(Jared Hamman attempts to pull a fast one on us all at UFC 150. AS IF we couldn’t tell that his leg was clearly photoshopped.)
Perhaps two-time Bellator middleweight tournament winner Alexander Shlemenko is just a little bitter that rival Hector Lombard vacated his former promotion (and a long-awaited rematch with Shlemenko) to compete in the UFC, or maybe “Storm” is just as tired of seeing all of the UFC cards he is ordering turn to shit as the rest of us. Whatever his end game may be, Shlemenko recently stated in an interview with ValeTudo.ru that he believed many of the injuries that have been plaguing the UFC as of late were more than likely faked by the fighters in order to get out of a fight that was not a good matchup for them. His primary example was Brian Stann:
I can tell you for sure, 100%, I know why there are so many injuries. I personally find UFC fights not as exciting because of all those injuries. There are a lot of background tactics around who’s fighting who; fighters are trying really hard to have a good record in the UFC. If you’ve been offered to fight someone who’s considered a bad match-up, then it’s pretty easy to say ‘hey, I’m injured’.
For example, they offered Brian Stann to fight Hector Lombard. He got injured, and then the next thing you know – he’s fighting Michael Bisping. I can see the logic – for Brian Stann it makes more sense to fight Bisping, he’s simply more popular in the UFC than Hector Lombard. That’s why beating Bisping means more than beating Lombard, who’s a risky opponent.
You can fake every injury. Just tell [UFC doctors] about the symptoms and that’s it.
God Damn it, Alex. Your love of centrifugal forces and general badassery made you one of our favorite fighters, but NO ONE accuses “All American” of ducking a fight. And considering the bullshit-laden excuse your boy Lombard gave us three weeks after putting on one of the worst performances of the year, we’d say it’s a little presumptuous to start calling out other organizations fighters for sparing us a fifteen minute wet fart in advance.
Per usual, Stann took the high road when responding to such an audacious claim on Twitter:
Shouldn’t even dignify todays comment w/ a response, but I would never fake an injury. I agreed to fight Hector b4 he was even signed.
My injury was a 6-8 week recovery & the UFC was not interested in delaying his debut to wait for me. Fighters dont fake injuries, we have to pay the bills guys!
Not too long ago, Elias attempted to decipher the reasoning behind the recent string of injuries the UFC has been facing, and concluded that more of the injuries could likely be written off as a result of strength training rather than intense sparring. And although Stann actually did injure his shoulder during a sparring session with UFC heavyweight Shawn Jordan, there is little reason to believe that he, along with most UFC fighters, would be willing to miss out on a paycheck to avoid a bad matchup. Most fighters live and die by the money they are able to come away with in the three or so fights they are able to squeeze in a year (if they’re lucky). And besides that, had Stann performed impressively against Lombard, it would have launched him onto the short list of contenders at 185, whereas a win over Bisping, while significant, would more or less confirm that “The Count” is simply not upper-echelon material. The Lombard fight was his to win, while the Bisping fight is mainly his to lose. Some of you will likely disagree with that notion, in which case I will tell thee to snuff it.
Speaking of injuries, Shlemenko was responsible for a nasty one in his unanimous decision win over Anthony Ruiz this past Saturday. Although Shlemenko didn’t exactly look his greatest, it was his first fight since getting into a car crash back in April, so we are willing to forgive him. Plus, he managed to smash Ruiz’s nose up something fierce, which is always fun to gawk at. On the Ryan McGillivray scale of broken noses, we’d give it about an 8.5.
(A good view of the carnage comes at 13:06, but FYI, Sensei Seagal and Oleg Taktarov make an appearance moments before. You’ll probably be excited to see at least one of them.)