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Posts Tagged ‘Greatest’

UFC 182 Aftermath: Jon Jones the greatest of all time? Not quite yet
MMA Fighting
There seems to be a collective habit in the mixed martial arts community whereby everyone rushes to proclaim everything the greatest of all-time in this still-young sport. Whether it's the greatest fight, fighter, event, submission, or greatest what

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Jon “Bones” Jones and Daniel “DC” Cormier have a plethora of skills between them, but they both have a specific quality that they need to accentuate if they hope to win Saturday’s main event at UFC 182.

Jones is already the longest-reigning light heavyweight champion in UFC history, and Cormier is a two-time Olympian with an undefeated professional MMA record. If the fight credentials weren’t enough to make this a must-see fight, the fact that both men hate each other only makes this bout more compelling.

Bleacher Report’s Jeremy Botter seemingly agrees.

Check out some of the hype for this fight in the video below from the UFC’s YouTube channel.

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ll be watching the fight—or at least wishing you could. There may never have been a more universally approved main event in UFC history.

As much as this fight will be about emotion, it’ll also be a chess match. Here’s a look at the most important piece for both men.

 

Jon Jones‘ Use of Length and Height

Aside from Alexander Gustafsson, every one of Jones’ opponents has had to deal with a massive reach disadvantage. The champion stands 6’4″, and his reach is a condor-like 84 inches. 

Against Cormier, Jones’ length will be an even bigger component in the fight. The challenger is just 5’11”, and his reach is only 72 inches. Length isn’t everything, but when the advantage is that dramatic, and when the fighter with the edge is a master at taking advantage of the situation, it could be the determining factor.

Most tall fighters don’t know how to use their length. Like Wladimir Klitschko, Jones has excellent spatial awareness. He knows when he’s in range to strike and when his opponents can’t reach him.

Before Cormier can have any success in Saturday’s fight, he must find a way to close the distance. Obviously that is much easier said than done.

 

Daniel Cormier’s Wrestling 

Cormier’s boxing skills are underrated. He has fast and powerful hands. He has shown them off in previous fights against the likes of Patrick Cummins and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.

While that part of DC’s game deserves respect, his chances of winning begin and end with his ability to impose himself as a wrestler.

The former Olympian has perhaps the strongest wrestling base of any fighter in the UFC. He’s a step above Chael Sonnen and Rashad Evans in this category—both of whom Jones has already dismantled.

Can Cormier prove to be any different? That’s the million-dollar question that won’t be answered until the two gladiators settle their differences in the Octagon.

 

All height and length references per FightMetric.com

Read more MMA news on BleacherReport.com

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Controversy, as always, is swirling around Jon Jones (20-1). On Thursday, it was a hallway war of words. What it will be tomorrow, no one can say.

The UFC light heavyweight champion has managed to stuff a career’s worth of drama into just a few short months in the lead up to his fight Saturday with two-time Olympian Daniel Cormier, a fight that will, finally, bring one of MMA‘s greatest feuds to a close.

The bad blood started years ago with Jones’ offhand claim he could take Cormier to the mat. Cormier, a proud wrestling legend, was not amused. That was the beginning. But the two were separated, at the time, by a weight class and by promotional boundaries. Nothing came of it except simmering anger.

It began in earnest last August with a scuffle at a pre-fight media appearance, a dustup that included a tumble off the hastily constructed stage, a terrified UFC PR flack and even a thrown shoe.

That was just the beginning, the first step in a journey that would peak with Jones asking Cormier,Hey p—y, are you still there?” between breaks (note: language in video NSFWduring a SportsCenter appearance when the two men thought the cameras had stopped running.

For Cormier, one of MMA’s true nice guys, it’s been an out-of-character foray into the world of trash talk and burning, uncontrollable anger. For Jones, a master of mind games, it’s just another fight, just another blood feud in a career full of them.

All this theater and the subsequent conversations in the MMA world about whether or not Jones is “fake” or a “hypocrite” simply distract from the question we should be asking each time he fights: Are we watching the best of all time compete in the cage?

