Inside MMA TV report

***This week, Johny Hendricks talks strategy for Robbie Lawler and explains his idea about fighting Chris Weidman.

Gilbert Melendez explains who finally swayed him to stay in the UFC, and Michael Bisping talks about how things would’ve been different if his past opponents weren’t on TRT exemption.

And finally, Benson Henderson goes to Washington, but not before giving some words to Gilbert Melendez, the man who “stole” his title shot!  All this and much more, this week on Inside MMA!***


Inside MMA Live on AXS.TV report by Steve Te Tai

Originally aired LIVE Friday, February 28 at 9pm EST on AXS.TV

With your host Kenny Rice and co-host Bas Rutten.




Kenny explains what happened yesterday from the NSAC.  Ron Kruck is in Nevada to cover this event that saw the banning of therapeutic exemptions of testosterone therapy in combat sports, showing how they are the most influential athletic commission in the world.


This reversal of policy was a huge step in insuring fair competition in MMA.  They show clips of the vote actually happening.  Future applications of TRT exemptions will not be accepted per this rule change.  Francisco Aguilar (the guy who replaced Keith Kizer recently) spoke on this.  According to a Dr. Timothy Trainor who spoke at this meeting, fighters that would apply to for this exemption if they sustained head trauma at a younger age which would’ve stunted testosterone production or from past steroid use, which would also hinder production.  In either case, for the health of that fighter, they probably shouldn’t be fighting anymore to avoid future head trauma from fighting and training. (Is this coincidence that they make this ruling mere weeks after Keith Kizer “suddenly” leaves the NSAC?  Anyone?)


Dana White made a statement that they support the decision and will honor the ruling in international markets and encouraged all athletic commissions to adopt this ruling.


Vitor Belfort (the unofficial poster boy for TRT) pulled out from this title fight after this, and Lyoto Machida will take his spot at UFC 173 against Chris Weidman.  Lyoto Machida spoke on the ruling saying there were people who really needed TRT and some who abused it, and he was fine with that.  Now that it’s banned he’s happy with that too, but didn’t make a difference, other than being a pleasant surprise that he now gets a title shot.


Bas Rutten thinks this is great that no one can cheat anymore.  Now you fight with the body that God gave you.


Johny Hendricks LIVE


Hendricks joins us on the big screen from Velocity Fitness in Pantego, TX.  Johny thinks like Machida that the TRT ruling doesn’t affect him and was indifferent to those who did use TRT.  It’s nice to know to make things more “equal” with no more chemically induced testosterone.


Johny states he doesn’t know what they’re going to do with Robbie Lawler, gameplan-wise.  They’ve talked about taking him down or keeping it on their fight since he’s confident in his striking.  He’ll go out and let his body dictate what to do.  If one gameplan doesn’t work he’s afraid he’ll forget the other gameplan, so he wants to be more of a reaction fighter.


Johny says he has fought other guys with one-punch knockout power like Koscheck and Condit, however Lawler can hit you so hard you forget the night.  So he has to stay focused and stay sharp on his feet or it could be a quick night for him.


As for talk of him challenging Chris Weidman is that he walks around at 220, and is one of the biggest and strongest guys at welterweight.  As he gets older it will get harder and harder to cut that much weight, so in a couple years he figures 185 will be an option for him.


They show a graphic how the new UFC champions Lawler or Hendricks career finish percentage is 76%, while GSP only finished 52% of his fights.  Hendricks does feel their fight could go all five rounds.  He knows they’re both looking to finish, but in his head he has to prepare for the long five rounds.  He hasn’t finished in his last two fights, so he needs this, however it might get done.


He won’t trim the beard since it takes a long time to grow it this big, so it’ll look good.


Gilbert Melendez stays in UFC to coach TUF


Melendez’ contract offer was matched by the UFC so he will coach TUF and receive a title shot against Anthony Pettis.  He joins us on the big screen from his gym in San Francisco.  He is happy to be done with the contract saga so now he can concentrate on the fighting.


Gilbert puts over both sides as professional with Bjorn and Bellator and the UFC.  When the UFC reviewed the Bellator offer, he spoke with Gilbert and expressed his passion in invested in Gilbert, which got him excited and they came to an agreement.  His agents and team helped him all out and he’s very excited now.


The TUF show will start taping in May for six weeks, but doesn’t know when the actual fight will take place.  He would like to fight sooner, but there have been times he’s been off for a year, and he sees boxers take long breaks too, which is better for the athletes longevity-wise, even if not as good for the fans.  But overall Pettis will be out longer than him, so he’s taking that into consideration too.


