Little by little, windows keep cracking open that could make the biggest fight in the history of MMA a reality.
First it was UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Following Dana White's promise that blank check was on the table for a bout against fellow UFC champ Jon Jones, "The Spider" admitted it may be difficult for Jones to reject such an overwhelming amount of money, and if the superfight did happen, it would need to be at a catchweight with neither man's belt up for grabs. While reluctant, that sentiment was still a far cry from Silva's generally staunch refusals.
Meanwhile, Jones, who's been upfront about his own lack of interest in the fight, has recently been making the media rounds in Brazil and it seems as if the elephant-sized, dangling carrot of a monster payday has already started softening his initial hardline stance.
"I respect [Silva] a lot," Jones said to Brazilian outlet Correio Braziliense. "As I said several times, I do not want to be the guy who beat Anderson, and do not want to be the guy who lost to him. Anderson is a great champion, I'm a great champion. We both..." At that point Jones trailed off, before picking back up. "I don't know. I don't know.
"I'm not saying that the fight will not happen. It can happen. But it's not something I'm chasing.
"I don't believe that I need to fight with Anderson to be the best in the world," Jones concluded.
While this obviously isn't the most ringing endorsement, just like Silva, it's miles away from where we were in this discussion a mere month ago. Neither man particularly wants it, but after a certain point, the allure of the dollar can be a powerful mistress.
6 MUST-READ STORIES
Jones: Silva fight 'can happen.' Speaking with Brazilian outlet Correio Braziliense, UFC light heavyweight champion said of a superfight against Anderson Silva: "I do not want to be the guy who beat Anderson ... I'm not saying that the fight will not happen. It can happen. But it's not something I'm chasing."
White rips Nevada judges, 's--tiest round' in TUF history. UFC President Dana White lambasted Friday's listless TUF 16 fight -- Michael Hill vs. Matt Secor. "That first round would probably have to go down as one of the sh--tiest rounds in TUF history," White incredulously said. "Why did you come here? This isn't f--king summer camp!" White went on to add the Nevada State Athletic Commission should be "embarrassed" and "lose their jobs" due to the scoring of the bout.
Couture: Sonnen can beat Jones. UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture wasn't surprised by the UFC's decision to award Chael Sonnen and Alistair Overem immediate title shots, and despite the odds, he believes Sonnen has a "great opportunity" to stun Jon Jones.
Bellator 78 results. Following a near two-year layoff, Bellator women's champion Zoila Gurgel eked out a unanimous decision victory on the undercard of Bellator 78, while Lyman Good and Andrey Koreshkov punched their tickets to the season-seven welterweight tournament finals in the night's headlining bouts.
Gracie on Diaz vs. Silva. In an interview with Brazilian outlet Tatame, California-based trainer Cesar Gracie reiterated that his pupil, Nick Diaz, would still really like to fight UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, adding, Nick has "great admiration and respect for Anderson as a fighter."
Bellator to expedite Alvarez decision. Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney expects an announcement regarding Eddie Alvarez's free agency status to be made within the next few days, despite the promotion owning an exclusive 90-day negotiation window. Alvarez is expected to receive a significant offer from the UFC.
In the words of our own Mike Chiappetta, the entry of a female UFC division "would be huge leap forward for women's sports." And this highlight makes a pretty convincing argument.
(HT: Bloody Elbow)
If you expected to see Cowboy Cerrone floor a professional bull rider with a leg kick today, hey, looks like you're in luck.
Drew Fickett's been around this game for so long, it's weird to think he's only 32 years old. Though, unfortunately, he didn't look it at last week's Rage in the Cage event. That's now six losses in seven fights. (For the lazy, action starts at 4:30.)
The latest edition of The MMA Beat sees the crew talk women in the UFC, Nick Diaz and Alistair Overeem title shots, and the possibility of an independent MMA Hall of Fame.
We've all seen the classic double-knockout. Now add in a bizarre headbutt, and this clip from Poland is just like that.
