Is there any doubt at this point that Ronda Rousey is mixed martial arts' next big star? 'Stars', such as they are, generally are the combination of two things. First, the organic and innate ability to have a powerful and magnetizing dynamic between themselves and audiences with whom they interact. Second, a promoter recognizing that dynamic exists and therefore doing everything possible to give that fighter as wide an exposure as possible. Both of those are in play with Rousey.
Here we are two days out from UFC 150 and the MMA community's attention is already leaning to Rousey's upcoming fight the following weekend. She's getting media requests from huge outlets interested in her story and surging popularity. And if she can keep winning fights, this process will likely see itself through to extraordinary heights.
In today's Morning Report, we've got Rousey's appearances on her Showtime special, Conan O'Brien's late night show, audio of the Rousey vs. Kaufman conference call and so much more.
FIVE MUST-READ STORIES
Nike signs Jon Jones to global sponsorship deal. They've dipped their toes in the water with other fighters, but only on regional bases. This is the first time a fighter's been covered everywhere. Big doings.
Ed Herman thinks Anderson Silva is ducking Chris Weidman. While Herman's got his hands full this weekend with Jake Shields, he still found time to opine that the best fighter ever is actively avoiding the best up-and-coming fighter.
Georges St. Pierre will be ready to fight Carlos Condit in November. According to this report, GSP began training already. The return of MMA's biggest star is upon us.
Fitch calls 'Penn' a coward. So I don't think the former two-division champion is going to be training at AKA anytime soon.
Showtime's 'All Access: Ronda Rousey' episode one in its entirety is below. A ton of cameos from major MMA stars in this one:
Rousey was on Conan O'Brien's show yesterday on TBS and talked about sex prior to fighting:
Dana White's UFC 150 video blog is out. I didn't watch it, so let me know if there's anything good in it in the comments:
What's next for Anderson Silva? Joe Rogan shares his thoughts:
Did you get all of the UFC 150 pre-fight interviews from MMA Fighting's own Ariel Helwani from at the open workouts in Denver, Colorado? Here they are in one helpful spot:
JUST DO IT
Blessed to be signed by the biggest sports apparel company in the world— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) August 8, 2012
#NIKE Dreams do come true
EATS LIKE A HOG
Just got done with breakfast here in Denver and I'm always surprise to see frankie Edgar at breakfast fight week. Can u say 45's— Efrain Escudero (@effyescudero) August 8, 2012
KOS WILL BE BACK
Sorry that I'm out ofUFC 151--Got a bulging disc. Im staying positive & will get through this. I'll be back soon! Thanks for the support!— Josh Koscheck (@JoshKoscheck) August 8, 2012
LOMBARD SAYS HE FOUGHT INJURED
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's FanPost of the Day comes from Notorious G.I.B. and details the personal high of sparring a few boxing rounds:
I figure out that he can’t beat me to the jab, so I’m going to let loose with some other lead punches and try to get creative. My corner isn’t helping too much, only advice is to keep your hands up, which I dismiss since my head movement is feeling good. We step out for round 2, and I discover he has also made adjustments, and he figured out a little of my timing. He’s learned to be more patient with his jab, knowing I look to counter and he begins setting up his right cross and left hook. He does a better job of controlling the center of the ring, but I don’t allow him to corner me or cut me off, drilling footwork is my savior right now. Once again I hear the crowd giving him advice, instructing him to work my right side, or to cut me off, or more body shots. I hear his corner and my corner, but soon everything becomes blurred and it’s like being underwater, everything slows down and I hear nothing. My jab is my bread and butter, so if it’s not broken, why fix it? I start throwing feints and following with a cross or a left hook. I also work double jabs and body shots to disrupt his timing and see if he opens up anymore. I try to keep in mind not to square up with him and to keep my feet moving, and before I know it I’m gasping and welcome the sound of the bell.
"One more round, one more round and we can have a beer!" is all I’m thinking while I’m resting. I want to start quickly for the first 30 seconds, and then pace myself, and then throw everything I have in the last 20 or so seconds. We begin, and thank goodness he can’t figure out my timing or head movement, so I get in a lot of clean shots and avoid any real damage. Strange thing though, is when I do get hit, I like it, makes me remember I’m in a fight, makes me remember I’m alive and doing something I love. Several times when we clock each other, we smile and nod to acknowledge that it was a good shot. I’m tiring quickly, but adrenaline is taking over as the crowd is cheering us both on. I sense that the round is ending soon, and I begin to pick it up. He begins to pick it up as well, and we start to throw sloppy punches, but hell why not, time for some fun. I hear the clap indicating the last 10 seconds, and we both smile and nod and swing for the fences. I make him miss a lot, I land some nice jabs and hooks, the crowd is cheering and the blood is pumping, and then I hear the bell. It’s all over. All I can do is look tiredly at my buddy with admiration, and give him a hug to say, "Thanks man, that was awesome!" Never felt such a high in my life after I took off my headgear and gloves. I was an exhausted, sweaty mess, but I’ve never felt more alive or happy. I can’t wait to do it again, and I strongly encourage everyone to try it once, just for the hell of saying you tried.