clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Midnight Mania! Rory Macdonald’s coach Firas Zahabi calls Jon Fitch ‘cheater’ and ‘coward’

New, 64 comments

Bringing you the weird and wild from the world of MMA each and every weeknight ...

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

MMA Upstart Pro Fighting League Staging Fights At Daytona Speedway Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Rory Macdonald’s coach Firaz Zahabi was not mincing words when it came to Rory MacDonald’s upcoming Bellator 220 opponent Jon Fitch.

You know Fitch got busted for steroids. That’s why he had a resurgence. He’s better now than he was before. He had a dip, then he had a surge.

Fitch did indeed fail a drug test when he was competing in World Series of Fighting (now the Professional Fighting League, or PFL) in 2015. That was after he claimed TRT, then legal in UFC, was a ‘joke,’ one he didn’t need because he had never wrecked his body with steroids. He went on to lose that PFL bout to Rousimar Palhares via first-round kneebar. He is currently riding high on a five-fight win streak. Zahabi went on:

Jon Fitch was tested positive for PEDs, Performance Enhancing Drugs, and he’s had a major resurgence in his career. In my opinion, let’s be honest, he’s a cheater. We’re not a group of guys playing golf here, we’re not playing soccer. We are hitting each other. We’re not hitting soccer balls, we’re not hitting baseballs, we’re hitting each other. It’s highly immoral, it’s a crime in my opinion, and the truth is, he’s not as good as people think he is. He’s really just a cheater. Because if I take a guy and give them testosterone, he’s going to be really good too... so in my opinion, this is a highly objectable contest, because I know, I feel it for sure, if he did it in 2015, here we are and it’s 2019, and he’s in a title fight, of course he’s gonna do it. But we don’t have USADA or VADA testing in Bellator, we only have the testing the week of the fight, which is very easy to get around. So in my opinion, Fitch, he’s not an authentic fighter.

Zahabi highlights a systemic issue with Bellator, that it does not have the strict drug testing protocols that UFC can afford. We have seen that even with a drug testing program through USADA, fighters are able to avoid being caught for years, T.J. Dillashaw being a notable recent example.

Zahabi — who also coached Georges St-Pierre when he defeated Fitch by lopsided decision in 2008 — was also dismissive of Fitch’s skill.

This guy’s a coward, he’s a cheater. At the end of the day he’s a true coward. He’s not a competent fighter in my opinion, he’s really just a guy on a lot of juice. He’s a good wrestler, yeah, I’ll give him that. But, really he’s just a guy on a lot of juice. I could take an average wrestler and give him testosterone and he would be competitive. The truth of the matter is, he can’t win without it, that’s the truth.

MacDonald is coming off a crushing loss up at middleweight to Gegard Mousasi, where he failed in his bid to become a double champion. He now attempts to defend his Bellator welterweight title April 27, 2019, against Fitch as part of Bellator’s welterweight tournament, which also involves Neiman Gracie, Douglas Lima, and Michael Page. The event is streamed live on the DAZN digital platform.


Insomnia

Speaking of people who have failed drug tests in the past, Brock Lesnar was apparently tested again this week.

Bare-knuckle boxing returns, with Paulie Malignaggi vs. Artem Lobov and Chris Leben vs. Brennan Ward, on June 22.

Someone commented on this post and told Ultimate Fighter winner Sean O’Malley to stop smoking weed and do something with his life.

It sounds like Dustin Poirier is planning on facing Khabib Nurmagomedov in September.

Joe Rogan shared new research on this ancient hypercarnivore, whose remains have been sitting forgotten in a Kenyan museum drawer since 1980. It was part of a genus of mammals called hyainailourines, unrelated to modern mammals. It weighed at least 2,200 pounds, with a head the size of a rhino and teeth the size of bananas.

This is both hilarious and disturbing

Daniel Cormier called someone a f***ing idiot, which is unusual for him.

What does this guy tell himself after this?


Quick Hits


Slips, Rips, and Lethwei Clips

The utterly insane sport that is Lethwei.

Charles Oliveira does not get enough credit for his always-entertaining style. This up-elbow into a stranglehold was incredible, as good a finish as you will see in MMA.


Random Land

Very cool toy

Sleep well, Maniacs! A better tomorrow is always possible. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @Vorpality