By Zach Arnold | February 11, 2012
That’s the magic word, according to Nikkan Sports, which pegs the fight happening on March 31st for AFC (Amazon Forest Combat) in Manaus. The newspaper claims that Ishii wants to fight three or four times this year.
This news certainly conflicts with the Cyzo report that claimed that Ishii suffered a brain edema against Fedor on NYE and was facing a crisis in his MMA career. The irony here is that right after the Fedor debacle, there had been talk of fighting on the 3/31 date. Then the Cyzo report came out and nobody knew what was going on.
You’ll have better odds trying to pick the right winners in upcoming UFC fights than in trying to figure out what the hell is going on in Ishii’s career.
Here’s the latest edition of MMA Oddsbreakers with our friend Nick Kalikas of BetonFighting. He’s joined by Damon Martin of MMA Weekly and Frank Trigg to discuss these upcoming fights:
- UFC 145 (4/21 Atlanta): Michael McDonald +155 vs. Miguel Torres -205
- UFC on Fox 3 (5/5 New Jersey): Nate Diaz +190 vs. Jim Miller -250, Lavar Johnson +200 vs. Pat Barry -260
Plus, plenty of discussion about recent UFC fights on Oddsbreakers. Check it out.
Here’s Georges St. Pierre talking with Showdown Joe of Rogers Sportsnet about rehabbing his repaired ACL and the timetable for his comeback
Comment of the Day — On Nick Diaz
From Josh Campbell. A ‘what if…’ scenario:
What if Nick Diaz would have won the interim welterweight championship fight at UFC 143 and then tested positive? Right now the discussion of Nick and his inability to refrain from marijuana use is limited to fans of MMA, bloggers and writers. But where would things be if Nick had won? Nick would have been the first (interim) champion, post “The Ultimate Fighter Season 1” to test positive for prohibited substances. The situation also would be coming to a head after the UFC on FOX deal and the second big primetime show on FOX. I don’t want to delve into the morality of usage by athletes, or whether marijuana actually has performance enhancing effects. Many people have differing perspectives on this. The only thing I can say is that it is prohibited from showing up in an athlete’s urine in a pre-fight, post-fight, or random screening.
I can only imagine the press this would have received. Somehow TMZ only seems to cover the bad things or Dana White at a Snoop Dogg concert. I remember their coverage of Rampage, Tito, and a few other “scandalous” situations. I know this situation would not get a pass, as it fits right into their sensationalist style of journalism. How would ESPN address it? Given recent friction between the promotion and the network over the fighter pay piece on Outside The Lines, I would expect that it might get a little more airtime with a negative slant. Maybe Deadspin would have a headline along the vein of “UFC Champ Wins Belt at UFC 143 and loses it at 420”. Who knows how many syndicated sources would have picked up articles written by individuals with an ax to grind against the UFC or MMA in general. Educated people writing about something they are uneducated about can be a dangerous voice to the public. The same public that we all know only has a cursory knowledge of this sport. A sport striving for acceptance, and one many pundits and people in the general public still consider too brutal for mass consumption.
So, from the standpoint of bad press and a public relations fiasco, it probably would have been a nightmare situation. But from a sporting perspective, could it have had a positive result? Many times Dana White has stated that the athletic commissions are responsible for testing and enforcement and he defers that responsibility to them. Given the recent small and reactionary shift in policy to start testing newly signed fighters, would this occurrence have spurred Zuffa Inc. to start a comprehensive testing program that lives up to WADA standards? Would this have been the watershed moment that leveled the playing field for fighters that cannot afford pharmacological advisors as part of their training camp? Unfortunately we will not know the answer to this. However, given the rumored usage in the dark corners of MMA gyms that we have heard rumblings about, it is likely that the moment that many fans fear will happen is yet to come. It’s up to Zuffa how they will respond to that. They have dodged a second bullet here, after the near miss of Chael Sonnen losing to Anderson Silva. Will they bury their head in the sand and point their finger at the athletic commission, or will they step up and fund a comprehensive testing plan? Time and circumstance will tell.
If he got busted for weed while fighting in Japan for DREAM, he would have likely gotten three years probation at a minimum from authorities. Shame still means something in Japan.
In the States? Marijuana usage is practically built-in as a love/hate component for fans in regards to Nick. His fans love him because he’s the same guy whether he makes $50,000 a fight or $500,000 a fight. With that said, I wrote online a couple of days ago that a reliable insider indicated to me that UFC was strongly considering all options on the table about implementing/upgrading a drug testing program because they are losing the PR battle over PED/recreational drug usage by fighters getting popped on the Nevada IQ tests…
I suspect many more MMA fighters would fail drug tests if they had to take random, unannounced drug tests like tennis players such as Rafael Nadal have to.