There have been countless positive drug tests for marijuana in MMA since the year began, but none led to as polarizing of an outcome as Pat Healy's failed test at UFC 159. In addition to having his career-altering win over Jim Miller overturned into a no contest, Healy lost at least $130,000 in post-fight UFC bonuses due to his mistake.
The decision to rescind nearly 80-percent of Healy's reported earnings sparked controversy across the MMA community, but at Thursday's UFC 160 pre-fight scrum, UFC President Dana White vehemently defended the way in which the situation was handled.
"There are f--king rules," White said. "Whether it's TRT, didn't get an exemption, whether it's steroids, diuretics, whether it's pain pills, there's things that are banned substances. And whether you like it or not, marijuana is one of them. And somebody said, ‘they took 90-percent of his purse.' We didn't take f--king zero from his purse. We took 100-percent of the bonus that he wasn't eligible for."
An increasingly animated White went on to explain his point.
"It's f--king illegal. You can't do it, it's a banned substance. Should it be? I don't necessary think so. I don't think it's performance [enhancing]," he declared, his voice rising. " [But] it doesn't give a s--t what I think! It doesn't matter! It's a banned substance. Every fighter knows that you go in, and you use marijuana, and you get caught, you're busted. Now the commission's going to come in -- they took that fight away from him -- and he's going to get fined by the commission. He wasn't eligible for that bonus.
"I know nobody likes Bryan Caraway, right?" White continued. "‘Bryan Caraway, they don't like him. Boo, Bryan Caraway.' Bryan Caraway followed the rules. He had a submission that night, and he followed the rules. He absolutely, 100-percent deserves that bonus. What would it say if I gave that kid $130,000 for testing positive for marijuana and the guy who followed the rules doesn't get it?! How does that make sense?"
White followed by pointing out that the UFC is actively working to remove marijuana from the banned substances list, acknowledging that it has become a somewhat antiquated and overblown rule. Nonetheless, at least for the time being, it remains the rule, and fighters are expecting to follow it.
"There definitely a culture everywhere now. I would have to say, and this is just my opinion from where I grew up, more people are smoking weed now than ever in the history of, that I can remember," White said in closing.
"Nothing's fair. Life isn't fair. Smoke a bunch of weed at f--king work. See what happens to you. No matter where you work, I don't care where you work. Alright? Unless you work at a place that's selling weed, you're going to get in big f--king trouble for smoking it."
6 MUST-READ STORIES
Hunt doing just fine. UFC heavyweight contender Mark Hunt explained the meaning of his bleached blonde hair, agreed that he deserves a title shot if he wins over the weekend, and said that despite the many complications securing a visa to travel to America, he's feeling just fine.
Jacare's next move. According to UFC President Dana White, a middleweight bout between former Strikeforce champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza and Yushin Okami "will happen." No timetable has been set for the match-up.
Leites is back. Former middleweight title challenger Thales Leites has re-signed with the UFC, according to a report from SporTV. The Brazilian grappling ace racked up a 6-1 record since exiting the UFC in 2009, finishing four of those victories via submission.
Belfort could be next. Fresh off his dazzling victory over Luke Rockhold, the old lion, Vitor Belfort, could very well fight the winner of Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman, according to UFC President Dana White. White added that "the location of Belfort's next bout would not be influenced by Belfort's use of testosterone replacement therapy."
UFC 160 referee assignments. Veteran referee Mario Yamasaki will oversee the main event of UFC 160, which features a rematch between UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio 'Bigfoot' Silva.
Jones update. Asked about a timetable for Jon Jones' return from toe injury, UFC President Dana White revealed: "He says he feels great, the toe's healing good, but the problem is that ligament. That ligament popped. Anytime you tear a ligament, blood flow helps repair the thing and heal, and you don't get a lot of blood flow to the toe. Who knows? This thing could be six weeks, it could be six months. It's a pain in the ass, man. Always some little, crazy thing."
Also, for the folks that called White out on the whole 15 pull-ups thing:
Bigfoot's Racetrack Challenge sounds like a Mario Kart 64 track, right? I know I'm not crazy.
Three reasons why 'Bigfoot' doesn't stand a chance: Agree or disagree?
A complete explanation of Judo in 30 seconds. This is awesome.
