Morning Report: Manny Pacquiao, Mighty Mouse, and the Winners and Losers of a Busy Fight Weekend

Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Fight weekends come in many shapes and sizes, but few hit us with the combat sports roller-coaster we just experienced. After all those twists and turns, now seems as good a time as any to pump to pump the brakes, piece everything back together, and try to make sense of it all.

Winner: Flyweights – Friday marked the first 125-pound headliner in UFC history, and luckily for the little guys, it didn’t disappoint. With a whirlwind of speed, facial hair, and fantastic nicknames, Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall capped off a highly-enjoyable UFC on FX 3 main card in style, Johnson taking the judges’ scorecards and narrowly avoiding any kindergarten calculating errors.

“Mighty Mouse” and “Uncle Creepy” have now fought for half-an-hour like they were stuck on fast-forward, and really, for how evenly-matched they appear to be it’s a great testament that not a minute of it could be called boring. It may have taken an extra three months but the flyweight tournament appears to have done its job, collecting interest for a tough-to-sell division and setting up what should be an entertaining inaugural championship fight.

Loser: Manny Pacquiao – With the day-to-day noise of sports media, it’s easy for stories to be blown out of proportion. But that being said, some things are just indefensible. The absurdity of Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley is one of those things.

We’ve all seen the numbers by now. Pacquiao landed almost 100 more punches than Bradley (253 to 159), 82 more power punches (190 to 108), won anywhere from 7 to 11 rounds depending on whose scorecard you’re looking at, and controlled the fight to the degree that even Bradley would have a hard time saying he won with a straight face, yet here we are. Pacquiao gets an L, the Nevada State Athletic Commission looks completely incompetent (again), and cries of corruption are ringing out from the pop culture grid to national boxing circles. Generating controversy like that would almost be impressive if it wasn’t done so ham-fisted.

Winner: Mixed Martial Arts – Obviously, as a fight fan, you never want to see something like this happen, especially to a guy like Manny. But the mass outrage after the decision on Saturday night was notable in that it seemed to be a classic “that’s it, I’m done with this crap” moment.

People often say the audiences for boxing and MMA are completely removed, and perhaps that’s true. But let’s be honest, the non-hardcore fans are mostly in it for that down-your-spine-tremble that comes with watching a stunning knockout. For a long time that fix was widely associated with the sweet science. Only now there are several outlets, and MMA is the most widely prevalent among them.

From Snoop Dogg to Justin Timberlake, there were quite a few people denouncing boxing for the UFC after seeing Pacquiao “lose.” (Yes, even Xzibit.) We’ve heard this before, and it’s probably just chatter, but even if 25-percent of those people mean what they say, MMA may have inadvertently gained a new chunk of fans this weekend.

Loser: Major UFC Pay-Per-Views – With every step forward, comes two steps back. After last Wednesday’s medical extravaganza, it was hard to imagine the Summer of Injuries getting any worse. But then word trickled in on Saturday that another champion had fallen.

This time the victim was the reigning featherweight king, Jose Aldo, and so UFC matchmaker Joe Silva was forced to re-sculpt our upcoming fight schedule for about the hundredth time in the past few months. By the end of it, UFC 149 was left without it’s biggest star, UFC 148 lost it’s championship co-main event, and a collective groan was heard from fight fans second-guessing whether they’ll actually get to see the product they paid for.

Winner: Erick Silva – If you had any doubts about Erick Silva’s ability to compete in the top-half of the welterweight division, they were probably extinguished sometime between Charlie Brenneman turtling up under a hailstorm of blows and Silva effortlessly choking him unconscious for his third straight first-round UFC victory. (I don’t care, we’re counting Prater.)

Even if referee Frank Gentile’s multiple separations were a bit unjustified, Silva blew the doors off expectations and thundered through a gatekeeper impressively enough to punch his ticket to welterweight’s murderers’ row. Everyone is already tossing out suggestions for where the 27-year-old should go next, and while a Josh Koscheck match-up makes sense, my personal favorite option is probably Diego Sanchez. Regardless, Joe Silva has his work cut out for him.

Loser: Florida – My colleague Mike Chiappetta already covered this topic better than I ever could, but between the rampant scoring miscues, erratic potentially harmful refereeing, and a tepid-at-best audience reception, calling it a bad night for the Sunshine State would probably be an understatement. Ultimately, UFC President Dana White may have said it best: “I’m not saying we’ll never come back, but it’s gonna be a while.”



