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Tag: Lorenzo Fertitta

Game Changer: UFC To Implement Year-Round, Out-of-Competition Drug Testing, Advocate for Longer Suspensions

Unlike the NSAC meeting that preceded it, yesterday’s UFC press conference actually managed to make some huge waves in the MMAsphere.

It got off to a rough start, though, with Dana White addressing Anderson Silva and Hector Lombard‘s drug test failures in a tone that could only be described as “fucking hostile.” Most notably, he pointed out that the UFC had not yet received Lombard’s test results when they booked him against Rory MacDonald, which the most basic research will point out was a bold-faced lie. Second, he denied ever claiming to have scraped the promotion’s out-of-competition drug-testing program, which again, false.

Thankfully, White handed the reins over to the cool and collected Lorenzo Fertitta after announcing that Macdonald would instead face Robbie Lawler for the welterweight title on July 11th (the timing of which seemed…odd). From there, Fertitta dropped a bombshell of an announcement in regards to the future of drug testing in the UFC. Join us after the jump for all the details.


Live Stream: Catch the UFCs Drug-Testing Press Conference Right Here at 1 PM EST

(Just a couple-a wild and craaazy guys.)

The UFC is facing a bit of a crisis, Nation. Just a handful of events into 2015, the promotion has already seen several of its top fighters get popped for various banned substances, leading many to believe that #TheTimeIsMostDefinitelyNotNow to be an MMA fan. The UFC needs to nip their drug problem in the bud, which is why Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta will be holding a press conference to address the future of the promotion’s drug-testing practices starting at 1 EST.

Thankfully, this conference will be streamed live via the UFC’s website and not Fight Pass, so join us after the jump to catch the proceedings as they occur from inside the Red Rock Casino Resort Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Here’s What a UFC Magic the Gathering Set Looks Like

You didn’t hear about Dana White’s latest announcement: An MMA-related Magic the Gathering set?

Well,there’s a reason you didn’t hear about it: It didn’t happen. Thankfully, one of our favorite past times is figuring out what products should needlessly be merged with our MMA obsession. A few days ago, we arrived at Magic the Gathering (MTG for short). We played the addictive card game back in high school. We wondered what a set of MTG that spans the entire MMA world might look like. The below cards–featuring the likes of Dana White, Conor McGregor, Greg Jackson, as well as several “MMA memes”–are the result of our mental meandering.

A few notes: We haven’t played Magic in about 10 years so some of the gameplay semantics might not be totally accurate. Also, some of the abilities are for the purposes of chiding MMA as only irreverent CagePotato can. All real photos in the cards come from Getty Images, save for the photo of “Minowaman” Ikuhisa Minowa, which comes from Sherdog. Another card’s image comes from a YouTube screen capture (you’ll know which one).

With that, here are the cards. We hope you enjoy them:


Bucket Lists and Bully Beatdowns: Two Feel Good MMA Stories That Are Sure to Warm Your Black Heart

True story: The last time I traveled home to Upstate NY was a few months ago. While out at one of the only two bars that exist in my podunk town, I bumped into a high school buddy of mine who had moved to Washington D.C some years ago. I asked him how he was doing, and after a very, very, shockingly brief conversation, he informed me that he had testicular cancer that had spread to his stomach.

I stood there in shock for a moment, wondering if he simply remembered my dark sense of humor and was merely screwing with me, before offering my response. What I said I cannot recall, due in part to the combination of shock and grain alcohol running through my system (mostly shock). Long story short, he underwent surgery and chemotherapy shortly thereafter, and yesterday, informed us all that he was officially cancer-free. I was relieved to say the least.

That’s perhaps the craziest thing about cancer; despite nearly all of us knowing someone whose life has been claimed by it, we always assume that it won’t get us until the end, if at all. So a story like that of Jake Stoneking, a 19-year-old from West Linn, Oregon battling a rare form of brain cancer (medulloblastoma) is rarely one that falls on deaf ears for obvious reasons. ABC News ran one such story yesterday, and focused on a bucket list Stoneking had put together in light of his fatal diagnosis.

