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Author: Michael Zand

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In an exclusive interview, Brock Lesnar explains why he came back to WWE

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UFC 145: Every Ex-UFC LHW Champion Talks Jon Jones Vs. Rashad Evans

Frank Shamrock, inaugural champion from Dec. 21 1997 to Nov. 24, 1999

"This fight has a tremendous story behind it, with it having grown out of a friendship that went sour back when these two were teammates. The drama that's fueling this is incredible. Fans can expect a fight that, stylistically, will be extremely challenging for Jones to overcome, and he'll have fits with Rashad's wrestling if he's able to put Jon on his back. But ultimately, I see Jones being able to inflict more damage and walk away with the belt still in hand. This will be a fight that will not end as easily and devastatingly as Jones's others have, but rather one of those moments in his career where he'll have to pull himself up and battle until the final bell. In the end, this fight will help Jon become a better fighter and a better champion, and will endear himself to fans for years to come."

 

Maurico "Shogun" Rua, champion from May 8, 2010 to Mar 19, 2011

"They are two very smart, strategic athletes. Both of them fight thinking of their opponent's strengths and weaknesses and think about how to fight the best possible fight to win. But I think Jon Jones has an advantage, since he is very hard to reach. He is not only long (limbed) but also fast and he can react very quickly, I know this. So, I think it's going to be Jones' match. However, let's not forget Rashad is also very strategic. I believe Rashad will have a good gameplan and I am very interested to see what he will try to do in this fight."

Lyoto Machida, champion from May 23, 2009 to May 8, 2010
"Jones vs Evans is a big fight for the fans and a big fight for the division. It is a very interesting fight; Jones is very unorthodox and is strong in all aspects of the game, but Rashad is a great wrestler and has the hand speed to catch Jones."

Forrest Griffin, champion from Jul 5, 2008 to Dec 27 2008
"This is a great fight. I'm glad I'm not fighting Jon Jones anytime soon, but I think Rashad has the right style to give him problems. There are so many emotions between these guys going into the fight, and I know the Atlanta fans will be getting their money's worth. Jones looks very nasty, but I'm not going to underestimate Rashad. I kinda did that before once..."

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, champion from May 26, 2007 to Jul 5, 2008
"Rashad has to go for it right from the start, for real. Rashad can't play on the outside, you can't fight no Jon Jones on the outside, believe me. Rashad is fast and can surprise you. He surprised me by faking a takedown and hitting me with a right hand which kinda stunned me. I think he can do that to Jon Jones, but he has to do it right away because the more time you give Jones, the harder it is to set him up for a punch. I think Jon Jones will win, but I think Rashad has a chance."

Chuck Liddell, champion from Apr 16, 2005 to May 26, 2007
"Everyone is different but, I think, for most fighters getting into the Octagon with someone they don't like is a great motivation in training. Every time you are tired or holding a little back, you think about losing to this guy you can't stand and it helps you give 100%. That's how I was with Tito, I couldn't stand the idea of losing to him and so I trained harder.

"I'd love to know who really got the best of it when these guys trained together. You get a feeling for someone when you spar with them. That's why I was so confident against Tito; I'd beat him up standing, wrestling and at BJJ when we trained together years before out fights and I knew I was in his head because of that. Listening to Rashad, it seems from watching the Primetime show that he feels he's in Jon's head a little. He sounds very confident and I think that's based on experiences in the gym. I'm glad he is confident, because that's something you have to have against Jones. If you don't go after Jon you are in for a bad night."

Vitor Belfort, champion from Jan 31, 2004 to Aug 21, 2004
"I think this fight will be great for the sport because Jones and Evans used to train together. That changes things, now they are going to fight against each other. We are in the new era of sport with these athletes like Jon Jones and the techniques they can do. Both guys have a chance to be the winner, and it could come down to who is better on that one night. I am looking forward to seeing this huge fight."

