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Tag: Jon Jones

Exclusive: Jon Jones Has Some New Tricks to Show Off Against Brandon Vera


(Step one in preparing for a fight with Jon Jones? Spinning elbow defense. Step two? Hiring a gypsy to put a hex on him before fight night.)

For the past six weeks Jon Jones has been at Greg Jackson’s gym in New Mexico, getting ready for a main event showdown with Brandon Vera on the UFC’s first Versus event this weekend. Despite Vera’s edge in Octagon experience, Jones is better than a 2-1 favorite in this fight, but he says he knows that the fans are a fickle lot, and he needs to show what he can do against the elder opponent who swears he’s on the verge of getting back to his old destructive self again. We sat down with Jones recently to get his thoughts on Vera’s renewed sense of purpose, the lingering effects of his disqualification loss to Matt Hamill, and more.

Clay Guida told us in a recent interview that he’s not using his plane ticket to get to Denver for the fight on Sunday and is going to drive his RV instead, and stay in it instead of his free hotel room. You guys are both at Greg Jackson’s in Albuquerque right now. Are you going to ride up in that beast with him?

Yeah, I’m going to go with him. I haven’t been inside [the RV] yet, but I hear it’s like the ultimate bachelor pad, like there’s video games and everything. It’s supposed to be pretty sweet. I’m going to use my hotel when I get there, don’t get me wrong, but I’m looking forward to driving up with Clay. We’ve been doing everything together. We’ve been eating together, training together – not directly with each other, since we’re in different weight classes – but we do our conditioning together. It’s been great.

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Cage Potato Ban Violation Alert: Brandon Vera


(You may have been listening to us, Brandon. But you certainly weren’t *hearing* us.)

I swear you guys, sometimes it almost seems like these fighters are not constantly checking our site for updates and then living according to what we say like it’s the freaking gospel. Just a little over two weeks ago we enacted one of our irrevocable Cage Potato Bans on the practice of promising to bring back your old self. We’d had more than we could stand of guys vowing that this next fight, this was when we’d once again see that bright-eyed young ass-kicker we’d once known. It struck us as a cloying and empty gesture, and so we banished it from the land forever.

But wouldn’t you know it? Here comes Brandon Vera, wantonly flouting our edict like it meant absolutely nothing to him. As he told MMA Weekly:

"I stopped believing in the hype, I stopped worrying about what people think. I’m going back in there just trying to hurt people again like I used to," Vera said. "When I first came out, I would just bang on people and roll with people just to see them break. I got away from that somehow. I don’t know what happened. I got sucked into the MMA world of trying not to disappoint people. I’m over it, I want to go back in there and start doing things like I used to."

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Video Hype: ‘Vera vs Jones’ Extended Preview


(Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

Jon Jones is at that point of his career where the nut-hugging is at its most pure and intense. In the first few minutes of this Countdown video for next Sunday’s UFC on Versus show, everyone from Joe Rogan to Dana White to Rashad Evans to Greg Jackson describe Bones as a freakishly athletic star with a perfect mindset, unbelievable talent, and endless potential. But frankly, Brandon Vera has heard it all before: "Jon ‘Bones’ Jones, the second comin’ of Jesus Christ…I don’t believe all the hype, and ‘Oh, he’s the next this, that,’ man I’ve seen that happen to so many fighters. It happened to me. I started believing the hype and I started losing fights." 

Vera is as curious as the rest of us are about what Jones is truly capable of, and feels it’s hard to gauge how good Jones is because his competition hasn’t been world-class. "Matt Hamill was supposed to be the first guy to really test me," Jones points out, "And it wasn’t much of a test." Still, Jones sees himself as the underdog in this fight, which means he probably hasn’t checked out the betting lines yet.

