The Morning Glory: GSP comeback closer than ever; Penn opponent announced; TUF 24 casting call cancelled

GSP’s return may be closer than ever.

The rumour mill has been going nuts with the potential return of Georges St-Pierre for some time but we may now actually have confirmation.

In an interview that was conducted with French sports outlet RDS, GSP revealed that he is in negotiations with the UFC for his return but that the sponsors are currently a stumbling point.

As we all know GSP has a lucrative deal with Under Armour and the way the Reebok deal is structured he would only be eligible for $20k in sponsorship money for the fight.

I’m sure the UFC can work out a pay increase to make up for the potential loss in revenue for the former champion.

For those interested, the full interview in French is here.

BJ Penn officially has an opponent for his comeback fight.

The former UFC champion will face Dennis Siver at UFC 199 in Los Angeles.

This news follows a recent investigation by the UFC into sexual assault allegations made against Penn. Kevin Iole from Yahoo spoke to UFC COO Lawrence Epstein about the allegations and the UFC’s decision to let Penn compete.

“We have taken a look at the available facts, which aren’t too substantial, and there are two stories of what happened,” Epstein told Iole. “To date, there has [been] no action at all taken by any law enforcement agency. We decided to allow B.J. to fight. However, we are going to continue to monitor to the situation. If new information, more information, becomes available to us, obviously, we reserve the right to re-evaluate.”

The fight will take place at 145lbs.

Conor McGregor has offered his condolences following the death of MMA fighter Joao Carvalho.

Carvalho was rushed to hospital following a third-round TKO against McGregor’s SBG team mate, Charlie Ward over the weekend.

According to Carvalho’s team, the medical staff from Total Extreme Fighting in Dublin, Ireland, followed all the safety protocols which involved taking Carvalho to the hospital 20mins following the bout when he said he started to feel bad. The 28 year old then underwent brain surgery immediately and was in a critical condition for 48 hours before passing away.

McGregor posted the following on his Facebook page.

Terrible news regarding Joao Carvalho. 
To see a young man doing what he loves, competing for a chance at a better life, and then to have it taken away is truly heartbreaking. 
We are just men and women doing something we love in the hope of a better life for ourselves and our families. Nobody involved in combat sports of any kind wants to see this. It is such a rare occurrence that I don’t know how to take this.
I was ringside supporting my teammate, and the fight was so back and forth, that I just can’t understand it.

My condolences go out to Joao’s family and his team. Their man was a hell of a fighter and will be sorely missed by all. 
Combat sport is a crazy game and with the recent incident in boxing and now this in MMA, it is a sad time to be a fighter and a fight fan. 
It is easy for those on the outside to criticise our way of living, but for the millions of people around the world who have had their lives, their health, their fitness and their mental strength all changed for the better through combat, this is truly a bitter pill to swallow. We have lost one of us.

I hope we remember Joao as a champion, who pursued his dream doing what he loved, and show him the eternal respect and admiration he deserves.

Rest in peace, Joao.

The whole team at FNA extend their heartfelt condolences to those closest to Joao.

The TUF 24 casting call has been cancelled.

Damon Martin, of FOX Sports, tweeted the news this morning.

Could Mighty Mouse’s backlash have anything to do with it?

Speaking of TUF, the coaches have been announced for TUF: Latin America 3.

UFC Haller of Famers Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin have been given the nod as the new coaches for the latest season of TUF Latin America.

The UFC announced the news yesterday:

TUF: Latin America, which debuted in 2014 as the UFC’s first Spanish-language version of the reality show – nine years after the U.S. version first became a hit – filmed its first two seasons in Las Vegas. The third will film in Argentina and will be produced in May and June, and the debut is slated for late August on regional TV partners and UFC Fight Pass.

Liddell (21-8 MMA, 15-8 UFC) has been retired since a UFC 115 knockout loss to Rich Franklin in June, 2010. He was one of the most popular fighters in UFC history, capturing the light heavyweight championship at UFC 52 with a knockout of Randy Couture and successfully defending the title four times before dropping the strap to Quinton Jackson at UFC 71. He was also a coach on the inaugural season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

Griffin (19-7 MMA, 10-5 UFC) was the light heavyweight winner of Season 1 of “TUF” as a member of Team Liddell. He went on to experience impressive success in the octagon, capturing the title from Jackson at UFC 86. He dropped the belt to Rashad Evans in his next bout, but became a fan favourite over his career.

Viscardi Andradi has been flagged for an alleged doping violation.

The Brazilian, who last fought at UFC Brisbane, has released a statement in response to an out-of-competition drug test that was taken 12 days prior to the event.

On Tuesday morning, April 12, I was surprised by a notification from USADA informing me of a possible violation in the sample collected on March 7, before my last UFC fight, a win over Rich Walsh.

According to USADA, an institution I respect and know about the credibility, I violated the agency’s anti-doping policy. However, I deny, with all my character, ingesting any substance that violates their terms. Because of that, I requested the B sample to be tested and totally believe in my acquittal in this imbroglio.

During my training camp for the fight, I did the same procedures I did in 10 years of my career. Same food, supplementation, everything approved in several anti-doping exams, many of them already as a UFC fighter, and followed by professional doctors and nutritionists.

More than the UFC welterweight belt, today, I wish this entire situation to be cleared so I can come back as soon as possible to do what I love, which is fighting, and continue my professional career.

I’m sorry for what happened, but all I have to do is wait for the B sample result. I thank my fans, friends and family who sent me messages of support and comfort and trust in my innocence since this news came out. You will see me back in action again soon. Thank you.

We will keep you updated on how things progress.

Combat sports enthusiast.