There are events going on all over town this week where UFC fans will have the opportunity to see a different side of their favorite fighters.
Some of the most important interactions during International Fight Week will be taking place outside of public view, however.
A group of UFC fighters will be sent around the valley on Wednesday to make appearances with five different local charities.
UFC Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin will be part of the contingent at both Three Square Food Bank and the Boys & Girls Club of Southern Nevada on Robindale Road.
Griffin, who holds a job in the UFC headquarters, said it’s important for the organization to be a part of the community.
“UFC is Las Vegas’ hometown sports franchise,” he said. “I’ve been living here for over a decade and the Fertittas and Dana White are locals. Since the local community has always been so supportive of UFC, it’s only natural that we would want to get involved and give back.”
UFC athletes will also host self-defense classes and serving meals at Shade Tree in addition to assisting with an animal spa day at Noah’s Animal House.
At the CORE Academy, UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes will join the scholars to help with their community efforts by serving lunch and providing support packages to residents and the homeless at the local Salvation Army.
There will also be a visit to Boys Town of Nevada in the afternoon.
“These are great charities that reflect what we believe in, and our participation this week will help raise awareness so other locals can find ways to give back, too,” Griffin said. “Our charitable events this week fall perfectly in line with our We Are All Fighters initiative. This initiative celebrates the fighter in all of us. It is a symbol of how everyone fights every day to overcome challenges large and small and is designed to make a meaningful impact in communities where UFC events are held.”
The organization will hold live events Thursday and Friday at the MGM Grand before UFC 200 on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.
BISPING ON CHALLENGERS
Michael Bisping spent the better part of a decade chasing the UFC middleweight belt.
Now that he’s got it, he’s enjoying the view from atop the division.
There is speculation his first title defense could come against Dan Henderson in a rematch of a memorable Henderson knockout victory at UFC 100, but Bisping had a few words for some of the other contenders in a blog he wrote for champions.co.
“Of course, the usual suspects are there. The most obvious ones are already lining up,” Bisping wrote. “(Luke) Rockhold wants a rematch, Chris Weidman won’t stop going on. Weidman has actually started yapping a lot. I sort of feel sorry for the guy. He’s really started to become pretty embarrassing. He’s constantly going on about how I should fight him, or how I’m scared of him, or that I’m ducking him, which is the absolute stupidest thing ever.
“Here’s my message to you, Chris Weidman: Get a grip, buddy. Go out there and win a fight. Fight Rockhold, and if you can beat him, then great, we can talk. If not, well, you’re unlucky, and should get back to the drawing board.”
Bisping referred to former champ Anderson Silva, who is clamoring for a title shot despite losing a unanimous decision to Bisping in February, as a “dirty little cockroach.”
The champion said the bottom line is he will take on all comers eventually.
“The fact of the matter is, I’m not ducking anybody,” he wrote. “I’ve never ducked a fight in my life, and I certainly don’t intend to start doing it now as champion, but the UFC has come to me with an opponent. I’m not at liberty to say who that is right now, and it’s not even a done deal, but there is a fight in the works.”
The rumored offer is a fight with Henderson in October.
Middleweight Ricardo Abreu has been notified by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency of a potential violation of the UFC’s anti-doping policy.
Abreu, who competed on Season 3 of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil,” had not fought since a split-decision loss to Jake Collier in June 2015.
“The UFC organization was notified that (USADA) has informed Ricardo Abreu of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection. USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case.
“Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.”
Abreu is 1-1 in two fights since appearing on the reality show.
Contact reporter Adam Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj