Morning Report: Matt Hughes says Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz 'paying the price' for not being loyal to UFC

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Former UFC welterweight champion and acting Vice President of Athletic Development Matt Hughes doesn't sound bothered by the absence of disgruntled former stars from the company's past. With several former champions, many of them UFC hall of famers, currently on the outs with UFC president Dana White, Hughes says the fighters are to blame for their exile.

"The way I look at it, it was their decision," says Hughes. "Randy [Couture] sued the UFC, he's left the UFC so he should know that there's going to be a little bad blood there from what's happened. I'm not saying the UFC's never done anything to Randy, that just comes to mind.

Aside from waging a legal battle with the UFC spanning years during his late heavyweight title reign, Couture began work with rival promotion Bellator in Jan. 2013.

"Tito [Ortiz], the same way," says Hughes. "I think he's badmouthed the UFC a little bit. I would say [this] about the UFC, if you're good to them, they're good to you. Those guys, there's certain times in their careers, weren't loyal to the UFC. So now they're paying the price."

Ortiz, who also resides in the perpetual Dana White doghouse, hasn't been shy on sharing his own feelings towards his former boss. Once comparing UFC employment to slavery, Ortiz famously called White 'the biggest bully in the business.' I think it's safe to assume we won't be seeing the Shamrock supergroup cageside at UFC 167 this weekend in Las Vegas.

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

Vitor in Vegas. After much consternation, it seems Vitor Belfort could be fighting in Las Vegas, Nevada after all.

The left. Georges St-Pierre says he's well aware of Johny Hendricks' power left hand. "I'm not scared of it. I believe it's most likely. The chances are that, yes, I'm going to get hit. If you get hit as you're scared, that's when you take all the attack. You have to be ready for it."

20 in 20. Chuck Mindenhall's series reaches 1999, the year MMA dares resemble a sport ... with rules.

Nate still iffy. Nate Diaz says he's still unsure about whether or not he'll fight Gray Maynard rather than attend his high school reunion the same night.

KC Bandit. Jason High talks fighting on the UFC's 20th anniversary card, Belfort on TRT and even weighs in on Richie Incognito.

It's Tuesday, so make sure to check out this week's MMA Hour with Rashad Evans, Todd Duffee, UFC co-founder Bob Meyrowitz, Sergio Pettis and Nick "The Tooth" Gullo.

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MEDIA STEW

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UFC Primetime: St-Pierre vs. Hendricks - Episode 3.

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Rashad Evans punches Jim Norton.

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Johny Hendricks says he'll kill St-Pierre if he plays southpaw with him.

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Don't quite get the angle of 'not even UFC fighters can eat our product' but whatever, the boys from Nova União are getting that Doritos money.

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Pre-fight interview with Andy Ristie, who fights Giorgio 'The Doctor' Petrosyan at GLORY 12 New York.

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Matt Mitrione not having fun at NAGA.

(HT to @darcyhmuller)

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The rare gogoplata finish. Toni Tauru vs Emil Hartsner at European MMA 7.

(HT to @PauliK_)

And a quick bonus KO.

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TWEETS

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Getting close.

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Ronda heading back to the world.

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Nate being Nate.

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Struve back?

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Green vs. Parke?

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Not good.

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Congrats.

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I'm a sucker for cursing toddlers.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Nov. 11 2013)

Demetrious Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez moved from TUF 18 Finale to UFC on Fox 9

Dwayne Lewis vs. Kalib Starnes at WSOF 7

Shawn Albrecht vs. Josh Machan at WSOF 7

Michael Hill vs. Jordan Knippelberg at WSOF 7

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via Knucklesmma.

Hendricks has the tools but he won't beat the "Rush"

For six years Georges St-Pierre has dominated the UFC's welterweight division, prevailing through, to borrow a popular phrase from UFC President Dana White, "a murderers row" of contenders. From UFC hall of famer and MMA legend Matt Hughes, and the "Prodigy" BJ Penn, to more recent triumphs over marquee welterweights, Carlos Condit and Nick Diaz.

Although Speculation over GSP's continuing prowess percolated through the MMA world following his return to Octagon action last November, after over a year out due to a knee injury, no one was in any real doubt that he would successfully defend his championship. The same sentiment is not shared by journalists, commentators and fans when predicting the outcome of the much anticipated welterweight championship bout at UFC 167.

Many believe that Johny Hendricks is poised to finally prize the belt from the long reigning Canadian, or at the very least perceive him to be GSP's fiercest challenge to date. Hendricks' extraordinary knock out power, which he carries in both hands, and an accomplished grappling game are the keys many believe to him emerging victorious on November 16.

...

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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