When word came down late last week regarding the suspensions of Stephan Bonnar and Dave Herman, the fight community's reaction wasn't all that surprising. Fans were mainly shocked, outraged, and a little confused at the second steroids scandal of Bonnar's career. Meanwhile Herman, who already had one foot out the door anyway, more or less saw his recreational marijuana use swept under the rug, because hey, who really cares if "Pee-Wee" smoked a little weed weeks before getting armbarred by "Big Nog?" It obviously didn't make too much of a difference.
More interestingly, though, has been the reaction from Bonnar and Herman's Zuffa co-workers, mostly because it is decidedly flipped. Instead of some sort of feigned surprise, numerous fighters have met Bonnar's news with nonchalant and reluctant acceptance. Basically a subtle, ‘well, of course that happened.'
Likewise, Herman's test evokes far more incredulous reactions from fighters scoffing at archaic definitions of what "performance enhancing" really means. To that end, the folks over at FightHub recently asked a slew of pros for their thoughts on the subject, and here a few of the choice quotes:
Rampage Jackson: "Honestly I don't think a person who tests positive for marijuana should be penalized in an athletic sport, because he's already penalizing himself by taking the marijuana. It don't enhance your performance. It kind of dulls it, in my opinion. I don't know, I've never even trained [on] marijuana before. You know what I'm saying? I feel like marijuana is an herb, and it's from the earth, and as long as it's in its natural, I don't see nothing wrong with it. As long as you don't abuse it. That's my opinion, as long as you don't abuse it.
"If a fighter or athlete tests positive for marijuana, he already messing up his game. So don't penalize him."
Ed Soares: "I don't have any thoughts. That's unfortunate for him. I don't see how marijuana is an enhancing drug."
Travis Browne: "Whether [marijuana] is a performance enhancing drug or not, it's not socially acceptable. The mom and pops still aren't cool with it. And us, as athletes, have a responsibility to take this sport to the next level. When you have guys doing that, it kind of blows it for us."
Eddie Alvarez: "What's that, a recreational drug? It's all drugs. To each his own. Some people smoke weed. Some people do steroids. Some people drink alcohol. Who are we to judge, man?"
Tyrone Spong: "No, no. I'm from Amsterdam. So, next question."
The lesson here, ladies and gentlemen? As always, the guy from Amsterdam wins. Now lets get to some headlines.
6 MUST-READ STORIES
Alves taking year off. Due to lingering injuries and a recent chest surgery, UFC welterweight Thiago Alves has elected to take the rest of the year off and target a return date of June 2013. Buddhasport first reported the news, which was later confirmed by Alves via Twitter.
UFC releases 2013 FOX schedule. Four UFC on FOX events are scheduled for 2013, starting with Jan. 26, and stretching into April 20, July 27, and Nov. 14. January's show is slated to take place at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
Jones talks heavyweight title. Following recent musings about moving up to the heavyweight division, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones laid out his plans more firmly to USA Today: "I respect the champions and the top-ranked guys in the heavyweight division. I realize that me, at my current size, the odds would be majorly against me, so it would be about doing it right, doing it with a lot of passion, and having fun with the game. I'll do it right when that time comes, I'll give it my all, and I'll expect to be a winner."
Kizer explains Diaz drug test. In advance of the latest round of Nick Diaz's suspension appeal, Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer detailed Diaz's cleansing process and the back-and-forth he's had with Diaz's trainer, Cesar Gracie.
Johnson open to fighting Arlovski. Former welterweight Anthony Johnson told MMA Weekly he would be willing to climb up to heavyweight to fight fellow WSOF star Andrei Arlovski if the match was offered to him.
Silva to star in Seagal flick. UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva is expected to make a cameo in the next Hollywood project of occasional friend/mentor/hanger-on Steven Seagal, according to a report from Globo.
You've already read some of the reaction, but Rampage Jackson's response to Bonnar's story may be the most Rampage response ever: "I had no idea he did. I don't follow MMA and stuff like that, but I'm not surprised. ... He's the UFC's golden boy. I'm surprised they even let that news get out."
This is pretty much the perfect representation of the current TUF season.
Andrei Arlovski vs. Rumble Johnson? After watching this and this, I could dig it.