THE HIGHS & LOWS OF HALLOWEEN
Wow check out my Halloween body paint job! Venom!! twitter.com/silverbackseth…— Seth Petruzelli (@silverbackseth) October 28, 2012
Ryhana Bader 2012 Female body builder of the year #'12costume instagr.am/p/RTzd5usQui/— Ryan Bader (@ryanbader) October 28, 2012
GURGEL AND BELLATOR MAKE NICE
THE CHILD IN ME JUST FREAKED OUT
Obrigadogalerinha da nickelodeon twitter.com/SpiderAnderson…— Anderson Silva (@SpiderAnderson) October 25, 2012
ADDRESSING THE RUMORS
@18danielclark where you here that?— michael (@bisping) October 26, 2012
I don't have anything confirmed about fighting Bisping. It's all rumors.When I know about it will let you guys know.— Vitor Belfort (@vitorbelfort) October 26, 2012
What am I going as for Halloween you wonder? A mean son-of-a-bitch. Didn't even have to buy a costume. #Halloween— Josh Barnett (@JoshLBarnett) October 28, 2012
Announced over the weekend (Friday, October 26, 2012 - Sunday, October 28, 2012):
- UFC 154: Constantinos Philippou (11-2) vs. Nick Ring (13-1) promoted to main card
- UFC 154: Chad Griggs (11-2) vs. Cyrille Diabate (18-8-1) demoted to preliminary card
- Bellator 82: Lyman Good (14-2) vs. Andrey Koreshkov (12-0) for welterweight tournament final
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day sees Steve Borchardt return with: A message for the keyboard warriors
This column is dedicated to the real tough guys in mixed martial arts. You might think I'm talking about hard headed sluggers willing to stand in the pocket and trade bombs all night long or about bygone legends from the pioneer days of the sport, but I'm not. All a fighter does is put his health at risk by enduring a punishing training camp and then facing off against a highly trained opponent whose sole objective is to cause him enough bodily harm to secure a victory. Stepping in a cage might take intestinal fortitude, but it's nothing compared to the cojones required to take on a theoretically infinite number of enemies all at once in the unforgiving arenas of message boards and news site comment sections. That's right, this one is for the unsung heroes of MMA - the keyboard warriors.
Maybe you're one someone who reads posts by these modern day Spartans with names like "STOCKTON_SLAP420" and you think to yourself, "That doesn't look so hard. I could do that." Oh yeah tough guy? Let's see you create a username and give it a try. Do you think you have that elusive combination of poor reading comprehension, a disregard for the conventions of English grammar, and a lack of social skills necessary to succeed in this game? Are you willing to put the long hours in staying up late at night thinking of new putdowns - usually a variation of either the oh so humbling term "butt hurt" or the rapier-like "nut hugger" - for anyone who has a differing opinion than you? Is your knee jerk reaction to insult first and ask questions never? When you comment on a story about a female fighter do you ignore the fact she is an athlete and focus on letting the world know whether or not you find her physically attractive? Most of all, do you have the stones to write things online about fighters, journalists, and fellow fans that you would never dream of saying to their face? If you answered yes to any of those questions then buddy, you just might have what it takes to become one of the all time greats.
OK, obviously I'm being facetious here. I'm also painting with broad strokes; the above paragraph is a caricature of many of the worst tendencies displayed by online MMA fans. By and large fans who are passionate enough about the sport to read sites like this and to take the time to post comments are thoughtful, articulate, and mature enough to treat people with respect. I think obsessing over the minutia of a hobby - whether it be film, collecting comic books, or watching MMA - is an inherently cerebral activity; people who find themselves spending part of every day reading up about these things are by and large a brainy lot.
Well, most of them that is. There's also a decidedly vocal minority of misanthropes who seem to revel in the chance to anonymously pound their chests and take out their frustrations on the world. It seems in the comments following nearly every article I read on an MMA site there is at least one person - usually with a command of written English that would only be described as tenuous by the exceedingly generous - who can't resist the urge to hurl childish insults at the subject(s) of the article, its author, or any fan with a differing opinion. It's the same deal on message boards. When these cretins flock to threads like sharks to fresh blood the resultant negativity gets so oppressive it's hard to keep reading.
What's sad is how keyboard warriors keep online communities from reaching their full constructive potential. You might have noticed, but we live in a time when rapidly evolving technology is changing the way we interact with one another. One of the unfortunate side effects of this change has been a tendency for some people to view online forums as a place where they can give their worst impulses free reign without internalizing a sense of how their words might affect people. It's easy to detach yourself from a sense of responsibility for what you write when you never come in direct contact with the people who read it.
Sometimes though, we get a reminder that there are actual human beings out there reading our comments.
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.