MMA referee Josh Rosenthal is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty in January to conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute — all felonies, according to reports.
Rosenthal is one of the most well-known referees in MMA and has been noticeably absent from major UFC events recently. This likely explains why.
According to MMA Junkie, which obtained a copy of Rosenthal’s plea agreement and first reported the news, federal agents raided an Oakland warehouse owned by Rosenthal and an associate last year and found 1,356 marijuana plants. MMA Junkie says the estimated street value of the weed was greater than $6 million.
MMA Fighting also obtained the legal documents and says the bust was one of the biggest pot-seizures ever in the city.
According to MMA Fighting, documents describe the warehouse in this way:
The warehouse was heavily fortified with reinforced steel doors and surveillance cameras, and four handguns, two assault rifles, two sets of body armor and masks and helmets were also recovered at the scene.
Because of the scale of the operation, the case was referred to the DEA.
MMA Fighting reports that Rosenthal did not renew his refereeing licenses in California or Nevada — two of the most popular states for hosting large-scale MMA fights — after 2012, likely because of his legal problems.
Rosenthal was facing 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine, and five years of probation prior to his plea deal. He is due in US District Court on May 17. The government reportedly is recommending 37 months in jail and five years of probation. The sentencing will be determined by the judge hearing the case.
Rosenthal served as the referee for the notable Dan Henderson-Shogun Rua fight at UFC 139, Anderson Silva’s comeback win over Chael Sonnen at UFC 117 in 2010, and Brock Lesnar’s win over Shane Carwin at UFC 116.
And you thought Sam Hurd was the biggest drug kingpin in sports? Looks like Rosenthal had him beat.
- Josh Rosenthal
Parsons practically threw a line drive at the hoop in desperation during the broken play and it somehow went in. Just how the Rockets drew it up!
Kobe Bryant, of course, was disappointed with his team for allowing the three:
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) April 18, 2013
Things all worked out for the Lakers in the end. They won 99-95 in overtime to clinch the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
- Chandler Parsons
Alright, so which Giants pitcher did it? Was it Jean Machi, who’s on the left and gets blamed for the fart, or was it Jose Mijares, who was on the right and smelled it first?
The world may never find out.
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- San Francisco Giants
As expected, the pregame ceremony at TD Garden before the Boston Bruins took on the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night was incredibly emotional. One of the highlights of the ceremony was when Bruins National Anthem singer Rene Rancourt, who is as much a legend in Boston as Bobby Orr, got things started with the National Anthem before letting the packed house of 18,000 fans take over.
A video montage shown on the arena videoboard before the puck dropped paid tribute to those who lost their lives or were affected by the tragic events that took place at the Boston Marathon on Monday.
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The Los Angeles Lakers center has constantly been asked about taking on a greater leadership role with the team since Kobe Bryant got hurt. He was asked by the media Wednesday if he was going to give the team a motivational speech before its critical game against the Houston Rockets.
Howard brushed aside the comments by saying the team already knows what’s at stake. However, with enough prodding, the center acted out an exaggerated version of a speech by channeling the movie “300.”
“Kobe is watching us at home,” Howard said. “Dr Buss is watching us up high! Let’s let it out tonight! Everything we got! Everything! Leave it on the floor! Pau, put your big boy pants on! Dwight, hit your free throws! Jodie, hit those threes boy! Now let’s get it! Now let’s bring it in! Hoorah!”
Howard then closed out the speech by bellowing, “This is Sparta!” which was the cry of Leonidas, King of Sparta, when he declined peace with the Persians in the epic movie.
It was quite the theatrical performance from someone who has long been known for his impersonations and joking ways.
The Lakers need a win or Utah Jazz loss to clinch a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
- Dwight Howard
Jones and Sonnen will face each other on April 27 in New Jersey for Jones’ UFC light heavyweight championship belt. During an interview with “UFC Tonight” on Tuesday, Jones was asked why he hasn’t talked much trash leading up to the fight. He then was asked about his lone trash-talking remark about Sonnen, in which he said the challenger lacks a “champion’s soul.”
“Chael Sonnen is a guy who people know he’s done steroids throughout his whole career,” Jones told host Dominick Cruz. “It’s probably why his testosterone is low now and I don’t think that’s the heart or attitude of a champion. So that’s what I meant when I said he lacks ‘championship soul’.”
Jones tweeted a similar thought on Monday:
Take steroids in your prime testosterone levels drop then you take TRT to get in your prime again.. Maybe I should just join the team $$$
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) April 15, 2013
In case you’re unfamiliar, TRT stands for testosterone replacement therapy. Fighters can be granted waivers by the UFC to receive testosterone if they’re medically proven to have low levels. Sonnen is one of those fighters, and he had a controversy after his fight with Anderson Silva in 2010. Sonnen tested positive for high levels of testosterone and was later suspended by the California State Athletic Committee for not taking the steps to receive an exemption for TRT usage. Though Sonnen says he needs the TRT to treat hypogonadism, many believe that fighters end up with low testosterone levels because of past steroid abuse (as referenced in Jones’ tweet).
