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

October, 2013

Barnburner Alert: Alexander Shlemenko vs. Doug Marshall Rebooked for Bellator 108 in November


(“Sure, Wandy, I’ll pose for your cameras. Just stop sending me those insane evites to your kid’s birthday party.” Photo via OneRound.)

Thanks to a last-second hand injury, Bellator season 8 middleweight tournament winner Doug Marshall was forced to withdraw from his Bellator 98 title fight against Alexander Shlemenko in September. Marshall was quickly replaced by the man he KO’d in the semifinals, Brett Cooper, who proceeded to stand toe-to-toe with Shlemenko in one of the greatest fights of 2013. But now that Marshall’s hand has been cleared to resume its daily routine of caving in skulls, Bellator announced earlier today that Shlemenko vs. Marshall has been rescheduled for Bellator 108 on November 15th.

Marshall spoke with MMAJunkie after the fight was given the go ahead and seemed more than eager to prove that his fists are still capable of doing horrible, horrible things to peoples faces:

I’m super excited about this fight. I was bummed when I had to watch Brett Cooper take my spot because of my injury, but after watching the fight, I was able to see that there is no way Shlemenko can beat me. The only thing Shlemenko has is that he is tough. There is no doubt in my mind that I am the most powerful middleweight in the division. As soon as Shlemenko feels my fist on the side of his face, he will be sleeping on the mat. Winning this fight is a no-brainer for me.

Read More DIGG THIS

Shill ‘Em All, Part 3: The ‘Almost Famous’ Fanboys of MMA Media


(“Jose Rosenberg, MMAFloorTurd.com. My question is for Johny Hendricks: Johny, will you please accept my friend request on Facebook?“)

To see the first two installments of Shill ‘Em All, click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.

By Brian J. D’Souza

All serious music aficionados know the true-life origins of Cameron Crowe’s 2000 movie Almost Famous: Like the young protagonist of the movie, Crowe worked for Rolling Stone magazine, spending three weeks on the road with the Allman Brothers Band at the age of 18.

The ongoing theme of Almost Famous has to do with the loss of focus and objectivity 15-year old music journalist William Miller experiences when he gets up close and personal with fictional rock band Stillwater.

“Just make us look cool” the band tells Miller as they attempt to coerce favorable coverage that will further enhance their music career. This raises the question of personal bias in journalism — in our case, what happens when MMA reporters get too close to their subjects?

The first time I met Georges St-Pierre at the Tristar Gym in 2008, I was so in awe of his stature as a champion that I overlooked red flags concerning his management. I wrote a good story — a 2,000-word profile for a Canadian men’s magazine about his arc from bullied schoolboy to UFC champion. While I may have even elicited several good quotes about his childhood and time working as a garbage man, there were many grisly details that lay beneath the surface that I would discover in the coming years.

It’s easy for media members to project themselves onto MMA fighters. It starts with a delusion (“I could be him!”) and escalates into other false premises (“I am special, too!”). Numerous reporters have courted love affairs with fighters — both figurative and literal — and astute fans can spot the signs of favoritism from miles away: reporters using their platform to name-drop, rationalize a fighter’s flaws, or minimize criticism of said fighter.

Read More DIGG THIS

Tim Kennedy to Face the Only UFC Fighter He *Didn’t* Call Out Rafael Natal at ‘Fight For the Troops 3′

Matthew 7:7 states, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” The MMA career of Tim Kennedy, however, states, “Ask and all will be taken away from you and maybe replaced with something inferior.” Indeed, the extent to which Kennedy has been continuously screwed out of opportunities to fight upper level opponents is nothing short of bewildering. If it wasn’t his active military status nullifying his ability to secure a fight, it was Strikeforce’s inept matchmaking department or all the scared little bitches that made up their middleweight roster. And even when Kennedy was able to book a fight, his opponents were usually traded in and out like sex slaves at an Albanian brothel.

Most recently, Kennedy was finally given a shot at the big time when he was booked to welcome Lyoto Machida to the middleweight division in the main event of Fight For the Troops 3. That was until Michael Bisping injured his eye and was replaced by Machida against Mark Munoz. So what did Kennedy do in response? Call out every fighter in the middleweight division, the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions, the women’s division, and various members of the MMA media via Twitter, of course.

Fortunately for Kennedy, the UFC was finally able to meet his “terrorist demands” and book him an opponent for the November card. Unfortunately for Kennedy, it’s the only guy he neglected call out on Twitter  (Ed note: Nevermind, turns out he called out Natal as well). Kennedy will now face Rafael “Sapo” Natal in what has to be the least intriguing main event matchup since Arlovski vs. Eilers at UFC 53. Hip hip hooray?

Read More DIGG THIS

CagePotato Roundtable #27: Who Suffered the Furthest Fall from Grace in MMA History?


