Anthony “Showtime” Pettis is the future of MMA. He represents the new elite crop of MMA fighters, athletes who are complete mixed martial artists and who will lead the sport to new heights. He is in the same class as Ronda Rousey, Demetrious Johnson, TJ Dillashaw, Jose Aldo, Chris Weidman, Jon Jones, and Cain Velasquez. All these men (and women) represent the very best our sport has to offer, and they are also arguably the best fighters their respective divisions have ever witnessed. We are truly living in a golden age of MMA right now, and Anthony Pettis is one of this era’s brightest stars.
Showtime just has that star quality that not all fighters posses. I can’t think of a better way to put it other than he’s got swag. There is a certain confidence that a person has when he knows he’s the best and Anthony Pettis has that. His looks, fighting ability and charisma have helped land him major sponsorship deals with the likes of Reebok and Wheaties. He isn’t just all looks and charisma though, this man can fight.
Anthony has a very unique and dangerous MMA style. He is a lethal striker with proven knockout ability in both his hands and legs. He is also a deadly submission specialist who has been able to tap out legitimate black-belts with relative ease. He is absolutely dangerous in all aspects of the sport, and he is unique in the way that he can mix in some truly amazing techniques into his fights. Showtime (a very appropriate nickname by the way) is best known for his amazing “Showtime Kick” where he literally jumped off the cage like a ninja and kicked (then champion) Benson Henderson in the face (you can see the kick at :38 in the video). He is arguably the most creative striker in MMA today and it is just a pleasure to watch him perform inside the octagon.
(The famed "Showtime Kick", image thanks to fighthub.tv)
Pettis started his MMA career in 2007 and he has a career record of 18-2 with 7 KO’s and 8 submissions. His only 2 loses were both controversial judges decisions against Bart Palaszewski in 2009 and Clay Guida in 2011. Many people feel he won both of those fights but in the end the judges disagreed leaving those two blemishes on his otherwise stellar record.
After compiling a 12-1 record at just 23 years of age Pettis earned a shot at the WEC Lightweight belt. In December of 2010 Showtime became the WEC 155lbs champion by defeating Benson Henderson in the WEC’s last event before merging with the UFC. After winning the belt Anthony was supposed to fight the UFC Champion to combine belts, but the Frankie Edgar vs Gray Maynard trilogy delayed his title shot. In order to stay active he took a fight against Clay Guida and ended up losing a controversial judges decision.
Following his loss to Guida, Pettis rebounded by winning 3 straight fights against top fighters Jeremy Stephens, #21 Joe Lauzon, and #4 Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. During this run Pettis was finally able to show UFC fans some of his deadly finishing ability. He beat Joe Lauzon by landing a beautiful, head-kick knockout, and he defeated Cowboy Cerrone (an elite striker in his own right) with a scary, liver kick knockout.
This earned Anthony Pettis his long promised shot at the UFC Lightweight title against none other than Benson Henderson, the same man Pettis had previously beat to win the WEC Lightweight title. The first fight between these 2 men was a back and forth battle that went 5 rounds and was declared fight of the year back in 2010. Their second encounter couldn’t have been more different. It was a one sided affair, after landing some vicious body-kicks, Pettis was able to snatch Henderson’s arm and he forced him to tap out all in less than 5 minutes.
Pettis then went on to coach the 20th season of the Ultimate Fighter against Gilbert Melendez, who he then proceeded to beat in his 1st title defense at UFC 181. Pettis proved to be the clearly better fighter by rocking Melendez on the feet with punches and then chocking him out with a sleek guillotine choke in the second round, earning his first title defense at 155lbs.
Anthony Pettis is already the best lightweight fighter in the world, that much is a fact. Now he has to prove that he is the best fighter in lightweight history. He already has wins over the #4 (Cerrone), #5(Henderson), & #6(Melendez) ranked lightweights and he is about to face #3(Dos Anjos).
BJ Penn and Benson Henderson both hold the record for most title defenses in the lightweight division at 3. Currently, Pettis only has 1 title defense, but he’ll get the opportunity to get 1 more this Saturday when he faces #3 Rafael Dos Anjos@UFC185. Dos Anjos is a legitimate challenger that should prove to be a tough test for Pettis. If Pettis can defeat him it will only further cement his legacy as arguably the best lightweight fighter in MMA history, and maybe even the greatest fighter of all time.
