Morning Report: Conor McGregor happy to 'showcase Irish martial artists' against Cole Miller at UFC event in Dublin

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

With news that the UFC plans to return to Dublin later this year, the only question is how involved featherweight Conor McGregor will be. With just a pair of UFC wins under his belt McGregor is quickly emerging as a major face of European MMA. The Dublin native could teach a Master's class on self promotion. Speaking with Irish outlet Severe MMA, McGregor says he'll be 100% recovered from his torn ACL for the July event.

"I've literally just heard the news and I'm definitely on that card," says McGregor. "July 19th gives me plenty of time, that's nearly too much time.

"I wanted to fight on the Independence Day weekend card in Las Vegas, that's something that I really wanted, but fighting on UFC card in Dublin is a dream come true and I don't give a shit who they put in front of me, I will run through anyone."

McGregor suffered his torn ACL in a victory over Max Holloway at UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen last August, putting his potential return just shy of the 11 month mark.

"My knee has healed perfectly and I've already been working really hard in the gym, I've kept myself in good shape. Whoever it is, I'll be ready."

As far as an opponent the early chatter points to 21-8 featherweight Cole Miller, someone who once referred to McGregor as nothing more than a show pony. Miller didn't appreciate some of the Irishman's comments regarding American Top Team teammates Nik Lentz and Dustin Poirier, having called them 'boring' and 'PeaHead' respectively. "I don't like people coming into the UFC, and the guy's got the whole fighting Irish gimmick going on, and he jumps to the front of the line," Miller said back in January. In response, McGregor responded by mockingly offering to sponsor Miller's '16th Facebook fight' in the form of mentioning him in a tweet.

"They're saying Cole Miller are they? It probably is him. I haven't heard anything, I'm sure I'll know as soon as I check my emails, but that sounds alright to me," says McGregor.

"We're gonna showcase Irish martial artists to the world, it will be an amazing event. I want to put on a show for everyone, and that's what I'm gonna do. I told you I'd get there and steal the show, I told you I'd drag the UFC back to Dublin and I told you that my team mates would be on that card with me.

"Honestly, I feel like I can predict the future. I dare you to doubt me. I'm gonna beat whoever they put in front of me in Dublin and then I'm going to go and get that belt."

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MEDIA STEW

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Luke Harris vs. Vik Grujic from TUF Nations.

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Joe Rogan started releasing some vlogs with old footage. Some cool behind the scenes stuff from Jones taking the title from Shogun.

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Melvin Guilard talks Michael Johnson.

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A little GSP screen time.

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John Kavanagh talks Gunnar Nelson and Conor McGregor.

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Free fight: Michael Johnson vs. Gleison Tibau.

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Long watches.

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TWEETS

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Agree with the call?

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Read it here.

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But no Mark Hunt.

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Get well.

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Keep spinning.

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Right on cue.

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Magical whimsy shock? Animal cruelty shock? Help us out.

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For all the clown shoes.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Mar. 6 2014)

William Macario vs. Neil Magny at UFC Fight Night: Brown vs. Silva

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via Michael Shulski.

Poll and Preview of Bellator's Heavyweight Tournament.

This Friday, March 7, marks the opening round of Bellator's Heavyweight Tournament. There are some interesting matchups which, similar to most heavyweight bouts, are likely to end in either slow fought decisions or lightning fast KOs. I preview each matchup below and offer some background.

1) Blagoi Ivanov vs. Rich Hale. Catching the attention of the MMA world with a sambo win over Fedor Emelianenko, Blagoi Ivanov is perhaps Bellator's best heavyweight. Strange that his fight is relegated to the prelims. Ivanov's two appearances in the Bellator cage ended inside of the first round. He made quick work of Manny Lara with a guillotine choke in his debut. In his second Bellator appearance, Ivanov was rocked on the feet by Keith Bell. He nearly instantly recovered and ended the fight with an RNC. He faces Rich Hale. Hale is a fairly technically sound fighter who doesn't appear to particularly excel at any facet of the game. He sports an admirable 26-5 record but is on a two fight losing skid. Ivanov likely takes this fight by submission.

...

Check out the rest of the post here.

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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.

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