To put this simply, 100000% yes. Jon "Bones" Jones is perhaps the greatest mixed martial artist of all-time, let alone the greatest Light Heavyweight ever. We all know the last two years of Jones' career have been rocky, to say the least, but in my opinion he has more than paid his dues. Being sidelined from the sport, having his every move scrutinized, while embarrassing his family and himself, he has since done all he can to clean up his image in the sport and community.
I understand the steroid speculation is a different story, but I believe in my heart Jon Jones has never juiced, and that could be because I am a huge fan (or was, I don't know how to feel anymore). Part of why people do not believe the reasoning behind Jon Jones positive drug test, is because for the most part, as the UFC's steroid drug-testing has amped up in the last two years, Jones was sidelined with the Hit-and-Run incident, so they speculate he could've flown under the radar for the beginning of his career. I disagree, but again, that's just me. I do believe however, we will find out the truth soon, because when he returns, if he can continue to be the Jon Jones we have been so accustomed to seeing in the Octagon, and do it with no shadow of a doubt that he is clean, then I think that will put the issue to rest.
Jones is set to return from his 1-year suspension in July, and I expect the winner of DC vs. Rumble next weekend to hold out until July to face "Bones". DC has wanted a rematch with Jones since the moment Jon handed DC his first career loss in September of 2014 at UFC 178, and while the two have clearly struggled to get the rematch to actually happen, there is nothing DC wants more than to get his hands on Jon. As for Rumble, he was the man who Jones was supposed to fight before all of his legal trouble began, way back in May of 2015, and I know that if he beats DC, Jon Jones is the only man he wants to face.
I saw an article earlier today where all the big names in the Light Heavyweight Division were asked if Jones deserved an immediate title shot this summer, and I was nervous to read what they said, expecting a bit of bitterness and ignorance, but I found it to be the opposite. It seems as if the whole 205-pound division agrees that Jon Jones deserves the title shot, because after all, he is still Jon Jones. His return will be one of the most highly anticipated fights ever, because both DC and Rumble would be as entertaining of a fight as possible. Rumble may be Jones' biggest threat ever, because his KO power knows no bounds, and Bones can't afford to take too many bombs from Rumble. Meanwhile DC and Jon genuinely hate each other and would like nothing more than to take each other's head off.
I just hope when July rolls around, Jones is ready to go ASAP and we can see him regain the belt that he held for so long, and once again watch him climb the All-Time great ranks.
These two provide some of the greatest trash-talking I have ever witnessed, and I love when Jon Jones turns on his nice-guy act, and while I don't think he's even remotely as bad of a person as Daniel Cormier claims he is, it is truly hilarious and entertaining.
This next part is the best part, when the camera is no longer live, they really go at it.
During Thursday's UFC 210 conference call, Daniel Cormier was up to his usual nonsense, trying to belittle Anthony "Rumble" Johnson for his lack of overall skill in the octagon, stating that Rumble only has "one way to beat him" and that's by knockout. Now don't get me wrong, DC is far and away a better wrestler than Rumble - or anyone in the division who isn't Jon Jones for that matter - and there is no one who is going to try and say that a sane Rumble would ever take the fight to the ground, but we all know that DC wants NOTHING to do with Rumble's hands.
Anthony Rumble Johnson has hands down the most devastating knockout power in all of combat sports since Mike Tyson, finishing 16 of his 22 career wins via knockout, and his last three fights in absolutely BRTUAL fashion, even knocking Glover Teixeira's tooth right out of his mouth just 13 seconds into their fight last August. And make no mistake about it, DC knows this, and while DC loves to talk all this talk and act like he has no problem standing and trading with Rumble, we all know that will only last until he gets reminded just how powerful a right hand from Rumble is.
There is no doubt in my mind that DC will attempt to take this fight to the ground, whether he waits until the second round to prove a point that he "can" stand with Rumble is something I wouldn't be surprised of, but his game plan is to take it to the ground. We know - barring any other setbacks to Jon Jones' comeback, the winner of this fight will face Jones in July - so I think all the fans want to see something electric and exciting, because this division has been at a stand still since DC defeated Alexander Gustafson in 2015 by the narrowest of Split Decisions.
I have no problem admitting I am biased to this all, because I do not like Daniel Cormier in any way, shape or form, and I am quite the Rumble fan, but I do respect Cormier's ability to win fights, just not the way he does it, or how he loves to talk about it. For someone who thinks he's the greatest fighter on the planet, he has only defended his belt once, and while I know that is largely due to the fact that Jon Jones was pulled from their rematch , I don't see how DC beats Jones in the eventual rematch (if we ever get it).
