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

June, 2009

So We’re Really Doing This, Eh Bisping?

Michael Bisping wrestling UFC 100
(Combat Lifestyle captures Bisping’s wrestling practice at the brand new TapouT training center in Las Vegas.)

Here’s Michael Bisping, or as he will soon come to be known, “Johnny Takedown,” working on his wrestling skillz in advance of his UFC 100 bout with Dan Henderson next weekend.  You’ll recall that we previously laughed off the idea that Bisping might try and take Hendo down rather than just focusing all his energy on trying to stay upright.  And sure, maybe double-legs were only 10% of a wrestling practice that was 90% about sprawling and scrambling back to the feet.  Still, training takedowns this close to the fight makes it seem suspiciously like Bisping intends to turn Henderson’s greatest strengths against him.

If that is the plan, it’s now officially the worst kept secret in MMA.  Imagine how shocked Henderson would have been to see Bisping shoot for a takedown right off the bat.  Not now though.  After his wrestling coach blew up his spot and these pictures hit the internet, it’s safe to say the element of surprise is gone.


Frank Mir Kindly Helps Brock Lesnar Formulate a Gameplan For UFC 100

(The secret to a good striking workout with Frank Mir?  Tell him that the focus mitts called him chubby.)

After Brock Lesnar’s unfortunate UFC debut against Frank Mir you may be wondering whether we’ll see the same full-steam-ahead Lesnar that got himself kneebarred in the first encounter, or whether he’ll look to change it up for the heavyweight championship showdown at UFC 100.  Well, as long as it’s up for debate, Mir would like to offer a suggestion via an email sent out by the UFC.  It goes a little something like this:

"If Brock really comes out and tries to abandon the running at me, heads over heels and just trying to knock, bull rush me over, I honestly think that’s his best approach," said Mir, with a black shine circling his eye. "I would just come after me – take a chance, ’cause to sit there and play the cat and mouse game with me, and jab and slip and move around, I think that’s a slow death for him that he can’t possibly win."

Classic KO: Thiago Alves Lays Jeff Cox Down to Sleep

(Props: ‘SmashedAceHole’ on the UG. Fight starts at the 3:03 mark.)

Before he was the UFC’s #1 welterweight contender and a Fight! magazine cover-boy, Thiago Alves was just a young scrapper whose last name was consistently butchered by announcers and commentators. Alvs’s Alvarez’s Pitbull’s eighth pro MMA match took place at a King of the Cage event in Cleveland back in February 2005, where he faced then-undefeated Jeff Cox, who entered the cage sporting maroon Aokipants and a hairstyle that might be described as a "nohawk." After missing a head kick, Alves grabbed a Thai clinch and found Cox’s snooze-button with a knee to the chin. He then fired punches into Cox’s grill until Herb Dean dove on to stop the abuse. Alves caught the attention of the UFC with the 15-second KO win, and would make his Octagon debut eight months later. All Cox got was the shame of waking up in Cleveland wearing red tights.


Jamie Varner May Never Fight Again; Cerrone vs. Henderson For Interim LW Title in September (UPDATE)

Jamie Varner MMA WEC
(Oh, please. In my day, we’d fight with three broken hands. Photo courtesy of

Jamie Varner‘s technical split-decision over Donald Cerrone at WEC 38 counted as a win on his record, but it sure didn’t feel like one. Varner left the cage that night with a broken hand, a broken foot, impaired vision from the illegal knee that ended the match, and heaps of abuse from fans who thought he should have sacked up and finished out the last three minutes of the fight, which he was leading on the scorecards. Five months later, Varner is still feeling the after-effects of that brutal five-rounder. Last week, he Twittered the disappointing news that his hand is still fractured, and with no return date in sight, reports began emerging that his cowboy-hat-wearing nemesis and Benson Henderson would fight for an interim lightweight title. And then, things got even worse.


Compared to This Ad Campaign, “Fedor Will Return” Seems Downright Brilliant

(Looks like someone unwittingly captured one of many moments of utter despair in the life of an NYC cab driver.  Hang in there, buddy.)

What is it about Fedor Emelianenko that makes advertisers intent on turning his relative lack of fame into a selling point?  Fanhouse’s Ariel Helwani spotted a new Fedor-related HDNet ad campaign in New York City this week, featuring a photo of the Russian’s face with the tagline “Do you know who I am?”  If you know anything about New Yorkers, you probably know that the answer most of them would give when confronted with this question is: ‘Yeah, you’re the guy who should go fuck himself.’  


Are You Really Ready to Pay for a WEC Card? Really?

(Just a couple of poor boys fighting over scraps of food and tens of thousands of dollars.)

This week I debated MMA writer/Army officer Kelly Crigger on a number of MMA-related topics (what’s that, sounds suspiciously like our Ben vs. Ben feature? Yeah, tell it to Crigger, *cough*ripoff*cough), but the one where we seemed to differ the most revolved around whether the WEC can now make a successful transition to pay-per-view.  Kelly argues yes, pointing to the excitement provided by the last WEC event and the need to improve fighter pay in Zuffa’s little guy organization.  He’s right, of course.  They have been putting on good shows lately and Mike Brown does deserve a raise, but it doesn’t mean I’m personally prepared to give it to him.


