It appears UFC 178 just is not supposed to be the blockbuster event everybody had it pegged as way back in March, when Alexander Gustafsson reclaimed his #1 competitor’s slot with a success over Jimi Manuwa. Few watched Jon Jones’ April name defense against Glover Teixeira as more than a mere detour on the road to Jones/Gustafsson 2, and the masses were right. Even though it took a while to choose a particular date and place, the bout was highly anticipated whenever and where it would occur. Then, all of a sudden, Alexander Gustafsson was forced to drop from this struggle with a torn meniscus. No issue, in stepped Daniel Cormier to take his own place and the MMA world was even more excited. Then the notorious media day brawl happened, and UFC 178 became a must-watch event for more than just the MMA community. It had the type of buzz that number of UFC events garner, and probably would have been the largest grossing light heavyweight bout because Quinton Jackson vs. Rashad Evans back in UFC 114. Obviously, things seldom go to plan in MMA, as well as the backup plans fall through occasionally. Jon Jones declared yesterday that he also was hurt in training and pressured out of UFC 178. The organization has rescheduled Jones and Cormier to headline UFC 182 in January, where they will probably share the card with Ronda Rousey at a year-end (or starting) card that hearkens back to the times of piled events around the New Year. The only problem with all of this however, is that this was supposed to be Alexander Gustafsson’s fight all along, and from January he will likely be ready to proceed. Will the UFC really forego what could be another classic involving Jones and Gustafsson for its dollar signs apparently evident for Jones and Cormier? It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out during the upcoming few months, but early signs are that the Swede is going to wind up a very unhappy camper. Of course in MMA news as it rains, it pours, and it was a busy day beyond the Jones injury. UFC 177 and flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson believed the domino effect from the injury, as his title defense against Chris Cariaso will now be moving to the main event of UFC 178. Understanding that lovers would be frustrated with all the change, Johnson tweeted (tongue-in-cheek),”Bad: you’ll have to wait a little more time to see me triumph . Good: I am the new UFC 178 headliner. Bout time that card gets a real main event.” To complete UFC 177, the organization has put together a bout between a pair of highly touted winners in the regional circuit. Former Bellator and Tachi Palace Fights champion Joe Soto will compete just three weeks after his latest bout, and he will be carrying on former MFC winner Anthony Birchak in one of the better fights between UFC newcomers that’s been produced in 2014. The bantamweights will likely complete a place on the UFC Fight Pass prelims. Soto’s old marketing also announced a set of spells yesterday, as heavy hitters Doug Marshall and Melvin Manhoef will headline Bellator 125 on September 19th. While this bout is of almost zero significance in any kind of divisional rankings, it should be violent and entertaining for however long it lasts. Following in precisely the same mould is the co-main occasion on the card comprising Brian Rogers and James Irvin, just two of the men found on any highlight reel of flying knees in MMA history. Betting lines will probably lean towards Manhoef and Rogers in their respective bouts, as they are the more talented strikers in what should be completely striking contests. A set of AXS TV promotions announced upcoming bouts as well, together with Legacy FC 37 being headlined by two of its former champions, Leonard Garcia and Daniel Pineda. Garcia just lost his featherweight belt to Damon Jackson at Legacy FC 33, and Pineda — a former lightweight and featherweight champ from the promotion — was only re-signed after being cut from the UFC. It’s quite likely that Jackson will be signed to the UFC before this bout takes place on November 14th, and if that is the case this could determine a new champion as well. Following Garcia’s quick loss in his final outing, expect the people to prefer Pineda, and he will likely open as a small favorite. RFA continues their tour around the Western United States as RFA 18 takes place at Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 12th. The event will be headlined by flyweight champion Matt Manzanares defends his belt against undefeated Albuquerque native Joby Sanchez. Sanchez only knocked off Antonio Banuelos a week in Tachi Palace Fights 20, and will be carrying this particular bout on just over a month’s notice. This line should be close, but the public may push it slightly towards Manzanares because he is the well-known of the two.
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