Dana White: UFC Not Negotiating with Royce Gracie for UFC Rio

Dana White has indicated that Royce Gracie’s return to the Octagon won’t be happening at UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro. MMA Fighting reported that “that the [UFC] has no interest in offering a fight” to Gracie despite reports indicated talks were ongoing.

We had written a month ago that the possibility of Gracie returning for a farewell fight was a legitimate possibility, but now it looks like that won’t be happening. Gracie’s manager was the one who had said they were nailing down a deal to fight on the card.

Gracie is the original UFC winner, having been victorious at UFC 1, UFC 2, and UFC 4. He has not fought in the UFC since losing to Matt Hughes in 2006, and his last fight was a win over Kazushi Sakuraba in a 2007 EliteXC fight. Gracie tested positive for steroids after beating Sakuraba and hasn’t fought since then.

Is a Heavyweight Fight Against Fedor Emelianenko Fair to Dan Henderson?

After a month of discussing a potential Strikeforce fight between Dan Henderson and Fedor Emelianenko, one was finally agreed to by both fighters. The bout will be in July, and according to MMA Weekly, it will be at 220 pounds. Getting the fighters to agree on a weight was the tough part, and if it is at 220 pounds, I have to ask the question: is that fair to Dan Henderson?

Whether it’s been in Pride, the UFC, or Strikeforce, Dan Henderson has always been down to fight any opponent. He’s competed at lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, and light heavyweight classes, and he’s currently a highly-ranked light heavyweight and middleweight fighter. To give you an idea of his flexibility, he fought both Nogueira brothers in the span of less than three years even though one is a heavyweight and the other is a light heavyweight. Hendo’s management also seems unconcerned with the weight issue, saying since Henderson is challenging Fedor, it should be at Fedor’s preferred weight.

Still, even if Hendo is down like usual, this to me is more about Fedor. His loss to Big Foot Silva showed he was at a huge size and weight disadvantage and he was subsequently dominated. Even in a win against Hong Man Choi, Fedor was beat up pretty good by the 7-footer. He needs to fight opponents more his size, and Hendo is an undersized opponent. If he can’t beat Henderson at 220 pounds, which is an unfair weight for Dan, then he needs to retire. But even if Henderson is open to a fight at 220 pounds, that doesn’t seem to be fair. A fair fight should be somewhere in between where each man generally fights.

Fedor typically weighs in at 225-230 pounds for his fights. Henderson has been fighting at light heavyweight where the limit is 205 pounds. If anything seems fair, it would be a 215-pound limit that makes Fedor cut down more weight to make himself more even with Hendo. As it is, it seems like Hendo would be at too much of a disadvantage.

Cindy Dandois Fought While Pregnant, Out of Gina Carano Fight

Some stories you read about just make you shake your head, and the story of Cindy Dandois does just that. Dandois fought Jorina Baars on March 19th and won via second-round TKO. Following her victory, she was set to face starlet Gina Carano in June. This was supposed to be Carano’s first fight since she announced her return to the ring, but that ain’t happening after it was revealed that Dandois is three and a half months pregnant.

We first learned of the report from Steve Cofield at Cagewriter, and as shocking as the news is, Dandois must not have realized she was pregnant when she was fighting. According to Fighter Girls, female fighters must take pregnancy tests in order to be cleared to fight in the U.S. whereas in Europe, most of the time they only need to sign a declaration stating they are not pregnant. Hard to believe this could have slipped past someone, no pun intended, but it looks like it did.

Carano is still scheduled to fight on the June 18th Strikeforce card in Dallas though her opponent remains to-be-determined. The card is shaping up to be a good one; in addition to Carano, Shane Del Rosario will fight, and the other two Heavyweight Grand Prix fights will take place.