Please don't try and out-hump Rumble for all 5 rounds Daniel... please..
If there are truly MMA-Gods, they will make this fight happen. After Khabib Nurmagomedov missed weight and ruined the potential fight of the year between him and Tony Ferguson at UFC 209, the UFC must make a decision on what to do about the Lightweight Interim Belt. We all know by now that McGregor vs. Mayweather is basically a done deal as far as IF it will happen, it's now just a matter of when and where, so with McGregor being sidelined for a few more months, possibly event the rest of 2017, a move must be made.
Tony Ferguson and Nate Diaz are stylistically as close as two fighters in the Lightweight division can get, both having great reach, stand-up, and excellent submission skills, so this fight truly would be an incredibly entertaining one. On top of that, it will provide the UFC and Conor McGregor with a win-win when he returns to defend his Lightweight Championship, because as I have been saying for months and months, the absolute best way for the McGregor-Diaz Trilogy fight to go down would be with the Lightweight Championship on the line. I mean, c'mon, you can't write a better script even if this were the WWE. And even if Nate loses, Tony Ferguson is a killer that has called out Conor McGregor's legitimacy as a champion and would be a true test for "The Notorious", and would prove just how real of a deal he is at 155-pounds.
I know Nate Diaz and Dana White have not been seeing eye-to-eye in the last few months, and while Tony Ferguson would fight Khabib, he has said it will only be if he is promised every penny he's supposed to earn, whether Khabib shows up or not. In a fight that would be, as Ferguson put it, "a battle of California", and I think fans everywhere would rejoice in the opportunity to watch these two warriors go head-to-head, especially with a chance at Conor McGregor on the line.
Please make it happen Dana!!!!!!!!
The beef between Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal is as real as MMA-beef gets; these two genuinely do not like one another. Their rivalry dates all the way back to 2014, where the two faced off at Bellator 120 on May 17th in a 3 round fight that Rampage won via unanimous decision, and the two have not stopped the verbal warfare since.
This fight will be at Heavyweight, somewhat of unfamiliar territory for King Mo, and it showed on the scale, as Rampage weighed in at 253 pounds, while King Mo only tipping the scales at 212 pounds, a 41-pound advantage for Rampage. King Mo has stayed very active since these two last met in 2014, recording 8 wins and 2 losses over that stretch of time, while Rampage has been quite the opposite, only fighting twice since then, both wins.
However, the true beef between these two fighters doesn't necessarily mean that the fight will be all that exciting, as King Mo doesn't care how he does it, he just wants to beat Rampage, and will likely do so by "humping his leg for 25-minutes" (meaning he's going to just try and out wrestle and out point Rampage). If there is one thing Rampage Jackson hates in this world, it's wrestlers. He has been outspoken about it his entire career, noting that he would much rather stand and trade in a brawl of a fight, rather than, as King Mo so eloquently put it, be "humped". I hope that we get to see some punches fly from these two, as they both possess the ability to knock the other out, but I fear for the worst.
Rampage is currently on his longest winning-streak (5 fights) since 2004-2007, and another win Friday night would keep him on pace to continue to chase his win-streak record of 8 from 2000-2001. While Rampage made headlines this past week for stating that his biggest MMA regret is starting the sport to begin with, he did clarify his comments at the Bellator 175 press conference this week, saying that he was more referring to the regrets surrounding his family, as since his career began over 15 years ago, he has been too distant from them for his own liking. I completely understand where he is coming from, as a sport that requires so much time and dedication, and so much traveling - especially as you begin your rise to fame - can be grueling on anyone.
When "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey was on top of the fighting world, she was once considered the most lucrative potential WWE fighter ever, but now after she has suffered two straight brutal losses, and is potentially done with her UFC and MMA career, is there still room for her in the WWE Universe? According to WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon, absolutely.
In a recent interview with ESPN, McMahon called the possibility of Rousey joining the WWE "a match - no pun intended - made in heaven". I completely agree with Stephanie McMahon, because not only does Ronda Rousey still have a loyal fan base, but her attitude and persona would translate wonderfully to the world that is Professional Wrestling. And McMahon isn't the only big name in the WWE to feel this way, long-time WWE manager Paul Heyman thinks Rousey would be a perfect fit for the WWE, regardless of her last two UFC performances. He even said he would love for her to become a "Paul Heyman girl", meaning he would take her under his wing, which would be a step in the right direction - if the direction she was headed in was a WWE villain - which I think she would fit into perfectly.
