Archive for December, 2018

Can the Mauler beat Bones for the UFC light heavyweight title?

December 23, 2018


Photo Credit: Josh Hedges / Getty Images

In a rematch, Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson will attempt to defeat Jon “Bones” Jones for the vacated UFC light heavyweight title. The fight will take place on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Gustafsson (18-4) and Jones (22-1-1 NC) will fight in the main event at UFC 232.  Jones, 31, captured the 205-pound belt from Mauricio Rua in 2011 and has been successful in eight straight title defenses.  One of those successful defenses was against Gustafsson, 31, five years ago at UFC 165 in Toronto.  Gustafsson, also 31, is attempting to rid himself as being one of the greatest fighters never to win a UCF title.

“Gustafsson dominated the early rounds, out-boxing the champing and even landing the first takedown of Jones’ career.  Jones rallied later in the fight and dominated the championship rounds.  When the final buzzer sounded, it was unclear who had won the fight.”  Source: Don Aguero, UFC 232 (Jones v. Gustafsson 2): Odds and Predictions, Sports Betting Dime (Dec. 19, 2018).

Mr. Aguero predicts Gustafsson will win the fight, which has odds of -285 or -275 for Jones and +225 or +210 for Gustafsson.  Gustafsson was a +700 underdog in the first fight.

In the first meeting, Jones won a unanimous decision: 48-47, 48-47 and 49-46.  Many observers felt that Gustafsson actually won the fight.  The fight was unanimously awarded Fight of the Year in 2013.

“I didn’t train as hard as I should have,” Jones said about his close victory over Gustafsson in their first fight. “I was winning so many fights, I was being a wild dude, and I was still winning, and it caught up to me.  It definitely caught up to me.”

“Whatever Jon comes with — he says he didn’t train for the first fight, whatever, I don’t care — I really hope he brings his A-game,” Gustafsson said. “I really hope he brings his best to the table, because I’m getting ready for the best.  I don’t want to hear any excuses after I beat him.”

Gustafsson added: “At the end of the day, it all comes down to who wants it more. I’m just the guy for him. The Jon Era is over. . . . I’m here to take that over and I’m here to beat him, once and for all.”

The light heavyweight title was held by Daniel Cormier but it was taken away from him due to inactivity.  (Cormier held both the heavyweight and light heavyweight titles at the time that his light heavyweight title was taken away.)  Jones was stripped of the title after a hit-and-run accident.  (He injured a pregnant woman and fled the scene on foot.)  Jones was also suspended from the UFC for failed drug tests in 2016 and 2017.

Jones’ record after his first fight with Gustafsson (3-0-1 NC):

April 26, 2014 — Unanimous decision over Glover Teixeira at UFC 172 at Baltimore.

Jan. 3, 2015 — Unanimous decision over Daniel Cormier at UFC 182 at Las Vegas.

April 23, 2016 — Unanimous decision over Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 197 at Las Vegas.

July 29, 2017 — No contest in fight with Cormier at UFC 214 at Anaheim.  Jones knocked out Cormier in the third round but the result was overturned after Jones failed the post-fight drug test.

Gustafsson’s record after his first fight with Jones (3-2)

March 8, 2014 — TKO over Jimi Manuwa at UFC Fight Night at London.

Jan. 24, 2015 — Loss to Anthony Johnson via TKO at UCF on Fox at Stockholm.

Oct. 3, 2015 — Split decision loss to Daniel Cormier at UFC 192 at Houston. (47-48, 49-46 and 48-47.)  After the fight, Cormier said: “Thank you, Alexander Gustafsson. You made me a better man and fighter tonight. I will forever be indebted to you.”

Sept. 3, 2016 — Unanimous decision over Jan Blachowicz at UFC Fight Night at Hamburg, Germany.

May 28, 2017 — Knock out of Glover Teixeira at UFC Fight Night at Stockholm.

Jones is 6-4 with a reach of 84 inches.  Gustafsson is 6-5 with a reach of 79 inches.

