Week in MMA & Boxing #27
MMA & Boxing News From the week of
February 7th- February 16, 2016
Jon Jones in Traffic Trouble... AGAIN
Jon Jones was pulled over on 1/31 in Bernalillo County in New Mexico and charged with driving without a license, driving without registration and driving without insurance. While that in and of itself is a minor offense, it could have gotten very serious because Jones is currently on probation for last year’s hit and run charge. Any kind of arrest can revoke probation, but the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office decided against filing for a probation violation against Jones. Jones will have to serve three extra days of community service for failing to report tickets.
Jones responded to the criticism via Instagram on Monday evening.
“I’ve gotten my sobriety back, almost five months sober now,” Jones said. “Living happier and healthier. Got rid of a lot of people who didn’t need to be in my life. I’ve completed 65 appearances talking to the youth in the community. I’m about to win a world title in a few weeks, and they’re talking about tickets?”
Jones is scheduled to rematch Daniel Cormier in the UFC 197 headliner on April 23 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. “Bones” defeated Cormier via unanimous decision in their first meeting at UFC 182 before being stripped of his belt and suspended for his role in the hit-and-run accident.
Kevin Randleman Passes Away
Former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman has passed away at just 44 years old. Reports say that Randleman went to the hospital with pneumonia and had heart failure.
An outstanding college wrestler at Ohio State, Randleman was a presence in the UFC's pre-Zuffa years, fighting seven times in the promotion (4-3), defeating Pete Williams to win the vacant heavyweight title at UFC 23 in November 1999. He defended it against Pedro Rizzo before dropping it to Randy Couture in November 2000. He spent the majority of the 2000s for Japan's PRIDE, but found his way stateside to end his career, dropping four straight in Strikeforce and regional promotions.
While his 17-16 record is a bit lackluster on paper, Randleman fought a who's who of major MMA names like the aforementioned Couture, Rizzo, Chuck Liddell, Shogun Rua, Mirko Cro Cop, Rampage Jackson, Sakuraba, and Fedor Emelianenko in a 15-year-career.
Randleman did have a daliance with pro wrestling, working for AJPW's Wrestle-1 promotion, Pro Wrestling Zero-One and Hustle.
Wonder Boy destroys Big Rigg
Stephen "Wonder Boy" Thompson destroyed Johny Hendricks in the UFC Fight Night headliner as he disposed of him with first-round punches. Hendricks (17-4, 12-4 UFC), who had never before been finished, wilted 3:31 into round one.
Thompson controlled the distance with his kicks, as he whipped his shins and feet into the legs, body, arms and head of the “Bigg Rigg.” He wobbled Hendricks with a right hand, sent a thrusting kick into his chest, sat him down with a probing straight left and then polished him off with unanswered punches.
Thompson, 32, has won six straight and wants a title fight.Though nothing was announced at the post-fight press conference, it is not hard to imagine the 32-year-old receiving next crack at current 170-pound king Robbie Lawler. Thompson has lost just once in his career, and with the torrid streak that he is on at the moment, there appears to be no slowing him down.
Punk has Back Surgery
C.M. Punk had surgery on 2/10 in Chicago for a herniated disc in his lower back that will delay his planned debut against Mickey Gall at UFC 199.
According to what Punk told MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani, the injury is a lingering issue from his pro wrestling days that has worsened in recent months. The recovery time will be 4-6 weeks, and he's still planning on debuting at some point in 2016, and may be ready for UFC 200 or 201. Punk has already had one injury setback when a shoulder injury last August delayed his training.
Dana White said that Punk will be the one that decides if he will fight again if he loses. Punk has signed an eight-fight deal and is telling people he’s fighting eight times. A lot of people find that hard to believe at 37 with no fighting background
4/10 Fight Night Main Event
Ben Rothwell vs. Junior Dos Santos in a battle of two of the company’s top heavyweights was announced as the main event for a 4/10 show in Zagreb, Croatia, the company’s debut in that country. Rothwell wouldn’t be far from a title shot with a win. The old Dos Santos would have been a heavy favorite over Rothwell, but Dos Santos looked like a shell of his former self in his loss to Alistair Overeem on the 12/19 FOX show.
4/16 FOX show
UFC announced seven fights for the 4/16 FOX show from the Amalie Arena in Tampa (formerly the Tampa Bay Times Forum). The main event will be Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson, which could be a No. 1 contender for the lightweight title fight. The other three main card fights are Rashad Evans vs. Shogun Rua, Lyoto Machida vs. Dan Henderson and Tecia Torres vs. Rose Namajunas (where the winner could face the Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Claudia Gadelha winner for the title).
