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Chael Sonnen Still Not Licensed for UFC on FOX Sports 1 Main Event, Due to Alleged ‘Moral Turpitude’

(You left out “accidental racist.” Screen-cap via ESPN/this.)

A week from this Saturday, Chael Sonnen is scheduled to face Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in the main event of UFC Fight Night 26 in Boston. That’s the plan, anyway. The problem is, Sonnen still isn’t licensed to fight — and the reason for the delay goes beyond his controversial usage of testosterone replacement therapy.

As first reported by MMAJunkie, the Massachusetts State Boxing Commission will hold a closed-door meeting today to determine whether Sonnen should be licensed for the August 17th FOX Sports 1 event. The special session was organized after a complaint was filed by Unite Here, the union lobbying group with interests in food service and gaming. (Yes, those guys again.) As if trying to keep minors out of UFC events wasn’t chickenshit enough, Unite Here is now trying to block a UFC headliner’s performance based on “moral turpitude.” Here’s an excerpt from their complaint:

Chael Patrick Sonnen is scheduled to compete in a professional mixed martial art event put on by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (“UFC”) at the TD Garden on August 17, 2013. We anticipate that Sonnen will apply for a professional unarmed combat license in accordance with 523 CMR § 6.01. We urge that the license be denied because Mr. Sonnen has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.

The Commission has the authority to deny an application for a license “if it finds that the applicant has performed any act which would, if performed by a licensee, subject the licensee to discipline pursuant to 523 CMR 20.00 and 21.00.” 523 CMR § 6.13(1). “A license issued by the Commission may be suspended if the holder is arrested or convicted on a charge involving moral turpitude.” 523 CMR § 20.15.


Oh Great, Boston City Councilor Stephen Murphy Wants to Ban Minors from Attending MMA Fights

(At first, I chose this image because I couldn’t think of anything appropriate to use for this piece. Now, I’m not sure there’s anything more appropriate. Via The Boston Jam.)

From visa issues to Chael Sonnen’s struggles to obtain a therapeutic use exemption for TRT, it feels like almost anything that could inconvenience the UFC’s return to Boston for UFC on Fox Sports 1:1 has. So I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising to see that just weeks before the event, an anti-MMA activist is doing his part to bring as much negative publicity to the sport as possible. What is surprising, though, is that this isn’t necessarily just another instance of “crazy person says something stupid about MMA.”

Boston City Councilor Stephen Murphy – backed by “Parents Say No to UFC” – has filed a resolution that aims to ban minors from attending MMA fights. Before we go any further, two things are important to point out. Number one, obviously Parents Say No to UFC is run by the Culinary Union. Number two, this bill has no chance of becoming a law before the August 17th fight card, so don’t sell that ticket you bought for your son (or daughter!) yet.

So why is Murphy so opposed to allowing minors to watch MMA? His reasoning is pretty much the same mixture of cognitive dissonance and “Think of the goddamn children!” that you’d expect from a person who is likely being paid to be offended by a combat sport. Via

According to Murphy, fighters from the UFC, which is the professional level of the mixed-martial arts sport, have joked about rape, used foul and abusive language that’s demeaning to women, and used homophobic slurs, all of which, he said, set a bad example for Boston’s youth. He said the sport uses alcohol sponsors to fund the fights, which adds to the negative image that can be imposed on children.


John Howard Once Broke Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Nose During Sparring Session, Regrets Not Hurting Him Worse [COOL STORY BRO]

(Two years after this fight, Dennis Hallman would show up to UFC 133 wearing baby-blue man-panties. Crazy. It’s like everybody John Howard meets turns into one of humanity’s greatest villains. / Photo via Sherdog)

John Howard is the former UFC fighter best known for knocking out Dennis Hallman and Daniel Roberts, and getting his eye blown up by Jake Ellenberger. Tamerlan Tsarnaev is the thankfully-dead Boston Marathon bombing mastermind who was formerly a regular at Wai Kru MMA in Boston, where he trained as a boxer. As “Doomsday” explained during an appearance on Sherdog’s Beatdown radio show on Monday, Howard and Tsarnaev were occasional training partners at the gym, which didn’t work out so well for the future murderer:

The reason why he trained at my gym was because he was a good boxer. He wanted a good sparring partner, and most gyms he went to, a lot of guys couldn’t hang with his boxing. He was beating guys up. The reason why he came to Wai Kru was because you had me as a UFC fighter and you had other good strikers there who weren’t scared to take a beating or give one. That’s how I knew him.