Jones and his wife, Jessie Moses, have three daughters.  Gustafsson and his wife, Moa Antonia Johansson, have a daughter and a son.  (Gustafsson proposed to Ms. Johansson after his knockout win against Glover Teixeira at UFC Fight Night 109.

Jones was born in Rochester, N.Y. (July 19, 1987) and resides at Ithaca, N.Y.  Gustafsson was born in Arboga, Sweden (Jan. 15, 1987) and resides at Stockholm.

UFC President Dana White said that the first fight between Jones and Gustafsson at UFC 165 was “one of the greatest light heavyweight fights in history, and I expect the rematch to be the same.”

UPDATE AFTER THE FIGHT — Jones defeated Gustafsson via a TKO (punches) at 2:02 of Round 3. described Round 3:

“Jones explodes for a takedown and gets the Swede on his back in the middle of the Octagon.  The Jackson-Wink product immediately drops some elbow on his opponent. Jones continues to work from half guard, then passes to side control, where he drops another elbow. Jones locks up a half nelson to keep Gustafsson from escaping. Jones using the maneuver to transition to Gustafsson’s back, and now he unloads with heavy right hands from back mount.  Gustafsson isn’t defending himself from the assault, and after about nine unanswered blows, Mike Beltran dives in to wave off the fight.  Jones is the UFC light heavyweight champion.”

After the fight, Gustafsson told Jones that he is “the best fighter in the world.” Jones responded: “Thanks man.  You’re a bad man.”

Nima Safapour, Gustafsson’s manager, told MMA Junkie after the fight:

“The fight was the fight. We still believe 100 percent that Alex can beat Jones. Just depends on the day.  Anyone can win depending on the circumstances of the fight. It was not our day, but we will come back and get the title in due time either from Jon or whoever else is holding the title at that time.  Expect to see ‘The Mauler’ back in action soon.”  Source: Lewis Mckeever, Manager confident Alexander Gustafsson can still beat Jon Jones: “Just depends on the day” (SB Nation — Jan. 13, 2019).



Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez / USA Today


Changing demographics are coming back to bite white male Democrats

December 4, 2018


Photo Credit: Jonathan Bachman / Reuters

Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), a member of the Democratic Socialists of America who had never before held elective office, is a good example of how changing demographics are adversely affecting white male Democrats.

The 29-year-old Ms. Ocasio-Cortez handily beat 10-term incumbent Joseph “Joe” Crowley in New York’s 14th Congressional District, which is a very safe Democratic district. The district covers parts of the Bronx and Queens in New York City.

The demographics of the Bronx is 45.8 percent white, 43.3 percent black, 4.2 percent Asian, 3.0 percent American Indian, and 3.3 percent of two or more races. Source: 2013 Census Bureau estimate. Nearly 55 percent of the population is of Hispanic or Latino, of any race.

The demographics of Queens is 27.2 percent Non-Hispanic white, 20.9 percent black, 24.8 percent Asian, 12.9 percent of some other race and 2.7 percent of two or more races. Source: 2012 Census Bureau estimate. Nearly 28 percent of Queen’s population is of Hispanic or Latino origin, of any race.

The makeup of the entire 14th Congressional District is 49.8 percent Hispanic and about one-fifth white.  “Almost half of Ocasio-Cortez’s district is Latino; over 11 percent black and 16 percent is Asian.”

Source: Steven A. Nuno, Can a Latina primary candidate’s big win bring Democrats back to their roots? (NBC News — June 27, 2018).

“Crowley lost because of the changing demographics of his district,” wrote a columnist for the Washington Post.

Source: Dana Milbank, Ocasio-Cortez just did Democrats a big favor (The Washington Post — June 27, 2018).

“White people representing majority-minority districts are intrinsically vulnerable.”

Source: Michael Kinnucan, Why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Won (Jacobin — June 29, 2018).

A headline in the Washington Post stated: “The worst thing to be in many Democratic primaries? A white male candidate.”

