Bellator signs undefeated women's jiu-jitsu champion Talita Nogueira
Undefeated women's featherweight prospect Talita Nogueira has inked an exclusive deal to join the Bellator fold, promotion officials announced on Thursday.
Nogueira (6-0), the 2013 Female Fighter of the Year at the Brazilian MMA Awards, was in discussions to join to the UFC in July but ultimately opted to sign with Bellator, bolstering the Viacom-led promotion's renewed commitment to women's MMA following moves to sign Marloes Coenen and Julia Budd under new president Scott Coker.
"Joining Bellator is like a dream come true," Nogueira said in a statement. "Since I began my MMA career I wanted to compete in a promotion like Bellator so I want to thank Scott and Rich (Chou) for bringing back women's MMA to Bellator and I promise I will train harder than anyone to put on entertaining fights for Bellator."
A decorated jiu-jitsu black belt, Nogueira has finished all six of her opponents inside the first two rounds since turning pro in 2009. The 28-year-old submitted Michelle Oliveira via first-round arm-triangle choke in her most recent outing last December.
"We are always excited when we can bring in a talent like Talita to the organization," said Coker. "This is just the beginning for women's MMA here at Bellator. We want to make a very serious commitment to this division, and this is just the start."
Herb Dean to referee Demetrious Johnson vs. Chris Cariaso at UFC 178
Veteran referee Herb Dean will be the third man in the cage when Demetrious Johnson attempts to defend his UFC flyweight title for a record fifth consecutive time against heavy underdog Chris Cariaso at UFC 178.
Dean was unanimously selected at Thursday's Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) meeting to oversee the championship contest, which is scheduled to take place September 27, 2014 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV and will headline UFC 178's pay-per-view main card.
Nevada mainstays Sal D'Amoto, Marcos Rosales, and Glenn Trowbridge will judge the bout.
NAC issues Robert Drysdale, Kevin Casey temporary suspensions for failed drug tests
The Nevada Athletic Commission on Thursday issued temporary suspensions to UFC fighters Robert Drysdale and Kevin Casey in light of the fighters' failed post-fight drug tests in July, both of which took place in Las Vegas, NV.
Drysdale, for the second time in his short UFC career, tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone following his two-minute submission of Keith Berish on July 6th at The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale.
An accomplished jiu-jitsu artist, Drysdale was previously denied a license by the NAC in mid-2013 after an out-of-competition drug test revealed a testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio of 19.4:1, well above the Nevada legal limit.
Casey, meanwhile, tested positive for the anabolic steroid drostanolone one day earlier after defeating Bubba Bush in just 61 seconds at UFC 175.
"I apologize to UFC and the NSAC for my irresponsible action," Casey stated following the failed test. "I made a bad decision trying to cut weight. We are competing in a cleaner sport."
Drysdale and Casey are expected to receive full disciplinary hearings at the next meeting of NAC officials. Both are likely to incur suspensions and fines, in addition to their wins being overturned into no contests as a result of their testing failures.
Wanderlei Silva's lawyer: 'It is abundantly clear [NAC] lacks jurisdiction' to discipline Silva
Wanderlei Silva filed for a motion to dismiss his Thursday disciplinary hearing in front of the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) on grounds that the commission lacked jurisdiction to discipline him for the random drug test he deliberately missed on May 24th in Las Vegas.
"It is abundantly clear that the NSAC lacks jurisdiction to take disciplinary action over Mr. Silva, a non-licensee, for not submitting to testing that the NSAC had no authority to order," Silva's lawyer, Ross Goodman, wrote in a motion addressed to Nevada Deputy Attorney General Christopher Eccles on August 15th and obtained by MMAFighting.com.
Silva fled from an independent representative who attempted to collect a random blood and urine sample from the fighter at his gym on May 24th ahead of his scheduled bout against Chael Sonnen at UFC 175, then repeatedly ignored subsequent requests to regain contact and collect the sample. Silva later explained to the commission that he fled the test because he was concerned it would show the presence of diuretics in his system, a banned substance Silva claims to have been taking solely to minimize the inflammation in his fractured right wrist.
Diuretics are classified as a banned substance largely due to their prevalence as a masking agent to prevent detection of other illegal substances in an athlete's system.
Goodman argued that the NAC lacked jurisdiction to "proceed with any type of disciplinary action against Mr. Silva because he was not licensed" at the time of the random test, and that "only someone licensed before the NSAC can be found to have violated NAC 467.850 (1), (2) and (5)," which states that "a licensee who violates any provision of this section is subject to disciplinary action by the Commission."
Per Goodman, "The NSAC tacitly recognizes their lack of jurisdiction to discipline Mr. Silva by removing any reference to licensee under the Jurisdiction section of the Complaint 1-4. A review of other Complaints for Disciplinary Action consistently relies on the unarmed combatants' status as a ‘licensee' as the jurisdictional basis for the NSAC's authority to seek discipline. Here, the NSAC cannot cure this jurisdictional defect by eliminating the phrase ‘licensee' and simply refer to Mr. Silva as an ‘unarmed combatant.
"Mr. Silva is not an unarmed combatant because he did not compete in UFC 175. ... The NSAC has never been vested with the authority to direct or order non-licensed persons to submit to a chemical test. Consequently, the NSAC lacks jurisdiction to seek disciplinary action against Mr. Silva, and any attempt to do so, clearly exceeds the NSAC's limited statutory jurisdiction."
Silva did not attend Thursday's NAC meeting in Las Vegas.
In light of Silva's absence and the motion filed by Goodman, commission officials elected to table Silva's dispute and disciplinary hearing for future consideration.
Wanderlei Silva skips Thursday’s NAC meeting, disciplinary action tabled for future consideration (updated)
Wanderlei Silva’s future is on the line at today’s Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) meeting in Las Vegas, but the UFC fighter won’t attend the meeting.
Silva spoke to MMAFighting.com and said he’s confident he will be licensed again in the state after running from a random drug test prior to a scheduled light heavyweight bout with Chael Sonnen earlier this year, and explained why he won’t be in Nevada for such an important meeting.
"I had already scheduled this tour in Canada," Silva said. "They told me (about the meeting) after I scheduled my commitments here, but my lawyer will be there and he will clarify everything."
Silva declined to reveal what his lawyer will say in his defense before the commission, but is optimistic.
"The commission will make a coherent decision and will apply the law," he said.
The former PRIDE champion is hoping to fight his 50th professional MMA bout by the end of the year, and he hopes to meet fellow PRIDE superstar Dan Henderson inside the Octagon.
"The three guys that I really want to fight are (Vitor) Belfort, who might be the next UFC champion, so he can’t fight (me), (Chael) Sonnen, who will have to wait for his suspension, and Dan Henderson," he said. "Henderson and I are 1-1 and it’s an interesting fight for any soccer stadium in Brazil.
"Leave a question to your readers: if this fight was in your city, would you watch it? Come on, that would sell out easily."
UPDATE: Silva's team has filed a motion to dismiss the disciplinary action against him in regards to the drug test he willingly dodged on May 24th. As a result, the Nevada Athletic Commission has tabled Silva's hearing for consideration at a later date.