Posts Tagged ‘Jon Jones’

Jones vs. Sonnen for the UFC’s light heavyweight belt is TUF to swallow

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Chael Sonnen

Chael Sonnen (right) was last seen getting dominated by Anderson Silva at the main event of UFC 148. (Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Remember that fake UFC championship belt a mischievous Chael Sonnen used to sling over his shoulder for press conferences and television appearances in the contentious leadup to his July rematch with Anderson Silva? You know, the one that he impishly told an interviewer on ESPN was proof that he was the real middleweight champion?

Well, let’s pull it out of the closet and dust it off. That plastic-and-pleather strap is the one that rightfully ought to be put up for grabs next April 27 when Sonnen challenges once again for the UFC championship. This time at light heavyweight, though.

Seriously?

Yep, this is not another Chael media ploy. The UFC actually announced on Tuesday that Sonnen, who has competed in the fight promotion’s 205-pound weight class exactly one time — and that was seven years ago and he lost — will challenge Jon Jones after the two serve as coaches on the 17th season of The Ultimate Fighter.

Jones need not bother to bring along the shiny brass-and-leather belt that he’s been proudly wearing for the last 19 months, the one he acquired by knocking out a champion and in the time since has defended against four former titlists. That belt signifies something earned, something extraordinary, something real. So “Bones” should leave it home in the trophy case. When he steps into the octagon next spring to take on a middleweight fighter with a heavyweight mouth, the fake plastic belt will suffice for the fake title defense.

That is not to deny that the next several months will be a lot of laughs. Chael is at this very moment locked in a windowless room with a team of joke writers brainstorming a Top 10 list for Letterman and five minutes of couch chatter for Leno.

And there’s no doubt that Dana White and Co. will benefit from this arrangement, which first was reported by The Los Angeles Times and later was confirmed by the UFC. The Ultimate Fighter will get a much-needed boost in ratings, and that springtime pay-per-view, featuring two of the organization’s top draws, is sure to do big numbers.

Maybe that’s good enough for the UFC: a financial boon generated by a dud of a fight.

Yes, a dud.

Read More…


  • Published On Oct 17, 2012
  • No X-ray yet, but Jones says his arm is ‘pretty messed up’ after UFC 152 win

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    Jon Jones skipped the hospital after his UFC 152 win. (ZUMAPRESS.com)

    TORONTO — Jon Jones has landed in Baltimore by now. His injured right arm is still in a holding pattern.

    The UFC light heavyweight champion, fresh off Saturday night’s gritty title defense against Vitor Belfort, was en route to watch his brothers play in Sunday night’s Patriots-Ravens game, tired and sore but with his arm no longer in the sling he wore to the post-fight press conference 10 hours earlier.

    Does that mean the X-ray he was said to be heading for after leaving Air America Centre at around 2 a.m. had revealed no damage? Not at all.

    “I haven’t got it X-rayed yet,” Jones told me just before boarding his Baltimore-bound flight at Pearson International Airport. I’d spotted him in the waiting area, reclining his 6-feet-4-inch frame across a row of seats and catching up on lost sleep from his late night. In fact, if I hadn’t gone over and nudged him after hearing a boarding call for his flight, he might not have made it to see Arthur Jones and the Ravens take on rookie Chandler Jones and the Patriots.

    The first thing I noticed when Jones sat up was that the sling was missing. “I had to take it off so I could switch shirts,” he said, rubbing the arm as he spoke. “But the arm is pretty messed up. My hand is still swollen, and the whole arm is jacked up.”

    Why no X-ray, then? “I just didn’t want to go to the hospital last night,” said the 17-1 champion, whose victory was his eighth straight, the last four of them title defenses against past champions. “I was pretty excited about the win, and I just didn’t want to spend the night in a hospital.”

    When does he plan to get his arm examined? “I’m going to Baltimore to watch football, and maybe I’ll get the arm checked out while I’m there,” he said. “Or I might wait until I get home. I’m just trying to keep pressure off of it and deal with the pain until I can get to a doctor and see what’s going on with it. The pain is definitely bearable, though, so I’m not in any rush.”

    The injury occurred in the first round of Saturday night’s UFC 152 main event, when Belfort locked on an armbar and came closer to finishing the indomitable Jones than anyone he’s fought. “I’ve never had my arm pop like that before,” the 25-year-old said in the cage after the fight. He also let it be known that there was no way he was going to tap out, saying, “I worked too hard to give it up.”

