Rarely does the world of combat sports come alive all at once, but when it does, it's a sight to behold. With that said, no one in the world would blame you for struggling to keep up with the blitzkrieg pace of this past weekend.
Thursday brought us the culmination of Bellator's debut season on Spike TV, and with it, Pat Curran cementing himself as a true force in the featherweight division. With Friday came ONE FC 8 and Invicta FC 5, where once again the ladies stole the show. UFC on FUEL 9 owned Saturday, though it'd be foolish to overlook the blistering heavyweight battle that took place at GLORY 6. And on Sunday we even had the mother of all professional wrestling events, Wrestlemania 29, to close out the weekend, if you're into that sort of thing.
It hardly needs to be said, but obviously there's a ton to go over today, so let's stop dawdling around and get to it.
6 MUST-READ STORIES
Injured Mousasi dominates decision, needs surgery. Despite fighting with a potentially serious knee injury, former Strikeforce champion Gegard Mousasi easily defeated Ilir Latifi via unanimous decision in the main event of UFC on FUEL 9. (Video.) Afterward Mousasi revealed that his injury will require surgery, though he refused to disclose specifics. For more, check out reaction from the pros.
Waterson, Honchak claim titles. Michelle "The Karate Hottie" Waterson stormed back from early trouble, catching Jessica Penne in a fourth-round armbar to steal away the Invicta atomweight title in the headlining bout of Invicta FC 5. In the night's co-main event, Miletich Fighting System product Barb Honchak outpointed Vanessa Porto to claim the promotion's inaugural flyweight belt.
Cyborg destroys. Former Strikeforce champion Cris "Cyborg" Santos utterly destroyed Fiona Muxlow, knocking out the Australian at 3:46 of the first round at Invicta FC 5. Santos is expected to rematch Marloes Coenen at Invicta FC 6 to determine the inaugural Invicta FC featherweight champion.
Aoki steamrolls Boku. A visibly emotional Shinya Aoki dominated Kotetsu Boku en route to a second-round rear-naked choke finish, claiming the ONE FC lightweight strap in the main event of ONE FC 8: Kings and Champions.
McGregor impresses in debut. 24-year-old Irish phenom Conor McGregor rolled through Marcus Brimage in his UFC debut, knocking out the TUF alum with an impressive 67-second performance. McGregor earned a $60,000 post-fight bonus for his work and already received his next assignment: August 17 at Boston's TD Garden for UFC on Fox Sports 1.
Blackzilian coaching changes. Olympic gold medialists Kenny Monday and Guillermo Rigondeaux joined the coaching staff of Florida's Blackzilian fight camp. Monday, a former three-time NCAA All American and gold medalist in the 1988 Olympic games, will coach wrestling; while Rigondeaux, a gold medalist in the 2000 and 2004 Olympic games, will coach boxing.
First things first, if you haven't yet read Luke Thomas' superb Bellator season eight review, go ahead and do that now. With that out of the way, check out what's next on tap with the first promo for Bellator's new Fight Master show.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Watching Shinya Aoki run circles around folks on the ground is something else.
You have to admit, John McCarthy's Bas voice is fantastic.
Okay, this is pretty bizarre (and probably heavily NSFW). Rin Nakai is the 13-0-1 bantamweight Queen of Pancrase. For some reason she filmed this "workout video," and she totally doesn't look amused in it. At all.
I don't think there's any doubt: "Cyborg" is back. Absolutely brutal performance here.
Let's end with one more gem from Invicta FC 5, because if you haven't seen this, you really should. "Thug" Rose Namajunas, aka Pat Barry's girlfriend, steals the show. (And yes, somebody filmed Barry's cageside reaction.)
