On Friday morning we had zero indications of where exactly the UFC welterweight pecking order stood, or what, if any, implications Martin Kampmann vs. Jake Ellenberger would have on the title picture. Hours later, things became a whole lot clearer.
Kampmann roared back to life after another slow start, introduced his knee to Ellenberger's face after seven minutes of punishment, and just like that, the once crowded 170-pound landscape began its slow tiptoe towards solid footing for the first time in what seemed like forever.
And then things got interesting.
Jon Anik's out-of-nowhere announcement that Kampmann would next square off against Johny Hendricks -- matchmaking we all knew made sense, but looked improbable after Hendricks insisted on camping out for a title shot -- and the winner of that would face the winner of Georges St. Pierre vs. Carlos Condit for the UFC welterweight strap, meant that suddenly, somehow, we had a mini-four-man tournament on our hands.
It may not have happened gracefully, and frankly, it may not have been the first option. (Just throwing this out there, but if Hendricks had fought Condit, and then Kampmann fought the winner, the man who emerged from that trifecta would have carried immense marketing momentum into a clash against GSP. Though of course, that whole plan relies on an interim champ who actually wants to take fights.) But hey, at least we got here, and that's really all that matters now.
Besides, you can be sure, when that winter card hits hyping a St.Pierre-Condit headliner and Kampmann-Hendricks co-main, the violence bound to ensue will warm our hearts and make us forget all about this nonsense.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
The Ultimate Fighter Live Finale. Catch up on the season finale of The Ultimate FIghter Live with fight results, a look at the best and worst from fight night, reaction from the pros, bonuses, and video highlights of Martin Kampmann vs. Jake Ellenberger and Michael Chiesa vs. Al Iaquinta.
Coker talks Rousey vs. Cyborg. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker discussed Daniel Cormier's rise to stardom, what's next for both Cormier and Josh Barnett, the potential for a Gilbert Melendez vs. Eddie Alvarez fight, and the 'inevitability' of Ronda Rousey vs. Cris Cyborg.
Silva out against Shogun. A lingering back injury forced Thiago Silva to withdraw from his UFC 149 co-main event bout opposite Shogun Rua. According to UFC President Dana White, Rua's camp turned down a replacement fight against Glover Teixeira, though Shogun's manager, Julio Heller, denies those claims.
Floyd Mayweather starts jail sentence. Polarizing boxer Floyd Mayweather began his 87-day prison sentence in Nevada's Clark County Detention Center, stemming from his 2010 domestic violence charges.
Blagoi Ivanov recovered. Undefeated Bulgarian heavyweight Blagoi Ivanov has been released from Pirogov Hospital in Sofia, Bulgaria after making a "miraculous recovery" from a medically-induced coma. Ivanov was hospitalized in February after being stabbed in the heart during a party.
Speaking of Sergei Kharitonov, the big Russian met up with John Delgado on Saturday night, and this one didn't even last 40 seconds. WARNING: This video is LOUD. (via @mmarocks_pl)
There was plenty of drama on Friday night, but the biggest jump-out-of-your-seat moment came courtesy of Justin Lawrence, whose bone-chilling knockout prompted Dana White to give the kid $80,000 in fight night bonuses.
You see this? It's a slab of wood from the telephone poll Jones crashed his Bentley into. And yes, you can buy it.
AFTER THE DUST SETTLED
Tough way to make an easy living... Thanks to everybody for the support!!! twitter.com/MartinKampmann…— Martin Kampmann (@MartinKampmann) June 2, 2012
I'm going to be World Champ. I hate losing more than I love winning. Adversity builds character...— Jake Ellenberger (@EllenbergerMMA) June 2, 2012
That amount of hair is borderline gross lol twitter.com/MikeMav22/stat…— Michael Chiesa (@MikeMav22) June 2, 2012
Thanks to @MikeMav22I took a diesel power nap in the cage tonight so I'm down to rage all night .... What's the deal vegas ??— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) June 2, 2012
Brian Ebersole (@TwasEbersole) June 2, 2012
Mark Bocek (@MarkBocek) June 2, 2012
Mazzagatti the fight killer 4 mins of nothing in the ground in the first round!!! The worst ref EVER!!! Drives me NUTS— Dana White (@danawhite) June 2, 2012
Wow that was a really quick stoppage. Especially after given Kampman so much time to recover in the first.— Shane Roller (@shaneroller) June 2, 2012
Damn, I'm kinda ashamed that I didn't even know fights were on tonight.— Mackens Semerzier (@MackDaMenaceMMA) June 2, 2012
HOLLOWAY VS. SCHILLING AND THE DANGERS OF BODY SHOTS
Ref should stop this fight— Dr. Johnny Benjamin (@DrJCBenjamin) June 2, 2012
Where the hell is Schilling's corner...stop this fight!— Dr. Johnny Benjamin (@DrJCBenjamin) June 2, 2012
Schilling is literally going to be urinating blood from this body work— Dr. Johnny Benjamin (@DrJCBenjamin) June 2, 2012
These are the types of fights that end in tragedy...this isn't funny or sporting!— Dr. Johnny Benjamin (@DrJCBenjamin) June 2, 2012
MUSINGS FROM CESAR
Respect you @danawhite but Clinton, Bush and Obama all loved Dr Reefer and still became Presidents. Who will NSAC approve steroids for next?— Cesar Gracie (@CesarGracieBJJ) June 2, 2012
Announced over the weekend (Friday, June 1, 2012 - Sunday, June 3, 2012):
- UFC 149: Thiago Silva (14-3, 1 NC) out against Shogun Rua (20-6)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day sees Halitosis climb onto his soapbox and lay out the case for: Enough is Enough: Kim Winslow Should Not be Allowed to Referee Another Fight
A referee should be allowed a few little mistakes along the way. Maybe a slightly late or slightly early stoppage, but only a few. What we've seen from referee Kim Winslow is a multitude of embarrassing mistakes, sometimes risking a fighter's health, and other times risking their career success. Her pitiful flubs have been well documented and have been criticized by God knows how many sources, and yet there is no end in sight, no condemnation by officials. Only resentment from fighters and fans alike.
She has shown tendencies to make critical errors at the worst of times. Some may claim that she needs to keep learning. In this case, she should invest some time in actually learning about the sport she is paid to referee. Professional fights are not meant to be a referee's platform to 'learn', even at the lowest levels of competition. Having a referee with dismal knowledge of what they are officiating is not fair to the fighters. It's not fair to the viewers. Not to mention, she can single handedly ruin careers with her actions. A fighter who is told that Kim Winslow will be officiating his or her fight should seriously worry about their own health and their opponent's.
Last night, she struck again at The Ultimate Fighter Live Finale. The bout was the first of the night and featured John Albert vs. Erik Perez. The fight was prematurely stopped when after being caught in a tight triangle choke for a long part of the round, Erik Perez escaped and got Albert into a tight armbar. She only allowed the submission to be held for a matter of seconds before stepping in, and Albert never tapped out.
Albert was in the process of escaping, but was robbed of his opportunity to do so, as apparently Kim Winslow had seen enough. This was not her choice to make. Albert was actively defending, and while he may have been grimacing, a referee should have enough knowledge of the sport to know that a fighter is about to attempt to escape a submission. If he was going to let his arm break from the hold, then so be it. It was not for her to decide.
Found something perfect for the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's post.