Tag Archive for Fine

Aljamain Sterling Is Apparently Fine

In case you missed it, Aljamain Sterling got totally starched by a Marlon Moraes knee at UFC Fight Night 123 this past weekend. Like, years-taken-off-his-life knocked out. Like, OH MY GOD HE’S DEAD. But he’s not dead, and he’s apparently in good spirits… all things considered. Hats off to Marlon. Thought I timed the TD […]

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Nate Diaz fine, suspension reduced by NSAC for water-bottle war against Conor McGregor

I’m not surprised, motherfuckers.

You shouldn’t be either, as Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) previously promised to reduce the fine and suspension for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) something-weight Nate Diaz following last summer’s water-bottle war with Conor McGregor.

The commission loves to stick it to the Diaz brothers (then take it back when no one is looking).

From MMA Fighting:

Diaz’s punishment was dropped to a $ 15,000 fine and 15 hours of community service during a Wednesday meeting of the NSAC. The adjusted amount marks a sharp departure from the $ 50,000 fine — or 2.5 percent of Diaz’s $ 2 million purse for UFC 202 — and 50 hours of community service initially handed down to him by the commission in December.

McGregor’s punishment was reduced to a $ 25,000 fine (chump change) and 25 hours of community service. “Notorious” will have to serve a (somewhat) stiffer penalty foreign the aggressor during the incident, according to NSAC.

Speaking of settlements…

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NAC to Reach Out to Nate Diaz for Possible Rehearing Regarding Water Bottle Throwing Fine

The Nevada Athletic Commission handed Conor McGregor a reduced punishment for the infamous UFC 202 pre-fight press conference bottle-throwing melee, and now it wants to look into doing the same for Nate Diaz.
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Kelvin Gastelum is a real nowhere man, and that suits him just fine

Kelvin Gastelum’s latest turn at middleweight has been one of those weird things that everyone (including himself) is trying to get his mind around. Four months ago, he was still a nondescript welterweight getting set to fight former lightweight Donald Cerrone at UFC 205. Then he missed weight and — as a result, it seemed — was shamed into a bout with the specimen Tim Kennedy at UFC 206 in December, in which he showed up like a sequoia stump, sturdy and wise and a mile-deep into the earth. That got people to talking. That even got Gastelum to talking. After taking out Kennedy, he said 170 was still his “optimal weight class,” but he volunteered to fight fading legend Vitor Belfort in Brazil out of nowhere.

Weird?

Yeah, well the UFC granted that request. Gastelum got the Belfort fight. He very quietly snuck down to Fortaleza and knocked Belfort out, only to treat his sudden success at middleweight as nothing more than a reluctant bit of serendipity. He said he thought he was better suited for welterweight as far as title runs go. He also called out Anderson Silva for June in Brazil. A few days later. The UFC granted his request, and now he’s fighting Anderson Silva in June in Brazil.

Weird?

Yeah, well…alright, what the hell is going on? Kelvin Gastelum a few months ago wasn’t on anybody’s radar. Now, he’s the radar itself. He’s a shot-calling, legend-thumping, retirement-inducing, match-stealing, detour-taking, interloping quiet guy at the party that suddenly is talking up everyone’s girlfriends. Harmless? Oh, he’d like you to think so. He’s a charmer. And he’s one of those guys that falls forward. He’d been working on Great Jones Street as a barista, but somehow stumbled down Broadway and discovered his name on a marquee. Is he even a contender at middleweight? There’s a chance he could be the devil.

Whatever he is, Gastelum seems to be holding welterweight out there as a home that he can return to, just an abstract place in the Midwest with a wood-burning stove and a sleepy cat. Right now, he’s treating this as a lark. It’s been an adventurous six months. Back when the UFC made his fight with Cerrone, there was a healthy amount of “what the hell kind of matchmaking is this?” going on, because Gastelum wasn’t the kind of exciting name that felt right for “Cowboy.” Now he’s fighting Silva and everyone is kind of like, “yeah, well, he’s fighting Silva.” That’s one hell of a career twist.

