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

February, 2013

Booking Roundup: Jorge Masvidal Gets a Slippery Debut Opponent, Pickett vs. Easton Set for ‘UFC on FUEL 9′


(Just like his mentor Kimbo Slice, Ray would find himself done in by the much smaller man when all was said and done.) 

When the list of Strikeforce fighters headed to the UFC was first made available to the public, the most glaring omission fans noticed from the get-go was easily that of Jorge Masvidal, the former lightweight title challenger who was set to face Pat Healy at Strikeforce’s final event before he was forced to withdraw due to injury. While a couple of fighters had been left off the list because they had already booked fights in the UFC (most notably Tyron Woodley and Bobby Green), fans were left scratching their heads in regards to Masvidal, who had both an open calendar and the kind of skills that could make a big impact in the sport’s highest promotion despite their apparent decision to pass him over.

Well you’ll be happy to know that “Gamebred” has in fact been brought over to the UFC and will be making his promotional debut at the lightweight-heavy UFC on FOX 7 card set for April 20th. Across the cage from Masvidal will be Tim Means, the 18-3 powerhouse who basically summed up the injury curse of 2012 when he was pulled from his UFC on FOX 5 fight with Abel Trujillo at the very last second for being KO’d by a sauna floor (Author’s note: By now, you’re likely attempting to compliment me on the clever wordplay displayed in this article’s title. I can only ask that you hold your applause for a time when my brilliance is less obvious.) Currently 2-0 in the octagon, we last saw Means at UFC on FX 3: Johnson vs. McCall, where he delivered the most painful one minute beating in recent memory to opponent Justin Salas. Expect fireworks in this one, Taters.

Masvidal vs. Means is just one of many intriguing fights that have been booked today. Join us after the jump to check out the full list…

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Live ‘Dog Alert: Dan Henderson Is a 2-1 Betting Underdog Against Lyoto Machida


(By the way, he’s supposed to be Danny Zuko from Grease. I’m guessing these costumes were not his idea.)

Dan Henderson fans, get your cash out. MMA Mania gives us the heads-up that Hendo is as high as a +196 underdog for his UFC 157 fight against Lyoto Machida on February 23rd. (In other words, a $100 bet on Henderson would return $196 in profit if he wins.) Considering that Henderson is coming back from a knee injury, it’s understandable that the oddsmakers don’t have complete faith in him. But considering how dangerous Henderson has looked in his last four fights — the epic war with Shogun Rua at UFC 139, and his knockouts of Fedor, Feijao, and Babalu in Strikeforce — it still feels like he’s being sold short.

Then again, you have to consider how Henderson matches up with Machida specifically. Sure, Hendo can turn your lights off with that H-Bomb if you stand in front of him, but he might have a problem with Machida’s skill at evasion and his perfectly-timed attacks from unorthodox angles. Are the odds juicy enough to warrant a bet on the old ‘dog?

In a related story, Ronda Rousey — who opened as a ridiculous -1500 favorite against Liz Carmouche — is currently sitting at a still-ridiculous -1050.

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Heads-Up: Alexander Shlemenko and Maiquel Falcao Scrap for Bellator’s Vacant Middleweight Title Tonight


(Pretending to talk on the phone when your opponent is waiting for the face-off: Gangster. Photo via @BellatorMMA)

Bellator 88 goes down tonight at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia, headlined by Alexander Shlemenko and Maiquel Falcao meeting for the promotion’s vacant middleweight title. This is a big freaking deal, relatively speaking. Here’s why you should care, and perhaps even tune in to the Spike broadcast at 10 p.m. / 9 p.m. CT.

Currently riding a nine-fight win streak, Shlemenko is 7-1 under the Bellator banner, winning the Season 2 and Season 5 middleweight tournaments. Though he lost his first title challenge in a 2010 decision against Hector Lombard, Shlemenko at least holds the distinction of being the only guy who Lombard wasn’t able to KTFO during his Bellator run. (We’d call that a “half-win.”) Shlemenko’s Season 5 tournament sweep in 2011 should have secured him a rematch with Lombard, but the Cuban slugger buggered off to the UFC, vacating his title.