Randy Couture, two-time champion from Jun 6, 2003 to Jan 31, 2004 and Aug 21, 2004 to Apr 16, 2005
"I think it is going to be very interesting, Rashad has the speed and skills to win. Rashad has to avoid his propensity for standing up and just striking, which he has done in the past. He can't just strike with Jones; if he does he will lose because Jon has more tools in the toolbox. Rashad has to take Jones down, not just once or twice but every single time he has any opportunity. If Jones is worried about getting taken down, that's when Rashad can put his hands on him and do some damage. But he has to keep Jon guessing if it is a takedown or a strike that's coming.

"I think Jones is super-talented and he is clearly getting better in each fight. He could turn into a very special type of champion. He poses some very unique problems in the Octagon - and so far no one has solved too many of them. I think this is a huge fight for the division. "Bones" Jones is very hot right now and with the personalities and the back story, it all hypes this up into a very interesting fight."

Tito Ortiz, champion from Apr 14, 2000 to Sep 26, 2003
"Jones is looking very good. But Rashad is fast, man, and once he hurts you he's on you. I'd like to see Rashad use his wrestling and takedowns and really mix it up. I think it will be a great fight."

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UFC on FOX 3: Jim Miller vs. Nate Diaz, same day Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto - May 5

UFC on FOX 3, headlined by Jim Miller vs. Nate Diaz, takes place on the same night as Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto on pay-per-view. The UFC faced a similar scenario when UFC on FOX 1 aired on the same night as Manny Pacquaio vs. Juan Manuel Marquez last November.

 

UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta:

"That's kind of FOX's deal," he recently said. "They do all the research; they're really smart guys. They like that fact that we're going to go on at the same night, but the window is different. Meaning, we'll be done before Floyd fights Cotto. And the last time that that happened was when Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez fought on the same night as Pacquaio and we peaked at over 9.9 or whatever million viewers.

The theory is that people are home. It's a great fight night; you're going to watch Pacquiao or whatever; you can turn on FOX, you can watch our fight; you'll have a great night."

"The reality is, not to piss any boxing guys off, but nobody watches those undercards anyway at the end of the day. So you can watch the UFC and switch over when it's done. But we do suffer from a press standpoint. He'll (Mayweather) hog the press."

"I think that they are pretty similar," he said. "I think if you like boxing, for the most part, you like mixed martial arts. I think that there is a bit of an age difference in the demographic, I think boxing generally skews older, but my personal belief, I think HBO always comes out and says, 'Oh, we did research. There's no correlation.' Really? That's interesting. When we have DirecTV and In Demand do research, they see a lot of correlation between who buys boxing and who buys the UFC. There's definitely a correlation there."

 

"Now, if you would ask me, I would never go head-to-head (with Mayweather or Pacquiao) in a pay-per-view. We tried that once and we got killed. But it's on free TV and people are already home."

"It's one of those things where they're fighting one or two times a year and people do care at the end of the day because they're all looking forward and hoping at one point they actually fight each other. Unfortunately for that sport, from a business standpoint based on the way it's structured, it makes more sense for guys like Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions and Bob Arum to keep milking the public over and over again because once they fight it's over, right? Unless they keep doing rematches. I mean, how many times are they going to resell Cotto and Mosley and all these guys? I think I bought that pay-per-view like three or four times, (and) it wasn't that good of a fight. Just get on with it. Make the fight. C'mon."

 

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UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell Breaks Down Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans

"If (a teammate) can beat me, they can beat me," Liddell said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "It is what it is. They deserve to fight me then. I'm not going to hold back some guy that's in my camp if he wants to fight me. That's not my thing.

"It's just a personal choice and a personal opinion, but I think eventually, hey you guys are going at it, then go out and have two beers together afterwards. Go out there and prove who's best that day, and go out and be friends again."

"I think that helps for me," Liddell admitted.

"Some guys are better when they don't like the guy. For me, it helps me train. ... I say it all the time, but it makes it a lot easier when there's that back-of-your-mind motivation that ‘I do not like this guy. There's no way I want to let this guy beat me, so I'm going to be in the best shape I can be in.' I think (Jones and Evans) have got that."

