Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Rarely do we see a 72-hour stretch as overabundant as the past weekend was in combat sports -- especially with the UFC winding down the final moments of it's annual winter vacation.
From Las Vegas to India, we witnessed everything from the ferocious debut of a new major MMA promotion, to the return of the best British Anderson Silva impersonator in the game. Throw in major events for both kickboxing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, plus the latest nugget on a potential Silva-Jones superfight, and with so much going on, it'd be easy for something to slip under the cracks. So without further ado, let's get to it and catch up on everything we might've missed.
6 MUST-READ STORIES
Silva talks Jones superfight. Likely speaking tongue in cheek, UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva told Brazilian outlet Tatame he'd be willing to fight Jon Jones for an outlandish 50-percent stake in the UFC, explaining, "I have personal projects outside of the UFC and want to put them in practice. I'm opening my own martial arts academy in LA. I want to do my thing, take some air, spend time with the family. I have more to do than take punches to the face."
WSOF debuts. Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski knocked out Devin Cole in three minutes, Anthony Johnson destroyed D.J. Linderman, and former WEC bantamweight champ Miguel Torres was upset by Marlon Moraes in World Series of Fighting's debut event. The reported payroll for the show totaled $352,000.
Diaz still wants St-Pierre. Speaking to FightHub, Nick Diaz's trainer, Cesar Gracie, said of Diaz's impending return: "Worst case scenario, we're looking at the first quarter of 2013. He's ready to fight. I think everyone knows who he wants to fight. He wants GSP. If something happens, Nick can jump right in."
Belfort vs. Bisping. As expected, middleweight contenders Vitor Belfort and Michael Bisping are slated to meet on January 19, 2013. The bout is expected to take place in Brazil and will be the main event of a UFC on FX show.
Bonnar, Herman fail drug tests. UFC 153 participants Stephan Bonnar and Dave Herman each failed drug tests in the wake of October's event. Bonnar tested positive for the anabolic steroid Drostanolone, while Herman tested positive for marijuana metabolites. According to a statement released by Zuffa, "Both fighters have admitted taking the banned substances and have orally agreed to suspensions."
Just go ahead and pencil "Rumble" Johnson in on the short-list for 'Knockouts of the Year.'
An actual quote from the trailer for Florence Fight Club, a documentary detailing the grueling Florentine Football tournament: "It's a tough game. There are real fights. In 1994, I was 15 hours in surgery. I was carrying one eye in my hand and all of my teeth had been blown away!"
(Props to Francesco Mureddu for the find.)
Sure, this was brutally lopsided matchmaking. But hey, I'd say step one of Tyrone Spong's foray into mixed martial arts was pretty damn successful.
THE START OF SOMETHING
To all the guys that fought for @mmaworldseries last night thank you so much for tuning up ready to fight!!— Ray Sefo (@SugarRaySefo) November 5, 2012
ANOTHER KLITSCHKO CHALLENGE
At St. Peter's collecting clothes from now until 5 Come at 5 for some hot food, canned food to take with you— Chris Weidman (@ChrisWeidmanUFC) November 4, 2012
Knee felt pretty good today. No pain, but starting back slow. Felt good to get punched in the face again. Lol— Dan Henderson (@danhendo) October 29, 2012
MOVING ON UP
Vinny Magalhaes (@VinnyMMA) November 4, 2012
@z_factor it happens— Dana White (@danawhite) November 3, 2012
@chaseraymond lol— Dana White (@danawhite) November 3, 2012
Announced over the weekend (Friday, November 2, 2012 - Sunday, November 4, 2012):
- UFC 155: Leonard Garcia (15-9-1) vs. Cody McKenzie (13-3)
- UFC Brazil: Vitor Belfort (21-10) vs. Michael Bisping (23-4) booked as main event for Jan. 19
- UFC Brazil: C.B. Dollaway (12-4) vs. Daniel Sarafian (7-2) booked as co-main event for Jan. 19
- UFC Brazil: Gabriel Gonzaga (13-6 vs. Ben Rothwell (32-8) booked for main card on Jan. 19
- UFC Brazil: Thiago Tavares (17-4-1) vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov (18-0) booked for main card on Jan. 19
- WSOF 2: Marlon Moraes (9-4-1) vs. Tyson Nam (12-4)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes from hey.its.sam, who writes: Miguel Torres: Hostile takeover of an epic reign
I respect the mullet. Always have, always will. Miguel Torres' nearly decade-long, Fedoresque run from 2000-2009 must put him up there, alongside Emelianenko, on the pioneer pouind-for-pound list. In fact, Torres doesn't get the respect her deserves for his achievements, considering it seems he has taken whoever was thrown at him, compared to The Last Emperor with his savvy Russian management, who did have him in a few silly giant slaying matches.
Another honor we can give Torres is one of bushido. During the period in which he wore the WEC crown, it was clear that his use of range could have carried him through most of his fights. He could have played the Jon Jones game of keeping distance and picking shots, but that's not what he did. Torres was a young, wild, reckless and predatory champion with style a fan pleasing style, and we appreciate him for it.
Tandem losses to Brian Bowles and Joseph Benavidez forced Torres to seek out a strategist and shift his combat philosophy remarkably further to the conservative right, a move seen as a major defining make-or-break point in a fighter's career. Torres is only 31-almost 32-he should have plenty enough youth in him to make it work, right? Seems not so, unfortunately.
The numbers can be skewed any number of ways: Torres is 0-2 in his last 2 fights; 1-2 in his last three; 3-5 of his last 8, or 20-5 in his last 25. The objective reality is that Torres is slowing down. Shelf life is shorter in the lower weight classes. Fighters in lower weight classes rely on speed the way fighters in higher weight classes rely on power. It is simply necessary to get the job done. That's why Randy Couture was one of the world's greatest from the other side of the hill, but Torres appears somewhat aged at less than 35-years-old.
Torres' last two fights, both losses, raised big red flags. Torres simply lacked the pep that Michael McDonald and Marlon Moraes brought into the cage those nights. Both fights grimly reminisced of the torch-passing Pacquiao / De La Hoya match where one just moved at a higher frames-per-second than the other.
A problem now faced by whichever promotion Torres fights for (be it the World Series of Fighting or otherwise) is the fact that he's awesome. Miguel Torres will absolutely prevent some stars from rising. He is that good, and still he has fights in him, but he's a moon's distance from a title shot in any respectable promotion, so it's unclear what will become of the former 135-pound King. And one thing about kingship is that the hostile takeover of an epic reign is an awkward thing to watch.
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.
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