Morning Report: RFA inks sponsorship deal with Adidas; Bellator announces Tournament Replacement Clause

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

We're just five days away from the UFC's loaded debut on FOX Sports 1, so while most of the U.S. waits to see if that channel is going to exist come Saturday night -- this disgruntled DirecTV customer included -- let's skip the handwringing and jump right into today's goods. Ladies and gentlemen, may I offer you our finest selection of Tuesday morning headlines?

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6 MUST-READ STORIES

RFA inks blue-chip deal. Resurrection Fighting Alliance, a regional promotion owned by MMA manager Ed Soares, inked a significant sponsorship deal with Adidas, as well as the rights to use and market the UFC's "Octagon," in a move that will essentially align RFA as a feeder league to Zuffa. MMA Junkie first reported the story.

The MMA Hour. Ariel Helwani and The MMA Hour return to their normal Monday morning time slot with a jam-packed episode featuring Freddie Roach, Phil Davis, Mike Brown, John Howard, Pat Cummins, and Conor McGregor's trainer John Kavanagh.

Miller released. Retired mixed martial artist Jason "Mayhem" Miller was released from Orange County Central Jail Complex early Monday morning after being arrested Sunday on domestic violence charges.

Bellator adds tournament replacement clause. Bellator MMA announced the addition of a Tournament Replacement Clause, which will determine a title challenger in the rare case "injuries prevent a tournament champion from challenging for the world title" and "there isn't a second tournament champion prepared to step in and take his shot at the title."

WSOF 4 salaries, suspensions. Tyrone Spong led the disclosed payroll for WSOF 4, pocketing $31,000 for his unanimous decision victory over Angel DeAnda. Meanwhile, six fighters received 180-day medial suspensions from the California State Athletic Commission due to injuries suffered during the event.

Roach talks Silva, Shogun. One of boxing's most storied trainers, Freddie Roach, weighed in on the end of Anderson Silva's title reign and explained how within two weeks he helped Shogun Rua to stop 'punching like a girl.'

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MEDIA STEW

SandmanMMA killed it with this promo. Tremendous work.

(HT: Reddit)

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Even Japanese eye care commercials know how easy it is to TKO Bob Sapp.

(HT: Reddit)

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Behind the scenes of Ronda Rousey's Maxim photoshoot:

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I've seen silly scams before, but if this is real, it takes the cake. New York based Jungle Gym Martial Arts pushes training "to another level" by spraying students with LEO grade OC pepper spray then making them carry a grappling dummy through a comical gauntlet of obstacles. Please be fake.

(HT: MiddleEasy)

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Vitor Belfort and Cezar Ferreira are the stars of The Almost's new music video. Check it out:

Props to @AlfaMikeBravo22 for the find.

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PROBABLY NOT A GOOD SIGN

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IT BEGINS

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IRELAND IS A LITTLE EXCITED

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YEP

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Monday, August 12, 2013):

  • ONE FC 11: Soo Chul Kim (7-4) vs. Bibiano Fernandes (14-3) booked for main event
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    FANPOST OF THE DAY

    Today's Fanpost of the Day comes to us from a guy2, who asks: Conor McGregor: The Future of the Featherweight Division?

    On the 16th of August, us lucky fans will be treated to the second UFC fight of one of the most exciting prospects around, Conor McGregor. After making his debut with an absolute masterpiece of a striking clinic and knockout of the night win over Marcus Brimage, McGregor is suddenly being touted by some as a future champ, with the more drastic of his supporters already clamoring for top 10 fights. With 13 wins in his career, 12 by knockout and 1 by submission, McGregor is currently on a 9 fight winning (and finishing) streak with only only two of those fights even making it the second round. Today, we look at the man behind the hype and see just what kind of skills he brings from Ireland to ignite the passion of so many, myself included. I'll talk first about his game overall, then go into a detailed breakdown of the Brimage fight.

    Stance:

    It should first be noted that McGregor is a southpaw. I know, I'm really hitting you hard with the high-level analysis. This is very important in talking about both his striking and his grappling (which is discussed in part 2!).


    In the above still taken from his UFC debut, we see that McGregor has a very unique stance. He keeps his weight centered between his two legs and has very good posture with his back completely straight and shoulders relaxed. His stance is wider than most and also more bladed. It usually isn't actually as wide or as low as in this image, but this picture captures the essence of his stance pretty well despite those two exaggerations in this specific instance. The thing that varies most about his stance, however, is hand positioning. McGregor keeps anything but a static guard. His lead (right) hand is constantly extending and probing, while his rear (left) hand moves anywhere from chin to hip height. McGregor is able to do this because his stance is very defensively sound. His head is far enough back from the opponent that he has time to see shots coming, while his legs are always prepared to quickly spring in any direction. The knowledge that he is always prepared to defend with head movement or footwork frees his hands up to distract the opponent or move out of his vision, making his attacks harder to see coming and more threatening. The astute observer may also notice that his stance is very similar to Lyoto Machida's, and the two do share some tendencies that will be discussed.

    We're only getting started here, folks. Follow the jump for a mammoth striking breakdown.

    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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