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Videos: Jones vs. Vera Fight Hype, GSP Protects This House



(Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

You know what sucks? We have to wait three whole weeks until Jon Jones and Brandon Vera headline the UFC’s first event on Versus (March 21st; Broomfield, Colorado). What the hell are we going to do in the meantime?(And don’t say "Volunteer at a soup kitchen"; this is no time for jokes.) In the above hype-videos, Bones promises fireworks against Vera, and says he’ll give the Truth a striking war if that’s what he wants. He also makes a dig at Vera’s well-known hubris, saying he’s not the kind of guy to call out Chuck Liddell after winning his first UFC fight; Bones has a black belt in humility, apparently. Brandon Vera is aware that Jones has been blowing through his opponents, but feels that he’s never fought anybody on Brandon’s level, and his chin hasn’t been tested yet. ("It’s really easy to be the hammer, but it’s hard to be the nail.") Anybody see Vera winning this one? Anybody?

After the jump: Georges St. Pierre sweats alongside Michael Phelps in a new ad for Under Armour. Let’s be thankful this wasn’t an ad for Reebok.

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The NSAC Hardly Even Had to Think About Jon Jones’ Appeal


(Jon’s first mistake was not refusing to answer Mazzagatti’s questions without an attorney present.)

When Jon Jones explained the basis of his appeal to the Nevada State Athletic Commission in the mysterious case of the 12-to-6 elbow strikes, it seemed like he had cause enough to warrant a thorough discussion about what should have been done when a deaf fighter can’t continue due to a shoulder injury, and yet can’t immediately communicate this to the referee.  Turns out we were wrong, because the NSAC refused to rule on Jones’ appeal on the grounds that they don’t overturn decisions.  Unless somebody was on drugs.

This means the loss will stay on Jones’ previously perfect record, and apparently we won’t even have the conversation about whether Mazzagatti should have brought a translator into the cage to find out whether the illegal strikes were really the cause of Matt Hamill‘s inability to continue.  Not that the NSAC’s decision should surprise anyone.  This is the same commission who turned down Anthony Johnson’s eye-poke appeal (also on Mazzagatti’s watch) due to "lack of remedy."

Sorry, "Bones."  If you can show that Hamill may have been smoking weed before the bout, then give the NSAC a call.  Otherwise, best to move on.

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Jon Jones vs. Brandon Vera to Headline First UFC Show on Versus

Jon Jones Andre Gusmao UFC
(After this fight, Andre Gusmao lobbied hard to outlaw "6-to-9:30" flying knees.)

The UFC’s debut fight card on Versus now has a date and a headliner. Sources indicate that the show will go down March 21st in Denver, with the previously reported match between Jon Jones and Brandon Vera in the main event slot. When Vera broke news of the 3/21 date on Twitter, most people assumed that he meant 3/31, the same night as the premiere of TUF 11. But the Truth was right, and we feel just awful for doubting him.

Versus is available in approximately 75 million homes, compared to the 98.6 million that Spike TV can be seen in, which means that this probably isn’t great news for some of you. At this point, it’s unclear if the UFC will be putting together a Fight Night show on Spike on March 31. Three events in an 11-day stretch seems like a backbreaking schedule; remember, UFC 111 is also on the agenda for March 27th in Newark.

And speaking of Jon Jones, the 22-year-old stunna’s management team filed their formal complaint with the NSAC regarding Jones’s disqualification against Matt Hamill at the TUF 10 Finale. If you’re interested, you can read more details here.

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Antonio Rogerio Nogueira Out of UFC 109; Brandon Vera Likely to Meet Jon Jones in March

Brandon Vera UFCJon Jones UFC

Due to a fractured ankle, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has been forced to withdraw from his co-headlining bout against Brandon Vera at UFC 109 (February 6, Las Vegas). Shortly after the news broke, Vera posted (then quickly removed) the following message on his Twitter page: "just found out I’m firing Jon Bones Jones on March 21st in Denver Colorado. hope u heard it here first!!!!"

