Alistair Overeem Returning To K-1
Fighting and Entertainment Group (FEG) has confirmed that Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem will return to K-1 on March 28 to face World GP 2008 Champion Remy Bonjasky under K-1 rules at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 from the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan. Overeem is coming off a first round destruction of former K-1 heavyweight champion Badr Hari at the Fields Dynamite!! super show on December 31.
Kawajiri Added To DREAM 7
After a brief foray into K-1 kickboxing, MMA veteran Tatsuya Kawajiri is back in familiar territory. "The Crusher" has been added to DREAM 7, where he will face Ross Ebanez in a non-Featherweight GP match.
'Rude Boy' Cut By UFC
Troy "Rudeboy" Mandaloniz has been dropped by the UFC following his unanimous decision loss to Paul Kelly at UFC 95.
The loss took him to 1-1 in the UFC and he has become the latest victim of the organisation’s aggressive roster cuts.
Writing on BJ Penn.com earlier, Mandaloniz said: "I thought I showed them what I was made of, but I guess not. I don't think I see too many other fighters out there fighting with the same passion and intensity that I bring".
Tequila Cazadores to be Official Spirit Sponsor of UFC
Tequila brand Tequila Cazadores has agreed a new sponsorship deal with leading mixed martial arts (MMA) promoter Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Under the new deal, which runs until March 2010, Tequila Cazadores will be official spirit sponsor of UFC.
As part of its sponsorship Tequila Cazadores will be featured throughout the world on television broadcasts of UFC events, and in UFC digital and print media content and venue signage. Tequila Cazadores will also host adult consumer tastings, events and promotions to support the sponsorship.
Tequila Cazadores vice president and brand managing director Ariel Meyer said, “[The] UFC organization has helped create mixed martial arts into a responsible, safe sport, with strict rules and regulations for athlete protection and fair play.
Frank Shamrock: Ken Shamrock cut himself to escape fight with Kimbo Slice
I think Ken cut himself. It goes back to his giant ego and not being smart enough to understand the rest of the business. I think he got upset because Kimbo was making twice as much as he was and I don’t think his ego could take it. I know for a fact that he tried to hold the network up for more money the day before the show and unfortunately his parting words were, “Well, then you never know what will happen because anything can happen.” Then when he showed up with the cut we all thought he juiced himself. You know, he’s not to be trusted … a real fighter would have superglued it and put makeup on it and been and would have been out there fighting. Which (is something) I have done and many fighters have done many times … I have no idea what he’s doing. I just hope when he’s finished destroying himself that he has something left to live by.
-Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Frank Shamrock comments to Sam Caplan on brother Ken’s last-minute withdrawal from his EliteXC main event fight against Kimbo Slice last October due to (a possible self-inflicted) cut sustained hours for the bout. Frank — who had not been training for a fight and competes at 185 pounds — volunteered to fight the much larger Slice on two hours notice. Unfortunately CBS executives reportedly nixed the idea and opted to go with Seth Petruzelli instead. The rest, as “they” say is history. Despite moments of civility, the adopted and quasi-estranged brothers are back on bad terms following the illness of their father Bob. Family Feud, MMA style. For the rest of the interview click here.
Joe Lauzon To Have ACL Surgery, Out 12-14 Months
Well, it looks like I will be having ACL surgery next week. I have had a history of bad luck with my knees. I have already had two knee surgeries… meniscectomies on both knees. Those surgeries were relatively simple because they just go in arthoscopically and shave down the meniscus. There is no stitching and no repairing done.
The surgery scheduled for next week will not be so simple. Unlike the last two times, I will need my meniscus repaired. Instead of just shaving that little piece out, they will be stitching it up and getting it to sit back in place.
Varner-Cerrone Rematch Possible For WEC Later This Year
After their first title fight ended in a premature 5th round stoppage due to an illegal strike, WEC Lightweight Champion Jamie Varner & Donald Cerrone could have a rematch late this summer. The fight date likely will depend on when Varner is ready to return from injuries sustained in the first fight, probably not before July. Cerrone is said to be next in line for a title shot due to Rich Crunkilton being off Sunday's WEC event with an injury, which may have cost Bart Palaszewski a title shot for now as well.
WEC Champ Varner's Injuries Not Career Ending
Though he got pretty banged up in his second title defense, WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner will fight again.
On Thursday, the 24-year-old Arizona Combat Sports fighter passed an eye exam that will clear the way for him to be re-licensed by the California State Athletic Commission, who suspended him indefinitely following his winning effort against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at WEC 38.
The fight was stopped just under two minutes into the fifth round when Cerrone threw an inadvertent illegal knee that raked Varner’s eye, prompting an automatic tally of judges’ scorecards. All three judges saw the bout in favor of Varner.
Varner also broke his right hand and fractured his left foot during the bout.
Initially, cage-side doctors feared his eye injury might be severe.
Bellator On ESPN Deportes - 1st Event Details
Upstart promotion Bellator Fighting Championships on Thursday announced the first of a 12-week event series featuring tournaments in the featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, and middleweight classes.
The first bracket of the tournament will debut on April 3 at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Fla. Featherweights and lightweights will be featured.
Confirmed for the card:
-Eddie Alvarez vs. Daniel Morales
-Jorge Masvidal vs. Diego Garijo
-Nick Gonzalez vs. Yahir Reyes
-Estevan Payan vs. Luis Palomino
-Joe Soto vs. Ben Greer
The event’s press release also promises additional non-tournament bouts, as well as a female bout featuring American Top Team’s Jessica Aguilar.
The event will be broadcast the following day in primetime on ESPN Desportes, the pre-eminent sport channel’s Spanish-language counterpart.
The science of doping
Nature 454, 692-693 (7 August 2008) | doi:10.1038/454692a; Published online 6 August 2008
The science of doping
See associated Correspondence: Ljungqvist et al. , Nature 455, 1176 (October 2008)Faber, Nature 455, 1176 (October 2008)
Donald A. Berry1
Donald A. Berry is head of the Division of Quantitative Sciences, chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Frank T. McGraw Memorial Chair of Cancer Research, MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, 1400 Pressler Street, Houston, Texas 77030-1402, USA.
Top of pageAbstractThe processes used to charge athletes with cheating are often based on flawed statistics and flawed logic, says Donald A. Berry.
Recently, the international Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld doping charges against cyclist Floyd Landis, stripping him of his title as winner of the 2006 Tour de France and suspending him from competition for two years. The court agreed with the majority opinion of a divided three-member American Arbitration Association (AAA) panel and essentially placed a stamp of approval on a laboratory test indicating that Landis had taken synthetic testosterone. Although Landis asserts his innocence, his options for recourse have all but dried up.
Already, in the run-up to this year's Olympic Games, vast amounts of time, money and media coverage have been spent on sports doping. Several doping experts have contended that tests aren't sensitive enough and let dozens of cheaters slip through the cracks. And some athletes are facing sanctions. Upon testing positive for clenbuterol, US swimmer Jessica Hardy was held back from the Olympic team and faces a two-year ban from the sport. She is attesting her innocence. China has already banned several athletes, some of them for life, on doping charges. Indeed, many world-class athletes will find their life's accomplishments and ambitions, their integrity and their reputations hinging on urine or blood tests. But when an athlete tests positive, is he or she guilty of doping? Because of what I believe to be inherent flaws in the testing practices of doping laboratories, the answer, quite possibly, is no.
In my opinion, close scrutiny of quantitative evidence used in Landis's case show it to be non-informative. This says nothing about Landis's guilt or innocence. It rather reveals that the evidence and inferential procedures used to judge guilt in such cases don't address the question correctly. The situation in drug-testing labs worldwide must be remedied. Cheaters evade detection, innocents are falsely accused and sport is ultimately suffering.
One factor at play in many cases that involve statistical reasoning, is what's known as the prosecutor's fallacy1. At its simplest level, it concludes guilt on the basis of an observation that would be extremely rare if the person were innocent. Consider a blood test that perfectly matches a suspect to the perpetrator of a crime. Say, for example, the matching profile occurs in just 1 out of every 1,000 people. A naive prosecutor might try to convince a jury that the odds of guilt are 999:1, that is, the probability of guilt is 0.999. The correct way to determine odds comes from Bayes rule2, 3, 4 and is equal to 999 times P/(1-P) where P is the 'prior probability' of guilt. Prior probability can be difficult to assess, but could range from very small to very large based on corroborating evidence implicating the suspect. The prosecutor's claim that the odds are 999:1 implies a prior probability of guilt equal to 0.5 (in which case P and 1-P cancel). Such a high value of P is possible, but it would require substantial evidence. Suppose there is no evidence against the suspect other than the blood test: he was implicated only because he was from the city where the crime occurred. If the city's population is one million then P is 1/1,000,000 and the odds of his guilt are 1001:1 against, which corresponds to a probability of guilt of less than 0.001.