Be sure to watch Anthony Pettis make history this Saturday at UFC 185, only on pay per view.
This is the man that will be fighting Anderson Silva on Saturday. Nick Diaz is one of MMA’s most polarizing figures. He has a very brash and unique personality, and he rubs certain people the wrong way. At the same time though, he is one of the toughest, most talented fighters in the world. Diaz has great boxing skills, he has some of the best body shots in MMA and can throw slick combinations with ease. Nick has one of the best gas tanks in MMA, he never seems to get tired. His elite cardio combined with his relentless output makes Diaz a very formidable challenge. He is also a high level black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, he’s tapped out several top opponents with creative submissions like when he got PRIDE champion Takanori Gomi in a gogoplata (3:54). Diaz has never been able to put it all together, and his wrestling has always been a weakness in his game. He might never be a champion but like him or not, goddamn he fun to watch.
Diaz fights the legendary Anderson Silva this Saturday January 31st @UFC183 live at 10PM on PPV.
#2 Alexander Gustafsson is without a doubt the 2nd best 205lb fighter in the world. In UFC165 he gave Jon Jones the most difficult fight of his career, it was unmistakeably the fight of the year and most people were split on who had won the battle. The judges gave the decision to #1 Jon Jones who has since then defended his belt 2 more times. Gustafsson on the other hand has only beat #14 Jimi Manuwa since his loss to Jones. He has been patiently waiting for a rematch against the champ and was even scheduled to fight him at UFC178 but Gustafsson got injured and was replaced by #3 Daniel Cormier. Now Gustafsson must defeat the beast that is Anthony Johnson in order to earn another title shot.
#5 Anthony Johnson has had an up and down career in the UFC. He used to fight at 170lbs and was accustomed to cutting ridiculous amounts of weight. He was always known as a talented fighter with serious power, but he had consistency issues, especially with making weight. In 2012 after a failed attempt to make weight at 185lbs, coupled with a loss to #5(MW) Vitor Belfort Johnson was released by the UFC. After his release from the organization, Johnson decided to move up to 205lbs and went on an absolute tear picking up 6 wins in a row and 4 KO’s (including a win at heavyweight over former UFC HW champion #8 Andrei Arlovski). The UFC re-signed Anthony Johnson in 2014 and he’s quickly established himself as a legitimate title contender with frightening knockout power. He dominated #6 Phil Davis in his first fight back in the UFC and he scored a vicious KO over #13 Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (For a GIF of the KO click HERE). Now in his 2nd stint in the UFC Johnson seems to have finally fulfilled his potential and is 1 win away from a title shot at 205lbs.
#2 Alexander Gustafsson vs.#5 Anthony Johnson – This is easily the most important and interesting fight of the evening. This fight will decide who the next man to face Jon Jones will be.This is a showcase of 2 of the best fighters in the world fighting each other in their prime. Both men prefer to strike which should lead to a stand-up battle. Gustafsson is known for his great footwork and striking at range while Johnson is known for his scary KO power and strike versatility. I just can’t see how this ends up a boring fight, plus the title implications make it that much more exciting.
Fighter Most Likely to Win:
#7 Gegard Mousasi – This might be a surprise pick to some since he is facing an MMA legend in #11(LHW) Dan Henderson, but I really see Mousasi winning this fight with ease. Dan Henderson has only won 1 fight in the last 3 years (a fight he was loosing up until the KO by the way). Henderson hasn’t fought at 185lbs since 2010 and hasn’t had a win in the division since his legendary KO of #10 Michael Bisping@UFC100 back in 2009. Dan Henderson is 44 years old, and he isn’t allowed to use Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) anymore, which hurt his chances even more. Simply put Dan Henderson is past his prime and just doesn’t have what it takes to beat elite competition anymore. Unfortunately for Henderson that’s just what Mousasi is, elite. Gegar Mousasi is a very underrated fighter with a very impressive record. He only has 2 losses in the UFC, and they are against elite fighters in #3 Jacare Souza & #4 Lyoto Machida. Mousasi is a special talent and he’s still only 29 years old. He might never have what it takes to become a champion in the UFC but he’s definitely one of the best fighters in MMA. I just don’t think Henderson has anything to threaten Mousasi with except maybe a lucky punch.
