One of the greatest fighters of our generation once again let us down, another great lifted our spirits, and MMA is losing one of its best analysts. 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, Jon Jones was once again notified of a USADA violation, following his light heavyweight title victory over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 and long-awaited return to MMA. Making a much more difficult return, Matt Hughes surprised us with a video of him in the gym, while Brian Stann decided to leave his role as an analyst for the UFC for a job in real estate.
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: usage of the Cavaliers’ rally pic), 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?”.
Jon Jones pulls a Jon Jones, again.
UGH. Just as soon as we were celebrating Jon Jones return to MMA, we’re dragged back to the same, disappointing conversations we’ve been having for the last couple of years. Arguably the greatest MMA talent of our time, Jones has continually found new ways to sabotage his still-incredible career. This time it was USADA, once again having issues with what Jones was putting in his body. Huh?
On Tuesday, it was announced that Jones was facing another potential violation stemming from his test following the weigh-ins for UFC 214. None of the potential outcomes for this, apart from the very unlikely USADA mistake, look good for Jones. From losing his belt to being suspended for multiple years, this is bad. It’s bad for Jones, the UFC, and MMA.
There’s still plenty to sort out, and it will get sorted. However long Jones is gone doesn’t really matter anymore, and neither do the reasons why. The UFC just lost one of their biggest stars, something they are in short supply of, in one of their weakest divisions. How they fill their slate of major events as 2017 comes to a close remains to be seen, with several main event slots still up for grabs.
On the bright side, we can use Jones falling back into his routine of perpetual disappointment to highlight some of the supremely talented fighters in the sport who deliver on a regular basis. Fighters like Demetrious Johnson, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and Daniel Cormier deserve our praise even more when situations like this arise. Being awesome at what you do is one thing, showing up consistently to do it is another.
Matt Hughes recovery continues in the gym
A couple of months after being injured in a harrowing truck-train accident, Matt Hughes recovery seems to be going well. Like, really well according to this video from last Monday. Huh.
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I leave for only five days and come back to his ass wanting (and able) to roll! Unbelievable! Spare me the grappling lessons. The only things that are important: firing muscles that haven't been used in a long time…and having fun! So awesome to see that smile and hear that laugh again. If I posted a video from day one and compared it to today…and you still didn't believe in miracles…well, there's nothing that's ever going to change your mind. #believe #miracle #getreadyrenzo #superfight #adcc #onemoreround #ufc #hecanstillbeatmeup @renzograciebjj @ufc @matthughes9x
There’s not a whole lot to analyze or say. This is just a happy story for one of MMA’s all-time greats. MMA isn’t usually full of positivity, and Hughes’ recovery is something everyone can get behind.
Brian Stann is leaving us
Suddenly announcing the end of his time as an analyst with the UFC, former middleweight contender Brian Stann is leaving us. The best analyst in MMA, and one of the best people by many accounts, is venturing into real estate. Huh?
I am announcing my departure from calling fights w/ the UFC. I have been offered an amazing… https://t.co/YIk7rlSJNk
— Brian Stann (@BrianStann) August 21, 2017
A fan-favorite for his fantastic fight breakdowns, positive attitude, and overall demeanor, Stann represented the standard for fight analysis in his relatively short time in the role. Stann retired from MMA in the summer of 2013, quickly moving into his role as an analyst with the UFC. Now, he’ll be going back to school at Northwestern to finish his MBA, before assuming his role at a real estate firm. Note for students with Stann in their class: that’s the guy you want in a group project.
It remains to be seen how the UFC will replace Stann, or adjust their broadcast teams. The change follows a series of broadcast booth shake-ups for the UFC, including the departure of former play-by-play man Mike Goldberg to Bellator MMA earlier this year.
While the world was focused on a certain boxing bout, the MMA gods made sure they weren’t forgotten by striking down Jon Jones once more. Meanwhile, we lost Brian Stann’s always-insightful commentary. But, even when things are bleak, there’s room for hope. As is being proven by Matt Hughes and his recovery. Huh.
Huh? for the road
McGregor’s face was completely bloodied. He was about to fall through the ropes and the referee stopped the fight. https://t.co/8YwLFPwIGZ
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 27, 2017