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

November, 2010

Lee Murray’s Prison Sentence Increased from 10 to 25 Years

("I think it’s cool, but do you think the judge will find it as ironic as we do, Lee?")

It looks like Lee Murray will be behind bars longer than he thought.

According to a BBC report, the former UFC fighter who was named as the mastermind behind the 2006 $85 million (USD) Securitas heist in London had 15 years tacked onto his 10 year sentence today following a brief hearing in Rabat, Morocco where he has been held since being arrested in the North African country for importing drugs, whereupon authorities discovered he was wanted in connection to the UK robbery.

Murray fled England with right hand man and fellow MMA fighter, Paul Allen who was sentenced to 18 years in jail two years after being extradited back to London in 2007 when the pair were arrested outside of a mall in Morocco.

"Lightning" managed to avoid extradition because his father was a Moroccan national, but he couldn’t avoid the stiffer jail sentence he was handed down today.


Chael Sonnen to Re-Emerge for Steroid Appeal on Thursday

Chael Sonnen CSAC letter steroids
(The CSAC’s "Dear Chael" letter, and proof that he listed testosterone in his medicals, not that it will help him much. Click images for larger versions.)

That eerie silence you’ve been noticing for the last couple months? That’s the sound of Chael Sonnen not talking. The formerly-outspoken middleweight contender has been mute since his UFC 117 drug test came back funky. That will change on Thursday morning, when Sonnen visits Sacramento to appeal his license suspension with the California State Athletic Commission; coincidentally, Sonnen’s case will directly follow Josh Barnett‘s long-delayed license reinstatement hearing.

FightOpinion found the entire 158-page agenda for Thursday’s session on the California Department of Consumer Affairs website, which you can see in its entirety right here. Chael-related documents take up the majority of the packet, spanning pages 33-144. A couple of noteworthy details…


Greg Jackson Refutes Dana White’s Claims That His Fighters Are Boring and That He and His Coaches Employ Strange Strategies

(Video courtesy TheFightFix)

In the interview above that was conducted after Nate Marquardt’s somewhat uninspired UFC 123 loss to Yushin Okami, Dana White spoke with CSN’s The Fight Fix about the conservative style of Team Jackson fighters.

According to the UFC president, Greg Jackson seems to take normally exciting fighters and make them cautious, unexciting round winners — a trend that fans and pundits alike have voiced their bitter distaste about ad-nauseum recently.

"I have a lot of respect for Greg Jackson. It’s not like I don’t like him or I’m trying to say something bad about him, but there’s a pattern there. The game plans they come up with and a lot of the corner work is very weird. You’ll see guys who are traditionally exciting fighters, but when they go to the Greg Jackson camp they become safety first fighters," White explained. "Why wouldn’t you tell him ‘go for broke in this third round? This is a close fight. At the end of the day, my opinion means nothing. I’m not their corner man. I’m not the trainer. I’m just the promoter. I’m just being honest. There’s obviously some consistency there with the Jackson camp with the safety first."


Michael Bisping is Tired of All These Guys Calling Out Michael Bisping

(“So then I say, ‘Chuck Liddell? Why, he’d get knocked out if a feather landed on his chin.’ Oh, we had quite a laugh and … what? Ah crap, he’s standing right behind me, isn’t he?” PicProps:

Admittedly, it’s a little weird that Jorge Rivera went straight from getting stood up by a rotten-tuna-fish-infested Alessio Sakara at UFC 122 into a co-main event spot against Michael Bisping at February’s UFC 127. Who knew working your way up the middleweight ladder was this easy? Still, Rivera vs. Bisping seems like a decent little fight (and Rivera has at least a puncher’s chance, maybe better to actually win) so we’re not going to complain about it. You know who is going to complain about it, though? Michael Bisping of course. The UFC’s European Middleweight Champion is apparently so upset about guys continually calling him out that he told MMA Junkie this week he feels compelled to teach them a lesson by, uh, fighting them.

So I guess calling out Michael Bisping actually totally works.


Exclusive: Babalu Talks Boring Fighters, Why He Became a Fighter and Whether or Not He Thinks About Going Back to the UFC

("Does Jake Shields have a watch like this? That’s what I thought.")

Three years ago, Renato Sobral made a rash decision that would change his career and his life.

Following a submission victory over David Heath at UFC 74, Sobral refused to relinquish the fight-ending anaconda choke despite commands by referee Steve Mazzagatti to let go and he put "The Headhunter" to sleep.

He was subsequently released by the UFC and was fined half of his $50,000 purse by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for the infraction, but the biggest hit he took was to his reputation. 

Sobral was a fan favorite in the UFC, but the backlash he received for that split-second decision followed him and he says he is cognizant of the effect his mistake had on his fan following and he says he has worked to rebuild his reputation.

Sometimes fans forget that fighters, like us, are human and that they sometimes have a bad night, a lapse in judgment or personal issues. They tend to look at athletes as larger than life beings, akin to superheroes who don’t have to deal with the everyday issues that plague mortals like us.

Karo Parisyan shattered that facade recently and proved that no matter how pissed off Dana White may be at a fighter, the door is never closed to a possible return to the Octagon.

