Steroids in MMA
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Tag: Dana White

Randy Couture’s Negotiations with UFC Starting to Sound Serious

(Randy attends a costume party dressed as Samuel L. Jackson.)

As exciting as the prospect of Randy Couture returning to the UFC might be, we were a little skeptical when rumors started flying earlier this week. But now it sounds like talks between the UFC and “The Natural” are for real, and it’s looking more and more possible that Couture might return to action in front of his former-hometown crowd in Portland to face Brock Lesnar on November 15.

And if that’s not completely crazy enough for you, the UFC is said to be seriously considering an offer from M-1 to co-promote a Randy Couture-Fedor Emelianenko bout down the road. Suddenly we go from a tangled court battle to a couple of blockbuster fights that also have the added advantage of helping the UFC screw Affliction. All just like that. Is your mind blown yet?

If all goes smoothly (and what are the chances of that?) the “Couture Compromise” — as we’re going to go ahead and call it — could be announced as early as Tuesday. As with any story this huge, we’ll believe it when we hear it out of Dana White’s mouth, which will no doubt be formed into an I-told-you-so smirk for the next three months.

Couture is said to be training full-time right now, getting ready to get his glorious return on, so it seems like all systems could genuinely be go for this. What a crazy, wonderful world.


Friday Link Dump

(Rashad Evans looks very happy about clocking Steve Cofield one.)

- Rashad Evans can’t even escape Chuck Liddell at the movies. (Yahoo! Sports)

- Talking Shamrock, Kimbo, Noons and more on the radio. (MMA Rated)

- “The Secret” explained, in a manner of speaking. (Fightlinker)

- Ryan Schultz to get another shot at Sengoku 5. (MMA Mania)

- Thiago Alves has a lesson he wants to teach Diego Sanchez. (Tatame)

- Dana White promises UFC will be bigger than NFL and World Cup, then discusses a near-death experience. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

- “Day of Reckoning” official website. (Affliction)

- UFC in talks with CBS to supplant Elite XC? (Fightline)

- Sammy Hagar rocks great moments in history. (Holy Taco)

- Tough beer choices this Labor Day weekend. (Wall Street Fighter)

- Eight awesome movie prisoners. (Screen Junkies)


Say It Ain’t So: WEC Headed to Pay-Per-View?

There’s plenty to love about the WEC. Zuffa’s brand of minor league MMA features competitive bouts between lesser-known fighters, including the lighter weight classes that get so little love in other organizations. But does that mean MMA fans are willing to pay extra for it?

Dana White seems to think so, as he told Yahoo! Sports that he plans to put on a WEC pay-per-view event, possibly in 2009. Yahoo! says it could go down “as early as May,” and also says that Zuffa will follow through on plans to absorb the WEC’s light heavyweight and middleweight divisions into the UFC. That means even fewer fighters will be available for the WEC cards that fans will soon be asked to pay for.

Asked how many events the WEC would stage in 2009, White replied, “We’re still figuring that out, but I can tell you this: It’s not going to go down.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t one of the WEC’s main selling points the fact that it was always free on Versus? Why go and screw with that? There’s been a clear dichotomy even in the UFC between fight cards that are good for free TV (i.e. Spike TV) and those that are of pay-per-view quality. As great a year as the WEC has had, asking fans to pay premium prices means expectations go up too. With so many UFC events already stretching the pay-per-view budget of many fans, it could also mean a decline in overall WEC viewership.

I think I speak for all non-independently wealthy MMA fans when I say, damn.


Rampage Jackson Pleads Not Guilty

(‘Ummm…it wasn’t me?’ Photo courtesy of MMA Punch.)

Gossip site TMZ — the same site that first captured former UFC champ “Rampage” Jackson’s run from the law — is now reporting that the former champ has “pleaded not guilty to felony counts of evading police, hit-and-run and reckless driving” and is free on $25,000 bond. They’re also kind enough to point out that there are no shortage of pictures and witnesses in the case, as they well know.

Is this all an attempt to get the charges knocked down, or is it possible that Rampage really thinks he has a chance of beating this? In all the discussion that has surrounded this case, never once has anyone put forth the serious hypothesis that he might be innocent. Maybe ‘not guilty by reason of energy drinks’? That’s a real defense, right? Pretty sure I saw it on ‘Law & Order’ once. Jack McCoy wasn’t even trying to hear it, though, and that dude went down, which doesn’t bode well for Rampage if any of the potential jurors in this case also saw that episode.

Rampage is due back in court on November 3, TMZ says. That’s not too far away from UFC 91 on November 15, and if the UFC follows through on its plan to put Rampage in that event it may be cutting things a little close. The guy is already dealing with enough distractions. Trying to train and then fight while he’s got an ongoing criminal case might be too much to ask.

Stay tuned to see how this one plays out…


Why Dana White is Not Slamming the Door on Tito Ortiz

UFC president Dana White
(‘Oh, hello there. Didn’t see you come in. Just rolling up my sleeves and inspecting this cage here. No big deal. It’s part of what I do.’)

