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    Quote Originally Posted by JudgementDay View Post
    Gotta love Muay Thai!
    Buakaw in particular. Dude's a legend.
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    Yeah that dude seems pretty wicked.
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    Alistair Overeem Receives 'Conditional License' to Face Brock Lesnar at UFC 141





    Early on in the Nevada State Athletic Commission meeting today we got an ominous sign that something may be up with Alistair Overeem's licensing status. During a discussion about the success of out-of-competition drug testing, following up on a July 2010 meeting, They entioned that the two most recent men asked to take a test were Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem. Lesnar, they said, went to a hospital and took his test. Then they said that they would "discuss him [Overeem] later."Overeem was eventually sworn in to answer questions.

    He was notified on November 17 that he would need to take a random out of competition test, the commission did not hear back from Overeem's camp for five days. Then Overeem took a blood test on the 23rd but the test they were looking for was urine. He didn't actually take a urine test until December 7th, but that test was administered by his own private doctor, not by a testing facility which the commission did not care for.

    Overeem said that he felt he did things in a quick manner. The commission grilled him over his timeline, asking why he didn't notify the UFC that he was leaving the country and why he didn't get the test done more quickly.

    Overeem continued to pin the issues on his assistants, saying he was getting tested within a day each time his assistants told him he needed to and that his assistants are the ones who talk to the UFC. His assistant said that he works another full time job and isn't familiar with the Athletic Commission procedures and simply did the best that he could.

    One of the biggest moments on the call was when Overeem said that he purchased the plane ticket to fly to see his mother on the 15th, two days prior to the request for testing. That made it appear that he did not jump the next flight to avoid the test.
    In the end, the commission felt that his descriptions of the situations he dealt with were satisfactory for a license with some exceptions:
    1. The test done by his doctor on the 7th of December is not sufficient. He will need to retest within 72 hours somewhere in the UK or elsewhere at a location of NSAC's choosing.
    2. Overeem must drop another urine sample when he lands in the United States.
    3. Overeem will be tested randomly twice over six months following the UFC 141 card.
    So again, after much deliberation and a fishy timeline, it appears that the fight with Brock Lesnar will go on.
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    Chan Sung Jung Should Be Next For Jose Aldo and the UFC Featherwight Title





    Seven seconds. That's what it took for Chan Sung Jung to knock out Mark Hominick at UFC 140. Seven seconds. That number officially ties The Korean Zombie for fastest KO in UFC history (alongside Todd Duffee). Any fast victory like that is extremely impressive, but the fact that it came against Mark Hominick? That is something special indeed. With that win, Chan Sung Jung suddenly vaults into the upper levels of the Featherweight ranks. But after this win, Jung shouldn't just be near the top. Chan Sung Jung should be next in line for a shot at the Featherweight title.

    That's quite a jump, I know. After all, Jung is only on a 2 fight win streak, and prior to those 2 wins, he had been rather emphatically knocked out himself by George Roop, and lost a controversial decision to Leonard Garcia. There are plenty of fighters above him in the ranks - men like Hatsu Hioki, Roop, Dustin Poirier, and Erik Koch. From a purely sports/rankings perspectives, those men should get the shot, it's true. But that doesn't mean it's the right choice for the division.

    Just one year into their time in the UFC, the Featherweights are still struggling for relevance. Aldo looks to be gaining popularity, but it's a slow process, and his lack of big highlight reel wins inside the Octagon is not helping. Next up for the champion is Chad Mendes, in a fight that will perhaps interest the live crowd in Brazil and the hardcore MMA fanbase, but I don't see Aldo vs. Mendes drawing in many casual fans. Same goes for Aldo versus any one of those contenders named above. And that's assuming Aldo wins. A Mendes vs. Poirier title fight would be destined for Fuel or FX.

    But Jung is different. Thanks largely to his epic brawl with Garcia, he has a strong appeal for casual fans. Like Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar years ago, Jung will forever get respect for his part in that fight. Add in the nickname, the persona, and the t-shirts, and you have a fighter that casual fans recognize and respond to.

    Now, casual fan recognition is not the only factor, obviously. If it was, we'd be looking ahead to UFC 147: Junior dos Santos vs. Kimbo Slice. You need the credentials to back that recognition. At UFC 140, Jung established those credentials.

    Mark Hominick is a near 10 year veteran of the sport. He is one of the best strikers in the division. He went 25 minutes with Jose Aldo. He's never been stopped by strikes. And in seven seconds, Jung took him out. Those are serious credentials, and when you pair them with his popularity, you have a strong title contender.

    Right now, the division needs a boost. As the division works to establish itself, it needs main event names fans can get behind - as we saw with Kenny Florian's fast-track to a title shot. The WEC always understood this, vaulting men up to title shots quickly if they had momentum. Chan Sung Jung has that momentum, and he will provide that name. He's exactly what the division needs. Can he defeat Jose Aldo? Probably not, but that's not really the point. The point is, he can make you care to find out the answer.

    Jose Aldo vs. The Korean Zombie for the UFC Featherweight title. Make it happen Joe Silva.
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    Fedor Emelianenko Vs. Satoshi Ishii Confirmed For NYE





    Fedor Emelianenko will face Satoshi Ishii in Japan on New Years Eve. Sherdog was the first to confirm this rumored bout after speaking with people close to DREAM 'Genki Desu Ka! New Year! 2011." The fight was rumored after being mentioned in Fedor's post-fight speech at the M-1 event in Moscow. Fedor was able to bounce back from a three fight skid with losses to Fabricio Werdum, Antonio Silva, and Dan Henderson when he defeated Jeff Monson in November. Ishii made news when he was wined and dined by the UFC only to choose Sengoku as his MMA home. His career got off to a rocky start with a loss to Hadehiko Yoshida but he's gone undefeated since with four wins and a questionable draw to Paulo Filho in September. 'Genki Desu Kai! New Year! 2011' will be live from the Saitama Super Arena on HD Net and will also feature the finals of DREAM's bantamweight tournament. DREAM is also showcasing two title fights with Shinya Aoki defending his lightweight belt against Satoru Kitaoka and Hiroyuki Takaya facing Takshi Inoue.
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    Lyoto Machida reflects on UFC 140 title-fight against Jon Jones





    For the first five minutes of Saturday night’s UFC 140 light heavyweight title-fight between Jon Jones and Lyoto Machida, it seemed as if “The Dragon” had solved the puzzle that is “Bones.”
    However, after receiving a powerful elbow to the head that left him cut open, Machida was choked out by Jones in the second round, dropping his record to 1-3 in his last four UFC bouts after opening his career up with sixteen straight wins.
    Machida looked as if he had figured out how to avoid the long reach of Jones in the early stages, rocking the champion with a few kicks and punches of his own.

