MMA Odds and Ends for Thursday: Moraes Defends Belt at WSOF 13

Marlon Moraes 2While most of the MMA universe was still reeling from the announcement of Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz returning at UFC 183, at least one other promotion was still at work on Wednesday. World Series of Fighting announced the headliner to their September WSOF 13 card yesterday, and it features one of the promotion’s two homegrown talents, Marlon Moraes. Moraes has gone 5-0 since signing with WSOF and cemented himself as one of the best bantamweights in the sport over the past few years, and he’ll have another chance to show off his skills when he takes on the undefeated Josh Hill in Pennsylvania. Hill was a competitor on TUF 18, but failed to impress with his wrestling-heavy style and never officially fought inside the Octagon. He signed with WSOF and returned to the cage in June, picking up a first-round TKO win under the WSOF Canada banner. Perhaps that indicates a change in his approach coming off the show. Moraes has been dominant in WSOF, utilizing his sturdy takedown defense to trap foes on the feet and punish them with his vicious muay Thai. The recipe has worked to perfection, as Moraes has not lost a round since his debut fight in the promotion against Miguel Torres. Hill is the best wrestler he’s faced during that span however, so this will be a decent test, albeit one he should win and will be heavily favored in. That was it as far as fight announcements go, but there were a couple of other newsworthy events from Wednesday. Drysdale, Casey Fail Post-UFC 175 Drug Tests Robert Drysdale had his UFC debut delayed because he had previously failed a drug test, with an elevated testosterone to epitestosterone ratio, and that’s the exact same thing that raised red flags following his submission victory over Keith Berish. Drysdale’s T:E ratio was 12:1 (down from 19.4:1 on his previously failed test, but still well above the limit of 6:1), and it’s hard to imagine him not facing a stiff penalty for his second offense. Kevin Casey tested position for the anabolic steroid drostanolone, which taints his very successful return to the Octagon, as he knocked out Bubba Bush in the first round. The UFC released a statement saying both fighters have been temporarily suspended from competition pending an official review. The statement also included this gem: “The UFC has a strict, consistent policy against the use of any illegal and/or performance-enhancing drugs, stimulants or masking agents by our athletes…” which stands in stark contrast to the promotion’s treatment of someone like Vitor Belfort in recent years. On that note, UFC middleweight Luke Rockhold publicly commented on Belfort’s impending title shot, calling it a “joke” and predicting that Belfort won’t make it to his scheduled UFC 181 bout with Chris Weidman either due to an injury (if Belfort is clean) or another positive drug test. The scheduled middleweight title challenger responded by claiming that Rockhold was “still in shock from the kick.” Something tells me this war of words isn’t over quite yet. Hopefully Thursday features more fight announcements than failed drug tests and out of cage squabbling, but there’s always something going on in the world of MMA.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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