Still, one constant has remained through it all: Gastelum has never quite been in focus. He’s traditionally been cast as part of somebody else’s narrative, a narrative that he just as routinely ends up controlling.

That is where Gastelum has spent his entire career. Standing in as other. When he came onto the scene on The Ultimate Fighter 17, he was picked next to last in the middleweight pool. He was the dead weight that Team Sonnen would have to carry. That season was all about Uriah Hall, the bogeyman who they teased in promos with Dana White’s astonishment and ominous glimpses of ambulances. It was Hall that put Adam Cella in the hospital, and spooked poor Bubba McDaniel into a state of fidgets.

Meanwhile, there was Gastelum, quietly beating McDaniel, Collin Hart and finally Josh Samman en-route to a showdown with Hall in the Finale. Coming out of that fight, it was all about Hall having lost his killer instinct. Gastelum slipped out the backdoor and down to welterweight, where went on a four-fight winning streak and missed weight the first time (against Nico Musoke), and then later against Tyron Woodley. He moonlighted for a single fight back at middleweight against Nate Marquardt, a fight he won via TKO.

As of November 2016, Gastelum was a young, stubborn, not-particularly-interesting fighter who was known more for carrying caution to the scale. He’s been nothing more than a welterweight with a shelf life, not the kind of guy that springs to mind when checking down a list of contenders. He has lost two split decisions in his career — the Woodley fight, and later against Neil Magny — and yet the true battle has been making weight. He could have kept on in such a thankless way if he had showed up on weight for Cerrone. He could have stretched out his basic whateverness forever.

Yet he didn’t. He came in overweight, and now his career is taking off. He retired Kennedy, he (essentially) retired Belfort, and now he’s going after the middleweight GOAT in Silva. By failing to make weight, he succeeded in finding his ultimate relevance in the fight game. He had to fail to come into focus. By doing so he constructed himself a platform from which to call his shots. And that’s what he’s been doing, even if he insists that welterweight is still out there, waiting for his return.

Maybe it is. But right now as a middleweight Gastelum may talk like a reluctant tourist, but for the first time in his career he looks right at home.

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California Commission Adds 20 Percent Fine to Win Bonus for Fighters Who Miss Weight

In the past, a mixed martial artist who failed to make weight in California would be docked 20 percent of his or her “show” money for the event. Now, that penalty is going to be a little more steep.
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CSAC to fine win bonus, in addition to show money, if fighter misses weight

LOS ANGELES — MMA’s weight-cutting and severe dehydration problem is persisting. So is the search for new solutions.

The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) has enacted a new rule that will fine a fighter’s win bonus in addition to his or her show money when that fighter misses weight, executive officer Andy Foster said at a commission meeting Tuesday.

Foster has the ability to make the change administratively in language added to fighter bout agreements and he informed the commissioners about the alteration Tuesday. Foster told MMA Fighting the change would be implemented as soon as he can get new contracts drafted.

Previously, CSAC fined fighters 20 percent for missing weight, with the money coming out of their show money only. Half of that percentage went to the opponent and the other half went to the commission. Now, in addition to that, a fighter who misses weight will have his or her win bonus fined 20 percent, with that full total going to the opponent. The win bonus fine will only come into play, of course, if the fighter who misses weight is victorious in the bout.

Foster said the win bonus in MMA should be treated as part of the purse by the commission in these circumstances, adding that just a 20-percent fine of the show money is “not enough deterrent” for fighters to make weight. He added that giving more money to the opponent who makes weight and then loses to a fighter who missed weight would hopefully “take some sting off them.”

In addition to that change, a host of potential new provisions to combat extreme weight cutting were discussed. CSAC chairman John Carvelli launched a sub-committee to further go over possible changes to California regulations with weight cutting in mind. Carvelli told MMA Fighting that he expects the sub-committee to come up with a package of rules for the commission’s next meeting, May 16 in Costa Mesa.

Among the potential proposals brought up by Foster on Tuesday were licensing fighters by weight class with additions to the licensing application; random weight checks; asking fighters whether they have ever missed weight before in the application questionnaire; and having promotion matchmakers submit the weights of the fighter to the commission when the bout is signed. Also, an increase in the 20-percent fine on fighters who miss weight was mentioned.

