Archive for the ‘Steroids’ Category

Here’s some more news on the proposed women’s mixed martial arts (WMMA) superfight between current Strikeforce bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey, and suspended former Strikeforce featherweight champion, Cris “Cyborg” Santos.

Random Drug Testing and Follicle Testing

Some of the buzz making its way through the MMA internet comes from Darin Harvey, manager for Ronda Rousey. Harvey is making it clear that any contract establishing a fight between his client and Cris “Cyborg” Santos will have to include some fairly strict drug testing requirements if they expect to get Ronda to sign it. Here’s a story by Mike Chiappetta spelling out Harvey’s demands, which include both random testing during the training process, and follicle testing, which would determine whether Santos has been doping during her suspension.

How Heavy?

Another controversy is whether the fight will occur at Rousey’s current division of bantamweight (135 lbs.), Santos’s current division of featherweight (145 lbs.), or at a compromise catchweight of 140 lbs. Rousey is adamant that, as champion, she shouldn’t have to cater to her challenger, so Santos should come to her. Santos responds that Ronda has competed in judo in two different weight classes, Ronda started WMMA at featherweight, and Santos has always had trouble making 145 lbs. In total, asking Santos to reach 135 lbs. is Ronda’s means of ducking the fight she knows she can’t win.

This is all, of course, hype. Santos is currently considering fighting in InvictaFC because there’s no one at 145 lbs. worth fighting in Strikeforce. Her prior claim that Ronda ran to 135 lbs. to duck her would seem hypocritical. Ronda had no reason to stay at 145 lbs. once Santos was suspended. However, Ronda is also making a demand that’s designed to screw with Santos’s mind. Ronda can fight at 145 lbs., but Santos might not be able to fight at 135 lbs. It’s a tactical demand designed to improve Ronda’s chances at wining.

Whose demand should be met? Ronda’s, because she’s the champ, and Santos has every responsibility to come to Ronda for the fight. When and if Santos moves to InvictaFC, right or wrong, she will be perceived as the one that’s running from a fight.

Putting Them Together

Seeing the connection between these two issues shouldn’t require a huge intellectual leap. Santos has had trouble making 145 lbs., but the accusation is that she’s been taking steroids for quite some time now, having only recently been caught. If her weight troubles were the result of her steroids use – something that we don’t know and would be unfair to assume – then a clean Santos might not have problems making 135 lbs. Of course, if the truth is that she’s be doping all along, that truth will never come out, so Santos could avoid 135 lbs. by continuing to claim that doctors have told her not to make the weight cut.

A WMMA PPV?

Chiappetta’s article raises another interesting point, though only in passing: The possibility of the fight appearing on a pay-per-view (PPV) event. Whether this would be a Strikeforce PPV or an Ultimate Fighting Championship PPV is an interesting question. Personally, I just want to see the fight; however, Zuffa knows that Ronda is sure to sell PPVs and, the fight would generate mainstream media coverage that Zuffa doesn’t generally get. From Zuffa’s perspective, the smart move might be to have the “Strikeforce” women’s bantamweight title headline a UFC card. This could give a title fight to a card that otherwise wouldn’t have one, improving an otherwise dismal PPV draw.

Just my 2¢.

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References
MMA Journalism Is a Joke
Oh, Dana! You’re so crazy, Part I and Part II
Update on Nate Marquardt’s Release
Ronda Rousey post

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Hey! This doesn't look like the fights I saw!

This card was phenomenal. There were some great fights on it, so if Zuffa was worried that all of the fighter drop-outs would result in a bad card, that worry was unfounded. There were very few snoozers on the card.

