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Tag: Alexander Gustafsson

It’s Official, the UFC’s Marketing Department Isn’t Even Trying Anymore

Contrary to popular opinion, the above poster was not created by a drunk eight year old with cataracts learning to use photoshop for the first time. No, this poster for Fight Night 37: Gustafsson vs. Manuwa was actually created, approved, and released by the UFC yesterday, signifying a new benchmark of laziness for a marketing department that has long since given up.

I mean…just look at that thing. Why is Manuwa crystal clear, yet the only thing on Gustafsson that isn’t blurry is his dog tattoo? Was the person in charge of compiling this monstrosity asked to use the most neutral, non-eye grabbing font available? And why does the background look like it was lifted directly from my 4th grade yearbook photo? Is the “world” we’re supposed to be “stepping into” a undefinable, blue-hued purgatory? So many questions.

If this doesn’t sum up the Fight Pass experience in an image, I don’t know what does. The world needs you now more than ever, DREAM and PRIDE poster artists.

-J. Jones

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Six Massive UFC Fights That Could Actually Happen in 2014


(Meanwhile, Alex’s friends were parked outside with a giant magnet. / Photo via Getty)

By Nasir Jabbar

With Georges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva, and Cain Velasquez all currently out of action due to injuries or bitter hiatuses, UFC executives will be scratching their heads trying to come up with marquee fights in 2014. But amidst this gloom, there are a few massive fights that could still happen. Some are more realistic than others, but if the stars align, these matchups would no doubt fill the void. Let’s run them down in order of probability…

Major fights within reach

Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson 2 or Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier: Very few gave Gustafsson the chance to last twenty-five minutes with the champ, let alone nearly dethrone him. The two engaged in a thrilling yet technical battle at UFC 165, which was as entertaining as it was controversial — making a rematch very interesting and potentially lucrative for the UFC. Prior to his first meeting with the Mauler, Jones had dominated every one of his opponents, which led to the New Yorker searching for his “Frazier”, the worthy rival who would define his legacy. Gustafsson could very much play that role as they look to meet again.

On the other hand, Daniel Cormier could play that role just as well. Unlike Gustafsson, Cormier has a genuine dislike towards Jones which would only add hype towards the fight. But, of course, the two potential challengers would have to get by Jimi Manuwa and Rashad Evans, respectively, to get their title shots. And of course there’s a hard-hitting Brazilian named Glover Teixeira who might derail these plans altogether.

Jose Aldo vs. BJ Penn: Incredibly, Penn is looking to become a three-weight world champion as he embarks on his unexpected new life as a featherweight. Before his year-long break from the sport, Penn had been fighting at welterweight without much success. (He hasn’t won a match since his quick knockout of Matt Hughes back in November 2010.) Penn will make his 145-pound debut against old rival Frankie Edgar as he looks to avenge, not one, but two defeats. Even though there is a connection between Penn and Aldo’s head coach Andre Pederneiras, the Prodigy would surely jump at the chance to compete for a belt.

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The Most Important Lesson MMA Needs to Learn: Shooting Jesse James Doesn’t Make You Jesse James


(Photo via Getty)

The new guard’s success in the Octagon might not translate to success in the box office, much to the detriment of the UFC’s future.

There’s no doubt that in terms of skill, the new generation of fighters is superior. Chris Weidman beat Anderson Silva twice without ever being in danger. Jon Jones is ten times the fighter any previous light heavyweight champ ever was. The recently arrived era of fighters are to the previous era what the previous era was to old time greats like Mark Coleman. There’s a skill disparity; MMA has evolved.

However, just because the new breed has more aptitude, doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll have more drawing power. The old guard, through their battles on the early TUF seasons, Spike TV and various PPVs, brought the UFC from fringe-level oddity status (think FX Toughman or Slamball) to global sports powerhouse—complete with a network TV deal and a burgeoning international audience. The UFC’s current crew simply can’t carry the company into growth like this in 2014 and onward.

It’s no secret that the UFC’s numbers haven’t been stellar lately. Despite having more exposure than ever before, 2013′s ceiling is looking a bit like 2008/9′s floor.

Will the new faces be able to reverse the UFC’s decline in popularity? If not, will they at least be able to help the UFC tread water until the storm is weathered?

The lighter, male, weight classes won’t, for starters. It’s widely-known that they don’t draw well. MMA’s casual fan—the guy who does bench presses in the squat rack and needs skulls on everything he owns—hears 125-pounds and immediately (wrongly) thinks “Fuck watching a fighter I can throw through the wall.”

