Posted 01/22/2014 by Derek Suboticki in Subo Says

The Ugly, The Bad and The Good: January UFC News Round-Up

Is there some kind of potential copyright issue with Monsanto if I use “Round-Up” in my headline? Will this piece get picked up by Google as some sort of testimonial to the awe inspiring herbicidal power of the popular weedkiller? Only time will tell. My apologies to those of you frantically preparing for the end of winter; stick around, won’t you, for a brief tour of some of the most-covered stories of the last week.

The Ugly: Georges St Pierre’s War of Words With the UFC

Those of us that thought George St Pierre, he of the voluntary abdication of the welterweight championship and sabbatical of undetermined length, would maintain cordial relations with his former employer during his time away from the cage were wrong. Quite wrong, in fact. Apparently still miffed at the kerfuffle regarding his camp’s Quixotic attempts to ensure third-party drug testing for his bout against Johny Hendricks (the reporting by Bloody Elbow’s Brent Brookhouse and MMAMania’s Matthew Roth is instructive on this subject), St Pierre lashed out at Zuffa, an entity with an at-best noncommittal stance to such extra layers of testing for championship bouts.

Zuffa’s motivations are clear in this sense; there is probably no faster way to pick a fight with an athletic commission than to suggest that their drug testing regiment is insufficient or suspect. The aforementioned story by Brookhouse and Roth included e-mails, provided almost joyously by Keith Kizer, showing the former champion’s representatives quizzing the then-NSAC executive director regarding the specific substances that VADA would be testing for. GSP’s camp had proposed VADA testing; the Hendricks side proposed instead following the Timothy Bradley/Juan Manuel Marquez rubric, conducted under the supervision of a WADA credendialed lab in Salt Lake City. Only after initially agreeing to the stipulations was Kizer then bombarded by questions from GSP’s camp regarding, among other things, the exact list of substances which were to be tested.

I encourage you to read (or reread) the whole story. I find it hard to come to any other conclusion that GSP may want to avoid accusing other fighters of cheating without hard evidence – or, for that matter, the UFC of facilitating and covering up the use of performance enhancing drugs.

The Bad: Nate Diaz (and Pretty Much Everyone Else) Ducking Khabib Nurmagomedov

Thought I was going to bash Bellator, didn’t you? Well, there’s more than enough there for an entire piece – although E. Spencer Kyte did an excellent job explaining that situation here – so I’m going to return back to one of my favorite models for explaining the fluid matchmaking and contradictory desires that fuel our beloved sport. On one side you have the fans, on the other, the fighters. The fans would like as much fighting between highly skilled fighters as possible, for free, all the time, whenever they want, wherever they want. The fighters (most, anyway – we’re leaving out truly competitive athletes and Diego Sanchez, who is insane) would like to get paid as much as possible for as few fights as possible, with the most favorable match ups possible, as close to their home town as possible. The promoter – be it Zuffa, PRIDE, Bellator or any other – is left with the unenviable task of moderating between those two sides.

It’s not that Nate Diaz is especially out of line for turning down a bout against Khabib Nurmagomedov – the latter is an up-and-coming beast with the type of relentless wrestling/power striking game that has given the brothers Diaz fits since time immemorial. In fact, not wanting to take that fight is the very height of reasonableness. Nate Diaz, however, prides himself on his unreasonableness. It is difficult to end post-fight interviews with “I’m hungry, I got shit to do,” blow off media appearances, openly smoke weed in defiance of athletic commission mandates and THEN make moves concordant with a desire to actually win fights, make money and stick around without taking oodles and oodles of damage. Diaz isn’t the only one ducking Nurmy – and extra props to Michael Johnson, whom campaigned for the bout before Khabib essentially Diazed his dreams – but it’s his own meticulously crafted image that now makes him the target of extra derision.

Oh, one more thing on Diaz: refusing a fight offered to you by the promoter is totally up to you. It’s not the promoter’s fault you turned down the fight if they don’t agree to bribe you (pay you above your show money) in exchange for you signing the bout agreement. I know this is silly to say to a Diaz, but please, own your decisions, for better or worse.

The Good – Stefan Struve!!!!!!!!

Eight exclamation points. I don’t know if I’ve ever used eight exclamation points when writing (and by writing, I mean everything other than Evan Williams-fueled Twitter rants during Broncos games). I’m still half tempted to use more. While one of his former victims – Stipe Miocic – prepares for a co-main event tilt against resurgent heavyweight Gabriel Gonzaga on this Saturday’s Fox card, Stefan Struve announced that he has cleared yet another hurdle in his race to return to the Octagon. Still shy of his 26th birthday and holding a 9-4 Octagon record (losses to Roy Nelson, Junior dos Santos, Mark Hunt and Travis Browne), Struve was diagnosed with multiple aortic issues following his loss to Hunt (which saw the Skyscraper sustain a broken jaw due to a Hunt haymaker and yet maintain consciousness throughout). While nothing is set in stone, the lanky Dutchman’s recovery has hit every mark thus far, making the exciting young fighter’s return to the heavyweight landscape that much closer to reality.




Derek Suboticki

Derek Suboticki is a weekly contributor to MMA Owl. He also co-hosts Untethered MMA every Thursday at 7 p.m. ET at, also available as a podcast via iTunes. Previous work includes being former editor at Head Kick Legend and Fightlinker and contributor for Watch Kalib Run and Cageside Seats.