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

July, 2014

Apparently This Skinny, Bearded Guy Is Phil Baroni


(Looks like Phil lost some weight…and Johny Hendricks found it. / Photo via philbaroninhb)

Though he’s slated for a welterweight bout against Karo Parisyan at Bellator 122 later this month, New York Bad Ass Phil Baroni has been preparing for a drop to lightweight. On Friday, Baroni posted this photo of his impressively lean (but oddly un-Baroni-like) physique, and it’s kind of freaking us out. As of last week, he weighed 169 pounds, and that was before his morning dump. #oversharing #besteva #stilltheman

It’s crazy. Even after a large Italian meal, Baroni still looks like he switched bodies with Mike Swick. So is Lightweight Baroni destined for greatness, or will he land on the bad/ugly end of the spectrum?

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Let’s All Just Calm Down About This “Dominick Cruz vs. Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 178″ News


(“What’s your name, kid-ACK! Is this photo made from shards of broken glass or something! So much blood! SO MUCH BLOOD!!” Photo via Getty.)

I know what you’re thinking. Just like me, you woke up this morning, immediately opened up r/MMA, and saw the “Dominick Cruz has a fight booked!” thread. This lead you to a tweet from “The Dominator” himself, which read:

NOTHING has made me more excited in a long time than hearing a fight date from @seanshelby. Ask him tho-cuz I cnt release it.
#comingsoon

Upon reading this, you started scouring the internet and/or harassing Sean Shelby to learn the details of Cruz’s fight, which eventually led you to this ESPN article claiming that Cruz had been booked against Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 178.

This news likely filled you with joy, the kind of sweet, overwhelming joy that all but disabled your ability to think logically. Which is why I’m here to rain on your parade, to piss in your oatmeal. To tell you that Mr. Cruz is setting you up, is setting us all up, for an inevitable downfall. Our hopes of a Dominick Cruz comeback are about to be dashed, so please, let’s all just calm the f*ck down and treat this fight booking with as much trepidation as humanly possible.

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UFC 176 Canceled in the Wake of Jose Aldo’s Injury — Yes, CANCELED, Not “Postponed”


(Fare thee well, dear poster.)

The guy in the truck did his absolute best to save UFC 176, but in the end, it was too great a task. The UFC broke the bad news this evening that its August 2nd pay-per-view card has been canceled following Jose Aldo‘s injury-related withdrawal from the main event. Here’s the official statement, followed by our usual angry commentary:

Las Vegas, Nev. – The UFC® has announced that the UFC 176 Pay-Per-View event scheduled for August 2nd will be postponed*. The featherweight championship fight scheduled to headline the event at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles was dropped from the card last week when champion Jose Aldo sustained an injury making him unable to defend his title against No. 1 ranked featherweight Chad Mendes.

The featherweight championship fight between Aldo and Mendes is expected to take place later this year and all other fights previously slated for UFC 176 are being rescheduled for upcoming cards. The August 30th Pay-Per-View event will remain titled UFC®177: DILLASHAW vs. BARAO II** at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, Calif. Tickets for UFC 177 go on-sale Friday, July 18th.

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Watch This Amazing Japanese Promo For ‘UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Nelson’, And Shed a Tear for the Way Things Used to Be

The Japanese MMA scene lies cold in the ground, leaving us only with fond memories of PRIDE’s pageantry and DREAM’s cartoonish promo videos. And yet, there is hope.

On September 20th, UFC Fight Night 52: Hunt vs. Nelson pops off at the Saitama Super Arena, and it’s (tentatively) loaded with so many MMA legends, wild personalities, and physical behemoths that it almost feels like the lineup to a PRIDE New Year’s Eve card. And so, a YouTube hero named PrideDream2013 has made a 27-minute extended trailer previewing some the bouts and fighters that have been confirmed for the event, and a few that haven’t yet.

Part 2 of the promo is after the jump, which focuses on Rin Nakai and Takanori Gomi. Check it out, and ask yourself: Wouldn’t it be nice if all UFC events were promoted like this?

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Tim Kennedy vs. Yoel Romero Booked for UFC 178 Co-Main Event


(Still not as scary as this photo. via Kennedy’s Instagram.)