    “The preparation was tougher in all aspects,” said Machida in an interview with Tatame. “We went there and tried to do our job. We set a game plan that, from where I’m standing, until a certain moment, was working. But, he landed that elbow and I got dizzy, I couldn’t see things straight anymore and it disturbed me because I couldn’t see.”

    Machida seemed to be ahead on the scorecards in the eyes of many, but when the views of the fight judges were revealed later, Jones had won the opening round on two of the three cards, much to the surprise of Machida.

    “There was a guy from the event who came to talk to me because he argued with the judges because they had scored the win for him, and he asked how could they do it, and they said that only on the replay they really saw it, so it was confusing,” Machida said. “But we never know how they evaluate it, if they have enough time to do it, so we gotta see their side too, but it’s an athlete’s life and career that is on line there.”
    For now, Machida said he plans on continuing his training and awaiting word from the UFC who they would like to set him up against next.
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    Alistair Overeem discusses decision to move to heavyweight


    Former Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem will face the biggest fight of his career later this month when he steps inside the Octagon against Brock Lesnar at UFC 141. With a win, Overeem would become the #1 contender to divisional title-holder Junior dos Santos and position himself to become recognized as one of the t ruly elite fighters in the world.
    However, not too long ago, “The Reem” was competing in the light heavyweight division. For the powerful Dutchman the transition to the heavyweight ranks was a long time coming.

    “Everyone around me, including friends of mine I have known since we were kids, knew right away it was the right call when I moved to heavyweight full time in 2007,” wrote Overeem, in his blog for Yahoo! Sports. “Some fans and MMA media didn’t understand it, they thought, ‘How is he going to do any better at heavyweight, he will not do as well as at 205 lbs,’ but I make the decision after taking a hard look at myself.”

    Overeem has fended off talk of using performance enhancing drugs for much of his career, but he counts eating better and heavy lifting as the reason his body took to the heavyweight division instead.

    “I knew putting on enough weight to where I was able to compete with the top heavies would take time. I also know that as soon as I started eating well and had the energy to work out with the weights, I would add mass right away,” Overeem wrote. “But it took time for me to get bigger and grow into a powerful heavyweight.”

    He also revealed the division’s relatively shallow pool was appealing, writing, “Plus – and this is something fighters never ever usually admit – the fact is 205 lbs is a division stacked with talent and the heavyweight division doesn’t have that many world class fighters. I am happy to admit that. At 205 lbs., you have a great champion in Jon Jones, and very talented guys like Lyoto Machida, (Quinton Jackson), Ryan Bader, Forrest Griffin, Dan Henderson, (Mauricio Rua) – the list goes on and on. Anyone in the Top 15 at light heavyweight is a dangerous fight, while at heavyweight, if I am honest, there’s maybe eight or nine true world class fighters competing at heavyweight.”
    Overeem will make his Octagon debut when he tackles Lesnar on December 30 from Las Vegas, Nevada. Other fights for UFC 141 include Nate Diaz vs. Donald Cerrone and Johny Hendricks against Jon Fitch.
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    Good to hear the Lesnar and Overeem fight is still on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudgementDay View Post
    Good to hear the Lesnar and Overeem fight is still on.
    For sure, if nothing else then keeping the potential kickboxing match between Overeem and JDS still on.
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    Palhares is seeing a sports psychologist after string of bizarre incidents


    There's never a shortage of registered armchair psychologists in the world of MMA. "Registered," in this case, meaning
    the result of people who have successfully inputted username and password combinations to gain access to media such as forums and Twitter, which they then use as de-facto licenses to assess and interpret mental health.

    Rousimar Palhares' manager, Alex Davis, thought it might be slightly more prudent to seek out the expertise of an
    actual, licensed clinical sports psychologist following a series of head-scratching episodes involving his client. Currently, there are only questions surrounding the Brazilian fighter's recent behavior, which has included blatantly ignoring referee instructions, wrongfully accusing opponents of cheating, and just about everything in between.

    Why does it always seem like he's trying to bend the rules? Does he simply lose focus under pressure? Is he a dirty fighter? Could there be something more serious going on regarding his mental fitness? Questions, questions, questions.

    Palhares (13-3 MMA,
    6-2 UFC) remains scheduled to fight next month at UFC 142 against Mike Massenzio
    (13-5 MMA, 2-3 UFC) on Jan. 14 on UFC 142's main card at Rio de Janeiro's HSBC
    Arena.

    "It's a mixture of things," Davis recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "There are a lot of variables. Yes, Rousimar is a very simple person. He comes from a very simple background. He comes from a background that somebody here in the United States would have a very, very hard time understanding. "But he does tend to go on automatic a lot, and that's something we are trying to
    straighten out."

    Let's be clear: Palhares has had way more fights go off without a hitch than not. But there's always a sense at any moment the wheels can come flying off. And when they have, it sticks out in people's minds.

    UFC 111 in
    March 2010 is really when we were first introduced to the bizarro world of Palhares, though nobody knew it at the time. It took Palhares all of 45 seconds into the first frame to lock on a heel-hook submission against Tomasz Drwal. The problem was he held onto the submission after referee Kevin Mulhall's initial attempt to halt the bout. Meanwhile, Drwal writhed in pain.

    The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board suspended Palhares 90 days.

    Next came the incident in the main event at UFC Fight Night 22. In the first round, Palhares found himself on his back against Nate Marquardt following a failed leg-lock attempt. He immediately proceeded to look up at referee Herb Dean while also gesturing toward Marquardt's legs,
    meaning he was trying to signal the reason he could not get the submission hold was because Marquardt had something slippery on his legs. Marquardt, who recognized the minor mental meltdown instantly, attacked with ground-and-pound strikes and earned the stoppage victory.

    Palhares again drew attention to Marquardt's legs following the bout as they embraced and still tried to plead his case. But when it was all
    said and done, Marquardt had done nothing wrong outside of sweating more than Palhares would have preferred.

