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7/22/16: Top Five Stories of the Week
In our regular Friday feature, we list out the most newsworthy stories/articles from the past week in MMA.
5. USADA suspends Chad Mendes two years, upends two other scheduled fights: USADA had a busy week. While they had one significant failure announced (see No. 1 on this list), they administered final judgment on Chad Mendes’ situation following adjudication, announcing a two-year sanction after he tested positive for a growth hormone-inducing peptide. Additionally, welterweight fighters Emil Weber Meek and George Sullivan found themselves getting pulled from scheduled fights due to “potential” compliance issues with the USADA policy.
4. Michael Page breaks “Cyborg” Santos’ skull with flying knee: In what may be 2016’s “Knockout of the Year,” Bellator’s Michael “Venom” Page destroyed the face of Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos at Bellator 158 in London. The sound of the blow was sickening as it happened, and it was only made worse when the extent of damage was revealed as multiple skull fractures in Santos’ forehead. For his part, Santos has downplayed the seriousness of the injury, and vows to be back by as soon as the end of this year.
3. Carlos Condit vs. Demian Maia moved to UFC on Fox 21 main event: A highly entertaining welterweight contender bout between Carlos Condit and Demian Maia will now get five rounds instead of three, with the UFC shifting it from UFC 202 to the UFC on Fox 21 event a week later in Vancouver. It’s Condit’s first fight back after his questionable decision loss to Robbie Lawler in the “Fight of the Year” front-runner in January, while Maia hopes to take another step towards his own shot at the UFC Welterweight Championship.
2. Jon Jones’ drug test failure revealed to be for two estrogen blockers: The Jon Jones saga continued this week, as the Nevada Athletic Commission revealed the drugs for which he tested positive in his out of competition test from USADA. The two different estrogen blockers are commonly used as substances to cycle off a steroid regimen, which Jones’ team will argue helps his case in a tainted supplement defense as he was tested in the months leading up to the failed test, suggesting he should have tested positive for steroids during that time if he was indeed cycling off in June. For now, Jones faces discipline from both USADA and the NAC.
1. Brock Lesnar fails not one, but two drug tests out of UFC 200; Mark Hunt demands satisfaction: In a USADA failure that came as much as a surprise as it didn’t, Brock Lesnar’s triumphant return to MMA will end before it began. Lesnar was popped for the same drug both in an out of competition test from June 28 before UFC 200 and on fight night itself. It’s been reported that he tested positive for one of the same anti-estrogen drugs as Jon Jones, and if confirmed he’s facing a two year sanction from MMA. Mark Hunt is asking for Lesnar’s entire fight purse or his UFC release because of this failure, neither of which are likely to be granted. As for Lesnar’s other endeavors, the WWE is treating the USADA findings as if they haven’t happened at all.
[Photo (c) Joshua Dahl via USA Today Sports]
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