Chris Leben Calls Positive Drug Test 'Best Thing to Ever Happen to Me'
Mar 12, 2012 - Speaking publicly for the first time since the UFC suspended him for testing positive for painkillers at UFC 138, Chris Leben said that the suspension forced him into rehab and forced him to turn his life around.
"I've battled drugs and alcohol," Leben said on The MMA Hour. "I've battled with those for my entire life. I've had an issue with being addicted to painkillers for years now. I had some issues with my camp and it was almost a cry for help. I knew I was going to get caught and I just didn't care at the time. I'm extremely embarrassed, I feel like I let down the UFC, but at the same time I think getting caught is probably the best thing to ever happen to me. The UFC has been unbelievable, they sent me to a rehab facility and they really took care of me."
Titan FC Signs UFC Veteran Anthony "Rumble" Johnson
UFC castoff Anthony Johnson has signed with Titan Fighting Championships.
Titan Fighting CEO Joe Kelly today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he received Johnson's contract this morning. The fighter initially broke the news on "The MMA Hour."
Johnson is slated to fight on May 25 at Titan Fighting 22, though no opponent has been finalized, Kelly said.
Terms of his deal were not disclosed, though Johnson will compete at middleweight.
Strikeforce champ Melendez fights May 19, coach stumps for Penn or Pettis
Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez (20-2 MMA, 10-1 SF) will fight at the organization's recently announced May 19 event.
Against whom? That's a good question.
However, one of Melendez's coaches, Cesar Gracie, has two suggestions: current UFC fighters B.J. Penn or Anthony Pettis.
However, multiple sources told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) no opponent has been determined as of yet. Additionally, the champ's manager, Gil Melendez Sr., declined comment. But today on Twitter, Gracie stated, "I hope (it's) Penn or Pettis."
Dana White Says UFC May Move Away From PPV
Since its inception nearly 20 years ago, the UFC has been primarily a Pay Per View based company. While live gates, merchandising, and ratings matter, the PPV model has always been the staple of UFC programming. Over time, we've seen a gradual shift away from this model - first with The Ultimate Fighter, then the Spike TV fight nights and Live on Versus shows. In recent months, there's been more of a shift away, with major PPV-quality shows on Fox, and an increase in content on FX and Fuel.
Now, hot on the heels of the UFC taking The Ultimate Fighter to its new live format on FX, Dana White has made an intersting statement on the future of this PPV model. White told MMA Weekly:
"I do believe there will be a day when there probably isn't pay-per-view."
White went on to explain that he, like many media analysts, sees the future of television and cable changing drastically in coming years and anticipates the UFC being on the front edge of that change. And one of those changes could very likely be the death of the UFC on PPV.
'The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil' cast unveiled with 32 featherweights and middleweights
The fighters competing in the first-ever international edition of "The Ultimate Fighter" have been revealed.
"TUF: Brazil," which features UFC notables Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva as coaches, streams in the U.S. on UFC.com (simultaneously as it debuts March 25 in Brazil on Globo) and airs on FUEL TV (air times TBA).
A total of 32 featherweights and middleweights take part in the competition-reality series, the winners of which earn UFC contracts.
As with the recently debuted 15th U.S. edition of the reality show – "TUF: Live," which debuted this past Friday on U.S. – "TUF: Brazil" features an elimination round of fights. All winners of the those fights become official cast members. They then compete in the two tournaments, which are the focus of the reality show's regular-season run.
While most of the fighters are veterans of the Brazilian scene and largely undiscovered talent (in North America), there are a few notables, including featherweight Rodrigo Damm, a former Strikeforce and World Victory Road/Sengoku fighter, and 10-time IFL veteran Delson Heleno. However, notable Hacran Dias (20-1), one of the country's top prospects, isn't on the list.
The full list of "TUF: Brazil" fighters (courtesy globoesporte.com) includes:
Alexandre Ramos (5-0)
Rodrigo Damm (9-5)
Rony Mariano Bezerra (10-3)
Godofredo Pepey (8-0)
Marcos Vinicius Borges Pancini (19-3-1)
Medeiros Anistavio (12-7)
Johnny Goncalves (4-0)
Medeiros Anistavio (5-0)
Fernando Duarte Guerra (10-1)
John Teixeira (13-0-1)
Rafael Bueno (7-1)
Wagner Campos (11-3)
Pedro Nobre (10-0-1)
Fabricio de Assis Costa da Silva (14-1)
Dileno Lopes (8-0)
Giovanni da Silva Santos Jr. (10-1)
Sergio Moraes (6-1)
Cezar Ferreira (4-2)
Leonardo Mafra Teixeira (5-0)
Daniel Sarafian (7-2)
Gustavo Sampaio (5-1)
Richardson Moreira (3-0)
Fabio Luiz Vital da Costa (9-0-1)
Renee Forte (7-1)
Joao Paulo de Souza (8-4)
Francisco Drinaldo (10-1)
Thiago Rela (3-1)
Charles Maicon (8-1)
Gilberto Galvao (19-4-1)
Thiago de Oliveira Perpetuo (8-1-1)
Samuel Trindade (6-1)
Delson Heleno (23-6)
Wyoming becomes state No. 46 to regulate MMA
Wyoming is getting in the business of regulated MMA.
Governor Matt Mead recently signed into law House Bill 87, which calls for the creation of an MMA board to oversee and regulate the sport.
Although the country's least populous U.S. state, Wyoming is now the 46th to regulate MMA.
Only three state athletic commissions (in New York, Connecticut and Vermont) currently don't regulate MMA, and one (Alaska) lacks a regulatory body to do so. Wyoming joins other recent adopters, including West Virginia, Wisconsin and Alabama.
