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“The Fall Out” How Jon Jones Killed UFC 151

The UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones helped make history this past week.  It was not good history by any means.  The UFC was forced to cancel their September 1st show in Las Vegas.  Jones is completely responsible for this cancellation.  When his challenger went down due to injury on Thursday a wild ride began that did not slow down until Friday afternoon.

Jon Jones
(Getty Images)

UFC President Dana White was able to get a replacement in Chael Sonnen.  Jones would not face Sonnen with only 8 days before the fight.  Jones’ Coach Greg Jackson tried to take the blame for not letting his fighter take the fight.  With that situation Dana White was forced to cancel the show and blamed Jackson for being a “sport killer”.

The next option for the fight was Lyoto Machida.  Machida was due a title shot but not this soon.  It was announced that Machida would take the place of Henderson and the fight would be moved to the UFC 152 show on September 22nd in Toronto.  Machida later declined and the UFC went after another former champion to fill the spot.  That former champion was Shogun Rua, he too declined the fight.

With no other options for a main event fighter for Jones, Dana White chose UFC veteran Vitor Belfort.  Belfort accepted and the fight will take place on the UFC 152 show.   Belfort has great hands but does not have the genetic gifts that Jones possesses.  Belfort is much like a Dan Henderson type fighter in the sense that he is a dangerous veteran that could win but will likely lose.  This 24 hour period of insanity is a true low point for the UFC.

Traditionally when a fighter goes down due to injury the replacement is usually accepted by the remaining fighter.  Jones did not want to follow suit.  Because of this he will drive his appeal down with a fan base that does not really see him as a star yet.  Jones is a fan favorite for the hardcore MMA fans but not casual fans who are the ones that really make or break a star and a champion at the ticket window.  Jones has gone Heel (a pro wrestling term for bad guy) but he is doing it the wrong way.

MMA has had its share of heels through its history.   The most recent being Brock Lesnar and Chael Sonnen.  Both of those fighters know what they are doing with their characters and play the role well.  They make calculated moves that make themselves the bad guys but still marketable and appealing.  Jones does not have the personality or the where with all to be a true heel.

Marketing was stated as a possible reason Jones did not take the fight.  Jones was worried that he may not keep his hot streak alive and possibly lose and hurt his selling potential.  If that was his concern he would have taken the fight with Sonnen.  Even if he lost and came back to another title shot he would be in a better light and position than he is by not taking this fight.  Sonnen was the perfect opponent, he had not been training and would be moving up a weight class.  Jones on the other hand would be peaking for the fight still and would have had 3 months of training under his belt.  Now Jones will be know as the man responsible for destroying UFC 151.

There are many victims from Jones’ decision.  The Cable companies who promoted the fight and where counting on their percentage of the PPV numbers.  The UFC has also spent a lot of money promoting the fight, they even had a huge billboard at Times Square in New York City.  The fighters who will have to wait on a pay day because their fight has to be moved to October or even November.  The most hurt will be the fans who have spent their money to fly into Las Vegas, stay in a hotel  and wait to have their tickets refunded by the UFC.

Jon Jones will likely become a villain from this situation, which for most fighters could be a positive thing.  Not for Jones who needs to be liked.  He recently signed a deal with Nike and when it come to merchandise if you are not liked people will not buy you things.  Jones has a long road ahead of him, can he shake this situation?  Maybe, he could come out on UFC 152 and knock out Belfort and everyone will forget about this like it never happened.  It could be something that sticks with him his entire career and effects his earning and drawing potential.

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“The Show Must NOT Go On” UFC 151 canned 8 days out

UFC President Dana White
(Photo By: Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Dana White made a decision he has never made before today.  In a press conference on Thursday White announced that Dan Henderson had suffered a partial MCL tear and was out of the UFC 151 Main Event.  Henderson was set to face UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones on September 1st in Las Vegas.  White did have a back up plan when Henderson went down, Chael Sonnen was willing to step in to face Jones.  Jones however refused to take on Sonnen with only 8 days notice.  White had no choice but to cancel the show.  He had no other fights at the ready or that were remaining on the card to justify a PPV event.

Jones will now defend his title on September 22nd at what was to be UFC 152 in Toronto.  The Challenger will be former Champion Lyoto Machida.  Jones and Machida have fought previously with Jones taking the victory in the second round with a guillotine choke.  Machida was originally set to face the winner of the Henderson VS. Jones fight but now he gets his title fight right away.

While the UFC has canned a show that had a place and a date without fights scheduled, they have never cancelled a show that had a card set up already.  With injuries and fighters pulling out of fights being the reality of today’s MMA this will continue.  This is a horrible thing to happen right now for the UFC.  They are already having issues with FOX over ratings and the fights they provide FOX.  Their PPV numbers have also been trending downward over the last couple of years.  The injury bug has become out of control in the last year and a half, by far one of the most annoying things a promotion has to deal with.

Something needs to be done and done quickly to stop these things from happening.  The UFC must devise a training plan that all fighters must follow.  The best way to do this would be limiting the days and hours the fighters are allowed to train before a fight.  The business will not last at the level it has been at if this continues for even a couple of more years.  If the sport won’t regulate training the UFC sure the hell should.

Silva’s Reign Continues With Win Over Sonnen

UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva.
(Getty Images)

On Saturday night Las Vegas was home to what will probably be the biggest fight of the year for the UFC.  The defending UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva took on his strongest challenger Chael Sonnen in their second fight.  Silva was dominated for the majority of their first fight but pulled out a victory in the final minutes of the fight with a submission victory.  That was 23 months ago, an immediate rematch was demanded by the fans.  Due to several circumstances mostly involving Chael Sonnen that fight was delayed. The MMA World was able to witness one of the most anticipated rematches in the history of the sport on Saturday.

