For 15 remarkable seconds, Vitor Belfort looked like he had accomplished something other light heavyweights could only dream about at UFC 152 -- dethroning Jon Jones. Of course, that didn't ever actually happen, and Belfort ultimately found his own spot in Jones' trophy case, joining the 16 men who came before him.
But at least one of those men, Lyoto Machida, was struck by how close and abruptly the historic upset was to coming to fruition, and after hearing Belfort say he eased up on the near-armbar because he heard popping, Machida couldn't help but live vicariously through his countryman.
"Jon will now go and prepare more on this part of his game, for sure. Vitor was prepared for that position, it came in very fast. I always see holes in Jones' game but you have to be very well prepared to explore them."
Machida, currently rehabbing an injured knee, went on to say that he hoped to return to training within ten days, with an eye on a potential fight date in December, barring an unforeseen setback in his recovery.
More surprisingly, however, is that "The Dragon" suddenly seems to taking a page from his buddy, Anderson Silva. In discussing possible opponents, Machida -- traditionally a smaller light heavyweight -- admitted he would be very keen on testing his skills against UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.
"It would be an interesting karate duel," he mulled. "But I don't know at what weight we would do it. If it is at 185lbs, I [would] go for it."
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Machida talks GSP, Jones. Speaking with Brazil's GloboEsporte, former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida voiced his desire to fight Georges St-Pierre at 185 pounds, and said if he was Vitor Belfort at UFC 152, he would've brought Jon Jones' arm back to Brazil.
Leben 'flat-out broke.' Suspended middleweight Chris Leben admitted he was "flat-out broke right now" after being exiled to the sidelines since November 5 because of a failed drug test for oxycodone and oxymorphone.
Cormier 'willing to go through fire' with Jones. In a continuation of his pursuit of Jon Jones, Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix champion Daniel Cormier said of the man who eventually defeats the UFC champion: "It's going to have to be somebody that's in the right frame of mind, that's willing to go through the fire with him. I know for a fact that I'm willing to go there. I'm willing to be involved in a dirty fight where we're both bloodied and can hardly stand up."
Light heavyweight rankings. Fresh off his fourth consecutive title defense, Jon Jones maintained the top spot in MMA Fighting's light heavyweight rankings.
'UFC prelims' ratings. Last weekend's UFC 152 'Prelims' special on FX drew an average of 955,000 viewers throughout the two-hour broadcast, the second-lowest ratings of 2012.
Stann thinks he beat Bisping. Following his decision loss to Michael Bisping, middleweight contender Brian Stann said that both he and Dana White thought he won the fight, and that "All American" didn't want to "go back to fighting the up and comers."
Seriously guys, if they're going to keep releasing Sunny in Philadelphia promos with Chael Sonnen in them, I don't know how I'm supposed to get anything done around here.
Dan Hardy dialing up the daawwww factor at UFC on FUEL 5's open workouts.
Saturday night's headliner Stefan Struve has reached the judges' scorecards just once in 29 fights, including this 65-second gem his last time out. Even for a heavyweight, that's a remarkable stat.
Let's play a game called 'what percentage of this week's Tommy Toe Hold Show can you understand?' Anybody over 65-percent wins a fruit basket.
MOST EXPENSIVE, YOU SAY?
Here is a glimpse of the prestigious ONE FC World Championship Belt, one of the most expensive belts in the world. twitter.com/ONEFCMMA/statu…— ONE FC (@ONEFCMMA) September 26, 2012
SWITCHING THINGS UP
JOSH BARNETT'S DAY
At the coffee shop some chick was all "This poochy loves me!" and I didn't shout "He just senses your menstruation.". See, I have restraint— Josh Barnett (@JoshLBarnett) September 26, 2012
Heard I could be in a ring near you sometime around Jan but that's just the word on the street says Huggy Bear.— Josh Barnett (@JoshLBarnett) September 26, 2012
Announced yesterday (Wednesday, September 26, 2012):
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day sees King Eddie take aim: Strikeforce In ICU
Every few months when they decide to put on a show, it seems more like a frustrating curse than it does any for of promotion for the fight. The promo is weak, the hype is little to nill. There is nearly no actual press coverage. And as time marches on, it seems more as if the fighters are losing interest in whatever it is they are fighting for.
Seeing as how everybody says the mental aspect of MMA is the hardest weight to carry, the fighters on the Strikeforce roster must feel as if they have boulders on their backs. Before long, they may be crushed under the weight. At this point doesn't the situation feel as if it would be better remedied by just stopping.
With Invicta now in the wings, the Females of MMA appear to have their own league now. A good one too. So the whole Women's MMA Argument for Strikeforce doesn't really hold water. Other than that, what else is there? The Heavyweights are gone, and they were the biggest draw of the show for the last few years. For the love of all that is fair in MMA, please just release these souls from the roster. Send them to the UFC or send them on their way. I thought torture was illegal in this country.
In the end, if they put on quality shows, I will still watch happily. But I can't be the only one that sees it. If the show were a horse, I'd have shot it months ago. In the name of preserving and displaying what talent is left in the ranks, PLEASE just pull the plug already. There are plenty of growing Non-Zuffa promotions that are putting on quality cards. Maybe Showtime could give them a spin.
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.