A battle between top middleweights Tim Kennedy and Yoel Romero has just been added to UFC 178: Jones vs. Gustafsson II in the co-main event slot, which must mean that it is only a matter of time before an injury moves it into the *main* event slot. Regardless, the active duty Army Ranger and the Cuban powerhouse have been booked for a fight that could earn the winner a shot at middleweight champion Chris Weidman. “Middleweight champion Chris Weidman.” Still feels kind of weird to write that.

Kennedy is on the heels of a dominant, if less-than-thrilling victory over Michael Bisping at the TUF Nations Finale, which saw him completely neutralize the Brit with his takedown-oriented offense and ground-n-pound. Methinks Kennedy will have a tougher time doing the same against Romero, a hulking middleweight and Olympic silver medalist in freestyle wrestling who, like Kennedy, will be riding a four fight win streak into their matchup at UFC 178.

Following vicious KO wins over Clifford Starks, Ronny Markes, and Derek Brunson in his first three UFC appearances, Romero most recently bested TUF 11 alum Brad Tavares via unanimous decision at UFC on FOX 11 back in April.

Predictions, please.

-J. Jones

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VIDEO: Cat Zingano Returns to (Jiu-Jitsu) Competition, Immediately Pwns Some Broad with a Flying Armbar

The last time we checked in on Cat Zingano, she had just been cleared to train for the first time in over a year following the knee injury that forced her out of a TUF 18 coaching gig and a beatdown at the hands of fight with Ronda Rousey. Over that period, Zingano tried her hardest to remain fresh in our minds by posting a few gruesome knee drain videos here and there, but time passed, Rousey continued to destroy all challengers placed before her, and Zingano’s name was all but lost amongst the Holms, Cyborgs, Caranosand Mayweathers of the WMMAsphere.

But now, video has surfaced of Zingano back in action. “Alpha” returned to competition in triumphant fashion at Grappler’s Quest, a grappling tournament being held as part of the UFC Fan Expo in Las Vegas last Saturday, picking up a 14 second submission via flying armbar. According to some spectators, the sub was “undeniable in its illness.”

To be honest, Cat’s opponent (Liz Exell) just looked like she was happy to be there. Still, check out a video of the sweet submission above, then fill the comments sections with cries of how Rousey vs. Zingano needs to happen yesterday.

-J. Jones

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BookPotato: Art Davie’s “Is This Legal” and the UFC’s Old School Age of Insanity


(Photo via Ascend Books)

By Matt Saccaro

My father was an avid martial arts enthusiast. I remember treading into the basement where he had set up a heavy bag, a speed bag, and free weights. There was also a television, and on that television was usually boxing…but sometimes there’d be mixed martial arts—specifically the UFC.

I knew about the UFC throughout most of my childhood, and sometimes I’d even watch the cards with my father. However, I didn’t start getting deep into the TapouT-clad rabbit hole until high school. When I first got my driver’s license, my friends and I headed to the mall. Our objective: Pick up as many old-school UFC DVDs as we could find. We bought one of each they had in stock (I think our first haul was UFCs 1, 3, and 8).

We decided to watch in order. We popped the DVD in, and hit play.

“Hello, I’m Bill Wallace and welcome to McNichols are-*BELCH*”

We died laughing. But Wallace’s infamous burp in the first 15 seconds of the broadcast wasn’t the only bizarre and insane thing to happen during the first UFC event. By the end of UFC 1, I asked myself “What lunacy was going on behind the scenes?” because clearly, things were chaotic behind the curtain.

It’s been a decade since then, and in that decade I’ve read several books that elucidated the circumstances around the UFC’s birth—Clyde Gentry’s No Holds Barred and Jonathan Snowden’s Total MMA being chief among them. These books, while fantastic, don’t offer the same level of insight into the primordial UFC scene than Is This Legal: The Inside Story of The First UFC From the Man Who Created It by UFC co-creator Art Davie.

