Morning Report: Alexander Gustafsson's Homecoming, Pros Predict Jones vs. Evans Winner

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

After a ridiculous three-month stretch that gave us Jones-Machida, Lesnar-Overeem, Aldo-Mendes, Diaz-Condit and Edgar-Henderson, a six-week vacation really doesn't seem too bad in retrospect.

But now the summer of violence has finally arrived, and while UFC on FUEL 2 may be a relatively low key appetizer, Saturday's card still has storylines for days. Here's a quick top five: 1.) Is Alexander Gustafsson for real, and can he eventually challenge Jon Jones? 2.) Will consecutive year-long layoffs prove overwhelming for Thiago Silva and Alessio Sakara? 3.) Did Brian Stann's back-to-earth loss mean he was rushed to the top or overrated to begin with? 4.) Can the Swedish crowd possibly be as raucous as the Brazilians and Canadians? 5.) How will Siyar Bahadurzada handle the pressure of being the first native Afghan in the UFC? 6.) Is Paulo Thiago a one-hit wonder or a victim of unlucky matchmaking? 7.) Can Dennis Siver make a legitimate run at ... whoa, got a bit carried away there. Sorry, let's continue.

Star-divide

5 MUST-READ STORIES

What's at stake? UFC on Fuel 2 edition. Take a closer look at Saturday night's fight card to see what the UFC on FUEL 2 fighters are up against, what can be gained from a win and where they could find themselves after a loss.

The hurt business: the price of principles. Controversy invades the Grudge Training Center in part six of Ben Fowlkes' multi-part series that goes inside an MMA fight gym to examine the hidden lives of pro fighters.

Nick Diaz' lawyer files new claim against NSAC. Ross Goodman, attorney to retired UFC contender Nick Diaz, filed an additional claim against the Nevada State Athletic Commission over allegations of lying, stemming back to Diaz' failed UFC 143 drug test.

Film review: Fightville. Set to release later this month, the award-winning film Fightville chronicles the rise of UFC featherweight contender Dustin Poirier while capturing the highs and lows of an unforgiving sport.

Tito Ortiz rallies against TRT. Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz denounced the necessity of testosterone replacement therapy in mixed martial arts, telling Fighters Only, "If you do have to do it, don't fight anymore."

Star-divide

MEDIA STEW

Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans is just a week away, and even the pros can't help but take a stab at the next 205-pound kingpin.

Star-divide

Just when you thought the #RallyForMarkHunt movement was slowing down, NickTheFace goes and does something awesome.

Star-divide

So, we're not really sure how this slipped past us, but apparently there really is a market out there for everything. (Possibly NSFW.)

Star-divide

Before Thiago Silva was 13-0 and the next big thing in the UFC's 205-pound division, he was just a 23-year-old kid trying to make it in the local Brazilian scene.

Star-divide

Someone finally got their braces off. (via Cagepotato/Facebook)

Frank_shamrock_medium

Star-divide

CESAR GRACIE'S DAY

Star-divide

FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Thursday, April 12, 2012):

N/A

Star-divide

FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day is a conspiracy theory with some legs to it, by Bloody Elbow's flamingmo: Further Proof that Joe Silva hates Yoshihiro Akiyama - Thiago Alves fight set for UFC 149

Yoshihiro 'Sexyama' Akiyama is 1-4 in his UFC run, and is surely in danger of being cut by the organisation if he loses again. This would be a terrible shame, as each one of Sexyama's UFC fights have been incredibly entertaining, and his inclusion on the main card of an event generally means that there will be at least one fight packed with excitement.

The other unfortunate thing about Akiyama's UFC run is that fact that he has faced a murderer's row of opponents, with each opponent being better than his last. Thiago Alves may actually be a slight step down from Jake Shields, but the fact remains that while other fighters are relegated to undercards and have to build themselves up fighting less threatening opposition, Akiyama gets thrown to the lions every time out. Here's a look at the 5 opponents he has faced in his UFC run.

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

More from MMA Fighting

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join MMA Fighting

You must be a member of MMA Fighting to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMA Fighting. You should read them.

Join MMA Fighting

You must be a member of MMA Fighting to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMA Fighting. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5349_tracker