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Author: Michael Zand

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'The Ultimate Fighter' abandoning live format this fall

It appears that "The Ultimate Fighter Live" will drop a key word in its title when it returns in the fall.

According to a report at Yahoo! Sports, the UFC's reality series on the FX cable network will abandon the live format it experimented with this past spring in favor of a return to taped weekly shows for the next season. 

Though the show will remain in its Friday night time slot, UFC president Dana White told the site that could change in 2013 if ratings numbers don't pan out in the fall.

"(If) this next season isn't up to the standards I expect, (FX) promised me we can move it to Tuesday or Wednesday," White told Yahoo! Additionally, White said casting for the fall season will take place in the coming weeks for a season that will feature welterweight fighters.

White said, though, that expectations for the show from FX and FOX were met in their first go'round with the series, calling the season "a smash hit home run for them" despite being on television's roughest ratings night of the week.

After 14 seasons of weekly episodes in a taped format on Spike TV, "The Ultimate Fighter" moved to FX earlier this year as part of the UFC's seven-year broadcast deal with the FOX network. But the show went to a format that combined taped material from earlier in the week leading into a live fight. While White has said he likes the live format of the show, ratings weren't at the level experienced on Spike – owing in large part, White has said, to the switch from Wednesday nights to Fridays.

In late May at the TUF: Live semifinals in Las Vegas, White told media he was unsure just what direction the fall season might take.

"You guys know as well as anybody we've got a lot of work to do here," White said. "We've got a lot of things we need to figure out. But we will do the work and we will figure it out."

Part of that work now appears to be a return to taped episodes and fights in the elimination-style tournament that ultimately crowns the next "Ultimate Fighter." White expects the fall season – the second on FX and the 16th of the show overall – to begin airing in September, meaning the old standard of taping over six weeks should begin some time in mid-July in Las Vegas. In the live format this past season, fighters were in the TUF house for 12 weeks instead of the usual six.

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UFC 148: Forrest Griffin Says He'll 'Retire From Life' If He Loses To Tito Ortiz

"I was fighting for $300-400 when Tito was champion of the world. He's not what he used to be, but he's still putting on good fights with the best in the world. The Machidas, the Rashads. The guys that he's fighting are the top ten, cream of the crop.

We're 1-1, we've had good fights. There's going to be some things that are tough to deal with. A good wrestler that comes down low, that comes with pressure, he's a tough guy to fight. He's still got a good overhand right, good shovel hook, he's got good punches, good knees, he's got a good Thai clinch. If you can stop him from coming forward, he's not so hard to fight. But when he's coming forward in that good stance, you can't tell if he's gonna throw a big bomb or shoot...that's tough to deal with.

A lot of people ask me. They say 'Forrest, it's Tito's retirement fight. If you lose to Tito, are you going to retire?' If I lose to Tito, I'm going to retire from life. ...seriously."

 

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UFC 148: Tito Ortiz To Be Inducted Into UFC Hall Of Fame Before Event

Dana White after the UFC 150 press conference:

 

"He pound for pound was doing some of the most damage at a time when we were hurting," said White. "But it's part of our history the way the storylines played out between me, Chuck and Tito. He's definitely a part of the history of the sport."

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Franklin admits interest in using TRT

"Yeah, I've kicked around that idea and everything, and actually I’ve talked to doctors that work with the UFC and the athletic commission in Nevada and all that kind of stuff," said Franklin, who takes on Wanderlei Silva at UFC 147 later this month. "And at 37, my count obviously is not what it was when I was 25, and I’m a candidate for that kind of stuff. I haven’t started yet.

"I'm not sure if that's something I want to do or how I want to approach that, because TRT is … once you start that process it’s a permanent fixture," he continued. "Once you start putting those hormones in your body -- those synthetic hormones -- then your body is not going to produce its own hormones any more, and so you really have to think carefully. My levels are still decently healthy for a male, but they're not high enough to continue a prolonged career at a top level for many more years."

According to the guidelines of various state athletic commissions that offer TRT therapeutic use exemptions, an athlete must be able to prove that his testosterone level is below normal. Franklin's statement seems to indicate his levels are normal for his age, just not quite as high as they used to be, so while his candidacy for TRT might be contradicted by his statement, it must be noted he has not used the treatment.

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Pacquiao vs Bradley

This week we have a special on judges in Las Vegas. For just $9900/judge you can win your upcoming fight easily. Satisfaction guaranteed!