Chris Weidman was one of the few locals to ignore calls to evacuate and attempt to protect his home from Hurricane Sandy last week. But he never anticipated how frightening things could get.
World Series of Fighting may have stolen all of the headlines over the weekend, but lost in the shuffle was the return of former UFC contender Tyson Griffin. After year-long absence, Griffin met TUF 8 winner Efrain Esudero in the main event of RFA 4.
IN CASE YOU EVER WONDERED ABOUT THE BIG COUNTRY DIET
Roy Nelson (@roynelsonmma) November 4, 2012
DAMN RIGHT YOU DON'T
Got a juice machine yesterday, looks like the dock of the starship enterprise though... Instructions??? Never, I don't need instructions lol— michael (@bisping) November 5, 2012
MORE FROM THE PRES
@thetruthct I didnt think he looked that impressive. U see the dude he fought!? AJ's KO was NASTY!!!— Dana White (@danawhite) November 5, 2012
@pcmcconahey I don't think the NSAC would let him fight again— Dana White (@danawhite) November 5, 2012
Announced yesterday (Monday, November 5, 2012):
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day sees Paulo Filho's Psychiatrist evoke his inner B-Real for: How I Could Just Kill a Man
Maybe this makes me a bad person, but the moments that have always stuck in my head haven't been the one-punch knockouts or the back-and-forth wars of legend. No, for me the true fascination is in watching a man get systematically destroyed. I love a good fight, but nothing quite excites me like watching a man get driven to the point of thinking, "Oh my God. I've made a huge mistake. I AM GOING TO DIE AND THIS MAN IS GOING TO KILL ME." So, going along with that theme, here are the five most illegal public executions of 2012.
5: Frank Mir vs Junior Dos Santos
Thanks to Alistair Overeem's love of horsemeat, the main card of UFC 146 went through some rather drastic changes. Without The Reem injecting synthetic Godzilla urine into his prostate, we would have seen one of MMA's most highly expected striking matches ever. However, Ubereem's water bottle was confiscated during a press conference and was found to contain Bob Sapp's sweat, so despite his best attempts to knee the Nevada State Athletic Commission into submission (and let's be honest, it's a more even fight than any of Reem's "fights" in DREAM) the fight was called off, Overeem was suspended for the year, and is expected to revert to his natural form of Bruce Banner any day now.
But screw all that, you're here to read about murder porn, right? Right. And make no mistake whatsoever, that's exactly what this was. Let's look over this. Mir's a submission specialist with suspect wrestling. Dos Santos has proven incredibly difficult to take down. Mir has trouble taking punches, having been knocked into various states of unconsciousness by, among others, Brock "Honkey Kong" Lesnar, Shane Carwin, Brandon Vera, Marcio Cruz, Miguel Torres (Let's be honest, it would explain a lot), and Wes Sim's foot. Dos Santos' fist hits like a train full of murder. What did we think was gonna happen? Mir got punched so many times his chin was declared a disaster area by FEMA. There have been Insane Clown Posse concerts with less brain cells killed. When the ringside doctor asked how many fingers he was holding up, Mir replied, "Pineapple!" When it came out later that the NSAC had given Mir permission to snort Ben Grimm's skin shavings, it made it even more impressive: Junior Dos Santos hits so hard it's classified by Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada as a mutant power.
4: Tyrone Spong vs Travis Bartlett
Tyrone Spong is a legendary kickboxer. He's destroyed more livers than Jagermeister. (F*** you, I'm not typing those f***ing umlauts.) When he punches you, it takes eight seconds for your brain to say to itself, "f*** this noise, I quit." Travis Bartlett is... a dude. Yeah. That's about it. He's in awful shape for a fighter. He has the killer instinct of a dandelion. In short, Spong's MMA debut would have been more well-matched if it was against a drunken ferret. Spong delivered leg kicks that would make Jose Aldo cringe. Bartlett switched his stance, and Spong replied by ensuring that Bartlett will urinate blood for the forseeable future. Mercifully, Spong ended his night with a nasty straight right, and walked away, thinking he had to wait for a standing eight count. It didn't matter. Bartlett was still trying to figure out where the truck that hit his leg came from.
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.