Specific fighters may be working with the UFC and USADA to secretly avoid testing, a former champ is reportedly on his way back to training, and Michael Bisping can’t catch a break. Huh?
Finding the proper response to much of the news finding its way into our social media feeds is becoming a tougher task every day. Nothing is surprising, and there’s always more to the story. Leaving us with one reply: “huh?”.
Last week, Bloody Elbow published an article highlighting a loophole that the UFC and USADA could be using to help certain fighters secretly avoid testing. Also, Daniel Cormier revealed Cain Velasquez is back in training, while Michael Bisping took another loss, but this time it was a financial one.
The reason “huh?”, in its various forms, is such a quality reply is simple. The word is as versatile as a response gets, and while it may require some explanation, “huh?” is sometimes the only way to react to the news of today. Defined by Merriam-Webster as an interjection that’s “used to express surprise, disbelief, or confusion, or as an inquiry inviting affirmative reply”, “huh” or “huh?” can mean a lot of different things.
Despite some of the follies of human evolution (see: Pee tainting ghosts), the development and growth of “huh” is something we should embrace. To be the change we want to see in the world, here are a few MMA stories last week that made us go “huh?”.
Loophole may let UFC fighters secretly avoid USADA testing
Potentially utilizing a loophole regarding retirements, fighters working for the UFC could avoid USADA testing without anyone knowing. Huh?
Iain Kidd of Bloody Elbow is one of MMA’s premier sources for information and news regarding drug testing. Recently, Kidd was doing research on Ronda Rousey’s relations with USADA since her loss to Amanda Nunes at UFC 207. While doing that, he found out some interesting info regarding retirements and exemptions.
Utilizing the fact that which athletes are or are not in the registered testing pool isn’t public information, the UFC can (and has) mislead the public about who is being tested and how often.
“…there’s nothing stopping the UFC from letting a chosen athlete “retire” to avoid testing, lying to the press about them being retired, then allowing them to “un-retire” just before a fight to avoid months of testing. Their opponent, the media, and the public would have no way of knowing.” – via Bloody Elbow
Kidd goes into much further detail in his great piece for Bloody Elbow, which we highly recommend reading. Of course, there’s no way to prove whether or not this is happening or has happened in the past. But, as it stands, this could happen. And that’s a problem.
It’s weird that USADA is willing and able to provide a list of fighters who have been tested, which they update each week. Why a list of fighters currently in the registered testing pool isn’t made public and updated in the same fashion remains a mystery.
Cain Velasquez is (kinda/maybe/sorta) back!
According to teammate Daniel Cormier, former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez is back in training and working toward a return to the Octagon. Huh.
Cormier featured on last week’s episode of The MMA Hour, giving high praise to his teammate. The UFC light heavyweight champ also took time to post some pics of the duo to his Instagram page.
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Getting prepared for something is amazing but anytime @officialcainvelasquez is in the training room you know training goes to another level. So good to have this dude back, he’s played such a huge part in my journey it’s hard when he’s gone. I know I’m gonna be ready for Volkan. Let’s go!! #ufc220 #weareaka #whereisluke(@lukerockhold ) @americanethanol @metropcs @monsterenergy @7eleven
This is good news, no matter how it’s framed. Velasquez is a fan favorite, and one of the best heavyweights in UFC history. Given the current landscape of the division, we could use a name and talent like Velasquez back in the mix.
“…I believe that he has finally gotten himself in a position where his body is going to be able to match his work ethic, his mind, his ferociousness, his mentality, everything, and allow him to go on a run — a long, sustained run — to kinda finish out his career.” – Daniel Cormier via MMA Fighting
As great as all of this sounds, we’re not getting our hopes up. We haven’t seen Velasquez compete since his dominant victory over Travis Browne at UFC 200. After that, he was removed from UFC 207, and has been on the shelf ever since.
When it comes to “The Return of Cain”, we’ll believe it when he’s actually walking out to the Octagon. Even then, we’ll probably have to rub our eyes to make sure it’s actually happening.
Michael Bisping is having a rough few months, and things just got worse
Michael Bisping lost his UFC middleweight title to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 217. Then, he got knocked-out by Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Shanghai. Last week, he received some more bad news. Huh?
Bisping was ordered to pay his former agent more than $400,000 due to unpaid comissions from 2005-2011. The nearly two-week trial sounds like it was a bit of a mess, according to the report from the Manchester Evening News.
“The judge stated that Bisping’s actions had ‘fallen well short of the standard that the court is entitled to expect,’ criticizing Bisping for ‘tailoring and trimming his evidence to suit his case,’ and calling portions of the fighter’s evidence ‘incredible and untrue.'” – via MMA Fighting
This doesn’t sound altogether different than the Bisping we’ve seen promoting fights throughout his career. As funny as it may be to those of us who aren’t involved, it’s a damper on what could’ve been a huge year for “The Count”.
Going into UFC 217, Bisping was the 185-pound champion and looking forward to the biggest payday of his career. Now, just before Christmas, he’s lost back-to-back bouts for the first time in his career and is out nearly half-a-million dollars. Oof.
Hopefully things turn around for the legendary fighter. Bisping aims to have his retirement bout in London early next year.
The return of Cain Velasquez could be coming sooner rather than later. But, we’ll believe it when we see it. What we can’t see, for some reason, is the list of UFC athletes currently in the USADA registered testing pool. That creates a potential loophole for fighters to secretly avoid testing. That’s not good. Just like losing a court case for more than $400,000 isn’t good, just ask Michael Bisping.
Huh? for the road
Meanwhile, at Fight Nights Global pic.twitter.com/6YECGmBCO9
— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) December 16, 2017