Morning Report: Johny Hendricks not worried about left hand, wants Georges St-Pierre in August

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Johny Hendricks believed his mighty left hand was broken midway through first frame of UFC 158's co-main event, which only made "Bigg Rigg's" electric victory all the more impressive. But now things may not be as bad as they initially seemed.

According to a report from MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani on UFC Tonight, Hendricks hand has already healed to the point where the welterweight thinks he may have merely dislocated a few fingers, which actually popped back into place over the course of the fight.

Hendricks planned to still see a doctor, however on Tuesday he tweeted that his hand was feeling so good, he decided to skip it.

With everything falling into place, Hendricks hopes to challenge Georges St-Pierre in August preferably, though he'll take it "anywhere, anyplace, anytime." And with out of the way, folks, let's get to the best of the rest.

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7 MUST-READ STORIES

Hendricks wants St-Pierre in August. No. 1 UFC welterweight contender Johny Hendricks is targeting August 2013 for a title fight against champion Georges St-Pierre, according to a report from UFC Tonight.

TUF 17 results. No spoilers here. If you want to find out the winner of last night's episode of The Ultimate Fighter 17, check out this recap or watch the entire episode in the Stew below.

Johnson popped. UFC heavyweight Lavar "Big" Johnson tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone in the aftermath of UFC 157, according to a report from MMA Junkie.

Elkins in, Guida out. Fresh off a first-round win at UFC 158, upstart featherweight Darren Elkins replaced the injured Clay Guida against Chad Mendes on the undercard of UFC on FOX 7.

TUF 18 tryouts. Men and women bantamweight fighters are invited to tryout for The Ultimate Fighter 18 on Monday, April 15, 2013, at the Grand Ballroom of the Palace Station Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. All entrants must be at least 21 years old and own a winning record with a minimum of three professional MMA fights.

UFC 158 ratings. Fueled by the power of the Diaz/St-Pierre rivalry, last Friday's UFC 158 weigh-ins became "the sixth-most watched program in the history of the FUEL Network," beating "the vast majority" of live fights aired on FUEL TV. Additionally, Thursday's press conference was the second most-watched presser in company history, while Saturday's live prelims drew 1,579,000 viewers -- a mark that "tied for third highest in the fifteen month history of the UFC-FX relationship."

Gomes injured. An undisclosed injury forced Ediane Gomes out of her Invicta FC 5 bout against former Strikeforce women's featherweight champion Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos. Australian featherweight Fiona Muxlow has been tapped as a short-notice replacement.

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MEDIA STEW

If you missed it, check out last night's episode of The Ultimate Fighter 17 to see this season's wildcard match.

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We never got a Dana White vlog last week, so quench your behind-the-scenes thirst with the latest edition of Backstage Pass.

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Okay, this is getting ridiculous. Months go by without a double knockout, then suddenly we get three within the span of two weeks.

(HT: MiddleEasy)

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The Fightland crew sat down with Royce Gracie to pick the legend's brain about the introduction of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and the early days of the UFC.

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It's the MMA version of "Where's Waldo." Somewhere within this throwback news report about the 1992 Los Angeles riots, you might just spot a familiar face.

(HT: Reddit)

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HENDRICKS UPDATE

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ALSO, BEARDLESS!

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ROGAN ON FALLON FOX

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LESSON LEARNED

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TO MR. MCMAHON

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Tuesday, March 19, 2013):

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day sees Our Bovine Public declare: Carlos Condit: Take That Haters

Carlos Condit took a lot of flak in the wake of his UFC 143 perfomance vs Nick Diaz. Many accused him of running away from Nick and not engaging. This weekend he shoved that back in their faces and then some. First off all, it really annoys me how incredibly fickle we MMA fans can be some times. Is there any other sport in which the 'what have you done for me lately?' theory is so prominent? One good fight and you are the next big thing. One bad fight and you are a scrub who never beat any one important.

But that's not really the point of this rambling, inconherent, unplanned fanpost. The point is to acknowledge Condit as one of the most exciting fighters in all of MMA and worship him as my own personal hero.

I will preface this by saying that I never watched any of his WEC fights live. The first fight I ever saw of his was his UFC debut vs Martin Kampmann and I have been a massive fan ever since. He came into that fight with quite a bit hype as the WEC champ and put on an amazing fight with a respected vet in Kampmann. He lost a split decision that night but it was one of those fights were there are no losers. Condit then regrouped and put on another war with UFC newcomer Jake Ellenberger. He took an absolute beating from Jake in the first round but recovered like nobodies business and went on to take a split decision. Despite these two amazing fights some people criticised Condit because he had went to two decisions in his first two UFC fights.

Carlos got his first finish in the UFC in his next fight but left it late against Rory Macdonald with only 7 seconds left on the clock. This was another excellent fight but one that I feel a lot of people don't remember properly, particularly those who say Rory destroyed Carlos for two rounds before fading in the third. Rory was able to land some nice strikes and repeatedly took Carlos down throughout the first two rounds but didn't land anything offensively on the ground and Condit was able to get back to his feet after each take down. By the middle of the second round Carlos had completely taken over in my opinion and was connecting solidly and consistently on the feet and completely avoiding all damage on the ground. Although the judges may have seen it differently I would actually have had Condit winning that fight if it had went the extra couple of seconds.

Carlos then stepped it up signifiantly over his next two fights, finishing recently defeated title challenger Dan Hardy with a picture perfect hook and then destroying Dong Hyun Kim with an amazing flying knee. The most impressive thing about this is that neither guy had ever been KO'd before or has been since. It showed that Condit truly was a Natural Born Killer and had true one shot KO power.

One of the most interesting things about Condit is that although he is a killer in the cage, he seems like a genuinely nice guy outside of it. When the Diaz/GSP bulls--t was going on Condit didn't bitch and complain like many would have done. I'm sure Dana took care of him finicially for it but I thought he handled that whole situation with extreme class and professionalism. He took the Diaz fight and fought an incredibly smart fight to take the decision. People didn't like it because it wasn't the wild brawl they wanted or expected but he did what he had to do to win to get his deserved title shot and payday vs GSP. Aside from that, I actually really enjoyed the fight. Definitely not what I expected but still a great display of technical striking and smart game planning and fight IQ.

His decision to wait for GSP to recover was a little frustrating as a fan but competely understandable. He earned a title shot and that big payday so he had every right to wait for it. Plus GSP coming off a major surgery and long lay off would definitely have increased his chances of winning. As it turned out, it was not to be. He did give GSP a tough fight and had him worried with the head kick in the third but overall it was pretty much your standard GSP fight.

Coming into this weekend then Carlos needed a big performancea dn boy did he deliver. Hendricks played his part too, landing some absolute bombs and showing impressive takedowns (even if he did do nothing with 90% of them) but Condit really showed why he is such a tough SOB. The shots that he landed were the same shots that put Fitch and Kampmann out cold. Condit took them and kept moving forward. Actually, scratch that. He moved back. Moved back and then threw flying knees with his back against the cage. It could be because I feel so emotionally attached to Condit but I thought this was one of the one exciting and nerve wrecking fights I have ever watched. Even though I watched it a day later I was literally shaking as I watched and screaming like crazy when Condit landed anything. I personally scored the fight for him but have no problem whatsoever with 29-28 Hendricks. Or a draw for that matter.

Condit now finds himself in a tough spot. He won't be contending for a title any time soon as long as GSP stays champ and is probably going to struggle with tough wrestlers. He is an incredibly tough match up for basically anyone in the division however and the UFC won't want him knocking off contenders. I could see a rematch with Diaz or Kampmann or a fresh match up with someone like Lawler maybe.

One thing is for sure though. Carlos Condit has proved that he is an incredibly exciting fighter and he comes to fight. I kinda doubt it will but hopefully the 'Natural Born Runner' s--t can stop now and the haters will appreciate what an amazing talent this guy really is.

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.

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