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Chad Mendes Will Not Appeal Two Year Suspension, says Topical Skin Cream to Blame for Failed Test

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News broke last week that the USADA was suspending Chad “Money” Mendes for two years after he tested positive for the growth hormone known as GHRP-6 in an out of competition urinary analysis conducted on May 17. GHRP-6 is thought to enhance the effects of certain steroids when used in during a cycle. This week Mendes spoke to CBS Sacramento’s “The Drive” and acknowledged that he violated the new drug testing policy. Although “Money” will not file an appeal, he still stood firm that he had not knowingly taken any type of banned substance. He will not be eligible to return to the Octagon until June 10, 2018, two years from the date he was handed the initial provisional suspension which is in compliance with the new policy. Mendes will be 33 years old at the time the suspension is complete.

Mendes is claiming that the substance got into his system via a skin care cream he was using to treat a psoriasis disease that he has had his entire life.

“I have it all over my shins, my scalp is covered in it, I have it all over my ears, I get a big patch of it on my side. I’ve had it since I can even remember. I remember as a little kid I’d try to get on the wrestling mat and people would be like, ‘You have a giant ringworm, I’m not wrestling you.’ It’s something I’ve been dealing with my entire life. Even people I’m trying to grapple with on the mat sometimes get freaked out because it gets super red and inflamed and it looks just God awful…They think it’s contagious and they don’t want to touch me. My scalp, I can’t wear a black shirt; it looks like it’s snowing all over my shoulders. It’s pretty disgusting and embarrassing. My fiancee hates it. It’s itchy all the damn time….This was one of the cases that it had something in it that was on the USADA banned list. My situation was just kinda bad luck I feel,” Mendes stated in the interview. “Ultimately I broke the rules. Did I use it? Of course. I didn’t try going to USADA and making up some B.S. story and trying to lie my way out of it. After testing positive I went back and looked through all my supplements….the only other thing I started using at the time was the lotion, so I started looking and reading all the ingredients, and sure enough on there, GHRP-6 was one of the damn ingredients.”

Throughout the years Mendes claims to have tried many different products to try to address the disease. The type of psoriasis he has is commonly referred to as chronic stationary psoriasis, or plaque-like psoriasis, which is not contagious, but can be fatal as the extreme inflammation and exfoliation of the skin associated with this form of the disease can disrupt the body’s ability to regulate temperature and perform essential barrier functions.

“USADA is coming to the sport, and they’ve been doing a great job. They’re catching guys that are taking steroids and getting in there and fighting while taking them. It’s something that I feel has needed to happen a long time ago, everyone’s seeing what’s going on. It’s just crappy on my part. I didn’t have a fight scheduled, I wasn’t training. I told the media, I told the UFC after my last fight I was going to take this entire year off. Anyone that’s been following me would know that I’ve been pouring my heart and soul into my new business, and just putting all my time and energy into that…I wouldn’t have any reason to try and take anything. I wasn’t preparing for anyone; I didn’t have anything on the horizon. That just wouldn’t make sense. All in all that doesn’t really matter, that was a substance that was on the banned list and I used it. It is what it is, I guess.”

In a case like this, public perception could go one of two ways. Either you believe that an athlete did not knowingly take any type of performance enhancing drug, they simply made a mistake and were caught in the crossfire of the new stringent drug testing policy, or you could choose to think that an athlete is just trying to find any excuse possible as to why they would have failed the test, thus appearing to be less culpable. In this case, both assumptions are moot points because the drug was listed as an ingredient on the product and it is ultimately the athlete who is responsible for what they put in (or on) their bodies. The language in Article 2.2.1 and 2.2.2 of the new policy clearly states:

The language in Article 2.2.1 and 2.2.2 of the new policy clearly states:

2.2.1 It is each Athlete’s personal duty to ensure that no Prohibited Substance enters his or her body and that no Prohibited Method is Used. Accordingly, it is not necessary that intent, Fault, negligence or knowing Use on the Athlete’s part be demonstrated in order to establish an AntiDoping Policy Violation for Use of a Prohibited Substance or a Prohibited Method.