Also, I got another legitimate media response tonight! That makes me so happy. 🙂

Patrick Barry vs. Cheick Kongo

My ninjitsu instructor had a great saying I’ve since plagiarized many times: “Let ’em think they’ve won, then kill them.” That’s what happened here, though it was by accident. Kongo was done. He was about to go to sleep. When that happens, a fighter will drop his defense and adjust to a 100% offensive approach in order finish the fight. By definition, that’s the time that their the second-most vulnerable. (The most vulnerable is when they’re actually unconscious.) If you can make someone think they’ve won, they’ll drop their guard, and you can destroy them.

This is more apt for psychological warfare, and is tough to pull off intelligently in a fist fight, but as Scott Smith v. Pete Sell, and now Cheick Kongo v. Pat Barry, show us, it can happen when you’re in desperation mode and your instincts and athleticism take over.

Still, that won’t happen often, so it should be clear to everyone that Kongo is not even in the top half of punchers in the UFC. Pat Barry would win a rematch if Kongo again tried to go toe-to-toe with him. (Both Jason and I picked Kongo to win using a smart game plan that he never tried to employ.)

Rob 1-0, Jason 1-0

Charlie Brenneman vs. Rick Story

Because neither of us really picked this fight, this doesn’t go against either record. However, there’s a lot to be said here. As I’ve been saying since my interview on Fight Fans Radio, Rick Story should not have been fighting three weeks after a tough fight against Thiago Alves. The twitterverse was alive with tweets to the effect of “what an unexpected update,” and even this garbage (to which I responded).

Don’t get me wrong; I fully expect a fighter to want to fight on a monthly basis; however, I expect his handlers to know better and tell him he can’t. If Rick Story doesn’t switch camps after this mess, I won’t have any sympathy for him.

I’m sorry if this comes across as disrespectful to Charlie Brenneman and to his abilities. I mean no offense, and he very well could prove to be an elite UFC fighter at some point. I just don’t agree with people rushing from fight to fight against the top talent in the world in their sport. You can’t win doing that.

Rob 1-0, Jason 1-0 (no change)

Matt Brown vs. John Howard

I’m so disappointed that Matt won’t be receiving a pink slip. All he’s done lately is talk and lose, and this win will keep him around for some more talking and losing.

EDIT: Brown had chewing tobacco in his mouth during the press conference. You know? That thing where you’re supposed to talk? Yeah, there. Brilliant, Matt, and so high class.

Side note: Once again, the boo-birds came out for this fight. Let me make this clear: While we all want exciting fights, the ground game is part of what MMA is. You have to take the good with the bad. If you don’t like it, no problem. Just watch something else.

Rob 1-1, Jason 1-1

Matt Mitrione vs. Christian Morecraft

Just as I thought. Matt’s technique overwhelmed Christian’s power. That’s why we study martial arts, people.

Rob 2-1, Jason 2-1

Tyson Griffin vs. Manny Gamburyan

A very close fight, and for once, a set of scorecards that reflect that. I gave the fight to Manny, but I’m not going to throw judges under the bus on this one.

Rob 2-2, Jason 3-1

Joe Stevenson vs. Javier Vasquez

Hopefully we can finally put Joe Stevenson’s tenure with the UFC to bed.

Rob 3-2, Jason 4-1

Michael Johnson vs. Edward Faaloloto

Johnson was far from impressive, but a legitimate stoppage win nonetheless.

Rob 4-2, Jason 5-1

Charles Oliveira vs. Nik Lentz

Illegal knee or not, the result was inevitable. Oliveira is an animal on the ground, and Lentz walked right into it. He was exhausted and a beaten fighter. Because I imagine the commission will rule this a no contest (again, showing why picking fights is stupid), I won’t count this against either of our records. I don’t necessarily disagree with calling this a no-decision, but I also disagree with those that don’t admit Oliveira is the better fighter.

Rob 4-2, Jason 5-1 (no change)

Joe Lauzon vs. Curt Warburton

Hey, Mike Goldberg! Considering how gassed Joe was against George Sotiropoulos, he shouldn’t be said to be “always energized.”

