Pic: Max Holloway Is Too Injured To Fight At UFC 208

According to Jose Aldo, a featherweight title unification bout between him and interim titleholder Max Holloway was set for Feb. 11’s UFC 208 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, although that fight is no longer taking place at that event. “Scarface” has accused Holloway of ducking him, but it appears as if “Blessed”

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According to Jose Aldo, a featherweight title unification bout between him and interim titleholder Max Holloway was set for Feb. 11’s UFC 208 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, although that fight is no longer taking place at that event. “Scarface” has accused Holloway of ducking him, but it appears as if “Blessed” is too injured to fight at UFC 208.

Holloway’s manager recently took to Instagram to explain why the Hawaiian won’t be fighting in Brooklyn, also posting a picture of Holloway’s injured ankle. Check it out below:


“Blessed” is riding a division best 10 fight win streak and he most recently dominated and stopped former lightweight boss Anthony Pettis at UFC 206 earlier this month to secure the interim strap.

Aldo, on the other hand, is coming off of a decision victory over Frankie Edgar last July. He has also said that he has been offered an interim lightweight title bout given Holloway’s injury.

Would you like to see Holloway and Aldo meet next, or would you be more interested in seeing the Brazilian move up to 155-pounds?

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Report: Ronda Rousey’s UFC 207 Agreement Allows Her To Skip MMA Media

If you’ve been wondering why UFC 207 headliner Ronda Rousey has been ditching the mixed martial arts (MMA) media we may now have an answer. Rousey has a women’s bantamweight title bout with champion Amanda Nunes on Dec. 30. It’s protocol for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighters to attend media events. This is especially true

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If you’ve been wondering why UFC 207 headliner Ronda Rousey has been ditching the mixed martial arts (MMA) media we may now have an answer. Rousey has a women’s bantamweight title bout with champion Amanda Nunes on Dec. 30.

It’s protocol for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighters to attend media events. This is especially true for headliners involved in title bouts. Unless you are considered a star, most of your appearances will be with the MMA media.

This hasn’t applied to “Rowdy” who has given MMA journalists the cold shoulder. A longform from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne (via Bloody Elbow) revealed Rousey reached a bout agreement, which allowed her to limit her media appearances leading up to UFC 207.

Here is a quote from the report:

“In April 2015, the sport made headlines when another of its stars, McGregor, refused to attend a news conference. White responded by pulling him from the UFC 200 card.

Rousey watched it unfold from afar. When she saw McGregor a month later, at a Bud Light commercial taping in Las Vegas, she pulled him aside and offered some advice. ‘Instead of trying to handle everything at once, while it’s coming at you, just trying to reach an agreement beforehand,’ she told him.

Rousey did the same when she negotiated her terms for UFC 207. She would limit her publicity to a few high-profile interviews with people of her choosing, a day of filming at the gym in Glendale and a staredown with Nunes at UFC 205, a bout that McGregor would headline in New York in November.”

With a heavy emphasis on the return of Rousey over Nunes’ title defense, it’s clear the UFC is shooting for the mainstream crowd with this event. With Rousey nowhere to be found, the MMA media has been left with little to work with.

It’ll be interesting to see if Rousey interacts with the MMA media regardless of the result of her title bout.

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Floyd Mayweather Sr.: My Son Would Tear Conor McGregor Up

The long-discussed boxing match between Conor McGregor and boxing legend Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather continues to gain traction, as verbal warfare between the two stars’ camps continues to fly across enemy lines. Most recently ‘Money’s’ father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., talked with Fight Hub TV (courtesy of Bloody Elbow) to discuss the rumored match-up. Mayweather Sr. stated that even

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The long-discussed boxing match between Conor McGregor and boxing legend Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather continues to gain traction, as verbal warfare between the two stars’ camps continues to fly across enemy lines.

