Category Archives: Daniel Cormier

Jon Jones discusses UFC 214 fallout, mixed feelings on Daniel Cormier's post-KO interview with Joe Rogan,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5534469011001
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Jon Jones agrees Daniel Cormier’s post-fight interview with Joe Rogan following his knockout loss in last month’s UFC 214 main event probably was unnecessary. However, the UFC light heavyweight champion does believe it provided a raw and enlightening moment for spectators of the sport.

In the immediate aftermath of Jones’ (23-1 MMA 17-1 UFC) third-round knockout victory, a distraught and emotional Cormier (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) was interviewed by the UFC’s longtime color commentator. It was a highly criticized moment Rogan later apologized for orchestrating, and while Jones called it “unfair” to his rival, he said there was some importance to it, as well.

“I think it is unfair for ‘D.C.’ to be interviewed, but Joe Rogan apologized for it, and his explanation made great sense,” Jones told MMAjunkie. “He was caught up in the moment, which we all were. I think it’s unfair for Daniel to be interviewed, but at the same time it is fair to the fans. It is fair to see just the raw emotion that goes into it. This fight has been two years in the making, and people want to hear from Daniel.

“Even if he’s fresh off a knockout they just want to see how he feels and where he was at. The UFC slogan is ‘as real as it gets.’ It was a very real moment, a moment that I appreciated and I’m sure all the fans appreciated, even though it probably wasn’t the best moment for Daniel.”

Jones’ victory over Cormier came after a more than 15-month layoff and just one fight in 31 months. Jones won the initial meeting by unanimous decision at UFC 182 in January 2015, and the goal for the rematch was to win more emphatically.

Jones, No. 1 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA pound-for-pound rankings, said he’s watched the fight multiple times. In a career that includes 11 different triumphant title-fight performances, Jones ranks the Cormier rematch among his best.

“I loved the performance,” Jones said. “I thought myself and ‘D.C.’ fought very well. Very, very high level martial arts fight. I felt like ‘D.C.’ got a lot better; I felt I’ve gotten a lot better. It’s beautiful, a great fight to be a part of. It’s definitely up there with some of my really impressive wins. I definitely think it was up there.”

After a back-and-forth two rounds, Jones found his fight-ending opening in the third frame with a perfectly placed head kick that caught Cormier flush and caused him to stumble around the octagon. Jones pounced and showed the fight-ending instincts that have led to 10 UFC stoppage wins.

Instagram Photo

Throughout Jones’ career he has criticized his own ability to display one-strike finishing power. The way he put away Cormier was the closest he’s come inside the octagon, and it’s actually something the pair foreshadowed at a press conference in August 2014.

“I’ve always had it in my head to catch Daniel with a high kick,” Jones said. “The first (fight) I went for it several times, and he did a good job blocking it. The second fight I felt so much better setting it up. I felt patient and composed, and I earned that head kick by really distracting him with all the body attack.”

Jones and Cormier have been scheduled to fight five different times over the past three years. They’ve only met twice, but over time have exchanged countless unpleasant comments. Although Jones showed tremendous respect toward Cormier with a heartfelt post-fight interview, he said there’s a chance the business between them isn’t over.

Jones said prior to UFC 214 he would have greater admiration for Cormier if he would simply admit that he’s, “(expletive) around with the wrong era.” Those exact words may not ever come out of his mouth, but Jones believes his two wins left no doubt about the superior fighter.

Instagram Photo

Jones said Cormier could have a chance to get one over on him in the future, though. Cormier has beaten all of his opponents not named Jon Jones. If that continues, a third showdown isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

“I think Daniel is proud of himself for what he’s been able to accomplish,” Jones said. “He should have his head high. At this point, I don’t think it’s much of a debate where he stands in this sport when it comes to me and him. I think it’s a closed chapter. With that being said, I do think he has every right to be proud of his career, and his career’s not over yet.

“We never know. There could be a Jones-Cormier 3. I know that’s a strong possibility. I know he’s going to be a very hard guy to beat for these other guys. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if I saw him again maybe a year or two from now.”

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Don't look now, but the McGregor Effect is spreading – and we haven't seen the end of it yet,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5505225423001
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Jon Jones explained it in a way that everyone could understand. Sitting there in Anaheim, Calif., after knocking out Daniel Cormier in UFC 214’s pay-per-view main event, he told us exactly why he’d rather spend a move up to heavyweight fighting Brock Lesnar, a middle-aged part-timer, instead of Stipe Miocic, the actual heavyweight champion.

Conor McGregor, he has been a tremendous inspiration to me,” Jones said. “He has shown me, who has been at the upper echelon of this sport for many years now, he has shown me that these huge paydays are possible. I never thought in my time as champion that we would be able to see fighters making $70 million or whatever he’s making for this (Floyd Mayweather) fight. It’s an inspiration that you can do it. I see it as possible, and that’s what McGregor has done for me.”

