Strikeforce champ Cris Santos apologizes for failed drug test, blames supplement
I would like to sincerely apologize to Strikeforce, the Zuffa organization, Hioko Yamanaka and my fans for my failed drug test.
I am ultimately responsible for everything I put in my body, and at the end of the day, there is no excuse for having a prohibited substance in my system. I do not condone the use of any performance enhancing drugs by myself or any other professional athlete, and willingly accept the penalties and fines that have been handed down to me by the California State Athletic Commission and those of the Strikeforce/Zuffa organization.
While I was preparing myself for my last fight, I was having a difficult time cutting weight and used a dietary supplement that I was assured was safe and not prohibited from use in sports competition. It was never my intention to obtain an unfair advantage over Hiroko, mislead Strikeforce, the commission or my fans. I train harder than any fighter in MMA and do not need drugs to win in the cage, and I have proven this time and time again! My only mistake is not verifying the diet aid with my doctor beforehand, and understanding that it was not approved for use in the ring. Unfortunately in the end I suffer the consequences and must accept the responsibility for my actions.
I will do everything I can to show my fans that I can still compete at the professional level without the use of any prohibited substances, and ask God's forgiveness for my mistake.
Ohio commission receives request for March 3 Strikeforce event in Columbus
Although not yet announced by the promotion, Strikeforce's second trip to the popular Arnold Sports Festival is all but official.
Ohio Athletic Commission Executive Director Bernie Profato today confirmed to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the promotion has filed an event request for March 3 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
While a list of bouts has yet to be submitted for commission approval, the event is expected to feature the finals of the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix, as MMAjunkie.com first reported.
Josh Barnett (31-5 MMA, 2-0 SF) and Daniel Cormier (9-0 MMA, 6-0 SF) square off in the conclusion of the eight-man competition, which began 11 months ago at IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J.
Additionally, featherweight Ronda Rousey (4-0 MMA, 2-0 SF) is expected to drop to bantamweight for a meeting with current champ Miesha Tate (12-2 MMA, 5-1 SF), who makes the first defense of her title.
Strikeforce noncommittal on Cris Santos' future; White says belt will be stripped
Strikeforce officials today issued a statement regarding Strikeforce women's featherweight champion Cris "Cyborg" Santos' failed drug test but offered few clues about what's next for the beleaguered titleholder.
In a statement posted on Strikeforce.com, CEO Scott Coker said the organization will allow the California State Athletic Commission's process to play out.
UFC president Dana White, though, painted a much bleaker future.
"She's getting stripped of the belt," White today told ESPN 1100 AM Las Vegas' "MMA Insiders" show.
White, part of the Zuffa ownership group that acquired Strikeforce in early 2011, also suggested Strikeforce's entire 145-pound female division could be scrapped.
K.J. Noons vs. Josh Thomson targeted for 'Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier' in March
A pivotal lightweight match is likely headed to a yet-unannounced Strikeforce event planned for March.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that K.J. Noons (11-4 MMA, 3-2 SF) and Josh Thomson (18-4 MMA, 9-2 SF) have verbally agreed to meet.
As MMAjunkie.com first reported, "Strikeforce Grand Prix Final: Barnett vs. Cormier" takes place March 3 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The event airs live on Showtime with prelims on Showtime Extreme.
Noons rebounded from a two-fight skid with a decision victory over Billy Evangelista this past month at "Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal." The win put him one step closer to a coveted title shot against current champ Gilbert Melendez, who outpointed Jorge Masvidal in the event's headliner.
'Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine' live and official weigh-in results
LAS VEGAS – MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) is on scene and reporting live from today's official "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine" fighter weigh-ins, where all 18 contestants on the card will look to weight.
Included among the participants are Strikeforce middleweight champ Luke Rockhold and longtime MMA veteran Keith Jardine, who challenges the title holder in the evening's main event.
Cris Cyborg Suspended for Positive Steroid Test
Cristiane "Cris Cyborg" Santos, widely regarded as the best female fighter in mixed martial arts, has been suspended for testing positive for steroids.
The California State Athletic Commission announced on Friday that it has suspended Cyborg because her drug test following her most recent fight, a 16-second knockout of Hiroko Yamanaka, came back positive for metabolites of the anabolic steroid stanozolol. The result of the Cyborg-Yamanaka fight will be changed to a no decision.
Former Strikeforce champ Sarah Kaufman on title snub: 'It's a slap in the face'
Sarah Kaufman's frustration is unmistakable.
