Steroids in MMA
Which MMA Fighter Will Test Positive For Steroids Next?

Tag: UFC

This Bud’s For UFC

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(It was either this or a picture of a beer bottle.)

Just two weeks after the UFC debuted its first big-name sponsor, with Harley Davidson taking the center of the Octagon at “Nemesis,” MMAPayout reports that a sponsorship deal with Budweiser may be close to being finalized. From Adam Swift’s report:

Negotiations reportedly began as part of the UFC’s negotiations with CBS. Once the CBS deal stalled, conversations continued between the UFC, Budweiser, and Spike TV…UFC President Dana White has been adamant in recent media appearances that the company is on the verge of landing several blue chip sponsors. Budweiser, on the heels of Harley-Davidson, would certainly fit that bill and silence much of the criticism directed at the UFC for its failure to lure mainstream sponsors.

The collapse of the CBS deal is a gut-shot, to be sure, but a sponsorship from the King of Beers would be a fantastic consolation prize, considering that the UFC will remain ghettoized to some extent as long as its biggest sponsors are Xyience and Mickey’s Malt Liquor. It’s understandable that large corporations would want to take a wait-and-see approach when it comes to associating themselves with blood-sports, but there’s no denying the UFC’s reach among young men. On the other side of the coin, a Bud sponsor in the UFC’s corner would probably give them more juice the next time they try to negotiate with a television network. As the biggest name in MMA, the UFC deserves Budweiser. Let EliteXC have Mickey’s Big Mouth. As for the IFL? We’re thinking Natty Light.

By the way, those Bud girls at the top of this post may look hot now, but in 20 years they’ll look like this:

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Week in Review: Don’t Like the ‘Roids, but the ‘Roids Like Me

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— The UFC went on a frantic fight-booking spree.

— We played an extremely respectful game of FMK.

Rob Emerson and Melvin Guillard had a contest to see who could be the biggest douchebag on Earth. Rob won, but just barely.

Ali Sonoma got even hotter.

Shamrock vs. Shamrock is definitely happening…eventually.

— We questioned the credentials of Quinton Jackson and Shawn Tompkins.

— We gave props to fighters with good musical taste.

Roy Nelson and Kendall Grove had a lot of interesting things to say about the IFL’s organizational problems and weed, respectively.

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Knockout of the Day: Anthony Johnson vs. Chad Reiner

Okay, so Tommy Speer’s next opponent isn’t a total can. In fact, Anthony Johnson looked pretty damn promising in his Octagon debut at Ultimate Fight Night 10 (6/12/07), disposing of Chad Reiner with a 13-second knockout that should have made it onto our list. Reiner left the UFC directly after this fight and has since gone 3-0 in smaller shows.

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Tommy Speer to Return at UFC Fight Night?

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Building on an already impressive card that includes fights between Stephan Bonnar and Matt Hamill, as well as Kenny Florian versus Joe Lauzon, the word is that April 2′s Ultimate Fight Night 13 will include the first post-TUF appearance by finalist Tommy Speer. He’s expected to fight Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (4-1, 1-1 UFC), a 23-year-old Californian whose last fight was a submission loss to Rich Clementi at UFC 76. Similar to the Alexander/Irvin situation, this matchup seems set up to develop Speer and get the farmboy an impressive win. Johnson has never won a fight by submission, and shouldn’t throw Speer anything on the ground that he can’t handle.

Elsewhere in the UFC…

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Rich Franklin, ‘Shogun’ Rua Could Return to UFC in April; Sherk Also Rumored

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(Rich Franklin, not overcompensating.)

The Fight Network reports that Rich Franklin is looking to make his Octagon return at the UFC’s April 19th event in Montreal. His opponent will be TUF4 middleweight winner Travis Lutter; it was first rumored that Franklin would face Lutter at UFC 82, but recent knee surgery forced Franklin to postpone the match. Both men are coming off of losses to Anderson Silva.

Echoing a previous claim, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua has revealed to GracieMag.com that he will also be fighting in Montreal, against a yet-unnamed opponent. The Chute Boxe defector has decided to stay in Curitiba, Brazil, and form a new gym with ex-teammate Andre Dida called Universidade da Luta (Fight University).

If these big-name fights and the probable welterweight unification match between Georges St. Pierre and Matt Serra all hold up, the UFC’s Montreal event would be incredibly stacked; throw in a rumor about Sean Sherk fighting the winner of Penn/Stevenson at the event, and you’re looking at an all-time classic. We hope that the card does brisk business for the UFC — but as we learned yesterday, when Rich Franklin is on the marquee, nothing is guaranteed

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Hughes to Keep Fighting; Won’t Win Pulitzer

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Matt Hughes was on Cincinnati’s 700 WLW with Jim Scott yesterday and Hughes has confimed he will keep fighting for the UFC. Props to 5oz of Pain for snagging this quote:

“Yes, I am. I can’t go out on a loss like that. I’m too much of a competitor. I’m 34 years old, my body’s actually extremely healthy from what I’ve done my whole life. If you look at it, Chuck Liddell, I think he’s 37 or 38, Randy Couture’s close to 43 and he’s called the most dominant heavyweight right now. So if you look at the timeline, I’ve got plenty of fights left in me.” 