Jones isn’t the only one feeling the McGregor effect. Just look at Miocic. You think he’s bummed about Jones looking past him toward a potentially bigger paycheck against a lesser heavyweight? Hardly. He’s playing a similar game, calling out heavyweight boxing champ Anthony Joshua in a copycat bid to replicate McGregor’s crossover payday for himself.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then McGregor must be feeling the love right about now. The fight is still three weeks away, the money is still mostly hypothetical, and already some of the best fighters in the world are trying to follow where he leads.

Can you blame them? This is prizefighting, after all. “Prize” comes first.

But it’s not just fighters who feel the effects of a seismic shift like this one. For McGregor (a man with zero professional boxing experience) to even book a fighter with Mayweather (the best boxer of his generation), perceptions needed to change. People needed a way to feel like they had permission to want what they wanted, whether it made sense or not.

McGregor gave them that with his actual accomplishments in the UFC – which, people outside the MMA bubble seem to forget, actually are unprecedented, both in terms of belts and box offices – but also with the force of his personality.

He might be the only fighter who can convince his fans, without even really trying, that the absence of information about his boxing game is itself a strength. Because, hey, if we’ve never seen the guy in a boxing match, how do we know he isn’t already the best in the world?

But it’s not just the McGregor faithful who have been roped in here. People want this fight, this clash of sports and ideas and worlds and celebrities. The more you tell them that it’s likely to be ridiculous, the more intent they are on watching it. That’s because ridiculous, when done on a large enough scale, is historic. A small farce is pathetic. A massive one is a cultural moment.

Once we accept and normalize the idea, then a lot of things change. Suddenly that Miocic-Joshua bout doesn’t seem so absurd. And Jones-Lesnar? That’s reasonable almost to the point of being required. Sure, one’s a pro wrestler on a drug suspension and the other’s the greatest MMA fighter alive, but at least they both have experience in the same sport.

And admit it, we’d all watch the hell out of a Jones-Lesnar fight. Demetrious Johnson could fight every UFC flyweight in a public park on the same night, and we’d go sprinting past with our credit cards held high just to see Jones bounce a spinning elbow off Lesnar’s cinderblock skull. It’s a pairing just weird enough to capture our attention and our curiosity, both of which are more reliable drivers of pay-per-view revenue than any promise of meaningful athletic competition.

Is that a bad thing? I don’t know. The UFC has spread its brand far and wide, flooding the market with cheap combat-sports action. If you just want to see two people in a desperate struggle for money and supremacy inside a cage, there’s no need to pay. It’s on TV in airport bars. It’s on YouTube and basic cable. Any given weekend you can channel surf your way into it without even trying, so how’s the UFC supposed to convince you to drop a couple steak dinners worth of cash on any one event?

Capturing the power of the spectacle is one way. But we develop a tolerance for that over time. You have to make it louder, bigger, dumber. If we’re not arguing about whether or not it should be allowed to happen, then you’re not even in the ballpark. In this way, the mile markers of normalcy keep marching over the horizon.

But the thing to remember about the shift spurred on by McGregor is that we can’t see the big picture yet. If he gets so thoroughly trashed by Mayweather that we all go away hating ourselves for the part we played in it, the next MMA fighter to try calling out a big name boxer is in for a much harder sell. And if the PPV receipts don’t match expectations, the incentive to wade through the same river of crap in order to try it all again diminishes considerably.

That’s what makes this fight feel even more like an important cultural moment, somehow. It’s a test of what the market will bear. This is us checking the gauges on our own desire for big, crazy, sports-themed train wrecks. Clearly, the fighters and promoters are paying attention.

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Twitter Mailbag: Was post-fight Jon Jones the real one, or just a convincing fake?

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In this week’s Twitter Mailbag, was the UFC light-heavyweight champion extending a sincere olive branch to his vanquished challenger, and where does all this leave the former champ’s legacy? Plus, is GSP-Bisping the fight that no one but the participants has been asking for? And can you really blackmail your way into an apology from the UFC president?

All that and more in this edition of the TMB. To ask a question of your own, tweet it to @BenFowlkesMMA.

* * * *

I think he was being sincere. The things Jon Jones said about Daniel Cormier immediately after the fight were not so different from what he said about him a few days before the fight. Talking to reporters after the open workouts, Jones called Cormier “a good (expletive) dude” and admitted to liking him as a person. What stopped them from getting along, he said, was that Cormier had this weird hangup that simply wouldn’t allow him to admit that Jones was better than he was.

Now, we hear that and we can spot the ridiculousness in the argument. Of course Cormier can’t admit that. He’s one of the best fighters in the world. His whole life is about being the absolute best. He’s not killing himself in the gym just to be second place. How could Jones not realize that?

