Better FightCast - USADA, Fights, & Tournament Talk

*Disclaimer: I didn’t mark this episode as explicit, but one S-bomb did sneak into the banter.

There’s a lot of cheating going on. Should we call the league UFC or USADA? There have been 6 cheaters and 1 spygate.

USADA has taken over the sport. For the good? Did Brock do all this to make a good narrative at Summer Slam?

UFC is purging itself of impurities. Or trying. What’s with the timing of test results?

They’re trying to go mainstream. Does the UFC affiliation with USADA have anything to do with going mainstream and facilitating the sale?

UFC 200 did 1.2 million pay-per-view sales; that doesn’t suck but is underwhelming.

Does it help or hurt the UFC that they’re drug testing body (USADA) is a completely autonomous entity instead of being in-house?

These fighters don’t know what’s in their supplements? They could hire the best in Mike Dolce. If they can’t afford him, they can send their supplements to USADA for testing. They’re ignoring this option in the same way that NFL players opt to skip the free ride home from the bar after they’ve had too much.

USADA is definitely affecting the sport. It seems to be cleaning up things the way MLB got purified years ago.

We’re not missing Jon Jones because we’re already used to missing Jon Jones (like Dennis Pitta).

UFC is still poised to blossom into the mainstream, but it’s hit a valley in that kind of popularity right now.

It is strange that a different company (USADA) can have domain over another company’s (UFC) employees, but it does lend credibility to the process. The UFC can’t be accused of cherry-picking the fighters they want to test. If UFC was doing in-house testing, would they have tested Jon Jones or Brock Lesnar?

These guys are getting hurt. It’s not fair to the clean guys having to fight against guys that are juiced. It's putting their career, health, and lives in danger.

Is USADA why the UFC sold? Maybe in an indirect fashion.

2 years - the typical PED ban - is a long time to lose from what is typically a short MMA career.

If they fail, especially the big names, it’s out of ignorance. Jon Jones could afford Mike Dolce, but didn’t use him. If he cheated willingly, his doctor could have convinced him that they could beat the test. Choose your doctors carefully.

Big stars keep coming. We didn’t know who Conner or Rhonda were before they blew up. Who’s next? Holly Holm? Could Jose Aldo make that leap?

Chael Sonnen just got tested by USADA. Will he fight? Do we want to see it? If he fights Vitor Belfort. Otherwise, it could be underwhelming. Joe: “It’s funny - Wanderlei Silva isn’t with the company because of steroids and Chael Sonnen is probably making a comeback because of steroids.” Sonnen took his lumps and admitted his wrongdoing. Silva ran away.

Did Jon Jones lock himself in a panic room once to avoid testing. Supposedly, he was actually hiding under the octagon. If that happened, did he go to the bathroom? Did he bring a bucket with him. Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall if they found him hiding under the ring?

Mark Hunt – fighter’s union, USADA, Brock. Should he get a cut of Brock’s purse? Will the fighter’s form the union? It’s different than a team sport.

Should the UFC have a tournament? Joe says yes, even though it complicates things like fighters’ schedules and contracts, building fight cards, and dealing with injury.

Jose Aldo is a beast. If he’s patient and not overly aggressive, he can take Conner. Joe doesn’t think he really had a spy in Frankie Edgar’s locker room; it’s just trolling.

Maybe he’s making noise like this to bring that trash-talking aspect of pro-wrestling to UFC. Perhaps he’s trying to break into that mainstream stratosphere.

Aldo looks focused and angry.

Conner has to defend his featherweight title, which means Aldo should come next even if Conner beats Diaz at UFC 202. The tiebreaker for the Diaz-Conner fight (provided that Conner beats Diaz in thier second meeting) could be tempting to schedule before Aldo-McGregor part 2, but Conor can’t hold the title hostage.

Conner’s become the trash-talking diva. He has to throw barbs because of his persona – a persona that’s helped elevate the sport. He needs to beat Diaz. Will Conner take the sport to the next level? Will he help pay-per-view sales reach 2 million?

Holly Holm and Jose Aldo might make that leap into being a household name; many people already have them connected to the superstars they’ve fought (Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor, respectively).

UFC on FOX 20: Edson Barboza vs. Gilbert Melendez, Holly Holm vs Valentina Shevchenko, Francis Ngannou vs. Bojan Mihajlovic, Felice Herrig vs. Kailin Curran

Some Bellator talk (and barbing).

Dana White vs. Bob Arum (the prominent fight promoter).

A teaser preview of UFC 201 – Robbie Lawler vs Tyron Woodley, Demetrious Johnson is out.