Week in MMA & Boxing #9 - 10-2-15
By: Larry Causion Jr. CausionCreations.com
Posted: Friday, October 2, 2015
Credit: Dave Meltzer
Posted: Friday, October 2, 2015
Credit: Dave Meltzer
MMA & Boxing News From the week of
September 25 - October 2, 2015
Hendricks out of UFC 192
The welterweight co-main event between former UFC Welterweight Champion Johny Hendricks and top contender Tyron Woodley has been cancelled for Saturday UFC 192 due to weight cut issues for Hendricks, announced by UFC president Dana White on Twitter Friday morning. However, some additional details have been revealed.
Ariel Helwani reported Friday that Hendricks suffered an intestinal blockage Thursday night as well as a kidney stone which caused the cancellation. Ted Ehardt, Hendricks' manager said the former two-time NCAA champion was rushed to the emergency room and had to be given an IV.
Doing interviews Friday, Hendricks said that he weighed 183 pounds. He needed to get to 171 today, which under normal circumstances would not be much of an issue.
The injury to Hendricks changes the card, that was loaded to begin with. Ryan Bader vs. former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans now moves into the co-main event slot, while Joseph Benavidez vs. Ali Bagautinov has been moved from the preliminary card to the main card.
The show starts at 6 p.m. Eastern with four Fight Pass matches with the heavily talked about debut of 19-year-old Sage Northcutt (5-0 with four first round stoppages), who would be the youngest fighter on the roster, vs. Francisco Trevino, Derrick Lewis vs. Viktor Pesta, Chris Cariaso vs. Sergio Pettis and Islam Makhachev vs. Adriano Martins.
At 8 p.m. on FS 1 will be Alan Jouban vs. Albert Tumenov, Angela Hill vs. Rose Namajunas, Daniel Hooker vs. Yair Rodriguez (a good action fighter).
The rest of the main card has Jessica Eye vs. Julianna Pena (a Pena win in impressive fashion could get her near a title shot), Shawn Jordan vs. Ruslan Magomedov (a big heavyweight out of AKA, the same camp as Cain Velasquez and Daniel Cormier, who is 15-1), and Cormier vs. Alexander Gustafsson for the light heavyweight title.
Jones gets Probation
Jon Jones looks to be serving no time in jail after a plea bargain guilty plea for felony leaving the scene of an accident charge, where he’s agreed to serve up to 18 months of supervised probation and make 72 appearances for charity and speaking with children.
In a hearing on 9/29, ironically just days before the title he vacated was to be defended by Daniel Cormier against Alexander Gustafsson in Houston on PPV, Jones pleaded guilty to Leaving the Scene of an Accident that involved significant bodily harm, a fourth degree felony. He was also given a conditional discharge based on completing the terms of the agreement. Judge Charlie Brown ordered him to appear at least 72 times, one for each week of his probation, at martial arts schools, grade schools and middle schools, to speak with children in Barnalillo County about the importance of making good life choices.
Any violation of probation could result in his being sentenced to prison for the remainder of his probationary period. The plea bargain also is that if Jones serves 12 months of probation without an incident, he can request a hearing to terminate or lessen the remaining six month period. All remaining charges against Jones were dismissed.
Jones was suspended by UFC and stripped of his championship, with Dana White saying he had run out of second chances. He also lost several key sponsors.
White was in court with Jones. Jones has already been back to training at Greg Jackson’s gym. White had said that as soon as Jones put the charges behind him, he would be given the next shot at the championship.
Whether Jones meets the winner of Cormier vs. Gustafsson is not yet official.
UFC released a statement after Jones’ sentencing, saying, “The UFC organization is aware that Jon Jones reached a plea agreement with authorities in Albuquerque, New Mexico this morning stemming from charges associated with a motor vehicle accident earlier this year. As a result, UFC, through Las Vegas-based law firm Campbell & Williams, will thoroughly review the agreement before discussing Jones’ possible reinstatement to return to competition. More information will be made available following completion of this review.”
