UFC cancels UFC 151, conveniently puts all blame on Jon Jones

nullIn case you have been under a rock today, UFC 151 has been cancelled.

The short story is Dan Henderson injured his knee and couldn’t fight next Saturday, prompting the UFC to offer Jon Jones a replacement opponent of Chael Sonnen. Jones, after speaking with his team, declined to take the fight on such short notice.

So, the UFC, instead of finding a new main event, or just running with the card they setup sans the main event, decided to just axe the event altogether.

In the process, they completely threw the light heavyweight champion under the bus.

Normally, I am on Dana White’s side of things. He is a hot head, no doubt, but he usually tells it like it is.

However, blaming Jones for the canceling of an event is simply a convenient way to take the blame off of himself and the UFC.

First off, canceling an entire UFC event is a big deal. It impacts the fighters, the venue, the host city and those that would be working the event.

Many fighters rely on a small paycheck from fighting on the under card simply to make ends meet. Due to the UFC’s venom spewed at Jones, many of those fighters are now taking their anger and frustration out on the champion as well.

But, let’s all take a deep breath and take into consideration two things:

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UFC 145 Results & Recap: Jon Jones Keeps Rolling

nullJon Jones added another former UFC champion to his list of victories on Saturday, as he defeated Rashad Evans by unanimous decision to retain his UFC light heavyweight championship at UFC 145.

Evans seemed to be the only man in the 205-pound division to pose a threat to Jones, as Evans was a former teammate of Jones, and Evans seemed to have the speed to present a problem for the champ.

However, Jones didn’t struggle much, as he used his kicks, knees, and elbows to control the spacing and pacing of the fight. Evans landed a few big strikes, but never seemed to be comfortable in the bout. Jones bruised up Evans’ face and earned all five rounds on one scorecard and four of the five rounds on the other two.

With another easy win for Jones, the question is, who is left in the division? Dan Henderson is expected to get the next shot, but he doesn’t seem to have the skills that would really be a problem for Jones.

A dream bout with Anderson Silva would seem very intriguing for the UFC, and also a possible move to heavyweight could be in the cards sometime soon. Jones is already walking around at 230 pounds, and UFC heavyweight champion, Junior dos Santos, isn’t much bigger.

Jones appears to possess the skills and composure to transcend divisions and become a true all-time great.

Speaking of all-time greats, welterweight Rory MacDonald appears to be in the early stages of that path. At 22, MacDonald has already picked up impressive wins and he added another on Saturday, beating Che Mills by TKO in the second round.

MacDonald unleashed a vicious array of ground-and-pound on Mills that left him a bloody mess. MacDonald may have the best ground striking in MMA and he continues to improve with each fight.

MacDonald trains with current champion, Georges St. Pierre, and has a similar build and style to the champ. MacDonald was just a few seconds away from earning a decision win over current interim champ, Carlos Condit. Condit earned a late TKO after MacDonald had out-grappled him for three rounds a few years ago.

It is hard to know just where MacDonald is in the welterweight rankings, but he seems to be in the discussion for top 5.

For complete results from UFC 145, check out the jump.

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UFC 139 Results & Recap – Henderson wins instant classic

nullUFC 139 didn’t have a title fight as the main event, but the battle between Dan Henderson and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua couldn’t have been any better.

The two competed in the first five-round non-title fight since the UFC added the new five-round rule to any main event, and in the end, Henderson managed to narrowly out-point Rua for a unanimous decision.

It appeared that Henderson would end the fight early as he landed some big right hands on Rua, but the former UFC champion survived and pushed the fight into the later rounds where Henderson became exhausted. The final seven minutes were all Rua, but it was too little, too late, as Henderson had done enough to win 48-47 on all three judges’ scorecards.

The win pushes Henderson into the top 5 of the UFC light heavyweight division, but an immediate rematch with Rua may be in order due to the reaction from the fans and UFC brass on the fight itself.

In the co-main event, Wanderlei Silva proved he is still dangerous as he beat Cung Le by TKO in the second round in a middleweight contest.

Early in the fight it looked as if Silva may not get out of the first round, as he took a number of big kicks and punches from Le, but he survived and then came out aggressive in the second round. Silva caught Le with a big right hand and then followed up with some devastating knees in the clinch that led to the stoppage.

While Silva still has a long way to go to be near the title picture, he still remains a relevant fighter in the UFC.

In bantamweight action, Urijah Faber defeated Brian Bowles by guillotine choke in the second round to earn another title shot at Dominick Cruz. Faber controlled the fight from the start, as his hand speed and diverse striking were too much for Bowles to deal with.

For complete UFC 139 results (courtesy of MMAMania.com), check out the jump.

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MMA Light Heavyweight Rankings

HeavyMMA.com released their latest rankings. Here are their rankings for the top light heavyweights in the sport.

Jon Jones’ destruction of Shogun Rua at UFC 128 signaled the end of the PRIDE years and heralded the rise of a new fighter who could dominate the division for years to come. Instead of speaking about potential challengers for the title, fans and journalists have been left trying to figure out who in the world could possibly present a stiff challenge for Jones. It’s hard not to get caught up in the hype train, but so long as Jones maintains the maturity he’s displayed thus far, he’ll be fine.
Will he be the first true mainstream superstar to come from the world of MMA? That remains to be seen. For now, he’s content with simply evolving. Oh, and ruling the light heavyweight division with an iron fist.

1. Jon Jones
Jones utterly dominated former champion Shogun Rua at UFC 128 in Newark which lands him atop this poll without any debate. Now comes a fight with Rashad Evans. What? He’s fighting Rashad Evans? It’s true. The former teammates had a falling out and will now square off for the light heavyweight strap sometime this fall.

2. Rashad Evans
Evans, a long time Greg Jackson student, has left the Albuquerque, NM camp and set up shop in Florida to prepare for newly crowned champ Jon Jones. Thought to be heading down to middleweight should Jones win the belt, Evans had a change of heart when “Bones” announced he’d fight his then teammate on national television.

Check out the full rankings.

Strikeforce: Nashville Predictions

MMA Promotion Strikeforce hosts its second CBS televised event tonight with Strikeforce: Nashville. The main card has just three fights set, but all three are title fights. Here are my picks for tonight’s event.

Middleweight Champion Jake Shields (24-4-1) vs. Dan Henderson (25-7)
Dan Henderson is making his first appearance in Strikeforce after leaving the UFC in a contract dispute. He immediately steps in to fight Jake Shields, the middleweight champion who is a natural welterweight. Shields has had success at the bigger weight class, but in this fight, he will have trouble controlling Henderson on the ground like he has past opponents. Henderson is a very solid all around fighter and his bigger size should allow him to get the win by either knockout or decision.

Light Heavyweight Champion Gegard Mousasi (28-2-1) vs. Muhammed Lawal (6-0)
Two very different people meet in this fight as Mousasi is like a silent killer. He stays composed and just runs through opponents while Lawal is very loud and cocky despite having just six professional fights. Lawal is good on his feet with powerful strikes, but in this fight, he will need to fight off his back against Mousasi, who can take the fight anywhere. Lawal has a puncher’s chance, but Mousasi will be smart enough to get the fight to the ground, where he will win by submission.

Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez (-160) vs. Shinya Aoki (+130)
This fight should be very competitive. Melendez has won his last three, but all of his fights have been fast paced and close. His win over Josh Thompson won him the title, but now he faces Aoki who bounces around to different weight classes and finds success in each. Melendez will look to use boxing and wrestling to win while Aoki will try to use quickness and submissions. Look for Melendez to win a hard-fought five-round decision over Aoki, but each fighter will have their chances to finish the fight.

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