It’s too early to tell whether the new generation of greats from lightweight, welterweight, or middleweight, or even the females will produce a “future of the company”/”franchise athlete”/choose your buzzword.

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Dana White Lends Some Credence to Chael Sonnen’s Lil Nog Jokes at the Expense of His Own Intelligence


(We would have also accepted “Luke Cummo.” Via The American Gangster’s twitter.) 

As you all know, Alexander Gustafsson was recently scheduled to take on Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (as we suggested) in a match that was in no way a gimme fight to set up Jones/Gustafsson II. Less than a week later, Lil’ Nog pulled out from the fight with a back injury — the fifth such time he has been forced to do so in his UFC career.

While most of us (ie. Chael Sonnen) were content to use Nogueira’s run of bad luck as the basis for several personal attacks on Twitter, Dana White recently revealed that the blame for what was quite possibly the shortest-lived fight in UFC history lies solely on his own shoulders, as Lil Nog never actually agreed to the fight in the first place. He tells MMAJunkie:

What happened was that night we decided to make the fight. Gustafsson said yes, and they couldn’t get hold of him, so I said, ‘F–k it,’ and just went with it and announced the fight, and of course, he’s hurt.

The fight isn’t for four months, and he’s already determined he’s hurt. I don’t understand that. The guy is always hurt. Every time you call him, he’s hurt.

While I typically draw the line when it comes to taking pot shots at a Nogueira, I do find it interesting that the younger, not-run-over-by-a-truck-as-a-child Nogueira has been battling more injury issues than the older, run-over-by-a-truck-as-a-child, arm-shattered-by-Frank-Mir Nogueira as of late. I’m not saying Sonnen’s onto something, but he kind of is, you guys.

Taking pot shots at Dana White, on the other hand….

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Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jimi Manuwa Booked to Headline March 8th UFC Fight Night Event in London


(If you stare at this photo for 30 seconds without blinking, your calf muscle will explode. True story. / Props: Getty)

Update: It’s official.

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira’s latest injury has opened the door for an undefeated prospect to get a huge opportunity. Gareth A. Davies from The Telegraph is reporting that undefeated Nigerian-English light-heavyweight Jimi “Poster Boy” Manuwa will step in as the replacement opponent for Alexander Gustafsson in the main event of UFC Fight Night 36, which is slated for March 8th in London. (Technically, FrontRowBrian reported this two days ago, but nobody believed him.)

Whereas Gustafsson vs. Lil’ Nog felt like a squash match intended to get Gustafsson an easy road back to a title fight — those are Jon Jones’s words, not ours — Gustafsson vs. Manuwa could be legitimately dangerous for the Swedish star. Manuwa may be lacking in terms of big-fight experience, but his record is terrifying: a perfect 14-0, with all fights finished before the third round, and his last two UFC appearances ending with his opponents suffering spontaneous leg injuries. But the Mauler ain’t skurred. As he told The Telegraph:

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Antonio Rogerio Nogueira Pulls Out of Alexander Gustafsson Fight With Back Injury


(The Nogueira brothers: Keeping doctors busy since 1976. / Photo via Sherdog)

It’s been less than a week since we reported that light-heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson would be facing Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the main event of UFC Fight Night 36 (March 8th, London), but that matchup has already been scratched. MMAFighting confirmed yesterday that Nogueira has been forced to withdraw due to a lingering back injury. A replacement opponent hasn’t yet been announced for Gustafsson. For the record, Daniel Cormier has already stated that he wouldn’t want to make his light-heavyweight debut overseas, so he may not be an option.

During his time in the UFC, Lil’ Nog has been plagued by injuries to an almost James Irvin-esque degree. Since his UFC debut in 2009, Nogueira has withdrawn from a fight against Brandon Vera at UFC 109 (ankle injury), a fight against Rich Franklin at UFC 133 (shoulder injury), a previously-scheduled match against Gustafsson at UFC on FUEL 2 (knee injury), and a “PRIDE Neva Die!” rematch against Mauricio Rua at UFC 161 (back injury).

Reportedly, Nogueira will be ready to fight again in May 2014, but honestly, who knows. We’ll update you when Gustafsson gets his next opponent booked.

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UFC Booking Alert: Alexander Gustafsson Gets Antonio Rogerio Nogueira Next, Ross Pearson vs. Melvin Guillard Rematch Set


(They told me I could become anything I wanted, so I became Harry Potter. / Photo via Getty)

Two big pieces of fight-booking news were announced yesterday after UFC Fight Night 30. First up, recent light-heavyweight title contender Alexander Gustafsson will face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira next. Secondly, Melvin Guillard gets another chance to “illegally attack” Ross Pearson after their fight Saturday was cut short by silly rules that are impossible to implement rationally.