Jones tweeted Wednesday to say he was apologizing:
I had no right to accuse chael of being a career long steroid user I apologize. See what had happened was….
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) April 17, 2013
Jones never gave an explanation for what happened, leading me to believe he wasn’t really apologizing.
Below is an interview where Sonnen talks about steroids, but be prepared to get dizzy from all the circles he talks in:
Clarkson wrote a post on his Tumblr last month title “The Sabotage Of The Quarterback” in which he implored the NFL to have the Jets trade Tebow to the Jacksonville Jaguars. He went even further on his sabotage theme during a conference call on Wednesday.
“I think he was purposefully sent to New York,” Clarkson said of the trade from Denver, via The Star Ledger. “From the standpoint: you send him to a situation where you have instability with your coach – you don’t know if he’s coming or going. You have a fragile-minded Mark Sanchez at quarterback. You stick Tim Tebow in there and you kill two birds with one stone. So if you’re Denver you’ve got to be thinking ‘We send him to New York we basically kill an opponent and at the same time Tim Tebow doesn’t come back to bite us in the proverbial butt, if you will, because he’s not going to make it out of there.’
“You send him to Jacksonville, all of a sudden he’s got that fanbase behind him and all of a sudden he’s doing what he’s done all his life, that’s win games. That would put a lot of ill-will towards your organization. There is a lot of politics that go on with it. I think Timmy was just unfortunate to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Clarkson trains Tebow, so it’s no surprise he’s speaking highly of his client. He says that Tebow is working on losing weight to drop some of his bulk in order to gain more athleticism. He also says they have worked on Tebow’s throwing mechanics to lose some of the windmill motion that slows Tebow’s delivery. Clarkson firmly believes that Tebow’s NFL future is as a quarterback.
Though it’s nice that Clarkson is standing up for Tebow, he should first do a little more research on the facts. Broncos executive John Elway said last year that Tebow preferred New York over Jacksonville, so the Broncos traded him there even though the offer from the Jaguars was more enticing. Tebow reportedly felt like he would have a better chance to play quarterback with the Jets and reportedly felt more welcomed by their coaches.
Clarkson’s theory sounds great, but it’s mostly inaccurate.
Helmet smack to Around the League
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According to lore, Jordan woke up sick the day before the Wednesday game against the Utah Jazz. Trainers said he would be unable to play in the critical game, which would have put the Bulls in a difficult spot since Utah had won the previous two games to tie the series.
Despite being dehydrated and visibly ill, Jordan managed to play in the game and went on to score 38 points in Chicago’s 90-88 win. The Bulls returned to Chicago and won Game 6 to clinch the series, and the “Flu Game” is considered a turning point in the series.
Now, Jordan’s personal trainer says Jordan was suffering from food poisoning those few days.
Jordan’s trainer, Tim Grover, is promoting his book, “Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable,” and told TrueHoop TV that MJ was poisoned by some pizza he ordered.
Here’s how Grover recalled the story to TrueHoop TV:
- Michael Jordan
Last week it was reported that Jay-Z will be selling his ownership share in the Nets — an amount less than one percent of the franchise — in order to become a certified NBA agent.
Ohanian, who sold the popular social media site Reddit.com in 2006, is a Brooklyn native and Nets season-ticket holder, according to NetsDaily.com. Ohanian tweeted last week to express his interest in buying Jay-Z’s shares:
— Alexis Ohanian (@alexisohanian) April 10, 2013
Ohanian was also on Bloomberg TV’s “Money Moves” Tuesday where he again expressed his interest in buying Jay-Z’s share of the Nets.
“Absolutely,” answered Ohanian when asked if he would have interest in buying Jay-Z’s share. “In fact, I have tried to make as many public and private overtures as I can to let HOVA know that I would absolutely be honored to buy those shares.”
Nets Daily also says Jay-Z will decide who purchases his share of the team. Jay-Z reportedly paid $1 million for his stake in the team.
You can see Ohanian’s interview with “Money Moves” below. The Nets part comes at the very end:
Brad Marchand raffling off playoff suite to raise money for family of 8-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim
Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand is the latest athlete to come up with an idea to raise money for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. The family of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy who was one of three people killed in the blast, said Martin loved the Bruins. A photo of Martin in Bruins gear at TD Garden began circulating the internet after word of his tragic death became official.
According to the Boston Bruins’ official Twitter account, Marchand has decided to raffle off a suite to the team’s first playoff home game, with the proceeds going to the Richard family. The bidding is currently underway on the Bruins raffle website.
“Our whole team saw the photos of Martin at our game from last Thursday and learned that he and his family are big fans of ours,” Marchand said. “This is just one small gesture which I hope can help the Richard family during this incredibly sad time for them.”
Marchand is one of many athletes who have tried to do their part to help the healing process for the victims, their loved ones and the people who were affected by the event. New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola has already pledged money to relief funds for each pass he catches and drops next season. Hopefully the great ideas for raising money keep rolling in.