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Morning Report: Conor McGregor talks 'weird' signing of 'afraid' CM Punk

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC featherweight contender Conor McGregor seems a bit torn over the promotion's decision to allow a retired professional wrestler with no competitive experience whatsoever to compete alongside him in the sport's premier organization.

McGregor understands the appeal of wrangling the elusive and dreaded 'casual fan,' but would have preferred for 36-year-old CM Punk to first prove himself elsewhere.

"I don't have no problem with it," McGregor told Severe MMA. "If you bring something with you to the table, you get a seat. I feel a lot of fighters feel they get in and get signed by three letters: U-F-C. And that gives them a certain right, but you must bring something to the table.

"As far as the CM Punk thing, he has a different fanbase, the WWE fans. To be honest, it's weird to me to let an amateur come in and do it in the pro game. I mean, who knows what his skill level is like? I would like to see it the way they done it with [former UFC heavyweight champion] Brock [Lesnar]. Brock had one or two fights in the smaller league. Brock was a different animal all together. He had Division 1 All-American wrestling status. He was a freestyle wrestling champion. Plus he was a f***ing monster of a man."


The MMA Hour: 2014 year-end awards with mystery fighter of the year


Stating mostly concern, McGregor sounds more worried for the man's health than anything else.

"CM Punk? I don't know," said McGregor. "Listening to him speak, when I heard the broadcast announcement I saw a man afraid. Like he signed up for something he didn't want to be. When the shin bone cracks the body or the elbow cracks or the heel cracks... It doesn't get much more real than that. Personally, I don't think he should be in this league just yet, but again, you bring asses to the seats, you bring eyeballs to the screen and we will give you a shot."

McGregor faces Denis Siver Jan. 18 in the main event at UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Siver in Boston, Massachusetts.

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

Post show. Ariel Helwani and Shaun Alshatti break down the top storylines coming out of UFC on FOX 13.

No. 1 contender. Rafael dos Anjos will get his title shot against UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis after an impressive win over Nate Diaz.

Aftermath. Dave Doyle explains why it's getting harder and harder to watch former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos engage in slugfests.

Toquinho. Rousimar Palhares is again having to defend how long he held onto a submission after tapping Jon Fitch Saturday night at WSOF 16. 'I believe I did what I should have done to win.'

Not another Daley. Dana White says he won't look to punish strawweight contender Claudia Gadelha after her controversial punch after the bell.

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MEDIA STEW

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Highlights from Junior dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic and Carla Esparza vs. Rose Namajunas.

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Dana White talks Dos Santos, Dos Anjos, Nate Diaz and more.

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UFC on FOX 13 press conference highlights. (Full presser here)

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Nate Diaz explains missing weight and fighting injured.

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Rousimar Palhares vs. Jon Fitch at WSOF 16.

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Miesha Tate says Ronda Rousey could use some deodorant.

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Long watches.

Super Fight League 36 United States Of America

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Q&A with Kelvin Gastelum

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TWEETS

See how the pros reacted to UFC on FOX 13 (here) and the TUF 20 Finale (here)

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Victory lap.

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Better luck next time.

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Not happy.

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Champs.

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Oh well.

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Get well soon.

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Beefin'.

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Ladies' night.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced this weekend (Dec. 12-14 2014)

NA

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via Graham Douglas.

5 Round Non Title Fights Are Pure Evil

I just watched the UFC on Fox 13 press conference. JDS and his sunglasses and face are going to give me nightmares. Stipe isn't faring much better in the post fight speech test and bruise test.

I'm right now suggesting this should be the end of 5 round non-title fights. I feel guilty to be honest, because it was entertaining, but there was nothing justifying such a long fight. The results on their bodies says it all. There was no belt. There was no title fight money up for grabs.

The reason it needs to end? Simply because there is no need to put fighters through such pounding when all they are doing is working toward title contender status.

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Check out the rest of the post here.

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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.