Wherever you were this past weekend, I hope the weather was beautiful, sleep was caught up on, and your time was productive. Because after three consecutive weeks of UFC events, the show is about to roll on.
We've got Barao vs. McDonald, Rousey vs. Carmouche, and Silva vs. Stann on tap over the next 21 days, not to mention Henderson-Machida, Struve-Hunt, Poirier-Swanson, plus plenty of Bellator action to whet your appetite for unrest. So needless to say, the past few days are probably the last semblance of a breather you're going to get for a while. But hey, it wouldn't be much fun any other way. Now let's get to some headlines.
7 MUST-READ STORIES
Sonnen: Jones 'better' than Silva. Speaking to FOX Sports Radio, perennial UFC contender Chael Sonnen claimed his upcoming opponent, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, was a "considerably better" fighter than his former rival Anderson Silva by a "big gap." Added Sonnen: "Jon comes out there with something new every time. Some trick that it appears he's making up. Stuff I've never seen."
Bisping responds to Belfort TRT. After learning of Vitor Belfort's therapeutic use exemption for testosterone replacement therapy at UFC on FX 7, Michael Bisping issued a lengthy statement on his website. Per the statement: "I have made my views on TRT very, very clear. I don't feel that I need to go into depth about it again right now. All I have to add, about this specific instance, is that it is very disappointing that someone who was caught cheating with testosterone in the past, now gets to use testosterone legally. A well known side effect of steroids is that it reduces testosterone, so I don't understand how it would make sense to then grant someone an exemption to then increase testosterone."
Mendes bout scratched. A thumb injury forced Manny Gamburyan to withdraw from his featherweight bout against Chad Mendes at UFC 157. Mendes then called out top contender Ricardo Lamas, however Lamas revealed he was already booked for May. UFC officials ultimately scratched Mendes from the card.
Aldo favored over Pettis. UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo opened as a slight favorite (-160) over former WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (+130) ahead of the pair's August title tilt, according to the folks over at BestFightOdds.
Ortiz: Cyborg asked for her release. Former Strikeforce women's featherweight champion Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos requested to be released by the UFC, her manager Tito Ortiz revealed to Inside MMA.
Barao would consider featherweight move. In an interview with MMA Junkie, UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao considered the possibility of moving up to featherweight if and when Nova Uniao teammate Jose Aldo moves up to lightweight.
Hardy talks retirement. UFC welterweight Dan Hardy admitted that while he hopes 2013 will be a big year for him, "The Outlaw" is already looking ahead to life after mixed martial arts. Said Hardy: "I'm very determined to make this a big year for me and step away from the top of the sport and do something else for a while."
Quick top-3 from Dana White's latest video blog: 1.) How heartwarming it is to see all of the Strikeforce guys so ecstatic to be there, 2.) Dana White's quip to Chuck Liddell right after Alistair Overeem gets brutally knocked out, and 3.) The entire scene at the end with Frankie Edgar.
Goosebumps, I have them.
I have no idea what I just watched, but it was definitely something.
As always, if you missed any part of last week's Bellator main card, feel free to check it out with the replay below. Or just skip ahead to 54:45 to see Alexander Shlemenko roll to the title then deliver a legendarily Russian post-fight speech. I AM BEAT YOU!
|Bellator MMA - Feb 7 - Episode 804|
The gang is back to talk Aldo vs. Pettis, UFC rankings, Dana White vs. Spike, TRT and more on the latest edition of The MMA Beat.
I really want to spoil this wild Croatian brawl for you guys, but it's probably best if I let you see for yourself.
Mike Goldberg, don't ever change.
So, Masato Toys messed around a little and wound up with an entire album of these radically bizarre photoshops. You should probably check it out. (Check out the Masato Toys and GDC MMA site for more.)
@chadmendes I already accepted a fight in may, waiting to announce it, but I'm sure our paths will cross.— Ricardo Lamas (@RicardoLamasMMA) February 9, 2013
Well guys it looks like I'm off the Anaheim card. Sucks pretty bad. Ill keep everyone updated with what I find out. Sorry.— chad mendes (@chadmendes) February 10, 2013
Manny was injured and no one would step up.— chad mendes (@chadmendes) February 10, 2013
BACK TO THE GRIND
A lot if supportive messages, thanks!Enjoying some time off before hitting the gym again, hard!— Alistair Overeem (@Alistairovereem) February 9, 2013
MORE ON TRT
I hate to say it but for the first time I agree and sympathize with @bisping. TRT is for cheaters or those who have cheated in the past.— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) February 9, 2013
Michael Chiesa (@MikeMav22) February 9, 2013
JAPANESE UFC 157 POSTER
Just posted a photo instagr.am/p/Vhm-qghERK/— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) February 9, 2013
TAKE HIM UP ON IT, GENTS
On my way to Ireland!!! Land minday and then Trinity College Dublin on Tues.I'm buying PINTS after the ceremony.— Dana White (@danawhite) February 11, 2013
@yaleufc yup— Dana White (@danawhite) February 11, 2013
BEST. WEDDING. EVER.
