With UFC 252 in the books, we are left with some major stories after this past weekend.
The landscapes of both the Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight divisions are now completely different, a rising star has had their momentum halted, and a few legends are facing a crossroads.
Let’s break these stories down a bit further, as we recap UFC 252.
The Future for Junior Dos Santos
JDS suffered his third straight loss this past weekend at the hands of Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Not only has Dos Santos lost his last three bouts, he has lost them all via KO/TKO. JDS has declared that this is not the end of his career, but what is left?
JDS is firmly out of the title picture in the Heavyweight division, he has not looked good in any of his last three fights, and may need to consider his life after fighting before taking more serious damage. JDS is widely regarded as one of the nicest men in the fighting industry and certainly has a career outside of fighting once he does retire, but whether it be pride, a desire to show he still has it, or the belief that he can reach the top of the Heavyweight division again, something is keeping JDS around.
At 36 years old, JDS is firmly out of his prime and while he could still put together a solid performance against some lesser talent, the days of top tier JDS ruling the Heavyweight division are long gone.
An Intermission in the Sugar Show
“Sugar” Sean O’Malley suffered his first professional loss this past weekend at the hands of Marlon Vera after an apparent ankle injury slowed down O’Malley who relies heavily on fast-paced in-and-out movements. O’Malley was defeated and will now have to go back to the drawing board before advancing to dream matchups against the likes of Cody Garbrandt.
The good news for O’Malley is that despite the amount of roadblocks and setbacks in his career, he is only 25 years old. O’Malley has plenty of time left on the clock to climb the ladder in the 135 pound division and reach his full potential.
Stipe Has a Few New Challengers
It was almost instantaneous when Stipe Miocic retained his Heavyweight Championship via Unanimous Decision that the challengers lined up for him. Widely regarded number one contender Francis N’Gannou will be the man who awaits Stipe once he is ready to fight again. N’Gannou has lost to Stipe before but has battled his way back to the top of the Heavyweight rankings. Both fighters are tremendously different from when they met for the first time years ago. Francis has cleaned out the Heavyweight division and Stipe has both lost and won back his title since. It will be interesting to see how a second match-up between these two will go. Stipe will no doubt try to exploit Francis’ lack of a ground game and Francis will look to keep the fight standing with his God-like power.
The winner of this fight will most likely be seeing Jon “Bones” Jones who will make his Heavyweight debut. It is still unclear if the UFC will want Jones to prove his skills at Heavyweight once before a championship fight, but if they do not, a marquee match-up with Jones will be the fate of the winner between Stipe and Francis. Be sure to be informed and bet correctly on whatever the situation turns out to be. As Jones has officially relinquished the Light Heavyweight Championship which will be fought over between Jan Blachowicz and Dominick Reyes (which we had theorized in an article here) later this year. With Jones now free to focus on gaining body weight to better match-up with either Stipe or Francis, Jones is seeking the GOAT status he has desired for so long. A victory here for the Heavyweight Championship could cement Jon Jones as the greatest Mixed Martial Artist in history.
A Farewell to Daniel Cormier
The world of MMA has said a heartfelt goodbye this weekend to one of it’s greatest fighters, Daniel Cormier. The former double-champ called it a career at 41 years old following his loss to Stipe Miocic.
Cormier claimed post-fight that at his age, he is only interested in fighting for championships, which don’t seem to be in his future. UFC President Dana White does not believe we’ve seen the last of Cormier however. White does not believe Cormier will go out with a loss but ultimately, the decision is Cormier’s.
The fans will still get to see DC as he is one of the best color commentators the UFC has for it’s events. But it appears as though DC’s in-ring career has come to an end. If this truly is the end of Cormier’s career, what a career it has been. Cormier will undoubtedly be inducted in the UFC Hall of Fame in the near future and will go out as an all-time great in the sport.
What did you think of this past weekend’s UFC 252?
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