Kurt Holobaugh's camp will push for suspension reduction, UFC status not in jeopardy

Kurt Holobaugh’s rep says the UFC is sticking by the featherweight and won’t cancel a contract he won by knocking out Matt Bessette at “Dana White’s Contender Series 1” in July.

But the rep also plans to contest a nine-month suspension issued today by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, arguing the punishment for unlawful use of an IV is “extremely excessive” considering the circumstances of his case.

“We will accept a no contest on the grounds of breaking a rule,” Bryan Hamper, managing partner with SuckerPunch Entertainment, today told MMAjunkie. “Unfortunately, it was an education error. It was not something where he had any malicious intent to break a rule in Nevada.”

A request for comment to UFC officials, including UFC VP of Athlete Regulations Jeff Novitzky, wasn’t immediately returned, so MMAjunkie was unable to verify Holobaugh’s contract status.

Hamper said Holobaugh (17-4) didn’t get a fair shot at explaining what happened when he went to fill out the commission’s medical paperwork to certify the fight on July 11 in Las Vegas. He said Holobaugh did disclose his intended use of an IV, contrary to the commission’s claims. But without explanation, a commission rep told him not to note it on his paperwork.

“He wasn’t told, ‘Hey, you can’t take an IV because of state regulations, and if you take an IV, your fight could be in jeopardy and you could be suspended,’” Hamper said. “He was just simply told, ‘You can’t check that box – you have to check the other one.’”

When filling out “pre-screen” paperwork with the UFC’a anti-doping partner, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, Hamper said Holobaugh realized he’d broken the NSAC’s rules and disclosed it to USADA, which then relayed the information to the NSAC.

“Cutting weight, you’re not exactly at a point of perfect mental clarity,” Hamper said. “Once he realized he broke a rule, he disclosed it. And now, he’s getting a nine-month suspension and his win overturned on a fight on something that, every step of the way, he filled out openly and honestly.”

During a hearing today in Las Vegas, the commission’s attorney noted Holobaugh didn’t disclose his use of an IV and indicated on his paperwork that he was aware he needed to immediately notify the commission if he intended to use one.

Given Holobaugh had no previous anti-doping violations with the NSAC, the attorney recommended the fighter’s punishment be on the lowest end of the scale for suspensions, which range from nine months to 24 months for first-time offenders.

Hamper said Holobaugh, who usually fights at lightweight, had a tough weight cut to make the featherweight limit for the UFC Fight Pass-streamed show, which offers winners a UFC contract. He indicated the fighter’s team thought USADA’s rules were not in effect, despite the fact that after revamping its anti-doping program in September 2016, the NSAC largely follows the same standards set by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

After weighing in, Holobaugh used a 2,000-milliliter IV injection, well over the 50-milliliter limit currently allowed by the NSAC over a six-hour period.

“We can’t help but feel like we didn’t have a chance to advocate on his behalf based on the circumstances of the call today,” Hamper said. “We feel like we never got a chance to tell our side of the story and get due process.”

Calling in from his home state of Louisiana, Holobaugh appeared via telephone at the NSAC hearing. But the connection on the commission’s phone was so badly garbled, NSAC chairman Anthony Marnell interrupted to summarize many of Holobaugh’s points to the rest of the commission.

“He didn’t have a chance to fully explain the process, so the commissioner recapped and put words in his mouth,” Hamper said.

Hamper didn’t detail his team’s plan for overturning the NSAC’s decision, which effectively bars him from fighting in the U.S. during the period of his suspension. Previously, fighters disputing suspensions have appealed to Nevada district court, one level above the commission’s authority with the state.

As far as Holobaugh’s UFC career, Hamper said the promotion is sympathetic to the fighter’s situation. Asked whether the contract offer still stands, he said, “That’s how it’s been articulated to us right now. It sounds like we have the UFC’s full support.”

Hamper hopes to get Holobaugh back to work soon. Right now, he is suspended nine months from the date of the July 11 fight. His win over Bessette (22-7) is also overturned, and he must pay a $750 fine and provide a clean drug test prior to getting another license in Nevada.

“A nine-month suspension is extremely excessive,” he said. “He’s a single father. He has full custody of three kids. This genuinely impacts his ability to provide for his family.”

For more on Dana White’s Contender Series 1, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Due to IV use, DWCS 1 winner Kurt Holobaugh suspended 9 months and win overturned

The Nevada State Athletic Commission today voted unanimously to suspend featherweight Kurt Holobaugh nine months and fine him $750 for failing to properly disclose IV use.

