Coming off an exceptional pay per view in Toronto, the UFC continues to make headlines across the landscape of MMA. From a card that many wanted to boycott, to storylines that will now easily carry us through into mid-2017.
For starters, new featherweight interim champ Max Holloway did exactly what he wanted to do. He took out Anthony Pettis in impressive fashion then made some serious noise. In his post-fight interview, he called out current champ Jose Aldo Jr. in modern day fashion. Knowing the full power of social media, he renamed the champion “Waldo” and fired off verbal blows saying “Where’s Jose Waldo”, with the hashtag #JoseWaldo picking up steam.
In reply, Aldo kept things relatively professional, admitting he knew he would one day face off against Holloway but is not impressed with Max’s current winning streak. Look for this one to pick up serious steam in the new year as the two are set to tangle in Brooklyn, on February 11th.
One guy who would love to be able to compete in Brooklyn is former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Unfortunately, “Bones” will not be returning to the octagon until the summer of 2017, due to his current suspension.
While he did compete over the weekend in a submission only event (defeating Dan Henderson in the process), Jones said he will likely be speaking with Ari Emanuel soon, to determine who is next opponent will be. Sounds like Jon is attempting to deflect certain questions about who he will face off against next and in what division, the natural consensus is that he will either fight whomever the current 205 lbs champion is (Daniel Cormier) or will be upon his scheduled return.
But don’t tell Anthony Johnson that.
“Rumble” interjected quite quickly when a question was posed to him that Jon’s shadow is shading the division. AJ respectfully disagreed with the statement reiterating that Jon is irrelevant right now and that DC, he, and others are doing just fine, competing and running things at 205. And, there could be some new blood added to the mix.
Backstage at UFC 206, former middleweight champion Chris Weidman stated a jump to light-heavyweight could be an option for him. The only issue would obviously be ensuring his size is appropriate in comparison to those who compete in the division. Making the weight would not be a challenge, in comparison to competing against the same men who would step on the scale and be 205/6 lbs one day before ballooning up on fight night.
On the regulatory front, this Thursday, at the Nevada State Athletic Commission meeting, we will likely find out the fates of Brock Lesnar, Nate Diaz and the aforementioned Jon Jones.
Rumor has it there have been settlements reached with all parties and the NSAC but I’ll believe it when I see it. Jones is likely viewed in a negative fashion (multiple time offender in the state) by some of the committee members while the name Diaz perhaps feels like a thorn in the side of the NSAC’s side. And of course, Lesnar, who is a guaranteed massive infusion for the state’s financial ledger, will be disciplined (or not) based on failed tests which found an estrogen enhancer in his system.
In closing, I had the chance to read Anna Elmose’s retirement post on her Instagram page. The UFC strawweight is hanging up her gloves stating she has lost the fighter’s heart. That is a massive statement to make and courageous one to boot. So many times, MMA fans and media will always question a fighter’s heart, which by far, is one of the most disrespectful things one can do.
But when a fighter states it themselves, it’s mind-blowing to yours truly. Anna’s post was a bittersweet one to read, but I’m of the opinion she is making the correct call. She is leaving on her own terms and will be much better off for it.
More on this topic and a whole lot of other MMA headlines with yours truly and Sean Ross Sapp, Wednesdays at 1pm ET, the new time for our Fightful MMA Podcast.