I think the answer has to do with the inherent narcissism that comes with being the best fighter in the world. It’s so obvious to Jones that everyone else is just a character in his story. So why can’t they see it, and just be happy to have a supporting role in the great drama?

That’s where his head seemed to be at before the fight. Once Jones had knocked out Cormier, then he was free to let his guard down and admit that Cormier was a good guy and a great fighter. Why not? If you praise him now, it just makes you seem greater for having beaten him. And it’s not like anybody will get confused about who the best is while Cormier is stumbling around off-camera.

So yes, I think he meant every word. I also don’t think for one second that he would have uttered anything close to that if he’d lost.

The book isn’t closed on Cormier just yet. He could stick around at light heavyweight and still trash nearly everyone in the top 15. Or he could go to heavyweight and end up fighting for the title by this time next year. A lot depends on what he wants to do next, so it’s hard to make too many sweeping statements about his legacy.

That said, if it ends here? I wouldn’t be surprised if the collective conventional wisdom fails to give Cormier his due. He was champion in the absence of Jones, that’s true. In a different era, he might have been his own dynasty. In my book, that puts him ahead of Tito Ortiz and somewhere right behind Chuck Liddell. Both those guys should be glad they came along before Jones did.

Yes. However he wants.

Tempers seem to have cooled somewhat between Tyron Woodley and UFC President Dana White, but you’re right, that was not a great strategic move on the champ’s part. The problem with trying to blackmail your way into an apology is that even if you get what you want, what does it really mean? An apology given just to stop something bad from happening is completely insincere, thus defeating the entire point.

Then there’s the question of what you’re supposed to do about it if you don’t get the apology. Assuming Woodley really does have damaging info on the UFC, leaking it because the boss hurt his feelings would probably not improve his relationship with his employers. It also doesn’t turn him into some hero of transparency in the eyes of the public, because he already told us that the only reason he was telling secrets is because White wouldn’t say he was sorry.

Of course, if White doesn’t give you that public apology and then you back down from your leak threat anyway, it just makes you look weak and desperate.

That brings us to what actually happened in the end to resolve this situation (at least for now). According to White, he spoke to Woodley privately and smoothed things over. Also according to White, Woodley explained his outrage and his threats by saying that “he was just pissed and upset and didn’t mean it.” Maybe it’s just the source, but it kind of sounds like the apology went in the opposite direction.

I see the logic at work here, but how do you enforce something like that? Especially when MMA referees seem to have such a hard time enforcing the existing rules. What, do we require fighters to tell the ref in advance what they’re game plan is, so the ref can be on higher alert for illegal moves that might nullify it? Is the ref then required to share that info with the opponent, so he can know which type of cheating will be more severely punished?

The only fix I can see is that we either allow fence-grabbing or we don’t. And if we don’t, then why aren’t fighters punished as soon as they do it? It’s not like they’re learning the rules on the fly. And a fence grab isn’t like throwing an inside leg kick and accidentally hitting the groin. It’s something you can only do on purpose. So why aren’t you penalized the moment you do it, regardless of what your opponent’s game plan is?

There’s a growing sense that this is the fight no one asked for outside of Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre themselves. And that’s funny, since the reason they both seem so intent on it is because they’re convinced it will make a lot of money. But how does it make money if fans are lukewarm about it?

It’s possible that we’re just suffering from hype fatigue. They’re been talking this fight up for over a year, and still nothing. Maybe by the time it actually happens we’ll have changed our tune. The return of GSP is always going to be a big deal, and Bisping is so easily hatable whenever he opens his mouth that you know he’ll convince some people to pay just on the hope that he’ll get beaten up.

But right now? I can’t say I’m excited. There are so many compelling fights for Bisping at middleweight, and welterweight is going to need some help very soon. The more I think about this fight, the more it seems like we’re all being asked to go along so that the already rich guys can make more money. Maybe it’s just me, but that is not a compelling sales pitch.

Oh, Cameron. Are you really going to force me to be the jerk who points out that there is a difference between being a legend and just being old? Not that I don’t have a lot of affection for Daniel Kelly, who seems awesome, but he’s also 13-2 at the age of 39. Sam Alvey beat him in 2015, when he had to cover slightly fewer body parts in supportive wrap, but he still wasn’t exactly a young sprout back then.

Rashad Evans is a slightly different story (even if he does have a recent split-decision loss to Kelly). He’s also edging into his late 30s, but he’s a former UFC light-heavyweight champion. Then again, he’s on a three-fight losing skid and has dropped five of his past seven.

You really want to know how far this is from being a part of any kind of legends tour? Just look at where it is, in the middle of the main card at UFC Fight Night 114 in Mexico City, on the week after the biggest pay-per-view of the year. Does that seem like where you’d stick your legends, if you thought they still qualified as such?

