Morning Report: Undefeated heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury challenges Cain Velasquez to MMA fight

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Remember how silly it was when James Toney started yapping about how he'd roll through the UFC if given a chance? And remember how we all snickered when Toney's bravado led to an embarrassing three-and-a-half minute loss, and we assumed that was the end of the boxing vs. MMA foolishness because the two sports clearly require two different skillsets? Well, we were wrong.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Tyson Fury. Fury is a 24-year-old contender in boxing's heavyweight division. He's also widely known for doing this, but that's really neither here nor there. Despite his undefeated 20-0 record, Fury has thus far been unable to secure a match against either of boxing's heavyweight kingpins, Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko.

So instead Fury set his sights on a new target. Or rather, a new sport entirely.

"Cain [Velasquez] is a little midget on steds," Fury tweeted.

"If the Klitchkos are too much of p----es to fight me then I'll go and fight the MMA heavyweight champ. At least he is game, (he) wouldn't last 2 rounds!"

Among other nuggets in a bizarrely entertaining string of tweets, Fury promised he would dismantle Velasquez in both a ring and a cage. It should be noted that the 6-foot-9 Englishman isn't exactly known to be the quietest guy out there, and is likely only attempting to be controversial. But still, after re-watching UFC 118's amusing co-main event, it's fun to think of the possibilities.

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6 MUST-READ STORIES

Fury challenges Velasquez. In a throwback to old-school circus fights, undefeated heavyweight boxing contender Tyson Fury took to Twitter to challenge Cain Velasquez to a fight "in a cage or ring," claiming the new UFC heavyweight champion wouldn't make it out of the second round.

Bellator matches Alvarez offer. Bellator MMA has reportedly matched the UFC's offer to retain the services of former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez. If true, the onus is now on the UFC to return fire with a more lucrative contract.

'Back to the undercard,' writes Bisping. "I'd like to say I'm looking forward to these two simpletons keeping their pie holes shut about me for a little while. Those two have been calling me out and talking crap for months, and I would have got some real enjoyment beating them in the Octagon, but two no-marks [Okami and Philippou] took that glory," wrote Michael Bisping in his UFC on FX 7 blog, referring to two of his fellow middleweight contenders, Alan Belcher and Tim Boetsch. (via Yahoo Sports.)

Rebney elaborates on Daley situation. Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney revealed that British fighter Paul Daley was arrested and charged with criminal assault in the UK, and is thus legally prevented from entering the United States while awaiting trial. Rebney also said that Bellator is "trying to work through a structure" to allow Daley to fight outside the promotion in the interim, although the process may take some time.

Dos Santos' coach talks missed opportunities. Speaking to Fighters Only, Junior dos Santos' Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach, Ramon Lemos, reflected back on a litany of missed opportunities during his pupil's fight against Cain Velasquez. Lemos attributed the mental errors to the big punches dos Santos suffered early, which left him "distracted" for the rest of the fight.

UFC 155 prelims score high ratings. Last Saturday's UFC 155 prelims drew an average of 1.4 million viewers, marking the fourth-highest rating for any FX prelims of 2012, plus the best rating for any UFC-related show on the network since the UFC 148 prelims back in July.

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MEDIA STEW

I posted this as a fanshot yesterday, but since today's Morning Report revolves around heavyweight silliness, I have to include it here for anybody that didn't catch it. Yes, this is Alistair Overeem, Bob Sapp, Mark Hunt and Kazushi Sakuraba competing in a tug of war on Japanese television. On a side note, I love Japanese television. (Part 2 here.)

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Joe Lauzon's latest from his UFC 155 video blog series is about as gruesome as you'd expect from someone who wound up with a giant ax wound over his right eye. On the plus side, it's perfect "Do you want to be a f--king fighter" fodder for Dana White.

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UFC.com's Paula Sack shadowed Junior dos Santos from the lead-up to his fight against Cain Velsaquez to the somber aftermath that saw the battered and bruised former champ set his eyes on reclaiming his prize.

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Esther Lin adds another tremendous edition to her Focus series with a look back at UFC 155.

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I have to admit, teenage Dominick Cruz playing middle linebacker against the varsity offense is a relatively interesting image in my head.

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STRAIGHT FROM THE SCHOOL OF TONEY

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BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

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THE BIG QUESTION

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GOOD GUY FORREST DOING THE FIELD WORK

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LEONARDO ALL DAY

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PROGRESS

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Thursday, January 3, 2013):

  • N/A

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes from chrismcelwee, who mulls over: Hair in Mixed Martial Arts

Something that I've been pondering over for some time now (and no, it's not weird) is body hair in MMA. For me, it's one small elephant in the room whom I'd very much like to acknowledge.

The vast majority of UFC fighters (I'd say >90%) enter The Octagon with completely hairless torsos. Given the amount of testosterone running around their bodies due to TRT, designer steroids and the fact that even without the drugs, they probably have about 4x the testosterone of your average Joe, it seems rather strange that they have so little hair. Hell, I've seen hairier ladies who've never even strapped on a pair of gloves or lifted a single weight.

The obvious answer to this is that the fighters wax or shave before the fight. The thing is, a lot of these guys seem like the type to not give a shit whether they are hairless or not, so that begs an even more interesting question: Does the UFC actively encourage and finance hair removal, and is there some sort of beauty therapy facility that fighters use before events?

Georges-st-pierre_318_right30_mediumMatt-brown_927_left30_medium

From a UFC perspective, look at G.S.P, then look at Matt Brown, now look back at G.S.P; I know which fighter is more likely to project the new, cleaner image of the UFC to the general public.

I guess the first justification that springs to mind is that body hair can cause pain when accidentally pulled whilst grappling, however 1. That doesn't seem to stop Matt Hughes,Clay Guida, Forrest Griffin and many others, and 2. These guys get punched in the face for a living.

I know from experience that waxing and shaving can cause ingrown hairs and other skin irritations, yet most of these fighters are blemish free. Is it just the cameras, or are they being pampered like pros?

Thoughts?

Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in Monday's column.

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