Most Underrated Fight:
#22 Neil Seery vs Chris Beal – The first fight of the night should be an exciting one. These two flyweights (125lbs) are sure to put up a great fight. The Irishman Seery is 1-1 in the UFC and has yet to be in a boring fight. Chris Beal is a former Team Rousey member from the Ultimate Fighter Season 18. He didn’t win the show, but he has been undefeated so far in the UFC. Beal had arguably the greatest KO of the year in 2014 when he landed a sweet flying knee against Patrick WIlliams and knocked him out cold (For a GIF of the KO click HERE). The lower weight fighters are always more active and put on more exciting fights so I see no reason why this fight should be the exception.
How to Watch:
Saturday, January 24th
The first fights of the night will start at 4:15PM EST and can be seen on UFC Fight Pass.
The Televised preliminary fights will start at 5:00PM EST and can be seen on Fox Sports 1.
The Main Card starts at 8:00PM EST and can be seen on FOX.
Last night was the UFC’s 2nd event of the year, UFC Fight Night 59 in Boston. The main event was a number 1 contender fight between the Irish superstar, #6 ranked Featherweight Conor McGregor and his opponent the German kickboxer, #11 Dennis Siver.
The event featured many interesting fights including a rematch between #4 Donald Cerrone and #5 Benson Henderson, but at the end of the day the night was all about one man. The Notorious Conor McGregor.
McGregor is labeled by many as the UFC’s newest superstar. He got a ton of media attention leading up to the fight, the UFC’s promotional department was firing on all cylinders putting out promos and other videos all week long to help sell the fight. McGregor clearly feels very comfortable with a camera in his face and did an excellent job in promoting the fight.
Conor was a heavy favorite heading into the fight yesterday and he showed why. His opponent Dennis Siver was no pushover, Siver has been in the UFC since 2007, he’s fought 18 times in the organization, and he’s fought top 10 contenders in both the Featherweight (145lbs) and Lightweight (155lbs) divisions. There is no doubt that Dennis Siver is a legit top 15 talent. With all of that being said he still had nothing for the Irish superstar.
Not many people thought Siver could upset McGregor, but I don’t think anybody saw him getting dominated so easily. The fight wasn’t even close. McGregor was in control from the start of the 1st round up until he TKO’d Siver early in the 2nd round.
He showed his trademark unorthodox striking style and absolutely dominated the fight in range. His movement was fluid and smooth, and when he landed he made the strikes count. Almost all of his punches were significant strikes. He figured out Sivers timing early on in the fight and he kept landing lighting fast straight left punches that caused some visible damage on Sivers face.
To be fair the German fighter did land some good strikes but he was clearly outmatched. Siver is ranked #11 in the world and he deserves that spot in the rankings, but last night showed that there is a clear gap in skill between the top 5 contenders and the rest of the ranked fighters in the division (For a breakdown of the UFC’s 145lbs divison click HERE)
What’s Next for McGregor?
With this win McGregor is now 5-0 in the UFC and has earned a title shot against the champion, one of the greatest fighters of all time #1 Jose Aldo. This is without a doubt the biggest fight in the history of the UFC’s featherweight division. UFC President Dana White has already said that they are targeting the fight for UFC 187 which is scheduled to be on May 23rd in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Aldo has always been a dominant champion but he’s never really gotten the recognition for his accomplishments. This is partially due to the fact that he doesn’t speak English and partially due to the fact that he fights at a lower weight class. This fight is huge for him as well because more people are going to be watching him fight than every before. Aldo has already beat the #2, #3, #4 & #5 ranked featherweights in the division so it makes sense for him to fight McGregor next.
As if I wasn’t already excited for that fight, the two men had a somewhat weird encounter when McGregor jumped out of the cage after his win to confront the champion who was watching the fights cageside. I absolutely loved this moment, and it made me like/respect Aldo even more. Even though McGregor was yelling in his face like a madman, Aldo didn’t even flinch once and looked like even more of a badass by just laughing at McGregor during the entire encounter. That right there is a confident man. I cannot wait for these two gifted athletes to fight in May. (To see a GIF of the confrontation click HERE).
