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Ronda Rousey, the Ultimate Fighting Championship's biggest star, is once again leading headlines. And rightly so.

This time, it's twofold. She's on the cover of Sports Illustrated, which is still a big thing. Even as the digital revolution marches ever onward, being featured in the pages of Sports Illustrated represents a kind of cache that a million features on MMA-specific websites just cannot bring.

And the cover? It is obviously a big deal, because MMA has only been featured on the cover twice in the history of the magazine. The first time around, it was Roger Huerta in the role of poster boy, but he was mostly used as a stand-in for the promotion itself. That story was about the UFC and its rise to glory.

This story is about Rousey.

The magazine references Rousey as the most dominant athlete in the world. It's a familiar refrain and feels a whole lot like the promotional bluster the UFC churns out when it's time for Rousey to take center stage on one of its pay-per-view events.

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Here’s Stipe Miocic’s Australia experience in a nutshell.

Miocic whipped Mark Hunt about as badly as anybody ever has for 23 minutes on Saturday night, forcing a fifth-round TKO stoppage in the main event of UFC Fight Night 65. Along with the victory, he’ll likely capture something close to No. 1 contender status in the perennially unstable UFC heavyweight division.

Then Miocic woke up at 5 a.m. to watch his beloved Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA playoffs and reveled in Lebron James’ game-winning shot. Oh, he also spent some time searching social media for the phrase “Stipe sucks” (and at least one NSFW variation thereof), just to keep tabs on the haters:

All in all, it was a pretty full weekend for a guy who is rapidly emerging not only as one of the UFC heavyweight division’s best fighters, but one of its most solid dudes.

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There's no gentle way to put it: The UFC's heavyweight division is old.

Like, really old. 

The average age of the current Top Five heavyweights, per the latest set of UFC rankings—keeping in mind that this also includes Mark Hunt (41), who will no doubt drop out of the Top Five when the latest set of rankings are released this week—is 34 years old. 

The UFC's current Top 10 is a list of aging fighters, with zero young prospects currently making their way up the rankings. Dutch skyscraper Stefan Struve is just 27 years old, but he's far beyond what you'd call a prospect. Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez is still quite young at 32, but his injury-riddled body has kept him on the sideline for many of his prime years. 

Still, the fighters in the heavyweight division will always intrigue people because they're heavyweights. They're big, powerful dudes with knockout power across the board, and people love that sort of thing.

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The MMA world got its first real look this week at how a new, exclusive outfitting deal between Reebok and the UFC might affect the sport’s athletes.

Thus far, it has been met with fairly unprecedented internal backlash. The vast majority of fighters to comment publicly about the fledgling arrangement—on social media and elsewhere—are not impressed and not amused, per MMAJunkie.com.

Fighters contend the tiered payout system outlined to them via email on Wednesday will amount to huge cuts in their pay. With roughly two months left before the deal takes effect, there is still a lot we don’t know, but if the first wave of public reaction is any indication of what’s going on behind the scenes, it’s nothing short of a talent relations disaster for the world’s largest MMA organization.

For the specifics of the deal and more on the initial response to it, you can read fellow B/R lead writer Jeremy Botter’s take. Or just look at this picture posted by UFC lightweight Myles Jury, which seems to succinctly capture the mood:

via RFA

Co-promotion works. 

For MMA fans, that might feel like a bold statement. After all, for years the UFC has eschewed it, preferring instead to establish themselves as the dominant player in the market and force fighters to come to them.  You'll see the UFC's best fighting the best from other organizations about the time you see pigs fly.

But, in boxing, co-promotion has a storied history, including a little bout you may have heard of—Floyd Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao. That was a fight that brought together rival fighters, rival networks (HBO and Showtime) and rival promoters (Bob Arum and Al Haymon). 

If those long-time deadly enemies can do it, anyone can—something Legacy FC and Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) intend to prove Friday night on AXS TV, no matter the cost. The two promotions, arguably the top farm systems for future UFC stars, will duke it out in a five-fight battle to establish supremacy on the regional scene.

"We have been working behind the scenes for years to negotiate a promotion versus promotion superfight," AXS Fights CEO Andrew Simon said. "...After discussions with some of the top external promotions, it became clear that they weren’t interested in making it happen. Through the years, we have come close a couple times to two AXS TV promotions setting up an event, and then it would fall apart. It took two quality promotions with great ownership like RFA  and Legacy to put it together."

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The most striking thing about the hysteria surrounding Floyd Mayweather’s fight against Manny Pacquiao on Saturday night was the hunger it revealed.

People—millions of them, it seems—were starving for some boxing.

There was a whole world out there primed for the sweet science to make a comeback, or at the very least a world craving the glitz and guttural thrill of a single big-ticket fight night. By the time Mayweather accepted Pacquiao’s best shots and spent the rest of their time together scripting another of his patented unanimous decision wins, one thing was clear:

Maybe this didn’t turn out to be a "super" fight—but boxing can still turn out a superfight.

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When all is said and done, Saturday night's boxing megafight between Floyd Mayeather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao will go down as not just the richest combat sports event in history, but one of the most lucrative sporting events to ever take place.

The numbers are mind-boggling. The $100 million check Mayweather showed to ESPN and others after the conclusion of the fight was just the start of the seemingly endless amounts of cash he'll eventually rake in from the fight.

Pay-per-view numbers are not currently available, but cable systems were so overwhelmed by people attempting to order the event that the main event was briefly delayed, which likely indicates an off-the-chart number that will smash the previous record held by Mayweather's fight against Oscar de la Hoya.

My personal prediction was that the fight would pull in more than 4 million buys, and I feel comfortable with that number. I'd be surprised if it does any less.

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The news cycle for Jon Jones is slowly going dark, at least until his legal process plays out in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We don't know what he's facing there, and we don't know if he'll serve any sort of prison time.

But what is clear is that, no matter how things ultimately play out, Jones will be away from the Octagon for awhile. A new champion will be crowned in his stead, and the title might be defended more than once.

What happens when Jones is fit to return to the Octagon?

Today, Jeremy Botter and Jonathan Snowden—Bleacher Report's version of Cagney and Lacey—get together to answer "The Question": What should happen with Jones when he returns to the UFC?

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This is a story we didn’t think we’d need for another decade or so.

As of last Friday, Jon Jones’ place atop the UFC light heavyweight division seemed as secure as any in the MMA universe. Then came Sunday’s alleged hit-and-run accident, 48 hours of disastrous public outcry and the fight company’s decision to strip him of the title.

The end of this week finds Jones on forced, indefinite sabbatical from the weight class he dominated with extreme prejudice after winning the championship in 2011. His sudden absence will have considerable ripple effects—casting the division into chaos while affording almost everyone in it renewed life.

What will the UFC 205-pound division look like without Jones in it?

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In retrospect, perhaps Jon Jones’ dominance over the UFC light heavyweight division was always going to end this way.

It had become increasingly clear that the fight company’s other 205-pounders couldn’t unseat him. If Jones was going to be forced from the throne, it would have to be by his own hand.

After a couple days of indecision, the UFC finally moved on its embattled champion late Tuesday, stripping him of the title and indefinitely suspending him in the wake of an alleged hit-and-run accident in his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, over the weekend.

It was a shocking development, but only because many doubted the organization would have the guts to censure one of its longest-standing titlists and best-established pay-per-view draws. If there's any good to come out of this, it’s the notion that the move might finally force Jones to confront his increasingly destructive personal behavior.