Morning Report: Tito Ortiz says Ronda Rousey will always be No. 2 to Cris Cyborg

Invicta FC

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz remains adamant his client, Invicta FC featherweight champion Cris Cyborg, will remain the No. 1 female fighter until UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey can prove otherwise.

"They pushed this fight of her and Ronda at 135 so much. The last time I saw Ronda call out Cris Cyborg, Ronda was actually at 145. So she cut down to 135 to stay avoid Cris," Ortiz told Fighters Only.

"Now the ball is in their court - if they want the fight to happen, they will let the fight happen. If not I guess Ronda is the number two pound-for-pound woman always and Cris will be number one."

"Nobody is going to beat {Cyborg} ever. She is going to do an Anderson Silva and go undefeated for a long, long time."

Ortiz, partnered with Cyborg's other management at Primetime 360, pressured the UFC to grant her release in February after failing to accommodate her requests to meet Rousey at a catchweight. Cyborg's team claimed cutting below 140lbs would endanger her, while Dana White and Zuffa affirmed she had no place in the UFC's ranks if not at bantamweight. Even with UFC offering to hire nutritionist Mike Dolce on her behalf, Cyborg and Co. decided to move on.

Now, Ortiz is left to ponder the what-ifs and snipe at Rousey from afar. Himself a two-time Ultimate Fighter coach, Ortiz sees Rousey cracking under the pressure of the cameras.

"I think her head is getting to her. I watched a couple episodes and she seems like a little brat, likes she's too good for everybody else. That's the attitude you don't want, especially as a coach. People see me on The Ultimate Fighter season three, season eleven, I never thought I was better than anybody else," he said.

"Is the popularity getting to Ronda's head a little too much? She hasn't had any huge fights, she hasn't fought any huge names yet. I guess its one of those things that, in time, she needs to be tested. She's being protected by the UFC and if she keeps being protected she will always be known as second-best.

"I haven't seen any great stand-up skills. I have seen her closing the gap and taking a girl down and arm-barring her. I don't think she even knows any moves other than an armbar."

Rousey defends her bantamweight title in a rematch to former Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate at UFC 168 on Dec. 28.

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

Fight Night conference call. Check out the complete audio from yesterday's UFC Fight Night 29 conference call.

Ready and waiting. With Dana confirming he's one win away from a rematch with Jon Jones, Alexander Gustafsson won't move on from his lost opportunity until he's booked his next fight. "The only thing that makes sense for me is Jon Jones. That's the fight I want, and that's the fight I have in my head still. And it will be in my head until I am given another opponent, and I will put all my focus on that one. But I don't have any preference."

Jones-Teixeira moved. It sounds like Jon Jones won't be defending his title to Glover Teixeira at UFC 169 in February. "Jones-Teixeira is not happening on Super Bowl (weekend)," Dana White said on Monday. "Our people f--ked up and put that out when they shouldn't have put that out, because that was never, ever even a done deal. Our P.R. team jumped the gun on that one."

Mir on retirement. If he happens to drop his fourth straight fight, Frank Mir sounds like he'd be done fighting if the UFC were done with him. "Obviously I have no real desire to fight for another organization, so if I were to be let go that would be a huge step in the form of retirement," he said.

One on one. Steph Daniels chats with UFC welterweight T.J. Waldburger on fighting in his home town and his lengthy injury layoff. "I think with my UFC experience, fighting in the octagon has become just like fighting at the gym. Every day you go in there and you fight and you react and adapt to situations, and that's how I feel in the octagon now; it's just an everyday thing."

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MEDIA STEW

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Behind the Scenes: Alexander Gustafsson.

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A very cinematic workout with Alexandra Albu.

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Rosi Sexton profiled by British talk show.

(HT to @pegson)

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Guilherme wrote this up yesterday, but just in case.

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Jack Slack looks at George Foreman's walking hook.

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Episode 2 of Josh Burkman's training blog.

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Andre Santos vs. Beslan Isaev.

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TWEETS

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We all have that friend.

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Relson sighting.

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Never a good place to be.

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Happy birthday!

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Congrats!

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Your move, Chad.

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He's sorry, basically.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Oct. 7 2013)

Estevan Payan vs. Robert Peralta at UFC 168

Krzysztof Jotko vs. Bruno Santos at UFC Fight Night 33

cancelled Magnus Cedenblad vs. Alessio Sakara at UFC Fight Night 30

Andre Fili vs. Jeremy Larsen at UFC 166

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via Sam Moore.

The State of British MMA

It's no secret that the UK is yearning for a champion it can call it's own. British fighters have steadily improved over the years in the Octagon, but there still doesn't seem to be a fighter that can be deemed 'world class'. Dan Hardy famously battled Georges St Pierre for the welterweight strap but looked scarily outmatched as the Canadian had his way with him for 25 minutes. Other guys like Michael Bisping, Paul Daley and Brad Pickett look like contenders but so far, they have all fallen when they have stepped on to another level.

MMA is as popular as it has ever been in the UK, with British promotion BAMMA frequently selling out arenas and doing good numbers on TV despite having few recognisable names on their roster. Popular fighters on the local scene such as Jimi Manuwa, Tom Watson and Phil Harris have debuted for the UFC over the last couple of years, and Watson in particular brings with him a strong following. Also in thanks to BT Sport's commitment to the UFC, MMA is more accessible than ever to the British public and it's easy to notice an increase in popularity for the sport in the British Isles.

...

Check out the rest of the post here.

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

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