UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones has been under some level of scrutiny at every point of his UFC career, the latest comes with his "contract negotiations" with the UFC. After UFC 173 Dana White stated that the UFC was currently negotiating with Jon Jones, but now posted a news story on UFC.com claiming that they have Jon Jones under contract for five more fights still and are trying to get him to sign a bout agreement. Okay.
What exactly is going on? Dana White claims that Jon Jones is refusing to fight Alexander Gustafsson and would rather fight Daniel Cormier now. I'm not so sure that is a bad problem to have, although the rematch with Gustafsson is one that many fans are clamoring to see still. I'm not sure what to make of it, but Jon Jones does have the right to negotiate a new contract with the UFC for more money without being razzed for "ducking" a fight.
The rematch between Alexander Gustafsson and Jon Jones for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship is supposed to be next up for Jon Jones, but right now Jon Jones is in the middle of contract negotiations with the UFC. Those contract negotiations have led to a bit of a rift between the UFC and Jon Jones at the moment, with Dana White acting frustrated with Jones. Now, let's be honest here, Jon Jones is one of the UFC's real big stars at this point and their Light Heavyweight Champion, the guy should be allowed to negotiate his contract without getting run down in the press.
Daniel Cormier has decided to toss his hat into the ring already, though. He is ready to go and would be willing to fight Alexander Gustafsson for the Interim Light Heavyweight Championship. Sounds crazy, right? Well, knowing the UFC, it might not be. If the UFC wanted to apply pressure to Jones all they'd have to do is imply that he could be replaced and have an Interim title fight.
Anderson Silva has been out with that horrific injury to his leg since December now and there have been conflicting reports about his possible return. Could it be in 2014? Maybe pushed back to 2015? It looks like 2015 will be the time when we see Anderson Silva return, Ed Soares explained to MMAFighting, listing off possible opponents for Anderson's return. The name that stuck out? Nick Diaz.
"There's Michael Bisping, there's Cung Le. Even Nick Diaz," Soares said. "Nick Diaz has said he's wanted to fight him before. Nick Diaz wanted to box Roy Jones Jr. You could argue that Nick Diaz and Anderson probably have some of the best boxing in MMA, so we'll see what happens. Like we all know, so many things can change, the landscape of the sport can change so much in such a short amount of time.
"There's not a shortage of talent that the UFC has, so I'm sure the UFC is going to come up with a good plan on who the next opponent should be, and I'm sure it will be a good fight."
Jerome Le Banner is an interesting case of a fighter who knows how to maximize his popularity in his home country of France. Jerome Le Banner was at one time one of the greatest fighters in the K-1 ring, although he never won the big one. That didn't matter, though, because Jerome Le Banner was a certified superstar in Japan and his home country of France was extremely proud of his accomplishments. Le Banner is 41 years old now and probably shouldn't be fighting the best guys in the world, but that doesn't mean that he shouldn't be fighting.
He fought on Friday evening in France against Lucian Danilencu in what was an entertaining bout that saw Le Banner stop him in round two with his deadly body kicks. This was vintage Jerome Le Banner and precisely what we want to see JLB doing in 2014. I don't want to see him in the ring with Rico Verhoeven or Daniel Ghita, but I'm totally cool with him beating the snot out of Lucian Danilencu.
First off, don't forget that this is the last week to get your questions in for Melvin Manhoef to possibly win some GLORY swag. Check out the thread over here.
Today GLORY announced the first official matchup in the GLORY Last Man Standing Middleweight Tournament. Last Man Standing will be on PPV on June 21st directly following GLORY 17 on Spike TV. The first match announced is between Melvin Manhoef and Filip Verlinden. It's an interesting bout between two guys who have both fight as high as Heavyweight and will now be fighting at a weight class that suits them better.
Melvin Manhoef has not competed in Kickboxing as much over the past few years, but will finally make his GLORY debut. Verlinden on the other hand has competed in GLORY's Heavyweight Grand Slam as well as GLORY's Light Heavyweight tournament back at GLORY 9, this being his third GLORY tournament in a new weight class. This should be a great fight between a more technical-minded Verlinden and a crazy brawler like Manhoef.
The fight that had everyone talking from Yokkao 9 in China was Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee vs. Yi Long, a match labeled as Muay Thai vs. Shaolin Gung Fu. Sudsakorn ultimately walked away with the victory, but there are still those who have doubted it. So Yokkao has gone ahead and released the footage from the fight and you can decide for yourself. I don't know, it seems pretty cut and dry to me that Sudsakorn won, what do you think?
Thursday in Dubai, after his successful evening of fights at GFC 3, Badr Hari was detained by police in Dubai over an alleged incident from late 2011/early 2012 involving Badr Hari. Hari was questioned and released, according to his lawyer/manager, but this was just another in a long line of legal troubles for Badr Hari over the past few years. It isn't clear what the incident was or if Badr will be brought up on charges just yet, but does seem to imply that Badr can't go anywhere without running into these kinds of problems.
For fans who are holding onto hope that Badr Hari will some day sign with GLORY and become a staple in their Heavyweight division this is yet another hurdle in a long line of already existing hurdles. Remember that Hari getting a visa for the US might be a bit difficult with this many international arrests and for serving jail time like he did.