Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Don't believe the hype!


The last 24 hours in MMA has gotten real heated. This all because of a shoving match between UFC light-heavyweight (205 lbs.) champion Jon Jones (pictured @ right) and title challenger Daniel Cormier at their face off for promoting their UFC 178 showdown next month in Las Vegas. However while this fight has suddenly sparked some serious excitement among fans, I'm here to say in my best Flava Flav voice, "Don't believe the hype."

That's because while on the surface, the dislike between these two appears to be genuine, we've seen this supposed genuine disdain between opponents before. Jones (20-1, 9 KO's 6 subs) had this type of hype before his fight with former champion Rashad Evans and when it was over, we were treated to a one-sided five round dud won by Jones. Evans is always good for smack talk leading up to a fight, as he did with another former champion Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson before their bout at UFC 114.

Those two went back and forth many times before that fight as opposing coaches on 'The Ultimate Fighter' TV reality series. They both talked about all the things they were going to do to each other climaxed by Jackson's statement the day before the fight. I remember being there in person live at the weigh-ins @ The MGM Grand when Joe Rogan asked 'Rampage' for his comments; Jackson in an emphatic and furious state said, "He's dead!"

You just knew it was going to be a war. I felt lucky that I was going to see it live and so did all the other thousands in attendance. However, what ended up happening was Evans wrestled him to the ground for the first two rounds and Rampage did the same to Evans in the third; in the end, it ended up being another "alright" unanimous decision.

One year before that it was the "Bad Blood" between former welterweight champions Matt 'The Terror' Serra and Matt Hughes that had everybody clamoring for an epic showdown between two guys that didn't like each other. Their rivalry also built up on 'The Ultimate Fighter' as opposing coaches, you just knew it was going to be ugly. Surprise; you guessed it, a three round ho hum decision win for Hughes.

I could go on and on with examples of fights that were highly anticipated because of the rivalry between the two combatants that ended up being duds, but I won't. Also, that is not to say that these fights never live up to the hype. All I'm saying is hold your horses and don't automatically be thinking your shelling out $50.00+ for the fight of the year.

Cormier (15-0, 6 KO's 4 subs) does present an interesting challenge to Jones. A former heavyweight, now fighting at light heavyweight. A former Olympic wrestler who may finally be able to put Jones on his back and keep him there, which no other opponent has been able to do; and he trains daily with the heavyweight champion of the world Cain Velasquez.

However, he is only 5'11 to Jones's 6'4"; and his arms are really short next to Jones's incredible 84" reach. Add it all up and there is just the possibility that this fight may not end up being the showdown everyone expects. Besides, the last time I saw two fighters go at each other like that at a promotion presser was when Mike Tyson approached Lennox Lewis; yes, the 5'11 Tyson and the 6'4" Lewis. Yet, come fight night after the one-sided affair was over, Tyson was seen wiping the sweat off of Lewis's forehead. All I'm saying is, "Don't believe the hype!"

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