(Simon Cowell said they sucked. L.A. Reid said they sucked. Nicole Scherzinger said they sucked. Paula Abdul said they should keep practicing and never give up their dreams. / Props: jessektabor2)
UFC 135 goes down tomorrow night in Denver, and as always, it’s incredibly important that you hear our opinions about it. Fresh off his controversial split-decision victory over Seth Falvo, CagePotato staff writer Jared Jones returns for another head-to-head column against founding editor Ben Goldstein. Can Rampage pull off an upset? Is Matt Hughes on his way to retirement? Whose new screen-name will be more humiliating? Read on and get yourself educated…
Is there a part of you that wants to see Rampage get his belt back? How likely is that to happen?
JJ: There will always be a small part of me that wants to see Page with a belt again, if only so I never have to watch that same clip of Rampage exclaiming just how much he wants it back in every pre-fight commercial he’s been in since losing it. On the other hand, I fear for the lives of Southern California if he does win the belt and then loses it again.
As far as the likelihood of Page being the champ again, I’d say it’s better than those bookies would have you believe, but not much. Let’s face it, Rampage earned this title shot with a razor thin decision over Lyoto Machida and an unimpressive decision over a now retired Matt Hamill. Yes, he seems incredibly focused and in shape and yes, Bones’ chin has yet to be tested, but Jones is simply too quick, diverse, and smart to get caught by a straight boxer like Rampage.
BG: First off, no, I don’t want to see Rampage get his belt back. Not even a little. Dude gives me a headache sometimes. Like Nick Diaz, he’s a paranoid weirdo with a persecution complex — everybody’s cocky, everybody’s fake. Look, if you’re one of the hordes of eCritics that have emerged since Jones beat up Shogun, I’m sure you have your reasons. But to me, Jon Jones represents the latest step in MMA’s evolution, and it would feel like a regression if he were unseated by a guy who pretty much just throws hands these days.
The odds on this fight are so inflated because as loud as Rampage’s supporters can be sometimes, nobody’s actually betting money on him. Why would they? Jones has an 11.5-inch reach advantage, he’s far more athletic, and he’s unpredictable. Bones might beat up Rampage standing just to prove a point. After Saturday, we can stop calling Jones the “future of MMA.” He’ll officially be the present — a defending champion. Now what will that make Rampage?