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  • UFC 177 medical suspensions: Joe Soto potentially out six months with fractured hand

    By surviving nearly five rounds with the champion despite having little more than a day to prepare, bantamweight newcomer Joe Soto made quite an impression on fight fans at UFC 177. Unfortunately, though, it may be his last one for a while, as Soto's 180-day suspension led the California State Athletic Commission's UFC 177 post-fight medical suspension report.

    Soto, a UFC rookie who picked his spots and, at times, gave as good as he got before succumbing to a fifth-round TKO loss at the hands of champ T.J. Dillashaw, could now be sidelined for upwards of half a year after suffering a possible fracture in his right hand, as well as a concurrent 60-day suspension due to a laceration on his nose. Soto will also be required to undergo a precautionary ophthalmology exam before being allowed to return to competition.

    Aside from Soto, five other fighters received extended post-fight suspensions due to injuries sustained at UFC 177, the most notable of whom was Danny Castillo. The Team Alpha Male veteran, who lost a contentious split decision to Tony Ferguson in Saturday night's co-main event, may be required to sit out for 180 days as well due to a potential fracture in his right thumb.

    UFC 177 took place August 30, 2014 at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. The complete post-fight medical suspension report can be seen below.

    • Joe Soto: suspended 180 days, no contact 180 days due to potential right hand fracture; suspended 60 days, no contact 60 days due to nose laceration; can return early pending physician clearance; regardless suspended 45 days, no contact 30 days, requires ophthalmology exam for precautionary reasons
    • Danny Castillo: suspended 180 days; no contact 180 days due to potential right thumb fracture, can return early pending physician clearance
    • Tony Ferguson: suspended 60 days; no contact 60 days due to right eyebrow laceration, can return early pending physician clearance
    • Shayna Baszler: suspended 45 days; no contact 30 days
    • Ramsey Nijem: suspended 45 days; no contact 30 days
    • Damon Jackson: suspended 45 days; no contact 30 days, required to undergo neurological exam for precautionary reasons
    • Ruan Potts: suspended 45 days; no contact 30 days
    • Cain Carrizosa: suspended 45 days; no contact 30 days


  • UFC 177 salaries: T.J. Dillashaw pockets $100,000 for first title defense over Joe Soto

    UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw led the reported payroll for UFC 177, pocketing $100,000 for his fifth-round TKO victory -- and first successful title defense -- over 24-hour notice replacement Joe Soto, according to figures released by the California State Athletic Commission.

    Dillashaw was initially expected to fight former champion Renan Barao in the pay-per-view's main event, however complications cutting weight led to Barao's hospitalization as well as his last-second removal from the card. UFC newcomer Joe Soto stepped up to fill Barao's shoes on one day's notice, and because his willingness to accept the fight, Soto earned $20,000 for his losing efforts -- a salary that more than doubles the usual $8,000 show/win split for promotional rookies.

    According to UFC President Dana White, Barao received no earnings for his failure to make weight and fight on the card.

    Veteran middleweight Derek Brunson led the remainder of the night's salary list, taking home $44,000 for his undercard victory over Lorenz Larkin ($28,000), which aired live on FOX Sports 1.

    UFC 177 took place August 30, 2014 at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California.

    As always, the entire UFC 177 payroll can be seen below, although these figures do not represent a fighter's total earnings, as sponsorship money and discretionary post-fight bonuses are not publicly disclosed.

    Additionally, Dillashaw, Carlos Diego Ferreira, Ramsey Nijem, and Yancy Medeiros all earned $50,000 post-fight bonuses for their work, while Scott Jorgensen and Anthony Birchak were both awarded their show/win purses as a result of last-second card changes.

    Main Card (Pay-per-view)
    T.J. Dillashaw ($50,000 + $50,000 = $100,000) def. Joe Soto ($20,000)
    Tony Ferguson ($20,000 + $20,000 = $40,000) def. Danny Castillo ($36,000)
    Bethe Correia ($12,000 + $12,000 = $24,000) def. Shayna Baszler ($8,000)
    Carlos Diego Ferreira ($10,000 + $10,000 = $20,000) def. Ramsey Nijem ($18,000)
    Yancy Medeiros ($12,000 + $12,000 = $24,000) def. Damon Jackson ($8,000)

    Preliminary Card (FOX Sports 1)
    Derek Brunson ($22,000 + $22,000 = $44,000) def. Lorenz Larkin ($28,000)
    Anthony Hamilton ($8,000 + $8,000 = $16,000) def. Ruan Potts ($10,000)
    Chris Wade ($8,000 + $8,000 = $16,000) def. Cain Carrizosa ($8,000)



  • Ben Askren's reply to UFC: 'I have a hard time with how Dana White treats people'

    UFC president Dana White turned heads in Sacramento on Saturday night by declaring he wouldn't mind seeing Ben Askren in the UFC some day.

