MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: UFC 165

Jones vs. Gustafsson Fight-Picking Contest: Win a Combat Line T-Shirt From Fear the Fighter!


(FTF’s Judo tee. Check out the rest of their Combat Line shirts here.)

This Saturday at UFC 165 in Toronto, Jon Jones will attempt to make history as the first UFC light-heavyweight champion to defend his belt six consecutive times, when he faces off against Alexander Gustafsson. According to the betting odds and our own analysis, it’s looking pretty good for the champ. But how exactly will the fight end? Put on your Carnac hats, ladies and gentlemen, because fight-picking time is here again.

Shoot us your predictions for the Jones vs. Gustafsson fight in the comments section of this post, and the most accurate guess will score a Combat Line t-shirt from our friends at Fear the Fighter. Your predictions should look something like this…

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‘UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson’ Main Event Breakdown — Making A Mountain Out of a Molehill


(And here we see UFC light-heavyweight challenger Alexander Gustafsson just *towering* over the reigning champ. How is Jon Jones supposed to deal with such a *massive* size difference?? / Photo via Getty. Withering sarcasm via CagePotato)

By George Shunick

If you want to know just how lopsided the main event of UFC 165 looks to be, you only have to subject yourself to the hilarious, terrible advertisements for it. The subtext of them reads something along the lines of “Jon Jones is a freak athlete, his reach is unreal, who can stop that?! … Oh hey look, this Swedish guy is really tall!” If that doesn’t sound like a compelling — or for that matter, convincing — narrative, that’s because it’s not. This isn’t to say Alexander Gustafsson, the aforementioned 6’5″ Scandinavian, doesn’t deserve this title shot or that he has absolutely no chance of defeating Jon Jones. It’s just that he almost has absolutely no chance of defeating Jon Jones.

In fairness to Gustafsson and Zuffa’s promotional branch, there isn’t anyone at light-heavyweight who Jon Jones wouldn’t be deservedly favored against. It is virtually impossible to credibly sell any opponent against Jon Jones on the basis of skill. He’s simply on another level than the rest of his peers. So the UFC is forced to resort to what little it can find to distinguish his opposition as fodder for promotion; in this case, it’s that Gustafsson is officially listed as being one inch taller than the champion. In any other given matchup, perhaps Gustafsson’s boxing ability or his submission savvy might be touted prior to the bout. Not against Jones. Why bother emphasizing Gustafsson’s submission ability against a guy who has never been taken down in the UFC? Why call attention to Gustafsson’s boxing when it’s so dependent on a reach advantage he won’t have?

Of course, Gustafsson could still win. But in order to do so, he’s going to have to avoid Jon Jones’ takedowns — which no one has really been able to do — and turn this into a boxing match. Even then, he’ll face an uphill battle. Jones showed improvement in his standup against Rashad Evans, as he’s switched to a more Muay Thai-oriented attack that focuses on picking opponents apart from the outside with low kicks and hurting them when they become impatient and rush in. He’s been beaten on the feet before (briefly), by Lyoto Machida, but Gustafsson lacks Machida’s elusive footwork and unpredictable rushes. He’s generally been content to allow his reach and height to provide him security as he works punches from the outside. It’s not a strategy that’s going to work against Jones.

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Renan Barao’s Interim Title Defense at UFC 165 Will (Hopefully) Be His Last


(Barao’s success in MMA has caught the attention of Hollywood. He’ll be appearing in the next ‘Fast & Furious’ movie, playing the part of a dead raccoon lying by the side of the road. / Photo via Getty)

Already the longest-reigning interim champion in UFC history in terms of time holding the belt, bantamweight phenom Renan Barao could become the first UFC fighter to defend an interim belt twice when he takes on Eddie Wineland later this month at UFC 165. But being an interim champ isn’t exactly something that Barao takes pride in.

No disrespect to [Dominick Cruz], but from the moment I won this belt, and I have defended it once, I considered myself the champion,” Barao said yesterday during a UFC 165 conference call.