UFC on FX 3 results. Demetrious Johnson narrowly topped Ian McCall at an error-plagued UFC on FX 3, and will now advance to a flyweight championship contest against Joseph Benavidez. For more, check out complete results, video of the post-fight press conference, bonuses, reactions from the pros, and video highlights of Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall.

Pacquiao loses split decision. Top boxing draw Manny Pacquiao lost a stunning, inexplicable split decision to Timothy Bradley on Saturday night, despite besting him in nearly every significant statistical category. Photos and video highlights of the event can be seen, and a rematch is tentatively set to take place November 10 on pay-per-view.

Aldo injured. Featherweight king Jose Aldo became the latest high-profile UFC injury withdrawal after being removed from the main event of UFC 149 with an undisclosed injury. UFC 148′s interim bantamweight title fight between Urijah Faber and Renan Barao will now headline UFC 149.

Doctor accuses Sonnen of steroid use. Dr. Johnny Benjamin discussed PEDs and TRT in MMA, and at one point came to the conclusion that the hypogonadism of polarizing middleweight contender Chael Sonnen is because he “wrecked his testes” with steroids.

GSP targeting UFC 154 return. Georges St. Pierre vs. Carlos Condit for the UFC welterweight title, and Martin Kampmann vs. Johny Hendricks for the No. 1 contender is being tentatively targeted for UFC 154, according to UFC President Dana White.



It may have flown somewhat under the radar, but Erick Silva proved he can compete with the top-half of the UFC welterweight division with another dominating performance on Friday night.


Last week Rashad Evans threw out the first pitch at a Miami Marlins game. Let’s just say it probably could’ve gone better. Click to watch. (HT: Reddit)



Vitaly Minakov is a 8-0 heavyweight with seven first-round finishes, a multi-time World Sambo champ, and the proud owner of thunder in his right hand, which Eddie Sanchez had the misfortune of finding out last week. UFC talent scouts, start calling this guy right now. (HT: MiddleEasy)


Oh, and Bob Sapp fought in Kazakhstan this weekend. Remember that thing about him not wanting to take any damage? Well, the referee didn’t really help his cause in this one. (HT: Bloody Elbow)


Eddie Wineland was surely this weekend’s winner of the “Worst Horror Movie Cut” award, after suffering this doozy in his ‘Fight of the Night’ win over Scott Jorgensen.


(via MiddleEasy, Twitter)


Ever wonder what a circus looks like? Just take a peek at the Pacquiao-Bradley scorecard.


(via SBNation)









Announced over the weekend (Friday, June 8, 2012 – Sunday, June 10, 2012):

UFC 148: Urijah Faber (26-5) vs. Renan Barao (28-1) moved to UFC 149 main event

UFC 149: Jose Aldo (21-1) out with injury opposite Erik Koch (13-1)

UFC 154: Georges St-Pierre (22-2) vs. Carlos Condit (28-5) tentatively announced

UFC 154: Johny Hendricks (13-1) vs. Martin Kampmann (20-5) tentatively announced



Today’s Fanpost of the Day comes from TheBirdsDen, who was so disgusted on Saturday night he compiled this list: Timothy Bradley vs Manny Pacquiao and the Worst Decisions in Boxing History

Well, really hate to write something like this on the sport I love so much but, its a part of the sport and always has been. I will say this as someone who does judge boxing (amateur) sitting there you do hear and see things that no one else sea’s. Still I don’t know how Bradley can be given that fight.

So after the jump I will talk about some of the worst decisions in major fights in boxings history.

Joe Louis vs Jersey Joe Walcott - Joe Louis is the greatest Heavyweight Champion ever (25 defenses and 12 year reign). Still that doesn’t mean he didn’t get a gift decision late in his career. Louis quickly found out Walcott was all wrong for him as Walcott’s shifty side to side head movement mixed with his timed counters caught Louis all night. Louis was dropped twice in the fight yet somehow Joe Louis was given the decision after 15 rounds. In the rematch, things were going the same, when Walcott started to showboat in front of Louis and Joe cracked him with one of the sickest combinations in the history of the sport.

Muhammad Ali vs Jimmy Young – it’s sad, Jimmy Young, a man that knocked out George Foreman and beat Muhammad Ali (not on the scorecards of course) never got his recognition. Simply out, Young outboxed an old and out of shape Muhammad Ali only to be robbed by the judges. There were a lot of questionable decisions going in li’s favor leading up to his stunning loss to Leon Spinks, Ernie Shavers comes to mind, but Jimmy Young got the shaft the hardest imo.

