mma / Columns

411 Fact or Fiction MMA: Is Brock Lesnar Jon Jones’ Next Victim?

August 2, 2017 | Posted by Lorenzo Vasquez
Jon Jones vs. Brock Lesnar

Welcome back to another edition of 411 Fact or Fiction MMA! I’m host, Lorenzo Vasquez III, and it is my pleasure to bring another round of 411 Fact or Fiction, the MMA edition! Thank you for your votes and comments last week. It is appreciated and I encourage you to vote this week and to let us have it in the comments section below. Last week, Mark Radulich had revenge on his mind as he rematched your host over the idea of Kelvin Gastelum moving back down to welterweight, Jimmie Rivera calling out Dominick Cruz, and the Brock Lesnar’s potential return in addition to other topics. Mark push the pace early and stormed in with heavy shots, however, his endurance did not hold and I was able to recover and defeat Mark. Nonetheless, great effort Mark and thank you for your contribution.

This week, I’m stepping up to challenge the one and only, Wyatt Beougher! This is shaping up to be a barnburner and we will lock horns over who will be Jon Jones’ next opponent, Daniel Cormier’s next move, the UFC increasing fighter pay, and much more! It’s time to strap in because it’s time for another round of, 411 Fact or Fiction MMA! Let’s get the party started…

TALE OF THE TAPE

RED CORNER
Wyatt Beougher
Host/Reviewer/Columnist, 411 MMA/TV & Movies/Wrestling Zones
2-9-0

VS

BLUE CORNER
Lorenzo “Corpse Grinder” Vasquez III
Host/Contributor, 411 MMA Zone
9-5-0


Unfortunately for Alexander Gustafsson he has fought for the light heavyweight title twice and, hence, Jon Jones’ next opponent should either be Volkan Oezdemir or Brock Lesnar.

Wyatt Beougher: FACT Jones’ next opponent should be Volkan Oezdemir, who put on quite the show Saturday night, starching Jimi Manuwa, the guy who was basically on UFC 214’s card to serve as a fill-in opponent should either Jones or Cormier be unable to fight. I don’t think Gustafsson is out of title contention for good, especially with as thin as the light heavyweight division currently is, and with two wins over decent competition since that loss to Cormier, he’s probably only one more good performance away from a fight that most MMA fans still want to see, a rematch of the 2013 fight of the year with Jon Jones.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FICTION The light heavyweight division is close to as shallow as can get. Talk about a drought. Jon Jones is back and put on a sound performance against Daniel Cormier. So, who’s next? In my opinion, it should neither be Volkan Oezdemir or Brock Lesnar. I’m ready for the rematch we’ve been waiting for quite some time. In fact, I believe, at this moment, Alexander Gustafsson is the only and most credible opponent to challenge Jones. Brock Lesnar isn’t even confirmed to be making a return despite multiple reports to the contrary. And, Volkan Oezdemir…well, I’m still on the fence. Oezdemir has made a splash, particularly, in his last two bouts. He holds the No. 5 spot as of this writing and he did beat the No. 3 guy in Jimi Manuwa. But this is all a result of a shallow division and I’d like to see Oezdemir take one more fight before getting the title shot. I’d like to see what he does against the likes of Daniel Cormier and Glover Teixeira. But I understand by giving Oezdemir someone like Cormier, Teixeira, and even Gustafsson you risk losing a title contender, especially, in this shallow division. Gustafsson, however, is the next challenger. Let’s get this rematch done. Oezdemir can wait until after Gustafsson gets his rematch or take a fight in-between.


With that said, while Brock Lesnar is likely not to be Jones’ next opponent, expect this fight to be made for early 2018.

Wyatt Beougher: FICTION Assuming Bones wants to fight more than once per year, which his comments in the post-event media scrum would seem to indicate, then Lesnar is almost certainly not going to be Jones’ next opponent. If the rumors about Lesnar re-entering the USADA testing pool a couple of weeks ago are true, he’d still have six months from mid-July before he was eligible to fight, which would mean theoretically, he’d be ready for action in January. That would seemingly make this one a FACT, right? But you know what else in Lesnar’s life starts in January? The Road to Wrestlemania, and another guaranteed big payday for the Beast. History tells me that Lesnar is going to opt for the easier Wrestlemania-related schedule and get that big payday before he commits to what will almost certainly be one of the more grueling camps of his career to prepare for an opponent as dangerous as Jones. That leads me to believe that a Lesnar/Jones fight will probably take place in late spring or early summer of 2018. I could actually see it headlining the 2018 4th of July card, but that makes this one a narrow FICTION for me.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FACT This is a bit tough. There are some uncertainties that really make this a toss up. But, with the UFC going the direction of raking in as much money they can by putting on big money fights that enter the circus territory, I’m going fact. For this to work out as stated, Brock needs to enter the USDA testing pool now so his suspension ends by December or January. I’m going to count on the UFC brass to do everything in their power make this fight happen in early 2018. I think we’ll see Jones fight again sometime around late-October/early-November and after that, we’ll see him fight Lesnar between February and March. I’ll admit, I’m gambling here and just flipping the coin.


