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Tag: UFC

The UFC’s HIV Awareness Campaign Is Seriously Called ‘Protect Yourself at All Times’


(I suppose that would make Forrest’s loss to Anderson Silva a regrettable night of unprotected blackout sex in a truck-stop bathroom. / Image via OutSports)

The UFC has announced plans for a campaign to increase awareness of HIV and AIDS, particularly among high-risk groups. Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole spoke with UFC chief operating officer Lawrence Epstein about the campaign recently.

“The Center for Disease Control & Prevention said the awareness about HIV and AIDS among those under 35 is surprisingly poor. Given that the UFC’s strength is with the 18-to-34-year-old demographic, chief operating officer Ike Lawrence Epstein felt it was natural for the company to team with the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada to promote the Protect Yourself at all Times, campaign,” Iole reported.

Yes, that’s really the name of the campaign. We’ll get back to that in a moment.

According to the story, half of all new HIV cases in the last two years have been reported in people under the age of 30. The 18-34 demographic is certainly the UFC’s sweet spot so it makes a lot of sense for them to help out with awareness-building efforts.

The promotion partnering with organizations in the LBGTQ is also a great move. We always hear about the post-fight screenings that UFC fighters must take for PEDs and drugs of abuse, but they all also have to be tested for HIV, which gives spokespeople for the new campaign, including Forrest Griffin, a personal angle to talk about the issue:

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Times Are Getting Hard, Boys: Jon Fitch Moves Cross-Country to Take Health Club Job


(As if Fitch didn’t have *enough* douchebags trying to get photos with him in public. / Props: Getty)

The past year hasn’t been easy for former perennial welterweight title contender Jon Fitch. After a loss to Demian Maia, Fitch was still ranked by the UFC as one of the division’s very best, but that didn’t stop the promotion from firing him.

After being priced out of his job with the UFC, the top-ten ranked Fitch next fought and lost to Josh Burkman in his World Series of Fighting debut. Now, Fitch finds himself apparently unable to make ends meet through fighting alone and he has packed up his family and moved them from San Jose, California, to Syracuse, New York, to take a job at a mega-gym called Pacific Health Club.

“There are financial things to take into consideration — it’s a salaried job with guaranteed income and health benefits for my family,” Fitch told MMAFighting in a recent interview.

“Those are huge, really. Honestly, California is falling apart. The whole country’s kind of falling apart. But the cost of living here in California is ridiculous, and the taxation in California is ridiculous. I’m not sure it’s any better in New York yet, but I’ve got to start doing something, thinking outside the box trying to keep yourself and your family above water and outside the sinking ship.”

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UFC to Set Time Limit on How Long Injured Champs *Cough*DominickCruz*Cough* Can Be Inactive Before Being Stripped of Titles


(“Wheeeeeeee!” / Photo via @TheDomin8r)

UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has had horrible luck over the past two years. He’s torn the ACL in his knee twice, endured multiple surgeries, and has not fought a single time. Yet, he’s remained the official champion of the division while interim titlist Renan Barao has defended his belt twice.

Cruz hopes to be back early in 2014 and head straight into a unification bout against Barao. If he doesn’t, however, he may finally find himself stripped of his title. And according to UFC president Dana White, the organization will now make plans to set a time limit for how long champs can stay champs while sidelined.

“We have thought about it, and we will do it,” White told members of the media Monday. “We’re probably going to do that soon.”

It is about time the UFC did this. We don’t have a negative word to say about Cruz who has earned everything he’s ever gotten and who we feel genuinely bad for given all his bad luck, but it looks plain silly for Barao to be only an interim champion at this point. White seems to agree with those conflicted feelings.

“It’s a combination of me feeling really bad for him, and him being such a good person. … Do I think we let it play out too long? Maybe. But if I look at who the champion is, then I say no. I feel bad for the kid,” White said.

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[VIDEO] Anderson Silva Breaks Down Technique & Fighting Tactics for Group of British Dudes

It is rare that we seem to get revealing, sincere and engaged comments from former UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva in the quick-hit, superficial interviews that he’s grown used to and apparently tired of over the past seven years or so. However, a video of Silva conducting an intimate seminar in the London three weeks ago shows “The Spider” in great form.

The future hall of famer takes his time working with the students, carefully answering their questions in English about fight tactics, techniques and opponents. Anderson is talking about the thing he loves and does so expertly – fighting – with people who themselves train and who are informed and interested in learning from him. Guess that’s the secret to getting good stuff out of Silva, huh?

Check the video out to see Silva break down his favorite positions on the ground from off his back and detail how he pulled off some of his best moves. Also, he does all of it in glasses and a sweater. Baller.

