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and wondering where the hell is the multimedia section? Can anyone fill me in?
ESPN’s somewhat surprising decision to hire former UFC fighter Chael Sonnen as an on-air mixed martial arts analyst is bound to draw strong reactions, on both sides.
Sonnen’s career imploded in the late spring, when he failed two random drug tests given to him back-to-back by the Nevada Athletic Commission. That ultimately led to him receiving a two-year suspension which effectively ended his fighting career.
But the test failures — and Sonnen’s over-the-top way he spoke about them on the air — cost him his second job as an MMA analyst at Fox.Â
It’s only been five months since this all went down, and it seems way too fast. It was inevitable that Sonnen would return to television, because he’s too good at what he does.
But ESPN announced Tuesday it had hired the so-called “American Gangster,” and that he would appear on its MMA coverage beginning on Friday when he discusses UFC 180 in Mexico City. According to an ESPN news release, Sonnen will appear on SportsCenter and other UFC platforms.
It’s a boon for the UFC, because it’s a commitment by the most powerful sports television network in the world to more regular MMA coverage. One would assume that Sonnen won’t just be limited to UFC coverage, either; Fox had a business deal with UFC and didn’t cover other promotions, but ESPN does not and it would seem likely that Sonnen will talk about other MMA promotions as well, most notably Bellator.
But Sonnen’s hiring is also going to bring it increased scrutiny for bringing back one of the worst, most blatant drug cheats in the history of sports.
ESPN made no mention of Sonnen’s notorious past in its news release. But Glenn Jacobs, ESPN’s senior coordinating producer for MMA coverage, told the Associated Press’ Greg Beacham that he is unconcerned about Sonnen’s numerous past failures.
We know Chael has made some mistakes in the past. He’s been honest. He’s been up-front about it. He has paid for the mistakes that he has made, and he’s moving forward.
After Sonnen eviscerated Fox’s Mike Hill on the air while discussing his drug test failures, it was clear he was a short-timer with that network. It was a classless thing to do and he deserved to lose his job for that.
Because he lied on the air so repeatedly about his drug usage, it’s going to be hard for him to regain credibility with a large segment of the ESPN audience. Sonnen, of course, is now singing a different tune when he says he’s in favor of increased drug testing and against the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
I am for clean sport. The rules have changed during my career. The rules have changed during this year, which landed me in a tough spot because I didn’t change with them. But the reality is, the rules are good, and to have clean sport is good.
There are times when you can turn to science and medicine, and that looks like a pretty seductive route. But if I had to choose one of the two, I would not choose the side that I was on. I would support the other side. We need a clean sport, and we’ve got to follow the rules, and that’s it. I accept the consequences.
In order to regain credibility, Sonnen has to become an outspoken leader in the anti-drug crusade. He needs to say what he knows, and discuss how fighters have been able to beat the system. Just passing a drug test is no guarantee that one was not doping, as Dr. Lawrence Bowers notably said during his testimony for the United States Anti-Doping Agency during the Lance Armstrong case.
In addition, he’s no longer working for a company with a deal with the UFC. He’s going to have to speak bluntly about UFC management and discuss its failings as well as its successes.
He said he’ll speak out, but time will tell if that is true.
I wouldn’t shy away from a topic, even if it’s one that brought me shame. There are topics like that, and there are opponents I’m going to have to cover that have also embarrassed themselves, but that’s part of the sport, man. I cherish those moments.
Though what Sonnen did in failing those drug tests and then repeatedly lying about it was reprehensible, he did it in his role as a fighter, not a broadcaster. It’s not like he harmed anyone by lying; he only made himself and the company that gave him a platform look bad. He deserves the right to make a living.
He forfeited his right to make a living as a fighter, at least until the middle of 2016, and he says he’s retired as a fighter. Any athletic commission should quickly oppose any attempt by Sonnen to return during the two-year suspension he was given by the Nevada commisison for his failure.Â
And if he chooses to return after his suspension is up — which he says he will not do — then he should be tested regularly to make certain he is clean.
But as a broadcaster, the man paid a heavy price. He lost a high-profile, high-paying gig and was disgraced in the process.
Still, he deserves the right to make a living.
ESPN can say that it’s not concerned about his past, but it will ultimately be up to the public to decide. IfÂ the public doesn’t forgive him, and if he can’t regain his credibility with the audience, then it won’t matter what any executive in Bristol, Conn., might believe.
There are dozens upon dozens of UFC fighters who have shown immense promise as broadcasters, and ESPN could have hired any one of them and avoided the controversy that is sure to surround Sonnen.
But it opted to cast its lot with a guy who, frankly, lied to people’s faces with regularity.
It’s hard to believe he’ll do what he says because of his past, but if he does, he can be a clear asset to ESPN’s broadcast coverage of MMA.
He shouldn’t be given any breaks when it turns to the resumption of his fight career, but he served his time as a broadcaster and ESPN was within its rights to hire him.
What fighters do you feel get hated on a lot but don’t deserve it?
I pick Ken Shamrock. The guy has done more for the sport than just about anyone not named Gracie.
Yet so many TUF noob fans shit on him. I find it to be annoying.
Second one I pick is War Machine…
…just kidding he’s a piece of shit
Not only did the "coke bones" memes spring up everywhere, but also the "incredulous cormier".
Dave Herman cops altercation talked about on the Alex Jones talk show. He goes on to discuss issues between police and citizens.
Divnich stops Kurbanov for M-1 Challenge lightweight championship
M-1 Challenge light heavyweight champion Stephan Puetz
M-1 Challenge light heavyweight champion Stephan “T-800″ Puetz (12-1-0, 5 KO/TKO, 4 SUB) retained his title and undefeated Russian Maxim Divnich (10-0-0, 5 KO/TKO, 1 SUB) captured the vacant M-1 Challenge lightweight championship in tonight’s main event and co-feature, respectively, on the M-1 Challenge 54 & ACB 12 event, co-promoted byM-1 Global and ACB, at Palais des Sports Ice in St. Petersburg, Russia
M-1 Global, which grew out of the League MMA M-1, traces its history back to 1997. It has promoted 180 events including nearly 10,000 fights. Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB) burst on the Russian MMA scene earlier this year, highlighted by its Grand Prix that featured more than 100 fighters.
Puetz, fighting out of Munich, Germany, stopped previously unbeaten Russian challenger Valery “The Russian Hammer” Myasnikov (8-1-0, 5 KO/TKO, 1 SUB) to successfully defend his crown for the second time since defeating Viktor Nemkov by five-round decision for the vacant title this past March 14 at M-1 Challenge 46. Puetz’ other title defense victory was last August 15 at M-1 Challenge 50, in which he Brazilian Luis Fernando “Hulk” Miranda tapped out due to a rear naked choke.
In a welterweight showdown, Russian veteran Beslan Isaev (31-7-0, 15 KO/TKO, 12 SUB) won his seventh consecutive fight, knocking out American welterweight Cody “AK Kid” McKenzie (15-56-0, 1 KO/TKO, 13 SUB) with a knee in the opening round.
Rising Russian star Anatoly Tokov (19-1-0, 10 KO/TKO, 4 SUB) punched out Enoc Solves Torres (15-8-0), of Spain, in the third round of their middleweight fight, extending his three-year win streak to 11.
American middleweight Luigi “The Italian Tank” Fioravanti (25-12-0, 9 KO/TKO, 5 SUB) blasted out Ruslan Khaskhanov (16-9-0, 3 KO/TKO, 11 SUB) midway through the first round with a series of punches.
In preliminary bouts, Russian light heavyweight Artur Astakhov (10-2-0, 6 KO/TKO, 4 SUB) used an arm bar to force Evgeniy Guryanov (8-5-0, 4 KO/TKO. 3 SUB), of Ukraine, into submission in the third round, American lightweight Daniel “Agent Orange” Swain (12-4-1, 4 KO/TKO, 5 SUB) and Russian Zalimbeg Omarov (2-1-1, 2 SUB) fought to a three-round majority draw, and Alexei Kunchenko (8-0-0, 5 KO/TKO, 2 SUB) remained undefeated with a first-round knockout by punches over fellow Russian welterweight Grigoriy “Crusader” Kichigin (5-3-0, 1 KO/TKO. 3 SUB).
Also fighting on the undercard, Russian lightweight Zaur Kasumov (4-1-0, 1 KO/TKO, 3 SUB) defeated pro debuting Kazakh Arkhat Mynbaev (0-1-0) by way of first-round submission (rear naked choke), Russian lightweight Muslim Makhmudov (4-3-0, 0 KO/TKO, 3 SUB) won a two-round decision over his Ukrainian opponent Evgeniy Boldyrev (0-1-0), and Russian bantamweight Rasul Albaskhanov (2-1-0, 2 SUB) used a rear naked choke to force Ondrej Skalnik (6-4-0, 2 KO/TKO, 1 SUB) to submit in the opening round.
