Conor McGregor may be back sooner than anticipated.
The knee injury the Irishman suffered midway through his lopsided beating of Max Holloway has been diagnosed as a minor sprain of his LCL, according to a report by MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani on UFC Tonight. McGregor plans to have an MRI this week in Los Angeles just to be sure, although the injury isn't expected to require surgery.
If that proves to be the case, McGregor hopes to return to action December 28, 2013 in Las Vegas, NV for UFC 168. The 25-year-old doesn't have a specific opponent in his sights, however his coach, John Kavanagh, singled out another victorious UFC Fight Night 26 featherweight: Diego Brandao.
Brandao was initially believed to have broken his hand during his win over Daniel Pineda, however according to his coach, Greg Jackson, the injury turned out to be sprain. So who knows, folks, we might just another featherweight barnburner on our hands.
Now, lean back in that chair of yours and let's get to some Wednesday morning headlines.
6 MUST-READ STORIES
Struve hospitalized. Stefan Struve was recently hospitalized for a week after being diagnosed with an enlarged heart and a leaking aortic valve. Struve has since been released from the hospital, although his UFC future is uncertain at this time. UFC Tonight first reported the news.
Belfort vs. Henderson II. Vitor Belfort may have finally settled on his next opponent, and it wasn't any of the obvious choices. Belfort and Dan Henderson have both agreed to a rematch of their 2006 contest for Nov. 9 in Brazil, according to UFC Tonight. No weight class has been determined. Henderson defeated Belfort via unanimous decision in their first bout.
Barnett reflects. Josh Barnett compared the difference between the NHB days to where the sport of MMA is today: "I think that a lot of guys fight not for the reasons that we used to fight for. There's a lot of guys that get in here and they just want to get in, make a run, think that they're going to be famous, make a lot of money, what have you. They fight for glory, where we fought for blood and for honor."
Eye signs. Top-ranked women's flyweight Jessica "Evil" Eye signed with the UFC, per a report on UFC Tonight. Eye (10-1) moves up a weight class to join the Zuffa ranks, and could fight Sarah Kaufman at UFC 166.
Silva dismisses Belfort. Anderson Silva threw cold water on the idea of a rematch against Vitor Belfort. "I don't think so," Silva told Combate. "What was supposed to be done was done. Of course, we are employees of the UFC, but I don't like to fight against Brazilians. I don't see that possibility."
Cerrone in trouble. According to a report from CagePotato.com, Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone has been charged with Third Degree Assault against Jeffrey S. Aley following a "boating rage incident" on Lake Granby in Grand County, Colorado on June 29, 2013.
HD Highlights from the Saturday night's floor cam. Warning: The end to this might make you sad.
Props to @J0rgeHernandez for the find.
For all you video game buffs out there, we have some new footage from EA's upcoming UFC title:
Anybody who follows sport BJJ probably doesn't need an introduction into Ryan Hall, but for those who don't, he's basically one of the most accomplished American-born grapplers out there right now. And he just fought poor Maged Hammo in an MMA match over the weekend.
Remember when somebody filmed Wanderlei Silva's hands-on-head non-reaction to Chael Sonnen's win, but then left out the part where Sonnen actually called him out? Well, now we have footage of that too, but don't come in with high expectations.
You know, I'd never considered it, but they totally have a point.
12 weeks out. This shirt says it all. pic.twitter.com/pN4yDHcdOR— Johny Hendricks (@JohnyHendricks) August 20, 2013
ENJOYING THE FRUITS OF THE LABOR
What time is it you ask? EIRE'S TIME!! EIRE STAND UP!! Irish Martial Arts STAND UP!! We are here to DOMINATE pic.twitter.com/f8Tgm3Amse— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) August 20, 2013
https://t.co/b8feMRRxh6 Rolling from Boston to Cali!! I heard California-Knows how to partay!! Chop Chop Dee them bags wont roll themselves— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) August 20, 2013
Demian Maia (@demianmaia) August 20, 2013
THE FIRST STEP
First day walking. No more crutches.— phil baroni (@philbaroni) August 20, 2013
Headed to rehab , no the other one so I can learn how to walk again.— phil baroni (@philbaroni) August 20, 2013
Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) August 21, 2013
A LONG TIME COMING
Jessica Eye (@jessicaevileye) August 21, 2013
Little known fact, I have a doctorate from Harvard - would like to be addressed as Dr. Motherfuckin… http://t.co/b8mOzLEMtn— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) August 20, 2013
Announced yesterday (Tuesday, August 20, 2013):
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day is jackjohnbrown's much anticipated sequel: Jack Brown Interview: Kevin Randleman (Part 2): "I'm still ready for f---ing battle"
JB: Let's get to the main point. Are you telling me that earlier today, when I told you that Tito Ortiz and Quinton Jackson are crossing over to wrestling, that was the first time that you heard that they're doing pro wrestling?
KR: You know what? F--k. I didn't even know they were fighting!
JB: You just called out Tito Ortiz and didn't know that he was fighting?
KR: I don't care who Tito Ortiz fights. I just think he's such a f--king phony kind of guy. When you f--king hear him talk, you just hear phony s--t. It's like he stands at a mirror f--king rehearsing s--t. I lived the life that I lived. So everything that comes out of my mouth is as real as a motherf--ker. And sometimes it will be a bulls--t f--king thing that I'm saying because it's a bulls--t thing that I'm talking about, but so what?
JB: What do you think of Cyborg vs. Rousey? Do you think it will ever happen?
KR: Okay. I know for a fact that fight will happen because someone will want that fight to happen. They're going to make sure that the money is there for that fight to happen. Dana White has not taken a two million dollar company to a billion dollar business by being a dumbass. No one has ever called him that. A smartass, maybe, but he knows that if the fans tweet it enough and talk about it enough and if the MMA web-sites pick it up enough, it's being made as we speak. Dana White's just sitting back, waiting for two f--king million people to do something. Then he'll f--king make it happen. Cyborg's going to fight in the UFC.
JB: You know who her manager is?
JB: Come on! It's Tito Ortiz! Tito Ortiz is Cyborg's manager!
KR: Oh my f--king God! Are you serious?
JB: I am 100% serious. He is her manager.
KR: Tell that girl that she needs to run because I saw that motherf--ker's double-leg takedown f--king technique on YouTube and I f--king laughed my ass off and sent it to about sixteen of my boys.
JB: He's not her trainer. He's her manager.
KR: Tito Ortiz should leave the professional s--t to the professionals.
JB: Maybe she's brilliant because she's doing exactly what you said. She might only be using him for his management ability and maybe she's really going to make out on this deal. Tito won't be easy to deal with for the UFC.
KR: Okay. I get it. When it comes to business, I think that Tito f--king Ortiz has studied well behind some people. Other than that, f--k him. If that's what she's doing, awesome. When it comes to business for Cyborg, if Tito Ortiz f--king puts his f--king personal feelings or whatever rift with the UFC on it, then that motherf--ker needs to get fired. If he's a good businessman, then he understands that there's not going to be a rift. He's going to smooth whatever rift there is over when it comes to Cyborg because she deserves to be in the UFC. She is female's UFC. Her and Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, and Cat Zingano, they're all very tough women and they deserve to have their limelight. But I'm telling you that this s--t doesn't work if you don't have that tough-a-chick in there to f--king be there. There will always be the questions. Is Ronda Rousey the toughest one? Is she the best one? She was an Olympian, but then Cyborg's this big, f--king solid, powerful, barrio, f--king warrior from Brazil. We want to see it. You want to see it. F--king Dana wants to see it too. But he's got to have some s--t in place before that s--t takes place.
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.