Morning Report: Heavyweight Title Shot Sweepstakes Continue for Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem

Cameron Spencer, Getty Images

If a sport where news often moves quickly, we have none as it relates to who will fight Junior dos Santos next. My hunch is that means Overeem is either in the lead in terms of getting the nod to fight JDS or has already secured a spot. For a position that was already Velasquez's and for there to be silence about it all, Overeem must've disrupted matters by egging on JDS to focus his energies on him. A fairly deft move, I must confess. I wouldn't suggest Velasquez is out of the running or won't get a title shot, but the longer there's no resolution about this the more it likely indicates UFC is wrestling with their decision to honor Velasquez's position with their desire to meet the matchmaking maxim guiding everything: you have to put on the fights people want to pay money to see.

In today's Morning Report, we've got Roy Nelson issuing some rather gutsy Tweets, Olympic wrestling coverage, Frank Mir and Cain Velasquez from yesterday's The MMA Hour, Ronda Rousey 'All Access' and so much more. Get to it.

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FIVE-MUST READ STORIES

London Olympic 2012: Greco-Roman Wrestling 66kg and 96kg Live Results. Bloody Elbow's Mike Riordan - by FAR the best wrestling-focused writer in mixed martial arts - has you covered for day three of wrestling coverage.

Frank Mir Excited by Matchup With Daniel Cormier, Explains TRT Usage. The former UFC heavyweight champion was on The MMA Hour yesterday and he talked about his impending Strikeforce moonlighting plus why he's on the commission-approved 'help'.

Cain Velasquez to Junior dos Santos: 'You Gotta Get Through Me First'. Now, in fairness, JDS already got by Velasquez, but what the former champion is talking about is getting the title shot he thought was his rather than Overeem moving to the front of the queue.

Donald Cerrone Wants Anthony Pettis to 'Quit Crying' About His Shoulder and Fight Him. Never one to mince words, Cerrone is begging for a fight with Pettis - he has to get through Melvin Guillard first - and wishes the Duke Roufus student would quit making health excuses.

The MMA Hour Is Back. Did you miss yesterday's show? Fear not. We've got video of the program so you can relive all of the interviews including Cain Velasquez, Rory MacDonald, Frank Mir and many more.

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MEDIA STEW

Ronda Rousey's 'All Access' special airs this week on Showtime and they've released a teaser clip of things to come. Below is footage taken just hours before Rousey did her ESPN The Magazine 'Body Issue' photo shoot:

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If you can believe it, Hollywood action star Jean Claude Van Damme visited Tri-Star Gym in Montreal. He even held pads for Georges St. Pierre and more:


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So, apparently this Super Fight League reality series will be posted on YouTube every week. Here's episode one for those interested:

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Buddy Roberts is facing Yushin Okami at UFC 150 Saturday. Here's what he told Bloody Elbow about his impending fight:

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Tito Ortiz answers two questions. First, what was your favorite fight of your career? And, are you going to continue to coach younger fighters? He also says Frank Shamrock should be the next fighter in the UFC Hall of Fame:

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EXPECT MORE NATE DIAZ

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THE MAN HAS A POINT

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HOW NOT GOOD

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CRIP WALKING > ALL

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ONE DAY WE'LL GET THERE

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EVERYTHING'S LOOKING UP

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SUBMISSION ENCOURAGEMENT

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ROY IS KEEPING IT TOO REAL

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's FanPost of the Day comes from Decado, who tries to indicate the difference between primary and secondary hypogonadism - the ailment many fighters claim should put them on TRT - and why in the case of the secondary matters, MMA fighters might uniquely suffer from the condition:

A non-exhaustive list of causes of Secondary Hypogonadism[1][2]:

Bleeding
Certain medications including steroids and opiates*
Genetic problems
Infections
Nutritional deficiencies
Hemochromatosis (excess iron)
Radiation
Rapid, significant weight loss
Surgery
Trauma (especially to the back of the head)*[6]
Tumors
Lesions occupying space at or near the pituitary or hypothalamus
Pituitary disease


In relation to MMA we see several causes which will by definition put mixed martial artists at a higher risk of hypogonadism compared to the general population:

Rapid significant weight loss - extreme dieting and weight cutting is something that athletes competing in MMA must do regularly and often without medical supervision.

Medications such as opiates - MMA Athletes are often injured and in pain, the de-facto out of competition treatment for these injuries is usually a non-steroidal anti inflammatory coupled with an opiate-based painkiller. MMA Athletes will use opiate based painkillers more often than the general population due to the prevalence of injury in their lifestyle.

Trauma (especially to the back of the head) - Studies have shown that minor whiplash is enough to cause secondary hypogonadism, or at least reduced testosterone production. MMA Athletes will often be struck accidentally to the back of the head both during sparring and during competition. In addition the wrestling aspect of MMA means that the forces subjected to the back of the head upon a completed takedown could also be sufficient to cause damage to the pituitary gland, not to mention after a knockdown or knockout during competition or sparring.

Interestingly studies indicate that most (but not all) trauma related changes in testosterone recover in a 6-12 month period [7]

As we can see, many causes of Secondary Hypogonadism are reversible, and there is reason to believe that MMA Athletes may be specifically vulnerable to several of them.

I was unable to source an accurate breakdown of all causes of primary hypogonadism in men aged 20-40 or thereabouts. Overall (primary + Secondary) rates are estimated to be 2-5 million men in the US [8][9]

In men under the age of 40, according to the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Ageing, the prevalence in men under 40 was approx 5%, though the sample size was very small. Overall incidence rates varied from 5.6% to 49% depending on age.[10]

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