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Morning Report: Dana White looking to the NFL to solve UFC's injury woes

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

With another unfortunate knee injury to lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov, UFC president Dana White's 'stone age' comments on the habits of certain camps are hitting even harder.

White ruffled some feathers amongst fighters in April when he criticized elite gyms, namely San Jose's American Kickboxing Academy.

Rather than hammering his point home even more, White is using the injury to undefeated lightweight contender to further his campaign to reduce training camp injuries, ultimately improving his bottom line.

"AKA is one of the biggest and best," White told Laaficion (via MMAWeekly). "I call camps like [AKA] and Greg Jackson's, 'super camps.' They have all the best guys in the world. That's what I'm saying. You can't have all the best guys in the world beating the living s**t out of each other every day. You can't do it. These guys have to have camps built around them where guys are working with them, not trying to hurt them."

AKA is, of course, the home to UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, the poster boy for reigning from the injured reserve.

Velasquez hasn't fought since October of 2013 when he scored a TKO victory over former champion Junior dos Santos at UFC 166.

The champ was slated to return for the promotion's debut event in Mexico at UFC 180, but withdrew just weeks out due to a torn MCL and meniscus.

"It's very important to get this guy back," White said of Velasquez. "He's our heavyweight champion, he's fun to to watch fight and he's been out for a while. We need to keep him healthy. The conversation that I was having with Javier Mendez is that we've got to start training these guys differently in the gym. These guy have to start having a lot less contact when it comes to sparring."

Speaking in response to White's comments, Mendez showed support of the new initiatives, saying White only had the fighter's best interests in mind.

"The response from the trainers has been good," said White. "Listen, Javier Mendez said, 'If Cain isn't fighting, nobody's getting paid. I'm not getting paid. Cain isn't getting paid. The UFC isn't making money to pay Cain. It's not good for anybody.' So it's awesome that a guy like Javier gets it. There's no ego involved. He wants to do what's right by his fighters."

White again mentioned the promotion's upcoming construction of a new headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada with an adjoining facility for athlete rehab and therapy.

White says the promotion will work to reduce injuries, calling it 'controlling the uncontrollable' in April.

"Injuries are going to happen," said White. "You're going to have injuries but you have to be so careful. The question becomes with Khabib, did he do all his therapy that he was supposed to do on his knee after surgery? Did he do all the right things? We're starting to get our ducks in a row and we're going to start fixing this."

White hopes to emulate the practices of the National Football League, which, along with NCAA football programs, has reduced the amount of full-contact hitting its teams do midweek ahead of weekend games.

"The NFL has proven it," said White. "They've done these studies. The NFL isn't hitting every day like they used to. They're playing on Sunday. That's it. You have to have some sparring in there, but these guys are doing way too much damage to their fighters inside the gym."

White might not control the contact, but he can certainly affect the recovery process.

"Here's what doesn't happen in football: if DeMarco Murray blows his knee out for the Dallas Cowboys, they don't just send him home and say, 'Hey, good luck, call us when you're healthy.' They make sure he's there doing his therapy, his rehab and everything else. That's what we're going to start doing with our fighters."

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MEDIA STEW

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Luke Thomas and Kevin Iole break down Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.

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Dana talking Floyd vs. Manny and a possible rematch. (via MMA Mania)

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Georges St-Pierre talks return.

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Matt Mitrione slams Jon Jones.

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Free Fight: Anthony Johnson vs. Alexander Gustafsson.

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Dumb MMA rules.

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Long watches.

Submission Radio 3/5/15 Luke Rockhold, Demetrious Johnson, Soa Palelei, Karim Zidan + Jon Jones

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Shorty

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TWEETS

See how the pros reacted to Mayweather vs. Pac

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I will say this though a lot of ppl are sounding really dumb and saying you're not the champ until you beat the champ. Well we know the story so no need to go into that. At the end of the day a new champ will be crowned and life will go on, Regardless of how you feel! So at the end of the day you say you like the sport and respect the fighters then show it by supporting not by saying something stupid. It is what it is! Nobody is denying Jon his credit at all.


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More Floyd-Manny reactions.

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Get well soon.


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Congrats.

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Soon.

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Damn.

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Happy holidays.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced this weekend (May 1-3 2015)

cancelled Alexander Gustafsson vs. Glover Teixeira at UFC Fight Night: Jedrzejczyk vs. Penne

Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Jessica Penne at UFC Fight Night: Jedrzejczyk vs. Penne

Renato Carneiro out, Mirsad Bektic vs. Lucas Martins at UFC Fight Night: Alves vs. Condit

Sean Spencer out, Colby Covington vs. Mike Pyle at UFC 187

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via Michael Shulski.

Poll: What is 'Bad for the Sport'?

Google "bad for the sport" in quotation marks. Every result on the first page, aside from one, mentions the UFC. The second page is also all UFC except for one. In both cases, the other sport mentioned is football. There are certain linguistic trends that people follow. Oftentimes, this is fun and brings insight into situations. Sayings like "that's not how it works" and "this is why we can't have nice things" come into general use. The saying "bad for the sport", though, seems to be a slippery concept.

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Check out the rest of the post here.

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