Ronda Rousey's legitimate fighting background, and her name-recognition, along with the "take no shit" persona that she has created for herself, would absolutely lead to great things in the WWE for herself. I think it will still be some time before we see Ronda Rousey involved in anything fighting-related, but I do believe we will never see her in the UFC again, unless she comes back for one last fight that she would win so she could go out on top, otherwise, I think the WWE makes the most sense for her at this stage. She has made her millions, and could make equally as much in the WWE, and having already made her name and face known to WWE fans at WrestleMania 31, she would be able to jump right into a storyline that would set her up to fight for the title quickly, and she would be able to avoid any real damage and humiliation from even the worst WWE loss.
A trilogy fight between Alistair Overeem and former UFC Heavyweight Champ Fabricio Werdum is reportedly being targeted for UFC 213 this July in Vegas. This fight would likely produce the next Heavyweight Title challenger, as we know Stipe Miocic and Junior dos Santos are squaring off at UFC 211, where Miocic will look to defend his belt for a second time, attempting to tie the record for most Heavyweight Title defenses in UFC history. Miocic has knocked out both Overeem and Werdum, and dos Santos has knocked out Werdum, but did fall to Overeem in December of 2015.
Werdum and Overeem are no strangers in the octagon, having fought back in Pride in 2006, where Werdum submitted "The Reem", and in Strikeforce in 2011 when Alistair avenged his loss and won via unanimous decision. The trilogy fight should be a great one, with Werdum being probably the most polished submission artist in the Heavyweight Division, while "The Reem" has some of the most devastating striking in the division. Both fighters are coming off strong wins after they were each knocked out in 2016 by the champ Miocic, and a win at UFC 213 would likely land both back in the title picture.
The two possible wrenches that could be thrown into their title hopes would be Cain Velasquez and Derrick Lewis. Velasquez, the former champ who has only fought once since losing his belt in 2015 due to several injuries, including serious back surgery, is still a serious threat to the division, and proved that when he destroyed Travis Browne at UFC 200 this past Summer. Lewis on the other hand is looking for his big break into the title picture, winning 6-straight fights, but he has a big test in front of him when he fights Mark Hunt in June. A win over Hunt can put Lewis next in line for the title shot, as winning 7-straight in the Heavyweight division is incredibly difficult to do - and to deny.
Now that McGregor vs. Mayweather is looking more realistic as the days go by, will Conor McGregor take his massive payday and walk away from the world of fighting? According to his right-hand man and coach, John Kavanagh, McGregor isn't going anywhere.
Many people have speculated that with Conor McGregor looking at a paycheck that is far and away bigger than anything the UFC has ever seen, or will likely ever provide, that he may, as he once put it, take the cheese and retire young. While I wouldn't blame any fighter in any area of combat sports for walking away after a multi-million dollar payday, just based off of the mental and physical toll these sports take on these fighters, I don't see 'The Notorious' as one of those fighters.
McGregor loves the grind. He loves the hustle. And more importantly, he loves being Conor McGregor. He has taken the world of sports by storm since 2015, and I think he has no intentions of slowing down or looking back. In reality, I think his fight with Floyd Mayweather could merely be the beginning of bigger things to come from McGregor.
His fight against Mayweather will be the biggest test of his career, make no mistake about it, but if there is one thing Conor McGregor has absolutely proven to all of us over the course of his career, is that when it comes to his fights, nothing is impossible. Time and time again he has done what people have said he could never, and has done it in the way he told us it would. He will be back in the UFC by late 2017 (hopefully, otherwise early 2018), and he will immediately defend his Lightweight Belt, against presumably Tony Ferguson, Nate Diaz, or Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Michael Bisping has given Georges St. Pierre an Ultimatum, be ready by July, or Yoel Romero is getting the next Middleweight Title shot.
It's only been a few short weeks since GSP announced his official return to fighting and the UFC, when the UFC announced he would be facing Michael Bisping for the Middleweight belt. This decision sparked some controversy, as some fans and fighters questioned how GSP could get an immediate title shot, in a division he never held the title in, over some very deserving contenders. But, if anyone has earned a title shot straight out of retirement, it is GSP, no matter what weight class. However, it seems that GSP is starting to take his sweet time in setting a date for this title fight, and that is not sitting well with the champ, Michael Bisping.
Bisping said early this morning that he has no desire to wait until the Fall to fight GSP, and if GSP doesn't pick a Summer date soon - he's gonna lose his shot at the belt. I am the farthest thing from a Michael Bisping fan, and may very well be his biggest hater of all-time, but I am completely in agreement with him here. In a division that is almost overflowing with potential #1 contenders, the last thing they can afford is an even longer lay-off for the belt. GSP has had more than enough time to get himself mentally and physically ready, because we know his return to fighting wasn't an overnight decision, he had been preparing for it for almost a year.
