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Fedor Emelianenko vs. Pedro Rizzo announced for June 21 in St. Petersburg, Russia

Fedor Emelianenko will square off with Pedro Rizzo on June 21 at the Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Evgeni Kogan, M-1 Global director of operations, announced the news Friday morning on his official Twitter feed. Kogan had previously teased Emelianenko’s return to the ring earlier this month, but an opponent had not been named until today. The June 21 event is expected to be an M-1 Global show and could air on pay-per-view.

Once considered the sport’s top heavyweight, Emelianenko, 35, saw a nine-year unbeaten stretch end when he was submitted by a Fabricio Werdum triangle choke in 2010. Two more defeats would follow for the Russian, who was finished by Antonio Silva and Dan Henderson in the Strikeforce cage last year. Emelianenko rebounded from the trio of defeats by posting a pair of wins to close out 2011, outpointing UFC veteran Jeff Monson in November before knocking out former Olympic judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii on New Year’s Eve.

A former UFC heavyweight title challenger, Rizzo has not competed professionally in nearly two years. “The Rock” returns to the ring riding a three-fight winning streak, having notched victories over Ken Shamrock, Gary Goodridge and Monson before entering hiatus. One of Marco Ruas’ most successful students, Rizzo, 37, owns notable career wins over Ricco Rodriguez, Mark Coleman, Andrei Arlovski, Josh Barnett and Dan Severn, among others.

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Cain: Don't care who I fight long as they're clean

"I think random drug testing is good. I've always been part of a sport where we were always randomly drug tested and that's good. I'm clean, I don't take anything and I'm happy to do those kinds of tests.

"I want to fight against somebody who is clean. If somebody isn't, that's definitely a big advantage for them. I want it to be on the same playing field. I'm hoping everyone is clean.

"With Overeem's situation, I think the UFC or commission will find something to do and definitely take care of the situation, so I'll just leave it in their hands."

 

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NAC EXCLUDES DIAZ FROM APRIL AGENDA; CAMP SAYS DOCTOR'S STATEMENT PROOF OF LEGAL MARIJUANA USE

Nick Diaz will have to wait a bit longer to find resolution, as the UFC welterweight has not been placed on the Nevada Athletic Commission’s April 24 agenda. Keith Kizer, executive director of the NAC, confirmed that the commission plans to hold Diaz’s hearing at a later date.

Diaz -- a medical marijuana patient diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in his home state of California -- had his UFC 143 drug test flagged for marijuana metabolites after suffering a unanimous decision defeat to Carlos Condit on Feb. 4 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Diaz was suspended by the commission on Feb. 22 pending a disciplinary hearing.

Diaz’s attorney, Ross C. Goodman of Goodman Law Group, wrote a letter last Friday to Nevada Deputy Attorney General Christopher Eccles, seeking confirmation that the NAC would address its complaint against Diaz during its April 24 meeting. Citing the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS 233B.127), Goodman asserted that Diaz’s suspension should have been addressed within 45 days of its Feb. 22 approval by the commission, meaning the hearing should have taken place by April 6.

“In discussions with Mr. Kizer, following the Summary Suspension Order, Mr. Kizer informed me and others that this matter would be placed on the NAC’s agenda,” Goodman wrote. “Our client was and is confident that there is no basis for disciplinary action against him and therefore did not object to a delay beyond the required 45-day time limit as long as the matter was heard and determined in April.”

Eccles responded to that letter on Monday on behalf of Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, informing Goodman that the NAC was still awaiting the delivery of Diaz’s medical marijuana card.

“On several occasions, you told me and Mr. Kizer that Mr. Diaz had a medical marijuana card,” Eccles wrote. “You agreed to produce the card prior to the disciplinary hearing. I’ve waited for more than a month for the card. As a result, I issued a Request for Production for the card and other information regarding Diaz’s case. You have chosen not to provide the requested documents, including Mr. Diaz’s card. If Mr. Diaz does not have the card, simply confirm that in writing. As to the relevance of the of the documents I requested for production, it is the Commission that will ultimately decide what is relevant.”