Enter “Big Rig.” After an odd one-and-done career in the UFC, Maiquel Falcao eventually landed in Bellator, where he scored three consecutive unanimous decision victories last year to win the Season 6 Middleweight Tournament. And so, Bellator’s last two middleweight tournament winners will now face each other. So will Falcao’s power triumph over Shlemenko’s fancy spinnin’-shit? Check out some relevant videos after the jump and let us know what you think…

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Ratings Update: UFC 156 Prelims Set Record Numbers, Epic KO Fails to Boost TUF 17


(“I’LL ASK YOU ONE MORE TIME, JAY, WHO TATTOOED THIS AFFLICTION SHIRT TO YOUR BACK?!”) 

If the first month is any indication, 2013 is going to be a good year for MMA. There hasn’t been a significant injury in weeks (sorry Patricky), title fights are almost starting to make sense, and on top of it all, the UFC’s primetime ratings are slowly beginning their climb out of the abyss. Throw in the fact that Bruce Buffer’s upcoming autobiography is all but a shoe-in for a Pulitzer and we are left with little to complain about. It feels…good.

So before we jinx ourselves, let’s get to the great news regarding the preliminary portion of UFC 156, which was able to pull in record numbers during its run on FX last Saturday despite the fact that it featured several debuting fighters and not a lot of name power. As MMAFighting’s Dave Meltzer reports:

Saturday’s UFC 156 prelims drew 1,897,000 viewers, topping the previous UFC on FX record of 1,860,000 viewers set two weeks earlier for the Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping card from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The number was a huge increase from the prelims on FX on Jan. 26 before the FOX network special from Chicago’s United Center which did 1,208,000 viewers.

The largest previous audience on FX for prelims before a big show came on July 7 when theUFC 148 prelims did 1.8 million viewers. But that was to be expected, since there was more interest in UFC on that day with the Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen middleweight title rematch than any day over the past two years. 

After almost ten minutes of research, we have determined that there are only two real explanations for the UFC’s sudden viewership jump:

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War No More: Josh Barnett Rejects UFC Contract


(“Don’t worry about me, Josh. I’ll be telling the media how much of a fucking joke you were to begin with by this time tomorrow.”)

It is being reported by multiple sources that Josh Barnett has officially turned down a UFC contract, despite the fact that we did literally everything within our power to hype up his return. The ungrateful son of a bitch former UFC heavyweight champion has been in negotiations with the organization to rejoin their ranks after his most recent home, Strikeforce, exited the fight game with a whimper last month.

Barnett’s manager, Leland LaBarre, seemed to suggest that show cash was not their issue with the UFC’s offer, which is pretty surprising considering the ridiculous rate Barnett was receiving over at Strikeforce. According to LaBarre, there were other, undisclosed issues between Barnett and the UFC that simply could not be worked out:

We agreed on guaranteed compensation.In fact, we never even countered. We accepted their original offer. There are some outlying issues – one in particular – that as of this point we were unable to agree on.

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Hot Potato: 14 Photos of ‘UFC London’ Ring Girl Carly Baker


(Photo via @misscarlybaker. Full gallery is after the jump.)

As confirmed by the UFC UK twitter account, British “model/dancer/singer/actress/presenterCarly Baker will appear as a guest Octagon Girl for UFC on FUEL 7: Barao vs. McDonald, February 16th at the Wembley Arena in London. Hailing from South West London, Carly has been modeling since the age of 14, and was formerly a member of the pop music groups Mynxsters, Holla, and SW1. (Never heard of any of them, but I’m going to assume they were all fantastic.) She has been featured in pictorials for Nuts, Zoo, FHM, and The Sun, and caught some attention after appearing in this music video.

See lots more of Carly on her official website, follow her life on Facebook and twitter, and check out some of our favorite Carly Baker photos in the gallery below…

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Put the Rumors to Rest: Vitor Belfort is Officially a Testosterone-Deprived Old Man


(Hey, you can’t blame Vitor for following in the footsteps of his lord and savior.) 

File this one under “News that absolutely no one should be surprised about.”

We knew something had to be up from the moment Vitor Belfort gave his incoherent, rambling, Animal Farm-esque response when questioned about whether or not he had hopped on the TRT bandwagon currently sweeping through MMA. Either Belfort just really, really feared being ostracized from his future bridge group at the UFC retirement home — the Ultimate Fusspot CareCenter — or he was simply feeding the interviewer whatever thoughts he could string together whilst trying to find the nearest exit. And now that the drug test results for UFC on FX 7 have come back, the UFC would like you to know that Belfort was definitely doing the latter.