A move to the heavyweight division is Daniel Cormier’s best move after losing decisively to Jon Jones for the second time as it presents fresh match-ups and another chance to capture gold.

Wyatt Beougher: FACT I was the first person to call Cormier a paper champion because he didn’t beat Jones for the title and I didn’t believe that he could realistically beat Jones. That said, Jones was absolutely right to commend Cormier for what he did while Bones was out of action, and he truly is a championship caliber fighter. I read something yesterday that said Cormier was the Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira to Jones’ Fedor Emelianenko, and I think that that is about as apt a comparison as you can make. Cormier is pretty clearly the second-best fighter in the division, but that’s only because Jones is arguably the greatest of all time (and if you’re referring strictly to the light heavyweight division, I don’t even think it’s arguable anymore). But Cormier is 13-0 at heavyweight, and his previous reason for moving to light heavyweight, teammate and former heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, is questionable at best to even return, so I think now is the time for Cormier to move back to heavyweight and finish out his career. At 38, eliminated the weight cut to light heavyweight can only benefit his longevity, and while light heavyweight is, as I mentioned, a fairly thin division in the UFC, it’s not like heavyweight is significantly deeper. Cormier would realistically only be a fight or two away from a championship matchup if he moved back up, and all things considered, I think that’s the best course of action for him.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FACT I think there is still some match-ups at light heavyweight for Cormier. Jimi Manuwa is still a sellable fight. In fact, it should be Cormier’s next fight. Glover Teixeira is there, Volkan Oezdemir is there, too. Arguably, Cormier could become the next title challenger with two or three wins. Unfortunately for him, Jones is king and it’s hard to see Cormier beating him and, at 38-years-of-age, time isn’t on his side. WIth that said, Cormier moving to the heavyweight division isn’t a bad idea. As a heavyweight, Cormier is undefeated and it is reasonable to believe he could become a title challenger in said division with one fight, or jump straight into the title fight. I will call fact on this one, however, I don’t think Cormier will make the move. The division is home to his best bud, Cain Velasquez, and I have a feeling he’ll try to make another run in the light heavyweight division.


SWITCH!

Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre was never off from the get go and if you thought it was you were fooled by the UFC’s all too common negotiation tactics.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FICTION Maybe this a fact to a certain degree. For the most part, this is fiction. If Tyron Woodley or Demian Maia had put on an electrifying performance in route to a stunning victory we’d likely be talking about Georges St-Pierre returning to reclaim his welterweight throne. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the greatest fight out of Woodley and Maia. They negated each other and Woodley apparently injured his shoulder early in the fight. Now, I believe originally GSP vs. Michael Bisping was always the plan until GSP made things difficult in the eyes of the UFC. Woodley and Maia were just kind of there as a punishment for GSP as the former champion has always maintained he is fighting Bisping. The UFC wants to capitalize on GSP’s return. That won’t happen if Woodley goes out there and plays it safe like he showed he is prone to do. But if Woodley had pressed Maia and finished then that is something the UFC can work with. The same can said for Maia. I don’t think the UFC was complete all in on GSP vs. Bisping. They were playing them to see which fight poised the best opportunity.

Wyatt Beougher: FICTION I actually think had Woodley vs Maia not been so soul-shatteringly boring, Dana would have considered giving GSP the winner of that bout. But the minute that the fans started chanting “This is boring” and booed both guys out of the building, the fight between GSP and Bisping basically became the only option for St-Pierre’s long-awaited return. While it would probably make more sense for St-Pierre to return to the division that he ruled for the majority of his career, he’s such an unknown quantity at this point, having been away from the cage for over three and a half years at this point, that the UFC can’t really risk putting him in against Woodley and ruining any remaining drawing power he might have with a fight as boring as Woodley/Maia was. At least with Bisping, you know the Count is going to sell the fight with his mouth and make people want to see him lose to the more soft-spoken GSP. And even if Bisping does somehow continue his improbable run and manages to beat St-Pierre, at least the UFC can spin it as the Canadian fighting above his natural weight class. Hopefully, by that point, Woodley will have had a less awful fight and St-Pierre could theoretically make his return to welterweight then.


