Rarely is late-night news ever good in the sport's world, whether it's a random arrest or another failed drug test. Sometimes you even wake up and an entire UFC event is about to be cancelled.
And really, it's blatantly unfair to call this good news. After all, a knee injury is never anything to make light of. But I can guarantee you one thing, never before has UFC President Dana White been so happy to hear he just lost his championship main event.
Somehow, just when the UFC was in dire need of a pick-me-up, it suddenly has its superfight. A knee injury suffered by Erik Koch on Wednesday has paved the way for former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar to challenge UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo in the headlining bout of UFC 153, which will of course be held in Rio de Janeiro's HSBC Arena.
Now, I probably don't need to remind you that the last time the UFC took over the HSBC Arena, Aldo did this. But just to grasp what just happened: we're now looking at a Story-Maia, Davis-Prado, Silva-Fitch main card, "Rampage" Jackson farewell bout vs. Glover Teixeira co-main, and sensational Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar superfight headlining to a berserk Brazilian crowd. Suddenly, UFC 153 may be one of the finest on-paper-events of the year.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Edgar replaces Koch against Aldo. A knee injury forced Erik Koch to withdraw from the main event of UFC 153. Former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar will now fight Jose Aldo for the UFC featherweight championship on October 13 at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Kim speaks out against UFC treatment of Asian fighters. Speaking with Korean website 'Daum' in July, Dong Hyun Kim criticized the UFC's treatment of Asian fighters, including pay and sponsorship issues along with various travel stipulations.
TUF 16 roster unveiled. Strikeforce veteran Bristol Marunde, Bellator veteran Sam Alvey, and the comically nicknamed James "Off The" Chaney are among the 32 welterweights picked to compete on the upcoming sixteenth season of The Ultimate Fighter. Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson are the coaches this season, which debuts Friday, September 14, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
ONE FC 5 preview. All fighters made weight at the ONE FC: Pride of a Nation weigh-ins, including bantamweight headliner Bibiano Fernandes and heavyweight rivals Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski, the latter of whom had some choice words for his opponent. Meanwhile, Luke Thomas tried his hand at breaking down and picking the winners of this morning's main card.
McCall released from jail. Top flyweight contender Ian McCall was released from the Central Mens Jail in Santa Ana, California on Thursday morning. McCall served 16 days in jail after being arrested on August 14 for driving on a suspended license.
Silva on why he didn't finish Leites at UFC 97. UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva told Tatame he "held back" against Thales Leites at UFC 97 because Leites was a respected friend. Leites promptly refuted that slight, saying "We were never friends"
Seriously, Don Frye as a crippled, gun-toting, mustache-combing, action hero named 'Badass Brock.' Where and when can I watch this?
Alexi Roberts' nickname is "Boom," and after watching this brawny one-punch KO from Shock 'n' Awe 11, I'd have to say that's the most apt nickname ever.
(HT: Addicted MMA)
Once again, Tito Ortiz wins this UFC Champions Roundtable. He gave it his all, you guys. He gave it his all.
Zombie Prophet has done us all a great service, compiling this ridiculous YouTube playlist featuring fights from all but one of the new cast members on The Ultimate Fighter: Carwin vs. Nelson. Sam Alvey, Bristol Marunde, Cortez Coleman; they're all in there. For more, subscribe to the MMA Nation YouTube channel.
The always polarizing Michael Bisping seems to have built-up some good will with his comments rallying against TRT, and this interview from UFC Ultimate Insider could keep the positivity rolling. Who here wouldn't love to see Bisping vs. Henderson II -- on eight days notice, of course.
EDGAR VS. ALDO
:)— Dana White (@danawhite) August 31, 2012
I'm sorry guys this has been one crazy year for me deff a hard one, I just wanna thank all of you guys for the support means the world to me— Erik Jon Koch (@NEWBREED04) August 31, 2012
THE RELEASE OF UNCLE CREEPY
free at last free at last ... time to get back to work— Ian McCall (@Unclecreepymma) August 30, 2012
This hellish..! twitter.com/MarloesCoenen/…— MarloesCoenen (@MarloesCoenen) August 30, 2012
Announced yesterday (Thursday, August 30, 2012):
- UFC 153: Erik Koch (13-1) out with injury, Frankie Edgar (14-3-1) in against Jose Aldo (21-1)
- UFC on FOX 5: Mike Chiesa (8-0) vs. Rafaello Oliveira (15-5)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day sees ScreaminCman err on the pessimistic side: 5 Reasons The Ultimate Fighter 16 Will See the Show's Worst Ratings Yet
4. The Boys of Fall - It's football season baby! College football kicks off its season this weekend, and the NFL kicks off its season on September 5th. In America, there's simply nothing like the start of football season. Hell, Kenny Chesney wrote a song about football that reached #1 on the Country Billboard and peaked at 18 on the US Billboard Hot 100 Singles. Even if you don't watch football, you still enjoy football season. Why? - Because NFL and College towns start to bustle. Bars and restaurants open earlier and stay open later. People stay outside to enjoy their last several weeks of warm weather. It's a phenomenon that happens this time every year, and it's impossible to ignore it.
MMA is the fastest growing sport in history and the UFC has grown faster than any other professional sports league, but the UFC has a ways to go before it can compete in popularity with the likes of the NFL and college football.
Also, lets not forget that FX is owned by the FOX Entertainment Group, and FOX IS the NFL.
5. The Coaches Fight - In 15 seasons of the Ultimate Fighter we've only seen the coaches fight six (6) times as scheduled, and the last time it happened (Bisbing vs. Miller), it might as well not have - If you missed that fight, consider yourself lucky. TUF: Live (Season 14) saw Dominick Cruz pull out of his fight against Urijah Faber, and most recently, TUF: Brazil (Season 15) saw Vitor Belfort pull out of his fight against Wanderlei Silva, which resulted in UFC 147 (The season finale) seeing only 140,000 Pay-Per-View buys - an all-time low for the UFC post "The Ultimate Fighter".
Half the lure of The Ultimate Fighter is knowing that two UFC veterans will become genuinely competitive by coaching against each other, and then eventually get a chance to settle their differences by going toe to toe in the octagon. I'm not sure who we'll see fight on the season finale, but the odds suggest it won't be Carwin vs. Nelson.
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in Tuesday's column.