Most recently ‘Money’s’ father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., talked with Fight Hub TV (courtesy of Bloody Elbowto discuss the rumored match-up. Mayweather Sr. stated that even though his son ins’t a big hitter, he’ll light ‘Notorious’ up on the feet all night if they meet inside the squared circle:

“Floyd’s (going to) tear him up, man. Even though Floyd is not a big puncher, Floyd can hit him with jabs and stuff all night, man, and cut him up.”

The reporter interviewing Mayweather Sr. then proceeded to show him a video of McGregor’s knockout win over Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title at UFC 205, to which Floyd Sr. admitted the Irishman has good boxing fundamentals, however, they aren’t up to par with his son’s world-class capabilities:

“I don’t think his fundamentals are bad,” Floyd Sr. said. “But you got to understand, his fundamentals ain’t up there with the man, either. They got levels.”

“My son’s gonna cut his beard for him.”

The talk continues to take over the realm of combat sports news as both McGregor and Mayweather continue to keep the saga alive with their trash-talk, but will we ever see the two mega-stars settle their differences once and for all inside the ring?

You can check out Floyd Sr.’s interview with Fight Hub TV here in the video player below:

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Carlos Diego Ferreira Accepts 17-Month Sanction For Failed Drug Test, USADA Statement

carlos-diego-ferreira

On Wednesday, UFC.com released a statement issued by USADA regarding fighter Caarlos Diego Ferreira accepting a 17-month sanction for his positive drug test stemming from his April 29th fight.

Ferreira tested positive for Ostarine during an out-of-competition drug test leading up to his scheduled fight against Abel Trujillo at the UFC Fight Night 88 event.

Below is the complete statement that USADA released this week regarding Ferreira:

USADA announced today that UFC® athlete, Carlos Diego Ferreira, of Amazonas, Brazil, has accepted a 17-month sanction for an anti-doping policy violation after declaring the use of a product that listed and contained a prohibited substance, and testing positive for another prohibited substance.

Ferreira, 31, tested positive for Ostarine as a result of an out-of-competition drug test conducted on April 29, 2016. During the sample collection process, Ferreira declared the use of a product on his sample paperwork that listed the prohibited substance 7-keto-DHEA (7‐keto-dehydroepiandrosterone) as an ingredient. Ferreira’s sample was subsequently reported as adverse for the presence of Ostarine, a prohibited Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM), along with a laboratory finding that was consistent with Ferreira’s declared use of a product containing 7-keto-DHEA. Both Ostarine and 7-keto-DHEA are prohibited substances in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the WADA Prohibited List.

Following notification of his positive test, Ferreira tested several of the supplement products he was reportedly using at the time of his positive test. Although Ostarine was not listed on any of the supplement labels, preliminary testing conducted on the supplement product that listed 7-keto-DHEA as an ingredient indicated that it also contained Ostarine.

At USADA’s request, the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah, independently obtained and analyzed the contents of an unopened container of the supplement in question. That testing conclusively confirmed that although the supplement only listed one prohibited substance as an ingredient (7-keto-DHEA), it actually contained 7-keto-DHEA and a second undeclared prohibited substance (Ostarine) as well. Ferreira advised USADA that although he researched the product prior to using it, he did not realize 7-keto-DHEA was a prohibited substance, or that the supplement contained Ostarine. The product has since been added to the list of high risk supplements maintained on USADA’s online dietary supplement safety education and awareness resource – Supplement 411 (www.supplement411.org).

Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, as well as the World Anti-Doping Code, an athlete’s period of ineligibility for using a prohibited substance may be decreased depending on the athlete’s level of fault for the anti-doping policy violation. The UFC Anti-Doping Policy further provides that the prompt admission of an anti-doping policy violation may also be considered a mitigating factor in determining an appropriate sanction.

Based on the circumstances of Ferreira’s violation, USADA determined that a reduction to 17-months from the standard two-year period of ineligibility was justified. With this resolution, Ferreira has accepted a period of ineligibility that is longer than the one-year sanction imposed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) on June 21, 2016. Although Ferreira’s sanction under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy arises out of the same set of facts that led to his NSAC sanction, per the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, the UFC will recognize and enforce the lengthier period of ineligibility agreed to by USADA and Ferreira.

