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Morning Report: Johny Hendricks at '85 percent,' plans to return in spring 2015

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

According to his manager Ted Ehrhardt, UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks is ready to be booked in a rematch against No. 1 contender Robbie Lawler.

Hendricks underwent surgery to repair a torn right bicep just a week after winning the title by defeating Lawler via unanimous decision at UFC 171 in March.

Ehrhardt tells ESPN that while Hendricks is healthy enough to be booked sooner, the UFC didn't want to set a date until he was completely healthy.

"The last thing the UFC wanted was to start promoting a fight and have to postpone it if Johny had a setback," Ehrhardt said. "He's well past that point now but the schedule is full. He's a main event fighter and all the main events are taken. It looks like he'll fight sometime in February."

Kenny Monday, Hendricks' Team Takedown wrestling coach, puts the champ's recovery at 'about 85 percent' and is 'training daily without limitations.' Monday believes Hendricks could have returned in 2014, but that the UFC's booked up pay-per-view scheduling will keep him sidelined into next spring.

"I know everyone would have loved January, but it doesn't look like that's going to work out," Monday told ESPN. "I'm thinking he fights in February or March."

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

'The best that she has isn't good enough, even on drugs.' Ronda Rousey says Cris Cyborg makes 'terrible and basic' technical mistakes and only succeeds because of her strength. 'The way that she is on the ground, it's absolute horrendous. And her distance is absolute horrendous. The only thing that she has is pace and power, and I have pace, precision and power.'

'Best of all worlds.' After hearing Gilbert Melendez said he lost a step, Eddie Alvarez hopes he beats Anthony Pettis so they can fight for the title. 'I want to beat Donald and then finally get my hands on Melendez with the title up for grabs.'

'He doesn't want this fight.' Khabib Nurmagomedov thinks Anthony Pettis is avoiding him. 'I am no good for his style. My pressure, my wrestling, my top control, it's no good for him..'

No. 1. Jose Aldo believes he should sit at the top of every MMA pound-for-pound list. 'If you talk about skills, I feel that I'm the best in the world.'

All the tea. China will change its policies for sporting events which could make it easier for the UFC to break in.

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MEDIA STEW

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Nice promo on Yoshihiro Akiyama and Kiichi Kunimoto.

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Bellator 124 Uncut.

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Ronda Rousey doing some light rolling with Gilbert Melendez.

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Jetset Magazine tours Dana White's office.

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A training day with Dominick Cruz.

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Rin Nakai says she needs help picking out a nickname.

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Long watches.

Catch Wrestling vs. Jiu-Jitsu? (Gracie Breakdown)

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TWEETS

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Very cool.

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Beef.

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Interesting.

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Get well soon.

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No one takes meetings after three.

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Nice grouping.

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It's real.

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Damn.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Sept. 16 2014)

Corey Anderson vs. Gian Villante at UFC 181

Nick Hein vs. James Vick at UFC Fight Night: Austin

Akbarh Arreola vs. Yves Edwards at UFC Fight Night: Austin

Jumabieke Tuerxun vs. Patrick Williams at UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Rockhold

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via MrBrutality.

Mr. Brutality: In Defense of the Brawler

Live by the Sword, Die by the Sword
I admit it.

I am a 'Just Bleed' fan. The thought of Melvin Manhoef fighting Doug Marshall this Friday on Bellator has gotten me giddy like a school girl at a One Direction concert. On Meth.

It is difficult to find two men who embody the spirit of a brawler more. As a matter of fact, if that fight lasts longer than one round I will change my username to Mrs. Douchetality. The potential for swift violence is staggering. There is no such thing as a guaranteed barn-burner, but when one does occur there is no spectacle quite like a high octane, no-fucks-given MMA brawl. My favorite fight of the last five years was Brian Stann vs. Wanderlei Silva. Before that? Don Frye vs. Takayama, of course.

The brawler is fun and flawed. Most brawlers are unlikely to challenge the top echelons of the sport, unless they evolve their style to the highest level, such as Robbie Lawler. Hyper-aggressiveness is an asset that should not be overlooked. When combined with good technique and a solid athletic base, a brawler is a scary opponent to stare at across the ring. Wanderlei during Pride was terrifying. Shane Carwin simply steamrolled his way to a title shot. I have a true love for the fighter who stops at nothing to destroy their enemy, even to their own detriment.

...

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.