California likely to require clean drug tests for past offenders
California is poised to join Nevada in requiring fighters who previously tested positive for drugs to prove they are clean before being allowed to fight again.
The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) is working on this and other changes to regulations designed to stem the use of performance-enhancing and recreational drugs in combative sports. The proposed change to current rules in California would require a clean drug test for licensure or renewal of a license when an athlete has "previously tested positive for a prohibited substance in any commission state." This clean-test stipulation comes with no expiration date.
To cite a real-world example, this proposed rule change means that if former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk is to fight again in California, whether it's next month or 10 years from now, he will be required to pass a drug test before he's cleared to compete. This is similar to a rule on the books in Nevada, as Sherk was required to pass a drug test prior to his bout with BJ Penn last month at UFC 84.
"This is to assure us that they are safe to be placed into a competitive environment again and prevent repeat test failures," Bill Douglas, acting assistant executive officer with the CSAC, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "It will only apply if they have had a previously verified test failure."
The proposed rule is working its way through the bureaucratic process in California. That includes a public-comment period, which closed last month, and reviews by a litany of state agencies. Douglas is confident that the rule will pass and be signed into law by the middle of July. If that timing holds, Douglas anticipates the rule would take effect approximately 30 days after being signed to give promoters ample notice of the change.
Few, if any, other states outside of Nevada require this clean test for fighters who have previously tested positive for drugs, according to Douglas.
Another rule change currently under review would permit the commission to overturn a victory when a fighter has won his or her fight and subsequently tested positive for a banned substance. The fight would be declared a no-contest. Currently, victories by fighters who fail a drug test stand.
Following this round of rule revisions, random testing is next on the CSAC agenda.
"One of the things that were also hoping to address in the future with a rules package -- more than likely the very next one I'll be working on -- is out-of-competition testing," said Douglas. "That's currently being done in Nevada, and California is hoping to do the same thing. We're not looking to do this a week or two before a fight. We want to be able to do it whenever we want. So if someone fights and then six months into their training, we can call them up with their date and time (for testing)."
Judo Olympian Ronda Rousey Could Be an MMA Star -- If Her Mom Will Let Her
There's a lot to like about Ronda Rousey. She's America's best hope for an Olympic medal in judo this summer, she's a passionate advocate for her sport, and she has a blog that shows she's smart and funny.
Unfortunately, beyond those two weeks in August in Beijing, she's not going to have many opportunities to be in the public eye, or to make a living as a professional athlete. So that's why it makes sense that, as Beau Dure of USA Today reports, she's considering turning her attention to mixed martial arts:
"I have quite a few people who have been trying to get me to do MMA," Rousey says. "A coach has been talking to me about teaching me striking (punches, kicks) after the Olympics....
"My mom's generally not a big fan of the idea, so we'll see if I can convince her,"
UFC Headed To Nebraska In September
Although UFC has not announced it yet, multiple sources have confirmed that UFN 14 in September will be held at the Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Nebraska. No main event has been signed but Nate Diaz & Houston Alexander will be fighting on the card.
Guy Mezger on PRIDE and Worked Fights
From an interview with MMAyou.com:
MMAyou.com: Here’s a question from one of your fans that I thought was a really good question. Why did the Pride judges hate you so much?
Mezger: You know, I’ll tell you truthfully man, I wouldn’t play ball with them on certain things. They wanted me to do certain things that’s just not something that I’m gonna do. It’s against my, kind of my moral code and I think it pissed them off because I’m not gonna do some of the stuff that they wanted me to do
Filho vs. Sonnen...again
From MMAJunkie.com :
WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho (16-0) will return to action in September for a rematch with top contender Chael Sonnen (20-9-1).
The website Tatame.com recently reported the bout.
The Filho/Sonnen rematch was supposed to take place March 26th, but Filho had to pull out of the fight after disappearing for 2 days and checking into rehab for chemical dependency.
Sonnen controlled the first fight by using his height and reach advantage on the feet before succumbing to an armbar very late in the second round.
Josh thomson trains For Milendez (and doesn't like dog fighting)
Current lightweight champion Josh Thomson has joined Cung Le as the second Strikeforce fighter to record a PSA for California-based non-profit Knock Out Dog Fighting. The program is organized by For Pits' Sake, Inc., who "has recruited the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) to help teach children that dog fighters are losers and that it is not a sign of strength to torture helpless animals."
Testify, Brother Thomson:
Dog fighting is animal abuse, plain and simple. Torturing animals is not cool; nor is it a sign of being a real man. Real fighters stand up for what's right and protect those who are unable to do so.
