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

May, 2014

Anthony Johnson vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira Booked for UFC on FOX 12


(Photo via Getty)

Fresh off his three-round domination of Phil Davis at UFC 172, light-heavyweight contender/inspirational comeback story Anthony Johnson has been booked to return to the Octagon on July 26th at UFC on FOX 12: San Jose vs. Stockton, Bitch (tentative title). As first reported by FOX Sports, Johnson will face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, one of the most frequently injured fighters currently “active” in the UFC.

Lil’ Nog has only fought twice since his decision loss to Phil Davis in March 2011, TKO’ing Tito Ortiz at UFC 140, and out-pointing Rashad Evans at UFC 156 in February 2013. He’s been sidelined since then due to a back injury.

The matchup seems tailor-made to give “Rumble” another high-profile win before he’s launched into title contention. Or, to put it another way: This looks like a damn squash match. Sure, anything can happen in an MMA fight, but when you put one of the UFC’s most powerful 205-pound contenders up against a guy whose body has been steadily disintegrating before our eyes, it’s pretty obvious what the promotion would like to see happen here.

No other fights have been booked for UFC on FOX 12, which will take place at San Jose’s SAP Center.

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Stefan Struve Cleared to Fight Again, Will Face Matt Mitrione at UFC 175


(I know you all expect me to make a ‘The Hills Have Eyes‘ reference in this caption, but I’m not going to. Instead, I’ll just say that Stefan also had a hilarious cameo in ‘Weird Science.’ / Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports via MMAJunkie)

Last August, UFC heavyweight Stefan Struve was diagnosed with a leaking aortic valve and an enlarged heart — a condition that could have permanently ended his fighting career. But Struve refused to accept retirement as a possibility, and he’s been receiving treatment since then. Last month, Struve revealed that he’s been cleared to compete again, and UFC officials announced yesterday that “Skyscraper” will be taking on Matt Mitrione at UFC 175: Weidman vs. Machida, July 5th in Las Vegas.

Struve last fought at UFC on Fuel TV 8: Silva vs. Stann in March 2013, where he suffered a gnarly jaw-breaking knockout loss against Mark Hunt. That defeat snapped an impressive four-fight win streak, capped off by a second-round TKO of Stipe Miocic. Mitrione most recently KO’d Shawn Jordan at the TUF China Finale, and will be looking for his first back-to-back wins since 2011.

UFC 175 is shaping up to be the most stacked card of the year. The current lineup is after the jump…

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Recovery Roundup: Anderson Silva & Cat Zingano Cleared to Train, Vitor Belfort Given the Go-Ahead to Fight in Brazil

Good news, Nation! After a disastrous 2013 that saw Anderson Silva‘s fibula and tibia snap like a swizzle stick in the hands of a bartender with Parkinson’s, “The Spider” has been cleared to resume training! And better yet, he’s already set a timetable for his return! Why? Because you can’t keep a champion down, no matter how many times you tell him that he should just enjoy his damn legacy already, that’s why! When will we see him return? And against who? Is my sudden positivity at-all related to the ketamine I just snorted? FIND OUT BELOW.

In an interview with MMA Heat’s Karyn Bryant yesterday, Silva broke the news that he had already been given the go-ahead to resume training and is aiming for a 2015 return, not by the end of the year as Dana White has hoped for:

I’m very exciting because I back for training. My doctor in Brazil say my leg’s good. I’m very happy. And next year, I back.

This year, I no back for fight. I have my plans, I have my family and working hard on my academy in Brazil. So next year, I don’t know when, but next year. 

How I’ve missed that helium-voiced, broken English so.

It’s crazy to think that Silva could presumably start full-on training next week considering it’s been just five months since he lost “by accident” in his rematch with Chris Weidman at UFC 168. While it’s still up in the air whether Silva could be granted an immediate title shot upon his return or not, you almost have to admit that the UFC needs a PPV-draw like him in a time when nearly every champion is recovering from injury.

Speaking of former champions, join us after the jump to hear the latest on former light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort and former Ultimate Stretching Champion Cat Zingano.