Ahem. Back to the fight. Now that’s the Joe Lauzon everyone wants to see. I give Warburton credit for heart, but not for intelligence. A serious shoulder injury could take him out of fighting for a long time, possibly for good. When you’re beaten, you’re beaten. Tap out, stupid, so you can fight again.

Rob 5-2, Jason 6-1

Daniel Roberts vs. Rich Attonito

As tired as Daniel was in round 3, Rich should be ashamed not to have finished him. This was not the result of Daniel’s heart; it was the result of Rich’s hesitation. As I said, though, this was a tough fight to predict, and this was my first bad pick of the night.

Rob 5-3, Jason 6-2

Matt Grice vs. Ricardo Lamas

As I said, Grice is here to fill the roster of a new division. His second stint with the UFC won’t last long after the next TUF season gives the division a few more fighters.

Rob 6-3, Jason 7-2

The Result

My picks we’re too bad (67%), but Jason’s we’re better. I’m still winning the overall race, though, since starting my picks with UFC 129.

Interviews with Uriah Faber and Dominick Cruz

Who cares? Just fight, guys.

Okay, I know they have to hype the fight, but really, there was nothing gained through either interview. If Chael Sonnen is fighting Jason “Mayhem” Miller, then I’ll want to listen. Otherwise, I just want to see the fights. That’s just me, though.

Marquardt Update

Dana White is standing by his decision. He’s certainly making it sound like Nate Marquardt shot heroin, snorted cocaine, or committed some sort of crime justifying not giving him a second chance. He’s confident that if Nate “mans up” and tells people what he did, the public will back Dana. Nate has announced via Twitter that he will be addressing the issue on Tuesday. Expect this blogger, every other blogger (including those fake journalists that are just bloggers), and every legitimate journalist that covers MMA to throw in their two cents on Tuesday night. Of course, I doubt Nate will disclose what caused the problem, leaving us all to speculate ignorantly.

I will say this, though. Tons of fighters have tested positive for steroids, and they weren’t released by the UFC. In fact, Dana has been very critical of athletic commissions after fighters tested positive. Marquardt is just as big a draw as Sean Sherk was, and close to the draw that Chael Sonnen is, so that wouldn’t explain the disparate treatment. If this is just about steroids, then I won’t take Dana’s side. As I’ve already said, this card fell apart because a lot of fighters dropped out, including Nate’s original opponent. If Nate’s being treated differently than every other banned-substance user, then this is Dana pissed off about a weak card on his soon-to-be TV network. (Spike TV will almost certainly not have it’s contract renewed at the end of this year.)

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Marquardt: Not a heroin junkie!

This is a collection of tweets from Ariel Helwani:

Here’s what Greg Sirb, the executive director of the PA commission, said regarding Nate Marquardt: “Nate failed the medical requirements for the fight and was put on suspension by the PA athletic commission until he provides a medical report showing that he’s satisfied those requirements. He was given every opportunity to meet the requirements up until Saturday at 3 pm. The Athletic commission is not free to disclose what requirements he failed to meet. The suspension is indefinite. As soon as Marquardt can provide what they are looking for, he will not be suspended anymore.” Of course, I tried to ask multiple times why he failed the test, but Sirb said that was all he was going to discuss and the rest is up to [Nate Marquardt].

So, while the jury is still out on whether Nate did something horrible, this is looking more and more like Nate (not surprisingly) wasn’t shooting heroin, and Dana White is just taking an ego trip. Clearly, Nate screwed up, but failing to satisfy the athletic commission is a “first offense” as far as I know, and it’s probably not grounded in a serious criminal offense, so Dana’s reaction seems to be an overreaction. The fact that the UFC on Versus 4 card has fallen to pieces is due to a lot more than just the Nate-issue. Anthony Johnson pulled out of the main event, and there have been a few other last second (or close to last second) drop outs. Dana needs to lighten up.

As for why Nate failed, I refer you to this tweet from Matthew Baron, which is right on point.

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