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February, 2014

Bellator 110 Recap: Rampage KOs M’Pumbu, King Mo Edges Zayats, Rebney Announces Next PPV


(Photo via Getty)

Bellator is back, but not necessarily in a big way. Bellator 110 saw the more marketable Rampage Jackson and Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal prevail, but neither man looked stellar.

What about the rest of the card? The event started off rocky. The first two preliminary bouts ended in unsatisfying no contests—the first due to an accidental illegal knee. The second was the result of an accidental eye poke.

Of note: Daniel Weichel defeated Scott Cleve in the quarterfinal round of Bellator’s season 10 featherweight tournament. He won via submission, though the rear-naked choke was set up by a gorgeous straight right. When Cleve was on the mat, his brains were far too scrambled to adequately prevent Weichel from taking his back and working for the choke. In another prelim quarterfinal bout, Will Martinez upset the highly touted, 21-year-old prospect, Goiti Yamauchi via unanimous decision. Martinez was stronger and fought a smarter fight. He bullied and smothered Yamauchi, who was stymied by Martinez’s aggression.

The main card kicked off with the third featherweight tournament quarterfinal.

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Friday Link Dump: Belfort’s Mysterious Random Drug Test, Weidman Opens as 2-1 Favorite Over Machida, Eight Damn-Near-Impossible Video Games + More


(If you’re a Fight Pass subscriber…let us know how this fight turns out, alright? / Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

- Results of Vitor Belfort’s Random Drug Test Will Not Be Released Unless He Does so Himself (MMAFighting)

- Can Anybody Explain This Conor McGregor Billboard on Sunset Strip? (MiddleEasy)

- Zak Cummings Missed Weight So Bad That His ‘UFC Fight Night: Macau’ Match Was Canceled (BloodyElbow)

- Chris Weidman Opens as -210 Favorite Over Lyoto Machida in UFC 173 Title Fight (MMAJunkie)

- Matt Hughes: Georges St. Pierre Doesn’t Want to Come Back to UFC and Take Another Beating From Johny Hendricks (MMAMania)

- More Still Needs to Be Done in Struggle Against PED Use (Yahoo!)

- 2014 Oscar Nominee Childhood Photos (WorldWideInterweb)

- The 50 Greatest NBA Plays of the ’90s (Complex)

- 10 Ways to Cancer-Proof Your Life (MensFitness)

- Dazzle Your Oscar Party With These Printable Bingo Cards (Crushable)

- Eight Scripts That Should Have Never Made It to the Big Screen (EscapistMagazine)

- 20 Things That Happen When You Don’t Wear a Bra, In GIFs (TheGloss)

Eight Utterly Frustrating Video Games That You Could Never Beat (HolyTaco)

- Dana Snay Loses $80,000 with “SUCK IT” Facebook Message (EveryJoe)

- The Complete Cheat-Guide to ‘Thief’ (Gamefront)

- The Funniest Autocorrects of February 2014, Part One! (DamnYouAutocorrect)

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Brazilian Commission Bans TRT, Grants Dan Henderson Final Exemption for Shogun Rua Rematch


(In his pre-TRT days, Hendo never went to a football game without bringing a grill full of sausages. Nowadays, he’s relegated to carrying the glass dish of potato salad to the wine and cheese parties he attends with his wife. Getting old sucks. Photo via Combat Lifestyle.)

On the heels of a monumental decision by the Nevada State Athletic Commission to ban TRT exemptions, it appears the Brazilian Athletic Commission will be the first to follow suit. Vitor Belfort retirement status: Imminent.

But before the commission puts the kibosh on TRT entirely, they will first grant Dan Henderson their final exemption.

Henderson, of course, faces Mauricio Shogun next month in a rematch of their epic clash at UFC 139. On the heels of a first round knockout loss to Belfort at Fight Night 32 (the first of his career) and currently riding a three fight skid, a win is not exactly make-or-break for the 41-year old Henderson — who just signed a six-fight extension with the UFC — but crucial if he wants to remain in the highly coveted UFC top 10 rankings (*armpit fart*).

The news of Henderson’s exemption was passed along by CABMMA Medical Director Marcio Tannure to SporTV, who also informed the outlet that the ban will affect one Chael Phinneus Sonnen moving forward. Not that “The American Gangster” cares.

And with that, Dan Henderson becomes the first man to ever receive a TRT exemption in Nevada, and the last to receive one in Brazil. It’s as close to a poetic moment as we’re going to get in this damn sport nowadays.