    So he escaped the submission attempt and fought on. His arm was numb, we later learned, but as the fight was unfolding there was no visual evidence that he was any worse for wear. Jones didn’t favor his right arm or shy away from using it. In fact, the right elbow was a primary weapon as he cut up Belfort and dominated the resolute Brazilian before finishing the job with a submission of his own 54 seconds into the fourth round. It was only in the in-cage interview afterward that we learned of the damage that had been done.

    Then, nearly an hour later, after arriving late for the post-fight press conference with his arm in a sling, Jones said he’d been told by medical personnel at the arena that he might have sustained nerve damage to his biceps. “That’s what someone there had guessed,” he clarified on Sunday. “But it’s hard to say anything official by just looking at it.”

    Whatever the injury diagnosis ultimately might be, Jones is unlikely to feel sorry for himself. He’s had a lot of practice lately in dealing with adversity. Over the past several weeks, in the wake of his decision to not accept a replacement opponent and save a UFC event from cancellation, he’s been assailed by fight promotion president Dana White as well fans and other fighters. He persevered through that painful episode, as he did through an excruciating armlock applied Saturday night by a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.

    “Yeah, absolutely, man,” said Jones. “It’s good to know that you can overcome. It takes a lot of strength and power every time you run into a different situation, so I’m grateful for the situations.”

    Indeed, Jones was in good spirits as we spoke. He lit up when the arts critic in me gave his choice of walkout music — Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved” — a rave review, not just for entertaining the fans and getting them clapping along instead of booing him, but also for subtly conveying the song’s message: the importance of remaining loving and true to oneself no matter how much others try to change or control you. “The music,” said Jones, “did exactly what we hoped it would.”

    And with that song in his head Jones was off to Baltimore, ready for some football, but not until he’d thanked me for waking him so he didn’t miss his flight. Before heading to the gate he reached out to shake hands … with his left.

    –Jeff Wagenheim


  • Published On Sep 23, 2012
  • Jones, White spar over details surrounding UFC event cancellation

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    Jon Jones denied responsibility for UFC 151′s cancellation. (ZUMPRESS.com)

    TORONTO — The dance begins with one fighter walking out onto the stage, stripping down to his skivvies and stepping onto the scale. When his weight is announced, he flexes for the crowd, then moves off to the side and dresses while his opponent walks out, strips, weighs in, flexes, dresses. The two meet at center stage, face to face, fists up, striking a combative pose for the cameras. And after a dozen shutter clicks they’re done, off to rehydrate. Next set of fighters, please?

    There may be no element of a mixed martial arts event more choreographed than the weigh-ins.

    So how did light heavyweight champion Jon Jones end up having an off-the-script moment Friday afternoon after stepping off the scale?

    It came about when Jones found himself staring into the eyes of not one but two people ready to go face to face with him. One was Vitor Belfort, who’ll be his opponent in the main event of UFC 152 on Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre (10 p.m. ET, PPV). The other was Dana White.

    The UFC president and his 205-pound megastar had been sparring verbally for weeks, ever since Jones, upon being notified nine days prior to UFC 151 that challenger Dan Henderson was injured, turned down replacement opponent Chael Sonnen. The UFC ended up cancelling the Sept. 1 event — a first in the 11 years White has been running the show — and a fired-up White went on the offensive, calling Jones “selfish and disgusting” and his trainer/adviser/guru, Greg Jackson, “a [expletive] sport killer.”

    As this weekend’s event neared, with Jones having been added to the top of the bill, he and White indicated that they would meet face to face here in Toronto to clear the air. The meeting was to take place just prior to the weigh-ins. So all eyes were on Jones as he stepped off the scale. Would he and White shake hands or even embrace, an indication that the cold war was over? Or would an icy chill pervade the stage set up atop a hockey rink at the old Maple Leaf Gardens, telling us that Dana might not have renewed his membership in the Jonny Bones Fan Club?

    What we saw instead from Jones was an uncharacteristic moment of uncertainty. This phenom fighter who never hesitates to attack inside the octagon seemed to waver when he spotted White. Then he smiled, White smiled, even Belfort smiled, and the choreography resumed.