His teammates do discuss business stuff to brainstorm with each other and advise each other, but at the end of the day they are their own men and make their own decisions.  Gilbert calls Nate one of the top 10 most entertaining fighters, so wherever he ends up will be just fine.


They show the graphic of WEC vs. Strikeforce, with Clay Guida, Gilbert Melendez, and Josh Thomson, now a total of 4-5 versus WEC guys.  Gilbert would even things up.  Gilbert embraces that sort of pressure and he will represent for Strikeforce, Scott Coker, and all the other guys.


Legacy 28 from Arlington, TX


--Damacio Page over Matt Lozano

--Cosmo Alexandre over Ray Trujillo (after the loss he proposed to his GF in the cage)

--Bubba Bush over Rakim Cleveland


Efrain Escudero LIVE


Efrain joins us live on the big screen from the MMA lab gym in Glendale, AZ.  He headlines the Lincoln, NE show for RFA 13 on March 7 on AXS.TV against Dakota Cochrane.


He says Dakota has been on the UFC radar for a while, almost making the TUF show and is a good name.  He’s a dangerous opponent so he’s excited.  He’s been training very hard with guys like Joe Riggs, Benson Henderson and Abu Dhabi champions, and he wants to make a statement by winning this fight and showing he’s on the way back.


His teammates will mimic every opponent he has, and he feels his guys are tougher than his actual opponents and are working him hard, so his confidence going into fights has changed dramatically.  In the old days he felt each fight was going to be a war, now he sees the war in the training room, so the fights are a lot easier for him mentally.


MMA Around the World


XFC from Brisbane, Australia: 

--Adrian Rodriguez over Shane Young

Vale Tudo from Tokyo, Japan: 

--Hiroyuki Takaya over Yojiro Uchimura

--Caol Uno over Jesse Brock

Valor Fight from Launceston, Tasmania:

--Callan Potter over David Butt (are these the kinds of names they have in Tasmania?)


More TRT Fallout


They run a graphic of states that have recognized TRT Exemptions that include: WA, NV, CA, TX, WI, IL, OH, and NJ.  So far, Ohio is already discussing banning the exemption like NV.  NJ says they are going to consider Nevada’s decision and will soon discuss how to handle it.


They run another graphic of fighters who received TRT exemptions including:  Vitor Belfort, Todd Duffee, Forrest Griffin, Dennis Hallman, Dan Henderson, Quinton Jackson, Quaint Kempf, Nate Marquardt, Bristol Marunde, Frank Mir, Shane Roller, Ben Rothwell, Bigfoot Silva, Chael Sonnen, and Joe Warren. 


(I know it’s a controversial issue, but a lot of these guys are lifetime wrestlers and I tend to side with the belief that the weight cutting lifestyle from such a young age can have long-term effects.  And guys like Bigfoot had an entire gland removed from his body, of course his testosterone is going to be out of whack.  In a time where the biggest draws in MMA of the past decade are disappearing by the month, not sure this is the time to change rules that might take out even more stars…)


Twitter reactions to the TRT bans has seen people like Jon Jones, Michael Bisping, Brian Stann, Tim Kennedy, and Big John McCarthy put their two cents in.


Michael Bisping on the PHONE


Bisping joins us from his home, on the day of his 35th birthday.  He calls it a great day for the industry.  If you look at the history of the Olympics, there’s been only one guy to be granted a TRT exemption, and he had no testicles, so there’s no reason to have so many in MMA, and it’s been exploited too long.


He then goes on about Belfort juicing and taking steroids, he is a known user in the past and is prolific.  The fact that he won’t divulge the results of the drug test after their fight speaks volumes.


Bisping fights Tim Kennedy on April 16.  It wasn’t a fight he was looking for, but Kennedy made it personal by calling him out for so long.  He always does better when guys make it personal and it becomes a grudge match.  Tim is a solid opponent with good wrestling, good jiu-jitsu, and is a powerful striker.  However he is better in all areas so will win.


He has fought many wrestlers before and Kennedy is no different, so he’s not too worried.  He’ll never underestimate an opponent but is excited to win this fight.


As we know he lost quite a few fights to high profile opponents on TRT.  Would he have won those fights if they weren’t?  He doesn’t know, but they certainly had an unfair advantage, so today is a good day for him.


