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And Now They’re Fired: Isaac Vallie-Flagg, Guto Inocente, and a Whole Heap of Others


(Photo via Getty.)

2015 is off to a rough start for a handful of UFC fighters, Potato Nation. According to a pair of tweets sent out by @FightersInfo (which have been confirmed by several of the names mentioned), the UFC has released seven more fighters from its roster and lost another to retirement. Fight Night: Dickshooter will surely suffer from this.

Let’s get to the casualties, shall we?

Isaac Vallie-Flagg: After transitioning to the UFC following the Strikeforce merger in 2012, Vallie-Flagg quickly established a reputation as one of the lightweight division’s most consistently entertaining brawlers. Unfortunately, his inconsistent at best 1-3 record inside the octagon just wasn’t doing it. Following his third straight loss to Matt Wiman at Fight Night 57 in November, Flagg announced his release from the UFC via Twitter last week, stating that “sometimes putting on a fun show isn’t enough” before seeing if his old buddy Scott Coker was in need of someone who “comes to scrap.”

Guto Inocente: Another Strikeforce veteran and one who was riding a ton of hype into the UFC until Alistair Overeem’d him in training, Inocente made his long-awaited (and long-delayed) UFC debut at the TUF 19 Finale against Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis. It did not end well. Inocente made the cut to light heavyweight for his next bout and came in as a huge favorite against (my boy) Anthony Perosh at Fight Night 55, but the 42-year-old “Hippo” was simply too grizzled and choked him out inside four minutes.

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UFC 182 Photo: Jon Jones Reminds Daniel Cormier of His Place in Life


(Click for larger version.)

2015′s first “Photo of the Year” nomination goes to MMAFighting‘s Esther Lin, who captured the demoralizing moment at UFC 182 when Jon Jones palmed Daniel Cormier‘s head at the end of round 4, after taking the former Olympic wrestler down repeatedly. Cormier can barely summon the will to get angry; his spirit had already been broken.

In terms of Jones trolling his opponents following dominant rounds, this ranks right up there with the time that Jones went through Rampage’s legs just to be a jackass. Classic heel stuff. You can see the rest of Esther Lin’s UFC 182 photos right here.

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Following Cung Le Debacle, UFC Ends Its Out-of-Competition Drug Testing Program


(White, seen here introducing the UFC’s latest catchphrase, ”Whaddya gon’ do?” Photo via Getty.)

Of all the things that went so, so wrong for the UFC in 2014, the biggest positive that could be taken away was easily the promotion’s decision to begin drug-testing its athletes in house and year-round. As luck would have it, 2014 also went down as one of the druggiest years in MMA since the PRIDE days (allegedly). Random, out-of-competition drug testing was an expensive but necessary step forward and one that helped quell the near-constant questions regarding the legitimacy of the organization’s product. And it was working, dammit.

That was, until the UFC started farming out their drug testing to fly-by-night laboratories like the one that handled Cung Le’s sample. You know, the one which led to a 12-month suspension for the high-profile middleweight (that was quickly overturned) and played a huge role in Le’s request to be released of his contract as well as his class-action lawsuit against the UFC that followed? Yeah, that one.

Well put your minds at ease, Potato Nation, because the UFC’s short-lived attempt to run an out-of-competition drug testing program is over. HIP, HIP, HOORAY!!

Dana White broke the news during a media session on Thursday afternoon at the MGM Grand. Bleacher Report’s Jeremy Botter has the details:

“Our legal team completed screwed that up. We f—-d it up, and we will f–k it up again. That’s what the commission is there for,” he said.

White continued by saying that, while they have come to the realization that the promotion cannot oversee its own drug testing program, Zuffa will instead give more money to athletic commissions to help fund additional testing.

“What we’ll do is we’ll help fund it, so they can do more drug testing,” he said. “Our legal department screwed that whole thing up. We’ve got no business handling the regulation.”

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And Now He’s Fired (Again): Charlie Brenneman Gets the Boot Following Third Straight Loss


(Everyone remembers where they were the first time they heard the “Comfortably Numb” guitar solo. Photo via Getty.)

The inventor of the punch-hair (Clay Guida WHO?) has likely fought for the last time in the UFC. Two months ago.

