Morning Report: Recapping a wild 48 hours of mixed martial arts

USA TODAY Sports

Last time we were in this space, I tossed up a poll asking which of the two UFC shows you guys were planning to watch during the back-to-back weekend. 12-percent of responders said they'd be tuning in to neither Friday's UFC on FX 6 event nor Saturday's TUF 16 Finale.

Well, for all the 12-percenters out there, I hope you guys are good at the internet, because there's plenty of video worth catching up on.

In a two-day span that featured 21 UFC fights, a mere seven reached the judges' hands. That's an impressive feat in and of itself, and an incredible pace to maintain for 48 hours. But then consider the method in which some of those 14 fights ended, whether it was Ben Alloway's brutal front kick or Rustam Khabilov morphing into Zangief from Street Fighter for two straight minutes, and you'd need to be a real curmudgeon to come out of this weekend feeling anything but satisfied. So without further ado, let's take a look back and try to digest it all.

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7 MUST-READ STORIES

Pearson, Lombard earn KO victories at FX 6. Ross Pearson punctuated his grudge match against George Sotiropoulos with a vicious third-round knockout, while Hector Lombard earned his first Zuffa victory in dramatic fashion, knocking out Rousimar Palhares on the main card of Friday's UFC on FX 6 event. (Reactions and video.)

Parke, Whittaker, Smith take TUF crowns. Norman Parke and Robert Whittaker became the inaugural TUF Smashes winners via hard-fought unanimous decisions over Colin Fletcher and Brad Scott, respectively. Likewise, Colton Smith dominated Mike Ricci take the TUF 16 crown.

Nelson, Barry, Poirier finish at TUF 16 Finale. Roy Nelson knocked out Matt Mitrione with a thunderous first round combination, Pat Barry crushed Shane del Rosario, and Dustin Poirier overcame a rocky start to submit Jonathan Brookins via first-round D'arce choke on the main card of Saturday night's TUF 16 Finale. (Reactions and video.)

Volkov captures Bellator heavyweight belt. Alexander Volkov, a former training partner of Fedor Emelianenko, defeated Richard Hale via five-round unanimous decision to capture the vacant Bellator heavyweight title in the main event of Bellator 84. Meanwhile, in a bizarre turn of events, the expected co-main event -- Marcin Held vs. Dave Jansen for the lightweight tournament finals -- was postponed prior to the show, as the 20-year-old Held was barred from entering the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana due to his age. That fight has been rescheduled for early 2013.

Varner-Guillard postponed to UFC 155. A lightweight bout scheduled for the main card of TUF 16 Finale, Jamie Varner vs. Melvin Guillard, was cancelled by commission officials when Varner fell ill hours before he was set to fight. UFC President Dana White confirmed the match-up would be moved to UFC 155.

UFC 158 fight card. UFC 158 is official for March 16, 2013, at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre defends his belt against Nick Diaz in the "fight the fans want to see," Rory MacDonald gets his rematch against Carlos Condit, and Johny Hendricks plans to stop Jake Ellenberger to ensure St-Pierre will have "nowhere to hide."

Bisping 'probably' gets next shot. According to Dana White, middleweight contender Michael Bisping will "probably" get the next shot at Anderson Silva if Bisping can defeat Vitor Belfort at UFC on FX 7.

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MEDIA STEW

If you haven't seen it already, Saturday's night post-fight scrum is worth checking out. Some interesting stuff from Dana White regarding Ronda Rousey and the GSP-Diaz-Hendricks-Silva situation.

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Pat Barry had a pretty good weekend. He pocketed an extra $40,000 for his highlight-reel finish of Shane del Rosario, plus he recorded these next two videos. That's about all you can ask for.

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Poor, poor Melvin.

"He'll never get the opportunity to fight me again."

'Dana says you're fighting in two weeks.'

"...That's cool."

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Let the hype begin.

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PRETTY MUCH SUMS IT UP

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TRIUMPHANT HECTOR LOMBARD

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RUSTAM KHABILOV HAS THE BEST TWITTER HANDLE IN EXISTENCE

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THE STRANGE SAGA OF MELVIN AND JAMIE

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GOING HARD AT GIL

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LIL'ER HEATHEN

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PLANNING AHEAD

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PHIL & VINNY

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DARTH DIAZ

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YUP

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced over the weekend (Friday, December 14, 2012 - Sunday, December 16, 2012):

  • UFC 158: Georges St-Pierre (23-2) vs. Nick Diaz (26-8) booked for main event
  • UFC 158: Rory MacDonald (14-1) vs. Carlos Condit (28-6) booked for co-main event
  • UFC 158: Johny Hendricks (14-1) vs. Jake Ellenberger (28-6)
  • UFC 158: Patrick Cote (18-8) vs. Alessio Sakara (15-10)
  • TUF 16 Finale: Jamie Varner (20-7-1) vs. Melvin Guillard (30-11-2) rescheduled for UFC 155
  • UFC on FUEL 7: Tom Watson (15-5) vs. Stanislav Nedkov (12-0)

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes from unambig, who plays teacher with: TUF Scrub Weekend report cards

Welterweight [170]: TJ Waldburger (B+) versus Nick Catone (C)

Prediction: Waldburger by submission in round 2

Result: Waldburger by submission in round 2

It's no easy task taking on a gorilla dropping down from 185 pounds. But Waldburger more than held his own out there, and scored an impressive submission, too. The first round was a lot of grappling and wrestling, mainly with Catone on top, using superior strength to keep TJ from controlling him.

But the second round, TJ landed a knockdown punch and converts it to a triangle. Catone is fine at first, but decides he's more comfortable using his own arm to choke himself out, so he moves that across his neck.

Winner: There are a ton of options for Waldburger after his minor setback to Brian Ebersole. There's Dan Miller and Kyle Noke, two other guys who dropped from middleweight. And there's also Matt Brown, who is on a great winning streak of late.

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Lightweight [155]: Rustam Khabilov (A+) versus Vinc Pichel (D-)

Prediction: Khabilov by decision

Result: Khabilov by KO in round 1

This was utter domination from start to brief finish. I think I saw a similar fight scene in the film Irreversible. Khabilov shot for a takedown immediately and got into side control. He threw a suplex, followed it up with a second one. Pichel was still awake, so Khabilov dropped him with a judo trip and threw a third suplex that knocked him clean out. It was violent poetry in motion.

Winner: A step up in competition is called for, maybe Ramsey Nijem or Daron Cruickshank.

More after the jump...

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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