Just as one fight week ends, another begins. Yes folks, the blistering summer schedule has finally kicked off, and as such, we have another loaded docket of mixed martial arts goodness on tap today. So without further ado, let's get to some headlines.
6 MUST-READ STORIES
Jones wants back in. According to manager Malki Kawa, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is actively eyeing two additional fights in 2013. "That's very aggressive and I know that's crazy, but it's something that he discussed with me and we talked about it," Kawa said to Bleacher Report. "I told Superman to relax a little bit, you're injured right now, but he's got an aggressive timeline in his head. Certain goals and accomplishments that he wants and we're looking to get that record. The truth and the fact of the matter is before we can talk any superfight or any move in weight class or anything to that effect, Jon Jones wants to win his next fight at light heavyweight, he wants to break that record, he wants to own that record solely. He wants to be considered the greatest light heavyweight of all time at this point."
LaRosa accuses Atchley. A day after Invicta FC CEO Shannon Knapp issued a statement on Facebook warning fighters of an unspecified manager making false claims in her name, Women's MMA pioneer Tara LaRosa alleged the figure in question to be Addison Sports Management's Brett Atchley, who LaRosa claims tried to have her blackballed from Invicta FC and "physically accosted" her at an Invicta event and a Seattle airport.
The MMA Hour. Ariel Helwani and The MMA Hour are back in your life with another star-studded episode, featuring Rory MacDonald, Gray Maynard, Stephen Thompson, John Cholish, MMA manager Mike Kogan, and boxer-turned-martial artist Holly Holm.
Caraway responds. In response to allegations of elbowing Cat Zingano at TUF 17 Finale's weigh-ins, UFC bantamweight Bryan Caraway released the following statement on Facebook: "This is a joke and a feeble attempt to jump on the band wagon and get a little publicity. It's sad that someone would stoop so low. I know if someone elbowed Miesha I would say something about it right then not when conveniently there's a ton of media involved. Total Lies and BS."
Diaz unapologetic. In the day's least surprising news, UFC lightweight Nate Diaz isn't remorseful for the gay slur he included in his controversial tweet towards Bryan Caraway last week, according to manager Mike Kogan.
Riddle enters tourney. Former UFC welterweight Matt Riddle is expected to join the eight-man field of Bellator's season nine welterweight tournament. "This division is just so stacked, and being able to fight in a tournament makes it even better," Riddle said in a statement. "Bellator is doing a lot of great things right now, and I want to be a part of it."
NickTheFace just crushed it.
"No. No, not at all. I'm actually at a disadvantage. Before the surgery, I started on hormone replacement therapy back in 2002 or 2003. ... If I don't take estrogen hormone replacement therapy, I can get osteoporosis. So any other women that I'm actually competing against, my testosterone levels are drastically lower than theirs. It's almost nothing." -- Fallon Fox, answering whether she has an advantage over her competitors.
Here we go, folks. 12 finishes from the regional scene -- you vote for the best one.
There's something unsettling about a supremely calm, ice cold Icelander silently pounding away on a heavy bag in what totally looks to be an industrial warehouse.
I thought he would just fade away, that's why I didn't make a deal about it before, but Brett Atchley continues to terrorize other fighters.— Tara LaRosa (@TaraLaRosa) May 20, 2013
Brett Atchley just called my manager Monte Cox and told him to get me under control, or he was going to sue me.— Tara LaRosa (@TaraLaRosa) May 20, 2013
@thecyrildotcom Monte told him it's probably not a real good idea to mess with me, because I never let things go. :-)— Tara LaRosa (@TaraLaRosa) May 20, 2013
SOMETHIN'S A BREWIN'
War Machine (@WarMachine170) May 20, 2013
Hand is still bleeding a day after the doc cut it trying to get my hand wraps off!! Damn noob!! twitter.com/NikLentz/statu…— Nik Lentz Ufc mma (@NikLentz) May 19, 2013
Joseph Benavidez (@JoeJitsu) May 20, 2013
Announced yesterday (Monday, May 20, 2013):
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes to us from Florence Romeo, who writes: Vitor Belfort; and, the Start of the TRT Era
"You never had control, that's the illusion! I was overwhelmed by the power of this place. But I made a mistake, too, I didn't have enough respect for that power and it's out now." - Dr. Ellie Sattler (Jurassic Park)
The day was May 18, 2013. The event: UFC on FX 8. The place: Jaragua Do Sol, Brazil.
Vitor Belfort, a self-proclaimed "young dinosaur," stood in the middle of the octagon. His opponent, Luke Rockhold, laid unconscious on the mat. Thousands cheered in the stadium, while millions watched in awe by television.
And, whether they knew it or not, they had just witnessed history.
Because with a single kick, Belfort had changed the landscape of mixed martial arts.
Few lauded Belfort's efforts, claiming hard training and evolution. However, most, within seconds of the knockout, publicly reviled the effects of Testosterone Replacement Therapy. Do fighters gain a significant advantage with TRT? Is TRT a loophole? Is TRT the same as steroids? Have we officially entered the TRT Era?
And, if we have, can we survive it?
Because, if we have learned anything from sports such as baseball, cheating is not only detrimental but nearly fatal. Sure, the sport will continue. Sure, fighters will win and lose. But, not a single knockout, submission, or win will ever be viewed the same.
Today, we have to decide as fans what, and how much of what we'll be able to endure. How far will we suspend our imagination for entertainment? When is enough, enough?
Because, "the power is out now," and we are the only ones who can control it.
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.