It isn’t much of a surprise that UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman found Vitor Belfort’s recent trash talk as delusional as we did. Belfort said recently that the UFC should have created an interim title for a case like Weidman (who forced a postponement from Dec. to Feb. of a title fight between he and Belfort, because of a broken hand suffered in training camp).
Usually, fighters have to be projected to be out of action for at least a year for talks of interim titles being issued. Weidman last fought a few months ago, in July.Â
Belfort has not fought since Nov. 2013. Weidman was not impressed with the logic of “The Phenom.”
“It doesn’t make any sense, it’s not like I’ve been out for a year,” Weidman told MMA Fighting this week.
“This guy hasn’t fought since November. And I was actually, we were supposed to fight. We were lined up to fight in July. And he had to pull out of the fight. And you know why he had to pull out of the fight? He failed a drug test. So this guy is failing drug tests and he has the audacity, he has the balls to start talking junk? About me not fighting. He hasn’t fought since November. So what if he gets the belt? So what happens with that? He just makes no sense. That’s the bottom line.”
All this has left the usually calm and monotone Weidman riled up to not just fight and beat Belfort, but to embarrass him.Â “I want to completely toy with him,” Weidman continued.
“I want to toy with him. I want to beat him up standing, I want to toss him on his butt. Smack him in his mouth a couple times while he’s on the ground. Maybe go for a submission, make him almost tap, and let go of it, let him stand up, beat him up on the feet, take him down again, just completely just make a mockery of him.”
Fight Network, the world’s premier 24/7 television channel dedicated to complete coverage of combat sports, today announced that it added to its subscriber base by launching on Pennsylvania-based system Armstrong Cable.
Fight Network can now be found on channel 239 in high-definition (HD) and channel 491 in standard-definition (SD). It is available as part of the Armstrong Extra Pack.
Fight Network is a 24/7 television channel dedicated to complete coverage of combat sports. It airs programs focused on the entire scope of the combat sports genre, including live fights and up-to-the-minute news and analysis for mixed martial arts, boxing, kickboxing, professional wrestling, traditional martial arts, fight news, as well as fight-themed drama series, documentaries and feature films.
Headquartered in Butler County, Pennsylvania, Armstrong Cable serves over 100,000 customers across western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio.
“Fight Network is excited to bring unprecedented combat sports coverage to Armstrong subscribers,” said Leonard Asper, CEO of Anthem Media Group Inc., which operates Fight Network. “The demand for unique fight content is greater than ever and Fight Network’s coverage of live fights, combat sports news and expert analysis will take the fight fan’s experience to the next level.”
“Armstrong is pleased to add Fight Network, the premier combat sports channel, to its programming lineup,” said David Wittman, VP of Cable Marketing at Armstrong. “It will definitely be a hit with our subscribers.”
Fight Network also launched in the U.S. on Cablevision’s Optimum TV in June, as well as Texas-based Grande Communications and mid-Atlantic U.S. system Shentel Cable in August.
For a full listing of Fight Network’s broadcast schedule, please visit tv.fightnetwork.com and follow on Twitter @fightnet, become a fan on Facebook and visit us on Instagram @fightnet.
Despite avoiding real regulation for two years by fighting internationally, and allowing his licensing in U.S. jurisdictions to lapse while using banned drug treatments, Vitor Belfort (24-10)Â was granted a middleweight title shot by the UFC. The UFC wanted the big middleweight title fight between Belfort and champion Chris Weidman (12-0) to take place in the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas (where Belfort had already failed a drug test in 2006 by testing positive for a steroid. That failed drug test resulted in a suspension from the Nevada Athletic Commission – NAC- that Belfort disregarded by fighting in the United Kingdom during it.), so the Nevada commission promptly administered a drug test to Belfort.
Belfort then failed the test and attempted to keep the results secret. When a Cagewriter report revealed that Belfort’s test results would be made public at a commission hearing, the fighter decided to admit that he failed the test.
Instead of penalizing Belfort, however, the NAC- (likely fearing a jurisdiction battle with the unlicensed Belfort, similar to the one it later got with Wanderlei Silva) decided to effectively let Belfort regulate himself. “The Phenom” pulled out the fight with Weidman, and when the commission finally got around to giving him a hearing, they issued no suspension for his second failed performance-enhancing drug test, and Belfort was given a second title shot against Weidman on Dec. 6.
