It seems UFC 178 just isn’t supposed to be the blockbuster event everyone had it pegged as since way back in March, when Alexander Gustafsson recovered his #1 competitor’s slot with a victory over Jimi Manuwa. Few watched Jon Jones‘ April title defense against Glover Teixeira as more than a mere detour on the road to Jones/Gustafsson 2, and the masses were right. Although it took a while to decide on a certain date and place, the bout was highly expected whenever and where it would occur. Then, all of a sudden, Alexander Gustafsson has been forced to drop from the fight with a torn meniscus. No issue, in stepped Daniel Cormier to take his position along with the MMA world was even more enthusiastic. Then the infamous media day brawl happened, and UFC 178 became a must-watch occasion for more than just the MMA community. It had the kind of buzz that few UFC events garner, and likely would have been the largest grossing light heavyweight bout since Quinton Jackson vs. Rashad Evans back in UFC 114. Of course, things rarely ever go to program in MMA, as well as the backup programs fall through occasionally. Jon Jones declared yesterday that he too was hurt in training and pressured out of UFC 178. The organization has tentatively rescheduled Jones and Cormier to headline UFC 182 in January, in which they will likely share the card with Ronda Rousey at a yearlong (or beginning ) card that hearkens back to the times of piled events around the New Year. The only problem with all this yet, is that this was supposed to be Alexander Gustafsson’s battle all along, and by January he will probably be ready to go. Will the UFC actually forego what might be another classic between Jones and Gustafsson for its buck signs seemingly obvious for Jones and Cormier? It will be interesting to see how this plays out over 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 when it rains, it pours, and it was a busy day outside of the Jones injury. UFC 177 along with flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson believed the domino effect from the accident, as his title defense against Chris Cariaso will be moving to the main event of UFC 178. Understanding that lovers will be frustrated with all the shift, Johnson tweeted (tongue-in-cheek),“Bad: You’ll have to wait a little more time to see me triumph . Great: I am the newest UFC 178 headliner. Bout time that card receives a real principal event.“ To complete UFC 177, the organization has gathered a bout between a pair of highly touted champions from 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 champion Anthony Birchak in one of the better fights between UFC newcomers that’s been produced in 2014. The bantamweights will probably complete a spot on the UFC Fight Pass prelims. Soto’s old promotion also announced a pair 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 ranks, it should be violent and fun for however long it lasts. Following in precisely the same mold is the co-main event on the card featuring Brian Rogers and James Irvin, two of those men discovered on any highlight reel of flying in MMA history. Betting lines will probably lean towards Manhoef and Rogers in their respective bouts, since they are the more talented strikers in what ought to be exclusively striking contests. A set of AXS TV promotions declared upcoming bouts as well, together with Legacy FC 37 being headlined by two of its former winners, Leonard Garcia and Daniel Pineda. Garcia just lost his featherweight belt to Damon Jackson at Legacy FC 33, also Pineda — a former lightweight and featherweight champ in the promotion — was just re-signed after being cut from the UFC. It’s quite likely that Jackson will be signed into the UFC earlier this bout occurs on November 14th, and if that’s the case this could establish a new champion too. Following Garcia’s quick loss in his final outing, expect the public to prefer Pineda, and he will likely open as a slight favorite. RFA continues their tour across the Western United States since 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 last week in Tachi Palace Fights 20, and will probably be carrying this particular bout on just over a month’s notice. This line should be shut, but the people may push it slightly towards Manzanares because he is the more well-known of the two.
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