A week with no UFC makes for a slow week indeed, but there were plenty of stories to emerge in the MMA world in the past seven days. Among them, Conor McGregor has yet to be tested by USADA this year, while Chael Sonnen has seen two battery charges against him dropped.
For that and more, read on!
PFL Regular Season Result Overturned Following Drug Test Failure
Klidson Abreu’s win over Renan Ferreira at PFL 5 in Atlanta, GA has been overturned to a No Contest.
The change comes as a result of a failed drug test.
On September 23, the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment commission communicated to Abreu that they had opted to “Indefinitely suspended your license until you can attend a commission meeting and present your case to the failed test.” MMA Junkie first reported the news, and provided a copy of the statement the commission sent to the fighter.
Abreu, a former UFC fighter, did not make the post-season. Ferreira did, but was eliminated by Ante Delija.
The league concludes its season this November.
Dana White Admits Chimaev vs. Diaz Would Not Have Been Good
Stating what pretty much everyone already knew, Dana White has gone on record to say that UFC 279’s original main event would not have been good.
“After you watch the fight, you realize Khamzat vs. Nate Diaz would have been f*cking – that wouldn’t have been good,” White said on The Action Junkeez Podcast this past week. “Khamzat, I know the fans got pissed at him for not making weight and everything else, but Jesus f*cking Christ. What he went out and did to Kevin Holland – did you see Kevin Holland post the picture the other day that his eyes were all red from the f*cking choke? I mean, holy sh*t.”
Well, better late than never.
Conor McGregor Not Tested by USADA in 2022 — And He’s the Only One
The entire UFC roster, barring fighters signed in the past couple of weeks, has been tested by USADA in 2022, with one notable exception: Conor McGregor.
TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter cross-referenced the names on USADA’s athlete test history database, which is publicly available, to confirm that the Irish star was the lone outlier not tested (the only other exception was Ricky Legere Jr., who competed on TUF 16 in 2012 and has never fought in the UFC, so he really shouldn’t count).
In the past, McGregor has been tested repeatedly without incident. Over the past year, however, he’s been rehabbing the leg he broke in his trilogy bout with Dustin Poirier. That could certainly explain the discrepancy, though other injured fighters have been tested. Realistically, the only time fighters aren’t tested is when they retire, or leave the promotion. Presumably, neither is the case here.
Melvin Manhoef Retires Following Bellator 285
As expected, MMA legend Melvin Manhoef retired following Bellator 285.
While the night didn’t go the way he’d hoped — Yoel Romero finished Manhoef with elbows in the third round — he got a thunderous round of applause from the audience in Dublin, Ireland after taking off his gloves and calling an end to his career.
"Today I think we have to hang up the gloves, after 28 years of fighting. Thanks for the support, you made my life great." Classy Melvin Manhoef lays down the gloves following #Bellator285
— Cageside Press (@Cagesidepress) September 23, 2022
Manhoef finishes his MMA career with a record of 32-16-1, 2NC including 29 wins by way of KO/TKO. Among the notable names the Dutch striker defeated, Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, Mark Hunt, and PRIDE legend/UFC Hall of Fame member Kazushi Sakuraba, a.k.a. “The Gracie Hunter.” He also shared the cage with the likes of Gegard Mousasi, Robbie Lawler, and twice faced Rafael Carvalho for the Bellator MMA middleweight title.
Luca Poclit’s Submission of Dante Schiro Was Something Else
Speaking of Bellator 285, the card-opener between Luca Poclit and Dante Schiro resulted in an absolutely wild finish. A modified arm-triangle choke announced as the “Lucanator” put Dante Schiro to sleep, it what was immediately being talked about as a Submission of the Year candidate.
Sub of the year contender right here. #Bellator285 pic.twitter.com/N0z2aYgKjF
— Cageside Press (@Cagesidepress) September 23, 2022
Chael Sonnen, Teflon Don?
Chael Sonnen has reportedly had two battery counts filed against him following a hotel altercation dropped.
According to a report by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the retired UFC/Bellator star and current analyst/podcast host now faces four battery counts in the ongoing case, down from six.
Prosecutors dropped a felony battery charge lodged against Sonnen back in March; on Wednesday, a judge dismissed two misdemeanor charges. The charges in question alleged that Sonnen had attacked a couple, unprovoked, at a Las Vegas-area Four Seasons hotel in December 2021.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Jake Merback stated that the prosecution had been unable to obtain statements the complainants in the case — who also filed a civil suit against Sonnen — made to a California TV station. Sonnen’s attorney has claimed the statements the couple made, including that the fighter was “uttering gibberish,” could be exonerating.
The remaining charges are related to accusations that Sonnen assaulted several other hotel guests who came to the couple’s aid.