The prosecutor's fallacy is at play in doping cases. For example, Landis's positive test result seemed to be a rare event, but just how rare? In doping cases the odds are dictated by the relative likelihood of a positive test assuming the subject was doping ('sensitivity') against a positive result assuming no doping (which is one minus 'specificity'). Sensitivity and specificity are crucial measures that must be estimated with reasonable accuracy before any conclusion of doping can be made, in my opinion.
The studies necessary to obtain good estimates are not easy to do. They require known samples, both positive and negative for doping, tested by blinded technicians who use the same procedures under the same conditions present in actual sporting events. In my view, such studies have not been adequately done, leaving the criterion for calling a test positive unvalidated.
Urine samples from cyclists competing in the 2006 Tour de France were analysed at the French national anti-doping laboratory (LNDD) in Châtenay-Malabry. This is one of 34 laboratories accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency to receive and analyse test samples from athletes. The LNDD flagged Landis's urine sample following race stage 17, which he won, because it showed a high ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone.
Based on the initial screening test, the LNDD conducted gas chromatography with mass spectrometry, and isotope ratio mass spectrometry on androgen metabolites in Landis's sample. Such laboratory tests involve a series of highly sophisticated processes that are used to identify the likelihood of abnormal levels of plant-based androgen metabolites (from dietary or pharmaceutical sources) in a urine sample. The goal is to differentiate from endogenous androgen metabolites normally found in urine.
Mass spectrometry requires careful sample handling, advanced technician training and precise instrument calibration. The process is unlikely to be error-free. Each of the various steps in handling, labelling and storing an athlete's sample represents opportunity for error.
In arbitration hearings, the AAA threw out the result of the LNDD's initial screening test because of improper procedures. In my opinion, this should have invalidated the more involved follow-up testing regardless of whether or not sensitivity and specificity had been determined. Nevertheless, the AAA ruled the spectrometry results sufficient to uphold charges of doping.
During arbitration and in response to appeals from Landis, the LNDD provided the results of its androgen metabolite tests for 139 'negative' cases, 27 'positive' cases, and Landis's stage 17 results (see Fig. 1). These data were given to me by a member of Landis's defence team. The criteria used to discriminate a positive from a negative result are set by the World Anti-Doping Agency and are applied to these results in Fig. 1b and d. But we have no way of knowing which cases are truly positive and which are negative. It is proper to establish threshold values such as these, but only to define a hypothesis; a positive test criterion requires further investigation on known samples.
The method used to establish the criterion for discriminating one group from another has not been published, and tests have not been performed to establish sensitivity and specificity. Without further validation in independent experiments, testing is subject to extreme biases. The LNDD lab disagrees with my interpretation. But if conventional doping testing were to be submitted to a regulatory agency such as the US Food and Drug Administration5 to qualify as a diagnostic test for a disease, it would be rejected.
The problem with multiples
Landis seemed to have an unusual test result. Because he was among the leaders he provided 8 pairs of urine samples (of the total of approximately 126 sample-pairs in the 2006 Tour de France). So there were 8 opportunities for a true positive — and 8 opportunities for a false positive. If he never doped and assuming a specificity of 95%, the probability of all 8 samples being labelled 'negative' is the eighth power of 0.95, or 0.66. Therefore, Landis's false-positive rate for the race as a whole would be about 34%. Even a very high specificity of 99% would mean a false-positive rate of about 8%. The single-test specificity would have to be increased to much greater than 99% to have an acceptable false-positive rate. But we don't know the single-test specificity because the appropriate studies have not been performed or published.
More important than the number of samples from one individual is the total number of samples tested. With 126 samples, assuming 99% specificity, the false-positive rate is 72%. So, an apparently unusual test result may not be unusual at all when viewed from the perspective of multiple tests. This is well understood by statisticians, who routinely adjust for multiple testing. I believe that test results much more unusual than the 99th percentile among non-dopers should be required before they can be labelled 'positive'.
Other doping tests are subject to the same weak science as testosterone, including tests for naturally occurring substances, and some that claim to detect the presence of a foreign substance. Detecting a banned foreign substance in an athlete's blood or urine would seem to be clear evidence of guilt. But as with testing for synthetic testosterone, such tests may actually be measuring metabolites of the drug that are naturally occurring at variable levels.
