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By In Mixed Martial Arts

UFC 200 Statistical Matchup Analysis – Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier

“Of all the big fights coming up this weekend, this one deserves to be the main event’s main event.

Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier have been the centerpieces of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s light heavyweight division for the past two years. They were originally slated to fight at UFC 178 in September 2014, but an injury to incumbent champion Jones postponed it to UFC 182 four months later. By then, Jones had already strung together a record-setting seven light heavyweight title defenses, while Cormier was 2-0 at 205 pounds. “Bones” took a clear though at times competitive decision win over Cormier before the UFC stripped him of his title for outside-of-the-cage shenanigans. After a lengthy time away, Jones made his comeback in April, when he coasted through Ovince St. Preux for the interim light heavyweight title. This will be the first time since 2013 that Jones fights more than once in a year.

On the other side of the cage at UFC 200 on Saturday in Las Vegas will be the former Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix champion and current UFC light heavyweight champion, though the latter accolade was only available once Jones was out of the picture. Since losing to Jones, Cormier has won two straight, choking out Anthony Johnson for the title and defending it in a razor-close decision against Alexander Gustafsson. Cormier has solidified his spot as the best 205-pounder in Jones’ absence, but that absence has always loomed over his championship claims, making this a high-stakes fight for his legacy in the promotion and the sport. Since joining the UFC, Cormier has fought at least twice every year, but this will be his first fight of 2016.

There is a lot to unpack in this fight, both from narrative and statistical perspectives. Let us see how the Tale of the Tape can shed some light on the matchup…”

 

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By In Mixed Martial Arts

Money On Our Mind

“We’re in the calm before the storm now. With all due respect to Bellator 157, which felt very much like a good Division II team compared to the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s D-I, the time between the last UFC event and the next one feels longer than 19 days. Part of it is the night-before-Christmas effect of having UFC 200 to look forward to, but there’s more to it than that.

If you’ve been following the headlines these past few weeks, you’re certainly aware that money is on our mind. The reports — or rumors, depending on who you ask — about the UFC sale come at an interesting time and not just because of the three-week fight doldrums. The company the Fertitta brothers bought for $2 million in 2001 has been given a price tag upward of $4 billion, which is a hell of an investment return. Even before news of the sale, the almighty dollar had been the focus of the UFC.

Leading up to UFC Fight Night “MacDonald vs. Thompson” on June 18, as the stories of the UFC sale gained more legitimacy, the main story was whether or not Rory MacDonald would re-sign with the UFC after his contract finished. This, of course, was all about money. The post-event situation did little to quell the finance talk from fighters, either. While it’s not news for fighters to voice their complaints and concerns about their pay, the possibility of the UFC sale — and all the uncertainty that accompanies it — has intensified those discussions…”

 
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By In Mixed Martial Arts

Not Breaking the Bank

“I’m not sure if it was just me, as I am admittedly one who tends to overanalyze things, but there was something in the air at the post-fight press conference for UFC Fight Night “MacDonald vs. Thompson” on Saturday in Ottawa, Ontario. Aside from the buoyant optimism of Stephen Thompson — who, I might add, comes off very much like a glimpse of Sage Northcutt 13 years in the future — a sullen, pensive atmosphere persisted.

Maybe it was how Director of Operations for UFC Canada Tom Wright started the conference by innocuously clarifying that the bonus winners would be getting paid in American dollars, not Canadian. “Oh, U.S.?” Donald Cerrone asked jokingly, which would have been easy to dismiss as just a joke if it weren’t for his later comments. It was an important distinction to make, as $50,000 CAD is in the range of $39,000 USD.

On the one hand, it’s weird to consider that a difference of roughly $11,000 would be a big deal for professional athletes at the highest level of their sport, since we’re generally accustomed to the idea that they are all comfortably wealthy, if not excessively so. On the other hand, that difference between $50,000 Canadian and $50,000 American is about as much as Joanne Calderwood was guaranteed to make in her last fight. Think about that for a second; the show money for one of the brightest talents and more recognizable names of a division can be swallowed up in the exchange rate of a fight bonus…”

 

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By In rhymes

Resignation

“Go out and live today and tell me how it felt
I’ll be bullshitting with Icarus until I’m allowed to melt
he lets me fly when it’s night time, and that’s a hand a coward’s dealt
but if it’s Now or Knelt I’ll always choose the moon from its clouded veldt

waxing crescent wax poetic, masters degree but I can’t master effort
pillory salt propensity – please pass the pepper
leagues back my granddad shook hands with lepers
now all I got are trite words – nothing lasts forever…”

 

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By In Mixed Martial Arts

High Stakes in the Shadow of UFC 200

“UFC 200 is big. It was big at conception, but now, a little less than a month away, it’s bigger than ever. A total of nine current or former Ultimate Fighting Championship titleholders will be fighting, alongside two former champions from other major organizations. Three more former title contenders and two “Ultimate Fighter” winners are also on the card. Of course, the core of the event lies in the three championship bouts it boasts, and the return of Brock Lesnar has been so widely covered that I need not say anything else about it. Yes, UFC 200 is big indeed. So large is its shadow that if you weren’t aware of the high-stakes headliner at UFC Fight Night “MacDonald vs. Thompson” on Saturday in Canada, I wouldn’t blame you.

It’s important whenever the two top-ranked fighters in a division square off, but the significance of the Stephen Thompson-Rory MacDonald main event extends beyond their rankings. Both have a lot riding on this performance, in very different ways…”

 

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