(Taktarov vs. Kerr, as promoted by Bob Meyrowitz. If this doesn’t embody everything about today’s discussion, then what *does*? Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

It was thirty-three years ago today that the absolutely tragic bout between Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes went down — where a younger, far more athletic Larry Holmes beat the aging legend so badly that he actually cried for Ali when it was over. Though Ali is still celebrated as one of the greatest fighters of all time, his legacy has never been the same as it could have been if he simply stayed retired. It’s in memory of this fight that we’ll be talking about falls from grace during today’s roundtable: fighters who stuck around far too long, lost some embarrassing bouts as a result and tarnished their once-great legacies. Read on for our picks, and please continue to send your ideas for future CagePotato Roundtable topics to tips@cagepotato.com.

George Shunick

Tim Sylvia: A name once synonymous with greatness, excitement, and extraordinary physique. Once atop the Mount Olympus of the sport, he reigned supreme over lesser beings for roughly four years, vanquishing the best of the best in his weight class. OK, so maybe I’m exaggerating here. So maybe Tim Sylvia was never exactly a world beater; he was awkward, plodding, fat, had no real ground game to speak of and was the UFC heavyweight champion when all the best fighters in the division were busy competing across the Pacific ocean.

But for all that, he was the heavyweight champion. He even had sex with his greatest rival’s ex-girlfriend. (Leading to this glorious interview with said rival, Andrei Arlovski.) He was relatively wealthy, at least compared to other fighters. Point being, he had achieved all someone who came into this world as Tim Sylvia could possibly hope to achieve. Even once he had lost the title, he still retained the respect that was deservedly owed to him.

Then this happened.

Read More DIGG THIS

Attn Joe Silva: Mike Pierce is Sick of Being Matched Up Against “Desperate Cheaters” Like Rousimar Palhares


(How could you ever forget the guy who dresses like his opponents during public appearances? Photo via Getty.)

We only briefly touched upon this, but there’s a head-scratcher of a fight going down at this weekend’s Fight Night: Shields vs. Maia event, and we’re not just talking about the main event. In the welterweight division, Rousimar Palhares will undergo a last ditch weight cut to save his career when he takes on Mike Pierce. The former has dropped two consecutive contests by way of (T)KO. The latter is currently riding a four-fight win streak with two of those wins coming by way of (T)KO. It is…an odd matchup.

This fact has not been lost on Pierce, who in a recent interview with ESPN, vented his frustrations in regards to the oft misunderstood Joe Silva and the quality of his recent opponents. He also called Palhares a desperate, cheater asshole, but we’ll get to that later:

ESPN: That kind of matchmaking starting to bother you? 

Pierce: Of course, I’m p—ed off. I want to start getting those main card fights against notable guys. Palhares has fought some tough guys. He’s got a little bit of credence to his name but I want to start working my up. This guy is coming off two losses and I’m on a 4-fight win streak. Typically, they don’t match up guys like that. 

Maybe I need to get a big pitcher of beer for Joe and sit down and hash this out. No, it’s just one of those things where I have to keep doing what I’m doing until they can’t ignore me anymore. 

Read More DIGG THIS

Photo Gallery: UFC Ring Girl Arianny Celeste Heats Up Auto Makeover Show Overhaulin’


(Photos courtesy of APIX Syndication via MadeMan.com)

Tonight at 9 p.m./8c, veteran UFC Octagon Girl Arianny Celeste makes her debut as the co-host of Overhaulin’, an “extreme auto makeover series” on the Velocity channel. To honor the occasion, our buds at MadeMan have posted a gallery of never-before-seen Arianny Celeste photos, along with some handy biographical information and career facts. Even longtime followers of Ms. Celeste’s work might be surprised to learn her actual full name, which is apparently “Arianny Celeste-Penelope Lopez Marquez.” Huh. Good to know.

Check out MadeMan’s full Arianny Celeste gallery right here!

Read More DIGG THIS

Lavar Johnson Has a Rather Bizarre Explanation for That Failed Drug Test of His


(Awwwwwwwww yeeeaaaaaah. GIF via TheBigLead)

Lavar Johnson‘s once-promising UFC career ended in the least respectable way possible: a boring lay-and-pray loss at the hands of Brendan Schaub at UFC 157, followed by a failed drug test for elevated testosterone, which resulted in Johnson’s release from the promotion and a nine-month suspension from the California State Athletic Commission. But according to “Big,” his botched test wasn’t the result of your everyday anabolic steroid use. The truth is, Johnson got on testosterone replacement therapy in the lead-up to the fight, as a way to combat fatigue and repeated injuries in training, but didn’t disclose it to the CSAC because he figured he’d get away with it. See? Totally different than cheating. As he explained yesterday on The MMA Hour:

What happened was basically I was on TRT, I just didn’t disclose it to the athletic commission. It was my mistake. I was taking such little amounts; me and my doctor didn’t think anything was going to pop up, like it’s no big deal. I guess any time you’re taking any kind of testosterone it’s going to show on the test. So that’s basically what I got popped for.

You know, if you take steroids they’ll suspend you for a year. I wasn’t taking steroids. I was prescribed [TRT] by a doctor. They suspended me for nine months, and I ended up showing them my prescription from my doctor and everything. They ended up reducing it to six months. That was it. Unfortunately I got released from the UFC, and messed up the good opportunity.”

