When UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones pulled out of a title defense against Glover Teixeira in Feb. at UFC 170 a day after the UFC announced the match up, promoter Dana White said that Jones was “not injured.” According to the fighter’s manager that was not and is not true.
Jones’ manager Malki Kawa told UFC Tonight that Jones got back into the gym recently to prepare for a fight but did not feel right, in large part to a foot he banged up in his recent title defense against Alexander Gustafsson. According to Kawa, Jones will rest and rehab his foot until the new year, at which point “Bones” will get back into the gym.
Jones would then look to fight again in March or April. Jones, of course, has been one of the most active top challengers and champions in UFC history.
In 2011, for example, Jones fought four times including fighting for and winning the light heavyweight title strap against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua just a month after beating Ryan Bader. Jones has fought twice each in 2012 and 2013.
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Dong Hyun “Stun Gun” Kim picked up his third win in a row as he recorded a crushing second round knockout of Erick Silva in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 29. Kim and Silva engaged near the center of the cage where they both unloaded with their left hand. Kim’s landed flush to Silva’s chin which immediately turned the lights out on the Brazilian.
Kim earned a $50K “Knockout of the Night” bonuses for his performance.
Check out the knockout highlights in the video below.
Credit: Fox Sports 1
Johny Hendricks insists that he was only punching at 70% when he beat up UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre last Saturday before losing a controversial split decision. The reason?
[Related: Johny Hendricks scoffs at GSP: 'Give it up']
Hendricks tells the Dallas Morning News that he had his hands wrapped more lightly than usual before his UFC 167 title bout against GSP and so was not able to safely hit with as much power as usual. “I usually get a thick wrap and this time I didn’t do that,” Hendricks said.
“Instead of me asking for a thicker wrap, I kept my mouth shut. It’s my fault. That’s on me. It means I hit hard enough that I can punch through the 4 oz gloves. So that’s what made my hands get bruised. I couldn’t punch as hard as I could [have]. The more injured I get, the less I get to use it, the more he gets comfortable, so I had to tone down my power. I was still hurting at 70 percent. Wait till I get a full hand wrap. That only builds confidence, because I beat the pound for pound best fighter in the world. I will be back, and I will be stronger than before.”
Ideally, Hendricks said he would like to rematch St. Pierre at the March 15 UFC 171 card which will take place at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX, where the welterweight lives. “Yeah, I think I have a great chance to fight on that card,” Hendricks said.
“It’s going to be great for Texas and a lot of people in Oklahoma. My goal is to have it be one of the bigger shows. If I can’t fight, I am still going to promote it. It’s going to be great for the sport to come here and try to fill the stadium. That would be impressive.”
[Related: UFC 167: Phantom Cam Highlights]
Hendricks also said that he has not re-watched his fight against St. Pierre, who announced what sounded at least like a leave of absence from competition post-fight, but maintains that he beat the champ everywhere.
“Yeah, I think I won that fight and so does everyone else,” Hendricks said.
“If he straight-up beat me, I would understand, but he didn’t. I think I am going to beat him next time like I did last time.”
As for a knee injury that required a medical suspension after UFC 167, Hendricks insists that the swelling is down, that he visited a doctor and that his knee is now fine.
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MMA Junkie reports that the UFC is planning 50 worldwide events in 2014 and there will be a new online/digital network which will be the exclusive way to watch some of these events.
In an interview with MMA Junkie, White gave the basics of the new network which will have some of the international events online for North Americans interested in seeing those events.
The organization will still have events on PPV, Fox, FS1 and FS2 in 2014.
Lorenzo Fertitta had indicated that the UFC would be having more events but not quite 50 as White states.Â Regardless of the amount of events, the reason for the addition of events is to expand its global footprint.Â The interesting wrinkle is the online network it is seeking to establish.Â While there are no details, we may assume it will be a monthly subscription service where subscribers pay a certain amount for these additional events.Â Time difference may be the reason for not having these international events on FS1 or FS2. However, it was announced that TUF: Nations will air on FS1 starting this January so fans will still get its international flavor of fighters.
Certainly the UFC will be gaging the interest of an online network and see whether it catches on to see if it could be monetized.
The hardest part about picking the Top 20 fights of the UFC’s first 20 years is that there are so many great ones.
UFC president Dana White has fostered a culture in which the athletes are encouraged to put on a show, and matchmaker Joe Silva is genius at pairing fighters whose styles mesh. Thus, there are literally Fight of the Year contenders on a monthly, if not more frequent, basis.
There is no right answer on a list like this. The following 20 bouts are ones that appealed to me, for reasons I’ll articulate. You may agree with most or agree with none, because that’s how these things go. This is my list.
