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

March, 2010

BREAKING: Thiago Alves Out of UFC 111 With ‘Brain Irregularity’

TMZ breaks the awful news

UFC’s Thiago "Pitbull" Alves will not fight at Saturday’s UFC 111, because a CAT Scan shows an irregularity in his brain, TMZ has learned. Thiago was scheduled to rumble with Jon Fitch on Saturday, but a pre-fight CAT Scan revealed an irregularity. A source close to 26-year-old Pitbull tells TMZ the irregularity involves an artery in the brain.
UFC honcho Dana White tells TMZ he will fly Pitbull to a specialist for further evaluation. White says, "If it’s true, it can be career-ending." No one will replace Pitbull on Saturday.

We heard chatter last night that the UFC was looking for a new opponent for Fitch, but with UFC 111 just two days away, any attempts to find a respectable replacement might be futile. A weird-looking artery in the brain is serious, scary business. Hopefully this is something that can be addressed medically so that Alves doesn’t have to retire when so much of his career was still ahead of him. We’ll update you when we get more details on the Pitbull’s health and when we know which preliminary card match will be promoted to the main card.


UFC 111 Press Conference in New York Brings Rowdy Crowd, Missing Carwin

Georges St. Pierre Dan Hardy UFC 111 press conference
UFC 111 press conference dana white georges st. pierre dan hardy frank mirDana White UFC 111 press conferenceGeorges St. Pierre UFC 111 press conference New York Radio City Music HallFrank Mir UFC 111 press conference New York
Brian Stann UFC 111 Tequila Cazadores Authentic Spirit Hire HeroesDan Hardy UFC 111 press conference New York Radio CityGeorges St. Pierre UFC 111 press conference New YorkGSP Dan Hardy welterweight belt UFC 111 press conference New York Radio City music hall
(Photos contributed by Serafin Santiago Jr.)

In honor of the UFC throwing a card in Newark this weekend, the UFC hype-train made a big stop in New York City yesterday to hold a public press conference at the legendary Radio City Music Hall. Though the four headlining fighters were supposed to be in attendance taking questions and posing for pictures with fans, Shane Carwin was stuck in Long Island finishing up his medical licensing paperwork. Oddly enough, welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre seemed to get the least love from the raucous mass of NY/NJ fans. They loved Dan Hardy for being an underdog who trains with Matt Serra. They loved Frank Mir for embodying the Jersey Shore juicehead ideal, even though he’s a lifelong Las Vegas resident.* They swung off of Dana White’s nuts, uncomfortably.** If you live in the New York area but can’t make it to UFC 111, Radio City will be hosting a viewing party on Saturday night, featuring appearances by Chuck Liddell, Matt Serra, Stephan Bonnar, and a freakin’ ginormous screen. Some important notes from yesterday’s presser are after the jump…


The Fight That Won’t Happen: Junior Dos Santos Won’t Get Cain Velasquez (Yet)


No sooner do we get pumped up about Junior Dos Santos’s suggestion that he take on Cain Velasquez in a heavyweight title contender eliminator match than the idea gets shot down from the man at the top. As much as we hate to admit it, Dana White’s reasoning for refusing to make the fight are sound. The UFC knows as well as anyone that injuries, illnesses, and easy movie roles can wreak havoc on the best laid plans, so why take a chance on knocking down an established contender like Velasquez just to give him something to do while he waits for his title shot? It’s sensible, it’s prudent, and it’s somewhat disappointing. Can’t say we didn’t see it coming, though.

So who will Dos Santos get instead while he waits around for the top heavyweights to fight it out? Well, the guy in the crowd who suggested Cheick Kongo is obviously a sick individual who’s trying to get the Frenchman killed, so let’s table that idea right now. Instead, the loser of Shane Carwin-Frank Mir is a very attractive option, or perhaps even Todd Duffee if he posts a win in his next bout.

Or we could get really crazy and match Dos Santos up against the winner of Roy Nelson-Stefan Struve, meaning we either get a rematch between the Dutch beanpole and the guy who gave him a rude welcome to the UFC, or we get “Big Country” vs. “Big Scary Brazilian.” What, too crazy for you guys?


Gambling Addiction Enabler: UFC 111 Edition

(Nothing to see here but me yappin’ with Steve Cofield and Dave Farra about how to lose money most efficiently at UFC 111.)