Announced over the weekend (Friday, February 8, 2013 - Sunday, February 10, 2013):
- UFC 159: Ovince St. Preux (12-5) vs. Gian Villante (10-3)
- UFC on FOX 7: Lorenz Larkin (13-0, 1 NC) vs. Francis Carmont (20-7)
- UFC on FUEL 9: Michael Kuiper (12-1) vs. Tom Lawlor (8-5)
- UFC on FUEL 9: Matt Mitrione (5-2) vs. Philip De Fries (9-2)
- UFC on FUEL 9: Ben Alloway (13-3) vs. Ryan LaFlare (7-0)
- UFC on FUEL 9: Reza Madadi (12-3) vs. Michael Johnson (12-7)
- UFC on FUEL 9: Chris Spang (5-1) vs. Adlan Amagov (11-2-1)
- Invicta FC 5: Barb Honchak (7-2) vs. Vanessa Porto (15-5) for flyweight title
- Invicta FC 5: Sarah Kaufman (15-2) vs. Leslie Smith (5-2-1)
- Invicta FC 5: Amanda Nunes (7-3) vs. Kaitlin Young (7-7)
- Invicta FC 5: Bec Hyatt (4-2) vs. Jasminka Cive (5-0)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day sees JonBon Joey don his Joe Silva hat for: UFC Mock Cards for the Summer
The UFC will be putting on 4 straight cards in April; Fuel 9, TUF Finale, FOX 7, & 159. This is how I see May, June & into July playing out:
UFC on FX 8: May 18th
- Ricardo Lamas vs Chan Sung Jung
- Donald Cerrone vs Evan Dunham
- Costa Phillipou vs Roger Gracie
- Erick Silva vs Mike Pyle
UFC 160: May 25th
- Cain Velasquez vs Bigfoot Silva II
- Junior Dos Santos vs Alistair Overeem
- Vitor Belfort vs Luke Rockhold
- TJ Grant vs Gray Maynard
- Travis Browne vs Stipe Miocic
- Tyrone Woodley vs Mike Pierce
- Amir Sadollah vs Stephen Thompson
- KJ Noons vs Melvin Guillard
- Yves Edwards vs Mac Danzig
UFC on FX 9: June 8th (Brazil)
- Fabricio Werdum vs Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira II
- Rafael Do Anjos vs Khabib Nurmagomedov
- Diego Brandao vs Max Holloway
- Edson Barboza vs Isaac Vallie-Flagg
- Hugo Vianna vs TJ Dillashaw
UFC on Fuel 10: June 15th
- Cung Le vs Jacare Souza
- Tarec Saffiedine vs Martin Kampmann
- Jon Fitch vs Jake Shields
- Charles Oliviera vs Jimmy Hettes
- Igor Pokrcjac vs Brandon Vera
- Yuri Alcantara vs Scott Jorgensen
UFC on FX 10: June 29nd
- Demetrius Johnson vs Joe Benavidez II
- Nate Marquardt vs Thiago Alves
- Tim Boetsch vs Mark Munoz
- John Dodson vs John Moraga
UFC 161: July 6th
- Anderson Silva vs Chris Weidman
- Shogun Rua vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira II
- Glover Texiera vs Ryan Bader
- Joe Lauzon vs Matt Wiman
- Fabio Maldonado vs Chris Leben (MW, maybe 195)
- Jamie Varner vs Bobby Green
- Diego Nunes vs Eric Koch
- Todd Duffee vs Gabriel Gonzaga
- Steven Siler vs Jeremy Stephens
- Now keep in mind that I finished 4 cards in 5 weeks, not abnormal, but that means they likely wouldnt book another show until July 27th, & then Aldo vs Pettis Aug 3rd.
- I didnt use names Like Edgar or Rashad & by Aug Rousey, Barao/McDonald, Hendo/Machida, GSP, Diaz, Rory, Condit, Kos, Maia, Hendricks, Lombard, Stann, Struve, Hunt, Diego, Mendes, Faber, Cub, Porier, Thiago Silva all should be ready. Not too mention some fighters from the 4 cards in April as well. The possibility still exists that Franklin, Carwin, Penn (@ LW), or even Rampage may fight again by mid-summer as well.
- The UFC is as deep as ever & even though injuries would ultimately adjust these cards to some degree, they'll also deepen other cards down the line.
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.