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Morning Report: Dana White compares the hype for Conor McGregor to that of Brock Lesnar

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

We have a ton to get to today, so I'll keep this brief. Conor McGregor is a good prospect. Heck, he's more than that -- he's a ridiculously intriguing prospect who holds the key to an entire country in his back pocket. Besides the Irish nation, no one is more excited to see what McGregor can do on Saturday than me.

But that notwithstanding, right now he's still a 1-0 prospect working his way up from the undercard. So when UFC President Dana White tells the Boston Herald that McGregor carries more hype with him than any fighter after a debut "other than Brock Lesnar," that's when we cross some strange line. Look, White is a promoter. I get it. He's just doing his job. Throwing around wild comparisons is just part of the deal. But this time, it just isn't doing the 25-year-old any favors.

If anything, can't we at least agree to wait a few more days before we start piling the expectations. For all we know they might be justified, but remember that somewhere out there an obscenely motivated Max Holloway is watching this and shaking his head no.

Anyway, on to the headlines.



FS1 update. Crisis averted. Four days before the launch of FOX Sports 1, the debuting network reached carriage agreements with DirecTV, Dish Network and Time Warner Cable. Terms of the deals have not been released at this time.

MMA Roundtable. Yours truly and Dave Meltzer take a seat at the MMA Roundtable to reflect on Tuesday's Eddie Alvarez surprise, pick favorites on a loaded FS1 card, wonder aloud why the Velasquez-dos Santos rivalry lacks sizzle, and more.

Sonnen's December plans. Chael Sonnen plans to submit an application into the NSAC to referee Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva II at UFC 168. Hell, I'm all for it. Let's get weird with it.

Diaz vs. Machida? Speaking of weird, Dana White offered Nick Diaz a middleweight fight against Lyoto Machida. Seriously. I'm totally not making that up. MMA Junkie first reported the news.

Miller issues apology. Following his arrest on domestic violence charges, Jason "Mayhem" Miller posted a bizarre, seemingly sarcastic apology on his website.

Overeem, Browne talk testosterone. Alistair Overeem was at a loss when asked why his testosterone levels were dangerously low during his last fight, while Travis Browne's theory was much simpler: "He was abusing his body."

'Cyborg' back in action. Invicta FC featherweight champion Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino is expected to complete in a Muay Thai match opposite kickboxing champion Martina Jindrova in the main event of Lion Fight 11, which will air live on AXS TV on Sept. 20, 2013.



Good to see The Reem is back. These are always quality.


Chael droppin' a little Tommy Toe Hold reference there. I dig it.


I don't want to spoil it so I'm not even going to say anything. Just watch this.

(HT: Reddit)


Your daily Joe Lauzon video update, this time with a side of brussels sprouts:


Okay, this is a very cool find. Back in February 1998, with only a year of mixed martial arts training under his belt, Yves Edwards fought three guys in a row in this tournament, which looked like it was being held in a high school gymnasium.

(HT: Reddit)


Nicely done, Timmy. Nicely done.















Announced yesterday (Wednesday, August 14, 2013):

  • UFC 164: Brian Houston (4-0) out, fight with Yoel Romero (5-1) scrapped
  • UFC Fight Night 29: T.J. Dillashaw (8-1) vs. Raphael Assuncao (20-4)
  • Star-divide


    Today's Fanpost of the Day comes from our own AndrewHH, who waxes poetic on: The Longevity of "Shogun"

    Mauricio Rua has long been one of my favorite fighters. He's always hunting for the finish, whether he's ahead on the scorecards, hurt, exhausted, or some combination of the three. "Shogun" is pure, unadulterated violence.

    The Brazilian's list of accomplishments is pretty long: former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, 2005 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix Champion, multiple time FOTN/KOTN winner, Sherdog 2005 Fighter of the Year, World MMA Awards 2011 Fight of the Year, the list goes on. He's a legend, through and through. Perhaps the most impressive thing of all, though, is his longevity.

    When UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre blew out his ACL in 2011, people wondered if he would come back the same athlete, the same fighter. Some people wondered if he would come back at all. That was after one trip under the knife. "Shogun" has had three, and he's still here.

    And that's not all. Besides multiple knee injuries, Rua has taken some serious damage throughout his 11-year career. He broke his arm against Mark Coleman at Pride 31. He was battered from pillar to post against Jon Jones for the title at UFC 128. At UFC 139, Dan Henderson battered him to the limits of his consciousness repeatedly. Alexander Gustafsson dropped him. Brandon Vera staggered him. Not mention all those years at Chute Box. After all that, and the injuries, he's still in his division's top 10. That's pretty incredible.

    It hasn't been an easy road though. In his athletic prime in 2005, "Shogun" was a Muay Thai tornado, using spinning kicks, jumping knees, and a devastating clinch game to capture the Pride Middleweight Grand Prix. Now, because of the decreased dexterity in his knees, he's had to revamp his style and focus more on boxing and wrestling. He's spent time training with Freddie Roach to sharpen his already dangerous hands, and employed a takedown-heavy strategy against Henderson and Gustafsson.

    Rua's in-ring toughness clearly translates outside of the cage, but he's shown that he's adaptable as well. The cards that he's been dealt throughout his career would cripple many fighters, but "Shogun" won't give up. Maybe he's just that tough. Maybe he's just that stubborn. Either way, he's not going anywhere yet.

    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.

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