UFCJunkie is reporting that Marvin Eastman may make a return to the Octagon at UFC77 in Cincinnati. It’s been a while since Eastman has fought in the UFC … his last match was a loss to Rampage Jackson. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t been keeping busy … just a few weeks ago he won the headlining fight at the first Steele Cage Promotions show. Which makes me wonder: when is it okay for fighters to fight in other organizations and when is it not?
Everyone knows the UFC is hardcore on the exclusivity clause. However, we’re seeing more and more instances where the UFC waives the clause and lets it’s fighters participate in other organizational events. Off the top of my head I can name Joe Riggs, Sam Stout, Jonathan Goulet, Sean Salmon and now Marvin Eastman as guys still under contract with the UFC who are fighting in other organizations. I think Jeff Monson was part of that gang as well but I’m not 100% sure.
The official line is these guys are allowed to fight for other promotions in order to gain more experience and improve their records. My question is this: Does the UFC still have a say in who these guys fight for? I don’t think they’re helping the dudes pick up fights, but I’ll bet dollars to donuts there’s a list each fighter is given of promotions they’re not allowed to participate in. And who’s at the top of this list? EliteXC and the IFL, most likely.
This whole situation is interesting because it says something about the relationships between the UFC and other promoters. We’ve mentioned before that so long as you’re willing to suck their dicks, the UFC is generally nice to you. Does part of this mean they’ll let their contracted fighters participate in your shows? It certainly seems like it. So as time goes on we should be able to put together a list of the ‘In’ and ‘Out’ promoters.
So apparently some dudes tested positive for steroids at UFC73 … specifically Sean Sherk and Hermes Franca. I gotta admit that it’s funny both fighters in the same match tested positive. Since both of them cheated, it kinda evens things out, doesn’t it? Well, not in the eyes of the media … the interwebs have been abuzz with talk of MMA’s “drug problems.”
I have to wonder how big of a deal this situation would be if a certain pro wrestler hadn’t murdered his family a few weeks ago. There’s no doubt in my mind that most of the people clamoring for action are just afraid MMA is going to sink into the same pit wrestling has. There’s been dozens of articles demanding Dana White do something, the two most notorious being Josh Gross’ and Kevin Iole’s. Josh’s is no big surprise: it reads like a scorned 10th grade boyfriend who just found out his girlfriend gave head to half the football team. Kevin Iole’s on the other hand is about as perfect as perfect can get.
I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been pretty hard on Kevin the past few weeks. For the past few months he’s towed the company line and swallowed whatever Dana White has passed his way. But his latest article was a scathing indictment of the UFC and it’s willingness to pass the buck onto the athletic commissions. The article hit the nail on the head and wasn’t overly dramatic. Here’s the best bit:
And while it’s important to note that this is not a UFC problem, as the largest and most powerful entity in the sport, the burden falls squarely on the UFC to find a solution.
The first step in that solution has to be random drug testing not only after a fight but also at any point a fighter is under contract to the UFC. If a fighter won’t sign a waiver and agree to random testing, then he doesn’t fight for the UFC. Period.
Steroids users who know they’re being tested cycle on and off in order to maximize the benefits and avoid detection, which is why the true percentage of users in MMA is undoubtedly much higher than is known.
And while fans may debate the impact of a baseball player using steroids, the simple fact is this: In the fight game, a fighter’s body is a weapon. And if he is able to artificially enhance that weapon through the use of illegal drugs, he has the potential to seriously harm an opponent.
There’s no easy solution to this whole steroid thing … there’s a reason so many other sports haven’t been able to deal with it effectively. How many high profile guys would get caught if the UFC sent someone around to test all it’s fighters right now? For sure the ramifications would be massive and all the weight classes in the UFC would be turned on their heads. On the other hand, what happens if the UFC just keeps it’s head down and does nothing? Sure, there’ll continue to be a slow burn of fighters who get nabbed at every event, but it’s better for them over the next year or two than the first scenario.