Eccles went on to dispute Goodman’s claim that the NAC had not acted within the required 45-day time limit as outlined by the NRS, stating that Diaz did not receive a summary suspension, which is issued “when an agency suspends a license, prior to a hearing before a board or commission, due to emergency circumstances which pose a risk to public welfare.”

“No Notice of Summary Suspension was ever served on your client,” Eccles wrote. “In this matter, Mr. Diaz was properly served with a ‘Notice of Hearing on Temporary Suspension,’ and he failed to appear at that hearing. The Commission temporarily suspended Mr. Diaz at the hearing. Neither Mr. Diaz nor you objected in any manner to the temporary suspension.”

Citing the California Health and Safety Code (CHSC), Goodman addressed Eccles’ letter on Thursday morning, telling media that he has already supplied the commission with proper evidence of Diaz’s medical marijuana use in the form of signed statements from Diaz’s physician, Dr. Robert E. Sullivan. Additionally, Goodman has not backed down from his stance that Diaz’s fate should have been decided within 45 days of the temporary suspension’s approval. In an email to the media, Goodman wrote:

“Mr. Diaz agreed to produce the required documentation to prove that he is lawfully entitled to use medical marijuana under the laws of California. In a letter dated April 11, 2012, Ross C. Goodman, Esq. responded to the [NAC’s] request for an Identification Card by providing two Physician’s Statements from Dr. Sullivan. As the [NAC] should know, the Physician’s Statements (not an identification card) constitute the “written documentation” required to qualify Mr. Diaz to legally engage in the medical use of marijuana (see CHSC 11362.5). In addition, Dr. Sullivan explained (Exhibit A attached to the Response of the First Amended Complaint) that after examining Mr. Diaz and reviewing medical records as required by California law, he rendered a ‘professional opinion’ evidencing that medical use of marijuana is appropriate to treat ADHD (see CHSC 11362.715(a)(2)).

“It appears that Mr. Kizer mistakenly believes that an identification card is a mandatory requirement. However, the California regulation clearly defines that an identification card is strictly voluntary (see CHSC 11362.7(f) and (g)). The option to obtain an identification card is to assist law enforcement officers in making a prompt identification of qualified patients to avoid unnecessary arrest. It is outrageous that Mr. Kizer would delay a full hearing after providing the best evidence under California law -- the Physician’s Statements -- the dispositive document that qualifies someone to legally use medical marijuana. As a protection against arbitrarily delaying proceedings -- as evidenced in the Diaz matter -- and thereby depriving licensees of the right to earn a living, the [NAC] is required to make a final determination based on the allegations of the complaint within 45 days after a temporary suspension.”

Diaz’s exclusion from the April 24 agenda comes after an extended back-and-forth between the involved parties dating back to the commission’s initial complaint filed against Diaz on Feb. 9. Goodman responded to that complaint on March 7, asserting that Diaz should not be subject to discipline as a legal, out-of-competition user of marijuana. Goodman alleged that the metabolites found were inactive and could not have possibly affected Diaz’s performance in the cage, as the fighter had stopped using marijuana eight days prior to the bout.

On March 28, the NAC amended its complaint, reiterating that Diaz broke the rules by testing positive for marijuana metabolites. The commission also brought forth Diaz’s responses on his medical questionnaire, alleging that he had provided false or misleading information by checking “no” when asked if he had consumed either prescribed or over-the-counter drugs within two weeks of his bout or if he suffered from any serious medical conditions.

Goodman sent another response to the NAC on April 11, stating that the welterweight responded to the questions in good faith, as marijuana is neither a prescription nor an over-the-counter drug in California. Additionally, Goodman alleged that ADHD would not be considered by most to be a “serious medical condition,” attaching a signed letter from Diaz’s physician that echoed the point.

A disciple of Cesar Gracie hailing from Stockton, Calif., Diaz made his return to the Octagon this past October, outpointing B.J. Penn in a bloody three-round contest at UFC 137. The former Strikeforce champion next appeared on Feb. 4, fighting Condit for the interim welterweight title at UFC 143. The rangy southpaw has finished 21 of his 34 career victims and has never been submitted in nearly 11 years as a professional.

