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Tag: UFC on Versus 2

End of an Era: Honoring the Greatest Moments From UFC on Versus

By Jason Moles

Over the last 18 months, we’ve been lucky enough to get six live fight cards on Versus, completely free of charge. This past Saturday marked the end of Versus’s run as the “home away from home” for the UFC on basic cable. Not to worry, though: More free, live fights will be coming your way soon on FOX, FX, and Fuel TV. We thought we’d take a look back at the best of the best from the “UFC Live” series, but first, here’s how those sixty-five fights were decided: 24 (T)KOs, 15 Submissions, 23 Judges Decision, 2 Doctor Stoppages, and 1 No Contest.

Now let’s hand out some hardware, shall we?

Biggest Upset: Charlie Brenneman Beating Rick Story

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Jon Jones vs. Vladimir Matyushenko: Head to Head

Jon Jones Vladimir Matyushenko UFC on Versus Live
(Pay no attention to the two dudes lurking in the background…)

Light-heavyweight wunderkind Jon Jones and grizzled old vet Vladimir Matyushenko face off next Sunday at UFC Live: Jones vs. Matyushenko, August 1st in San Diego. At first, we were quick to write off this matchup as a gift for Bones, but nothing is guaranteed in this crazy sport. Let’s dive into the stats and see who really holds the advantages…

AGE
Jones: 23
Matyushenko: 39
Advantage: Jones

NICKNAME
Jones: "Bones"
Matyushenko: "The Janitor"
Advantage: Jones. You already know how we feel about Vlad’s nickname.

TIME SPENT AS A PRO
Jones: Over two years
Matyushenko: Almost 13 years
Advantage: Matyushenko. The Janitor probably owns jock-straps that have logged more cage-time than Jones.

CAREER HIGHLIGHT
Jones: Headlining the UFC’s first card on Versus and breaking Brandon Vera’s face in three places.
Matyushenko: Becoming the IFL’s first light-heavyweight champion, and successfully defending the belt before the organization folded.
Advantage: Even. Matyushenko can say he’s a former champion. But Jones can say he destroyed Brandon Vera’s face. It kind of depends on where your priorities lie.

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Exclusive Video: Jon Jones Discusses Upcoming Fight With Vladimir Matyushenko, MMA in NY, Freakishly Long Arms + More


CagePotato Exclusive Video Interview w/UFC Star Jon Jones – Watch more Funny Videos

Coming off his devastation of Brandon Vera in March, fast-rising UFC star Jon Jones will take on veteran Vladimir Matyushenko at UFC On Versus 2 (August 1st, San Diego). It may not be an obvious step up in competition, but in this exclusive video interview — shot by our friend Sal Mora at Jackson’s MMA in Albuquerque — Jones calls Matyushenko a "solid step sideways," and assures us that he’s not looking past the Janitor. Of course, another impressive win would put the 22-year-old directly into the 205-pound title mix, which suits him just fine, since there’s nobody in the division he doesn’t think he can beat:

"I’m really confident in myself, and I’m big on faith. I just believe if I study for any opponent — his interviews, his fights, his footwork, his timing — I think I’ll figure out that opponent. It’s like doing your homework…you know yourself, you know your opponent, and there’s really nothing to worry about."

As a native of Endicott, New York, Jones weighed in on the MMA regulation efforts in New York State"That would mean so much to me, competing in New York…it would be a dream come true, and something that I believe in my heart will happen one day. I would love to fight for a title in Madison Square Garden."

Bones also discussed his current preparations with trainer Greg Jackson, explained how his 84.5" reach helps him in his daily life, and told us what line of work he might be in if he wasn’t fighting. Enjoy.