Many believe Jones will be a bigger drawing card upon his return, giving the UFC a third major draw along with Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey. The Jones vs. Cormier fight is believed to have done well over 800,000 buys, even against strong NFL playoff competition, the second biggest number of this year and is still widely considered the biggest single UFC fight of recent years. For different reasons, a match with either Cormier or Gustafsson would be expected to approach if not beat that mark.
If Jones was to win the title back, and he would be heavily favored to do so, he’d be short on contenders, as he’d just have Anthony Johnson left, the opponent he was scheduled to face when he was suspended. Cormier replaces Jones and defeated Johnson to win the vacant title. Johnson does have ferocious knockout power, but would give up speed and versatility to Jones. Jones had talked for years about eventually moving to the heavyweight division.
Josh Barnett, the closest thing to someone Japanese while living in an American body, returned to his home away from home to headline UFC’s return to Japan on 9/27.
The show, which started at 9 a.m. local time in Saitama on a Sunday morning so it could air in prime time on FS 1, was loaded with Japanese fighters who aren’t known. The show drew 10,137 fans, which is the lowest UFC has done in its four annual shows in the building, but hardly surprising given the card and the early start time.
The TV numbers were what you’d expect, slightly below average numbers on a night with ridiculously tough competition for the main card, and shockingly high numbers for the prelims.
The main card from 10 a.m. until 1:15 a.m. did 841,000 viewers, roughly five percent down from what UFC has been averaging this year (throwing out the Conor McGregor outlier, the main card prime time average is 882,000 viewers) in that time slot.
The show featured a few good come-from-behind finishes, most notably Nakamura on the verge of defeat and choking out Jingliang, and Uriah Hall being dominated on the ground the entire first round by heavily favored Gegard Mousasi, but landing a perfect spin kick to the face at the start of the second round that ended the fight. It was a devastating loss for Mousasi, who was with Vitor Belfort and Lyoto Machida, right under the big four (Chris Weidman, Luke Rockhold, Ronaldo Jacare Souza and Yoel Romero) at middleweight. With the loss, he drops down in the standings in a tough weight class. That kick would have stopped anyone had it landed. The question is if Hall can now land it against top talent again, because until that point he didn’t look like he was even at Mousasi’s level. Mousasi had never been stopped by strikes in his 44 previous fights.
Nakamura, Hall, Barnett and Diego Brandao each got the $50,000 performance bonuses.
The show also featured the finals of the Road to Japan tournament, essentially Japan’s version of The Ultimate Fighter. The bout between Teruto Ishihara and Mizuto Hirota ended in a draw, which meant for the first time there were co-winners, with it being announced that both men get UFC contracts.
On Saturday night, Deontay Wilder (34-0, 33 knockouts) defended the WBC heavyweight champion against Johann Duhaupus (32-2, 20 knockouts) in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on NBC.
Deontay Wilder is the other the World champion in the heavyweight division, not named Klitschko, and he has been receiving a groundswell of hype over his rise in the ranks and impressive size and agility. 6'7 man that possesses the speed and punching ability he does is something to behold.
The show did a 1.56 rating. We didn’t get total viewers but it would figure to be between 2 million and 2.5 million. One news report stated that it did about the same as the lowest rated UFC prime time show on FOX. The main event hit a 1.89 rating. NBC’s two previous PBC shows did 1.9 ratings.
Klitschko vs Fury Set
IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko’s injured left calf is now healed enough for him to resume training for his title defense against the loudmouthed #1 WBO challenger Tyson Fury (24-0, 18 KOs).
According to Fury, the Klitschko fight is now back on and scheduled for November 28th at the ESPRIT Arena in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Broner gifted a tile shot
This Saturday night fans will get a chance to see a fighter whose career is in freefall in Adrien Broner (30-2, 22 KOs) being given a gift opportunity to win a paper title by the World Boxing Association against Russian Khabib Allakhverdiev (19-1, 9 KOs) on Showtime at the U.S. Bank Arena, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The WBA is letting Broner fight #4 WBA Allakhverdiev for their vacant WBA 140lb title rather than a higher ranked fighter like #1 Jose Benavidez or #3 Amir Iman.