banned," brought in 14,832 total attendees. On the same night as "Day of Reckoning," 20,820 people packed the Staples Center in nearby Los Angeles to watch Shane Mosley take out Antonio Margarito.


Videos: Danablog #2 (aka “Pinkberry Makes You Crazy”), Arlovski Thanks “Classy Fans,” + Mosley-Margarito

Dana White’s UFC 94 video blog, episode 2 – Watch more Free Videos

In the second episode of Dana White’s UFC 94 video blog we get a look inside the taping of “The Ultimate Fighter,” and encounter a man identified as Dana White Sr.  Could this really be the father of the UFC prez?  The brief look we get at their relationship seems contentious yet oddly loving enough.  After that it’s off to NYC for more Pinkberry (so no more Men’s Health cover shoots any time soon, then?) and another race through the city streets.  Oh, to be rich and loaded on sugar.  Nothing at all about GSP-Penn in this episode, by the way.

Andrei Arlovski comes home to Chicago and thanks his fans for their support after his loss, which he attributes to a stupid mistake.  His cameraman, playing the role of the enabling sycophant, insists it was just necessary risk-taking, but Andrei knows better.  He also tosses another jab at “pee-pee-pee taster” Tim Sylvia, because that always makes a man feel better when he’s down in the dumps.


Franca Out of UFC Fight Night 17 with Knee Injury Just as Internet War with Lauzon Heats Up

(You just hate to see a guy like Franca sidelined for anything other than a steroid suspension or drunk-driving arrest.)

UFC lightweight Hermes Franca has been forced to pull out of his scheduled bout with Joe Lauzon at Fight Night 17 on Feb. 7 due to a torn ACL, according to a post by Franca on the UG.  Franca said he injured the knee last Saturday and will now have it repaired.  He added:

Thank you UFC,my fans, friends for the support, i was training hard and i was so excited ,but there’s      nothing i can do, (could be worse), so Hermes franca will take a break for some recovery,and come back  stronger than ever like i always do!!!!

Nothing like referring to yourself in the third person to remind everyone that you are a professional athlete.  This is the second time in the last week that a scheduled opponent of one of the Lauzon brothers has had to pull out of a fight due to injury.  First Chris Horodecki failed his physical exam prior to a fight with Dan Lauzon, which meant “The Upgrade” had to face “Frantic” Bobby Green and get his testicles jostled.  Now Franca is hurt and the UFC will have to find a replacement to take on Joe Lauzon.

Lauzon, replying to Franca’s post, expressed his disappointment at the news and wished Franca a speedy recovery, real gentleman-like.  Then things got a little weird on the ol’ internets, with this remark from Franca:


The UFC Wants to Pump, [Clap], You Up

UFC gyms training MMA
(Who wants to have their weight proportional to their f*ckin’ height? Image courtesy of

Don’t renew your Curves membership just yet. From a new press release on

The fastest growing sports organization in the world, the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) in partnership with New Evolution Fitness Company (NEFC), today announced plans to launch a nationwide and global network of UFC gyms.
“UFC Gyms is something we’ve been looking at for a long time, it completely made sense to me when we found the right partner in Mark Mastrov — this is the guy who has created some of the most powerful fitness brands in the world,” said Dana White, UFC President. “UFC gyms are going to shake up the fitness industry the way UFC shook up the sports industry. All the energy and excitement that we have brought to the fight business we are now going to bring to the fitness business. There is going to be something for everybody at all levels — from first timers to world class athletes — we’re going to get people excited and motivated to work out and get in great shape.”

CagePotato Power Rankings Updated

(Still the best heavyweight. Still the best personalized t-shirt.)

