(This seems like a good a time as any to remind you that this is a thing that exists.)
By Nasir Jabbar
Nation, UFC 187 is approaching us, and what was once being touted as one of the greatest cards in Zuffa history is now simply “a very good one.” The card took some bumps and bruises — quite literally when original UFC 187 headliner Jon Jones broke a pregnant lady’s arm during his now infamous hit-and-run (too soon?) — but nonetheless, there’s still two title fights and a few important match-ups to determine the next line of challengers to look forward too.
So you know the drill, instead of the same ol’ recycled text recapping each fighter’s recent matches and predicting how they will win this weekend, I’ve compiled an A-to-Z list previewing each and every aspect of UFC 187. Join me?
A is for Animal
Once the new title fight was arranged, Daniel Cormier didn’t waste time heating things up by belittling Anthony Johnson‘s past performances in particular his defeat to former-teammate Josh Koscheck. “Rumble” refutes his claims insisting he’s a different kind of animal now.
B is for Blackzillians
After much scrutinised criticism aimed at the team, the Florida-based camp are now flourishing, having picked up their first major MMA title (Eddie Alvarez capturing the Bellator lightweight strap) and sitting on the brink of two coveted UFC titles, with Johnson and Vitor Belfort.
C is for Clinch
Johnson has had problems stuffing takedowns from the clinch, an area where his opponent specialises in landing effective blows and takedowns. Johnson displayed his improved takedown defence in the victory over Phil Davis, but faces a more difficult challenge in the former-Olympian.
D is for Dagestan
Islam Makhachev is the latest product to come out of Dagestan, the region has served as a conveyor belt feeding some of the best talent to the sport. The undefeated-lightweight will make his UFC debut as he takes on Leo Kuntz.
E is for Ex-Champion
If/When Jones returns, he’ll be known as the ex-champion. I really don’t have much to add to that, other than that I’m still having trouble processing it.
F is for Flyweights
The 125lbs division will be heavily featured at UFC 187, with the returning John Dodson, Joseph Benavidez, John Moraga, Zach Makovsky, Justin Scoggins and Josh Sampo all in action. So suck on that, Bisping!
G is for Greed/Garbage
For the UFC 187 competitors, this will be their final fight until the Reebok deal kicks in. The pay structure was revealed last week, and let’s just say that the only thing uglier than the figures have been how many fighters have reacted. Like the majority of Reebok’s gear, it don’t look pretty.
H is for Hit-and-Run
A reference to the mishap which ultimately cost Jones his UFC title and many lucrative sponsors, or a comment on the fighting style of John Dodson? YOU DECIDE.
J is for Jon Jones
Seriously, god damn it, Jon.
K is for Khabib Nurmagomedov
The Russian phenom has once again got himself injured and subsequently pulled from another scheduled fight with ‘Cowboy’.
L is for Las Vegas
UFC 187 will be the first combat sports event in Las Vegas since the financial behemoth that was Mayweather vs. Pacquaio. Is the city still reeling from a hangover, and just how bad will this effect UFC’s business in Sin City?
N is for Narrative
If Cormier emerges victorious, a possible mega-fight with Jones could be in the offing. Their first fight was successful on pay-per-view, was competitive enough to warrant a rematch, and they’ve still got beef to boot. Of course, Johnson provides a stern test, and more importantly, Jones faces an uphill struggle just to get back into the MMA bubble. Still, what a storyline it might entail.
O is for Obstacles
Jones’ manager indicated that we may have seen the last of him, but the New York native is still fairly young and has time to rebuild his professional career. I guess you could say that there are many legal *obstacles* in the way for the former champ. (*winks to camera*)
P is for “Punk”
The winner of the light-heavyweight title bout is a “Punk.” Well, according to Chael Sonnen.
Q is for Question
Some questioned the UFC’s decision to insert Cormier into the title picture on the heels of a title defeat. However, the man he was originally expected to face, Ryan Bader, has yet to fight for a world title and is currently riding a four-fight win streak. Just sayin’, the TUF winner *could* have been a worthy challenger.
R is for Risky
With Khabib having gone down with an injury yet again, Cerrone is now set to take on John Makdessi, the unranked Canadian is a dangerous opponent and a risky proposition giving his status in the division.
S is for Sparring
Cormier has alluded to the fact that not having Cain Velasquez around during preparation for Jon Jones was ultimately the deciding factor in his loss. The heavyweight champion has now recovered from his ongoing injuries (for now), which allowed him to help Comrier train for Johnson.
T is for Take Four
Weidman vs. Belfort has been scratched from the following shows: UFC 173, 181 and 184. Pray with us Nation. Pray that neither Weidman or Belfort slip in the sauna tomorrow night.
U is for “Unfair”
Vitor Belfort spoke about his frustration of the extensive drug-testing, even stating that it was, wait for it, “unfair”. This guy. Belfort is synonymous with a few things; fast hands, animal/Jesus metaphors, and a chequered drug past. Having been busted for PED’s and violated the limits of the pesky TRT, such claim seems ridiculous.
V is for Vacant
As a result of Jones’ tribulation, Johnson and Cormier will fight for the vacant UFC light-heavyweight championship. (Not all of these are mind-blowers.)
W is for What Could of Been
Us MMA fans just can’t have nice things.
X is for X-Factor
Has anyone else ever gotten stuck in a Youtube hole that began with an Anthony Johnson highlight reel and ended with a “Top 20 X-Factor Auditions of All Time” compilation?
Y is Youth
Despite suffering defeats, both Scoggins and Rose Namajunas are still green and have youth on their side as they try to re emerge as potential challengers.
Z is for Zzz
MMA Math to aside, either Browne or Arlovski is getting put to sleep.