Complete results and picture gallery below:
MAIN EVENT – LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS
Stephen Puetz (12-1-0), Germany WTKO2 (3:13 – Punches) Valery Myasnikov (8-1-0), Russia
(Puetz M-1 Challenge light heavyweight title)
CO-FEATURE — LIGHTWEIGHTS
Maxim Divnich (10-0-0), Russia WTKO3 (1:20 – Punches) Djhambulat Kurbanov (6-0-1), Russia
(Divnich won vacant M-1 Challenge lightweight title)
Anatoly Tokov (19-1-0), Russia WTKO3 (0:54 – Punches) Enoc Solves Torres (15-8-0), Spain
Luigi Fioravanti (25-12-0), United States WTKO1 (3:06 – Punches) Ruslan Khaskhanov (16-9-0), Russia
Beslan Isaev (31-7-0), Russia WKO1 (2:20 – Knee) Cody McKenzie (15-6-0), United States
Artur Astakhov (10-2-0), Russia WSUB1 (3:30 – Arm Bar) Evgeniy Gurynov (8-5-0), Ukraine
Muslim Makhmudov (4-3-0), Russia WDEC2 Evgeniy Boldyrev (0-1-0), Russia
Alexei Kunchenko (8-0-0), Russia WKO1 – 2:33 – Punches) Grigoriy Kichigin (5-3-0), Russia
Zalimbeg Omarov (2-1-0), Russia MDraw3 Daniel Swain (12-4-1), United States
Yusup Raisov (4-0-0), Russia WSUB1 (1:48 – Rear Naked Choke) Mikhail Kuznetsov (2-1-0), Russia
Zaur Kasumov (4-1-0), Russia WSUB1 (1:54 – Rear Naked Choke) Arkhat Mynbaev (0-1-0), Kazakhstan
Rasul Albaskhanov (2-1-0), Russia WSUB1 (0:23 – Rear Naked Choke) Ondrej Skalnik (6-4-0), Czech Republic
An old sickness has returned to haunt a new generation
Nov 22nd 2014 | DENVER | From the print edition
A shot in the arm
The Mexican wave
Nov 22nd 2014 | DENVER | From the print edition
PICTURE a heroin addict. “A bum sitting under a bridge with a needle in his arm, robbing houses to feed his addiction,” is what many people might imagine, believes Cynthia Scudo. That image may have been halfway accurate when heroin first ravaged America’s inner cities in the 1960s and 1970s. But Ms Scudo, a smartly dressed young grandmother from a middle-class Denver suburb, knows that these days it is not always like that. Until not so long ago, she was a heroin addict herself.
The face of heroin use in America has changed utterly. Forty or fifty years ago heroin addicts were overwhelmingly male, disproportionately black, and very young (the average age of first use was 16). Most came from poor inner-city neighbourhoods. These days, the average user looks more like Ms Scudo. More than half are women, and 90% are white. The drug has crept into the suburbs and the middle classes. And although users are still mainly young, the age of initiation has risen: most first-timers are in their mid-20s, according to a study led by Theodore Cicero of Washington University in St Louis.
The spread of heroin to a new market of relatively affluent, suburban whites has allowed the drug to make a comeback, after decades of decline. Over the past six years the number of annual users has almost doubled, from 370,000 in 2007 to 680,000 in 2013. Heroin is still rare compared with most other drugs: cannabis, America’s favourite (still mostly illegal) high, has nearly 50 times as many users, for instance. But heroin’s resurgence means that, by some measures, it is more popular than crack cocaine, the bogeyman of the 1980s and 1990s. Its increased popularity in America contrasts strongly with Europe, where the number of users has fallen by a third in the past decade. What explains America’srelapse?
A shot in the arm
Like many of America’s new generation of users, Ms Scudo never intended to take up the drug. Her addiction began in 2000 when, after a hip injury, a doctor prescribed her “anything and everything” to relieve the pain. This included a high dose of OxyContin, a popular brand of opioid pill. Her prescription was later reduced, but she was already hooked. On the black market OxyContin pills cost $80 each, more than she could afford to cover her six-a-day habit; so she began selling her pills and using the proceeds to buy cheaper heroin. As if from nowhere, Ms Scudo had become a heroin addict.
