Posts Tagged ‘Alexander Gustafsson’

USA TODAY Sports/Adam Guillen Jr. MMAMAnia

As much as Jon Jones admires and looks up to former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva, he would never even think about fighting with his hands down like “The Spider’ did against Chris Weidman at UFC 162, and also says seeing Silva lose the way he did was a reality check.

When Anderson Silva coughed up his 185-pound throne to Chris Weidman last weekend (July 6, 2013) at UFC 162, fans and fighters alike were left in shock and disbelief.

Among them was Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones, who took to his Twitter account immediately afterward to express his feelings on what he had just witnessed (see it here).

“Bones” was rightfully upset, seeing as how many believed he was one win away from a much-desired “super fight” against the former middleweight king. The loss not only crushed that fight, but also cost the 205-pound champion a potentially huge payday.

Aside from being upset at the fact that he lost out on his chance to be the first man to hand Silva his first loss inside the Octagon, Jones says seeing Anderson lose was a reality check.

Furthermore, “Bones” says he would never even think about fighting with hands down at his waist like “The Spider” did in “Sin City.”

His words during today’s (July 9, 2013) UFC 165 press conference:

“It actually motivates me a lot to watch somebody who I look up to like that lose. It’s like a reality check. I try to keep my ego in check when it comes to the fight game. Watching Anderson lose like that; first of all, that’s something I would never do, is put my hands down and fight my opponent that way. Seeing Chris Weidman’s dream come true, it motivates me to be a dream crusher.”

Speaking of gameplans, as Jones prepares to defend his title against Alexander Gustafsson in the main event of UFC 165 on Sept., 21, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the Jackson-Winkeljohn fighter is determined to prove to fans that the distinct size advantage he holds over most of the 205-pound division isn’t the sole reason for his success.

His words:

“I definitely would like to prove to people that my size isn’t the only reason why I’ve made it this far, it’s also my mental approach to the game. I’ll definitely try to prove I can kickbox with Alexander Gustafsson. I kickboxed with Shogun Rua, Lyoto Machida and Rampage Jackson. I know the safest place I can fight him and also for the fans and my own ego. I see it pretty clearly with his strengths and weaknesses like I do with every opponent.”

That size advantage, however, will be nonexistent against the six-foot, five-inch Swede (see the evidence here).

And while taunting and disrespecting his opponents has never been a part of Jon’s repertoire, after seeing one of the greatest of all time pay the price for “taking it too far” with his antics, it will likely remain that way.

It’s a good thing too, because pulling those shenanigans against a fighter as dangerous as “The Mauler” could prove disastrous for anyone.

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USA TODAY Sports/Thomas Myers MMAMania

Unexpectedly, former Light Heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will head into his UFC on FOX Sports 1 #1 main event showdown against Chael Sonnen as a slight sportsbook under dog on Aug. 17, 2013. But, how much will this betting line shift prior to fight night in Boston?

Who’s laughing now?

Chael Sonnen has dropped his two most recent Octagon appearances and has not scored a Light Heavyweight win inside the Octagon since defeating Trevor Prangley via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 4 back in April 2006.

Nonetheless, the self-proclaimed “American Gangster” from West Linn, Ore., is currently sitting as an early betting favorite (-139) over former 205-pound champion, Mauricio Rua (see the line here), in the build-up to their UFC on FOX Sports 1 #1 main event, which is slated for TD Garden in Boston, Mass., on Aug. 17, 2013.

Yes, the mixed martial arts (MMA) event will go on as planned!

However, it’s safe to assume that more than a few combat sports fans are scratching their heads with the oddsmakers’ assessment. That’s because Sonnen was able to talk the talk in his two most recent fights, but failed to walk the walk, coming up empty in consecutive title challenges against Anderson Silva at UFC 148 and then Jon Jones at UFC 159.

Then again, Silva and Jones are perhaps the two best fighters on the planet. Not to mention”Shogun” is looking to rebound from a unanimous decision defeat to current No. 1 division contender Alexander Gustafsson last December on FOX. And the Brazilian has been unable to win consecutive fights inside the Octagon since knocking out Chuck Liddell back in 2009, compiling an even record (4-4) over that span.

For what it’s worth, unlike Sonnen — who has done it on three separate occasions throughout his career — Rua has never lost consecutive MMA matches.

There is a first time for everything, right … or wrong?

Scott Cunningham/Jesse Holland MMAMania

Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson is (finally) official for the UFC 165 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Sept. 21 in Toronto.

It’s on!

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones has been booked to defend his 205-pound title against Alexander Gustafsson at the UFC 165 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Sept. 21, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Somewhere in Brazil, Lyoto Machida weeps.

