Chris Leben offers details of physical condition: 'Basically, my heart is failing'
In February, former UFC middleweight Chris Leben and Bellator MMA announced 'The Crippler' would return to mixed martial arts under the auspices of Scott Coker's circular cage. Yet, less than a month later, it was revealed Leben's return to the sport would be shortlived. In pre-fight medical exams, doctors found Leben had a debilitating and dangerous heart condition, prompting Bellator to pass on bringing Leben back.
On Friday, Leben appeared on The Luke Thomas Show on SiriusXM to detail the nature of his physical condition, the struggle to end his physical dependency on prescription medication and more.
Nguyen vs. Scoggins scrapped, Laprise now meets Pearson in UFC Fight Night 85 shuffle
Next week’s UFC Fight Night 85 has undergone a bit of a facelift, as a handful of changes were announced late Friday night by promotion officials.
First, injury has forced flyweight Justin Scoggins (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) to withdraw from the contest, and a planned fight with Ben Nguyen (14-5 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has been scrapped.
Additionally, lightweight Abel Trujillo (13-7 MMA, 4-3 UFC) encountered issues securing a visa and has been pulled from a planned matchup with Ross Pearson (18-10 MMA, 10-7 UFC). UFC officials have since elected to match Pearson with Canadian Chad Laprise (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), instead, leaving Laprise’s opponent, Alan Patrick (12-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), without a fight for the time being.
UFC officials are currently looking to fill that void.
Featuring a heavyweight fight between Mark Hunt and Frank Mir, UFC Fight Night 85 takes place Sunday, March 20 at Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Due to the time change, the card airs on FOX Sports 1 and streams on UFC Fight Pass on Saturday, March 19 in the U.S.
GLORY, Spike TV and the divide between sports and entertainment
Kimbo Slice, GLORY kickboxer. That was almost a thing last year.
GLORY CEO Jon Franklin told MMA Fighting this week that he and his staff discussed the possibility of bringing the wildly popular former streetfighter in for a bout. Slice had competed in boxing before and, obviously, had a history in MMA. At the time, Slice was already on the Bellator MMA roster and GLORY and Bellator shared a television network, Spike TV.
Talks ceased pretty quickly, though. Nothing personal against Slice, but GLORY execs didn't want to compromise the promotion's identity as the top kickboxing organization in the world by putting forth a subpar product.
Matt Mitrione has 'very nice' Bellator offer, but 'unfinished business in UFC'
Matt Mitrione is at a career crossroads, but not a desperate one. Despite dropping his last two fights in the UFC (albeit the last one against Travis Browne ending on controversial terms), Mitrione is not begging for work or desperate for attention. In fact, he has a lot of options. The only question is which path he'll take, not so much which path is better.
"I'm in a good spot, man," Mitrione said on Monday's The MMA Hour.
According to Mitrione, who fought out his UFC contract to seek free agency, he's received an offer from Bellator. While specifics were not detailed, Mitrione was quick to note the deal Bellator offered is quite alright by him.
Ken Shamrock, Kimbo Slice Test Positive for Banned Substances at Bellator 149
Both Ken Shamrock and Kimbo Slice have failed drug tests ahead of their bouts at Bellator 149 in Houston on Feb. 19.
Sherdog.com learned of Shamrock’s positive test from a source close to the situation. MMAFighting.com reports that Slice also tested positive for a banned substance prior to the event. It is currently unknown for which substances the fighters tested positive.
Sherdog.com recently filed a records request with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation for drug tests results from the event. However, the results for Shamrock and Slice were redacted due to pending litigation. According to MMAFighting.com, both fighters have been received an administrative suspension from TDLR. Competitors on the card had their urine tested prior to the event.
Felipe Olivieri flagged for potential USADA anti-doping violation
The UFC announced Friday that Felipe Oliveiri is under scrutiny for a potential anti-doping policy violation. The Brazilian, who lost to Tony Martin via submission in his promotional debut on Jan. 30, tested clean for prohibited substances on fight night, but an out-of-competition test came with a different result.
The UFC’s statement can be read below.
The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Felipe Olivieri of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection. Although the sample collected from Olivieri following his bout at UFC Fight Night: Johnson vs. Bader on January 30, 2016, was reported as negative for prohibited substances, a sample collected from him in Brazil earlier that month, and analyzed at the WADA accredited laboratory in Rio de Janeiro, was recently reported to USADA as containing a prohibited substance.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Olivieri, as it relates to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and future UFC participation. Because Olivieri participated in a bout sanctioned by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board after the sample in question was collected, USADA will work to ensure that the Board has the necessary information to determine the appropriate course of action under the Board’s rules.
Dana White: UFC 196 did 1.5 million PPV buys
Despite a late replacement in the main event and two memorable upsets in the top two feature fights, UFC 196 appears to have broken all previous pay-per-view records.
According to the promotion's president Dana White, UFC 196 seemingly earned a 1.5 million PPV buy rate, which puts it ahead of UFC 100 and all over landmark events in the promotion's history.
"People have been telling me 'what are you going to do when Chuck Liddell retires?' then 'what are you going to do when GSP is gone?' There is always new great fighters coming down the pipeline," White told ESPN's Max & Marcellus. "In this sport, we put the best against the best, or sometimes we do crazy stuff like on Saturday night, where Conor McGregor says 'I want to fight Nate Diaz. I'll fight him at 170 [pounds].'
Dana White: Conor McGregor’s Going to ‘Fight on UFC 200’
Featherweight champion Conor McGregor was not medically suspended following his second-round loss to Nate Diaz at UFC 196 on March 5, and the Irishman is expected fight on the UFC 200 fight card on July 9.