We reiterate all of this just to contextualize just how brazen Belfort’s recent comments about the UFC belt and Weidman truly are. Speaking to Brazilian outlet Globo, Belfort complained about his date with Weidman being postponed to Feb. 2015 because of a broken hand sustained by the champ.
“You’re kidding, right?” Belfort said of Weidman’s latest injury.
“To me, he wanted to spend Christmas with his belt, and only in this way could do it.”
Belfort was gifted a title shot twice this year, despite avoiding regulation and failing a drug test, and has managed to avoid any formal sanction for his cheating, yet he’s saying that Weidman is the one avoiding the contest and getting special treatment. Belfort went on to suggest that an interim belt should be created, obstensibly so that he could go ahead and fight for a world title again without, you know, fighting the world champion.
“At first I did not believe, after all this being the second fight of his title defense then had to be postponed because of injury.Â I think for every holder of that belt gets injured more than once, the UFC should already create the interim belt,” Belfort said.
“With that, the fans, the fighters and the UFC would not leave himself harmed, only the injured athlete.”
Of course, Weidman most recently fought this past July, and Belfort has not fought since November of 2013. In fact, in the time that Weidman has taken to fight his last three fights, Belfort has just fought once.
Yet it’s the Blackzilian who is complaining of Weidman’s inactivity. Go figure.Â
The Party v the people
The Communist Party faces its toughest challenge since Tiananmen. This time it must make wiser decisions
Oct 4th 2014 | From the print edition
OF THE ten bloodiest conflicts in world history, two were world wars. Five of the other eight took place or originated in China. The scale of the slaughter within a single country, and the frequency with which the place has been bathed in blood, is hard for other nations to comprehend. The Taiping revolt in the mid-19th century led to the deaths of more than 20m, and a decade later conflict between Han Chinese and Muslims killed another 8m-12m. In the 20th century 20m-30m died under Mao Zedong: some murdered, most as a result of a famine caused by brutality and incompetence.
China’s Communist Party leaders are no doubt keen to hold on to power for its own sake. But the country’s grim history also helps explain why they are so determined not to give ground to the demonstrators in Hong Kong who want to replace the territory’s fake democracy with the real thing (see article). Xi Jinping, China’s president, and his colleagues believe that the party’s control over the country is the only way of guaranteeing its stability. They fear that if the party loosens its grip, the country will slip towards disorder and disaster.
They are right that autocracy can keep a country stable in the short run. In the long run, though, as China’s own history shows, it cannot. The only guarantor of a stable country is a people that is satisfied with its government. And in China, dissatisfaction with the Communist Party is on the rise.
Hong Kong’s “Umbrella revolution”, named after the protection the demonstrators carry against police pepper-spray (as well as the sun and the rain), was triggered by a decision by China in late August that candidates for the post of the territory’s chief executive should be selected by a committee stacked with Communist Party supporters. Protesters are calling for the party to honour the promise of democracy that was made when the British transferred the territory to China in 1997. Like so much in the territory, the protests are startlingly orderly. After a night of battles with police, students collected the plastic bottles that littered the streets for recycling.
For some of the protesters, democracy is a matter of principle. Others, like middle-class people across mainland China, are worried about housing, education and their own job prospects. They want representation because they are unhappy with how they are governed. Whatever their motivation, the protests present a troubling challenge for the Communist Party. They are reminiscent not just of uprisings that have toppled dictators in recent years from Cairo to Kiev, but also of the student protests in Tiananmen Square 25 years ago. The decision to shoot those protesters succeeded in restoring order, but generated mistrust that still pervades the world’s dealings with China, and China’s with its own citizens.
In Hong Kong, the party is using a combination of communist and colonial tactics. Spokesmen have accused the protesters of being “political extremists” and “black hands” manipulated by “foreign anti-China forces”; demonstrators will “reap what they have sown”. Such language is straight out of the party’s well-thumbed lexicon of calumnies; similar words were used to denigrate the protesters in Tiananmen. It reflects a long-standing unwillingness to engage with democrats, whether in Hong Kong or anywhere else in China, and suggests that party leaders see Hong Kong, an international city that has retained a remarkable degree of freedom since the British handed it back to China, as just another part of China where critics can be intimidated by accusing them of having shadowy ties with foreigners. Mr Xi, who has long been closely involved with the party’s Hong Kong policy, should know better.