    "I am a witness that there was nothing (illegal going on)," Davis said. "Marquardt's legs were shaved and smooth as a baby's, but there was no oil, nothing on them. you can't do that when you fight. And Rousimar has to develop in that sense."

    That's "WTF" moment No. 2 if you're scoring at home.

    No. 3 was bestowed upon us roughly a year later at UFC 134 back in August, where Palhares faced Dan Miller. (Palhares did make it through a submission win over Dave Branch just prior without any trouble rearing its head.)

    In the first round against Miller, Palhares connected on a perfectly timed high kick that dropped his opponent to the canvas. Palhares moved in to end the fight with ground-and-pound strikes. After a few heavy punches, however, he walked away thinking he had won and jumped up to straddle the cage to bask in the glow of victory. The only problem was the ref never stopped the fight. If there were a tent draped over the arena at that moment, it would have had a circus. Still, Palhares went on to earn the unanimous-decision victory.

    Broadcaster Gus Johnson once infamously said, "These things happen in MMA." Well, "things" happen in Rousimar Palhares' fights. A lot of
    them. And, most recently, we've learned it's not unique to the octagon.

    A month after the Miller fight, Palhares competed in the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) Wrestling World Championships, where he earned a silver medal in the under-88kg division. Palhares defeated Dan Schon, David Avellan and Rafael Lovato Jr. in succession before falling to Andre Galvao in the finals.

    Almost on cue, there were a couple dicey moments along the way. In the Avellan match, there was confusion after Palhares recorded a takedown and secured a heel hook as the pair headed out of bounds. Palhares stood up to celebrate, and Avellan complained. The referee appeared to tell both competitors to stop at one point, and Palhares cranked on the submission anyway.

    In the Galvao match, Palhares pulled his thumb back to break a grip, which is illegal. The referee paused the match and warned Palhares, the pair restarted, and Galvao continued to complain. Moments later, Palhares was warned for trying his best to rough up Galvao in the clinch.

    At this point, Palhares' awkward moments have been funneled to form some sort of warped idiom. Nothing would surprise anyone at
    this point. And to a certain extent, the accumulation of the unusual has overshadowed his accomplishments in the UFC. It may come as a surprise to many that Palhares has won five of his past six fights in the middleweight division. How many other guys can claim this fact?

    "He definitely has the qualities to run for that title," Davis said. "He is a very, very difficult opponent for any of the top guys in his division.
    "He's a monster. Put him against (champion) Anderson (Silva), and it's going to be a good fight. And he's not going to back down from
    Anderson."

    In the meantime, the MMA community is hoping he gets any help he may need and figures it out. This includes the armchair psychologists, who are now looking for work elsewhere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by VolcomX311 View Post

    I have to agree that Mendes wouldn't be as cool of a fight as it would with the Korean Zombie, but I also think a fight with Koch would be crazy too. Koch seems more the smarter fighter so it might last a bit longer than it would with the zombie. I see Aldo vs Zombie KO first round with my senses leaning toward Aldo though I'd be rooting for Korea like a mofo.
    Think back to Aldo vs Swanson
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessep76 View Post
    I have to agree that Mendes wouldn't be as cool of a fight as it would with the Korean Zombie, but I also think a fight with Koch would be crazy too. Koch seems more the smarter fighter so it might last a bit longer than it would with the zombie. I see Aldo vs Zombie KO first round with my senses leaning toward Aldo though I'd be rooting for Korea like a mofo.
    Think back to Aldo vs Swanson
    I'd be rooting for Korean Zombie for the sake of rooting for the underdog. I like Jose Aldo, but I'm not a die hard fan or anything, so I'd be pulling for Zombie, but fully expecting Jose to win. I don't think I've seen the same version of Jose Aldo in the UFC Octagon as the Jose Aldo that ruled rhe WEC. The Aldo who crippled the California Kid via leg kick rape'age has been MIA in both of his UFC fights.
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    Quote Originally Posted by VolcomX311 View Post
    I don't think I've seen the same version of Jose Aldo in the UFC Octagon as the Jose Aldo that ruled rhe WEC. The Aldo who crippled the California Kid via leg kick rape'age has been MIA in both of his UFC fights.
    This is very true. I'm not sure if Aldo up for making the weight cut anymore. Him being a LW would be very exciting.
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    aha what a nut bar Palhares is, good read for sure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessep76 View Post
    This is very true. I'm not sure if Aldo up for making the weight cut anymore. Him being a LW would be very exciting.
    Imagine the depth in the LW division if/when Aldo moves up and WHEN Gilbert Melenedez makes the transfer from SF to the UFC. It'd be ridiculous. With GSP temporarily out the picture, that division is open for some excitement. I don't feel Nick or Carlos would dominate in the long run GSP style. I think this is Fitch's best opportunity to grind out a championship belt. Anderson Silva has his division locked down, with the exception of a single potential threat in Chael, but after that, what, Bisping?. The LHW is the most locked down of all the divisions, I don't think JBJ even has a potential threat. I don't see Rashad being anything more to JBJ then a good dramatic build up fight that ends in an ugly domination. The HW division is kind of competitive. I can only really see the belt being handed off between Cain and JDS, the jury is still out on Overeem as to how he competes against UFC HW's, but the LW division have a lot of names that coule be potential champs any given Saturday, which is awesome.
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    As weird as it sounds, the UFC has the potential to hit a major, major snag because the champs have been so dominant. WW, MW, and LHW look as though they won't be changing hands anytime soon and I think JDS will be champ for awhile, too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    As weird as it sounds, the UFC has the potential to hit a major, major snag because the champs have been so dominant. WW, MW, and LHW look as though they won't be changing hands anytime soon and I think JDS will be champ for awhile, too.
    I can see that. Some people love reigning champs, which I get if that's your guy, but I'm more partial to enjoying the sport as a whole, having competitive fights, as oppose to being married to a particular fighter and his sole success, not that I don't have my favorites, but having locked down divisions to the extent GSP, Andy and JBJ have them locked down takes away the suspense and excitement of a fight. A winning champ who battles out his title defenses is one thing, as long as there is a siginificant threat of loss and the champ still overcomes it's still cool, but when you're as head & shoulders above your peers as GSP, Andy and JBJ are, it loses something "for me."