Whether a substance can be measured directly or not, sports doping laboratories must prospectively define and publicize a standard testing procedure, including unambiguous criteria for concluding positivity, and they must validate that procedure in blinded experiments. Moreover, these experiments should address factors such as substance used (banned and not), dose of the substance, methods of delivery, timing of use relative to testing, and heterogeneity of metabolism among individuals.
To various degrees, these same deficiencies exist elsewhere — including in some forensic laboratories. All scientists share responsibility for this. We should get serious about interdisciplinary collaborations, and we should find out how other scientists approach similar problems. Meanwhile, we are duty-bound to tell other scientists when they are on the wrong path.
Buchanan, M. The prosecutor's fallacy. The New York Times (16 May 2007).
Berry, D. A. Stat. Sci. 6, 175–205 (1991). | Article |
Berry, D. A. Statistics: A Bayesian Perspective (Duxbury Press, California, 1996).
Berry, D. A. & Chastain, L. A. Chance 17, 5–8 (2004).
Plots show the distribution of 167 samples of the metabolites etiocholanone and 5 -androstanediol (a, b), and androsterone and 5 -androstanediol (c, d). Panels b and d show samples the French national anti-doping laboratory (LNDD) designate to be 'positive' (red crosses) or 'negative' (green dots); the values from Landis's second sample from stage 17 is shown as a blue dot. Axes display delta notation, expressing isotopic composition of a sample relative to a reference compound.
UFC’s Akiyama a Key to Other Asian Market
As soon as the news broke Wednesday that Yoshihiro Akiyama was UFC-bound, discussion blazed about Zuffa's continuing international expansion, and the signing's impact toward making inroads in the elusive Japanese market.
Between the ultimately disastrous handling of the Pride Fighting Championships buyout, the company's courting of proclaimed Japanese MMA savior Satoshi Ishii and the recent signing of star Caol Uno, UFC President Dana White and Zuffa have remained adamant that the Japanese market was a priority for the company, a notion only furthered by their signing of Akiyama, who remains one of the few viable draws in Japanese MMA.
It is extremely telling that the largest topic of the ensuing discourse is not where Akiyama, a borderline top-10 middleweight, fits into an increasingly interesting UFC middleweight class, but rather what the maneuver means for Zuffa's global strategy, whether it provides the company with any more leverage or interest in the market and whether it brings the Octagon any closer to a return to Nihon.
It would be myopic, however, to see the signing of Akiyama strictly as an investment in Zuffa constructing a future in Japan. In fact, there's a more immediately extravagant and potentially lucrative market now ripe for the taking with the inking of Akiyama. His ethnicity -- which has been both a gift and a curse over the course of his career -- may provide the company with a genuine cultural superstar in the growing South Korean market that Zuffa has already been keenly courting.
While he was born in Japan, Akiyama is a fourth-generation "zainichi," or ethnic Korean. His status as a K-1 star has afforded him a high athletic profile in Japan. However, as evidenced by their booming and creative film industry, South Koreans appreciate a stellar drama, and over the last eight years, Akiyama's cinematic personal story has seen him ascend from ignominious pariah to esteemed hero.
Interesting article that deals with the current business environment of mma in Asia.
Paul Kelly Moving From Welterweight To Lightweight
Following through on plans to leave the Welterweight division "on a winning note", UFC fighter Paul Kelly has announced he will be dropping to Lightweight for his next fight. Kelly, 2-1 in UFC so far, also plans to sign a new deal with UFC before his next fight.
Former Boxing Champ Rahman Headed to MMA
Former boxing heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman is coming to MMA sometime this year, according to the fighter’s agent.
Rahman, who knocked out Lennox Lewis in 2001 to win the linear heavyweight title, has his heart set on a mixed marital arts career, said Sondro Gelke, who represents him. Now living in Las Vegas, Rahman, 45-7 (36 KO), is coming off a one-sided, Dec. 13 seventh-round stoppage at the hands of IBF/WBO champ Wladimir Klitschko.
Rory Markham Fought with a Collapsed Lung at UFC 95
According to Sheridan's post on mixedmartialarts.com:
Rory's a friend of mine, and he's NOT making any excuses, but this is a pretty crazy story. He had a terrible weight cut in London, and cramped so badly after the weigh-ins that one of his lungs collapsed. He didn't even know it. He just said he was feeling pretty shitty.