Dana White is a man of simple tastes. He loves fighters who are neither pussies nor posers. He loves dropping F-bombs. He loves making life hell on all those who would oppose or seek to compete with him. The last one explains what he’s doing with the Tito Ortiz contract situation, and why he doesn’t mind being so open about it. Because what’s the fun of screwing with someone if they don’t know that you’re doing it? From Sergio Non’s USA Today blog:

I read recently that Tito supposedly is negotiating with UFC again. If that’s the case, how did that come about?

As part of his contract, he goes out and … I don’t know, something to do with his contract, but he’s still got his foot in the door with his contract. As part of our business practice in this crazy world these days, we — let me think how I can word this to you.

Take your time.

Yeah, probably going to have to.

I always say, we make this thing look a lot easier than it really is, and we’re definitely not going to make it easy for anybody else. We’re going to make things tough for other people.

It sounds like you’re saying basically you have certain negotiation rights with Tito.

Yup, and I’m going take them.

Given what you guys said about each in the months leading up to his last fight, how realistic is to expect Tito to ever fight in UFC again?

Listen, me and Tito didn’t say anything worse than what we said before he came back and became a coach on The Ultimate Fighter. Tito and I do not like each other. We do not. It’s 100% real, we don’t like each other at all, but it doesn’t mean we haven’t done business together before.

So basically, White is driving up the price on people like Affliction and Elite XC, most likely because Ortiz’s contract has a clause that allows him to match competitors’ offers within a certain window. Whether he’s really open to resigning Tito or whether that’s just something you say to make your intentions seem more genuine, that’s a different question. In the meantime, he can really make life hard for other promotions, and man, does he ever enjoy that.


Quick Hits: Dana White to Get Mindfreaked, Machida Predicts a Finish, & More

- Because he loves him some publicity, Dana White will appear on A&E’s “Mindfreak” with magician Criss Angel tonight. You say you’re not going to watch, but let’s not kid ourselves. You’re going to pretend to watch the Democratic National Convention, then get bored when there are no crazy MMA riots breaking out, and suddenly you’re thinking, ‘Man, my mind could really use a good freaking right about now.’ Boom! A&E’s got you covered. If you want a taste of Criss Angel’s particularly cloying brand of magic, I recommend this little gem.

- The ever-elusive Lyoto Machida says his fight against Thiago Silva at UFC 89 isn’t going to be another snoozefest. As he told Tatame: “I believe this fight won’t go to decision… Thiago likes to fight aggressively, me too, he has good MMA techniques, so I believe this fight might finish before the third round.” Seems like he stops just short of actually committing to finishing, or saying that he’ll be the one to finish it. Even this guy’s interviews are, um, tactical.

- Chuck Liddell’s nutritional supplement company, Iceman Rx, is anticipating a Liddell victory over Rashad Evans at UFC 88. They’re even running a sweepstakes to coincide with UFC 92, where Liddell might conceivably challenge Forrest Griffin for the UFC light heavyweight title if he is victorious next weekend. And what does the winner of that sweepstakes get? An Iceman Rx Hummer H2. Even has a picture of Liddell on the side. Rumor has it he only decided to give it away after seeing what happened to Rampage. I started that rumor.

- You thought our jokes about the Tito Ortiz/Jenna Jameson baby news were in poor taste? Just check out The Sun. They pull no punches over in the UK press, and their photoshops are meaner. Kudos to them for referring to Jenna’s porn flicks as “blue movies.” That mixture of cruelty and decorum is why I love the Brits.


Damn the Courts! Rampage Jackson Still Looking at November Return

(Coming atcha, Portland)

So, okay, former UFC light heavyweight champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson may have some legal troubles. He may have been charged with two felonies and a couple few misdemeanors resulting from his little driving mishap, and he may even be looking at potential jail time. Big deal. Does that mean he shouldn’t take a fight in November? Maybe. Probably. But so what. He’s doing it anyway.

According to Yahoo! Sports, Dana White is actively trying to set Jackson up with a fight for UFC 91 on November 15 in Portland, Ore.:

“Of course he’ll fight,” White said. “If he was doing drugs, if he had been drunk, if he had gone out there and done what he did because he was pissed off at someone, that would be a completely different story. But he was ill. And in this company, we support our friends and anyone who works for us when they’re ill and have problems. He was ill, the incident occurred, and now he’s fine.

“Rampage feels awful about the woman’s baby, but he had nothing to do with it. And the (traffic incident) occurred because he was very ill and not with him in control of his faculties.”

All right, I understand the argument that because he was “ill” it shouldn’t be looked at in the same way as someone with a drug or alcohol problem. That makes a certain degree of sense. Until you consider that this “illness” was entirely self-imposed. Rampage decided not to eat, sleep, or drink anything other than energy drinks after his last fight. That’s not like coming down with the chicken pox. It’s more like coming down with the crazy-energy-drink pox, which is almost as bad as the cocaine pox, except not as expensive.