I suspect you are not the only one, especially since the UFC chief recently went out of his way to disparage both champions who are slated to defend their titles at UFC 215. Plus, those other three fights each feature a former champ, and they’re all likely to be exciting, competitive matchups.

That makes you wonder how they’ll do on pay-per-view, doesn’t it? We know that the UFC has written Demetrious Johnson off as box-office poison. Amanda Nunes hasn’t been a huge draw either, and is probably less of one after pulling out of UFC 213 and getting scorched by the boss for it. But that undercard? How do you not pony up the dough to see those fights? Even if you’re not that interested in what follows.

This feels a little like a return to the old UFC strategy, back before it could rely on any one fighter to sell tons of PPVs. If the main attraction won’t do it, you have to make your case in the aggregate. Honestly, this lineup looks like a pretty good way of doing just that.

From the sound of it, Volkan Oezdemir likes that fight too, and he’s even suggested that the winner would be dubbed “the real king of Europe,” which is obviously pretty awesome.

If I’m Alexander Gustafsson, I might rather wait for Jones. But if Jones is holding out for a big money fight with someone like Brock Lesnar, how long does Gustafsson really want to sit around waiting and not making money?

As for whether “No Time” has it in him to be the division’s new knockout artist, early indicators are good. But let’s not forget that in recent years there’s been a major drop-off in talent in that division once you get past the top three or four. If Oezdemir wants to prove he belongs in that elite club, Gustafsson’s a tough test to get in.

Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Follow him on Twitter at @BenFowlkesMMA. Twitter Mailbag appears every Thursday on MMAjunkie.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 214's 'Thrill and Agony' captures Tito Ortiz calling Jon Jones the 'best always'

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Folks were lining up to give Jon Jones his props after reclaiming the UFC light-heavyweight title, as we see in the latest “Thrill and Agony” video.

The “Thrill and Agony” series takes us up close and behind the scenes of pay-per-view events, and at UFC 214, we saw joy, as well as the agony, that followed two title fights: Jones’ (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC) third-round knockout win over Daniel Cormier (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) in the headliner, as well as Cristiane Justino (17-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) claiming the vacant women’s featherweight belt with a third-round TKO of Tonya Evinger (19-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in a main-card bout.

UFC 214 took place Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., and the main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FXX and UFC Fight Pass.

In “Thrill and Agony,” raw emotion is put on display, primarily with the corner and cageside cams that captured teammates, friends and family reacting to the fights.

They also captured the action backstage, where folks – including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jerry Cerrone (UFC 214 fighter Donald Cerrone’s grandmother) – congratulated Jones. UFC Hall of Famer and former light-heavyweight kingpin Tito Ortiz, who cornered “Cyborg” Justino, was also there to give Jones his props.

“You are the best,” Ortiz tells Jones. “You are the best. Good job. You’re the best always.”

It clearly meant a lot to Jones, who called Ortiz an inspiration. Check it out above.

The video is a preview of “Thrill and Agony.” UFC Fight Pass subscribers can now watch the entire episode, which eventually will make its way to YouTube.

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 214 'Fight Motion': That time Daniel Cormier sent Jon Jones' mouthpiece flying

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Despite a crushing and emotional end, things started off well enough for Daniel Cormier over Jon Jones, as we see in the “Fight Motion” highlights for past Saturday’s UFC 214 headliner.

The super-slow-motion highlights capture the action from the event at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., which aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FXX and UFC Fight Pass.

Cormier (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) ultimately suffered a third-round knockout loss, and he had to surrender his light-heavyweight title to rival Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC), who reclaimed the belt with a vintage performance.

Initially, though, Cormier found some success in the long-awaited rematch again arguably the greatest fighter in MMA history. One early punch sent Jones’ mouthpiece flying, as you can see in “UFC 214 Fight Motion” above.

The highlights include other bouts, including welterweight champion Tyron Woodley’s (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) decisive unanimous-decision victory over Demian Maia (25-7 MMA, 19-7 UFC), as well as Cristiane Justino’s (17-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) lopsided third-round TKO of Tonya Evinger (19-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) for the vacant women’s featherweight belt.

Check out the “Fight Motion” highlights above.

And for more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 214 medical suspensions: Donald Cerrone gets potential 6 months for eye issue,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5525842463001
Filed under: News, UFC

UFC welterweight standout Donald Cerrone is facing a six-month suspension for a possible eye injury following his loss to ex-champ Robbie Lawler at UFC 214.

Cerrone, who was outpointed on the event’s pay-per-view main card, needs doctor clearance for a “possible fracture to the left eye,” according to medical suspensions issued by the California State Athletic Commission, which regulated the event at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

According to cageside doctors notes, Cerrone’s (32-8 MMA, 19-5 UFC) pupil was constricted, indicating a possible fracture after his slugfest against Lawler (28-11 MMA, 13-5 UFC).

