No matter who you’re rooting for at UFC 128, you’re all but guaranteed an exciting night of fights that have the potential to launch some careers and end others. Luckily for lazy writers everywhere, many of the bouts line up perfectly with tried and true analysis that’s been written a hundred times before. Here’s a half-hearted breakdown of tonight’s action, joined by your blisteringly accurate predictions in the comments section.
Jon Jones force feeding his destiny to Brandon Vera.
It’s crazy that so many people are looking past champion Mauricio Rua, fully anointing Jon Jones the future of the light heavyweight division before they even step in the cage. Crazy, but kind of understandable. Jones is incredibly athletic, innovative, and unpredictable, and it looks like he has all of the physical tools to take out anyone in his path. The bookmakers know it, and it’s become painfully obvious over the last couple of weeks that “Bones” does as well.
Jones has displayed no shortage of confidence in recent interviews, stating that he’s already won the fight and that he’s currently signing autographs as “Champ 2011”, leading some to question whether he’s lost touch with reality. Hearing Jones—who’s greatest accomplishment in the sport to date was his recent victory over Ryan Bader—already discussing his legacy and the impact he wants to make on the world is enough to make you question if he is really focused on the task at hand or if he’s taking his opponent too lightly and setting himself up for failure. Believing in yourself is a must to succeed in this sport, but can Jones’s over-abundance of self-confidence actually work against him in this fight? Hell if I know. That’s why I got in touch with Brian Cain, the famed sports psychologist who has worked with MMA standouts like Georges St. Pierre, Rashad Evans, and Rich Franklin. My feeble attempts at arm-chair psychology and Cain’s insightful answers await you after the jump.
It’s largely business as usual for yesterday’s Dana vlog. We see Dana make good on his promise to treat MMA enthusiast/homicidal maniac-thwarter Joseph Lozito to a behind the scenes weekend at UFC 128. Yesterday’s weigh-ins may have been low on seething anger and hostility, but it’s always cool to catch the action up close and personal.
The UFC 128 weigh-ins just went down at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, and all 24 fighters hit their marks without incident. Seriously, there wasn’t even any shoving or uncomfortable nose-mashing. Oh well. Full results continue after the jump. Don’t forget to come back to CagePotato.com tomorrow night for our liveblog of the action!
PPV MAIN CARD
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (205) vs. Jon Jones (205)
Urijah Faber (135.5) vs. Eddie Wineland (135.5)
Nate Marquardt (186) vs. Dan Miller (185)
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (229) vs. Brendan Schaub (245)
Jim Miller (155.5) vs. Kamal Shalorus (155)
At this point, even we’re sick of hearing about Jon Jones‘s abilities and what Greg Jackson thinks of them. But I just spent the last twenty minutes watching Spike’s “In the Moment” special on Bones, and if you’re a fan of the 23-year-old phenom, I suggest you do the same. The mostly first-person account of Jones’s lead-up to UFC 128 introduces us to his brother, girlfriend, and daughters, and gives us a lot more insight about his training in Albuquerque. Definitely worth your time.
(Talk of “disrespect” and “walking the walk” begins about the four-minute mark. Vid: MMA Fighting)
So, when confronted with the fact that Jon Jones has apparently been tagging his signature with the phrase “UFC Champion, 2011” during autograph signings and public appearances leading up to UFC 128, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua – who is still the champ, remember – seemed none too pleased. Unfortunately, Rua has never been known as a particularly fiery orator (and was speaking through an interpreter, anyway) so when asked for comment by Ariel Helwani on Thursday, he ended up saying some corny ’80s shit that sounded like he was aiming for “don’t let your mouth write checks your ass can’t cash,” but didn’t quite get there.
Unfortunately, things only got more banal from there: Hearing of Shogun’s criticism, Jones essentially played dumb, acting like he couldn’t possibly understand why signing his name as the future UFC champion would piss off the current UFC champion and the man he’s supposed to fight this weekend. Point of fact, Jones said it’s Shogun who’s been disrespectful headed into this fight, not him. Then Jones said some bullshit about “The Law of Attraction” that actually made us slump back in our office chair and sigh, “C’mon son.”
All the silliness that’s fit to print is after the jump …
Here’s a video for all of you members of the Potato Nation who have Mauricio “Shogun” Rua counted out of his first UFC light heavyweight title defense this weekend against Zuffa hypemonster, Jon Jones.
Shogun’s camp seems to be pretty convinced that Jones is going to want none of Rua standing, and as such, have focused training largely on what they’re going to do when “Bones” inevitably takes the fight to the canvas. It’s interesting to note that although Rua only picked up one of his 19 wins by submission, he has been a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu for six years — three years longer than Jones has been training in mixed martial arts.
Jon Jones has a lot of hype to live up to heading into his light heavyweight title fight with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua this weekend and a lion’s share of it is being perpetuated by his own camp.
Coach Greg Jackson says seeing Jones fight is like seeing a Picasso compared to every other run-of-the-mill painting. Boxing trainer Mike Winkeljohn says that comparisons between his charge and Muhammed Ali are well-deserved and similar greatness is in Jones’ destiny. Teammate Clay Guida calls him a super hero action figure-esque fighter.
Anyway, you know what you came here for. As always, the odds for this week’s event come to us from Sportsbook.com and our picks are presented for entertainment purposes only. Also, for the purposes of WINNING MAJOR WADS OF CASH! What! … yeah … ahem … you’ll have to excuse us, we’re pretty jacked about this one. After the jump find our foolproof scheme for checking major bank at UFC 128, all without leaving your couch.