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

November, 2014

Update: Knee Injury Will Prevent Rashad Evans From Fighting Alexander Gustafsson in January


(“Ay man, ain’t you that UFC fighter Rashard Lewis er somethin’? The name’s Johny, but m’friends call me Cooter. Wanna go out back and blow up some frogs?” / Photo via Getty)

As the UFC prepares to announce its entire 2015 event schedule, the injury bug has already started to pick off fights slated for next year. Remember that light heavyweight bout between Alexander Gustafsson and Rashad Evans that was supposed to headline a FOX event in Stockholm on January 24th? Well, it’s not happening. Ariel Helwani revealed on UFC Tonight that a lingering knee injury will keep Evans sidelined for a couple more months. From FoxSports.com:

Evans suffered a tear in his anterior cruciate ligament earlier this year and had to undergo surgery to repair the damage. The normal turn around time for this time of injury is usually 10 months to a year.

Evans was progressing well in his recovery and rehabilitation, but a hard week of training to make the final push into a decision about accepting the fight or not didn’t go his way.

According to UFC Tonight reporter Ariel Helwani who spoke to Evans this week, his knee is still not 100-percent and coming back as early as January wouldn’t be prudent to his long term success.

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Rose Namajunas vs. Alex Chambers Video Highlights From TUF 20 Episode 7


(Props: The Ultimate Fighter)

Team Melendez was in a tough spot heading into last night’s episode of TUF 20, after going winless in the first six preliminary fights. Luckily, they still had their ace in the hole — “Thug” Rose Namajunas, who stepped up in a big way and earned a first-round rear-naked choke submission against Alex Chambers.

Check out highlights from the fight above, which show an ever-evolving Namajunas frustrating Chambers with flashy kicks before taking her down and sinking the choke. Other than the heavy right hand that Rose eats at the 0:56 mark, it was a virtually flawless performance, and one that surely put her housemates on notice. Also on the episode…

- Team Melendez struggles with some infighting related to Heather Jo Clark and Lisa Ellis’s fraternizing with Team Pettis.

- Clark learns that she’s suffered a full ACL tear in her right knee, and will be out of action for the rest of the competition.

- Megan Rapinoe and Sydney Leroux from the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team stop by to say what up.

- Rose Namajunas discusses how she endured sexual abuse growing up in Milwaukee, and advises other females to seek help if they’re experiencing similar abuse in their own lives. Much respect to Rose for making this issue public.

After the jump: Rose and Pat Barry sit down with Karyn Bryant to discuss the episode on FOX Sports Live’s “TUF Talk.” Rose and Pat are still the best.

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UFC to Announce Entire 2015 Event Schedule on November 17th


(It’s a great title because it’s true. I mean, what time *is* it? Now. The time is always now. / Image via UFC.com)

In an unprecedented publicity stunt, the UFC plans to reveal its entire 2015 schedule during a November 17th announcement in Las Vegas. Dubbed “THE TIME IS NOW”*, the calendar unveiling will take place at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, and will be attended by UFC stars including Jon Jones, Ronda Rousey, Chris Weidman, Anderson Silva, Conor McGregor, Lyoto Machida, and Nick Diaz**. The UFC also promises to share a “very special announcement”*** at the event.

Announcing an entire year’s worth of events is so ambitious and risky that I wouldn’t be surprised if this is all just an elaborate practical joke that ends with Dave Sholler getting a pie in the face. But hell, they’ve got my attention. Stay tuned.

* Not to be confused with the John Cena song of the same name.

** LOL, good luck getting that guy to show up!

*** Please be GSP’s return, dear pageview gods.

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Matt Brown vs. Tarec Saffiedine Being Eyed for UFC Sweden Event in January


(Pictured left: Matt Brown’s son reacts as Tarec Saffiedine’s son kicks a corner stool in half off-camera. Photo via Getty.)

On the heels of tough losses to Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald, respectively, it looks like top welterweight contenders Matt Brown and Tarec Saffiedine will meet when the UFC returns to Sweden for a TBA Fight Night event on January 24th. The bout, which has yet to be officially confirmed, was first reported by Swedish outlet Kimura.se this morning and appears to be legitimate.