Friday Finishes


XFC 20: 

--Justin Gallagher finished Eben Cox with a big kick to the head

--Jaz Walker finished Sarah Manthey with a bunch of punches

Legacy 28: 

--Jason Perrota finished Bobby Moore with a kick and a bunch of punches

--Victor Reyna finished Lio Shporen with 9 uppercuts

Driller Promotions: 

--Dana Gostomczik finished Michael Schmitz with a guillotine

Aggression Amateur from Queens, NY:

--Oswald Perez finished Johnny Castillo with an armbar

Sparta Combat: 

--Brian Scraper finished Willis Smalls with a big kick


MFC Title Rings


MFC Bantamweight champion, Anthony Birchak was so happy to be champ, he went and got a 15 carat custom ring, in the vein of NFL championship rings, built to commemorate his reign as champ.  Mark Pavelich liked the idea so much he says they will do that for current and future champs.  (Life lesson for us all:  If you have a great company idea, pitch it to the boss and find out if he will do it, before you go and do it yourself with your own money.)


Brazil Cops use BJJ


With the World Cup coming in 2014, after months of violent clashes between WC protesters and the police, the Sao Paulo Police replaced rubber bullets and pepper spray with jiu-jitsu to handle the protesters. 


They play a clip of Rener Gracie cutting a promo on this, saying that it’s about time! (like KISS in the HOF.)  The Gracies have been teaching jiu-jitsu to law enforcement in the US for 18 years now because it’s the least violent way to control subjects.  It’s very necessary in Brazil since the police there have a reputation for being overtly aggressive to the public.  (And here I thought all Brazilians were taught jiu-jitsu somewhere between walking and the alphabet … btw, Rener Gracie showed more charisma in that promo than the entire 2014 WWE roster combined.)


Iraq invades the UFC


UFC signed Alan Omer as the first Kurdish Iraqi born fighter in UFC history.  His family fled to Germany when he was 4.  It means a lot since Kurds are never recognized anywhere and he’s very excited to compete in the biggest stage of them all, the UFC.


Benson Henderson LIVE


Ben joins us from the MMA lab in Glendale, AZ.  He is not disappointed that Melendez is getting the title shot instead of him, but he is very happy that Gilbert Melendez was able to come out ahead in his negotiations with UFC and Bellator, because that’s great for fighters.  He calls this one of the undertold stories out there.  Good for Gilbert and he’d never talk bad about something good for another fighter.


As the “#1 contender”, he’s in a weird position since he’s not fighting for the belt in 2014, and he’s waiting for proper timing but he hears a few names thrown around like Rustam Khabilov, and a couple other guys.  He just got back from his honeymoon, which is his first real break since 2007.


On March 4 and 5, he’s partnered with Everlast to go to Capitol Hill, to push some bills for people’s HSA accounts to be able to gym memberships, personal trainers, etc. instead of just illnesses.  The other program is to get Physical Education back in schools, since 48% of American schools don’t have a P.E. program anymore.


The biggest political name for this will be Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) who was also at the last concussion-related deal in Washington.  (I guess being Nevada he figures he should be involved in things with fighters.)


Viewer Submissions


Exclusive Sports Media:

--Iman “The Pretty Killer” Barlow over Maritzarda Hesisia in a Muay Thai

Blue Corner MMA:

-- Rob Mitchell over Oren Jones

Explode Fight Series:

--Leonard Smith over Oscar Kish

Blackout Fighting:

--Mason Reed over Nathan McCahon

King of Muay Thai:

--Rajchasi Pumphanmuang over Suntu Myawaddy when he went to touch both gloves to start the fight out, Suntu obliged and they shook hands and Rajchasi struck a front kick right to the face to KO him in the middle of them touching gloves.  Keith Olbermann “Worst Person in the World” nominee …


Bas says if he fought for his organization he’d fire him.  It’s also very disrespectful in Thailand to kick with the bottom of the foot like that too.




Rory MacDonald, after beating Demian Maia last week, revealed on Twitter how he cut his hand up badly chopping avocados prior to the fight.   Fighter Chris Camozzi tweted back Rory needs to get an avocado chopper and posted a picture of one he has.


Bas puts on his chef gimmick and demonstrates the proper and safe way to slice an avocado.  (This is a chance for Bas to show off his skills since he is a trained chef.)


Upcoming MMA shows

--Mar 7, RFA 13

--Mar 14, HIP show

--Mar 31, Legacy 29


So like Bas always says, Godspeed and party on!

If you don’t get AXS.TV or missed the show, you can see extended video highlights. You can also follow Inside MMA on Twitter and Facebook.

 Watch dolphins, sharks & orcas on your desktop! Check it out at

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?