In other suspensions, headliner and now-former UFC light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) must sit out 60 days after suffering a knockout loss to re-crowned champ Jon Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC).

Additionally, the CSAC made official an order requiring lightweight Drew Dober move up to the welterweight division because his fight-day weight was 18 percent above the 155-pound limit, or approximately 183 pounds. The commission earlier this year passed a 10-point plan that recommends fighters move up a division if they are over 10 percent above their contracted weight on fight day.

Following his first-round knockout of Josh Burkman (28-16 MMA, 6-11 UFC), Dober (18-8 MMA, 4-4 UFC) advocated for a 165-pound weight class.

The full list of UFC 214 medical suspensions includes:

  • Jon Jones: suspended 7 days
  • Daniel Cormier: suspended mandatory 7 days; also suspended 45 days with 30 days no contact for knockout, and suspended 60 days with 60 days no contact, or until cleared by physician, for laceration to right eye. Neurological clearance required
  • Tyron Woodley: suspended 7 days
  • Demian Maia: suspended 7 days
  • Cristiane Justino: suspended 7 days
  • Tonya Evinger: suspended 7 days; also suspended 45 days with 30 days no contact for TKO
  • Robbie Lawler: suspended 7 days
  • Donald Cerrone: suspended 7 days; also suspended 180 days with 180 days no contact, or until cleared by physician, for possible left eye fracture (traumatic myosis)
  • Volkan Oezdemir: suspended 7 days
  • Jimi Manuwa: suspended mandatory 7 days; also suspended 45 days with 30 days no contact for knockout, and suspended 60 days with 60 days no contact, or until cleared by physician, for laceration to right eyebrow
  • Ricardo Lamas: suspended mandatory 7 days
  • Jason Knight: suspended 7 days; also suspended 45 days with 30 days no contact for TKO
  • Aljamain Sterling: suspended mandatory 7 days
  • Renan Barao: suspended mandatory 7 days
  • Brian Ortega: suspended mandatory 7 days
  • Renato Moicano: suspended 7 days; also suspended 180 days with 180 days no contact, or until cleared by physician, for possible jaw/facial fracture
  • Calvin Kattar: suspended mandatory 7 days
  • Andre Fili: suspended 7 days; also suspended 60 days with 60 days no contact, or until cleared by physician, for right upper eyelid
  • Alexandra Albu: suspended mandatory 7 days; also suspended 45 days with 30 days no contact for hard bout; suspended 60 days with 60 days no contact, or until cleared by physician, for laceration to nose; suspended 180 days with 180 days no contact, or until cleared via CT scan by physician, for possible fracture to left orbital
  • Kailin Curran: suspended 7 days; also suspended 45 days with 30 days no contact for hard bout
  • Jarred Brooks: suspended mandatory 7 days
  • Eric Shelton: suspended mandatory 7 days
  • Drew Dober: suspended mandatory 7 days; must be cleared by physician or must move up in weight due to greater than 18 percent weight increase. Fighter needs to be in a heavier weight class per medical evaluation
  • Josh Burkman: suspended 7 days; also suspended 45 days with 30 days no contact for KO

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Jon Jones and a history of 2-time UFC champions,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5525891367001
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, UFC

Claiming a UFC championship belt is one of the most difficult accomplishments in MMA. Doing it twice, however, is almost otherworldly.

Jon Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC) became the latest to join the short-list of fighters to win a UFC title in the same weight class on two different occasions this past Saturday when he defeated Daniel Cormier (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) by third-round knockout to reclaim the light heavyweight belt in the UFC 214 headliner.

“Bones” became the eighth fighter in UFC history to reign over a division on two occasions, and if his post-fight comments are any indication, the second run is going to be ever better than the first, which was one of the most dominant ever.

Here’s a rundown of the group Jones joined with his third-round knockout of Cormier at UFC 214, which took place at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., with a main card on pay-per-view following prelims on FXX and UFC Fight Pass.

* * * *

Randy Couture (heavyweight and light heavyweight)

Randy Couture

Not only was Couture (19-11 MMA, 16-8 UFC) the first to become a two time UFC champion, but he did it twice in both the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions. “The Natural” first won heavyweight gold at UFC Japan in December 1997. His second reign began at UFC 28 in November 2000. Years later, Couture dropped to 205 pounds where he had title reigns in September 2003 and August 2004. Then he won the heavyweight title again in 2007, making him a three-time heavyweight champ – though one whose first ride with that belt was vacated.

Tim Sylvia (heavyweight)

Sylvia (31-10 MMA, 10-4 UFC) first became UFC heavyweight champion in February 2003. A failed drug test caused him to be stripped of the gold. However, he came back to win the belt more than three years later before he dropped it to Couture at UFC 68 in March 2007.