Saffiedine has fought just twice since making the transition over to the UFC, picking up a unanimous decision win over Hyun Gyu Lim at Fight Night 34 before dropping the aforementioned fight to MacDonald in October. Brown, on the other hand, was riding a 7-fight win streak (6 finishes) prior to the Lawler bout at UFC on FOX 12 in July. As is the case with every Brown fight, expect fireworks for this one, Nation.

In other fight booking news…

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F*ck It, Let’s All Just Relive Tank Abbott vs. Cabbage Correira I & II [VIDEOS]

A look over today’s MMA “headlines” reveals a more dire trend than usual, Nation. There ain’t shit to talk about, simply put — at least, nothing you Taters would be particularly interested in. I guess I could tell you that one of Conor McGregor‘s training partners has been booked for the UFC’s return to Boston, or that Ian McCall seems on the verge of a psychotic break, or that the suspensions have come in for those 4 Bellator fighters who failed their drug tests at Bellator 127

…Or, we could all just kick back, crack open an A.M. Ale and remember a better time. A time when guys like Tank Abbott and Wesley “Cabbage” Correira were considered elite athletes despite holding a little something extra around the midsection. A time when the term “brawler” could be used to describe someone’s fighting style without question or the smallest sense of irony. A time when men were men, dammit.

Abbott and Correira’s pair of bouts were quick and anything but painless, lasting a combined fight time of just three minutes and thirty-seven seconds, yet managed to capture everything that we loved about mid-2000′s MMA: wild haymakers, the muay Thai clinch, and gas tanks that expired before most of the audience could even find their seats. They were the kind of brawls that you might see in a John Wayne movie, but the fact that they were being contested inside a cage and for money instantly elevated them to near legendary status among true fans of the sport.

So rather than bore you with the same mundane news you could read anywhere else, let’s relive the visual poetry that was Cabbage vs. Tank, starting with their first encounter at UFC 45. After the jump: Abbott vs. Correira, pt. II.

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Submission of the Day: Tyler Stokes Taps Jesse Thacher With Kneebar From Back Mount


(Props: Phoenix Fighting Challenge via MMALatestNews)

On Saturday night at Phoenix FC 1 in Overland Park, Kansas, an impressively bearded flyweight by the name of Tyler Stokes stopped Jesse Thacher in unique fashion with a kneebar from back mount.

Stokes slips to the mat while throwing a kick just seconds into the fight, but pops up and surprises Thacher with a haymaker to the jaw, then takes his back. About 20 seconds later, Stokes grabs Thacher’s left leg and pulls it straight up over Thacher’s head. Thacher taps immediately, and Stokes celebrates with a tumbling routine.

Not a traditional kneebar, Thacher’s submission is fairly close to the “Suloev Stretch” that Kenny Robertson pulled off in the UFC last year. Do we have a new dark horse candidate for 2014′s Submission of the Year Potato Award?

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Nickname of the Day: UFC Signs Strawweight Seo Hee Ham, aka ‘Hamderlei Silva’


(Photo via Sherdog)

BloodyElbow reports that the UFC has signed South Korean striker Seo Hee Ham, a 15-5 veteran of various Asian promotions including Deep, Road FC, and Smackgirl. In 2013, Ham won the Jewels featherweight (106 pound) title, and has won her last six fights. Though the 27-year-old has spent the majority of her career near the atomweight limit, she will be entering the UFC’s 115-pound strawweight division.

Due to her wild, aggressive striking style, Seo Hee Ham has been nicknamed “Hamderlei Silva,” in tribute to Wandy. Her Wiki page tells us that she also carries the nickname “Arale-chan” due to an apparent similarity to the robot girl in Dr. Slump. This open workout video refers to her as “Little Cutie.” We’ll just stick with Hamderlei Silva, okay?

Hamdy trains at Busan Team M.A.D. alongside UFC fighters Dong Hyun Kim and Kyung-Ho Kang. A date and opponent for Seo Hee Ham’s first UFC fight has not been announced. It should be noted that despite the Axe-Murderer comparisons, Ham has earned a grand total of zero knockouts in 20 professional fights. 13 of her wins have come by decision, and two by armbar.

