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

December, 2014

Brock Lesnar Is Probably Coming Back to the UFC (But It Doesn’t Matter. Here’s Why)


(Brock Lesnar flashes a rare smile after being informed he’s the highest-paid 5-3 fighter of all time. / Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

Brock Lesnar will likely return to the UFC in 2015, but it won’t usher in a new golden age for MMA.

The news of Lesnar’s UFC return came recently. Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that “within the [WWE], the belief is that he’s going back to the UFC, and his showing up lighter to TV last week confirmed that to people who thought it.”

Earlier this year, UFC President Dana White expressed openness to a Lesnar return, and even claimed Lesnar was willing to return. “We have a great relationship with him,” said White. “We’ll see what happens.”

Furthermore, Lesnar’s longtime friend Paul Heyman noted this summer that Lesnar still has an intense drive to compete in the Octagon.

Unlike every other time Brock Lesnar’s name has been in the headlines over the last few years, this round of “Is Lesnar coming back” speculation isn’t a gimmick to drive up pageviews during a slow news week. This appears to be the real deal. Lesnar is coming back. However, unlike conventional wisdom would have you believe, it won’t do a damn thing to turn the UFC’s fortunes around.

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Report: Hackers Target UFC Fight Pass, Release Passwords and Credit Card Data

If you’re subscribed to UFC Fight Pass, there’s a chance your credit card data and password have been leaked courtesy of hackers claiming allegiance to Anonymous.

A twitter account bearing their name tweeted a link to a document containing tens of thousands of user names, passwords, and credit card numbers. However, other Anonymous members claimed this hack was not the work of the official group.

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Brandon Vera and Pablo Garza File New Class-Action Lawsuit Against UFC


(Photo by Paolo Seen/Rappler.com)

According to a Christmas Eve report from BloodyElbow, former UFC fighters Brandon Vera and Pablo Garza have filed an antitrust class-action suit against UFC parent company Zuffa, LLC. The complaint was filed in the California Northern District Court, and assigned to Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins.

This is the third such antitrust lawsuit filed against the UFC, following the high-profile first attack from Cung Le, Nate Quarry, and Jon Fitch, and the quieter follow-up from Dennis Hallman and Javier Vazquez. BloodyElbow reports that the fighters in all three suits are being “represented by legal counsel from the Joseph Saveri Law Firm, Inc, Warner Angle Hallam Jackson & Formanek PLC, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, PLLC, and the Law Office of Frederick S. Schwartz.”

Brandon Vera spent the bulk of his (mostly disappointing) MMA career competing for the UFC, compiling an 8-7 record with one no-contest from 2005-2013. News of his UFC release was officially announced in June of this year, although he hadn’t fought under the UFC banner since his TKO loss to Ben Rothwell the previous August. Earlier this month, Vera spoke out about the lack of respect he felt during the end of his relationship with the UFC, then soccer-kicked the bejesus out of some dude in the Philippines.

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This Ronda Rousey ‘In Her Ass’ Card Could Have Been Designed Better…


(The MMA equivalent of the 1989 Billy Ripken Fleer card. / Props: Reddit)

Thanks to some hilariously poor design from the folks at Topps, this Ronda Rousey “In Her Ass” card is becoming a collector’s item. And yes, it’s a real thing. If you can snap one up on short notice, I’d say it’s a much better Christmas gift for the MMA fan in your life than a friggin’ lapel pin or a $65 pair of socks.

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Worst Christmas Ever: The 15 Most Depressing UFC Items Currently Available at UFCStore.com


(This is a Tank Abbott professional wrestling action figure produced and sold by the WWE. Spoiler alert: It is easily a much better Christmas present for the MMA fans in your life than ANYTHING on this list.)

By Seth Falvo

From ugly t-shirts to video games with comically deformed characters, MMA fans don’t exactly have a ton of half-decent options for Christmas presents. So it should probably go without saying that if you see that one of your presents is from UFCStore.com tomorrow morning, you should just throw the damn thing in the trash without opening it. Trust me, whatever is inside of that box is a Christmas tragedy the likes of which would make Agatha Christie blush.