They are doing at least four hours live on FOX, with prelims and three fights on the prelims are Michael Chiesa vs. Beneil Dariush, Bethe Correia vs. Raquel Pennington and Cub Swanson vs. Hacran Dias.
Also officially announced is UFC 197 on 4/23 in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena with Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones for the light heavyweight title and Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo for the flyweight title. So much for Cejudo refusing to fight in Nevada.
B.J. Penn is also coming out of retirement on this show. Right now his most likely opponent is Dennis Siver.
UFC 198 and Bellator head to head
It looks like UFC 198, the added PPV show, will be 5/14 from somewhere in Brazil. Matches they are looking at doing are Fabricio Werdum vs. Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight title and Vitor Belfort vs Ronaldo Jacare Souza.
Based on what we’ve been hearing, this well go head-to-head with a free show on Spike by Bellator from San Jose, where one of the talked about fights is Josh Thomson vs. Michael Chandler. None of that has been announced yet and if they see that they are going head-to-head, Bellator could change to the night before. Although they have gone head-to-head in the past
Rockhold vs Weidman 2
Dana White said UFC 199, in June, would feature the Luke Rockhold middleweight title defense against Chris Weidman.
Weidman revealed that he suffered a broken foot and fought on it in his 12/12 title defense that he lost against Rockhold. It was known that he was not himself and had suffered an injury that he was keeping quiet which is why he dropped all that weight, because the injury wasn’t going to allow him to do the usual level of cardio that would help with his weight cut at the end, combined with the IV ban making him also want to stay closer to 185 than previously.
I still say he just got his ass beat by the better man.
Faber talking Retirement
Urijah Faber is apparently considering retiring. Cody Garbrandt of Team Alpha Male, on Submission Radio, said that he and Faber have talked about it and Faber has decided that if he beats Dominick Cruz, he will retire at that point because he feels that is the storybook ending of his career. The story would be of a guy who dominated the scene, lost his title, then lost chance after chance, changed weight divisions, and then came back to finally win the UFC title in the final fight of his career.
At the MMA Awards banquet on 2/5, Faber hosted and he and Cruz (who presented an award) traded barbs and both have talked like Cruz’s first defense of his second reign as champion would be against Faber. Faber would be a heavy underdog in that fight.
Means out for drug test Flag
Tim Means, who was to face Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone in the main event of the next UFC show, card on 2/21 in Pittsburgh (an FS 1 show head-to-head with Fast Lane), was flagged by USADA based on the results of an out-of-competition drug test. Since he has not had his full hearing, the nature of the violation hasn’t been announced. When that process is completed, the exact violation and punishment will be announced, but he was pulled from the show. It was the highest profile fight of Means’ career.
Means came forward saying he was told his test showed evidence of Ostarine, which is one of the SARMs (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators), which is a series of drugs that have gained popularity in pro wrestling, particularly WWE, because they are difficult to detect in testing. They are not as effective as steroids, but also don’t have the side effects of steroids. Means claims he has no idea how he tested positive, saying it’s either faulty equipment or he got it from a supplement he took, because he had never even heard of Ostarine. If he can’t prove innocence, he’s facing a two year suspension.
Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira replaces Means in a battle of the cowboys.
Yoel Claims Innocence
Yoel Romero and manager Malki Kawa were on the MMA Hour this week and claimed that Romero’s positive test was from a contaminated supplement he took some time after his 12/12 fight with Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. Kawa claimed the supplement he took listed ingredients on the label, none of which were banned, but the substance he tested positive for wasn’t on the label.
He said that he had the supplement tested on his own, and also sent it to USADA, and the supplement came back with the banned substance. Kawa would not reveal the name of the substance because he said the USADA investigation is still ongoing. It should be noted that UFC has given USADA full authority to make decisions and determine penalties for failed tests.
Kawa believed that Romero would be suspended because athletes are responsible for what they take, but he also felt the suspension would be for less than the two years that is the usual punishment for a first offense. Kawa said that Romero passed all of his other tests and was hurt that so many of his peers were heavily critical of him when he failed the test.
Dana Blames the Sage lost on Himself
Dana White said that he blew it by allowing Sage Northcutt to fight on the 1/30 FOX show in Newark, NJ. “The kid really wanted to fight and I let him fight and he was sick as hell. I blew it,” White said on BigBoy TV. “I blew that one so bad. The kid was super sick and he still wanted to fight. His father said, `Listen, we still want to take third fight, we want to take this fight.’ I should have pulled the kid from the fight.