For those of you lucky enough to snag tickets to UFC 111 before they sold out, you get to play an entirely different kind of betting game in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday night. We like to call it, ‘Mugged or Propositioned?’ It’s simple, really. You try and guess whether you will be mugged, or offered drugs and/or the services of a prostitute. Both are bound to happen eventually, but the key is to peg which one will happen first. You don’t win anything if you guess right. That’s why this game sucks.

As usual, the best odds on the internet come to us from

Georges St. Pierre (-650) vs. Dan Hardy (+638)
Frank Mir (-140) vs. Shane Carwin (+130)
Ben Saunders (-155) vs. Jake Ellenberger (+148)
Jon Fitch (+140) vs. Thiago Alves (-145)
Jim Miller (-332) vs. Mark Bocek (+310)
Nate Diaz (-275) vs. Rory Markham (+250)
Ricardo Almeida (-138) vs. Matt Brown (+135)
Kurt Pellegrino (-165) vs. Fabricio Camoes (+160)
Rodney Wallace (-120) vs. Jared Hamman (-103)
Rousimar Palhares (-237) vs. Tomasz Drwal (+211)
Matthew Riddle (-217) vs. Greg Soto (+190)

The breakdown…


Hold On, Did Frank Mir Just Say He Doesn’t Go Anywhere Without a Gun and a Knife?

(Video courtesy of Fight Magazine)

Yep, that’s what he said alright.  Right there at the 1:48 mark:

"I’m one of the most dangerous people in the world.  I’m a 280-pound guy who’s been training in martial arts since he was four years old, I don’t go anywhere without a gun and a knife, but I do that for my own self-protection.  I do that because I’m a martial artist and I enjoy being able to protect those who are not able to protect themselves."

Basically what I’m hearing is that Frank Mir is a vigilante, ready to fight the forces of evil that would seek to prey upon the weak journalists of the world.  You know, forces of evil like Brock Lesnar.  I don’t know whether to be creeped out or reassured.  Maybe a little of both.  I do have to wonder though, if he’s got that gun on him all the time, why also carry a knife around?  Is that just in case he encounters a ninety-pound weakling who’s being bullied by a package he can’t get open?


The Danavlog Has a Talk With Some Incredibly Reasonable Canadian Fans

(You can skip through the first 2:45, unless you really can’t get enough of Dana White busting chops and complaining about incompetent employees.)

You have to love these Canadian MMA fans. Dana White goes to a Q&A session in a mall in Toronto (presumably the same one where he admitted that the UFC’s design team had caved to Chinese interests), and their questions are all so…good. Calm, measured, reasonable queries about the state of MMA in Ontario, and what DW has planned for the future.

Perhaps the most interesting answer White gives comes when he’s asked about Jon Jones, whose bandwagon has been filling up ever since his face-breaking win over Brandon Vera. The UFC knows they have a valuable asset with Jonny “Bones,” so they’re giving him a slow road to a title shot. Note, however, at the 3:35 mark, DW starts naming potential future opponents for Jones and the first name out of his mouth is Rashad Evans, who is Jones’s teammate, training partner, and surrogate big brother at Greg Jackson’s squad. I guess we’re still acting like we can just make those guys fight each other, no matter how many times they’ve said they won’t, huh?

My question is, if “Rampage” Jackson, Evans (theoretically, anyway), Lyoto Machida, and “Shogun” Rua are the guys Jones might face after he’s had three more fights over the next year, who’s he supposed to beat up in the meantime? You could make a case for Ryan Bader or maybe even our old friend K-Sos, but more than one or two of those fights and it’s going to start to feel like he’s treading water.


Eliot Marshall and Shannon Gugerty Get Fired + More UFC on Versus Notes

Eliot Marshall UFC TUF 8
(Momma said there’d be days like this. Photo courtesy of Spike.)