The rest of the fights were a little underwhelming. The rematch between #4 Cowboy Cerrone & #5 Benson Henderson didn’t really live up to the hype. Neither fighter was able to consistently pull the trigger and as a result it ended up being a very close fight. All 3 judges gave the fight to Cerrone although that was somewhat controversial since a large group of people thought Henderson won. Since no one fighter really did anything to pull ahead in the scorecards I would have been fine no matter what the judges had said. To be fair though Cerrone just fought 2 weeks ago at UFC 182 so it’s understandable that he wasn’t 100% for this fight.
The rest of the card was nothing special really, although Urijah Hall did pick up another TKO win over Ron Stallings.
Overall, the night was a somewhat underwhelming but the main event made up for everything. Conor McGregor is truly a once in a lifetime athlete and its a joy to see him fight in the UFC.
Edson “Junior” Barboza is without a doubt one of the most powerful and creative strikers in all of MMA. I currently have him ranked as the #8 Lighweight (155lbs) in the world. This is a highlight video of all the best moments in his career. It really is handy in highlighting just how good Edson really is.
He has arguably the best kicks in the entire sport. He has knocked men out with kicks to the legs (:41), kicks to the body (3:03) and kicks to the head (1:23). He throws strikes from all angles, and they all have deadly precision.
His wheel-kick KO of Terry Etim (it starts at around 1:22) is still considered by many to be the greatest KO in UFC history.
Edson is a rare talent, and he is only 28 years old. He is just now starting to put his whole MMA game together, and if he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’ll be fighting for a belt in the near future.
Up next for him is a clash against fellow top ranked lightweight #13 Michael Johnson on February 22nd @UFN 61 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. A win against Johnson will put him 1 step closer to a title fight. That is one fight I cannot wait to see.
Seeing as how #6 Conor McGregor is fighting in a couple weeks, I thought it would be a good idea if my first Rankings Breakdown was in the Featherweight division.
1. Jose Aldo(25-1) -Undefeated in over 9 years, Jose is one of the most dominant champions in MMA history. He is without a doubt one of the 2 best MMA fighters in the world along with Jon Jones. He already has 9 title defenses (2 in the WEC) and he’s only 28 years old. He has the potential to become the greatest of all time if he continues on the path he’s on.
Jose’s last fight @UFC179 was an absolute war and my personal fight of the year against #2 Chad Mendes. This was Jose’s toughest test to date and he still proved to be the better fighter. His combination of lethal striking, unparalleled takedown defense, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is second to none.
Jose has already beat the next best 4 featherweights in his division, his next fight will likely be against #6 Conor McGregor (assuming he beats Siver) or a rematch with #3 Frankie Edgar (if McGregor loses).
2. Chad Mendes (16-2) – The Clear Cut 2nd best 145er in the world. Chad would be a champion were it not for Jose Aldo. He has defeated every single opponent he’s faced with the exception of #1 Jose Aldo. Chad has fought for the belt twice and has twice come up short against the champion. He’s still only 29 years old and will probably fight for the belt again in the near future if he keeps dominating.
His last fight against #1 Jose Aldo @UFC179 was the fight of the year. Both fighters knocked each other down in a 5 round war that proved that Chad Mendes was on Jose’s level, although he wasn’t quite better than him. There was no shame in the loss, he proved to be the first man to truly test Aldo.
Chad is the top contender but there are still plenty of fights out there for him against top 10 FW’s. He’s already had 2 title shots so I’d expect for him to get a few more wins under his belt to get another shot at Aldo. Personaly I’d like to him fight #3 Frankie Edgar, #4 Ricardo Lamas or #8 Dennis Bermudez. All 3 fights present interesting stylistic match ups for him and would help in creating another #1 contender.
3. Frankie Edgar(17-4-1) – The former Lightweight Champion has had some success since dropping down to the Featherweight division. His only loss was his first fight against the Champion Jose Aldo which he lost via decision. Frankie is one of the best fighters in UFC history with wins over greats like BJ Penn, Sean Sherk and Gray Maynard.
