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Protect your legs, “Toquinho” is back.
Could Jon Jones return to the Octagon in 2018?
According to his manager, Malki Kawa, the chances of the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight champion fighting again inside the Octagon in 2018 are looking very good. In fact, the confident agent says there is a 95-percent chance “Bones” fights this year.
That is, of course, if United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) does the right thing and take everything they’ve gathered so far and realize that everything points to Jon telling the truth of never intentionally taking any banned substance.
Malki broke it all down during a recent interview on the Luke Thomas Show.
“By the end of this month I think we get some clarity on the issues. We have a hearing with the California State Athletic Commission and we’re hoping to get the investigation with USADA wrapped up by then, as well,” revealed Kawa.
“Hopefully it all works out that way. I got to assume that by the end of March, for a fact, we will get this resolved and get an idea of what it’s looking like. I’d like to say about a 95-percent chance (he fights in 2018).”
USADA busted Jones pissing hot following his championship win over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214, which ultimately lead to another suspension and “DC” getting crowned light heavyweight champion again.
“If USADA is a respectable organization, which I think that they are, and they take all the information they compiled, all the interviews that they’ve done and all the things they’ve seen, they know for a fact that Jon Jones was not cheating and he was not intentionally taking any kind of substance. I think they know that and everybody can come to that conclusion based on the circumstances of his situation. That’s the most I am going to say at this point because it is obviously on-going.”
Furthermore, Kawa pointed to Jon’s willingness to take a polygraph test on his own — which he passed — as further prove that “Bones” is an innocent man who is trying his hardest to prove his case.
Nevertheless, it will be an interesting few weeks waiting to see if in fact everything comes out roses for Team Jones. If it does, his presence will without a doubt shake up the 205-pound weight class once again, and talks of a trilogy fight against Daniel Cormier will surely ramp up.
After “DC” takes care of this business, of course.
Midnight Mania! Dana White tells fighters to become stars themselves instead of begging for money fights
Bringing you the weird and wild from the world of MMA each and every weeknight
Welcome to Midnight Mania!
It’s always a good look when the promoter just tells the fighters that promotion is up to them. That’s precisely what Dana White, the UFC president, did on Sunday after the St. Louis fight card. He was asked how relevant rankings are in the era of the money fight. White’s answer wasn’t completely coherent (via MMAJunkie.com).
“The only reason there are ‘money fights’ is because of the rankings,” White said. “A guy gets into the top 10, and then a guy breaks into the top five. When a guy breaks into the top five, that’s when everybody is interested in him. And when guys talk about money fights, it’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.
“You know what’s a money fight? Any fight with Conor McGregor is a money fight. There are certain people. Ronda Rousey – any fight with Ronda Rousey is a money fight.”
White may be confusing correlation with causation here. Fighters and fans certainly use rankings as a proxy to assess their place in the division, but what drives those rankings is their wins, which also (along with charisma and a compelling story) drives fan interest, and has done so since long before official UFC rankings were implemented. Dana White then pivots the discussion to the two most recent superstars whose combination of talent, charisma, and a compelling story generated tremendous casual interest. Those are interesting examples, because McGregor’s appeal never relied on rankings. McGregor ultimately had to look outside the UFC for his money fight against Floyd Mayweather. Never taking a step backwards, jumping divisions and even sports to seek the biggest matchup possible, Conor is the poster child of looking for the money fight and being the superstar. This becomes important when reading White’s next quote:
“Build yourself into a star, and you won’t be talking about money fights,” White said. “It’s getting to a point where Conor McGregor has exploded and become so huge that this whole money fight thing came about. And even if you’re not fighting Conor McGregor, you want to be on Conor McGregor’s card. Become a star. Don’t worry about Conor McGregor or fighting on Conor McGregor’s card. Become a star yourself.”