Ferreira’s 17-month period of ineligibility began on April 29, 2016, the date his positive sample was collected and the date on which he declared his use of a product that contained two prohibited substances.

carlos-diego-ferreira

On Wednesday, UFC.com released a statement issued by USADA regarding fighter Caarlos Diego Ferreira accepting a 17-month sanction for his positive drug test stemming from his April 29th fight.

Ferreira tested positive for Ostarine during an out-of-competition drug test leading up to his scheduled fight against Abel Trujillo at the UFC Fight Night 88 event.

Below is the complete statement that USADA released this week regarding Ferreira:

USADA announced today that UFC® athlete, Carlos Diego Ferreira, of Amazonas, Brazil, has accepted a 17-month sanction for an anti-doping policy violation after declaring the use of a product that listed and contained a prohibited substance, and testing positive for another prohibited substance.

Ferreira, 31, tested positive for Ostarine as a result of an out-of-competition drug test conducted on April 29, 2016. During the sample collection process, Ferreira declared the use of a product on his sample paperwork that listed the prohibited substance 7-keto-DHEA (7?keto-dehydroepiandrosterone) as an ingredient. Ferreira’s sample was subsequently reported as adverse for the presence of Ostarine, a prohibited Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM), along with a laboratory finding that was consistent with Ferreira’s declared use of a product containing 7-keto-DHEA. Both Ostarine and 7-keto-DHEA are prohibited substances in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the WADA Prohibited List.

Following notification of his positive test, Ferreira tested several of the supplement products he was reportedly using at the time of his positive test. Although Ostarine was not listed on any of the supplement labels, preliminary testing conducted on the supplement product that listed 7-keto-DHEA as an ingredient indicated that it also contained Ostarine.

At USADA’s request, the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah, independently obtained and analyzed the contents of an unopened container of the supplement in question. That testing conclusively confirmed that although the supplement only listed one prohibited substance as an ingredient (7-keto-DHEA), it actually contained 7-keto-DHEA and a second undeclared prohibited substance (Ostarine) as well. Ferreira advised USADA that although he researched the product prior to using it, he did not realize 7-keto-DHEA was a prohibited substance, or that the supplement contained Ostarine. The product has since been added to the list of high risk supplements maintained on USADA’s online dietary supplement safety education and awareness resource – Supplement 411 (www.supplement411.org).

Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, as well as the World Anti-Doping Code, an athlete’s period of ineligibility for using a prohibited substance may be decreased depending on the athlete’s level of fault for the anti-doping policy violation. The UFC Anti-Doping Policy further provides that the prompt admission of an anti-doping policy violation may also be considered a mitigating factor in determining an appropriate sanction.

Based on the circumstances of Ferreira’s violation, USADA determined that a reduction to 17-months from the standard two-year period of ineligibility was justified. With this resolution, Ferreira has accepted a period of ineligibility that is longer than the one-year sanction imposed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) on June 21, 2016. Although Ferreira’s sanction under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy arises out of the same set of facts that led to his NSAC sanction, per the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, the UFC will recognize and enforce the lengthier period of ineligibility agreed to by USADA and Ferreira.

Ferreira’s 17-month period of ineligibility began on April 29, 2016, the date his positive sample was collected and the date on which he declared his use of a product that contained two prohibited substances.

UFC Confirms Mark Hunt vs. Alistair Overeem For UFC 209 On March 4th

Following rumors the past couple of days, a very exciting fight between a pair of Heavyweight knockout artists has been officially announced for UFC 209.

UFC.com confirmed this week that former K-1 World Grand Prix Champions Alistair Overeem and Mar…

hunt-overeem-ufc-209

Following rumors the past couple of days, a very exciting fight between a pair of Heavyweight knockout artists has been officially announced for UFC 209.

UFC.com confirmed this week that former K-1 World Grand Prix Champions Alistair Overeem and Mark Hunt will take place as part of the fight card scheduled for their UFC 209 pay-per-view event in March.

