Archive for the ‘UCF, MMA’ Category

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

December 23, 2018

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.  Sherdog.com 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).

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Comments by the Irish press after Conor McGregor’s loss to Floyd Mayweather

August 27, 2017

American boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather earned his 50th straight win in a 10th round TKO of Irish UFC champion Conor “The Notorious” McGregor.  Here are some comments made by the Irish press after McGregor’s loss.

The Irish Times — “McGregor was more than gracious [after his loss].  He was almost ebullient, waving a glass of his soon-to-be-launched whiskey brand . . . . And if he seemed a touch more euphoric than beaten boxers generally are, you could understand why. He had faced one of the greats and avoided total humiliation, he had escaped without serious injury, and his earnings, once his cut of the pay-per-view, gate receipts, and merchandise sales is added to the guaranteed $30 million purse, could total around $100 million, making this by far the most lucrative debut in professional boxing history. He didn’t quite get to the top of the world, but from where he’s standing the view doesn’t look too bad.”  (Tim Early, Despite defeat in the ring McGregor has still won.)

Irish Independent — “The UFC lightweight champion was the subject of some ridiculous criticism prior to last evening’s bout and for much of the build-up to the fight he was ridiculed as an unworthy opponent who was simply a part of Floyd Mayweather’s latest cash grab. That was all quickly proven to be inaccurate lat evening and the Irishman did himself, his country, and the sport of MMA proud.” (James Edwards, Conor McGregor may have lost but he won UFC respect in the world of boxing in Floyd Mayweather defeat.)

The Irish Sun — “With the blows raining down on McGregor he should have taken an eight count and perhaps prolonged Mayweather’s 50th bout. But he courageously refused to meet the canvas and instead was rescured by referee Robert Byrd before he was seriously hurt.” (Wally Downes Jr., Floyd Mayweather beats gutsy Conor McGregor with 10th round stoppage to seal place in history.)

Irish Daily Star — “The Notorious put up a fight against the boxing veteran. Mayweather eventually won by TKO in the tenth round. He can sail off into the sunset with his undefeated record intact at 50-0. It’s a different story for McGregor. At just 29-years-old, the Dubliner still has a lot of time to fill and things to do before he announces his retirement. . . . Even though McGregor’s professional boxing record stands at 0-1, he changed a lot of people’s minds last night by putting it up to one of the best ever.”  (Sean Walsh, Conor McGregor lost to Mayweather, but what will he do next?)

Irish Daily Mirror — “Conor McGregor will spend a few days reflecting on his defeat by Floyd Mayweather but talk will then return to the Irishman’s next fight. McGregor started well against the boxing legend on Saturday night before he fatigued and Mayweather’s class prevailed.  And [McGregor] is now expected to return to the UFC.”  (Martin Domin, What next for Conor McGregor? Irishman faces tough decisions after defeat by Floyd Mayweather.)

Irish Daily Mail — “But there were no tickets to spare for McGregor’s official after-party, which took place at the Encore Beach Club in Las Vegas in the early hours of Sunday. McGregor had been stopped by Mayweather in round 10, but the defiant Irishman grabbed the mic and shouted to his reveling supporters: ‘You’ll never beat the Irish!’ . . . The 29-year-old, who earned a basic purse of 62 million pounds for the fight, certainly did not look like a man who had lost.  Before dancing on stage to Fat Joe’s All the Way Up, he addressed his adoring fans. . . . McGregor, who arrived at the club around 3 am, supplied his entourage with free drinks to the value of 77,643 pounds.” (Robert Summerscales, Conor McGregor celebrates hard despite losing to Floyd Mayweather as 62 million pound richer MMA fighter signs for 77,643 pound booze bill and tells fans at 150 pound-a-ticket after-party: ‘You’ll never beat the Irish’.”)

The Irish News — “Conor McGregor was ‘brought to school’ by Floyd Mayweather and needs to ‘stay in his lane,’ according to former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis. UFC star McGregor lasted 10 rounds with Mayweather in his maiden professional boxing match in Las Vegas, as his opponent stopped him to retire with a perfect 50-0 record.  Many had predicted McGregor would barely last a round with one of the greatest fighters of all time, so he has earned some credit to have stayed the course for as long as he did.”  (Conor McGregor given boxing lesson by Mayweather say Lennox Lewis.)

The Straits Times — “Irish media hailed Dublin-born Conor McGregor for a gritty display on Sunday following his 10th-round loss to Floyd Mayweather in their Las Vegas super-fight. . . . McGregor wears his Irish identity with pride and trooped into the ring draped in the national flag in front of thousands of his supporters, who had spent vast sums of money to fly to Las Vegas.”  (AFP, Irish media talks up Conor McGregor’s fighting spirit despite loss.)

Irish Examiner — “Conor McGregor was told he had ‘nothing to be ashamed of’ by boxing great Lennox Lewis and several others came out in support of the Irishman as the dust started to settle on his round 10 loss to Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas.  The UFC star was not expected to last longer than a round by many on his boxing debut, particularly given his opponent is one of the greatest fighters of all time. But going into the 10th round has earned him plenty of credit, particularly on American soil, with the bout described as ‘amazing’ and McGregor praised for making the notoriously cagey Mayweather open up.”  The article noted that Shane Mosley tweeted: “Damn good fight. Mayweather put on a hell of a show. Conor did much better than I had expected. Hats off to both guys. Worth the money.” The article also quoted a tweet by Manny Pacquiao: “Respect to McGregor for taking a chance but congrats to Floyd on #50!”  (Conor McGregor receives support from boxing legends after loss.)