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Chael Sonnen fails pre-UFC 175 random drug test

Chael SonnenChael Sonnen, irony is calling your name.

Two weeks after Sonnen mocked Wanderlei Silva for running away from a random drug test that led to Vitor Belfort replacing the Brazilian in the UFC 175 fight, Chael himself was busted for failing a random drug test.

According to ESPN, Sonnen tested positive for illegal substances anastrozole and clomiphene during a random drug test in Las Vegas last month when Sonnen was in town for a UFC news conference. Anastrozole is used to treat breast cancer, while clomiphene is used in cases of female infertility.

This is the second time Sonnen has failed a drug test; he had an elevated T/E ratio in 2010 and was suspended prior to his rematch with Anderson Silva.

Sonnen is a known TRT user and said he would make adjustments in the wake of the UFC/NSAC’s crackdown on the treatment. The substances he tested positive for are used as treatments for hypogonadism, which is the condition Sonnen has that he argues necessitates his TRT.

The Sonnen-Belfort fight has been pulled off the card entirely. Belfort was also set to appear in front of the commission next month for a positive test he had in February. That means the three men playing musical chairs for the fight — Sonnen, Silva and Belfort — all have failed drug tests this year. That is not a good look for the UFC.

Sonnen went on “Jay Mohr Sports” Tuesday to explain the positive test. No surprise, he did his best to talk circles around it.

“They changed the ruling in Nevada earlier this year, doing away with the TRT, testosterone replacement therapy, and I was on that. So when they changed the rule, we all had to go through a transition phase. For me during the transition, I had to take a couple of things. One is called Clomiphene……and another is called HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin). I didn’t fight it or ask for a license. In the interim, they did a test, and I tested positive for these things which I should have because I took them and they were in my system. That wasn’t a surprise. These aren’t anabolics, these aren’t steroids or performance enhancers, but they have deemed that they are banned substances. What’s interesting in my case is that we’re out of competition. These aren’t things that I showed up with on game day. This is out of competition due to a rule that they changed, so it’s an odd spot for me.”

Brock Lesnar selling Minnesota home for $799,000

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Brock Lesnar is selling his home in Minnesota, and if you’re looking for a spacious home with a ton of land and a massive work space you may actually be able to afford it. Unlike some of the other mansions we have featured that athletes have sold, Lesnar’s house is listed for a modest $799,000.

According to Realty Today, the property has been listed on several different occasions since 2009. Lesnar was asking $1.49 million back then, and the listing surfaced again a year later for $999,000. Now, some might even consider it a bargain.

The home sits on 43 acres of land that are suited for farming. It has four bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and a huge utility building with five garage bays.

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Lesnar, a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, is still signed with WWE.

Jon Jones to fight Alexander Gustafsson, but thinks Daniel Cormier is tougher

Jon JonesJon Jones will be fighting Alexander Gustafsson after all.

The UFC announced Thursday that Jones will face Gustafsson in a rematch on Sept. 27. The announcement comes a few days after UFC boss Dana White said Jones preferred to fight Daniel Cormier instead of Gustafsson.

Jones confirmed that was the case, calling Cormier the “tougher fighter.” But he says he will fight Gustafsson because there is a higher demand for the fight.

“I think Cormier is the tougher fighter, but the fans want to see me fight Gustafsson,” Jones said in a statement via UFC.com.

“There was never an issue with taking the Gustafsson fight. The issue was that my brother is getting married in July and I would have preferred a later date. I didn’t want to go this early and I would have preferred to go later in October or November. It is what it is. We have a date now, Sept 27th. This was a personal decision for me. I will be at my brother’s wedding and have a proper training camp.”

So Jones will be facing Gustafsson, but the fight won’t be exactly when he wants it. You knew there had to be some catch for him.

It’s pretty clear that Dana wanted Jones to fight Gustafsson to satisfy the demand.

“Obviously Jon is right, this if the fight the fans want to see. The great thing about this is, we get Jones vs Gustafsson, and if Jones beats Gustafsson, we get Jones vs Cormier. Two great fights in the light heavyweight division with three of the baddest guys in the world: the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world and champion Jon Jones, and the number one and two contenders,” said White in a statement.

This is probably the way it should be. And White is right — after Jones beats Gustafsson, then he can fight Cormier. There’s no reason not for them to have a rematch first.

Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz want to fight

Nick DiazNeither Nick Diaz nor Anderson Silva have fought for quite some time — for different reasons — but they might want to face each other when they do return.

Silva is recovering from a broken leg suffered in his second consecutive loss to Chris Weidman and is likely to return in early 2015. Diaz has stepped away from MMA and is demanding a hefty payday from Dana White to return to the UFC (or at least that’s what we think — it’s so hard to tell with him).