    Checking in from the other side of the world, Askren is less than impressed.

    "I have a hard time with how Dana White treats people," Askren said.

    Askren fought in Dubai over the weekend, where he finished Nobutatsu Suzuki in 1:24 to become the OneFC welterweight champion. That raised the former Bellator champ's record to 14-0.

    He's fighting in OneFC in large part because both the UFC and Bellator spurned him when he became a free agent last year. But with his stock rising, Asken went on The MMA Hour and proclaimed he's in no rush to head to the UFC any time soon, regardless of whether the company's president is changing his tune.

    "It's kind of like all of us had that time in high school when we were bullied by the cool group of kids," Askren said. "Then we did something, then the cool group said ‘oh my god, can you be part of our group?' Then some of us who didn't have low self esteem said 'well, you didn't want me the first time, I'm alright.' Then some other people, they run, ‘the cool kids want to hang out with me? Yes, please.' I think it's kind of one of those things."

    As an example of what Askren doesn't like about White's demeanor, he used the public shaming of Renan Barao after having to drop out of his fight with T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 177.

    "Even last weekend, Barao, did he make a misake? Yeah, he blew it," said Askren. "He freakin' blew it, big time. He probably shouldn't be at 135 pounds. But the way Dana just threw him under the bus like he was a piece of garbage. Where was some human decency there? I think we've seen it time after time with Dana. And so I think at the end of the day he cares about his bottom line a lot and he doesn't care enough about the athletes."

    About those athletes: Askren, whom White said wasn't good enough to compete in the UFC during Askren's free agency period, clearly isn't all that impressed with the UFC's talent pool.

    "Him saying I'm not good enough for the UFC? I've got more skills in my pinky finger than half the damn guys in the UFC," Askren said. "Have you seen some of these guys fighting lately? It's ridiculous. Having the letters UFC behind my name is not the be-all, end-all it is for someone. Some people think once they get into the UFC, that's it. I think with having more large organizations in the word, it's going to be great for the fighters, because the right now the fighters are being underpaid greatly, in my opinion, and I was one who was able to step outside that box and go find a great paycheck somewhere else."

    Later, Askren added "The UFC has greatly expanded their schedule and they gotta they have to provide their talent for all these cards they have going on. You know and I know, even UFC 177, which was a numbered UFC, provided some pretty damn bad talent."

    Saturday, White termed much of Askren's talk during their beef as "stupid s--," but Askren feel recent developments have backed up his own words.

    "Obviously, you know, he says I said a lot stupid s--," Askren said. "I said true s--. If we go all the way back to the start, Ariel, when I made the comment that he was telling lies about the drug testing issue, all I said was, it can't be done, it is done at the Olympic level. And now we're seeing in 2014, they're actually taking those measures to do what I said in 2012, they're doing in 2014, and they're getting done because they realize how rampant performance enhancing drugs are in our sport."

    Still, just like White used the fact he was able to do business with nemesis, Tito Ortiz, as an example that he could do business with anyone, Askren likewise isn't entirely slamming the door on fighting in the UFC some day. "I'm not going to grovel," Askren said. "I'm not going to be a kiss-up. I think he started with the personal attacks before I did. ... If he wanted to meet face to face and talk, we could settle the beef, I'd be open to that."



  • John McCarthy on Benson Henderson stoppage: 'I'd make the exact same decision 100 times'

    Big John McCarthy last officiated a UFC bout in Nevada in 2007, a long time for one of MMA’s most revered referees to stay out of the "fight capital of the world."

    That will all change on Sept. 27, when McCarthy will join the rotation of officials at UFC 178 at the MGM Grand. Yahoo’s Kevin Iole reported that McCarthy was coming back in mid-August. McCarthy had been vocal about his distaste for the Nevada Athletic Commission and its former head, Keith Kizer. But with a new regime in place, and plenty of changes underfoot, McCarthy likes the new direction of things.

    On Monday, the tenured referee appeared on The MMA Hour and talked about returning to Vegas.

