Mixed martial arts - UFC could debut in Russia in 2013
Ultimate Fighting Championship more commonly known as UFC around the world, could be finally making its way to Russia. It is the largest mixed martial arts promotion company in the world and apparently it is already planning to stage their first event in Russia in 2013... That's according to the president of UFC Dana White.
USA Today's sports section called MMAjunkie.com quotes Dana White saying:
"I would say this year we'll go to Russia. I think what's going to go on in Russia is we'll put on a live event there first (before an 'Ultimate Fighter' season). We'll do a live event in Russia, and just like every other event we've done, you do the live event and it explodes.”
Well, he is certainly right about the exploding part. But MMA competitions have been extremely popular in Russia for a very long time already. By the way, one of the world's best pound for pound fighters is Russia's Fedor Emelianenko.
He had a win streak of nearly 10 years before finally losing in the opening round of the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix in 2011.
Unfortunately, "The Last Emperor", as he is lovingly dubbed by his fans, has already retired from professional sport and is very unlikely to take part in the UFC event, if it does eventually happen in Russia.
By the way, UFC president Dana White also mentioned that his organization was close to signing Fedor Emelianenko,for a 2012 fight against former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar. It was meant to take place at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas.
However, Fedor remains committed to his retirement right now and continues to promote sports like judo, sambo and other martial arts right here in Russia.
Russian MMA fighters are mostly promoted by two domestic companies called M-1 Global and Fight Nights. Undoubtedly, if UFC does make its way to the biggest country on earth, it's bound not only to make a lot of money but also give an international chance at glory to many Promising Russian warriors.
One example is Khabib Nurmagomedov who is already signed with UFC and making headlines in North America and around the world. He is yet to concede a fight in his professional career and could be the next great of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The World Anti-Doping Agency accused the International Cycling Union of of being "deceitful" following its decision to dissolve the independent commission that investigated the Lance Armstrong drugs scandal. UCI stated earlier this week that both the (WADA) and the United States Doping Agency (USADA) had refused to co-operate with its investigations and thus any report it produced would be dismissed "as not being complete or credible".
The independent commission was formed in response to a report published by the United States Anti-Doping Agency where one of the most decorated cyclist in sports history faced accusations of winning his prizes with help of forbidden medicine. A quick reminder Armstrong was stripped of his 7 Tour de France titles because of this report.
WADA president John Fahey blamed UCI for being “determined to apparently deflect responsibility for the doping problem in its sport to others”. He also added "The independent commission was intended to review the allegations of complicity of UCI in the Lance Armstrong doping conspiracy as raised by the United States Anti-Doping Agency in its thorough decision. Instead UCI has again chosen to ignore its responsibility to the sport of cycling in completing such an inquiry and has determined to apparently deflect responsibility for the doping problem in its sport to others."
In return, the UCI accused Wada of "blatant and aggressive untruths".
The UCI was also accused by Armstrong’s ex-team-mates of drawing the curtain on a positive test at the 2001 Tour of Switzerland in return for donations totaling $125,000.
Meanwhile in a recent televised interview with Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong admitted he had taken drugs during all of his seven Tour de France wins between 1999 and 2005 adding that no generation of cyclist was clean.
“It’s not the best way, it’s the only way,” he said. “As much as I’m the eye of the storm this is not about one man, one team, one director. This is about cycling and to be frank it’s about all endurance sports.
“Publicly lynching one man and his team will not solve this problem.” Armstrong also added he would be willing to take part in any truth and reconciliation process.
Of course this confession shocked everybody especially Armstrong's fans who believed their idol is clean in terms of doping. Numerous doping scandals in cycling have resulted in urges to exclude this sport from the Olympic program.
The International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound insists cycling can stay in the Olympic schedule on one condition: the International Cycling Union leaders who turned a blind eye to doping must leave their posts regardless of the fact whether Lance Armstrong testifies against them or not.
At the age of 25 Armstrong was diagnosed with cancer that spread to his lungs, abdomen and brain. After intense treatment including chemotherapy he was declared cancer-free. After this victory over the dangerous disease Armstrong won 7 Tour de France races becoming the most decorated cyclist in history.
Now as we all know he has been stripped of all of his trophies due to doping scandal putting cycling on the brink of disqualification from the Olympics. Hopefully an agreement between the UCI and Olympic Committee will be reached and innocent athletes will not miss the 2016 Olympics in Rio.