Cain Velasquez (heavyweight)

Cain Velasquez

The first run of Velasquez (14-2 MMA, 12-2 UFC) as UFC champ came to an abrupt end when he was knocked out by Junior dos Santos in just 64 seconds at the inaugural UFC on FOX event in November 2011. He stormed back to take the belt in the rematch when he battered Dos Santos at UFC 155 in December 2012 to set up his second run as champion.

Jon Jones (light heavyweight)

One can only wonder what Jones’ career would currently look like had he not been stripped of the title following a run eight consecutive title defenses due to a series of outside-the-cage indiscretions. The road back to a second shot at UFC gold was tumultuous, but he made the most of it by beating his biggest rival in Cormier to claim the strap.

Matt Hughes (welterweight)

Matt Hughes

Hughes (45-9 MMA, 18-7 UFC) first became UFC welterweight champion in May 2001 when he took the belt from Carlos Newton at UFC 31 in one of the closest instances of a double knockout in UFC history. He defended five consecutive times before losing it to B.J. Penn. However, when Penn was stripped of the title for leaving the organization, Hughes immediately snatched it back up at UFC 46 in January 2004.

Georges St-Pierre (welterweight)

Georges St-Pierre

The heir to Hughes’ welterweight throne was St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC), who forced a changing of the guard at 170 pounds when he beat Hughes at UFC 65 in November 2006. “Rush” would drop the gold to Matt Serra at UFC 69 in April 2007 in one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. The French-Canadian proved he was superior in the rematch, though, taking the belt back from Serra at UFC 83 in April 2008.

Jose Aldo (featherweight)

Aldo (26-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) is the only fighter on this list who had two different UFC title reigns without ever actually winning the belt inside the octagon. He first run at 145-pound champ came when he was promoted from WEC titleholder in November 2010, and his second reign six years later was the result of being promoted from interim champion after Conor McGregor was stripped.

Dominick Cruz (bantamweight)

Similar to Aldo above, Cruz’s (22-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) first stint as UFC champion stemmed from him being promoted from a WEC titleholder when the division was folded into the UFC late 2010. “The Dominator” had his time as champion completely derailed due to a long series of injuries, and he was forced to finally vacate in January 2014. One of the most spectacular comeback stories in the sport’s history saw him rally from those dark times and reclaim the title with a victory over T.J. Dillashaw in January 2016.

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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The best from UFC 214

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The door is closed on UFC 214, which took place Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FXX and UFC Fight Pass, and featured Jon Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC) reclaiming the UFC light heavyweight title from Daniel Cormier (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) in the main event.

MMAjunkie was on-site for the event bringing the most thorough coverage from beginning to end. The UFC’s debut seventh event in Anaheim proved to be an eventful one, and in case you happened to miss any of the fight-night or post-fight coverage, here are 10 items (in no particular order) to see before moving past UFC 214.

1. Brock Lesnar warns Jon Jones in response to UFC 214 callout

2. Overhead raw footage of dazed Daniel Cormier after UFC 214 knockout is painful to watch

3. Jon Jones is the greatest light heavyweight of all time, and he has Daniel Cormier to thank

4. Joe Rogan sorry for interviewing concussed Daniel Cormier: ‘100 percent my (expletive) up’

5. Volkan Oezdemir has a new nickname, with a new hand gesture, and it’s actually kind of great

6. Twitter reacts to Jon Jones’ title-winning KO of Daniel Cormier in UFC 214 grudge match

7. Sean Shelby’s Shoes: What’s next for Jon Jones and UFC 214’s other winning fighters?

8. UFC 214 salaries: Now-former UFC champ Daniel Cormier earns $1 million; Jon Jones takes $500K

9. Trading Shots: Who’s really to blame for a boring welterweight title fight at UFC 214?

10. UFC 214 post-event facts: Jon Jones’ resume makes it tough to argue against GOAT status

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 214's 10 memorable moments: Jon Jones reclaims his crown, ends feud with Daniel Cormier,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5525891367001
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

The stacked main card of Saturday’s UFC 214 did not disappoint.

In the main event, Jon Jones returned to the octagon for the first time in 15 months and put on a nearly flawless performance, regaining both the light heavyweight title and his ranking as the best 205-pound fighter in UFC history with a third-round knockout of Daniel Cormier.

In the co-main event, Tyron Woodley focused on defense, much to the chagrin of fans and UFC President Dana White, while retaining welterweight crown against challenger Demian Maia with a unanimous decision.

In the first title fight of the night, the most feared woman in MMA, Cristiane Justino, became a UFC champion with a third-round TKO victory over a very game Tonya Evinger.

UFC 214 took place at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FXX and UFC Fight Pass.

Here are the most memorable moments from the biggest UFC fight card of 2017.

1. New reign, new man?

After dispatching Cormier in the third round with a head kick and ground strikes, Jones began his second stint as light heavyweight champion. The “Performance of the Night” bonus-winning victory solidified Jones as the greatest light heavyweight in MMA history. The respect Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC) paid Cormier (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) after the fight was almost as noteworthy as his victory.