We can see how Barao might be confused, considering that he does in fact own a championship belt, and the real champ is nowhere in sight. Cruz, of course, has been sidelined for nearly two years due to a blown ACL and resulting complications. And although the UFC has been patient with “The Dominator”‘s long absence, the promotion may finally be setting an ultimatum on his return. As UFC president Dana White said during the conference call:

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Friday Link Dump: Jones vs. Gustafsson Extended Preview, Nerdiest UFC Fighters, Touchdown Celebration Fails + More


(Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

TUF 18 Interview: Going 1-on-1 With Jessamyn Duke After Episode 1 (BleacherReport)

And the Latest War Machine Tweet That Might Get Him Fired Is… (MMAFighting)

Report: Johny Hendricks Has Yet to File VADA Paperwork (BloodyElbow)

Jade Bryce always knows how to brighten our day. (Facebook.com/CagePotato)

Mayweather Guaranteed $41.5 Million for Canelo Fight (MMAPayout)

GRAPHIC: Australian Muay Thai Fighter Breaks Leg After His Kick Is Checked (MiddleEasy)

The UFC’s Five Nerdiest Fighters (MMAConvert)

Heidi Klum’s Hottest Instagrams (MadeMan)

The 25 Worst Touchdown Celebration Fails (Complex)

Strength Training for Marathon Runners (MensFitness)

Must See: 8 Strange and Hilarious Craigslist Ads (DoubleViking)

Scary Video: Elephant Rams Car (EgoTV)

Broncos Cheerleader Gives America a Show (Break)

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Booking Alert: Hot Middleweight Contenders Costa Philippou and Francis Carmont to Face Off at UFC 165


(Philippou puts a shocking end to the Barbarian Era at UFC 155. / Photo by Esther Lin for MMAFighting.com)

Inactive since his TKO win over Tim Boetsch in December, UFC middleweight contender Costa Philippou has been lobbying for a fight…any fight. And while he previously tried calling out Michael Bisping like everybody else, the UFC has different plans for him. UFC Canada confirmed today that Philippou will make his return at UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson (September 21st, Toronto), where he’ll face streaking Tristar Gym product Francis Carmont.

This is probably the greatest possible matchup involving two middleweights that you rarely think about. Quietly, both fighters have amassed five-fight win streaks in the Octagon dating back to 2011, with Philippou most notably defeating Boetsch, Court McGee, and Jorge Rivera, and Carmont scoring recent wins against Tom Lawlor and Lorenz Larkin. One of these guys is going to make it six in a row, and the other is going back to square one — a truly horrible place, indeed.

Shoot us your thoughts about this matchup in the comments section, and check out the current UFC 165 fight lineup after the jump…

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Pat Healy to Return From Marijuana Suspension Against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 165, Sept. 21 in Toronto


(“The name’s Pat. But my friends call me Bruisey McWeirdnose.” / Photo courtesy of Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

After catching a 90-day suspension for failing his UFC 159 drug test due to marijuana, UFC lightweight contender Pat Healy has paid his debt to society, and will be returning to action against 20-0 up-and-comer Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson, September 21st at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Healy’s “huge mistake” of toking up a month before his April 27th fight against Jim Miller had severe, far-reaching consequences: His fantastic submission win over Miller was officially changed to a no-contest, he was stripped of $130,000 in Fight Night bonusesBryan Caraway got $65,000 richer by default, and then Nate Diaz was fined and suspended, simply for expressing his heartfelt opinion that Caraway is “the biggest Fag in the world.” All because of a little weed.

Now, you can look at the Healy vs. Nurmagomedov booking in one of two ways: Either the UFC is doing Healy a solid by giving him another upper-echelon opponent so he can solidify his place in the UFC title-mix, or they’re punishing him by setting him up in a lose-lose fight against an indestructible Russian savage whose name casual UFC fans can’t even pronounce. But regardless of what the promotion’s reasoning was, it’s a killer matchup between two consistently-exciting 155-pounders — and another opportunity to see if Nurmagomedov is the real deal.

For the record, Nurmagomedov was actually hoping for match against TJ Grant, now that Grant has been knocked out of his UFC 164 title fight due to a concussion. Ah, that’s our Nurmy. Such an ambitious young man.

