The UFC's stacked network card caught the attention of a surprising eye earlier this month, as former boxing mega-draw Oscar De La Hoya was among those excitedly tweeting during the event. De La Hoya, in particular, took interest in Rory MacDonald's thorough dismantling of B.J. Penn. And while he was left impressed by the 23-year-old's skills, one criticism stuck out to De Le Hoya.
"I was wondering," De La Hoya mused to Fight Hub TV. "Why don't you just go finish him? He looks like he has talent. He looks like he has that little 'it' factor. He has to just keep on working on it. You have to feel that killer instinct. Feel it, and go after it. You have to feel it, grab it, get it."
While it should be noted that MacDonald has finished 12 of his 14 professional victories, De La Hoya went on to mention the bout's lopsided second round, when MacDonald had Penn visibly wounded against the fence yet elected to back off and pick his shots, rather than pouring it on.
"I would love to see him use that jab to the body," De La Hoya said, echoing the advice he tweeted out during the fight. "If I was in there with [B.J. Penn], that jab to the body would have just paralyzed him. I mean, it would have. Obviously you can see things from outside [the fight].
"But he's a talented fighter. My hat goes off to him."
6 MUST-READ STORIES
De La Hoya: MacDonald has to want it. Speaking to Fight Hub TV, former boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya said that while he was impressed by Rory MacDonald's dismantling of B.J. Penn, he was curious why the 23-year-old didn't push for a finish: "He has to just keep on working on it, feel that killer instinct. Feel it and go after it. Feel it, grab it, get it."
Velasquez talks knee injury. When asked about the new video that purportedly shows him tearing his ACL prior to UFC on FOX 1, Cain Velasquez offered no excuses, instead responding simply, "I don't think it was the best decision, but you know, I did it anyway, so it's in the past."
Emelianenko retires. Alexander Emelianenko, the younger brother of former PRIDE champion Fedor Emelianenko, announced his retirement from mixed martial arts at the age of 31, citing "health problems caused by old injuries."
Cote dropping to 170. Former middleweight title contender Patrick Cote plans to cut down and fight at welterweight. Despite the switch, Cote still hopes to fight at UFC 158.
Invicta moving to pay-per-view. All-female MMA promotion Invicta FC is moving to an online pay-per-view service in advance of their fourth event, scheduled for January 5, 2013, president Shannon Knapp announced via MMA Fight Corner.
White talks MMA camps, Carmouche. After an injury-riddled 2012 campaign, UFC President Dana White believes mixed martial arts camps need to have a "more professional approach" similar to the way boxing camps are run. White also voiced support for Liz Carmouche, the UFC's first openly gay fighter, stating, "I love what she did."
Without throwing too much hyperbole out there, I highly, highly recommend you check out this clip. Who knows, it could lead you to view Dominick Cruz fights in a completely different light.
Bebop and Rocksteady take it via decision, all day.
The Turkish guys who created this video may have just tapped into a whole new market. (Potenitally NSFW. Look at the still and use your best judgement.)
After a year of thinking and good talk with my coaches and nutritionnist,its time, my next fight will be at 170 Thanks for the support #UFC— patrick cote (@patrick_cote) December 19, 2012
TOO CLOSE TO CALL
Choose your torture, seat belt warning sound for 24 hours or playing Dance Dance Revolution to Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" for 24 hours?— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) December 19, 2012
I don't think it should be a law to wear u seatbelt I know a lot of ppl who survived only bc they were thrown from the vehicle, thoughts?— Miesha Tate (@MieshaTate) December 20, 2012
ONE MORE FOR HENDO'S COACH
Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) December 19, 2012
Announced yesterday (Wednesday, December 19, 2012):
- UFC 155: Cody McKenzie out with injury, Max Holloway in against Leonard Garcia (15-9-1)
- UFC 157: Mike Chiesa (8-0) vs. Anton Kuivanen (17-5)
- UFC 157: Lavar Johnson (17-6) vs. Brendan Scahub (8-3)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes from Steve Borchardt, who writes: Bigg Rigg's Lament: Why Johny Hendricks has every right to be mad at GSP (and what he should do about it)
As kids we're all told that with hard work and dedication we can make our dreams a reality; as adults we're often dismayed to learn the realization of our dreams is sometimes determined by factors outside our control.
Take for instance the case of Johny Hendricks. The former two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion has assembled far and away the strongest resume in the UFC's welterweight division: he's won five in a row and beaten two of the best in the division by devastating first round knockout. Given this impressive run one would think Hendricks would be a no-brainer to challenge Georges St. Pierre for the welterweight title.
And yet apparently GSP, his trainer Firas Zahabi, and most importantly Dana White all feel differently. According to them the next contender to get a crack at the belt should be Nick Diaz, despite the controversial Cesar Gracie product coming off not only a loss, but also a one year suspension for marijuana metabolites.
So much for just deserts.
It's easy to see how Hendricks would take this personally. Sometimes our actions affect people who were outside the purview of our thoughts when we inadvertently offended them. Such was the case with GSP demanding the Diaz fight even though Hendricks is obviously the true number one contender. This doesn't make St. Pierre a bad person nor does it mean he's "ducking" anybody - more on his real motivation for wanting the Diaz fight in a minute - but at the end of the day he's responsible for a decision that adversely affected Johny Hendricks' livelihood. Of course Bigg Rigg isn't going to take that lying down.
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.