We can only assume that Vera meant "fighting Jon Bones Jones," and that he won’t be flying out to Denver to terminate Jones from his contract, Clooney-style. And the March 21st date may also be a misprint: MMA Junkie and MMA Weekly both report that the yet-unsigned fight is actually slated for March 31st, and will headline an Ultimate Fight Night card just four days after UFC 111 (March 27, Newark). The 3/31 Fight Night show will lead directly into the premiere of TUF 11.

With Vera losing a close decision to Randy Couture at UFC 105, and Jones coming off his unfortunate DQ loss against Matt Hamill earlier this month at the TUF 10 Finale, both men will come into this fight with a lot to prove. Jones certainly has the wrestling advantage — as well as the spinning-elbow advantage — but will Vera’s rangy kickboxing cause problems for young Bones?

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Jon Jones Talks Appeal, Says He Had No Idea About Steve Mazzagatti’s Reputation


(Photo courtesy of Sherdog.com)

Jon Jones isn’t mad.  He says this several times, and it seems very important to him that people understand it.  If it was left entirely to him, he says, he probably wouldn’t be appealing his disqualification loss.  That part was mostly his management’s doing.  At the same time, he doesn’t think he got a fair shake from referee Steve Mazzagatti at the TUF 10 Finale.  It’s not that Jones disputes Mazzagatti’s ruling that his downward elbow strikes were illegal — he admits that they were.  But he doesn’t think it was what really caused the fight to be stopped, nor does he believe that Mazzagatti did what he should have done in the wake of the foul.  As he told me for this SI.com article:

“A big part of it is that Mazzagatti just didn’t handle things right,” explained Jones. “You know, he’s standing over Matt Hamill, who can’t see at the time because he has blood in his eyes, and obviously he can’t hear, and Mazzagatti is standing there asking him if he’s okay. Then he stops the fight.”

If you go back and watch the video of the fight, what you see is Mazzagatti standing over Hamill and asking him twice, "Are you done?"  Hamill doesn’t answer — maybe because he doesn’t even realize Mazzagatti is asking him a question — and that’s when the fight is waved off. 

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Jon Jones Seeks No-Contest Ruling After DQ Loss to Hamill

Jon Jones Matt Hamill TUF 10 Finale
(Tell him, Dana…)

After he was slapped with a disqualification loss following the 12-6 elbow incident at the The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale, Jon Jones told reporters that he was at peace with the fight’s result: "I try to look at everything in life for the best, and now I’m not worried about being undefeated anymore. I can go out there and be more relaxed…I’m going to bounce back stronger."

But after a couple days to reflect and re-watch the fight, Jones and his management team are somewhat less at peace with the DQ ruling, and they now plan to appeal the decision. Their argument rests on a subtle but important point: It was Matt Hamill‘s shoulder that prevented him from continuing in the fight, not his illegally-busted nose, but he wasn’t able to communicate that information to referee Steve Mazzagatti because he couldn’t hear or see what was going on, and his sign-language-interpreter wasn’t brought in to help clarify.

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The Potato Index: TUF 10 Finale Aftermath


(Jon Jones doesn’t know what to tell you. Sometimes you eat the bear and, well, sometimes you get disqualified for hitting him with illegal elbows. Photo courtesy of Combat Lifestyle’s after-party set.)

A bizarre night in Las Vegas brought the latest heavyweight experiment of “The Ultimate Fighter” to an end, and not a moment too soon. Now we break down the results to see who’s up and who’s down according to the patent-pending technology of the Potato Index’s arbitrary numerical rankings.

Roy Nelson +87

We get it, his physique is unimpressive. But a KO win showed he can fight on the feet and on the mat. Funny that Burger King doesn’t seem more pleased with a free endorsement from an athlete who’s known for his unappealing body.

Brendan Schaub -21
As we’ve seen in the past, losing in the TUF Finale isn’t any more a condemnation than winning is a guarantee of future success. Once he gets some experience under his belt, he could turn out to be an exciting fighter to watch. Why not give him Kimbo next, just for fun?

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