Are people really dissing Mousasi's performance? C'mon, he trained for a different style of fighter, went there and still got the win w ease— Vinny Magalhaes (@VinnyMMA) April 6, 2013
Gotta respect that effort on a weeks notice.— Jason Highwalker(@KCBanditMMA) April 6, 2013
@danawhite @ufc @ufconfox thank you UFC, thank you fans and my sponsors.... twitter.com/mousasi_mma/st…— Gegard Mousasi (@mousasi_mma) April 6, 2013
@danawhite Thank you for the opportunity yesterday boss! Looking forward to fighting again soon! /Ilir Latifi— Ilir Latifi (@Latifimma) April 7, 2013
@danawhite Thank you sir!— Ilir Latifi (@Latifimma) April 7, 2013
.@rosstherealdeal lookin calm,cool,patient,n collected-to get the ko! Fun to watch! #alliancemma— Dominick Cruz (@TheDomin8r) April 6, 2013
Great job @rosstherealdeal way to hunt that lil bastard down!— Samuel Sicilia (@SamSiciliaMMA) April 6, 2013
Great finish for @rosstherealdeal one of my fav. to watch. Dude is a lil beast!#ufconfueltv9— Brendan Schaub (@BrendanSchaub) April 6, 2013
LUCK OF THE IRISH
I like this Irish dude, McGregor! Beast! @ufc— Costas Philippou (@Philippou185UFC) April 6, 2013
Wow great win by Connor mcgregor— michael (@bisping) April 6, 2013
Impressive @thenotoriousmma just made a fan out of me! Great precise striking and very comfortable out there! #UFC @ufc— Sean Pierson (@seanpierson) April 6, 2013
@thenotoriousmma amazing— Phil Harris ufc (@Philharrismma) April 6, 2013
Not sure what mcgregor is saying at all but like how he fights— isaac vallie-flagg (@IKEVF) April 6, 2013
TIME FOR A CHANGE
think i may consider a drop to lhw , somethin to think about— philip de fries (@phildefriesmma) April 6, 2013
Who needs to pay for Botox when you can have @criscyborg puff up your lips ;) @invictafights #BBC twitter.com/FionaMMA/statu…— Fiona Muxlow (@FionaMMA) April 6, 2013
LUCAS WANTS IN
"@parliam3ntfunk: @amandalucasmma are you ever gonna try to fight for @invictafights" I'd love to!— Amanda Lucas (@amandalucasmma) April 6, 2013
ONE FINAL THOUGHT
Stockholm Sweden is like one giant supermodel convention.— Sean Shelby (@seanshelby) April 6, 2013
Announced over the weekend (Friday, April 5, 2013 - Sunday, April 7, 2013):
- UFC on FX 8: Chris Camozzi (19-5) vs. Rafal Natal (15-4)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes to us from NickPT, who worries about: UFC on Fuel 9: Another Knee Injury for Mousasi
Gegard Mousasi apparently gutted out his victory over Ilir Matifi with a serious knee injury. Previously ... Gegard suffered a torn ACL in March 2012, and had that injury surgically repaired as well. This current knee injury could be very problematic for Gegard, if he injured the same knee, and if he re-injured his ACL again.
Now, this is the point in this story where I get to speculate. Little is known about Gegard's first knee surgery, only that it was an ACL repair. I will assume that he had the ACL repaired using the more prevalent patella tendon graft, in which part of the patella tendon below the knee cap is harvested to replace the torn ACL inside the knee. If this was the case, his surgeon won't be able to use that same patella tendon again. And, use of the other patella tendon as a donor is not good either- that leaves Mousasi with two injured knees to rehabilitate.
In this case, there would be a couple of options. The ACL can be repaired using part of one of the hamstring tendons at the back of the knee. Or, he could resort to the allograft, or cadaver donor ACL. The latter has it's own set of problems with regard to recovery. (I discussed this type of surgery in more detail on a previous MMA Injury blog post about Dominick Cruz' ACL woes.)
In summary, if Gegard has in fact injured the same ACL, he is faced with some big decisions about how to proceed with a second repair, and we will not see him in the Octagon again this year for sure.
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.