Now that the four-week, four-event April blitz is finally behind us, it's probably appropriate that we all take a moment to catch our breath and recharge the batteries for what lies ahead.
The upcoming summer schedule is a mighty one, but this weekend is all about taking it easy. And nothing helps in that endeavor like a morning chockfull of MMA goodness. We have a ton in store today -- even the elusive double groin shot makes an appearance. So without further ado, let's get to it with some headlines.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Pettis talks featherweight cut. Speaking to the New York Post, former WEC champ Anthony Pettis vowed that his cut down to featherweight was only temporary, then promised that he and Jose Aldo would deliver "fireworks" regardless of the muddled division outlook.
Kongo released. After a seven-year, 18-fight run, the UFC elected not to renew the contract of French heavyweight Cheick Kongo following his first-round loss to Roy Nelson at UFC 159. Kongo racked up an 11-6-1 record inside the promotion, but exits having lost two of his last three in devastating fashion.
MMA Roundtable. Luke Thomas joins yours truly to debate Jones vs. Silva, change the Unified rules, look ahead to the summer schedule and more.
Bellator summer series. Bellator MMA launches its 2013 Summer Series on June 19 with a main card headlined by a lightweight title fight pitting Michael Chandler against season-seven tournament winner Dave Jansen. In addition, a four-man light heavyweight tournament kicks off with Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal vs. Seth Petruzelli and Renato "Babalu" Sobral vs. Jacob Noe.
Peralta suspended. UFC featherweight Robbie Peralta received a six-month suspension after testing positive for marijuana following his unanimous decision loss to Akira Corassani at UFC on FUEL 9 in Stockholm, Sweden. Peralta's flub marks the seventh consecutive UFC event held outside of North America to result in at least one failed drug test.
Sometimes it's easy to forget, but MMA is a beautiful sport.
In case you missed Chael Sonnen's latest:
We've seen plenty of double knockouts, but this might be a Morning Report first. My friends, I give you the elusive double groin shot. (Jump to 13:40.)
I have no doubts this'll be the most stylish BJJ trailer you'll see all week.
Props to New York Ric for the find.
All 121 stars, eh? I never had the patience to tackle Tick Tock Clock myself.
Remember that first video I showed you today? Yeah, this one is the exact opposite.
The real man talk face to face! youtu.be/5xir5HN24e8quero ver se vai matter a disposicao no cara!!! Lets go!!!— Wanderlei Silva (@wandfc) May 1, 2013
IN YOUR CASE, WANDERLEI, ISN'T IT "REAL MEN MUMBLE FACE TO FACE?"@wandfc— chael sonnen (@sonnench) May 1, 2013
Or "real men ramble incoherently face to face, and occassionally one of themnods and smiles to be nice." @wandfc— chael sonnen (@sonnench) May 1, 2013
Isn't THAT what you mean, you fool? @wandfc— chael sonnen (@sonnench) May 1, 2013
KONGO SEEMS TO BE DOING ALRIGHT, YOU GUYS
LOL.— Cheick Kongo (@kongo4real) May 1, 2013
THE REHAB TRAIL
Hit 20 miles on the bike, knee felt good. Still a couple weeks before I can get on the ground, but been putting in some good boxing work.— Ryan Bader (@ryanbader) April 30, 2013
BACK AND FORTH
UFC is starting to lose a little bit of its edge. Might need to have fewer events. Know guy who paid $50 for a $553 face seat tonight.— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) April 28, 2013
@darrenrovell never used to talk out of his ass till he started working for ESPN. Do ur homework before u tweet stupid shit my friend.— Dana White (@danawhite) April 28, 2013
@danawhite appreciate the response as always. Would love hardcore numbers to prove sport is growing as much as it was 2 years ago— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) April 28, 2013
@darrenrovell u will get them this week my friend— Dana White (@danawhite) April 28, 2013
@danawhite OK. Look forward to it.— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) April 28, 2013
@danawhite As a reporter, I’d like you to allow me to delve into your financials instead of accept a two paragraph memo. You game?— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) May 1, 2013
@danawhite Because you are a private company and always profess everything is great, it’s hard to take anything at face value anymore.— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) May 1, 2013
@danawhite You guys have had a great run and you know I respect the hell out of you. I’m just asking for what the bankers would ask for.— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) May 1, 2013
@darrenrovell exactly, we are private and don't give numbers. U shouldn't tweet shit that is FAR from the truth when I don't have facts.— Dana White (@danawhite) May 1, 2013
@danawhite if u don’t want me to ask for #’s then don’t give #’s that I can’t verify. Did net profits had their best YOY increase in ‘12?— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) May 1, 2013
THE HARD WAY
Definitely learned my lesson, next time I'm getting my pedicure before the fight— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) May 1, 2013
Announced yesterday (Wednesday, May 1, 2013):
- Bellator 96: Michael Chandler (11-0) vs. Dave Jansen (19-2) booked for main event
- Bellator 96: Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal (9-2) vs. Seth Petruzelli (14-7) booked for co-main event
- Bellator 96: Renato "Babalu" Sobral (37-10) vs. Jacob Noe (11-2)
- Bellator 96: War Machine (12-4) vs. Blas Avena (8-6)
- Invicta FC 6: Leslie Smith (5-3-1) vs. Jennifer Maia (7-2-1)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes to us from thetakeover, who rewinds the clock for: What happened in the alternate reality where Chael survived Round 1
The Watcher sees all worlds. And in one reality, the referee wasn't so quick to jump in to stop the beating Jon Jones was giving to Chael Sonnen. In this world, Sonnen was able to survive the extra 20 seconds until the bell. And that is where it gets interesting...
When Jones gets back to his corner, it immediately becomes apparent to cornermen that the toe is in danger of being ripped off and that Jones cannot continue the fight. The commotion attracts the attention of the referee, who takes a look at the toe and immediately calls for the contest to be stopped.
Jon Jones loses the fight via TKO (broken toe). Chael Sonnen has claimed the light heavyweight championship of the UFC.
Although Jones would normally get an immediate rematch, the toe will require too much time to heal. In the mean time, Joe Silva enacts a devious plan to force a super fight. He offers Anderson Silva an immediate shot vs. Sonnen for the Light Heavyweight belt.
Silva easily beats Sonnen, winning the third fight in the three fight trilogy. Anderson holds two belts simultaneously, cementing him as the greatest pound 4 pound fighter.
By then, Jones has healed his toe, and his first fight back is against Anderson for the undisputed light heavyweight title. Jones wins, and Anderson retires.
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.