The UFC’s official shop is not only littered with exactly the ugly, trashy, tasteless merchandise that you’d expect to see the Eddie Justbleeds of the world own, but also some incredibly confusing, useless products that suggest that maybe the UFC isn’t fully comfortable catering to said Justbleeds. I mean, for a company whose fan base is constantly measuring its collective dick, you’d think they’d be selling things like a UFC Belt Sander instead of a hyper-masculine UFC Shoe Bag.

So it’s in that spirit that I’ll be ranking the fifteen most depressing UFC items that you can currently buy — or, likely, receive as a Christmas present tomorrow — from UFCStore.com. Two rules: Number one, only UFC and UFC Gym brand items are eligible for inclusion, because as much as I’d love to include this eyesore, I’m not nearly enough of a masochist to rank every last item that awful place has up for grabs. And number two: It isn’t enough for an item to simply be extremely ugly, pointless, overpriced, dated or just plain stupid. No, for an item to make this list, it has to be that magical brand of awfulness that actually makes you feel sad and empty upon seeing that people are being asked to pay money in order to own it. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s begin our trip to the Island of Misfit UFC Merchandise…

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The World MMA Awards Are a Goddamned Travesty


(Arianny Celeste, accepting her third-consecutive award for Journalist of the Year. / Photo via Getty)

By Mike Fagan

I sort of remember where I was when Fighters Only announced the first World MMA Awards. What a moment. I sat there at my desk in my two-bedroom apartment in beautiful Henderson, Nevada, reading the announcement and nominee list. I may have thought something like “This won’t last more than a year” or maybe I just finished reading and moved on with my life. December 2008 was a wild time, man.

Yet, here we are during the annual War on Christmas in 2014 and the World MMA Awards are going strong with their seventh annual edition. They proved the maybe-fictional version of my 2008 self wrong.

Fighters Only released this year’s nominee list on Monday, and I have some thoughts. Allow me to list them for you…


1. Someone ran the nominee photos through the “2003” filter. The World MMA Awards built itself a flashy website complete with a sweet animated countdown clock and high-res background video of last year’s awards and 2014 UFC highlights which I’m sure cost a lot of money to license (wink wink). Yet when you click through to vote, you find headshots of nominees that look like they were shot on a flip phone a decade ago.

2. International Fighter of the Year is still a thing. For the first two years, International Fighter of the Year was known as European Fighter of the Year, which, okay, Fighters Only is a UK publication or whatever. They renamed it for 2010, and fighters “outside the Americas” are eligible. Now I’m not sure of the point. Every winner of the award (including the original Euro winners) had a presence in the United States the year they won. Plus, MMA is a global sport, and international fighters aren’t disqualified or handicapped from winning Fighter of the Year proper. The first three winners were non-Americans Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre (who technically isn’t eligible for International Fighter of the Year anyway), and Jose Aldo. You could always present a non-UFC Fighter of the Year and prevent things like…

3. Emanuel Newton nominated for Fighter of the Year.

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Dennis Hallman and Javier Vazquez File Their Own Class-Action Lawsuit Against the UFC…With the Same Lawyers as the Other One


(Dennis Hallman is the 72-fight MMA veteran who made his UFC debut with a win over Matt Hughes back in the SEG era. Javier Vazquez is the guy in this gif who isn’t Chad Mendes. / Photo via MMAWeekly)

While doing more research on the class-action lawsuit filed against the UFC last week, Bloody Elbow’s John Nash came across something strange. A second, nearly identical class-action lawsuit against the UFC was filed yesterday, with MMA vets Dennis Hallman and Javier Vasquez listed as plaintiffs:

The fighters named are asking to be representatives for their class in lawsuit that accuses the UFC of an “overarching anticompetitive scheme to maintain and enhance its (a) monopoly power in the market for promotion of live Elite Professional mixed martial arts (“MMA”) bouts,1 and (b) monopsony power in the market for live Elite Professional MMA Fighter services.”

They are also represented by the same legal counsel that are representing Le, Quarry, and Fitch.

That last detail makes this particularly odd. Because why wouldn’t Hallman and Vasquez just join forces with the first lawsuit to begin with? Reddit user hulking_menace offers one possible explanation:

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Shill ‘Em All, Part 5: Good Night and Good Luck


(Sixty years ago, we had Edward R. Murrow and Fred Friendly. Now, we’ve got these guys.)