White’s comments fall apart on several levels. Firstly because, of course, he, the promoter, is telling fighters if they just promoted themselves they would never lack. It’s both true, and a sad admission of the UFC’s inability to do their core job. UFC viewership is declining across the board and has been for years now, both in terms of pay-per-views (PPVs) and cable TV numbers. McGregor is their only superstar, and his lone boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, along with stringent employee and budget cuts that further atrophied the UFC’s promotional muscle, is the only reason White can claim the UFC had their best year ever.
The Reebok deal both enforces bland uniformity, and works as a disincentive to fighters’ self-branding efforts. That is because, without independent sponsorship money, fighters will only receive about 15% of the gross revenue of whatever self-promotion effort they put forth. With the promotion keeping 85% of the profits, anyone with any level of charisma might as well sell real estate or live off marijuana sponsorships instead.
That’s the really perverse reality under Dana White’s statements: the money is actually there. It’s just being hoarded to undergird the bottom line and, they hope, trigger payouts for the executives and owners. Without a successful lawsuit, legislative action or collective bargaining, that isn’t likely to change anytime soon, either.
It really no coincidence MMA only has a couple stars, much less superstars; fighters really have very little agency, either in terms of matchmaking, or in terms of opportunities to stand out. That’s why only champions really have the opportunity, however obnoxious, to demand money fights. Only holding a belt gives fighters any opportunity, however slim, to try to pick their opponents. Meanwhile, when the promotion does choose to get behind a blond, promising fighter such as Sage Northcutt or Paige VanZant, their efforts can work in terms of building an audience for such athletes- but those lucky few fighters may not actually pan out as championship caliber talent.
Even the ones that have every ingredient for superstardom, such as Francis Ngannou, find themselves criminally underpaid. This is very smart of the UFC and Dana White in the short and medium term, maximizing profit and minimizing cost, but it could be a core reason why their audience is declining long term. Without investment in both properly promoting and paying their fighters, the UFC will most likely continue to see its audience shrink, and the sport it dominates to languish on the sidelines of the mainstream.
Woodley is learning to use his left while his right arm is out of commission
Al Iaquinta Parody- but in all honesty, this is just another amazing fight at lightweight with Paul Felder.
— Ragin’ Al (@IAQUINTAREALTY) January 16, 2018
Francis Ngannou will make half a million dollars for his next fight- a good sum by UFC standards, but not even on the same scale as a boxer in a similar situation.
During a French interview
Francis Ngannou revealed his base pay for his fight with Stipe Miocic will be $ 500,000.
— MMA Curator (@MMACurator) January 16, 2018
Dustin Poirier is confident 2018 is his year
I’m going to win Gold this year. pic.twitter.com/mggG7OA9so
— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) January 16, 2018
Nate Diaz has a different focus
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) January 16, 2018
Great photoshop work
pre-Madonna. Jessica Eye would be proud of Colby’s spelling.
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) January 15, 2018
Bellator did Douglas Lima and Rory MacDonald dirty. I understand the decision, but they could have at least kept their fighters in the loop about it.
— Guilherme Cruz (@guicruzzz) January 15, 2018
Alexander Gustaffson had a good birthday
Kamaru Usman clarifies his 30% comments, but Emil Meek is having none of it:
I don’t complain about my 30%!
— Emil Valhalla Meek (@emilvalhalla) January 15, 2018
VanZant said the spinning backfist she threw in the first round was what broke her arm.
— Paige VanZant (@PaigeVanzantUFC) January 15, 2018
— UFC (@ufc) January 15, 2018
This was a tremendous head kick, but Jessica Eye absorbed it and finally snapped her losing streak
BOOM! Beautiful head kick from Faria.
