We here at Vendetta Fighter enjoy bringing you fans the latest and most entertaining pieces of MMA news and on occasion, some thought-provoking feature articles. But we’re fight fans too and every once in a while we get the itch to express our true unfiltered opinions.
So we present the 3rd Edition of the VF Fight Forum. In this edition, we discuss the Jon Jones failed drug test’s fallout, Bellator’s Michael “Venom” Page and the UFC sale:
1. Does Jon Jones’s failed drug test and suspension combined with his history of scandals overshadow all his accomplishments as a fighter?
Jay Russell: I certainly think so. Society often remembers people for the wrong they do as oppose to the good things; this will be no different. Jones is the greatest combat sports fighter we’ve ever seen, however, I’m not sure he can 100% solidify that now that he’ll be out for another two years or he may never fight again. I was lucky to have seen him fight three times here in Toronto. The fight against Alexander Gustafsson is one I will never forget.
Todd Parkinson: I don’t feel like anything will overshadow what Jon Jones has accomplished in MMA with PED’s or not. Most of the people that Jones fought were on PED’s anyway and his physique did not look like he was jacked up on steroids for the bigger part of his career. What Jones has accomplished has a lot to do with hard work, a high fighter IQ and his freakish natural athleticism. PED’s don’t have much to do with his accomplishments.
Chris White: With everything that has happened to Jon since 2015, including the legal battles he had last year and now the popped drug test, I’m afraid people will think of Jon more for these than his career. However, it’s hard to say they will overshadow his accomplishments. He has helped change the landscape in his division and has set records.
2. Bellator’s Michael “Venom” Page aka MVP continues to win in spectacular fashion this time with a flying knee over MMA veteran, Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos then celebrated in “Pokemon Go” style. Do you think he can become a true superstar?
JR: Michael Page reminds me of a prime Anderson Silva. I think he’s got a fantastic and unpredictable skill-set that has still not reached its peak. A lot of fans are feeling Bellator is feeding him winnable fights, and if he’s going to be the massive star that helps bring attention to Bellator. Time to give him a big-name fight.
TP: I think Michael “Venom” Page is just a project for Scott Coker. With taking out a veteran like Cyborg Santos, it would not make sense for Bellator if Page were to fight cans again. I feel that “MVP” has enough highlight reel finishes that have built up in his career and it is time for MVP to face a legitimate contender. The build-up time is over, time to put him against the big guns.
CW: MVP has only been competing in MMA for four years. I’m not sold on him yet. His grappling has looked pretty bad and he’s still one-dimensional. I think if they keep slowly building him up, he can become one of their biggest names. He needs to continue to round out his game though or he will lose to someone good.
3. A week has now passed since the UFC sale to WME-IMG. What are your thoughts regarding on the sale? What are your hopes, fears or expectations among long-term changes?
JR: With Dana White staying on as president for the next five years means there’s unlikely to be major changes soon. The new owners have a wealth of experience in the entertainment industry and I’m eager to see if they make changes on the production side of things, make the television and live experience a bit better. I think with the value of the company being out there now, I think the new owners will look to raise fighter pay a bit too, I’m hoping. Also, we have to wait out the Reebok outfitting deal and broadcast deal with FOX to see what moves the new owners will make.
TP: My initial reaction to the UFC sale to WME-IMG was just a realization that businessmen are doing business. The biggest questions I have in my mind are about the Reebok deal and if ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ reality show is going to be changed. I also realize the elephant in the room and wonder if fighter pay is going to go up or down.
CW: All I hope for is that WME-IMG will #MakeUFCGreatAgain.