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VIDEO: Fedor goes "New School Training"

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Fedor Emelianenko: It's not a fact that the fight with Pedro Rizzo will be my last

MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko currently prepares for the fight with the fellow veteran Pedro "The Rock" Rizzo, which will take place on June 21st in St. Petersburg, Russia. Speaking in an interview with Russia 2, Fedor revealed that he's still uncertain whether the fight with Rizzo will be his last:

"We'll see. It's not a fact that I will retire on June 21st. We'll see after the fight."

Fedor is one of the most influential figures in Russian sports, and a role model to young fighters around the world. However, it seems like "The Last Emperor" prefers to hold his horses when it comes to coaching the next generation of fighters:

"I don't know who came to conclusion that I will coach young fighters. Everyone talks about my retirement, and that I will train young fighters. I never said that."

Retirement or not, Fedor Emelianenko is expected to deliver a trademark performance on June 21st, especially when fighting in St. Petersburg for the first time since 2007 clash with Matt Lindland. Fedor Emelianenko and Pedro Rizzo share 40 career finishes out of 66 professional MMA bouts.

 

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Randy Couture Boosted His Testosterone Levels Using ‘Natural’ Products

Randy Couture managed to remain a top contender in the Light-Heavyweight division even at the age of 47 he took on top Light-Heavyweight Lyoto Machida. Machida defeated Couture via KO at UFC 129 and the win ultimaley gave Machida the chance to fight for the title against Jon Jones. Although defeated Couture managed to stay close to the top of his sport without the use of TRT and opted to boost his testosterone level through natural methods.

TRT has been a hot topic in the sport recently and here’s what Couture has to say on the subject. Couture also discusses how he increased his own testosterone using the natural methods as mentioned above.

“Well, I understand it, there is this whole movement out there for anti-aging. And it started out with guys in their 50′s who, naturally, as you get older your testosterone levels deplete. Your body quits producing more.

They want to feel, recover and do the things they did when they were younger. I understand that. But, I think there are natural ways to jump start your body’s own production rather than to put an external source of testosterone in your body. I think putting the external in only compounds the issues that you’re already having. Obviously Chael and Marquardt, there has been several athletes that have used TRT. I think for them, it’s not a function of really having depleted levels of testosterone, it’s wanting to have testosterone levels of a 21 year-old again because when you were 21, let’s face it, you recover better, you’re probably going to compete better, especially if your 32 and you have that experience going into a fight.

So, I understand it, I chose a little bit different path in trying to find natural ways to boost my own testosterone levels and my body’s own production. I used the XCAP program, resveratrol, those natural products that forced my body to produce more, and seeing a doctor that’s going to regulate where your levels are. So you know, they designate what the top line is for a natural human being. And unfortunately, if you get carried away with TRT, you’re going to cross that line and you’re going to come up positive in a test.

In our profession, to be banned from making a living for probably a year, and trashing your reputation, it’s really not worth it. I just think there are alternative ways of doing things. If you’re that concerned about really monitoring where your levels really are, make sure that you don’t cross that line. I want my body to do what it’s supposed to do. Obviously, as I get older it gets harder to do that, but I can still make it to do it, I just got to be more diligent about it.

That’s just my opinion. That’s one of the reasons why I formed the XCAP supplement program. I have been using it for seven years; I competed till I was almost 49, I’ve probably pushed it farther than anyone is going to push it for a while. So, I think everybody is going to make their own decisions about it. I think if it’s done smart and done wisely, there is nothing wrong with it, but I think you run the risk of shutting your own body’s production down even more. In the long term, that’s going to be a detriment to you.”

With Couture managing to compete without TRT well into his 40′s and opting to use natural methods to boost his testosterone should we see TRT banned ? Or do you agree with fighters using TRT ?

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BJ Penn accepts Rory MacDonald's challenge to fight in Sept.

Monday afternoon on MMAFighting.com’s “The MMA Hour”, Rory MacDonald called out an MMA Legend.

The Canadian based fighter proclaimed, “Right now I feel there’s a guy that I want to fight before he leaves the sport and that’s B.J. Penn… He’s a legend and I think it’d be a really good matchup for me to have that fight in Toronto.”

For the past several weeks we have seen the likes of Gilbert Melendez, Josh Koscheck and Anthony Pettis all try to make a fight happen with the retired two-division champion. However, even after numerous call outs, Penn has stuck to his guns and opted to stay out of active competition.

In speaking with the director of BJPENN.COM, and after contemplating the matchup and possible return to action with his advisors, BJ Penn issued the following response to Rory MacDonald:

“Rory, I accept your challenge!”

Now all that is left is to get the UFC on board and put “Penn” to paper.

The bout is proposed for the UFC’s return to Toronto, Ontario Canada on September 22 for UFC 152. No venue has been selected at this time.

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Dana White: Pacquiao's gonna outpower Bradley

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