The UFC introduced a code of conducts applying to mixed martial artists under contract with the promotion. The announcement at the UFC on Fox 7 conference call, following controversial comments made by UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione in regards to transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox.
Mitrione, on a recent episode of The MMA Hour, gave his harsh opinion on the male-turned-female combatant.
“He is not a she,” Mitrione told Ariel Helwani. ”He is chromosomally a man. He had a gender change, not a sex change. He’s still a man. He was a man for 31 years. That is a couple of years younger than I am, and six years of taking performance de-hancing drugs is going to change all that? That’s ridiculous. That is a lying, sick, sociopathic, disgusting freak. And I mean that, because you lied on your license to beat up women. That’s disgusting. You should be embarrassed of yourself, and the fact that Florida licensed him because California licensed him or whoever the hell did it, it’s an embarrassment to us as fighters, as a sport. We all should protest that. The women who is fighting him, props to you. I hope you beat his ass, and I hope that he gets blackballed and never fights again, because that is disgusting, and I am appalled by that.”
Mitrione’s words landed him a suspension, and gave his colleagues new stipulations and consequences to consider when speaking publicly.
Although, Miguel Torres was released from the promotion last year for rape related tweets on the social media network Twitter, Mitrione’s suspension is the first discipline of it’s kind the UFC has handed out.
Below is a copy of the UFC Code of Conduct:
Not that he would ever stoop to such a level, but if Tom DeBlass was not victorious at Bellator 95, he definitely would’ve had some legitimate excuses
DeBlass (Twitter: @Tom DeBlass) made his return to MMA at Bellator 95, following a brief retirement from the sport. In his Bellator debut, DeBlass faced Carlos Brooks and won via Round 2 TKO, showing the former ROC light heavyweight champ had not lost a step in his hiatus from MMA.
Though, DeBlass said preparations went as planned for the most part, nearing fight day he had a scare that could have potentially scrapped the bout.
“Two weeks before the fight I had a really bad injury,” DeBlass admitted to MMADiehards.com. “I jammed my leg and sciatic nerve. I bruised my fibula and almost had to pull out of the fight. I was pretty hurt and it’s still bothering me a lot, so I got to let that recover. Most people don’t know about the injury, but it was a pretty bad one. I could hardly walk for two days and it really sucked because I thought I may have to pull out of the fight, but thank God I was able to push through it. I was scared, though. I had it checked by doctors and had work done on it and it was still something that was really scary. I couldn’t go for takedowns towards the end of my training camp because it was too much strain on my hamstring. It was pulled from my butt down to the middle of my shin. The fact that I injured my sciatic nerve, I popped my hamstring. I was going for a takedown on Kris McCray and jammed my fibula. I bruised my fibula, but actually jammed my leg almost a quarter of an inch shorter. It made my leg almost a quarter of an inch shorter than my other leg. I had to completely slow down my training.”
Fortunately, DeBlass will not require surgery. He said some good multivitamins and rest will heal up his leg in no time.
To add insult to injury, DeBlass did the unthinkable prior to his bout with Brooks.
In this day and age the internet can provide one with all the information they desire on someone. Video streaming websites like Youtube have a library full of fights that can be viewed with the single click of a mouse. If you’re an MMA fan you have spent countless hours on Youtube watching past bouts and instructional videos from an elite mixed martial artist. These videos also assist combatants in researching their opponent, which makes familiarizing with the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses convenient.
Fighters try their best to conceal tactics, strategies and sparring sessions. However, DeBlass made a crucial error leading into Bellator 95 that exposed his training camp to the world when he was trying to share some exclusive footage with coaches not in the gym.