Source: Michael Scherer and David Weigel (Washington Post — June 27, 2018). Mr. Scherer and Mr. Weigel wrote:

“Given an option, Democratic voters have been picking women, racial minorities, and gay men and lesbians in races around the country at historic rates, often at the expense of the white male candidates who in past years typified the party’s offerings.”

“There are a lot of districts in this country that are like NY-14, that have changed a lot in the last 20 years, and whose representation has not,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez told Chuck Todd on Meet the Press on July 1, 2018.

Source: Christina Cauterucci, “Demographics” Did Help Ocasio-Cortez Win, and That’s a Good Things (Slate — July 1, 2018).

When Ms. Ocasio-Cortez takes office on Jan. 3, 2019, she will be the youngest woman to serve in Congress in the history of the United States.

Mr. Crowley was the Chair of the House Democratic Caucus.  He took office in Congress in 1999 in New York’s 7th Congressional District.  He was the Congressman for the 14th Congressional District since 2013.  He had been re-elected without any significant opposition in nine elections.  He did not face any primary challengers in the 2006 through 2016 elections.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, whose father is of Puerto Rican descent and was born in the Bronx, and whose mother was born in Puerto Rico, captured 57.13 percent of the vote (15,897) in the 2018 Democratic primary to Mr. Crowley’s 42.5 percent (11,761).  In the general election, the vote tally was 77.9 percent (100,044 votes) for Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, 13.8 percent (17,762 votes) for Republican Anthony Pappas and 6.6 percent (8,505 votes) for Mr. Crowley.  Elizabeth Perri of the Conservative Party received 1.6 percent (2,028 votes).

To seek the 14th District seat, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez spent $194,000 compared to $3.4 million spent by Mr. Crowley. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was endorsed by extreme left-wing organizations such as MoveOn, Justice Democrats, Brand New Congress, Black Lives Matter and Democracy for America. The 14th Congressional District voted 78 percent for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential race.

“Ocasio-Cortez tailored her campaign to underrepresented constituencies such as Latino and younger voters.”

Source: Grace Segers, How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won the race that shocked the country (City & State New York — June 27, 2018).

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez worked in Sen. Ted Kennedy’s (D-Mass.) foreign affairs and immigration office from 2008 to 2009 while attending Boston University. After graduating, she returned to the Bronx where she volunteered for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) 2016 presidential Democratic primary campaign.

“In addition to supporting things such as sharing the wealth Bernie Sanders-style, Medicare for all, guaranteed jobs for everyone, free college tuition, the abolishment of ICE, ending the privatization of prisons, the impeachment of Donald Trump, and gun control policies — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez exhibits racist tendencies. To win the primary, Alexandria convinced voters that based solely on her ethnicity and her working-class roots, she was the most qualified to represent eastern Bronx and portions of north-central Queens, whose demographic composition is 82% minority, 50% of which is Hispanic-Latino. The problem is that Alexandria didn’t live in the projects and didn’t spend much time riding the El train. Instead, since Alexandria was age two, the newly elected politician lived in a three-bedroom home in Yorktown Heights, purchased by her architect father, the late Sergio Cortez-Roman. Yorktown Heights is a suburb of New York City located in wealthy Westchester County. Unlike the district Alexandria won, the demographic in the town the political neophyte grew up in is 90% white and 5% Hispanic-Latino.”

Source: Jeannie DeAngelis, Is Alexandria-Cortez a racist?  (American Thinker — July 3, 2018).

“Overall, Westchester County is one of the most wealthy counties in the United States; it’s even where former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton reside.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly three-quarters of the county’s 980,000 people are white, the average home rice is more than a half million dollars, the median household income is $90,000 and just 10 percent of the country lives in poverty.  CNBC even ranked the county as the 8th richest county in the U.S. when considering wealth concentration of the area’s richest 1 percent.”

Source: Chris Enlow, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the “girl from the Bronx,” raised in one of the wealthiest US counties (The Blaze — June 30, 2018).


Photo Credit: CQ-Roll Call, Inc.