Thiago Tavares

Thiago Tavares tests positive for steroids; UFC announces Vitor Belfort medically approved for TRT

Thiago Tavares. Photo property of the UFC.

UFC lightweight Thiago Tavares has tested positive for the anabolic steroid Drostanolone following his first-round TKO loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC on FX 7 on January 19 in Brazil.

The UFC announced the result this afternoon. Tatame was the first to report the news. Tavares will receive a nine-month suspension and will also have to pass a drug test following the suspension in order to be cleared to fight again.

An official statement from the UFC regarding the matter is after the jump. The most interesting tidbit includes clarification about rumors circulating that Vitor Belfort had tested positive for a banned substance. It also mentions that Belfort has been approved for testosterone replacement therapy.

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The Daily Recap: Zuffa Retains Counsel for Rumored Federal Investigation, High-Moore Signed & More

Lorenzo Fertitta. Photo courtesy of GracieMag International.

The Daily Recap is a collection of news and notes from around the web that will be posted at the end of each day. Bout signings, injury news and much more can all be found here.

— Zuffa has reportedly retained Axinn-Veltrop-Harkrider, LLP, a New York City-based law firm specializing in anti-trust litigation, as the Federal Trade Commission is rumored to be investigating the UFC's parent company following its purchase of Strikeforce earlier this year. “It is true that Zuffa has retained my law firm, but I will not comment further,” said Stephen Axinn, the firm’s senior partner. “As I am sure you know, people generally do not want to comment where there may be possibly some sort of investigation going on.” [Full Contact Fighter]

— Seasoned veteran Jason High announced today that he has signed to attempt to win his sixth fight in a row against WEC alumnus Todd Moore at Strikeforce Challengers 19 on September 23 in Las Vegas. After falling in the finals of DREAM's inaugural welterweight grand prix and a one-off stint in the UFC, High found his way into Strikeforce courtesy of an impressive win streak, which includes victories over Japanese legend Hayato Sakurai and heralded prospects Jordan Mein and Quinn Mulhern. Moore meanwhile has won four out of six since being released from the WEC. [Five Ounces of Pain]

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Quick Hits: Struve Tapped to Face Gormley, Weekend Preview & More


Stefan Struve. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

— Towering heavyweight prospect Stefan Struve has reportedly been tapped to face undefeated All-American collegiate wrestler Chase Gormley at UFC 104, which takes place on October 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.. Bout agreements have apparently been signed. Gormley was originally slated to face Ben Rothwell at the event but Rothwell was recently moved into a main card matchup against Cain Velasquez. [Fighters Only Magazine]

— A number of notable MMA veterans are in action this weekend. Art of Fighting’s latest offering in Tampa, Florida includes Seth Petruzelli, competing for the first time since his 14-second win over Kimbo Slice, going up against Chris Baten. Marcio Cruz and Delson Heleno will be on the AOF card as well. Neil Grove and Brad Pickett will also be defending their respective Ultimate Challenge UK titles in London, England while Dokonjonosuke Mishima, Masakazu Imanari, and Ryo Chonan are in action at DEEP 43 in Japan. [Bloody Elbow]

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Fight Announcements: Griffin-Silva, Guillard-Tavares Set for UFC 101 & More


Forrest Griffin. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin will make a long-awaited return to action at UFC 101, which could take place on August 8 in Portland, Oregon. Griffin ended up falling in his first light heavyweight title defense to Rashad Evans at UFC 92 and has been recovering from a broken hand ever since. Silva meanwhile, suffered his first professional loss when he was knocked out by Lyoto Machida at UFC 94 in January. [MMA Junkie]

Colorful “Ultimate Fighter” alumnus Melvin Guillard will fight for the first time in over a year at UFC 101. His opponent will likely be Brazilian grappler Thiago Tavares, who is coming off a decision win over Manny Gamburyan at UFC 94. Both fighters have reportedly agreed to the fight and bout agreements are expected to be sent out shortly. [MMA Weekly]

Another matchup pitting together notable UFC veterans has reportedly been added to The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale on June 20 as longtime veteran Chris Lytle will likely face off against Kevin Burns. Lytle recently fell to Marcus Davis in a “Fight of the Night” effort at UFC 93 in January while Burns suffered a highlight-reel knockout loss to Anthony Johnson in his last outing. [MMA Weekly]

Decisions Galore on UFC 94 Undercard


Jon Fitch. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Jon Fitch’s journey back to the top of the UFC’s welterweight division started off with a win on Saturday night as the former collegiate wrestler grinded out a unanimous decision over Japanese pioneer Akihiro Gono in UFC 94’s most high-profile preliminary bout.

After a spectacular and somewhat odd walk to the Octagon by Gono (29-14-7), the PRIDE veteran spent the first few minutes of his bout against Fitch (18-3) defending constant takedown attempts. Fitch, an American Kickboxing Academy product, was eventually able to bring his opponent to the mat, where the majority of the fight took place.

The former UFC welterweight title challenger nearly finished the fight in the second round with an armbar just before time expired, and survived a last-minute comeback effort from Gono on the feet to win a clear-cut decision on the scorecards.

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All Fighters Make Weight for UFC 94


Georges St. Pierre. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The official weigh-in results for tomorrow night’s UFC 94 event, which takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, are below. All fighters successfully made weight.

