Morning Report: Canada Hits the Jackpot, MMA Training Rocky-Style

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Canada may not be setting the sports world on fire right now, but our affable northern neighbors undoubtedly won the MMA lottery on Wednesday.

Not only did resident national hero Georges St. Pierre offer a positive status report (and seem surprisingly open to an Anderson Silva superfight), but somewhere amongst yesterday's 40 different fight announcements, word slipped out that the Canadians would play host to six different UFC pay-per-view events over the next two years.

And the headliner for the first one? None other than the most feared featherweight alive -- mister Jose Aldo Jr. Not a bad haul for one day, eh? (Sorry, that was just awful.)

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

UFC announces events in Calgary, Toronto and Montreal for 2012. UFC President Dana White announced a trio of upcoming events slated throughout Canada for both 2012 and 2013.

Georges St. Pierre hoping for November return. St. Pierre is on target for a November return to action, and though Carlos Condit is in his sights, "Rush" still left the door open for a potential superfight with Anderson Silva.

Jake Ellenberger vs. Martin Kampmann booked for Ultimate Fighter Finale main event. Jake "The Juggernaut" Ellenberger and Martin "The Hitman" Kampmann will meet in a primetime welterweight clash on June 1st, 2012.

Randy Couture talks Fedor Emelianenko. Couture took a break from Hollywood to discuss his retirement, his son Ryan's budding fight career, and the dream match-up with Fedor Emelianenko that never materialized.

Rio de Janeiro soccer stadium to host Silva-Sonnen 2. Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen II has shifted from Sau Paulo, Brazil to a Rio de Janeiro soccer stadium expected to seat 80,000 crazed fight fans.

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MEDIA STEW

Meanwhile in Russia, Sergei Kharitonov stopped by the butcher shop to pummel some pork, Rocky-style. (HT: MMA Mania)

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Brian Stann recounts his time in the U.S. Marines and tells the heartwrenching story of Operation Matador -- a mission that earned Stann the Silver Star award, but still haunts him to this day.

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Brandon Han became an unfortunate internet sensation when a clip of Courtnie Korpela choking him unconscious hit the YouTube circuit late last year. A few months later, Han was offered a chance at revenge in a Man vs. Woman rematch on Tosh.0. NSFW: Language, General Bruce Buffer Awesomeness.

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Cristiano Marcello will have a mighty challenge on his hands in this week's TUF: Live fight against Justin Lawrence. So while we wait for Friday, check out Marcello busting out his grappling wizardry in enemy territory against Hector Munoz.

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Take a look at Rio de Janeiro's Estádio Olímpico João Havelange, the massive stadium that will reportedly house Sonnen-Silva II, according to Tatame. (HT: Middle Easy)

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DON'T YOU DARE QUESTION HENDO

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AWFUL TIMING

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Wednesday, March 21, 2012):

- UFC 147: Chael Sonnen (27-11-1) vs. Anderson Silva (31-4) slated for 80,000-seat stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

- UFC 148: Demian Maia (15-4) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (15-1-1)

- UFC 148: Riki Fukuda (18-5) vs. Constantinos Philippou (10-2)

- The Ultimate Fighter Live Finale: Jake Ellenberger (27-5) vs. Martin Kampmann (19-5) announced as main event

- UFC on FX 3: Mike Pierce (13-5) vs. Carlos Eduardo Rocha (9-1)

- UFC on FX 4: Brian Ebersole (49-14-1, 1 NC) vs. T.J. Waldburger (15-6)

- UFC on FX 4: Rich Attonito (10-5) vs. Rick Story (13-5)

- UFC on FX 4: Dan Miller (13-6, 1 NC) vs. Ricardo Funch (8-3)

- UFC on FX 4: Matt Riddle (6-3) vs. Luis Ramos (19-7)

- UFC on FX 4: Nick Catone (9-2) vs. Chris Camozzi (16-5)

- UFC 149: Jose Aldo (21-1) vs. TBA on July 21, 2012 in Calgary, Canada

- UFC 152 announced for September 22, 2012 in Toronto, Canada

- UFC 154 announced for November 17, 2012 in Montreal, Canada

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day goes to Bloody Elbow poster Dangalvan: 8 Fighters That Nobody Wants To Fight

Cole Konrad (8-0)

Few men would want to take on the former 2006 and 2007 NCAA Division 1 Champion. His wrestling game is arguably the best in the heavyweight division, and that wrestling game can put away a lot of fighter. The problem is that Konrad is a relatively boring fighter that plays it safe once he takes the fight to the ground. He also isn't going to win any beauty contests. Few people know who Cole Konrad is, and he's the worst fear for a top heavyweight as he can deter their momentum with his wrestling game.

Pat Healy (27-16)

Healy has to be one of the most underrated fighters in MMA today. His career can be defined as being the under-dog. He's pulled of upsets on all levels of the MMA game with wins over Carlos Condit, Ryan Ford, and Lyle Beerbohm. Healy is a grappler that fights a close fight with just about anybody. Due to the lack of TV exposure, few people are aware of Healy's talents, and a loss to him could be devastating to up-and-coming or established lightweights.

Found something perfect for the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's post.

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