Morning Report: Luke Rockhold challenges Michael Bisping; Legalization of MMA in NY 'unlikely' for 2013

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

If you're anywhere near or within the top-10 of the UFC middleweight division, chances are you've probably called out Michael Bisping.

Former Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold is the new guy in town, and he never really got his opportunity, so on Tuesday Rockhold couldn't resist joining the popular Bisping Fan Club.

Unfortunately the AKA product forgot that Bisping is a somewhat of grizzled veteran at this sort of thing by now. So it didn't take long for the Brit to cheekily respond.

Oof, hit ‘em right where it hurts. MMA Fighting scores this round 10-9 for Michael Bisping.

And now that we've met our silly story quota for the day, let's go ahead and get to the goods.

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6 MUST-READ STORIES

Zingano out, Tate in. A previously undisclosed May 16 knee injury led Cat Zingano to withdraw from the filming of The Ultimate Fighter 18. As such, former Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate joined the show as a replacement coach and will challenge Ronda Rousey for the UFC women's bantamweight title in December.

MMA in NY update. According to a report from The New York Daily News, the legalization of mixed martial arts in New York could very likely be threatened by recent sexual harassment complaints against Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. It's a long, largely nonsensical excuse, but one that led a source to declare, "I don't think this is the year. I think it's unlikely."

Newell signs. One-armed lightweight prospect Nick Newell inked a multi-fight deal with World Series of Fighting. Newell's debut is expected to arrive sometime in August or September, according to WSOF executive vice president Ali Abdel-Aziz.

UFC 164 bookings. A pair of pivotal featherweight battles are the latest additions to the UFC 164 fight card: Chad Mendes vs. Clay Guida and Erik Koch vs. Dustin Poirier.

Mir wants Barnett. Said Frank Mir about a potential fight against newly-signed UFC heavyweight Josh Barnett, via El Octagono: "I think that would be a phenomenal fight. I think that some of the fans have talked about it a lot on the Internet as far as who is the better catch wrestler. And I think that I would be more than happy to welcome him to the UFC."

UFC 160 salaries. UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez led the disclosed payroll for UFC 160, pocketing $400,000 for his first-round TKO title defense against Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva.

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MEDIA STEW

Ladies and gentlemen, your new TUF 18 coaching cast:

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So you want to be a fighter? Well, I have some bad news. First you have to get used to this:

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When introductions take longer than the actual fight -- that's when you know you have something special.

Props to Suicidekimura for the find.

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Need another reason to tune in June 9 to Metamoris II? Ed O'Neill, aka Al Bundy, is doing the color commentary. AL BUNDY!

Props to New York Ric for the find.

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Back in 2005, before TUF 1, Melvin Guillard made his professional boxing debut. It didn't go as well as expected. (FYI this one has no audio, so load up whatever song you think fits.)

(HT: CagePotato)

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BOOM

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ALSO

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YEAR OF THE REMATCH

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NEXT STEP

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A SIMPLE REQUEST

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WARNING: THIS IS A GNARLY PHOTO

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YES?

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NEW IDEA: THE MMA FIGHTING 'WALKER, TEXAS RANGER' LEVER (<-- CLICK FOR A WILD RIDE)

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Tuesday, May 28, 2013):

  • N/A

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day sees Rainer Lee journey: Beyond the Octagon: New and Notable Fight Results from Around the World

Welcome, gentle readers, to a round-up of fight results featuring big show castaways and the notable journeymen we all (sort of) know and (maybe) love. Lots of action this past weekend, including the greatest Emelianenko brother (supposing that sporting a fresh new beard is your prime measure of greatness) and a host of UFC vets.

This past Sunday, as part of the latest Inoki Genome Federation event, Satoshi Ishii (8-2-1) and Pedro Rizzo (19-11-0) took to the ring in the sole MMA contest of an otherwise all pro-wrestling card. Ishii took a three-round decision over Rizzo, extending his win-streak to four, which has consisted entirely of UFC veterans, including Sean McCorkle and Tim Sylvia. I'd thought Rizzo had retired following his loss to to Fedor last summer, but as we well know, retirement in MMA tends to be a sort of passing condition. Case in point...

Aleksander Emelianenko (22-6-0), who announced his retirement earlier this year, returned to the ring Saturday night against Bob Sapp (11-17-0), knocking "The Beast" out within two minutes of the opening bell. It's hard to believe that Sapp--who, in the midst of an 11-fight skid, hasn't won a fight in over three years and h asn't won two consecutive bouts in over five--was once considered a legitimate heavyweight talent, but there you have it. The win is a rebound for Emelianenko, who was submitted by Jeff Monson last November.

Also on Saturday, Japan's JEWELS promotion, showcasing WMMA, hosted their 24th evening of fights. The main event saw Korea's Seo Hee Ham (11-5-0) score a slight upset victory over Japan's Naho Sugiyama (8-3-0). "Sugi Rock," who opened her career with eight straight victories, has now lost three straight bouts (a trend that started with a submission loss to Invicta FC standout Jessica Penne). Elsewhere on the card, Mika "Future Princess" Nagano (13-8-0) extended her win-streak to three with a first-round rear-naked-choke of Takumi Umehara (1-1-0). Not the most relevant of fights, maybe, but I'll take what chance I can to talk about someone dubbed "Future Princess."

Former TUF: Brazil competitor Delson Heleno (25-7-0) fought this past Friday as part of the third Circuito Team Nogueira. You may remember Heleno from his first-round TKO loss to Francisco Trinaldo at UFC 147 (after which he was cut), but Heleno was also a very strong welterweight contender in the now-defunct IFL (New York Pittbulls 4EVR!). Heleno has won two in a row since being released from the UFC, this latest a second-round armbar submission of Evilasio Silva (6-11-0).

Also on the card, bantamweight Ana Maria (4-4-0) took a unanimous decision over Aline Serio (4-4-0). With such a record, Maria doesn't seem like much, but it's worth noting that all of her losses have come against WMMA staples in Vanessa Porto, Ediane Gomes, and, twice, Carina Damm. Maria, who owns a submission win over Strikeforce vet and Invicta fighter Amanda Nunes, has now won two in a row.

Meanwhile, in Poland...

Bellator and WSOF veteran D.J. Linderman (14-5-0) took out Michal Kita (14-7-0) by TKO in the second round of their main event at Fighters Arena 8. With the win, Linderman snapped a two-fight losing streak (to Robert Drysdale and the man whom I assume is Anthony Johnson's giant older brother, also named Anthony Johnson), and he continues to be one of the better unsigned fighters working in the light-heavyweight/heavyweight range.

And finally, at Disorderly Conduct 19, Dakota Cochrane (14-4-0), perhaps best known, unfortunately, for his adult film career which came to light prior to his brief stint on The Ultimate Fighter: Live, fought in the main event against Marcus Edwards (4-1-0). Edwards scored a major upset, submitting Cochrane within the bout's opening minutes, halting a potential four-fight win streak for the former TUF hopeful. It's a very disappointing loss for Cochrane, who holds wins over Jamie Varner and Joe Stevenson.

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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