    What did it all mean? It meant that Jones and White had not yet met. They apparently planned to do so a few minutes later. And say what? “None of your business,” White responded when asked that very question in a Fuel TV interview following the weigh-ins.

    We can at least surmise that the discussion explored areas of disagreement. A case in point: At a Thursday press conference, Jones spoke respectfully of the boss — “Dana White is awesome, man” — but steered clear of accepting responsibility for the UFC 151 fiasco. “I have actually zero power to cancel an event,” he said. “When I was actually talking to Dana and [UFC chairman/CEO] Lorenzo [Fertitta] about accepting the Chael Sonnen fight, they never told me if I didn’t accept the fight that they were going to cancel the event.”

    It would have been interesting to hear White respond to that, but he was absent from the press conference, laid up at his hotel with an episode of Ménière’s disease. But in the Fuel TV interview, Dana had his say. “I don’t think he would have said that if I was there,” said White. “So today we’re going to be face to face and we’ll see what he says and what he doesn’t say. The fact that he says that he didn’t know that the show would get cancelled is false. I did tell him that the show would be cancelled.”

    And with that, White headed off to a windowless room with his light heavyweight champ. And then? Nothing. Nada. Not a word. (OK, chief, you can deactivate the Cone of Silence now.) My colleague from Yahoo! Sports, Kevin Iole, texted White to ask about the meeting and got this terse text back: “It went well.” Other than that, White, who posts his thoughts on Twitter about as often as he takes a breath, has gone quiet. So has Jones, unless we can read something into his only post-meeting tweet, a quote attributed to Michael Jordan: “Limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.”

    So stay tuned. Like any long-running soap opera, there’s always another episode to come.

    —Jeff Wagenheim


  • Published On Sep 22, 2012
  • Ticket sales lagging ahead of UFC 152, more notes from pre-fight presser

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    Jon Jones (left) defends his UFC light heavyweight championship on Saturday night in Toronto against Vitor Belfort. (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

    TORONTO – The two most telling moments during the UFC 152 press conference Thursday afternoon at a sports bar in the shadow of Air Canada Centre, where the Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfort light heavyweight title bout and the rest of the fight card will go down Saturday night, came at the very beginning and right at the end.

    One of the first things emcee Tom Wright, the director of operations for UFC Canada, told us was that tickets are still available. So even with two championship bouts on the bill — we’ll also see Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson vie to become the UFC’s first flyweight belt holder — this fight organization that less than a year and a half ago sold 55,000 seats at the Rogers Centre in a matter of minutes is having trouble filling an 18,000-seat arena down the block. That’s especially troubling considering the coinciding lack of competition at a time of year when people in these parts typically would be huddled around ice rinks. As Wright said, alluding to the ongoing NHL lockout, “We may not have Hockey Night in Canada, but we can have UFC night in Canada and we’ll fill that void.”

    Just maybe not fill all of it.

    Wright also ended the media gathering with something telling, though not concretely so. Just before having the six fighters on the dais square off for the sea of cameras in the room, he told the assembled reporters and fans that there will be another press conference next Thursday in Montreal to announce that Georges St-Pierre will defend his welterweight championship against interim belt holder Carlos Condit at the Nov. 17 event in that city.

    Did it not occur to Tom that scheduling a press conference to announce news that he’s just revealed renders the forthcoming publicity event not so newsworthy? Of course he understood that. This was simply another demonstration of the UFC team’s grasp that news need not necessarily be the only information being dispensed at its press conferences. The most vital information we ingest when a group of fighters sits before us two days before the cage door closes on them is more amorphous. If we’re lucky, we get a feeling in our bones about what these fighters are feeling in their bones.

    We got some of that on Thursday:

    You can count on him: The hour-long hypathon morphed into a lovefest at times. Jones likes and respects Belfort, who likes and respects him. Benavidez and Johnson enjoy each other’s company to the point that they’ve gone to a concert together (more on that later). And Michael Bisping and Brian Stann made nice, too.

    Until the very end, that is, when all the words had been said and all that was left was the photo op. Michael Bisping had to do something to spice things up, or he wouldn’t be Michael Bisping. So when he and Stann met at center stage for the cameras, Stann approached it as a ceremony while Bisping saw an opportunity. He put on his best mean mug and pushed his forehead into Stann’s, moving the Marine onto his heels a bit. Stann seemed a bit taken aback, and as he stepped aside, Bisping posed once more for the cameras and walked away, pointing at his opponent and telling anyone within listening range that Stann “has the look of a man who knows he’s beat.”