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Poor Ticket Sales Force ‘UFC on Versus 2′ Out of Salt Lake City

UFC on Versus 2 Jon Jones Okami Matyushenko Munoz

"Some people are sending [us] emails going, ‘You guys are crazy going [to Salt Lake City] on a Sunday; it’s a holy day’…We’re going there on a Sunday. We’re going to Salt Lake City, Utah, and we’re going to put on an event…Talk to God and let him give you the day off to come watch." — Dana White, 4/22/10

Well, God has spoken, and he says "no dice." Due to sluggish ticket sales, the UFC on Versus 2 event scheduled for August 1st at the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City has been canceled, and will instead be held at the San Diego Sports Arena. Said Dana: "Our television ratings in Salt Lake City have always been strong. When we finally found the opportunity to bring a UFC event there with a great card, I was very surprised and disappointed in ticket sales."

Fans who purchased tickets to the Salt Lake City event will receive a full refund, and tickets to the show at the San Diego venue go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m. According to DW, it’s the first time in the company’s history that a venue has been changed after tickets already went on sale; UFC 12 comes to mind as an exception, but still, this is basically unprecedented. So what does it mean?

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James Irvin Getting One More Chance, Back at Light-Heavyweight

James Irvin skinny middleweight UFC
(Well, he certainly has his mother‘s cheekbones. Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.)

Adding to the long list of horrible stuff that has happened to him in his career, James Irvin‘s last fight at UFC of Versus: Vera vs. Jones was an utter disaster. The Sandman looked painfully emaciated in his first attempt at middleweight, and crumpled to the mat after taking an eye-punch from Alessio Sakara. It was the fourth time in his last five appearances that Irvin has ended a fight on the mat writhing in pain or otherwise immobilized. (See also: Anderson Silva slicing him up, his blown out ACL/MCL against Thiago Silva, and the DQ victory via illegal knee he endured against Luis Cane.) Truly, the Octagon has become a dangerous place for James Irvin. Unfortunately, quitting doesn’t seem to be an option.

Despite the fact that he hasn’t won a fight in over two years, MMA Weekly is reporting that Irvin will get one last shot to redeem himself at UFC on Versus 2 (August 1st, Salt Lake City). Irvin will be heading back up to 205 — thank God — to face Igor Pokrajac, the Cro Cop disciple who has gone 0-2 in the Octagon, dropping fights to Vladimir Matyushenko and James "Hey, Tuna" Te-Huna. Obviously, it’s a must-win for both guys, though if Irvin can make it through the fight without any serious injuries, you have to consider that a victory in itself.

Related: UFC on Versus 2 will also host a middleweight contest between Yushin Okami and Mark Munoz. Rebounding from his UFC 104 loss to Chael Sonnen, Okami turned in one of the most impressive performances of his career when he beat down Lucio Linhares at "Florian vs. Gomi" in March. Munoz is a perfect 3-0 at middleweight, and most recently scored a TKO over Kendall Grove in UFC 112′s Fight of the Night.

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UFC Booking Update: Marquardt and Sakara Get New Opponents, Lauzon Booked for Boston + More

Nate Marquardt Rachelle Leah UFC James McSweeney
("The creepy guy behind the ring? Don’t worry Rachelle, that’s just James McSweeney. He’ll probably ask you for a lock of your hair before you leave, but he’s cool." / Photo courtesy of twitter.com/nathanmarquardt)

– Though Nate Marquardt and Alessio Sakara were slated to meet at UFC 116 in July, Sakara has postponed his Octagon return due to the recent death of his father. So, the UFC did some re-shuffling and came up with the following: Sakara will now compete at UFC 118 (August 28th, Boston) against Jorge Rivera, who picked up his third-straight win in March when he wrecked Nate Quarry. As for Marquardt, he will also likely return in August (either UFC 118 or UFC 117), against Rousimar Palhares, who you may know as the asshole who holds his submissions for too long.

– Speaking of the UFC’s Boston show, hometown kid Joe Lauzon will try to rebound from his lopsided decision loss against Sam Stout when he meets up with British contender Terry Etim. Etim had a four-fight UFC win-streak snapped last month in Abu Dhabi when he fell to an armbar submission against Rafael Dos Anjos.

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Report: Jon Jones Verbally Agrees to Murder Old Man in Utah

Jon Jones Matt Hamill UFC MMA Steve Mazzagatti
("He was like this when I found him.")