2.2.2 The success or failure of the Use or Attempted Use of a Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method is not material. It is sufficient that the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method was Used or Attempted to be Used for an Anti-Doping Policy Violation to be committed.

When the subject of a possible retirement due to the lengthy suspension came up, Mendes was honest with “The Drive” and himself in saying that he knows he will be back in the cage when he is again eligible to compete.

“A lot of my family members have been asking me the same thing. I’m gonna be honest. It’s definitely something that’s crossed my mind, but I don’t know,” Mendes admitted. “I’ve been a competitor my entire life. I started wrestling at 5 years old and have competed all the way up til now. It’s what I know. It’s who I am. It’s what I do. Even if I were to say right now, ‘I’m done,’ I guarantee when 33 comes around and I’m getting that suspension taken off the competitiveness inside me is gonna take over and I’m gonna want to get back in there and fight…It is tough. This is a brutal sport and the older I get, the more I’m realizing it. I don’t want to be 60 years old in a wheelchair and not able to talk because I’m out chasing money getting punched in the face,” he continued. “But at the same time, I do love to compete and it’s something I absolutely love to do. We’ll see. I’ve just got to be smart.”

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UFC looks for undefeated fighters for the next season of TUF

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As the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter comes to a close in a few weeks, UFC has set tryouts for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter on December 12th but there is a catch, participates must hold an undefeated record.

Titled The Ultimate Fighter 27: Battle of the Undefeated, the next installment of TUF will be looking for male fighters with an undefeated record with a minimum of 3-0 to apply for the show. The casting call asks for featherweights and welterweights but in the early stages of tryouts, a weight class will be decided later in the process.

Fighters must be aged between 21 – 34 and will grapple and light spar in front of UFC matchmakers and must be prepared to stay in Vegas until December 16th.

It is unknown what the future of TUF will be after the TV deal with FOX ends next year but the show has been a success for the company and many fighters to emerge from The Ultimate Fighter have become champion including current interim Lightweight champion Tony Ferguson, Bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw and Strawweight champion Rose Namajunas coming from past seasons of the show.

This will be the third time in a row that a gimmick will be added to the show that has been on the decline in the ratings in recent years but yet to use only undefeated fighters. An undefeated streak can be one of the most prestigious records to keep in mixed martial arts with the wins and losses being so vital in a fighters career.

Who will keep their zero? Who will be the next Ultimate Fighter? Who will be the coaches?

These questions will be answered when the new season of TUF begins shooting in January and the show premiering later in the year.

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Tom Gallicchio on UFC Release “It’s Been a Dream of Mine to Fight in KSW”

Harry Davies

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MMA Latest spoke to TUF 22 and 25 season competitor Tom Gallicchio about being cut from the UFC, and potential promotions that he could sign for in the future.

Gallicchio (19-10) signed for the UFC after reaching the semi-finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Season 25. Losing to James Krause in his debut, “Da Tank” was informed earlier this month that the UFC had parted ways with him.


Q: Before we jump into the whole free agency stuff, talk me through how the UFC broke the news that they were going to release you?

I thought I was going to have another fight, this time at lightweight. I got a letter dated July 7th, saying they were going to keep me, I received it in September. I was getting emails to update my USADA, I never got a cut letter and I got tested by USADA on October 24th. I was hoping to fight sometime in January or February, then they broke the news to me that they need to make a room for new talent.

Q: You made your UFC debut against James Krause in July, then 4 months down the line, they cut you. How surprised were you at this somewhat out of the blue decision?

I’m thankful for my opportunity in the UFC and the fact that they gave me another shot, but it was definitely surprising how it happened.  They released a newsletter in September welcoming Jesse (Taylor) Dhiego (Lima) and myself into the UFC, all signs pointed towards another fight. Hearing that I was cut was just heartbreaking.

Q: Have any talks started with a new promotion. I saw you name a few on Twitter, the likes of  Bellator, BAMMA, KSW and ACB. Who do you see yourself signing for?

I would love to compete in any of those! A couple of them hit me up, one of which I am very happy to talk with. Since they came out, It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW. They’re taking care of their fighters, I would love to fight for them. I want to travel, I want to see the world, I want to fight. I’ve got a lot of fans overseas and I want to give them a show.

