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Jon Jones Reveals: Nike Is Done With MMA

AJ Camacho

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In a press conference with MMA Fighting Jon Jones recently confessed that he had lied about Nike firing him. At the time of his previous statement, Jones was under fire from the Nevada State Athletic Comission for his impromptu brawl with UFC 182 Challenger, Daniel Cormier (and Purple Rain-esque discardment of UFC PR Vice President, Dave Sholler). It’s fairly evident that Jones was trying to exaggerate the suffered consequences of the brawl in an attempt to soften any penalty that the NSAC was going to levy against him.

“Nike did not drop me because of that fight…” explained Jones, “and I kind of owe an apology to Nike for saying they dropped me because of the fight. They actually didn’t. Nike has been known to support its athletes through much worse things than a brawl in the middle of MGM [Grand].”

The actual reason for his loss of the Nike contract was because Nike was backing off of the MMA market. Nike still had a contractual obligation to Jones but they communicated to him that though they would honor the contract that he would not be receiving the full financially girth of the behemoth Nike marketing machine. Clearly, the exposure that Nike would bring had more value than cross training shoes and a pay check, so both sides parted ways on mutual terms.

Jones explains, “I said, ‘You know what, if you guys aren’t too serious about martial arts, then I don’t want to be a part of the company… hopefully, I can respectfully leave.”

This parting of ways wasn’t even that much of a secret at the time, with Jones’ gym already knowing about most of the details. It was at this point, in the disintegrating relationship with Nike, that the brawl with Cormier actually took place.

“It was already official,” said Jones. “Everybody at headquarters knew. My team knew that I wasn’t gonna do my third year with Nike. And then we got into the brawl.” Jones went on, “The truth of the matter is, I did not get dropped by Nike,” Jones said. “It was a mutual thing, something we had discussed months before the actual fight.”

The question now is why did Nike withdraw from the MMA market? Were they already aware of Reebok’s plans to sign an exclusive deal with the UFC, which would water down the value of any outside sponsorship deal for Nike? Does Nike even really give a damn about the Reebok deal since fighters don’t wear shoes inside of the cage? It would make sense that the UFC would have courted multiple shoe companies for an exclusive UFC sponsor, and in many ways the mere mention of such a contract would taint the waters for any other shoe deals on the table for anybody tied to the UFC. It’s all speculation though. Relative to the football, basketball, and soccer MMA is still just a niche market that needs Nike more than Nike needs it.

Either way, timing may have been fortunate as it allowed Jones to secure a personal sponsorship with Reebok. Whether he’s towing the company line with Reebok or being sincere, the arrangements seems to have worked out for him in the end.

“These guys are taking mixed martial arts very seriously,” Jones said. “They’re taking me very seriously as an athlete.”

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*WATCH* DaveNoseMMA – Aljamain Sterling Knockout Aftermath

Harry Davies

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In this video, MMA Latest’s Dave Noseworthy shares his thoughts on Marlon Moraes’ brutal knockout of Aljamain Sterling that took place this past weekend at UFC Fresno.

Check out Dave’s thoughts below:

 

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Fight Announcements

Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Official for UFC 220

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UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts has its main event. Stipe Miocic (17-2) will put his belt on the line for the third time against rising heavyweight star, Francis Ngannou (11-1)

Rumors surrounded the match-up for UFC 220 after Ngannou’s first round knockout over Alistair Overeem, at UFC 218. The Cameroonian heavyweight called for the fight himself. In his octagon interview proceeding his most recent victory, Ngannou stated:

“I’m feeling good… I’m on my way to a title shot”.

The heavy handed Ngannou has finished all of his opponents in all of his six UFC bouts. A streak which includes a kimura submission over Anthony Hamilton and a TKO victory against former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Overall, he holds a ten fight win streak. His only defeat came by way of unanimous decision to Zoumana Cisse, in his second professional MMA fight.

If victorious, Ngannou would become the first African-born champion in UFC history.

Not to be diminished, Stipe Miocic rides his a streak of his own into the beantown match-up. Five consecutive wins, five knockouts and the past four of which, ended in the first round. A victory in Boston for the champ would make him the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history. Currently, Miocic is one of three heavyweights, in the promotions entirety, whom has successfully defended the belt twice.

UFC 220 will be held at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20th, 2018. The pay-per-view (PPV) card will also feature light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, as he faces challenger Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir.

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Events

Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview

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Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.

LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.

Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.

Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)

The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.

In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.

Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.

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