Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
The first rally for Mark Hunt failed. Now we shall see if the second try can do any better.
If you missed it yesterday, among the relentless flood of fight bookings, Alistair Overeem once again had to withdraw from his scheduled bout against former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos. This time an injury was the root of the problem, and just like last year, Mark Hunt wasted little time throwing his name into the running.
"If I get the call for the fight, I'm there, of course," Hunt told MMAFighting.com, "and the fans are crazy for it, so it's good.
"I was born down. You know this."
Aside from providing an early candidate for quote of the year, Hunt has a far more compelling case this time around to receive the shot. Not only is he fresh off a highlight-reel knockout of Stefan Struve, but he's also the only heavyweight in the UFC's top-10 (besides Struve) not already booked for a fight. Plus, dos Santos is no longer the champion, so the implications for the bout are far less dramatic.
As of this writing, UFC officials have yet to announce dos Santos' fate. Although, for what it's worth, the Brazilian would prefer not to wait, even if it meant fighting a late replacement.
"The top guys are all tied up, but at the same time Junior's not looking to sit out too long," Ana Guedes, Dos Santos' attorney and representative, told Bleacher Report. "If it's a real extensive injury (to Overeem) or something, you don't want to wait.
"We're definitely just waiting for news. Junior's position is 'I don't choose my opponents. So if they choose for me to fight Overeem and I have to wait so be it, and if they decide there's another guy I should fight, then bring it on'."
6 MUST-READ STORIES
Overeem injured, Hunt wants in. Former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem suffered an undisclosed injury in training, leading to his withdrawal from a scheduled bout against Junior dos Santos at UFC 160. Dos Santos' manager subsequently told Beacher Report that her fighter wasn't "looking to sit out too long," adding that dos Santos' position was, "If they decide there's another guy I should fight, then bring it on." Meanwhile, top-10 heavyweight Mark Hunt immediately threw his name into the running, providing the quote of the century by proclaiming, "I was born down. You know this."
Silva vs. Weidman. As expected, UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will defend his belt against undefeated prospect Chris Weidman in the featured bout of the UFC's Fourth of July weekend pay-per-view, UFC 162. Said Weidman to New York Newsday: "Dream come true. Ever since I've been fighting, Anderson Silva has been the champion and I've been visualizing beating him. Now I have the opportunity. I have to make the most of it."
Bellator 92 weigh-in results. All eight main card fighters met their required weight at Wednesday's official Bellator 92 weigh-ins, including featherweight tournament semifinalists Marlon Sandro and Frodo Khasbulaev.
Barao vs. Wineland. UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao will make the second defense of his title against Eddie Wineland as the main event of UFC 161. Barao hoped to fight injured champ Dominick Cruz, however Cruz still has no timetable for his return.
Coleman retires. 48-year-old UFC Hall of Famer Mark "The Hammer" Coleman announced his official retirement from mixed martial arts. Coleman is scheduled to undergo a total hip replacement early next week.
Fight bookings. Aside from the annoucncements mentioned above, there were roughly 447 UFC bookings on Wednesday. You can find the complete listing at the bottom of this page, but among the more notable ones: Erik Perez vs. Johnny Bedford at UFC 159, Pat Barry vs. Shawn Jordan at UFC 162, Mark Munoz vs. Tim Boetsch at UFC 162, Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante vs. Thiago Silva at UFC 162, and Joseph Benavidez vs. Darren Uyenoyama at UFC on FOX 7.
Considering the current circumstances, it seems fitting to lead off with this gem from 12 years ago.
Rory MacDonald was the latest fighter to receive the Full Blast treatment for UFC 154's brief co-main event.
Nine second knockouts are kind of our thing here at the Morning Report, and today's offering comes straight from the U.K.
That Mark Hunt interview is dangerously realistic.
Tank Abbott: 47 years old and still cutting promos.
I'm not going to lie, I have no idea what's going on here. But I'm almost positive some of you do.
"It was kind of like getting in a fight with your little sister, you know? Just slapping around at you." -- Frank Mir, twisting the knife further into Brock Lesnar.
I want in troops and only the boss @danawhite can make it happen lets go army ATTACK the general wants in on this fight— mark richard hunt (@markhunt1974) March 7, 2013
SKYSCRAPER AND THE BOSS
Different angle :0 twitter.com/StefanStruve/s…— Stefan Struve (@StefanStruve) March 6, 2013
@danawhite ok with painkillers and lots of sleep, waitin for surgery.. They need 2 make sure I don't have a hospital bacteria from Japan 1st— Stefan Struve (@StefanStruve) March 6, 2013
@stefanstruve Jesus, hang in the bro and I will see u soon. If u need ANYTHING let me know.— Dana White (@danawhite) March 6, 2013
@danawhite don't call it a comeback haha I will be back before you know it! And I promise that it will be as entertaining as always :)— Stefan Struve (@StefanStruve) March 6, 2013
INTERIM TITLE ON THE LINE
@eddiewineland pleasure bro!!!— Dana White (@danawhite) March 6, 2013
NEXT FOR THE LUCHADOR
To all my brothers @blackziliansGood teams become great teams when the members trust each other enough to surrender the 'me' for the 'we'.— Vitor Belfort (@vitorbelfort) March 6, 2013
MORE FROM MEGA MEGU
@washawaytheweak If I will make 20 pounds of muscle,I'm like Hulk.Perfect body.I will not lose to anyone forever.— 藤井惠 Megumi Fujii (@MegaMeguCat) March 2, 2013
Long butt, flat butt & front butt are all on my list of unacceptable butts.— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) March 4, 2013
Announced yesterday (Wednesday, March 6, 2013):
- UFC 158: Johnny Eduardo (26-9) out with shoulder injury opposite Yves Jabouin (18-8)
- UFC 159: Erik Perez (13-4) vs. Johnny Bedford (19-9-1)
- UFC 160: Alistair Overeem (36-12) out with injury opposite Junior dos Santos (15-2)
- UFC 161: Renan Barao (30-1) vs. Eddie Wineland (20-8-1) booked as main event
- UFC 161: Rashad Evans (17-3-1) vs. Dan Henderson (29-9)
- UFC 161: Tyron Woodley (11-1) vs. Jake Shields (27-6-1, 1 NC)
- UFC 161: Pat Barry (8-5) vs. Shawn Jordan (14-4)
- UFC 161: Sam Stout (19-8-1) vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg (14-3-1)
- UFC 162: Anderson Silva (33-4) vs. Chris Weidman (9-0) booked as main event
- UFC 162: Mark Munoz (12-3) vs. Tim Boetsch (15-6)
- UFC 162: Rafael Cavalcante (11-3, 1 NC) vs. Thiago Silva (14-3, 2 NC)
- UFC on FOX 7: Joseph Benavidez (17-3) vs. Darren Uyenoyama (8-3)
- UFC on FOX 7: Francicso Rivera (8-2, 1 NC) vs. Hugo Viana (7-0)
- TUF Brazil 2 Finale: Ildemar Alcantara (18-5) vs. Jason High (16-3), according to Tatame
- WSOF 2: Kris McCray (8-4) vs. Danillo Villefort (13-4)
- WSOF 2: Waylon Lowe (13-4) vs. Cameron Dollar (11-4)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day sees jerry.tsui break down the: Top 10 UFC Big Signing Busts
My roots are in the old days of pro wrestling's Monday Night Wars between the WWF and WCW when underutilized wrestlers in the WCW such as the Big Show, Chris Jericho, and Eddie Guerrero jumped ship and appeared in the WWF. There was always great anticipation about watching these guys finally reach the big stage, reaching their potential, and no longer having to wonder how they would fare the WWF.
Part of that excitement and anticipation of seeing guys in WCW jump to the WWF transferred with me from being a fan of pro wrestling to being a fan of MMA. Now as a MMA fan, I read the stories about the big signings online, watch the videos I can on youtube and wonder how these fighters that have been knocking or tapping out people left and right would fare against the top fighters in the UFC. I buy into the hype machines of the Ariel Helwanis and Joe Rogans as they talk about the heavy hands, world class jiu-jitsu/sambo, and all the belts these guys have won around the world, only to finally watch them against a mid-level UFC fighter and wonder WTF?
So here is a quick list of the guys who's hype I bought into, only to be left with the WTF feeling.
10. Denis Kang- Sure he was 2-2 in his last four fights heading in the UFC, but the two loses were to Gegard Mousasi andYoshihiro Akiyama. Prior to losing to a close decision to Kazuo Misaki in the finals of the 2006 Pride Welterweight Grand Prix, Kang had a streak of 23 fights without a loss. Plus, he was finishing fights with his fists and had a strong submission game. In his first fight against Alan Belcher, he looked good until getting caught in a guillotine choke in the second round. While he rebounded with a decision win over Professor X, he then suffered a 2nd round TKO loss to Michael Bisping in Bisping's backyard in Manchester and was then given his walking papers, despite the loss being awarded "The Fight of Night." He finished his UFC run with a 1-2 record.
9. Jorge Santiago- After an unremarkable 1-2 record in his first run in the UFC, Jorge Santiago went 11-1 outside the UFC which included a run as the Sengoku MiddleweightChampion and wins over Kazuo Misaki (twice), Jeremy Horn, Kazuhiro Nakamura, and Siyar Bahadurzada. Upon his return to the UFC, he replaced Wanderlei Silva as Brian Stann's opponent at UFC 130. Stann added to the hype by saying that he thought Santiago was a tougher opponent than Silva. Santiago who had finished 10 of his last 12 opponents looked slow and lethargic against Stann and was KO'd in the second round. After his second fight, a three round unanimous decision loss against Demian Maia, Santiago was cut for a second time after a 0-2 run.
8. Sokoudjou- Knocking out Pride mainstays Ricardo Arona and Antônio Rogério Nogueira back-to-back in impressive fashion will definitely get the hype train rolling. After Pride was absorbed by the UFC, Sokoudjou was seen as one of the hot prospects in the light heavyweight division until he was matched up against another hot prospect name Lyoto Machidaat UFC 79. If the fight were a "scary looking guy" contest, Sokoudjou would have won by Mortal Kombat fatality. Unfortunately, Machida picked Sokoudjou apart and put him to sleep in the second round with an arm triangle choke. Sokodjou would finish his UFC run with 1-2 record after being TKO'd by another young prospect in Luiz Cane at UFC 89.
7.Takanori Gomi- I will admit the mystique on Gomi wore off a bit by the time he signed with the UFC. However, he was still the former Pride Lightweight Champion and considered at one-time to be the number two lightweight in the world behind BJ Penn. I had great expectations that the "Fireball Kid" could still hold his own in the loaded UFC lightweight division. However, in his debut against Kenny Florian, he was beaten to the punch and simply outclassed by one of the best in the division, succumbing to a rear naked choke in the third round. While he has beaten Mac Danzig and Tyson Griffin and lost a controversial decision to Diego Sanchez this past weekend, his overall record in the UFC is only 3-4. With the UFC trying to increase the number of events in Asia, Gomi's leash might be longer than other fighters in the UFC due to his name recognition there. So we can expect to see the Fireball Kid fight for the UFC on more cards in Asia for the foreseeable future.
6. Mayhem Miller- I really thought Mayhem would beat down at least the middle tier of the UFC Middleweight Division the same way MMA fighters roughed up bullies on Bully Beatdown. Mayhem had the name, a fun personality, a TV show, and looked good against Jake Shields in a decision loss on a Strikeforce card on CBS. His hype machine got turned up a few notches upon his return to the UFC, when he was immediately cast opposite Michael Bisping on The Ultimate Fighter. He even took Round 1 in his fight against a game Bisping before completely gassing out and getting saved by the ref in Round 3 of their fight. After a decision loss to CB Dollaway and an alleged backstage scene after the fight, Mayhem was cut loose with a 0-3 career record in the Octagon.
Check out the top five after the jump...
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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