It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW.

Q: Your long time friend Jesse Taylor was victorious in the TUF 25 Finale, but he has since accepted a 1-year ban for failing a USADA test. What is your take on this given how close you two are?

I know Jesse is not a juicer, I’ve known him ever since I came down to (Team) Quest. It’s probably come from some supplement that he’s taking, it sucks for him. I think he went into a little bit of panic mode, he could have done a better job of handling it.

I don’t take supplements, if there was a way, I’d still keep myself in the USADA pool just because I believe in a clean sport. I think it’s important we keep the sport clean and if we’re cleaning up the supplement companies then good, because no one else is.

Where would you look to see Tom fight next? Let us know below!

 

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2017 IMMAF World Championships: Finals fixtures

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After 4 days of non stop action from Monday to Thursday we have our final 14 bouts to determine the 2017 IMMAF World Champions. Most of these fighters have fought four times for their slot  in the final and tomorrow will be their chance to finish off what has been a fantastic week of fights.

Kicking off the action tomorrow will be Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan. Both women have looked extremely impressive in their bouts so far, Oliveira has spent less time in the cage than her opponent after finishing two of her fights. Neilan is the Irish teams last chance of a gold in this competition and comes into this after a war of a last fight. She is constantly pressuring and has solid striking with incredible ground and pound from any position on top.

Joel Aronlainen came down to featherweight after testing the water at lightweight in the European Championships. His lanky build and impressive overall skill set has seen him pick up 3 finishes in the competition so far. His opponent Delyan Georgiev is undefeated and will be a tough challenge for him. Georgiev has dominated the featherweight division at amateur, his gold medal at the European Championships could now lead to him becoming a world champion if he continues to perform like we’re used to seeing him do.

At 155lbs, Vitali Andruhovich will take on top American prospect Quintin Thomas for the gold. Andruhovich has been on the right side of two very close split decisions in this tournament so far. His controversial win over Irishman Ciaran Clarke had many people scratching their heads at the decision. He now has the chance to prove himself with a win against Quintin Thomas. Thomas is the UMMAF National Champion and a very experienced amateur fighter. Racking up 13 wins he has been a dominant fighter in most of his fights, his sole losses coming from sustaining an injury and a split decision loss.

For the Middleweight medal we have a battle of the Nordic fighters. Iceland’s Bjorn Lukas Haraldsson has looked phenomenal in his fights so far, finishing each and everyone inside a round. The Mjolnir fighter has been to many the highlight of the tournament, but has a tough task a head of him in Laallam who’s had half the number of fights in this tournament and looked impressive in both.

Bahrain’s last hope for a medal lies in the hand of Light Heavyweight finisher Murtaza Talha Ali. Ali has finished all four of his bouts so far, 3 via TKO/KO and his last being by way of submission. Standing in his way of gold will be Pavel Pahomenko from Belarus who’s proven to be lethal with submissions once an opportunity arises scoring two submission wins inside the first round.

Here is the full fixture list for the finals tomorrow:

  • Michele Oliveira  vs.  Danni Neilan 125 lbs
  • Anna Astvik  vs.  Hannah Dawson 115 lbs
  • Chamia Chabbi  vs.  Manon Fiorot 135 lbs
  • C. McCrudden  vs.  Fabiana Giampà 145 lbs
  • Gase Sanita  vs.  Kaycee Blake 155 lbs
  • Yernaz Mussabek  vs.  Serdar Atlas 125 lbs
  • Gamzat Magomedov  vs.  O. Moldagaliyev 135 lbs
  • Joel Arolainen  vs.  Delyan Georgiev 145 lbs
  • V. Andruhovich  vs.  Quitin Thomas 155 lbs
  • Sola Axel  vs.  Benjamin Bennett 170 lbs
  • B. Haraldsson  vs.  Khaled Laallam 185 lbs
  • Pavel Pahomenko  vs.  Murtaza Talha Ali 205 lbs
  • Irman Smajic  vs.  Lev Vins 265 lbs
  • Atanas Krastanov  vs.  Marcin Kalata 300 lbs
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