Hunt has been very outspoken about the UFC since losing to Brock Lesnar at the landmark UFC 200 event in July, only to find out that Lesnar had tested positive on multiple drug tests leading up to their Octagon showdown.

For his part, Overeem last fought in Cincinatti, Ohio, getting knocked out by reigning UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic in a wild, back-and-forth battle.

The Hunt-Overeem bout takes place at UFC 209, which goes down live from Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, March 4, 2017.

Cyborg, The Interim Belt Era, & The Death Of Meritocracy

And just like that, another belt was born, and with it the potential for a new era in women’s combat sports. In light of recent history, this is no insignificant occurrence, but as is becoming the norm when the UFC make big announcements, the decision left many MMA pundits (rightfully) shaking their heads. A recap

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And just like that, another belt was born, and with it the potential for a new era in women’s combat sports. In light of recent history, this is no insignificant occurrence, but as is becoming the norm when the UFC make big announcements, the decision left many MMA pundits (rightfully) shaking their heads.

A recap is necessary to unpack why. Since purchasing Strikeforce in 2011/12, the UFC has consistently refused to create a female 145-pound division. Then it spent a year forcing the consensus featherweight queen Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino to fight meaningless, potentially life-threatening fights at 140 pounds in the naïve hope that she could one day get down to 135 pounds. Then, abruptly, the UFC acquiesced to the dictates of common sense and, lo and behold, a new featherweight division was born. Still with me?

The inaugural championship bout was announced last Tuesday as taking place on February 11, 2017, in the main event of the UFC 208 pay-per-view from Brooklyn, and the MMA world breathed a collective sigh of relief.

There’s just one tiny detail that has been less-than-cordially received: Cyborg won’t be fighting for the belt in February. Instead it will be Holly Holm, the #4 ranked bantamweight, best remembered as the woman who KO’d Ronda Rousey in front of 57,000 people at Etihad Stadium, facing off against the #11 Germaine de Randamie, a Strikeforce import who’s yet to make noise (or win against ranked competition) in the UFC.

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Like many of the UFC’s recent decisions, the match-up appears to be driven by short-term financial and promotional objectives. The UFC 208 card needed a headliner – the event having already been moved from January due to a dearth of available main eventers – and when Cyborg said she needed until March 2017 to recover from her last fight (a destruction of Lina Lansberg in September 2016), the promotion decided to forge ahead without her.

In fact, in an interview a few days before the Holm-de Randamie announcement, UFC president Dana White even went as far as implying that Cyborg might not get to fight for the belt at all – directly calling into question her motivation for turning down the February contest.

That a sustained period of hospitalization due to serious dehydration and severe depression wasn’t enough to convince the UFC to wait a meager four weeks for the true 145-pound queen is disturbing enough (especially since Rousey automatically became the champion at 135 pounds when Strikeforce was absorbed). But White’s decision to publicly reprimand Cyborg for prioritizing her health above the promotion’s bottom line, which was jeopardized in the first place because of the UFC’s dogmatic refusal to let her fight at her natural weight, is reckless. Even more so in light of the UFC’s recent laudable efforts to mitigate risks associated with weight-cutting.

Cyborg Weight Cut

This style of alarmingly short-sited and commercially driven decision-making has become somewhat commonplace for the UFC in recent times, no doubt motivated by the $1.8 billion that owners WME IMG had to borrow to finance its purchase of the company earlier this year.

Notwithstanding the incredible success of the promotion’s most recent pay per view showing, UFC 206, it too was overshadowed by the promotion’s dubious decision to declare the featherweight contest between Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis an interim championship bout a mere two weeks before the event.

Like the inaugural women’s championship, the decision appeared to be motivated by the need to put a shiny gold belt on the event poster. The event had, of course, been jeopardized after the headlining rematch between light heavy weight champion Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson was cancelled due to Cormier’s injury. Incredibly, the organization’s first choice was even more baffling: creating an interim light heavy weight championship to be contested between Johnson and middleweight Gegard Mousasi (who hadn’t fought at light heavyweight in nearly 3 years), which was ultimately turned down by Johnson.

