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While the dangers associated with playing professional football and other contact sports are well-documented, the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA,) Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) continue operate somewhat under the radar as their athletes enter the cage or ring and fight until what seems like an inevitably early death.
Russian oligarch share many things in common: ostentatious behavior, lavish lifestyles, and questionable pasts are some of the ones that come to mind. Few, however, can be found in a Moscow gym, dressed in a tracksuit, training with professional fighters.
Ziyavudin Magomedov is not your average Russian billionaire.
Born and raised in Dagestan, Ziyavudin emerged from a troubled childhood on the streets of Makhachkala to become one of the republic's most prosperous businessmen. According to Forbes, he is the chairman of Summa Group, a "conglomerate invested in port logistics, engineering, construction, telecommunications, and oil and gas." His estimated wealth fluctuates regularly but was recently estimated at 1.2bn.
Obviously upset, Ariel didn't want to do interviews about the ban, but thought it was bigger than him and he needed to talk about it.
Ariel was very hesitant about wanting to join Fox.
Said pre-fox deal he was in talks with Fuel for a tv program, while UFC was in talks with NBC and Comcast at the time. Decided against doing it.
Ariel says the only reason he was given for his release was that he reported the Brock Lesnar info before the UFC broke the news.
Ariel also spoke about Dana and the UFC being upset with his Nate Diaz interview, which he thought was great. Evidently during the interview with Nate he was getting calls from a '702' area code that was Dana's number and didn't know if he should pick up in the middle of the interview.
What a time to be a fight fan, I found myself thinking as Bisping stood there in the octagon, patting that gold belt like he couldn’t believe it was real. If only the night’s news had ended there.
But see, the thing that spoiled the evening for me was when I looked on Twitter and saw a missive from Ariel Helwani (via Twitter), the MMAFighting.com reporter who broke the news that Lesnar was in talks to return to the cage shortly before the UFC 200 promo confirmed it.
According to Helwani, not long after he reported that scoop UFC staff escorted him out of the building, relieved him of his media credential, and – again, according to Helwani’s characterization of events – told he was “banned for life”
Shahbulat Shamhalaev was taken to hospital with various gunshot wounds on Wednesday following an altercation at a local restaurant in Makhachkala, Dagestan.
Shamhalaev, a former Bellator featherweight tournament winner, was reportedly shot five times by unnamed assailants. He was immediately taken to hospital, where he underwent surgery and had a kidney removed at approximately 4pm Moscow time.
The former title challenger is in stable condition but remains in intensive care.
The death of Joao Carvalho is having a marked effect on mixed martial arts in Europe.
BAMMA is the latest organization to make a major change for fighter safety following the tragic passing of Carvalho after a bout in Ireland last month. The British promotion announced Tuesday that it would be pushing back its June event to properly implement a new MRI/MRA testing procedure.
Beginning after the event this weekend, BAMMA fighters will be required to have an MRI/MRA scan, according to a press release. Because that system will take months to put into place, BAMMA will be pushing back its BAMMA 26 card from June 4 to Sept. 10. The event will remain in Dublin, the city where it was initially scheduled. All tickets will be honored and refunds are also available, the release said.
Last month, it was revealed that Frank Mir tested positive for oral turiabol metabolites - an anabolic steroid - for his in-competition drug test relating to UFC Fight Night: Mir vs. Hunt.
Mir, who lost via first round KO to 'Super Samoan', hinted that tainted kangaroo meat in Australia was perhaps responsible for his failed drug test, and the two-time heavyweight champion is using the same argument to defend his 'B' sample, which also flagged for performance-enhancing drugs.
Mir cited NFL lineman Duane Brown on his Phone Booth Fighting podcast (per MMA Fighting), whose positive drug test for clenbuterol stemmed from tainted beef he ate in Mexico.
MMA Fighting reports that the police in former lightweight and welterweight champion BJ Penn's home town have begun a sexual-assault investigation of allegations made against the fighter by the girlfriend of the former editor of his website.