The good news is, Jones will face off against a fresh challenger, rather than going into re-runs. “Bones” has come fairly close to cleaning out his entire division, with Dan Henderson and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira both suffering recent setbacks.

In 19 professional fights, his lone defeat was a disqualification for 12-6 elbows during his first-round massacre over Matt Hamill on Versus. Since then, he’s blown through nine straight opponents, finishing eight of them, including Chael Sonnen at UFC 159 back in April.

The same event where he blew up his toe.

That little piggy seems to be on the up-and-up, which means Gustafsson will have to be at his very best in Toronto. To date, he’s 7-1 inside the Octagon and 15-1 overall, with recent wins over Mauricio Rua, Thiago Silva and Vladimir Matyushenko.

Whether or not that’s the kind of experience that can win him the title, remains to be seen.

The two have been bickering back and forth on Twitter and recently came nose-to-nose on a promotional tour of Russia. “The Mauler” demanded that Jones cough up a date and it looks like the champ has finally obliged. It will also be interesting to see what the odds look like when they open later this week.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting/Ariel Helwani MMA Fighting

After UFC president Dana White announced on Thursday that Jon Jones would defend his light heavyweight title against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 on Sept. 21 in Toronto, MMAFighting.com spoke to Jones about the fight, his injured toe, meeting Fedor Emelianenko and more.

Below is a transcript of that conversation.

Ariel Helwani: First off, how is your toe feeling?
Jon Jones: My toe is doing really well. Right now, I’m going to ease into some boxing and some wrestling with Cornell University, maybe try to get in at Ithaca College too, and start doing sports where I use a boot or a shoe, like a wrestling shoe or a boxing boot, to do some weightlifting, get my body fat down and get ready to improve my game.

What exactly happened to the toe when you injured it?
I chopped some of the bone on the right side of the left toe and tore ligaments on the left side of the toe. Now, I have to tape my big toe to the toe next to it, and as long as I can do that for about four more weeks, I’ll be fine. I just can’t put the toe in any quirky positions, like I would if I was doing jiu-jitsu, so that it doesn’t go the opposite way again.

I heard you wanted to fight in October. Why are you fighting in September?
I was hoping for October, but Dana asked me to do September, so I thought I would be a team player and try to help the UFC out with their scheduling. Having me so close to Toronto, I thought it would make sense for the company, so I took the fight. At the same time, I don’t feel rushed at all, so it worked out for the both of us.

Originally, were you trying to return in August?
No, I was not trying to fight in August. They wanted me to fight in August for the first FOX Sports 1 card, but I just thought that would be a bad idea. It was a great opportunity. I definitely want to fight on free television for the fans. I realize there’s a lot of people out there that aren’t in a position to buy pay-per-view. So, I would be honored to fight for the fans on free television, and I was going to jump at the opportunity, but I took a few steps back and really evaluated whether that would be a smart idea or not and realized that I should do that another time.

(more…)

Photo via @AlexTheMauler on Twitter

Jon Jones is pushing back an expected return to action from the summer to fall, reportedly interested in defending his light heavyweight title against Alexander Gustafsson.

Give me a date!?!

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight titleholder Jon Jones has apparently decided to not rush back to the Octagon, eyeing a return to mixed martial arts (MMA) competition this fall against Swedish sensation Alexander Gustafsson.

Jones and Gustafsson have crossed paths several times in recent weeks, sending messages to each other on Twitter and coming face-to-face in Russia for a staredown.

While the 205-pound match up has yet to be formally announced, Gustafsson told MMA Fighting last week that he expects a title shot to be offered “soon.”

That offer has yet to come through, but according to a report by Ariel Helwani on Tuesday’s (June 11, 2013) edition of FUEL TV‘s “UFC Tonight,” Jones’ injured toe is healing at a steady pace and he would like to put his belt on the line for a record-breaking sixth time against “The Mauler.”

Jones teased a few weeks back that he had a major decision on the horizon, and it appears that decision was whether or not to take a fight or allow his toe more time to recover. This latest report, if accurate, would suggest he went with the latter, targeting return date went from summer to closer to the end of the year.

Accordingly, a potential date or location for the 205-pound title match up — if it even comes to fruition — has not been announced at this time.

Check out over 20 minutes of video footage from UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones teaching a MMA seminar during his recent trip to Russia.

Over the past few days pictures, videos and other interesting tidbits have surfaced showing that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and his manager Malki Kawa are currently in Russia.

The exact nature of the trip is unbeknownst to all, but it appears to be a mix of both business and pleasure.

A picture of “Bones” and former Pride heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko popped up on Instagram, which collectively sent the mixed martial arts (MMA) community into a buzz. Then it was a some comments on Twitter and a face-to-face staredown shot with fellow 205-pound contender Alexander Gustafsson at a local show where Aleskander Emelianenko and Bobb Sapp fought in the main event.

Even though he is far overseas, Jones is still managing to keep active on social media, taking a few jabs at growing rival Daniel Cormier which garnered a response from “DC.”

Now, just days after UFC President Dana White said the toe injury the 25-year-old suffered in his UFC 159 title defense against Chael Sonnen could keep him out ‘six weeks’ or ‘six months,’ a bunch of video pops up on YouTube with the New York native teaching a seminar and seemingly moving around fine on the toe.

Jones’ mystery trip to Russia has seemingly caused more commotion than it should, but since answers to questions about his injury, his next fight and the reason for his meeting with Emelianenko are unknown, we’ll have to settle with watching video of Jones teaching a seminar at Martial Arts Club No. 1.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting/Mike Chiappetta MMAfighting

LAS VEGAS — UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones is still on the mend after an injury in the final seconds of his recent title defense against Chael Sonnen. While his left big toe was originally believed to be broken, it was later diagnosed as a dislocation. And while Jones hopes to return to the cage soon, there is not yet a timetable to his return, according to UFC president Dana White, who spoke to the champ on Wednesday.

White offered up some previously unrevealed information on the injury on Thursday, when he told the media following a UFC 160 press conference that Jones had also suffered ligament damage in addition to the gruesome dislocation.

“He says he feels great, the toe’s healing good, but the problem is that ligament,” he said. “That ligament popped. Anytime you tear a ligament, blood flow helps repair the thing and heal, and you don’t get a lot of blood flow to the toe. Who knows? This thing could be six weeks, it could be six months. It’s a pain in the ass, man. Always some little, crazy thing.”

Jones, who is currently in Russia for a personal appearance, recently had the stitches taken out of his toe. White said that he plans to get an MRI on his toe when he returns. That could offer the fighter and the promotion more clarity on when he’ll be able to return. Jones has repeatedly said in interviews that he hopes to fight Alexander Gustafsson in his next time out.

Jones’ successful defense over Sonnen in April marked his fifth overall, tying him with Tito Ortiz for most in the division’s history. He has said that he intends to break that record and then consider a possible move to heavyweight.

Esther Lin for MMA Fighting

Should UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones surpass Tito Ortiz in title defenses in the 205-pound division, “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” reveals he has no problem coming in second place to a “classy” guy like “Bones,” even if he still believes he would “dominate” Jones if he was in his prime.

With his first-round finish over Chael Sonnen last weekend (April 27, 2013) at UFC 159 in Newark, New Jersey, Jon Jones tied the mark for most title defenses (five) in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight division, sharing the honor with Tito Ortiz.

Should “Bones” defeat his next opponent, he will have sole possession of the record, dropping “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’s” achievement — held for nearly a decade — to second place in the mixed martial arts (MMA) history books.

Despite recently tweeting (in jest) about how he would un-retire in order to prevent that from happening, Ortiz revealed during his appearance on “The MMA Hour” that he is indeed done with fighting and won’t be returning for a comeback tour.

And though Tito says he would “dominate” Jones in his prime, he has no problem losing his longstanding mark to a “classy guy” such as “Bones.”

His words:

“I do, of course. I think I’d dominate him. Takedowns, of course. Clinch, striking. I don’t know. Big heart. I think Jon Jones is good though, man. If anybody’s going to beat my record, I would like him to beat it. I don’t think there’s anybody in this sport right now with the technique and skills that he has. I think he’s very mellow mannered, he’s a soft spoken guy, but his fighting shows how good he really is. I have nothing but respect for the guy, man.”

According to Tito, being second to a “true champ” such as Jones isn’t a bad thing:

“If I’m under a person who holds the record, I think Jon Jones is the man (it should) be. He’s very classy. He’s respectful, soft spoken, and he’s a true champ. I really don’t see anybody to beat him. I don’t think anybody can really get close to him. His mindset is perfect. I think it’s how a champion should be. As long as no personal stuff happens to him, I don’t think he’ll have much problem with anybody, just because of his wrestling. Wrestling has always been a dominating force in UFC.”

When comparing level of competition in their respective runs, Ortiz says it will always be up to debate seeing as how they were “two different eras.”

As far as who will be next for Jones, Alexander Gustafsson seems to be next in line, but thanks to a gruesome toe injury “Bones” suffered during his bout against “The American Gangster,” the defending champion could be on the sideline for an extended period of time.

Those circumstances could lead to a No. 1 contender’s bout between Lyoto Machida and “The Mauler.”

Either challenger could prove to be a tough obstacle for Jones in his quest for the record, but which of the two has the better chance at preventing Jones from surpassing Ortiz?

Does anyone?