I guess I called that Rousey/Holm fight the wrong way then… but I know I’m not alone in that, so don’t abandon my predictions just yet!
It really is true that the mark of a real champion is how they come back from a defeat, and I have every confidence that once Ronda has had some time to herself, she’ll be back in a big way.
Speaking of which, Ariel Helwani’s interview with Jon Jones has got me pretty fired up for his return. People usually have to lose a fight to lose a belt, but Jon has always done things differently I guess! He’s looking amazing right now – he’s always been a big guy with a big frame, but he’d not quite filled out that frame before now. I’ve referred to Rousey as previously being a wolf among sheep, but Jones is a lion among all of them – he’s way above everyone else! I’d like to see him come back, take back “his” belt, and then move up to heavyweight.
It’s not easy to be a role model at any level – but that pressure is more than I can even imagine when you’re at the level of Jones (or indeed, Rousey). Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes, but when you’re doing it with a spotlight on you everything is magnified and you’re eventually going to be forced to confront your mistakes head on. Jones must have felt under pressure to essentially not be himself, but rather the person – the champion – people wanted him to be, to the point that he wanted to walk away. I’m glad he didn’t; he took the time he needed, and has now fallen back in love with the sport, which is genuinely music to my ears. I couldn’t be happier at the prospect of his return.
I know we’re still a couple of weeks away from Aldo vs. McGregor but I – along with everyone else – can’t wait! A lot can happen in two weeks though, which seems to be acknowledged by the fact that Frankie Edgar is waiting in the wings should disaster strike. I have full belief that it will happen this time, and that it will be explosive. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Conor, but it’s absolutely INSANE that one of the most dominant champions this sport has ever seen is going into this fight as an underdog. It’s testament to the power of the hype around McGregor, but on top of the hype he has a massive self belief – and he backs it up. He keeps winning, and he keeps winning people over. His fans truly believe in him, and believe he can win this fight – as long as Aldo doesn’t start to believe him too, I think the Brazilian will come away triumphant.
Before that though, we have an event this weekend, UFC Fight Night in Seoul, headlined by Benson Henderson vs Jorge Masvidal. Jorge is a good friend, and I love his style. Henderson always does well against strikers, so I am a bit worried for Masvidal, but he does have an awesome takedown defence – we just don’t get to see it all that often. Hopefully he gets a chance to show that off this weekend. As for the rest of the card, let’s be honest, the fans are the winners when it comes to Tae Hyun Bang vs. Leo Kuntz.
Sorry, it was too easy.
Until next time, take it easy!