Obviously yesterday morning was a mixed bag of good news and bad news. But today? We're all smiles.
Not only did we manage to go 24 hours without being pummeled by a tidal wave of injuries and card shuffles, but for the second Friday in a row, we've actually got a full block of violence on the docket.
Now, realistically UFC on FX 3 may not blow fight fans away with it's lineup, but that doesn't mean there isn't plenty to keep an eye on when the knuckles start swinging. So without further ado, let's look at the top-3 storylines for tonight's network card:
1. Can the flyweights carry the night? Much is being expected of Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall II. Their first fight was a breathtaking whirlwind of action and attrition, and now their rematch is the first flyweight contest to headline a card in UFC history.
Sadly, the 125-pound division is still an afterthought for a large percentage of the MMA-consuming population. But if "Mighty Mouse" and "Uncle Creepy" can deliver another classic -- say, a 15-minute roller-coaster war punctuated by frequent, wild swings in momentum -- tonight could serve as the eye-opener to help the UFC start legitimizing the division in the eyes of the public.
(Also, Mighty Mouse vs. Uncle Creepy just sounds important. Seriously, have two guys with better nicknames ever shared a rivalry like this? I think not.)
2. Is the Erick Silva hype train destined to crash? Let's be frank here. Erick Silva is undefeated in the UFC, regardless of what Wikipedia says. Though while taking down Luis Ramos and Carlo Prater in under a minute is one thing, trying to do the same to a fighter the caliber of Charlie Brenneman is something else entirely.
Oddsmakers may have Silva pinned as nearly a 2-to-1 favorite, but it'd be foolish to discount Brenneman because of his lack of flash. Need I remind you, "The Spaniard" has lost just twice in the last four years. Once to Johny Hendricks, who is currently one of the No. 1 contenders at welterweight. (After re-reading that, it's hilarious the phrase "one of the No. 1 contenders" even exists.) And once to Anthony Johnson, who looked like he was a light heavyweight for that fight, and promptly showed up to his next two fights 12-to-14 pounds over the middleweight limit. That's not a shabby résumé.
3. Will Leonard Garcia win or loss his wildly exciting split decision? This one just writes itself. Name one other guy that unearthed four split decisions in a row. Or how about five out of six? Really, that's an incredible statistic. Aside from the free-swinging ways of "Bad Boy," how else are we ever going to see something like that repeated?
Anyway, since Garcia's trademark split scores have been inexplicably absent for his last two fights, doesn't the time feel right for another absurd-haymakers-for-15-minutes-leading-to-a-controversial-decision-that-we-all-secretly-love type of performance? I know I can't be the only one.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
UFC on FX 3. All fighters made weight at Thursday's UFC on FX 3 weigh-ins, including flyweight headliners Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson and Ian "Uncle Creepy" McCall. For more, catch streaming video of the weigh-ins, along with odds and predictions.
B.J. Penn explains decision. Freshly un-retired welterweight B.J. Penn explained his beef with Georges St. Pierre's Tri-Star gym and how it impacted his decision to accept Rory MacDonald's challenge.
Michael Bisping injury update. British UFC middleweight Michael Bisping detailed the extent of the knee injury that forced him out of a UFC 149 fight with Tim Boetsch.
Mamed Khalidov offered UFC contract. Top middleweight Mamed Khalidov rejected a contract offer from the UFC, choosing instead to continue fighting under the KSW banner.
Coaches' corner. A collection of MMA coaches discussed the recent overwhelming flood of injuries, how it could be the result of overtraining, and how training methods could be improved to curb the spread of injury withdrawals.
If the Mighty Mouse-Uncle Creepy rematch is any bit as good as the first one, ladies and gentlemen, we're going to have a good time tonight. (Click to re-watch the first fight.)
For being one of the top fight camps in the world, remarkably little is known about Black House, which is probably why the exclusive invite-only home of Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida is so fascinating.
It flew completely under the radar, but Aleksander Emelianenko fought on Wednesday night, and the result was ... well it was a tad unsatisfying, to put it lightly. (HT: MiddleEasy)
Let's just be honest, catching Mighty Mouse playing Mega Man X was easily the best part of yesterday's weigh-ins.
ROCKING THE JHERI CURL
@SugaRashadEvans i aint gon lie....i go hard in them curls!!— King Mo (@KingMoFH) June 7, 2012
@MMAClutch it's crazy man— Dana White (@danawhite) June 8, 2012
Announced yesterday (Thursday, June 7, 2012):
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day features Motmaitre and his scheme for improving tonight's action: An End To Bad Judging: A Better Scoring System for MMA Fights
UFC President Dana White is frequently apoplectic due to what he perceives to be bad judging in MMA. He is not alone. Many a furious fan has had cause to invoke pestilence upon the head of judges when fights ended controversially. However, I think it is unfair to excoriate the judges, as they are themselves hamstrung by amorphous judging criteria seemingly designed to create controversy. The brunt of blame must first fall on the rules themselves.
According to the applicable judging criteria, judges must score bouts on a 10-point Must system, and are required to "evaluate mixed martial arts techniques, such as effective striking, effective grappling, control of the ring/fighting area, effective aggressiveness and defense." Not only are these imprecise and subjective criteria, but the Rules themselves are ambiguous, complex and wide open to subjectivity, interpretation and bias.
In place of these, I'd like to suggest a more tightly-defined and objective approach for scoring fights. There is little controversy over fights that are finished within the distance by KO, TKO or submission (apart from refereeing decisions, which are a discussion for another day). So I will focus only on scoring fights that go the distance.
The perfect scoring system for MMA fights must fulfill two criteria:
Found something perfect for the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in Monday's post.