Morning Report: MMA's Surging Drug Dilemma, UFC Primetime Jones vs. Evans

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

After another slow spring day, it's difficult trying to decipher a talking point while ignoring the fact that nearly every major story right now involves some combination of the words "drug," "testing," "commission" and "testosterone." (Or "Mark Hunt.") We've reached the point where escaping the chatter is nearly an impossible task, and phrases like testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio have become mandatory learning for burnt-out fight fans.

This isn't a complaint, or even an answer (because obviously if one was out there, we wouldn't be talking about this), but merely a weary observation. Really, the blockbuster summer schedule can't come soon enough.

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

Victor Conte says there are 'simple answers' for MMA's drug problem. Renown BALCO founder and president Victor Conte shared his expertise while discussing MMA's growing PED problem and the improvements that could made across the board in regards to testing.

CASC pases therapeutic use exemptions amendment. The California State Athletic Commission approved an amendment on Monday afternoon permitting therapeutic use exemptions for athletes who wish to use substances banned by state agencies, most notably including testosterone and marijuana.

The MMA Hour. Ariel Helwani and The MMA Hour are back in your life with a show featuring Mark Hunt, Victor Conte, Chad Griggs, Marcus Brimage, and a media roundtable with MMA Fighting's Mike Chiappetta and The Daily Telegraph's Gareth A. Davies.

One-year steroids suspension upheld for Cris 'Cyborg.' The California State Athletic Commission upheld Cris 'Cyborg' Justino's one-year suspension stemming from a positive steroids test, blocking the road for a summer bout against Strikeforce women's champion Ronda Rousey.

UFC on FUEL TV 2 'Prelims' preview and predictions. Preview Saturday night's UFC on FUEL 2 undercard with predictions and analysis for Reza Madadi vs. Yoislandy Izquierdo, Simeon Thoresen vs. Besam Yousef, and Jason Young vs. Eric Wisely.

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MEDIA STEW

The first mega-fight of the summer season goes down in a couple weeks, so if you're not familiar with the backstory of Jon Jones and Rashad Evans' rivalry, take a look inside the minds of both men with the official premiere of UFC Primetime: Jones vs. Evans.

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On yesterday's The MMA Hour, Army of Doom commander-in-chief Mark Hunt proclaimed that "everything Alistair has done is meaningless now." Of course Overeem probably didn't take too kindly to those words, but with everything going on, it seems fitting to look back at this.

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Hey guys, remember that time Joe Rogan tapped out to Andy Dick? No? Well, here you go. (HT: Reddit)

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Another overlooked nugget from this past weekend: No. 1 Bellator middleweight contender Alexander Shlemenko obliterates Minowaman's face, then calmly turns to the camera and says, "Hello India. Hector, I kill you."

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MAYHEM AND CHAEL

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A MAN HAS TO HAVE HIS PRINCIPLES

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Monday, April 9, 2012):

- Bellator 69: Jessica Aguilar (13-4) vs. Megumi Fujii (25-1)

- Bellator 69: Winner of Rick Hawn (12-1) vs. Lloyd Woodard (12-1) vs. Winner of Brent Weedman (19-7-1) vs. Thiago Michel Pireira Silva (10-2)

- Bellator 69: Josh Quayhagen (3-0) vs. Cliff Wright, Jr. (6-2)

- Bellator 69: Ron Sparks (8-1) vs. Kevin Asplund (15-1)

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day is a superb striking breakdown for one of MMA's premier legends, via Bloody Elbow's Jack Slack: The Striking of Bas Rutten: Along the Ropes

Bas Rutten has become one of the best known personalities in MMA for his humorous and insightful color commentary, coaching and his anchor role on the popular mixed martial arts TV show, InsideMMA. Before he became a recognizable pundit, however, Rutten was the three times King of Pancrase, and the UFC heavyweight champion - becoming arguably the most successful striker in MMA up to that point. Beginning in Kyokushin Karate, then moving to Muay Thai, Rutten went undefeated in his first fourteen professional fights before being approached by Masakatsu Funaki and Minoru Suzuki to join their newly formed Pancrase organization. Pancrase, touting "hybrid wrestling" rules, sought to bolster their roster with a credible kickboxer among the many grapplers in the organization.

Unfortunately for Bas Rutten, the rules of Pancrase heavily favored grapplers; knees to the head were forbidden without knee pads, knockdowns resulted in a referee's count, and striking on the ground was heavily frowned upon. Further to this, no gloves were worn and hand attacks to the head were only permitted with the palms - effectively shortening the range of straight punches, the traditional weapon of a striker against grappler.

Having no sprawl to speak of, Rutten quickly learned to fight from his back, and utilize a savage guillotine to submit opponents while they attempted to take him down.

Further to this he developed several tactics to limit the number of exchanges and damage his opponents as much as possible in doing so. Rutten's use of his trademark "Liver Shot" has been discussed many times before and will be dealt with in the second installment of this series, but what has received little attention is Bas Rutten's handy work along the ropes.

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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