Tag Archives: Dana White

UFC: Trouble at the Top

By Kaleb Page

April 30, 2015

Athletes finding themselves in compromising situation and then getting in trouble for their actions.

Let the yawn out now.

It’s essentially a different day but the same story in the world of sports. No matter what the sport may be, there are athletes getting in trouble for breaking the law, PEDs, etc. almost every day.

On Sunday UFC Light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones was involved in a car accident in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The accident broke a woman’s arm in the vehicle that was struck.

The accident became a bigger issue when Jones left the scene of the accident and from reports he came back to grab to grab a handful of cash and then flee again. When cops searched the car, once they arrived, they found marijuana and a rental car slip linking the car to Jones.

The Albuquerque police placed a warrant out for Jones thereafter. On Monday, Jones turned himself in and faces a felony hit and run charge.

There were some reporters that said Jones should have his title stripped and a suspension placed on the fighter. Especially after a recent positive drug test that showed the fighter had cocaine metabolites in his system and now this incident.

On Tuesday, that exact punishment was dealt out by UFC President Dana White.

This is the first time a fighter in UFC has had their title stripped for conduct outside the octagon. Even though this is unprecedented, I think it is important for them to take the stance they did.

Right now Jones is not in the right place and needs to focus getting himself right before he even thinks of fighting again. I know he is possibly the best fighter right now and has a legacy that grew into what it is.

However, right now he is hurting his legacy with his actions and if he truly wants to be the greatest ever then he needs to become a better person.

A better person in the sense of knowing who he is and bringing himself back to earth a bit. He came on the scene as the freak athlete that learned his way to stardom through watching YouTube videos on the sport. He needs to get back to being the hungry and humble newcomer that rose to the occasion.

While it is tough to keep that mindset when you are anointed the most untouchable guy in the division and are having that type of rise; I think it is important for him to look himself in the mirror and change.

As for now there is trouble at the top and UFC 187 will have a new headliner.

Stepping into Jones’s place is Daniel Cormier. A fighter Jones beat in at UFC 182 and will be an interesting match-up with the powerful striker Anthony “Rumble” Johnson.

Poland’s First UFC Champion

By Kaleb Page

March 20, 2015

The world of mixed martial arts is growing ever so rapidly across the globe. Today the ‘fight game’ can be found in every corner, whether it is in Iran, South Korea or Sweden; mixed martial arts is growing.

The UFC, which is essentially the NBA or NFL of mixed martial arts, is taking full advantage of this boom in the sport. Finding rising stars from Russia, Iran, Sweden, China, South Korea and elsewhere. While the time is coming to see these rising countries disperse throughout the divisions in the organization, and eventually take stake as title contenders, first time champions from established countries are still there too.

Poland has and continues to be an MMA prospect proving ground. The UFC has 10 Polish fighters already on the roster, and have recently added three more. As you can see the UFC is making its European expansion and making a big push at the best in Poland.

However, just last weekend a champion was crowned in a brand new division and that champion just so happens to be Polish. The UFC added the women’s strawweight division (115 lbs.) just this year and rising to the challenge was a former Muay Thai and kickboxing champion. Her name is Jonna Jedrzejczyk (Yed-zhey-chik) and her name is something you might want to get to know.

Just like Ronda Rousey who is in the UFC, Jedrzejczyk is undefeated (9-0) and looks like a dominant force to rule the division. As the first Polish champion (third ever European champion) in the UFC, the accomplishment is one that her country celebrated.

UFC president Dana White was very impressed with how Jedrzejczyk took on a veteran in Carla Esparza and made her look like an amateur.

“I like people who try to finish you. I’ve been on the Joanna bandwagon since day one. Coming into this fight, the thing for her was her takedown defense, and boy did she tune up her takedown defense. She’s a beast.” – UFC president Dana White

I think it was interesting to see the coverage by the likes of ESPN’s specialty section on women’s sports called ESPN W. Not very often are we seeing the UFC or much of anything done to make the sport more mainstream (a side from some Fox Sports pieces as the UFC is with Fox). There are great stories in the world of mixed martial arts to be told.