The event is headlined by a highly-anticipated rematch for the UFC welterweight title between reigning champion Georges St. Pierre and UFC lightweight king B.J. Penn. Undefeated light heavyweights Lyoto Machida and Thiago Silva will collide as well.

Main Card:

Georges St. Pierre (170 lbs) vs. B.J. Penn (168 lbs)
Lyoto Machida (206 lbs) vs. Thiago Silva (206 lbs)
Karo Parisyan (170 lbs) vs. Dong-Hyun Kim (171 lbs)
Nate Diaz (156 lbs) vs. Clay Guida (156 lbs)
Stephan Bonnar (206 lbs) vs. Jon Jones (206 lbs)

Preliminary Bouts:

Jon Fitch (171 lbs) vs. Akihiro Gono (171 lbs)
Manny Gamburyan (155 lbs) vs. Thiago Tavares (155 lbs)
Chris Wilson (170 lbs) vs. John Howard (171 lbs)
Jake O’Brien (205 lbs) vs. Christian Wellisch (206 lbs)
Matt Arroyo (171 lbs) vs. Dan Cramer (171 lbs)

Fight Announcements: Baroni, Lil’ Nog & More


Phil Baroni. Photo by Greg Honda/ICON Sport.

There were a few future bouts revealed over the weekend involving some pretty interesting participants. Let’s get right to them…

— Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has revealed that he is attempting to match Phil Baroni and Duane Ludwig together for a welterweight showdown that would take place at a yet-to-be-announced event early next year in either Denver or Seattle. Baroni remains undefeated since moving to 170 lbs., winning a decision over Olaf Alfonso in his last bout. Ludwig has struggled as of late, splitting his last four bouts, albeit against much better competition. (Paul Daley, Takanori Gomi)

— Manny Gamburyan has told MMA Weekly that he has agreed to take on fellow lightweight Thiago Tavares at UFC 94 on January 31 in Las Vegas. Bout agreements have not yet been sent out, but paperwork is expected to be taken care of over the next few days. “He’s a phenomenal fighter,” Gamburyan said when asked about Tavares. “I’m really happy I’m fighting him. With a good victory, that’s going to put me on top for sure.”

— World Victory Road has officially announced that former PRIDE standout Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has signed with the organization and will go up against Moise Rimbon at Sengoku VI on November 1 in Japan. Nogueira last fought in Affliction’s debut show on July 19, stopping Edwin Dewees in the first round. Rimbon, a Europe Top Team product, submitted K-1 kickboxer Peter Graham with a rear naked choke at Sengoku IV in August.

UFC 88 Suspensions and Salaries


Rich Franklin. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission has released the official lists of medical suspensions and fighter salaries stemming from this past weekend’s UFC 88: Breakthrough event, which took place at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.

Rashad Evans scored a brutal second-round knockout of former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell in the show’s main event. Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin and former PRIDE title holder Dan Henderson were also victorious in their respective bouts.

In terms of the fighter salaries, remember that this is only the base salary that a fighter received. Bonuses, deductions, and other undisclosed fees are not included.

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UFC 88: Breakthrough Weigh-In Results


Chuck Liddell. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The official weigh-in results for tomorrow night’s UFC 88: Breakthrough, which takes place at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, are below. All fighters successfully made weight.

The show is headlined by former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell going up against undefeated contender Rashad Evans. Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin will also be moving back up to the 205 lb. weight class to take on former standout collegiate wrestler and one-time training partner Matt Hamill in the co-main event.

Main Card:

Chuck Liddell (204 lbs) vs. Rashad Evans (205 lbs)
Rich Franklin (204.5 lbs) vs. Matt Hamill (205 lbs)
Dan Henderson (185 lbs) vs. Rousimar Palhares (184.5 lbs)
Nate Marquardt (185 lbs) vs. Martin Kampmann (184.5 lbs)
Dong-Hyun Kim (170 lbs) vs. Matt Brown (170 lbs)

Preliminary Bouts:

Kurt Pellegrino (156 lbs) vs. Thiago Tavares (155 lbs)
Tim Boetsch (205 lbs) vs. Mike Patt (205 lbs)
Jason MacDonald (185 lbs) vs. Jason Lambert (185 lbs)
Ryo Chonan (170 lbs) vs. Roan Carneiro (170 lbs)

Pellegrino-Tavares Added to UFC 88


Kurt Pellegrino. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

A lightweight bout between former divisional contenders and skilled grapplers Kurt Pellegrino and Thiago Tavares has been announced along with an additional preliminary fights for the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s September venture into Atlanta, Georgia.

The organization confirmed the bouts earlier today.

Pellegrino is coming off of a devastating submission loss to “Ultimate Fighter 5” winner Nate Diaz at UFC Fight Night 13 in a bout that Pellegrino dominated up until the second round. Tavares established himself a dangerous lightweight contender following a surprising submission win over Jason Black last year but has since lost two out of his last three bouts. Most recently, Tavares was knocked out by Matt Wiman at UFC 85: Bedlam last month.

The other previously rumored bouts announced today included Ryo Chonan vs. Roan Carneiro, Dong-Hyun Kim vs. Matt Brown, and Tim Boetsch vs. James Lee.

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