-J. Jones

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So Here’s a Preview of the (Likely Staged) Brawl Between Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen on TUF: Brazil [VIDEO]

The news that Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva had brawled on the set of TUF Brazil was enough to launch a thousand fanboy boners into the stratosphere back in January, some of which have yet to return to Earth. But as Plato was infamous quoted, “The greater the hype for a season of TUF, the more disappointing the reality usually is.” Smart guy, that Plato.

So when a video supposedly depicting said on set brawl started popping up around the MMA blogosphere, expectations were high to say the least. High as giraffe pussy, one might say. But sadly, it turns out the video in question was merely a *preview* of the upcoming season of TUF Brazil, and although it does show a snippet of Sonnen and Silva’s “brawl” (meaning the entirety of the trailer centers around it, because yay drama!) it would appear that the verbal-turned-physical sparring match between TUF coaches was held under some agreed upon terms, if not completely staged.

I mean, from what I saw at least. Like I said, the preview doesn’t give you much, but that whiffed right hand/double leg combo looks like something you’d see on an episode of Bar Rescue for Christ’s sake. Except that, had Wanderlei swung on Jon Taffer, he’d have found himself face down on the practice mats with a shattered glass of George Dickel whiskey embedded in his dome.

But on the off-chance I didn’t just turn you off from the entire Wandy/Sonnen season with my brilliant analysis of this preview, you can check out the season premiere of TUF Brazil on March 9th. If you have Fight Pass (lol!).

-J. Jones

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Vitor Belfort Withdraws From UFC 173 in Wake of TRT Ban, Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida Booked as Replacement Title Fight [UPDATED]


(Video via FOX Sports Live)

In the most predictable fight-withdrawal since Tito’s last neck injury, UFC middleweight Vitor Belfort has pulled out of his UFC 173 title bout against Chris Weidman, following the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s decision to ban TRT exemptions yesterday. I’ll give you a moment to stop laughing your ass off. Alright, then. FOX Sports Live broke the news late last night, running this brief statement from Belfort:

The Nevada State Athletic Commission recently altered its policy and no longer will permit testosterone use exemptions, and will not permit a TRT program. As other jurisdictions may follow suit, I am going to drop my TRT program and compete in MMA without it. Given the time constraints involved between now and my proposed next bout in May, I have determined not to apply for a license to fight in Nevada at this time.”

Well, at least Vitor isn’t pretending he’s hurt. By the way, the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission hasn’t yet decided if it will follow the NSAC’s lead on TRT prohibition, so Belfort might not want to make any hasty decisions about his hormone treatments just yet.

Luckily, the UFC had a backup plan loaded and ready to go. It was also revealed on the FOX Sports Live segment that Chris Weidman will remain on the UFC 173 card (May 24th, Las Vegas), and defend his middleweight title against former light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, who has gone 2-0 since dropping to 185 pounds last year. Here’s what Weidman had to say about the opponent switch:

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BREAKING: Nevada State Athletic Commission Bans TRT Exemptions, Effective Immediately


(“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” / Photo via Getty)

The Nevada State Athletic Commission struck a blow for fair, healthy MMA competition today, voting for an immediate ban on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). Therapeutic usage exemptions (TUE) will no longer be granted to fighters, even for those who had been approved to use hormone therapy in the past. Furthermore, the NSAC will push other states to ban TRT as well, and won’t honor the TUEs approved by other state commissions.

Today’s hearing began with testimony from NSAC consulting physician Dr. Timothy Trainor, who explained the rarity of hypogonadism, and argued that if a competitor truly has hypogonadism, the athletic commission would be placing him at risk by allowing him to fight. (Hello, exactly!)

After discussing the recent anti-TRT letter from the Association of Ringside Physicians — and acknowledging that monitoring every TRT user requires more resources than they can commit — NSAC commissioner Skip Avansino motioned to ban TRT usage/exemptions in Nevada. With supporting votes from commissioners Pat Lundvall and Bill Brady, the motion quickly passed.

And so, MMA’s biggest PED loophole has been closed by the country’s most influential athletic commission — and other state athletic commissions may be forced to follow suit. Vitor Belfort will have to fight clean in Nevada, along with everybody else who previously had doctor’s notes for testosterone.

It’s a good day for the sport. We’ll update you with any major developments that follow.