Even though it is a combat sport, there are more to these fighters than just the cage. That is why it is important to not only chronicle the hard-work, dedication and background of these fighters to get to where they are, but it is also important to get to make these athletes centerpieces like we do other athletes (making them more personable).

Joanna Jedrzejczyk is also another women’s sports story to follow and maybe use as something to build more equality for women in the sports world. Especially with her success in a male dominated sport that is just now beginning to accept female participation.

Maybe with more spotlight toward the success of female fighters like Rousey and Jedrzejczyk, it will provide for stronger role models in sport for young girls to look up to and challenge the sports spectrum.

As for now Jedrzejczyk will continue to ride this champions high as the UFC will host an event in Poland this weekend. In attendance will be the new champion of Poland, Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

 

Mark Hunt: The Underdog of Underdogs

By Kaleb Page

In the sport world no matter what the venue, there comes along a story, team or player that we look to as an underdog and pull for. This Saturday night at UFC 180 the story of an underdog begins another chapter.

Mark Hunt, also known as the “Super Samoan,” stands at 5’10” and weighs in at 265 lbs. For a man his height to be in the heavyweight division, it makes him undersized when you look at some of the giants in the division standing from 6’3″ to 6’4″ (even one fighter at 6’11”). However, Hunt has shown time and time again he is not afraid to step in and mix it up with those who are much larger. Also at the age of 40, Hunt is at the end of the road or at least getting there because MMA is evolving and as time passes it shows how much of a “young man’s” game it truly is.

Prior to becoming a UFC fighter, Hunt was a member of PRIDE a very famous fight league in Japan that was eventually bought out by the UFC. In Pride fights Hunt was recognized as a huge force with undeniable power in either hand. Even though he was almost uncontrollable with his power, people found a way around it by getting him on the ground and neutralizing his power. After going on a streak of winning five fights the big man went cold.

Coming into the UFC Hunt found himself on the losing end of six consecutive fights all in convincing fashion either by KO/TKO or Submission. In an interview with news.com.au, UFC President Dana White said that after the buyout he really didn’t want to bring Hunt along. Even going as far to pay Hunt the money left on his contract just to walk away. Since then Hunt has proven him wrong leaving White to say, “I’ll never count Mark Hunt out ever again.”

Since the days of doubt Hunt has posted a record of 5 wins, 2 losses and 1 draw; including a streak of four wins. In nearly all of those fights Hunt was the underdog, since he is old and people doubt his ability anymore. Yet who has risen to the occasion winning those fights and doing it in convincing fashion (4 of the 5 wins by KO/TKO): Mark Hunt. Even though he has proven a lot of doubters wrong as his career starts to come to an end, there still is another task to complete.

UFC 180 this Saturday was supposed to be a huge heavyweight title fight between Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum in Mexico City, Mexico. With Velasquez falling victim to a knee injury the UFC needed a short notice replacement, and the underdog answered the call. Facing Werdum could be the biggest challenge that Hunt has had, mainly because Werdum is possibly the best heavyweight submission artist ever to step in the octagon. As mentioned before the ground game is one that Hunt had trouble with, so if he plans to escape with another underdog win he might want to stay out of Werdum’s world.

On Bleacher Report and the news.com.au websites they cover this story very well and give how this story is one that any underdog lover should pay attention to. This is something I wish bigger outlets like ESPN would do more of; instead of looking to the traditional sports for underdogs, they can look to MMA or other non-traditional sports just as easily to find inspirational underdog stories.

On Saturday possibly one of the biggest underdog stories and upsets could happen in the UFC. If Hunt does get the win, he will be the interim heavyweight champion and next in line to face the champion Cain Velasquez. As a fan of the sport and someone who watches UFC events, I hope Hunt can continue the dream and get to the title fight. Either way, Hunt should be proud of where he has come from at such a late stage in his career and know he did it his way.

Saturday night take a break from the college football madness and take a look at what will happen in this fight. I know I will, and I will be rooting for the underdog.