Morning Report: Ronda Rousey expects Nick Diaz to abandon retirement and return to fighting

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Ahead of her UFC 168 co-main event clash with Miesha Tate, women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was asked by FOX Sports Live host Charissa Thompson why she believed Nick Diaz, her friend and former welterweight contender, had turned down a fight with Carlos Condit. UFC president Dana White told media he had offered Diaz the bout in person at UFC on FOX 9 in Sacramento, but that Diaz wasn't interested. Diaz previously dropped a controversial decision to Condit at UFC 143 in a bout for the interim welterweight championship.

"Nick's been fighting for a really really long time," said Rousey. "I've only been fighting for three years, I mean, he's been fighting I think for over a decade now. This sport puts a lot of miles on you very quickly. If he feels like he needs a rest and to take a break, you can't fight for anyone other than yourself. You can't fight sooner than you feel like you should. It really is a life and death situation out there and you have to do it when you feel it's right."

Asked directly if she believed Diaz would return to fighting, Rousey's smirk removed all doubt. "Yea. I think he will."

The face of women's MMA, Rousey was also asked her take on the UFC's incoming strawweight division.

"I love the 115 pound chicks that are coming in," gushed Rousey. "They're so talented. They're so charismatic. They're so cute. They're almost adorably trying to kill each other. It's like cute, yet scary. It just brings so many emotions out of you. I think the fans are really going to embrace it and I can't wait for there to be another women's champion. Now it's really been proven the UFC is moving past that 'experimental phase' for the girls. They're really investing and seeing people love it."

With the division set to crown its inaugural champ via the Ultimate Fighter tournament due to film in May, Rousey is pulling for Mrs. Pat Barry.

"Who's the best? I don't know, but I'm the biggest fan of Rose Namajunas. I love her. Just her personality and the way she fights. I'll be rooting for her I think to win it."

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

UFC Fight Pass. The promotion's new digital streaming service will reportedly cost you $9.99 per month. Too much? Or just right?

Technique talk. Pedro Sauer Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt and renowned MMA trainer Ricky Lundell discusses the ongoing controversy surrounding heel hooks and other leg submissions.

The year of Diaz. With so many UFC stars sidelined with injuries, Chuck Mindenhall explains how Nick Diaz is the one eyed man in 2014's land of the blind.

Still on the roster. Despite reports, UFC heavyweight Pat Barry and Nam Phan have not been released following losses at UFC Fight Night 33.

Del Rosario autopsy. The Orange County coroner's report following Shane del Rosario's death revealed cocaine, THC and opiates in his urine, but that the substances did not contribute to his death.

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MEDIA STEW

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Free fight: Mark Munoz vs. Chris Weidman.

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GSP's day off.

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Chris Leben's training vlog.

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Invicta FC 7- ALL ANGLES: Felice Herrig vs Tecia Torres.

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GLORY 13 Tokyo recap.

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Ronda and Miesha, best friends.

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Random MMA:

Paul Daley vs. Romario Manoel da Silva at BAMMA 14.

Larissa Pacheco def. Irene Aldana at Jungle Fight 63.

Cage Warriors 61: Review.

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Long watches. If you have the time, check these out.

Homeless Fighter (RT Documentary). You might remember Ali Baba from his feature over at Fightland.

Bloodstain Lane - Who I Am

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TWEETS

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We're close.

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Congrats.

(See the entire fight here)

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Get well soon

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Thrilled it's not a motorcycle.

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Props from the champ.

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Worked for Roy Nelson against Struve.

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Ready yourselves, trolls.

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Priorities

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That's plenty.

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Lets see the grade first.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced this weekend (Dec. 20-22 2013)

Clint Hester vs. Andy Enz at UFC 169

Adlan Amagov out, Jason High vs. Beneil Dariush at UFC Fight Night 35

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via R.G.Allan_III.

The Life and Times of Georges St. Pierre

The recent retirement of the longtime UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre has left the MMA world in a state of shock and disbelief. He will go down in history as one of the very best ever to step foot in the cage. As a tribute to his accolades and achievements I offer up a video chronicling the life and times of the one and only GSP. Enjoy !

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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