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

December, 2009

Okay, Erin Toughill Has a Point About Kim Couture’s Website

Kim Couture bikini
(Couture and Toughill, locked in an old-fashioned bikini duel.)

The beef between female fighters Erin Toughill and Kim Couture just won’t die, mainly because Toughill won’t let it die. She hates “Sugar Free” so much, she managed to take a UG thread about Gina Carano and turn it into another rant about Couture, who no one had even mentioned up until that point. At first it was the usual criticism of Kim’s lack of talent and inflated sense of self-importance, but then she took aim at Couture’s website, pointing out that the bio page doesn’t really make sense.

Out of sheer idle curiosity, we went to check it out. What we learned is that Toughill is totally right.  As unintentionally hilarious bio pages go, this one is pretty great.  For example, after describing how Kim “took the ‘Bull by the Horns,’ so to speak” by attending public school as a child, the biography offers this description of her early work life:


James Toney Still Wants to Fight in the UFC, Still Out of His Damn Mind

James Toney
(Keep an eye out for the James Toney workout tape, in stores now.  Makes a perfect Christmas gift for people you hate.)

Don’t ask us why, but former boxing great James Toney has got it in his head that he wants to fight in the UFC. Maybe he’s just that blissfully unaware of the full compliment of skills it takes to compete at that level of MMA. Maybe he’s punch-drunk and is not in complete control of what comes out of his mouth. Maybe he’s just in dire need of some attention/money. Whatever the root cause is, he tried to bolster his case while attending UFC 107 in Memphis last weekend, and it sounds like he didn’t quite make the stellar impression that he seems to believe he did:

“I met up with Dana. He was cool and said we could do business. We exchanged numbers and I texted him all night, ‘Don’t forget chicken shit!’ But I was sitting behind Chuck Liddell and I could tell he was uncomfortable with my presence. …I think I can break records with the UFC. I would fight Kimbo Slice, Chuck Liddell, or Randy Couture. Brock Lesnar, too. He could get it and we would do a ton of buys.”

It’s On: Frank Mir vs. Shane Carwin Tapped for Interim Title Fight in March

Frank Mir Brock Lesnar MMA
("Why does this happen every time I drink tequila?")

With Brock Lesnar’s return date still uncertain, it looks like the UFC will dust off their interim heavyweight title for one more ride. Multiple sources report that a fight between Frank Mir and Shane Carwin is in the works for UFC 111 (March 27th, Newark), with the winner earning the UFC’s interim belt. Both fighters have been very open to the bout; Carwin recently wrote on his blog that Mir "is a LEGEND of the sport and I would be honored to fight him," while Mir described a potential fight against Carwin as a "phenomenal matchup," and Carwin as "a better version" of Brock Lesnar. Well Merry Christmas, boys, because you got your wish.

Though Mir was already mentally preparing for a future clash with a heavy-handed powerhouse wrestler, Carwin must now start game-planning for a submission expert with rapidly-improving boxing skills. Carwin also has ring-rust working against him. An entire year will have passed since his last appaearance against Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 96; Mir has fought twice in that period, and his confidence-boosting choke-out of Cheick Kongo at UFC 107 will be fresh in his mind. Is the Engineer of Pain fighting an uphill battle here, or will Mir just be a speed-bump on Carwin’s path to the title?

UFC 111 is scheduled to be headlined by the welterweight title fight between Georges St. Pierre and Dan Hardy, and will also feature the return of Thiago Alves.


Antonio Rogerio Nogueira Out of UFC 109; Brandon Vera Likely to Meet Jon Jones in March

Brandon Vera UFCJon Jones UFC

Due to a fractured ankle, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has been forced to withdraw from his co-headlining bout against Brandon Vera at UFC 109 (February 6, Las Vegas). Shortly after the news broke, Vera posted (then quickly removed) the following message on his Twitter page: "just found out I’m firing Jon Bones Jones on March 21st in Denver Colorado. hope u heard it here first!!!!"

We can only assume that Vera meant "fighting Jon Bones Jones," and that he won’t be flying out to Denver to terminate Jones from his contract, Clooney-style. And the March 21st date may also be a misprint: MMA Junkie and MMA Weekly both report that the yet-unsigned fight is actually slated for March 31st, and will headline an Ultimate Fight Night card just four days after UFC 111 (March 27, Newark). The 3/31 Fight Night show will lead directly into the premiere of TUF 11.

With Vera losing a close decision to Randy Couture at UFC 105, and Jones coming off his unfortunate DQ loss against Matt Hamill earlier this month at the TUF 10 Finale, both men will come into this fight with a lot to prove. Jones certainly has the wrestling advantage — as well as the spinning-elbow advantage — but will Vera’s rangy kickboxing cause problems for young Bones?


Exclusive: UFC 108 Curse a Blessing for John Gunderson

(Gunderson looks for a guillotine against Wagnney Fabiano in an IFL bout back in 2007.)

There is one upside to having an event so plagued with injuries and illnesses that it barely limps its way onto pay-per-view.  With so many holes opening up in the fight card, that means some UFC first-timers are bound to turn someone else’s misfortune into their own big break.  One such Octagon newcomer at UFC 108 will be IFL vet John Gunderson.  He’ll be taking on Rafaello Oliveira, who was supposed to fight Sean Sherk, who got moved up to face Jim Miller when Tyson Griffin pulled out.  That’s the kind of event this has been, and that’s the convoluted chain of events that led to Gunderson getting his shot in the UFC just a little over two weeks from now.

"I actually found out last night," said Gunderson.  "[Evan] Dunham saw it online and he told me about it.  After practice I checked my cell phone and sure enough there were a bunch of texts from my manager about it."