"What's interesting about this fight is that the (betting) line is 6-to-1, which is shocking to me, because I don't think it's that kind of fight," Liddell explained.

"For Rashad, you've trained with a guy. You've worked with him. There's none of that ‘oh, he's unbeatable' kind of thing that's been out there in the press about Jon Jones.

"Even if it was a long time ago, if Rashad was getting the better of him in (training) ... sometimes that's in the back of your head when you go into a fight. Even if you're a different fighter now and you've gotten a lot better, it's still in the back of your head that this guy used to beat me and I haven't messed with him since."

"Well, you've got to take him out of his gameplan," Liddell mused. "You can't let him decide where the fight is going to be fought. You've got to make him uncomfortable."

"When I'm in shape, if you let me engage when I want to, and you don't push me and make me be in situations I don't want to be in, I'll never get tired. ... You've got to put a guy in a situation he doesn't like being in, where he's not comfortable, and make him work."

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VIDEO: RASHAD THINKS JONES FAKED HIS HAND INJURY

A lot of people thought it was strange when Jon Jones pulled out of a scheduled fight with Evans last year claiming he needed surgery on his hand, only to declare the hand didnt need surgery after all just one day after Evans was matched with someone else.

Rashad thought it was strange as well...

Source: FightersOnlyMagazine


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Phil Davis on Jon Jones: “I don’t think he’s necessarily any better than any of the other champions”

“You know, I tend to shy away from answers like this, just because everyone is so skilful in their own regard. I definitely think he’s a very talented champion, but just to be the best in the world says a lot about it. I don’t think he’s necessarily any better than any of the other champions. But that’s just from a competitor’s standpoint. I’m sure the fans would say something different.”

“I think up until Jones became the champion, a lot of people thought, ‘Oh, this is just another young guy.’ And, they went out to, basically, to really beat him. Whereas, if you take away the people fighting Georges St. Pierre, it’s very tactical, it’s not necessarily — everyone is in it to beat him, don’t get me wrong, but a lot of times, it’s a slower pace. It’s very methodical. It’s not going for the kill. Which, I feel Jones has had as his advantage that people are coming right at him. It’s easy to meet a fight head on. But a lot of times, guys are just looking to choose shots and, you know, pot shots whenever they can. It’s a lot tougher, and I think he’ll get that now that people realize that he’s a force to be reckoned with in the division.”

“That loss was good for me. Sometimes, you don’t know where you’re at, until you have a loss. Now I know where I’m at, and it gave me a lot to improve on. It’s a great starting point to go next with where I want to improve, to get to the belt.”

“In a hypothetical world, I would fight someone, definitely before the end of the summer. Probably sometime this summer. But, until you get bout contracts, there’s plenty of room for change. Nothing’s ever for sure.”

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Rashad Evans Unbothered by UFC Sponsoring Jon Jones at UFC 145

Last week, a few eyebrows were raised when it was revealed that the UFC will be sponsoring its light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones for his upcoming title bout against Rashad Evans. As Jones explained during a recent conference call, the agreement came about when past primary sponsor Form Athletics shut down, and Jones sought out one main sponsor instead of entering the cage as a human billboard.

He'll essentially be showcasing new UFC merchandise, and so, some might theorize, the promotion will have a rooting interest in his success in the match.

The flip side of that theory, of course, is that if they have a rooting interest in one fighter, the second man in the cage seems unwanted. At best, it seems unfair. At worst, it seems biased.

 

"I guess it is what it is," he said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "It seems they got their guy that they’re going to get behind, I guess. I can’t really say too much about that. I just got to go in there and do what I need to do. I can't really worry about that. I can't really worry about who they favor or who they may like. It doesn’t change anything."

 

"If they’re sponsoring him, it may seem that way," he said. "But you know, honestly, it doesn't matter if they favor him or not. They have guys they want to get behind, so if they want to get behind him, that's on them. It doesn’t bother me though."

