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

November, 2014

Duke Roufus Responds to Team Members’ Abuse Allegations: “Things Have Changed”


(MMA H.E.A.T’s Karyn Bryant talks with Rose Namajunas, Pat Barry, and former Roufusport training partner L-Dogg.) 

The death of kickboxer Dennis Munson Jr. in March was a horrific, completely avoidable tragedy, and one that has spurned several former students of Duke Roufus to speak out against the allegedly abusive and negligent training methods employed by the Roufusport fight club. Chief among the dissenters has been TUF 20 contestant Rose Namajunas, a Milwaukee native and former UFC fighter Eric Schafer, who referred to Roufus as “one of the worst people I have ever met” on a recent UG post in support of Rose. The hard numbers haven’t helped either — Roufusport was recently determined to be the most injury-prone camp in MMA, with fighters withdrawing due to injury in 16.6% of their scheduled fights.

But so it goes, there are always two sides to a story. In an interview with MMAJunkie last night, Roufus — along with former UFC/Roufusport fighter Danny Downes — responded to Namajunas’ allegations.

You know, when I see Rose and (former UFC fighter) Pat Barry, they don’t seem disgruntled. They’re very nice to me. Pat asked me advice at the last Glory (kickboxing) event. Rose came and trained at our gym in spring. Eric Schafer, I know we’ve had some issues. I’ve tried to reach out ever since he left Roufusport, and he didn’t want to ever sit down and chat with me. It’s tough.

I think they left in 2010. It’s 2014. If you look at the results of what the kids are doing right now, and just the evolution of MMA, things have changed. Back then, I don’t think we embraced strength and conditioning as much. We were trying to spar ourselves into shape. My philosophy now, four short years later, is completely opposite of that.

Read More DIGG THIS

UFC “The Time Is Now” Press Conference Highlights NEVERMIND. MOVE ALONG, NOTHING TO SEE HERE.


(That about says it all. via @JeremyBotter)

In a classic example of their Run-Before-You-Can-Walk approach to business, the UFC held a press conference in Las Vegas this afternoon, auspiciously dubbed “The Time is Now.” The promotion had been teasing a quote unquote “huge announcement” for quite awhile in the lead-up to today’s conference, which was held in the legendary Smith Center as if to remind us that, yes, epic shit was about to go down. While the UFC has become nothing if not a river from which hyperbole flows like the mighty Ganges, their decision to name this conference what they did would lead you to believe that a) the event would start on time and b) something big was headed our way.

Of course, to assume either of those things would be to turn a blind eye to everything you’ve learned about MMA this year. So instead, Dana White kicked things off by announcing that Matt Brown vs. Tarec Saffiedine will headline “Fight Night Broomfield” in January, and when asked point blank what the big announcement (aka the reason the press conference was being held) was, said that they “didn’t get it done in time” and that everyone could go home.

Seriously. That’s what happened. No announcement was made, and not one “reporter” in attendance had either the interest or the spine to even press Dana further about what the announcement was supposed to be. Instead, what followed was an hour and half of awkward silences, occasionally punctuated by the MMA media’s usual brand of fluff and fan questions that made the MMA media’s fluff seem thought-out and insightful by contrast. It was the most MMA thing ever, basically, and a bright, blaring warning sign of what’s to come in 2015.

Ah yes, 2015…

Read More DIGG THIS

Knockout of the Day: Joseph Duffy Wrecks Julien Boussuge With a Knee to the Dome at Cage Warriors 74


(Props: CageWarriorsTV via MiddleEasy)

On Saturday night at Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 74 in London, Irish lightweight Joseph Duffy — the man responsible for giving Conor McGregor and Norman Parke their last defeats — scored a beautiful knockout of Julien Boussuge, just 36 seconds into the fight. Boussuge made the critical error of diving at Duffy’s legs, and Duffy timed him perfectly with a knee strike, straight into the face. Boussage went down like a dead man, Manhoef-style.

Cage Warriors also released footage of the Nathaniel Wood vs. Steve McCombe finish from Saturday’s event, in which McCombe verbally submitted after having his forearm snapped with a kick. That’s after the jump, if you’re morbidly curious.