When he unveiled that his #2 wish was to attend a UFC event (second only to “visit a local West Linn topless bar.” Awesome), the UFC kindly obliged him.


UFC 170 Results: Here’s Why the Controversy Around Ronda Rousey’s Win Is Great

(Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

Ronda Rousey kneed Sara McMann into oblivion in a minute…or at least Herb Dean thought McMann had been kneed into oblivion. MMA fans were split about that part. Some thought the stoppage was deserved—McMann stopped intelligently defending herself when she crumpled to the mat clutching her sides. Others disagreed, citing the fact that McMann managed to rise to her feet immediately after Dean called off the bout (an intrepid Wikipedia vandal belonged to this school of thought).

The irritating ruckus that follows any disputed stoppage polluted Twitter and message boards before Rousey’s hand was even raised. MMA fans were (and still are) pissed.

And that’s fantastic.


Once Again, Lorenzo Fertitta Manages to Sound Completely Reasonable While Responding to Ex-UFC Fighter’s Criticism

(I look at this photo and think, “now there’s a guy who just wants to open up a dialogue and find some common ground.” / Photo by Cindy Schultz for Times Union)

Last week, former UFC middleweight Nate Quarry went on the Underground Forum to discuss the low pay and sponsorship limitations he encountered while fighting for the promotion. As he saw it, the UFC viewed its fighters as “just a product to use and discard.”

Normally, this is the point where UFC president Dana White would find the nearest video-camera and call Quarry a [expletive] loser crybaby who never did anything for the promotion and is lying about how much money he made in the first place. Instead, Yahoo!’s Kevin Iole asked UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta how he felt about Quarry’s remarks. Here’s what the UFC’s less-visible, more level-headed frontman had to say:

“This sport is in its infancy, and I’ll admit that there is so much more to be done, but the media is focusing so much on the negative and there are far more positives out there in terms of what we have done for the sport and the fighters,” Fertitta said. “You come to work every day and you kind of feel beaten down because it’s something new [to complain about] every day…

“I’m not going to argue or counter every specific claim made by Nate Quarry on some website,” Fertitta said. “I’m super proud of what we have done for our athletes, this sport and this company. Our track record is darn good as a whole and we have nothing to be embarrassed about.

“This fight Nate is talking about was so long ago and clearly the business wasn’t where it is today. It was in its infancy and we were coming out of a period where we suffered millions upon millions in losses. It wasn’t an insignificant amount of money. And I’ll tell you this, Nate is a smart guy. Absolutely he is. He knew when he signed his contract exactly what he’d be paid….


Why the Current PED Testing Policies in MMA Are Bad for the Sport

(My advice? Put on this song, hold each other tight, and remember why you fell in the love in the first place. / Photo via @lorenzofertitta)

By Jon Mariani

Responding to Georges St-Pierre’s news-making claim that the UFC didn’t support him when he did VADA drug-testing for UFC 167, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta told Yahoo!, “It was extremely disappointing to hear Georges make those comments because I don’t think any organization has embraced drug testing as we have.”

Fertitta also went on to state in an interview with ESPN, “Maybe Georges didn’t understand the level of drug testing Nevada was doing. They are the ultimate authority that handles drug testing, medicals and everything else — and they are very capable.”

The first problem with Fertitta’s statement is that the UFC didn’t exactly embrace drug-testing when GSP tried to bring VADA into the mix. As UFC President Dana White stated, “It’s a little weird,” that St-Pierre wanted the enhanced testing. White went on to say that “He doesn’t have to do it, but I guess he wants to do it. What are you gonna do? Knock yourself out, Georges. Good luck.”

Clearly, that’s not the kind of “support” St-Pierre was looking for.

The larger problem is that when Fertitta says “they are very capable,” referring to Nevada’s athletic commission and drug-testing standards, it couldn’t be further from the truth. The current testing employed in Nevada is a joke, and here’s why…


Georges St-Pierre Blasts the UFC for Lack of Drug-Testing Support; Lorenzo Fertitta ‘Disappointed’ By Comments

(The UFC’s French-Canadian company-man has officially left the building. / Photo via Getty)

During a media appearance in Montreal yesterday, former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre was uncharacteristically candid about his motivations for stepping away from the sport, and how he felt about the UFC not supporting him when he attempted to arrange enhanced drug-testing prior to his UFC 167 title fight against Johny Hendricks.

