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

July, 2013

Chris Leben Granted Pain Killer TUE at UFC 162


(Photo via Getty Images)

Well, this is interesting. The Nevada State Athletic Commission didn’t grant any new therapeutic use exemptions (TUE’s) to fighters for last Saturday’s UFC 162 event but they did grant the first ever TUE for prescription opioid Suboxone to Chris Leben.

The middleweight lost a split decision to Andrew Craig at UFC 162. He has been winning an even more important battle for sobriety, however.

MMA Junkie has been following the story. “The veteran fighter’s exemption offers proof of his efforts to get clean following a well-documented struggle with drugs. In November 2011, he tested positive for oxycodone and oxymorphone following a loss to Mark Munoz at UFC 138 and was suspended by the UFC for one year. It was the second time the promotion benched him following a positive test for the synthetic anabolic stanozolol in October 2008,” they wrote.

Leben has been to rehab and says he’s been sober for fifteen months. Addiction to pain killers is one of the least-talked about pandemics in MMA so Leben deserves credit for making his struggle public.

The NSAC also deserves credit for recognizing when certain controlled substances should be allowed for use by athletes. Better that Leben take a strong opiod under a doctor’s care while during the training and fighting that causes his body pain, than he self-medicate unbeknownst to anyone.

As for his active MMA career, Leben has now lost three fights in a row, and four out of his last five. He is only thirty two years old but has been fighting professionally for eleven years and that takes a toll on the body and mind.

For his part, Dana White told reporters after UFC 162 that he is concerned for Leben, unsure if the TUF 1 veteran will be kept on in the UFC as a fighter but also seem to express a desire to help Leben stay productive and make a living. ”Chris Leben has the type of personality that can go off the deep very easily in a lot of negative ways. I really care about the kid,” White said.

“I like him a lot. I love him. So I’ve got to figure this thing out.”

- Elias Cepeda

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Invicta FC 6 THUGBLOG: How Is Rose Namajunas Like a Honey Badger? Let Her Count the Ways…


(Ew, and she eats snakes??” / Photo by Jade Kimmel for WMMARoundup)

CagePotato sponsored fighter “Thug” Rose Namajunas will be returning to action this Saturday at Invicta FC 6: Coenen vs. Cyborg (Ameristar Casino Hotel; Kansas City, MO), where she’ll be taking on undefeated strawweight Tecia Torres. Now making her final preparations for the fight, Rose has written a guest-blog for us about her spirit animal. Check it out below, follow her on twitter at @RoseNamajunas, and stay tuned for our video Q&A where she answers your burning questions. Good luck, Thug!

By Rose Namajunas

Back in my amateur days, Kaitlin Young once told me I reminded her of a honey badger. We’ve all seen that fabulous video of the Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger and if you haven’t you need to!

I was very honored to be associated with such a creature being a nature/animal lover and especially coming from such a talented fighter like Kaitlin Young. I definitely saw what she was getting at. However, thinking back on it there are a lot more similarities between the honey badger and I than I was aware of at the time.

The honey badger at first glance doesn’t look like much and can be very easily underestimated. Its small stature being very misleading is something I relate to all too well. Even those who are somewhat aware still have no idea. They can’t! There isn’t enough imagination one can have that can fathom my capabilities. I don’t exactly look like Brock Lesnar or anything!

The honey badger is strong, tireless, and impenetrable. However, I don’t believe its strength or endurance comes from physical ability more than it comes from its “don’t give a ____” mentality. It is the honey badger state of mind that allows it to attack any animal regardless of size or whatever disadvantage it faces. To this day I have always been matched up with people who have either a size advantage or are more experienced. I rise to any challenge and conquer. While others are surprised, to me it is what I deal with daily in practice. I stand my ground and fight, breaking the limitations others have placed on me.

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UFC 162 Salary List: Silva and Edgar Lead the Pack, Weidman Not So Much


(“I got nothin’ to declare except my own f*ckin’ genius.” — Oscar Wilde / Photo via RedditMMA)

The UFC paid out $1,863,000 in disclosed salaries and performance bonuses to the 22 fighters who competed at UFC 162 last weekend, with Anderson Silva‘s $600,000 check eating up nearly a third of the pay-pie. Frankie Edgar landed in second place on the salary list, with his $120,000 win bonus and $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus bringing him to a grand total of $290,000. (And for only three rounds of work, Frankie? Money for nothing, chicks for free.) But as we mentioned in yesterday’s “Superlatives” column, new middleweight champion Chris Weidman‘s check was modest by comparison. But don’t cry for the All-American — now that he has the belt, Weidman will be looking to renegotiate his contract for “Anderson Silva money.” His words, not ours.

The full UFC 162 payout list is below, via MMAJunkie. Keep in mind that the numbers don’t include additional revenue from sponsorships, undisclosed “locker room bonuses,” or cuts of the pay-per-view that some of the UFC’s stars are entitled to.

Chris Weidman: $98,000 (includes $24,000 win bonus, $50,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
Anderson Silva: $600,000

Frankie Edgar: $290,000 (includes $120,000 win bonus, $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
Charles Oliveira: $71,000 (includes $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus)

Tim Kennedy: $90,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)
Roger Gracie: $50,000

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Don’t Believe the Hate, Stephan Bonnar Is a True Hall of Famer


(Photo via Getty Images)

By Elias Cepeda

Yesterday morning I watched the video of Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar’s UFC Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which is embedded at the end of this post. Really, I watched to see and hear from Bonnar.

Nothing against Forrest. I love watching the guy fight and he embodies everything that is great about MMA, but I’ve always had a special interest in “The American Psycho.”

Bonnar, or “RoboCop” as they used to call him back in Chicago where he trained with Carlson Gracie Sr. and began his career, was just the second guy I ever interviewed for a professional story, back in 2005. The guys you’ve covered for nearly the entirety of their careers always hold a special place in your heart.

I interviewed Bonnar a number of times over the first few years of his UFC career but since then I have only connected with him a couple times for interviews. The last time I spoke with Stephan was over the telephone for a feature at UFC.com when he came out of retirement to fight Anderson Silva last year. It has been a rough roller-coaster year for Bonnar — who sort-of retired after putting together a three-fight win streak in the Octagon, came back only to be shredded by Silva at UFC 153retired again (for real this time), had a son, and failed a drug test for steroids — and I was interested in what he had to say at his Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Especially since so many writers have taken the occasion to criticize him and give the UFC flack for including him in its Hall of Fame. I’d always taken it for granted that he and Forrest Griffin both would one day be inducted.

It just made sense. The two of them lifted The Ultimate Fighter and the UFC out of obscurity with their epic slobber-knocker in the season one finale. Griffin won, but Bonnar fought so well that he too was given a UFC contract.

In all, Bonnar would have two razor-close decision fights with Griffin, who himself made history as the first-ever fully unified (UFC, Pride, Pride Grand Prix) linear 205-pound champion. For nearly a decade, Bonnar fought the best and toughest the UFC had to offer and the only guy to truly out-class him was Anderson Silva. That fight, of course, happened because Bonnar was willing to come out of retirement and help save an event for the UFC and the fans.

There’s good reason to believe that professional mixed martial arts would not exist today if not for the UFC. There’s also good reason to believe that the UFC would not exist today if not for TUF 1, and the unforgettable climax that Griffin and Bonnar provided in their finale bout.

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Video: Maiquel Falcao Smacks a Woman, Starting a Gas Station Brawl That Ends With Another Man Beaten Unconscious


(Falcao is the asshole wearing a t-shirt with his name on it, obviously. / Props: bandsantacatarina via BloodyElbow)

From his past assault charges to his tendency to keep punching his opponents long after the fight has been stopped, Bellator middleweight Maiquel Falcao has always seemed like the kind of dude you’d cross the street to avoid. Unfortunately, new surveillance footage from a gas station brawl in Brazil provides even more proof that “Big Rig” is an out-of-control jackass.

Watch the news report above and you’ll see the following: Falcao approaches a woman at a gas station, then angrily swats her in the ear with what appears to be his wallet. The woman and her friend go outside for backup, and three men arrive to confront Falcao and his companion, undefeated MMA featherweight Kaue Mena. Falcao is sucker-punched, which kicks off a wild brawl that spills outside.