Diaz has expressed interest in fighting only the best competition, and he specifically has said in the past that he wants to fight Silva. Silva apparently wants to fight him as well.

FOX Sports’ Damon Martin says Silva’s manager Ed Soares indicated they are interested in a fight against Diaz. Diaz told “UFC Tonight” that he is also interested in the fight.

Would White put up with Diaz’s antics and flakiness to make this happen? I think he would absolutely. Though Diaz is in a lower weight class than Silva, he holds great name value and would certainly make fans eager to watch. This would be an easy fight to sell. I also like that both would essentially be on equal ground if they fight each other considering they’ve had long layoffs from competition.

Dana White: Jon Jones wants to fight Daniel Cormier, not Alexander Gustafsson

Jon Jones beltAlexander Gustafsson gave Jon Jones probably the toughest fight of his professional MMA career, and fans have been eagerly awaiting a rematch between the two. But it sounds like Jones is more interested in fighting someone else instead of rematching with Gustfasson.

UFC boss Dana White said on UFC.com program “The Download” that Jones is interested in fighting undefeated light heavyweight Daniel Cormier, who submitted Dan Henderson at UFC 173 in May.

“Just to clear up a couple things, people think we’re in contract negotiations with Jon Jones – we’re not,” White said via MMA Junkie. “Jon Jones still has five fights left on his contract. So what we’re doing right now is trying to get him to sign the bout agreement for Gustafsson. He doesn’t want to fight Gustafsson. … Lorenzo and I have a meeting with Jones on Thursday to get him to sign the bout agreement, and he’s asking to fight Cormier instead.”

White had previously said the organization was negotiating a deal with Jones, but that’s not the holdup.

Cormier is new to the light heavyweight division and has only fought at that weight his last two fights. Previously he was the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion before dropping down in weight.

Why might Jones want to fight Cormier instead of Gustafsson? First off, he’s already beaten Gustafsson, even if it was by a narrow margin. Secondly, Cormier has been calling him out since last year and talking a lot of trash in the meantime. I’m sure Bones wants to teach him a lesson. It’s not like they wouldn’t have a good fight, either.

Dana White banned from gambling at the Palms again

Dana-White-Gay-UFC-FightersUFC president Dana White has had an up-and-down relationship with the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas over the past two years. In October 2012, it was announced that the Palms would not be hosting “The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale” after White cut ties with the hotel over a dispute with his credit line. White recently smoothed things over with the Palms after a 22-month boycott.

The reunion didn’t last.

On Sunday, White confirmed to Norm Clarke of the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the Palms has decided to give him his “walking papers” because he was winning too much at the tables. White claims he “beat them for nearly $2 million” and was asked not to play anymore. When new management took the resort over in May, he was told his gaming limit was being reduced from $25,000 to $5,000 per hand.

“A lot of people are going to think I’m a card counter after that Ben Affleck thing at the Hard Rock,” White told Clarke. “I’m the farthest thing from card counter.”

White said he has heard the Palms will try to end their relationship with him on good terms by presenting him with a trophy that says something like “congrats you kicked our ass and made us tap out.” Still, he is irritated with being squeezed out because of his success.

“Casinos don’t want to gamble anymore,” White said. “They’re all owned by hedge funds and corporations. They want to stack the odds so much against you that won’t play. Realistically, there’s only one place to play left in town. That’s Caesars. They will let you play what you want to play. No messing around with limits.”

White has been known to dine at N9ne Steakhouse at the Palms — which he may still do — and tip servers up to $10,000 on $10,000 dinner tabs. There have also been rumors that he has given card dealers roughly $200,000 in tips while winning a ton of money over the past few months.

Regardless of how much money he has taken from the Palms by gambling, it’s surprising that the resort would end its relationship with White. You’d think the exposure and luxury of hosting UFC events would more than make up for it.

H/T The Big Lead

Vitor Belfort replacing Wanderlei Silva at UFC 175, will fight Chael Sonnen

Vitor BelfortVitor Belfort is replacing Wanderlei Silva at UFC 175 and will fight Chael Sonnen on the July 5 card in Las Vegas.

Combate.com first reported the news and says Silva was pulled from the fight after missing a meeting with the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

The UFC 175 card is being headlined by Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida. Weidman was originally slated to face Belfort at UFC 173, but Vitor pulled out of the fight amid the new crackdown on TRT. The fight was pushed back to UFC 175 after Weidman had knee surgery.

In addition to Weidman-Machida and Sonnen-Belfort, Ronda Rousey will face Alexis Davis on the card, and Urijah Faber and Stefan Struve also have fights on the card.

This shuffling of fighters is a surprise given that it looked like Belfort was initially being pulled because of TRT issues. I guess that’s all cleared up.