Nate Diaz camp confirms UFC Fight Night 14 bout with Josh Neer
As expected "The Ultimate Fighter 5" winner Nate Diaz (9-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC) will meet veteran Josh Neer (24-6-1 MMA, 3-3 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 14 in September.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) was the first to report the fight, which has now been signed, according to graciefighter.com, home to Cesar Gracie's training center in Pleasant Hill, Calif.
Dana White Refutes N.Y. Regulation Is Topic Of "Big Announcement"
As we previously reported, UFC President Dana White made a guest appearance yesterday on CNBC's "Power Lunch" to announce a merchandising deal with JAKKS. During the interview White took time to publicly address rumors that are swirling around the internet involving another big announcement that the UFC has planned for next Tuesday - stating that Floyd Mayweather will not be signing with the UFC, the company will not go public, Vince McMahon will not buy out the Fertitta's and the UFC will not be shown on free TV anytime soon. (Click here to watch the interview)
The nature of the UFC's big announcement has remained secret, but White has boasted that the announcement will reveal MMA's direction over the next five years. Fans and insiders have speculated about the nature of the announcement and a variety of plausible scenarios have surfaced; all from "reliable sources", all appear legitimate and all of this speculation greatly benefits the UFC.
After EliteXC's mainstream success and Affliction signing or partnering up with every big name tough guy out there, including business mogul Donald Trump, is it possible that White and Co. floated a number of these rumors to in order to drum up some interest and get the conversation back onto the UFC? While unlikely, it's certainly not out of the realm of possibility, and the fact remains that all of this speculation can only be good for the industry leaders.
White and the UFC appear to be getting such a kick, not to mention publicity, out of all of the speculation surrounding their impending press conference that they decided to let us all flail about a bit more by pushing back the day of the press conference from this Thursday to next Tuesday. Good business decision, bad for all of us grown-ups who had a tough time waiting for Christmas as kids.
Sam Caplin reported earlier today that he had revealed White's big surprise; an MMA New York sanction, but that was quickly shot down by White himself through German MMA reporter Oliver Copp. Apparently, White told Copp and other reporters in London that the big surprise would not be New York regulation. There you have it.
New York votes against sanctioning MMA, but all hope is not dead.
Word has spread quickly throughout the MMA community that the state of New York's Committee on Tourism, Arts and Sports Development has overwhelmingly voted down a bill that would govern the regulation of MMA in the state.
However, according to an official within committee chair (and bill sponsor) Steve Engelbright's office, the bill is still very much alive with the committee, and it will be revisited at a committee session next Wednesday.
While our good friend Sam Caplan at FiveOuncesOfPain.com first reported that the "bill was voted down in overwhelming fashion," according to a member of a major state athletic commission, sources within Engelbright's office refuted that claim when contacted by MMAjunkie.com.
Vitor Belfort Added To Affliction
Affliction has added former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort to its July 19 event, putting him in a matchup against fellow one-time UFC fighter Terry Martin. It's considered interesting he was added given he previously violated a drug suspension by fighting overseas during the suspension period, which could work against him when it comes to getting licensed.
Thiago Alves on feud with Matt Hughes, missing weight, title shot
Defeating longtime UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes (42-7 MMA, 15-5 UFC) is an impressive notch on any fighter's belt, but for Thiago Alves (20-4 MMA, 8-2 UFC), this past Saturday's UFC 85 main event knockout victory was especially sweet for more reasons than one.
"When my boss called me and said, 'You are going to fight Matt Hughes,' I was like '[expletive] yeah, I am going to fight him!'" Alves said.
“The last part of the fight was what we call at the gym “Swicking Out”… I actually was trying to get my punches through but he was doing a great job at blocking them so I got creative. I was actually at one point going to sit up and donky kong hammer fist them in but actually changed my mind and stuck to the less effective freestyle swimming technique. Amazingly it looked so much better in my head than how it turned out! You just have to know that in my head I was a ground n pounding machine with brutal power and perfect technique… I guess I am not quite the ninja I think I am sometimes…”
I thought they looked like two kids on the playground... that's how I used to fight. It is funny to hear is perspective.
The Return of The Old School
Recently an influx of fighter vs. grappler bouts has made MMA fans feel like it's 1998 all over again. Another such example of this comes Sunday at DREAM 4, when kickboxer Melvin Manhoef, a fighter with all but one of his career wins by KO, faces feared grappler Kazushi Sakuraba, who has won 71% of his fights by submission.