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There’s a Bellator Event Tomorrow, So Rampage Jackson Is Talking Nonsense Again [VIDEO]

As someone who recently told Dana White to “keep my name out of your mouth,” Rampage Jackson sure seems to have a problem granting the UFC the same courtesy. In a recent interview with Fight Hub TV, Jackson previewed his Season 10 LHW tournament semifinal fight with Christian M’Pumbu headlining tomorrow night’s Bellator 110, citing a few changes in his training camp as the keys to beating the former Bellator champ.

It was going, so well. Jackson was calm, reasonable, and had managed to go almost four minutes in a row without dry-humping something. But us MMA reporters being the shit-stirring type, the conversation inevitably shifted toward towards “Bellator vs. UFC,” prompting Jackson to go completely off the reservation.

At the end of the day it’s all about what you’re looking for. If you want longevity, I would go with a company like Bellator that you can grow with. And here’s a secret that the UFC won’t tell you, and will never tell you, but right now Bellator is getting more ratings than the UFC. And sponsors understand stuff like that. So a lot of sponsors are going to come over and jump to Bellator and UFC sponsorships are going to go down because if you don’t have the ratings you don’t have the commercial money and the people to watch the commercials and you don’t have the endorsement dollars. 

(*puts on Madea costume*) Oh Rampage, you so crazy!

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23 Photos of Cyndie Franchi, French MMA Ring Girl and Model


(Full gallery is after the jump.)

Props to Babes of MMA for introducing us to Cyndie Franchi, a French model and MMA ring girl originally from Corsica who now splits her time between Marseille and Paris. In addition to carrying round-cards for local fight promotions like Fightway Challenge, Cyndie’s work as a glamour model has appeared in such notable cheesecake-mags as FHM France, Maxim France, Dymelife, and Red Hot Kittens Magazine.

Cyndie spends her free time practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is involved in various humanitarian efforts related to sick and disabled children. Her philosophy on being a glamour model goes like this:

I have always loved the era of Marilyn Monroe. Being a woman with explosive curves, with a certain sensuality, a sexy woman and assertive! A woman who gives some desire to men! Every women love to give pleasure to a man or men! Every human being likes to please in general, that’s a fact! Give dreams to men is a pleasant thing! It is good to dream nowadays for something or someone!

Makes sense to us! Check out lots more great Cyndie Franchi photos in the gallery below, and follow her life on Facebook and twitter. [*Note: The photos near the end of the gallery are slightly NSFW.]

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Nate Diaz Lands Gig at NASA, Requests to Be Released From UFC Contract via Twitter


(Well, at least he didn’t call anyone a fag. Via Diaz’s Twitter.)

If we know anything about the members of Team Cesar Gracie, it’s that they’re a tightly-wound, fiercely loyal bunch. So when the news broke that Gilbert Melendez and the UFC had failed to reach an agreement on his new contract, prompting “El Nino” to sorta sign with Bellator, we figured it was only a matter of time before his Cesar Gracie counterparts jumped ship as well.

Of course, being that Melendez *was* able to reach an agreement with the UFC after calling their bluff, it comes as something of a surprise that former lightweight title challenger Nate Diaz is now asking to be released from his contract. But that’s what happened yesterday, unless Diaz’s Twitter was somehow hacked. Diaz sent out the above tweet last night, stating “It’s time for me to be on my way…?” This of course, can only mean one of four things:

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Selling Booze and Signing Boobs, Georges St-Pierre Is Enjoying His Retirement Responsibly


(Props: YouTube.com/poundforpoundmma)

By Brian J. D’Souza

Despite taking a break from the UFC Octagon, former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has been busier than ever throughout 2014. In recent weeks, he’s spoken out about lax drug testing protocols within the sport, cornered his friend Francis Carmont in Brazil, been the subject of a new documentary, and this Tuesday in Toronto, GSP was on hand at The Fifth pub to promote his partnership with rum maker Bacardi.

“Started drinking Bacardi even before I was associated with them,” quipped the French-Canadian superstar to a crowded room of VIP guests and media members.

The event was representative of the new era in St-Pierre’s life: Instead of being at the beck and call of a promoter, GSP is proud of the fact that he can leave his cell phone unattended for a week. Defending his UFC title was a Sisyphean task; St-Pierre claims his mental health deteriorated under the numerous demands being a professional fighter placed him under.

“I’m very happy where I am right now,” said St-Pierre, speaking to Sportsnet’s Joe Ferraro.


(GSP, living every retiree’s dream. Photo via TerezOwens. Click for full-size version.)

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