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

March, 2014

Knockout of the Day: Vik Grujic Elbows Luke Harris’s Head Through the Floor on ‘TUF Nations’


(Props: ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ on YouTube)

The Vik Grujic vs. Luke Harris quarterfinal fight from Wednesday’s episode of TUF Nations: Canada vs. Australia is notable for a few reasons. For one thing, it’s the only knockout that has taken place in the first eight episodes of the season. (See? Aren’t you glad you’re not watching?) Second, it ends with a storm of elbows from the top, which we always appreciate. And third, it features Harris doing the most dead-on Koji Oishi impression we’ve ever seen, before he inevitably gets his ass kicked.

By the way, Luke Harris isn’t some random palooka they found in a yoga studio. Every single victory in the Canadian’s 10-2 pro record has come by first-round submission, including a guillotine choke win over Edwin Dewees in 2012, if that means anything. [Ed. note: It doesn't.] But clearly, he’s still figuring out the striking part of the equation. Watch as Harris stands in front of Grujic totally flat-footed and with his hands dropping to his waist, just waiting to get blasted in the chin. After a clash of strikes, Grujic slams Harris on the side of his head with minimal effort, then splits Harris’s dome open like a coconut with short elbows. The whole thing takes about 50 seconds.

But hey, that’s what this reality-show tournament is about, right? Filtering out the guys who aren’t real [expletive] fighters? And discovering the next generation of indistinguishable Fight Pass talent? The Grujic Era is coming, folks. Be ready.

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Today in TRT: Chael Sonnen Contemplates Retirement as CSAC Becomes Latest Commission to Issue a “Total Ban”


(Props: UFC Tonight via Snappy TV)

Like we all expected, the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s decision to ban all TRT exemptions last week has quickly been embraced by several other commissions both foreign and domestic. First, the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission followed suit, and now, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) is doing the same. As Zapp Brannigan would say, the bull’s eye has been hit and the dominos are falling like a house of cards. Checkmate.

The news was passed along by California State Athletic Commission Executive Officer Andy Foster (via MMAJunkie) earlier today, who stated:

The California State Athletic Commission fully supports the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s decision to eliminate Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE) for Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) in boxing and mixed martial arts. California is a strong supporter of anti-doping efforts. As part of California’s anti-doping efforts, the Commission recently began the rulemaking process to require meeting World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) standards as the only way to obtain a TUE for TRT. This standard is so high that it is an effective ban except under the most extreme circumstances. Until the rulemaking process is complete and the regulations are fully adopted, the Commission has a total ban on TRT. California remains committed to protecting the health and safety of athletes and having strict anti-doping standards is one of the ways this is accomplished.

I would have expected the CSAC’s official statement to be something more along the lines of “Chill, brah” but I guess this will do.

As more and more commissions move forward with the TRT ban, the already dire situation facing the small group of MMA fighters currently undergoing the treatment continues to grow bleaker. Fighters like Chael Sonnen, for instance…

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Hot Potato: 14 More Photos of Stunning WSOF Card Carrier Jessica Sutton

Back by popular demand is World Series of Fighting ring girl Jessica Sutton, an Elk Township, New Jersey native who has been featured in Maxim, Babes of MMA, and Busted Coverage and now makes her triumphant return to our Hot Potato gallery.

A four-year cross-country track star throughout high school, Jessica has been keeping busy ever since moving to Las Vegas. Aside from getting her license in cosmetology, Jessica is now the host of her own home improvement show on Youtube, “The Real Tool Time”, where she “tackles the transformation of her home in Las Vegas, documenting the challenges of demolition work, laying tile down, creating a workshop, wiring lighting and electrical – taking on home improvement projects that every good homeowner should.”

Wait, so she’s not only a smokin’ hot ring girl, but a Home Improvement fan *and* someone who knows her way around a reciprocating saw? DIBS, YOU GUYS.

Check out some of Jessica’s latest photos above from photographer Brian B. Hayes, follow her on Twitter, and be sure to look for her in action at WSOF 9: Carl vs. Palhares on March 29th.

-J. Jones

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UFC to Hold Simultaneous Events in Germany and Brazil on May 31st


(In Germany, male MMA fans wearing TapouT gear are commonly known as “douchebaggenbrös.”)

Potato Nation, the New UFC World Order is upon us: For the first time in the promotion’s history, the UFC will hold two events on the same night in two different continents.

UFC officials announced today that a Fight Night event will take place May 31st in Berlin, Germany, at the O2 World Berlin. That’s the same scheduled date as the The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 Finale, which will be headlined by Wanderlei Silva vs. Chael Sonnen (assuming Sonnen is physically capable of competing without TRT, which might be in question at this point). The city and venue for the TUF Brazil 3 Finale card are still TBA.

If you’re an old-school MMA fan, you probably still remember when two UFC events in the same month was a big deal. (That first happened in April 2005, by the way.) UFC president Dana White has been suggesting the “two events, one night” plan as a possibility since 2011, and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta also mentioned it in November.

