IRS goes after Royce Gracie claiming tax underpayment, fraud totaling $1.15 million
Remember the scrawny guy in a gi who smoked the field at UFC 1 and had everyone scratching their heads as to how such a thing was possible? Well Royce Gracie is now a UFC Hall of Famer who's scheduled to come out of an almost nine-year MMA layoff/retirement on Feb. 19 for a trilogy fight with his old archrival Ken Shamrock in Gracie's Bellator promotional debut.
While that fight will be upon us soon enough, few are aware that Gracie is smack dab in the middle of another fight against an even tougher, more battle-tested opponent who can't be grappled into submission: The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Gracie's tax problems appear to have begun in 2012 when he and his wife each received an IRS administrative summons "seeking information about their foreign bank and foreign investment activities." It is unclear exactly how the Gracies first appeared on the IRS's radar, but an investigation began and the IRS needed additional documents for tax years 2007 through 2011 in order to evaluate "among other things, [the Gracies'] liability for civil penalties."
Nate Diaz reacts to UFC fine: Those were Reebok jeans!
Those were #reebokjeans u should've just kept the whole check I don't need that baby ass shit anyway .. #1000? ?
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) January 10, 2016
UFC middleweight Josh Samman was on the same fight card, and he also mentioned details of the Diaz situation on his fight week diary. Here's a snippet:
"Reebok guy rushes back up to me, and asks if he can borrow my pants that I just wore, for another fighter who also has jeans on at weigh ins. I don't mind, and hand him my pants.
I ask him who the fighter is. He says Diaz. I have a feeling I know how this is going to end. He comes back a couple minutes later and gives me my pants back, as Diaz walks on stage with jeans."
Visa issues force Taisumov off UFC Fight Night 81, Medhi Baghdad in vs. Chris Wade
Visa issues have forced Maribek Taisumov from his UFC Fight Night 81 bout with Chris Wade. Stepping in for the lightweight battle on one week’s notice is RFA lightweight champion and TUF 22 veteran Medhi Baghdad.
Wade (10-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) posted the news of the new bout with Baghdad (11-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) on his Instagram.
MAIN CARD (FOX Sports 1, 10 p.m. ET)
Champ T.J. Dillashaw vs. Dominick Cruz – for bantamweight title
Eddie Alvarez vs. Anthony Pettis
Travis Browne vs. Matt Mitrione
Ross Pearson vs. Francisco Trinaldo
PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1, 8 p.m. ET)
Patrick Cote vs. Ben Saunders
Medhi Baghdad vs. Chris Wade
Tim Boetsch vs. Ed Herman
Maximo Blanco vs. Luke Sanders
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6 p.m. ET)
Daron Cruickshank vs. Paul Felder
Ilir Latifi vs. Sean O’Connell
Jimy Hettes vs. Charles Rosa
Rob Font vs. Joey Gomez
Francimar Barroso vs. Abdul-Kerim Edilov
Katlyn Chookagian Wins Inaugural CFFC Womens Flyweight Championship
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- With news of another UFC supercard in the works featuring Conor McGregor and Holly Holm, the MMA game has moved toward making big headlines and figuring out the details later. Following that lead, Cage Fury Fighting Championship put together fight cards on back-to-back nights featuring an all-amateur event and awarding their first women’s flyweight title on Saturday.
Opinion: The harsh reality of knockouts, concussions and fighter health
MMA is a form of entertainment. I have enjoyed watching this sport as a hobby, a passion and as work. Entertainment takes people away from the struggles of their daily lives, their obstacles and their hardships. When I watch an MMA event, I don't think about work, bills, rent, relationships or the impact of the sport on society and a fighter's livelihood.
The only thing I care about is being entertained.
Shlemenko plans to fight in Russia while serving doping suspension
Despite initial reservations against fighting in his native land while serving a three-year doping suspension, Alexander Shlemenko recently informed Russian media that he will indeed fight again in the near future.
The former Bellator middleweight champion informed Tass.ru that he is currently shopping around for a Russian promotion to host his next fight.
UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Means fight card
As is the custom for him, Donald Cerrone wasn't interested in waiting on the sidelines for very long. The top lightweight lost a title fight in just 66 seconds last month, but will return as a welterweight to headline the UFC's return to Pittsburgh on February 21st in the Consol Energy Center. If you like numbers, the event is tabbed as UFC Fight Night 82.
Trading Shots: Was the UFC right to withhold pay for outfitting policy violations?
In this week’s Trading Shots, retired UFC and WEC fighter Danny Downes joins MMAjunkie columnist Ben Fowlkes to discuss the UFC’s move to withhold pay from fighters due to violations of the UFC’s outfitting policy.