“This is unbelievable,” DeBlass explained. “I was uploading my sparring videos to Youtube, but I would never tag them, I would never put my name on them, so I figured no one would know to search them. My email (contains my name), so whenever you search Tom DeBlass, all my training videos and sparring videos were coming up. They only had like 50-60 views, so obviously my opponents, just like I research them on Youtube, they type in Tom DeBlass in Youtube and see every single one of my videos. And, you know, it was my whole game plan, my entire everything. They saw every single sparring session I had. They were probably like, ‘Is this kid out of his mind?’ They saw everything. Everything I was supposed to do to Carlos was on Youtube. That’s a fighter’s greatest gift. I searched for hours for something on Carlos training and the only thing I found was a 30-second sparring clip. I had to pause, freeze it, take still shots of it, I was doing everything. This guy was able to watch about 40 rounds of my sparring, and maybe he didn’t see it, but somebody saw it. I deserve to be punched in the head for that one.”
Nonetheless, DeBlass walked away as the victor, so neither his bummed leg, nor the Youtube mishap prevented him from accomplishing the task at hand. He said competing again felt good, and to be able to showcase his skills in Atlantic City, N.J., DeBlass’ home state, was a great honor due to all the family and friends that made it out for the show.
DeBlass intends on competing under the Bellator banner again, as he does have two fights remaining on his contract with the promotion. Travelling to compete, especially after his back to back UFC bouts in Sweden and then China, isn’t at the top of his list currently. Therefore, the Bellator tournament is not something DeBlass is interested in as of now, but that’s not to say he won’t ever consider it. He is aware that Bellator is planning to return to The Garden State in November, and DeBlass is content waiting until then before he steps in the cage again.
In the meantime, DeBlass will be kept occupied with his school, Ocean County BJJ, assisting other fighters and doing some humanitarian work
Since his Bellator 95 victory, DeBlass has agreed to help Rafael Natal in preparations for the Brazilian’s UFC on FX 8 match against Chris Camozzi. He and Ocean County BJJ also took on the responsibility of being the official sponsor for the first annual Strike Out Autism, which they raised $4,500 for. More importantly, as a testament to DeBlass’ skills and teachings, the BBJ instructor promoted a student to purple belt.
“I have so many awesome students,” DeBlass said. “I have guys like Gary Tonnon, who is competing in the next Abu Dhabi. He won the Abu Dhabi Trials. I have guys that are there just to get in better shape too.
“The guy that I just promoted, Adam (Hughes), he is one of my long-time training partners and he’s been in it for a long time. It’s not always super fun to be one of my training partners and he’s been through a lot, but he shows up time and time again. He just became a purple belt and started a new job as a correctional officer, so he’s really turned his life around since he started training at Ocean Academy. I know Kyle Cranmer, another one of my instructors, had a huge role in his life. I was just super proud to do it. Actually, I promoted him the same day he started his new job. So, it’s like a new chapter in his life and I know he is very proud.”
While his students are overcoming adversary and achieving goals, DeBlass is winning fights with no excuses, however, not all combatants employ that same attitude.
For example, DeBlass’ most recent opponent is claiming the fight-ending damage his eye suffered was due to a finger poke. Brooks is contesting that it wasn’t DeBlass’ fists, but rather a poke in the eye is what led to the doctor stopping the bout.
The accusation is something DeBlass can deal with, but he does not find much honor in a defeated fighter not giving their victorious opponent the deserved credit.
“I think that’s pretty disrespectful,” DeBlass said. “In my fight against Fukuda, I got poked in the eye hard. Against Carlos, I got kneed in the groin hard, very hard in the first couple of minutes. I actually got poked in my eye in that fight too. If you look at my eye, it’s all bloodshot. Carlos poked me in the eye, but I’m a fighter, I don’t make excuses. For him to say that; is pretty silly because it’s clear as day. There’s a .gif of where I hit him right in his eyeball and you can hear in the video, there’s a loud pop when I hit him in the face. But, you know, if it makes him feel better so be it. It is what it is.”
It is what it is, indeed. And DeBlass is a man of no excuses.
Even if it means getting roughed up by a UFC champ and hunting opponents down, Sam Sicilia is determined to keep his job.
