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Morning Report: Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold and Chris Weidman a united front against Vitor Belfort at Sydney press event

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Zuffa LLC via Getty

Vitor Belfort might have been a world away, but the UFC's No. 1 middleweight contender was the hot topic at Wednesday's pre-fight press conference in Sydney, Australia.

There was no love lost between Friday night's main-eventers Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping, but they were a united front when it came to questions of the controversial Brazilian star.

Belfort notched highlight reel head kick knockouts over both Bisping and Rockhold in a remarkable 2013 campaign, but much of that luster has been marginalized due to his use of Testosterone Replace Therapy (TRT).

In compliance with the Nevada Athletic Commission's ban on the treatment, Belfort withdrew (or was pulled) from a planned title bout at UFC 173 with middleweight champion Chris Weidman in order to allow his body to adjust from stopping TRT.

Set to face Weidman Feb. 28 at UFC 184, Belfort will step into the Octagon free of TRT for the first since his unsuccessful 2011 title challenge to Anderson Silva at UFC 126.

With Weidman attending the presser in support of his teammate Al Iaquinta, Rockhold and Bisping were asked by media how they felt about Belfort getting his title shot on the heels of their own crushing defeats.

"That's quite a s**t-stirring question," said Bisping. "You're going to open many cans of worms. But, yes, listen, Vitor was juiced to the gills for many years and now he's not. Now, Chris is going to win that fight, first and foremost. [Weidman's] at an advantage because [Belfort's] no longer juiced to the gills. ...

"Vitor's physical appearance is altered, it's quite visible. Is he going to be the same person? That's the question everyone is asking, and only he knows. We shall see."

Likewise, Rockhold's take was predictably unsympathetic.

"Vitor's a joke to me. We'll see what comes out. I'm very interested to see what happens in his drug test he took the other day. We'll see if the fight even takes place."

With Belfort's test results weighing heavy on Weidman's title future, the champ sounded understandably anxious when he chimed in off camera.

"Yea, I'm worried about that," said Weidman. "You want him to get drug tested until he actually gets drug tested."



'My leg isn't strong.' Rashad Evans scraps plans for a fight with Alexander Gustafsson to give his injured knee more time to recover. 'I can't explode off it like I normally used to be able to and it still feels unstable.'

Big reveal. The UFC will be announcing its complete 2015 schedule at a special fan appreciation type event called "The Time is Now" scheduled for Nov. 17 in Las Vegas.

Chat Wrap. Luke Thomas discusses Luke Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping, Shogun Rua's future, UFC Fight Night previews and more in this week's live chat.

Heading down. After weighing in south of 200 pounds for his fight with Daniel Cormier, Dan Henderson says his return will 'probably' be at middleweight.

Report. A welterweight bout between Matt Brown and Tarec Saffiedine could be in the works for the UFC's Jan. 24 event in Sweden.




UFC 180: Extended preview.


Inside the Octagon with Ariel Helwani.


Highlights from Rose Namajunas vs. Alex Chambers on TUF 20.


Pre-fight interview with Shogun Rua.


GSP back in the gym.


Khabib Nurmagomedov's MMA debut from 2008.


Long watches.

UFC Australia & Brazil Care/Don't Care Preview


Mark Hunt on UFC 180: "I hit 'em in the head, and there goes your F**ken Black Belt"




It worked.




Whatever works.




Get well soon.


Awful story. RIP.




The blueprint for beating Gustafsson.



Announced yesterday (Oct. 5 2014)

Patrick Holohan vs. Shane Howell at UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Siver

Kevin Belingon vs. Koetsu Okazaki at ONE FC 23

Honorio Banario vs. Herbert Burns at ONE FC 23

Roger Gracie vs. James McSweeney at ONE FC 23

Jake Butler vs. Sylvain Potard at ONE FC 23

Johnny Case vs. Paul Felder at UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Siver


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