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Perhaps the biggest and best compliment we can pay Lyoto Machida vs. Luke Rockhold is that it feels completely necessary.

In an MMA world now defined by dilution and excess, this is one we must absolutely have. When the two middleweights meet on Saturday in the main event of UFC on Fox 15, theirs will be among the most anticipated non-title fights of the year so far.

It will be steeped in meaningful stakes and will play out on the mainstream stage provided by network television.

Oh yeah, and it also stands to be a whole lot of fun.

USA Today

Even as it limps down the home stretch, UFC on Fox 15 remains the best MMA card of the month.

Yoel Romero is out, owing to a knee injury, but the UFC's second foray of the year into network television still promises to be a rollicking good time. Luke Rockhold and Lyoto Machida fight for presumed No. 1 contender status in the middleweight division, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza promises to roll over short-notice replacement Chris Camozzi, and Cub Swanson meets Max Holloway in an interesting featherweight matchup.

With preliminary fights moving from Fox Sports 1 to the network, UFC fans will also be able to cut out any superfluous channel surfing. Just set it and forget it for the full four hours.

As usual in the case of a fight card as good as this one, bold predictions are required. Luckily for all involved, Bleacher Report Lead Writers Chad Dundas (that's me) and Jonathan Snowden have them to spare.

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The news that Phil Davis has agreed to a multiyear deal with Bellator should not come as a surprise to anyone. But it is a further indication that the landscape of mixed martial arts has changed since the 2014 ousting of Bjorn Rebney and his replacement by longtime promoter Scott Coker.

Bellator vs. the Ultimate Fighting Championship is not a true competition. Not yet. There are a good many miles between where Bellator currently sits and where they need to go in order to be taken seriously as a major threat. The UFC is still a brand name for mixed martial arts, and that is a hefty thing to overcome for any company looking to make some noise in the space.

And the departure of Davis does not even begin to signal a death knell. The UFC had the option (as they do with every single one of their contracts) to match any offer Davis received from Bellator, and they elected not to exercise the option.

That should tell you all you need to know about the UFC's thoughts on Davis. If they considered him an important player, he'd be back in the UFC fold no matter what Bellator offered him. One look at the 2014 situation with Gilbert Melendez will tell you that the UFC doesn't mind paying handsomely to match outside offers, if only they consider the fighter worth matching.

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The sudden withdrawal of Yoel Romero from UFC on Fox 15 leaves a hole that just can’t be filled.

Anybody who has seen the hulking Olympic wrestler compete, or even just walk into a room, can tell you that. His stocky, heavily muscled frame, newsboy fashion sense and quirky fighting style all cut Romero a unique profile in MMA.

With the possible exception of Chris Camozzi, nobody is better off without him—not fans, not the UFC itself and especially not his erstwhile opponent, Ronaldo “JacareSouza.

Their co-main event on Saturday was to be one of the month’s most anticipated bouts. It was a big part of why this weekend’s free network television fight card was regarded as superior to April 25’s UFC 186 pay-per-view, even before the injuries and the court orders hamstrung the latter.

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Saturday's UFC on Fox event from New Jersey is a breath of fresh air. It is a beacon shining in the night, smack dab in the middle of a mostly dreadful Fight Pass card and UFC 186, which might very well be the fight card that tests just how low the promotion's pay-per-view bottom can go.

You've got Luke Rockhold vs. Lyoto Machida, the handsomest fight in UFC history. The winner of that bout will likely move on to fight the winner of next month's Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort bout, which will be Weidman.

The co-main event features Jacare Souza against Chris Camozzi, which is far less awesome than the original fight between Souza and hulking Cuban wrestler Yoel Romero but still offers a chance to see Souza maul a person in the Octagon.

And then you've got Cub Swanson vs. Max Holloway and Jim Miller vs. Beneil Dariush and Ovince St. Preux vs. Patrick Cummins and Diego Brandao vs. Jimy Hettes. It is a good card.

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When the UFC debuts in a new market, it is usually a cause for celebration. Fans thirsty for the world's biggest fight promotion are finally satiated.

That was not exactly the case on Saturday when the promotion made their initial foray into Poland with a card in Krakow. Headlined by a rematch nobody wanted between Mirko Cro Cop and Gabriel Gonzaga, the card mostly featured unrecognizable talent, and it aired on the UFC's streaming-only Fight Pass service.

There are times when cards that are terrible on paper deliver a morning/afternoon/evening of exciting fights. This was not one of them. But then the main event nobody wanted came around, and we received a reminder that mixed martial arts is an unpredictable beast unlike any other.

And now, we turn our lens on UFC Poland to figure out what we learned, what we loved and what we hated.

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We’ve seen the future of MMA—and the future is the past.

Naturally, Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar are to blame for this. When those two old codgers met last November to coast around the Bellator cage for three tepid rounds, nobody expected it to be the year’s most influential fight.

But while the action was retrograde, the ratings took us back to the glory days.

Suddenly, 40-year-old pensioners are the new hot prospects. It’s strange to think that our sport so eagerly goes in for nostalgia when its own modern history dates back less than 25 years, but as 2015 crawls past the first quarter turn, that’s what’s up.

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On Saturday, legendary Croatian striker Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic returns to the Octagon for the first time since 2011.

He is 40 years old and has been fighting since 2001. Over the past few years, he became an afterthought. He is a considerable underdog to Gabriel Gonzaga, the man who changed the trajectory of his career with a historic head kick in 2007.

But that moment, and all that came after it, do not tell the story of Cro Cop's career. Today, we will look at 10 of the best and worst moments of his career. There were glories and there were massive lows, but Filipovic's time in the sport made him a legend.

Let's find out why.

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Quinton “Rampage” Jackson had his own little media day Tuesday, and it went exactly like you would expect: There were contentious allegations made, gloriously glaring typos committed, clarifications required, Internet memes misappropriated and, of course, very little substance to any of it.

The whole thing was hilarious—so long as your life and livelihood weren’t directly tied up in it.

At this point, there’s no way to know what any of the parties are actually thinking in this courtroom standoff between Jackson, Bellator MMA and the UFC. So far, everybody is playing their parts with Oscar-worthy conviction, though we can certainly read between the lines of this week’s flurry of prepared statements.

Monday began with a New Jersey judge granting Bellator a preliminary injunction against Jackson, barring him from fighting Fabio Maldonado this month at UFC 186.

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UFC 186, the latest in a string of utterly cursed fight cards, took another hit on Tuesday morning when a New Jersey judge granted an injunction to Bellator that will prevent Quinton "Rampage" Jackson from fighting against Fabio Maldonado in the co-main event, as reported by Fox Sports' Damon Martin.

A card that once featured two title fights (neither of which were highly anticipated) now features just one: Demetrious Johnson will defend the flyweight title against Kyoji Horiguchi. Johnson, for all his fighting wizardry, has not resonated with the public as a drawing card and is defending his title against a virtual unknown.

On the surface, it appears that Jackson was the drawing card on the show. Now he's gone, either back to Bellator or into lawsuit purgatory. The point being, he's not fighting on this card, and whatever interest was left in the show either completely evaporated or, at the very least, took a massive hit.

To discuss the UFC's options for this faulty card, lead writers Jeremy Botter and Jonathan Snowden—Bleacher Report's version of Thelma and Louise—team up once again to answer The Question: Should UFC 186 be canceled?