Yes, after succumbing to a first round rear-naked choke against the un-Wikipedia-able Leandro Silva back at Fight Night 56, Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman has once again been released by the promotion. Experts expect his reactionary lawsuit against the UFC to be filed by the end of the week.

The announcement was made by Brenneman himself on Twitter last night.

Brenneman’s re-firing may not seem like that big a deal at first, but it does prove one thing…

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Rampage Jackson Cites Bjorn Rebney’s “Crazy Contract” As Reason Behind Bellator Departure


(“I’m tellin’ ya, Page, kids are gonna be lining up around the block to see ‘Fight Master: The Movie.’ Lining up I says!!)

I think Old Dad summed up the late career of Rampage Jackson best when assessing his signing with Bellator back in January:

Throughout his career, it’s always seemed like the one thing Jackson really wants to do is something else. When he’s fighting, he wants to be acting. When he’s acting, he’d rather be fighting. If he’s doing MMA, boxing starts to sound like a great idea. No matter where he stands, the greenest grass seems to grow everywhere except beneath his feet.

It’s hard to argue with. The former UFC fighter-turned former Bellator fighter-turned current UFC fighter has been a man without a country for the entirety of his career (if you were to ask him), with his most recent “tongue-kissing” stint at Bellator (Ed note: Gross.) lasting just three fights and less than a year. Given what we know about his employment history, you’re probably wondering: What exactly was the root of Jackson’s problems *this* time around?

The answer, as it turns out, is one you probably could have guessed: Bjorn Rebney — a.k.a the man that signed Jackson — was only able to do so by making a whole heap of promises that were…ambitious to say the least. We’re talking movie deals, reality shows, and a pro wrasslin’ career that included more than a hammer to the skull, folks. So check out the exclusive statement sent to MMAFighting by Jackson’s manager after the jump.

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Quote of the Day: Jose Aldo Attacks Fighter Pay Again — “We Virtually Pay to Fight”


(Photo via Getty.)

Long considered to be one of the more soft-spoken fighters in the UFC’s ranks, featherweight champion Jose Aldo has grown increasingly frustrated, not to mention vocal, about the state of fighter pay in recent months. Like Rick Grimes on The Walking Dead, Aldo has simply run out of fucks to give when it comes to airing his grievances about his longtime promotion.

Having already complained about being “devalued” as a lighter weight fighter back in May, Aldo once again blasted the UFC during a Q&A session in Brazil last Friday. (Don’t spend too much time thinking about why we only got around to this today):

We should be treated better. Not only by the UFC but also by media. We are well treated by the fans. We make a lot less money than we should. We deliver shows and should be well paid. We virtually pay to fight. To become a boxer is complicated but would be very good.

To run this quote through the Michael Bisping translator: Jose Aldo is just a disgruntled, lazy washout whose career didn’t pan out the way he hoped.

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FRIDAY LINX: Ex-NBA Center Darko Milicic Loses Kickboxing Debut, Official UFC 183 Poster, Best Cosplay of the Year + More


(Legendary NBA benchwarmer Darko Milicic lost his kickboxing debut against Radovan Radojcic last night in Serbia, due to a gnarly gash on his shin. So…maybe golfing, then?)

Official UFC 183 poster, featuring Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva and the disembodied ghost-head of Nick Diaz. (CP Facebook)

Dissecting the Fighters’ Antitrust Lawsuit Against the UFC, Part 2 (BloodyElbow)

Rory MacDonald Will Not Get the Next Welterweight Title Shot (FOX Sports)

A Lesson in Street MMA: It’s a Disadvantage to Fight With Your Pants Around Your Ankles (MiddleEasy)

Former UFC Champion Anderson Silva Negotiating With Reebok, But Still ‘Loves’ Nike (MMAFighting)

Six Other Seth Rogen and James Franco Films That Should’ve Been Canceled (ScreenJunkies)

The Year in Cosplay: Our 100 Favorites From 2014, Part One (TheEscapist)

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor — Video Review (GameTrailers)

The 20 Dumbest Criminals of All Time (WorldWideInterweb)

Girls of Instagram: Nina Agdal (Radass)

Jimmy Kimmel Shares the Funniest Videos of 2014 That You Probably Never Saw… (PopHangover)

The 50 Best Gym Exercises — With Instructions And Videos (AskMen)

10 Ways to Ruin Christmas for Everyone (EveryJoe)

Hotties in the Wild (DoubleViking)

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Jon Jones Wants You to Know That He is the *Real* Victim of All This UFC 182 Fight Hype


(“Hey pussy, are you still there?” via…who are we kidding, it’s already been taken down.)

