Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
If you count yourself among those growing queasy with UFC 144 fever, yesterday probably didn't do you any favors. But that's not to say it was uneventful.
Between a late release of the first UFC 144 video blog, an abrupt Rampage Jackson-Joe Rogan beef, and Carlos Condit's latest return timetable, there were plenty of morsels to whet your appetite. So while we await the gear-up to Japan, catch up with all the MMA you may have missed on the Morning Report.
5 MUST-READ STORIES TO START YOUR DAY
The MMA Hour. Ariel Helwani and The MMA Hour return with a quartet of interviews featuring lightweight contender Joe Lauzon, broadcaster Mauro Ranallo, snakebitten UFC fighter Sean Loeffler, and journalist Daniel Herbertson.
Ian McCall: 'I'm on borrowed time, I shouldn't be here.' McCall, a contender for the UFC's inaugural flyweight championship, candidly recounted the drug overdose that nearly killed him.
Carlos Condit unsure of St. Pierre's schedule, 'would like to stay busy.' Condit gave a timetable for his return and revealed what it would take to get him back in the cage against an opponent not named Georges St-Pierre.
Loss to Anthony Pettis might have been the best, most painful thing to happen to Ben Henderson. Henderson discussed in painful detail the moment that, even now, can bring tears to his eyes.
Jon Jones named 'Honorary Race Official' for Daytona 500. In a strange melding of worlds, Jones will take part in the pre-race ceremonies for NASCAR's biggest race.
The first UFC 144 video blog, featuring a behind-the-scenes look at Nick Diaz post-fight at UFC 143, Roy Nelson's destroyed face, and Alex Caceres forgetting he landed a second ballshot on Edwin Figueroa.
Rampage Jackson lambasts Joe Rogan when asked about the term "one-dimensional." More on this later.
Another nugget from a weekend that won't stop giving. This time a regional fight turns gruesome when Kenneth Crowder rips off Shane Tyner's ear around the 15:00 mark. Yes, you read that right. (NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH. Cannot cap-lock that enough.)
And now something a little more lighthearted, unless you happen to be the poor blue-gloved man whose switch kick goes so horribly, horribly wrong. (HT: Middle Easy)
We present you with a ridiculous manga-style fanmade trailer for UFC 144, courtesy of Dana White.
Brendan Schaub must've been the scariest janitor in the world.
I use to work at a carwash so I know how far a good tip goes..however, my 1st job I was a janitor..beat that! #truestory— Brendan Schaub (@BrendanSchaub) February 21, 2012
And of course, the completely anticlimactic conclusion to Rampage Jackson vs. Joe Rogan.
I'm the 1 fighting n front of millions,I have the right 2 get mad if someone is dogging my style,non fighters won't understand. 2da lamefans— Quinton Jackson (@Rampage4real) February 20, 2012
For the record I love @Rampage4real, regardless of what he said. He's a sensitive guy with the toughest job in the world.— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) February 20, 2012
Announced yesterday (Monday, Feb. 20, 2012):
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day goes to MMA Mania reader unambig: What a difference a year makes: UFC injuries and opportunities.
UFC Sanchez vs. Kampmann, March 3
When the door closes for one fighter opportunity knocks for another. Brazilian middleweight Miquel Falcao was coming off his debut win over Gerald Harris and was set to fight Alessio Sakara. But Falcao was injured, leading to a replacement with Rafael Natal. But just 19 days before the fight Natal injured his knee, making way for the debut of unknown fighter Chris Weidman. The two-time All-American wrestler won the fight against Sakara 30-27 unanimously, launching his four fight winning streak into the echelon of the Middleweight division.
UFC 130, May 28
Brazilian phenom Renan Barao was set to battle Demetrious Johnson in his UFC debut. Brad Pickett, however, was forced from the card with an injury, changing the matchup to Cole Escovedo against Barao, while Mighty Mouse went on to battle Miguel Torres. What's interesting about this change of plans is that Johnson's win over Torres granted him his bantamweight title fight against Dominick Cruz. Considering how good Barao has looked, what would have happened if the two had fought on this card?
Found something entertaining, brutal, or bizarre you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just send it to @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's post.
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