Latest UFC/MMA news and notes from around the web for the week of October 15, 2011

Welcome, Maniacs, to the weekly series where we help you catch up on some of the original reporting done by other sites in the vast MMA landscape. Like Tom Lawlor and Dave Kaplan pictured above, we can all "get along."

Teaming up with MMA sites like MiddleEasy, Cage Potato, Fight Opinion and Five Ounces of Pain, we'll provide an opportunity for all MMA fans to read some fresh and original voices in the sport.

This week, Cage Potato has a career retrospective interview with Chris Leben, Bleacher Report has a great discussion with Matt Lindland and MMA Fighting's Ben Fowlkes gets Jason Miller to open up about his first fight.

The full list of links is after the jump.

- Georges St. Pierre expects to return in January or February (LowKick)

"The recovery I want to do it well, I don't want to do it too fast. Because now I had an injury and I tried to train on it and maybe made it a little bit worse. I need a good four weeks to do my physio and do it right. I would say maybe end of January, possibly the beginning of February (for my return) ... Super Bowl, around this time."

- Roy Nelson working with Frank Mir for Cro Cop fight (NBC Sports MMA)

"This one actually just fell in place. He was a southie, (like) Cro Cop, and me being a good jiu-jitsu guy, like Nogueira, so it was just a perfect fit. There's nothing strange about it. I think everybody in MMA, paths always cross, especially if you've been in this sport as long as we both have."

- Chris Leben: The career retrospective interview (Cage Potato)

[On "sending Anderson Silva back to Japan":] "Here's the deal: When you sit down with the UFC and give them a pre-fight interview, what are you supposed to say? I'm not going to say they tell you what to say [during the interviews], but it's certainly coached, and they want you to be a tough guy. So I couldn't say, ‘Hey I didn't want to take this fight, I didn't think I was ready for it, but I'm taking it anyway because the UFC told me I had to.' I asked not to take the fight. I thought it was a bad idea, plain and simple."

- Grappling with Issues - 10/19/11 (Five Ounces of Pain)

How much gas does Rich Franklin have left in the tank? Will Alexis Vila cruise to the Bellator Season 5 Bantamweight Tournament crown? Is Roy Nelson at risk of getting released without a win at UFC 137? Should Bellator consider holding events on a new night come 2012?

- My First Fight: Mayhem Miller (MMA Fighting)

"To me, it seemed like he was almost magical. I think he had a blue belt or a purple belt, and I was like, oh no. I was a little concerned. There was no blue belts or purple belts in my neighborhood. Nobody knew that stuff. It wasn't until months later when I went to a Gracie school and was tapping out blue belts and purple belts that I realized, oh wait, that doesn't actually matter that much."

- Nick Diaz takes the scenic route to UFC 137 main event (5thRound)

In one fell swoop, former Strikeforce welterweight champ Nick Diaz (Pictured) is right back where he was supposed to be all along - headlining UFC 137 on October 29th. Oh, the irony.

- Pat Barry and Mirko Cro Cop: The Duet (MiddleEasy)

Now I already professed my love for Cro Cop yesterday, but this video only makes my love for him greater. Look at it, it's perfect, Pat Barry's smile grinning from ear to ear. Cro Cop's subtle head nod as he works his pipes. So today Pat Barry, Mirko Cro Cop and The Internet became that much stronger and for that I am grateful. 

- Interview with Dan "Punkass" Caldwell from the Tapout Crew (TheFightNerd)

"I think Kenny [Florian] is a really exciting fighter in his past matches, he just needs to fight the right people... me personally, I think the 155 lb. division looks a little more inviting again. I think he should go back to 155 and try his hand there. Some of those guys would match up better with his style."

- David Castillo: Why the smart money's on Nick Diaz beating BJ Penn (Fight Opinion)

While fans may have felt something was lost when Nick Diaz fumbled his chance at the title with his antisocial behavior in playing the role of Dr. Richard Kimble at Cesar Gracie's home, we've also collectively gained with one of the most intriguing matchups in all of MMA.

- Update on Bellator-Desert Rage litigation (MMA Payout)

Last week we reported that Bellator had sued Arizona promotion Desert Rage Full Contact Fighting claiming the Arizona-based promotion interfered with contracted Bellator fighters for its upcoming event in Yuma on October 22nd as Desert Rage was set to hold its own event nearby on the same date.

- Matt Lindland interview: Chael will finish Silva before the end of the third round (BleacherReport.com/MMA)

"I think the rematch would look just like the first one, except I've got a game plan for Chael to finish him before the end of the third round. So, yeah it'll look similar to their first encounter, but with some additional techniques and strategy, it won't make it to the championship rounds."

- The lost victims of the injury bug (MMA Convert)

Everyone groans and exclaims when the big names get injured - there's still weeping to be heard over Georges St. Pierre's forced exit from UFC 137, and sobs can be heard all around the world over the news that Shane Carwin and Rich Franklin are both on ice over back- and shoulder injuries. But the Dreaded Injury Bug has bitten others, too.

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