We don’t know if Jones has turned a corner in his life. We don’t know if the time he spent on the sidelines due to his actions and decisions has made him a more thoughtful person. But during that brief speech, Jones provided some hope that he has learned at least some lessons.

As for Cormier, he offered his congratulations to Jones and his team via social media late Sunday night.

2. Heartbreak and confusion

The decision to speak to Cormier after his knockout loss was unwise, something UFC commentator Joe Rogan acknowledged on Sunday in his apology, but Rogan did make that decision. The brief interview provided fans a glimpse of a man who was heartbroken and confused.

“I don’t know, man,” Cormier said when asked what he was feeling. “I thought the fight was going well. I don’t even know what happened. I think I got kicked in the head. It’s so disappointing.”

The raw moment revealed to everyone just how much this fight meant to Cormier and how emotionally invested he was in defeating Jones and cementing his legacy as an all-time great.

“I guess if he wins both fights, there is no rivalry,” Cormier said, fighting back tears. “I don’t know.”

3. Recoup the losses

During his first title reign, Jones defended the light heavyweight title eight times. In his last defense, Jones earned a reported $500,000. Since then he has fought twice, taking in a reported $1 million in total for those two contests. In short, Jones left a lot of money on the table while he sat on the sidelines due to his self-destructive behavior.

What better way to get some of that money back than to follow Conor McGregor’s lead and call for the most bankable fight possible?

“Brock Lesnar, if you want to know what it feels like to get your ass kicked by a guy that weights 40 pounds less than you, meet me in the octagon,” Jones said after defeating Cormier.

While that fight is far from a lock, Jones’ callout did get the attention of the former heavyweight champion.

4. Losing by winning

Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) stopped each of the 21 takedowns Maia (25-7 MMA, 19-7 UFC) attempted during their fight. That defense-first strategy allowed Woodley to retain his title via decision. Unfortunately, it seemingly cost him a fight against former champion Georges St-Pierre, which UFC President Dana White had said was “the plan” just days before Woodley’s win over Maia.

“Michael Bisping will show up, and he will fight,” White said when revealing the change at the post-fight press conference “So, yeah. I’m going to give it to him.”

Woodley, who predicted the St-Pierre fight wouldn’t come to fruition, was not surprised with the switch.

5. So dominant

How good is Justino (18-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC)? So good that a lot of the post-fight talk wasn’t about her knockout win over Evinger but of how tough Evinger (19-6 MMA, 0-1 UFC) was for extending the fight into the third round before Justino finished her.

“Tonya Evinger was awesome,” a smiling Michael Bisping said on the UFC on FOX post-fight show. “She went out there and took a beating really, really well.”

Justino was patient and technical. She never got too aggressive until the finish was in sight. While Justino’s approach might have disappointed fans of her previous fights, it showed she’s added a new, and maybe more frightening, wrinkle to her arsenal, that of the predator tiring her prey before moving in for the kill.

6. Taking shots

For someone who didn’t compete at UFC 214, former women’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie took a beating in Anaheim.

“I think it’s really important to mention that Germaine de Randamie, who won the title against Holly Holm, just did not want to fight this woman,” Rogan said before the Justino vs. Evinger fight began. “She said, ‘I’m not doing it. I’m stepping down, and I’m relinquishing my title.”

Rogan later said that while he was enjoying the Justino-Evinger bout, he felt “robbed” that de Randamie was not fighting.

“That proves that Evinger would put up a better fight,” replied fellow commentator Dominick Cruz. “She (de Randamie) didn’t even want to get in here; Evinger’s here.”

The duo then speculated what de Randamie must be thinking knowing someone was “tougher than her to take the fight.”

These comments came days after Evinger referred to de Randamie as a “coward” during her pre-fight media interview.

De Randamie was stripped of the belt in June due to her unwillingness to fight Justino.

7. Back in the mix

Almost one year to the day since losing the welterweight title to Woodley, Robbie Lawler returned to the title hunt with a unanimous-decision victory over Donald Cerrone.

As expected, Lawler (28-11 MMA, 13-5 UFC) and Cerrone (32-8 MMA, 19-5 UFC) delivered an exciting back and forth striking battle.

The win showed that Lawler remains one of the best welterweights in the UFC. More impressive was Lawler was without his good friend, former UFC champion Matt Hughes, who was in a terrible accident, throughout training camp. Lawler acknowledged it after the fight.

“I’m pretty good at focusing on the task at hand,” Lawler said post-fight. “But obviously, it’s a buddy of mine. He would’ve been right around the corner right now. He would have been here this whole week. It’s tough, but he’s fighting a fight now.”