“It bothered me enormously,” St-Pierre said (in a translation by “That’s one of the reasons why I stopped fighting. Not really to teach them a lesson, because that would also punish me. I wanted to do something for the sport. I love the sport. I see the direction it’s going, and I don’t think it makes any sense. This is stupid.”

“I tried to do something to change the sport,” St-Pierre continued. “Unfortunately, there were other people, for different reasons, maybe for money, in fear of losing money, because if you canceled the fight because someone tested positive there are millions of dollars [lost]. Also, the sport’s image…If you start testing everyone, how many will get caught? I don’t want to say in public because I don’t want to accuse anyone, but the sport’s image will be hurt. Don’t forget, I have internal information. I’m an athlete. I know what goes on, so that disappointed me greatly.”

Later, St-Pierre described the UFC as a “monopoly,” and suggested that he wouldn’t return to competition until the promotion’s drug-testing policy was improved:


Quote of the Day: Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort Will Throw Down in AMERICA, Thank You Very Much

(And the text from Keith Kizer read: “NOT ON MY WATCH, PLAYBOY.” Photo via Getty.

We often get accused of “hating” on Vitor Belfort — then again, we often get accused of “hating” on many MMA fighters we poke fun at — for noting the often hilarious contradictions he makes regarding his usage of TRT. One day, he needs it to survive. The next, he’s willing to go off the treatment for a title shot. And God forbid you see the guy on Sundays

It’s not that we haven’t appreciated seeing Belfort transform into Blanka from Street Fighter over the past couple of years, it’s just that his career resurgence has been somewhat marred in our (and many fans) eyes by his usage of what many would consider an unnecessary and unfair advantage. These qualms are somewhat validated by the fact that Belfort has been tucked away in Brazil for his past few highlight reel wins and all but banned from using TRT in Nevada on account of his past steroid usage.

Thankfully, it appears that all our worries regarding the legitimacy of Belfort’s resurgence will be put to rest when he receives the middleweight title shot he was promised after knocking out Dan Henderson. According to Lorenzo Fertitta in an interview with ESPN, Belfort will be facing off with Chris Weidman in Las Vegas, ‘MURICA this summer. His quote is after the jump.


Lorenzo Fertitta Walks Back Dana White’s Burial of Georges St-Pierre: “GSP Doesn’t Owe Us Anything”

(He’s smart, well-spoken, and he always wipes down his machines. What’s not to like about this guy?)

Watching Lorenzo Fertitta do interviews is like getting a glimpse into a utopian alternate-universe in which the president of the UFC wasn’t a petulant spaz whose first response to any criticism is to call you a pussy. Fertitta is an adult, and as such, he occasionally has to clean up the messes left behind by his minority partner. Here’s what the Zuffa Chairman/CEO had to say yesterday to Ariel Helwani, regarding Dana White’s now-infamous rant about what Georges St-Pierre “owes” the UFC following last weekend’s fight against Johny Hendricks:

I think Dana was misunderstood and hopefully he’s trying to clarify that. GSP doesn’t owe us anything. If he chooses to retire, then so be it, he’ll retire and become someone that people will always look up to as one of the great champions in the UFC. If he decides to fight again, then great. I think where the confusion was, Georges never communicated anything to us prior to the fight relative to that he may be making an announcement. In fact, I think Dana said that he had talked to him and he said ‘no no no, everything’s fine.’

And then after the fight, the announcement he made was very vague. And I think what Dana was trying to say was that either you’re retired or you’re not, right? We can’t just put the UFC belt on the shelf for an undefined period, basically put it in limbo forever, because that’s not fair to the contenders that have been working their whole lifetime to get the opportunity to get the belt. It’s not fair to the fans to have the title sit on the side for too long. And it’s not fair to us as a company because we wouldn’t be able to plan. I think that’s what the message was meant to be, but I think unfortunately the press took it in a different way.