Well, this is never easy, but unfortunately we have to deliver some bad news — the services of TUF 8 veteran Eliot Marshall and Shannon Gugerty will no longer be needed in the Octagon. Though both fighters suffered defeats on the preliminary card of Sunday’s UFC on Versus event, Marshall’s firing is somewhat surprising, since his split-decision loss to Vladimir Matyushenko followed three straight wins over Jules Bruchez, Vinny Magalhaes, and Jason Brilz. But his loss to the Janitor isn’t the first time that Marshall has put in a dull performance, and he could have been released simply because he isn’t exciting enough. Naturally, Marshall isn’t happy about it:

"It is what it is, man. What do you want me to say? It sucks. What can you do? It’s my own fault, and that’s how it goes…I could have fought better. I could have fought more aggressively. I thought Vladdy wasn’t really engaging much; it was hard for me to find my distance with him…I’m disappointed in myself. I didn’t fight to the best of my abilities.
"I beat Brilz, and he gets a little easier of a fight, and I get a little bit harder fight. And now, I’m the one that’s not there anymore, even though I fought a top-15 guy. I guess I should have lost the Brilz fight and fought Eric Schafer."

As for Gugerty, his submission loss to Clay Guida was his second straight loss, and dropped his overall UFC record to 2-3. Have Chase Gormley and Paul Buentello somehow escaped this round of layoffs, or will we be hearing about their firings in the near future? Stay tuned.

Speaking of UFC on Versus…


Coker: Fedor vs. Werdum Is on for June

Fedor Emelianenko ice cream
Fabricio Werdum
During a press conference following DREAM 13, Scott Coker told reporters that Fedor Emelianenko would finally make his Strikeforce return this summer, seven months after his second-round knockout of Brett Rogers

"M-1 Global and Strikeforce entered into a three fight contract exclusive for Fedor to fight in a co-promotion between Strikeforce and M-1 Global, and as you know we did the first fight on November 7 in Chicago. Fedor is now scheduled to fight in June towards the end of the month in America against Fabricio Werdum."

Better than nothing, I guess — although it’s still ridiculous that Fedor is fighting another contender, while Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem is booked for a non-title exhibition against Brett Rogers in May. No other matches have been announced for Strikeforce’s June card yet.

The relationship between Strikeforce and M-1 Global appeared strained in recent weeks, with reports of renegotiations making the rounds. But although the dispute may sound like a money grab, M-1 says that what they’re really after is greater brand visibility. From a report by Dave Meltzer on Yahoo!:


“Anti-Chinese Government Stuff” to Blame For UFC 111 Poster Airbrushing, Says Dana White

(Now you see some incoherent scrawling, now you don’t.)

Whether you’re putting together a fight poster or the cover of Teen Vogue, airbrushing is just something you do.  I mean, you didn’t think Georges St. Pierre‘s cheekbones were really that breathtaking, did you?  But UFC 111 is the first time in recent memory that a fighter’s tattoos have been airbrushed out.  Above you see one version of the UFC 111 poster featuring Dan Hardy‘s Sanskrit tattoo of a Tibetan Buddhist prayer, and another version with his stomach looking as clean as the belly of a starless Sneetch.  So what gives?

According to what Dana White told fans at a Q&A session in Toronto today, it’s because he doesn’t want any trouble with the Chinese government, which, if you hadn’t heard, is kind of sensitive to anything having to do with Tibet.  As White explained:

"I’m trying to get into China. I don’t need anti-Chinese government stuff on my fighters."

In the March issue of Fight Magazine, Hardy explains that the tattoo — which reads "Om mani padme hum," and supposedly means, "Hail the jewel in the lotus" — serves two purposes.


Yeah, Duane Ludwig Is Going to Be Out For a Little While

(Sorry, Duane. Looks like a pre-existing condition to me.)

Now that we’ve all seen this horrific picture of Duane “Bang” Ludwig’s ankle doing something it is not made to do during his fight with Darren Elkins at the UFC on Versus event, let’s all take a second to say, ‘Daaaaaamn!’ After that we can dry heave a little and move on to the actual reason why we’re revisiting this moment of forced empathy. According to MMA Weekly (and common sense), Ludwig is going to be out of action a little while. As you might have already guessed, that thing is going to require surgery, at which point doctors will reportedly put three pins in that mangled ankle, removing one once it’s suitably healed up, and leaving the other two in there permanently to act as embedded foreign objects with which to pummel future opponents.

The weird thing is, he’s projected to return in as little as six months, though Ludwig insists he’ll “be back before everybody expects.”

Let us be the first to say, take your time, Duane. This isn’t Texas high school football. No one is going to think you’re a pussy if you don’t tape it up and jump right back in there. We admire your fierce determination, but until you can stand to hear the sound of someone snapping a celery stick in half without flinching, you don’t want to be jumping back in that Octagon.  Let’s not forget the cautionary tale of Jose "Pele" Landi-Jons.