    I guess if your favorite fighters are JBJ, Anderson, GSP and JDS, you're a happy camper, sadly, none of my guys are champs. Brock will never be champ again, imo, nor will BJ. The next person I really root for who's close to being champ is Ben Henderson and at least I believe that will be a competitive fight when he faces Frankie.
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    Gracie Breadown: UFC 140 Big Nog vs Frank Mir






    Gracie Breakdown: UFC 139 Shogun vs Hendo




    Gracie Breakdown: UFC on FOX 1

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    Quote Originally Posted by VolcomX311 View Post
    the jury is still out on Overeem as to how he competes against UFC HW's
    I rewatched the Overeem vs Werdum fight and Overeem was really tentative on his feet with a guy who shouldn't be on his level in the stand up. Maybe there was a game plan tailored, but if he looks that slow against any of the top guys he's not gonna do well. I think a fight with Kongo would have been nice just for a prep fight even if he's low on the totem pole.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessep76 View Post
    I rewatched the Overeem vs Werdum fight and Overeem was really tentative on his feet with a guy who shouldn't be on his level in the stand up. Maybe there was a game plan tailored, but if he looks that slow against any of the top guys he's not gonna do well. I think a fight with Kongo would have been nice just for a prep fight even if he's low on the totem pole.
    I don't disagree. I was on the Ubereem train up until the Werdum fight. I'm hoping that was an anomoly performance, because was beyond underwhelming in that fight.
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    Georges St. Pierre Undergoes Successful Knee Surgery


    The first step in the process for Georges St. Pierre to return to the octagon was apparently successful. The UFC welterweight champion had been scheduled to have undergo knee surgery sometime this week, and it ended up going down today. Afterwards, he tweeted that everything went well:


    @GeorgesStPierre
    Georges St-Pierre Dr. ElAttrache says my surgery (ACL patellar tendon autograft) was huge success! Ligament very strong. Tks for support! http://t.co/CB2blPAW
    Dec 13 via webFavoriteRetweetReply




    He also included a picture of himself with the doctor that performed the surgery. St. Pierre was expected to defend his UFC welterweight title at UFC 143, but suffered a partial tear of the meniscus and a full tear of the ACL in his right knee. The initial prognosis by UFC president Dana White was that GSP would be out 10 months, but GSP himself has said that 6-9 months is more realistic. Nick Diaz will now face Carlos Condit for an interim UFC welterweight title at UFC 143.
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    Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva to face off as coaches on TUF: Brasil





    After speculation on names, not nationalities, UFC President Dana White announced the coaches for the UFC’s upcoming season of TUF in Brazil during a press conference related to UFC 142, naming fan-favorites Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva to the position.
    Also revealed was the UFC’s plan to have Belfort and Silva, who met at UFC 17.5 several years ago, square off this summer at the conclusion of the reality show. Belfort earned a 44-second knockout victory of Silva in their first meeting and the two have been looking to get back inside the Octagon against each other ever since.

    “I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. I knew one day we would face each other again, and the time is here,” said Silva of his upcoming scrap. “This is one of the biggest rematches of all MMA and I’m very happy to give this to all of my fans.”
    TUF: Brasil will follow the same path as the American seasons of The Ultimate Fighter with fighters living/training together. The UFC is also looking at making the show available in the U.S., possibly on FUEL TV, while it will air on broadcasting giant Globo TV in Brazil. The season is set to premiere on March 25.

    Before facing “The Axe Murderer”, Belfort (20-9) will first meet Anthony Johnson in January at UFC 142 before taking on his coaching duties. Comparably, Silva (34-11-1) last competed in November, defeating Cung Le, and has nothing else scheduled before TUF starts up.
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    UFC 141: Examining the Issues With the Alistair Overeem Licensing Process





    Yesterday, the Nevada State Athletic Commission granted Alistair Overeem a conditional license to fight Brock Lesnar at UFC 141. This license was granted despite a number of issues the commission had with the timing of the tests, the method of testing Overeem used and the level of communication they received from Alistair.

    Those who follow me on Twitter no doubt saw me have a bit of a meltdown over the way the situation was handled and I wanted to take a moment to walk through the process and what I saw as the issues. It's much more about the way the situation was handled and the commission's willingness to take statements as fact than any sort of feeling that Overeem is "guilty" or anything. I can't stress how much I actually want to see Lesnar vs. Overeem, but fully think that the NSAC meeting yesterday was a sham.

    Issue 1 - Alistair left the United States for Holland to take care of his ill mother on November 17, the same day that the commission contacted him to request a urine test be taken.

    Overeem's explanation - He was unaware of the request for a test at the time when he left the country. When asked when he bought the ticket, Overeem said that he purchased it on the 15th, two days prior to being notified about the test.

    The problem
    - I don't doubt that Overeem purchased his ticket on the 15th, but I find it difficult to accept that the commission simply took his word for it. If they were interested in truly establishing the timeline and following through on all of Overeem's actions, why not add another condition to the "conditional license" requiring that he provide the commission with proof of the date of airline ticket purchase? It seems simple enough, doesn't it?
    Much more after the jump...


    Issue 2 - Overeem did not respond to the commission request (again, sent on the 17th) until a follow-up made on the 21st. The initial request said that they expected to be contacted back within two days.

    Overeem's explanation
    - He was unaware of the request as his assistant handles those matters and had not contacted him to inform him that he needed to set up a test. He said that the combination of this being his first UFC fight, his mother being ill and testing being different in Holland contributed to the issues. His assistant was also on the call and said that he was "not familiar with athletic commission stuff."

    The problem
    - The first problem for me with the NSAC here is that they said that they felt Overeem "clearly established" that he didn't receive the request for the test in time. Again, it's not about trusting or not trusting Overeem, it's the idea that the commission took his statement as a clear establishment of anything.

    Second, the reason that the NSAC takes fighter contact info is to be able to contact them for a variety of things, including out of competition testing requirements. For the commission to not so much as say that Overeem and his camp are responsible for monitoring of communications and expeditious responses seems like a massive failure on their part. Yes, Overeem was dealing with a very tough situation with an ill mother, but this is still a required part of the job. They were harder on Keith Jardine during his request for a license when talking about his suspension in Texas for shoving a commission official that he thought was a fan trying to grab his shirt. At least they made Jardine say that he understood that Nevada does not condone shoving of a state official. With Overeem ailing to contact them for almost a week, they simply shrugged.

    Issue 3 - Overeem took a test on the 23rd, but took a blood test at his private doctor rather than a supervised urine test at a testing facility.


    Overeem's explanation
    - Blood tests are what they do in Holland, and you run everything through your private doctor. He simply did what he thought was accurate.

    The problem
    - First, let's get this out of the way...one of the most popular things in the aftermath has been that Overeem passed a blood test and blood is better than urine. But, the point of testing in a supervised environment is that you have an authorized individual watching the test from start to finish. I'm not saying this was the case with Overeem, but we have no proof that the blood test was taken by Overeem and that is as much of a reason as any that the commission couldn't accept that test as proof of anything.

    Now, the communication from Nevada said to contact them and they would tell the fighter where to go to take the test. This is what Lesnar did, as he said he couldn't get to the testing facility but would go to a hospital to take a supervised urine test, which the commission agreed to. When Overeem just decided to go to his doctor, he wasn't following the guidelines that Nevada had set up, which resulted in going to the wrong place and taking the wrong test. Again, this was blamed on the assistant.

    Issue 4 - Once Overeem was informed that they needed a supervised urine test, not blood, he once again went back to his personal doctor on December 7.


    Overeem's Explanation -
    Again, in Holland you go to your personal doctor and his assistant didn't explain a need to do anything different.

    The problem
    - Once again, this resulted in a test that the state wasn't able to accept. Again, supervision to make sure there is no "funny business" is key here. This ends with the NSAC giving Overeem 72 hours to take a new urine test in a location of their choosing, meaning that he could take the test as late as December 15 after it was requested on November 17. Now, earlier in the call, before discussing Overeem, the commission had their experts talking about out of competition testing and how important it was for the test to be taken within 48 hours of notification to catch anything in the urine. With this situation it could be upwards of 28 days, or 672 hours, between the request and an actual acceptable sample.

    Again, this isn't about if Overeem is clean or not. This is about the commission holding fighters accountable for following through on the demands of getting licensed in the state. They discussed fighters in less developed countries than Overeem who have had maybe a 24 hour delay in getting a test done, but instead of seeing this as an issue, they just gave him the go-ahead.

    I don't want to see the fight get cancelled. Lord knows I've been called an Overeem shill for how I fawn over him before his fights. And from a professional standpoint, Overeem vs. Lesnar is going to be good for Bloody Elbow business, much better than his getting denied for a license, so don't accuse me of "wanting scandal."

    This is about the state needing to either be serious about out of competition testing and holding fighters accountable for their own professionalism. Overeem is not some undercard fighter who doesn't have the means to be on top of all things at once. He's a main event fighter, a man who has held championships and fought in the United States multiple times. Maybe he hasn't dealt with Nevada before, but it's a matter of professional responsibility here.

    Overeem wasn't rushing out of the country to get to his mother, he supposedly had a ticket for two days prior to leaving. He wasn't without access once he did leave. Once it was clear that his assistant didn't give him the right information when he took the wrong test the first time, how is it not his responsibility to make sure that he has everything correct for the second test?

    Nevada showed no true willingness to hold him accountable for his actions beyond some pointless extra testing. It's the commission I'm disappointed in here. But then again, Nevada's commission has never been as good as it's reputation. It's always been a commission with a reputation boosted by simply being in the state where Vegas is.

    And now they've set an example that out of competition testing is as much for show as it is something they're looking to truly enforce.
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    Phil Davis ready for the spotlight at UFC on Fox 2


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    Phil Davis has not even been in the UFC for two years. The national champion wrestler for Penn State fought for the first time in February of 2010, earning a decision over Brian Stann. Less than two years later, he will challenge Rashad Evans as the main event on network television at UFC on Fox 2.
    For Davis, that journey meant using every day to improve on his game. He talked to Cagewriter about how much his style has evolved in the past year.

    "I've been working on refining my technique, learning more technique. At that point, I hadn't really discovered my style yet. I had my skill set, things I was good at, things I wasn't good at, but I didn't really have a style yet. So now I feel more comfortable in my style and what I'm capable of doing."

    Though he is comfortable with that style, he struggled to find the words to describe it.
    "Well ... I don't know. My practice style is typically not what you're going to see on a fight day. It's hard to characterize my style that you're actually going to see when you step into the cage. I'm a finisher. I haven't done a ton of it inside the Octagon, but I'm confident that I'll get some more finishes."

    On Jan. 28, he'll want to show that finishing style against Evans. When Davis was still winning college wrestling matches, Evans had a career in the UFC. They both come from Big 10 wrestling programs, and Davis admits that he did look up to Evans.

    "I looked up to Rashad. I always rooted for him because he was a wrestler in the Big 10, and he was fighting, and it was a new frontier for wrestlers. I've always cheered for him. Now, fighting someone I looked up to and cheered for, it's exciting. I remember what that's like to wrestle my first really good guy. The fact that he was in the UFC when I was still in college and watching him on TV, it's exciting that I've reached this level so soon in my career."

    Though Evans has the advantage in experience, Davis is confident that he has what it takes to derail Evans' chance at getting another crack at the UFC light heavyweight belt.

    "I got my skill set that I'm good with, and the same is still true now. Time doesn't necessarily equate to skill or talent. He definitely is experienced, and that's a different category in and of itself. What he brings to the table in experience, but I think I make up for it in other areas."
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    'Big Nog' to forgo surgery after broken arm at UFC 140


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    Despite suffering a broken arm in his most recent fight, former UFC interim heavyweight and PRIDE champ Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will not undergo corrective surgery.

    The UFC today announced that Nogueira (33-7-1 MMA, 4-3 UFC) will instead wear an adjustable plastic brace and undergo twice-daily, 20-minute sessions of ultrasound therapy as his broken right humerus heals.

    The fighter is expected to recover "in no more than" nine months, according to a doctor he saw Monday in Los Angeles, UFC officials said.

    The same day, Nogueira manager Ed Soares told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he expected his client would continue to fight.

    "Nogueira is no rookie when it comes to overcoming adversity and issues like this, so right now it's just too early to decide that," Soares said. "But I don't believe that's the last time we'll see Nogueira in the cage."

    Nogueira's arm was broken as he submitted to Frank Mir in the first round of their co-main event fight at UFC 140, which took place this past Saturday at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The event aired live on pay-per-view.

    A photo of the broken bone was tweeted by the UFC shortly after the event. UFC president Dana White was less than optimistic about Nogueira's future in the promotion, though he said a conversation with the fighter would determine his course of action.

    "You've got to look at a guy's entire career, not just how it's ending," White said. "'Big Nog' has been in wars. I was at the PRIDE fight when he fought Mirko 'Cro Cop' (Filipovic). 'Cro Cop' was just blasting him with kicks to the body and shots to the head. Then [Nogueira] ends up pulling off that submission win in the second round. He's had a career where he's been through wars.

    "'Big Nog' is a nice guy, and he's a guy whom I respect. I know they get pissed off at me when I say this stuff, but again, it doesn't matter. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I'm the one that makes these decisions. I'm going to have to sit down and talk to him. I don't want to see him get hurt – or anybody else."
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    Alistair Overeem in U.K. today for commission-mandated drug test


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    Alistair Overeem (35-11 MMA, 0-0 UFC) today flew to the U.K. to fulfill the first requirement of his conditional license to fight Brock Lesnar (5-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC).

    Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the results of that test are expected next Tuesday, Dec. 20, or 10 days before he meets Lesnar in the main event of UFC 141, which takes place Dec. 30 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

    Kizer said he expects Overeem to return to Las Vegas around the time the first test results become available, whereupon the fighter will be submit a urine sample at a local drug testing facility.

    The tests are part of the conditions set forth by the NSAC following a missed out-of-competition test the commission ordered Overeem to undergo on Nov. 17. As it turned out, Kizer notified Overeem of the test the same day the fighter flew to Holland to attend to his mother, who is dealing with a possible cancer relapse.

    "If anything bothers me at all, it's the fact that I wasn't told until Monday afternoon that he had gone to Holland on Thursday evening," Kizer said. "I'm not sure that would have changed anything as far as getting him in for a test, but it still would have been nice to know."

    In addition to two pre-fight tests for performance enhancers, Overeem will be tested on fight-night for performance enhancers and drugs of abuse (per NSAC guidelines) and be subject to two random tests taken at his expense within six months of the fight.

    Kizer said the U.K. test is being conducted in London at a facility affiliated with Quest Diagnostics, whom the NSAC often uses for drug tests conducted in Nevada. The results will go Wednesday to Quest's laboratory in Atlanta. Additionally, the results of a urine test Overeem submitted on Dec. 7 are expected shortly.

    Upon hearing of the out-of-competition test requested by the NSAC, Overeem took a steroid test administered by his personal doctor on Nov. 23, which came back clean. However, it was a blood test, and the commission requires a urine test. Two weeks later, he submitted urine to his doctor that was shipped to a lab in Germany.

    A commission meeting held Monday in Las Vegas made clear the circumstances of Overeem's case were unfamiliar territory for the NSAC, which reinstated out-of-competition testing in July after budgetary issues forced it to shut down the program this past year.

    Nevertheless, Kizer said future cases will be handled on a case-by-case basis and speculated that major changes to the commission's policies regarding out-of-competition testing are unlikely beyond formalizing the notification of tests.

    "They've gone off without a hitch until this time, and I think it's just a matter of happenstance of Mr. Overeem's mother getting ill and him getting on a flight within hours of my phone call as opposed to someone jumping in a car and driving across the country after I make the phone call," he said. "I think the facts give me comfort that I don't need to do some major detective work on it, especially with the fact that the key is to get this guy tested even more so and see where we go from there.

    "It's a situation where it's unfortunate that his mother is ill, first and foremost, but secondly that maybe if my phone call had come a day earlier or a day later, maybe we wouldn't be in this situation."

    He did, however, admit that policy differences between states and countries regarding drug testing and medical procedures makes the commission's job tougher when it comes to out-of-competition testing.

    "We've had it before, most famously with (Manny) Pacquiao, and a lot of that just depends on the country," Kizer said. "There are different rules in different places. In fact, as Overeem mentioned and we were able to verify, in Holland, if not most of Europe, you can't just go to a Quest lab or something similar to that. You've got to go to your doctor and do it that way. Even in some states (in the U.S.) it's different, and it's not always easy for an athlete to walk in off the street and say, 'Hey, I want you to test my urine.'

    "So it's always going to be a case-by-case basis. The U.K. is a lot more streamlined, and that's why the commission had him go to the U.K. Sometimes we have contacts, or Quest [has] contacts with a foreign jurisdiction. But it does make it more difficult, obviously."

    Overeem's fight with Lesnar marks his UFC debut. The heavyweight was released by Strikeforce at the time he held the promotion's belt. A subsequent spat between his former management company, Golden Glory, and Strikeforce and UFC parent company Zuffa became front page news. He later broke from Golden Glory and in Oct. signed a multi-fight agreement with the UFC.

    The winner of the Dec. 30 fight is expected to get a title shot against current UFC heavyweight champ Junior Dos Santos.
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    UFC Welterweight Division State of the Union





    With so many fights coming up spread across seven different weight classes, it's easy to lose track of what's happening in every division. Here, we take a look at where a particular division stands right now, and where it's headed.

    Last week, a bombshell piece of news hit the UFC Welterweight division: dominant champion Georges St. Pierre is injured and a new interim champion will be crowned. It's been nearly 4 years since anyone other than GSP held that belt, and now, some new names finally have a chance to get their foot in the door. Who will make the most of this opening, and who will be waiting for GSP when he returns? Let's see who has a shot.

    Next in Line:

    At UFC 143 it will be the #3 ranked Nick Diaz vs. #5 Carlos Condit for the Interim Welterweight title. Great fight there, and one that has come about in a very convoluted series of events. What started at GSP vs. Nick Diaz at UFC 137 evolved into GSP vs. Carlos Condit when Diaz famously no-showed his media obligations. Then GSP was hurt, leading to the Diaz vs. B.J. Penn main event. After Diaz won, Diaz vs. GSP was back on, only for it to be switched yet again, this time to today's Diaz vs. Condit. Will we see more switches before February 4? I hope not, as this is a fight that really interests me, but we'll just have to wait and see.

    Key Match Ups:

    Looking over the division, the loss of the champ actually comes at a rather opportune time. Often when I put these lists together, there are 2 or 3 big fights to highlight. Not so this time. Take a look at the ridiculous action the 170 pounders have in store for us in the coming months:
    • #2 Jon Fitch vs. #17 Johny Hendricks (UFC 141) - Jon Fitch may easily end up the big winner from this whole GSP situation. A Fitch vs. St. Pierre rematch seems more and more unlikely as time passes, but Fitch is beyond a doubt the dominant #2 in the division. If he can get past Hendricks (and I expect Hendricks won't be able to stop the Fitching), he could easily get a crack at the Diaz vs. Condit winner and find himself the interim champ awaiting GSP's return.
    • #24 Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Erick Silva (UFC 142) - Yes I know, these are two new fighters who are still a fair bit outside the top of the division, but I believe both of the chance to be serious long-term contenders. One will take a nice step up by winning on a PPV card.
    • #16 Charlie Brenneman vs. Daniel Roberts (UFC on FX) - Brenneman made a name for himself beating Rick Story as a last minute replacement for Nate Marquardt this summer, but needs another win to remind fans of that one. Roberts is on a 2 fight losing streak, and a loss to Brenneman will likely mean his UFC career ends for now.
    • #6 Josh Koscheck vs. Mike Pierce (UFC 143) - Koscheck is the big loser in the GSP/Condit/Diaz scenario as he was set to face Condit at this show. Now he's against Pierce in a fight that doesn't do much for Koscheck if he wins, but really sets him back if he loses.
    • #4 Jake Ellenberger vs. #11 Diego Sanchez (UFC on Fuel TV 1) - Ellenberger is on a great streak right now with his KO over Jake Shields capping a new rise up the ranks. Diego is only on a 2 fight win streak since his return to Welterweight, but he's a very established name with strong history in the UFC. Winner here is my pick for next challenger after Diaz vs. Condit.
    • #7 Jake Shields vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama (UFC 144) - I've long felt a move to 170 would be good for Akiyama, and he's finally doing so at UFC 144. Unfortunately, he makes that move in a debut against the top ranked Shields. This is a weird fight where you have two highly skilled fighters who just have not gotten it together lately. Winner could be stepping closer to title contention - loser could be cut.
    • #9 Martin Kampmann vs. #12 Thiago Alves (UFC on FX 2) - I love this fight. Two entertaining fighters who are sure to go at it here. I don't see either man getting up to title contention soon, but it's still a very good fight that deserves a close look.
    • #13 Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills (UFC 145) - MacDonald returns to action here after being briefly sidelined. It's a shame he missed out on the planned fight with Ebersole, which would have been much more exciting. This fight feels like he is treading water for a bit, waiting for a bigger fight next time out.
    In The Mix:
    Just in case that wasn't enough, here is another handful of fighters who could make a big impact in their next fight:
    • #15 Rick Story - Poor Story has lost most of the momentum he had mid-year. After beating Thiago Alves and being scheduled to face Nate Marquardt, he looked on the verge of the top 5. He's now on a 2 fight losing streak, but definitely has the skill to get back in contention.
    • #21 Brian Ebersole - That UFC 140 win over Claude Patrick wasn't pretty, and it won't do his quest for a title shot any favors. But he is still a worthy contender, who should have a good fight next time out.
    Others to Consider:
    And finally, a few names that may not find themselves in the title picture any time soon, but should be mentioned:
    • #10 Anthony Johnson - He's facing Vitor Belfort at Middleweight at UFC 142, but has stated that he's still unsure if that is a permanent move up to 185 or just a one time thing. I think a move would be wise, but we'll see how that fight goes.
    • #8 B.J. Penn - Is he retired? Taking a break? It's unclear, but if the former champion returns, he'll absolutely be right back in the top of the division.
    • Matt Hughes - Is he retired? Taking a break? It's unclear, but if the former champion returns, he... will get a notable fight, but won't be a relevant factor in the division. Sorry.
    • Carlos Eduardo Rocha - One of my favorite up and comers in the division to watch for. He's 9-1 with that only loss coming against Ellenberger in a fight where Rocha had some very good success.
    • #18 Tyron Woodley - Pretty much the entirety of the Strikeforce Welterweight division; he'll face Jordan Mein on January 7.
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    Dana White sees Jon Jones as #2 pound-for-pound fighter in the world





    Sorry Georges St. Pierre fans, but there’s a new #2, at least in the eyes of a certain high-ranking executive.
    According to UFC President Dana White, due to a 4-0 record in the past year, including three wins over former UFC light heavyweight title-
    holders, Jon Jones now sits behind Anderson Silva in the pound-for-pound rankings.

    Jones, who stopped Lyoto Machida this past weekend to successfully defend his UFC light heavyweight title for a second time, has defeated Ryan Bader, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson this year.

    Silva, meanwhile, holds wins over Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami in the past few months, and is currently rehabbing a shoulder injury.
    “Number two. I mean, I don’t know how you deny the guy anymore, he’s literally walking through everybody,” said White, in an interview with MMAWeekly following UFC 140. “He’s fought four times this year, probably the nastiest schedule in the history of the company. He’s incredible, man. He’s just walkin’ though serious, serious guys. And bustin’ ‘em up bad. Stopping them, finishing them, you don’t see somebody come in and wreck people like this guy.”

    That means, in the eyes of White, Jones has leaped UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar and UFC welterweight champ GSP with his recent victories.
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    The whole Overeem situation is highly, highly questionable. He's getting a lot of special treatment considering he's messed up the testing procedures on multiple occasions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    The whole Overeem situation is highly, highly questionable. He's getting a lot of special treatment considering he's messed up the testing procedures on multiple occasions.
    The potential PPV buys for a Lesnar vs Overeem is worth multiple millions, so I'm sure there's financially charged special treatment and back room Benjamin hand shakes going on.
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    Mark Munoz: "Me and Chael go way back. He's a good guy, 99% of Chael isn't real.."


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    Chael Sonnen talks Mark Munoz fight


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    I hope he isn't like that all the time lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by VolcomX311 View Post
    Damn its hard to not like this guy
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    Mirko Cro Cop to Return to K-1 Kickboxing in March





    Mirko Cro Cop, or Mirko Filipovic if you prefer, announced last week that he will be back in action in 2012, but not in the venue you might expect. Cro Cop will return to his roots of kickboxing for a K-1 event on March 10 in Zagreb, Croatia. No opponent is yet finalized, though both Dzevad Poturak and Errol Zimmerman have been mentioned as possible Cro Cop opponents.

    This will be Mirko's first fight since losing to Roy Nelson at UFC 137 and subsequently (sort of) announcing his retirement from MMA. The Pride and UFC veteran has lost 4 of his last 6 fights, with his last 3 fights all ending in stoppage loses for Mirko.