We need to see Cris Cyborg vs. Megan Anderson before Holly Holm gets a women’s featherweight title shot.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FACT That is if Anderson can get her situation straightened out. It’s time to see Cyborg beat up some legitimate 145-pounders (not that they all provide a legitimate threat). If Holm wants to fight Cyborg I’m not opposed but, for now, I want Anderson to take a shot at current UFC women’s featherweight champion. Then, Holm can get her shot. I know Holm was sort-a robbed by way of some illegal shots and probably should have been the first UFC women’s featherweight champion but something tells me Anderson might be the one to really make Cyborg work. This is just a hunch and nothing more. I do think Holm’s game can give Cyborg technical fits but something is telling me to put my money on Anderson. Let’s see how this plays out.

Wyatt Beougher: FACT Unless Anderson’s reasons for pulling out of her scheduled fight with Cyborg were enough to set Dana White off, and I’ve seen nothing from the volatile UFC to boss to suggest that that’s the case, it will be sooner rather than later when Anderson gets her night in the cage with the new women’s featherweight champion. Holm might be the more marketable opponent, barring the fight taking place in Sydney, and that was the fight Dana was talking about after UFC 214, but Holm’s only fight at featherweight was a loss, and her most recent win, which put an end to a three-fight losing skid, was at bantamweight. I know stranger things have happened as it pertains to the UFC’s matchmaking, but in my opinion, Anderson is the better opponent. This probably means that Holm will be Cyborg’s next opponent, but the way the statement is worded, I’m sticking with FACT.


UFC 214’s disclosed payouts indicate the UFC is increasing fighter pay.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FICTION Well, let’s see: Cormier almost doubled what he need the last time he fought before UFC 214 at UFC 210. Jon Jones made $500,000 to show just as he the last time he fought. Tyron Woodley took a $100,000 pay bump ($500,000 to show at UFC 214 vs. $400,000 to show at UFC 209). Demian Maia took a bump for his title fight. Donald Cerrone took a bomb from $91,000 to show at UFC on FOX to $155,000 to show at UFC 214. In her last bout before UFC 214 Cyborg made $65,000 to show and at 214 she earned $2000,000 to show granted it was a title fight. Renan Barao received a $3,000 bump from $50,000 to show at UFC Fight night and $52,000 to show at UFC 214. Must fighters on the UFC 214 fight card seemed to have been given a pay increase but I’m going to stop short of saying this indicates the UFC is increasing fighter pay. The fact that this was a bigger show may indicate why fighters on the card received a bump in pay but that is the only thing it indicates at the moment. Until we can see a linear trend of fighters receiving higher pay even after the event we can not say the UFC has decided to increase pay. Let’s take Daniel Cormier. In no way does he make $1 million to show if he is fighting any other light heavyweight rather than Jon Jones at UFC 214. No way. At this moment all we can say is UFC 214 was a big event expected to draw a decent buy-rate and, hence, the pay increase.

Wyatt Beougher: FICTION I’m not willing to look at the payouts for UFC 214 as anything more than an anomaly until we see a trend in that direction for a show that doesn’t feature three title fights and another former champion on the card. I think the combination of Jones, Cormier, Woodley, Maia, and Lawler, who have a slew of UFC fights between them, and even Cyborg and Evinger, both either current or former Invicta champions, simply necessitated a higher overall payroll for this card. Hopefully, I’m wrong and the UFC is actually increasing fighter pay, but until we’ve got more concrete data to work from, I’m going to have to go with FICTION.


So who won? Did Wyatt grind his way to victory or was I able to drop him with a stiff jab? You’ve got until midnight eastern on Saturday to vote, so make sure you make your voice heard!


And that’s it for today but, as always, we’ll be back next week with another contest! And please, be sure to vote!

Do you have comments and questions you’d like to get to me, or statements you’d like to see on 411 Fact or Fiction MMA, shoot me an email at:
[email protected]

Also, follow 411’s various and sundry zones on Twitter for your daily 411 fix!

411 Wrestling Zone Twitter
411 Movies/TV Zone Twitter
411 Music Zone Twitter
411 Games Zone Twitter
411 MMA Zone Twitter

Loading...