So it looks like Hughes could be eyeballing Serra if the current welterweight champ falls to GSP in April. About damn time those two face off. Click here to the check out the rest of the Hughes radio interview.

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Boring But Important: UFC Edition

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(Jeremy Horn, giving Chael Sonnen the business.)

— Middleweight veteran Jeremy Horn will be returning to the UFC at February 2nd’s “Breaking Point” event, replacing Thales Leites, who broke his hand during training and had to pull out of a scheduled match with Nate Marquardt. Horn has compiled an astounding professional record of 77-16-5 since turning pro in 1996, and holds notable wins over Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin. His last UFC fight was at UFC 60 in May 2006, where he defeated Chael Sonnen by armbar.

— Welterweight contender Jon Fitch, who has gone 7-0 since joining the UFC in 2005 and hasn’t been defeated since 2002, will face Akihiro Gono at UFC 82: “Pride of a Champion.” Gono is the former PRIDE vet who tied Tamdan McCrory into a pretzel during his Octagon debut at UFC 78, picking up a Submission of the Night bonus in the process. Fitch has also reportedly re-signed with the UFC for three more matches.

— The lineup for UFC 80 is official. (Yes, it will be airing live and on tape delay.) The lineup for the following week’s Ultimate Fight Night card is nearly set as well.

— The UFC’s PPV buys in 2007 decreased 5% compared to 2006. During those two years, UFC 66 (Liddell vs. Ortiz, 12/30/06) was by far the most popular event, with 1,050,000 buys; the three least popular cards — UFC 58, 64, and 72, with 300k, 300k and 200k buys, respectively — were all headlined by Rich Franklin.

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Fisher/Aurelio Set to Battle at UFC Fight Night 13

UFC Fight Night 13 - tentatively scheduled for April 2 – will now also feature a lightweight showdown between Spencer Fisher and Marcus Aurelio, reports MMA Junkie. Sources have confirmed that both fighters have agreed to the fight, although nothing has been signed. We do know that UFC Fight Night 13 will be the lead-in for “The Ultimate Fighter 7” season premiere and it’s rumored to go down in Colorado.

Spencer Fisher is 31 and owns a record of 20-4, with three of those losses happening in the UFC. He lost a decision to Frankie Edgar at UFC 78, but did rock Sam Stout at UFC Fight Night 10 to avenge his earlier loss to “Hands of Stone” (incidentally, a nickname trying so hard to sound tough that it might make our next worst nicknames list). Marcus Aurelio is three years older than “The King Fisher” (get it? The Fisher King!) and had lost three fights in a row before getting back on track – also at UFC 78 - when he TKO’d Luke Caudillo in the first round. He stands at 15-5, but hasn’t been too impressive in his two UFC fights.

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Fights of the Day: Matt Hughes vs. Dennis Hallman 1 + 2

Matt Hughes only experienced defeat twice in his first 23 fights — a stat that’s even more remarkable when you consider that both losses came from a dude named Dennis Hallman, who was able to submit Hughes within the first 20 seconds of each match. This clip from UFC 29 presents the entire saga (fight #2 starts at the 5:30 mark). Hallman didn’t go on to beat any other MMA legends, but he’s still active in the game, winning his last fight at Strikeforce in November, and compiling a 2-1 record in the IFL in 2006.

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CORRECTION: Kongo/Herring Added to “Pride of a Champion”

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(Cheick yourself before you *wreck* yourself…)

**UPDATE: It looks like Kongo/Herring will go down at UFC 82: Pride of a Champion (which will be headlined by the middleweight championship match between Anderson Silva and Dan Henderson), not UFC 81: Breaking Point. Our bad, as they say. At this point, all five of UFC 81′s main card bouts and three of its preliminary matches are reportedly locked down.

“Breaking Point” could now refer to the scales used at UFC 81′s weigh-in, as a third high-profile heavyweight match has been added to the event. Already headlined by the UFC debut of former WWE-star Brock Lesnar versus ex-champ Frank Mir, and the interim heavyweight championship bout between Tim Sylvia and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, UFC [82] will also feature a match between heavies Cheick Kongo and Heath Herring, according to MMA Mania. Kongo, a.k.a. “The French Sensation,” is the UFC rising star whose last two matches resulted in decision victories over Assuerio Silva and Mirko Cro Cop. Heath Herring is a former PRIDE vet who has gone 1-2 in the UFC; his last fight was a decision loss against Nogueira, and he is perhaps best known for this unfortunate staredown with Yoshihiro Nakao at K-1 Dynamite 2005:

MMA Weekly is reporting that the pay-per-view portion of UFC 81 will include two middleweight bouts — Ricardo Almeida against Alan Belcher, and Nate Marquardt against Thales Leites — and a lightweight bout between Tyson Griffin and Gleison Tibou. The three officially announced undercard bouts are Marvin Eastman vs. Terry Martin (middleweights), Tomasz Drwal vs. David Heath (light heavyweights), and Keita Nakamura vs. Rob Emerson (lightweights).

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