His last fight @UFN57 was an absolutely dominant performance against #5 Cub Swanson. Frankie absolutely dominated the fight for 5 rounds with suffocating top control and tremendous ground and pound. He choked out Swanson with only 4 seconds left in the fight.
Frankie has won 3 straight fights since losing his title fight against Jose Aldo. He might be receiving the next title shot if #6 Conor McGregor loses his next fight, but most likely he’ll have to get another win or 2 before his rematch with the Champion. I think fights with #2 Chad Mendes or #4 Ricardo Lamas both make sense since all 3 men are fighting back towards rematches with #1 Aldo.
4. Ricardo Lamas(15-3) – Ricardo Lamas is without a doubt a top 5 FW in the UFC. Since joining the organization he’s gone 6-1 with 4 finishes. His only loss in the UFC is to the Champion #1 Jose Aldo. Lamas isn’t great at one specific thing except that he does have a great killer instinct. The 32 year old is working his way back to another title shot and is riding a 2 fight winning streak.
His last fight @UFC180 was a surprisingly quick finish against #8 Dennis Bermudez in Mexico City. Lamas was able to Choke Bermudez out in 3 minutes and showed a difference in skill level between the two fighters. The win helped solidify Lamas as a top 5 contender.
Ricardo has won 2 fights since losing his title fight against Jose Aldo. He’s been calling out #5 Conor McGregor but it’s unlikely he’ll get the fight any time soon. He’s more likely to face #2 Chad Mendes or #3 Frankie Edgar next depending on how the UFC wants to determine the next contender after McGregor.
5. Cub Swanson(21-6) – Cub Swanson is in a tough spot in his career right now. He is unquestionably a top 5 featherweight, Swanson was riding a 6 fight winning streak before losing to Edgar. During his winning streak he picked up wins over fellow contenders: #7 Dustin Poirier, #9 Charles Oliveira, #11 Dennis Siver, & #12 Jeremy Stephens. Cub Swanson is a very good fighter with legit KO power. The problem is that Cub has now lost the 4 men ranked above him in the division, and he’s been finished by 3 of them. Cub is 31 years old so its going to take a lot for him to make his way back to a title shot.
His last fight at @UFN57 was a devastating defeat at the hands of #3 Frankie Edgar. Cub was 1 win away from a shot at the 145lbs belt but it all went away after losing to Edgar. Cub was somewhat exposed as he was thoroughly out wrestled by Edgar before being finished in the last seconds of the fight. I’m not sure if Cub will ever have the skills to be a true #1 contender.
His latest loss really put a halt on Cub’s title aspirations so he is going to need a number of impressive wins against fellow top contenders in order to position himself back in line for a title shot. Fights against #2 Chad Mendes, #8 Dennis Bermudez or #14 Clay Guida all make sense to me.
6. Conor McGregor(16-2) – Conor is the UFC new superstar. He has the support of an entire country supporting him and he is riding an impressive 4 fight winning streak inside the UFC. Conor is second to none when it comes to his charisma and the ability to promote himself. He has a gift for talking, and simply put when he talks people want to know what he’s saying. This combined with his unique fighting style make for a very exciting fighter to watch.
His last fight @UFC 178 was a quick TKO victory over rival #7 Dustin Poirier. Both fighters talked their fair share of trash before the fight, but it was McGregor who was able to walk the walk and back it all up. He showed that he was a class above Porier and he moved one step closer towards his fight against the champion #1 Jose Aldo.
Up next for Conor is a fight against #11 Dennis Sivar @UFN59 on January 18th. (For my preview of the event go here). Siver is the only thing standing between Conor and a shot at Jose Aldo’s belt. Conor is the heavy favorite and is already predicting a finish in under 2 minutes. If McGregor wins the he’s likely to be facing #1 Jose Aldo for the belt in Dublin, Ireland sometime in 2015.
7. Dustin Poirier(16-4) – Like Cub Swanson Dustin is in a tough spot right now. With losses to #5 Cub Swanson & #6 Conor McGregor his future as a top contender in the division looks bleak. Dustin is an immensely talented fighter and he’s only 25 years old, but I’m afraid that he might have already reached his peak. He is a great offensive fighter but he has too many defensive liabilities to be able to stay at the top of the division.