 

"When it comes down to it, I started to fight because I love to fight and I was good at it," he said. "I still want it to remain the same. Even though I don't like Jon, and all the whole back story, and the whole Greg situation, at the end of the day, this is what I really love to do, and I'm going to keep that mindset throughout this whole week and throughout this fight."

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Tim Sylvia Would be Willing to go on TUF to get Back Into the UFC

Sylvia was asked if he would compete on TUF if given the opportunity.

“Absolutely. I helped coach season two with Matt and Rich, because it was half heavyweights… They needed some help with the big boys, and those are two of my best friends in the fighting industry, so I went out there and stayed with those guys and helped them with their heavyweights… and made some pretty good friends…

“I watch The Ultimate Fighter and I would definitely do it if I needed to.”

Sylvia’s MMA career has been marked by professional highs and lows. He won the UFC Heavyweight Championship from Ricco Rodriguez at UFC 41, only to later be forced to relinquish it after testing positive for a banned substance, Stanozolol.

Frank Mir broke Sylvia’s arm with a brutal armbar submission at UFC 48 in a bout in which referee Herb Dean saw the arm break before many fans — and even Sylvia — realized what had happened. Nearly two years later in a fight against Assuerio Silva at UFC Ultimate Fight Night 3, Sylvia allegedly defecated himself, as he had been feeling ill. He won the fight by unanimous decision.

Sylvia would go on to beat Andrei Arlovski to reclaim the heavyweight strap in his next outing at UFC 59, only to lose the belt to UFC legend Randy Couture. He soon went on a three-fight skid that saw him released from the UFC and ended in a humiliating 9-second defeat to boxer Ray Mercer.

UFC President Dana White has been critical of Sylvia since the Mercer fight and has largely rejected Sylvia’s attempts to get back into the UFC. White said in February “the last time I saw him he got knocked out by a 50-year-old boxer in like 10 seconds.”

Now 30-7 overall, Sylvia is 6-1 in his last seven fights and has been quite vocal about his desire to get back into his previous form and return to the UFC.

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Knockout of the Night winner Siyar Bahadurzada: X-ray to determine return his return

An X-ray taken today will determine the damage to his hand and his expected recovery window.

 

“Hopefully it’s not broken. If it’s not broken, I’ll be ready to fight again soon.”

“When the fight starts, it starts mentally, Then it gets physical. If you back down mentally, you’re done. It’s over. And when you make it a point to not back down mentally, you confuse him, and that’s when you start winning the fight.”

“Paulo Thiago’s a tough guy. He might be used to backing down people mentally, but it didn’t happen to me. Maybe that confused him.”

“A lot of people have difficulty with my style of fighting because my style of fighting is a weird style,It’s my timing.”

“But I think I will always be the underdog. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because of my style; maybe it’s because people don’t know me yet. I don’t have any trouble with that.”

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Dana White “When we do land the right deal over in the UK everything is going to be golden over there”

“Every time I get on Twitter or whatever, I see the U.K. fans, ‘They don’t care about us. They don’t care about this market.. Same thing with Ireland. Of course we do.”

“We would love to be with FOX over the U.K.,” he said this past September. “I think that once our deals expire, we will figure it out, and we’ll get that whole U.K./Ireland piece of this thing fixed.”"

“The television deal we want hasn’t been as easy to acquire as we thought it would be,” he said following this past Saturday’s event. “We thought we could get that thing done. If you’d have asked many years ago and said, ‘Do you think you’ll be on FOX before you secure a big deal over here in the U.K.?’ I would have said, ‘There’s no way in hell. We’ll probably get the U.K. deal done first.’

“But it hasn’t happened. We’re still invested in that whole market out there, and we will get it done. We’re not going to give up on it.”

I think that when we do land the right deal over in the U.K., everything is going to be golden over there,” he said. “It’s always the market that’s made the most sense to me other than the U.S. and Mexico when we first bought this thing. It’s been a long, hard battle, and we’re still fighting it.”

 

 

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