Downes: Ben, the first week of 2016 has ended and we already have another chapter of the infamous “Reebok Deal” in the books. Three UFC fighters received reductions in their outfitting payments for “knowingly and seriously” violating the policy.
Own the note cards Bruce Buffer used to announce Conor McGregor's 13-second finish
Looking for a unique piece of history from UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor’s shocking UFC 194 win over Jose Aldo? How about the note cards Bruce Buffer used to introduce the fight?
The man known as “The Voice of the Octagon” is once again offering up a package of unique MMA items, including his “octagon used original fight card sets” from December’s UFC 194 event.
Additionally, the winner of the auction receives an autographed copy of the UFC 194 event program, as well as a signed UFC Topps Buffer trading card, a personalized and signed 8×10 Buffer photo and a “personalized audio recording introducing buyer in true championship style.”
Holly Holm: Miesha Tate is a completely different fight than Ronda Rousey
Holly Holm will defend her women's bantamweight title against former Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate before any potential rematch with Ronda Rousey comes to fruition.
Sources told FOX Sports that Holm and Tate have verbally agreed to meet at UFC 197 as part of a potential mega-card that is also expected to feature featherweight champion Conor McGregor going up a weight class to face Rafael dos Anjos with the lightweight title on the line.
Frankie Edgar: ‘I think Conor McGregor’s calling the shots’
Frankie Edgar doesn’t usually let his emotions get the better of him, but he’s still not feeling totally stoked about the old bait-and-switch the UFC pulled on him regarding his title shot in mid-December.
And speaking of shots, he already knew that the man he is supposed to face next — Conor McGregor, who unified the featherweight title against Jose Aldo on Dec. 12 — was the one calling them.
Anthony Pettis warns Conor McGregor: ‘155 is a totally different world'
When Anthony Pettis signed to fight Eddie Alvarez at UFC Fight Night 81, he did so with an implicit understanding that a win would vault him back into the title picture. That was back in September though, before Conor McGregor ended 10 years of featherweight royalty with 13 seconds of brilliance, and things ceased being so simple.
Now the future of the lightweight division effectively hinges on McGregor's next move. If the man with the numbers elects to move up and challenge for Rafael dos Anjos' title -- an announcement which appears to be a mere formality at this point -- then the rest of the 155-pound division will have little recourse but to take a backseat and watch the spectacle play out.
Click Debate: Why do so few people understand MMA's judging criteria?
While there was outrage on social media after UFC 195, the feeling at the FOX Sports 1 post-show desk seemed to be more of confusion Saturday night.
Robbie Lawler beat Carlos Condit in the main event by split decision. That's the fact. How two of the three Nevada judges came to that conclusion was under scrutiny.
The fight was determined by the third round. Condit pretty clearly won the first and fourth; Lawler took the second and fifth. Most people had Condit winning the third and that's where the puzzlement lied.
T.J. Dillashaw 'surprised' by the words of 'shallow' Urijah Faber
Next week's bantamweight title fight is a gem and a battle between perhaps two of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet. But there is also a rather large elephant in the room.
T.J. Dillashaw will defend his belt against Dominick Cruz, the former champion, in the main event of UFC Fight Night 81 on Jan. 17 in Boston. Cruz has gone on the offensive leading up to the bout, questioning Dillashaw's intelligence and lobbing insults at him every step of the way. Dillashaw, for the most part, has taken the high road, but he has been receiving it from all angles.
USADA: Mirko Cro Cop still suspended despite report stating he didn't fail drug test
Mirko Cro Crop may have never failed a drug test. That doesn't mean his suspension will be rescinded.
The Croatian media outlet Vecernji reported Saturday that Cro Cop received his drug test results from USADA on Friday and that they were all negative. Vecernji reported that Cro Cop, the MMA legend, got an email with the results from USADA CEO Travis Tygart.
That information might be accurate, but Cro Cop's two-year suspension will still stand, USADA spokesperson Annie Skinner told MMA Fighting.
Brazilian MMA fighter shot, likely paralyzed after armed robbery
Henrique Alves de Aquino (1-1), a bantamweight from the Renovacao Fight Team, was shot Friday morning during an armed robbery in the northeast area of Rio de Janeiro. The MMA fighter, who also works as a bus driver, was shot when two teenagers tried to rob people at a bus stop.
According to RFT, Alves, a black belt in luta livre, was rushed to the Getulio Vargas hospital and will live, but will likely be paralyzed since the bullet hit his spine.