UFC: Chael Sonnen rattles Jon Jones’ cage
This week we review UFC 150 in Denver, hear who is up next for fast rising Swede Alexander Gustafsson and find out which UFC star Chael Sonnen is kicking off his next trash talk campaign against…
As the dust settles on a fine Denver card it seems that the lightweight logjam which has seen Frankie Edgar fight BJ Penn, Gray Maynard and Ben Henderson twice each since April 2010 has finally come to an end.
It’s not that fans don’t like to see Edgar perform, they most certainly do. It’s simply with the menacing Nate Diaz and Messrs Cerrone and Pettis all waiting in the wings the match-making options are seemingly boundless. The judges’ decision in UFC 150’s 155lb title fight was razor thin. It was so thin that it’s difficult to refute any coherent argument proffered in either Edgar or the champ’s favour. Edgar did appear busier on the whole whilst Henderson patently did more damage when he landed for the duration of the bout. Either way having been denied by the judges twice in succession Frankie Edgar’s chances of garnering another shot at Henderson lie somewhere between slim and non-existent. Next up for “The Answer” should be a trip south to the more apt surroundings of the featherweight division. UFC President Dana White has stated however that Edgar will not be granted an immediate title shot against 145lb title holder Jose Aldo. A rest and a change may do Edgar the world of good and upon reflection give the plucky New Jersey scrapper a new lease of life in what is in essence a fairer playing field.
Up next for Benson Henderson will be a second defence of his belt against the irascible Nate Diaz. Diaz is a worthy contender and will undoubtedly get under the skin of the usually laid back “Smooth”. We shall take a closer look at what will be a fascinating match-up closer to fight time.
Cerrone wows in fight of the night
Co-main event in Denver was of course the meeting of friends and former training partners Donald Cerrone and Melvin Guillard. Guillard had “Cowboy” hurt early in the fight but lacked the urgency that has been his calling card in the past. The hesitancy proved to be decisive as Cerrone had time to gather his senses and finish “The Young Assassin” with a delicious shin kick followed by a brutal right cross. It was a little over one minute of fistic fury and the bout rightfully earned fight of the night plaudits. Cerrone has since been vocal in calling out former WEC champion Anthony Pettis. It’s certainly the fight that makes the most sense for UFC matchmakers, so expect “Showtime” to lock horns with Cerrone in what should be a spectacular fight before the year is out.
“The Mauler” set to face Rua
One thing you cannot accuse “Shogun” Rua of being is inactive. His conditioning may have deteriorated over the years and in his past few fights the former Pride stand-out has certainly taken more damage than is advisable but Mauricio Rua keeps busy. In a fight that could secure the winner a shot at the 205 lb strap, Rua will meet top Swedish contender Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on Fox 5 which takes place on 8th December. Gustafsson’s movement, length and conditioning will be a tall order for Rua but it is certainly the perfect fight for Stockholm’s finest to prove that he is ready to challenge for the UFC light-heavyweight title.
Miller re-enters the limelight for the wrong reasons
Former Ultimate Fighter coach Jason Miller has allegedly been causing some “mayhem” in the vicinity of a church in the United States. Whilst details of the incident remain hazy if proven to be accurate it could mark an ignominious end to a colorful and often controversial career in mixed martial arts for Miller.
Sonnen targets “Bones”
Chael Sonnen lost his middleweight title fight in tame fashion a few short weeks ago. Anderson Silva clinically disposed of the one man PR machine and so the brash former NCAA All-American retired to lick his wounds and re-assess his career.
Re-assess it he obviously did as he has this week, on Fuel TV labeled Jones “… a little punk kid”. He went on to boast that “I could go up to 205 and I could take Jon Jones’ belt the same as I could take his candy on Halloween”. Entertaining stuff.
Jones and Sonnen have since embarked upon a war of words via twitter and it does appear to be the opening salvo in a strikingly similar vitriolic campaign which forced Anderson Silva to rematch him inside the Octagon last month. First up for the polarizing Oregon native is a December match-up with Forrest Griffin. Love him or loathe him Chael P. Sonnen is pure ratings gold.
Join us here at The Independent next week when we will have an interview with one of the stars of TUF Live, Andy Ogle ahead of his UFC Nottingham clash with Akira Corassani…
Click here to check out my “In the Octagon” column in The Asahi Shimbun this week where we discuss Machida, Wanderlei and more…
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