We kick off tonight’s Evening Combat Sports News with the biggest non-story of the day. Alistair Overeem, top UFC heavyweight contender, declared last night that he would be going in front of the Nevada State Athletic Commission to appeal for the commission to allow him to apply for a license sooner than the current date of December 27.
While the idea seemed unlikely on its surface, Overeem seemed confident in his statement that they would be in front of the NSAC at some point in August. Unfortunately for Alistair, Keith Kizer, NSAC executive director, said that Overeem was not on the agenda for the meeting and he would be against mitigating the punishment already leveled.
Kizer even went so far as to say “This is not just a guy who engaged in cheating, but a guy who ran out the front door when the testing was being done.”
I just wonder where that level of aggression was when Overeem was in front of the commission at his license hearing. That hearing somewhat famously ended with everyone at the NSAC praising what a stand-up guy Alistair is and generally fawning over the former Strikeforce champion after a farcical presentation of his case.
It’s the same thing we see out of the NSAC with the Nick Diaz situation. They were big Diaz fans at the end of that hearing as well, basically making it seem as though it pained them to have to hand out punishment.
I don’t mind the punishments handed down to either Overeem or Diaz (I’d have been harder on Alistair, if anything) but I do absolutely mind that the NSAC can’t be as tough to the faces of fighters that they are when discussing them with the media.
Oh, and Josh Nason explained just why all the posturing for Overeem vs. dos Santos rather than Velasquez vs. dos Santos was crazy anyway.
The UFC fighters hit the scales for tomorrow night’s UFC 150 earlier this evening and there was only one bump in the road as Melvin Guillard missed weight for his fight with Donald Cerrone. The highest Guillard could have weighed in would have been 156 and he was at 157.5. Melvin decided not to try to cut the extra weight but the fight will go on and it probably won’t have a ton of affect on the way that one plays out. An interview with Melvin also went up earlier today. Predictably, everything about his training was going great. Funny how that always works even when a guy misses weight.
You can also read the official Bloody Elbow staff picks for tomorrow’s card. I can pretty much guarantee that I will have between 40-55% right, because I am awful.
There are now reports that B.J. Penn will still be facing Rory MacDonald, but it’ll now be on the UFC on Fox 5 card in December. That would be a fantastic idea. Penn is a very well known star and MacDonald could become a big star if he beats him on Fox. It’s also a competitive fight without a completely predictable outcome.
This also plays into something I talked about the other day. December 8 is going to be a date the UFC has as all-to-themselves as you’re likely to get on network TV. They need a big rating and this is more in line with the Rashad Evans/Phil Davis fight that brought in big ratings in the second Fox show (even if it was a disappointing fight) than with the last two shows with their extremely questionable main events.
Jordan Burroughs took home Olympic gold in London today in freestyle wrestling in the 74kg division. Similar to yesterday with Claressa Shields’ gold medal in women’s boxing, I can only offer up this:
USA! USA! USA!
As if anyone needed a reminder of why I hate sanctioning bodies so much in combat sports and why I went after the now defunct WAMMA as hard as I did, the IBF provided a solid reminder today. After Lamont Peterson failed one of his VADA pre-fight drug tests for his boxing rematch with Amir Khan, Peterson was eventually stripped of his WBA title. The IBF, however, took their time doing an “investigation” only to decide today to allow Peterson to keep his title and then told him who he would have to face next (Zab Judah).
So, they get to decide that Peterson keeps his title and then tell him who he has to defend it against or…you know…be stripped.
Oh, and the reason the IBF came to the decision they did? They decided that the amount of testosterone in his system was within therapeutic levels and that the doctor told them that it wouldn’t have “enhanced” his performance in the first Khan fight.
You can read the full story at Bad Left Hook. And the follow-up with Amir Khan asking what the point of the drug tests really is. Of course, Khan lost the WBA title he was given because he lost to Danny Garcia in his next fight.
One more boxing note of interest as Floyd Mayweather was attending the premier of 50 Cent’s new (I assume terrible) movie Freelancers and continued to tease the Pacquiao fight:
From the video (courtesy of Bad Left Hook):
Today is 50 Cent’s day, it’s not my day, so I’m not here to talk about boxing. When that day presents itself, I’ll go out there and do what I have to do. But I think Pacquiao is an unbelievable fighter, and hopefully we can make the fight happen in the future. But right now, it’s movie night.
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