Morning Report: Jones vs. Evans Gets Heated, Dustin Poirier Fights Off Zombie Apocalypse

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

There's been so many minor blips in the lengthy saga of Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans, it's getting harder to not tune out and just wait until Saturday.

Yesterday, Rashad handled the latest mini-drama about as well as he could when he hesitantly pulled out the ‘it is what it is' defense in regards to the UFC heaving their sponsorship dollars behind Jon Jones at UFC 145. Of course, that's pretty much the only thing "Suga" could have said without throwing his employers under the bus, but it was the shrewd combination of reluctance and resentment that made the answer intriguing.

While the sponsorship in and of itself is certainly nothing to get up in arms about, the general public consensus seems to be a reluctant, ‘well, this isn't a big deal, but it's still a little off,' which is pretty on-point. To draw a parallel from another sport, if the NBA Finals featured the Lakers vs. Celtics, and NBA Commissioner David Stern randomly threw his weight behind LA, people would look at the situation a little cock-eyed. At the end of the day, favoritism is never a good look if it's coming from the top.

It's clear the UFC wants Jon Jones to reach the GSP/Silva/Lesnar level of marketability, and a win on Saturday would go a long way in making that a reality. But to do it so publicly, and in the face of another legitimate star who also has a track record of being the perfect company man, is somewhat odd. Again, it's not the end of the world, but it's got to be a little off-putting if you're Rashad.

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

Rashad Evans unbothered by UFC sponsoring Jon Jones. A reluctant Rashad Evans offered up the 'it is what it is' defense while discussing the UFC's surprising sponsorship of Jon Jones at UFC 145.

The MMA Hour. Ariel Helwani returned with another lively edition of The MMA Hour, featuring Chuck Liddell, Rashad Evans, Pat Miletich, Siyar Bahadurzada, Dustin Poirier, Tim Credeur, Michael McDonald and Frank Trigg.

Nate Marquardt expects Woodley fight to be for Strikeforce title. Former UFC pariah Nate Marquardt revealed that his May 19th Strikeforce debut against Tyron Woodley is expected to a five-round title fight for the promotion's vacant welterweight strap.

Former UFC champs break down Jones vs. Evans. From Frank Shamrock to Shogun Rua, each past UFC light heavyweight champion took their stab at analyzing Saturday's massive UFC 145 title fight. As an added bonus, Chuck Liddell, the most dominant 205-pound champ in UFC history, gave his take on how he would have fought Jon Jones back in the day.

Muay Thai legend Buakaw trains jiu jitsu. Storied Muay Thai champion Buakaw Por. Pramuk recently began training jiu jitsu under black belt Adam Kayoom in Thailand, leading to speculation of a possible transition to MMA.

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MEDIA STEW

How better for Dustin Poirier to prepare for a potential No. 1 contender bout against "The Korean Zombie" than by brushing up on his undead-smashing skills for this latest Fightville promo? (HT: MMA Mania)

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If you missed out on the Bellator 65 undercard last Friday, you definitely need to check out former champ Lyman Good's 13-second romp over LeVon Maynard.

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Throughout all the Jones-Evans pre-fight mud-slinging, the very end of this clip is the first legit time we can remember hearing Bones bust out his biggest trump card.

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What kind of boredom comes from an isolated house filled with 16 testosterone-fueled dudes? The best kind.

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OUCH!

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LETS DRAG FITCH INTO THIS

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WELL ALLOW ME TO RETORT

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Monday, April 16, 2012):

- Bellator 71: Roger Hollett (13-3) vs. Attila Vegh (24-4-2)

- Bellator 71: Richard Hale (18-4-1) vs. Beau Tribolet (7-1)

- Bellator 71: Travis Wiuff (66-14) vs. TBA

- Bellator 71: Marcus Vanttinen (21-3) vs. Philipe Lins (5-0)

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day is really just a not-so-subtle way for BE's Dave Strummer to clown us all: 10 Signs You Are an MMA Hipster

"Hipster" is an enigmatic appelation. Part of the problem is that one of the core requirements for being a hipster is that you must categorically deny that you are a hipster. Indeed, calling yourself a hipster is -- ironically enough -- one of the only proven ways to demonstrate that you aren't one.

As the name has worked its way deeper into our lexicon, it's not enough just to be a hipster anymore. You've got music hipsters, film hipsters, book hipsters, and of course, MMA hipsters. Since -- as we've already discussed -- self-awareness is paradoxically impossible for those afflicted with this 21st Century malady, I thought I'd put together this helpful list of 10 signs that you, or someone you know, may be an MMA hipster.

10) You can make a convincing, passionate case for a non-Zuffa fighter being the best in the world in one of the UFC's established weight classes (give yourself a bonus point if that fighter is Japanese).

9) You un-ironically refer to the majority of MMA fans as the "The Just Bleed Crowd."

8) You have a "favorite submission" (give yourself a bonus point if it ends in "-plata").

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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