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Morning Report: Lorenzo Fertitta says CM Punk will face 'a competitive guy MMA media will know'

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

In a bit of a contradiction to statements made by UFC president Dana White, CEO Lorenzo Fertitta says professional wrestler CM Punk will make his promotional debut against someone of note.

"I think it has to be somebody with some level of credentials," Fertitta told Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com. "It's not just going to be some guy off the street. It's going to be somebody who is a professional mixed martial artist -- certainly somebody who MMA media will recognize and know."

Ideas on Punk's debut opponent have ranged from veteran fighters already on the UFC's roster to up-and-comers without Wikipedia pages, but Fertitta admits that 'most likely' we'll see something closer to the later.

"But I'm going to defer to Joe Silva," Fertitta said. "We'll let him bring two to three names to the table and we'll figure it out from there. But I guarantee you it will be a competitive guy."

Fertitta certainly hasn't been caught off guard by criticisms of the promotion signing a 36-year-old man with no competitive background, but considers the move to be 'fighter development.'

"We knew there was going to be backlash," Fertitta said. "At the end of the day, we did our research and we talked to the people he's trained with. We're going to find out what he can bring to the table. We're confident he has the skills to fight. We don't know exactly what level yet. Sometimes, you've got to invest in what we call 'fighter development.' We've done it before and guys have developed into very competitive fighters, and we've done it where guys have not."

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Behind the Scenes at Fight Night: Stockholm.

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Anderson Silva's Spider Life episode 5.

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Joe Rogan Experience #603 - Justin Wren

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TWEETS

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Back in Vegas.

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Could be.

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Excellent.

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Congrats.

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Get well soon.

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Interesting.

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Like it.

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The man is a dynamo.

The great @makwanamirkhani just texted me this masterpiece. What a guy.

A video posted by Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) on

Another video text from @makwanamirkhani. This time, I think he has decided who he wants next.

A video posted by Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) on


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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Jan. 27 2015)

Claudio Silva vs. Nordine Taleb at UFC 186

Seth Baczynski vs. Leon Edwards at UFC Fight Night: Cro Cop vs. Gonzaga

Milana Dudieva vs. Julianna Pena at UFC Fight Night: Lamas vs. Mendes

Corey Anderson vs. Gian Villante at UFC on FOX 15

Akbarh Arreola vs. Francisco Trinaldo at UFC Fight Night: Faber vs. Assuncao

Alexa Grasso vs. Mizuki Inoue at Invicta FC 11

Lynn Alvarez vs. DeAnna Bennett at Invicta FC 11

Irene Aldana vs. Melanie LaCroix at Invicta FC 11

JJ Aldrich vs. Jamie Moyle at Invicta FC 11

Amy Montenegro vs. Brianna Van Buren at Invicta FC 11

Emily Corso vs. Christine Stanley at Invicta FC 11

Aspen Ladd vs. Kristi Lopez at Invicta FC 11

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via R.Drew.

Jon Bones Jones and the Light Heavyweights

Jon Jones has recently made it clear at the post fight press conference of UFC 182 that he doesn't have plans to move up to Heavyweight anytime soon. It seems likely that at the very least he wants to beat Anderson Silva's record for most title defences first, Anderson has 10 and Jones is currently sitting at 8, so simple math would tell us he needs 2 more to tie it and 3 more to beat it (assuming of course that Silva doesn't get his title back, and add on to his total again.) Lets take a look at the division behind Jon ‘Bones' Jones and see who he has to beat to get himself there.

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Check out the rest of the post here.

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