    I don’t know that Stann is a beaten man in the fight. But in the hype game he’s an amateur next to “The Count.”

    Read More…


  • Published On Sep 21, 2012
  • Experts’ predictions for UFC 152

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    Jon Jones (above) is a lopsided favorite in Saturday’s light heavyweight title defense against Vitor Belfort at UFC 152 in Toronto. (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

    SI.com analysts Dave Doyle, Loretta Hunt, Jeff Wagenheim and Jon Wertheim provide their predictions for UFC 152 on Saturday in Toronto.

    Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfort

    DOYLE: I’m tempted to take Belfort simply for contrarian purposes. But I can’t ignore the 13-1 odds and a motivated Jones, who will add another former champ to his list of victims. Jones by TKO.

    HUNT: The 25-year-old Jones’ biggest threat is himself at the moment. If he doesn’t allow Dana White’s bullying tactics to taint his mental state, he has the speed to evade, then stop the elder Belfort, a four-week replacement coming off May surgery for a broken hand. Jones by TKO.

    WAGENHEIM: I want to believe that Belfort can make this a fight, maybe just because Vitor believes it so vehemently. He does have the explosiveness and just-go-for-it mentality necessary to make Jones uncomfortable. But all who’ve stepped in with the champ have said they’re going to take it to him, and then when their moment finally comes, they’re mesmerized by his length, strength and avant-garde athleticism. Jones by TKO.

    WERTHEIM: We’re surprised how many fans are giving Belfort a puncher’s chance. You have to think some of this owes to Jones’ rejection of the Chael Sonnen fight and the (largely successful) smear campaign by the UFC. Jones is simply better than Befort in every conceivable way — not to mention younger, more athletic, and more on the line. Jones by TKO.

    Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson

    DOYLE: This has Fight of the Night potential. Johnson absolutely can win, but I think Benavidez’s power at 125 will make the difference. Benavidez by TKO.

    HUNT: I thought Johnson was champion material when he faced 135-pound titleholder Dominick Cruz a year ago. He had the skill set and speed to match Cruz’s crazy pace nearly move for move. He only lacked the power — something that should correct itself now that he’s moved down to the UFC’s recently-introduced flyweight division. Johnson by decision.

    WAGENHEIM: My prediction? Speed. Oh, you want to know who wins and gets to make history as the UFC’s first 125-pound champion? I’m going to go with the guy who’s beaten every fighter he’s been in with other than indomitable 135-pound champ Dominick Cruz. Benavidez by decision.

    WERTHEIM: Intriguing fight that has the potential to be a great one. Johnson’s superior speed will be the difference in the Fight of the Night. Johnson by decision.
    Read More…


  • Published On Sep 20, 2012
  • Silva suddenly rooting against Jones? OK, it’s not much … but it’s a start

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    Jon Jones (left) and Anderson Silva are friends, but Silva will root against Jones at UFC 152. [Jason Merritt/Getty Images]

    So we’re finally going to see Anderson Silva going against Jon Jones.

    No, the UFC middleweight and light heavyweight champions, the No. 1 and No. 2 fighters in every mixed martial arts pound-for-pound ranking outside of Georges St-Pierre’s parents’ house, have not agreed to square off inside the octagon. They doused the rising fan groundswell for a superfight a couple of months ago by basically walking arm-in-arm singing “You’ve Got a Friend” in two-part harmony.

    But while “Bones” is too close of a friend for Silva to fight, Jon is apparently not so tight of an amigo that “The Spider” refuses to root against the guy. Amigo is “friend” in Portuguese, which is the language of Brazil, where Silva is from. And where Jones’ next opponent, Vitor Belfort, is from.

    “As a Brazilian, I’ll be rooting for the Brazilian, even though I have a very good friendship with Jon Jones,” Silva said when asked about the UFC 152 title fight during an appearance on the Brazilian television show Bem, Amigos! (there’s that “friend” word again) earlier this week. “Whenever I’m with [Jones], I ask him to conduct his career in a different way, because he is very young and is always asking me something. But I’ll be rooting for Brazil, yes. May the best man win, but I’m rooting for Brazil.”