The Berlin Fight Night marks the UFC’s first visit to Germany since the underwhelming “Marquardt vs. Okami” card in November 2010, and will reportedly be headlined by a high-level featherweight contest. (Start warming up, Dennis Siver.) Broadcast plans for the May 31st events haven’t been confirmed, but you can safely assume that at least one of these cards will be on Fight Pass. We’ll keep you posted…

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The Unsupportable Opinion: MMA/The UFC Is NOT Slowly Swirling Down the Shitter


(MMA’s heyday, according to at least one guy.)

“The night is always darkest before the dawn.” — Two-Face, quoting Plato or some shit.

MMA is facing a crisis, Nation. Or so we’re being told. Not one of irrelevance, a lack of funding, or societal ignorance like it faced during the so-called “Dark Ages,” but one of complacency, of apathy. Over the past several years, we have seen the sport rise to a level of popularity we previously thought unattainable. With more major network deals, cross-promotion with major brands, and movies featuring UFC stars popping up by the day, it’s hard to argue that MMA is exactly struggling to generate interest amongst fans.

But somewhere between the death of Strikeforce and the Fight Pass subscriptions, MMA (or at least, its premiere organization) reached a tipping point. Despite an ever-burgeoning roster, the quality of the average card started to slip. Viewership began to decline. Truly “stacked” cards started to come further and further between, as did the number of marketable stars present on them.

While the UFC was busy making efforts to dominate the fucking world, its stateside presence slowly began to diminish with each lackluster “Fight Night” card, the majority of which have been spread across three channels and subscriptions-only networks. It isn’t helping that the UFC is now nickel and diming those of us hoping to watch their international events and prelims, adding to the growing “UFC is in trouble” sentiment among fans. The UFC has gotten greedy, and our view of the sport has slowly begun to shift from optimistic to apathetic as a result.

Is it simply a case of the UFC expanding too fast and oversaturating it’s niche market, as many followers of the sport will tell you? Or have fans simply lost interest in the sport now that it has become a globally recognized, increasingly expensive commodity?

Actually, the answer is a firm “no” to both of those questions. MMA is NOT rapidly descending into the watered-down, passionless, corporate-sponsored hellscape we all think it is, and everyone needs to man (or woman) the fuck up and stop acting like the sport is a lost cause.

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MMA Fighter Booto Guylain Dies From Head Trauma Suffered in EFC Africa Match Last Week


(Image via efcafrica.com)

A South African middleweight MMA fighter named Booto Guylain died earlier today, from head injuries he suffered during a TKO loss to Keron Davies last Thursday at EFC Africa 27. Guylain was 29 years old, and very new to the sport, as his only other pro fight was a previous TKO loss at EFC Africa 25 in November.

The fight that claimed Guylain’s life ended like so many others in MMA — with Guylain on his back sustaining a series of elbow strikes from Davies, who was in full mount. According to a news brief released by EFC Africa after the fight, Guylain was stabilized by the on-site medical team immediately afterwards and transported to the Johannesburg General Hospital, where he was treated for swelling and bleeding on the brain.

However, the South African MMA website PrettyTuff reported that Guylain’s medical treatment was delayed “because he does not have medical aid and [because of] the long process involved in admitting a patient into a busy government facility in South Africa.” At some point, Guylain lapsed into a coma, and died today despite the efforts of a neuro-surgical team.

“We are devastated,” said EFC Africa president Cairo Howarth. “This is a huge loss to the sport and to all who know him. Our thoughts are with his family in this trying time.” ONEPLAN, EFC Africa’s disability partner, will provide financial support to Guylain’s wife and son.

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And Now He’s Retired: Mac Danzig Leaves UFC Due to Concussions, Loss of Motivation


(Photo via Getty)

UFC lightweight Mac Danzig announced his retirement from MMA yesterday, after a 12-year professional career marked by a King of the Cage title reign, a dominant run on The Ultimate Fighter, and inconsistent performances in the Octagon. Danzig most recently competed at UFC on FOX 9 in December, where he lost a unanimous decision to Joe Lauzon. It was Danzig’s third consecutive defeat, and dropped his official UFC record to 5-8.

Considering how disillusioned he’d become with the sport, Danzig’s decision to walk away  shouldn’t come as a surprise. The 34-year-old explained his decision on his tumblr blog, citing recent concussions and loss of motivation as his primary reasons for leaving. Here are some excerpts:

It has been a long, amazing, arduous, thrilling, painful, depressing, spectacular, self-realizing, worthwhile struggle of a journey, for which I have no regrets. I have accomplished a lot in the sport, especially thanks to the many opportunities the UFC has given me. The competition level that I reached is far beyond what I ever imagined being able to do when I first set out to be a fighter in the year 2000. That being said, in hindsight, my enthusiasm and motivation for competition definitely reached it’s peak around 2008 (after 7 years prior of toiling in the minor professional leagues) and it’s been an uphill battle ever since.

I really have been struggling the past few years with contemplating retirement. And with it in the back of my mind, my performance has suffered. Only those closest to me know about this. A true fighter never wants to give it up. The will to compete dies hard. I have had to teach myself that intelligently stepping away does not equal “giving up”.
When you slow down in most other sports, whether due to injury or lack of passion, usually you can still preserve your personal dignity and your physical brain, and keep working hard until you truly know it’s time to leave, but that’s not always the case in MMA.