— UFC (@ufc) January 15, 2018
Michael Chandler and Kamaru Usman practicing the skill that won Usman his fight: wrestling
Pumped to watch my boys @usman84kg and @menace155 crush it tonight. As you can see from this video, it’s hard to score on Kamaru and if he gets you down it’s a grind to get away. Can’t wait to see @lilheathenmma back in action as well! – #ufcstl #mma #wrestling #wrestler #wrestlers #d1wrestle #ncaawrestling #mizzouwrestling #grappling #jiujitsu #bjj #bjjlifestyle #bjjlife #hardwork #hardworkpaysoff #fitness #fit #fitnessmotivation #workout #workoutmotivation #ironmichael
Chandler loves his wrestling throws:
Throwback to some great greco sessions with @darrylch – chain wrestling off of a stopped shot. – #mma #wrestling #greco #grecoroman #grecowrestling #suplex #suplexcity #wrestlingslams #mmawrestling #handfighting #grappling #judo #judothrow #bjj #jiujitsu #d1wrestle #ncaawrestling #collegewrestling – music inspiration by @eric_chandler
Dana White: nerd! (okay, I enjoyed it too)
Rose Namajunas tweeted this surprising video:
Joe Rogan is an avid bow hunter
Hashtag just Florida things.
Someone in Florida snapped this awesome picture of a raccoon riding an alligator at the Ocala National Forest. pic.twitter.com/k1CEu8o8uk
— Tweets for Bros (@BroHumors) March 7, 2017
— McDuckMMA (@McDuckMMA) January 14, 2018
Nate Diaz, a real American ninja.
I mean Tyron Woodley does try this every time, so this doesn’t feel like a reach from Rafael Dos Anjos.
First @TWooodley was trying a super fight against @bisping, did not happen then he tried @GeorgesStPierre and then Diaz and now Connor. You feeling your time is up and you are getting desperate for a big fight #RDA #AndNew
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) January 13, 2018
That’s true talking
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) January 13, 2018
Robert Whittaker dropping out of his fight with Luke Rockhold was one of the saddest things to happen this weekend, but Yoel Romero vs. Luke Rockhold means I can’t be too upset.
I would like to apologize to all my supporters and fans of MMA for not being able to put on the show you deserve. I’ve been ruled medically unable to compete and wont be able to defend on home soil. This card meant so much to me and I’m devastated for not being able to fight. All I can do is focus on getting healthy to come back better than ever. All the best to Yoel and Luke for their fight and ill be waiting…
Slips, Rips, and KO Clips
The answer: No. No, he does not.
It’s been an absolutely LEGENDARY career for The Phenom.
— UFC (@ufc) January 13, 2018
Highlight reels you can enjoy
MMA veteran Pat Healy retired after this fight.
— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) January 13, 2018
Invicta puts on a great mix of martial arts:
— Jonnyboy (@JBNeverDies) January 14, 2018
— UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) January 14, 2018
See this thread for more action like this:
Chingiz Allazov stops Jordan Pikeur – K-1 World GP 2017 Super Welterweight Tournament pic.twitter.com/3XfFyj08Kz
— Bestrafer7 (@Bestrafer7) January 13, 2018
Could be fun:
Tenshin Nasukawa’s next opponent on Feb. 12th is former Lumpinee bantamweight champion Suakim Sit.Sor.Thor.Taew (in the Red) https://t.co/EzUiCl9xcI
— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) January 16, 2018
Podcasts and Video
UFC Fight Night 124 Highlights
The MMA Hour:
Monday Morning Analyst:
Bear rescued from fire, won’t let go of his hero! pic.twitter.com/hFfDj6fW3w
— anti joke apple (@antijokeapple) January 13, 2018
After long absences due to a variety of injuries and mishaps, Khabib is ready to turn right around and get back into another fight.
Last Saturday was the first time we’ve seen Khabib Nurmagomedov fight in the Octagon in over a year, the unfortunate result of a bad weight cut at UFC 209 back in March that sent him to the hospital and off the card. He returned in fine form, dominating Edson Barboza to the point where all three judges awarded him multiple 10-8 rounds.