One day we was sparring and it got a little too physical. Me being an MMA fighter and him being a boxer, it was like a little rivalry thing and we were boxing and we kind of went kind of hard one time. I give him credit. He was a good boxer, but because of the power I possess, I could put anybody down, I believe. What happened was, he got a little cocky. He was touching me up. He was getting the best of me. We went at it, and I caught him with my left hook, my famous left hook, and broke his nose. When I broke his nose, he covered his face. His body was open, so I turned my angle and I hit him with a body shot — with my right hand, a body shot, and I dropped him. That was the end of the sparring match…


Wai Kru MMA Sets The Record Straight About Tamerlan Tsarnaev

By Oliver Chan

(Full disclosure – one of the staff members of Wai Kru is a family member of mine)

By now, we have all seen the tragedy in Boston. We have all seen their faces on the news. And we have all seen the tremendous acts of heroism, patriotism, and humanitarianism that reminds us that when it comes to good vs. evil, good shall always prevail. I grew up in Massachusetts, so it’s safe to say this had a surreal effect over me.

As Seth’s piece pointed out (not that it matters) one of these d-bags had previously trained at Wai Kru in Allston Mass. While MMA gyms are popping up all over the country at an alarming rate, this one is something to note as it is where former UFC fighters, John Howard and Sean Gannon currently train. Head trainer, Kru John Allan, who is currently in Thailand, sent this statement out when reached for comment sent this statement via Facebook message:


Stretch of the Day – The Boston Marathon Bombers Trained MMA (As If That Matters)

(I had no idea what image to use for this post, so since we’re talking about sports propaganda, let’s leave that to the experts. Props:

To be honest, I assumed that our coverage of the absolutely tragic Boston Marathon explosions would begin and end with the TD Garden singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” during Wednesday’s Boston Bruins game. It was a respectful tribute to the families of Monday’s victims, but let’s be honest, an MMA site shouldn’t provide continuous coverage of a story that has absolutely nothing to do with MMA. Post a quick tribute, freely acknowledge that it has nothing to do with MMA, and then back to our regularly scheduled programming, right?

If only it were that simple. Perhaps you’ve read that the suspects – Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – trained MMA [Author note: I'm not linking to other sites that have been claiming this, Google it if you're so curious]. Don’t bother looking for a professional record for either suspect, because it doesn’t exist. Neither does an amateur record. Or any proof that they were preparing for MMA bouts of any kind, for that matter.

So what made them “MMA fighters?” Tamerlan boxed, and briefly did so out of Wai Kru MMA. Dzhokhar wrestled in high school. And not that it matters, but even the extent of either of them belonging to an MMA gym has been exaggerated:


Non-MMA Video of the Day: The Entire TD Garden Sings “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Last Night’s Boston Bruins Game

(The anthem starts around the 3:05 mark.) 

For the past seven months, I have proudly called the city of Dorchester, Massachusetts my home. I’ll admit, it’s not much of a tenure, but despite my somewhat infantile knowledge of the surrounding area, I’d like to think that I’ve gotten to the know the people, or perhaps the “attitude” of this city pretty well. Laughing at some drunkard’s vomit-soaked, post-Celtics game misfortunes on the Green Line, crowd surfing at the House of Blues, watching some brave sap nearly slip into a diabetic coma attempting the Tasty Burger Challenge — these are all Bostonian pastimes I’ve come to enjoy in my brief time here, pastimes that were forged through the kindness of strangers and friends alike.

And out of respect for both the city I have only begun to experience and you readers, I have declined to express an opinion on, or even make note of, the horrifying events that took place at the Boston Marathon on Monday. Because quite honestly, you guys don’t come to CagePotato to read about all the terrible things happening in the world (unless they are referee-related, of course), you come here to escape them. We all do to some degree. We come here to, well, laugh at other people’s misfortunes, debate the attractiveness of ring girls, and occasionally learn something about this thing called MMA.

But this, this is something that transcends our beloved sport. It transcends the NHL, hockey, the great city of Boston; it transcends any pent up hostility or city-to-city rivalries that could have possibly been built over the decades. In one beautiful, life-affirming moment at last night’s Bruins-Sabres game, longtime anthem singer Rene Rancourt turned over his usual duties to the attending audience, who kindly obliged him with the most awe-inspiring version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” I have personally ever witnessed.

