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

March, 2014

The Agony of Being an MMA Fan


(Indeed, all life is pain.)

By Adam Ackerman

I was reminded of something on Sunday night. Not only that I haven’t been to church in decades, but also that it can really hurt to be a fan of a specific fighter. I felt a sense of anger, sadness, and frustration when Mauricio “Shogun” Rua was knocked out by Dan Henderson. I haven’t felt that in years, not since June 26th, 2010, when Fedor Emelianenko suffered his real first loss. That night, I realized it may be better to be a fan of the sport of MMA, and not of individuals. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my favorites, but I try to look at every fight objectively and analytically.

It’s difficult not to put feelings and emotions into a fighter’s performance, because fighting is such an emotional sport. Fighters can’t always win, and don’t compete often. If seeing your favorite guy or gal win makes you happy, and watching them lose makes you sad, you could be in for one hell of a roller-coaster ride.

Being a fan of a fighter is not like being a hockey fan. The Red Wings can lose 15 games in a row and they could still go on a winning streak and make it to the playoffs. No big deal, they have a chance one or two times every week to start over. Not so much in this sport.

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Nick Newell to Challenge Justin Gaethje for WSOF Lightweight Title in July


(Well that’s pretty much the greatest photo I’ve ever seen. / Props: Nick’s Facebook page.)

World Series of Fighting executive vice president Ali Abdel-Aziz confirmed with Yahoo! Sports yesterday that undefeated lightweight Nick Newell will finally get his shot at the WSOF lightweight title this July, when he faces incumbent champion Justin Gaethje. The exact date and venue for the match are still TBA. MMAFighting adds that ”The promotion is expected to make its NBC debut this summer, but Abdel-Aziz wouldn’t disclose whether the title fight would air on the broadcast network.”

On paper, Newell and Gaethje have identical records of 11-0 with 10 wins by stoppage. Arguably, Gaethje’s level of competition during his WSOF stint has been higher than Newell’s, as the champ’s list of TKO-victims has included Gesias Cavacante, Brian Cobb, and Dan Lauzon (i.e., guys you’ve actually heard of). Of course, finding decent opponents has always been a challenge for Newell, who left the XFC and signed with WSOF last May specifically to fight world-class opponents — but has only been able to squash journeymen so far.

Still, it’s better late than never. Newell’s fight against Gaethje is the big opportunity that the one-handed fighter has been begging for, and could lift his already-expanding profile in a major way, especially if the event is indeed aired on NBC. It’s also simply one of the greatest lightweight matchups you’ll see outside the UFC, and we’re psyched for it. Your predictions, please.

Semi-related: In case you forgot, Rousimar Palhares is fighting Steve Carl for the WSOF welterweight title this Saturday at WSOF 9. Ray Sefo says people are underestimating Steve Carl, which is surprising, because I had no idea that people had any opinions about Steve Carl whatsoever. Anyway, RIP that guy’s ankles.

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‘The Greatest MMA Fight of All Time’ Tournament Is Coming Soon: Which of These Classic Battles Deserves a Spot in the Bracket?


(As always, “WAR WAND! PRIDE NEVA DIE!” is an acceptable write-in vote.)

Peep this, Potato Nation — in honor of March Madness, we’re putting together a big bracketology feature on the best fights in MMA history, with your votes determining the #1 Greatest MMA Fight of All Time. (Launch date: TBA…but pretty soon!) I’m looking forward to it, and you should too.

The only problem is, our interactive bracket only has space for 16 entries, which means that a bunch of classic MMA matches won’t be included. I can’t reveal the bracket yet, but I can reveal the ten honorable mentions that are all competing for the last spot. Check ‘em out below, and click those links for video clips of each one.

Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Carlos Newton
PRIDE 3, 6/24/98

Matt Hughes vs. BJ Penn 2
UFC 63, 9/23/06

Dan Henderson vs. Wanderlei Silva 2
PRIDE 33, 2/24/07

Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva
UFC 79, 12/29/07

Anthony Pettis vs. Benson Henderson 1
WEC 53, 12/16/10

Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard 2
UFC 125, 1/1/11

Cheick Kongo vs. Pat Barry
UFC on Versus 4, 6/26/11

Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann
UFC on FUEL 8, 3/3/13

Gilbert Melendez vs. Diego Sanchez
UFC 166, 10/19/13

Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva vs. Mark Hunt
UFC Fight Night 33, 12/7/13

After the jump, you will find a voting widget. Cast your vote on which of the above fights is most worthy of a place in the bracket, and that fight will earn the sixteenth spot. Votes must be in by Thursday morning at 9 a.m. ET.

Make sense? If not, please drop us a line in the comments section or on Twitter. Now get to voting…

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Dan Henderson Still a BAMF, Offers to Step in Against Lyoto Machida at UFC 173

Just as the sun rises each morning, Dan Henderson wakes up, kills a wild boar with his bare hands, and asks himself, “What can I do next to make all men look like absolute pussies?” Today’s answer: By calling out Lyoto Machida roughly 48 hours after defeating Mauricio Rua in one of the most brutal fights of the year.
(Author’s note: And you mean to tell me that this man needs testosterone *injections*? I CALL BULLSHIT.)

You see, when Chris Weidman was forced to bow out of his UFC 173 title fight with Machida last night due to a knee injury, there weren’t many middleweight contenders lining up to get Munoz’d by “The Dragon.” Strange, I know. But being that Dan Henderson is who Ron Swanson aspires to be, he of course volunteered to step in against Machida — who himself was stepping in for Vitor Belfort – while still shaking off the effects of multiple concussions. Meanwhile, I’m just sitting behind this computer, clacking away at keys and trying to shake off a hangover from last weekend like the shell of a Dan Henderson that I truly am.

Obviously, this fight is never going to happen for a multitude of reasons…

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Association of Ringside Physicians Launches New Crusade Against Unhealthy Weight-Cutting in Combat Sports


(Photo via Andrew Mills/The Star Ledger)

In late January, the Association of Ringside Physicians released a public statement calling for the end of therapeutic use exemptions for testosterone replacement therapy in combat sports. Though the ARP is simply an advocacy group that promotes fighter-safety, and has no official ties to state athletic commissions, the resulting publicity kicked off the final wave of anti-TRT sentiment in the world of mixed martial arts. A month later, the Nevada State Athletic Commission banned testosterone therapy for combat sports athletes.

Fresh off that success, the Association of Ringside Physicians is now setting its sights on another controversial facet of professional fighting that is just as damaging to athletes’ health as PED use — improper weight cutting. Check out the ARP’s new statement on weight management below, which summarizes the health risks associated with significant and repeated weight cuts, and suggests how the situation can be improved.

**********

For Immediate Release
March 24, 2014

Association of Ringside Physicians Releases Consensus Statement on Weight Management in Professional Combat Sports

The Association of Ringside Physicians (ARP), an international, non-profit organization dedicated to the health and safety of the boxer and mixed martial arts athlete, has released a consensus statement on weight management in professional combat sports as follows:

Introduction
Unhealthy and sometimes dangerous weight loss practices continue to be a significant problem in amateur and professional combat sports. The ARP recommends that regulatory bodies adopt standardized weigh-in policies in conjunction with year-round weight management and educational programs.

Discussion
There is a growing body of information in the medical literature that presents unequivocal evidence of the danger of excessive weight loss, rapid weight loss, and repeated cycling of weight gain and loss. Rapid weight loss and dehydration have been proven to negatively affect a number of health-related parameters including…

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Chris Weidman Suffers Knee Injury, Title Fight With Lyoto Machida Bumped to UFC 175 in July


(Welp…throw it into the trash-pile with the rest, I guess.)

According to UFC.com, UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman has “suffered a knee injury that will require minor surgery,” and has withdrawn from his scheduled title defense against Lyoto Machida at UFC 173 on May 24th. The fight has already been rescheduled to headline UFC 175 (July 5th, Las Vegas), and a new main event for the 5/24 card will be announced shortly.

No other details on Weidman’s knee are available at this time, though it should be noted that re-booking Weidman for an event six weeks later when he hasn’t even had his surgery yet is mighty optimistic. Wild Conspiracy Theory Time: The UFC invented this injury just to make sure they had a big main event for International Fight Week. Nah, not really. But maybe?

Stay tuned for more details…

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Knockout of the Night: Nicolas Dalby Makes Sergei Churilov Do the “No Bones Dance” at Cage Warriors 66

Although Rolles Gracie’s “Flair Flop” at WSOF 5 will forever be immortalized as the greatest involuntary reaction to a KO of all time (with Kaleo Gambill’s post-fight beat-off being the clear but distant runner-up), we’ll be damned if Sergei Churilov didn’t give him a run for his money at Cage Warriors 66 last weekend.

