Chael Sonnen’s Suspension Is Complete: What’s Next for the UFC Middleweight?

By Trent Reinsmith

As of Thursday, March 3, Chael Sonnen had completed the six-month suspension that was handed to him by the California State Athletic Commission.

MMAFighting reports that CSAC executive officer George Dodd informed the website that Sonnen had fulfilled the terms of his suspension and would be able to apply to have his license reinstated.

“If Mr. Sonnen wants to be licensed here in California, he will have to appear before the commission to regain his license,” Dodd informed MMAFighting.

“Every other state will have to make a determination on their process for licensing Mr. Sonnen.”

Sonnen was originally handed a one-year suspension from the CSAC due to a positive drug test following his loss to UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 127, which took place in August of last year.

Sonnen’s test revealed elevated levels of testosterone, which he and his physician argued were due to hypogonadism, a condition that results in low testosterone levels.

 

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Attention Goes to UFC 127 Drama, but Praise Belongs With Brian Ebersole

By Mike Chiappetta

Let’s put the UFC 127 controversy and arguments away for a little while, just long enough to celebrate someone deserving of some praise. Can we do that? I mean, it’s easy to focus on the negative, but shouldn’t we give equal time to the people who beat the odds? That’s why we watch sports, isn’t it? To watch people win, to overcome obstacles, and celebrate the triumph of the human will.

We get enough negativity in this lifetime from the regular news, yet in the sports world, the victory of Brian Ebersole is buried under the headlines of Michael Bisping spitting, and the disputed draw between BJ Penn and Jon Fitch.

Ebersole was never going to have an easy time stealing the limelight from those guys. Despite a career spent in the trenches, he was not well known by anyone other than the hardest of the hardcore fans. Walking in to his fight with Chris Lytle, Ebersole was a major underdog, particularly fighting on short notice as a replacement for the injured Carlos Condit.

But Ebersole performed brilliantly under the adverse conditions. He frustrated Lytle with his unconventional style, hurt him badly with a flush knee to the chin, and stifled most of Lytle’s considerable offensive skills.

When it was all said and done, Ebersole — a self-proclaimed MMA journeyman who had fought in places far and wide, from Australia to South Africa to Japan to Mexico — had his first UFC win at the age of 30.

 

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Vitor Belfort hints at May match-up with Michael Bisping

By Brendhan Conlan

The unsportsmanlike actions of Michael Bisping at UFC 127 during/after his bout with Jorge Rivera resonated strongly with a number of people both in attendance and watching at home. It appears one of those individuals happened to be a former promotional champ known for his knockout power among other things.

Vitor Belfort took to his Twitter account Sunday night and expressed his interest in acting as Bisping’s next opponent saying he was on his way to Las Vegas and looking forward to facing “The Count” in May.

“I’d really like to fight Bisping,” the Brazilian striker wrote on his page of the potential showdown.

While no specific event was mentioned and nothing has been made official the only May 2011 PPV is UFC 130 over Memorial Day weekend. However, the main card already appears to be full including a headlining title-bout between Frank Edgar and Gray Maynard as well as Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Matt Hamill and Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson. Perhaps a more likely possibility, UFC 131 is set for June 4 and seemingly has a bit more flexibility with only a few significant pairings in place thus far.

 

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Bisping awaits White call over possible suspension

By ESPN

All eyes are on UFC president Dana White after Jorge Rivera‘s camp called for Michael Bisping to be suspended following the incidents that occurred at UFC 127.

Bisping beat Rivera by second-round stoppage on Saturday, but only after he had driven an illegal knee into the American‘s head. The Briton later celebrated in front of Rivera’s camp, who claim he spat in their direction.

The accusation is firmly denied by Bisping, who insists he merely went over to show what he thought of them after several pre-fight videos that abused the Brit, but that has not stopped Rivera’s Alchemist Management calling for a fine and suspension.

“Michael Bisping’s conduct in the Octagon at UFC 127 was unconscionable, unprofessional, and smacks of a man with no morals or character,” read the statement.

 

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Phil Baroni weighs in for Bisping

By Fighters Only

Phil Baroni has thrown his support behind Michael Bisping and says the British welterweight was under no obligation to be on friendly terms with Jorge Rivera after their UFC 127 fight.

Bisping was involved in heated scenes following the fight, arguing with Rivera and Rivera’s corner team and spitting in the direction of one of them.

Baroni says, “Bisping kicked Rivera’s ass after a bad blood, bitter rival pre-fight campaign instigated by Rivera and his camp. Why does Mike have to kiss and make up with Rivera after he smashes him? Why?

Mike beat his ass broke him physically and even more mentally. Case closed. They had annomisity and hatred for each other prefight. If you want to talk shit prefight, insult, make videos, etc in order to promote yourself, the fight or whatever that’s your choice.

But after the guy kicks your ass he don’t have to be you be your best friend and hug it out with you. Don’t expect it to be water under the bridge especially after a one-sided affair.”

 

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Bisping Denies Spitting on Cornerman, Rivera’s Team Wants Suspension

By Mike Chiappetta

In the immediate seconds following the conclusion of an emotionally charged fight between Michael Bisping and Jorge Rivera, Bisping walked to the octagon corner nearest to Rivera’s team and spit. That much is clear. But the two sides disagree on what exactly he was aiming at, and whether he hit it.

Rivera’s team says that the spit was directed — and hit — boxing coach Matt Phinney. Bisping denies it.

“No, not at all. I was spitting on the floor to let him know what I thought of him,” Bisping told MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani in a UFC 127 post-fight interview. “I apologized for that, and I never want to act like that.”

The bad blood between the two stemmed from a series of videos Rivera did leading up to the fight which mocked Bisping. In the videos, Phinney portrayed Bisping.

During a break in the fight following a Bisping intentional foul, Bisping also directed a middle finger towards Phinney.

According to Rivera’s management team, that wasn’t the worst of it. After completing his second-round TKO win, Bisping walked towards Rivera’s corner and spat at them. But while Bisping denies directing it at anyone, Rivera’s team says he did indeed hit a cornerman.

“Bisping’s conduct after he was awarded the TKO is not acceptable,” Rivera’s manager Lex McMahon told MMA Fighting in an email. “Taunting and spitting at and on Jorge’s coach Matt Phinney is the deplorable conduct of a school yard bully. And like all bullies, Mr. Bisping needs to be punished. In this instance, it would be appropriate if Bisping is fined and suspended by the commission and/or the UFC.”

 

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Michael Bisping Beats Up Jorge Rivera

By Kid Nate

Michael Bisping followed up a first round illegal knee on the ground with some brutal punching in the following round to finish Jorge Rivera at UFC 127.

Bisping apologized for some of his trash talk and behavior after the fight.

The bitter rivals didn’t waste any time with touching gloves before the fight. Rivera came out lunging forward but Bisping easily made him miss. Bisping took him down with almost four minutes left. Rivera stood back up. After a hard right landed for Rivera, Bisping went for a single leg that went nowhere. Bisping followed with a double leg that worked with about 2:45 left. Bisping landed some hard ground and pound but added an illegal knee to the head while Rivera was down on the ground. Rivera took his time getting up but the doctor allowed him to continue. Bisping lost a point. Rivera came out aggressive. Bisping went for another double leg but got stuffed. Bisping got him down with just under a minute left. Bisping landed hard shots on the ground. Rivera stood up but ate more shots doing it. Bisping talked some trash after the end of the round.

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