Both fights will take place at a “Fight Night” event on March 8th when the UFC returns to London. Gustafsson, of course, is coming off of a very close decision loss to Jon Jones, while Nogueira is on a two fight win-streak, including his decision win over Rashad Evans earlier this year, and his TKO of Tito Ortiz way back in December 2011. Bones will face Glover Teixeira in his next bout, for some reason.

After Jones beats Teixeira and Gustafsson dispatches of Lil’ Nog (at least that’s what the UFC is betting on), Jones and his Swede challenger will once more lock horns. No word yet on who Daniel Cormier will get in his light heavyweight debut, yet.

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[VIDEO] Dana White Talks Bad Judging, Title Contenders & Much More at UFC 166 Post Event Press Scrum


UFC president Dana White spoke with assembled press after UFC 166 Saturday night in Houston. Per usual, all topics were on the table including judging, reffing, who is and isn’t on the chopping block and the future of the heavyweight and light heavyweight division title scene.

Who’s up next for Cain Velaszquez? Is there a chance Alexander Gustafsson and Daniel Cormier could fight next?

Check out Uncle Dana’s interesting and non-committal answers alike to these questions and more in the video above.

- Elias Cepeda

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Scratch That: Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira Is Not Happening on Super Bowl Weekend


(That’s Jon’s surprised face. It is usually followed by his angry face, which shifts directly into his “punching and kicking you” face. / Photo courtesy of Martin McNeil)

The UFC’s next Super Bowl weekend card just got a lot less Super. UFC president Dana White revealed today that contrary to earlier reports, UFC 169 (February 1st, Newark) won’t be headlined by the light-heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira. White was quick to throw his PR flacks under the bus, saying:

“That was never, ever a done deal. That’s going to be later. That was never a done deal. Our (public relations) people put it out, and they shouldn’t have.”

Though a new date for Jones/Teixeira is still TBA, White said the bout was likely to happen in March. In addition, Alexander Gustafsson is expected to fight around the same time in either Sweden or London, and if Jones and Gustafsson both win their next fights, “they 100 percent will fight next,” White said.

Anyway, our condolences go out to the people of Newark. We’ll update you when a real main event is finalized for UFC 169.

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5 Things We Learned About Alexander Gustafsson From His ‘On the Brink’ UFC 165 Documentary [VIDEO]


(Props: YouTube.com/FOXSports. Part 2 is after the jump.)

In the wake of Alexander Gustafsson‘s epic title fight against Jon Jones at UFC 165, FOX Sports 1 has released a behind-the-scenes mini-documentary that follows Gustafsson through some intimate moments leading up to and following the bout. We also learned a few new things about the Swedish star. For example…

1. That ‘no-fuss’ look hair style of Gustafsson’s does indeed require some fuss

We won’t admit to being exactly jealous of Gustafsson’s no-effort-needed, scruff-buff style but..ok, we were getting a little jealous. It’s hard enough being an MMA fan while watching a Georges St. Pierre fight while all the female fans within view are fawning over him. Recently, it seemed that Gustafsson was starting to get the same treatment. I mean, what does a brother have to do to simply watch a fight without being reminded of how inadequate he is?

Anyway, early in the ‘On the Brink’ doc, we see Gustafsson painstakingly mold his hair in front of a large mirror and then ask his room mate if it looked alright. Wait, was this whole first point a little weird? I’m starting to think it made me look weird…Next point!

2. Alexander Gustafsson believes that Jon Jones is “insecure”

Gustafsson wasn’t much for trash talk leading up to the Jones fight but in this segment he seemed agitated by Jones’ attitude. Jones’s perceived arrogance is the result of fundamental insecurity, according to Alexander. “He is insecure,” Gus says. “He likes looking down on people. Some people don’t see that but I see that.”

3. Gustafsson doesn’t cut a ton of weight, apparently

As Gustafsson gets into a cab on the Thursday before UFC 165, he tells the driver that he has just nine pounds left to go. “I’m 214,” he says. Now, nine pounds of weight lost in one day would be a lot to you and me, but the light heavyweight division has been home to some of the most monstrous cuts in UFC history from guys like Forrest Griffin and Quinton Jackson who have reportedly showed up to fight weeks well over twenty pounds above the 205 pound limit.

4. After the final horn, Gustafsson didn’t believe that he would was going to win the decision

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