Sicilia (Twitter: @SamSiciliaMMA) fights Maximo Blanco at “The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale” on April 13 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. When readying for battle, Sicilia usually trains at Sikjitsu in Spokane, Washington, however, preparations for this bout had the TUF 15 participant utilizing the assistance of a different facility.
Sicilia had the pleasure of training at The Lab in Arizona. Within the knowledgeable coaches and experienced fight team is UFC lightweight champion and former WEC lightweight champion Benson Henderson. To trade blows and learn from an athlete that reigns over their division is an honor and a privilege for Sicilia. He said Henderson keeps the team upbeat and is genuine person that truly walks the Christian life he portrays. Nonetheless, Henderson is a fighter, and he reminded Sicilia of that during one of their first sparring sessions.
“One of the first days I got to this new place and I get to go in and spar with Henderson it was pretty surreal to me,” Sicilia told MMADiehards.com. “I’m looking at Benson Henderson and going, ‘Wow, here we go.’ I didn’t want to come down there and be the new spaz in the gym or whatever. So, it was one of our first times sparring and I threw a lazy right hand. He kneed me in the stomach and I’m pretty sure he hit my spine, then he goes, ‘Welcome to the gym, buddy.’”
After Sicilia recovered and found his spot in the gym, Henderson and the rest of the company at The Lab readied the Washingtonian for Blanco.
Sicilia found Blanco’s last performance against Marcus Brimage to be out of character for the Venezuelan. Sicilia is banking on the fist-throwing, violent, fight-finishing, typical Blanco to show up on Saturday. If anything, Sicilia is expecting Blanco to have the intensity escalated due to the circumstances both fighters are under.
Sicilia is coming into this fight off a loss; Blanco on a two-fight losing skid. The UFC has been axing combatants with no hesitation as of late, and Sicilia is aware of the consequences should he suffer defeat in this bout.
“I think we’re both kind of feeling the pressure,” Sicilia said. “Our backs are kind of up against the wall, and you got two guys that like to get in there and throw, so we’re both going to fight for what we want to keep. I know I want to stay in the UFC. I’m not done competing at this level. I’m not taking any steps backwards in this sport, I’ve never lost two fights in a row in my life and I’m not about to start now.”
Sicilia sports a record of 11-2. He does have a loss not shown on his record that occurred during his stint on “The Ultimate Fighter 15,” which is where his UFC career began.
Being a resident in the TUF house, Sicilia enjoys viewing the program he was once part of. He is pleased to share a card with contestants from the current season of the UFC reality show, and as far as favorites, Sicilia, like everyone else, is impressed with the talents of Urijah Hall.
Aside from competing in an event with the UFC’s future stars, fellow featherweights Cole Miller and Bart Palaszewski are on the card, as well as a former teammate and opposing coach. All in all, it’s a group of athletes Sicilia is proud to be lumped in with.
“I’ve been watching Palaszewski forever,” Sicilia said. “I love watching that guy fight. I also got Justin Lawrence on the card; he was a teammate of mine on the show, so it will be pretty cool to see him again. Urijah (Faber) is the main event, and obviously I spent a lot of time around him on the show. We all kind of established relationships because we were on the show for three months together.”
Though, he is intrigued by the ample amount of quality matches, including his friend Miesha Tate taking on Cat Zingano, Sicilia is focused on his own, which he said will be exciting in its own right.
Throughout Sicilia’s 13-fight career, he has gone to the judges’ scorecards only one time. Likewise to Sicilia, Blanco only has one decision ending bout on his record. Their shared ability to finish fights, coupled with the recent losses, makes Sicilia believe the UFC brass is expecting an explosive match.
“I think that’s why they put (this fight) together,” Sicilia said. “If they want fireworks they’ll get it from me, for sure. If I have to hunt him down, then that’s what I’ll have to do and I’m prepared to do that. We’ve been working on some new things, not changing my style, but just tightening up my defense so I don’t get hit with anything lame. But I am still going to do what I do, and that’s go out there and hunt people down and catch them.”
With unemployment on Sicilia’s mind, and Henderson’s knee out of his spine, the hunt is on.