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

February, 2014

UFC 169: A Lesson in Appreciation


(Photo via Getty.)

By Thomas Anderson

“We also do cut-glass sherry decanters complete with six glasses on a silver-plated tray that your butler can serve you drinks on, all for £4.95. People say, ‘How can you sell this for such a low price?’ I say, ‘Because it’s total crap!’”

These were the famous words of business mogul Gerald Ratner at a 1991 institute of directors meeting. At the time he was the self-made owner of one of the world’s richest jewellery companies. By 1992 he had been deposed by his board of directors and the firm had all but collapsed.

Branding and image are everything in business; the quality of the product is second to the perception of that product. Ratner knew this only too well; he had built his entire business model on observations he had made as a boy in London’s street markets. It wasn’t the stall owners with the juiciest fruit and the freshest fish that dominated the sales; it was the ones with the loudest voices and the most tempting offers, the charming patter and the natural rapport. Yet in his folly he insulted not only his own products but the people who bought them. He laughed in the faces of those who made him rich and expected them to carry on filling his pockets. He thought he could play them for fools forever, but the man in the street is not so easily mocked and very soon Ratner was doomed.

Dana White’s words after UFC 169 and after a number of recent events brought this cautionary tale clearly to mind. Alistair Overeem’s clinical and ruthless domination of former champion Frank Mir led to a lopsided and well deserved decision win. He out struck Mir 139-5 in total strikes and 67-3 in significant strikes. When asked his opinion at the post-fight scrum White described the performance as ‘crappy.’ Not quite ‘total crap’ but well on the way.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov Finally Gets an Opponent to Say ‘Yes’, Will Face Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC on FOX 11


(The first guy to show any form of emotion has to buy dinner. / Props: Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Instagram)

It’s funny how life works out sometimes. You accept a fight against “the Russian,” thinking you’ve been offered a match against the UFC’s undefeated Dagestani phenom, Khabib Nurmagomedov. Instead, you find out you’ll actually be facing Rustam Khabilov, a still-dangerous but slightly-less-established Russian. Disappointment washes over you. But then, Khabilov suffers an undisclosed injury and you get to fight the Russian you thought you were going to fight in he first place. Hollywood couldn’t write it any better.

That inspirational story has just played out in the life of Rafael Dos Anjos, who was originally slated to fight Khabilov at UFC 170, and will now be fighting Nurmagomedov at the increasingly-stacked UFC on FOX 11: Werdum vs. Browne (April 19, Orlando). UFC officials confirmed the booking yesterday. Dos Anjos has won his last five fights, most recently a unanimous decision win against Donald Cerrone in August. Nurmagomedov has won his last 21 (!) fights, and has been inactive since September as other top UFC lightweights tried to justify why they weren’t fighting him. Dos Anjos may not have been on Nurmagomedov’s 2014 to-do list, but in the absence of any other options, this is a pretty solid matchup.

In addition to the heavyweight headliner, Miesha Tate vs. Liz Carmouche, and Donald Cerrone vs. Edson Barboza, UFC on FOX 11 will also feature a middleweight battle between the streaking Brad Tavares and Cuban knockout machine Yoel Romero, and a lightweight meeting between Pat Healy (aka, the last guy Nurmagomedov beat) and Jorge Masvidal (aka, the last guy Khabilov beat). If you’ve got predictions, fire away.

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Gross Photo of the Day: Nick Catone Apparently Replaced His Knee With a Grapefruit Prior to UFC 169 Win


(Photo via Catone’s twitter.)

Testosterone replacement therapy may be one of the primary go-tos among fighters looking to gain an edge over their competition these days, but there’s another equally insidious, ever-expanding method of chicanery being utilized by cheaters far and wide that makes TRT look like a dinosaur technology. I’m talking of course, about MMA fighters smuggling food beneath their skin.

Yes, much like boxers have been caught with metal-plated gloves, more and more MMA fighters are being busted for Culinary Subepidermal Contraband, or hoarding food items beneath the skin, to apparently gain an advantage in the cage. Following his fight with Stipe Miocic at UFC on FOX 10, Gabriel Gonzaga was caught with a stack of oatmeal cookies stuffed into his hand, and just earlier today, middleweight Nick Catone posted the above photo to his Twitter account.

As you can clearly see, Catone, who has struggled with injuries for the majority of his career, replaced his left knee with a grapefruit (or possibly a cantaloupe) at some point prior to his split decision win over Tom Watson at UFC 169 last weekend and is now gloating about it with the above photo, sarcastically adding “Happy to get my hand raised tonight. Unfortunately I’m stuck in a terrible hospital in Newark with a torn ACL.”