The answer, resoundingly, is yes.

When you see Jones in the cage, you’re looking at the culmination of a 21-year journey that started with Ken Shamrock vs. Royce Gracie at UFC 1 in 1993. Back then, a fighter like Gracie could excel with a single skill set, in his case the superlative Brazilian jiu jitsu his family helped spread to the world. 

Four years later, when Frank Shamrock was the face of the UFC, things had evolved significantly. The top fighters had a working knowledge of several arts and excelled in at least two diverse areas. It was still recognizable as the sport Gracie built, but bouts between first-generation fighters and their successors (like Kazushi Sakuraba and Matt Hughes) showed the modern athlete was on a different level.

Ten years ago, when the UFC first burst onto the scene on Spike TV, Chuck Liddell became the UFC’s lead attraction with a potent combination of takedown defense and knockout power. Game plans were rudimentary. Two men met, one fell down, everyone went out to the bar.

Jones, and his predecessors like Georges St-Pierre, have helped the sport evolve yet again. It’s not enough anymore to be good in two areas. The top stars and champions must be able to compete successfully at kicking distance, in punching range, in the clinch and on the mat. There is no room for weakness—and Jones doesn’t have a significant one. 

Jones, of course, is far from perfect. No fighter is. He was pushed to the limit by Alexander Gustafsson in 2013, forced to reach into his soul for the heart and courage to overcome the Swede’s precision punching and persistent leg kicks and lateral movement. 

While many point to his struggles in that fight as a sign of weakness, I see it differently.

Fighting is one of the few sports where an athlete is exposed to the world, his strengths and weaknesses obvious to all. There’s a naked honesty to cage fighting, an ability to cut right to the chase, to see what a man is made of in a way few other pursuits can. 

Jon Jones passed that test against Gustafsson. Cormier is a formidable opponent. His wrestling and rare athleticism will allow him to challenge Jones the way few have. When he does, however, we know Jones won’t break easily. He’s been cast in the fire alreadyand emerged a stronger fighter. 

When you discuss the greatest of all time, many things come into play. At 27, Jones doesn’t yet have the weight of historical accomplishments to measure up to other legends like St-Pierre, Fedor Emelianenko or Anderson Silva. That will come with time.  

In the moment, however, as he walks into the cage at UFC 182, Jones is the best fighter MMA has ever produced. In a sport that only reached legal drinking age last November, it’s silly to think that will always be true. But, right now, his combination of skills, physical tools and mental toughness make him the ultimate fighter in the ultimate sport.  

Read more MMA news on BleacherReport.com

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For the UFC, 2014 was an up-and-down year with multiple fighter injuries leading to flight cancellations, but despite all this, the company produced some of its most memorable fights ever.

These fights demonstrated serious displays of skill and involved the kind of brutality mixed martial arts fans simply lap up.

However, the year was marked by the absence of some of MMA‘s most bankable stars, including Georges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva, Chael Sonnen and Nick Diaz. While at least three of them are likely to be back in the cage in 2015, without them, this past year saw new stars in their divisions take the limelight

The following five fights made stars of contenders and cemented the reputations of champions.

Each fight in this list possessed high stakes, determining who would become a top contender or who would be champion. They were thrilling contests featuring brilliant performances by the fighters.

Begin Slideshow

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These are the times we should all hold dear.

Six months from now, if things go south again and 2015 turns into a repeat of this year’s drudgery, MMA fans will look back in awe at Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier.

The extended lead-up to Saturday night’s UFC 182 main event has been pure pleasure, with Jones and Cormier establishing themselves as one of the greatest pairings in our sport’s short history.

At this point, their actual fight will merely be the icing on the cake.

Until it’s over, we won’t know for sure if we can consider their rivalry the best ever though it’s certainly already in the running.

MMA has perhaps never seen a matchup that can compete with Jones-Cormier in all categories—including sheer stakes, prestige, competitiveness and actual, honest-to-goodness dislike. If the bout itself can even halfway live up to the hype, we’re talking about a clash for the ages.