Preceding UFC 206 were UFC 200, where an interim featherweight belt was created to cater to Conor McGregor’s desire to rematch Nate Diaz at welterweight; and UFCs 197 and 189, where an interim light heavyweight championship and an interim featherweight belt were respectively created to compensate for the champions’ late-notice withdrawal due to injury.

There are obvious problems with this practice of creating belts out of thin air to be contested by less-than-deserving contenders.

The first is the irrefutable damage this does to the legitimacy of the championship belt, and the correlative impact this is having on the landscape of the MMA fan base. As Dave Meltzer pointed out, it was the proliferation of belts (and weight classes) in boxing that made championship fights meaningless in the modern age. In contrast, the comparative restraint of the UFC, which traditionally only had five weight divisions, earned them much more in the way of fan loyalty.

Condit vs. Diaz

This loyalty is inevitably waving in an era where three (likely four) interim belts have been created in the past 12 months, and none due to a prolonged period of absence of the champion as was the conventional justification (for example, Carlos Condit vs. Nick Diaz due to GSP’s 18 months absence due to an ACL tear in 2011-12; or the string of injuries that kept Cruz out from 2011-14).

Moreover, as 2017 gets underway it seems clear that the promotion will continue to pursue mainstream fans who are more interested in the entertainment external to the cage to events that unfold inside it – which is a risky game depending on how long super-stars McGregors and Rouseys stick around for, and whether the UFC’s PR-machine can find (or manufacture) suitable replacements.

Another problem is whether this style of promotion is reconcilable with the rankings system, which should theoretically have a significant (if not determinative) influence on who is eligible for a title-shot. As I’ve argued elsewhere, longer-term matchmaking for championship fights has demonstrated an increasing disdain for no.1 contenders and threatens the UFC’s ability to retain some of its greatest talents.

The UFC’s contempt for rankings is perhaps best reflected in the decision to give Dan Henderson, ranked no #11, a title shot against champion Michael Bisping in October. However, this was preceded by equally problematic title fights such as Lawler-Condit at UFC 195 (Condit was 2-3 in his last five bouts at the time), Cormier vs. Gustafsson at UFC 192 (Gustafsson had been KO’d in his last fight and a more deserving contender in Ryan Bader, who was riding a 5-fight winning steak, was passed over) and Ronda Rousey’s last two contests against Bethe Correia at UFC 190 and Holly Holm at UFC 193 (at the time these fighters were announced, neither Holm nor Correia were in the top-5 and hadn’t fought against ranked competition).

Cody Garbrandt and Dom Cruz

The upcoming co-main event of UFC 207, pitting bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz against #5 Cody Garbrandt, at the expense of the far more deserving challenger and no.1 contender TJ Dillashaw, who lost his belt to “the Dominator” in a razor close split decision in January, is just as troubling.

This style of money-driven decision-making has recently led top contenders such as Khabib Nurmagomedov (#1 at lightweight) and Julianna Pena (#3 at women’s bantamweight) to threaten to leave the UFC, and given the recent success of Bellator in picking up high profile fighters, it is entirely possible it will cost the promotion its monopoly on talent.

Given the way the UFC has treated many fighters, the creation of some competition with Bellator isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But an equally desirable outcome would be for the UFC’s new owners to re-visit what made the company so successful to begin with: a commitment to meritocratic match-making and a determination to learn from boxing’s mistakes.

MMA Fighters Association

With the recent formation of the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association, other efforts towards unionization picking up steam, and the US Congress showing interest in greater federal regulation of the sport (most notably by extending the Ali Act to MMA, so that title fights would have to be based on an objective ranking system), changes addressing many of these issues are perhaps inevitable.

The only question left is how long the UFC wants to resist the tide, and what kind of sport we’ll have left when it’s all said and done.

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