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Evans: Once you start drinking the Kool-aid, it's over

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UFC 145 live and official weigh-in results

The full UFC 145 weigh-in results include:

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view)

Champ Jon Jones () vs. Rashad Evans ()
Rory MacDonald () vs. Che Mills ()
Ben Rothwell () vs. Brendan Schaub ()
Michael McDonald () vs. Miguel Torres ()
Mark Hominick () vs. Eddie Yagin ()
John Alessio () vs. Mark Bocek ()

PRELIMINARY CARD (FX)

Travis Browne () vs. Chad Griggs ()
Matt Brown () vs. Stephen Thompson ()
John Makdessi () vs. Anthony Njokuani ()
Mac Danzig () vs. Efrain Escudero ()

PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook)

Chris Clements () vs. Keith Wisniewski ()
Maximo Blanco () vs. Marcus Brimage ()

 

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Victor Conte Says More Than 50% Of Elite MMA Fighters Use Performance Enhancing Drugs

Victor Conte's name isn't the cleanest in all the land, but when it comes to performance enhancing drugs, he knows his stuff. Conte, the former creator of BALCO (which was the center of the huge pro-sports PED firestorm), has been working with pro fighters for a bit now and has been plenty outspoken on his opinion that the fight game needs cleaning up.

Earlier today, Conte was asked by Dr. Johnny Benjamin about how many high level mixed martial artists he believes are using PED's and this was his response:

@VictorConte
Victor Conte
Over RT @DrJCBenjamin: @VictorConte I'd LOVE to know you insight on this question- Over or under 50% of elite MMA fighters take PEDs?

 

The reaction from many is going to be a predictable "why should we believe him? He's a scumbag!" or something similar. But the truth is, it's worth taking the opinion of a man who knows a lot about a subject, and Conte is an expert on PEDs. That doesn't mean he is right, but he certainly has a fair amount of insight into athletic usage of such substances

 

In the wake of Alistair Overeem's positive test for elevated testosterone, Conte was on The MMA Hour and was asked if he believes that Overeem could have naturally had a 14:1 level and had this to say:

"He knows whether he was doing testosterone or not. At a level of 14/1, you do see some up like Kizer said, maybe 5 or 5.2 -- there have been some cases where there's been up in the eights and nines and tens, and I think there's even been a natural at 13. But he's the only one that knows whether he was using or not. My opinion, and that's all it is, is that he's as guilty as a three-dollar bill."

 

                                                     ***********************************************

 

For the record we would like to stat the Victor Conte is totally wrong. The number are closer to 90%.

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UFC 145: Dana White Uses Rashad Evans Vs. Jon Jones As Proof Jackson's MMA Is Not 'Family'

"There is one thing that is an absolute fact, and no matter how often Greg Jackson pumps that family [expletive], Greg Jackson is a [expletive] businessman," White told Cagewriter. "The more top guys he brings in, the more money he makes. There's nothing wrong with Greg Jackson, but he's a [expletive] businessman. Some of these fighters, who ought to know better but don't listen to that [expletive] and don't take it for the crock of [expletive] that it is. These guys need to make the decision where they train based on where they think they'll get the best work and develop the best, and not on this [expletive] crazy idea that you're becoming a part of a family.

"Greg Jackson [expletive] told Rashad this wouldn't happen, that they're family and all that other [expletive], but look what is going on now. Look and see who is at Jackson's and who is not. Train where you think it's going to be best for you and if that's Jackson's, that's fine. Just don't buy into this family [expletive] because there's nothing to it. This is the fight business, not the friend business."

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Bellator 66 Facts: Eddie Alvarez vs. Shinya Aoki

Bellator 66 is scheduled to take place on April 20, 2012 at I-X Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

The event will be distributed live in prime time by MTV2.

