Morning Report: Daniel Cormier Challenges Jon Jones; Lesnar's WWE Manager Nixes Comeback

Kyle Terada, US PRESSWIRE

Daniel Cormier and, to a lesser extent, Jon Jones both have a problem. For Cormier, the 33-year-old's future in the UFC heavyweight division is fuzzy due to the likelihood of his good friend and training partner, Cain Velasquez, hanging around the top of the division for the next several years. Given the lack of depth at heavyweight, the notion that the two teammates' paths would never cross seems like wishful thinking.

As for Jones, after roaring through the gauntlet in 2011, the young champion's list of marketable challengers is fast dwindling, to the point where Lyoto Machida was already set to kick off the rematch train had UFC 151's cancellation never taken place.

Well, now Cormier has devised a way to kill two birds with one stone.

"I know a situation that helps out everyone," the Strikeforce champ said in an interview with Bloody Elbow. "Give Jon a challenge that he doesn't get from most guys, and that's something that I present. Hopefully, him and I get through our next fight. At the beginning of the year, let us coach the next season of The Ultimate Fighter. That gives me time to actually get my weight down, and in the summer time, we fight. How does that sound?

"Jon's a good wrestler, but I've wrestled at a different level. I'm gonna pressure him. I'm gonna take him down. I think it would be great for everybody, all around. I can tell you with 100% confidence in myself and in my ability, that if I was to fight him, or anyone else in the world, at some point in that fight, if I decide to put them on their back, I'm putting them on their back."

Cormier, a late arrival to MMA, went on to say that at his age, the most important thing left is to have big fights. He believes Jones to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world right now, and after walking around at 229 pounds for his last camp, the former Olympian considers himself a viable contender in two different divisions. If he has to cut some weight, hey, he'll cut the weight.

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6 MUST-READ STORIES

Cormier challenges Jones. If he can get past Frank Mir, Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix champion Daniel Cormier said he'd like to coach opposite Jon Jones in a season of The Ultimate Fighter, during which he could slowly cut down to 205 pounds and challenge Jones for the UFC belt.

Manager says Lesnar unlikely to return. Paul Heyman, the manager of former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, said the chances of his client ever returning to mixed martial arts are slim because Lesnar made plenty of money in the UFC and doesn't have 'anything to prove anymore.'

Gracie live tweets alleged failed mugging. MMA legend Renzo Gracie live tweeted a bizarre and alleged altercation in New York City that saw Gracie beat-up and repeatedly choke out two muggers.

Weidman has surgery, faces Boetsch. UFC middleweight contender Chris Weidman underwent successful surgery to remove several bone chips from his left elbow. Weidman is expected to return to full strength within three-to-six weeks, and will take on Tim Boetsch at UFC 155 on December 29, 2012.

Jones responds to Hendo. The media tour of UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones continues in advance of UFC 152. Speaking with the Toronto Sun, a frustrated Jones issued this message to his injured rival, Dan Henderson: "You should shut up and be grateful you dodged a bullet."

K-1 U.S. grand prix championship. Randy Blake, Jerrell Miller, Rick Roufus and Xavier Vigney emerged victorious at the K-1 US Grand Prix Championship in Los Angeles. With the win, each man qualified for the Final 16 of the K-1 Heavyweight Grand Prix.

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MEDIA STEW

The post-UFC 151 void has left various fight cravings unsatisfied lately, so that's more than enough reason to break out one of the most ridiculous sequences in MMA history.

(HT: MiddleEasy)

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By now I don't think I need to convince you to watch Prebek's latest MMA mini-saga.

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What makes a good promo? Robert DeNiro, Jason Statham, the music from 28 Days Later, and a killer Aldo-Edgar highlight package? Yeah, that'll do just fine.

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If you missed the debut of The MMA Beat over the weekend, check it out and let us know what you think. This inaugural episode sees our own Ariel Helwani, Mike Chiappetta and Luke Thomas discuss everything from Jon Jones' brand to the potential for a fighters' union.

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Randy Couture, Shane Carwin, Vinny Magalhaes and a slew of other fighters gave their take on Jon Jones and the cancellation of UFC 151. But honestly, we all know Pat Barry is the real winner here.

(HT: Reddit)

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WHOA...

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I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE

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AT LEAST HE TOOK IT WELL

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ONE MORE

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OUCH

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BONES AND ASSAULT RIFLES

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THE LIFE OF MR. WHITE

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced over the weekend (Friday, September 7, 2012 - Sunday, September 9, 2012):

- UFC 154: Ivan Menjivar (24-9) vs. Azamat Gashimov (7-1)

- UFC 154: Sam Stout (19-7-1) vs. John Makdessi (9-2)

- UFC 154: Jorgen Kruth (5-0) out due to retirement, Cyrille Diabate (18-8-1) in against Fabio Maldonado (18-5)

- UFC 155: Chris Weidman (9-0) vs. Tim Boetsch (16-4)

- UFC on FX 6: Hector Lombard (31-3-1) vs. Rousimar Palhares (14-4) announced as main event in Australia

- UFC on FX 6: George Sotiropoulos (14-4) vs. Ross Pearson (13-6)

- Strikeforce: Cormier vs. Mir: Sara McMann (6-0) vs. Liz Carmouche (7-2)

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day is a rookie meet-and-greet, courtesy of HeadKickOfDoom: 5 Debuting UFC Fighters To Watch

As we enter the homestretch of 2012, we are approaching some of the biggest fights of the year. Jon Jones vs Vitor Belfort, GSP vs Carlos Condit, Jose Aldo vs Frankie Edgar and a JDS/Velasquez rematch are all coming down the pipeline. While those are all huge fights, we also will be treated to some new faces entering the Octagon for the very first time. While none of these fighters have the same impact with the general MMA populace as some of the higher profile debuts this year (Hector Lombard, Bigfoot Silva, and Fabrico Werdum to name a few), these fighters have a chance at making a splash and finding a home in the biggest MMA promotion in the world.

Gunnar Nelson

Pro MMA Record: 9 - 0 - 1

Weight Class: Welterweight

UFC Debut: UFC On Fuel 5

Highlight Reel: Click Here

A Renzo Gracie blackbelt, the one thing you need to know about Gunnar Nelson is that he is a finisher. He has finished every opponent he has faced with the exception of his pro debut. Gunnar is a slick BJJ practitioner, as well as a solid striker, as he began his martial arts training at 13 in Goju-ryu Karate. As you can see from the above picture, he defeated heavyweight MMA fighter Jeff Monson back at the 2009 ADCC's, and also won silver at the 2009 Mundials in the brown belt division. He is a terror on both his feet and on the floor, showing the potential to be perhaps a future star in MMA. Ranked the number 7 welterweight prospect in the world by Bloody Elbow's own Leland Roling in the 2010 World MMA Scouting Report, you would be doing yourself a disservice by not watching this kid fight. (click here for his awesome report)

Tom Watson

Pro MMA Record: 15 - 4

Weight Class: Middleweight

UFC Debut: UFC On Fuel 5

Highlight Reel: Click Here

The former BAMMA welterweight champion, Tom Watson is a strong Muay Thai practitioner who can shut an opponents' lights off quickly and painfully. Training at the famed Tri-Star gym, as well as with Jackson's MMA, Watson will be looking at making his statement against former TUF competitor Brad Tavares at the end of this month. An impressive win could throw him into the middle of the shark tank that is the UFC 185 lbs division. With he and Gunnar debuting on the same card, they will make it worth any MMA fans time to tune into the prelims on Sept 29th.

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