Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 15 hrs ago
LAS VEGAS – Regulators attempting to keep performance-enhancing drugs out of sports are modern-day versions of Sisyphus, condemned to pushing an immense boulder up a hill, only to continually see it roll back down.
Chasing the drug cheats is hard but important work, particularly in combat sports where the usage of PEDs can literally be the difference between life and death. And, sadly, they’re often a step behind those looking for an edge.
That brings us to the case of Francisco Vargas, the WBC super featherweight champion who won the title in 2015 from Takashi Miura in one of the year’s finest fights. He’s set to defend his belt on June 4 in California against Orlando Salido.
Vargas, concerned that Salido had failed a drug test in 2006, requested that both fighters be tested randomly by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association.
On April 21, shortly after eating a meal at his mother’s home in Mexico City, Vargas tested positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol. The concentration of it in his system was 1.3 nanograms per milliliter.
Thus, it seems fair to allow him to compete.
Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago
The idea of a potential bout – a boxing match – between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor is sheer lunacy. It’s almost certainly not going to happen and yet Mayweather is leading many around like sheep.
It’s been one of the most prominent topics in the fight game since a tabloid “broke” the newsa few weeks ago that a bout between the superstars was done.
Nothing, of course, is further from the truth, but that hasn’t stopped people from talking about it and acting like it's going to happen.
Mayweather is simply looking for the easiest possible fight to make the most possible money. This is not meant to dog McGregor, the UFC featherweight champion and one of the finest mixed martial arts fighters in the world.
So when Mayweather talks about a $100 million payday to fight McGregor, what he’s really saying is that he doesn’t want anyone remotely in his class to fight him, but he wants to paid like he’s facing his greatest challenge.
If you thought the Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight was bad – and it was horrid – Mayweather-McGregor would be far worse.
Kevin Iole at Boxing 5 days ago
Filipino authorities on Thursday certified their national election results, thereby making boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao one of the island nation's 24 senators. Filipinos elected 12 new senators on May 9, and Pacquiao finished seventh, with more than 16 million votes.
It signals the end of his legendary boxing career, which began as a child when he left home to fight to earn money for his destitute family.
He rose to unimaginable heights, winning world titles in a record eight weight classes and becoming one of the two most popular fighters in the world. He was involved in three of the 14 best-selling pay-per-views in boxing history and developed a loyal and passionate fan base.
Pacquiao, who ends his career with a 58-6-2 mark and 38 knockouts, turned professional in 1995, just a month after his 16th birthday, as a 106-pounder. He went on to win world titles at flyweight, super bantamweight, featherweight, super featherweight, lightweight, super lightweight, welterweight and super welterweight.
His statement in full:
Unquestionably, he's bound for the International Boxing Hall of Fame and should be elected the first time he is eligible.
Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago
Ask a friend who loves mixed martial arts to name the best fighter in UFC history. Expand that to perhaps the five best, or even the 10 best fighters. And ask as many people as you know who follow the sport.
Chances are, Michael Bisping’s name will rarely, if ever, come up.
And yet, Bisping needs only two more wins to become the winningest fighter in UFC history, and just two more bouts to become the most active.
Judging by statistics, he’s had an extraordinary career, one that would seem to make him a lock for the UFC’s Hall of Fame, but were it not for a fluke set of circumstances, Bisping might still have never gotten a championship opportunity in more than 10 years with the promotion.
If Chris Weidman hadn’t gotten hurt and been forced Tuesday to pull out of his middleweight title fight on June 4 with champion Luke Rockhold in the main event of UFC 199 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., Bisping would still have zero title fights on his record.
And if Jacare Souza had come out of his impressive win over Vitor Belfort on Saturday at UFC 198, healthy, Bisping wouldn’t have it now, nor would he get a shot at the winner.
Kevin Iole at Boxing 6 days ago
One of the most infamous scenes in boxing history played out in London on Dec. 14, 1992. Riddick Bowe, who on Nov. 13 of that year won the undisputed title by defeating Evander Holyfield in one of the great heavyweight bouts ever held, had been ordered by the WBC to make his first defense against Lennox Lewis.
The proposed Bowe-Lewis bout made sense on so many levels. They had fought in the gold medal match in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. They were both big and talented men and with Mike Tyson in prison, they were the biggest stars in the division.
Bowe, who would go on to make the International Boxing Hall of Fame, didn’t want to fight Lewis for some unknown reason. And so on Dec. 14, 1992, he showed up in London, summoned reporters and summarily dumped his belt into the trash can.
Rather than be forced to fight Lewis, he instead fought Michael Dokes and Jesse Ferguson in far lesser fights.
Though Bowe wound up fighting Holyfield three times, he never did meet Lewis in one of the tragic losses for boxing fans of the era. A Bowe-Lewis fight that could have been the best matchup of talented big men in history never occurred.
But perhaps this is more worrisome than it appears.
