Welcome to Midnight Mania! Tonight, we have Mark Hunt going after the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Dana White, and Brock Lesnar for “millions” in court, a whole weeks worth of podcasts and Demian Maia throwing shade, as well as clips of sumo wrestling and Russian children scrapping ... and much more!
Hunt is not happy. We have known this for months. ESPN reports that he has finally filed a civil suit for damages to his personal brand, as well as the physical damage he took from Brock Lesnar in their co-main attraction at UFC 200, which Lesnar won by unanimous decision (it was lated overturned).
The lawsuit is a juicy one.
Hunt and his lawyer are accusing UFC of both fraud and racketeering. Under United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), athletes re-entering UFC are required to undergo four months of testing. However, UFC invoked its “exceptional circumstances” clause, which is more or less a carte blanche option available for it to exempt Lesnar from being in this testing pool for the requisite four months. He ended up popping positive for not one, but two banned substances. However, those critical results from pre-fight tests did not come out until after the fight because it seemingly wasn’t a high priority.
Hunt is alleging that UFC knew Lesnar would be fighting on the card long before it made the surprise announcement and intentionally allowed him to bypass the usual process. Two quotes stood out from the ESPN article:
The lawsuit alleges the UFC granted Lesnar an exemption on the four-month testing window with "knowledge or willful indifference to the fact that Lesnar was using banned substances."
"The UFC and USADA were aware of the option to expedite samples for a nominal fee but failed to do so," the lawsuit states.
So, Hunt is claiming that UFC basically knew — or didn’t care — that Lesnar was juicing and looked the other way to let him fight regardless. These are fiery allegations. The promotion, in the midst of a sale to WME-IMG, certainly had financial motive. In addition, UFC 200’s fight card had suffered numerous last-minute changes, including the dispute with Conor McGregor that saw his rematch against Nate Diaz moved to UFC 202, as well as Jon Jones failing a pre-fight drug test that saw Anderson Silva step in as a last-minute replacement. Lesnar was the last big draw left on the fight card, which had been heavily promoted.
Hunt is also extremely angry at the leniency of the penalty Lesnar faced. Lesnar’s one-year suspension does not affect his WWE career, and he was only fined 10 percent of his $2.5 million purse. Hunt wants the entirety of Lesnar’s purse, his lead attorney noting that technically this is something UFC has the authority to do.
Christina Denning, Hunt's lead attorney, told ESPN.com she met with UFC officials prior to filing the lawsuit in an effort to discuss Hunt's contractual demands regarding future doping violations and "make the UFC 200 situation right." According to Denning, the UFC declined to penalize Lesnar beyond the NSAC sanctions.
This would make sense if UFC still sees the possibility of Lesnar fighting again. With McGregor on hiatus and Rousey’s future uncertain, Lesnar represents the biggest available draw for the company once his one-year suspension is up in July.
"Mark says the penalties aren't harsh enough. What's interesting is that the penalties are harsh enough on paper, they're just not being enforced by the UFC."
Denning said Hunt is seeking damages "in the millions," in the suit.
Hunt has faced three straight opponents who have later faced PED allegations -- Bigfoot Silva, Frank Mir and Lesnar. His next opponent, Alistair Overeem, has also popped positive in the past, and Hunt wants assurances this time.
"I want the UFC to understand it's not OK to keep doing what they're doing," Hunt told ESPN.com. "They're allowing guys to do this. They had a chance to take all the money from this guy, because he's a cheater, and they didn't.
"What message is that sending to the boys and girls who want to be a fighter someday? The message is, 'You just have to cheat like this and it's OK.' In society, if you commit a crime, you pay. Why is it different in MMA? It's hurt the business, so it's even worse. They need to be held accountable for this."
Hunt has been vocal about this for months, renewing his insistence Overeem forfeit his purse if he tests positive again:
Strong words from Hunt. It will be fascinating to see this unfold. As of midnight, UFC had yet to comment on the lawsuit.
For an expert’s breakdown of the charges and commentary on Hunt’s chances, see here.
Rumor has it that Robbie Lawler has left American Top Team (ATT).