YouTube user Bob Clark summed this one up best: "I've never had the urge to click on Urijah's chin until now."
CERRONE vs NOONS!!! twitter.com/danawhite/stat…— Dana White (@danawhite) May 23, 2013
MAYNARD vs GRANT!!! twitter.com/danawhite/stat…— Dana White (@danawhite) May 23, 2013
TEIXEIRA vs TE HUNA!!! twitter.com/danawhite/stat…— Dana White (@danawhite) May 23, 2013
DOS SANTOS vs HUNT!!! twitter.com/danawhite/stat…— Dana White (@danawhite) May 23, 2013
VELASQUEZ vs SILVA!!! twitter.com/danawhite/stat…— Dana White (@danawhite) May 23, 2013
HE'S SERIOUS, FOLKS
Not sure if @danawhite washout comment was directed towards myself, but I'm speaking for current fighters so any upside would not be for me— John Cholish (@JohnCholish) May 23, 2013
Would be nice if the UFC could formulate an actual intelligent response that I think would address fighters concerns— John Cholish (@JohnCholish) May 23, 2013
. @danawhite I was speaking out in support of how the majority of fighters feel. If you'd like to question my intelligence I'm in Vegas— John Cholish (@JohnCholish) May 23, 2013
. @danawhite and would happy to sit down and discuss the matter with you.I think it's in the best interest of your fighters— John Cholish (@JohnCholish) May 23, 2013
To update I just received my fight purse payment of $2,014 from Zuffa. I will be donating 100% of it to charity-Oklahoma Tornado Victims— John Cholish (@JohnCholish) May 23, 2013
RIPPED AND READY
UFC Boston aug 17 VS Travis Brown -Here we come! instagram.com/p/Zp56-TxQ2k/— Alistair Overeem (@Alistairovereem) May 23, 2013
Some motherfuckers simply deserve a beatdown— Chatri Sityodtong (@YODCHATRI) May 23, 2013
Don't get me wrong.I don't believe in violence as a way to solve problems.— Chatri Sityodtong (@YODCHATRI) May 23, 2013
I believe that violence should be the last resort in any situation.In my opinion, communication is the best way to solve any problem.— Chatri Sityodtong (@YODCHATRI) May 23, 2013
I respect people who flip me the bird and kick me in the balls more than I do people who smile in my face and talk smack behind my back.— Chatri Sityodtong (@YODCHATRI) May 23, 2013
TWO OF THE GREATS
WELCOME TO THE DARK SIDE
I like dogs. Is this how Twitter works?— Greg Jackson (@GJfightmaster) May 23, 2013
I have many leather-bound books, and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.#forreal— Greg Jackson (@GJfightmaster) May 23, 2013
Announced yesterday (Thursday, May 23, 2013):
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes from mjanecek, who points out that: Bigfoot puts "Original" UFC Belt on Line against Velasquez in Battle over 21 Lineal Titles
When Bigfoot rematches with Velasquez on Saturday night, the current UFC title will not be the only thing on the line. The original UFC title, which was awarded the night Mark Coleman defeated Dan Severn at UFC 12 in 1997 and eventually left with Randy Couture when he went to Japan, will finally be unified with the current UFC strap owned by Cain Velasquez. In lineal terms, the HW title remains the only belt in the UFC that is not owned by the current UFC champion.