Video: Greg Jackson and GSP Are Gunning for Thiago Alves’s ‘Safety Zone’

(Props: MMA Mania)

"It’s finding what’s called a ‘safety zone’, and that’s a place that when he’s in trouble he goes to. It could be a clinch, it could be a takedown, it could be kickboxing, wherever he feels comfortable and safe. And then you have three ways of getting around it, you can either avoid it, nullify it, or smash it…hopefully we’ll be able to exploit [Thiago Alves's safety zone] and move around it."

In this FOX Fight Game interview, Georges St. Pierre‘s trainer Greg Jackson discusses one of the most important elements of his famous game-plans — attacking an opponent not where he’s strongest or weakest, but what he falls back on when things get rough. He wouldn’t name what he thinks Alves’s safety zone is, though he does admit that Alves’s left knee and left hook are weapons to be feared. Also in the interview, Jackson describes game-planning as a structure that "the artist" has to be able to work within, and talks about the crucial balance between cooperation and competition that exists at his gym. GSP and Pitbull are scheduled to get it on in 11 days at UFC 100.


Fight-Booking Alert: Diaz vs. Riggs, Swick vs. Kampmann

Nick Diaz Joe Riggs UFC 57Nick Diaz Joe Riggs UFC 57 MMA
(Photos courtesy of

According to a new report on FiveOuncesofPain, a welterweight rematch between Nick Diaz and Joe Riggs has been added to the undercard of Strikeforce’s "Carano vs. Cyborg" event (August 15th, San Jose). Due to the show’s main card featuring as many as three 25-minute matches — the historic headliner, the lightweight championship rematch between Josh Thomson and Gilbert Melendez, and the still-unconfirmed heavyweight title fight between Alistair Overeem and Brett Rogers — Diaz vs. Riggs II may not make the televised Showtime broadcast.

The two fighters first met at UFC 57 in February 2006, where Riggs won a unanimous decision; infamously, they continued their fight later that night at a hospital. Bad Boy and Diesel were both successful at "Lawler vs. Shields" earlier this month, with Diaz choking out Scott Smith and Riggs outlasting Phil Baroni. Considering their tense history and shared love of trash-talk, this should be a great one. No other matches have been confirmed for "Carano vs. Cyborg" besides the ones mentioned above, though Roger Gracie and Erin Toughill are expected to participate.


Ask the Potato

(Un-freaking-canny, isn’t it?)

It’s been too long since we’ve answered all your stupid questions.  For that, we apologize.  For the smart-assness of the answers we offer here, we shall never apologize.  If you don’t like it, go ask your own incredibly important question right now in this forum thread.  Otherwise, read on and be amused.

If you were to break it down per minute, who is the highest paid fighter? I’m not talking about all the training and everything that goes with fighting, just the fights themselves. – Shagen

Why settle for breaking it down per minute, Shagen?  Why not per second?  The three top contenders for this title would appear to be Andrei Arlovski (who made $1.5 million to get knocked out by Fedor in 3:14), Tim Sylvia (who made $800,000 to get submitted by Fedor in 0:36), and Kimbo Slice (who made $500,000 to get knocked out by Seth Petruzelli in 0:14).


The 10 Greatest UFC Events of All Time (#10-6)

The UFC’s first 132 events have given us over 15 years worth of legendary battles, shocking finishes, and historic debuts. With UFC 100 coming up on July 11th, we decided to do some digging and pick out the 10 most monumental events of all time. So join us as we step into the way-back machine…


#10: UFC 13: Ultimate Force
5/30/97; Augusta, Georgia

Notable fights: Tito Ortiz vs. Wes Albritton, Randy Couture vs. Tony Halme, Randy Couture vs. Steven Graham, Vitor Belfort vs. Tank Abbott 
Lowdown: It may have seemed like just another night of cage-fighting at the time, but we now look back on "Ultimate Force" as the event that gave us the debuts of three enduring legends: Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, and Joe Rogan. In addition to the main-event slugfest between Vitor Belfort and Tank Abbott (which the Phenom won by TKO in 53 seconds), Lucky #13 featured a four-man "lightweight" tournament for fighters below 200 pounds, and a heavyweight bracket for 200+ pounders

Just 22 years old at the time, Tito Ortiz made it to the lightweight finals after crushing Wes Albritton with ground-and-pound in a show-opening alternate bout; unfortunately, he later succumbed to a guillotine choke by tournament winner Guy Mezger. Randy Couture was more successful. The former collegiate wrestling standout and U.S. Olympic team alternate swept the heavyweight tourney by choking out Tony Halme and stopping Steven Graham via strikes. And yes, the dude from NewsRadio was handling backstage interview duty — who knew he’d turn out to be the most insightful and entertaining commentator in the sport?