Right, Mr. Catone. Tell me more about this “torn ACL” you speak of. A middle finger to the sport of MMA if I’ve ever seen one before.

CagePotato currently has its crack team of top scientists investigating what the possible benefits of CSC are, exactly, and we will update you once they finish pouring liquids from beakers into other beakers. In the mean time, watch your back, Catone. We’re onto you. (*gives Jack Byrnes “watching you” gesture*)

-J. Jones

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UFC 169 Salaries: Alistair Overeem Craps His Way to $400K, Aldo, Mir, Faber and Trujillo Also Clear Six Figures


(“What are you doing out there, Alistair? Quit playing around and put a *real* hurting on this guy!” Photo via Getty.)

The official salaries for UFC 169 were released earlier today, and despite being panned by 100% of Dana Whites across the globe, Alistair Overeem and Jose Aldo managed to walk away with the two highest salaries of the evening, banking $407,143 and $240,000, respectively. In a slight departure from what we have come to expect, three other fighters also cleared six figures at UFC 169, although in the case of Abe Trujillo, it was thanks greatly in part to the pair of “end of the night” bonuses he picked up for his second round KO of Jamie Varner to open up the main card.

The full list of salaries for UFC 169 is below, so follow us after the jump and take a gander, then entertain us as we yell at a wall.

Alistair Overeem: $407,143 ($285,714 to show, $121,429 win bonus)
Jose Aldo: $240,000 ($120,000 to show, $120,000 win bonus)

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Video: John McCain, Lorenzo Fertitta, Jon Jones, Bernard Hopkins, and More Boxing/MMA Figures Unite to Support the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study


(Props: Senator Reid)

There are few occasions where you could get executives from the UFC, Bellator, Golden Boy, and Top Rank in the same room without a full-scale brawl breaking out. But today in Washington, DC, an unprecedented congregation of combat-sports power players joined forces to support a common cause — the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study, which is being conducted by the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas.

According to a press release distributed today, the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study was launched in April 2011, and is “focused on developing methods to detect the earliest and most subtle signs of brain injury in those exposed to head trauma, as well as determining which individuals may be more likely to develop chronic neurological disorders.” You can read a little more about the Cleveland Clinic’s work here.

Senators and lifelong boxing-lovers Harry Reid (D-NV) and John McCain (R-AZ) were keynote speakers at today’s press-conference, which you can watch above in its entirety. The list of speakers also included UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones, Spike TV President Kevin Kay, Bellator lightweight star Michael Chandler, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, Top Rank President Todd duBoef, and boxing legend Bernard Hopkins. Collectively, the combat sports promotions in attendance pledged $600,000 to help the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study continue its research for another year. As the press-release explains:

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“Rumble” Returns to the UFC! Faces Phil Davis at UFC 172 in Baltimore


(Oh how we’ve missed you, old friend.)

Anthony Johnson‘s redemptive arch as a fighter is one on par with something typically reserved for a Hollywood movie. The hard-hitting Georgian was once the talk of the town at 170 lbs., lauded as easily the most dangerous potential challenger to Georges St. Pierre‘s throne and a mountain of a challenge for anyone in between. Problem was, Johnson suffered from what is now known as “Lineker’s Syndrome” — the inability to actually make weight for two consecutive bouts in the division he was supposedly competing in.

Johnson’s struggles on the scale seemed as if they would be a thing of the past when he announced that he would be moving up to middleweight, but lo, they only got worse. Johnson missed weight by a staggering 12 pounds for his middleweight debut against Vitor Belfort, was choked out in the first round at UFC 142, and promptly fired by the UFC.

Looking back now, it’s laughable and damn near inconceivable to picture “Rumble” as a welterweight. Once exiting the UFC, Johnson immediately moved up to light heavyweight, then heavyweight, scoring vicious knockouts of Jake Rosholt and DJ Linderman (see above) as well as a decision victory over Andrei Arlovski along the way. Most recently, Johnson dropped back to light heavyweight to violently KO Strikeforce veteran Mike Kyle at WSOF 8 (notice a pattern here?), his third successive win since signing with the WSOF back in 2012.

His weight issues finally behind him, Johnson’s hard work over the years will come to a head at UFC 172, when “Rumble” faces top light heavyweight prospect Phil Davis in a fight that will place the winner on the short list of title contenders.

