Lorenz Larkin ‘wasn’t thinking about’ title fight for Bellator debut, but ‘pumped’ to get it

Lorenz Larkin may not feel like the most prestigious name to move over from the UFC to Bellator in recent months. But, as an exciting welterweight right in the prime of his career he may be set to have the biggest impact. When Lorenz Larkin sparked out Neil Magny at UFC 202 with a series of elbows it seemed he was making a line for the UFC title. There was talk about that win being the last fight on his contract and him being interested in testing free agency, but off a performance like that and with the exciting style to go with it, the idea that he’d actually be gone seemed a remote one.
Seven months later and here we are.
“The Monsoon” officially put pen to paper on his new Bellator contract back in mid-March. Shortly afterward the promotion announced that their newly aquired welterweight talent was going to be getting an immediate shot at the title. Larkin will battle current champion Douglas Lima for the 170 strap at Bellator 180 on June 24th in New York. It’s one of several bouts scheduled for Bellator’s second PPV offering, headlined by Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva.
It’s a big platform to make your debut with a promotion. And it’s a move that even surprised Larkin, as he told the assembled press at a recent presser for the PPV event (transcript via MMA Junkie).
“I was pumped, but I was surprised,” Larkin told reporters. “I wasn’t thinking about (a championship fight) in the slightest bit. Once it was offered to me, I was ecstatic. I was pumped. Now I’m going to be ready.”…“We were just focused on getting the deal done, and then not too long ago I got the call and they asked me if I was interested,” Larkin said. “I said, ‘That’s a no-brainer.’ I’ve been wanting to fight. It’s been a while since I fought and now I’m here. Who would I say no to Madison Square Garden?”
Lima is coming off a November 2016 KO over Andrey Koreshkov, a win that regained him the title that he lost to Koreshkov back in July of 2015. Neither Larkin nor Lima have fought in 2017 yet, and this bout will mark nearly a year layoff for Riverside, California based fighter.
Bellator 180 is expected to take place at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. The card is also set to feature the promotional debut of heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko as he takes on former UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione. A lightweight title fight between Michael Chandler and Brent Primus rounds out the PPV card.
Source: bloody

The MMA Depressed-us: Sylvia vs. Arlovski III

Zane Simon, Connor Ruebusch, & Phil Mackenzie dive into the world of terrible MMA to find the ugliest, most boring, and most disappointing fights they can get their hands on. This week we’re watching Tim Sylvia vs. Andrei Arlovski 3, Matt Riddle vs. Sean Pierson, and Cheick Kongo vs. Matt Mitrione. No UFC still? Is that even legal? Probably not, but in the meantime we’ve got your MMA fix covered. The MMA Depressed-us returns this week to look at the worst of the worst, the best of the worst, and the biggest of the worst. This time around we’re focusing our sights on Tim Sylvia vs. Andrei Arlovski 3 back at UFC 61, back in 2006. Part of one of MMA history’s most inglorious title runs. We’re pairing that selection with our bad-bad fight of the evening: Cheick Kongo vs. Matt Mitrione. And our good-bad fight: Sean Pierson vs. Matt Riddle.
As always, if you enjoyed the show, give us a “like” over on YouTube. And while you’re there consider subscribing to MMANATIONDOTCOM. That way you’ll always get the latest BE shows, interviews, and analysis.
If you’re just here for the audio, you can find the podcast version over on SoundCloud & iTunes.
Source: bloody

NYSAC vague on drug-testing plan for Chael Sonnen, Wanderlei Silva

The New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) won’t say directly whether Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva will face out-of-competition testing ahead of Bellator’s New York debut.

Sonnen and Silva, who meet in the main event of Bellator 180 on June 24 at Madison Square Garden, are both coming off lengthy doping-related suspensions in Nevada. Silva is actually currently still serving a three-year ban and will be eligible to compete again officially in May.

When asked by MMA Fighting about the NYSAC policy regarding out-of-competition drug testing, New York Department of State spokesperson Laz Benitez said in an e-mail that the commission has the authority and discretion to administer drug testing, but declined to comment when asked specifically about Sonnen and Silva.

“The Commission’s normal practice is to conduct testing on any athlete who has a history of doping violations every time they compete in the State of New York,” Benitez wrote.

Whether that means pre-fight, out-of-competition testing is unclear.

Per NYSAC rules, every combat sports licensee must submit to a “drug and/or steroid screening in a manner directed by the NYSAC” as part of his or her medical examination. It’s unknown if that is a similar procedure to a random drug test analyzed for the full World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) menu, which has become the norm for commissions in Nevada and California and the UFC’s USADA program.

“The Commission gains authority over the competitors once they are licensed,” Benitez wrote. “Once licensed, however, the Commission may — in its discretion — require drug testing prior to the event.”

When asked to clarify about the particulars of the drug-testing plan regarding Sonnen and Silva, Benitez said the commission had “no further comment.”

Sonnen, 39, was suspended two years by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) in July 2014, ahead of, ironically, what would have been a fight with Silva. Sonnen tested positive for a host of banned substances, including anti-estrogen agents anastrozole and clomiphene and human growth hormone (HGH), recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO) and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).

Silva, 40, was initially banned for life by the NAC in September 2014 for evading a drug test before the aforementioned scheduled bout against Sonnen. He admitted to using banned diuretics, which he said he was ingesting to help heal an injury. Silva took the case to Nevada civil court and a judge sent it back to the commission. He ended up being suspended three years, retroactive to May 2014, in a re-hearing in February 2016.

Sonnen returned from his suspension and retirement in January against Tito Ortiz in Los Angeles. Sonnen passed four drug tests in relation to that bout. The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) made Sonnen submit a negative test as a condition for licensure, administered two random, out-of-competition tests before the bout and also tested Sonnen on fight night, per CSAC executive officer Andy Foster.

Bellator president Scott Coker was asked at a Bellator NYC press conference Tuesday about any special drug-testing plan for Sonnen and Silva due to their histories and Coker referred to the NYSAC.

“When you look at our policy, our policy is to work with the athletic commission and to abide by their testing,” Coker said. … “When we huddle up with the New York State Athletic Commission, we’ll find out what they want to do and we’ll make it happen.”

Source: mmafighting

Garbrandt: Flyweight title bout vs. Demetrious Johnson is ‘next in my mind’ after Dillashaw

UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt wants to go down to 125 lbs and challenge Demetrious Johnson for his title. The UFC’s flyweight division has only had one champion in its five-year history: current #1 pound-for-pound Demetrious Johnson. Apart from the first John Dodson fight and the opening round of his most recent bout against Tim Elliott, no one has really come close to taking the belt away from “Mighty Mouse.”
As Johnson closes in on breaking Anderson Silva’s all-time UFC record for most consecutive title defenses, undefeated UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt said on the Aubrey Marcus Podcast that after his July title defense against rival T.J. DIllashaw, he has his sights set on dropping to flyweight to challenge DJ. (Transcription via MMA Fighting)
“Now, Demetrious, he’s the pound-for-pound best – justifiably so, an incredible fighter, great human. I like him a lot. And his family. But for me, it’s a legacy that I set out to build. Friendships are friendships but it’s business at the end of the day and I think that I can go on as a huge fight, especially for that division. It’s kind of lackluster a lot.”
Garbrandt became the UFC’s newest king at 135 lbs with a unanimous decision win over Dominick Cruz at UFC 207. He later explained his reason for wanting to go down to 125 (where he’s never competed before) as opposed to having Mighty Mouse face him at 135.

“I’d rather go down before I go up. Demetrious has a fight with Wilson Reis in the not-too-distant future. That’s coming up, so he’ll tie Anderson Silva’s record. Then his next fight will be the all-time record. So he has all that. . . [I want to] make him earn it.
“I think that’s something that I need to do. I’m young – 25 – so rather than cut when I’m older, try to go down, go now. The time is now for me with that fight. I really think that should be – after the TJ fight of course – if Dominick [Cruz], I think he’s not coming. I’ll wait and see if Dominick wants to come back. If not, I’m willing to go after Demetrious. That’s the fight that’s next in my mind after TJ. I always plan one ahead. I’m prepared for TJ but Demetrious is in the foreshadows.”

Garbrandt also ambitiously stated that he wants to go after the featherweight belt (currently held by Jose Aldo) and become UFC champion in three weight classes, which has never been done before.
You can watch video of Garbrandt’s appearance at the top of the page. Garbrandt and Dillashaw are the head coaches on season 25 of The Ultimate Fighter, which premieres on Wednesday, April 19th on Fox Sports 1.
Source: bloody

Bellator 175 video: Rampage vs. King Mo 2 official weigh-ins

Watch the official weigh-ins for Bellator 175: Rampage vs. King Mo 2 right here on BloodyElbow.com, starting at 2 PM ET/11 AM PT. We’re just one day away from Rampage Jackson and King Mo having their rematch of their controversial first fight from 2013. Rampage won by unanimous decision, King Mo blasted Bjorn Rebney for “d-ck riding” Rampage, and the rest is history.
Before Rampage and King Mo meet once more, they have to step onto the scale for the weigh-ins. Despite what Rampage erroneously believed, this is not at a 235 lbs catchweight, but instead at heavyweight, so they just need to not weigh more than 266 lbs. You can watch the Bellator 175 weigh-ins today (Thursday, March 30th) at the top of the page, starting at 2 PM ET/11 AM PT.
Here’s tomorrow’s fight card:
Main card (Spike, 9 PM ET)
Quinton Jackson vs. Muhammed LawalSergei Kharitonov vs. Chase GormleyMarcos Galvao vs. Emmanuel SanchezSteve Kozola vs. Jake RobertsNoad Lahat vs. Lloyd Carter
Preliminary Card (BloodyElbow.com, 7 PM ET)
Joaquin Buckley vs. Justin PattersonAdam Maciejewski vs. Prince McLeanDamian Morris vs. Tom ShoaffJames Vochnoviv vs. Matt PaulManny Vazquez vs. Nate WilliamsTim Cho vs. Joshua HardwickTom Holder vs. Josh StreakerCory Galloway vs. David GarciaBrian Akins vs. Mike DeLaVegaAsef Askar vs. James EspositoMax Fuentes vs. Brandon Shelhart
Source: bloody

USADA issues one-year ban for UFC flyweight Matheus Nicolau following failed drug test

UFC flyweight Matheus Nicolau has been suspended after he failed an out-of-competition USADA test. UFC flyweight Matheus Nicolau was banned for one-year following a failed out-of-competition USADA test in October, which resulted in his removal from a UFC card in November. The official USADA press release has details on what the Brazilian tested positive for.
Nicolau, 24, tested positive for anastrozole following an out-of-competition urine test conducted on October 13, 2016. Anastrozole is a specified substance in the category of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators and is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the WADA Prohibited List. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, the standard sanction for a doping offense involving a specified substance, like anastrozole, is a one-year period of ineligibility.
Nicolau’s suspension is retroactive to the date of the failed test, so he will be eligible to compete again in mid-October of this year.
Testing positive for a specified substance carries a one-year ban, which is what Jon Jones and Brock Lesnar both received when they tested positive for clomiphene. Anastrozole is an aromotase inhibitor, as is letrozole, which is the other substance Jones tested positive for.
Nicolau (12-1-1) competed on season 4 of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil, where he reached the semifinal stage before losing to Dileno Lopes. He made his UFC debut against Bruno Rodrigues in November 2015, winning by Japanese necktie. Nicolau raised his profile with a unanimous decision win over former title challenger John Moraga last July, and he soon found himself ranked in the top-10 at flyweight. Prior to the drug test failure, Nicolau was set to fight Ulka Sasaki at UFC Fight Night: Bader vs. Nogueira 2.

Source: bloody

Bellator 175 weigh-in video

At the Bellator 175 weigh-ins, all 32 fighters taking part in Friday night’s Bellator 175 fights will step on the scale Thursday, and we’ll have the live video here at MMAFighting.com.

In the main event, Rampage Jackson and King Mo Lawal will have to make the heavyweight limit of 265 pounds.

The Bellator 175 weigh-in video is expected to begin at 2 p.m. ET.

Check out the Bellator 175 weigh-in results below.

Main card (Spike at 9 p.m. ET)
Rampage Jackson vs. Muhammed Lawal
Sergei Kharitonov vs. Chase Gormley
Marcos Galvao vs. Emmanuel Sanchez
Steve Kozola vs. Jake Roberts
Noad Lahat vs. Lloyd Carter

Undercard (MMA Fighting at 7 p.m. ET)
Joaquin Buckley vs. Justin Patterson
Adam Maciejewski vs. Prince McLean
Damian Morris vs. Tom Shoaff

Source: mmafighting

Evander Holyfield to box Nigerian politician with Nobel Laureate as referee

The legendary boxer is scheduled to compete in May against the former Lagos State Governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.  Former world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield will return to the ring in May against a retired Nigerian politician.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Holyfield, 54, is expected to face former Lagos State Governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu in a charity boxing match on May 25 at the Eko Atlantic City. The event dubbed “Rumble in Lagos” will also feature Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka as the celebrity referee.
The charity event plans to donate “five 40 feet containers of medical and relief materials worth over $2 million dollars to Lagos State Government and other neighbouring states.” Part of the proceeds will also go to not-for-profit organizations specialized in helping Africans living with disabilities. Yet while the event is supports serious causes, Tinubu plans to have some fun with the promotional aspect of the fight.
“I can’t wait to knock Evander down,” said the 65-year-old politician. “I am the real champion of the world.’’
Holyfield, a former five-time world heavyweight champion, is expected to tour Lagos and meet with the youth during his visit in May. Apart from the upcoming charity bout, the legendary boxer recently founded Real Deal Championship Title Boxing, which he expects to broadcast on televised on CBS Sports Net in the coming months.
Source: bloody

After nearly three-year absence, Vinc Pichel returns at UFC Fight Night 110

Vinc Pichel is returning to Octagon after almost a three-year layoff.

The cast member of The Ultimate Fighter Season 15 has been scheduled to fight Damien Brown in a lightweight contest this summer at UFC Fight Night 110 in Auckland, New Zealand. The news was announced by the UFC early morning on Thursday.

Pichel last fought at UFC 173 in May 2014, when he picked up a unanimous decision win over Anthony Njokuani. The 34-year-old lightweight fighter is 2-1 in the UFC with his lone loss coming to Rustam Khabilov in his UFC debut. Meanwhile, Brown was last seen in the cage this past November where he defeated Jon Tuck via split decision. The Australian fighter is also 2-1 in the UFC and currently finds himself on a two-fight win streak.

UFC Fight Night 110 is set to take place on June 10 at the Vector Arena. Ranked heavyweights Mark Hunt and Derrick Lewis are scheduled to battle in the main event of the card.

Source: mmafighting