Morning Report: Ellenberger vs. Sanchez Heats Up, Matt Hughes Talks Retirement

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If the idea of Wednesday night mixed martial arts still seems somewhat foreign to you, don't worry, you're not the only one. But either way, it's hard to complain about a lineup of free, quality fights. So while the UFC preps for tonight's welterweight throwdown, catch up on everything else MMA has to offer with the Morning Report.

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5 MUST-READ STORIES TO START YOUR DAY

UFC on FUEL TV weigh-in results. Fighters tipped the scales from Omaha, Nebraska at Tuesday's official UFC on FUEL TV weigh-ins.

Aaron Simpson vs. Ronny Markes dissection. Dallas Winston provides the latest visual breakdown for UFC on FUEL TV's main card.

UFC 144 broadcast will be four hours, feature seven fights. Two preliminary fights have been promoted to UFC 144's main card, adding an extra hour to the pay-per-view broadcast.

Gary Goodridge diagnosed with early onset CTE/Pugilistic Dementia. Former Pride and K-1 standout Gary Goodridge reflected back on his career in combat sports and the extensive damage it has done to his health.

Gina Carano signs for 'In the Blood' starring role. Mixed martial arts has likely seen the last of former Strikeforce women's title challenger Gina Carano.

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MEDIA STEW

After some prodding, Matt Hughes admits he'd like to return to the cage for one last shot at victory.

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Check out this fight video of One FC 2's fantastic main event, Felipe Enomoto vs. Ole Laursen.

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A slew of pros pick the winner of Chael Sonnen vs. Anderson Silva II.

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Stefan Struve's ability to comeback from adversity was tested early in his career against Denis Komkin.

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Jon Jones blatantly disregards Bob Kelly's frantic tapping during a segment on Opie & Anthony Radio.

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In case you missed it, Tim Sylvia has been waging a public campaign to get back into the UFC, even releasing this strikingly earnest video in which the former champion implores fans to help him out.

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Preaching to the choir.

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Pat Barry's Valentine's gift? He gets to refer to Cro Cop as "Your Majesty, Lord Cro Cop" for the next two weeks.

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Joe Lauzon is not impressed.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012):

UFC 144: Yushin Okami (26-6) vs. Tim Boetsch (14-4), Hatsu Hioki (25-4-2) vs. Bart Palaszewski (36-14) promoted to main card.

Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey: Mike Kyle (19-8-1) vs. Gegard Mousasi (32-3-2) officially cancelled, Scott Smith (17-9) vs. Lumumba Sayers (5-2) promoted to main card.

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's FPOTD belongs to MMA Mania reader unambig: 6 UFC prospects I can't wait to see fight again.

Nobody thought much about Jimy Hettes jumping into the UFC and subbing TUF fighter Alex Cacares. Most people assumed that "Bruce Leeroy" was simply another TUF can getting his ass handed to him by a ordinary fighter. But when Hettes absolutely dominated Nam Phan like nobody has ever dominated a fighter in a three round fight before, we knew different.

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What Hettes needs now is clearly a giant step up in competition. Like, I'm talking a quantum leap. When you're winning fights 30-25 against an entry level UFC fighter like Nam Phan, you need a Mike Brown or a Darren Elkins. One more win over a gatekeeper like that and Hettes is looking at the top of the division.

Found something entertaining, brutal, or bizarre you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Send it to @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's post.

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