In a fight for the promotion’s vacant welterweight title, Nicolas Dalby and Churilov engaged in a back-and-forth slugfest that ranked among the best of the year. Churilov was getting the better of the exchanges until midway through the fourth round, when Dalby unleashed a head kick that had the Ukrainian doing the “No Bones Dance” across the ring (or “Gumbying” as the kids I just made up are calling it).

A few follow-up punches were all that Dalby needed to walk away with the welterweight title in hand, and while he may have gotten the victory, it is Churilov who will surely get the last laugh when his post-KO dance is celebrated in gif form for years to come. I mean, just look at those moves!

The man is clearly a big Kevin Bacon fan is all I’m saying.

-J. Jones

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Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva FINALLY Booked For ‘Fight Night’ Event on May 31st. Maybe. Probably.


(“And sometimes, professionals decline the fight altogether because of personal reasons.”)

At this point, you’re probably sick of hearing whether or not Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva is actually going to happen. For weeks/possibly months now, the “biggest rivalry in the *history* of MMA” has been booked and shuffled between events, only to be placed on hold due to Silva’s refusal to sign a bout agreement (possibly because he didn’t have his video crew around to angrily vlog about it afterward). Our frustration with Silva has only been matched by Sonnen, who has recently taken to threatening Silva with the release of some incriminating evidence (more incriminating than this?) over Twitter should he not sign the bout agreement by March 31st.

But thank f*cking God, Sonnen vs. Silva is finally a go. Probably. That’s according to MMAFighting, at least, who was the first to pass along word that the TUF Brazil 3 coaches have finally agreed to do battle in Sao Paulo, Brazil on May 31st at an unnumbered “Fight Night” event.

The announcement was made by UFC officials on Sunday night. While there are a few members of the MMA media claiming that Wanderlei has still yet to sign on the dotted line (it wouldn’t be the first time that the UFC has put the cart before the horse if this turned out to be true), the “Fight Night” card is already starting to fill up with supporting fights…

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‘UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Henderson 2′ — Fight Highlights, Bonuses, And Event Recap


(Shogun vs. Henderson 2 highlights via Fox Sports)

Dan Henderson and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua fought for the second time last night in Natal, Brazil, and though we weren’t treated to another five-round dogfight, the rematch turned out to be nearly as incredible as their first meeting. This time, it was Henderson who was getting beaten up in the early rounds, as an energized Shogun Rua came close to finishing the American legend on more than one occasion. It seemed like Henderson’s heart, experience, and still-solid chin were the only things keeping him alive going into round three. And then…boo-yah.

All it took was one right hand directly across the chin to snap Shogun’s head back and send him into a backwards somersault across the mat. Arguably, referee Herb Dean could have stopped the fight as soon as Shogun went ass-over-teakettle, but he allowed Hendo to follow up the knockdown with some controversial blows to the back of the head, as Shogun groggily clung to Henderson’s leg. To those of you who expected Herb Dean to penalize Henderson during the finishing sequence: You haven’t been watching MMA for very long, have you?

Henderson and Rua each earned $50,000 Fight of the Night bonuses for their headlining battle, and Dan Henderson also scored a $50,000 Performance of the Night award. (The unofficial Broken Nose of the Night award went to Shogun.) The other Performance of the Night bonus went to Godofredo “Pepey” Castro, who wrecked Israeli UFC newcomer Noad Lahat with a flying knee in the first fight of the night.

The Pepey/Lahat KO was just one of five matches at UFC Fight Night 38 that ended in the first round. Notably, middleweight vet CB Dollaway TKO’d TUF Brazil 1 winner Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira in just 39 seconds with an impressive display of counter-punching, which you can watch below…

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UFC Fight Night 38 Results: Dan Henderson H-Bombs Shogun Rua


(Photo via Getty)

UFC Fight Night 38 is a rare Sunday event. Despite the odd timing, free MMA is always worth the watch. But page view-wise, covering lower-level Fight Night cards isn’t always worth the investment of time (ring girl galleries have a much higher rate of return). Nevertheless, we’ll be live blogging UFC Fight Night 38′s main card. It starts at 7:00 PM EST and airs on Fox Sports 1. Stay tuned, and refresh for updates!

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