I’m pretty excited about Nurmagomedov, but it’s hard to get too hyped at this moment because the guy is second only to Dominick Cruz for disappointingly long layoffs. A steady stream of injuries and mishaps make this UFC 219 fight with Barboza just his third match since April of 2014.
Fortunately, it sounds like Khabib is ready to make up for lost time. During his post fight interview with Megan Olivi, Nurmagomedov laid out his desire to get three fights in this 2018.
Three @TeamKhabib fights in 2018?
— UFC (@ufc) January 1, 2018
“The perfect date I think is April or May,” he said. “Because May is beginning Ramadan, I want to fight before Ramadan, and I want to fight after Ramadan, September, and I want to fight December. This is my plan, three times this year.”
While there’s plenty of moving parts that could get in the way, it’s always nice to hear a fighter commit to staying active and not disappearing for six to nine months. A couple of quick turnarounds and more intense ass whuppings like he delivered in his last two fights, and Khabib could be the UFC’s next big star. That was so close to happening in 2017. Let’s hope nothing gets in the way in 2018.
The welterweight champion may be out for a while as he rehabs his injured shoulder with various therapies.
Tyron Woodley has kinda sorta been on the shelf due to a shoulder injury, but there’s a twist: he keeps waffling on whether or not he’ll get it fixed before accepting a fight or not. The general vibe? That he’ll take a fight if it’s a big money fight. Otherwise, he’ll do the shoulder repair.
Considering a fight with Nate Diaz or Georges St-Pierre isn’t about to drop into his lap, it sounds like he’s deciding to get the shoulder sorted. Woodley laid out what sounds like his final decision in an interview with TMZ Sports.
“I’m going to go ahead and get this shoulder repaired,” Woodley said. “I’ve been saying you know what, I don’t want to get it cut on, I don’t want to get it repaired. But if there’s no fight that really makes a ton of sense for me to take the risk of not being 100% with my shoulder, then I’m going to go ahead and have it repaired.”
“They’re not going to do a full orthopedic rehabilitation, but they’re going to do a scope and they’re going to anchor down some sides. Then I’m going to get some platelet rich plasma, some stem cells. I’m doing everything.”
There’s no timetable laid out for when Woodley could be back, but we wouldn’t be surprised if his recovery seems tied to a decent welterweight contender appearing on the horizon. Looks like we’ve got another Michael Bisping style situation on our hands, folks.
Legacy Fighting Alliance is beginning 2018 with a bang, as the promotion has announced its first three events of the coming new year, all taking place in the month of January. The events’ main cards will air live on AXS.
Recent News on Sherdog.com
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White is tying a ribbon on another successful pay-per-view (PPV) event, as UFC 217 took place last night (Sat., Nov. 4, 2017) from inside Madison Square Garden in New York City.
And it was a wild night of fights indeed, as all three title changed hands as Georges St-Pierre submitted Michael Bisping in the main event to win the Middleweight title. Prior to that, T.J. Dillashaw reclaimed his Bantamweight title by knocking out Cody Garbrandt in round two, while Rose Namajunas earned the upset of the night by forcing Joanna Jedrzejczyk to tap to strikes in high-impressive title-winning performance
So what did White think of the event? See for yourself:
“There were a lot of holy shit moments tonight. I called this the ‘holy shit’ business, and tonight it delivered some holy shit moments. It’s the beautiful thing about this sport, you never know how it’s going to go. No matter what an expert you are or you think you are, you can never predict what’s going to happen. I think that’s one of the things that makes this sport so exciting.”
White also broke down “Rush’s” performance after a four-year hiatus.
“It’s a hard thing to do. Very few have done it. People think Bisping is an easy fight. Show me, show me where someone had an easy fight with Bisping. Michael Bisping is tough and he came to fight tonight. And Georges St-Pierre down the line.”
To hear White break down T.J. Dillashaw’s win over Cody Garbrandt, as well as Rose’s upset over Jedrzejczyk, click play in the embedded video player above.
For complete UFC 217 play-by-play coverage and results click here.