If GSP doesn't get it together, Bisping did say the title shot would go to Yoel Romero, the man most people believe is long overdue for his crack at the belt, but his steroid speculation has hindered his attempts to get a title fight. Not only Romero, but 'Jacare' Souza as well, and the winner of UFC 210's fight between Chris Weidman and Gegard Mousasi, are all absolutely ready, and deserving of a chance to take the belt from a champ who I think has little chance of beating any of the top contenders.
To be completely honest, Bisping is lucky to even have the belt, because I can guarantee Luke Rockhold beats him 10 outta the next 10 times they would fight, and he BARELY beat a 46-year old Dan Henderson (and after that fight Bisping's face looked like he had been a punching bag for Mike Tyson in his prime). I do however think Yoel Romero gives Bisping the best possible chance at retaining his belt, so if GSP does hold out, that may be Bisping's best bet, even though Romero's steroid debacle has made the champ very adamant about not giving Romero his shot.
The fans want GSP back ASAP, and waiting until the Fall would be a real slap in the face after he made such a big deal about his comeback. C'mon GSP, pick a date, get this thing going, and let the fans see what they want - you beating Michael Bisping in a unanimous decision and proving you are the true #Decisionator.
On March 27th 2011, all it took was 25 seconds for a 24-year old Ronda Rousey to submit Ediane Gomes with her patented arm-bar, and the legend of Ronda Rousey was born. Ronda Rousey is the most decorated female MMA fighter ever, and while I feel Cyborg will go down as the greatest ever, no female fighter has ever done more for women's MMA than Ronda. She took female MMA from the prelims to the main event, and bet it all on herself for the sake of the entire sport.
When Ronda convinced Dana White to bring female fighters into the UFC in 2012, she promised Dana it was a decision he would never regret - and she couldn't have been more right.
Ronda began training Judo at the age of 11 with her mother, and she never looked back. She took the Judo world by storm, competing in World Championship's and Olympics for the United States, winning bronze, silver, and gold medals from 2004-2008, and becoming one of the most prolific Judo athletes in the entire world.
Ronda took her extensive Judo training and began her climb in the MMA world in 2010, competing in 3 amateur fights, winning all 3 by arm-bar, and all 3 within the first minute of the first round (!!!!), before making her pro debut on March 27, 2011 against Ediane Gomes, needing all of 25 seconds to submit her via arm-bar. Ronda would remain undefeated until 2015, winning her first 8 pro fights via arm-bar, and 11 of her 12 wins in the first round. She dominated every single opponent she faced, using every bit of her dominant Judo, slamming her opponents on their heads and immediately sealing the arm-bar. It was not only one of the most impressive stretches of dominance in MMA history, but she also single-handedly carried the female MMA world on her back, all the way to the top.
We all know the legend of Ronda has since been somewhat shattered, following her two brutal losses to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes, but none of that can take anything away from what she did for the sport, and the way she did it. Love her or hate her, female MMA would be years behind if it wasn't for Ronda Rousey, and that can never been diminished. Whether we ever see her in an Octagon again or not, 'Rowdy' Ronda Rousey deserves every bit of her fame and fortune, and will forever go down as one of the greatest.
On Saturday, Cris 'Cyborg' Justino announced that she has officially vacated her Featherweight Belt with Invicta, in hopes of getting her rightful title shot for the UFC's new Featherweight Belt.
The UFC's Female Featherweight Belt has only been in existence for a few months, as Germaine de Randamie defeated Holly Holm via a controversial unanimous decision in February at UFC 208. The controversy around the fight where she landed several punches after the 2nd and 3rd round bell sounded, and Holly's manager has even filed appeals and Holly herself has expressed her desire to fight only GDR, but it's tough to see how it'll play out.
In reality, every female fighter in the UFC has no desire to fight Cyborg, and there's no doubt about that. Everyone says they want to fight her and have no problem doing it, until the phone rings and it's Dana White asking if you are ready for her, and then everyone's got an excuse. Germaine said she would have no problem fighting Cyborg if she won the belt (which in reality Cyborg should have been part of the original title fight, no way around it), and now she's holding out claiming she has an injury that will keep her sidelined for way too long to fight Cyborg this summer. I call bullshit. GDR is running scared and wants to keep her belt as long as she can, because the second Cyborg gets in the Octagon with her, she's done.
I hope somehow the UFC can force GDR's hand, and get her to fight Cyborg as soon as possible, ideally this summer. Cyborg is the most dangerous female MMA fighter - ever. She can barely make weight at 145-pounds, which just goes to show how much of a bigger and stronger woman she is than every other fighter on the roster.
You can run but you can't hide GDR... Cyborg is coming...