His last fight @UFC 178 was a painfully short TKO loss to superstar #6 Conor McGregor. There was a lot of talking and build up before the fight and Poirier ended up looking pretty bad not even making it 2 whole minutes in the cage against McGregor. This loss further solidifies the idea that although immensely talented Porier will likely never contend in the top 5 of the division.
Up next for Porier is a move up to the UFC’s 155lbs division. I’m not sure it’s the right career move for him considering how many immensely talented fighters populate that division, but if he feels like he needs a fresh start in a new division then who am I to blame him?
8. Dennis Bermudez(15-4) – Bermudez is one the most athletically gifted fighters in the 145lbs division. He is one of the few young prospects looking to become a top contender in the featherweight division. He has powerful wrestling and ever improving stand up. However his loss to #4 Ricardo Lamas really did pump the breaks on the idea of him contending for the belt any time soon.
Bermudez last fought @UFC180 in Mexico City against #4 Ricardo Lamas. He lost the fight via submission in the 1st round. Many people thought this fight would be a coming out party for him as a top 5 featherweight but instead he proved to not quite be on that level yet. He’s still only 28 years old so the loss shouldn’t be too big a setback for him in a division that’s always looking for fresh new challengers.
Dennis was riding a 7 fight winning streak before losing to Lamas so it’s not like all of that just goes away with 1 loss. He is still a top 10 FW and should fight a fellow top contender like #5 Cub Swanson or #9 Charles Oliveira in order to start building his way back up to a title shot.
9. Charles Oliveira(19-4) – “Do Bronx” has been in the UFC for quite some time now and it looks like he’s finally started to put it all together for a run at the top of the division. He is 25 years old, he has great Muay Thai and in my opinion the best submission game in the entire division if not the entire UFC. He’s been able to submit men that were previously thought to be impossible to submit. Oliveira is currently riding a 3 fight winning streak with wins over #19 Hatsu Hioki and #12 Jeremy Stephens.
His last fight was @The Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale against #12 Jeremy Stephens. Oliveira controlled where the fight took place with his grappling and was able to pick up the unanimous decision defeating the always dangerous Stephens.
“Do Bronx” is 5-2 since dropping down to the featherweight division with his only losses coming to #3 Frankie Edgar and #4 Cub Swanson. He’s showed incredibly promise but he has had trouble making weight coming in above the 146lbs limit in 2 separate occasions. Oliveira has just started to crack the top 10 of the division so fights against fellow contenders like #8 Dennis Bermudez or #11 Dennis Siver make sense for him.
10. Nik Lentz(27-6-2) – Nik “The Carny” Lenz is a grinding wrestler who is not really great at anything but always seems to find a way to win. He is 4-1 since moving down to the featherweight division with his only loss coming to #2 Chad Mendes. He doesn’t have the most fan friendly style so I don’t see him contending for the belt ever, but that still doesn’t mean that he isn’t a top 10 talent.
His last fight @UFN40 was an unanimous decision victory over former number 1 contender Manvel Gamburyan. Throughout his entire UFC career Lentz has shown that he is better than most but not quite good enough to ever make some noise at the top of the division.
Up next for Lentz is a fight against the always tough #15 Thiago Tavares @UFN60. Lentz is currently on only a 1 fight winning streak so its important for him to win this fight if he wants to build momentum and start fighting bigger names.
11. Dennis Siver (22-9-1) – The German Kickboxer has had mixed success at featherweight since dropping down from lightweight. He’s fighting #6 Conor McGregor on January 18th, its a big fight for him, he should be a big underdog.
12. Jeremy Stephens (23-11) – The former LW just lost to #9 Charles Oliveira, Stephens has great KO power, but he may have hit his ceiling just outside the top 10 at FW.
13. Max Hollloway (11-3) – One of my favorite fighters. Holloway is an action fighter with slick boxing and great body shots. He is only 23 years old and he already has 10 fights in the UFC. He’s riding a 4 fight finishing streak, and his only losses are to #6 Conor McGregor, #7 Dustin Poirier 7 #8 Dennis Bermuez. He’s expected to fight #21 Cole Miller @UFN60 on February 15th.