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Tito Ortiz Attempts to Unite Fellow Disgraced UFC Fighters for Event-Crashing


(Tito Ortiz makes another stop on his global goodwill tour | Photo via @TitoOrtiz)

Tito Ortiz, Ken Shamrock, Randy Couture, Quinton Jackson and Frank Shamrock are all former UFC champions that are currently personas non grata to the organization and its President Dana White. (Not coincidentally, four of those five guys currently have some role in the Bellator organization.) For that reason, Ortiz seems to think it would be pretty funny if they all went to the UFC’s 20th anniversary show November 16th in Las Vegas.

@ShamrockKen @frankshamrock @Randy_Couture @Rampage4real maybe we should crash the show. I will buy the tickets.” Ortiz recently tweeted.

Apparently, some of the other guys liked the idea. Tito’s former mortal enemy, Ken Shamrock, tweeted back, “I like TITO’s idea,” and then, “I will stand beside you Tito. – frank lets go!!!!!,” encouraging his brother to join them.

So we guess to Ken, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Or something. Ken told Tito to send him a direct message through twitter so they could totally discuss deets, and then sent out a “hi randy” shout out to Couture.

Couture, who is probably smarting more than anyone else about not being allowed at UFC events ever since Dana banned the two-division UFC champion from cornering his son Ryan, then weighed in. “feel sorry for the security guys dana sends to have us removed :) hope they have guns !,” he tweeted, apparently still in character as Toll Road from The Expendables.

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And Now He’s Retired: Paul Taylor Hangs It Up After Latest Injury


(Admit it. You’re gonna miss that face. | Photo via MMAWeekly)

UFC lightweight Paul Taylor has retired from MMA competition after the most recent of a long string of injuries forced him out of at least his fourth fight in the last three years. Taylor hasn’t fought since his knockout win against Gabe Ruediger in February 2011.

Taylor was slated to face Anthony Njokuani next month in Manchester but an injury forced the 33-year-old British slugger to pull out of the matchup once again. He promptly announced that he was retiring from MMA competition.

“All his old injuries flared up in training,” a source close to Taylor told Fighters Only. “He’s very disappointed not to be fighting on the Manchester card but there’s nothing he can do, these injuries just won’t go away.”

Taylor ends his career with an overall record of 11-6-1 (with 1 NC), and a 4-5 tally in the UFC. But despite his journeyman’s record, Taylor was a consistently exciting fighter, winning three Fight of The Night bonuses since he began his Octagon run in 2007. (In particular, his UFC 75 battle against Marcus Davis remains one of the greatest one-round fights in UFC history.) Taylor was also key part of the organization’s promotional efforts in his native Britain. Taylor fought six times for the UFC in the UK.

Like Shane Carwin, Paul Taylor had enough talent and heart to have a much longer career in mixed martial arts, but his body simply didn’t cooperate. Enjoy retirement and be well, “Relentless” Paul.

- Elias Cepeda

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Royce Gracie Plain Wrong in His Criticism of Own Family


(We never expected The Godfather of MMA to take sides against the family like this. | Photo by Sherdog.com)

By Elias Cepeda

On Monday I wrote about practitioners of “real” Jiu Jitsu. That is, those who have a background in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and who test those skills in real fights.

Kron Gracie looks to be the next such high-profile example as he sets his sights on a 2014 MMA debut. Royce Gracie is, of course, the first that most of us ever heard of.

Gracie entered the original UFC tournaments as the lightest fighter in open weight contests where the only rules were no biting, eye gouging or fish-hooking, and submitted three and four men in single-night tournaments with the Jiu Jitsu skills that his family developed. As such, Royce’s place in history is more than secure.

As younger family members of his try to carve out their own space in MMA, however, Royce is offering not support but rather rough criticism. Many have criticized fighters like Roger and Rolles Gracie for not being as well-rounded as a few of their best opponents, and take the occasions of their losses to pile on.

Surprisingly, Royce is the latest critic to add some fertilizer onto that pile. Unlike many others, however, Royce says that the reason for his family members’ recent losses is because they are trying to be too well-rounded.

“Jiu-jitsu is enough,” Royce Gracie recently told MMAFighting.com. “I’ve trained boxing in the past to learn the distance, trained wrestling to understand how he would take me down, but I won’t get there to fight my opponent’s game. The [new] guys [from the Gracie] family want to complement their game, like if Jiu-Jitsu was incomplete. I guess they forgot a little about history.

