Even as we await the launch of the UFC's historic experiment, there's no rest for the weary. From possible surgery that could sideline Michael Bisping for six months, to the Diaz brothers' punctuality once again coming under fire by UFC President Dana White, yesterday provided no shortage of kindling to keep the news cycle raging.
Add in Bellator rumbling through six fights in seven rounds, a middleweight title fight eight months in the making, and even Real Steel style robot fights (!!), and we're already burning daylight. So without further ado, let's get to it.
7 MUST-READ STORIES
Silva vs. Weidman in works. According to a report from Brazilian outlet Tatame, which was later confirmed by UFC President Dana White, negotiations are underway for an Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman middleweight title fight to take place on July 6, 2013. Said White: "It's not done, but we'll get it done."
Newton KOs King Mo. Former Strikeforce champion Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal, a 12-to-1 favorite, suffered a stunning knockout loss at the hands of Emmanuel Newton in the co-main event of Bellator 90. Newton uncorked a brutal spinning back fist midway through the first round to advance to season eight's light heavyweight tournament final against Mikhail Zayats.
White defends Fitch, UFC cuts. UFC President Dana White defended Zuffa's controversial roster cuts, stating that top-10 welterweight Jon Fitch was on the "downside" of his career and is too expensive for his current ability. White later confirmed rumors that the UFC is looking to trim down its roster by at least 100 fighters.
Bisping may need surgery. UFC middleweight contender Michael Bisping told ESPN UK that he may require neck surgery to repair a trapped nerve that's causing his right arm to atrophy. "My muscle is wasting away because nerve signals aren't getting through," said Bisping, who is currently scheduled to fight Alan Belcher at UFC 159. "... My hand, I can't even make a fist because I keep going into fight, after fight, after fight. Really what I need is six months off, but I don't want to take six months off."
Shamhalaev wins 145-pound tourney. Russian bruiser Shabulat Shamhalaev knocked out Rad Martinez in the second round of Bellator 90's main event to win season seven's featherweight tournament final. Shamhalaev will meet the winner of Pat Curran vs. Daniel Straus for the Bellator 145-pound title.
White: Diaz brothers costing money. UFC President Dana White refuted the claims of Nick Diaz's lawyer, stating that between Nick and his brother Nate, who White claims has no-showed "several" Road to the Octagon tapings, the two brothers have cost the UFC over $50,000 in "production" from missed interviews.
Velasquez inks new deal. UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez signed a new eight-fight contract with the UFC. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.
"[Jon] Fitch is f***ing expensive." -- Dana White explaining Wednesday's controversial roster cut.
This is pretty crazy. Remember that meteor that crashed into Russia last week? A portion of the explosion hit a local dojo, and as our friends at MiddleEasy pointed out, it's pretty easy to pick out the blackbelts here.
Gray Maynard bringing the thunder. Love it. (Anyone else find it odd that half of these guys aren't even employed by the UFC now?)
I'll admit, at best this is only vaguely linked to fighting. But hey, why not? (NSFW: Language.)
My brilliant plan for the best wedding ever: Dueling introductions from Bruce Buffer and Lenne Hardt. Make it happen, people.
The folks over at SyFy took the film Real Steel and turned it into a game show. For real. (Click to watch. Jump to 32:25 to see robots duking it out.)
Q: How to handle cutting the No. 9 welterweight in your rankings? A: There is no No. 9 welterweight.
AFTER THE BELL
I got caught. Great job Emanuel. Anyone can be defeated. Back to the drawing board. Thanx 4 the support!!— King Mo (@KingMoFH) February 22, 2013
KEEPIN' IT VAGUE
Josh Barnett (@JoshLBarnett) February 21, 2013
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
Haha my 19 month old son just sucker punched the waiter at the restaurant. He hit him in the thigh as the waiter was going to grab his plate— Ulysses Gomez (@uselessgomez) February 22, 2013
THE MOMENT APPROACHES
Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) February 22, 2013
Announced yesterday (Thursday, February 21, 2013):
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes from mjanecek, who brings us: More Fun with Lineal Titles
It's been awhile since I've done an update on the lineal title landscape. And, with relevant match ups approaching like Bigfoot vs. Cain and Henderson vs. Melendez, I felt this would be an appropriate time to revisit these lineal titles.
For those who are not as familiar with the term, a lineal title considers a championship belt as something that is not bound by promotion, but rather a title that must be won in a fight. Another way to think about it is "The Guy Who Beat the Guy." For example, when Hector Lombard recently left Bellator to sign with the UFC, he was still considered to be the Bellator Middleweight champion. In the Lineal Title world, he did not lose his belt until Tim Boetsch took it from him at UFC 149. After that, Philippou beat Boetsch. Therefore, Philippou is the Bellator MW champion in Lineal terms.
Below you will see that I have documented all of the Lineal Titles across all major MMA promotions over the years, many of which are now defunct. Please notice the additional notes at the bottom of each column as not every scenario flows as neatly as I would have liked for various reasons.
A quick disclaimer about my own personal lineal title philosophy (which may or may not differ from your own). I personally only like to include bouts within the particular title's weight class. For example, if a fighter holds the MW title, but loses at LHW, he retains the MW title until someone beats him at MW. I tried to note where I have deviated from this way of thinking.
# of Titles
George St. Piere
Upcoming Unification Bouts
Melendez vs. Henderson
Bigfoot vs. Valasquez
Other Titles on the Line
GSP vs. Nick Diaz
Jon Jones vs. Sonnen
Jose Aldo vs. Pettis
Mighty Mouse vs. Maraga
Zombie vs. Lamas?
Nam vs. Moraes
Hendricks vs. Condit
Rockhold vs. Belfort
Musasi vs. Gustaffson
Peralta vs. Corassani
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in Monday's column.