Wow. Considering the last Ultimate Fight Night was full of relatively unknown fighters, the UFC really seems to be pulling out the stops for the next one on September 19th. First was the announcement of Din Thomas vs Spencer Fisher. Then all that Mike Swick / Chris Leben drama that ended with Mike Swick fighting Jonathan Goulet over some thread on the Sherdog forums.
Now it’s looking like Chris Leben is back on the card against Terry Marin. Terry’s last two fights have lasted less than 3 minutes combined so it should be interesting to see these guys bang … if Leben still bangs, that is. I’m not gonna give Chris any shit over his loss to Jason MacDonald … Jason’s going to prove he’s one of the top guys and there’s no shame losing to someone like him. On the other hand, losing to Smelly Starnes made me question if Leben really deserves to stay in the UFC.
I guess we’ll find out on September 18th in what’s looking like the biggest Ultimate Fight Night since Tito took on Shamrock. Is the UFC going to consistently put such stellar cards together for free? Perhaps higher caliber cards were part of the rumored new deal between the UFC and Spike. One thing is for sure though: this card will definitely give the next season of The Ultimate Fighter a nice shove off.
Here’s what Dana White recently said during a radio interview regarding Tito Ortiz and Jenna Jameson. Sam Caplan had the cojones to play the interview back to Tito for his thoughts:
Dana White: The guy (Ortiz), I’m telling you, he’s not the brightest bulb on the porch. He’s a complete moron and what’s scarier is that he doesn’t think he is. He thinks he’s intelligent; he thinks he’s smart and articulate. So that’s a scary combination.
Steve Cofield: Maybe it goes back to Rashad Evans and our comments about Jenna Jameson? Maybe Jenna is too good to him? Maybe he needs a battle axe …
White: That’s two idiots together. That’s even worse, that’s double idiot power right there. That’s his manager, whom I’ve had to talk to on the phone several times and I’d rather talk to this table right here then have a conversation with that moron again.
All I have to say is wow. It’s times like this I wish Dana White was writing this blog instead of me because he seems better at talking trash UFC fighters than I ever will be. Double idiot power? That’s fucking classic. I wonder … is Dana credited on Wikipedia for coining that term?
Tito and Jenna just laughed the comments off, which makes me wonder what the fuck Dana’s gonna have to do to get a rise out of the guy. My suggestion is dropkick his daughter in the face and drive Jenna in the snatch with a golf club or something.
Some people are religious, some are superstitious. I’m all about the mojo. Good in bed? It’s all about the mojo. Closing the big deals? All about the mojo? Winning your fights? Mojo. Writing good blogs on Fightlinker.com? Mojo!
So please don’t think the lack of updates have been because I don’t care or love you guys. For the past few days I’ve been staring at my screen trying to get my shit rolling again. As I’ve said above, it’s all about the mojo and it’s a mysterious thing. Sean Salmon agrees with me. After dropping two fights in the UFC he went out on a quest to find his mojo, and from the tone of his latest post on UFCJunkie.com I’d say he’s found it:
Whether you’re a fan of mine or not (I prefer you’re a fan), I am moving to the top. Jump on board, get out of the way, or get run over. I do not need to hate my opponent to fuel my desire to win; I just need to win from now on. I have a long road in front of me, but that is how I want it right now. I have found The Angry, and I have found my desire to succeed.
My motto right now: “I don’t care how tough you are; my goal is to separate you from your desire to succeed.” That means I’m coming after your ass from the opening bell until the ref pushes me off of you.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Sean, despite the fact that he’s a wrestler. He also looks like a cross between Frankenstein and a not so giant Andre the Giant. That crane kick was pretty whack too. Anyways … in my opinion he was doing pretty damned good against Rashad Evans until he got his head kicked off, and his loss to Belcher was way to quick to draw any real conclusions on his skill. I’ll be keeping my eye on Salmon to see how he develops, and here’s hoping things work out for him.