    Read More…


  • Published On Aug 30, 2012
  • Dan Henderson wants to teach Jon Jones a lesson at UFC 151

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    Dan Henderson (above) is embracing the underdog role ahead of his fight with light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. (Bryan Armen Graham/SI.com)

    LAS VEGAS — Dan Henderson thinks Jon Jones still has a lot to learn — and that he’s just the one to teach it to the youngest champion in UFC history when they meet in September.

    “He’s still young and unorthodox, that’s his biggest asset, [but] he’s young and sloppy a little bit,” Henderson said Saturday afternoon in the media center at the MGM Grand, just hours before tonight’s Anderson Silva-Chael Sonnen title fight. “He’s done well with his style but I feel like he’s never fought anybody like me.”

    Henderson sat at the long end of the dais, circled by a gaggle of media eager to discuss his forthcoming challenge for Jones’ UFC light heavyweight title. The fight, initially confirmed following Jones’ defense against Rashad Evans back in April, was officially announced Saturday for September 1 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

    The 41-year-old Henderson is a 4-to-1 underdog against Jones, who is coming off his third defense of the UFC light heavyweight title since becoming the youngest beltholder in the organization’s history in March 2011. The Rochester, N.Y., native has now beaten four current or former world champions in a row since a third-round TKO of Mauricio Rua to capture the UFC’s 205-pound strap.

    “For me it’s about beating the top guys out there, and everybody thinks he’s unbeatable,” Henderson said. “I love having the odds not in my favor.”

    Henderson said the sinewy Jones, who is 10-1 since joining the UFC (16-1 overall), poses some unique physical challenges — a 13-and-a-half reach advantage, for starters — yet nothing he won’t be prepared for.

    “I guess the difference is he’s got arms twice as long as everybody else I’ve fought,” Henderson said. “But it’s not rocket science. I’ve been doing it a while. There’s certain things I need to be careful for that he does well. I’ve just got to be aware of that, and implement what I want to do with him.”

    When asked about the 17-year age difference between the two, Henderson quipped, “I guess I’ll have to show him what he can look forward to.”

    The next time the UFC holds a card as big as tonight’s Silva-Sonnen headliner, it will be Henderson in the spotlight. For tonight he’s content to watch from the wings, where, appropriately, he expects another underdog to rise to the moment.

    “Chael,” he said matter-of-factly when asked for his prediction. “It seems like his head’s where it needs to be at.”

    – Bryan Armen Graham


  • Published On Jul 07, 2012
  • Intense staredown between Jon Jones, Rashad Evans at UFC 145 weigh-ins

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    ATLANTA — The well documented animosity between Jon Jones and Rashad Evans had seemed to abate during the week leading up to Saturday’s UFC light heavyweight title fight.

    Then came Friday’s weigh-ins at the Fox Theatre, where the two estranged friends and former training partners stepped on the scale — then came together for an intense staredown worthy of one of the biggest grudge matches in the promotion’s 19-year history.


    With the 4,678-seat erstwhile movie palace nearly filled to capacity, Evans (204 pounds) and Jones (205) both came in under the division limit. Both fighters drew mixed reactions from a crowd that seemed evenly divided in their support.

    “It’s been a bit different because of the media and everything, but at the same time, I enjoyed the process,” Evans told UFC commentator Joe Rogan. “It is a lot of emotion involved, but at the same time, I’m looking forward to stepping in the cage and fighting Jones.”

    “It’s a gigantic fight. I’m excited to be here, baby,” Jones said, amid an uncommon chorus of boos. “I’m ready to tear some heart out.”

    Every fighter made weight Friday except for John Makdessi, who came in three pounds over the lightweight limit of 155 pounds and will forfeit 20 percent of his purse to opponent Anthony Njokuani.

    Yesterday, Evans had observed how a fight actually starts at the weigh-ins. “It’s really the last time you see your guy before you see him in the cage,” he said. “You get to see his energy, feel his energy.”

    If the hostility exuding from both fighters Friday is any indication, their light heavyweight title showdown Saturday at Philips Arena should be a cracker.

    (Watch the entire weigh-ins here.)

    – Bryan Armen Graham


  • Published On Apr 20, 2012
  • Stephen Thompson looks to build on scintillating debut at UFC 145

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    Stephen Thompson won six world kickboxing titles and amassed a mark of 63-0 as an amateur and pro before joining the UFC. (Kevin C. Cox/Zuffa LLC)

    ATLANTA — Of the six preliminary fights airing on FX before Saturday’s UFC 145 pay-per-view telecast, none is more intriguing than Stephen Thompson’s meeting with veteran Matt Brown.

