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The Week in Review: Rampage Forced Off UFC 186 (UH-DOI!), The Return of Mike Swick, + A Big Step Forward in UFC Drug Testing

(Yup, that pretty much sums it up.)

Greetings, Nation. If you haven’t noticed by the all but complete lack of posts this week, I’ve been away from the office (and in fact out of the state) to deal with some legal issues pertaining to a…gambling snafu. Yeah, let’s go with that.

My recent absence aside, the cutbacks across the board here at Castle CP have forced us to severely limit the amount of posts we can put up per day. So I, in my infinite wisdom, figured a John Oliver-esque recap of the week’s events in a single post would be the best way to keep you in the know moving forward, should CP happen to be your lone source of MMA news. Which if it is…

But let us begin with perhaps the biggest story of the week…

-In news no one — I repeat, no one — could have seen coming (except us, like, a month ago), Rampage Jackson has been forced out of his UFC 186 co-main event matchup with Fabio Maldonado. OH THE SHOCK AND TERROR AND ALSO AWE. If you recall, Bellator filed a lawsuit against Jackson back in March following the news that he had re-signed with the UFC while still under one of those “crazy contracts” that the Rebney Era became infamous for.

On Tuesday, New Jersey judge Karen L. Suter granted Bellator an injunction that successfully blocked Rampage from fighting at UFC 186 at the end of the month. When asked why she backed Bellator in this case, Suter claimed that “Equities plaintiff legal talk legal talk peas and carrots.” I’m paraphrasing, but you can read the bullet points here.

-In a more positive story, the UFC announced the hiring of “anti-doping crusader” Jeff Novitzky as vice president of athlete health and performance, a huge step forward in light of the promotion’s newly-instated drug testing policies. Novitzky is the perhaps best known for leading the investigation against both Barry Bonds and BALCO back in 2002 and Lance Armstrong in 2010 while working for the FDA. Why Chael Sonnen, who called out Armstrong years before any of us were ready to hear it, has not yet been brought onto the UFC’s new anti-steroid A-team remains a complete mystery.

-Speaking of steroids, Jorge de Oliveira became the most recent UFC fighter to get nailed for stanozolol, following his loss to Christos Giagos at Fight Night 62. Oliveira has been suspended for a year retroactive to the March 21st event, and his name will likely never be spoken on our tongues again.

-Alexis Dufresne (relationship status to Andy Dufresne: Uncertain) was also caught by a pre-fight medical…for pregnancy! You see how I turned that around on you like that? Bow down to the master, bitches!!! (But seriously, pregnancy is a beautiful thing and should not be trivialized.) Following her 0-2 run in the UFC, Dufresne was set to make her Bellator debut at Bellator 137 in May until a pre-fight medical exam revealed that she was with child.

-Speaking of which, Ben Henderson and his wife announced that they are also expecting. Send your congratulations with the proper stationary accordingly.

-In fight-booking news, Mike Swick has been greenlit to return to the octagon for the first time since his 1-1 run in the promotion back in 2012, which itself followed a two year absence due to injuries. The inventor of The Swickatine, Swicks Cheese, and The Swick-ffer will face off against dangerous striker Alex Garcia at UFC 189.

-For its first trip to Poland, the UFC has booked an absolutely abysmal card in Fight Night 64, as is tradition. Barring the main event rematch between Mirko Cro Cop and Gabriel Gonzaga, the four fight main card features three fighters without a Wikipedia page, one of whom is named Sheldon. Sheldon, you guys. UFC Krakow does feature the long-awaited debut of Alexandra Albu, however, which makes this a good a time as any to remind you that she is smokin’ hot…er…incredibly marketable.

-And finally, this photo. My God, this photo. (via r/mma)

My official reaction can be heard here.

-J. Jones

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