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Twitter Beef of the Day: Ben Askren Picks a Fight With Johny Hendricks, Gets Lectured by Matt Hughes Instead


(I can honestly say that I have a slightly lower body-fat percentage than the UFC welterweight champion right now. It’s the small victories, you know? / Photo via Jamill Kelly)

By Bear Siragusa

Yesterday, to the delight of bored MMA fans worldwide, former UFC welterweight kingpin and Hall of Famer Matt Hughes waged twitter warfare with former Bellator welterweight champ/serial leg-humper Ben Askren.

It all started when Askren fired some eBullets at Johny Hendricks while they were both in attendance at the TUF 19 Finale, clearly trying to bait Hendricks into the kind of rivalry that can only be settled on a UFC pay-per-view. Nothing really came of his efforts, but Askren was still jawing on twitter the next day:

@BenAskren: I dare any media member to ask @JohnyHendricks if I make him nervous and post his stuttering response.

Hendricks remained quiet, and instead, Matt Hughes showed up to teach the young whippersnapper about knowing your role and shutting your hole:

@mattHughes9x: You talk to much ben.

@BenAskren: You talk to much ben.” That’s your opinion :)

@mattHughes9x: @Benaskren very true. I got where I am by doing not talking.

@BenAskren: “@matthughes9x: very true. I got where I am by doing not talking.” Lots of ways to skin a car. [Ed. note: That has to be a typo, right?]

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Dustin Holyko Has Some Totally Logical Explanations for His Criminal Record and ‘White Pride’ Tattoos


(If you can’t recite Philippians 4:13 without Googling it first, you’re not a real fan of MMA. / Photo via FightParrot)

Dustin Holyko is not a racist or a criminal. He’s just a regular guy with an “SS” lightning-bolt tattoo on his back, “WHITE PRIDE” inked on his biceps, and one of the longest rap sheets outside of Krazy Horse Bennett. That’s basically the story that Holyko is sticking to in the wake of his firing from World Series of Fighting.

In case you haven’t been following this story, here’s the basic outline: On Saturday, the World Series of Fighting 11 NBC broadcast included a prelim bout between local Florida fighter Dustin Holyko and Neiman Gracie; Holyko lost by second-round submission. After noticing his unfortunate tattoos, BloodyElbow’s Brent Brookhouse did some digging and learned that Holyko had been arrested for everything from domestic battery (three times!) to animal cruelty, and is currently on probation for an “escape” charge in 2012, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.

Apparently, World Series of Fighting knew none of this before they booked Holyko, who was hired sight-unseen, without any sort of background check. After the controversy went public, WSOF immediately cut ties with the fighter, and released the following statement to Sherdog:

Honestly, we were not aware of Dustin Holyko’s criminal record or any potentially offensive tattoos prior to him competing at WSOF 11. He was licensed by the Florida commission prior to the fight, and it was his third professional fight under their jurisdiction. That said, with the information that has since come to light, we immediately elected to terminate our relationship with Mr. Holyko.

Sherdog adds that Holyko had been charged with 16 criminal offenses in total, according to public records, and that he’d been arrested as recently as April 23rd due to a probation violation. But of course, none of those arrests are Holyko’s fault — and neither are the offensive tattoos. Here are some quotes from a new MMAJunkie interview with Holyko, which paints the fighter as a standup guy who you’d be happy to bring home to mom…

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Oh Great, Another MMA Fighter Snapped His Leg in Half Yesterday


(Props: Esporte Interativo via MMAFighting)

Sunday night at Favela Kombat 10 in Sao Goncalo, Brazil, a fighter named Marcos “Rino” Souza fractured his right tibia when his opponent Cristian Goetz checked his leg kick. (The announcer immediately shouts Opa!, as if his flaming cheese had just arrived.)

To quote our own Bear Siragusa, it’s not a repeat of Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman, it’s like some weird reenactment. I mean, here we have a dark-skinned Brazilian in yellow compression shorts — who was clearly trying to swagger-jack Andy in the first place — throwing a leg kick at his Caucasian counterpart, and paying the price with a floppy limb.

Sure, Silva broke his left leg, not his right one, but the visual is similar enough to make you do a double-take. All this video lacks is Goetz’s cornerman saying “Good, fuck’im.”

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