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Morning Report: Renan Barao vindicates his interim title; Dana White doubts ‘Bjork’ Rebney runs Bellator

As the afterglow of Saturday night’s fireworks faded within London’s Wembley Arena, where just hours before UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao extended one of MMA’s truly remarkable streaks with the performance of a lifetime, UFC President Dana White found himself once more fielding questions about his foremost rival. Continually referring to Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney as Bjork — perhaps accidentally or perhaps mockingly — White gleefully contrasted the success of the current season of The Ultimate Fighter to Bellator’s campaign on Spike TV, before reiterating his frustration with the legal standstill that is the Eddie Alvarez situation. Understand guys, you’re not dealing with Bellator, White stated. Bellator doesn’t even exist anymore. Do you think f–king Bjork is running f–king Bellator? Do you think Bjork is running Bellator? Do you really think that? There’s no way in hell. Viacom is running that company. They’re a multi-billion dollar f–king business. One of the most powerful media companies on Earth. What’s the number they sit on? 5.5 billion in cash? 5.5 billion in cash. Break some off for f–king Eddie Alvarez and pay him what he deserves. By now White was on a roll, and all he needed was the mere suggestion of Viacom utilizing its vast resources to not only preserve the services of Alvarez, but also use the trial as leverage to springboard Bellator into a comparable competitor to Zuffa’s goliath. They better start, White shot back. They’re doing f–king 700,000 viewers and the numbers are dropping like f–king flies. They better start leveraging something quick. But they built the UFC. You know that, right? (Viacom President and CEO) Philippe Dauman said he built the UFC. Philippe Dauman is the pompous, arrogant guy who runs Viacom, who claims he built the UFC. Well whatever you did building the UFC, brother, you better f–king start doing it again because things aren’t looking good over there.And with that, the latest edition of Dana White versus fill-in-the-blank was in the books. Something tells me this Bjork thing might have some legs. But enough of that, let’s get to some headlines. 6 MUST-READ STORIES Barao defends interim title, calls out Cruz. UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao submitted Michael McDonald with a fourth-round arm triangle choke to retain his title at the main event of UFC of FUEL 7. (Video.) Following his victory, Barao called out sidelined champion Dominick Cruz. Cruz responded in turn, saying that nothing about the Brazilian really concerned him, and he hoped to return sometime this year for a title unification bout. For more, check out reaction from the pros. White attacks TRT. In a somewhat surprising turnaround, UFC President Dana White denounced the use of testosterone replacement therapy in mixed martial arts, vowing to increase drug testing on any fighter who seeks a therapeutic use exemption. Said White: Guys are jacking through roof on their entire training camp, then getting back down to normal levels before the fight, which is cheating. I hate it, I don’t like it and I’m going to fight it. And if you are using TRT in the UFC, we’re going to start testing the s–t out of you for the entire camp. Swanson defeats Poirier. Featherweight contender Cub Swanson took a giant leap towards securing a rematch with division champion Jose Aldo on Saturday, defeating Dustin Poirier in an electrifying three-round battle at the co-main event of UFC on FUEL 7. Cyborg signs with Invicta. Following her release from the UFC, former Strikeforce women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg Santos inked a multi-fight deal with Invicta Fighting Championships. Cyborg is slated to make her promotional debut against Ediane Gomes at Invicta FC 5, which takes place April 5, 2013. Diaz camp, White dispute over missed tapings. According to UFC President Dana White, welterweight title contender Nick Diaz missed three tapings for the UFC’s traditional ‘Countdown’ show, costing the company a s–tload of money. Diaz’s lawyer Jonathan Tweedale, however, refuted that claim. Advancements made in battle for NYC. Mixed martial arts could well be on the verge of obtaining legal sanction in New York following a concession made by the New York Attorney General’s office regarding an interpretation of the existing state laws. Nonetheless, several hurdles remain. MEDIA STEW Strongest case for the airing of fighter walkouts: James Te Huna’s inspired Men in Black routine from Saturday night. As always, if you missed any part of last week’s Bellator offering, feel free to catch up with the entire Bellator 89 main card below. (Click to watch.) You knew it was only a matter of time before we saw an MMA-related Harlem Shake video. (And yes, there’s an extended version.) Observant fight fans may have recognized the name of Cris Cyborg’s next opponent. But Ediane Gomes not only carries a 25-second loss to Ronda Rousey on her record, she also fought this fellow at an underground Vale Tudo mat…

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