8. Big time

Jimi Manuwa was an insurance policy, booked on UFC 214 as a safety net in case Cormier or Jones could not compete in the main event.

Manuwa (17-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) did not get the opportunity to fight for the title in Anaheim, and after getting knocked out in 42 seconds by Volkan Oezdemir (a.k.a. “No Time”) he won’t be getting a title fight soon. As for Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), who joined the UFC in February, he’s now 3-0 with two knockouts, including his “Performance of the Night” bonus-winning stoppage of Manuwa.


9. Nice try

Jason Knight attempted to leap up the featherweight rankings at UFC 214, stepping in to face former featherweight title contender Ricardo Lamas. It didn’t work out well for Knight.

Lamas (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) was too technical for the brawling and still developing Knight (17-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC), picking him apart on the feet with precise striking. Knight showed he’s a game fighter, taking everything Lamas had to offer before referee Mike Beltran came in to stop the fight in the first round.

The win gives Lamas two-straight victories and stops Knight’s four-fight winning streak. Lamas remains a player in the featherweight division, and while Knight lost via TKO, it’s hard to see the defeat hurting him too much since he took the fight on short notice against a more seasoned opponent.

10. Keep away

A word of warning for the featherweight division: If you think you have a lead over Brian Ortega heading into the third round, do whatever you can to stay out of his grasp for those 5 minutes.

At UFC 214, Ortega finished his record-breaking fourth consecutive fight with a third-round submission of Renato Moicano. Like his previous three wins, this one looked like it could have gone either way had it made it to the scorecards, but once again Ortega ensured it didn’t.

Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) and Moicano (11-1-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) slugged it out on the feet for the majority of this “Fight of the Night” winning contest, but for some reason, Moicano attempted a takedown halfway through the final stanza. As soon as Ortega hit the mat he locked in a guillotine choke and forced the quick tap from Moicano.

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Daniel Cormier and UFC 214's other losing fighters?,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5526779031001
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

UFC 214’s main card saw stunning results, big knockouts and somewhat underwhelming action. Nevertheless, all the losing fighters on the card were part of the biggest pay-per-view card of the year, which took place at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

Daniel Cormier’s (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) more than two-year reign as light-heavyweight champion came to a decisive end in the main event when he was stopped for the first time in his career courtesy of a third-round knockout from Jon Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC).

Demian Maia (25-7 MMA, 19-7 UFC) and Tonya Evinger (19-6 MMA, 0-1 UFC) also came up short in title fights, while Donald Cerrone (32-9 MMA, 19-6 UFC) and Jimi Manuwa (17-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) dropped fights which could have arguably earned them title shots of their own.

After every event, fans wonder whom the losing fighters will be matched up with next. And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC 214’s losing fighters.

* * * *

Jimi Manuwa

Daniel Cormier

Should fight: Cormier
Why they should fight: Manuwa’s chin failed to hold up to the power-punching of rising UFC light-heavyweight contender Volkan Oezdemir, and it led to a somewhat stunning 42-second knockout defeat.

Manuwa went from being a standby in case anything went wrong in the headlining bout between Cormier and Jones to experiencing the worst loss of his career, showing the utterly unforgiving nature of the sport. Fortunately for “Poster Boy,” he is still one of the top contenders in the 205-pound division, and the thin nature of the weight class will likely afford him another marquee fight next.

It seems backward that losing to Oezdemir could lead the Brit into a matchup with ex-champ Cormier, but strangely that’s how the sport works sometimes. Manuwa and Cormier were briefly linked to fight at UFC 214 before Jones decided against a warmup bout after his long layoff, forcing Manuwa into the matchup with Oezdemir.

Now that both are coming off knockout losses at the same event, though, a matchup is arguably more logical than ever, especially because of the history of trash-talk.

Donald Cerrone

Should fight: Dong Hyun Kim
Why they should fight: Cerrone fell just short of matching the UFC’s all-time wins record when he dropped a unanimous decision to former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler, marking the first time in his career that he’s dropped back-to-back fights.

“Cowboy” gave Lawler everything he could handle in the contest, but the judges didn’t view it as enough. Regardless of the outcome, the performance proved without a doubt that Cerrone belongs in the octagon with the best in the 170-pound division, and any talks of a drop back down to lightweight should be silenced for good.

Cerrone needs to be careful when selecting his next fight to avoid dropping three straight and falling into a dangerous territory in his career. The majority of his losses have come against fighters capable of beating him on the feet, and while Kim (22-4-1 MMA, 13-4 UFC) does have decent striking, he’s primarily a grappler, a type of fighter Cerrone has largely succeeded against.

Daniel Cormier, Demian Maia, Tonya Evinger

Should fight: Watch the video above to see why Cormier should fight Manuwa, Maia should fight Colby Covington (12-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) and Evinger should fight Julianna Pena (8-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) after their UFC 214 title-fight losses.

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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