At the same time, the party is resorting to the colonialists’ methods of managing little local difficulties. Much as the British—excoriated by the Communist Party—used to buy the support of tycoons to keep activism under wraps, Mr Xi held a meeting in Beijing with 70 of Hong Kong’s super-rich to ensure their support for his stance on democracy. The party’s supporters in Hong Kong argue that bringing business onside is good for stability, though the resentment towards the tycoons on display in Hong Kong’s streets suggests the opposite.
Yet the combination of exhortation, co-option and tear gas have so far failed to clear the streets. Now the government is trying to wait the protesters out. But if Mr Xi believes that the only way of ensuring stability is for the party to reassert its control, it remains possible that he will authorise force. That would be a disaster for Hong Kong, and it would not solve Mr Xi’s problem. For mainland China, too, is becoming restless.
Party leaders are doing their best to prevent mainlanders from finding out about the events in Hong Kong (see article). Even so, the latest news from Hong Kong’s streets will find ways of getting to the mainland, and the way this drama plays out will shape the government’s relations with its people.
The difficulty for the Communist Party is that while there are few signs that people on the mainland are hungering for full-blown democracy, frequent protests against local authorities and widespread expressions of anger on social media suggest that there, too, many people are dissatisfied with the way they are governed. Repression, co-option and force may succeed in silencing the protesters in Hong Kong today, but there will be other demonstrations, in other cities, soon enough.
A different sort of order
As Mr Xi has accumulated power, he has made it clear that he will not tolerate Western-style democracy. Yet suppressing popular demands produces temporary stability at the cost of occasional devastating upheavals. China needs to find a way of allowing its citizens to shape their governance without resorting to protests that risk turning into a struggle for the nation’s soul. Hong Kong, with its history of free expression and semi-detached relationship to the mainland, is an ideal place for that experiment to begin. If Mr Xi were to grasp the chance, he could do more for his country than all the emperors and party chiefs who have struggled to maintain stability in that vast and violent country before him.
Saying that the footwear belittled the Marxist leader they laid siege to a footwear shop in the busy flower market area and demanded they be destroyed immediately.
The terrified shop owner claimed the image was that of Bob Marley, the Jamaican reggae singer, and not that of Guevara. But this did not mollify the protestors who insisted that Marley too was a communist and that the footwear dishonoured his memory. The shopkeeper apologised and assured protesters he would not sell the footwear anymore.
CITU member Mayilsamy (60) had visited a footwear shop on Wednesday evening and spotted a pair of blue slippers with pink thongs and images of Guevara painted on them. He purchased the pair and questioned shopkeepers about the supplier. They told him that the footwear was supplied to them by J K Varma, a wholesale merchant.
On Thursday morning, around 50 DYFI members surrounded Varma’s shop and raised slogans. Police inspector S Balamurali Sundaram and his team rushed to the spot and pacified the protesters. Later the DYFI members were taken inside Varma’s shop where they searched for ‘Che Guevara’ footwear. They could not find any and later dispersed.
"We are sure that the image was that of Guevara. Someone said it looked like singer Bob Marley. But, we are convinced that the image closely resembled that of Guevara," said DYFI district committee member K S Kanagaraj.
He said DYFI lodged a complaint with police and requested them to take action against those who sold footwear that dishonoured well-known leaders.
Varma told TOI that his shop did not supply footwear with images of Guevara or Morley. "I had given a written statement to police that our shop did not supply such footwear to anyone," he said.
Milana Dudieva will likely be the first test of Holly Holm as she enters the UFC.
Former multiple time boxing world champion Holly Holm is currently in the works to make her long awaited Octagon debut at UFC 181. According to a report from UFC Tonight, the female boxing star is currently in discussions to face Milana Dudieva as part of the blockbuster card on December 5th.
The bout has yet to be finalized, but Holm is penned to make her debut on the card headlined by two title fights in Anthony Pettis vs. Gilbert Melendez and Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler 2.
Holm, who has been recovering from a broken arm, has compiled a perfect 7-0 record in MMA. All but one of those victories have come by KO or TKO, and the world champion boxer has also displayed a varied and dangerous kicking game to boot as well.
Dudieva on the other hand, is 11-3, and is coming off a close and contested decision win against Elizabeth Phillips during her UFC debut in Macau last August. She’s currently on a 3-fight winning streak, but is still likely to be considered as a massive underdog once the bout becomes official.