UFC 197 Preview

ufc-197UFC rankings have come under fire in recent years for meaning relatively nothing on the grander stage of MMA.

Often the UFC seems to ignore the rankings and jump from top contenders to somewhere in the top 10 to find a title contender.

Rankings still bring debate to the UFC though and people love to debate over who belongs at the top of any division.

One ranking is the most debatable though because more often than not the debate will never be solved in the octagon because they are not rankings in a division.

The pound for pound rankings are the fantasy rankings of any MMA promotion where the rankings are based on who those doing the rankings perceive as better.

Most of the top ranked fighters in the pound-for-pound rankings will never face-off and so it is the heart of plenty of debate.

At UFC 197, fans will get to see the closest thing to a fight between two top pound-for-pound fighters.

The main event and co-main event will feature the two top ranked UFC pound-for-pound fighters in the promotion.

First up will be Demetrious Johnson who some believe is the top fighter in the UFC but is currently ranked #2 in the pound-for-pound rankings.

Johnson is that far up the rankings because he is one of the most dominant champions in the UFC.

In a time when championship reigns are getting smaller, Johnson hasn’t lost a fight since he dropped to Flyweight in 2011 and became the first and only Flyweight champion.

Johnson has dismissed all challengers so far and has looked dominant in almost every fight as he continues to clean out his division.

He will take on the latest challenger in Henry Cejudo who has gone undefeated in his MMA career.

The former Olympic Gold Medalist is likely the most accomplished fighter that Johnson has ever faced but he has yet to translate that into the octagon, at least not yet.

This is his chance as he has won in every sport he has competed in and now he looks to add some UFC gold to a collection of gold from his amateur wrestling career and his amateur boxing career.

Johnson is a different mystery to solve for every fighter though as his speed is unmatched by anyone in the UFC and although his power is lacking it is hard to prevent him from scoring.

As successful as Cejudo is he won’t be able to get that extra piece for his mantle against a fighter at the level of Johnson.

If Johnson does win he will certainly have people talking about whether he belongs on top of the pound-for-pound rankings and in the main event it might be decided.

That is because the main even features the top-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC in Jon Jones who makes his return to fighting for the first time in just over a year.

He is the big story of the event as Jones was once the clear #1 in the UFC with plenty of talent and charisma to help guide the UFC into the mainstream.

Then he was arrested for a car accident where he hit the car of a pregnant woman, who broke her arm in the incident, and then fled the scene.

He was arrested for the incident and was sentenced to 18 months’ probation with conditions that including multiple charity appearances.

It was the latest in a scary line for the champion who failed a drug test earlier in 2015 for cocaine and attended rehab for a brief stint.mma-sidebar.fw

The car crash was the final straw for the UFC who stripped the belt from Jones until he could return to fight for the title.

Finally, Jones was ready and was set to take on his biggest rival in Daniel Cormier for the light heavyweight title.

Then Cormier was injured during training for the rematch and the return of Jones became a little less exciting.

Still it is the first time Jones will enter the octagon since his arrest and regardless of who is standing across from him he gets the chance to prove he is still that dominant fighter.

The man standing across from him will be Ovince St. Preux, who gets the biggest fight of his life and the chance to shock the world.

St. Preux is not an extremely easy fight as he was already on the path to a title shot in 2014 before he lost to Ryan Bader.

Since then he has gone 3-1 and although he is probably not he first pick of the UFC to fight for an interim title he is a top 10 fighter.

St. Preux looks to solve Jones, a mystery few have solved, and use his well-rounded game to give Jones some problems.

That is far easier said than done though as Jones is one of the most complete fighters in the UFC with a wrestling background and an extremely awkward striking game.

Nobody has beat him yet in the UFC, his one loss came due to a disqualification due to an illegal elbow, and St. Preux has to hope that his time off has changed him for the worse.

If you listen to Jones it has only made him hungrier and given him the time to become stronger than before which is scary for the rest of the division.

It is entirely up to which Jones enters the octagon and even if he isn’t improved but just the same as before St. Preux is not going to win this fight.

With a win, Jones solidifies himself as a pound-for-pound great but in the end, the debate will only heat up after UFC 197 is over and the top two fighters in the UFC, regardless of divisions, step into the octagon on the same night.


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