Morning Report: Chris Weidman opens up on his colorful, often painful, upbringing that made him a champion

Between previous stories of his older brother's 'tough love' and the new ones pouring out, UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman sounds like he endured a childhood few would envy. Routinely hospitalized as his brother's punching bag, Weidman credits his early struggles for shaping him into the champion he's become.

"I grew up in a decently tough neighborhood," says Weidman. "I grew up getting bullied and fighting a lot. My brother was probably one of the toughest kids from my neighborhood and he didn't make it easy on me. He made sure I was getting beat up as much as possible growing up. If he wasn't beating me up, he was making his friends beat me up. He threw a 10 pound weight on my head because I wouldn't get him a cookie. Split my forehead open pretty good."

Weidman, who suffered a torn labrum, torn rotator cuff and an AC joint separation preparing to face Tim Boetsch last November, still claims nothing compares to a day he flipped his bike attempting a jump back in the old neighborhood.

"Did a flip, landed on my shoulder, broke my collarbone totally clean. Clean off. My brother, he didn't believe it was broken, so he made all of his friends line up and punch me in the arm and told me I'd be crying if it was truly broken. After I got punched by everybody, it was the worst thing I ever went through."

"Those are just a few memories of what I've been through in my life, things I've had to get through. I think any type of setback you have, any tough time you've got, getting through it is what makes you who you are. It makes you a tougher person. I think whatever you've been through in your life makes you a tougher person. I'm very grateful for the background I have, every tough situation I've been through because it's made me who I am."

To hear a few more gruesome stories see the video below. Weidman will make the first defense of his title in a rematch to former champ Anderson Silva at UFC 168 on Dec. 28.

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

MMA Beat. The panel talks Georges St-Pierre leaving the UFC, Nick Diaz turning down Carlos Condit, Demetrious Johnson's ability to sell PPV's, Team Alpha Male's year, the strawweight invasion and more.

Silva's Legacy. Anderson Silva says he's more concerned with what he means to MMA than with beating Chris Weidman.

TUF drama. Ronda Rousey goes off on her less than enjoyable coaching stint on The Ultimate Fighter. "And I told Hallman, you really want to do this? You really want to fight? Give us your number, we'll go meet somewhere in the desert. No cameras around."

Not happening. Now confirmed as a publicity stunt to promote non-violence towards women, Shooto's 'man vs. woman' fight won't take place Friday night.

Roundtable. What to make of Antonio Silva and TRT.

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MEDIA STEW

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Ronda Rousey on Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva 2.

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Training with Dan Hardy.

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Jon Jones talks Bones.

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Invicta FC 7- ALL ANGLES: Murphy vs Nakamoto.

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Pro's pick Ronda Rousey vs Miesha Tate 2.

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Fedor goofing around with some Korean comedians. Worth it just to see him put a guy in the lockdown. (5:20)

(via @BangPatrol)

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Random MMA:

Ben Rees vs. Ed Arthur BAMMA 14.

One strike, one KO.

Leandro Ataides breaks down the KO sequence in his most recent fight.

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Long watches. If you've got the time, check these out.

MMA Tete-A-Tete: 2013 in review Fights of the Year w/ Eugene & Nate

Countdown to GLORY 13 on Spike.

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TWEETS

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Stands out in the crowd.

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Cat Fancy.

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Get well soon.

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Congrats.

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Good luck.

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Step right up.

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Grandma Alvarez.

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Which Kardashian?

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Me too.

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Not overlooking.

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I've ralphed into that trash can.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Dec. 19 2013)

Yuri Alcantara vs. Wilson Reis at UFC Fight Night 36

Bobby Green vs. Abel Trujillo booked for UFC 169

Sergio Pettis vs. Alex Caceres at UFC on Fox 10

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via watercoolermma.com.

UFC Lightweight Kevin Lee's Unlikely Journey to the Octagon

Kevin Lee is a compilation of rarities. At just 21 years old, he is one of the youngest fighters on the UFC roster and the only one from Detroit, Michigan. Set to make his UFC debut on February 1st as part of the UFC 169 undercard, Lee is fully prepared to shake up one of the toughest and most talent-filled divisions in the world at 155 lbs. As you can image, Detroit isn't exactly a hot-bed for MMA. Kevin Lee's journey to the UFC was far from easy, and in speaking with Lee, we began to understand some of the obstacles he had to overcome along the way.

"The MMA scene in Detroit is practically nonexistent. There are gyms and events thrown in the greater Detroit area, but I am one of the very few professional MMA fighters that was born and raised in the city."

Beyond MMA, Lee describes growing up in Detroit as 'rough,' but credits his parents for keeping him out of trouble and making sure he had the best education possible.

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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