Also on tap for UFC 172…

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The Unofficial ‘UFC Coloring Book’ Art Contest: And the Winners Are…


(One of our favorite entries from Laura Nicholson, who we’ve disqualified because she’s friggin’ ALF and we’re inherently biased towards her.)

First off, thanks to everybody who drew new tattoos for Alan Belcher in last week’s unofficial UFC coloring book art contest, and thanks to Masato Toys for the inspiration! We’ve selected three winners who you can see after the jump. Honorable mentions go to troll-face, Bieber, and this guy. Enjoy…

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Barnburner Alert: Donald Cerrone vs. Edson Barboza Added to UFC on FOX 11


(Bitches be like “#nomakeup #nofilter” / Photo via @cowboycerrone)

Fresh off his latest Knockout of the Night performance against Adriano Martins at UFC on FOX 10, Donald Cerrone will be back on network television two months from now when he faces Edson Barboza at UFC on FOX 11: Browne vs. Werdum (April 19th, Orlando). The lightweight bout was confirmed by FOX Sports yesterday.

Known for his savage kicks — of both the leg and wheel varieties — Barboza went on a 3-0 run in 2013, culminating with a comeback decision win against Danny Castillo at UFC on FOX 9, which won him Fight of the Night honors. Cerrone and Barboza are unquestionably two of the most entertaining fighters in the lightweight division, but aren’t currently “in the mix” when it comes to title shot consideration. An impressive win for either fighter could change that. Your predictions, please.

In a related story, Khabib Nurmagomedov has tweeted out a frowny face.

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Dana White’s Criticisms of Jose Aldo & Alistair Overeem Are Unjustifiably Insane Bordering on Megalomania


(Just another day in the life of boring, gunshy Jose Aldo. Photo via Getty)

By Jared Jones

I know the title of this article has likely already branded me as a “UFC hater” in many of your eyes and invalidated whatever points of merit I may make, but if the MMA media is so insistent on clinging to Dana White’s every word, there needs to be a system of checks and balances in order here.

Following last weekend’s lackluster-at-best UFC 169, the UFC President was understandably frustrated. With a “10-decision, record-breaking catastrophe” of a card topped off by a controversial title fight in the books, it would be hard to fault White for dismissing a few questions that night in the fear of saying something stupid or potentially damaging about one of his employees, especially given how poorly his burial of Georges St. Pierre following UFC 167 was received.

If only White had the impulse control.

Because rather than hang back and let some of the fighters themselves explain why the fights were so underwhelming, White decided to shame two of the fighters on the card LEAST deserving of criticism: Alistair Overeem and Jose Aldo.

First, he told FS1 that Overeem had “a crappy performance” in what was “not a great night for Alistair.” Alistair Overeem, who had just outworked, outgrappled, and outstruck a former UFC champion 139 to 5, had a “crappy performance.” One-hundred thirty-nine to five.

Of course Overeem’s callout of Brock Lesnar was stupid and pointless. Of course it was. But White’s criticism of Overeem’s damn near flawless victory was far more unwarranted than some harmless little threat. It was lunacy.

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Pat Barry Returns to Kickboxing, Slated to Make GLORY Debut in May [UPDATED]


(Pat Barry vs. Gary Goodridge at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2007 Quarterfinals in Hawaii, just because.)

Less than a week after announcing his indefinite hiatus from MMA, former UFC heavyweight Pat Barry has revealed his next move — he’ll be competing as a kickboxer again, beginning next month. Barry, who confirmed the news with Ariel Helwani on today’s installment of The MMA Hour, explained that something was missing in his last UFC fights, specifically a love for the ground game. And so, he wants to return to his standup roots, and (I quote) “let’s see who has the biggest nuts in the ring.”

Barry’s return to kickboxing officially begins March 22nd, where he’ll be competing at the WKA North American Championships in Richmond, Virginia, against an opponent to be named later. (Update: MiddleEasy reports that it’s a dude named Ed Burris.) Barry has also signed a two-fight deal with the GLORY kickboxing league, and will likely make his debut in May (date/venue/opponent all TBD). Though GLORY is arguably the highest-profile kickboxing promotion that runs shows in the U.S., Barry would automatically become the most famous American star on its roster — a mutually fortuitous situation, you could say.

Since GLORY’s heavyweight division has become a bullpen for old K-1 stars — with Semmy Schilt, Jerome Le Banner, Remy Bonjasky, Peter Aerts, Ewerton Teixeira, and even Mirko Cro Cop among them — there’s no shortage of headlining matchups that Barry could find himself in this year and beyond. He’s excited, we’re excited, and we’ll update you when we hear more details.

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