To add to the excitement, besides the original UFC belt, there will be 20 other lineal titles on the line! The winner of this fight will rise to 2nd on the Lineal Title Leaderboard (look to bottom of post), just below Ben Henderson and his 25 titles. The winner will also boast an impressive 80% Unification rate of all major MMA Heavyweight titles. The 5 Major titles that remain to be unified after Saturday's contest are:
1. Bellator MMA - Alexander Volkov (or Cole Konrad if he comes out of retirement)
2. M-1 Challenge - Konstantin Gluhov
3. Legacy FC - Derrick Lewis
4. UCMMA - Roy Nelson
5. WEC - Jon Jones (If you allow non-HW bouts, otherwise the title dead ends when Mike Whitehead retired)
Below is a list of all the Heavyweight titles that are at stake Saturday night and how they arrived at their current owners:
History: Coleman → Smith → Couture → Inoue → Kerr → Fujita → Coleman → Big Nog → Fedor → Werdum → Overeem → Bigfoot
Alternate History from UFC 1: Gracie → Sakuraba → Vovchanchyn → Coleman → Big Nog → Fedor → Werdum → Overeem → Bigfoot
2. Pride FC
History: Big Nog → Fedor → Werdum → Overeem → Bigfoot
3. WEC - Super Heavyweight
History: Waterman → Cro Cop → Randleman → Fedor → Werdum → Overeem → Bigfoot
History: Overeem → Bigfoot
History: Big Country → Arlovski → Fedor → Werdum → Overeem → Bigfoot
History: Bigfoot → Werdum → Overeem → Bigfoot
History: Overeem → Bigfoot
8. Gladiator Challenge
History: Lambert → Sylvia → Mir → Cruz → Monson → Sylvia → Couture → Lesnar → Velasquez → Dos Santos → Velasquez
History: Fedor → Werdum → Overeem → Bigfoot
10. IronHeart Crown
History: Godsey → Hoffman → Buentello → Arlovski → Sylvia → Couture → Lesnar → Valasquez → Dos Santos → Velasquez
11. King of the Cage - Heavyweight
History: Hoffman → Barnett → Cro Cop → Fedor → Werdum → Overeem → Bigfoot
12. King of the Cage - Super Heavyweight
History: Bobish → Ambriz → Barnett → Cro Cop → Fedor → Werdum → Overeem → Bigfoot
13. Cage Warrior
History: Thomas → Foki → Perosh → Monson → Sylvia → Couture → Lesnar → Velasquez → Dos Santos → Velasquez
14. Cage Fury
History: Marrero → Gonzaga → Couture → Lesnar → Valasquez → Dos Santos → Velasquez
15. Cage Rage - British Version
History: Tedoradze → Claas Vieira → Nastula → Barnett → Big Nog → Mir → Lesnar → Velasquez → Dos Santos → Velasquez
16. Pancrase - Super Heavyweight
History: Kosaka → Fedor → Werdum → Overeem → Bigfoot
17. Pancrase - Heavyweight
History: Takahashi → Barnett → Cro Cop → Fedor → Werdum → Overeem → Bigfoot
18. M-1 Challenge - Inaugural Open-weight Tournament
History: Schrijber → Yvel → Schrijber → Avetisyan → Duarte → Schrijber → Schilt → Barnett → Cro Cop → Fedor → Werdum → Overeem → Bigfoot
19. Icon Sport
History: Cabbage → Sylvia → Mir → Cruz → Monson → Sylvia → Couture → Lesnar → Velasquez → Dos Santos → Velasquez
History: Alvarez → Cabbage → Arlovski → Sylvia → Couture → Lesnar → Velasquez → Dos Santos → Velasquez
21. Rings - Open-weight Tournament
History: Tamura → Bitsadze → Tamura → Sobral → Henderson → Silva → Hunt → Barnett → Cro Cop → Gonzaga → Couture → Lesnar → Velasquez → Dos Santos → Velasquez
- In order to keep these titles in their original weight class, only bouts contested at Heavyweight or above have been included.
- The original King of Pancrase Open-weight title dead ends at Bas Rutten due to retirement from MMA
- The Icon Sport title actually dates back to when the promotion was known as Superbrawl
- The Ironheart Crown title is the second iteration. The first dead ends due to a change in weight class
Lineal Title Leaderboard:
1. Benson Henderson (25 titles) 83% Unification
2. Anderson Silva (18 titles) 60% Unification
3. GSP (17 titles) 61% Unification
4. Jon Jones (14 titles) 65% Unification
5. Bigfoot Silva (13 titles) 50% Unification
6. Cain Velasquez (8 titles) 31% Unification
7. Jose Aldo (6 titles) 29% Unification
8. Mighty Mouse (5 titles) 56% Unification
8. Dominick Cruz (5 titles) 26% Unification
8. Johny Hendricks (5 titles) 19% Unification
9. Marlon Moraes (4 titles)
9. Vitor Belfort (4 titles)
9. Akira Corassani (4 titles)
9. Constantinos Philippou (4 titles)
10. Gegard Moussasi (3 titles)
10. Pat Curran (3 titles)
10. Bibiano Fernandes (3 titles)
10. Ricardo Lamas (3 titles)
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in Monday's column.