Read More DIGG THIS

“The Next Jon Jones”: Bellator Signs 18-Year-Old Prospect Aaron Pico to Long-Term Contract


(Photo via Dave Mandel/ Sherdog)

He’s been called “The Greatest MMA Prospect” by Bob Cook. He’s been called “The Next Jon Jones” by The MMA Corner. At just 18 years of age, he’s already inked a sponsorship deal with Nike. He’s a FILA national championship winner in both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling and a Junior Golden Gloves national champion. His name is Aaron Pico, and he just inked a “long-term contract” with Bellator.

The announcement was made by the promotion during Bellator 131 on Saturday, who insisted that their contract with Pico (the terms of which have yet to be disclosed) would not interfere with his upcoming bid for the 2016 Olympics. Said Bellator President Scott Coker:

Simply put, Aaron has all the makings of MMA’s next great superstar, and to have him here at Bellator is something special. Like many of us in the MMA community, Aaron is someone we’ve been watching closely over the last few years, and after sitting down with Bob Cook and his team, getting a chance to meet Aaron, and hearing his long-term aspirations, the fit became very obvious.

Brush up on Pico’s incredible list of accomplishments after the jump.

Read More DIGG THIS

Ultimate Poker Closes Down Amid Claims of Mismanagement [UPDATED]


(If Dana White’s haggard visage couldn’t get this thing over, nothing could.)

By Mike Fagan

On Friday, the Fertitta-owned Ultimate Poker announced that it would cease accepting wagers effective Monday, November 17, at noon PST. The closure comes after just under 19 months of operation.

Ultimate Poker seemed like a good bet at the start. The online poker world collapsed following a series of legislative and judicial moves, starting with the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act of 2006 and ending with poker’s “Black Friday” on April 15, 2011. Two years later, Nevada passed legislation legalizing online poker within the state. Ultimate Poker rushed their product to market two months later, becoming the first “legal” online poker room in the United States.

A thread on leading poker/gambling forum Two Plus Two discussing Ultimate Poker’s demise details some of the problems with the site. The poker client software had bugs from day one and looked like it had been designed in the ‘90s. When old bugs had been fixed, new bugs popped up. Players often found themselves disconnected from the site during hands. In addition, Ultimate Poker never developed a client for Macs nor a mobile version of their software.

Caesars-backed WSOP.com and South Point Casino’s Real Gaming later joined Ultimate Poker. This crowded the market given a limited player pool in Nevada. (Ultimate Poker also ran in New Jersey between July 2013 and September of this year.) The Las Vegas Review-Journal, citing numbers from PokerScout.com, notes that Ultimate Poker “averaged just 60 players in one sitting much of the time over the past two weeks.” Suffice to say, you can’t operate an online card room with 60 players.

More damning evidence of Ultimate Poker’s demise came from a video made by former Director of Player Operations (and one-time pro MMA fighter) Terrence Chan. In the video, which features an anecdote about Dana White being brought in to give an inspirational speech, Chan discusses the software issues (which executives never prioritized improving) to the tight market, but also reveals a few anecdotes that shed some light into the internal operations of the company…

Read More DIGG THIS

Rose Namajunas Speaks Out Against Roufusport’s Abusive Coaching Methods Following the Death of Kickboxer Dennis Munson Jr.


(Video via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

On Saturday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published a long, must-read feature on the death of Dennis Munson Jr., who collapsed and died following his kickboxing debut in Milwaukee in March 28th. The article sheds light on the “cascade of errors by fight officials” during the match, including a lack of regulatory oversight, an inept ringside physician — who was busy staring at his phone while Munson was showing signs of physical distress — and the use of same-day weigh-ins as an apparent cost-saving measure.

The person who arguably comes off looking the worst is Roufusport striking coach Scott Cushman, who cornered Munson that night and could be seen physically propping the fighter up between the second and third rounds, sending him back into battle despite the obvious red flags that Munson was in no shape to continue (You may recognize Cushman as the burly, bearded assistant coach for Team Pettis on TUF 20.) It’s difficult to watch, but footage of the entire fight and Munson’s collapse is above. As the video explains, the footage originally submitted to police by Roufusport was missing 32 seconds showing Munson’s actual collapse. The restored footage shows Cushman slapping Munson and holding him upright for a while until the fighter dropped to the canvas. Munson was pronounced dead later than night.