    A six-time world champion kickboxer, Thompson became an overnight sensation in February with a spectacular first-round knockout of Dan Stittgen in his UFC debut, a four-minute stoppage that earned the Simpsonville, S.C., native a $65,000 bonus for the Knockout of the Night.

    “There is a little pressure [to follow up] a four-minute knockout in your first UFC fight,” Thompson, 28, said at Thursday’s open workouts at Georgia State University. “But you’re fighting better guys now. Matt Brown has been in the fight game for a very long time. He’s got a lot of experience. So I’m not expecting to go out and knock this guy out. If it happens, it happens.”

    The 32-year-old Brown felt his knockout of Chris Cope on the same card as Thompson’s debut was more deserving the bonus, making no secret of it. Ultimately, he asked to face Thompson — a request Dana White, no enemy to drama, was happy to grant.

    The media in Thompson’s native South Carolina have done their part to hype the fight. When Thompson appeared on a local radio station — “93.3 The Planet,” he recalled with a smile — Brown called into the station while his opponent was being interviewed on the air. (Brown confessed Thursday the radio station had orchestrated the dust-up by scheduling the call.)

    Thompson trained with Rashad Evans for a week in Florida while preparing for Saturday’s sophomore outing. The two first met when Thompson was flown to Albuquerque to help Evans prepare for his May 2009 fight with Lyoto Machida. They’ve kept up a good relationship and Thompson has been training with him ever since.

    And though Evans is a 5-to-1 underdog against Jon Jones in Saturday’s main event, Thompson is bullish on the former champion’s upset chances.

    “The guy’s a monster man, he’s a beast,” Thompson said. “He’s so ready. Mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, he’s there. So I’m excited to see that one.”

    – Bryan Armen Graham


  • Published On Apr 20, 2012
  • Georges St-Pierre discusses UFC 145, injury recovery, move to middleweight

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    Georges St-Pierre made an unscheduled visit to the UFC 145 open workouts Thursday at Georgia State University in Atlanta. (Kevin C. Cox/Zuffa LLC)

    ATLANTA — Georges St-Pierre is the UFC welterweight champion and widely regarded as the biggest draw in mixed martial arts, having attracted more than 750,000 pay-per-view buys to six different events over the past four years.

    But he’s also a fan. And no one is looking forward to Saturday’s light heavyweight title showdown between Jon Jones and Rashad Evans more.

    “As a fan of the sport, it’s definitely a fight I want to see,” St-Pierre said Thursday at the Georgia State University Sports Arena, where several fighters on Saturday’s card held open workouts for media and fans. “Both of these guys are incredibly talented. I believe that a mistake from one of these two guys will be fatal.”

    St-Pierre, who turns 31 next month, hasn’t fought since making his seventh consecutive defense of the UFC’s 170-pound title with a points victory over Jake Shields in April 2011. He pulled out of an October defense against Carlos Condit due to a knee injury suffered in training. Two months later, it was revealed St-Pierre would be sidelined 10 months after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

    “I’m in good shape now, but I’m not in fighting shape,” said St-Pierre, who explained the graft in his knee needs more time to fuse before he moves on from light exercise. “In two months it’s going to 100 percent. I don’t want to mess it up. If I try to jump or go too fast, I will have to do it all over again.”

    St-Pierre spoke highly of rising welterweight prospect Rory MacDonald, who fights Che Mills in Saturday’s co-feature bout. The 22-year-old MacDonald, who trains alongside St-Pierre at Tristar Gym in Montreal, says he wants to be a world champion within two years — in the division St-Pierre currently rules.

    “I’m not interested in fighting him,” St-Pierre said, repeating himself multiple times. “There are a lot of welterweights. I don’t think we have to do it now. In two years, who knows? Maybe I will go to middleweight. Who knows what’s going to happen?”

    Ever the diplomat, St-Pierre abstained from predicting Saturday’s winner — but he said it won’t take long to see who’s in the driver’s seat.

    “After the first round, we will have a good idea of who will impose his dominance,” he said. “After the first round, we will see who will be the winner, who will be able to impose his game on the other guy.”

    – Bryan Armen Graham


  • Published On Apr 19, 2012


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