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Somehow, Matt Brown Is a 2-1 Underdog Against Erick Silva This Weekend

During the latest episode of the CME podcast, Chad Dundas pointed out something that kind of blew my mind: Matt Brown, despite his six-fight win streak and status as the greatest knockout artist in UFC welterweight history, is currently as high as a +206 underdog for this Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 40 main event against Erick Silva, who has never won two UFC fights in a row, and whose biggest win in the Octagon is against Jason High. Did we mention that the fight will take place in Brown’s home state of Ohio?

Now, keep in mind that Brown has been inactive since August 2013 due to a back injury. Since then, Silva has been knocked out cold by Dong-Hyun Kim, then totally styled on Takenori Sato in a freaky mismatch that one might describe as “pre-Zuffa-esque.” Still, nine months of ring rust isn’t enough to convince me that Brown should be a ‘dog in this fight, in light of his astounding run during 2012-2013.

Am I crazy, or is this the juiciest betting line we’ve seen all year? Jump on it before everybody else does. [Ed. note: I may have already placed a $10 parlay on Brown + Erik Koch + Soa Palelei to win $43.50. Deal with it.]

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Has Olympian Henry Cejudo Become the Biggest Bust in MMA History?


(Photo via The Gazette.)

Far be it from us to knock an Olympic wrestler for his lack of work ethic, but we’ve begun to notice an alarming and depressing trend in the MMA career of Henry Cejudo. Mainly, that he has more or less flaked out of his last four scheduled fights under the Legacy Fighting Championships banner, and even worse, the fights he actually did show up for in that time, he did at a significantly reduced payrate due to his inability to make weight.

So perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise to us that Cejudo has already withdrawn from his scheduled flyweight title fight with WEC/UFC vet Damacio Page at Legacy 31 in June, citing “personal reasons.” This comes after Cejudo forced a catchweight fight with Ryan Hollis at Legacy 24, no-showed at the Legacy 25 weigh-ins due to a last second “illness,” and again showed up heavy for his fight with Elias Garcia at Legacy 27. How he is still employed by Legacy remains as much a mystery as the circumstances that have led to his most recent drop-out.

Could it be that Cejudo has some dire life circumstance to tend to, like Rousimar Palhares and his sick mother? It’s possible, but the much more likely scenario is that Cejudo lacks either the time or the commitment to make 125 lbs, even as far out from the fight as he is, and has withdrawn in a last ditch attempt to save his rapidly descending reputation in the MMA world.

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The Unsupportable Opinion: Screw It, Bring Tim Sylvia Back to the UFC


(Image courtesy of Sherdog.)

By Seth Falvo

Yeah, I know we’ve written otherwise around these parts. I understand that he hasn’t won a fight since defeating a thirty-eight year old journeyman sporting a 13-11 record back in 2012, that he probably can’t make 265 pounds without amputating something, and that he’s been a subject of scorn during pretty much every CagePotato Roundtable we’ve published. I secretly realize that there isn’t a single thing that Tim Sylvia has done within the past two years to justify bringing him back to the world’s premier MMA organization.

But there’s something remarkably hypocritical about acknowledging that the UFC is a sports entertainment company, then crying foul when one of the biggest stars of the mid-to-late 2000s is offered that final fight in the UFC he’s been so desperately seeking, so let’s not do that.

Instead of focusing so heavily on the sports, let’s actually focus on the entertainment that Tim Sylvia has provided us over the years. Personally, I was still in high school during the Tim Sylvia Era. A friend had exposed me to his collection of UFC events, and I immediately became hooked. I won’t claim that I was the biggest fan of the then-heavyweight champion — even with my limited knowledge of MMA, I realized Sylvia was an unrefined fighter — but there was something inspiring about watching him compete. “The Maine-iac” managed to achieve the highest honor in his sport, despite being the last person on the planet who most people would look at and think “professional athlete.” And of course, his rivalry with Andrei Arlovski helped make things interesting, even when his fights occasionally weren’t.

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Eleven of the Greatest “Bully Gets Owned” Videos on the Internet


(Australian bully talks trash, gets Barboza’d.)

