We kick off tonight's Evening Combat Sports News with a story about former UFC fighter sponsor Hoelzer Reich.
As I wrote earlier this afternoon, I discovered the somewhat unsettling detail that Hoelzer Reich (which was banned by the UFC and Strikeforce for using Neo-Nazi imagery), uses a "white supremacy website" as their exclusive east coast distributor. That pretty well closed the book on the story from 2009, when the company denied any ties to the white supremacy movement in the face of their suspension. But, as noted in today's article, the fact that there is still a strong contingent of MMA fighters who wear their gear (as well as other hate group involvement with the sport) remains a nasty little cancer for mixed martial arts.
And the HR "love" extends in an unfortunate way to places like LKG MMA, whose Facebook page says the following:
LKG MMA works out of Lashkar Gah, Helmand province, Afghanistan. The club has permanent members who are civilian contractors and we have a good turnover of British and American military servicemen who come to train with us.
Our 'gym' is a tent with some mats and sandbags (no air-con) If you are in the PRT base in Lashkar Gah feel free to come and see us as our training is varied and caters to all levels of experience.
It'd be an interesting story about servicemen contractors working out in a tent if that was all there was to it, and their members have gotten MMA personalities such as Kenny Florian to retweet their story.
Unfortunately, their Facebook page also lists among their "affiliations," Hoelzer Reich. They also have a full photo album on the HR Facebook page with members in the never-subtle HR shirts. Such as this shot.
So, yeah. They're still a part of MMA culture and that's incredibly sad.
Update: I've been in touch with LKG MMA and there's more to the story. I'll have more on this in a follow-up.
The always changing Dana White views on testosterone replacement therapy were in effect again. He's fluctuated from disliking TRT to saying "hey, it's legal, we can't do anything" to saying that he would ban TRT if he could as it's only needed if you abused stuff earlier in his career to now saying that it's "great."
He also touted it as one of the benefits of sports science. Which, I suppose it is, but it's mainly supposed to be to allow guys to live their daily lives better when living life at an unnaturally low level, not allow them to be better at punching other guys in the face. But it's not like it's been helping guys get the win lately or anything as Frank Mir, Quinton Jackson and Chael Sonnen haven't exactly seen stellar results.
Jean Claude Van Damme is training with the guys at Tri-Star, which isn't really important except that everyone seems to care. And by "everyone seems to care" I mean, it's our second biggest story today, in what has been a really good traffic day for us.
Also, I've talked a lot about how my love of movies like Bloodsport and Lionheart as a youngster are big reasons why I'm probably such a big MMA fan in my adulthood. So, I suppose I've changed my mind and now this is a very important story for the sport.
Mookie Alexander examined how the heaviest divisions in the UFC seem to be older than would make sense given the youth of welterweight through the lowest weight classes. It is somewhat standard in boxing to see guys fall off earlier in the lower weight classes while the heavier fighters are able to hang on longer with more success, so that may simply be what's happening in the UFC.
Or, maybe there is some sort of added level of randomness with heavier weight classes where there may be more possibility of a stoppage due to sheer power held by the fighters and that keeps guys from climbing or falling at the same rate as the lower weights. It's worth keeping an eye on.
T.P. Grant broke down Olympic taekwondo. I'd be lying if I said I had any insight into that.
Mike Riordan also did a great job with live results for the Greco-Roman wrestling today. I'd also be lying if I said I had any insight into that.
Quick round-up of some other stories:
Diego Sanchez is dropping back to lightweight and will likely have just as much impact there, but will probably still be super entertaining.
Crooklyn interviewed Nam Phan, who said he tried out for Kato in The Green Hornet, but the part went to someone that people actually knew.
Daniel Cormier opened as a surprisingly heavy favorite over Frank Mir for the "last Strikeforce heavyweight bout."