In many ways, Jones vs. Cormier is a throwback to the light heavyweight division’s glory days. Their names don’t feel at all out of place in the same sentence with all-time UFC greats Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture and Tito Ortiz or iconic Pride standouts like Wanderlei Silva, Dan Henderson or Shogun Rua.

This feud has come close to matching the genuine bitterness of Ortiz’s trilogy with Ken Shamrock, which spanned 2002-06.

The two men now feel as intertwined in each other’s career paths as Georges St-Pierre and B.J. Penn did during their pair of fights in 2006 and 2009.

The on-stage brawl Jones and Cormier started at a media event in August bested anything Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva did for actual fireworks back in 2010.

When they meet in the cage on Saturday, it’ll feel as significant as Fedor Emelianenko finally getting together with Mirko “CroCop” Filipovic in 2005. It’ll seem as big a moment for the fight company as Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler was for Bellator in 2011. At least on paper, it could be as evenly matched as this year’s epic welterweight title bouts between Robbie Lawler and Johny Hendricks.

In fact, depending on exactly how things shake out this weekend, Jones-Cormier has a chance to surpass them all.

Jones has already established himself as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and the greatest 205-pounder of all time. Back in 2011, he saved the vaunted light heavyweight division from the listlessness created by Liddell‘s decline and—with one notable exception against Alexander Gustafsson in Sept. 2013—has seemed all but untouchable.

He’s the odds-on favorite to go down as the best ever at any weight by the time his career is over. Yet all that doesn’t even tell the whole story.

Jones is a unique figure in the history of MMA. His signature complement of size, athleticism, creativity and occasional mean-spiritedness is unmatched even by the Emelianenkos, Anderson Silvas and St-Pierres of the world.

He’s so talented, he’s known to beat his opponents at their own game, attacking them where they are strongest in order to prove himself better there. When he takes on the former captain of the U.S. Olympic wrestling team, he says it’ll be no different, as he told MMA Fighting’s Shaun Al-Shatti last week:

I will try to wrestle Daniel Cormier. I definitely plan on making him work extremely hard for any takedowns he’s going for, and I’m definitely going to be looking for takedowns myself. I’m more than capable of taking him down, and I believe in my top game. So I’ll definitely look to attack Daniel at his strengths, and weaknesses.

Jones was such an athletic revelation when he first broke into the big time back in 2008 that some fans flatly didn’t buy his humble, “nice guy” act. They charged him with being fake. When Jones opened up and showed the world a bit more of his true self, they called him arrogant.

He’s the sort of guy who could easily play either the hero or the villain in the greatest MMA story ever told. Depending on how you feel about him, he’s ever more detestable or likable simply because nobody’s really been able to beat him.

Now comes an undefeated challenger to test everything we think we know about Jones and every conclusion we’ve already jumped to about his legacy.

Cormier was 13-0 at heavyweight from 2009-13, and were he not close friends with reigning UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, he likely would’ve stayed there. Instead, Cormier dropped to light heavyweight early in 2014 and through two fights at 205 pounds has proved the weight cut doesn’t deprive him of any of the fearsome skills that made him a force in his previous division.

He figures to be the stiffest test of Jones’ career and was so confident about his chances, he let it be known he planned to fight the champion with an injured knee when their bout was first scheduled in July. When Jones himself dropped out with a knee injury a month later, Cormier couldn’t help but note the differences in their approaches.

“It can be a blessing,” he told Mike Hill of Fox Sports 1’s America’s Pregame (h/t UFC.com’s Thomas Gerbasi) at the time, “but I would be outside of myself to not say that I went into this fight knowing that my knee was pretty jacked up and I was gonna fight through it to get a title. I don’t think (Jones) is ducking me. … Sometimes, you gotta just tough it out and go in there and fight.”

When they finally do that this weekend, Cormier will have to overcome Jones’ significant size and reach advantages, but his previous experience at heavyweight makes that nothing new. It’s hard to think back on him beating up Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and Roy Nelson or body-slamming Josh Barnett without figuring he’ll be a handful for Jones, too.