Official fight card

 

Card Weight Class
Preliminary Lightweight United States Julien Lane vs United States Joe Heiland
Preliminary Light Heavyweight United States John Hawk vs Finland Marcus Vanttinen
Preliminary Light Heayweight United States Dan Spohn vs Slovakia Attila Vegh
Preliminary Lightweight United States Tyler Combs vs United States Jason Dent
Preliminary Bantamweight United States Donny Walker vs United States Frank Caraballo
Preliminary Women's Bout (131 lbs) United States Jessica Eye vs United States Anita Rodriguez
Main Lightweight United States Brent Weedman vs Brazil Thiago Michel
Main Lightweight United States Lloyd Woodard vs United States Rick Hawn
Main Middleweight Russia Vyacheslav Vasilevsky vs Brazil Maiquel Falcao
Main Middleweight Sweden Andreas Spang vs United States Brian Rogers
Main Lightweight United States Eddie Alvarez vs Japan Shinya Aoki

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UFC 145: Mike Van Arsdale Says Rashad Evans is '100 Times Harder To Wrestle Than Ryan Bader'

"The fight, all these fights, come down to distance, and who controls where the fight goes, so...controlling where the fight goes is called wrestling. So this is a wrestling-based sport. The striking is there, and when you're doing your striking that's how you're controlling the distance, so the transition between striking and wrestling will determine who wins the fight. Whoever can perform the transition best will win." "Rashad is 100 times harder to wrestle than Ryan Bader in MMA." "Because I just said it. Whoever controls the transition, and whoever is good at that will be good at MMA, and Bader's not very good at it. I'm not saying anything bad about him but he's working on some of the wrong things, and Rashad's faster than Ryan Bader. And Rashad, when you shoot on Rashad Evans, it feels like he weighs maybe 400 pounds. It's really hard to take him down. Ryan Bader looks really, really strong, but he's not as strong as he looks."

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Hendo says Evans will take Jones down, Jones responds

Dan Henderson recently made the suggestion to ESPN that Jon Jones will "definitely" be taken down by Rashad Evans at some point in Saturday's UFC 145 title showdown, and at Wednesday's press conference Jones responded to the claim.

Showing once again that MMA is one of the fastest-moving sports in the world, the UFC employed the use of Twitter to attract questions from the international media on Wednesday, and ESPN raised Henderson's takedown claim to the champion.

Asked if Jones disagreed with Henderson, or if he had made peace with the fact he might be taken down by Evans, the champion responded: "I've made a mental note to not be taken down. Rashad takes everybody down, but I've never been taken down, so why should I feel inferior?

"I've become totally prepared for being on my back. I'm a complete mixed martial artist, people don't realise that, and I train every area of MMA as hard as every other.

"I have absolutely no gameplan for this fight. I know my opponent's mindset. Rashad has confidence in his boxing, but I know he'll try to take me down. I have no gameplan, my gameplan is to react."

Jones and Evans were extremely amicable towards one another in Atlanta, with the champion at one point stating, "I'm not going to compete with Rashad on the dressing front, Rashad is a wonderful dresser." The bad blood that has divided the two former team-mates appeared to have subsided, although Jones insists it will still affect the fight.

"Some of the things he's said have really inspired me to achieve greatness in this fight," Jones said. "Rashad's focused so much on the storyline, about coach Greg [Jackson], about how I'm so cocky.

"Me, I don't care about the personality. I'm here to complete a mission, to defend my title. You shouldn't take too much emotion, I've been focused on tactics since I signed the contract."

Pressed on how he felt about fighting a former friend, Jones stated: "I didn't start this sport to make loads of friends in the UFC. I'm here to support my family, I'm here to fight people."

And he clearly feels Rashad has suffered as a fighter since leaving Jackson's camp, saying: "I can't say [he's] improved, but I can say [he's] different. There's things he's got away from that he used to do real well. I've seen things he didn't do well [in his last fight] that he used to.

"Malki, my manager, is close to Rashad's age and he said to me yesterday, 'Man, I just played basketball and my feet hurt'. It's more difficult to recover. I know Rashad has rib problems, knee problems, so it depends how he looks after his body."

 

Source: ESPN

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