Some dude in a red jacket shows up with a 2×4, and hits Falcao over the head twice with it, which knocks him down (and possibly out). The same guy then cracks Mena in the face with the piece of lumber, and Mena falls backward, his head making hard impact with the concrete. A guy in a white shirt repeatedly punches Mena in the face, and kicks him in the head at least twice. Everybody involved leaves the scene before the cops arrive, leaving Mena’s unconscious body behind. Keep in mind, this all started because Maiquel Falcao struck a woman in public.

According to BloodyElbow, Mena is currently in serious condition at the intensive care unit at the Hospital do Coração, and no arrests have been made in connection with the incident. Falcao last competed in February of this year, when he was knocked out by Alexander Shlemenko.

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CagePotato Superlatives: UFC 162 Edition


(“I said, I DON’T DANCE!” / Photo by Esther Lin for MMAFighting.com)

By Alex Giardini

We know — these things are just popularity contests. But as we look ahead following this weekend’s mind-blowing UFC 162 card, we decided to take a yearbook approach and predict which fighters will go on to even greater success, and which ones will be pumping our gas someday.

Most likely to make well over $24,000 to show in his next fight: Chris Weidman

Perhaps this is jab towards the fighter pay issues that have risen as of late but Chris Weidman established himself as a future star, no matter how differently the fight would have been had Anderson Silva taken it seriously. Yes, Weidman officially made just $48,000, but by dethroning Anderson Silva, he earned a lot more than just money — Weidman became world famous overnight ending up on sites like TMZ and every major newspaper in the country, and he was the man responsible for one of the most historic moments in UFC history. Weidman’s ability to have a similar legacy in the middleweight division is now in question, especially when you consider that an immediate rematch with Silva is still the most likely scenario. Say what you will about Weidman and the fact that eighteen fighters were not enough to convince you otherwise — he knocked out Anderson Silva. That’s all you need to know.

Least predictable future: Anderson Silva

Rematch…retirement….Roy Jones….Stephan Bonnar II…who knows what the future really has in store for the former middleweight kingpin? And with the reiteration that his participation in superfights is off, it becomes more bleak. It really all depends on how Silva would like to go out: On his shield, or dancing the night away worse than J-Lo. Without discrediting Weidman, it was not what we expected or wanted from the supposed best fighter who has ever lived. When some unknown jackass gets KO’d while taunting his opponent, we applaud and move on with our lives, but let’s face it, the best fighters in the world usually don’t put themselves in such vulnerable positions. However it’s impossible to say that it was not a deserving loss for Silva and we’ve never seen him do that before; you live by the gun, you die by the gun.

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Nick Diaz Broke Up With His Girlfriend, So Now He Wants to Fight Again


(Instagram: Letting the whole world see images of intimate moments that will later fill you with sadness and loathing since 2010.)

Last week, Nick Diaz posted a picture of himself with a woman he identified as his ex, and wrote “Never Post pictures of your girlfriend on Instagram Especially if you love her. #xgf #x #ftw #hatelife #might #have #to #slap #the #winner #tomorrow #need #a #fight #danawhite.”

As best as we could guess, Nick was saying that he wasn’t in a good emotional place right now, probably because of a recent break-up, and he wanted to fight the winner of UFC 162‘s main event between Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman. Now, Diaz calling out the winner of a middleweight title fight despite his two-fight losing streak at welterweight makes about as much sense as him saying not to post pictures of a girlfriend on an Instagram post where he posts a picture of a girlfriend, but dammit we were intrigued.

At the UFC 162 post event scrum, Dana White confirmed that Diaz had contacted him directly, asking to come out of his self-described retirement and fight again. “[Nick] texted me that he broke up with his girlfriend and he wants to fight,” White told reporters.

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Bold Statement of the Day: Miesha Tate Will Shoot Herself in the Face if Ronda Rousey Armbars Her Again


(What a tragedy. And she was such a pretty girl, too. / Miesha Tate ‘Body Issue’ photo by Ben Watts for ESPN The Magazine)

To say that Miesha Tate is still haunted by her gnarly armbar loss to Ronda Rousey last year would be an understatement. In a recent interview with MMAFightCorner (via BleacherReport), Tate explains that suffering a second armbar loss to Ronda at their rematch at UFC 168 in December would be a suicide-worthy scenario. Figuratively speaking. Maybe.

