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Morning Report: Robbie Lawler says he would have taken Conor McGregor's soul had they fought

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Ruthless indeed.

Yesterday, Robbie Lawler, the UFC welterweight champion and number 4 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and Tyron Woodley were in Atlanta to promote their upcoming title fight and the two sat down for an interview with WSB-TV Channel 2 sports director Zach Klein. In the interview, Klein asked Lawler if he was disappointed that the previously rumored fight with UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor didn't materialize and the two had this exchange:

Lawler: "I wasn't too worried about it. Obviously, that was a big fight. He's a big draw but it wouldn't have been good for him."

Klein: "How so?"

Lawler: "Because if I hurt him I wasn't taking his neck."

Klein: "What were you going to take?"

Lawler: "His soul. I'm a lot different than most people. He found a way out. And Diaz took his neck and was nice to him. I'm just telling it like it is and how I saw it."

Back in March, there was a rumor circulating that Lawler would fight McGregor. At the time, McGregor was set to face lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 196 and, should McGregor win, there was talk of him moving up once again to face Lawler for the welterweight title in an attempt to win 3 titles in 3 different divisions. Ultimately, the fight never came to fruition as dos Anjos withdrew from the bout with McGregor and was replaced by Nate Diaz who set fire to that particular apple cart by submitting McGregor in the second round.

Now, Lawler is set to defend his title against Woodley at UFC 201 on July 30th in Atlanta, Georgia. Woodley is riding a two-fight win streak, knocking out ninth ranked Dong Hyun Kim in the first round and then taking a split decision over 12th-ranked Kelvin Gastelum. However, Woodley is coming off an 18-month layoff. Conversely, Lawler's last fight was the presumptive Fight of the Year, a split decision victory over fifth-ranked Carlos Condit in January.

On the matter of his fight with Woodley, Lawler was only marginally less terrifying.

"We're both professional. We've been doing this a long time. It's part of the business, promoting fights. When the octagon door closes, a different business is gonna start. As soon as they say, 'let's get it on!' I'm ready to fight. I don't need to waste any energy. I'm just always ready to go so when they unleash me, it's time."

That octagon door will close on July 30th in Atlanta, Ga. Conor McGregor should be glad he's not the one inside when it does.

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

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Bring on Barao. Anthony Pettis plans to drop to 145, hoping for an August debut.

Who does? Frank Mir believes Mark Hunt will win because Brock Lesnar 'doesn't like to be hit.'

Looking good so far. Jessica Andrade is confident she will earn more knock outs in her new weight class.

Swan song. Chuck Mindenhall discussed Dan Henderson's performance at UFC 199 and how it would be a fitting end to the legend's career.

Promotional Malpractice. Luke Thomas's Promotional Malpractice chat covered the crazy last few days in the MMA world.

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EXTRA CREDIT READING

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The Secret. Tim Bissell of Bloody Elbow talks about confidence and self belief in MMA.

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MEDIA STEW

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Rogan on Diaz-McGregor 2.

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More free Fedor.

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Dana saying negotiating with Mayweather starts with punches, kicks, and elbows meaning 0% chance it happens.

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Untethered MMA crew got back together to talk media, if you have ever watched these gentlemen before.

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LISTEN UP

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Remembering Kimbo.

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Media-cast.

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DSM and Lorenz Larkin

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TWEETS

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Not unreasonable.

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That is a pretty impressive thing to accomplish as an MMA fighter. Good on him.

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This could be interpreted very differently.

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Even Bisping wants it. No, Dan doesn't deserve it but what better way for him to retire?

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If true that was quick.

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Certain to add to speculation.

@supersagenorthcutt came in for sparring today preparing for UFC 200. I want to say something nice about the kid but oh my what a disaster it was. His dad is probably the worst coach I've seen in my life. He walks around talking shit from the start like we owe him something, then he interrupting his real coach during the rounds and gives poor Sage negative pet talk in between! Then at the 3rd round when I was just warming up and started pushing the pace they accused me of trying to hurt him and retired him from sparring! - When I train someone for a fight I want to put them in difficult situations, as you would in a real fight but these clowns just want him to do well and when he doesn't they accused me of some shit and made a scene! Never have I seen such bad coaching in my life! You have great potential kid, If you smart tell your dad to stay away from your fight camp so you could actually get some training done! Good luck for 200 ✌️

A photo posted by Ilya Grad (@ilyagrad) on 

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TBH he isn't much bigger than his brother. 145 should be doable though I'm not sure that solves his recent struggles.

Back to work @sixgungibson @izzystylewrestling @sergiopettis @tussagb #teampettis #145intheworks

A photo posted by Anthony Pettis (@showtimepettis) on 

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I don't speak Portuguese but it appears that Wandy is saying he has 12 of 15 symptoms for brain damage and has some memory loss. If so, that is not good.

R.I .P. Be in peace thanks for the entertainment! You make your job very well !!! Descanse em paz , caraca primeiro o Randeman agora o Kimbo , da até um medo , ta chegado cada mais cedo pros meus ! Não sabemos ainda todas as sequelas causadas por nossa profissão, nem as consequências no corpo e na mente , como falo pros meus amigos" Esse lance de esquecer as coisas é até bom , por que vc esquece o Q é ruim tb kkkkk " piadas a parte estive presente a uma palestra sobra concussion ( pequenos dando cerebrais causados por impacto) de 15 sintomas apresentado pelo especialista , eu tinha 12 ! Mais fazer o Q ! Por exemplo, essa lei Q proíbe os. lutadores de tomar soro é um crime ao cérebro dos lutadores , pois quando vc desidrata perde líquido tb no cérebro , aumentando em muito a chance de ter graves danos ao cérebro , decorrentes dos golpes ! " ! Tem vários dos meus amigos , Q estão muito diferentes de antigamente " estão fincado meio loucos " e agora quem vai cuidar de nós ? Quem não guardou um dinheiro ,vai passar por dificuldades infelizmente, não temos nenhum tipo de ajuda em nada ! Tudo por nossa conta !

A photo posted by Wanderlei Silva (@wandfc) on 

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JBJ all about the car instagraming.

Love these two @izzystylewrestling @hollyholm

A video posted by Jon Bones Jones (@jonnybones) on 

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Well earned indeed.

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GSP getting some training in with Jake Shields.

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Just saw this. It is great.

All kinds of surprises came out of @ufc 199 last night! #McLesnar @kamuraobscura

A photo posted by alanjouban (@alanjouban) on 

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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Alan Jouban (13-4-0) vs. Belal Muhammad (9-0-0); UFC Fight Night 90, July 7.

Nick Hein (13-2-0) vs. Tae Hyun Bang (18-9-0); UFC Fight Night Hamburg, September 3.

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TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

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2000: Kevin Randleman successfully defended his UFC heavyweight championship, defeating Pedro Rizzo via unanimous decision in the main event of UFC 26: Ultimate Field of Dreams. This event also featured Pat Miletich defeating John Alessio to defend his UFC welterweight championship.

2006: Gilbert Melendez became the Strikeforce lightweight champion, defeating Clay Guida by split decision at Strikeforce: Revenge. The main event that evening featured the North American debut of Alistair Overeem who won a unanimous decision over Vitor Belfort in a light heavyweight fight.

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Think I missed a spot? Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.