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Morning Report: Dana White responds to Aussie journalist's attack on MMA

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It seems not everyone was impressed with Mark Hunt's clash for the ages with Antonio Silva this weekend at UFC Fight Night 33. The event held in Brisbane, Australia was a glowing success by all accounts, but the night's bloody five-round main event left a sour taste in the mouth of Aussie journalist Phil Rothfield. Covering the event for The Daily Telegraph, Rothfield called the UFC cruel, sadistic, barbaric savagery that should be banned in the country.

A note, Rothfield seems to signal his ignorance by indiscriminately referring to the larger sport of Mixed Martial Arts simply as 'UFC.' Rather than compose an actual piece, Rothfield more or less just lists observations and questions, beginning and ending thoughts in a sentence or less. Below is a sampling of what one could assume he intended to appear as points. Now, courage.

SINCE when is kicking, elbowing, kneeing, punching and stomping an opponent classified as sport?

This was nothing but barbaric savagery that should be banned in this country.

The fact women were allowed to fight on the card was an even bigger disgrace.

It scared me that the Brisbane Entertainment Centre was sold out with so many thousands of people (including families with young children) who were prepared to pay to watch it.

And all those who lapped it up and loved every cruel moment on pay-TV.

Almost defenceless men being held down on the ground and punched senseless.

What does it say about our society?

Why do we allow our kids to watch and cheer for something we teach them not to do?

And why are the competitors allowed to do all this inside a cage when it's illegal on the streets?

If you really want to make yourself sick, Google "UFC worst injuries". The images are seriously disgusting and raise the question: why aren't the fighters at least made to wear headgear?

Why aren't fighters getting protection from blood diseases?

Why do the referees and doctors allow mismatches and lopsided fights to continue?

I know the UFC has statistics to prove there are no more serious injuries than in boxing, but that's not the point.

Well, it didn't take long for UFC president Dana White to catch wind of the article, responding shortly thereafter.

It seems White wasn't the only official peeved with the negative take, which assumedly led Tom Wright, Director of UFC Operations in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, to extend a hand and request a chat.

Regardless of any takeaway from that meeting, it illustrates the work left to be done down under for the UFC. While Saturday's event sold out the 12,000 seat Brisbane Entertainment Centre, the card was originally intended for Western Australia's Perth Arena with a capacity of 18,000. The promotion was forced to scrap plans in Perth following the WA government's banning of fenced enclosures in MMA bouts in March of this year.

While legal in New South Wales (Sydney), the country's most populous state, the Octagon itself is still not welcome in Victoria and its capital, Melbourne. Home to over 30 professional sports clubs (including 10 Aussie Rules Football teams), Melbourne is the country's most sporting city by miles. Cram the sporting culture of Boston, New York and Philadelphia all into a country's second-most populated area and you've got it. Much like its struggles to legalize in New York state, you can be assured Wright is doing everything possible to add Melbourne to the UFC's international schedule.

Tom Wright with more on breaking into Victoria:



Draw of the year. Chuck Mindenhall says UFC Fight Night 33's instant classic between Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva should be savored, despite being ruled a draw.

Broken hand. Mark Hunt posts pictures of the broken hand he suffered in his five-round war with Antonio Silva.

MMA scoring. Saturday night's draw spurred Dave Meltzer to diagnose MMA current judging format while also weighing the alternatives.

Condit statement. After losing his UFC on FOX 9 opponent Matt Brown to a back injury, Carlos Condit hopes the fight is rescheduled ASAP.

WSOF on NBC. According to World Series of Fighting president Ray Sefo, his promotion plans on holding 8-10 events in 2014, two of which will be broadcast on NBC.




Highlights from Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva and Mauricio Rua vs. James Te Huna.


Press conferences.


Highlights from Legacy Fights 26.


A couple must see finishes from Cage Warriors 62:

Martin Sheridan vs. Jordan Desborough.

Ian Entwistle vs. Liam James.


Holly Holm vs. Angela Hayes at Fresquez Productions Havoc.


Looked like a clean stoppage to me. What's your take?

(HT to Bloody Elbow)



As always following a UFC event, make sure to check out our 'Pro's react' piece for UFC Fight Night 33.


Victory lap.


Better luck next time.

And if you've gotta go out in 0:43, this is how.


Get well soon.




Thanks for everything, Julie.


I think she handled this pretty well.





Announced this weekend (Dec. 6-8 2013)

Rashad Evans vs. Daniel Cormier at UFC 170

Rory MacDonald vs. Demian Maia at UFC 170

cancelled Matt Brown vs. Carlos Condit at UFC on FOX 9

Jared Rosholt vs. Oleksiy Oliynyk at UFC on FOX 10

Thiago Silva vs. Ovince St. Preux at UFC 171

Robert McDaniel vs. Tor Troeng at UFC 171

Hector Lombard vs. Jake Shields at UFC 171

Daron Cruickshank vs. Mike Rio at UFC on FOX 10

Elias Silverio vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg at UFC Fight Night 35



Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via

What Does The Future Hold For Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua?

'Shogun is back!!!' is the sentence that thousands of MMA fans exclaimed in unison after a viscous left hook dropped James Te Huna, a hometown hero and promising light heavyweight, this Friday in Australia. The knockout was spectacular, and given Rua's downward trend as of late, it was extremely important as well.

For years, Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua has been one of the most feared strikers in the world. Devastating knockouts, a wide variety of techniques, and seemingly unlimited heart only begin to describe the complete-package superstar that is Shogun. The past three years tell a different story, however. Heading into UFC Fight Night 33, Rua had a record of 21-8. After beginning his career 19-4, he has gone 2-4 since, most recently losing to Chael Sonnen via 1st round guillotine choke. The loss marked the first two-fight losing streak of his career, leading many fans and critics to question whether all of the UFC and Pride wars were finally catching up with him.

There's an old adage in the UFC. Every fight is the most important one of a fighter's career. Once you reach a certain age/level of prestige, a win provokes cries for a title shot while a loss brings up retirement talk. In reality, there are a lot more second chances then fans are willing to let on, and a title shot is usually further away than we think. In this particular situation, more Shogun fans were wiping their brow and letting out a sigh of relief than discussing the prospect of a potential title shot in the near future. I have to admit, I was among the collective contemplating whether retirement was the best choice for Shogun, had he lost this past Friday.

Check out the rest of the post here.


Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.

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