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Melvin Manhoef vs. Cyborg Santos II Has Been Booked, So Let’s Celebrate By Watching Their First Slugfest [VIDEO]

Melvin Manhoef is so explosive that his leg kicks destroy everything including Melvin Manhoef. Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos is such a fearless badass that he willingly and repeatedly stuck his Elmer Fudd in Cristiane Justino‘s rabbit hole (do not click this link to confirm). So obviously, when these two met at Cage Rage 15 back in 2006 with Manhoef’s light heavyweight title on the line, the result was every bit the epic slugfest that fans had predicted it would be.

For nearly ten minutes, Manhoef and Santos traded heavy leather and heavier kicks and knees, leaving both men gasping for air before the second round even got under way. It wasn’t until a flurry by an exhausted Manhoef finally found its mark that Santos was defeated, marking an insane fight in the Cage Rage books and a ridiculously improbable comeback win for Manhoef.

And now, the two are set to do battle once again (*BRAAAAHM*). MMAFighting is reporting that Santos and Manhoef have agreed to meet in a welterweight contest on April 13 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The fight will not only serve as Manhoef’s debut at 170 lbs, but as a title match for the vacant Gringo Super Fight welterweight belt. A prestigious achievement if there ever was one.

Although both guys have fallen on harder times since their original battle — Cyborg has gone 7-7 since and Manhoef 15-9 — there’s simply no way that this fight will leave a bad taste in the mouths of those who have witnessed the mayhem depicted above. I can only pray that we will be able to say the same about Shogun vs. Hendo II come March 24th.

-J. Jones

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Yushin Okami to Face the Complete Opposite of Yushin Okami in WSOF Debut


(Savov poses with his Bulgarian pop star girlfriend, Desi Slava, while Okami can only crysterbate into a box of tissues offscreen.)

After signing a multi-fight deal with World Series of Fighting back in October, former UFC middleweight title challenger Yushin Okami finally has a date set for his promotional debut.

If you recall, Okami was released from the UFC last September (to make room for the Jumabieke Tuerxuns of the world) despite going 3-1 in his last 4 fights, because whatever, fuck you. “Thunder” was quickly snatched up by the WSOF but has been sitting on the shelf ever since his signing for reasons unknown. Regardless, it was announced earlier today that Okami will make his promotional debut against Bulgarian Svetlozar Savov at WSOF 9 on March 29th.

With 11 finishes in his 12 victories, Savov is pretty much the antithesis of Okami, who collected just 4 stoppages in his 18-fight UFC career. That being said, expect Okami to come in as a huge favorite here. Not Cormier vs. Cummins huge, but somewhere around that. Thankfully, this squash match will likely slip completely under the radar once Rousimar Palhares inevitably maims Steve Carl in the evening’s main event.

Seriously, I cannot begin to comprehend why the WSOF is essentially rewarding Paul Harris for his repeated acts of douchebaggery in the cage by giving him an immediate title shot — it’s like giving a convicted arsonist a book of matches, a gallon of kerosene, and the keys to the home of the judge who sentenced him. “Tickets got to be sold,” I guess.

-J. Jones

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Here’s What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Using TRT


(MMA’s new stance on hormone-therapy could spell the end of two legendary careers.)

The NSAC’s recent decision to ban TRT is going to make life a lot harder for the athletes who have depended on it during their training camps. Dan Henderson — who will receive the final therapeutic usage exemption for UFC competition — has compared it to banning insulin for diabetics. Meanwhile, Vitor Belfort thinks he’ll need about three months to transition to life without TRT.

That’s a very optimistic estimate, considering the deterioration that a person’s body goes through when they stop hormone-replacement therapy — especially if they’re not doing it correctly. In an eye-opening new interview with Fightland, endocrinologist Dr. Neil Goodman shared his insight about fighters who get on TRT, and all the awful things that happen when they try to get off of it. Some excerpts are below:

I’ve been involved with professional athletes who’ve been referred to me by their agents to get them off steroids because they knew they were on them and going to get caught, so I’m very familiar with this. I think this is a problem in all of competitive sports in that a lot of these guys begin in gyms, they’re taking all kinds of anabolic steroids. Then they go off and go to the doctor, and their testosterone’s low. The original cause of low testosterone is that most of these guys in competitive sports are taking excessively high doses of almost anything they can get their hands on.

Most men who legitimately have low testosterone have it because of a disease they were born with or developed within infancy and childhood. There are very few adult men who suddenly have low testosterone unless they have a pituitary tumor or they have serious illnesses. The biggest cause of low testosterone in any man is diabetes, obesity, hypertension, sleep apnea, or other serious medical diseases, so their low testosterone is a minor point to their really serious health condition that it comes with. The men who are born with a deficiency of testosterone have been on treatment since they were children, otherwise they would have never gone through puberty…

If a young guy comes in with low testosterone, my first thought is this guy’s been taking steroids. And I’m usually right.

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