Earlier today, UFC officials confirmed that Belfort did in fact receive a therapeutic use exemption for testosterone replacement therapy in the weeks leading up to his main event bout against Michael Bisping at UFC on FX 7. But fret not, for his post-fight test “did not indicate the presence of any prohibited substance for increasing performance improvement.” Thank de Jesus for that.

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Serious Question: Would Any of You Actually Read Bruce Buffer’s Autobiography?


(Already, Bruce? But you have so much more living to do…)

From Chuck Liddell to Matt Hughes to Forrest Griffin, we’ve seen plenty of UFC legends share their life stories in published autobiographies. But for the first time, one of the UFC’s peripheral characters is releasing a tell-all. Unfortunately, it’s not Joe Rogan, who definitely should write an autobiography someday, or Burt Watson, who probably knows more inside-dirt than anybody. No, it’s actually Veteran Voice of the Octagon™ Bruce Buffer, whose book — It’s Time!: My 360-Degree View of the UFC — will be released on May 14th. So, is anyone interested in hearing the rags-to-riches story of the guy who introduces UFC fights? Allow Bruce to give you the hard sell (book description via Amazon.com):

If you’re reading these words, chances are that you, like me, are a fan of the great sport we call MMA.*

And if you’re a fan, then you probably recognize my face.

Yeah, that’s right — I’m that guy you see at every UFC match, spinning around and roaring into the microphone and getting up in fighters’ grills.

Okay, so I might not be the most subtle or refined announcer in the business. But I hope I communicate my passion for the sport in a way no other announcer does.

I’ll say it again: Passion. Because that’s what this book is about.

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And the Fighter Who Failed His Drug Test at ‘UFC on FX 7′ Is…[UPDATED]


(Don’t worry, it’s the guy on the bottom. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.)

Relax, Potato Nation, we can all rest assured knowing that Vitor Belfort did in fact beat the colon cannonballs out of Michael Bisping at UFC on FX 7 without needing a banned substance to do so (Author’s note: Not that we would judge him if he did. Because when you judge someone, it sounds like you are a God. And we live in a freedom country, where you are either a Republican or a Democrat. Who is right?). And while that’s all well and good, one of the tests from the event did come back positive, as Dana White had mentioned earlier this week.

According to Brazilian news outlet Tatame, the fighter who pissed dirty at UFC on FX 7 was…Thiago Tavares:

After many rumors, the results of doping tests UFC Sao Paulo left [Note: Fucking Google translate, I tell you]. According to TATAME, the name of the athlete caught is Thiago Tavares. Our sources, however, need not know the substance used for light weight. His suspension will be nine months.

Yep, the guy we last saw eating Khabib Nurmagomedov’s elbows like they were acarajes is the one who got popped for what we can only assume is some kind of steroid. It kind of makes sense when you realize that Tavares regularly drops 20 pounds in between fights to fulfill his double life as salsa artist Marc Anthony.

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CagePotato Databomb #5: Breaking Down the UFC Lightweights by Striking Performance


(Click chart for full-size versionFor previous Databombs, click here.)

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

Last week we broke down the UFC Featherweight division in key striking metrics. This week we’ll look at the largest (numerically) UFC division, the Lightweights. A full explanation of the chart and variables is included at the end of this post.

The Winners

Sniper Award: Daron Cruickshank finally showed off his striking skills in his second UFC appearance against Henry Martinez on the UFC on FOX 5 card in Seattle. With nearly 50% accuracy, he looked like he was practicing on a heavy bag before mercifully dropping an iron-chinned Martinez with a head kick KO. Interestingly, the “Detroit Superstar” is set to face another division sniper, John Makdessi, in March at UFC 158.

Energizer Bunny Award: Tim Means is two wins into his UFC career, and has almost doubled the standing output of his two opponents. He also maintained good accuracy and scored two knockdowns in those performances.

Biggest Ball(s) Award: Melvin Guillard has been punching above his weight for a long time in the UFC. To date Guillard has 12 knockdowns, putting him 3rd all-time in the UFC behind Anderson Silva and Chuck Liddell. Not bad for a lightweight.

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