Well it appears UFC 178 simply is not meant to be the blockbuster event everyone had it pegged as since way back in March, when Alexander Gustafsson reclaimed his #1 competitor’s slot with a victory over Jimi Manuwa. Few watched Jon Jones’ April name defense against Glover Teixeira as more than a mere detour on the road to Jones/Gustafsson two, and the masses were right. Even though it took some time to choose a particular date and venue, the bout was highly anticipated whenever and where it would happen. Then, all of a sudden, Alexander Gustafsson was made to drop from the struggle with a torn meniscus. No issue, in stepped Daniel Cormier to take his own place along with the MMA planet was even more excited. 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 type of buzz that few UFC events garner, and probably would have been the biggest 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 announced yesterday that he also was injured in training and pressured from UFC 178. The company has rescheduled Jones and Cormier to headline UFC 182 in January, where they will probably share the card with Ronda Rousey in a yearlong (or beginning ) card which hearkens back to the times of stacked events across the New Year. The one issue with all this yet, is that this was supposed to be Alexander Gustafsson’s battle all along, and by January he will likely be prepared to go. Will the UFC really forego what could be another classic between Jones and Gustafsson for the buck signs seemingly obvious for Jones and Cormier? It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out during the next few months, but early signs are that the Swede will end 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 and flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson felt the domino effect from the accident, as his title defense against Chris Cariaso will now be moving to the main event of UFC 178. Understanding that lovers will be frustrated with the change, Johnson tweeted (tongue-in-cheek),”Bad: you’ll have to wait a little longer to see me win . Good: I’m the newest UFC 178 headliner. Bout time that card receives a real main event.” To fill out 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 only 3 weeks after his most recent bout, and he’ll be taking on former MFC champion Anthony Birchak in a few of the better conflicts between UFC newcomers that has been produced in 2014. The bantamweights will probably fill out a place 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 nearly zero relevance in any kind of divisional ranks, it needs to be violent and fun for however long it lasts. Following in precisely the exact same mould is the co-main occasion on the card featuring Brian Rogers and James Irvin, two of the guys found on any highlight reel of flying knees in MMA history. Betting lines will likely lean towards Manhoef and Rogers in their various bouts, as they are the more talented strikers in what should be exclusively striking contests. A pair of AXS TV promotions announced upcoming bouts too, 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 in Legacy FC 33, and Pineda — a former lightweight and featherweight champ in the advertising — was only re-signed after being cut out of the UFC. It is quite probable that Jackson will be signed to the UFC earlier this bout takes place on November 14th, and if that’s the situation this could determine a new champion too. Following Garcia’s quick loss in his last outing, anticipate the public to prefer Pineda, and he will probably open as a small favorite. RFA continues their tour around the Western United States as 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 a week in Tachi Palace Fights 20, and will probably be carrying this bout on just over a month’s notice. This line must be shut, but the public may push it slightly towards Manzanares simply because he is the well-known of the two.
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