Morning Report: Anderson Silva declares, 'I'm not scared of Jon Jones'

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva stopped by Tuesday's edition of UFC Tonight, where he was promptly interviewed by co-hosts Kenny Florian and Chael Sonnen.

To no one's surprise, Sonnen had some fun with the whole situation. But the most noteworthy quote of the segment arrived when the pair questioned Silva about his recent statement that Jon Jones could defeat him.

"My opinion is this: I'll fight Jon Jones, all the guys from my class, all the guys that work in the UFC, all the [fighters]," Silva responded without the need of a translator.

"I respect all the fighters. I respect Jon Jones. I respect Chris Weidman, but I'm here for working. I'm not scared of Jon Jones, of Chris Weidman or whoever. I'm here to fight. That's it. It's simple."

Well then. At this point I think it's safe to assume Silva is playing head games with the entire MMA world. So with that said, let's jump headfirst into some headlines.

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6 MUST-READ STORIES

Silva on Jones, pt. 2. A day after stating that Jon Jones could defeat him, UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (kind of) clarified his remarks on UFC Tonight.

Rosenthal sentenced. Senior District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong sentenced MMA referee Josh Rosenthal to a mandatory 37 months in federal prison with no possibility of parole, due to "various drug charges including conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute. Rosenthal will also face a three-year supervised release and must pay a $100 special assessment fee."

Bisping vs. Phillippou. According to a report from UFC Tonight, middleweight contenders Michael Bisping and Costa Philippou are eyeing a match-up against each other this fall when the promotion returns to Manchester, England.

Herman good to go. Dave Herman successfully passed his short-notice 10-panel drug test and is cleared to fight Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 162, according to NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer.

Ebersole update. Following an injury plagued year, Brian Ebersole asked UFC matchmaker Joe Silva to pencil him in for a welterweight bout on an upcoming UFC card.

Mousasi fires back. In response to Vitor Belfort's dismissive rejection of his callout, Gegard Mousasi labeled Belfort a 'hypocrite' on UFC Tonight for accepting two past title shots that he and his management believe were unearned. Additionally, "Mousasi claims Affliction offered him a fight in 2008 opposite Belfort at a catchweight, but Belfort declined it citing his lack of inclination to compete at a catchweight." Belfort subsequently went on to fight at a catchweight in his return to the UFC.

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MEDIA STEW

More from Anderson Silva on Jon Jones:

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It's fight week, so you know what that means: Countdown to UFC 162. (For the complete episode, check out part 2 and part 3.)

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Oh man, this finish. You know you want to see this finish again.

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All Cambodian MMA ends in pro wrestling-style moves. The more you know. (For the lazy, jump to 5:30.)

(HT: MiddleEasy)

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None of that lay 'n' pray s--t allowed on Air Diaz. Free organic cheesy puffs, too.

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GOOD LUCK, JOSH

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HE FINALLY WANTS IT

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YER A WIZARD!

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AIN'T NO PARTY LIKE A TUCKED IN JEANS PARTY

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YEP

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Tuesday, July 2, 2013):

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day sees RaTheGod return with another edition of: The Spider's web: The return of Ace, a new era cemented

Act II - A former King's last quest for the crown: Rich Franklin has had a great career, in 37 career bouts, he's never tasted defeat in consecutive matches. 30-7 with losses to nothing but MMA and combat sports royalty: The Phenom, The dragon, The Spider, Hendo( robbed imo), Griffin, Le. "Ace" deserves more respect than he gets. His two fights with the Spider has relegated him to nothing more than a highlight reel in the eyes of many. A forgotten great whose accomplishments are but a corpse. Relegated to dissection then eventual burial - "ehh he wasn't good enough".

The Chael Sonnen brainwashed masses would have you believe a man who accomplished what their hero couldn't, in winning and defending major championship gold is nothing more than a "slow, nonathletic, math teacher." Prior to the first Silva fight, Franklin was 22-1-1, his lone loss coming at the hands of some unknown Heavyweight karate guy with just 2 fights under his belt. Some guy named, Lyoto Machida. The match was contested at a 214 pound catchweight, and resulted in the first (T)KO loss of Franklin's pro career.

Franklin_vs

For my money, Franklin was an innovator, taking elements from different striking arts and creating a MMA centric striking style that suited his strengths. A mixed martial artist through and through, in Silva he met a man with the same understanding but on a completely different level, coupled with an unprecedented set of tools with which to execute his vision. Their clash was a monumental moment, not only in middleweight history but in MMA history.

Here, you have a former great welterweight prospect, the first man to defeat Hayato "mach" Sakurai, pitted against the most dominant Middleweight champ to date. Furthermore, the duel would serve as the launching pad for the legend of the Spider. A magician set to cast an everlasting spell, a striking revolution. A grappler - centric, biased, and dominated sport, finally, gets a striking coach.

2006: "Ace" was the company Golden boy. With a compelling story, the math teacher turned fighter had the Zuffa machine fully behind him. He was destined to reach the pantheon of revered company greats (and maybe most importantly) PPV draws. Guys with names that need not be uttered, "The Iceman", "Captain America", "The Huntington beach bad boy". He was featured prominently in documentaries, magazines & the like.

Rich-franklin-on-ultimate-grappling-magazine-cover-page_medium

He ruled the middleweight division with an iron fist, defended his crown twice, in highlight reel fashion.

Exhibit A:

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In 2006, Rich Franklin was undoubtedly, the man, then - along came the Spider.

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In combat sports, it's rare that you have a torch passing situation that involves two greats in or reaching their prime. Even rarer still, seeing the canyon sized gap in talent between two eras as violently illustrated as it was in Silva/Franklin I. The Rich Franklin era came to a shocking and brutal end on October 14, 2006, amidst a hail of kicks and knees. The surgical dismantling, began and ended in the Thai clinch. A position where Rich (would later say) he felt his size and strength advantage would rule the day against the former 168 pound phenom.

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The dethroned king, though battered, broken, disfigured and embarrassed in front of his friends, spouse and in laws - first, glances up at the big screen, laments the sad state of his nose, shakes his head, "f--k". Next, he gently nods & raises his drink towards his successor, "obrigado" (note: he just thanked the man for giving him the worst ass whupping of his career, wow). Classy.

Their rematch, almost exactly a year removed from their first encounter, was partly due to Zuffa trying to get returns on the Rich Franklin investment and partly due to Rich truly being better than everyone but the champ. So, after rattling off 2 impressive wins, one being a UD over middleweight great, Yushin Okami, "Ace" was back on the door step of glory, with a shot at redemption. In his hometown.

TO BE CONTINUED....

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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