Here’s video of Dandois’ fight via Ariel Helwani at Versus:

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Nick Diaz Tries to Avoid Interview with Ariel Helwani, Rambles About Fight

Nick Diaz is headlining Saturday evening’s Strikeforce card in San Diego along with Paul Daley. The two are fighting for the welterweight title and they went through the weigh-in and interview pre-fight song and dance Friday, only Diaz wasn’t delighted about having to do his media promotion. Check out his bizarre interview with MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani, and all I can say is it sure sounded like Nick’s weed talking more than anything else. Here’s their interview:

Alright, so what I gathered there is Diaz didn’t want to talk because he wanted to avoid a controversy. What it seems like to me is Nick is one of those guys who tells it straight, so the more interviews he does the more he gets himself into trouble. In that sense, he’s similar to guys like T.O. or Randy Moss who have had to shut out the media at times just to avoid causing problems. I think it’s the same issue for Nick. Still, something seemed a wee bit off there, and it wasn’t Ariel’s behavior.

Thanks to 5th Round for the heads up.

Junior dos Santos Implies Brock Lesnar, Alistair Overeem Have Used Steroids

Junior dos Santos reportedly has said out loud what many fighters and fans already believe, that many heavyweight fighters in MMA are on something. Dos Santos is 12-1, riding a seven-fight winning streak, and he’s earned a fight with Brock Lesnar at UFC 131. The two are opposing coaches in The Ultimate Fighter Season 13, and JDS appears to have taken the rivalry with Brock to another level recently, implying he is a heavyweight fighter on the juice.

Speaking on the UFC Sem Limites show along with Shogun Rua and Mario Yamasaki, dos Santos reportedly said many fighters use PEDs.

“No I’ve never seen (someone taking performance-enhancing drugs [PEDs]), but I think at Heavyweight that happens a lot for sure. When you see people like Alistair Overeem, Brock Lesnar, look at the size of those guys, they’re really big. As Mario (Yamasaki) said, a lot of people use them but a lot of people don’t. I’m someone who has never used (PEDs), I think I came in the good phase of MMA and I’ve never used them.”

The entire show was conducted in Portuguese so I cannot confirm 100% what dos Santos said, and I’m not sure who had the transcription and translation first. The quotes above have spread throughout the online MMA communities, and it wouldn’t be the first time someone has suspected Lesnar or Overeem of using something.

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Dana White Supports Overtime Round to Eliminate Draws

UFC President Dana White is displaying the creativity and wits that has helped grow the UFC into the most popular MMA organization in the world. Speaking on The Ultimate Fighter Aftermath, White said he wants to explore the possibility of adding an overtime round to eliminate draws.

“I hate draws,” White said, as noted by MMA Fighting. “I think it’s just such a waste of everybody’s time and energy. It’s something that I would definitely explore.”

Even though particulars would have to be worked out, I think it’s a great idea. Say they go to the cards and find out the judges have it as draw, why not go to an extra round to see if a winner can be established?

This year alone we’ve seen Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard fight to a draw at UFC 125, and B.J. Penn and Jon Fitch do the same in the main event at UFC 127. Wouldn’t it have been much more satisfying for fans if there were an extra round to break the tie? Overtimes and tie-breakers are used in pretty much every other major sport, so why not MMA?

Like White said, draws are a big waste of everybody’s time. When two fighters meet in the Octagon, we want to see a winner. Anything that helps achieve that outcome while maintaining a safe environment for fighters sounds like a good idea to me.

Gina Carano Reportedly Leaving Xtreme Couture for Greg Jackson

Gina Carano has made a change in trainers according to a report, and she has left Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas to join Greg Jackson MMA in Albuquerque. Sources at Five Knuckles, which published the report that I first read about at MMABay, did not give a reason for the move, but we have a feeling what inspired it if it’s true.

Greg Jackson is one of the hottest names in MMA thanks to the dominance of his students Georges St. Pierre, and most recently, Jon Bones Jones. Carano was beat up in her most recent fight in 2009 by Cyborg Santos (watch the video) and is looking to sharpen her game.

Carano announced in February she was returning to fighting after taking time off to pursue an acting career, but no date has been given regarding her next fight.