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

January, 2013

‘Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine’ Salaries: Josh Barnett Makes 250k The Really, Really, Easy Way


(“OK, Josh, now act like this Nandor fellow was somehow able to land a punch on you. We’ll use it for the gag reel.”)

The Oklahoma Athletic Commission recently released the payout figures for Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine, and wouldn’t you know it, Heavyweight Grand Prix runner-up Josh Barnett was able to walk away with nearly a quarter of the total disclosed $1,153,500 payroll for less than three minutes of work. Also of note, Tarec Saffiedine collected approximately $2.50 for each kick he was able to land on Nate Marquardt, yet still wound up a grand shy of, you guessed it, Frank Stallone Nate Marquardt when all was said and done. Speaking of Marquardt, dude somehow didn’t even get a precautionary suspension despite exiting the arena on crutches with a leg that looked like it had stared at the Ark of the Covenant. We were able to secure an exclusive interview with his doctor earlier today, who smugly stated that “Leg kicks certainly do not end lives” before throwing a smoke bomb and disappearing from the room. A strange man indeed.

Anyway, check out the full list of salaries along with our thoughts after the jump. Per usual, these figures are absent of any locker room bonuses, sponsorship bonuses, or invitations to Scott Coker’s BBQ bash this weekend that any of the fighters may have received.

Tarec Saffiedine: $39,000 ($19,500 win bonus)
def. Nate Marquardt: $40,000

Daniel Cormier: $120,000 ($60,000 win bonus)
def. Dion Staring: $8,000

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Ben Henderson to Defend Lightweight Title Against Gilbert Melendez at UFC on FOX 7 in April


(Photo via Esther Lin for Strikeforce)

Update: The booking has been confirmed.

According to a new report from MMAFighting that cites “sources with knowledge of the situation,” reigning UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson will attempt to make his third title-defense against longtime Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez at UFC on FOX 7, which is slated to go down April 20th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.

Henderson is coming off arguably the most impressive win of his career, dominating Gilbert’s homey Nate Diaz for five rounds in their meeting last month at UFC on FOX 5. It was the sixth-consecutive win for “Smooth” since he migrated to the UFC from the WEC, though Henderson has yet to score a stoppage victory in the Octagon. That’s not likely to change against Melendez, who has never been knocked out or submitted in 23 professional fights.

Melendez picked up his seventh-straight win in May 2012, winning a split-decision in a rubber match against Josh Thompson. Since then, the Cesar Gracie product has been sidelined by injury after injury. And though we were skeptical of Melendez’s latest withdrawal — the Cesar Gracie fighter had much more to lose from a fight against Pat Healy at Strikeforce’s final event than he stood to gain, and may have acted accordingly — it’s clear that his devious plan worked.

But before you go booking your travel plans, MMAFighting adds this caveat:

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[VIDEO] Full Recap of ‘Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine’

Fun Fact: According to our Strikeforce underdog poll, a staggering majority of you Taters thought Ed Herman stood the best chance of pulling off an upset over Ronaldo Souza. In a distant second was that of the now retired Mike Kyle, and in an even more distant third was a tie between “Mike Goldberg over his drug addiction” and “Barnett’s ability to piss clean.” In short, the results were hurtful, hilarious, and wildly incorrect, which is exactly the kind of rapport we’ve been trying to establish around here for the past five years. So take in this kudos, Potato Nation, because like a rich, neglectful father in a children’s holiday movie, it will be a long time before we willingly give you another compliment.

But on the off chance you didn’t vote in our poll or even tune in for Strikeforce’s final event (Full disclosure: I am catching up on the fights as I write this. KJ Noons should be on his way to a clear cut UD victory, right?), we’ve placed a full video recap of the main card above. So sit back and let Pat Militech’s soothing baritone take you back to a night of squash matches topped off by Tarec Saffiedine’s destruction of Nate Marquardt’s leg, which apparently next to none of you saw coming.

-J. Jones

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And Now He’s Retired: Mike Kyle, Semi-Rehabilitated Former Bastard


(Photo via sports.sho.com)

Following his first-round submission loss to Gegard Mousasi at Saturday’s Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine event, Mike Kyle reportedly told Ariel Helwani that he was throwing in the towel on his MMA career: “It’s not in me anymore. That was my last one,” Kyle said. Assuming that the 32-year-old AKA product keeps his word, Kyle’s overall record ends at 19-9-1 with 2 no-contests, competing as a heavyweight and light-heavyweight over the last 12 years.

