Steroids in MMA
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Tag: Kenny Rice

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.


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 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.


VIDEO: Ben Askren ‘Inside MMA’ Interview Ends Abruptly After UFC Criticism Upsets Kenny Rice

(Looks like Kenny has the 2014 “Shill of the Year” award locked up. / Video via AXS TV Fights)

Friday’s edition of Inside MMA on AXS TV featured a tense interview segment with ONE FC welterweight champion Ben Askren, and has generated controversy not because of Askren’s words, but for host Kenny Rice‘s reaction to them.

The clip above begins with co-host Bas Rutten asking Askren about Dana White’s recent statement that the UFC might consider signing Askren if he keeps winning. Unsurprisingly, Askren wasn’t there to show gratitude to the Baldfather:

Dana, he’s a chameleon. He changes his tune depending on whatever fits the situation. I am definitely not fond of this guy at all. I want the chance to prove I’m the best welterweight in the world, but I don’t know if I’m willing to stoop to his level.”

You’d think that Askren’s unvarnished honesty would please the Inside MMA hosts; after all, this is exactly the kind of thing that would generate publicity for their show. Instead, Kenny Rice begins to chastise Askren for his comments:

Well you’re saying a lot about a $500 million operation, there, Ben. I mean, I gotta be honest, you know it’s always nice to fight windmills sometimes, but to take on verbally with the UFC, this is a battle you can’t win.”

Askren explains that if he plays out the rest of his career in ONE FC and retires happy, he would consider that a win. He then continues attacking the “iffy decisions” recently made by Dana White, which have led to a backlash by the fans. But before he can really get cookin’, Rice interrupts him:


[VIDEO] Bas Rutten and Kenny Rice Take Sexist, Curmudgeonly Sports Writer to Task on Inside MMA

We’re not sure why every anti-MMA writer out there feels the need to compare the sport to some form of pornography, but when doing a write-up on the historic UFC 157 event some two weeks ago, OnMilwaukee contributing writer Dave Begel did just that, labeling women’s MMA a “disgrace” before declaring that women should just stick to tennis or golf or some sport that wont immediately be viewed as “some kind of porn” by male audiences nationwide.

Unfortunately, we here at CagePotato only have so much time each day to educate these fools via scathing emails, so you can imagine our excitement when we saw that Bas Rutten and Kenny Rice decided to take Begel to task for us. Although the dynamic Inside MMA duo did their best to try and shake some sense into this stubborn old bastard –bringing up such classic pro-MMA arguing points as “Hey, it’s not as bad as boxing” and “Hey, do you watch the Olympics?” — their words clearly fell on deaf ears.

“I don’t want to defend boxing or judo or Brazilian whatever,” Begel states, in doing so proving that he would totally be prepared to defend any of those sports if given the chance, “MMA is designed to hurt somebody. Boxing is one thing, MMA is another.”

Oh, and on the topic of WMMA? Begel believes that — and we’re paraphrasing here — because some of us men have fantasies about two women going at it, therefore the sport is pornographic in nature. We’re not going to delve into the fact that his “theory” could just as easily be applied to the men’s side of the sport, or wrestling, or couple’s ice skating, etc. Instead, we recommend that if you are seeking more sage-like wisdom of this nature, make sure to pick up Begel’s new book , Research: What Gives? – the follow-up to his groundbreaking bestseller, Women: Where Do They Get Off (And How?) — on Kindle today.

-J. Jones


Laura Prepon and Forrest Griffin Talk Apocalypse and Fighting Co-Workers and Mike Tyson Names His Favorite Fighter on Inside MMA

(Video courtesy of YouTube/HDNetFights)

HDNet only had to use one of six degrees of separation when adding “That 70′s Show” actress Laura Prepon to the Inside MMA guest list this week alongside former UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin.

An avid MMA fan who is often seen on camera during pay-per-view events, Prepon is rumored to have dated former UFC and Bellator heartthrob Roger Huerta. Moving on.

In the segment above Fo-Griff and Donna take some reader questions about preparing for the apocalypse and who “The Red Dragon” would fight if she had to pick one of her former co-stars.

SPOILER: No, it wasn’t Mila Kunis.


Fight of the Day: Glover Texeira vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou at WEC 24

Five years ago a Cameroon national judo team member by the name of “Sokoudjou” shocked the world by taking out highly-touted PRIDE veterans Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Ricardo Arona. One fight prior to his coming out party, “The African Assassin” met up with an equally tough Brazilian named Glover Texeira, who at the time was training with UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell at “The Pit” in San Luis Obispo, CA. Texeira utilized his superior stand-up to test Sokoudjou’s chin and let’s just say that Rameau’s jaw wasn’t prepared for the pop quiz.

Texeira has been on the UFC’s radar for some time. Chuck Liddell told me a year ago that the light heavyweight, who sometimes moonlights as a heavyweight would likely be Octagon-bound as soon as he sorted out his visa issues, but he’s been stuck in holding pattern fighting on regional Brazilian cards. Hopefully the 31-year-old makes it Stateside some time soon. The UFC’s light heavyweight class could use a shake-up.


Josh Barnett Says He’d Like to Fight to the Death, Bas Rutten Laughs Enthusiastically

(VidProps: YouTube/ZP420MMA)

With the opening bouts of the Strikeforce heavyweight tournament less than a month away, embattled grand prix participant Josh Barnett turned up on HDNet’s Inside MMA over the weekend, where he and Bas Rutten both just started saying stuff. Protest if you want, but it makes for great TV when nobody is around to check facts or rein in the insanity. Clearly, Barnett and Bas just want to bro down, have a couple of drinks and reminisce about how radical it used to be to be King of Pancrase, leaving poor Kenny Rice to try to bumble his way through some actual journalism.

Things reach a fever pitch of awesomeness at about the 3:40 mark, when Rice asks Barnett a serious question about his efforts (or lack thereof) to get relicensed in California. Barnett dismissively waves his hands and pretty much says he doesn’t give a damn, that he doesn’t need no pencil-pushing lawmakers to tell him when and where he throws down. All the while Bas just chuckles to himself and mumbles stuff like “Right! Yeah!” as if to say “You tell it, brother!” Seriously, these guys are two peas in a pod …


Kim Couture and Gina Carano on ‘Inside MMA’ Tonight (And CagePotato Right Now)

Inside MMA is promising a must-see show tonight with “HUGE breaking news” (according to their press release) and a panel that includes Randy Couture, Kim Couture, and Gina Carano. They’ve also released a clip of tonight’s show where Kim Couture discusses training for her first MMA match and the sparring session in which Gina Carano broke her nose. We gotta say, Randy’s wife is lookin’ good — she kinda has a Speed-era Sandra Bullock thing going on. Meanwhile, Gina kinda has a tough-but-warmhearted-lesbian-who-rides-in-an-otherwise-all-male-motorcycle-club-on-the-weekends thing going on. And that’s why we love her.

Inside MMA‘s breaking news will most likely involve Couture’s escalating legal battle with Zuffa. This could be unrelated, but MMAPayout‘s Adam Swift has an article on Sherdog today about HDNet Fights’ new suit against the UFC parent company, which seeks “a declaratory judgment concerning the contractual status of Couture under his Zuffa promotional contract. In an ironic twist, Zuffa’s co-defendant in the suit is technically none other than Couture himself.” Inside MMA airs on HDNet tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET.