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Posts from — June 2011

Nate Marquardt: the boy who cried Chael Sonnen

Nate Marquardt says he was transparent about his testosterone replacement therapy. He says he went on and off the treatments several times at his doctor’s advice, that the UFC was aware of the therapeutic treatment and that it’s unfortunate that his testosterone levels had not returned to acceptable levels in time to fight on Sunday. Or at least in time for the weigh-ins and medical clearances on Saturday; Marquardt claims that his testosterone level was within normal range by Sunday.  Okay, so… that happened. Now what? He’s still fired by the UFC (which presumably precludes him also signing with Strikeforce). There’s Bellator. Or maybe he and Chael Sonnen could get together and start a backyard cage-fighting league/testosterone replacement therapy support group.

June 28, 2011   2 Comments

The $64,000 question: Why was Nate Marquardt fired?

Cheick Kongo could’ve come from the brink of defeat and literally punched Pat Barry’s face off, scraped it off the cage and worn it like Hannibal Lecter during his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan and the only thing anyone would be talking about after Sunday’s stupidly titled UFC Live card is what the hell happened to Nate Marquardt.

Saturday saw him yanked from the main event with Rick Story before he’d even weighed in, and UFC boss Dana White showed him the door so fast you’d have thought Marquardt had fucked White’s sister. Speculation went into overdrive: Did he miss weight? Did he fail the medicals? Did he fuck Dana White’s sister?

Two days later and we’re still waiting for the answer. Marquardt has promised to deliver when he appears on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani on Tuesday. Until then, the speculation.

Missing weight is out. If Thiago Alves still has a job in the UFC, then Marquardt would if all he’d done was miss weight during his first cut from 185 pounds to 170. Besides, all accounts indicate he was on track to make welterweight.

Then it must be a failed drug test. Marquardt has tested positive for steroids in the past, so it’s not a stretch to believe he’d done so again. And juicing, especially in a post-Chael Sonnen UFC, would certainly warrant his immediate dismissal.

Except we know it wasn’t drugs. The Pennsylvania state athletic commission has revealed that performance-enhancing drugs were not the issue, but refused to comment on exactly what aspect of the medical exam resulted in Marquardt’s failing to receive clearance to fight. Apparently, though, Marquardt was aware of the issue for as long as six weeks and was unable or unwilling to resolve the matter.

What does that leave? Well, there’s a long list of tests required to obtain medical clearance, including those for HIV, Hepatits C and Hepatitis B, as well as exams related to vision, lungs, heart rate, the nervous system, co-ordination among other things.

So why is Nate Marquardt now unemployed? Perhaps something quite serious, although that wouldn’t explain White’s vehemence about him never fighting in the UFC ever again. It’s bad PR for him to throw an ill fighter under a bus, unless that illness is not only not serious, but something Marquardt could have taken care of without putting his bout with Rick Story in jeopardy. Maybe he has a bad case of ringworm.

I guess we’ll find out tomorrow. But what I do know is that this scandal is far more interesting than anything that happened inside the cage lately.

June 27, 2011   No Comments

Is UFC 132 worth trying to watch if you’re in Amsterdam?

Yesterday, a couple of buddies and I were discussing UFC 132. We were actually trying to remember who is on the card. The bantamweight title bout between champ Dominick Cruz and the even-more pint-sized Urijah Faber, check. But after that… Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard III? Uh, nope (that’s scheduled for UFC 135 in September). Then who?

You can’t really fault us for drawing a blank. We’d just finished two hours of jiu-jitsu training in 92-degree heat. Still, UFC 132… So, now that I know who else is on the card – Chris Leben vs. Wanderlei Silva, Tito Ortiz vs. Ryan Bader, Carlos Condit vs. Dong Hyun Kim, Dennis Siver vs. Matt Wiman – I have just one question: I’m going to be in Amsterdam on fight night, so is this card worth finding someplace that will show it (at 3 a.m.)? Or should I just catch it online the next day?

June 20, 2011   1 Comment

Kimbo Slice: The Movie

Just when I thought Kimbo Slice’s 15 minutes were over, I find out about this. Seriously, a movie about Slice? By the guy behind Entourage? If he follows the same formula as the TV show, makes it a comedy about a completely talentless fighter who somehow still manages to have a big time career while surrounded by his wallet-leaching buddies from the ‘hood, then maybe… Naw, not even then.

How do you end the thing? Where the uplifting “Rocky going the distance with Apollo Creed” moment? When he makes his MMA debut at EliteXC by punching Bo Cantrell into submission? That’s the moment that will get audiences on their feet? Against Bo Cantrell? Or when he beats Houston Alexander in his UFC debut, one of the least memorable UFC fights ever? I’m just not seeing it.

June 20, 2011   No Comments

Why is everybody so down on Fabricio Werdum?

It was not the fight I expected. I’m pretty sure it’s not the fight you expected. In fact, I’d wager most of us were looking for a KO finish. After all, anvil-fisted Alistair Overeem hadn’t been to a decision in MMA in more than five years. He hadn’t gone past the first round in four years. But there he was on Saturday night with a mildly dull unanimous decision over Fabricio Werdum in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix quarter-finals. And he just barely won.

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June 20, 2011   No Comments

Fabricio Werdum’s crotch-crusher

I would love to see Fabricio Werdum drop Alistair Overeem into an armbar (as he demonstrates at the 1:30 mark of the video below) when the two meet at Saturday’s Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix. It’s a slick submission. I’ve been on the receiving end of that move a couple of times during practice, but have never come close to pulling one off myself. Besides, it always felt a bit like a crotch-crusher.

June 17, 2011   No Comments

Video: Josh Barnett shows his wrasslin’ skillz

Josh Barnett gave me another reason to be glad he’s back fighting Stateside. At yesterday’s Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix media workout, he put on a little wrestling show, hamming it up for the reporters and photographers. Entertainment, man, that’s what Zuffa needs now more than ever; fighters who are characters and who entertain me.

June 17, 2011   No Comments

My money’s on the crazy Jew-hating lion fighter from Egypt

Put this on pay-per-view. Do it now. I’d be there with popcorn to watch some crazy Egyptian – and self-proclaimed “strongest man in the world” – single-handedly try to fix his country’s economy and shitty tourist trade by getting into a bare-fisted fight with a lion.

“I discovered my incredible strength at the age of 13, and, almost immediately afterwards, promised myself that, one of these days, I would fight a lion,” the 25-year-old Al-Sayed al-Essawy, who will go mano-a-paw on June 25, tells Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper. “If America, or any other country, had a man with the ability to combat the strongest creature on the planet, they would properly promote him, and use his strength to their advantage. He would become a worldwide phenomenon, and people would come from their countries just to see him. This is what I want to do for my country.”

Damn right. Who wouldn’t want to see this Siegfried & Roy lunatic try to lock a mata de leo on the king of the jungle? Who wouldn’t want to see Brock Lesnar wrestle an alligator? Or Clay Guida battle a trio of rabid baboons? Make this happen and you’ve got my $49.95.

Oh yeah, I should also mention that the mad Egyptian blames the Jews for making him fight the lion: “When I defeat the lion – which I will – I will pull an Israeli flag out of my pocket, and drape it over the lion, and put my foot on it. Israel led me to this, through all their atrocities which, as a child, I grew up watching on television. The message is that even though Israel and America may be as strong as a lion – the strongest creature on the planet – they, too, can be defeated.”

Should I point out that gorillas and whales are pretty strong, too, likely stronger than a lion? Or that, relative to their size, ants and beetles and other insects are immensely powerful?

June 16, 2011   No Comments

Josh Barnett and Battlestar Galactica babes

Say what you want about his PED use, his role in the collapse of the Affliction promotion, the robbing fans of a chance to see him tangle with Fedor Emelianenko back when Fedor was still considered invincible. Josh Barnett is an entertaining interview (and he’s got a decent bedside manner, to boot).

This interview, ostensibly to promote Saturday’s Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix tilt with Brett Rogers, covers a lot of ground, from Barnett’s licensing problems, his less-babyfaced appearance, his relationship with Battlestar Galactica babe Katie Sackhoff and fighting in outer space. It’s worth the listen, which is more than I can say for most MMA interviews.

June 16, 2011   No Comments

Antonio Carvalho signs with the UFC

The next time I want to see featherweight Shooto vet Antonio Carvalho in a cage it’ll require a road trip to Rio. Carvalho, who fought last weekend on the Score Fighting Series card, has signed with the UFC and will face Yuri Alcantara at UFC 134 on August 27. Hopefully, we’ll get to hear the Conan the Barbarian theme as his entrance music again.

UFC 134 will be headlined by the middleweight title bout between Anderson Silva and Yushin Okami, with the Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Forrest Griffin rematch and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Brendan Schaub rounding out the heavy hitters.

June 16, 2011   No Comments

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