Morning Report: Luke Rockhold says Vitor Belfort 'has been dirty his whole career,' doesn't have respect for 'cheaters'

Zuffa LLC via Getty

With 'easy money' Michael Bisping booked to headline against Cung Le Aug. 23 in Macau, UFC middleweight Luke Rockhold is running short on options in the rankings game.

"Bisping's not going to come through. I'm sure of that," Rockhold told Fight Now TV. "Who knows? If Vitor [Belfort] can come back or I'll have to rematch Jacaré [Souza]. Maybe the winner of [Mark] Munoz and [Gegard] Mousasi. I'm not looking to take a step back. I want to move forward. I want to get that title shot. I want to beat whoever's in front of me. Vitor's my No. 1 pick."

Belfort unceremoniously welcomed Rockhold to the UFC last May in Brazil, connecting on a blistering spinning head kick that sent the former Strikeforce champion packing inside the first round. Sandwiched between similar finishes to Michael Bisping in January and Dan Henderson in November, the Rockhold stoppage earned Belfort 'Knockout of the Year' honors in 2013.

"I don't believe anything the guy says and I don't believe he's clean," said Rockhold. "I think he's been dirty his whole career. I'm going to go out there and say that. Whatever. I'm going to be myself. I'm tired of holding back. I'm going to be real. The real MMA fans know what's going on and if you believe he's clean, or anything that comes out of his mouth, I kind of feel sorry for the people that do. I don't have a lot of respect for the guy.

"I like clean fighters. I like clean sport. I always fight clean and I always have and always will. I don't have a lot of respect for cheaters."

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

All things Dillashaw. Chuck Mindenhall reminds us how little we know about MMA, Luke Thomas explains how T.J. Dillashaw rewrote the laws of the MMA universe and Dave Doyle's Aftermath recaps everything that was UFC 173.

Fortunes changed for five. Dave Meltzer explains how T.J. Dillashaw, Renan Barao, Daniel Cormier, Dan Henderson and Robbie Lawler move forward following UFC 173.

Rematch. Nova Uniao manager and head coach Andre Pederneiras wants an immediate rematch for Renan Barao, but Duane Ludwig doesn't think it would be fair. 'That fight wasn't even close.'

Penn at 145. B.J. Penn says Frankie Edgar is the only reason he changed his life to make featherweight.

Alpha Cat. Dana White says Cat Zingano will not likely get her title shot in her return bout following a long injury layoff.

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MEDIA STEW

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Dillashaw's post-fight Octagon interview with Joe Rogan.

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Daniel Cormier pleads his case for fighting Jon Jones.

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DC calls his own highlights.

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Ronda Rousey talks competing with her first BJJ black belt in Alexis Davis.

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Tito Ortiz: 'I'm like Dana White's ex-girlfriend.'

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Pat Barry confronts Dana White about his claims Brock Lesnar asked him to convince Barry to retire.

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Long watches.

UFC 173 post-fight show - Ariel Helwani, Dave Meltzer, and Dave Doyle break down the top storylines coming out of UFC 173 on Saturday night.

...

Knuckle Up #416: UFC 173, Barao Breakdown, DC v. Cap'n Ahab, Brawler Lawler

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TWEETS

Make sure to check out our Pros React piece for instant reaction from UFC 173.

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Victory lap.

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Better luck next time.

Guys, thanks for all the support received through social networks; my sponsors as @ pretorian_hard solinvestrn @ @ cers ; and my partners kimuranu @ and # novauniao . Was well prepared for this fight and I guarantee you'll be even stronger next time. Come back even better and I will reclaim what is mine. What is ours! I was prepared for this fight and I guarantee I'll be better next time. I'll come back and I'll take back what is mine! Thanks again!

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Memorial Day training.

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In case you missed it.

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Just not right.

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Close one.

"In Paris it's afternoon out of my hotel, I was nervous when the police arrived. It was not to stop me but just to take pictures ... lol"

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In case you held out hope for Rampage vs. Newton.

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6/10

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Average.

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Watch out, Buffer.

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Strong weekend for butts. (Possibly NSFW)

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (May 23-26 2014)

Zak Cummings vs. Kenny Robertson at UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Miller

Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 177

Michael Bisping vs. Cung Le at UFC FIght Night: Bisping vs. Le

Hector Lombard vs. Dong Hyun Kim at UFC FIght Night: Bisping vs. Le

Warlley Alves vs. Marcio Alexandre Jr. at The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 Finale

Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Vitor Miranda at The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 Finale

Richardson Moreira vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima at The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 Finale

Ricardo Abreu vs. Wagner Silva at The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 Finale

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via RandomthLover.

UFC173: THE UPSET

Writing this the day after the fight: Sunday 25th of May. My fan heart is still pretty much in shock and quite devastated. This wasnt my first PPV to watch at all but some how seeing Barao lose like that got me BIG TIME, here why:

Renan Barao, one of the greatest brasilian MMA fighters out there, was coming to this fight with an impressive 34-1 -1 record. 7 wins with the UFC and 2 with WEC. Only 1 loss in his entire pro career and it was in fact in his debut. Those are some amazing stats that you will hardly see in any other fighter in the UFC, Jose Aldo included.

Along with these, there is something about brasilians that simply amazes me. They have an incredible amount of heart and passion to became the best, that they will simply not stop till they actually are. Thats the story of Barao.

Born in Natal, Brasil, this kis had everything to be nothing but poor and homeless. He was raised by his grandparents as both of his parents separated and started new lives of their own. He lived in a favela, that if someone doesnt know, is the poorest part of Brasil. The amount of deliquency, poorness, prostitution and drug traffic is something of its own. Thats why sports in Brasil are so important, it gives people a reason to move foward and being the best. That mind set is what tells them apart.

...

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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