    It will also mark his first time back in a kickboxing ring since 2003 when he faced Bob Sapp and shattered Sapp's orbital bone with a brutal left hand. Before making the transition to Pride and MMA, Mirko was a decorated kickboxer, with a seven year run in K-1. Cro Cop's greatest successes in K-1 came first in 1999, then again in 2002. In 1999, Cro Cop unveiled his now trademark head kick knock out, using his big KO power to make it to the finals of the 1999 K-1 Grand Prix. There, he was stopped by his long-time K-1 *****, and arguably the best heavyweight kickboxer of all time, Ernesto Hoost. In 2002 he was already starting to move full-time to MMA, but ended his K-1 career with a spectacular 4-0 run that saw him defeat Sapp, future 3X Grand Prix champion Remy Bonjasky, and reigning Grand Prix champion Mark Hunt. Kickboxing fans tend to be fiercely loyal to the veterans of the sport, and a return from Cro Cop will be huge.

    Also big news for kickboxing fans is the fact that Cro Cop says the fight will be on a K-1 show. K-1 was sold earlier this year and have not
    promoted any heavyweight shows since the 2010 Grand Prix, though they are looking to resume a regular schedule in 2012. Will this mark an early return for K-1? Unfortunately, probably not. K-1 has long been in the practice of lending their name to smaller, local promotions, such as

    K-1 ColliZion. It's likely that this is a locally promoted show that is simply using the K-1 name. Still, Cro Cop is back in a K-1 ring. Yes he's older, and maybe he should be hanging the gloves up instead of soldiering on, but surely I am not the only one who finds this to be incredibly exciting news, right?
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    This isn't a bad idea for Mirco. I'm not sure how competitive he'll be at K1, but I'm fairly confident he'll be better off in K1 then the UFC.
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    Quote Originally Posted by VolcomX311 View Post
    This isn't a bad idea for Mirco. I'm not sure how competitive he'll be at K1, but I'm fairly confident he'll be better off in K1 then the UFC.
    I think he would be better off fighting at 205 in the UFC.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudgementDay View Post
    I think he would be better off fighting at 205 in the UFC.
    Really? I think if there is wrestling involved anywhere, Mirco is at a huge disadvantage.
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    Bellator Signs Former Shooto Champion Masakatsu Ueda





    For years, Shooto has been the stomping ground for international talent. And for awhile, when Miguel Torres was on top of the world and not joking about rape, hardcore fans felt like a fight between Masakatsu Ueda and Torres was a dream match. With Torres cut from the UFC (I suspect Torres may be back, and despite my "moral outrage" over the situation, firmly believe he should be), it's entirely possible this could become a reality.

    At least with the news that Ueda (14-1-2) has just signed a deal with Bellator Fighting Championships according to the Fight Lounge. No word yet on his debut, but it's likely he'll be a participant for the Bellator BW tournament.

    Ueda will be a solid addition to their BW roster. He already owns a win over BW contender, Eduardo Dantas back in 2009. Unfortunately hardcore fans remember Ueda best for Shuichiro Katsumura's upset of Masakatsu via an atypical maneuver: a submission set up brilliantly as Katsumura went from a failed attempt at mission control to "ninja choke".

    Ueda, one of the few Japanese prospects known to be occasionally booed by Japanese fans (yes folks, Japanese people are not immune to audible displays of frustration), brings with him a grappling pedigree hard to match. He's an excellent top control grappler in the vein of Ricardo Arona. His striking is still a little rudimentary, but he's come a long way, and even found himself in a minor slugfest against faded legend Rumino Sato back in July.

    Ueda is 33, so he's no spring chicken, but then that would appear to be put him right at home with Joe Warren being 35, and Alexis Vila being 40. Ueda is still expected to be in action early in January at Shooto's Survivor Tournament Final against Kyoji Horiguchi.
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    Can Gilbert Melendez Stay Relevant With No UFC Future in Sight?





    This weekend Gilbert Melendez hopes to defend his lightweight title against Jorge Masvidal in San Diego. As with every event Zuffa held a phone conference for the media to ask questions of the fighters. One talking point that Gilbert couldn't escape was his desire to fight in the UFC. He went as far as saying that he believes he'll be in the UFC soon and that talks are on-going to bring him to the "major league" of MMA. He continued his praise of Masvidal as a legitimate opponent but was open about his view that there were no longer any competitive match ups in Strikeforce after Saturday night.

    Just this week it was finally confirmed that Zuffa will continue to run the Strikeforce product and that it will still air on Showtime. Negotiations between Zuffa and Showtime stalled when the broadcasting partner believed that Zuffa acted in bad faith by signing Strikeforce champions away from the promotion. There is a new deal in place and a major sticking point is that Strikeforce fighters will remain in Strikeforce. Gilbert Melendez will be the sole champion not signed to the UFC. The big question is can he remain relevant in top 10 talks without ever fighting in the UFC?

    Melendez missed his window. According to the USA Today/MMA Nation rankings, there are two lightweights in the top 25 besides Melendez and he fights one of them on Saturday. The other is Josh Thompson. In fact, 19 of the top 25 lightweights call the UFC home. Following the fight with Masvidal, is it even possible for Melendez to remain relevant in a division that that calls the UFC home?
    The lightweight landscape changes after every event and with Ben Henderson and Frankie Edgar squaring off in Japan, it's safe to say that Melendez can't continue to be ranked in the top 5 without another top 10 win. There are rumors that Zuffa may start sending UFC fighters to Strikeforce in 2012 to create new match ups in stagnant divisions. However, the issue for Melendez is that no matter who the UFC sends, they won't be top 10 lightweights nor will they be proven draws. Melendez is in MMA purgatory and there is no escape in sight. With the portal to the UFC effectively closed due to renegotations, Melendez is slowly becoming a fighter like Eddie Alvarez, a top talent who isn't fighting people that can truly push him up the rankings.

    Melendez will face Masvidal this weekend but will it even matter? All this talk of finally fighting in the UFC is now a moot point. Dream fights with Edgar and Maynard surely won't happen and he'd never fight against Ben Henderson who shares the same representation. Gilbert Melendez is slowly going the way of the dinosaurs in a company that won't invest in signing top lightweights to challenge for his belt. Even his title is viewed as a number two with the UFC lightweight belt regarded as the true champion of the division. Hopefully this weekend we'll see the best Gil Melendez because if we don't, I'm not sure we'll ever get the chance to see him against another top tiered talent.
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