UFC week in review

March 24, 2013

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UFC week in review



John Boldrick – It was a rare UFC-less week, as no fights took place. That doesn’t mean that nothing happened though, as it was a fairly busy week in terms of announcements and personal decisions. As always, a theme of the week formed, and unfortunately this weeks’ theme was drug tests. Here is your UFC week in review for the week of March 18-24.

Drug Tests

A slew of drug test results came back this week and to say they were damaging would be an understatement. After a loss to Brad Tavares at UFC on Fuel 8 in Japan, it has been revealed that Riki Fukuda (19-7 MMA, 2-3 UFC) has failed a test. The former DEEP champion middleweight tested positive for three banned stimulants. Fukuda attributes the stimulants to cough syrup.

It seemingly won’t matter the source of the positive test, as Fukuda has been released by the UFC. It’s an unfortunate, if expected result. He’s alternated wins and losses in all five of his UFC fights, with each going to a decision. It’s a shame to realize Fukuda’s record would be better, potentially saving his job, were it not for a controversial decision loss to Nick Ring in his promotional debut.

Fukuda wasn’t the only person to get a positive result after the fuel card. Bantamweight Alex Caceres (8-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC) has tested positive for marijuana metabolites. The test result sees the 24 year-olds win over Kyung Ho Kang has been changed to a no contest. That’s means that Caceres’ three fight win streak is no more. Bruce Leeroy has been suspended for six months.

The Fuel card wasn’t the only event to see a fighter get popped. Following his UFC 157 loss to Brendan Schaub, Lavar Johnson (17-7 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has failed his own test. In it, Johnson showed a T/E level consistent with that of steroid use. It has come out in the past few days that Johnson may have failed to disclose use of testosterone replacement therapy. Much like Fukuda, the UFC has released the former Strikeforce fighter.

UFC on Fuel 10- Fortaleza Ceara, Brazil- June8, 2013

Much like last week, a flurry of fights has been made for the UFC’s next trips to Brazil. Leading the way is true ultimate fighter finalist Daniel Sarafian’s search for a UFC victory. While he lost his last fight in Brazil, Sarafian (7-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will travel back to his homeland to take on UFC new comer Eddie Mendez (7-0-1 MMA). The fight will be the first in the octagon for Mendez, who was originally supposed to debut versus Nick Penner. A shoulder injury forced him out of that fight, but here he finally gets his UFC debut.

Another Ultimate Fighter Brazil alum finds his way onto the card, this time in the form of Godofredo Castro (9-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC). He takes on fellow Brazilian Felipe Arantas (14-4-1 MMA, 1-1-1 UFC). Castro looks to make it two in a row with a win here. The finalist of the Ultimate Fighter, Castro dropped the finale to Rony Jason, but bounced back with a split decision win over Milton Vieira. Arantas started his UFC career with a loss to Yuri Alcantara, but has since picked up a win over Antonio Carvalho and a draw last time out with Vieira last at UFC 147.

Finally, yet another Ultimate Fighter alum is returning to Brazil. World traveler Rodrigo Damm (10-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC) takes on one time UFC veteran Mizuto Hirota (14-6-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC). Damm will be looking for a win here, as he lost a split decision to Antonio Carvalho last time out. The same came be said for his opponent, as Hirota dropped a decision to Rani Yahya in his last fight.

UFC on FX 8- Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil- May 18, 2013

The Ultimate Fighter finale isn’t the only UFC card to see additions this week. Featherweight fighter Hacran Dias (21-1-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) makes his long awaited return to the UFC. Dias hasn’t fought since a UFC 147 win over Yuri Alcantara. He was scheduled to face Chad Mendes in December before injury put a stop to it. Here, he takes on Manny Gamburyan (12-7 MMA, 3-5 UFC).  Gamburyan last fight was a win over Michihiro Omigawa last August. It reversed the fortunes of Gamburyan, who had previously dropped his last three fights. Gamburyan was previously scheduled to meet Mendes at UFC 157.

Yuri Alcantara (27-4 MMA, 2-1 MMA) is headed back to the cage, as he looks to right the ship. Last time out, Alcantara seemingly TKO’ed Pedro Nobre. It didn’t stand and was changed to a no contest due to illegal blows to the back of the head. The NC puts Alcantara’s last UFC win at January of 2012. He faces off with Marcos Vinicus (20-4-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC). Despite winning his first UFC fight, Vinicus dropped a weight class and was KO’ed by Johnny Bedford. This fight could be do or die for both fighters.

Finally, a likely Facebook prelim fight has been added. Lucas Martins (12-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) makes his second octagon appearance as he takes on Jeremy Larsen (8-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC). Martins debuted for the promotion at the last FX event in Brazil, submitting to strikes at the hands of Edson Barboza. Larsen, a former Ultimate Fighter contestant, dropped his only UFC appearance to Joe Proctor at their finale. He hasn’t fought since June 2012.

UFC on FOX 7- San Jose, California- April 20, 2013

A trio of UFC 158 winners will get a quick turnaround. An injury has forced Francisco Rivera out of his UFC on FOX 7 fight with Hugo Viana (7-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC). A replacement has been found in the form of TJ Dillashaw (7-1 MAM, 3-1 UFC). Viana is perfect in the UFC, besting John Teixeira in his debut and knocking out Reuben Duran in his last fight. Dillashaw defeated Issei Tamura at UFC 158, extending his win streak to three. His only UFC loss is to flyweight contender John Dodson.

Fresh off a quick KO, Darren Elkins (16-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) is back.  He replaces the injured Clay Guida and now meets Chad Mendes (13-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) at next month’s UFC on FOX event. Elkins will look to make it six in a row against Mendes, who is just happy to have an opponent after a series of injuries to previous competitors.

An exciting Canadian also has a quick turnaround. A previously unknown heart condition has forced Dan Hardy to pull of his next fight with Matt Brown (16-11 MMA, 9-5 UFC). In steps replacement Jordan Mein (27-8 MMA, 1-0 UFC), fresh off a win and finish of Dan Miller. Mein looks to make it four in a row, while Brown tries to extend his streak to five. Last time out, Brown scored a KO of Mike Swick.

UFC 159- Newark, New Jersey- April 27, 2013

An injury has forced a change to a preliminary card matchup. Jimy Hettes has been forced off the card with MCL and ACL injuries, leaving opponent Steven Siler (21-10 MMA, 3-1 UFC) seemingly without a fight; but in steps former Strikeforce fighter Kurt Holobaugh (9-1 MMA). In Strikeforce, Holobaugh made his debut against Pat Healy, losing a decision but putting on a gutsy performance. He meets Siler, who dropped a decision to Darren Elkins in his last bout.

UFC on FOX 8

The UFC has announced a location and date for the upcoming UFC on FOX 8. The event is scheduled to take place on July 27, and will be held at the Key Arena in Seattle. It’s the second FOX event to be held in Seattle, after last year’s battle between Ben Henderson and Nate Diaz. Fighters from the area include Henderson and flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson.

 

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