It looks like Robbie Lawler has his next opponent lined up, and it’s none other than former interim welterweight champion and fan-pleasing brawler Carlos Condit.

Former UFC and WEC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has been sidelined since September, and don’t expect to see him back in the Octagon any time soon. Having lost his belt and his...

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omshm5Omvks

Why did Jacob “Stitch” Duran feel compelled to speak out against the UFC’s deal with Reebok, which ultimately prompted the organization to cut ties with the veteran cutman on Tuesday?

According to Duran, it was simply the right thing to do – both for him and his fellow fight-night officials.

Duran, a frequent MMAjunkie Radio guest host, today joined the program in studio to confirmhe’s split with the UFC and to discuss the ensuing blowback from fans and fighters.

“It got to the point where I was trying to speak up for the cutmen, and being the leader and bringing this up and talking to the guys at the UFC, we had no clout whatsoever; we weren’t even in the equation of getting sponsorships, and I personally depend a lot on my sponsors to make it work (financially),” said Duran, who was barred from wearing outside sponsorships on fight night as part of the UFC-Reebok deal that went into effect earlier this month. “So, of all the cutmen, I would have lost more financially.

“But speaking up for the cutmen, I tried to talk to the UFC, and they basically had told us there’s no more money in the kitty.”

Duran subsequently did interviews with MMAjunkie Radio and BloodyElbow.com to voice his frustrations over the new requirements.

It proved to be the nail in his proverbial coffin, and Duran said an unnamed UFC employee told him he’d no longer be used on fight nights because of what he said about Reebok.

For their part, Reebok officials today stated they weren’t involved in the decision (via Twitter):

View: https://twitter.com/Reebok/status/623931268837847040

“I didn’t say anything wrong,” Duran said. “I stated my opinion, and we as cutmen should be compensated for wearing Reebok. How can you wear Reebok and not get paid? To me, that’s just not right, plain and simple.

“But I think the reaction that the fans have done and coming out and creating a firestorm, I don’t think the UFC was equipped to handle that. And I’m the fall guy, man. (I’m) taking a bullet for the team, brother.”

LINK: Cutman ‘Stitch’ Duran explains why he spoke out against UFC-Reebok deal | MMAjunkie

While the UFC hosted four events in the span of a week, the major topic of discussion in the aftermath remains the return of heavyweight legendFedor Emelianenko. The latest fighter to offer his thoughts on the Russian's return was former UFC champion Tito Ortiz, who is confident that Fedor will join him on the Bellator roster. If that is the case, he would love to be the man to welcome the ‘Last Emperor' back from retirement.

"I think Fedor is signing with Bellator, and if he can get down to 205 I would love to fight him," Ortiz told Submission Radio. "I've always fought at 205, I will always fight at 205 because I know I'm in great shape when I fight at 205, but if Bellator could put that together; wow, can you imagine after I beat McGeary, me and Fedor for the light heavyweight title? That'd be amazing."

When asked why he appeared confident in Fedor joining him at Bellator, Ortiz cited the Russian's previous working relationship with Bellator CEO Scott Coker, as well as his recent appearances at promotional signings.

"Well, you know Scott Coker is a straight shooter and I know he's an awesome guy, and I know Fedor has had that great time with Bellator at the signings, and I know Scott Coker and Fedor are good friends, his managers are good friends with him. And you know it just seems like when you're in a good business relationship, things just make sense, and I don't know. We'll see."

LINK to full story: Tito Ortiz believes Fedor will sign with Bellator: 'I would love to fight him' - Bloody Elbow

Next Saturday night's World Series of Fighting title fight between Jake Shields and Rousimar Palhares has been a little bit personal in the lead-up, particularly for the one-time Strikeforce champion.

Shields has gone on record saying that he's gong to "take out" WSOF's current welterweight champion Palhares, whom he considers a dirty fighter that intentionally tries to hurt people.

On Wednesday's WSOF 22 media call, the 36-year-old challenger Shields reiterated his stance on Palhares.

"I don't remember exactly what I said, but hey, Palhares is a guy I don't really care for," he said. "He's a dirty guy who likes hurting people. He doesn't let go. He plays like he's a nice guy after breaking someone's leg when he doesn't let go. He's just a bad person, and it makes it fun to go out there and punch him."

LINK to full story: Jake Shields: 'Palhares is a bad person, and it makes it fun to go out there and punch him' - MMA Fighting

We're just 4 days away from UFC on FOX 16 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The card...