Nobody knows for sure how it’s going to play out—if they say they do, don’t trust them—and that just adds an extra layer to an already stellar fight.

This event likely won’t crush any pay-per-view buyrate records. It stands to be a nice little seller for the UFC, but it won’t match the huge numbers put up by guys like Brock Lesnar and St-Pierre during the prime of their careers. That says more about the slumping state of the sport at large than the greatness of this matchup, however.

If you spent much of 2014 waiting for something to cheer for, or if you were part of the throng who drifted away from this sport during the last few years, now is the time to go all in once again.

Even if it’s for one night only.

Read more MMA news on BleacherReport.com

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MMA's greatest prospect? Bellator signs Olympic hopeful Aaron Pico
MMAmania.com
Last weekend at Bellator's "Tito vs. Bonnar" event on Spike TV, it was revealed that an 18-year-old wrestling standout named Aaron Pico, styled by Bellator as "MMA's Greatest Prospect," had signed an exclusive contract with the Viacom-owned promotion.

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Cagepotato
The Greatest Erotic MMA Fan Fiction of All Time
Cagepotato
UFC Fight Night 56 happened last night and it was pretty boring. During the lull in action, we wondered if there was a prominent MMA fan fiction scene. It turns out there was! The only drawback: A vast majority of the stories featured prominent

View full post on MMA -mobile – Google News


MMAjunkie.com
Invicta FC 9 weigh-in results (and the greatest MMA costumes in the history of
MMAjunkie.com
Weigh-ins for Saturday's Invicta FC 9 event took place today, and while the athletes did their job for the most part, Invicta FC officials stole the show. Celebrating Halloween at the weigh-in ceremony, Invicta FC President came dressed as UFC
Invicta FC 9 Results: Honchak vs. HashiMMA Fighting
Invicta FC 9 weigh-in results & video replayPro MMA Now
INVICTA FC IX PREVIEWPro Wrestling Insider – Xtra
Bloody Elbow -MMAmania.com
all 22 news articles »

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Bloody Elbow
PRIDE Before the Fall: a look back at Japan's greatest MMA organization
Bloody Elbow
Over the next ten years, however, PRIDE FC would grow into arguably the greatest MMA promotion of its day, laying claim, at any one time, to the strongest heavy, light-heavy, and lightweight divisions. It brought to MMA a sensationalism and spectacle

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Bloody Elbow
BE's Baddest Tournament: Who Is MMA's Greatest Striker Of All Time?
Bloody Elbow
It's who executed the best striking work in the history of MMA. I'll leave it to your discretion how much you value offense vs. defense, how much you account for historical time period, influence, etc. The process will work exactly like it did last

View full post on MMA -mobile – Google News

  • UFC Releases Five Fighters From Active Roster
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  • VIDEO: Behind-The-Scenes At UFC On FOX 14
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  • Dominick Cruz Undergoes Successful Surgery, Gives Prediction On Dillashaw-Barao II
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  • Anderson Silva Tells Jose Aldo: “Please Beat Conor McGregor Up A Lot”
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  • Full Fight Card Announced For Invicta FC 11: Cyborg vs. Tweet
    Invicta FC issued the following on Tuesday, January 27th ... Invicta FC 11: Cyborg vs. Tweet Full Fight Card Kansas City, Mo. – Invicta Fighting Championships today announced the entire fight card for Invicta FC 11, which will stream live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Friday, […]
  • VIDEO: Nick Diaz Reveals Why He Hasn’t Talked Trash About Anderson Silva
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    A photo of former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar's "Kill 'Em All" tattoo was taken during his match at the WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view on Sunday, a tattoo that has had people talking on the internet, and the location of said-ink has fans cracking jokes at his expense. Lesnar, the former UFC Heavyweight Champion, retained […]
  • Jon Jones Explains Deleted Tweet, Ranks Top Five Contenders At 205 Pounds
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  • UFC Contender Bobby Green Posts Very Graphic Photo Of His Surgery
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