On the license application, Foster said he would ask fighters what their lowest desired weight class would be, and if they get booked into a fight at a lower division than that, they would need a doctor’s clearance. The ringside physician at the event would also be able to use the weight the fighter was at during the licensing examination (usually months earlier), in addition to typical medical procedures, to determine if he or she undertook an extreme weight cut.

“Often times, fighters are hydrated and they have not weight cut for the licensing physical,” Foster said. “They often walk into the licensing room to the doctor at what they walk around at.”

Foster, who is the chairman of the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC) medical committee, said that committee would also address the addition of weight classes for a second straight year. New weight classifications (125 pounds, 135, 145, 155, 165, 175, 185, 195, 205, 225, heavyweight) were recommended last year by both the ABC medical committee and the MMA rules and regulations committee, but were tabled in part because they didn’t have the full support of promoters.

“Fighters are gonna take every advantage they possibly can,” said Foster, who was a professional MMA fighter for three years. “They’re looking at us to help them. They’re not wanting to cut 30 pounds. They don’t want to do that. The only reason they’re doing that is because their opponent is gonna do it.”

CSAC commissioner Luis Ayala brought up the possibility of doing a weigh-in the same day as the event with the hopes to curtail a drastic weight cut. That has been discussed by other commissions, but doctors and other experts fear some fighters will still cut weight and then go into the cage dehydrated, leaving them more susceptible to traumatic brain injury, among other things.

Dr. Vernon Williams, a neurologist who sits on the California commission, said the major problem with cutting weight is that it is ingrained in the culture of mixed martial arts, even though the advantage it has — the feeling that being the bigger fighter in the cage is better — is debatable, if not outright medically and scientifically incorrect.

“It’s really difficult to fight culture,” said Williams, who recommended more education for athletes. “Once something is ingrained, everybody just believes that’s so.”

CSAC championed the enactment of the early weigh-in last year and eventually passed it as a rule after discussions at a weight-cutting summit in December 2015. The UFC adopted the early weigh-in across the board beginning in June 2016.

Holding the weigh-ins in the morning on the day before the event was recommended by doctors because it gives athletes more time to recover from their weight cut before stepping in the cage. It has also allowed fighters to spend less time dehydrated, because the early weigh-ins are being held at the fighter hotel rather than another venue. The primary goal was to keep dehydrated athletes out of the cage, thereby reducing health risk. The vast majority of fighters are in favor of an earlier weigh-in.

However, an unexpected side effect is that exponentially more fighters have missed weight since the advent of the early weigh-in program. Before it began, only one fighter in the UFC missed weight last year. From UFC 199, when it started, until the end of the year, more than a dozen fighters missed weight.

This year already, five UFC fighters have missed weight and three fights have been canceled at the last minute due to complications exacerbated by weight cutting, including the UFC 209 co-main event when lightweight star Khabib Nurmagomedov had to be taken to the hospital.

“I’m concerned about somebody dying in the industry for no good reason,” Foster said. “This is a pointless reason to risk your safety.”

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California State Athletic Commission looking to increase fine for missing weight

Part of being a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter is stepping on the scale at the correct weight. From there, participants who hit the benchmark can enjoy their full fight purse and the ensuing in-cage action. Fighters who are unable to make weight either hand over a portion of their show money or encounter serious health issues that prohibit them from competing all together.

Luckily, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) is making serious strides in combating extreme weight cuts and enforcing stricter penalties for those who miss weight, according to CSAC meeting documents (h/t MMA Fighting).

The proposed change in protocol would allow a fighter’s win bonus to be fined 20 percent, in addition to the 20-percent fine already in place for a fighter’s show money. That means that if a fighter who misses weight wins the fight, a 40-percent fine would be set in motion. Half of that money would go to the fighter’s opponent and the other half would go to the commission.

It’s a tough pill to swallow for any fighter, whether they’re making $ 20,000 or $ 200,000. But in effort to limit detrimental weight cuts and unfair advantages for those unwilling to take extra measures in their diets, the CSAC is making real progress.

Just recently, Kelvin Gastelum had his bout with Donald Cerrone at UFC 205 cancelled due to missed weight, Johny Hendricks missed weight and was essentially booted from the welterweight division, Charles Oliveira missed weight by nine pounds for his UFC Fight Night 98 bout with Ricardo Lamas and “The Bully” still agreed to fight him, Thiago Alves came in six pounds overweight for his lightweight debut opposite Jim Miller at UFC 205 and Jason “Mayhem” Miller came in 24 pounds overweight for his Venator FC debut last year (which is in a league of its own).

You also have Khabib Nurmagomedov, who was forced out of his UFC 209 interim lightweight title fight with Tony Ferguson earlier this month after a debilitating weight cut forced him into a hospital bed.

The examples are truly endless. But if more money is on the line to lose, even if you win, maybe fighters will start making changes in their personal lives and fight camps to relieve some stress off their bodies when it’s time to sweat the pounds off.

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California State Athletic Commission looking to increase fine for missing weight

Part of being a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter is stepping on the scale at the correct weight. From there, participants who hit the benchmark can enjoy their full fight purse and the ensuing in-cage action. Fighters who are unable to make weight either hand over a portion of their show money or encounter serious health issues that prohibit them from competing all together.

Luckily, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) is making serious strides in combating extreme weight cuts and enforcing stricter penalties for those who miss weight, according to CSAC meeting documents (h/t MMA Fighting).

The proposed change in protocol would allow a fighter’s win bonus to be fined 20 percent, in addition to the 20-percent fine already in place for a fighter’s show money. That means that if a fighter who misses weight wins the fight, a 40-percent fine would be set in motion. Half of that money would go to the fighter’s opponent and the other half would go to the commission.

It’s a tough pill to swallow for any fighter, whether they’re making $ 20,000 or $ 200,000. But in effort to limit detrimental weight cuts and unfair advantages for those unwilling to take extra measures in their diets, the CSAC is making real progress.

Just recently, Kelvin Gastelum had his bout with Donald Cerrone at UFC 205 cancelled due to missed weight, Johny Hendricks missed weight and was essentially booted from the welterweight division, Charles Oliveira missed weight by nine pounds for his UFC Fight Night 98 bout with Ricardo Lamas and “The Bully” still agreed to fight him, Thiago Alves came in six pounds overweight for his lightweight debut opposite Jim Miller at UFC 205 and Jason “Mayhem” Miller came in 24 pounds overweight for his Venator FC debut last year (which is in a league of its own).

You also have Khabib Nurmagomedov, who was forced out of his UFC 209 interim lightweight title fight with Tony Ferguson earlier this month after a debilitating weight cut forced him into a hospital bed.

The examples are truly endless. But if more money is on the line to lose, even if you win, maybe fighters will start making changes in their personal lives and fight camps to relieve some stress off their bodies when it’s time to sweat the pounds off.

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Brock Lesnar’s legacy in MMA teeters on the fine line between fact and fiction

The first time Brock Lesnar retired from MMA, back in 2011, not everyone was totally shocked. There was the diverticulitis, which sapped him of energy. There was that body kick that Alistair Overeem delivered him, which sapped him of will. There was Canada calling to him like the woods did Henry David Thoreau. And there was the WWE in his back pocket like an uncashed check.

Still, though he told the gathered in Las Vegas at UFC 141, “tonight was the last time you’ll see me in the Octagon,” you knew “retirement” was a little bit too permanent for a guy with easy seven-figure earning power in the sport. It was like when David St. Hubbins said that he and longtime collaborator Nigel “shan’t work together again” in Spinal Tap — you got the idea that he may change his mind upon some reflection.

It took Lesnar years to come back around, so many years that MMA had moved on from him completely, but he finally did. Fittingly, it was for UFC 200, the sequel to his famous UFC 100 revenge bout with Frank Mir. Just like with UFC 100 — The Frothing Coors Light Libido Incident — he left a memorable mark. This time it was for streaking through the Octagon like a last-minute savior to a card in need of star power, waving flags just as red as the blood he drew on Mark Hunt’s face the whole way. It was ugly. From the win itself, to the aftermath. In the USADA era of UFC, Lesnar was granted an exemption to wave the mandatory four-month test window, and — on cue — popped hot. He was suspended a year with a slap on the wrist.

Now Hunt is suing the UFC and Lesnar, and that’s how this story ends.

Lesnar informed the UFC that he will retire from the UFC, a move that this time feels permanent. And let’s face it. Lesnar is a shrewd son-of-a-gun. He came in, got an extra paycheck, and got back out without a second glance at the trail of dead. This second stint wasn’t just some unresolved thing in his life that he needed to prove to himself (although it was certainly part of it). It was a mercenary taking a job. Nothing cools Lesnar’s pink cheeks after a hard day’s work quite like a fan of cash.

For his brief second stint, the thing that made him a massive pay-per-view draw — a pro-wrestler crossing over to the literal realm of fighting — was no longer an active novelty. It was more about how he’d fare against Hunt post-diverticulitis, since that was the hidden opponent that cut him down in his moonlighting prime. There was also the more interior idea that for a guy who doesn’t like to get hit, Hunt was the worst kind of match-up.

Didn’t pan out that way. Lesnar dusted off the University of Minnesota singlet, and played smart. He reminded everyone (many times) that he was returning to the UFC for himself, not the fans. As if to prove it, he didn’t divvy up any of his fight night purse or pay-per-view points with them. He snatched the loot and got out. He went back to the WWE, where he’s been finished twice by Goldberg by tremendously anti-climactic spears. It’s been a rough stretch for Lesnar, who in his twilight years is barreling towards his own seclusion, just behind a copse of trees, beyond our sightlines, out there in Manitoba where the crappie practically leap through the ice.

There will always be something about Lesnar that translates to MMA fans, but it’s complicated to put him into any ordinary scope when reviewing his time in the UFC. There weren’t many “genuine” moments. His sworded thorax equally feels like a line dividing fact an fiction, a property line to his heart, and he kept it that way throughout his UFC career. There was the pro wrestler Lesnar, which he defaulted to on occasion. There was the competitor Lesnar, who needed mixed martial arts because to experience something real. There was the company man Lesnar, Dana White’s business buddy. And there was the cold mercenary, the smirking bully who knew his drawing power and couldn’t be reduced to answering basic questions from media.

And then again, it wasn’t like he didn’t perform. Lesnar still holds a share in the UFC record for heavyweight title defenses at two. He was the human embodiment of pummel; what he did to Heath Herring was savage. He was Bluto from Popeye, compressing Randy Couture like an accordion. He removed the horseshoe from Frank Mir’s ass, alright, leaving him as dazed as a man freshly struck by bus at UFC 100. There was something uncanny in watching Lesnar compete. In many ways he outdid the wildest expectations.

But the game has moved on. Back when he came along, Lesnar was a transcendent star in that he compelled other worlds to watch. When he came back five years later, Ronda Rousey had already pushed the sport into mainstream sectors that Lesnar himself couldn’t have ever touched. Conor McGregor has elevated the vanity space of prizefighting to proportions that make Lesnar seem juvenile and small. These were organic pieces that grew up in MMA. Lesnar was an imported Goliath from a manufactured world, and the blurring between those lines — between fact and fiction — compelled us to tune in.

His comeback fight against Hunt was in some ways fitting, from his special handling with the UFC, to the short answers to the many questions, to the unknowable specimen who came in and defeated Mark Hunt, only to have it all tarnished in the end. Can we ever really know Brock Lesnar, the famous pro wrestler-turned-UFC champion? Did we?

The final two words of his career say it all. “No contest.”

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Conor McGregor Seeking Judicial Review of Nevada Athletic Commission Fine

Conor McGregor is still fighting the hefty fine he received from the Nevada Athletic Commission for his part in a water-bottle throwing incident ahead of UFC 202.
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