2011 15 Mar

Mixed martial arts trainer Lloyd Irvin is high on Jon Jones and told the Wall Street Journal, that Jones at 23 is a “next-generation fighter.”

The sensational talent made his professional debut slightly less than three years ago on April 12, 2008.

Stephan Bonnar, of Ultimate Fighter fame, dropped a decision to Jones at UFC 94 back in Jan. 2009, and he knows a couple of things about the fight game:

“I’ve never seen anyone throw anything like that. I didn’t even know it hit me. I was laying there thinking someone from the audience threw a bottle or something….

He was like 10 feet away from me and he threw this step-forward back kick and it landed.

I went to counter him and I’m like 10 feet away from him. It’s something you’re not used to dealing with. I mean, 85-inch reach? That’s incredible.”

Jonathan Snowden has much the same take on Jones’ abilities:

“Looking at a snapshot of Jones’s career, provided by the amazing team at FightMetric, the numbers are staggering. Jones has landed twice as many strikes as his opponents in a seven fight UFC tenure. He’s taken down opponents with an almost 70 percent accuracy rate, one of the best in UFC history.

Almost a third of those takedowns were “slams” a takedown that sees a fighter take an opponent completely off both feet before depositing him on the mat. Conversely, no opponent has managed to put Jones on the mat. This includes a collection of great wrestlers like Ryan Bader, Matt Hamill, and Vladimir Matyushenko.”

Jones squares off with light-heavyweight champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 128 this weekend, and while his training partner, Rashad Evans, waited months for his shot at Rua, Jones had been playing the part of Rua in training with Evans.

That all adds up to a hell of a donnybrook in our estimation…

 

Jon Jones UFC 128

2011 10 Mar
Name: Mauricio Rua m_rua
Height: 6′ 1″ (185 cm)
Weight: 205 (93 kg)
Record: 17-3-0

After the UFC took over Pride, Rua signed a gargantuan deal with the UFC and made his debut at UFC 76 on September 22, 2007. Upon signing with the UFC, Rua had to make significant changes to his game and adjusted to the UFC rulebook; those changes precluded knees and kicks to head when an opponent is down, which were allowed in Pride FC bouts .

Rua took on The Ultimate Fighter 1 winner Forrest Griffin for his debut outing in the UFC.

Widely regarded as the best light heavyweight in the world, Rua was the Vegas favorite to win the Griffin bout. However, after Rua punched himself out during the second round, he found himself falling behind Griffin’s relentless pace. With only 15 seconds remaining in the fight Griffin forced Rua to tap out with a rear naked choke.

Rua suffered a ruptured ACL during training late last year, the same injury many say he suffered against Forrest Griffin.

A couple of surgeries later, Rua took on Chuck Liddell at UFC 97 in Montreal, Canada at the Bell Centre on April 18 , 2009.

Rua (19-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC), then knocked out Lyoto Machida at UFC 113 to earn the 205-pound title.

YouTube Preview Image
2011 15 Feb
Video of Sportsnet’s MMA Connected that Aired on Monday, February 14th, 2011 featuring a Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva recap and discussion of Thiago Silva being replaced at UFC 130, as well as changes to the career of Rashad Evans.
Also, Showdown Joe takes a look at upcoming events and talks to GSP about his fight with Jake Shields and the possible superfight with Anderson Silva.
Lastly, they discuss the rise of Jon “Bones” Jones and his upcoming fight with Shogun Rua.

PART 1 OF 3

PART 2 OF 3

PART 3 OF 3

2011 10 Feb

Rashad Evans was supposed to be fighting Shogun Rua for the UFC LHW title next month at UFC 128, but a knee injury has forced him out of the bout. In his place will be Jon “Bones” Jones, a teammate of Rashad’s at Team Jackson.

Rashad has stated that he would never fight Jones, because they’re friends and teammates, and that if Jones wins against Shogun, Evans would either move up to HW or down to MW.

When questioned about this, UFC President Dana White seemed a bit frustrated at all the “friends can’t fight friends” business. He said:

Dude, you have way too many friends…you need to keep the friends thing down and stop training with people.

Dana also said he thought Rashad’s decision to sit out a year waiting for the Shogun fight was “crazy.” Check out the complete video interview.

Read more…

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2011 24 Jan

“The light heavyweight) division is interesting. There’s so many guys at 205, (but) Rampage is probably next in line.

Rampage is still in the mix.

You’ve got Jon Jones fighting Bader, which is going to be a great fight that catapults one of those guys into the top five. The big problem with the 205-pound division has been, Shogun’s injury has been clogging up the division. So now he’s healthy and gonna fight, and we’re getting everything rolling here.”

Quinton Rampage JacksonIf you thought Jon Jones vs Ryan Bader was going to be a number one contender fight then it looks like you were wrong.

At a recent Q & A session (via MMAFighting.com) UFC President Dana White proclaimed that Quinton Jackson is the guy who is most likely to earn the next shot at the light heavyweight strap. That is of course, dependent upon his getting through a tough challenge against Thiago Silva at UFC 130 over the Memorial Day weekend.

If “Rampage” beats his Brazilian opponent on May 28, should he get the winner of “Shogun” Rua vs Rashad Evans at UFC 128?

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2011 8 Jan

That’s because Nate Marquardt will step in for the mouthy politician and face Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 128 from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on March 19, according to ESPN.com.

Marquardt, long considered one of the top 185-pound fighters in the world, hasn’t exactly been lighting the division on fire as of late. The Greg Jackson disciple, after winning three straight, dropped a decision to the previously mentioned Sonnen in a number one contender fight.

Nate MarquardtA (somewhat) controversial technical knockout over submission specialist Rousimar Palhares led to another number one contender fight. And — just like before — Nate was not so “Great” and put in an uninspired performance against Yushin Okami at UFC 122.

So uninspired, that it drew the ire of company President Dana White, who criticized the middleweights game plan as well as his famous camp.

Would a win over Akiyama put him back in the boss’s good graces?

With so many talented, albeit troubled, fighters headed to the unemployment line after even one poor performance, Yoshihiro Akiyama could be considered lucky.

Since debuting with the world’s largest fight promotion at the historic UFC 100 event back in July of 2009 with a split decision win (that some felt he lost) over Alan Belcher, “Sexyama” has lost consecutive fights to Chris Leben and Michael Bisping respectively.

I suppose all three of his Octagon appearances resulting in “Fight of the Night” honors has done wonders to keep him from receiving that dreaded pink slip.

Of course, it’s rare for a fighter to drop three in a row and survive the wrath of the UFC, so you can bet the Judo specialist will be bringing everything he has to the cage on March 19.

UFC 128 was recently made official for Newark, New Jersey and will feature “Shogun” Rua defending his light heavyweight title against Rashad Evans. Urijah Faber vs Eddie Wineland will serve as the co-main event of the evening.

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