How you react to this news will probably depend on how long you’ve been following the sport. If you’re a relatively new fan, you probably think of Kyle — if you think of him at all — as one of Strikeforce’s dependable space-fillers, who was always there when a guy like Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva or Fabricio Werdum needed an opponent. Kyle’s single greatest accomplishment over the last three years was his upset knockout of Rafael “Feijao” Cavlacante in June 2009; their rematch last year ended in a 33-second submission loss for Kyle, but the result was overturned due to the Brazilian slugger failing a drug test.

But if you’ve been an MMA fan for a long time, you might still think of Mike Kyle as a scumbag, a shameful black mark on an already nasty business. Here’s how we summarized Kyle’s greatest hits in our “10 Most Despicable People in MMA” list from April 2008, where we stuck Kyle at #3, between Nazi fighter Melvin Costa (#4) and UFC president Dana White (#2):

Bit Wes Sims‘s chest during their fight at UFC 47. Repeatedly kneed Justin Eilers in the balls during their fight at UFC 49. Poked Tsuyoshi Kosaka in the eye during a Pancrase match in October 2005. Poked Krzysztof Soszynski in the eye during a Strikeforce match in March 2006. Two months later, he illegally soccer kicked Brian Olsen during a WEC match, knocking him out, then punched him several times while he was unconscious, despite the ref’s efforts to pull Kyle off…

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Terrifying Photo of the Day: Steven Seagal Has a New ‘Friend’


(Photo via dc_mma)

Besides his uncanny ability to ingratiate himself into the lives of elite MMA fighters, I’ll give Steven Seagal credit for something else — the guy knows how to pick winners. During an appearance at this weekend’s Fighters Only World MMA Awards in Las Vegas, the action star set his sights on his next pet project, telling MMAWeekly:

If I had to choose anybody today [as 'Fighter of the Year'] I would probably pick Daniel Cormier because I think he is the best out of that lot…He’s the guy and I’m maybe going to be working with him a little bit, we’ll see. I think that he’s not the kind of person that everybody knows about, yet he’s sort of a sleeper, you know? I think that’s going to be really interesting. I’m not going to say any more than that. I’ll just say he’s a friend of mine, that’s all.”

The photo you see above was tweeted out by Cormier yesterday, accompanied by the caption “With sensei seagal ufc 148.” So why would Cormier release a random six-month-old photo of himself and Seagal, the day after his victory at Strikeforce’s final event? And why would he call Seagal “sensei”? No. Oh God, no. This isn’t happening.

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Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine Aftermath — The Awkward Goodbyes

I’ll be completely honest: I didn’t watch Strikeforce’s farewell card live last night. I recorded it, and watched it when I was done watching football. Am I just that dedicated of a 49ers/Packers fan? Not quite; last night was the first time I watched either team play all season. Rather, my mentality was that I haven’t been changing my schedule to accommodate Strikeforce events for the past two years now [Author Note: Damn, was the buyout really two years ago already? Time flies when you're watching something die.], so why start now for the promotion’s grand finale.

Reading through the collection of Strikeforce tributes online, it’s obvious that I’m not the only one feeling this way. Articles and tweets about the demise of Strikeforce have been respectful, but not overly-sentimental, and the comments sections of various liveblogs covering the event didn’t exactly blow up for the occasion. There were none of the regrets, what-nows and what-could-have-beens that usually come along with failed business ventures – just a few awkward goodbyes as Zuffa prepared to pull the plug on the machine that no longer served any purpose.

And honestly, why would anyone other than Strikeforce’s employees, fighters and Scott Coker feel any differently? The death of Strikeforce doesn’t mark the end of a promotion that has been pumping out relevant fights for the past two years. It isn’t the death of an alternative option for fighters not wanting to sign with Zuffa. It isn’t the even the end of free MMA on basic cable.

I guess it would be different if this card was stacked with the fighters who made Strikeforce Strikeforce, such as Cung Le, Nick Diaz, Alistair Overeem, Ronda Rousey, Gilbert Melendez and Luke Rockhold, but they’ve either been assimilated into the UFC by now or they’ve pulled out of the event due to injury/apathy. Instead, this card served as one final night of squash fights – one of which actually ended differently than you may have expected.