Strikeforce Is Coming Back to CBS with Fedor and Hendo In April 2010

Fedor Emelianenko with Sylvio Berlusconi and Vladimir Putin
(Don’t get too chummy, Berlusconi. Fedor only came to this thing because Putin told him there would be ice cream.  He’s been patient so far, but his patience has limits.)

CBS was so happy with how well their first Strikeforce event turned out, they’re going to do it again.  Eventually.  MMA Weekly reports that CBS is eyeing April 2010 as their next date for live MMA action, and they want both Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson on the fight card.  Probably not against each other, though.  That would be insane.

According to CBS senior executive vice president Kelly Kahl, they are "looking at a few different dates" but after the ratings the last Strikeforce show did they "look forward to being back in the cage."

As excited as we’ll be to see both Fedor and Hendo fighting for free on CBS once April rolls around (assuming we make it through the winter without being eaten by wolves, and we never assume that), that puts a five-month gap between Strikeforce’s network TV events.  We can’t help but pose the question: is that really the kind of scheduling pace that builds brand loyalty?  Sure, it gives them time to stack the card using the full might of Strikeforce’s roster, but at this rate they’ll only do about two network TV events a year.  Is that the kind of thing that builds a fanbase, or just tries to quickly exploit whatever existing fanbase is already there? 


Famous Last Words: Dan Hardy Edition

(For reference: St. Pierre vs. Serra 1, UFC 69, 4/7/07.)

From an interview with #1 welterweight contender Dan Hardy on Sherdog:

“I’ve accepted that, at some point, [St. Pierre is] going to take me down. I’ve accepted that I’m going to be fighting off my back for some of the fight and I’m just going to work to get back to my feet and do what damage I can from my back…I don’t want it to become too much of an issue — defending the takedown — because I won’t throw like I do against anybody else,” Hardy said. “I don’t want to be holding back on any of my kicks and punches because, at the end of the day, that’s what is going to win me the fight. My intention is to go in there, throw hard, just like Matt Serra did, but obviously a little more technical — I’m a little quicker and more technical. I’ve got reach and weight on Matt Serra, so I can do exactly what he did but a lot better…
The fight’s basically going to be, I would say, two rounds of me defending takedowns and getting up off my back and landing shots as soon as I can, as soon as I can get some space, and in the third round I think I will connect with something clean and hurt him,” Hardy said. “I certainly think by that time he will already be opened up and bleeding.”

Brian Bowles to Defend WEC Bantamweight Title Against Dominick Cruz in March

Brian Bowles Miguel Torres WEC
(Bowles didn’t just shock the world — he threw a toaster into the tub while the world was trying to relax in it with a glass of red wine and the latest Nora Roberts novel.)

After scoring one of the biggest upsets of the year in August — knocking out the seemingly-indestructible Miguel Torres in the first round of their bantamweight title fight at WEC 42Brian Bowles is ready to defend his crown. The WEC announced yesterday that Bowles (8-0) will next compete at WEC 47, which is slated for March 6th at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. His opponent will be 15-1 contender Dominick Cruz, who has won his last four WEC fights by decision, and whose only career loss came in a featherweight bout against Urijah Faber back in March 2007. Cruz most recently won a unanimous decision over much-hyped up-and-comer Joseph Benavidez at WEC 42, earning the event’s Fight of the Night award.

Miguel Torres is also slated to compete on the card against a yet-unnamed opponent. And even though he basically retired in June, Jens Pulver will be fighting at the Columbus event as well. WEC 47 — which will take place during the weekend of the annual Arnold Sports Festival — will mark the organization’s first show in Ohio.

Semi-related: No matter how his fight against Ed Ratcliff turns out this Saturday at WEC 45, Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone plans to drop to featherweight for his next fight.


Interview: Ben Askren Talks Bellator Signing and His Refusal to Give Up On Dreams of Wrestling Greatness

(Askren’s most recent fight vs. Matt Delanoit, 8/28/09. Props: Pure Fight.)

Ben Askren was a four-time All-American wrestler at the University of Missouri and an Olympic hopeful at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. He came home without a medal, his dreams temporarily dashed, and has since turned his focus toward MMA, racking up a 3-0 record in smaller promotions. But now the former wrestling standout has signed on to compete in Bellator’s welterweight tournament in the spring of 2010, though that doesn’t mean he’s forgetting all about his goals in the world of wrestling. Far from it, in fact. He seems to think he can someday be the best in the world at both MMA and wrestling, and nobody can talk him out of it. You’re one of the more well known wrestlers. You were a two-time national champ at Missouri and you got a lot of press heading into the Olympics. What made you decide to sign with Bellator?

It’s the best offer I had right now. They made me a good offer and they said they’d let me keep wrestling on the side, so that played a big part in my decision.


Bas Rutten Knows How to Tell a Good Story

(Props: Fight Magazine)

Most of the time when people begin sentences with the phrase, "Funny story…" the one thing you can count on is that you’re about to hear a story that is only funny in the eyes of its teller.  That is, except when the teller is Bas Rutten.  When "El Guapo" begins sentences that way, what usually follows is a story about someone getting badly beat up, and usually that story will be oddly funny in a violently bizarre way

For instance, in this case Rutten tells a tale about how he went from being a sickly kid who got picked on to a neighborhood terror who hunted down former bullies in order to give them their comeuppance.  Then he and some friends are hanging out at a bar where a strange woman gets knocked unconscious into Rutten’s arms and, as it often does in these situations, hilarity ensues.  You know, after somebody punched a woman.  Don’t worry, I’m sure she was okay.  Well, not okay, but you get the point.

Barely related: Ten Things "Roadhouse" Taught Us About Fighting