Heads up: In the wake of Affliction and WEC’s shows last weekend, we’ve updated our heavyweight, light-heavyweight, and featherweight Power Rankings. Every top-ten list has been updated at least once this month, so swing by and get to debating/complaining, and be sure to check in again next week as UFC 94 may have significant impact on the welterweight and light-heavyweight lists. Fighters that are sitting just outside the rankings include…

HW: The winner of Gonzaga/Carwin at UFC 96 will most likely enter the top ten; also, Antonio Silva and Fabricio Werdum are close

LHW: Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Luis Cane

MW: Yoshihiro Akiyama, Thales Leites, Ronaldo Souza, Michael Bisping, Chael Sonnen

WW: Jay Hieron, Karo Parisyan, Nick Diaz, Matt Serra, Paul Daley, Mike Swick

LW: Jamie Varner, Frankie Edgar, Takanori Gomi, Mitsuhiro Ishida, Gilbert Melendez, Nate Diaz

FW: Dokonjonosuke Mishima, Hideki Kadowaki, Akitoshi Tamura, Joseph Benavidez

P4P: Lyoto Machida and Mike Brown



Video: Dana White’s UFC 94 Video Blog Polls Fighters on GSP-Penn

Dana White’s first video blogging effort for UFC 94 seems intent on answering the question: who do pro fighters favor in this weekend’s B.J. Penn-Georges St. Pierre clash?  Fairly consistently, it seems like they think Penn has it wrapped up.  Some of that might be because Penn has kicked their ass or GSP has kicked the ass of their teammate, depending on who you’re asking.  

The other highlight near the end of the video is the appearance of Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, who is asked by Dana, “You ready to come fight here?”  By here, he means the WEC, where this bad boy is being filmed.  Yamamoto is hindered slightly by a language barrier, but he replies clearly, “Yeah, I want.”  Hey, sounds like a binding verbal contract to us.


Affliction Pick-em Contest: Winners!

(Don’t worry, it’s not all words.  There are even some pictures!)

The good news in the Affliction Pick-em Contest is that a few of you even managed to follow instructions, both by counting up your own scores and by not editing your posts after the deadline and disqualifying your own dumb ass.  Kudos for that.  

The bad news is that plenty of you failed to realize when tallying your scores that a) we scratched the Lauzon/Green fight, which you would have known if you actually read this site, so no one got any points for that, and b) Josh Barnett’s victory was officially ruled a submission, not a TKO.  That’s what happens when someone taps to strikes.  That, and they get called a bitch by B.J. Penn.

If you’re curious how we scored in this one, I beat Goldstein for the second straight event, this time by a comfortable 16-11 score.  Despite this magnificent triumph, I still fell short of our winner (though I would have gotten closer if “Baby Fedor” could have lasted another forty-two seconds in order to lose by decision.  Freaking ringside doctors think they’re so smart).

But you don’t care about us.  You just want to know who won the autographed copy of L. Jon Wertheim’s Blood in the Cage, right?


Tito Ortiz: Great Commentator, or Greatest Commentator?

(An enormous head, filled with 12 pounds of cookie dough. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

We just wanted to share these quotes from Tito’s absolutely stunning broadcast debut at "Day of Reckoning," collected from these threads on the UG:


"Here we are with Seraldo Babalu, you did an awesome job, saw why you’re a black belt in jiu-jitsu, getting an awesome submission there, I want to tell me what you see, let’s go ahead and see by the fight, what you saw, in the ring."

"You showed the dominance by getting the takedown and looking for a choke in that position. We know the weakness that you had, but you actually showed the heart and determination of a champion of how tough of a light heavyweight you really are, here in the Affliction card. What do you think of the future of you, um, future opponents?"

"Yes, and uh, my back will be better in about three months, so I know all the fans would love to see me and you get it on. You know what, you’re an awesome fighter, congratulations tonight. Everybody lets give a hand to Renato Babalu, one of the greatest light heavyweights, of the night."


"Matt the Lindland Law…The Law Lindland."

"Well, Belfort, we saw you with an astonishing left hand, that’s the left hand that I used to see you knock people out time and time again, we’re gonna go ahead and go over it. Walk me through it, show me exactly what you seen with this."

"Well, like I said, you show your hand-speed time and time again Vitor, 185 pounds, lady and gentlemen, let’s give Vitor Belfort a round of applause, an awesome 105 pounder, you just beat the number two guy in the world, buddy, you’re on top of the world tonight!"

"Wow! That’s all I got to say. Vitor at 185 pounds. I don’t know. I see him beating the, uh, what was it, Anderson Silva. I see him picking him apart because you have two great boxers, and, man, that was amazing. That was the old Vitor Belfort that we all want to see. Him at 131 years old. He’s back for vengeance."