"Hilo (Hawaii) Police Department has launced a second-degree assault investigation into the UFC legend stemming from allegations made by the girlfriend of a former employee," the report reads.
"The alleged victim filed an incident report in February regarding the matter in Delaware County (Ohio), where she currently lives. Hilo PD public information officer Chris Loos confirmed to MMA Fighting on Monday that the Hilo PD received a hard copy of that incident report last week."
Penn said through a statement two months ago that the allegations made public by his former website editor were attempts at extorting him. No charges have been filed against Penn on this matter, yet, as far as we know.
When the UFC makes its long-awaited debut in New York, there’s a good chance former titleholder Ronda Rousey will be part of the card.
Earlier this month, MMA’s longtime ban in New York was lifted, and UFC officials quickly announced a Nov. 12 pay-per-view event at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Many fighters, especially those who hail from New York, have been stumping for a slot on the card, which comes on the 23rd anniversary of the first UFC event. But UFC President Dana White said one of the organization’s biggest stars – former women’s bantamweight champion Rousey (12-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) – could be a central piece of the lineup.
“(Rousey) definitely is part of the discussion,” White told ESPN’s “Beadle & Shelburne Show.” “She will fight whoever has that belt when she comes back.”
Portuguese fighter Joao Carvalho has died following a loss last weekend at an event in Dublin.
Carvalho (1-2), 28, suffered head injuries during a third-round TKO loss to Irish welterweight Charlie Ward at the Total Extreme Fighting event, which took place April 9 at National Stadium.
According to a TEF statement sent to MMAjunkie, medical personnel examined Carvalho after the fight and sent him to a local hospital for “emergency treatment,” which included brain surgery on Saturday. He ultimately died on Monday.
With an injury on Tuesday scrapping the UFC on FOX 19 headliner, the event now has a new opening fight for the main card.
Tony Ferguson was forced out of the UFC on FOX 19 lightweight headliner against Khabib Nurmagomedov next week in Florida due to fluid on his lung. The previously booked co-main event light heavyweight bout between former champion Rashad Evans and former title challenger Glover Teixeira now is the five-round main event.
But with Nurmagomedov without an opponent - the UFC has adjusted the lineup, and a pair of featherweights now will open the four-fight main card on FOX.
One of the most feared fighters in the world is finally making her way to the Octagon, as Invicta FC featherweight champion Cris "Cyborg" Justino faces Leslie Smith at UFC 198 on May 14.
The biggest hurdle preventing the legalization of mixed martial arts in New York State has finally been cleared.
Long the only state in the United States which banned the sport, the Assembly in the capital city of Albany voted to legalize MMA on Tuesday on a bipartisan vote of 113-25.
The bill now moves to the desk of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has expressed his intention to sign it. From there, the New York State Athletic Commission has 120 days to adopt guidelines.
If all goes according to plan, the UFC will debut at Madison Square Garden in New York City in November.
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.
AXS TV FIGHTS on Wednesday announced renowned combat sports personality and broadcaster Mauro Ranallo will be the new host of INSIDE MMA, the longest running and only independent MMA news series on television, beginning Friday, March 25.
A veteran broadcaster with over 30 years’ experience, Ranallo will bring his energetic broadcasting style and opinionated views on the world of combat sports to INSIDE MMA alongside UFC Hall of Famer Bas Rutten and correspondent Ron Kruck Friday nights at 9:30 p.m. PT/12:30 a.m. ET following AXS TV FIGHTS’ weekly live MMA and Muay Thai broadcasts.
Ranallo is best known for his play-by-play commentary for prestigious organizations such as Pride Fighting Championships, which he called alongside his new co-host Rutten for several years; Showtime Boxing, where he recently called the international feed of the historic Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight; and Strikeforce, which was home to MMA superstars like Ronda Rousey, Daniel Cormier and Luke Rockhold. In 2015, Ranallo helped AXS TV launch its hit pro wrestling series NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING calling matches alongside former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett, before signing with WWE as the new voice of Smackdown.