Bellator 138: Ken Shamrock vs. Kimbo Slice (Fight Video)

Bellator 138: Patricio Pitbull vs. Daniel Weichel (Fight Video)

UFC Anti-Doping Press Conference (Video)

http://www.ufc.tv/video/ufc-special-announcement-press-conference

There is no embed option for this video, so I’ll just supply a link to its location on the UFC site. It’s about an hour long, so check it out if you’re interested.  It looks like the UFC has gone with the USADA in lieu of WADA/VADA, probably because they got a better deal for this vast number of tests.  These new standards for punishing athletes caught doping go into place as of July 1st, 2015, the sanctions outlined by Jeff Novitzky – USADA VIP of Athlete Health and Performance are briefly outlined below.

Non-specified substances (steroids, growth hormones, blood doping, etc)

First offense: 2 year suspension with a possible 4 year suspension under “aggravated circumstances” (Concealment, Fleeing, Tampering)

Second offense: Double that penalty up to 8 years

Third offense: Possible lifetime ban

Specified substances (marijuana, cocaine, other stimulants and glucocorticosteroids) testing in-competition only (from 6 hours before the weigh in, to 6 hours after the fight)

First offense: 1-year suspension with an addition 2-year suspension under “aggravated circumstances” (Concealment, Fleeing, Tampering)

Second offense: Double the sanction for first offense

Third offense: Double the sanction for second offense

Additional Details

- Violations can result in disqualification, forfeit of ranking, title and purse.

- All fines/forfeited purses will go toward funding the anti-doping program, as well as R&D for improved testing.

- Fighters will constantly need to be available for testing, to the point of disclosing their every movements for as long as they are an active fighter (both in and out of competition).

Wow, this is an incredibly bold move! And I don’t just mean in terms of cleaning up the sport.  The really bold part is the imposition made upon on what is essentially athletic commission stomping grounds.  There are a litany of issues here, I mean, is drug testing for professional sports really something you can just jump into and start calling the shots? There are gov’t funded regulatory bodies in the equation here, how is this even possible? A questioner asked whether he, after failing a drug test, would be subject to punishment from both USADA and the local athletic commission – to which, Lawrence Epstein – USADA Sr. Executive VP and COO replied (below)

“A lot these things still have to be worked out” , “Our hope is that athletic commissions will use our data to make their decisions”, “The other thing that is important to us, is that ultimately we have athletic commissions formally recognize and adopt the decisions made by USADA”

-Lawrence Epstein – USADA Sr. Executive VP and COO

Is it just me, or is that incredibly strange?  It hasn’t been worked out yet? lol seriously? So they’re just leapfrogging the athletic commissions, making decisions, and most importantly – collecting the money from FINES??? You’re not taking the revenue away from the athletic commissions, that’s for damn sure, so this must be above and beyond the commission’s slice of the pie.  Even so, very strong words from Epstein here, and very presumptuous of USADA to think they can just swoop in and take the reins here.  I see some serious opposition arising here, but let’s assume that doesn’t happen, let’s assume all the different commissions are fine with relinquishing their power – How do you adopt this nationwide? not to mention internationally…  I’m no expert in law, let alone sports law, let alone US sports law… but all these commissions are separate bodies, they answer to different courts and authorities under the law.  There is an enormous amount of red tape to cut through in order to standardize these sanctions, and they haven’t even begun the process.

I really don’t know how to feel about this… I’m all in favor of cleaning up the sport, and maybe this is the way to do it.  They seem to have taken a “better to ask for forgiveness, than ask for permission” strategy in tackling this issue.  Although, ensuring that there are many bodies, individuals and authorities watching over athletics has always limited the amount of influence that can be exerted upon a sport.  Granted, there is always corruption, but it’s way easier to influence a single institution compared to thousands of individuals.

Wanderlei Silva Defeats NSAC in Court (Video)

Way to go Wand! That lifetime ban? gone. $70k fine? gone. Judge Kerry L Earley ruled that Mr. Silva’s punishment was “arbitrary, capricious and not supported by substantial evidence”.

We all know that Wand ran from the test, which he admitted to, so he’s not getting off scot-free. The court agreed that the NSAC had jurisdiction over Wand (which his lawyer will be appealing) and ruled that there shall be a new hearing with the commission to impose a more reasonable punishment for fleeing a drug test.

No word yet on when this new hearing will take place.

UFC Reebok Sponsorship Numbers Released

UFC Reebok numbers

This is the breakdown of the sponsorship pay for fighters based on how many fights they’ve had in the UFC – and it’s absolutely horrific. I really don’t know what to think looking at these numbers… Is this a joke? Before I have a full meltdown, let’s see what the Vegas gangster has to say.

I can tell you this – all of the revenue we are receiving from Reebok is being distributed to the fighters. We essentially looked at the compensation tiers and they were based on the distribution of the revenue from the Reebok contract to the athletes over the next five and a half years. The only revenue that is coming through from Reebok that is not included to be distributed to the fighters will be used to cover direct operating costs for this program.

– Lorenzo Fertitta (Vegas Gangster)

I went ahead and highlighted the most important part of that quote for you guys. So, Bugsy Seigel, exactly how much are these “operating costs”? – If it’s anything less than 85% of the money they are getting from Reebok, I would be very surprised.

So let’s think about this… Remember that little sponsor tax thing? Where the UFC was forcing companies to pay for the right to be able to sponsor one of their fighters in the cage? Here’s a quick refresher on that. The UFC was charging anything they wanted (based on a company’s size) to allow them to then have a fighter wear their gear in the cage. One vocal example was Americana MMA Apparel, who paid the UFC 50K+ per year to sponsor Cain Velasquez – and that’s a clothing company. How much do you think Nike had to pay to sponsor fighters in the cage? and every other company that wanted to sponsor a fighter for that matter?? This sponsor tax was stealing money directly out of the fighter’s pockets, and it amounted to millions of dollars for the UFC over the years.

Let me get this straight Lorenzo, not only is ALL this Reebok money (minus expenses) going right to the fighters, you’re also abandoning all the sponsor tax revenue that you’ve been siphoning off this whole time?

“Listen mac, I’m losin’ money on this deal, I tell’s ya”

I don’t buy it for a damn second…

Dansette