Two questions immediately come to mind: 1) Who the hell is Lavar Johnson’s doctor? He “didn’t think anything was going to pop up, like it’s no big deal”? “I guess any time you’re taking any kind of testosterone it’s going to show on the test”?? Are you fucking kidding me? What did they think was going to happen to Johnson’s testosterone levels when he started taking TRT?

Read More DIGG THIS

Photo of the Day: “Big Country” Nelson Is Now Just “Country” Nelson


(Well, at least they aren’t fist-posing. Photo via Nelson’s Facebook.)

Yep, that’s TUF 10 winner, TUF 16 coach and UFC heavyweight Roy “Big Country” Nelson, looking trimmer than Tom Hanks at the end of Cast Away (which, with the Saddam Hussein circa 2003 beard and all, might be exactly the look he is going for).

Nelson’s weight has been a topic of much discussion over the years — usually in the aftermath of a particularly stinging loss — to the point that he once promised to cut to light heavyweight if enough people “liked” his Facebook page. Although his challenge was unsuccessful, it looks like Nelson is finally starting to take this weight-cutting thing seriously.

And it couldn’t come a day sooner. With Nelson set to face former Olympic wrestler and Strikeforce heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 166, he’ll need to be in tip-top shape if he is to avoid dropping his second straight contest for the first time since 2011. It also appears as if Nelson has heeded the requests of Cormier’s camp and undergone a Dumb and Dumber-style makeover in regards to his facial hair. Stipulations of his new contract, maybe?

Previously: Enough Jokes — Roy Nelson Needs to Leave the Heavyweight Division

-J. Jones

Read More DIGG THIS

Sergio Pettis Signs With the UFC, Bantamweight Debut Tentatively Set for UFC 167


(Pettis vs. Porter via Combat Corner Professional.)

Over the weekend, a bantamweight phenom known simply as (*strums Flamenco guitar*) Sergio improved his MMA record to a perfect 9-0 with a first round submission via kimura over James Porter. Being that this “Sergio” character is the younger brother of UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, he has been gaining quite a bit of notoriety on the local circuit, leading many MMA fans and pundits alike to ponder how he would fare in the UFC.

This notion was not lost on Sergio, who proceeded to drop to his knees and beg for a shot in the big leagues during his post-fight interview LIKE A *REAL* CHAMPION DOES. Of course, being that Pettis had already turned down a shot in the UFC some four fights ago to gain more experience, it wasn’t a stretch of the imagination to predict that Dana White & Co. would answer the call.

According to a report sent out by Globo last night and confirmed by Pettis’ Jiu Jitsu coach, Daniel “Big Dog” Wanderley, the UFC has done just that. Although no opponent has been named, Pettis will make his promotional debut at UFC 167: St. Pierre vs. Hendricks. Despite recently capturing the RFA flyweight title with a first round KO over Dillard Pegg, Pettis will allegedly make his debut in the bantamweight division (that’s still a thing, right?).

Who do you think would make for a good litmus test against the 20 year old phenom, Potato Nation?

-J. Jones

Read More DIGG THIS

Cat Zingano’s Right Knee Recovering Well, Left Knee Now Kind of Screwed Up

UFC women’s bantamweight contender Cat Zingano was all set to have a star-making coaching role on TUF followed by an immediate title shot against Ronda Rousey — until a tear of the ACL and meniscus of her right knee put her career momentum to a swift halt. Zingano’s recovery has been pretty gnarly at times, but her knee has been healing up according to schedule. Unfortunately, the condition of her left knee might complicate things.

“Cat is now three months out from her right knee anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction,” explains Dr. Ronald S. Kvitne of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles, in a new video released on Cat Zingano’s Facebook page last night. “She’s three months out, her knee looks great. She’s got almost perfect motion, she’s got great strength, she’s got excellent stability. Her bulk has come back on the thigh and the calf muscles. So, she’s about three months from getting back in the ring and starting to spar for an upcoming fight.”

“The only problem is, the other knee, the left knee, appears to have somewhere along the line gotten into trouble with a medial meniscus tear. So we’re gonna confirm that today with an MRI scan. If she does have a torn meniscus, she’ll need an arthroscopy surgery fairly quickly, so she can get back on track with the rehab. We think that within three months from now she can be back in the ring training, sparring, so that hopefully [she'll be] fighting in about four to six months from now…in terms of the recovery of the right knee, she’s absolutely perfect on track, the left knee is throwing a little bit of a monkey wrench into things. If it is torn, we can fix that and have you rehabbed in three months, that quick and no problem.”

We’ll update you if Zingano’s recovery encounters any further delays. By the way, today marks the two-year anniversary of the last time Dominick Cruz competed in the Octagon. Anyway, get well soon, Cat.

After the jump: That video of Cat Zingano’s stretching routine that we’re obligated to post every time we mention her.

Read More DIGG THIS
CagePotatoMMA