To read previous installments of the award-winning “Shill ‘Em All” series, look here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

By Brian J. D’Souza

The class action lawsuit filed against the UFC by Cung Le, Nate Quarry and Jon Fitch has dramatically polarized the MMA sphere. Instead of debating the merits of the case, many are debating whether the lawsuit has a right to exist.

Chael Sonnen has characterized the lawsuit as a “shakedown”; others say that the plaintiffs are just bitter ex-fighters who have an axe to grind. It’s bizarre that so many are acting as if these events suddenly crept up quietly to ambush the UFC—and it’s also a symptom of the poor job done by the MMA media in reporting business concepts in a way fans can understand them.

A “USEFUL IDIOT”

Last month, Chael Sonnen sounded off on Ariel Helwani on his podcast, saying “You’re not a journalist, you’re a parrot.” The message wasn’t coming from a warm, fuzzy place inside Sonnen’s heart—the Oregonian wrestler was irate at Helwani’s handling of the steroid scandal Sonnen had been embroiled in, which lead to Sonnen’s exit from MMA competition.

FrontRowBrian—a Twitter personality who has the ability to scoop news stories and rumors that the mainstream media either doesn’t know about or is too scared to touch—added his own insight into the Helwani-UFC relationship, which hit a snag when Helwani was reported to be on the outs at UFC partner FoxSports in January 2014.

With his typically cheerful ginger candor, FrontRowBrian tweeted (then later, deleted) that Helwani was a “useful idiot,” and said that the UFC had temporarily fired him because they “just wanted to show him who is the boss and how they can end a career.”

Ariel Helwani is an extreme case of someone with overt dependence on the UFC. Like many media members, he knows what the key issues are between MMA promoters and the fighters, but he makes a conscious effort to restrain himself from fully developing very specific ideas in his reporting.

For example, when Nate Diaz’s complaints about pay made headlines in April, Helwani wrote a very detailed article for MMAFighting.com outlining Diaz’s points, as well as a succinct reply from Dana White. Carefully omitted from the article is any analysis of the revenue Nate Diaz generates for the UFC versus what he’s paid.

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Oh Great, Now Raphael Assuncao Is Injured Too


(This is how you repay a man for doing a great deed, God? WELL TO HELL WITH YOU! Photo via Getty)

The hits just keep on coming in the bantamweight division, ladies and gentlemen. I don’t mean literal hits, of course, because that would imply that any of the fighters in said division are healthy enough to throw a punch or two every now and again.

Let’s just get this over with: Mere hours after word broke that Dominick Cruz had injured his *other* ACL and would be out of action indefinitely, Raphael Assuncao (a.k.a the guy who would be next in line for a title shot should Cruz get injured) announced via Twitter that he had suffered an injury in training and would also be out indefinitely.

And just like that, the last fuck given about the bantamweight division floated away with the passing breeze.

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Oh God, No: Dominick Cruz Tears ACL in Right Knee, Return Date Unknown


(It’s official — Dominick Cruz is the most cursed fighter in MMA history. / Photo via Getty)

The world is a dark, senseless place. The evil are allowed to roam unpunished, while the good-hearted are forced to suffer and suffer and suffer. I don’t know how else to set up this news, but look, Dominick Cruz blew out his knee again. No not that knee, the other knee. As he wrote on his Facebook page today:

It is with great sadness to report I have experienced another ACL injury. This time it’s in the right knee, opposite side of my first and second ACL injuries. Leading up to my last fight in September and after, I have practiced a very careful and methodical training and diet regime to keep my body healthy. Unfortunately, this is beyond my understanding and control. I don’t have a timetable for my return but trust and know I will pour my heart and soul into returning to the Octagon. I want to thank the UFC, my fans and my sponsors ahead of time for your support and prayers. I appreciate you more than you could understand. I don’t have any other facts to share right now. I, along with my camp, respectfully request privacy at this difficult time. Thank You.

Cruz’s previous knee injuries cost him three full years of his competitive prime, as well as the UFC bantamweight title belt that he’d defended twice in 2011. When he finally returned at UFC 178, he needed just 61 seconds to lay a hellacious, cathartic beatdown on Takeya Mizugaki. Every fan of the Dominator was already looking forward to seeing him tangle with current champ TJ Dillashaw in the spring. Now, that won’t happen. Cruz will go back into surgery and rehab, and the UFC bantamweight division will go back to being a weight class you only sort of care about.

Merry goddamned Christmas.

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