The Mauler speaks his mind

UFC Light Heavyweight contender and the only man to take former Champ Jon “Bones” Jones to the limit in the cage, Alexander Gustafsson spoke his mind about the Reebok apparel deal and the impacts he sees the deal having on the newcomers to the sport.

When asked what he would do if he was the head of the UFC he said:

“Pay the fighters a lot more money … for all the hard work … and the sacrifices … fighters generally do to fight, I think they’re a little bit underpaid.”

He also went on to say:

“The same thing with the Reebok deal, too.

I don’t have anything negative to say about it. I just think … why take away from fighters who haven’t established themselves in the organization? They have a hard time already, so why take away the small sponsors so they can pay the rent and pay their bills? Why take that away too? Really squeezing that last money from the fighters that haven’t been established yet. I think it’s sad to see.”

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“Of course (it makes the sport less attractive)… It’s hard as it is.

Some of them don’t have a choice, they have to do the sport to survive.

Some of them don’t. But I still think that the more support you can have from local sponsors … the more time you have to put in the gym and the more the sport will develop.

It’s just that this Reebok deal is not going to help the fighters.”

He makes a compelling argument to me?

As most people know the UFC & Reebok deal has been a wondrous source of humour around the internet and here are a couple of the best – enjoy.

UFC reebok meme1 UFC reebok meme2 UFC reebok meme3

Chamatkar Sandhu of MMAJunkie.com sat down with him and spoke candidly about the grass roots development of MMA and a quick chat about UFC200 – HERE

Catch up with us on our social medias! #chur

Looking back – Hunt vs Nelson

It feels like a lot less than (just over) a year ago that 2 behemoths graced the cage with their combined presences, but on the 20th of September 2014, at the home of Japanese MMA the Saitama Super Arena that these 2 men, known for their truly devastating striking power and chins of steel met for the 1st time.

History happened.

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Roy looks focused with a poor diet, (the story of his life), but we all know the power this TUF Heavyweights winner has in his hands. We also know the credentials he has in BJJ although we very, very rarely see it.

The music and crowd fall silent. Hunt is seen walking down the tunnel as the music hits and the crowd find their voice.

Watching Mark Hunt stalking down to the cage in the home of Pride FC was awesome. This was the birthplace of Hunts roots in MMA. The once great Japanese organisation, home of the great heavyweights, the ultra-educated crowds, the respect and the show that is Saitama Super Arena.

Hunt looks great despite the rumours of a the difficult weight-cut. He looks incredibly calm and in a word – ready.
Tale of the tape

From the opening moment the fight is everything it was hyped up to be.

Both men excellent with their hands and fearless in their approach are picking their shots. Hunt looks light and has his jab in Roy’s face whenever he tries to close the distance. Mark stuffs a couple of seemingly half-hearted takedown attempts but eats some decent shots.Roy throws the overhand and misses by a whisker and less than a minute later Hunt catches him and bloods Nelson’s lip. Eye-poke and a break for a minute then back into it with more precise strikes that are blocked or miss by centimeters with some solid jabs on both sides and a nice uppercut by Hunt that touches Roy on the chin as he ducks to close the distance.

Round Ends.

Mark takes the stool as  Muay Thai & striking coach Lolo Heimuli is short and precise in his advice to Hunt as he tells him to drop his left counter-hook by 5 inches.

The crowd is alive in between rounds cheering rhythmically to the replays of Maku Huntu  putting his fists on Big Country.

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Round 2 of a scheduled 5 begins with more of the same as both men probe and land good shots, getting appreciative calls and applause from the once again, nearly silent Japanese crowd.

Nelson lands a takedown on the K1 Grand-Prix Champion who shows that his BJJ has improved by sweeping and getting back to his feet. Hunt seems to pick up the pace and has his jab in Roy’s face almost permanently as he begins to dictate the action. Mark lands a solid shot that brings more claret from Roy’s mouth and begins to stalk him towards the cage.

He probes with the jab again and Nelson attempts to close the distance by ducking and leaning in. Mark has measured this for the last few minutes and throws a pure-technique right uppercut that turns Roy’s jaw for the first time since Andre Arlovski in Elite-XC – watch the video HERE.

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Watch the last moments of the Hunt vs Nelson fight HERE

Let us know what you thought of the fight, it will always be one of my favourites – like many a Mark Hunt fight 🙂 #Chur

BONUS – I’m sure many of us remember this legendary K1 showdown between Mark Hunt and (now WSOF President) Ray Sefo!

Nobody does it like the Japanese.. Enjoy!

Who’s next?

If you caught the article about last weekends Proving Grounds MMA Event, you know that it was a great one, so what’s up next?

In the coming days I’ll be catching up with NZMMAs newest rising star on the international scene – Dan “The Hangman” Hooker and chatting to him about all manner of things, including his upcoming fight at UFC Japan on the #HuntVsNelson card in September this year!

Dan won his UFC debut on June 28th this year against Ian “Enty” Entwistle at UFC Auckland and is about to start his camp for his next fight against 4 time UFC veteran – Maximo Blanco.

Looking forward to it!

Credit: Hannah Peters/Getty Images AsiaPac

And… Still?

In a shock announcement made less than an hour ago, (at time of publishing), The UFC has announced that Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafson has been sidelined from the much anticipated rematch with Jon “Bones” Jones due to injury.

His new opponent?

The one and only – Daniel “DC” Cormier.

Read more details here.

This begs MANY questions, the main one though – can DC climb the mountain and take the gold?

He’s definitely been talking the talk, and watching his MMA evolution in living colour over the past 18 months has been incredibly interesting. This guy trains with (as Joe Rogan proclaims) “The baddest man on the planet” Cain Velasquez – that’s no joke, and from what I’ve seen of their sparring together, DC is as good, if not slightly better than his UFC Heavyweight-gold-wearing friend and AKA (American Kickboxing Academy) team-mate.

That being said, JBJ has been doing his own development with the most recent display of this being his incredibly dominant victory over Glover Taxiera. Bones absolutely dismantled the Glover hype-train when they squared off and showed that he indeed out-classed the smaller, striking-reliant Taxiera (eye-poke attempts are a topic for another day).

So, who do you rate? Who do you hate? And why??

Catch up with me on Twitter @TheUltim8Writer #discuss.