This could very well be because of Tyron Woodley being the reigning Welterweight champion. Woodley has long based his camp mostly out of ATT. No word yet on where “Ruthless” will train moving forward.
Frankie Edgar fixed a nagging injury
Meanwhile, there is more than one way to win at Sumo!
Iron sharpens iron! Dennis Bermudez, Luke Rockhold and Michael Johnson all sparring in the same room under Henri Hooft:
Getting work in !! @henrihooft @lukerockhold @menace155 at @combatclubmma #feb4 #ufcFightNight104 #ufcHouston #MenaceMode • #Repost @combatclubmma with @repostapp ・・・ #Repost @henrihooft with @repostapp ・・・ Sneak peak of the sparring this morning #hkickboxing at @combatclubmma we spar with respect big and small we all work together
If you ever think about exchanging elbows with this guy, maybe reconsider.
Saiyok Pumpanmuang - Former Lumpinee champion and Thai Fight veteran. One of the most aggressive and entertaining fighters around. pic.twitter.com/fIzTIdlVGf— Muay Thai Scholar (@MuayThaiScholar) January 10, 2017
DID YOU SEE THIS SHADE FROM THE EVER-POLITE DEMIAN MAIA???
In Mother Russia, even the children beat the crap out of each other. Khabib Nurmagomedov is promoting child violence, which is probably really, really bad, but it’s a different culture out there in Dagestan.
Even if you don’t want to watch, can’t help but appreciate some classic Alphaville:
This sport’s roots are also incredibly brutal. Witness the early years of “The Axe Murderer,” Wanderlei Silva doing a little classic Vale Tudo ass-kick:
With “Golden Showers” in the news yesterday, many of you may be wondering how to fight Russian hackers. To you I say, look no further.
Bobs and Weaves
Woodley and Thompson 2 is going to be an interesting rematch:
I picked Wonderboy in their first fight in one of my first fanposts on MMAmania.com. However, Woodley demonstrated really impressive preparation in managing to slow down the pace of the fight, land his best ground-and-pound in five years, and use his speed, power and timing to nearly knockout Thompson.
Thompson, through dint of toughness, luck and also winning the three rounds in which Woodley didn’t pull off a dramatic moment, pulled out a majority draw in UFC 205’s “Fight of the Night.” Woodley seemed reluctant to run it back, maintaining that he had won, but finally agreed to hook them up again. It will be another tightrope of a fight for Thompson, as he dances with the dangerous champion. Meanwhile, Woodley will have to manufacture enough big moments to either finish the fight or win more than two rounds decisively.
He will need almost as much craft and precision as these guys display:
Tax someone who would wanna try this pic.twitter.com/fxHpMiQtcf— Soa The Hulk Palelei (@soathehulk) January 11, 2017
- These deeply personal musings by Invicta FC fighter and UFC veteran Peggy Morgan — on what it feels like to have the world watch you get beaten senseless — are evocative, well-written and moving.
- Ronda Rousey’s California home was vandalized (Anthony Pettis can relate).
- Jon Jones thinks Dillon Danis acted like a douchebag when Danis called Jones out. Jones would know all about being a douchebag.
As is its usual custom, UFC has released several free fights on Youtube to promote the upcoming Fight Night Phoenix:
Podcasts and Videos
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Professional MMA fighter and resident MMA Mania analyst Andrew Richardson breaks down Penn’s legendary rear-naked choke:
Also used by Captain America during a successful short choke at 1:55:
Yair Rodriguez’s crazy spinning moves also belong in movies:
BJJ Scout broke down that incredible Garbrandt-Cruz title fight from UFC 207:
Luke Thomas took a look at Donald Cerrone’s head kicks:
Jack Slack went old school, by far his favorite school:
The CME podcast is all listener mail this week, and I’ll tell you, some of these listeners are literary giants.
This looks completely physically impossible.
This cracked me up, especially since this guy was a completely ordinary, unknown blogger before attempting to clean his shower drain.
This girl’s room was so messy that someone spotted a rat in the background of her selfie.
Stay woke, Maniacs.