Holobaugh’s (17-4) knockout win at Dana White’s Contender Series 1 over Matt Bessette (22-7) on July 11 is now overturned to a no-contest, leaving his UFC career in limbo after he reportedly earned a UFC contract in July.

The $750 fine represents 15 percent of Holobaugh’s $5,000 “show” purse for the fight.

Officials said Holobaugh didn’t notify the commission that he used an IV containing 2,000 milliliters of fluid after the event’s weigh-ins on July 10. The injection wasn’t part of a hospital procedure or surgical procedure, and he receive a therapeutic-use exemption.

Holobaugh appeared via telephone during today’s NSAC’s meeting in Las Vegas and admitted he didn’t note his use of an IV, believing he wasn’t subject to the rules of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which oversees the UFC’s anti-doping program.

“I do take full responsibility,” he said.

NSAC Executive Director Bob Bennett noted that when a USADA official spoke with Holobaugh as part of his UFC contract offer, the fighter was “honest and forthright” about his omission and amended his paperwork.

Still, the NSAC felt ignorance of its rules did not excuse Holobaugh for not disclosing the IV. The NSAC follows the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) current guidelines for IV use, prohibiting intravenous injections of more than 50 milliliters per six hour period unless part of a hospital procedure or surgical procedure, or in the case of a TUE.

As MMAjunkie reported on Monday, WADA’s 2018 Prohibited List has changed the requirements for IV use, increasing the cutoff to 100 milliliters for IVs “and/or injections of any substance” over a 12-hour period.

The NSAC overhauled his anti-doping program in 2015 and fully implemented the changes in September 2016.

For more on Dana White’s Contender Series Week 1 check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

NSAC: Kurt Holobaugh used illegal IV prior to Dana White's Contender Series 1 win

Kurt Holobaugh’s reported UFC contract offer could be on hold.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission has filed a disciplinary complaint against the featherweight, alleging he used an illegal IV following the weigh-ins for “Dana White’s Contender Series 1” in July.

Holobaugh (18-4) now faces a suspension ranging from nine months to two years. He also faces a fine and the overturning of his first-round knockout win over Matt Bessette (22-8). His case goes before the NSAC during its Tuesday meeting in Las Vegas.

The possible punishment won’t go uncontested. Holobaugh’s manager, Brian Butler, disputed the commission’s findings and said the fighter will comment soon.

According to NSAC Management Analyst Nyra Phillips, Holobaugh allegedly received an intravenous injection of more than 50 milliliters “per six hour period” after the event’s July 10 weigh-ins. The injection wasn’t part of a hospital procedure or surgical procedure, and Holobaugh didn’t notify the commission or receive a therapeutic-use exemption, she added.

“We have allowances for when you can have (an IV), and this did not fit into any of those allowances,” she told MMAjunkie. “When it’s more than 50 milliliters per six-hour period, it becomes a prohibited method per the (World Anti-Doping Agency) list.”

The NSAC overhauled its drug testing program in 2015, implementing harsher punishments for anti-doping offenses and repeat offenders. A new schedule of potential punishments went into effect in September 2016.

At the time of his knockout, Holobaugh reportedly was offered a UFC contract. It was his fourth straight win.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

 

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Source: MMA Junkie

Kurt Holobaugh was happy to impress UFC boss with DWCS win, but more worried about his kids

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Kurt Holobaugh didn’t take any shortcuts on his way back into the UFC, but in hindsight, he’s glad for the ride.

Holobaugh was one of five winners to come out of the first installment of Dana White’s Contender Series, after putting an abrupt end to Matt Bessette’s (22-8) seven-fight streak. The first-round knockout not only added a fourth win to Holobaugh’s (18-4) current victorious run, but also earned him re-entry into the octagon after a single 2013 showing.

Kolobaugh, who first came into the UFC off a Strikeforce decision loss to Pat Healy, was cut after an unsuccessful showing opposite Steven Siler at UFC 159. It took him another four years, and a 9-2 run outside the octagon, but Holobaugh doesn’t seem too bitter about taking the scenic route back.

“I think this definitely prepared me for a good run into the UFC,” Kolobaugh told MMAjunkie Radio. “I got to go out, I got to fight all around the world, I got to experience a lot. I’ve grown as a fighter. (I) fought some really tough, high level guys who could easily be fighting in the UFC today.