It’s never too early to train and practice that gameplan over and over and over, I’m going to beat it into my skull if I have to,” Tate said. “Swear to God, she’s not going to armbar me if it’s the last thing I do. I will seriously shoot myself in the face before I leave that cage if she armbars me again. It can’t happen.

Two things…

1) I wasn’t aware that fighters were allowed to bring guns into the Octagon, following the Diaz-Cerrone Peace Accords of 2011.

2) I have no problem with this.

Tate went on to give her own explanation of why she fell prey to Rousey’s signature move, and described the Rondabar in terms that make it even more mysterious and scary:

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Renan Barao vs. Eddie Wineland Interim Bantamweight Title Fight Rescheduled for UFC 165 Co-Main Event


(Pfft. Clearly, the UFC is just trying to protect their pretty-boy interim champion. / Photo via Getty)

The UFC confirmed last week that Renan Barao‘s interim bantamweight championship fight against Eddie Wineland has been re-scheduled to serve as the co-main event of UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson (September 21st; Air Canada Centre, Toronto). The match was originally slated to headline UFC 161 last month, until Barao suffered a foot injury and had to pull out on short notice. Instead of staying on the card against a replacement opponent, Eddie Wineland was taken off the lineup altogether.

Barao has gone 31 fights without a defeat — including 20 straight victories, the last five of which were earned in the UFC — and last competed in February, where he scored a fourth-round arm-triangle choke submission against Michael McDonald. If Barao beats Wineland, he’ll become the first fighter in UFC history to defend an interim title twice — an odd achievement, made possible by the fact that actual champion Dominick Cruz is suffering through one of the longest injury layoffs in recorded history.

By comparison, Eddie Wineland’s two-fight win streak is much less impressive, although he did score wins over perennial contenders Scott Jorgensen and Brad Pickett last year. So, will Eddie just be another notch on Barao’s bed-post, or does he legitimately stand a chance here?

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The Unsupportable Opinion: Chris Weidman Beating Anderson Silva Was the Best Thing That Could’ve Happened to the UFC


(Photo via Esther Lin of MMAFighting.)

By Matt Saccaro

You can mourn for Anderson Silva’s pristine UFC record and title run if you want — but you shouldn’t. The Spider losing to Chris Weidman was the best possible outcome at UFC 162. Even Anderson Silva himself said that Weidman winning was the ideal situation.

Hear me out before you add your voice into the chorus of angry Silva fans (and spambots) in the comments.

A relatively new UFC fighter knocking off an established “star” was an amazing development for the UFC and for MMA as a whole.

First, the inevitable rematch between now-(interim?)champ Chris Weidman and former champ Anderson Silva is going to be a massive draw. Does the UFC have a fight that can fill Cowboys Stadium? It’s impossible to tell now since the fight only happened two days ago. But what’s known for sure, is that Silva-Weidman II will be big. Possibly UFC 100 big.

UFC 100 drew an estimated 1,600,000 buys. Silva-Sonnen II—a fight where much of the fan interest came from the fact that Sonnen almost dethroned Silva—drew an estimated 925,000 buys. If Silva-Sonnen II drew approximately 300k more buys than Silva-Sonnen I, can you imagine what Silva-Weidman II will draw? Dana White projected the buy-rate for Silva-Weidman to be 800,000 buys (although, admittedly, that might be total bullshit because it’s Dana White). If Silva-Weidman II draws at least 300k more buys, it’ll be one of the few UFC PPVs to surpass the one million buys mark.

But there’s more to a rematch than just a one-off payday. Weidman being on a well-drawing PPV with Silva and then being on a potentially enormous PPV with Silva for a rematch might make the Long Island native a star at a time when the UFC is in desperate need of new ones. This isn’t a guarantee though, just a possibility. Other fighters have been on high-performing events and haven’t gone on to become superstars, just as other fighters have beaten established draws only to not become draws of equal or greater size themselves.

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