Welcome to the MMA Roundtable, sorry for the lateness. Roni, Brian and David return to talk UFC 182 and the fallout, plus look ahead to the futures of Jones, Cerrone and more!
Brian: I think if you’re a fan of the sport, it went just about the way you expected it to go. I didn’t think it would be a wild brawl, but I certainly thought it would be more evenly matched than it was. Aside from the always constant eye poking (how sad is it that Mike Goldberg had to refer to it as the “first eye poke”) and some stalling against the cage from Jones, he showcased how good he is and why he may be the best fighter in the world. Nobody thought Jones would be able to take Cormier down that many times and defend so well against Cormier’s takedowns. Was it the most exciting fight? Certainly not. Was it a great display of skill? Absolutely.
Roni: Jones did. Despite what people claim, I don’t think DC did.
I understand that not everything goes to plan in a fight. But I expected DC to be faster, with much better cardio and to be able to, at least, outwrestle Jon.
David: I expected Jones to shut down DC, and grind out a win. I expected him to do something we didn’t think he could do. Jones did both, plus even won the takedown battle. Jones delivered, Cormier did not.
Brian: Overall the card was fun and there were some breakout stars such as Paul Felder and Cody Garbrandt, but the whole card felt like we were all waiting for the big main event, which we were. The event wasn’t the most exciting and the lack of finishes may turn off some casual fans, but overall it was a solid pay per view and the preliminaries definitely delivered.
Roni: As I said before the event. It was a solid card but far from a great one.
The only big expectation I had was for the main event. And I was disappointed with DC (though at the same time, I was pleasantly surprised by Jon).
David: The Prelims were good, but the main card was not good, we even got the rare event of a boring Donald Cerrone fight!
Brian: I think that is just Werdum posturing and trying to intimidate Jon Jones. If you’re 205 or above at this point in time, you definitely want to step into the ring with Jones because he is the face and the man of the UFC. Anyone who fights Jones win, lose or draw, people will know who you are. If Jones wants to be considered the greatest of all time, he needs to go up in weight and prove himself there. Any fighter in boxing or MMA that wasn’t a heavyweight had to make themselves considered the best by fighting in multiple weight classes. He’s huge for 205 and I think he would even have physical advantages over most of the heavyweights and who honestly wouldn’t pay to see Jon Jones vs Cain Velasquez?
Roni: I don’t know. DC beat many HW’s, and he couldn’t boudge Jon. That was a big eye opener IMO.
I would love to see him fight Werdum or Cain at HW.
David: Its funny that Jones said he could make 185 since moving to Jacksons. That would be interesting since the Anderson/Jones dream fight is gone. Also makes me think its going to be a LONG time we see Jones fight at heavyweight, if ever. Adding 50 pounds of muscle is going to be nearly impossible, unless a solid 225 champion emerges. I will say I love Werdum saying he’s willing to give him a fight, since he will make more fighting Jones than anyone else, including CAIN.
Brian: I love it. Cerrone literally waited to leave Las Vegas until Dana White gave him another fight. He’s an old school guy who just loves to fight and get paid win or lose and loves to put on a show. He hates to be booed and always wants his opponent to come after him. Some would say he’s foolish to jump back so fast but I disagree. He took absolutely no damage against Miles Jury, is in shape and knows the kind of fighter Benson Henderson is (does everyone forget they fought twice in WEC?). I love this fight and I would even give Cerrone the advantage in this one given the roll he’s been on.
Roni: Well. He lost twice to Bendo already.
I don’t think it would be in his best interest. Heck, I don’t even think he should be cleared to fight that quickly!
But alas, the fight makes sense, since they both are close in rankings and the guys above are booked/injured. I just don’t think it is the best idea to have him fight that quickly.
David: Amazing. Bendo has beat him twice, but its a great time to catch him, and Henderson doesn’t look as good as he once did- plus the quick turnaround hurts the gameplan. Cerrone beats a declining Hendo NOW? He might get the next shot after KHABIB.
Brian: Lombard needs to be more active and beat people who matter. He may be the most talented guy in the division, but until he starts putting on memorable performances and/or beating guys who are contenders/who matter, nobody is going to be clamoring to see this guy fight for a title. It’s pretty obvious at this point it will be Rory MacDonald vs Hector since Hendricks and Lawler will be fighting again. He needs to beat Rory and beat Rory decisively to get a title shot in my mind.
Roni: I don’t think so. And it is not because I don’t like him. Quite the opposite.
I think Zuffa (or Dana) do not like him. He should be fighting Rory! Instead, they give him unranked nobodies!
Dana was complaining that Lombard should have gone after Burkman. But then, he defended Cerrone for not stopping Jury. It makes no sense!
He should complain about the guys running away, not the ones chasing them!
David: No. I’m still not a believer in Lombard, unlike the other two men, I know the Rory fight is coming up next, and I think Lombard is going to get derailed here. Unless he finishes Rory, I still don’t think he has a shot against either Lawler or Hendricks.
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