Three “Huh?” Moments in MMA Last Week: August 7 Edition

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UFC 214 Jon Jones MMA
Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

The UFC President was in another public-spat with one of the promotion’s champions, the return of a former champion to MMA is garnering interest from Las Vegas, and a recently released fighter has a bone to pick with Bellator MMA. Huh?

Finding the proper response to much of the news finding its way into our social media feeds is becoming a tougher task every day. Nothing is surprising, and there’s always more to the story. Leaving us with one reply: “huh?”.

Last week, UFC President Dana White managed to upset welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, and then make-up. Jon Jones, Brock Lesnar, and Las Vegas oddsmakers stoked reports of a future bout between the duo, and Oli Thompson hasn’t been treated very well by Scott Coker and co., according to the heavyweight contender.

The reason “huh?”, in its various forms, is such a quality reply is simple. The word is as versatile as a response gets, and while it may require some explanation, “huh?” is sometimes the only way to react to the news of today. Defined by Merriam-Webster as an interjection that’s “used to express surprise, disbelief, or confusion, or as an inquiry inviting affirmative reply”, “huh” or “huh?” can mean a lot of different things.

Despite some of the follies of human evolution (see: White House officials), the development and growth of “huh” is something we should embrace. To be the change we want to see in the world, here are a few MMA stories last week that made us go “huh?”.

Dana White briefly feuds with another UFC champion

As quickly as it started, it was over. But, the fact that UFC President Dana White managed to create another public spat with one of the promotion’s champions is worth noting. Then again, as the list grows, we should probably get used to it. Anyway, following his less-than-exciting victory over Demian Maia at UFC 214, welterweight champion Tyron Woodley was faced with his share of vocal critics. One of which being White. Unable to resist the urge to join the chorus of chides, White took aim at Woodley for his lack of risk-taking.

“[If] You ask fans if they want to see Woodley fight again, I think that will be a flat out no,” White said. “Who wants to pay to see Tyron Woodley fight again? He’s an absolute physical specimen, the guy could’ve finished the fight at any time he wanted to but, you know, he didn’t want to take the risks. [If] you take no risks, you get no rewards.” – via MMA Fighting

Well, that’s an interesting way to promote a champion that has fought four times in 12 months for the UFC. A couple of days later, on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Woodley fired back at White. Defending his fighting style and success, Woodley didn’t hold back, and made a lot of good points. And then, got a little personal.

Then, it was over. Huh?

Just like that, TMZ reported that White said the duo were “cool” after talking. Why, once again, it takes a champion going onto a show and publicly excoriating White in order to get a conversation with him, isn’t a question this column can answer. Woodley joins Demetrious Johnson, Amanda Nunes, Cris Cyborg, and, oh, Tyron Woodley again, as current champions who’ve had rocky relations with White in 2017. Now that things are turning around in the UFC, after a slow start to the year, maybe White’s attitude will as well.

Who ya got: Jon Jones or Brock Lesnar? Vegas says Jones.

It may be a while until it gets here, but you can already bet on the potential bout between UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar. Internet rumors turned into a post-fight callout from Jones at UFC 214, and Lesnar’s quick replies aren’t slowing down the talk of his return to MMA. As difficult a problem as Lesnar poses in the Octagon, Jones has opened as a sizable favorite over the WWE Superstar. Huh.

It makes sense, especially on the heels (shin?) of Jones’ impressive performance at UFC 214 against Daniel Cormier. Lesnar would have the size advantage, for sure, but apart from that, it’s hard to see how Jones would lose. His age, the fact that he’s currently actively fighting, and is probably the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, all make him a difficult matchup for the current WWE Universal Champion. And that’s once he’s even in the Octagon.

Lesnar still needs to un-retire, rejoin the USADA testing pool, and finish up his contractual duties with WWE, which runs through April of 2018 (Wrestlemania 34). Either way, this fight sounds amazing, even if Jones is a sizable favorite. Compared to a major boxing bout headed our way this summer, Jones and Lesnar are stiff competition for each other. Even if it is a ways away, we’re all-in on this superfight. But, we wouldn’t be mad if Jones had to defend his light heavyweight title against Volkan Oezdemir or Alexander Gustafsson beforehand.

Recently-released Oli Thompson has an issue with Bellator MMA

A promise without a contract, in modern day MMA, isn’t worth a whole lot. And sometimes, even if it’s in the contract, it still doesn’t mean much. Heavyweight contender and former Britain’s Strongest Man Oli Thompson’s recent release from Bellator MMA showcases that fact well. Speaking to Nicole Bosco of MMA Latest News, Thompson revealed that some promises weren’t kept, and the promotion was less than professional in their relationship.

“The email says ‘Apologies for the delay, we didn’t know who to contact’, I mean I would be a good start, my manager would be a good start. I’m friends with Scott Coker on Facebook, I’m linked with Bellator on Instagram and Twitter,” Thompson explains. “So I’ve been without work, looking for a fight and they release me now. I was grateful for the opportunity but they have given me nothing, just taken.” – via MMA Latest News

Thompson joined Bellator in 2016, after going 5-0 in various promotions in 2015. He’s fought just twice since, losing both bouts, against Matt Mitrione at Bellator 158 and Cheick Kongo at Bellator 172. Thompson cited contractual issues surrounding Fedor Emelianenko and Mitrione’s canceled bout at Bellator 172 as well, but was mostly frustrated with his inactivity. When the response from the bosses is “we didn’t know who to contact”, it’s hard to blame him.

Somehow UFC President Dana White manages to find time to start, and quickly end, feuds and public-spats with former and current promotion champions. Again, it was Tyron Woodley getting heat, and we can’t wait to see who’s next. Brock Lesnar may be next for Jon Jones, but then again, the fight may be a ways away as well. Either way, put your money on Jones, according to Vegas. Unfortunately, for the time being, we can’t put our money on an Oli Thompson fight, but here’s hoping that doesn’t last long.

Huh? for the road

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