Conor-McGregor-UFC-196-wo-01-750x370“He wants to fight again as soon as possible. He wants to jump back in there, and he wants to fight again. We’re working on who the next opponent will be,” UFC president Dana White said during a recent appearance on ESPN Radio.
During the UFC 196 post-fight press conference, McGregor said he’d likely defend his 145-pound title in his next fight. It would be his first title defense, and according to White, “The Notorious” will fight again at UFC 200.
Seven months after giving birth, Stephanie Eggink taking wait-and-see approach to MMA comeback
Stephanie Eggink was just a few months removed from almost becoming the Invicta women's strawweight champion when she got life-altering news: She was pregnant.
Despite her standing as one of the top 115-pound fighters in the world, Eggink considered hanging up the gloves when she found out she was having a son.
"I didn't know what I wanted to do," she told MMA Fighting. "Your priorities instantly change the second you find out you're pregnant. But I'm a fighter. I'm still a fighter."
And she will be that again Friday night when she makes her return against Angela Hill at Invicta FC 16 at Trinidad Pavilion at the Tropicana Las Vegas. Eggink's son Ronan was born just seven months ago and her training didn't miss a beat.
"A lot of people said there was no way I was gonna get back in there within the year and in seven months here I am," Eggink said. "That's a big hurdle for me. I have a 12-pack again and I just had a kid."
Source: Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate 2 in the works for UFC 200
Sources close to BJPENN.COM have confirmed that the UFC is looking to set up a rematch between Holly Holm and Miesha Tate for July’s UFC 200 event in Las Vegas, Nevada...
...However, our sources are saying that because Rousey will not be ready in time for the blockbuster event, the UFC is looking to set up the rematch between Holm vs. Tate.
Derrick Lewis vs. Gabriel Gonzaga in works for UFC Fight Night 86
“Big Country” is going to have to wait for now, as it seems “The Black Beast” is heading to Croatia first.
With Ruslan Magomedov recently forced out of a planned UFC Fight Night 86 appearance, UFC officials needed a replacement opponent for Gabriel Gonzaga (17-10 MMA, 12-9 UFC). MMAjunkie today confirmed with multiple people with knowledge of the negotiations that Derrick Lewis (14-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) has verbally agreed to step in for Magomedov, and bout agreements are expected to be finalized shortly. Those people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to publicly discuss such matters.
An official announcement is expected shortly.
WSOF champ Justin Gaethje: I won't take a pay cut to go to the UFC
At 15-0, World Series of Fighting lightweight champion Justin Gaethje opens up about his serendipitous entry into MMA and about his upcoming title fight against tournament winner Brian Foster.
Eddie Mercado: You are the World Series of Fighting lightweight champion. Why MMA?
Justin Gaethje: I'm not sure. I started wrestling at 4 years old. It was never a dream of mine but I knew I always wanted to compete in something. When I was wrestling in college I took 7 amateur fights without ever being in a street fight, without sparring, without even training MMA. I won those and then decided to find a gym and turn pro and haven't lost yet. Now I'm making good money and I love it!
Tristar Gym partners with Reebok
Reebok has partenered with lauded Montreal, Quebec, training facility Tristar Gym, MMAFighting.com has learned.
Reebok's involvement in MMA exploded in December 2014, when the apparel company announced an exclusive sponsorship as the UFC's global outfitter. Since then, Reebok has partnered with Ireland's SBG Gym, home to UFC featherweight champ Conor McGregor, UFC welterweight Gunnar Nelson, and more.
This current partnership with Tristar Gym serves as the next step forward for the brand as it continues to expand its Reebok Combat Training division and to develop deeper ties within the sport of MMA.
Omari Akhmedov vs. Elizeu Zaleski added to UFC on FOX 19
Welterweights Omari Akhmedov and Elizeu Zaleski will both seek redemption on April 16, as they battle at UFC on FOX 19 in Tampa, the promotion announced Wednesday. Combate first reported the matchup.
Akhmedov (15-3) looks for his fourth win under the UFC banner after suffering a knockout loss to Sergio Moraes in December, snapping a two-fight winning streak. Akhmedov currently holds a 3-2 UFC mark.
Gegard Mousasi wants Anderson Silva fight, but not until UFC 199 or UFC 200
Gegard Mousasi and Anderson Silva fought on the same card 10 days ago, and it seems there are plenty of people who would love to see the veterans matched up for their next fights.
But if everyone gets what they want in the near term, it may be a fight that isn’t destined to happen right now.
Giovani Decker, general manager of the UFC’s Brazil office, has said the promotion would love to have Silva (33-7 MMA, 16-3 UFC) on the card for the UFC’s next show in the country, which takes place May 14 for UFC 198 in Curitiba.
Mousasi (38-6-2 MMA, 5-3 UFC) is interested in a fight against Silva. But if the terms are that it needs to take place in a little more than two months in Brazil, those who want to see the fight may have to wait.
With Bellator 152 card set, Derek Campos set to meet Patricky Freire in main event
The MMA portion of Bellator 152, a card which features both MMA and kickboxing action, is now finalized with a lightweight bout between Patricky Freire and Derek Campos lined up to serve as the night’s headliner.
The event takes place April 16 at Pala Alpitour in Turin, Italy. The main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie. It marks the promotion’s first international event.
With the additions, the Bellator 152 card includes:
Derek Campos vs. Patricky Freire
Brian Rogers vs. Alessio Sakara
Danilo Belluardo vs. A.J. McKee
Anjela Pink vs. Anastasia Yankova
Daniele Miceli vs. Daniele Scatizzi