MMA ODDS AND ENDS FOR TUESDAY: JONES INJURED, BOUT WITH CORMIER PUSHED TO JANUARY
It appears UFC 178 just is not meant to be the blockbuster event everyone had it pegged as way back in March, when Alexander Gustafsson reclaimed his #1 competitor’s slot with a success over Jimi Manuwa. Few saw Jon Jones’ April name defense against Glover Teixeira as more than a mere detour on the road to Jones/Gustafsson two, along with the masses were right. Even though it took a while to decide on a particular date and venue, the bout was highly anticipated whenever and wherever it would happen. Then, all of a sudden, Alexander Gustafsson was made to drop from this struggle with a torn meniscus. No issue, in stepped Daniel Cormier to take his own position and the MMA planet was even more enthusiastic. Then the infamous media day brawl happened, and UFC 178 became a must-watch event for more than simply the MMA community. It had the type of buzz which number of UFC events garner, and probably would have been the biggest grossing light heavyweight bout because Quinton Jackson vs. Rashad Evans back at UFC 114. Obviously, things seldom go to program in MMA, and even the backup programs fall through occasionally. Jon Jones declared yesterday that he also was hurt in training and pressured from UFC 178. The organization has tentatively rescheduled Jones and Cormier to headline UFC 182 in January, where they will probably share the card with Ronda Rousey at a year-end (or starting) card which hearkens back to the times of stacked events around the New Year. The one issue with all of this however, is that it was supposed to be Alexander Gustafsson’s fight all along, and from January he will probably be ready to proceed. Will the UFC really forego what might be another classic between Jones and Gustafsson for its dollar signs seemingly obvious for Jones and Cormier? It will be interesting to see how this plays out during the next few months, but early signs are that the Swede will end up a very unhappy camper. Of course in MMA news when it rains, it pours, and it was a busy day outside of the Jones injury. UFC 177 along with flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson believed that the domino effect from the accident, as his title defense against Chris Cariaso will now be moving to the main event of UFC 178. Understanding that fans will be frustrated with all the shift, Johnson tweeted (tongue-in-cheek),”Bad: you’ll have to wait a bit longer to see me triumph again. Great: I am the new UFC 178 headliner. Bout time that card receives a true principal event.” To fill out UFC 177, the company has put together a bout between a set of highly touted winners in the regional circuit. Former Bellator and Tachi Palace Fights champion Joe Soto will compete only three weeks after his latest bout, and he will be taking on former MFC champion Anthony Birchak in a few of the better fights between UFC newcomers that has been produced in 2014. The bantamweights will probably complete a place on the UFC Fight Pass prelims. Soto’s old promotion also announced a set of spells yesterday, as heavy hitters Doug Marshall and Melvin Manhoef will headline Bellator 125 on September 19th. While this bout is of nearly zero relevance in any kind of divisional rankings, it should be violent and fun for however long it lasts. Following in precisely the same mould is the co-main event on the card featuring Brian Rogers and James Irvin, two of the guys discovered on any highlight reel of flying in MMA history. Betting lines will probably lean towards Manhoef and Rogers in their various bouts, as they are the more talented strikers in what ought to be completely striking contests. A pair of AXS TV promotions declared upcoming bouts as well, together with Legacy FC 37 being headlined by two of its former champions, Leonard Garcia and Daniel Pineda. Garcia simply lost his featherweight belt to Damon Jackson at Legacy FC 33, also Pineda — a former lightweight and featherweight champ in the promotion — was only re-signed after being cut out of the UFC. It is quite probable that Jackson will be signed to the UFC before this bout takes place on November 14th, and if that’s the situation this could establish a new champion too. After Garcia’s quick loss in his final outing, expect the public to prefer Pineda, and he will probably open as a small favorite. RFA continues their tour around the Western United States as RFA 18 Occurs in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 12th. The event will be headlined by flyweight champion Matt Manzanares defends his belt against undefeated Albuquerque native Joby Sanchez. Sanchez only knocked off Antonio Banuelos last week at Tachi Palace Fights 20, and will be carrying this particular bout on just over a month’s notice. This line should be close, but the public can push it slightly towards Manzanares because he’s the well-known of both.
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