Thousands more have gone down this path. The 1990s saw a big increase in prescriptions of opioids for chronic pain. In some states the number of opioid prescriptions written each year now exceeds the number of people. That oversupply feeds the black market: last year 11m Americans used illicitly-acquired prescription painkillers, more than the number who used cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamine and LSD combined. People who would never dream of injecting heroin seem to assume that opioids in packets are safe.
But they aren’t. In 2012 prescription painkillers accounted for 16,000 deaths—nearly four out of every ten fatal drug overdoses in America. As the toll grew, some states tightened up the law. In many places doctors must now check databases to make sure the patient has not already been prescribed painkillers by another clinic. Prescriptions have been cut down to as little as a single pill, to reduce the supply of unfinished packets. “Pill mills”, clinics that churned out prescriptions with no questions asked, have been shut down. And drug manufacturers have made their medicines harder to abuse: the latest OxyContin pills, when crushed, turn into a gloop that cannot easily be snorted or dissolved for injection.
These measures have had some impact: rates of prescription-drug abuse and of overdose have dipped a little in the past two years. But as the supply of pain pills has dropped, and their black-market price has risen, many addicts have turned to heroin to satisfy their craving more cheaply. “We saw it coming at us at 90mph, like a freight train,” says Meghan Ralston of the Drug Policy Alliance, a drug-reform pressure group. The number of deaths from heroin overdoses doubled between 2010 and 2012, and many of those attending addiction clinics are college-age, middle-class types who started on prescription pills.
The Mexican wave
Just as the demand side of America’s heroin market was heating up, so too was supply. Though Afghanistan accounts for 80% of global opium production, America gets most of its heroin from Mexico. Historically that has checked consumption, since Mexico has long been a relatively small producer of opium poppies.
In the past few years the Mexicans have upped their game. One of the many unintended consequences of Mexico’s war on organised crime in urban hotspots, such as Ciudad JuÃ¡rez, was that the army was diverted from poppy eradication in the countryside. Farmers in the Sierra Madre made the most of this: by 2009 cultivation was ten times higher than in 2000. Although production has fallen back in the past few years, Mexico is now the world’s third-biggest producer of opium, after Afghanistan and Myanmar.
Policy changes in America have given Mexico’s narco-farmers further incentives to focus on opium. Until not so long ago, Mexican traffickers made a lot of their money from cannabis. But these days most of the cannabis in America is home-grown. Nearly half the states have legalised medical marijuana, and four have voted to legalise it outright. Exporting pot to the United States is now like taking tequila to Mexico. Facing a glut in the cannabis market, Mexican farmers have turned to poppies.
America’s police have seen the impact. Seizures of heroin at the border with Mexico have risen from 560kg (1,230lb) in 2008 to about 2,100kg last year. And the smugglers have become bolder. “Three or four years ago, 5lb was big. Now sometimes we’re finding 20lb,” says Kevin Merrill, the assistant special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration on the outskirts of Denver.
The low transport costs faced by Mexican traffickers, who need only drive from Sinaloa to the border, mean that their heroin is far cheaper than the Colombian or Asian sort. A gram of pure heroin in America now costs about $400, less than half the price, in real terms, that it cost in the 1980s. And whereas much of the heroin in the past was of the “black tar” variety, which is usually injected, there is a trend towards brown heroin, which lends itself better to snorting and smoking. That matters to novice heroin users, who may be skittish about needles. “I somehow thought that if I didn’t inject it, I wasn’t a heroin addict,” says Ms Scudo, who smoked it instead.
As fewer people are introduced to prescription opioids, the number who are vulnerable to heroin addiction will also eventually fall. “Things are getting a little better,” says Patrick Fehling, a psychiatrist at the CeDAR rehabilitation clinic in Denver, where Ms Scudo eventually kicked her habit. Yet services like these are scarce, particularly for the poor: a month at CeDAR costs $27,000. Those with no money or insurance are more likely to be put on methadone, a heroin substitute which sates cravings but does not stop them.
