Morning Report: B.J. Penn vs. Rory MacDonald continues to steal UFC on FOX 5 hype

There's a clear pattern emerging.

Get on Twitter. Look on Facebook. Read around various comment threads or MMA forums. The prevailing theme presenting itself to anyone willing to look is that the impending welterweight clash between former kingpin B.J. Penn and rising contender Rory MacDonald is what everyone cares about the most.

That isn't to say no one cares about the other fights on this undeniably excellent UFC on Fox 5 main card. They do. It's impossible to dislike what's there, speaking truthfully. But the favorite - from hardcore fans to the more casual - appears to be this odd semi-grudge match.

Interestingly, the fight fits almost the paradigm of the Alexander Gustafsson vs. Mauricio Rua bout. Young, rising prospect over fading former general of the division. The new kid needs a big win over a former great to assert himself as the future of the division. But those two don't have the same sense of rivalry. Rua isn't coming out of retirement. The two don't have any shared history in terms of one fighting the other's teammates or friends.

Someone asked me in yesterday's chat what a win could do for MacDonald on Saturday relative to what happened with Chris Weidman when he blasted through Mark Munoz. The truth is everything you saw there and then some. Think about all the momentum Weidman picked up with his win and remember that bout took place on a Wednesday on FUEL. Contrast that with the platform MacDonald has. If he can beat Penn the way Weidman beat Munoz - a monster 'if' if there ever was one - look out.

Just to be sure of my thesis, I've included a poll at the bottom to gauge the feelings of you lot on which fight you're looking forward to most this weekend. We've got a ton of videos, all the news links you could need to start your day and more.

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

UFC on FOX 5 workout coverage. We've got all of the video interviews, photos and reports on the ground that you could possibly want. We'll have more like this all week.

Randy Couture responds to Steven Seagal. Couture rightly notes the entire thing is a big joke, but basically doesn't back down from the idea that any fight between the two would not go well for the portly sensei.

UFC on FOX 5 betting odds. In case you're of the gambling persuasion, use these numbers to make some informed betting choices.

Rad Martinez ready to make history. The promising featherweight discusses his upcoming bout with Shahbulat Shamhalaev on Friday, what winning the tournament would mean for his career and more.

Kang vs. Manhoef, Fernandes vs. Maeda added to NYE card. The DREAM-GLORY fight card updates continue to pour in including these two middleweight and bantamweight bouts, respectively.

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MEDIA STEW

Dominick Cruz chokes back tears to discuss what happened to his knee and what's next in his career:

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Invicta highlights the best 'hits' from the past year and puts them into this nice, short video:

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Chuck Norris discusses his immersion into jiu-jitsu, including being choked unconscious the first time he ever rolled:

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Mike Swick takes you through his day as he prepares for his UFC on FOX 5 bout with Matt Brown:

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Jeremy Stephens, fresh out of the pokey, video blogs ahead of his match with Yves Edwards at UFC on FOX 5

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To balance out all of this testosterone, how about a little Arianny Celeste?

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AFTER WHAT, EXACTLY?

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PICS OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN

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TRUTH

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INJURY BUG KNOWS NO CURE

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GAME RECOGNIZE GAME

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WELL PLAYED, MIKE

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GOTTA GET THE SHAPE UP

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ANNOUNCED FIGHTS

n/a

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's FanPost of the Day comes courtesy reader 'DwellOnIt' who asks for readers to submit their most embarrassing yet hilarious training stories. Here's his contribution:

A little background on me to solidify myself in the ranks of random Internet dwellers (look! A pun!): I've been training in BJJ/Muay Thai/MMA for about 3 years now at an amazing school in the Northern Virginia area. I've got a few fights and competitions under my belt, and despite my general incompetence, didn't acquit myself terribly. If you find my prose obnoxious, my screenname is a play on my real name, so search for a fighter with a first name starting with D and a last name containing Well and you can watch me get my ass kicked. Now to the good stuff.

Picture this scene... We're working a sequence of leg attacks from a beautiful sit/step over from quarter guard in MMA tonight. Straight kneebar to ankle lock on the opposite leg to a calf crusher to a toe hold and back to a kneebar (edit: Eff punctuation).

We get to sparring and I am working this sequence against the one girl on our team who I outweigh by about 50ish lbs. She's tough and scrappy, but I'm (obviously) bigger, and a more experienced grappler. I go for the kneebar in the sequence and she's defending well by triangling/trapping her own leg. End result as I try to pry her leg free? I kicked myself in the face. With her leg. Bam. I also uttered the manliest yelp of surprise ever heard on a gym mat as I kicked myself in the face. With her leg. While wearing a Dumb and Dumber blue (think the tuxedo) tuxedo rashguard......Yep. True story.

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