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Alexander Gustafsson: ‘We all know that I didn’t lose’ the first fight against Jon Jones

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Jon Jones (left) and Alexander Gustafsson rematch on Dec. 29 at UFC 232.

Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson both believe they won their first fight at UFC 165.

At the time, Jones (22-1, 1 NC) was looking to set the UFC record for most consecutive light heavyweight title defenses while Gustafsson (18-4), one of the only fighters on the UFC roster who doesn’t have to look up at the towering champion, stood in front of history.

After a bloody five-round war, Jones cemented himself in the record books with a gritty decision win over Gustafsson.

It was truly the first fight Jones appeared anything other than unbeatable, and looking back, the champion admits he could have taken the fight more serious.

But now, more than five years after their initial scrap, the two pugilists will run it back in the main event of UFC 232 in December.

“The last time I fought Alexander Gustafsson, a lot of people — I remember the media saying, ‘You know, he’s a lot like Jon Jones. He’s tall, he’s lanky,’ and everything like that,” Jones said during the UFC 232 press conference in New York City. “I was hot, I was on a roll, and I just figured maybe he’s a lot like me but he’s not me. So I didn’t train as hard as I should have. I was winning so many fights and being a wild dude and I was still winning, and it caught up to me. It definitely caught up to me.”

Hearing enough, a smirking Gustfasson snatched up his microphone to cut off his rival off mid-sentence.

“Excuses,” interrupted Gustafsson. “All I hear is excuses. That’s all I hear. Nothing else. I beat you once, I can beat you again.”

Never one to back down, Jones didn’t hesitate to snap back.

“If my excuse was that I didn’t train hard enough, what’s your excuse for losing?” asked Jones.

Smiling, Gustafsson took in the crowd’s reaction before clapping right back.

“That’s where you’re wrong,” responded Gustafsson. “I didn’t lose Jon. We all know that I didn’t lose.”

Since their first fight, both fighters have struggled to remain active for drastically different reasons.

Jones found himself mired in controversy following a series of failed drug tests and a highly-publicized hit-and-run incident in Albuquerque. Gustafsson, on the other hand, failed to secure UFC gold against Daniel Cormier in their title fight at UFC 192. Since then, several injuries have forced “The Mauler” to watch from the sideline.

Brushing off the trials and tribulations from the past few years, both Jones and Gustafsson continued their verbal assault on one another.

“Did you beat DC as well?” asked Jones. “We had a close fight, but did you get ripped off in the DC fight as well? You beat me but lost to DC? What about Anthony Johnson? What about Phil Davis? Did you beat him too? I’m just trying to give you a psychological evaluation.”

“It was a split decision, I lost,” responded Gustafsson. “But I will beat you. Whatever it is, I still beat you.”

Jones and Gustafsson will finally get to settle their difference when the cage door closes UFC 232 inside the T-Mobile Arena on Dec. 29 in Las Vegas.

“I respected him too much the first fight,” said Gustafsson. “This fight, I’m not going to give him the respect I gave him the first time. I will push him and show the world I can beat the man that’s never been beaten before.”

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TheUnchosenOne
1 day ago
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I can't wait for Gustafsson to get smashed so we can put this nonsense behind us
Madison, WI
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Nevada passing new Unified Rules of MMA — but not same grounded fighter definition

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Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett

Nevada is moving forward with approval of the updated Unified Rules of MMA, but it’s leaving behind the most debated of those new regulations.

At a meeting last month, the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) voted to approve a host of new provisions, including the adoption of the new Unified Rules of MMA. However, the commission — which regulates some of the biggest fights in the sport — will not adopt the updated definition of a grounded fighter.

Nevada’s new regulations still have to be finalized with the Legislative Control Bureau and come back to the commission one more time, NAC executive director Bob Bennett told MMA Fighting. But they are likely to pass and become part of state law.

The new definition of a grounded opponent has been a hot-button item since the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC) voted to approve a package of new Unified Rules in 2016. The rules were supposed to go into effect in January 2017, but many commissions did not adopt them, with states like New Jersey, Missouri and Ohio coming out against the grounded opponent definition primarily.

The new definition states that a fighter must have both hands — palms or fists — down on the ground in order to be grounded, unless a knee or anything other than the soles of the feet are also down. If a fighter is considered grounded, then a knee or kick to the head of that fighter is illegal.

The original Unified Rules going back to 2001 stated that anything but the soles of the feet being on the mat constituted a grounded fighter. In other words, a fighter could put a single hand or finger down and be considered grounded. In 2016, the ABC rules and regulations committee and later the entire ABC body passed the new rule via overwhelming vote, with the thought that fighters were gaming that provision too often and slowing down the flow of fights.

After consulting with other commission directors around the country, as well as referees and doctors, Bennett said he and the Nevada commission decided in favor of the old rule, with some slightly different language.

“We certainly didn’t agree with the both soles and both hands being down for a grounded opponent,” Bennett said. “We have one hand — weight-bearing — with two soles of the feet as the definition. We think that fighters are putting themselves in harms way when they have to put both hands down with both feet.”

Bennett and the commission were hesitant to change a rule that could potentially make MMA more dangerous for fighters. The same sentiment has been echoed by Larry Hazzard and Nick Lembo in New Jersey and Bernie Profato in Ohio.

The argument from the other side — commissions in places like California, New York, Mohegan Sun, Kansas and others — is that the new definition doesn’t make it more dangerous, because a fighter can just drop to a knee to become grounded while still protecting their head, rather than put both palms or fists down. The ABC medical committee approved the change and the Association of Ringside Physicians (ARP) hierarchy has been mostly supportive as well.

Nevada did vote to adopt the other changes to the Unified Rules, including the elimination of fouls for heel strikes to the kidneys (from guard, mainly) and grabbing the clavicle. The heel strikes to the kidneys foul has been a hangup for places like New Jersey, Ohio and Missouri, but Bennett said NAC doctors don’t believe those blows generate enough power to do any real damage.

The new rule allowing referees to take points for fighters points their fingers out toward the opponent’s eyes and the altered language for judging will also be adopted in Nevada once the process is over.

The grounded fighter definition, though, has been the most polarizing and Nevada choosing not to adopt that part of the Unified Rules makes the word “unified” even more unfit. Now there will be at least three different sets of rules being used across North America — the old rules, the new rules and a mixed bag of the two, like Nevada will have.

Bennett said he dislikes the fact that the rules for MMA are so disjointed, but he and the NAC did not want to potentially compromise the health of fighters by just pushing through what other commissions have passed, he said.

“I don’t think it’s in the best interest of fighters for the rules to be different in different commissions,” Bennett said. “I think it would be a good thing for us to vote on or agree on what’s in the best interest of the fighter. It’s a tough enough sport as it is, let alone having different rule sets in different states.”

ABC president Mike Mazzulli recently released an updated version of the full Unified Rules of MMA, which can be found below:

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TheUnchosenOne
6 days ago
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This is such a clusterfuck
Madison, WI
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"Realistic Pokémon" Artist Got A Job On The Detective Pikachu Movie

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Six years ago, artist RJ Palmer started drawing Pokémon as though they were realistic dinosaurs. Those sketches, done for fun, led to him getting the job of a lifetime: working on the Detective Pikachu movie, which we got our first real look at today.

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TheUnchosenOne
6 days ago
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Oh so it's this motherfucker's fault
Madison, WI
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What To Do When Falling Asleep While Gaming

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So, uh, does anyone know what happens in the Red Dead Redemption 2 stranger mission with the photographer and, was there a coyote in it? I may have fallen asleep while playing it last night.

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TheUnchosenOne
11 days ago
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jfc dude just go to bed
Madison, WI
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Anthony Smith: I want to be the man to take out Jon Jones

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Now on a three-fight win streak, Anthony Smith is calling for a fight against former champion Jon Jones.

After consecutive stoppage victories against two former UFC champions, Anthony Smith scored his third straight win on Saturday night against Volkan Oezdemir via third-round submission. While it did impress many fans and observers, it was a so-so performance in the eyes of another ex-titleholder, Jon Jones.

Smith apparently got hold of Jones’ post-fight reactions, which he issued a response to during a post-fight media scrum.

“If he ain’t worried about it, what’s he watching for?” Smith said (via MMAjunkie). “Jon Jones should worry about Alexander Gustafsson first. I think that performance was exactly one Jon Jones would hate to see.

“You’re not going to get me out of there with a little bit of flash and some hard punches. That ain’t going to happen. But if I was Jon Jones, I would probably be a little bit more worried about Alexander Gustafsson than Anthony Smith right now.”

“Lionheart” is hoping for a Jones win over Gustafsson at UFC 232 this December, but for his own personal reasons.

“The best Jon Jones has to show up to win that fight,” Smith said. “I’d imagine with all the time off that Jon is going to train his ass off. He claims that he didn’t train at all for the first one, so the real Jon Jones shows up, I’d imagine he gets it done.

“I hope he does because that’s who I want. That’s no disrespect to Gustafsson. I want to be the man to take out Jon Jones, but he’s got to get through Gus first.”

Smith adds that while he does want to get back in there sooner than later, he also intends to take a break and have his leg x-rayed, after the beating it took from Oezdemir’s leg kicks on fight night.

“As soon as I get home on Monday they’re going to be calling for a fight, and I already said I needed a break, and they’re going to use this as an opportunity to say that I’m turning fights down. I’m telling you guys right now: I’m taking a f—ing break. I need a goddamn break.”

With the win over Oezdemir, Smith improves to a record of 31-13, with 28 wins by stoppage.

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TheUnchosenOne
21 days ago
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Jon Jones could do nothing in his camp for Anthony Smith but snort mountains of cocaine and he'd still steamroll him
Madison, WI
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Full List Of PlayStation Classic Games Is Missing Some Classics

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Sony today released the full list of 20 games that will be on its miniature PlayStation Classic, and while there are some nice ones on there (Metal Gear Solid, Wild Arms), there are also some baffling decisions. No Tomb Raider, no Crash, and... no Suikoden II.

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TheUnchosenOne
21 days ago
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This is kind of a weird list
Madison, WI
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