CP reader Juan Pablo B. sent us the above video earlier today, and it made us realize that “bully gets owned” videos have become a powerful Internet genre unto themselves, like scare pranks or ASMR vids. The appeal is obvious: We rarely get to see aggressive dickheads get their comeuppance in real life, so it’s always incredibly satisfying when moments like these are caught on tape.

There are literally thousands more videos where these came from, so if we’ve left out any of your favorites, drop some links in our comments section or tweet ‘em to us @CagePotatoMMA.


(Casey Heynes vs. Richard Gale: The Citizen Kane of “Bully Gets Owned” videos.)

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Must-See Video: Paddy Pimblett Scores a Sub of the Year Nominee Over Conrad Hayes at Cage Warriors 68

Today’s lesson: You should never judge a fighter by his name. Example A: Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett. Believe it or not, Paddy Pimblett is not the name of some off-brand Irish cereal cartoon, nor is he a pre-adolescent street urchin with rickets and a pegleg whose only wish for Christmas this year is to get adopted by a rich old man. No, Paddy Pimblett is actually a 6-1 MMA fighter from Liverpool, England who scored a submission of the year nominee at Cage Warriors 68 last Saturday via a flying triangle armbar over Conrad Hayes. So, there’s that.

Honestly, calling Paddy’s sub a “flying triangle” doesn’t really do it justice. While defending a high single leg takedown against the cage midway through the first round, Pimblett more or less Spidermans up the cage while working a kimura/trapping Hayes’ arm. Then, while hanging in mid-air, Pimblett starts throwing some Silva vs. Lutter-esque elbows from the top before locking up a triangle. After Hayes tries to slam himself out of the sub in vain, Pimblett uses the opportunity to throw a few more vicious elbows before adding an armbar on top of it all to force the tap.

Just a masterful display of improvisation on Pimblett’s part, and a much-needed win for MMA fighters named Paddy in general. Not since Paddy O’Furniture knocked out Mark Coleman in a Denny’s parking lot after UFC 12 has such a victory been scored. But what do you think, Nation? Sub of the Year-worthy or not?

-J. Jones

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Nate Diaz Removed From UFC Rankings, Pretty Much Out of Spite


(“All I’m saying is, what if Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon are homos? Kinda changes the whole dynamic and sh*t.” / Photo via Getty)

So here’s one more example of the funny things that can happen when a fight promotion organizes its own ranking system, rather than relying on an independent body. This morning, #5-ranked lightweight Nate Diaz was unceremoniously removed from the UFC Rankings page, with no explanation given — although the fact that Diaz has been publicly feuding with the UFC over money lately can’t be a coincidence.

According to UFC.com/rankings, “A fighter is only eligible to be voted on if they are in active status in the UFC.” This could help explain why TJ Grant was also suddenly bounced from the rankings page yesterday; he’s been out of commission for nearly a year due to lingering concussion symptoms, and he still hasn’t booked his return fight yet. Diaz, on the other hand, is less than six months removed from his first-round TKO of Gray Maynard at the TUF 18 Finale…

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Bethe Correia to Face Shayna Baszler at UFC 176, Because Grudge Match


(We now to go to our post-fight celebration expert, Michael Kelso, for analysis.)

Not since Nick Diaz invented the Stockton Heybuddy have we seen a fighter gain so much notoriety for a hand gesture, but that seems to be the case with one Bethe Correia. Whether us MMA fans will admit it or not, we all get a semi at the thought of an honest grudge match between MMA fighters, and when Correia silently dissed the “Four Horsewoman” following her victory over Jessamyn Duke at UFC 172, it was pretty much a done-deal that she would face one of the three remaining members in her next UFC contest.

But being that Marina Shafir just turned pro and that Ronda Rousey is Ronda Rousey, all roads lead to Shayna Baszler, the ten year veteran and final member of the ill-named MMA supergroup. As such, UFC officials announced last night that Correia and Baszler will in fact throw down at UFC 176: Aldo vs. Mendes 2 on August 2nd in what is sure to be billed as “an intense rivalry between a rising contender and a savvy veteran.”

More on this matchup, including Rousey’s thoughts on Correia as a potential opponent, are after the jump.

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