“I really think that built me up, gave me a lot of confidence going into this contract with the UFC. I really think I can make a run for the championship.”

Regardless, Holobaugh comes into the octagon on the right foot. Before his most recent win, the 30-year-old fighter had knocked out seasoned vet Gesias Cavalcante to earn Titan FC’s interim lightweight title. He was already coming off back-to-back finish wins then. He’s only needed the judges in four of his 18 career wins.

The starching of the notoriously durable Bessette made Holobaugh one of two athletes who impressed UFC president Dana White enough to earn a contract that night. The show, which heads into its fourth week tonight with only five contracts given out so far, is not only about winning – it’s about making a statement.

Judging by his history, though, one can understand why Holobaugh wasn’t particularly preoccupied about that.

“I had no clue how the contract situation was going to work,” Holobaugh said. “I just knew how I fight and how I was going to fight. I wasn’t going to be denied. Anybody can go back to any one of my fights – I’m never going backwards. I might have a wrestler shoot in and take me down and put me on my back. But I’m still throwing punches. I’m still throwing submissions.

“I’m still working, I’m not just laying there. So there really wasn’t a doubt in my mind that I was going to go out and just put on an absolute great performance.”

In fact, to be perfectly frank, White seemed like the furthest thing from his mind when he earned his UFC shot.

“I didn’t even see him or know where he was sitting,” Holobaugh said. “When I walked out – I kind of thought about it, but honestly I want to say I was thinking more about my family watching at home, my kids watching at home, and my family in the crowd.

“It was awesome having Dana White there and getting to put on a performance in front of Dana White, but I don’t want to get my ass kicked in front of my kids. That’s one thing that I don’t want to have to live with. The most important thing, to me, was to not lose in front of my kids.”

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Eryk Anders, Kurt Holobaugh, Tyler King, Ryan Stoddard

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MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Eryk Anders, Kurt Holobaugh, Tyler King and Ryan Stoddard.

Anders fights Rafael Natal on Saturday at UFC on FOX 25. Holobaugh defeated Matt Bessette on July 11 at Dana White’s Contender Series 1. King fights Amir Aliakbari on July 30 at Rizin FF 6. Promoter Stoddard is getting ready for Saturday’s Victory FC 58 event.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Boston Salmon wasn't fighting to impress UFC boss Dana White at Contender Series debut

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Boston Salmon said competing just feet away from UFC President Dana White didn’t have an impact on his approach to his fight with Ricky Turcios at the Dana White’s Contender Series debut event.

Salmon (6-1) was one of the two fighters who received a UFC contract for a winning performance on Week 1 of the new series. He earned a unanimous-decision win over Turcios (8-1) and impressed the UFC boss enough to earn a multi-fight contract.

The format of the show, which streams Tuesdays on UFC Fight Pass from The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas, is based around bringing in talent capable of putting on a performance worthy of a UFC roster spot.

Salmon said he didn’t know exactly how everything would work with the show – though he did know White would be there watching from cageside. That’s a lot of pressure for a 26-year-old bantamweight prospect, but Salmon didn’t allow himself to be rattled.

“I was pretty blind to the whole structure and how things would be after the fight,” Salmon told MMAjunkie Radio. “I looked at the fight like any other fight. I wasn’t trying to impress anybody. I was going to be myself, and I was going to fight my fight and hope for the best. And at the end of the day, Dana White saw something that attracted him and he signed me as one of his prospects. So I’m thankful for that.”

Although Salmon put on a solid performance, he competed on a five-fight card that also included a pair of brutal knockouts as well as a submission which left one fighter twitching on the canvas. Only two of the five winners received contracts, with “Boom Boom” being one and Kurt Holobaugh being the other.

Salmon admitted he wasn’t certain if his triumph would be deemed worthy of a contract, but even if it wasn’t, he was happy to add another win to his record and earn a $10,000 payday. It all worked out for the best, though, and White called on Salmon to give him the big news, a moment the fighter admits was slightly surreal.

“I was one of the two fighters out of the five of us that went to a decision – I didn’t know if I was getting a contract or what,” Salmon said. “I was just excited with the victory. So when (White) pulled me to the back and congratulated me and offered me the contract, I was excited. I can’t really explain the feeling that I had when I shook his hand at the time. I was like, ‘Damn, this is the big boss for the UFC organization.’”

For more on Dana White’s Contender Series 1, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Source: MMA Junkie