FRIDAY NEWS DIGEST 4/21: Jones vs. Cormier targeted now for UFC 214, Ronda Rousey news, McGregor makes Top 100 list (w/Analysis)

By Cole Henry, MMATorch contributor

Jon Jones (artist Grant Gould © MMATorch)

Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier at UFC 214?

Despite a back and forth Twitter war that has erupted between Daniel Cormier and Jimi Manuwa over the past several weeks, it appears that fight will have to wait. According to Ariel Helwani, the UFC is planning to schedule Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier for UFC 214 in Anaheim, California, a card that will take place on July 29, just over three weeks after the end of Jones suspension stemming from UFC 200s failed drug test.

Now, if the past has taught us anything, it’s that this fight being booked does not mean that these two men are actually going to fight. This will be the fifth time that this fight has been booked, but due to various circumstances, they have actually competed only once. It seems that anything that can go wrong with this fight will go wrong, so until these two are actually standing across the cage from each other, it’s hard to know what to expect.

Analysis: Jon Jones has managed to stay out of trouble up to this point during his suspension and, despite objections by some parties, he is the deserving challenger for the belt that he never really lost in the first place. It’s a fight that must happen, and it might as well happen as soon as possible so that the division can move forward. It will be interesting to see how Jones fights after such a long layoff, and what sort of adjustments Cormier makes after the first fight, but before we worry about any of that, these two will have to actually step into the cage. 

FRIDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…

•Miguel Torres retirement: Miguel “Angel” Torres, the man with the most ferocious mullet in the business, has decided that enough is enough. The former WEC Bantamweight Champion was seemingly unstoppable early in his early career. He ran up an impressive 37-1 record before an upset loss to the then unknown Brian Bowles sent him crashing back down to earth. Torres would never regain his championship form and, after an unsuccessful stint in the UFC, he bounced around to a few regional promotions with mixed results.

Analysis: A lot of fans only remember Torres later career, so he doesn’t always get credit for his early success. He had a potent Muay Thai attack, and a high level BJJ game that made him a very effective champion, and a fun fighter to watch. While he never reached the top of the UFC, his dominance of the WEC Bantamweight Division certainly made him a notable name in this sport. I hope that he is able to find the same success elsewhere in life that he found in MMA.

•Ronda Rousey and Travis Browne are engaged: I feel like I am writing for Hello Giggles as I type this bit of news, but Ronda Rousey and Travis Browne have announced their engagement and I feel obligated to mention it.

•McGregor named to Time Magazine’s 100 Most influential People list: I missed making the list for the umpteenth year in a row, but Connor McGregor made the cut! The self-proclaimed “Champ Champ” was named to Times Magazine’s list of  the 100 Most influential People. His profile was written by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had many nice things to say about the Irishman. McGregor has really only been a mainstream figure for a couple of years, so this is an impressive feat, even if it is just a list.

•KSW Middleweight Champion Mamed Khalidov, one of the top ranked fighters outside of the UFC, has announced that he is entering the final fight of his contract, and will consider testing free agency: Khalidov is 36 years old so if he wants to make a run at UFC gold, now is probably the time. In fact, it might even be a bit late. He has been a good fighter for ages and has always been exciting to watch. It will be a real shame if he never fights for the UFC, but in this day and age, it’s hard to know if he even has any interest.

•Sage Northcutt’s sister, Colbey Northcutt, will be making her MMA debut. She will fight for Legacy Fighting Alliance, the same promotion where her brother was discovered by Dana White.

•UFC Fight Night 108 weigh ins: All fighters made weight for the fights tomorrow night, except for Marcos Rogerio De Lima, who weighed in at five pounds over the 205-pound light-heavyweight limit. He was fined 30% of his purse, which will go to his opponent, Ovince St Preux. Also of note, this event will not have ceremonial weigh ins.

One Championship: Kings of Destiny Results

Main Card

Eduard Folayang def. Ev Ting via Unanimous Decision

Kevin Belingon def. Toni Tauru via TKO (strikes) at 2:27 of round one

Honorio Banario def. Jaroslav Jartim via KO (punch) at 1:31 of round two

Christian Lee def. Wan Jian Ping via TKO (strikes) at 4:15 of round two

Danny Kingad def. Muhammad Aiman via unanimous decision

Stefer Rahardian def. Eugene Toquero via unanimous decision

Xie Bin def. Chan Rothana via submission (guillotine choke) at 1:46 of round two

Preliminary Card

Gina Iniong def. Natalie Gonzales Hills via unanimous decision

Michelle Nicolini def. Irina Mazepa via submission (armbar) at 2:11 of round one

Robin Catalan def. Jeremy Miado via split decision

FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENT ROUNDUP

Gian Villante Vs. Patrick Cummins announced for UFC on Fox 25

Paul Craig Vs. Khalil Rountree

Jack Marshman Vs. Ryan Janes

Mark Godbeer Vs. Justin Willis all announced for UFC Glasgow

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