    "For me it’s very nice that they even considered me," he told Ariel Helwani. "I just look at it as it’s a great opportunity to go work with the best fighters there are in the world, fighting in a place that is the fight capital of the world, and I’m just lucky that I got this opportunity again."

    Asked how fences were mended, or how he ended up on UFC 178, McCarthy said that Iole actually knew about it before he did.

    "Eventually I received a call from the Nevada State Athletic Commission and they asked me if I would want to come back," he said. "I said absolutely, I’d love to, and they said well we’re going to make that happen. So I filled out another application and sent that in, and now I’m going to be licensed in Nevada and working there occasionally -- I can’t say how much -- but occasionally I’ll be working there and hopefully do a good job for them."

    In the last year, the NAC has made some wholesale changes to how they do business by bringing greater scrutiny on PED use. In February, the commission abruptly banned therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), which had long served as a controversy in the sport.

    And under new Executive Director Bob Bennett, the commission has intensified its actions in weeding out cheaters, with fighters such as Chael Sonnen (two-year suspension) and Wanderlei Silva (punishment pending for dodging a random drug test).

    When McCarthy was asked about the new direction of the NAC, he said he likes what he’s seeing.

    "I can only say that everything I’ve seen of what is occurring there is all proactive and very good for the sport," he said. "We need athletic commissions to be proactive. You got a lot of fighters that are coming out and talking about drug issues and things like that. And are there guys out there cheating? There are. And that’s going to be the way it is, and that’s okay, but it is definitely important than an athletic commission is doing everything within its power to keep that to as much a minimum -- or to catch the people as they’re trying to do it -- as much as possible.

    "They’re going after this, they’re doing random tests. All of that is fantastic because it keeps people in check. It’s not going to keep everyone, but a lot of people are going to stop doing things that they shouldn’t be doing because they realize this could take my livelihood away. They can keep me from fighting."

    Though he hasn’t been in Vegas to referee a UFC for a long time, McCarthy was in Tulsa, Oklahoma a couple of weeks back at UFC Fight Night 49. In the main event, Rafael dos Anjos stopped Benson Henderson in somewhat controversial fashion.

    Though it appeared that Henderson was knocked out in a flash moment from a knee and subsequent left hand, by the time McCarthy jumped in to stop if Henderson was recovering. That brought on some scrutiny from fans, who thought the fight was stopped prematurely.

    When asked about it on the show, McCarthy said he’d do exactly the same way if it happened again.

    "This is what it comes down to, a referee is not there to make the fans happy," he said. "I am there for the safety of the fighter. It all comes down to…there’s many things we have to live with in our life, but when a fighter goes unconscious in a fight, and you’re in a position where you see it, and you realize he’s unconscious, there are times when a fighter can hit the ground or be hit again and wake back up. But if you’ve come in to stop the fight, the fight’s over and you’re doing it for the safety of the fighter. Because you can’t predict the future. And to sit there and say, well you can wait and let that person get hit and see if they come back…and then stop it, that’s not what you do for the safety of the fighter. You’ve to make a decision.

    "Benson got hit with several things that hurt him, and when Benson is just a tough fighter. When he got hit with a left/right hand that hurt him, and he stood his ground and started firing back, and then he got hurt with a knee that ended up putting him down and when he tried to get up he got hit with the left hand, and when he got hit with the left hand, he went unconscious. I saw him go unconscious, and that was the reason the fight came to an end and I would make the exact same decision 100 times.

    "It’s the right thing to do, even though fans at times look at it and go, ‘no, you should have let it go.’ As a fan, I understand what they want, but you can’t have everything. And when you have a fighter in that position, we have fighters that get damaged, based upon things that happen after they’re unable to defend themselves. And as the referee, there’s no referee that wants to be responsible for that. And I’m not going to let that happen."

    McCarthy said he wasn’t sure yet which fights he’d be refereeing at UFC 178, which has a flyweight championship bout between Chris Cariaso and Demetrious Johnson in the main event.



  • Countdown to Curran vs. Pitbull 2

    On Friday, Sept.5, Bellator returns to Spike TV with Bellator 123, which is headlined by a featherweight title bout between champion Pat Curran and Patricio Freire. Watch 'Countdown to Curran vs. Pitbull 2' as their previous bout at Bellator 85 is reviewed and their upcoming fight is previewed. The rest of the main card is previewed as well, which features Cheick Kongo, Bobby Lashley and Muhammed Lawal.







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