ULTIMATE FIGHTING TALK

WRITTEN BY CHARLES ODUGBESAN

Two big stories have emerged from the world of UFC recently.

The first was of the super fight in Vegas on Saturday night between Floyd Mayweather and the two division UFC Champion Conor McGregor. Predictably, McGregor came up short as he was stopped in the tenth round after failing to cope with the growing Mayweather onslaught. McGregor, however, gave a good account of himself and showed a tremendous amount of heart and bravery by stepping into the ring and going toe to toe with arguably the greatest fighter the sport has ever seen. But ultimately, he was outclassed by Mayweather and became the 50th name added to the list of those that have tried and failed to defeat the American over the last 20+ years. McGregor’s belief in his ability and his ambition is something to be admired. You could almost take inspiration from it! Almost.

If there’s a lesson to be learned from the whole spectacle (especially for those who genuinely thought McGregor could/would win the fight), it is that you can’t cut corners in life. Neither can you simply speak things into existence without any serious application. 49 PROFESSIONAL BOXERS WHO HAVE BEEN BOXING FROM TODDLER AGE couldn’t work out a way to beat the man… you expect a 29 year old NEW to the sport of boxing to crack the code? Conor sold it so well and convinced so many people, but in the end Floyd was a safe bet.

The second piece of news is that Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones, fresh from his triumphant rematch over nemesis Daniel Cormier, failed a drugs test for the second time of asking after testing positive for steroid use. Jon Jones made his comeback to the UFC last month when he fought Cormier for the gold following a long layoff after his first drugs ban – Cormier was the opponent that time too! I took two things from this news.

First off I felt terrible for Cormier. Not only is this news such a hard pill to swallow; given the whole rivalry and how emotionally invested he was into getting his revenge, but in a way it ruins his own personal legacy. Cormier has fought 21 times in his career and lost twice… both times to Jones… and both times Jones failed drugs tests. However, both losses will remain on his record (despite the fact that technically they don’t count as losses) and deny him an undefeated record that would have him in the conversation for who the best UFC fighter ever really is.

Now what about Jon Jones? The typical thing for sporting fans to do when they hear an athlete has failed a drugs test is to regard them as a villain in the sport. To label them a ‘druggie’, ‘a cheat’ and discredit them or any future achievement they may acquire through suspicion or lack of trust. Ask Lance Armstrong or Justin Gatlin or the whole of Russia! They’ve all been lambasted as you could argue they rightly should be. But allow me to play devil’s advocate just this once. Everybody at some point in their life is dealt some seriously misleading information right? So much so that it can impact the paths you take or the decisions you make right? What if Jon Jones was not directly guilty of taking the drugs himself, but instead was guilty of keeping company with those whose ethics conflict his own and is now paying the price for it? Sure he is seemingly a repeat offender, but you would think somebody in his position with what he has at stake would have learned his lesson. And it is naive to think that everybody who enters your life has good intentions. In this case I’d say this; always be wary of the company that you keep!!

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An Interview With…Jay Ajayi

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ULTIMATE FIGHTING TALK

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