Although the actual anthem begins around the 3:05 mark, I’d recommend you check out the entire video, which features a brilliantly composed slideshow of the week’s events.


UFC Plans Return to Boston for ‘UFC on Fox Sports 1 1′ (Seriously)

(And there was much celebrating.)

The UFC has announced an official date for its long-awaited return to Boston. Earlier today, UFC president Dana White took to his Twitter account to release the following statement:

For those uninitiated, Speed TV is set to be relaunched as Fox Sports 1 on August 17. Fox Sports 1 will be available in 90 million homes, and will not only feature its own daily news programs, but also live college football and basketball, soccer, NASCAR and UFC events, with plans of hosting Major League Baseball games starting in 2014. The network also plans to relaunch Fuel TV as Fox Sports 2 on the same day.


‘Proving Ground’ Finalist of the Day: Nick Newell Is Tired of You Ducking Him

(Please don’t bust on my shaky interviewing skills for this one; we can’t all be Helwani.)

While in Boston for CagePotato’s first (and last) UFC Fan Expo appearance, I had the opportunity to meet Nick Newell, an undefeated lightweight fighter from Massachusetts. After teaching me how to use my microphone, Newell discussed how he got into MMA, and the advantages and disadvantages of being a congenital amputee. The worst part about having one hand? Nobody wants to fight you. Here’s what he told us last year:

The last five fights I’ve trained for, I’ve only gotten to do two of them, from people pulling out. Last time I was supposed to fight a guy and he never even showed up to weigh-ins. So it’s real hard for me to get fights. I’m not picky with who I fight, I’ll take whoever. And I feel like a lot of leagues are afraid to use me, because they don’t want to be labeled as a ‘freak show’ match. But it’s not like that at all. I train probably harder than anyone else, and I dedicate my life to this.”

For the five men who were actually brave enough to step into the cage with Nick in professional fights…well, they lost. Nick has finished all of his opponents in the first round, submitting the last four in under two minutes. And yet he still can’t find regular work in this sport — which is why a contract with Shark Fights would be so important for his career.

Visit Nick’s Proving Ground page to watch him demolish three of his past opponents, and click his Facebook “Like” button if you want to see him represent at Shark Fights 19!


UFC Fan Expo Highlight Reel: The Legend of the Punch Machine

By now, you may have already seen that video going around of Pat Barry kicking the stuffing out of our punch-machine at the UFC Fan Expo. When KLM Vending dropped off the machine at our booth, they gave us strict orders to not let any drunken tough-guy idiot try to kick the bag. But when HD Barry drops by and starts rolling his shorts up, you’re pretty much helpless to do anything except smile nervously and move out of the way.

Of course, Pat wasn’t the only one who was drawn to the punch-machine at the Fan Expo booth. As VH and ReX already explained, we had a thick crowd of participants and gawkers all weekend, many of whom turned into hooked rubes who couldn’t stop pleading for "one more turn" on the thing. And my God did they take it seriously. So here’s our video tribute to their efforts, edited by Break Media’s Matty Sumida and soundtracked by Fort Minor. Enjoy, and we hope to see you guys at the next one…


UFC Fan Expo Video Interview #3: BG vs. Ariel Helwani…Who Takes It and How?

UFC Boston – Ariel Helwani Interview – Watch more Funny Videos

At this point, MMA interviewer/analyst Ariel Helwani is more famous than a lot of the people he interviews. If you’ve ever spotted him at an MMA event, you know that he can’t get ten feet without being swarmed by another group of fans, who follow his work intently at and Versus. Keep in mind that Ariel Helwani is not a fighter. He’s just a dude who started with a dream and went on to become the most well-known interviewer in our sport. To put it simply, he’s come a long way since Andrei Arlovski’s pee-pee-pee

So here’s something special for all the Helwannabes in the house: Ariel stopped by the booth at the UFC Fan Expo on Saturday and spent some time on the other side of the microphone. Watch the video above to learn about Ariel’s journey from sports fan to "liver of the dream," his love of Howard Cosell, and of course, why he thinks we’re so awesome. Many thanks to Ariel for giving us his time and, at least for one moment, lending the carnival booth some measure of legitimacy.

Note: Keep your eyes peeled around 2:41 and 2:56 to watch some amazing background work from ReX13. Yep. That’s what I had to deal with all weekend.