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Renan Barao vs. Eddie Wineland Interim Bantamweight Title Fight Rescheduled for UFC 165 Co-Main Event


(Pfft. Clearly, the UFC is just trying to protect their pretty-boy interim champion. / Photo via Getty)

The UFC confirmed last week that Renan Barao‘s interim bantamweight championship fight against Eddie Wineland has been re-scheduled to serve as the co-main event of UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson (September 21st; Air Canada Centre, Toronto). The match was originally slated to headline UFC 161 last month, until Barao suffered a foot injury and had to pull out on short notice. Instead of staying on the card against a replacement opponent, Eddie Wineland was taken off the lineup altogether.

Barao has gone 31 fights without a defeat — including 20 straight victories, the last five of which were earned in the UFC — and last competed in February, where he scored a fourth-round arm-triangle choke submission against Michael McDonald. If Barao beats Wineland, he’ll become the first fighter in UFC history to defend an interim title twice — an odd achievement, made possible by the fact that actual champion Dominick Cruz is suffering through one of the longest injury layoffs in recorded history.

By comparison, Eddie Wineland’s two-fight win streak is much less impressive, although he did score wins over perennial contenders Scott Jorgensen and Brad Pickett last year. So, will Eddie just be another notch on Barao’s bed-post, or does he legitimately stand a chance here?

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Do-or-Die Time: Kid Yamamoto to Be Given Final Chance Against Ivan Menjivar at UFC 165


(Darren Uyenoyama mocks Yamamoto after giving him the worst wet willy in MMA History at UFC on FOX 1.) 

One of the more notorious UFC busts in recent memory, Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto has yet to taste victory in three UFC bouts, dropping decisions to Demetrious Johnson (fair enough) and Darren Uyenoyama (understandable) before getting submitted by Vaughan Lee (COME ON!) in the first round of their UFC 144 scrap last February. Since then, we haven’t heard much from the former K1 star and could only assume that he was diligently working on his kata with headmaster Michael “Lightning Bolt!” Dealy.

His back now firmly planted against the wall, Yamamoto will be given one of his toughest tests to date in what is surely his do-or-die fight with the UFC. “Kid” will face Ivan Menjivar at UFC 165: Jones vs. GustafssonTVA Sports was the first to announce the booking yesterday:

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Gamblers Beware: Jon Jones Opens as an 8-to-1 Favorite (!!) Over Alexander Gustafsson


(And you can take that to the bank! Photo via Getty Images.) 

How about some MMA news that doesn’t involve a fighter/manager sticking his foot in his mouth?

Yesterday, it was announced that Jon Jones will meet his next challenge in the form of Swedish wrecking machine Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 in September. Your reaction was the typical mix of childish enthusiasm and overwhelming positivity that we’ve come to expect: “I don’t think he has a chance!” one of you emphatically declared, “This is a dumb fight,” praised another, “blah blah blah Bones should fight at heavyweight,” chimed in a third. Damn, does anything truly put a smile on your faces?

In any case, the early gambling lines seem to agree with most of you Taters that, yes, Jones vs. Gustafsson is nothing more than the latest in a series of squash matches that have constituted the Bones Era. With the matchup still months away, Jones has already opened as a -800 favorite to Gustafsson’s +500 odds. Ouch.

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Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson Booked for UFC 165, September 21st in Toronto


(Gustafsson and Jones, both trying to hide their excitement about meeting Bob Sapp. Photo via @AlexTheMauler)

It’s official: UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones will attempt to defend his title for a record-breaking sixth time against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165, September 21st in Toronto, Ontario.

The last time we saw Bones in the Octagon, he was trying not freak out about the destroyed toe he accidentally sustained during his UFC 159 whupping of Chael Sonnen. But luckily, the digit was simply dislocated, which has made a five-month turnaround between fights a possibility. By the way, this will be the third time in two years that Jones has competed at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto; he previously made belt-defenses against Lyoto Machida and Vitor Belfort at the venue.

As for Gustafsson, an ouchie of his own prevented “The Mauler” from facing Gegard Mousasi back in April, but Gustafsson’s six-fight win streak still makes him qualified for his crack at the belt. Fun fact: Despite being an inch taller than Jones, Gustafsson will still have to deal with an eight-inch reach disadvantage.

Yes, this blows apart our dream for an October double-title-fight mega-card in Cowboys Stadium — especially when you consider that GSP vs. Hendricks is likely going to happen in November now. I’m feeling super-bad for October at this point.

Anyway: Jones vs. Gustafsson — your predictions, please.

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