Just so I don’t get a lot of questions, I am only considering matches that were held in the UFC for my Top 20 list. So, the two great matches between Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler in Bellator won’t appear here. Nor will the sensational scrap between Leonard Garcia and Chan Sung Jung at WEC 48 or any of the many great fights in PRIDE, Strikeforce, WEC or any other mixed martial arts organization.
There are only two criteria for a fight to be on this list: That it happened in the UFC, and that I found it one of the 20 best in the promotion’s history.
Let me know in the comments section which fight or fights you would have chosen as the greatest you have seen.
Edgar and Maynard had already competed in a classic match at UFC 125, that ended in a draw. And though rematches often don’t live up to the billing, this one did. It was the third fight of the trilogy, with Maynard having one win and then the draw at UFC 125.
It was a continuation of their last bout, with both men showing great heart and resilience. Edgar himself was hurt in the fourth round, but caught Maynard with a big right that decked the ex-Michigan State wrestler. He finished him on the ground to retain his lightweight title in a match that yet again showcased his amazing recuperative powers.
They didn’t quite match their slugfest from UFC 125, but they came close.
19. Wanderlei Silva TKO2 Brian Stann, Saitama, Japan, March 3, 2013, UFC on Fuel 8
There was never a chance this fight would go to the ground. Both men love to slug and it was a slugfest from the beginning until the devastating end at 4:08 of the second round.
Silva caught Stann with a right, followed up by a crunching left that earned him Knockout of the Night honors. The ending was typical of the entire fight, as the two hit each other with enormous shots throughout the match.
Pat Barry is a major knockout puncher, and when he hits men, they usually go out quickly. And that seemed to be what was in store when Barry caught Kongo with a right about two minutes into the fight. As Barry went for the finish, firing a volley of hard punches to the head and body, UFC analyst Joe Rogan said, “It’s over.”
Improbably, Kongo got up, but he was clipped by another massive right from Barry.
“Now, it’s over,” UFC play-by-play man Mike Goldberg said to Rogan.
Incredibly, unbelievably, it still wasn’t over. Barry was swarming Kongo and firing punches, but again, Kongo managed to pull himself to his feet. As Barry moved in, Kongo fired a counter and Barry was out cold.
In all, it lasted just 2:39, but it was 2:39 of the best action ever.
17. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira W3 Randy Couture, Portland, Ore., Aug 29, 2009, UFC 102
The veterans showed they learned a great deal over the years, putting on a show with a back-and-forth match that was a showcase of all areas of MMA. The early portion of the bout was standing, and both men hurt the other several times.
There were plenty of momentum shifts, but Nogueira seemed fresher down the stretch and he pulled out a victory in a Fight of the Night battle.
This fight gets on my list for reasons beyond what happened in the ring. It was a fairly one-sided fight and, in my opinion, it’s hard to call a one-sided bout one of the best ever.
It was the circumstances surrounding the bout that made this fight so significant. Couture was 43 and was moving back up to heavyweight from light heavyweight. At the time, the 6-foot-8 Sylvia was perceived to be a monster, and there were a lot of people who were legitimately worried for Couture’s safety.
The massive crowd, the largest for an MMA fight in North America at the time, went wild when Couture walked to the ring. And it kept up the pitch when Couture knocked Sylvia down early in the bout.
It was the moment, more than the action, but that is a fight that has to be on any list of the UFC’s top ever because of the circumstances surrounding it. Read the rest of this entry »
Before her winning TUF 18 finale bout, Julianna Pena made waves by calling UFC bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey a “spoiled, rich brat,” and “pretentious” during an interview on Fox Sports 1. Pena is friends and training partners with Rousey rival Miesha Tate and chaffed at Rousey’s harsh assessment of her before and after Pena upset TUF 18 Team Rousey member Shayna Baszler.
After winning TUF 18 Saturday night, Pena clarified her remarks about Rousey but did not back off of her criticism.
“Whether Ronda has one penny or $10 million, the point I was trying to make there is she has her nose in the air and she acts like she’s better than everyone else,” Pena said during the post event press conference.
“If [Rousey] was so real, why didn’t she tell me that I didn’t deserve to breathe the same air as Shayna Baszler? Why didn’t she tell me that to my face instead of saying it on camera behind my back?”
Pena said that it isn’t about how much fame or money Rousey has, just an overall arrogance that rubs the TUF 18 winner the wrong way.
“It’s her arrogance. It’s the way she holds herself, like her [expletive] don’t stink. That was the point I was trying to make. It doesn’t have anything to do with money. It’s the way that she acts,” Pena explained.
The 24 year-old UFC newcomer would seem to welcome a fight down the road against Rousey as well, to back up her talk.
“I’m probably like two or three fights away [from a title fight],” she said.
“Maybe one. Maybe they’ll put me up against the next champ right after this. Who knows? It’s not my decision.”
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