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Saturday night's UFC 184 card marks the return of perhaps the biggest current star in mixed martial arts.

Ronda Rousey, the women's bantamweight champion, has never been tested in competition. She has only been pushed past the first round one time, and all 10 of her professional victories have come by stoppage.

Rousey has been so dominant, in fact, that the UFC is now touting her in promotional materials as the most dominant female athlete ever.

To discuss and debate whether Rousey deserves such a lofty place among the elite, our tag team of Jeremy Botter and Jonathan Snowden return with another edition of The Question.

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On a map, it looks like the Dave & Buster's in Manchester, Connecticut, sits along a quintessentially American stretch of blacktop.

Buckland Hills Drive cuts a gentle curve from east to west, just a stone’s throw north of I-84 and a little south of a thin blue pencil line called Plum Gulley Brook. It’s hemmed in on all sides by shopping centers. There’s a Home Depot right there, an Olive Garden, a Sam’s Club.

The restaurant itself sits across the street from a sprawling mall, where a Sears, a Barnes & Noble and a Dick’s Sporting Goods are among the anchor stores.

It seems fine, it seems like suburbia, but it seems impossible that Fedor Emelianenko could ever feel at home there.

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Michael Johnson still has a long road in front of him before he earns a shot at the UFC lightweight title.

Given his forward progress against Edson Barboza at Fight Night 61, however, he seems capable of covering that distance fairly expeditiously.

Johnson’s pressure told the tale on Sunday, as he got in Barboza’s face early and stayed there for three full rounds en route to a unanimous-decision victory (29-28, 30-27 x 2). The win extended his current streak to four, and it will likely move him into the 155-pound Top 10 when the UFC’s official rankings come out next week.

“Edson is a great competitor, but I wasn’t going to stop for 15 minutes …,” Johnson told play-by-play announcer Jon Anik in the cage after it was over. “I’m here for this division. I want the belt by the end of this year, and this is what I have to do to take it.”

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Frank Mir, after spending over 380 days on the sidelines, returned to the Octagon in Brazil on Sunday night to try to put a stop to a four-fight losing streak.

It is surprising that he returned at all. He is well spoken and could have a future as a broadcaster, though the UFC has kept him off of television while cycling in other lesser talents for some unknown reason.

He is the last vestige of a different era in the UFC, making his debut in just his third pro fight at UFC 34 in 2001.

And he has made plenty of money while exhibiting a flair for the dramatic; his submission wins over Brock Lesnar, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Tim Sylvia and Roberto Traven, among others, will never be forgotten by those who care about such things.

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On Wednesday, the UFC announced what may be potentially sweeping changes to its performance-enhancing-drug policy. UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, President Dana White and head legal counsel Lawrence Epstein addressed the media from a ballroom at the Red Rock Casino Resort to announce the changes, which follow a string of high-profile test debacles, including the surprising failure of the legendary Anderson Silva.

What does it all mean? Does it indicate substantive change? Or is it just for show? Bleacher Report's version of Sancho Panza and Don Quixote, lead writers Jonathan Snowden and Jeremy Botter, weigh in with their initial thoughts on what may end up being one of the most important decisions in recent MMA history.


Jonathan: Well Jeremy, the UFC held a press conference Wednesday to announce that it is, indeed, serious about eliminating the scourge of performance-enhancing drugs. Good cop Lorenzo Fertitta, calm, collected and professional, set forth what seems likely to be a sweeping program that will change the lives of his fighters forever. Bad cop Dana White yelled at the media and announced a title fight. 

It certainly wasn't boring.

It also wasn't, once the smoke cleared and the mirrors were put back in storage, super informative. There were scant details provided. The future, though potentially quite bright, can be viewed only through the murky haze of doubt.

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Frank Mir and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva have been talking a lot about the ground game.

Leading up to their UFC Fight Night 61 main event, each declining heavyweight has independently agreed that his opponent won’t submit him. The end result is that we could have a good, old-fashioned jiu-jitsu challenge match on our hands come Sunday in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

“I'm very much of a scientist,” Mir said to Heidi Fang on The Fight Corner Radio recently. “If I was to put money on it, I wouldn't bet a dollar that he could submit me.”

Silva has said almost the exact same thing except, naturally, in reverse.

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Damned if they don't, damned if they do.

That's the feeling I had at the conclusion of Wednesday's Ultimate Fighting Championship news conference on performance-enhancing drugs.

For years, observers of mixed martial arts have scoffed at the UFC's seemingly lackadaisical efforts to control PEDs. Rightly so. While it was never an official stance, it felt like the promotion didn't care so much about PEDs in mixed martial arts unless it affected their bottom line.

Even then, Dana White famously trumpeted they were regulated by the government, as though those were the magic words that eliminated all of the tough questions about drugs and testing for drugs and whether or not a good portion of the UFC roster took PEDs.

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After a well-publicized false start to begin the year, the UFC finally showed the teeth of its proposed performance-enhancing drug-testing program on Wednesday—though it remains to be seen how much bite will follow the bark.

Spurred by a recent string of high-profile test failures, company executives held a press conference televised on Fox Sports 1 to announce plans to partner with independent third-party regulators in launching year-round out-of-competition testing for all its athletes by July 1.

UFC President Dana White, CEO Lorenzo Fertitta and general counsel Lawrence Epstein also said the UFC will continue to work with state athletic commissions to advocate for stiffer penalties and to fund increased testing across the board.

“Honestly? It’s probably going to get worse before it gets better,” said Fertitta of PEDs scandals that ensnared UFC fighters like Anderson Silva and Hector Lombard so far in 2015. “But we have to put these procedures in place to eventually make it better. It’s going to be a bumpy road, but we’re committed to making this happen.”

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A funny thing happened to Benson Henderson during the 19 minutes he spent in the cage Saturday with Brandon Thatch.

People started rooting for him.

Somewhere en route to his submission victory in the main event of UFC Fight Night 60, the 5,800 fans on hand in Broomfield, Colorado—who’d ostensibly turned out to see the local boy, Thatch—began to cheer Henderson instead.

Support built on social media, too, and by the time Henderson cemented his improbable comeback with a rear-naked choke down the stretch in the fourth round, it elicited in an uncharacteristic outpouring of love for the 31-year-old former lightweight champion.

Coupled with victory itself, this palpable shift in public opinion made Henderson’s 170-pound debut all the more magical. It was as though he’d been instantly transformed from malcontent to lovable underdog, from a guy nearly out of options to a man with a lot of moves still left on the board.


At UFC Fight Night 60, welterweight Brandon Thatch discovered something the world’s best lightweights have known for years.

Benson Henderson will suck the life out of you.

Thatch was supposed to have his launch party Saturday in his home state of Colorado, beginning his ascension to contender status with a short-notice bout over the former 155-pound champion. Instead, Henderson gave him a crash course in what it takes to be one of the UFC’s best.

Obviously outsized and surely outgunned, Henderson weathered an early push from Thatch in their main event fight, eventually taking control and scoring a come-from-behind submission victory with just over a minute left in the fourth round.