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King Mo and KJ Noons Cheated at Strikeforce: Houston

Last night's Strikeforce: Houston was another strong effort put forth from the worlds number two MMA promotion. We had a couple big upsets mixed in with a 5 round war and a bit of controversy to top it all off. Contrary to popular belief, Strikeforce is in a better position coming out of this show then they were coming in. However there were some shady goings on during the show that went mostly unnoticed until Middle Easy broke the story:

Both containers appear to be the same substance and were ingested similarly by both fighters. They also resemble bottles of pure compressed oxygen like these that when ingested, could considerably improve an athlete’s stamina & cardio. What makes this interesting is that compressed oxygen is a substance banned from nearly every endurance sport, including MMA; in every state, including Texas.

They go on to explain what the big issue with this is:

For those of you wondering what the big deal is, the concept of breathing pure oxygen can help a free-diver double submersible time. It also helps climbers breathe at high altitude so that they can continue to ascend mountains at an normal pace, despite thin air. The entire concept behind the compressed-oxygen spray is to keep an athlete from tiring out, which would be OK, except when one person has this cardio-boosting puffer while his opponent doesn’t. Even if both sets of fighters in last night’s Strikeforce card were utilizing the oxygen supplement, it didn’t seem like there was any way to regulate how much either fighter ingested. Plainly, the more pure oxygen you consume, the better your cardio will be for the duration of the fight, and this introduces a significant variable in last night’s performances that we’ve never seen before.

Here is a picture of Noons ingesting the oxygen:


Obviously, this is a big issue. King Mo ended up losing his fight last night but he has had cardio issues in the past and this would greatly help him in that. But that's not fair in any way to his opponent. Not sure why Noons would need to do it other than to enhance his performance but he won't be afforded any leeway for his usage. His fight with Jorge Gurgel was chock full of controversy. After the horn sounded to end the first round, he blasted Gurgel with a left hook that put him on queer street. He then threw an illegal knee at the end of the fight in round 2. Now we learn of this. Sure doesn't look good. 

Brent Bookhouse over at Bloody Elbow believes that the athletic commission is fully at blame here:

This is a situation that demands some sort of answers from both the state of Texas and Strikeforce. Someone needs to tell us what happened and why this was allowed to happen....The combination of the lack of drug testing and what seem to be illegal (in the sport) oxygen canisters being used just reinforces my belief that major MMA needs to stay away from Texas until their athletic commission gets their act together.

Can't disagree with Brookhouse on that one. There have been many incidents in the cage of fighters engaging in illegal activity. Anderson Silva rubbing vaseline from his face onto his body before fighting Thales Leites, GSP greasing against BJ Penn and now this. I would argue that this is a lot worse than what those two did. Greasing is bad but as soon as the athletic commission catches it, as they did in the GSP fight, they can rub a guy down. Once Noons and Mo ingested the oxygen there was nothing that could be done. They were going to be able to go longer and harder than their opponent with the aid of the canister. Not okay.

I'm looking forward to seeing the reaction from the larger media as this story grows bigger. I would love to hear what Mo and Noons have to say about this. Things like this cannot be allowed to happen. Mo will get leeway because he lost, but he shouldn't. Noons made several infractions on that night. I believe both guys should be penalized in some way, whether that be a suspension or a fine. A message needs to be sent that this will not be acceptable. We'll see if anyone says or does anything.

UPDATE - Luke Thomas had Scott Coker on MMA Nation and Coker said that he will be investigating Noons and Lawal's usage of the oxygen canisters.

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