By all indications, the former women's champ won't get a chance to win back the bantamweight belt any time soon. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the promotion is working on a title fight between current champ Miesha Tate (12-2 MMA, 5-1 SF) and Ronda Rousey (4-0 MMA, 2-0 SF) for March 3 in Columbus, Ohio, confirming initial reports that surfaced Wednesday.
That leaves Kaufman (14-1 MMA, 5-1 SF) in limbo instead of preparing for a fight she thought was hers.
"I didn't mind waiting for the title fight, and if I get stepped over, the waiting has pretty much been in vain," Kaufman said.
So she'll wait, as she's done several times in her career – for opponents, for exposure, and perhaps for respect. But she's not happy about it.
With limbless opponent unavailable, Strikeforce's Lawler settles for Amagov
LAS VEGAS – With veteran slugger Robbie Lawler (18-8 MMA, 2-4 SF) struggling through a 2-4 stretch in his past six fights – a run largely contested against grappling-first opponents – you might think he'd welcome a bout with a fellow slugger as a sort of dream matchup.
Not the case.
While Lawler is complimentary of his "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine" opponent, Adlan Amagov (9-1-1 MMA, 2-0 SF), he said it's not an ideal booking. No, the perfect opponent would actually be a lot more defenseless.
"I would rather fight someone with no arms and no legs," Lawler jokingly told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "That would probably be the best matchup for me.
"I would look amazing."
Estevan Payan replaces Bobby Green, completes 'Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine'
Bellator season-one veteran Estevan Payan (12-3 MMA, 0-0 SF) has replaced an injured Bobby Green (17-5 MMA, 2-1 SF) and now faces Alonzo Martinez (35-15-1 MMA, 0-0 SF) in a lightweight contest at this weekend's "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine" event.
Strikeforce officials recently announced the change.
Featuring a middleweight title fight between current champ Luke Rockhold and longtime UFC vet Keith Jardine, "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine" takes place Jan. 7 at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
The night's main card airs on Showtime, and Martinez vs. Payan is one of four preliminary-card fights slated to air on Showtime Extreme.
Gina Carano Speaks on MMA Hiatus and Future Plans
MMA Fighting recently caught up with the elusive Gina Carano to discuss why she disappeared from the MMA landscape for the last two and a half years, her upcoming film, "Haywire," which opens in theatres nationwide on Jan. 20, how she landed the starring role in the film, whether she will ever fight again, and the emergence of Ronda Rousey as perhaps the new face of women's MMA.
Showtime offers free preview weekend, 'Rockhold vs. Jardine' included
Looking for some MMA on television this weekend but haven't made the commitment to subscribe to Showtime yet?
Don't worry. The premium-cable channel has you covered.
"Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine" airs on Showtime Saturday night, and the channel is being made available for free to viewers across the nation.
The Showtime All Access Free Preview Weekend begins Friday, Jan. 6 and runs through Sunday, Jan. 8.
Fight Path: Adlan Amagov goes from war-torn Chechnya to Strikeforce co-headliner
For his first eight years or so, Adlan Amagov liked to play outside, particularly soccer. He has four brothers and one sister, and the large family was close, living in the village of Sernovodsk in the Republic of Chechnya.
Then, when he was 8 years old, Amagov's school was bombed in the opening stages of the First Chechen War. Life changed.
"In 1994, it all stopped," Amagov told MMAjunke.com (www.mmajunkie.com) through interpreter and manager Sam Kardan.
-Interesting read on the guy that's fighting Robbie Lawler in January.
Rousey: 'Cyborg' fight needs to happen
"I think it's just too soon marketing-wise," Rousey told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I know that I'm capable of beating any woman in the world at any moment, but I think that if me and Cris 'Cyborg' were to fight today, I don't think that many people would be hyped up about it or be looking forward to it. That's why I've been so adamant about moving down at getting the belt at 135 first so when a fight between me and Cris 'Cyborg' does eventually happen, it will be a big deal."
It's an interesting point, especially when one considers Santos recently fought for the first time in 18 months and that the future of female fighting was uncertain until this past week, when UFC president Dana White confirmed Strikeforce would indeed remain operational for the foreseeable future.
Mousasi, Melendez top Strikeforce payroll with $150k
Gilbert Melendez: $150,000 (no win bonus)
Jorge Masvidal: $23,000
Melendez defeated Masvidal via unanimous decision
Cristiane Santos: $66,000 ($33,000 to show, $33,000 to win)
Hiroko Yamanaka: $8,000
Santos defeated Yamanaka via knockout in round one
Gegard Mousasi: $150,000 (no win bonus)
Ovince St. Preux: $17,000
Mousasi defeated St. Preux via unanimous decision
KJ Noons: $ 65,000 ($35,000 to show, $30,000 to win)
Billy Evangelista: $20,000
Noons defeated Evangelista via unanimous decision
Caros Fodor: $20,000 ($10,000 to show, $10,000 to win)
Justin Wilcox: $12,000
Fodor defeated Wilcox via knockout in round one
Roger Bowling: $14,000 ($7,000 to show, $7,000 to win)
Jerron Peoples: $2,000
Bowling defeated Peoples via knockout in round one
Devin Cole: $12,000 ($6,000 to show, $6,000 to win)
Gabriel Salinas: $3,000
Cole defeated Salinas-Jones via unanimous decision
Eddie Mendez: $6,000 ($3,000 to show, $3,000 to win)
Fernando Gonzalez: $3,000
Mendez defeated Gonzalez via split decision
Herman Terrado: $6,000 ($3,000 to show, $3,000 to win)
Chris Brown: $3,000
Terrado defeated Brown via submission (armbar) in round three
As Strikeforce nixes heavyweights, recovering Antonio Silva eyes move to UFC
With consecutive wins over Fedor Emelianenko, Mike Kyle and Andrei Arlovski, former EliteXC champ Antonio Silva (16-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) looked well on his way to establishing himself as one of MMA's top heavyweights.
Then he ran into Daniel Cormier, who booted Silva out of Strikeforce's heavyweight grand prix with a surprising first-round knockout.
As it turns out, the loss provided Silva with a valuable lesson he promises to carry with him for the remainder of his career – a career that looks as if may now play out in the UFC.
"Cormier is a good person and a great fighter, but he should have also payed the lotto that day," the Brazilian recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "The first punch he landed took me out, and I was unable to fight after it.
"I am from Paraiba, and we always come to fight and let it all hang out. But I learned a lesson: We should not fight for the money but for the love of fighting. After Alistair Overeem dropped out of the tournament, I wanted out of the grand prix, as well, but I continued for the money and God punished me. Money should never be the priority."
'Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal' salaries: Melendez, Mousasi top $580K list
Gilbert Melendez: $150,000 (no win bonus)
def. Jorge Masvidal: $23,000
Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos: $66,000 (includes $33,000 win bonus)
def. Hiroko Yamanaka: $8,000
Gegard Mousasi: $150,000 (no win bonus)
def. Ovince St. Preux: $17,000
K.J. Noons: $65,000 ($30,000 win bonus)
def. Billy Evangelista: $20,000
Caros Fodor: $20,000 ($10,000 win bonus)
def. Justin Wilcox: $12,000
Roger Bowling: $14,200 ($7,000 win bonus)*
def. Jerron Peoples: $1,600*
Devin Cole: $12,000 ($6,000 win bonus)
def. Gabriel Salinas-Jones: $3,000
Eddie Mendez: $6,000 ($3,000 win bonus)
def. Fernando Gonzalez: $3,000
Herman Terrado: $6,000 ($3,000 win bonus)
def. Chris Brown: $3,000
* - Peoples surrendered $200 of his $2,000 show money to Bowling and $200 to the CSAC because he missed weight
Strikeforce import Lavar Johnson meets Joey Beltran at UFC on FOX 2
The Strikeforce heavyweights are coming.
Less than one week after UFC president Dana White announced that Strikeforce would no longer be promoting heavyweight contests, UFC executives today announced Lavar Johnson (15-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has been imported to the UFC and will meet Joey Beltran (13-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC).
The two heavyweights will clash at UFC on FOX 2, which takes place Jan. 28 at Chicago's United Center.
The night's main card airs on FOX, but Beltran vs. Johnson is expected to take place on the evening's preliminary card.
Gilbert Melendez Says He has Done More Than Ben Henderson to Earn Title Shot
"I don't feel like I shouldn't be in this position, I'm not crying about my position but I think I've done more than Ben Henderson," told Fighting Famous TV. "You know, these guys were on The Ultimate Fighter - I was already fighting in PRIDE and ranked top three in the world but some people just don't understand that.
"I'm not trying to be a cry baby again, but I just know my history and I've been there. I've already hit these bumps in the road and come back. Some of these guys haven't hit that bump in the road where they have to reinvent themselves and I've already hit that and they're still going to hit that."
- Gilbert Melendez