Kevin Iole at Cagewriter 6 days ago
Michael Bisping is tied with Hall of Famer Matt Hughes for the second-most victories in UFC history with 18, only one behind ex-welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. If Bisping ties the mark in his next outing, he'll become a champion himself.
Bisping will step in to replace Chris Weidman in the main event of UFC 199 on June 4 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., challenging champion Luke Rockhold for the middleweight belt.
Weidman needs surgery on his neck, he noted Wednesday in a Facebook post.
Since that defeat, Bisping has won three in a row, including a victory over ex-champion Anderson Silva on Feb. 27 in a Fight of the Night battle in London.
When news of Weidman's injury broke Tuesday, Bisping pleaded for the title shot.
Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 7 days ago
Stipe Miocic was attempting to answer the unanswerable on Tuesday, three days after becoming the 17th man to hold the UFC heavyweight champion.
None of the previous 16 ever made more than two defenses of the belt, which was created on Feb. 7, 1997, and was won by Mark Coleman at UFC 12.
Four of those champions – Randy Couture (during the second of his three reigns); Tim Sylvia (during the second of his two reigns); Brock Lesnar and Cain Velasquez (during the second of his two reigns) – each made two successful defenses.
None, though, ever made three.
And without knowing it, Miocic showed why on Saturday in the main event of UFC 198 when he knocked out Fabricio Werdum in Curitiba, Brazil, to give the city of Cleveland its first sports champion since the Browns won the 1964 NFL title.
Miocic pulled a Chuck Liddell, knocking out Werdum while he was going backward.
The kind of power it takes to knock someone out while backpedaling, as Miocic was, is usually the place of the sport’s biggest men.
Miocic, though, had no such feeling.
Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 9 days ago
Alexander Povetkin was going to be a difficult opponent for WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, even if Povetkin was squeaky clean and free of any performance-enhancing drugs.
With PEDs, the only choice the Wilder team had was to say thanks, but no thanks, and head back to the United States.
The WBC officially postponed the planned May 21 bout on Sunday, though one wonders what took them so long.
On April 27, Povetkin was randomly tested by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. On Friday, news broke that Povetkin became one of more than 100 athletes this year to test positive for meldonium, the same drug tennis star Maria Sharapova admitted to using.
Povetkin’s promoter, Andrey Ryabinskiy, said that the No. 1 contender had less than 70 nanograms in his system. Povetkin had admitted taking meldonium, which was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency on Jan. 1, prior to it being made illegal. But Povetkin passed tests on April 7, 8 and 11.
Wilder, who was training for the fight in England, wanted to fight anyway despite the positive test. Boxers, of course, don’t get paid when they don’t compete, and Wilder may legitimately have felt he would have beaten Povetkin regardless.
Kevin Iole at Cagewriter 10 days ago
Stipe Miocic knocked Fabricio Werdum cold Saturday in the main event of UFC 198 in Curitiba, Brazil, catching Werdum with a right hand on the chin, finishing him at 2:47 of the first to bring the UFC heavyweight title back to his hometown of Cleveland.
Werdum was moving forward, chasing Miocic, who was back-pedaling in an effort to create distance. Miocic fired a short right at Werdum that landed squarely on the chin. Werdum fell face first and it was quickly over.
Referee Dan Miragliotta jumped in to stop it, handing Miocic, a one-time wrestling and baseball star at Cleveland State, the heavyweight title.
"Fabricio Werdum is tough, [and] he had me guessing," Miocic said. "I trained hard, man. He’s quicker than I thought. He was catching me off guard. It was a good shot."
Miocic, who is one of the finest athletes in the UFC, was relaxed throughout in the biggest fight of his life. Werdum, who has had notable wins over Fedor Emelianenko, Cain Velasquez, Mark Hunt, Travis Browne, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Alistair Overeem and Roy Nelson, was moving forward and attacking, but Miocic never got flustered.
Kevin Iole at Cagewriter 10 days ago
Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino for years was the most feared female fighter in the world, but through an odd and often difficult-to-understand set of circumstances, it wasn’t until Saturday that she finally made it to the UFC.
She reminded fans who hadn’t seen here before why her reputation was so out-sized, landing two-thirds of her strikes in a one-sided demolition of Leslie Smith at UFC 198 in her hometown of Curitiba, Brazil.
For years, fans have longed to see Cyborg compete in the UFC. She built an extraordinary record, losing her pro debut in 2005 and then reeling off 15 consecutive victories, most by first-round finish.
When the UFC made the trip to Curitiba, the deal was finally made to bring her in, though she fought at a catch weight of 140 pounds.
Smith never had a chance.
Justino, who sprinted to the cage and seemed to soak in every second of the loud ovation she received from her hometown fans, roared out of her corner and put Smith away quickly.
She landed two rights in the opening 10 seconds of the bout that set the tone for the fight.
She finished it at 1:21, landing a right hand, a kick, a left hook and two more rights.