Happy Labor Day, everyone! Whoa, it's bright in here. I'm DSM and I'm delighted to be with you. Now, I know change can be scary, but if Remember the Titans taught me nothing else it's that an Adonis-like California dreamboat can do anything he puts his mind to. In all likelihood someone better will be along shortly, but for now, courage.
Everyone wants to fight Jose Aldo. From lightweight champions to Ricardo Lamas, guys are lining up to get a crack at the UFC featherweight champ. It was a bit surreal to hear Chad Mendes tell Anthony Pettis to 'wait his turn' during the post-fight press conference, but does Chad have a point? Is a rematch more bankable than a superfight with Pettis?
Things really got interesting yesterday when Mendes, Cub Swanson and Lamas started an impromptu debate on Twitter regarding the true No. 1 contender.
Alright @josealdojunior it's time for the rematch. I am the #1 contender...... period! Lets do this.— chad mendes (@chadmendes) September 1, 2013
And If Aldo is hurt give me @RicardoLamasMMA we can prove #1. I'm game...r u?— chad mendes (@chadmendes) September 1, 2013
@chadmendes I want my chance to fight Aldo which is something I feel I've earned, but if that can't happen you're the only person I'd fight.— Ricardo Lamas (@RicardoLamasMMA) September 1, 2013
Featherweight tournament?! I'm down!— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) September 1, 2013
Come on @RicardoLamasMMA get off the bench and get in the mix— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) September 1, 2013
I do love the image of Swanson telling Lamas to get off the bench. Let's get into some headlines.
Grant wants first shot at Pettis. After being forced out of his UFC 164 title shot against then-champ Benson Henderson, T.J. Grant is making it known his focus on the lightweight strap hasn't wavered. Grant goes in-depth with our very own Chuck Mindenhall.
UFC 164 Aftermath. Dave Doyle has an excellent breakdown of all that was at UFC 164. Would you believe the judge who scored that 30-27 round for Camus also gave nods to Phil Davis over Lyoto Machida and Hatsu Hioki over Clay Guida?
Fights to make. With UFC 164 in the books, Bloody Elbow's Tim Burke plays matchmaker with the night's winners and losers.
Bellator responds to Attila Vegh controversy. After Bellator light heavyweight champion Attila Vegh allegedly claimed he was forced out of a title defense to make way for a rematch between Emanuel Newton and Muhammed Lawal, Bellator has released a statement and medical report challenging those claims.
Titan FC 26 sure happened. Not quite a must-read, more of a must-see. While I wish I hadn't, myself and hundreds of others witnessed one of the all-time bad MMA-related atrocities Friday night. To say this man (I won't call Rusty Sullivan a referee) was derelict in his duties doesn't quite do it justice. I warn you, don't watch this more than once. (Video if you really hate yourself)
Post-fight interviews and analysis abound. Here's everything you need to get caught up on UFC 164.
A bit of a shorter scrum from Dana, but we did get two events last week.
Lyoto Machida joins Rener Gracie for this week's Gracie Breakdown. Rener says 'bro' almost as many times as you hear the smoke detector beep. Save for that, a great explanation of how Henderson ended up on the business end of Pettis' nasty armbar.
A weekend edition of Tommy Toe Hold hits far too close to home. As a man who catches most PPV's at Hooters, MMA Bar Guy is too perfect for words. (Can I write off UFC PPV's? Gotta get with my accountant.)
Possibly the definition of a viral video, this thing was everywhere this weekend. Miley Cyrus at the VMAs with Commnentary by Joe Rogan.
Now, if you're interested in what the pros had to say about UFC 164 please check out Shaun's excellent 'Pros react' piece. If, rather, you enjoy nonsense, just keep it here.
Join me now as we examine the three levels of Twitter beefing:
Amateur: If you need to ask your fellow beefer if you're even beefing, you probably aren't.
@CubSwanson I see I missed u today I heard u slept in well that's not good i just have one question is this beef we have or is it bs yr call— Bobby King Green (@BobbyKGreen) August 30, 2013
@CubSwanson I'm just checking bro I've never sent no negativity your way so when come at me I have to ask so I know what's the next move— Bobby King Green (@BobbyKGreen) August 31, 2013
Intermediate: Much like pimpin', trash talking in a second language ain't easy.
Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) September 1, 2013
Professional: This is the sort of high-level trolling I love to see.
@titoortiz I Remember punching ur head in and watchin u roll around crying cause chuck hit u to the body and u quitting like the puss u are— Dana White (@danawhite) August 30, 2013
@titoortiz u were winning titles and gettin punched silly by a box aerobics instructor.— Dana White (@danawhite) August 30, 2013
The awful continues with a tweet of questionable taste (at best) from Hector Lombard.
You gotta love the Aussie way lol pic.twitter.com/9Lc5g8nYNb— Hector Lombard (@HectorLombard) August 30, 2013
Time for some palate cleansers.
Thank you God for that Phantom Cam!!!— Abel Trujillo (@AbelTrujillo1) August 31, 2013
Jens Pullout? (I'm sorry): Matt Hughes sounds like a swell guy.
@Jens_Pulver I have a king bed at the Hilton for you two. I will take the couch brother. Want me to put you name on the room?— Matt Hughes (@matthughes9x) August 31, 2013
Announced Yesterday (Sept. 1 2013)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via Bloody Elbow member Trent Reinsmith. Trent does a great job breaking down Ben Rothwell's callout of Travis Browne, as well as Browne's non-reaction.
As far as post-fight callouts go, Ben Rothwell’s after his win over Brandon Vera on Saturday was not the most succinct, but it did get a reaction. However, that reaction could not have been the one that Rothwell was hoping to illicit.
Rothwell spent the majority of the first two rounds of his UFC 164 fight against Brandon Vera slowly chasing Vera around the Octagon. With 1:30 expired in the third and final round, a switch seemed to flip in Rothwell’s head, and he began to channel his inner Clay Guida.
The 6’ 4", 262 pound seemed to say, ‘enough of this’ and went after Vera, increasing his head movement tenfold and unleashing a torrent of strikes that left Vera turtled on the canvas as referee Herb Dean waved off the fight.
The TKO win at 1:54, had Rothwell clearly elated. The smiling 33-9 heavyweight took his opportunity with UFC commentator Joe Rogan to request his next opponent:
I have to do this because I’m a fighter in this division. If you want to be the best, you gotta beat the best. The fans have to make this happen. He’s up there right now. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but if the fans speak up we can make this fight happen. If you want to see an epic fight, with tons of replays and everything else that goes along with it. A dramatic fight that will shock the fans, then let me fight Travis Browne. I will bring it, and I will give you all that you want to see.
Browne, the No. 5 ranked fighter in the heavyweight division took to twitter to dismiss Rothwell’s request:
LOL @rothwellfighter had your chance a yr ago but you magically sprained your little toe and now you want to be given something I've earned.— Travis Browne (@travisbrowneMMA) September 1, 2013
I'm looking forward, not back.. You have some catching up to do son.— Travis Browne (@travisbrowneMMA) September 1, 2013
Ok @RothwellFighter if it was about respect then you would work yourway up the ladder andearn the shots I've earned notask for them w/themic— Travis Browne (@travisbrowneMMA) September 1, 2013
Browne and Rothwell had been scheduled to fight in August 2012, but a training camp injury to Rothwell forced that fight to be cancelled.
Since that cancellation, Browne has gone 2-1, losing to Anthony Silva, but rebounding with first round knockouts of Gabriel Gonzaga and Alistair Overeem. Rothwell is 1-1 since then, losing to Gonzaga and defeating Vera on Saturday night.
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.