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Last night’s episode of TUF featured this season’s best fight yet, and perhaps the best TUF fight in several seasons. Raquel Pennington and Jessamyn Duke went to war, and the UFC has the entire fight up for everyone (in America) to enjoy.

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Thiago Silva won his last fight against Rafael Cavalcante in June by first round KO, and earned double bonuses in the process.  Not too shabby, but that doesn’t grant much job security if you went 1-3-2 in your previous six, and got suspended twice to boot.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Silva was apparently so preoccupied with arranging helicopters to ferry himself and his teammates around (according to Heidi Androl) that he didn’t quite have time to make weight.  Even gettin’ naked only got him down to 208 lbs, and though he was given an hour to try again, he said “fuck it” after 45 minutes.  Silva must now hand over 25% of his “show” money to Matt Hamill, which at his $55K+55K salary is far less than the sweet, sweet bonus cash that he’s now ineligible for.

Given Silva’s history in the last couple years, and Zuffa’s disdain for those who miss weight, one has to presume that his employment is now quite precarious.  We could be looking at the next top Bellator or WSOF contender here, folks.  Lucky for him, as long as he can defend the takedowns, he shouldn’t have much trouble getting the better of Matt Hamill.  Especially since Chael Sonnen claims Hamill’s head trainer/coach/translator recently quit due to a lack of faith in Hamill’s abilities.

Stefan Struve’s aortic valve leakage has gone from medium severe to minimal!

So sayeth Struve’s twitter. He’s still probably a long way from getting approved to fight by any commissions, but the update Struve’s manager provided sounds pretty positive too:

“Stefan Struve recently had a follow-up visit with his doctors to determine the efficacy of the treatment protocol he had been prescribed.

During his visit, the doctors informed Stefan that the leakage back into his heart has been greatly reduced.

Additionally, his heart is not as enlarged as it was, but since it is still enlarged, they are attributing it to a condition called ‘Sport Heart’ or ‘Athletic Heart Syndrome,’ which is fairly common in athletes who train rigorously for more than one hour per day and is generally considered benign.

Stefan’s doctors have cleared him to return to training so they can evaluate how he responds over the next several months.

No word on what these doctors will have to say for Struve to be considered fighting fit for the UFC. It could be any sort of known heart issue like this – he has two cusps going into his aortic valve instead of three – is an instant disqualifier from getting sanctioned in combat sports. Simply ‘attributing’ his enlarged heart to the fairly common Athletic Heart Syndrome also sounds overly positive.

Believing everything coming out of a fighter’s camp regarding recovery can be difficult when you know how insistent they are that they will return by hell or high water. Every positive sign is magnified 100 times while any medical opinion he cannot fight again will be dismissed as naysaying. We’ve just witnessed Michael Bisping nearly going blind while trying to convince the UFC he could still fight in Manchester. Fighters aren’t always the best arbitrators of what’s best for their long term health.

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The UFC is back in Brazil for another Wednesday Night Fight on FOX Sports 1 and we’ll be running a Fightlinker chat for it! This sucker is on early so as not to push the start of TUF back too late, so come join us at 5PM EST for all the essential shit talking and Brazilian racism we’re famous for.

The Main Card on FOX Sports 1 (7PM EST)

  • Demian Maia vs Jake Shields
  • Dong Hyun Kim vs Erick Silva
  • Matt Hamill vs Thiago Silva
  • Joey Beltran vs Fabio Maldonado
  • Rousimar Palhares vs Mike Pierce
  • Raphael Assuncao vs T.J. Dillashaw

Prelims on FOX Sports 1 (5PM EST)

  • Igor Araujo vs Ildemar Alcantara
  • Yan Cabral vs David Mitchell
  • Chris Cariaso vs Iliarde Santos
  • Alan Patrick vs Garett Whiteley
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