Wyoming officially joined the list this past Thursday, March 8.
UFC Primetime returns for 'Jones vs Evans' and 'Dos Santos vs Overeem'
Good news, "Primetime" fans. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is rolling out its real-time documentary style series for two upcoming title fights.
And neither of them feature Georges St. Pierre!
Indeed, the promotion has announced it will bring "Primetime" back to the FX channel for the Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans light heavyweight championship showdown slotted for UFC 145 on April 21, 2012, in Atlanta, Georgia.
Air dates and times on FX are as follows:
Rampage quit threats don't concern Dana White
UFC president Dana White plans to do little in response to Quinton Rampage Jackson's threat to quit the UFC, insisting the light-heavyweight is merely an emotional character.
Not for the first time in his career, Jackson threatened to walk away from the UFC on Monday when he claimed his next fight will be his last.
Rampage previously stated after defeat to Jon Jones that he would pursue a career in boxing, but returned to the Octagon to fight Ryan Bader - a bout he lost via unanimous decision.
Antonio Silva Returns To American Top Team In Advance Of Fight With Roy Nelson
Antonio Silva has some old-new training partners to help him prepare for his upcoming UFC debut fight with Roy Nelson. "Bigfoot" recently returned to training at American Top Team after leaving to work with the Blackzilians.
Silva, who will face Nelson on May 26 at UFC 146, will now get a chance to work with ex-Nelson opponents Fabricio Werdum and current UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos. "Cigano" will main event the same card against Alistair Overeem for the title.
Dana White Publicly Apologizes To Showtime Execs
It was revealed this week that UFC president Dana White had reached a creative impasse with the Showtime production team in packaging Strikeforce and would no longer be dealing with the promotion, declaring himself "100% UFC."
Apparently, though true, White never meant for the disparaging comments he made about the Showtime production team in making that declaration to reach the public. In a recent conversation with MMAFighting's Ariel Helwani, White apologized to Showtime for the publication of those comments.
Hendo not open to Rampage, would take Sonnen - White
UFC president Dana White is convinced Dan Henderson would fight any man in the world, as long as a UFC title was on the line.
White has been frustrated by Henderson's reluctance to commit to potential bouts, with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Lyoto Machida reportedly not to the veteran's liking. The reason? Neither man offers him a UFC title.
Henderson has since been linked to a war with Rampage Jackson, whom he previously lost a decision against in a fight to unify Pride and UFC titles.
‘Cyborg’ Santos Wants To Put On A Good Show For The Fans, Wants Paul Daley Next
No, no the other ‘Cyborg’, Evangelista Santos (18-15) is looking to return to the Strikeforce cage this spring and he’d like to do it against British welterweight Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley.
Santos, who suffered a loss last September in his last fight, has taken some time to heal up since that time and is looking for an exciting fight to come back with. A fight with Daley could be just that fight.
Both fighters are better known for their standup rather than their ground game, which has the potential of creating fireworks rather than watching one fighter drag the other down.
Dana White on 'The Ultimate Fighter: Live' season debut: 'It was perfect'
From the live format to the new broadcaster partner to the surprise one-round fights, Friday's season debut of "The Ultimate Fighter: Live" couldn't have gone any better.
That's according to Dana White.
The UFC president spoke to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) after the two-and-a-half-hour season debut, which included 16 live elimination-round fights on FX.
"Going into this thing ... you're always nervous when you do something new and do something different," he told MMAjunkie.com. "We worked long and hard on this show to make sure this came off with no hitches. I'm very happy to with how it came off. It was perfect. Everything went according to plan. There were literally no hiccups whatsoever.
"It's not easy doing this live. Nobody's even done this before, and it could have gone any more perfect."
MMAjunkie.com was on scene for the debut, which took place at the UFC Training Center in Las Vegas. After 14 taped seasons on Spike TV, the UFC's long-running reality series went to a live format with its move to the FOX-owned FX. With UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and fellow headliner Urijah Faber on hand to scout for next week's team selections, White said they were treated to a stellar night of fights...
'UFC Primetime' airs on FX for 'UFC 146: Dos Santos vs. Overeem'
In anticipation of their highly anticipated UFC 146 heavyweight title fight, current titleholder Junior Dos Santos (14-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) and former Strikeforce champ Alistair Overeem (36-11 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will be featured in an upcoming edition of "UFC Primetime," a three-part special that airs on FX.
The first episode airs Friday, May 11, at 11 p.m. ET/PT, with subsequent episodes premiering in the same timeslot on May 18 and May 25.
Replays of each episode air on FUEL TV...
Jon Jones Says He Doesn't Want to Fight Anderson Silva, Considers Him a 'Mentor'
Since becoming UFC light heavyweight champion last year, the comparisons between Jon Jones and Anderson Silva have been endless.
Both competitors' performances in their respective divisions have made fans call for a potential dream fight, but Silva has already shot down the idea of facing Jones.
And now Jones has also played down the notion of fighting the Brazilian, who he considers the top-pound-for-pound fighter in the sport and a role model.
Bellator CEO says heavyweight Blagoi Ivanov's condition upgraded
Two weeks after being stabbed in the chest at a bar in Sofia, Bulgaria, Blagoi Ivanov has been downgraded from critical to serious condition.
However, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney today told MMAjunkie.com Radio that the heavyweight remains vulnerable.
"The doctors were still pretty tepid in their willingness to say to us that he was out of the woods," said Rebney, who received an update earlier this week. "He was stabbed in the heart, so he is in a difficult state."