Fight Club: UFC faced with heavyweight problems

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Fedor Emileanenko (c) is returning but not in the UFC.

We’ve reached a sort of “off season” in the sport of mixed martial arts.

The UFC (and rival promoters) work unlike any other sport in that there are no scheduled championships, no play-offs and no set dates in which to build your marketing calendar around.

In mixed martial arts, it is more ebbs and flows.

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For instance, between September 6 and November 14, a span of two months and eight days, we get one male championship fight. That’s an ebb.

From November 15 until January 2, 2016, a span of just over one and a half months, we’re treated to the following: Ronda Rousey v Holly Holm, Chris Weidman v Luke Rockhold, Conor McGregor v Jose Aldo, Donald Cerrone v Rafael Dos Anjos and Robbie Lawler v Carlos Condit. That’s a flow, ladies and gentleman.

Heck, that’s not even a flow… that’s a damn avalanche.

Of course, we all know the UFC’s recent history with injuries and it’s not pretty, so let’s hope I didn’t just jinx that wonderful calendar of fighting fun.

But, just like any other sport’s off-season, there are plenty of story lines that are worth following if you’re a fan of mixed martial arts.

Where to begin…well, there was that catastrophe the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) calleda hearing. You know, the one where they fined a very popular fighter $165,000 and banned him for five years for using recreational drugs.

I’m no expert, but shouldn’t they be looking out for the safety of the fighters in these hearings rather than focus on a recreational druguser who gains no benefit by using medical marijuana, as far as fighting ability goes?

Nick Diaz’s juiced-up counterpart in that fight that he popped dirty for, Anderson Silva, was only banned for one year. For steroids. Something that can cause legitimate danger to an opponent’s long-term health.

That doesn’t seem to make sense until you remember that the NSAC has routinely displayed reactionary disciplines based on how much remorse (no matter how genuine) was displayed.

Nick Diaz effectively shunned them when he took the Fifth Amendment on each question, and as a result (if this ban holds) his career is more than likely over.

Of course, that wasn’t the only big news. If you haven’t heard the heavyweight GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) has decided to un-retire and come back for one last hurrah.

You can hardly blame Fedor Emelianenko for wanting to come out of retirement after seeing the current stable of fighters at the top of the food chain.

Fabricio Werdum, Frank Mir, Andrei Arlovski, and Mark Hunt were in their physical primes 10 years ago. Yes, that’s how shallow the current pool of heavyweight fighters is.

And Fedor has better than a half chance against each of them, except that he won’t be fighting any of them.

Nope, Fedor will be fighting in a new promotion that is run by former PRIDE Chief Nobuyuki Sakakakibara with who Fedor has a long relationship.

So who will he be fighting? Good question. Umm, hopefully not Kimbo Slice?

As thin as the heavyweight division is in the UFC, it’s much, much worse in other promotions.

All the best fights with Fedor Emelianenko are in the UFC: Fedor v Werdum, Fedor v Arlovski, heck… you could even talk me in to Fedor v Dan Henderson.

Fedor never seemed to be about the money, but this one feels like a pure money grab.

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#360LIVE: UFC Fight Night 75 stats

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Courtesy of our friends at Fight Analytics, Sport360 is bringing you live coverage of UFC Fight Night 75, headlined by Josh 'The Warmaster' Barnett vs Roy 'Big Country' Nelson.

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It's UFC's first event in Japan for more than a year and there will be a number of talented Asian fighters on the card at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

Below is everything you need to know about the fighters for the evening, plus the tale of the tape and a full statistcial breakdown of the competitiors and event. 

UFC Fight Night 75 starts at 6am GST on Sunday, September 27. 

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Fury turns up as Batman for Klitschko press conference

Barny 23/09/2015
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British boxer Tyson Fury turned up dressed as 'Batman' at a press conference in London on Wednesday (23rd September) to promote his heavyweight fight with Wladimir Klitschko.







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