The crowd was really hot before and during the fight.  Sonnen as he said he would refused to shake hands with Silva.  The 1st round was all Sonnen.  He took down Silva in the first minute of the fight and had him on the ground for most of the 1st round.  Sonnen worked well on top delivering ear shots and from time to time was able to raise his body up and bring punches down on Silva’s head.  I scored the 1st round 10-9 Sonnen,  it was as close to a 10-8 round you can get.

The 2nd round started with the crowd chanting USA.  Sonnen tried to take Silva down early but was unsuccessful.  Sonnen went for a judo take down and lost his balance.  Silva took advantage of the misstep and pounded Sonnen while he was up against the cage.  Sonnen was rocked and could not defend himself anymore and the fight was called at almost 2 minutes into the 2nd round.

After the fight Silva said the the emotions were running high prior to the fight but its MMA and he respects Sonnen.  Sonnen had no choice but to accept the show of respect and shake hands with Silva.  Sonnen later said that he had his opportunity and that was all he could ask for, he also said that Silva was a deserving Champion.

Despite the loss this fight was beneficial for Sonnen.  He was exposed to a greater audience with all of the hype surrounding the fight.  He displayed his excellent promo skills and showed he is a really good fighter to many who may have never seen him before.  He could be a big draw for the UFC in the future.

Silva will be a UFC Champion for 6 years in October.  He has showed himself to be a true champion.  Silva will undoubtedly go down in the history of MMA as one of the best champions not only in his weight division but pound for pound.

It is unknown what will be next for Silva however.  He will probably not fight again until the end of the year or early next year.  It has been rumored that he was considering retirement last year.  While he is approaching the age and career length where fighters usually fall back I don’t see him retiring as champion.  I believe Silva will continue to fight until he loses the belt.  Silva cemented his legacy as a great champion even further on Saturday night and the MMA World will wait to see how long he can continue on as champion.

Why You Should Watch UFC 148: Silva VS Sonnen II

One of the biggest MMA fights of the year is taking place July 7th on the UFC 148 card in Las Vegas.  One of the longest running championship reigns in the UFC is being challenged.  Also the most charismatic figure in MMA  is in this fight.  UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva will defend his title against Chael Sonnen in their second battle.  Their first fight took place on August 7th, 2010.  It was an incredible fight and one of the best fights in 2010.  Anderson Silva was losing the fight going into the 5th and final round when he was able to submit Sonnen with less than 2 minutes remaining in the fight.  It was a fight that caused many to demand a rematch.

Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen at a press conference.
(Getty Images)

It has been almost 2 years since their first battle.  Many things have happened in the last couple of years to make it difficult for this fight to take place.  In 2011 Chael Sonnen was dealing with a legal battle involving fraudulent use of his real estate license from 2006.  That issue resulted in Sonnen losing his real estate license.  Almost immediately after that problem was over Sonnen had controversy with the California State Athletic Commission for using PED’s.  It was shown through urinalysis that Sonnen had elevated levels of testosterone during the fight on the 7th of August, 2010.  He was suspended and the rematch was put on hold.  He was recently cleared by the commission and the fight was finally scheduled.

Originally the fight was to take place in Brazil, in Silva’s home country.  The President of the UFC Dana White wanted to have the event held in a big soccer stadium in the country.  It would have made for great visuals and would have made the event very memorable.  Unfortunately the United Nations will be holding a convention in Brazil in July as well.  It was not in Brazil’s or the UFC’s favor to have both events there at the same time.  The UFC 148 show was moved to Las Vegas a couple of months ago to solve the scheduling conflict.

Chael Sonnen holds a record of 27 wins and 11 loses and has a good all around fight game.  Sonnen is not only an incredible fighter but also has the talking ability the world of MMA has never seen before.  He has cut some of the best promos seen in the UFC.  Sonnen has a very pro wrestling style of talking up the fights and that is what the sport needs more of.  It makes the fights feel like big events and is a very entertaining way of promotion for the events.  He is a one of a kind talent that could do very well as a champion for the UFC  and draw big PPV numbers.

Anderson Silva is a completely different man.  Silva is quiet and too himself, the language barrier does not help him being marketable in the US either.  Silva hold s a record of 35 wins and 4 loses.  He has been a UFC Champion since October of 2006 when he defeated Rich Franklin for the middle wieght title.   Silva is a great stand up fighter with good submission skills.  He has dominated most of his fights in the last 6 years.  There have been times however when matched up against lesser fighters where he has settled into a groove during the fight and not been very aggressive.  Sonnen showed in the first fight that he can get Silva out of that groove and make him fight.

Chael Sonnen pushing Anderson Silva to the limit during their 1st fight on August 7th,2010.
(Getty Images)

This fight will probably be the best selling fight of the year for the UFC on PPV.  Some are predicting more than 1 million PPV buys.  I expect it to be a great fight, maybe even better than their first contest.  I predict that Sonnen will win the fight via decision in 5 rounds.  No matter who wins we will have great stories coming out of this fight.  Either we will see Silva further cement his place as the best fighter in the UFC or we see their most charismatic champion ever.  I think Sonnen winning would be a better outcome for the UFC.  Sonnen has the potential to be one of their biggest PPV drawing buys since George St. Pierre and Brock Lesnar.  The time to find out who takes this rematch is almost here and the fans and the MMA world can wait for it any longer.