Morning Report: Johny Hendricks favored over Carlos Condit; Matt Riddle fired for 'taking his medicine'

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It's a good time to be a fight fan, folks. Thursday night gifted us yet another Bellator finish-fest (80-percent finishing rate over the past two weeks!), while Saturday night welcomes us with a surprisingly deep UFC on FUEL card (these two guys back in Japan!!). With that said, there's plenty to go over today and the clock is ticking, so let's get to it.

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6 MUST-READ STORIES

Vegh wins Bellator title. Summer series light heavyweight tournament winner Attila Vegh outpointed Christian M'Pumbu to capture the Bellator light heavyweight title in the main event of Bellator 91.

Hendricks favored over Condit. Late replacement Johny Hendricks (-130) is favored slightly to defeat Carlos Condit (-110) at UFC 158's co-main event, according to Las Vegas oddsmakers.

Struve wants title shot. Stefan Struve has received the slow-but-steady treatment from the UFC, but now he's ready to take the next step. After he finishes Mark Hunt this weekend, Struve believes he will have a "strong bid" to fight for the title.

Overeem testosterone levels low. According to post-fight blood tests, Alistair Overeem fought Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva with a testosterone level of 179 nanograms per deciliter, a dangerously low figure for a professional athlete.

Awad, Rickels reach lightweight finals. Heavy underdog Saad Awad knocked out Will Brooks in 43 seconds and David Rickels outpointed Jason Fischer to reach the season eight lightweight tournament finals at Bellator 91.

Riddle talks release. Former UFC fighter Matt Riddle explained his recent release to BJPenn.com. "There's not much I can do," Riddle said. "I was prescribed my medicine and I'm going to take it. I got fired over taking my medicine because I don't want to take pharmaceutical drugs or testosterone. This is what works for me, it's just s--tty, but it is what it is."

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MEDIA STEW

Quick top-4 for Dana White's latest video blog, in no order: 1.) Matt Grice, animated and somehow completely coherent, describing his zombie mode against Dennis Bermudez, "The punches weren't hurtin'!" 2.) Luke Rockhold consoling Lavar Johnson -- "You scared him. The guy's scared to fight. What can you do?" -- just as Brendan Schaub strolls up, well within earshot. 3.) Dana White to Urijah Faber, "Now I don't have to cut ya." 4.) Even in the immediate aftermath of the biggest loss of her career, Liz Carmouche is still smiling.

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"Stun Gun" worked through these obstacle courses like a boss. The guy clearly has a future on the Wipeout scene if this whole MMA thing doesn't pan out.

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This just makes me sad. (Fight starts at 1:45.)

(HT: MiddleEasy)

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Esther Lin's "Focus" series is always fantastic, and her latest is no exception.

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Not a bad list, but for once I agree with YouTube comments. Chan Sung Jung's twister needs to be on here.

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A bonus episode of TTTHS? You spoil us, Tommy.

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RIDDLE GOT OFF EASY

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50 POUNDS?? WOW...

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CALL OF DUTY: SPIDER OPS

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ZING

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O_O

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WINNER

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Thursday, February 28, 2013):

  • N/A

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes from JDMMA, who offers more: UFC on Fuel TV 8 predictions

Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann

This is mostly take place on the feet, but Wanderlei Silva no longer has the iron jaw he possessed in the last decade when he was the king of Pride FC. Fighters such as Cro Cop, Rampage, and Hendo have loosened up the chin of the great Wand, and after years of putting his body on the line for the sake of the fans has taken a toll. Silva is always dangerous but expect Stann to land the bigger punches on the feet and score a second round knockout.

Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Struve

If Struve gets this fight to the floor he has the best chance to win there. Standing up the reach of Struve will definitely be a factor for the seven foot heavyweight, but Mark Hunt's chin, power, and thousands upon thousands of hours honing his striking will give him an edge standing up. At some point Hunt is going to catch him, get the KO, and give a very nonchalant two word post-fight interview.

Takanori Gomi vs. Diego Sanchez

If Gomi had a full gas tank I'd probably go with the Fireball Kid. But in the past he's faded in fights, while Sanchez tends to get stronger as the fight progresses. That's not a good thing for the hometown favorite. If Diego Sanchez survives a Gomi-esque striking assault in the first, he should be able to finish this fight in the third via submission after Gomi tires.

Yushin Okami vs. Hector Lombard

Yushin Okami is great at blanketing fighters and tiring them out. I think the energy levels of Lombard are high and he will find a way to break free and execute what he wants to do in this fight: throw bombs. At some point in the second, Lombard is going to find his range and go to town on the Japanese great. Lombard via TKO in the second.

Dong Hyun Kim vs. Siyar Bahadurzada

Dong Hyun Kim has done a good job of thwarting talented strikers such as Nate Diaz. However, Siyar Bahadurzada seems like he's a different sort of animal. He has a violent streak of aggression and there's something very shocking about a Siyar Bahadurzada knockout. His KOs come very fast and seemingly out of nowhere, as was the case when he knocked out Paulo Thiago. Bahadurzada is hungry and doesn't like wasting time, I smell another KO in the first round.

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.

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