Found something perfect for the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we’ll include it in tomorrow’s post.

MMA Fighting – All Posts

“I Fell Like I Hit The Lottery,” Brandon Vera On Facing ‘Shogun’ Rua


Brandon Vera

UFC light heavyweight Brandon ‘The Truth’ Vera (12-5, 1NC) has seen some highs and lows over the past year-and-a-half, seeing himself cut from the top promotion to headlining the upcoming UFC on FOX 4 event against former UFC and Pride champion, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua.

Vera had been scheduled to face fellow light heavyweight James Te-Huna at next months UFC on Fuel TV: Munoz vs. Weidman event in San Jose.

An injury to Vera’s nemesis Thiago Silva, who had been set to meet Rua at UFC 149 in Calgary, as well as injuries to Brian Stann and Michael Bisping, helped to reshuffle several event cards leading to a headlining bout between Vera and Rua for the upcoming FOX show.

Speaking on “The MMA Show with Mauro Ranallo” podcast Vera talked about being offered the match with ‘Shogun’ and it’s meaning to him.

“I don’t have anything to lose anything anymore,” he said. “I’ve reached the bottom. There’s nothing else to lose. This is the fight I’ve always dreamt about. Besides Randy, he’s the guy I’ve always wanted to fight.

“This for sure is going to be one of the fights that defines me as a person and as a fighter. This will be one of my greatest performances ever. I’ve never felt this good or alive in a really long time, since the fight with Randy (at UFC 105).”

“All I said was, ‘F*** yeah, let’s do this,’” he said of his conversation with his manager. “I felt like I hit the lottery. Like f***, I’ve never had an opportunity like this in my life. This is big. This is huge.”

And while most fans on social media have been quick to call this a squash match, Vera is confident he’ll prove them all wrong by coming out on top of what has the potential to be a five-round muay Thai war between two of the best strikers at 205 pounds.

“I’m super excited to be standing with Shogun. I’m super excited to see what happens,” he said. “Brandon Vera’s back. I’m going to make myself relevant to the MMA world again in one evening, in one fight.”

UFC on Fox: Shogun vs. Vera (aka UFC on FOX 4) is expected to take place on August 4, 2012 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The bout between Rua and Vera will air on FOX television and include a currently, eleven bout card for the LA show.


Week-in-Review: List of UFC, Strikeforce & Other Fights Announced

A complete list of significant new fights reported in the past week.
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The MMA Hour With Bisping, Franklin, Vera, Woodley, and Brenneman

Ryan Pierse, Getty Images

The MMA Hour is back in your life on Monday. Here’s a rundown of who will be stopping by:

1:00 — Michael Bisping will discuss why he had to pull out of UFC 149.

1:20 — Tyron Woodley will preview his Strikeforce welterweight title fight against Nate Marquardt.

1:40 — Charlie Brenneman will discuss Friday night’s loss to Erick Silva.

2:00 — Rich Franklin will look ahead to his UFC 147 rematch against Wanderlei Silva.

2:20 — Your questions and calls will be answered. Tweet us questions using the #mioenergystrikes hashtag

2:40 — Brandon Vera will preview his UFC on FOX 4 main event fight against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

Got a question or comment? Give us a call at 1-888-418-4074.

Watch the show live below beginning at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT / 6 p.m. GMT. Subscribe to The MMA Hour on iTunes: audio feed here; video feed here. Download previous episodes here. Listen to the show via Stitcher here or via TuneIn here.

MMA Fighting – All Posts

Junior Dos Santos vs Cain Velasquez II set for UFC 152

The rematch is on. During last nights post fight press conference for UFC on FX 3, Dana White announced that Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez’s rematch will happen in Canada at UFC 152. The event is set to take place at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on September 22. Of course this is barring …
Caged Insider

UFC on FX 3 results recap: Demetrious Johnson vs Ian McCall event wrap up from Las Vegas

June 8, 2012; Sunrise, FL, USA; Demetrious Johnson (left) fights against Ian McCall (right) during their UFC bout at BankAtlantic Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to FX this past Friday night (June 8, 2012) with UFC on FX 3: “Johnson vs. McCall,” featuring Demetrious Johnson advancing to the finals of the flyweight tournament with a unanimous decision victory over Ian McCall.

No controversy this time.