14. Clay Guida (31-12) – The Carpenter has seen better days in the UFC. He was absolutely dominated by #8 Dennis Bermudez in his last fight. He has no fights scheduled since then.
15. Thiago Tavares (23-5-1) – An interesting new addition to the UFC’s featherweight divison. The former lightweight has found sucess at 145 with 2 straight submission wins at featherweight.
16. Hacran Dias (22-3-1) – The Brazilian fighter has been in the UFC since 2012 but he’s only fought 4 times. Consistency has been an issue for him, but his last win over #17 Darren Elkins proved that he has the skills to contend at the top of the division.
For those of you that haven’t heard yet, it appears that UFC Lightheavyweight Champion Jon Jones tested positive for Cocaine in his pre-fight drug test before UFC 182. Since Cocaine is not a substance that is banned in out of competition testing, Jones will not be facing any fines or suspensions from the commission and his win against #3 Daniel Cormier will stand.
Jones released a statement to Yahoo talking about his decision to go to rehab:
With the support of my family, I have entered into a drug treatment facility. I want to apologize to my fiancée, my children, as well as my mother, father, and brothers for the mistake that I made. I also want to apologize to the UFC, my coaches, my sponsors and equally important to my fans. I am taking this treatment program very seriously. Therefore, at this time my family and I would appreciate privacy.
The UFC and Dana White also released statements on UFC.com:
We support UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones’ decision to enter a drug treatment facility to address his recent issue. While we are disappointed in the failed test, we applaud him for making this decision to enter a drug treatment facility. Jon is a strong, courageous fighter inside the Octagon, and we expect him to fight this issue with the same poise and diligence. We commend him on his decision, and look forward to him emerging from this program a better man as a result.
I am proud of Jon Jones for making the decision to enter a drug treatment facility. I’m confident that he’ll emerge from this program like the champion he truly is.
I am aware of Jon’s test, and if there is anything to say it is this: there are a lot of people you impact, so please let’s get it together. Good luck on your rehab!
Ok so with all of that being said here is my take on the whole thing. First off, I hope Jon is able to get clean in rehab and is able to turn his life around at least in that aspect. Drug use is harmful not only to the drug user but also to the people around him, so I hope that he is able to return to his family a clean and sober man.
I find the news of his drug use to be extremely disappointing. I understand that he’s young and he’s at the top of the world, but you would expect more self control from someone with the drive and dedication to be the best that Jones has.
He’ll suffer no repercussions from the Nevada State Athletic Commision and it appears that the both the UFC and his major sponsors will continue to back him. This does however further tarnish his personal image. Like it or not Jon Jones is a huge role model for both kids and men of all ages and its always unfortunate to find out about something like this, especially after it seemed like he was doing such a good job helping kids with his community service.
In the end I don’t think this will severely impact Jones legacy, his accomplishments in the cage speak for themselves and this does nothing to take away from them. However, it will always be an asterisk in Jon Jones career that he was a Cocaine user and it will further provide his haters ammunition and another reasons to dislike him.
With that being said, I hope he’s able to get himself clean, come back stronger and fight the winner of #2 Gustafsson vs #5 Johnson in the summer.
The following are my rankings of the top 16 fighters in each of the UFC’s 10 weight classes. I will update these rankings monthly or after every major event. These are the rankings I use when referring to a fighter’s ranking anywhere in this website.
I determine these rankings using a fighters win loss record, how impressive his wins are and how bad his losses were. This ranking system is subjective as this is not an exact science.
I will be going into more depth in my rankings when I start posting my Ranking Breakdowns for each division.
Fight I’m Most Looking Forward To – #4 Donad Cerrone vs #5 Benson Henderson – This is a short notice fight for Cowboy who fought just 3 days ago, be if anyone is up for the challenge its him. This is the 3rd time these two men fight each other, Benson Henderson won the first two times, but both fighters have change a lot since then. I can’t wait to see who wins this one.
Fighter Most Likely to Win – Conor McGregor – Let’s be honest we’re all hoping he wins so he can fight #1 Jose Aldo for the belt this year.
Most Underrated Fight – John Howard vs Lorenz Larkin – These two strikers are likely to put on a good show seeing as how their UFC jobs might be on the line.