Anderson Silva vs. Chuck Liddell? Sure, Why Not.

(‘You dance very good, little woman. You are negative for the STD’s, yes?’)

Poor Anderson Silva. The UFC middleweight champ just can’t find enough playmates in the UFC middleweight neighborhood. Yes, there’s that nice Patrick Cote boy, but then what? Silva is basically being forced to go door to door and ask, in broken English, if there are any middleweights or light heavyweights who can come out and play. Next up could very well be Chuck Liddell, according to Silva’s manager, Ed Soares:

“I think he wants to fight those big mega fights because that’s the kind of fight we want to be involved with right now,” he said about Silva’s future fights. “I think it’s a combination of seeing what the potential opponent is and also seeing what the UFC wants to do. At the end of the day, this is a business, and they need to sell fights. They need to sell a lot of pay-per-views, and they need to sell tickets. So, we want to be involved with those types of fights.”

“We’re not looking past Patrick Cote, but I think we’ll take one step at a time and see what happens. But yeah, if a Chuck Liddell fight came up, we’d take it,” stated Soares. “Whoever the UFC wants to put in front of us, he wants to fight the best, and whoever that may be at the time, that’s who he wants to fight.”

The very idea of a Silva-Liddell superfight is probably enough to give Dana White an erection, and for good reason. The pay-per-view numbers on this would likely be record-breaking, and no matter how it goes someone gets a big boost. Liddell, however, is probably a little less enthusiastic.

For one, he recently made known his belief that a victory over Rashad Evans should be enough to net him a title shot. Chances are he didn’t mean the middleweight title. For another, beating the champ from a lower weight class is sort of like being the toughest kid in eighth grade after being held back a year. There’s always a ‘but’ attached to that victory.

Silva has more to gain from this fight than Liddell does, but if there’s one thing we know about “The Iceman” it’s that he’ll do the UFC’s bidding, whatever it happens to be. He’ll also probably make a ton of money to do it, and everyone can go home fat and happy if this fight materializes on a pay-per-view at year’s end.


Friday Link Dump

(Just one girl? Must have been a slow week for Chuck.)

- Chuck Liddell makes his case for a title shot after UFC 88. (MMA Weekly)

- Trying to make sense out of Elite XC’s crazy week. (MMA Rated Radio)

- Chris Horodecki-Dan Lauzon officially on for Affliction: Day of Reckoning (Sherdog)

- Evan Tanner is not a big fan of MMA, as this half-assed UFC 87 breakdown reveals. (

- Dana White and Anderson Silva nominated for “Top 49 Men of 2008″ (

- How MMA saved JoJo Thompson’s life. (

- False blood work prompts fighter and trainer suspensions. (MMA Opinion)

- The most marketable names in sports. (Wall Street Fighter)

- Frat boy movie review of “Death Race.” (Screen Junkies)

- A harrowing tale of the days before internet porn, and how Kate Moss almost ruined everything. (Holy Taco)


Penn/St. Pierre II Official for Jan. 31st

Georges St. Pierre GSP BJ Penn UFC MMA
(“I see you can ‘andle my riddum.”)

In an interview with Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, Dana White confirmed that BJ Penn and George St. Pierre would have their rematch at the UFC’s Super Bowl weekend event on January 31st, 2009, in Las Vegas. GSP’s welterweight belt will be on the line.

White also confirmed that UFC 91 will be held November 15th in Portland, Oregon, and will indeed feature a lightweight bout between Kenny Florian and Joe Stevenson. (We can safely infer now that BJ Penn won’t be fighting again at the end of the year.) When asked about Wanderlei Silva’s next Octagon appearance, White would only say that the Axe Murderer probably wouldn’t be part of their December 27th event in Las Vegas — which could mean they’re still pushing for him to headline the Portland card against Quinton Jackson, or that they’re extending his hiatus until early ’09.

“We have nothing but big fights left for the rest of the year, but this is so crazy because there are so many of them,” White said. “We’re going to have a retreat on Monday to figure this all out.” Here’s what’s on the dry-erase board at this point…

UFC 88 (September 6th, Atlanta): Liddell/Evans, Franklin/Hamill, Parisyan/Yoshida, Henderson/Palhares

UFC Fight Night 15 (September 17th, Omaha): Diaz/Neer, Danzig/Guida, Alexander/Schafer, Lauzon/Bradley

UFC 89 (October 18th; Birmingham, England): Bisping/Leben, Machida/T. Silva, Jardine/Vera, Sokoudjou/Cane, Carwin/Wain

UFC 90 (October 25th, Chicago): A. Silva/Cote, Sanchez/Alves, Sherk/Griffin, Franca/Tibau

UFC 91 (November 15th, Portland): Florian/Stevenson

The Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale (December 13th, Las Vegas): no fights announced yet

UFC 92 (December 27th, Las Vegas): Nogueira/Mir

UFC 93 (January 31st, Las Vegas): Penn/St. Pierre