Erick Silva’s rise to prominence in the welterweight division continued with yet another first round finish, this time a rear-naked choke submission win over Charlie Brenneman.

And what’s there to say about Mike Pyle and his knockout of Josh Neer? Or Eddie Wineland and his stoppage of Scott Jorgensen?

In cased you missed any or all of it — or just want to keep the discussion alive — below are links to all the major storylines borne from Friday night’s event in Las Vegas.

In we go.

UFC on FX 3: “Johnson vs. McCall”

Results and live fight coverage

Post-fight press conference video

Bonuses and awards

Event photos gallery

Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall fight video highlights

Erick Silva vs. Charlie Brenneman fight video highlights

Fight recap: Eddie Wineland stops Scott Jorgensen

Fight recap: Mike Pyle knocks out Josh Neer

Fight recap: Erick Silva submits Charlie Brenneman

Fight recap: Demetrious Johnson bests Ian McCall

Fight review and analysis: Eddie Wineland vs. Scott Jorgensen

Fight review and analysis: Mike Pyle vs. Josh Neer

Fight review and analysis: Erick Silva vs. Charlie Brenneman

Fight review and analysis: Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall

UFC on FX 3 post-fight fallout

Big winners and lowly losers

The UFC flyweight division is already a success

What exactly does UFC caliber mean?

Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall should have been five rounds instead of three

What’s next for Demetrious Johnson? Joseph Benavidez, of course

Demetrious Johnson can’t wait to hit sexy Joseph Benavidez in the face

Mike Pyle knocked out Josh Neer because he didn’t want to be there anymore

That, my friends, should be enough to keep you talking — at least for the time being. What gets your vote for the biggest story coming out of UFC on FX 3?

Sound off, Maniacs.

Brian Stann Injured, Out of UFC on Fox 4 Headliner against Hector Lombard

Brian Stann has suffered an undisclosed injury and will be unable to compete as expected against Hector Lombard in the UFC on Fox 4 headliner.
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[VIDEO] Tölegen Akylbekov Attempts to Win the “Bob Sapp Challenge”

Italian Wikipedia does not have the same quality standards as its English counterpart.

Before we go any further, the answer is yes. That image is a real screenshot of Bob Sapp‘s MMA record on both the English version of Wikipedia and its Italian counterpart, taken around 2:30 (CT) this afternoon. Those who follow MMA already know that Bob Sapp is nothing more than a joke and a disgrace, and with Wikipedia cracking down on UFC events that aren’t important enough to deserve their own pages, it should come as little surprise that yet another effortless loss from Bob Sapp has yet to be added to his fight record.

Friday night, Bob Sapp set out to mock our sport professional sports once again in Kazakhstan against Tölegen Akylbekov. Knowing that Bob Sapp was going to put up as much of a fight as The Brooklyn Brawler, Akylbekov decided that he was going to attempt to win The Bob Sapp Challenge™. For those uninitiated, the rules are simple: Rather than defeating Bob Sapp as quickly as possible, one must force Bob Sapp to actually put up something resembling a fight for as long as possible. Sounds easy enough…until you realize you’re attempting to make a guy who has tapped out to a double-leg takedown actually put up a fight.

Props, I guess, to MiddleEasy

Once Tölegen Akylbekov got Bob Sapp to the ground, he threw some ground-and-pound that was so light that even Bob Sapp couldn’t tap out to it. Akylbekov has the right idea by standing up and backing away, but when Sapp refuses to stand back up, the Kazakhstan fighter threw some comically slow punches that would have made a real fighter do something other than turtle up and wait for the referee to stop the fight.

But it was all for nothing. Two minutes and twelve seconds into the video, we see the inevitable tapout from Bob Sapp due to hammerfists. Immediately after the Sappmission, the referee lands the most significant blow of the fight when he tackles Tölegen Akylbekov.

Okay, the bar for The Bob Sapp Challenge™ has been set at one minute, twenty four seconds. Your move, Jong Dae Kim.


Ian McCall Believes He’s Inside Demetrious Johnson’s Head

After a dominant third round against Demetrious Johnson in their March 3 UFC flyweight tournament bout, Ian McCall believes he has the psychological edge heading into the rematch Friday.
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UFC Interim Champ Carlos Condit Still Wants Rematch With Martin Kampmann

Click here to view the embedded video.

UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit dropped in to speak with analyst Ariel Helwani about his quest to fight Georges St-Pierre. Condit discussed the injury to GSP, as well as possibly facing off against Martin Kampmann in the meantime.