HYDEN BLOG: MMA news and notes to finish the year

by frank Hyden, MMATorch contributor

Jon Jones (artist Grant Gould © MMATorch)
No events this week and Christmas is here so I’ll just hit upon some news I found important this past week.
Jon Jones might possibly have tested positive during a drug screening recently, except maybe he didn’t and the test was inaccurate or found old remnants of PEDs in his system. So now the fight Jones was supposed to have on December 29th with Alexander Gustafsson to crown a new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion that was supposed to take place in Las Vegas will now take place in California.
So more bad news follows Jones around. I don’t know all the details, but I do feel bad for the fans who were planning on attending live. Moving the show on such short notice might not work for them, which sucks. This kind of stuff happens, sometimes you can’t do anything about it.
I know the current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier (who will vacate the belt the second the cage closes for Gustafsson-Jones 2) is very unhappy about this. I imagine Gustafsson himself is also unhappy, and I would hope that the UFC is extremely unhappy about this. What a complete mess.
Cain Velasquez will make his return on February 17, 2019, at the first UFC on ESPN show against Francis Ngannou. This is a huge fight, but it’s hard to say what Velasquez will be like. Velasquez has only fought twice in the last five years. No fights in 2014, one fight in 2015, one fight in 2016, no fights in 2017, and no fights in 2018. The possibility of ring/cage rust is almost assured. And he’s fighting a guy with the kind of scary knockout power Ngannou has? Velasquez has to hope that the Ngannou who fought Derrick Lewis this year is the same one who shows up in February.
I’m excited about this fight, no question, but I do wonder what kind of condition is Velasquez going to be in? He can’t possibly be the same fighter he was years ago, can he? It sounds weird to say this is a number one contender’s fight, but this is the heavyweight division so it’s wide open as usual. I don’t know who else you would put ahead of the winner but maybe someone else jumps out before or shortly after this fight?
That’s about it for big news, but I did want to take a moment to wish everyone happy holidays and I hope that each of you has something in your life to be grateful and thankful for. If not, I hope you find it sometime soon. Be well.


Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at hydenfrank@gmail.com and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank

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