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After losing his high-profile opponent for UFC Fight Night 83 in London, Gegard Mousasi has his new assignment for late February.
With Michael Bisping (27-7 MMA, 17-7 UFC) into the main-event slot...
Not many have called for an immediate rematch of Conor McGregor vs. Jose Aldo. "The Notorious" KO'd Aldo with a perfectly executed counter to seize the official interim featherweight championship at UFC 194.
Jon Jones, however, was one of the fighters calling for a rematch in light of Ronda Rousey's beatdown at the hands of Holly Holm at UFC 193. "Rowdy" is expected to fight Holm again at UFC 200 with a chance to reclaim her bantamweight title, as Dana Whiterecently snuffed the idea of Holm vs. Miesha Tate to the Los Angeles Times.
And, according to referee Big John McCarthy, McGregor offered Aldo a rematch during his post-fight celebration.
Now, welterweight grinder Matt Brown has also expressed his interest in seeing Jose Aldo lock horns with McGregor again.
"I think Aldo should fight Conor. Yeah, I think so 110 percent," Matt Brown said on the latest Great MMA Debate podcast. "I think Aldo has done everything to deserve whatever he wants at this point in his career. That son of a b--ch has been a champion for however many years, undefeated for 10 years, he's been an honorable soldier for the UFC. Maybe he's not the most marketable guy so that's the reason he's not getting it, but he just f---ing deserves it."
With even a casual look around the UFC today, something is immediately apparent as it relates to striking: changes are afoot. Whether it's the movement training of Conor McGregor, the novelty of the footwork of Dominick Cruz or the ability of T.J. Dillashaw to be unpredictable as he shifts in the pocket, there is a new wave of striker taking over the elite ranks. Just as MMA itself was proof more than one style of unarmed combat was necessary to succeed, the game's elite strikers adopt that mentality both to their overall game as well as specific domains like their striking arsenal. They take what's useful, drop what isn't, learn from many different styles and create something new on their own.
As a consequence, they're not merely having massive success, but demonstrating a version of the game that visually looks different than what MMA audiences are accustomed to seeing. The questions, however, is why did it take so long for this to finally happen, how replicable at scale is all of it and what else can reasonably be added to their already advanced striking arsenals?
To help better make sense of this phenomenon, JacksonWink MMA's striking coach Brandon Gibson spoke to MMA Fighting about what's happened, why only studying traditional forms of striking is antiquated for modern MMA, who is leading the charge in striking's development and what's the next step in the game's evolution.
LINK: Technique Talk: Brandon Gibson explains why MMA striking's future is now
Even though Paige VanZant was outclassed by Rose Namajunas at UFC Fight Night 80 on Thursday night, she showed her mettle by withstanding punishment for nearly five rounds. How much did it stand out? Most people were buzzing about VanZant’s heart more than they were Namajunas’ superiority in the aftermath of the fight.
And at just 21 years old, there is plenty of reason to think VanZant will bounce back and learn from the experience. An emotional VanZant herself said she needed to sharpen her technique and that there was a long way to go in the post-fight press conference. She had plenty of support in the MMA community, too. One of her believers happens to be current strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who sees big things on the horizon for VanZant.
"It was an amazing fight between Paige and Rose, and a difficult fight for Paige VanZant," Jedrzejczyk said during a media day on Saturday in Las Vegas. "So Rose did well. She didn’t fight that much after TUF but she showed that she’s game. And Paige VanZant, she’s still young, but she’s very talented and she’s a bad ass. She’s got the character. She still must learn a lot, but she’s a very good fight. In the future for sure she will become a UFC champion."
"The strawweight division is a pretty young division, but it’s growing up," she said. "The UFC is the best organization in the world, they sign the best fighters. We’ve got the best strawweight fighters in the world, and I’m just waiting on them."
LINK: Joanna Jedrzejczyk: Paige VanZant will 'for sure become a UFC champion’
If it seems like Dominick Cruz takes a particular glee from the verbal napalm he's been dropping on T.J. Dillashaw ahead...
UFC women’s strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk said she is “99 percent” likely to coach the 23rd edition of “The Ultimate Fighter” opposite rival Claudia Gadelha.
Speaking on Monday to Polish MMA outlet MMARocks.pl, Jedrzejczyk stopped short of confirming the news. But “TUF 20” vet Tecia Torres later backed the report, recently telling fans she heard the strawweight rivals will coach against each other on the reality show.
In an email to MMAjunkie, a UFC official declined comment on the show’s casting. If confirmed, the coaches would mark the first time women’s strawweights have coached on the long-running reality series, which just wrapped up its 22nd season featuring now-featherweight champion Conor McGregor and popular ex-champ Urijah Faber.
In previous interviews, Jedrzejczyk (11-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) welcomed a coaching spot on “TUF,” though a rematch with Gadelha wasn’t at the top of her list. She said Gadelha (13-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC)needs one more win to cement her status as the No. 1 contender.
But Jedrzejczyk’s timeline doesn’t match with UFC President Dana White, who said Gadelha will be the next challenger to Jedrzejczyk’s title.
LINK: Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha likely as 'TUF 23' coaches
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