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Rousimar Palhares Denies Taking Banned Substance, Likely Lying His Ass Off

I’m confused, Potato Nation. You see, this morning I typed in “side effects of steroids” into Google, and took a look at roughly the first ten results. All of the common side effects were listed: Acne, man boobs, shrunken testicles, you know, the good stuff. Most of the websites even covered the long term effects: the aggression, the sterility, yadda yadda yadda. But not a one of those websites listed memory loss as a side effect, yet not a one of the MMA fighters who have been busted for the stuff in recent years seem to remember doing it.

Take Rousimar Palhares and Joey Beltran, for instance, who tested positive for elevated testosterone and Nandrolone, respectively, following their fights at UFC on FX 6 in Australia. Beltran immediately tweeted that a classic case of “tainted supplements” was responsible for his positive test, and it appears that Palhares — who released an official statement to MMAJunkie Friday — is going with a similar defense:

I’ve always been extremely regimented with my diet and would not use anything that could harm my body or my performance inside the octagon. And it wasn’t different this time. I never had the intention to cheat. I’ve got almost 30 fights in my career, most of them in the UFC. I have been subjected to several surprise tests, and there was never anything wrong. Besides, I knew that I would be tested after the fight in Australia because it is standard in the UFC. I have a clear conscience, but accepted the punishment. The rules are there for everyone and must be followed.

I consulted with my doctor, and he will go over all food supplements used in my preparation for the fight and the test results. I want to know exactly what happened that made the testosterone rate unusual in my body. 

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Bad News: The Spike TV/K-1 Partnership is Apparently Dead in the Water Already


(Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.)

First and foremost, we have to thank CP reader Walter Cardenas, who passed along the news (or lack thereof) regarding the much anticipated Spike TV/K-1 deal that was set to kick off in late 2012. And unfortunately, those of you who were looking forward to seeing the Japanese promotion both stateside and on a semi-major network in 2013 are in for some bad news, because according to multiple sources, the deal has already been killed. For starters, the promotion’s webpage on Spike.com is blank. And in less speculative news, Spike TV president Kevin Kay stated the following in an interview with MMAFighting:

We’re probably not going to move forward and continue with K-1. It was a little bit of an experiment. Those guys are great. We’re trying to figure out our kickboxing plans. It did okay. It was a digital play (K-1 aired on Spike.com late 2012). There are other things we can do in the kickboxing spectrum.

News of K-1′s demise (you know, their fourth or so in the past few years) started way back in July of 2012, when promotion insiders declared that the event they had targeted for the end of December at the Madison Square Garden would be “unfeasible.”

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Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine — Live Results and Commentary


(I know what you’re thinking: Why the hell did they leave Nandor Guelmino off the poster? Well I don’t mean to alarm you, but that bright shining ball of fire in the background *is* Nandor Guelmino.)

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the end of the world. Tonight’s last-ever Strikeforce event went from a championship triple-header to Squash City in a hurry, and it’s okay to feel depressed about it. (If you need somebody to talk to, call 1-888-BRO-TATO and one of our mental health professionals will be on the line shortly.)

On the main card this evening, Nate Marquardt puts his welterweight title on the line against Belgian standout Tarec Saffiedine, Daniel Cormier and Josh Barnett try not to shit the bed against their unheralded opponents, Gegard Mousasi returns from a long layoff to face Mike Kyle, and Ed Herman crosses the UFC/Strikeforce DMZ to bang with the always-dangerous Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.

Like a spirit guide leading us from one realm of existence to the next, Jim Genia will be sticking round-by-round results from the “Marquardt vs. Saffiedine” Showtime broadcast after the jump, beginning at 10 p.m. ET. Make your voices heard in the comments section, and please, let’s honor this moment.

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Sweet Pre-Strikeforce Daniel Cormier Video Roundup


(Video via MMA Fighting)

Tonight is Strikeforce’s final event and one of its featured fighters (for all intents and purposes) heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier risks losing his momentum by fighting some dude before moving on to the UFC. To get you inside Cormier’s final days of preparation as well as his competitive mind set, we are bringing you MMA Fighting‘s great video documentary short on him.

In the doc (above), Cormier gets philosophical on topics ranging from success to deodorant and shares the story of his first day at the AKA gym. Teaser – He was fat as hell. Its also interesting to get a glimpse at just how much he admires and respects his friend and training partner, UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez.

As a bonus, below is Cormier’s final collegiate wrestling match. It was against Cael Sanderson in the finals of the 2001 NCAA Championships. Cormier would lose but Sanderson was far from a nobody. In fact, Sanderson would go on to become perhaps the most accomplished college wrestler in history, earning four national titles and setting the record for most consecutive wins with 158-0. That match, from FloWrestling, after the jump.

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