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USA Today

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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RW/MediaPunch/Associated Press

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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AP Images

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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UFC/Associated Press

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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Anonymous/Associated Press

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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AP Images

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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USA Today

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?

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USA Today

It’s possible this could turn out to be the best thing ever to happen to Al Iaquinta.

Or maybe the worst.

In this business, sometimes it’s hard to tell.

All we know for sure at the moment is that Iaquinta has been a hot topic of conversation since Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 63, when he celebrated his split-decision win over Jorge Masvidal by yelling obscenities at fans in Fairfax, Virginia.

Into a microphone.

On live TV.

Warning: NSFW language in video:

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Tommy Gilligan/USA Today

On a normal fight night I tend to wake up, look at the clock and dread the 14 listless hours I know I'll spend waiting for the fights to finally begin. Those are truly wasted hours too—after all, nothing fills the emotional void quite like face punching.

Perhaps that's what made this random UFC Fight Night from Fairfax, Virginia, feel so special? By the time Chad Mendes re-established himself as the second best featherweight on the planet, it was just after lunch. The whole day was still waiting to reveal itself. 

Morning mixed martial arts—quite a revelation.

Of course, the entire show wasn't perfection, even if the start time was. But what card is? In a new post-fight series, we'll look at the card as a whole and choose the five best and worst moments—the handful of things worth talking about on Twitter afterward.

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USA Today Sports

We need to talk about Chad Mendes.

Mendes rolled over Ricardo Lamas via first-round TKO Saturday afternoon at UFC Fight Night 63, efficiently reaffirming his status as the second-best fighter in the company’s suddenly scintillating featherweight division.

Will that be a problem?

Mendes is now 29 years old and gives every impression of being at the top of his game. His evolution from NCAA Division I All-American wrestler to complete MMA fighter may be one of the more impressive, if undersold, stories in the 145-pound weight class. He’s 17-2 overall (8-2 in the UFC) and has made violently short work of most of his competition.

But Mendes has already lost twice to champion Jose Aldo in the Octagon—at UFC 142 in July 2012 and at UFC 179 last October. Depending on the outcome of Aldo’s title defense against Conor McGregor at UFC 189 in July, that fact could put Mendes and UFC matchmakers in a tough spot.