Ham’s win over Alyona Rassohyna at Road FC 18 in August is after the jump…

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[VIDEO] Robin Black Breaks Down Michael Bisping’s Keys to Beating Luke Rockhold on “5 Rounds”

If you haven’t been regularly watching Robin Black’s excellent breakdowns over at The Fight Network, you’ve surely been missing out on some of the most technical fight previews and recaps this side of Jack Slack. A former mixed martial artist himself, Black’s passion for the inner workings of the sport is evident in each and every one of his “5 Rounds” breakdowns, which have become so popular that the UFC recently granted him access to their Fight Pass archives to more thoroughly preview upcoming fights.

This weekend, Michael Bisping takes on Luke Rockhold in the main event of Fight Night 55 in what is sure to be the biggest grudge match since Bisping vs. Le, or maybe Bisping vs Rivera, or Bisping vs… you know what, let’s just say it’s the biggest grudge match since Zimmer vs. Martinez and be done with it. Currently a 3-1 underdog, Bisping is going to need to bring the kind of ferocity he unleashed on Cung Le if he is to even stand a chance against the former Strikeforce champ, who has promised to finish him inside the first round.

Luckily for the Brit, Black is here to point out everything Bisping will need to do against Rockhold to earn his second straight win for the first time in 3 years. Check out his full breakdown above and make sure to follow Black over at The Fight Network’s Youtube page.

-J. Jones

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Anderson Silva Hospitalized for Lumbago Following Training Session


(“OW OW OW NOT NORMAL.” / Photo by Esther Lin, MMAFighting)

UFC middleweight star Anderson Silva was rushed to a hospital yesterday evening after collapsing to the floor following a workout at XGym in Rio de Janeiro. Silva complained of severe back pain and temporarily could not feel his legs. Doctors confirmed that Silva had suffered a bout of lumbago, a relatively common low back pain disorder, and he was discharged this morning.

According to Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission medical director Dr. Márcio Tannure, Silva should make a quick recovery, and his UFC 183 fight against Nick Diaz is not in jeopardy:

He felt a sharp pain because of contracture. It hurts a lot, really, but it will not change anything in terms of training. The problem he had justified the pain, but it will not result in a withdrawal or cancellation of the fight.”

Anderson Silva has yet to make a public statement about the matter, although three days ago he was hyping up something called The Spine Chair as “the best chair.” I hope you kept your receipt, dude.

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UFC 184 Betting Odds: Ronda Rousey Opens at a Totally Reasonable -1300 Over Cat Zingano


(Quick Cat, now’s your chance! It’s literally your only chance!!)

Back when Ronda Rousey and Cat Zingano were originally booked to fight following a coaching stint on TUF 18, the champion was being given something around 7-to-1 odds over the undefeated #1 contender. One ACL tear and a little over a year later, Rousey and Zingano have once again been booked to throw down — this time in the co-main event of UFC 184 in February. And if the early odds are any indication, Zingano is even deader than before.

While it’s true that “Alpha Cat” looked impressive in her come-from-behind TKO of Amanda Nunes at UFC 178, Rousey has been making mincemeat of so-called “top contenders” lately and appears to hold a definitive size advantage over Zingano to boot. What I’m saying is, if you add all these factors together, you wind up with an even bigger squash match that what already was. You wind up with Ronda Rousey being listed as a flabbergasting -1300 favorite over Zingano, which is exactly what happened when the gambling lines opened this morning.

To be fair, Rousey has since dropped to around a -1000 favorite, and Zingano’s chances have improved slightly (from +700 to +600), but you’d have to be Lloyd Christmas to find those odds even slightly intriguing. For context: Rousey was listed at 20-1 over Alexis Davis, and that fight lasted 16 seconds.

So basically, Rousey should still wrap things up inside a minute despite the fact that Zingano is arguably her toughest challenge yet (she’ll be marketed that way, in any case). Are all the incredibly awkward interviews worth this, Cat? GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN.

We now go live to our gambling expert, Stephan Bonnar, for analysis…

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