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), 80 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 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.”

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

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.

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MEDIA STEW

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.

<A href=”http://msn.foxsports.com/video?videoid=131ef994-ab25-484f-b0ff-96f383138af1&src=v5:embed:syndication:uuids&from=shareembed-syndication” mce_href=”http://msn.foxsports.com/video?videoid=131ef994-ab25-484f-b0ff-96f383138af1&src=v5:embed:syndication:uuids&from=shareembed-syndication” target=”_new” title=”Highlights: UFC on FX 3 Brenneman/Silva”>Video: Highlights: UFC on FX 3 Brenneman/Silva</A>

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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.

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(via MiddleEasy, Twitter)

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

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(via SBNation)

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SOME THOUGHTS

Worst athleticcommission in the country!!!!!!!!!!!!

— Dana White (@danawhite) June 10, 2012

Ain’t that sum bullshitBoxing is a wrap. Going bacc on that ultimate fighting

— Snoop Dogg (@SnoopDogg) June 10, 2012

Worst Decision in boxing I’ve have ever seen! Someone mustve got paid….

— RAEKWON (@Raekwon) June 10, 2012

BRADLEY U CAN’T SLEEP 2NIGHT THE FEEDBACK IS OVERWHELMING ISN’T IT? THE WORLD KNOWS U LOST. DO THE RIGHT THING & GIVE THAT BELT 2 PACMAN!!!

— Busta Rhymes (@BusaBusss) June 10, 2012

What an embarrassing night for Boxing. Shit looked like the WWF. Pac Man and Jinky deserved to go home happy.

— Drizzy (@Drake) June 10, 2012

I’m gonna let it go… After I say this… Boxing was RUINED tonight for me.

— Justin Timberlake(@jtimberlake) June 10, 2012

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FLYWEIGHT NIGHTS

Awesome fight tonight thanks to all my training partners. Thanks to @xbox @ufc @univsall now time to enjoy the victory with #teammighty

— Demetrious Johnson (@MightyMouseUFC) June 9, 2012

I am sorry guys. Not my night. I will be back. Embarrassed myself tonight.

— ian mccall (@Unclecreepymma) June 9, 2012

I officially hate florida

— ian mccall (@Unclecreepymma) June 9, 2012

Weird I woke up feeling like I got my ass beat last night … Oh wait I did haha at least I’m not bleeding out of my ears anymore

— ian mccall (@Unclecreepymma) June 9, 2012

See you soon @MightyMouseUFC ! Congrats!

— Joseph Benavidez (@JoeJitsu) June 9, 2012

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TWEET OF THE YEAR

By sexing up their moms. RT @mike_7544 @JoshLBarnetthow do u able to deal with haters?

— Josh Barnett (@JoshLBarnett) June 11, 2012

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

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.

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