Friday, September 23, 2011
Notes and nuggets: Rampage's chances, more
By Chuck Mindenhall
Mission: Impassable? Getting anywhere near Jon Jones is no small task.
DENVER -- If there’s a little bit of truth in every joke, then Jon Jones’ quip on "Jimmy Kimmel Live"! a few nights ago that his style versus Quinton Jackson’s was sort of like “Spider-Man versus Frankenstein” isn’t a joke. Everyone suspects there’s too much truth to what he’s saying. Stylistically, that analogy just makes a lot of sense.
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On the one side, you have a limber Jones, who can tag you from six feet in, with a range of kicks, backfists and dervish elbows. He can hit you from distances that you can’t hit him back from and do it with staple gun speed. Since that’s the case, we’ve never seen him get tagged -- not truly tagged, anyway -- even against prominent strikers like Mauricio Rua. We’re left to theorize about the durability of his chin.
So what makes us think that Jackson can wade in through the flying things (knees, elbows, fists, backhands) and land that million-dollar shot? In a word: Audacity. The slower, flat-footed Jackson will be willing to eat a couple of Jones’ “pillow” shots to get in close enough and close the drapes on Jones. That’s what he’s selling. That’s what we need to build a belief around if we want this thing to look more competitive than it feels.
The best of all worlds would be to get both. To see the full canon of Jones striking, but also to see how he reacts to getting hit with a vintage Rampage “bungalow.” Then some mysteries could begin to unravel. And who knows, maybe afterward we’re talking about Rampage’s rematch with Evans. Maybe we’re saying of his career, “It’s alive, it’s moving it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive!”
It’s a long shot, but it would be the way to turn the Frankenstein analogy on its heel.
Around the Horn
If it was up to Matt Hughes, he’d go on fighting, win or lose this weekend, no questions asked. But he’s married. And as a good husband, he’s listening to his wife, who is urging him to retire.
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What about his coach, Jeremy Horn, who has fought exactly 61 more times than Hughes (who’s fought in 53 pro fights)?
“He and I have had two different careers,” Horn told ESPN.com. “I’ve fought all over the place -- upper-, mid-, average-levels -- and he’s been the champion for quite a while. I think for someone like him, once the desire to chase the championship is not there anymore, he may think about retiring. Whereas with me, I just like beating people up. So whenever I get a chance to, I will.”
185 of bust for Kos?
Josh Koscheck finds himself in Rich Franklin territory -- that is, 0-2 against the titleholder in his natural division. What happened to Franklin? A strong suggestion from the UFC to switch divisions if he wanted to continue pursuing a title. Guess where Koscheck finds himself heading into his fight with Matt Hughes? Ditto’d.
“To be honest, let’s see -- do they really want to see me and Georges St. Pierre fight a third time? I’d like it, but I don’t think the UFC is going to have anything to do with that anytime soon,” he told ESPN.com. “And that’s one of the reasons why I want big fights, so I can make money. Think about the opportunity of putting some Josh Koscheck matchups at 185 pounds. It’d be fun for the fans, and they’d be main event fights.”
In other words, this may be the last time we see Koscheck at 170 pounds so long as Georges St. Pierre is around.
Vulgar display of power
Hawaiian punch: Travis Browne credits his punching power to being from Hawaii.
“It’s the Hawaiian people, man, it’s the Hawaiian pride, you know what I mean?” Browne told ESPN.com. “We put everything into that punch. That’s what I mean -- I’m kind of lean for the heavyweight division, and I’ll probably weigh in around 250 pounds for my fight, but my strength is highly underrated.”
“I was very gifted with what God gave me and my parents. They really did well giving me genetics. I can be totally out of shape, walk in front of a mirror and feel disgusted in myself, and then diet, lift weights for two weeks, walk in front of that mirror and I’m a different guy. So I’m very, very lucky.” -- Matt Hughes on the fortunate situation he was born into with his body type