“I do jiu-jitsu my whole life, so why would I try to stand and bang with Mike Tyson?” he went on. ”I’m going to learn boxing in six months because my opponent is good in boxing? That makes no sense.”

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UFC Benevolent Act of the Day: Dana White Pays for Injured TUF 18 Tim Gorman’s Hamstring Surgery, Offers ‘Shot’ in Promotion


(No, that is not a lady’s hind quarters. It is Tim Gorman’s injured leg. And, some really fancy shorts. | Photo via @TimmyGormanMMA)

This week we learned that in addition to being a cocky loud mouth, The Ultimate Fighter Season 18 (TUF 18) cast member Tim Gorman, is also a committed, tough s.o.b. The male bantamweight tore a hamstring clear off before getting his chance to fight his way into the TUF house, still fought, won and looked to move through the season.

Meisha Tate and her coaching staff noticed that Gorman was hobbling around during early practices and asked him to explain, at which point he showed the results of his nasty injury (also photographed up top). Gorman was forced to get an M.R.I. scan, which confirmed that his hamstring was royally screwed and Dana White made him leave the TUF House over the fighter’s protests. Which, of course, led to this freeloading no goodnik getting another chance.

During a google hangout Thursday White told fans that Gorman will also get another chance in the UFC, however. “The kid’s a nutball, he’s a lunatic,” Uncle Dana said. “I like that, that’s not a bad thing. He wanted to continue to fight, I respect that. He’ll get another shot in the UFC, we’ll give him a shot.”

Great news for Gorman. Even better, Timmy went on The Underground forum and wrote that White personally paid for his much-needed hamstring surgery. The UFC’s health insurance policy didn’t cover Gorman’s medical procedures because they were treatment for a “pre-existing” condition, ie. he hurt himself before he stepped into the Octagon or UFC Training Center.

Gorman’s UG post below:

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Nevada Athletic Commission Triples the Testing Threshold for Marijuana Metabolites


(Looks like somebody’s already celebrating. / Video via NickDiaz209, obviously.)

Last spring former Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director and current UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner publicly criticized the way that states like Nevada tested for Marijuana metabolites, and expressed hope that it would be changed.

Fighters competing while high should not be tolerated, the idea seemed to be, but punishing guys like Pat Healy for smoking weeks before fighting seemed harsh and silly. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recently upped the metabolite level that they tested for, and the tide appears to have fully turned now as the NSAC has “officially raised the testing threshold of marijuana metabolites from 50 ng/mL to 150 ng/mL,” according to a report on MiddleEasy.

We’re no marijuana experts but this change would seem to be a move by the world’s most influential athletic commission to stop penalizing recreational marijuana use by fighters, although testing for THC will continue because, while perhaps not performance enhancing, it is dangerous to fight high, drunk or in any other significantly altered state.

What do you think, Nation? Should Pat Healy be allowed to beat up Bryan Caraway and take his bonus money back? Will we finally see Nick Diaz back in the cage?

- Elias Cepeda

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[VIDEO] ‘Ronda Rousey: Breaking Ground’ Profiles the Rise of the UFC’s First Female Star

We came across video of a Fox Sports 1 documentary special on UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey this morning that you should definitely carve out some time to watch, if you’re into that sort of thing. “Breaking Ground” combines interviews with Rousey, her family, friends, coaches, and teammates with previously unreleased training footage to reveal a bit more about the young champ than we knew before.

The special details Ronda’s youth, from her early speech-developmental challenges, the sports she competed in before Judo, and her father’s tragic death, to her relocation to Los Angeles and transition into Judo under the tutelage of her world-champion mother. We also get to see that “Baby Ronda” was the same rowdy and “evil” competitor that we know and love now.

As can be expected, there are great, scary quotes aplenty from Ronda as well as her judo-champ mother, Ana Maria Rousey DeMars. Some of our favorites:

If my mom saw me goofing around or having fun or whatever, she would grab me and she would pull me and sit me in the corner and be like, ‘shut up, sit down and think about winning.’” — Ronda Rousey

When I was a little kid, when I thought of what I wanted to be when I grew up, I didn’t really think, ‘oh I want to be an accountant,’ or, ‘I want to be a dentist.’ I wanted something extraordinary, something that didn’t exist. I wanted to be a super hero.” — Ronda Rousey

I’d go up to people at tournaments and go up behind them and just like kick them in the back of the legs and say, ‘bitch, I’m going to break your fucking arm today.’” — Mama Rousey

Watch the video. Then, watch Ronda and Meisha Tate on the premiere of The Ultimate Fighter: Now We Have Chicks tonight at 10 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

-Elias Cepeda

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