The lead-up to Jon Jones‘ title tilt with Daniel Cormier at UFC 182 has been an unusually heated affair for the long-standing light heavyweight champion. While we’ve seen Jones irked in the past, we’ve never seen him break kayfabe in the form of a full-on fist fight at a press conference before, which usually marks the beginning of a new chapter in a person’s life. The beef between Bones and Cormier appears to be legitimate and has earned the matchup a ton of additional eyes, so it would be a huge mistake on the UFC’s part *not* to use this hate-filled storyline to market the fight, right? Especially while in the midst of a(nother) pay-per-view slump?

The Grudge Match™ has been one of the most reliable marketing gimmicks of the Zuffa era — second only to “If ___ beats ___, then pound-for-pound.” — and surely a scheme that will likely earn Jones a hefty bump in his cut of the PPV revenue. But according to the champ himself, all the money in the world isn’t worth everyone knowing that he is a two-faced, fakey fakerson. (Ed note: Sorry, my 7-year-old nephew is in town for the holidays and keeps jacking my laptop.)

As Bones recently told UFC Tonight (via MMAMania):

When I first saw [the now infamous ad for UFC 182] I was a little offended by it. That UFC — someone who is supposed to be backing my brand and making me look good — would put up something like that for the general public to see. I don’t think it’s really healthy for the world to see their champion — for the world to see UFC’s champion — saying I would kill someone. That really took me off guard. I didn’t really think it was in my best interest, but it was for UFC’s best interest, so I kind of had to swallow my pride. I said it.

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Today in Head Trauma: Gray Maynard Signs 8-Fight Extension, Jens Pulver Unretires AGAIN + More


(Woah, hold on a second, Nate. We both see those tiny Christina Aguilera monsters scurrying around on the canvas, right? Photo via Getty.) 

Thanks in part to Joe Rogan’s heartfelt and brutally honest call for UFC heavyweight and close friend Brendan Schaub to retire, head trauma has once again been thrust into the limelight of the MMA blogosphere (along with, you know, that multimillion dollar lawsuit thingy). And honestly, it’s a difficult discussion to have when the people calling for so-and-so’s retirement are the very same who have a good chuckle every time some dude gets felled like a oak tree. If we tune in each weekend with the expectation (and dare I say it, hope) of seeing a fighter get his lights turned off, then who are we to tell them when *we’ve* grown tired of seeing it happen?

Look no further than the case of Gray Maynard, for instance. Just a few years ago, Maynard was considered to be one of the toughest fighters in the lightweight division — a man who was just barely edged by Frankie Edgar after inflicting some trauma of his own on the former champ. In the time since, “The Bully” has dropped four out of his past five contests, with every last one of those losses coming via an increasingly difficult to watch form of TKO.

The cries for Maynard to simply give up on his dream and retire have grown louder with each skull-shattering loss, but the TUF 5 alum has refused to hear them. In a move that is sure to draw the same cringeworthy reaction from those critics, Maynard recently signed an eight fight extension with the UFC that will most certainly account for a couple more black spots on his brain in the not-so-distant future.

After the jump: More details on Maynard’s eight-fight deal. Plus, Pat Barry goes on the defensive (no!), and Jens Pulver unretires again (NOOOO!!!!).

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The Experiment Ends: Cris Cyborg Throws in the Towel on a Possible Drop to Bantamweight


(If the internet wasn’t broken before, it sure as hell is now. via Cyborg’s Instagram)

Are you sitting down, Potato Nation? We hope so, because we just got word of a story so shocking, so unexpected, that it will rock you to your very core. We’re talking something bigger than the Reebok deal, the fighter lawsuit, and most certainly bigger than the “The Time Is Now” press conference. Are you ready?

Cris “Cyborg” Justino has CANCELLED her drop to the bantamweight division. As She told Tatame:

I can’t. From now on, I will only fight at my weight or in a catchweight. I haven’t fought in a long time and that’s why I want to go back to my division.

We know, we know, nobody could have possibly seen this coming.

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