We recently sat down with the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion ahead of his December 4 bout with Dan Henderson and we broached a number of subjects including whether he thinks about going back to the UFC, what his family thought of him becoming a fighter and the trend of round winners in MMA.

Check out what Babalu had to say after the jump.


‘UFC 124: St. Pierre vs. Koscheck II’ Extended Video Trailer

(Props: GollyIE)

…and just to get the taste of vomit out of your mouths, here’s the extended trailer for UFC 124: St. Pierre vs. Koscheck II (December 11th, Montreal). The supporting card looks very promising, but it’s sort of unfortunate that the other two fights being featured here are Thiago Alves vs. John Howard and Mac Danzig vs. Joe Stevenson — considering all four fighters are coming off losses. Meanwhile, UFC 124 will also host two fights featuring guys on the upswing: Jim Miller (five-fight win streak) vs. Charles Oliveira (undefeated wunderkind) and Sean McCorkle (mouthy Internet celebrity) vs. young veteran Stefan Struve, who he’s been beefing with for months.

Still, Thiago Alves gets the best line of the video: "When you’re fighting the Pitbull, it’s over. No afterparty for you." And GSP guarantees a stoppage victory. "Get in, get out, and leave," he says. "That’s what the crowd wanna see, and that’s what I wanna do."


Horrible Video of the Day: Projectile-Vomiting MMA Fighter

(Props: carlostlfilms via Jess Liaudin)

Hope you guys didn’t just eat breakfast. In what might be the worst viral video for Coke Zero ever recorded, the above clip shows Eder Jones celebrating a victory at a PRIME MMA event in Brazil by barfing all over the mat. The first wave at the 0:07 mark isn’t so bad, but when Jones gets his arm raised by the ref at 0:21…good God, that’s nasty. This is why you should be glad that Alessio Sakara pulled out of his fight at UFC 122. Nobody wants to see the Octagon defiled by rancid chunks of tuna.


The UFC Patty Hearst’d Gerald Harris

("It’s not you, UFC, it’s me. It’s all my fault. I’m ugly and useless and deserve to be hit until it sinks in.")

You would think that seeing the MMA world in an uproar over your questionable firing for one somewhat uninspired performance would provoke you to speak out about your feelings on the matter.

Either Gerald Harris is angling for a quick return to the Octagon or the former UFC middleweight is suffering from a serious case of Stockholm Syndrome.

Whatever the reason, the former CagePotato TUF 7 blogger seems to have accepted his undeserved firing and has shouldered the brunt of the blame for the UFC’s decision to let him go.

"I messed up. I had the biggest opportunity in the world, and I didn’t seize the day. I didn’t take advantage of the situation I was in. I don’t feel sorry for myself in a sense of being cut. I’m more disappointed with my performance than anything. That’s what hurts me the most. I didn’t show enough initiative to win the fight," Harris told MMAJunkie. "If it was a [preliminary-card] fight, I probably wouldn’t be in that much trouble, but they gave me the opportunity of a lifetime (on pay-per-view), and I blew it. I really blew it. I have nothing to blame it on. I’m not blaming it on the choke. I had a great training camp. Everything was great other than the fight. I have no excuses, none at all."


Koscheck Turns Up the Mental Warfare Ahead of UFC 124; Calls GSP a Boring, Mentally Weak Quitter With No Chin

("…and your breath smells like poutine and maple syrup.")

Sometimes it just seems like Josh Koscheck throws insults like darts at a dartboard hoping that one will hit its mark. 

In a recent interview with Fighters Only, the brash American Kickboxing Academy product lobbed another salvo at upcoming UFC 124 opponent, UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre.

When asked by editor John Joe O’Regan about whether or not GSP is guilty of playing it safe like his much-maligned AKA teammate Jon Fitch has been criticized of doing for the majority of his fights, Koscheck said that he is and that the reason why is the same as what people have been pointing as being Brock Lesnar most glaring weakness: he doesn’t like getting hit.

"If you look at when little Matt Serra was on top of him pounding him, he tapped out. So I believe that Georges has quit in him and you just have to take him to that point," Koscheck explained. "Nobody has been able to do it since those two but I plan on doing it on December 11th.I believe he hasn’t been hit since Matt Serra. That was a good crack. His chin hasn’t been tested and I think Georges has quit in him. If you look at the first Matt Hughes fight where he arm barred him, he was tapping before it was even tight."


‘World’s Fastest Growing Sport’ — Fact or Hype?

UFC fanbase fastest growing sport fans NFL MLB NBA NASCAR NHL MLS

I always figured that calling MMA "the world’s fastest-growing sport" was mainly a promotional slogan, based more on allegorical evidence than actual numbers. So is the title deserved, or is it hot air? Using data mined from the Simmons Research Database, has published a new report breaking down the growth of the UFC in the United States over the past three years, compared to other major sports leagues — as well as information on age and gender demographics. We recommend checking out the whole thing if you have time, but here are some highlights:

– The UFC actually is the fastest-growing sports league in the country, pretty much by default. From 2007-2009, the NFL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR, and MLS (that’s soccer, you guys) actually suffered losses in their fan bases. The NHL’s fan base grew very slightly. By comparison, the UFC increasing their total number of fans by about 14% (and 30% among "avid" fans) seems like a monumental achievement.