Now that heroin addiction is no longer a disease only of the urban poor, however, attitudes are changing. The Obama administration’s latest national drug strategy, published in July, criticised “the misconception that a substance-use disorder is a personal moral failing rather than a brain disease”. It called for greater access to naloxone, an antidote that can reverse the effects of heroin overdose, and backed state-level “good Samaritan” laws, which give immunity to people who call 911 to help someone who is overdosing. Needle-exchange services, which have cut rates of hepatitis and HIV among drug users in Europe, are expanding. These programmes are easier for politicians to sell now that heroin addiction is no longer just the “bum under the bridge”.
"Could be more legal troubles for Jason Miller as the former UFC fighter is mired in another controversy. This time, it involves Ian McCall’s ex-wife Shay McCall, who says she has filed charges against ‘Mayhem’ after allegedly being assaulted earlier this week."
"3 days I was physco ally assaulted by Mayham Miller just for confronting him on something I didn’t want to be around. I was strangled…. Ext yes I did press charges. Thank you everyone for your support he will pay when reality kicks in.. If he ever does and he is in jail"
UFC featherweight star Clay Guida checks in this week and lends the Cagewriter team a hand by breaking down the main and co-main events for tonight’s big UFC 179 world title card in Rio. Check out Clay’s picks, and then let us know who you’ve got in the comments section!
This fight is a long time coming, since Jose and Chad’s first fight two and a half years ago. Jose Aldo has definitely proven to be arguably one of the greatest fighters of all time.
You don’t say that about just anybody. It’s been what, five, six, seven years since he’s last been defeated?
I remember seeing him fight for the first time in the WEC, when Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver the first time, and he knocked the dude out. I thought, ‘wow, this guy has got something. He’s talented.’ We’ve also seen Aldo shake off some pretty good wrestlers over the years.
You could make the argument that Aldo was more impressive in the WEC than he has been in the UFC, but you know how it is. In the UFC, you’re fighting the best of the best and top athletes every time out. Every fight is five rounds, and Aldo doesn’t get any easy fights, ever.
Tonight, however, I think Chad Mendes is going to have Aldo’s number. Compared to the last time he fought Aldo, and lost, Chad is much more well-rounded on his feet, now.
He’s more calm, and he feels more at home standing and trading. The difference in this fight will be if Chad gets to take Aldo down, which I think he can do. I hope they’ve been working on that.
We’ve seen it time and again with Aldo. By the fourth and fifth rounds, he’s often already done so much damage that he can usually coast. He’s either leg-kicked you into oblivion, or he’s worn you down some other way where rounds four and five don’t make a difference.Â
I think it’s going to be a different story this time around, with Chad. Unfortunately, in the first fight they only had five minutes to feel each other out, but I’m sure both camps have been doing a lot of game planning around footage study.
I think ground game and conditioning and who drives harder in those championship rounds is going to be crucial, and I think Chad can win there. We’ve seen Jose take some pretty good shots. He’s got a good chin.
We’ve also seen Chad take shots, and he’s got a pretty good chin. Both men are good on the ground, and have knockout power. I think whoever shows a little bit more grit in the later rounds is going to win.
I’ve got to go with the wrestler in this one. Looking at both their recent histories, I think this has a good chance of going all five rounds.
Sometimes the five rounders are awesome, though. This one is going to be a banger of a fight, and I’m looking forward to my buddy Chad bringing the belt back to the States.
Light heavyweight contenders Glover Teixeira and Phil Davis meet in the UFC 170 co-main event
As a former NCAA Division I wrestling national champion, Phil is hard to keep off your legs, man. But, I think fighting and losing to Anthony Johnson had an effect on him.
When someone hits you as hard as Johnson hit you, it makes you think, and pause. And, if another guy can hit you as hard as Johnson, it’s Glover Teixeira.
We saw that with Glover’s fight against Jon Jones last April. Jon beat him up and down, but there was always one hook, or one cross that Glover would come back with and hit Jones to keep him honest.
I was sitting front-row for that one and Jon’s eyes got as big as baseballs everytime Glover hit him with one of those. That type of power is an intangible.
Not to mention that, every time Jon took Glover down, Glover got back up quickly. We know that Phil is going to want to get the take down in the first few minutes, but it’s going to be hard for him to win if he can’t keep Glover down.
Both fighters are coming off of tough decision losses, so you know they are both looking to prove something. But I think Phil may have some trouble getting over his last loss, more than Glover has with his.
I love Penn State, where Phil wrestled, and I’d like to see him bring one back to his home town, but this one is a toss-up with the slight edge going to Glover. Realistically, I’ve got to go with Glover by decision.