Look, I like Vladimir Matyushenko. I like that he’s 39 years old and still has enough spunk to whoop on much-younger dudes like Eliot Marshall and Igor Pokrajac. But when I see this report on TheGarv.com saying that he and Jon Jones have verbally agreed to face each other at UFC on Versus 2 (August 1st, Salt Lake City), I have to question his management and the UFC’s matchmaking. Not that the Janitor would ever duck a fight, but holy crap is this going to be an annihilation. Matyushenko’s strength is his wrestling; so was Matt Hamill’s, and Hamill got ragdolled and torn to shreds. And on the feet? Forget about it. There’s no way that Vlad will be quick enough to avoid the unpredictable attacks that Jones might throw at him. I hate to count guys out, but I just don’t see one scenario in which Matyushenko manages to shock the world. Can’t wait to see the betting line on this one.

It’s unfortunate that Jones wouldn’t be getting a solid step up in competition after destroying Brandon Vera last month, but I think the UFC’s motivations are clear here: Jones is already in line for a title shot, but he has to keep winning until the Machida/Shogun/Rampage/Evans contender logjam sorts itself out. Why risk giving Jones a loss in the meantime? It’s a cynical interpretation of the matchup, but no other explanation makes sense…

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Takanori Gomi Gets Second Chance at UFC Success Against Joe Stevenson in August

Takanori Gomi UFC Fight Night 21 weigh-ins
(Either he’s suffering from jet-lag, or he stayed up all night watching a Bad Girls Club marathon. / Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.)

After getting soundly handled by Kenny Florian last month, Takanori Gomi will get another chance to prove himself in the UFC — but it won’t be easy. As first reported by MMA Mania, the Fireball Kid will compete at the next "UFC on Versus" show (August 1st, Salt Lake City) against UFC lightweight contender Joe Stevenson. Though Stevenson is coming off a decision loss to George Sotiropolous at UFC 110, he looked better than ever in his previous victories over Spencer Fisher and Nate Diaz, and has to be thought of as the favorite in this matchup. It’s an absolute must-win for Gomi, who would likely be released by the UFC if he loses. Anybody think he’s got a shot?

Semi-related: Randy Couture is slated to appear on the UFC’s August 28th card in Boston, which has fired speculation that he will be facing former boxing champ James Toney, who he previously called dibs on. You’d better hope this doesn’t actually come together, Randy — this guy’s daddy was an original death fighter, for God’s sake…

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Eliot Marshall and Shannon Gugerty Get Fired + More UFC on Versus Notes

Eliot Marshall UFC TUF 8
(Momma said there’d be days like this. Photo courtesy of Spike.)

Well, this is never easy, but unfortunately we have to deliver some bad news — the services of TUF 8 veteran Eliot Marshall and Shannon Gugerty will no longer be needed in the Octagon. Though both fighters suffered defeats on the preliminary card of Sunday’s UFC on Versus event, Marshall’s firing is somewhat surprising, since his split-decision loss to Vladimir Matyushenko followed three straight wins over Jules Bruchez, Vinny Magalhaes, and Jason Brilz. But his loss to the Janitor isn’t the first time that Marshall has put in a dull performance, and he could have been released simply because he isn’t exciting enough. Naturally, Marshall isn’t happy about it:

"It is what it is, man. What do you want me to say? It sucks. What can you do? It’s my own fault, and that’s how it goes…I could have fought better. I could have fought more aggressively. I thought Vladdy wasn’t really engaging much; it was hard for me to find my distance with him…I’m disappointed in myself. I didn’t fight to the best of my abilities.
"I beat Brilz, and he gets a little easier of a fight, and I get a little bit harder fight. And now, I’m the one that’s not there anymore, even though I fought a top-15 guy. I guess I should have lost the Brilz fight and fought Eric Schafer."

As for Gugerty, his submission loss to Clay Guida was his second straight loss, and dropped his overall UFC record to 2-3. Have Chase Gormley and Paul Buentello somehow escaped this round of layoffs, or will we be hearing about their firings in the near future? Stay tuned.

Speaking of UFC on Versus…

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