(Hendo’s friends knew something was wrong with him, but it took a doctor to figure out his T levels were really low.)
Rumor had it for a while that Dan Henderson was one of the fighters with an approved testosterone replacement therapy exemption, but until now there was no concrete evidence that he was in the same company as Chael Sonnen, Todd Duffee, Nate Marquardt and Dennis Hallman (who we know about). It’s not that he was hiding it, it’s just that no one asked.
In an interview Hendo did with ESPN this week, the Strikeforce light heavyweight champion ,who revealed that he has been using TRT since 2007, spoke openly and candidly about the reason he required the therapeutic exemption and the effect it has on his health. Among other things, Henderson called for stricter year-round testing for anyone who requires hormone replacement to ensure that he or she isn’t upping their dosages to give them an edge in the off-season.
We’re referring, of course, to DREAM’s Fight for Japan Bantamweight Grand Prix Final, which for whatever reason was not neatly numbered and filed like most decent MMA events. “DREAM.17″ would have looked just fine in the headline, but we can’t type all that out as an article title, and “DREAM.FFJBWGPF” looks like the most jacked-up file extension ever.
This just in: apparently the official designation is “Fight for Japan: DREAM Japan GP Final 2011 Bantamweight Japan Tournament Final”. Wait, for real? DREAM is just screwing with us now, right? That whole phrase can probably be conveyed by just a few kanji on a Japanese fight poster, but our puny Western alphabet is not equal to that much event namingness. So FFJ:DREAM.JGPF-2011BWJTF is official? Jesus. If your Norton software started pinging like a methed-out dolphin when you logged on, we’re sorry. Blame FEG for not naming their events in a reasonable manner.
The next DREAM card (much easier) was shaping up to be an entertaining show, and we were particularly interested to see Duffee return to the ring after getting manhandled by Alistair Overeem last December. A matchup with Nick Gaston, the XXL Muay Thai specialist more popularly known as AfroZilla, was just one of the intriguing bouts set for the event this Saturday, but the Duffman has suffered an undisclosed injury and withdrew from the fight. Multiple sources are reporting that Gaston has been pulled from the card as well, since an opponent could not be found in time for the KOTC prospect. While six days sounds like a normal time span for FEG to put fights together (especially when foreigners are involved), they probably didn’t have anyone looking to jump up and take on “AfroJira” on such short notice.
Luckily, this guy on YouTube either didn’t include the heavyweight bout on his homemade promo, or he quickly re-cut it last night after hearing the news about Duffee (or…he knew all along!!!). Either way, it’ll give you a quick preview of the fights that will be going down this weekend. Enjoy, and let us know what you’re looking forward to Saturday night in the comments.
(How the hell could a Michael Jai White joint go straight to DVD?)
The world will have to wait a little longer for the big screen debuts of Todd Duffee, Lyoto Machida, Eddie Bravo and Scott Epstein.
Apparently the production company forNever Back Down 2, Baumgarten Management and Productions were unable to secure the backing of a major studio and as a result the sequel to the 2008 MMA-themed movie that grossed just south of $24,000,000 will be released straight to DVD September 13.
The dearth of awesome fan-made promos does not bode well for DREAM. VidProps: DREAM
DREAM returns for the final round of the Japan Bantamweight Grand Prix on July 16, and there are a few interesting matchups on the card (which is apparently *not* DREAM.17 as we’d been thinking). Even if there weren’t, it’s smack in the middle of the summer MMA doldrums, and there’s not much else going on. Even if there were something else going on, jesus, don’t you assholes care about Japan?
Come on in past the jump and we’ll fill you in on the bouts slated for the event, with a few notes for your enlightenment and/or entertainment. Just call us the love child of the Buddha and Louis CK.
(Duffee vs. Overeem at Dynamite!! 2010. Match starts around the 5:15 mark. Props: sidiro55)
Bulky UFC vet Todd Duffee has been a ghost since getting stormed by Alistair Overeem last New Year’s Eve in Saitama. But he finally has his next fight booked, and once again it’ll be in front of a Japanese audience. According to Nightmare of Battle, Duffee will compete on the Dream.17 card against undefeated KOTC standout Nick “Afrozilla” Gaston, who had to have been signed at least partly for his nickname.
(For those of you who were just struck by a weird feeling of deja-vu, let us clarify: Dream.17 is the event coming up on July 16th at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo. The Dream event that happened on May 29th was known alternately as “Fight for Japan!” and “Japan GP – 2011 Bantamweight Japan Tournament,” even though many people, including ourselves, referred to it as Dream.17. Anyway, we’re back to the numbers now, which are always easier to deal with.)
(Aoki is not impressed by DREAM’s choices of opponents)
DREAM lightweight champion Shinya Aoki will reportedly take on either former World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight champion Jamie Varner or former Maximum Fighting Championship lightweight champion Antonio McKee at DREAM’s “Fight for Japan” disaster relief benefit show on May 29 in Tokyo.
According to MMAWeekly, Aoki’s original opponent, UFC and Shooto veteran Williamy Freire, was unable to secure a visa to fight in Japan, so the promotion offered the bout to McKee, who was inexplicably stripped of his MFC belt earlier this month and learned of the news from a press release put out by the Edmonton, Alberta-based promotion announcing that Drew Fickett and Hermes Franca would be competing in its next show for “Mandingo’s” strap. His opportunity to contend for DREAM gold, however has hit a snag as he too does not have a visa to fight in Asia. As a precaution, DREAM has now offered Varner the bout, but it is unclear at this point which of the two former champions will be taking on Aoki in three weeks.
It’s been a while, but Alistair Overeem’s web-based mini-documentary series “The Reem” is back with another season. Season 2 picks up with Alistair getting the invite to appear on K-1′s NYE Dynamite! card opposite last-minute replacement Todd Duffee. Following the impressive KO win, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker approaches Overeem and offers him a slot on the promotion’s planned heavyweight grand prix and “The Demolition Man” immediately requests a rematch with Fabrisco Werdum in the opening round. So much for his detractors saying he only takes easy fights.
(Overeem sporting his belts clockwise in order of importance.)
Alistair Overeem earned more than the uber paycheck and the interim DREAM heavyweight belt in Japan at the K-1 Dynamite!! 2010 New Year’s Eve event. The DREAM, Strikeforce and K-1 Open Weight Grand Prix champion also secured a spot in the Guinness Book of World Record as the only fighter to consecutively hold three championship belts.
If it’s any consolation to Todd Duffee, who reportedly made $60,000 for the 19-second pounding he took from "The Demolition Man," his name will also be inscribed in the tome as the fighter who Overeem beat to set the record. At least there’s that.
Full results from today’s New Year’s Eve event in Saitama, Japan, are after the jump, along with a few must-see videos courtesy of ZP420MMA. Note: Bob Sapp apparently backed out of his IGF slap-fight-rules bout with Shinichi Suzukawa at the last minute.