According to the MJS article, “The state says it has no authority to investigate the death or the actions of those in charge that night because it was an unregulated event,” which has only compounded the tragedy for Munson’s family. But yesterday, UFC strawweight Rose Namajunas — who formerly trained at Roufusport — spoke out with a series of social media posts, blasting Roufusport’s abusive coaching methods, and the gym’s hostile environment in which experienced fighters were regularly encouraged to beat up newbies, and coaches physically brutalized female students.


(via Rose’s instagram)

“Crazy that I finally speak out against the people that are responsible for this tragedy and now other people are coming out too it’s sad it takes someone’s life to bring awareness,” Namajunas wrote on Squor. She then passed along several stories of terrible experiences that former students have had at Roufusport, which we’ve reprinted below…

Read More DIGG THIS

Tito Ortiz Fined $2,500 for Acting Like a Jackass After Bellator 131 Win Against Stephan Bonnar


(Photo via Elias Rodriguez)

As if the fight itself wasn’t enough of a downer following the otherwise-fantastic Bellator 131 main card, Tito Ortiz ended his match with Stephan Bonnar by throwing double middle fingers behind his back, then spraying water at Bonnar’s prone body and giving him more middle fingers when the decision was read.

On some level, we respect Ortiz for not breaking kayfabe; most other MMA fighters would have hugged it out with Bonnar afterwards, then told the crowd that all the animosity and harsh words were just to promote the fight. Ugh. But the California State Athletic Commission did not appreciate Ortiz’s realness, and fined him $2,500 for his antics.

That $2,500 hit represents less than 1% of Ortiz’s reported $300,000 salary from the fight, so don’t shed any tears for the Huntington Beach Bad Boy. Bonnar’s reported salary was $100,000, according to figures released by the CSAC. You can see the rest of the Bellator 131 salaries here — though they list Melvin Manhoef and King Mo as making just $10,000 from their fights, so take those numbers with a grain of salt.

Read More DIGG THIS

Cutting Through The Bullsh*t: UFC 180 Edition


(Photo via Getty)

For a highly anticipated fight card marred by injuries to its premiere fighters and an ongoing crisis in Mexico, UFC 180: “Werdum vs. Hunt” turned out to be quite the showcase.

UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, who had a card built entirely around him for the promotion’s first trip to the country with support from Diego Sanchez and Erik Perez, had to bow out of a title fight against Fabricio Werdum a few weeks removed from the championship encounter. This was after both Perez and Sanchez were already out with of their respective scraps with wounds.

When it comes to the champion, there’s always a lingering concern about his injuries. Multiple setbacks which required surgery (including his latest) has seen Velasquez fight six times in four years, against three different opponents.

But the show must go on, which means the attention turned to Werdum and a combat sports legend serving as an unexpected title challenger in an interim heavyweight championship bout.

Read More DIGG THIS

WSOF 15 Results: Branch Shocks Okami With TKO Win, Gaethje Decisions Guillard

With UFC 180 and Bellator 131 taking the majority of the spotlight this past Saturday night, MMA enthusiasts sort of forgot to pay attention to the stacked WSOF 15, which took place at USF Sundome in Tampa, Fla.

The main event saw David Branch successfully defend his 185-pound title against former UFC middleweight contender Yushin Okami, stopping the Japanese veteran in the fourth round with punches.

“Thunder” had the grappling advantage, yet the Renzo Gracie-trained combatant kept finding a home for his right hand. After three close rounds, Branch drilled his opponent with a solid right hand, dropping the challenger and continued to pounce on him until being awarded the stoppage victory. See the GIF after the jump.

Read More DIGG THIS

And Now He’s Retired: Leonard Garcia Retires After Legacy FC 37 Loss

Remember Leonard Garcia? Turns out he got submitted this weekend in under two minutes by Daniel Pineda at Legacy FC 37 and subsequently retired.

This is likely a good decision for the 35-year-old, who was 3-7 in his last three years of competition. More fighting would’ve only led to increased risk of permanent injuries while the fame, notoriety (and money) continued to decrease.

Garcia is perhaps most notable for being a staple in the WEC’s featherweight division in the promotion’s heyday.  That’s where he was most successful, establishing a 4-3-1 record in that promotion.

Read More DIGG THIS
CagePotatoMMA