Now that the holiday weekend has lazily passed and the excessive amount of food oozing out of our collective pores is glistening in the winter sunlight, it's almost surprising to think that just one week is left before we hit the home stretch for 2012.
It may be an understatement to call it a rough year, what with the injury-a-day rollercoaster mercilessly crippling the Zuffa masterplan. (Hello, Luke Rockhold!) But with both UFC on FOX 5 and UFC 155 looming still fairly intact, there's at least the chance to end this snakebitten year on a positive note.
So, embattled fight fans, enjoy this final week of rest while you still can, because pretty soon things are about to get quite a bit busier. Now lets get to some headlines while that leftover turkey is still good.
7 MUST-READ STORIES
Silva's coach talks Jones gameplan. Josuel Distak, one of Anderson Silva's primary coaches, discussed a likely gameplan the team would implement in a hypothetical superfight against Jon Jones, telling Sherdog: "Jones is unpredictable. To me the strategy to do a fight with him would involve finding out how he fights on his back."
Mousasi wants Shogun. Speaking with FCFighter, former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi revealed he was UFC-bound in 2013 and would like to fight Mauricio "Shogun" Rua for his debut. Notably, Mousasi said if he should lose the bout, he would likely drop down to middleweight where he expects to "dominate."
Maldonado receives well-earned bonus. According to a post on Fabio Maldonado's Facebook page, the UFC paid the Brazilian a purse far larger than his win bonus after gutting through two brutal rounds against Glover Teixeira at UFC 153.
Jones, Sonnen reflect on TUF close calls. Each current The Ultimate Fighter coach, Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen, revealed their personal history with the reality show during a conversation with MMAJunkie. Jones, the youngest champion in UFC history, admitted he tried out for TUF when he was just 20 years old, however he failed to make the cut, ironically because UFC President Dana White said he was too young. Sonnen, meanwhile, claimed to have turned down a spot on the first season, though he later regretted the decision after watching the show.
Rockhold injured. From the files of 'not at all surprising,' Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold suffered a wrist injury in training and withdrew from his final title defense in early 2013. Subsequently, the furious manager of Rockhold's opponent, Lorenz Larkin, told MMADiehards the decision was "totally unprofessional" and that Rockhold "obviously" did not want to fight his client.
White disappointed in Strikeforce tenure. With Strikeforce's demise looming, UFC President Dana White admitted he was 'disappointed' by the way the promotion was handled. White also plans to attend the final event in January.
Sakara DQ upheld. Patrick Cote's controversial disqualification victory over Alessio Sakara at UFC 154 was upheld after Canada's Quebec commission declined to hear Sakara's appeal.
I'll just say this, a motivated B.J. Penn is a scary B.J. Penn.
Speaking of Penn, few men have as fascinating of a resume as the Hawaiian. So today's as good a day as any to take a trip in the wayback machine.
Props to @lmaccormack87 for the find.
Technically this has nothing to do with MMA. But it was a slow weekend, Ernesto Hoost is a beast and this is gold, so we'll make an exception.
The betting favorite for an Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones superfight may be up for debate, but in the battle of dance moves, "Bones" has nothing on Silva.
Props to Guilherme Arantes for the find.
I'd be remissed if I forgot this little gem from SFL 10. Solid finish but seriously, 3:18 -- great celebration or greatest celebration?
@danawhite hey Dana I hurt my right pinky toe guess I can't fight wish I started 2 years before I did so I could have skipped this pussy era— lorenz larkin (@da_MONSOON) November 25, 2012
@danawhite or can you give me that Black Friday price for the sf belt?— lorenz larkin (@da_MONSOON) November 25, 2012
SLIM AND TRIM HD
Pat Barry (@HypeOrDie) November 25, 2012
SANCHEZ VS. GOMI?
Automatic toilet flushes... Not a cool invention! Very stressful!— Siyar The Great (@SiyarTheGreat) November 26, 2012
Announced over the weekend (Friday, November 23, 2012 - Sunday, November 25, 2012):
- Strikeforce Champions: Luke Rockhold (10-1) out with injury opposite Lorenz Larkin (13-0, 1 NC)
- UFC on FOX 5: John Cholish (8-2) out with injury, Jeremy Stephens (20-8) in against Yves Edwards (41-18-1)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes from Motmaitre, who writes: The Boadicea Chronicles: In Praise of Miesha Tate
Ronda mangled Miesha's arm with clinical brutality. However, the climax of the fight revealed to me for the first time, the iron resolve that defines Miesha's character. Even as Ronda dislocated, twisted and wrecked her arm, Miesha refused to tap. Not until her limb was a broken, dangling mess did she finally give in.
As Ronda rose in victory, I watched Miesha. She lay on the ground with a stony look on her face, her steely self-control masking the pain in her body and humiliation in her heart. I'd never seen anyone look so resolute in defeat. Shrugging off the doctors, she stood next to the referee for the decision, impressing me with her composure.
She exhibited the poise of some noble barbarian queen just vanquished by the Roman war machine. She was WMMA's Boadicea. Regal and erect, she salvaged a haughty dignity from her moment of unimaginable shame. Her inscrutable visage showed none of the pain undoubtedly ravaging her damaged arm. I watched her with reluctant but growing admiration.
In August, Miesha returned to the Strikeforce cage in a blistering fight against Julie Kedzie. Once again, her technical prowess didn't particularly impress me. However, her mighty warrior's heart certainly did. She recovered from a mighty head kick and grinding onslaught from Kedzie, to wrest an improbable submission victory from the jaws of impending defeat.
So magnificent was the fortitude she displayed in not succumbing to Kedzie's domination, that Dana White, in his inimitable style, was forced to ejaculate: "HOLY SHIT Tate is tough as nails!!!!!" And so she was. On the first night that the UFC Grand Poobah watched a womens' MMA fight live, he was impressed into admitting that they could bring the pain and entertainment just as well as the men. And yet, Ronda gets sole credit for women being accepted into the UFC?
As impressive as Miesha's courage under fire was, it was her words after the Kedzie fight that cemented the growing feeling of admiration I had for her. Even as the plaudits rained down on her, she publicly criticized and expressed dissatisfaction at her own performance. In a sport rife with self-promotion and braggadocio, she was her own harshest critic.
This wasn't just a pose or an act of false humility. During the nomination window for the World MMA Awards, she urged her Twitter followers not to nominate her for Best Female Fighter, as she felt undeserving of the honor. I was impressed again. She was exhibiting one of the most admirable qualities of true leaders: the willingness to tell the truth as she saw it, even to her own detriment.
She showed the same qualities in October when Bellator womens' champion Zoila Gurgel was put on the undercard. Burning with righteous indignation, Miesha excoriated Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney for demoting a female champion to the undercard. The man was forced to publicly defend the decision, and whether or not you agree with his business rationale, the kerfuffle showed that Tate was willing to take up arms for the cause of womens' MMA, and fearlessly tell truth to power.
I was particularly impressed by this, as I have grown cynical at the routine cowardice of ordinary people. The office colleagues who don't criticize bad ideas so as to avoid career penalties; the bystanders who won't get involved while a victim is assaulted; the social conformists who suppress their dissenting views for fear of ostracism. The world is full of cowards keeping silent for their own safety. Miesha Tate is not one of them.
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.