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Glane18

Jon Jones to possibly wrestle at Midlands

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I haven't read the whole thread yet but there is no possible way whatsoever that Dana White allows him to do this. This was one of the sticking points when they were trying to sign Fedor Emelianenko years ago when he wanted to compete in combat sambo. Why this won't happen is that this year the UFC has had a ridiculous amount of big fights cancelled due to injuries and there is no way they will risk one of their young cash cows like Jones getting hurt. It won't happen. I would love to see it though.

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Tec, As I said earlier in my posts, the UFC allows UFC fighters to compete in BJJ tournaments, and they even let them do it leading up to a fight. In fact I have heard Dana say he has no problem with such things. The risk of injury in BJJ/submission wrestling is much greater than that of folkstyle wrestling. Combat Sambo is a whole different monster. It allows striking and is basically MMA with pads, with a few different rules and scoring procedures. And the main reason Fedor did not get signed is because his managers and handlers wanted ungodly amounts of money, special privileges that no fighter in the UFC gets, and in Dana's words Fedors people were "impossible to deal with". If Jon Jones doesn't compete at Midlands it will not be due to Dana White or the UFC, it will be due to him not being able to make room in his training/media schedule, or not being at a good weight to wrestle at HW, or this being some sort of miscommunication with his trainer making it nothing more than a rumor.

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Exactly my point, thanks Fishbane. I could literally site dozens of instances such as this. And logically a BJJ, or any type of submission wrestling tournament, is more dangerous, or in most peoples opinion more dangerous than a folkstyle wrestling tournament. Guys, I'm just trying to be optimistic about this because this could be huge for our sport for the reason mentioned earlier. If nothing else it will bring a lot of media attention our way.

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There is zero chance this happens. Why would he want to put his mystique as this unbeatable fighter on the line by getting thrashed by college heavyweights? Jones was a good wrestler, but he wasn't THAT good of a wrestler- not remotely close to what he is as a fighter, and he hasn't wrestled competitively for years. The wrestling they do in UFC is apples and oranges imo.

 

If he had a legit weight class (i.e. 215-ish weight class) then maybe its a bit more plausible.

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I would love to see this but I dont think it would happen for the previosuly stated reasons. Jones was only a 1 x juco champ I believe so it's not like he was some dominant DI college wrestler. I would rather see some of the emerging MMA talent that were college stars come back to their roots and wrestle at Midlands. What if the Midlands actively recruited guys like Johnny Hendricks, Mo Lawal, Ben Askren, Daniel Cormier, Cole Konrad, Bubba Jenkins, Lance Palmer, etc. guys that were college studs, and did something to help promote them individually andat the same time promote the tournament and college wrestling to mma fans without a wrestling backround. I watched the Midlands finals on the Big Ten network and the stands were pathetically empty. What better way to spark some intrest in this great tournament and grow the college wrestling fan base.

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If I were Ken Kraft, I would have been on the phone with Dana White the moment Iowa said they weren't coming.

 

Ring, Ring.

 

Dana: Hello?

Ken: Hi, Dana! It's Ken Kraft!

Dana: Who the f*** are you?

Ken: Ken Kraft. Legendary wrestler, coach, and organizer of the most prestigious open wrestling tournament in the country. It's where the Elite Meet to Compete.

Dana: What the f*** are you talking about?

Ken: The Midlands, of course! We'd love it if a few of your boys could come up and wrestle in our tournament this year. We host it in Evanston, IL in the middle of winter! It's fantastic!

Dana: How the f*** did you get this number?

Ken: It would be a great chance for some of the guys to give back to the sport that made them the fighers they are now. We can't pay them anything, of course. But it's where the Elite Meet to ...

Dana: If you call this number again, I will f***ing rip your f*** head off.

 

Click.

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I remember Jones being difficult to wrestle because of his tall nature, snatching singles and strong, etc. But I don't remember him being particularly effective with leverage with that size, such as Simmons might be, against strong opponents. Maybe the gas tank wasn't a real plus either. Some guys who saw him more can point out if I am wrong.

 

Without dangerous knees and particularly dangerous flying elbows factoring in to his length advantage, I am not sure he will be that difficult for top D1 wrestlers to penetrate and expose.

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Exactly my point, thanks Fishbane. I could literally site dozens of instances such as this.

 

 

But can you site a single instance of a UFC wrestler under contract (so Harris doesn't count) competing in a wrestling tournament? You figure with all the past top level wrestlers under contract at least a few of them would enter a collegiate open or something like the Sunkist Kids or NYAC. Especially since a whole ton of them train miles away from where the Sunkist Kids is run every year.

 

Again, I'm just guessing here but it seems odd to me that not a single ex-wrestler who trains full time in MMA wouldn't want to jump into a wrestling tourney at some point in their UFC career.

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No i cant name any but that is only because by the time a wrestler has made it to the UFC he has already hung up his wrestling shoes, competitively speaking, at which point they need to spend a lot of time learning BJJ and not as much time wrestling because they are already do far ahead of the field in that aspect. Josh Koscheck has stated he spends only about 10% of his time training wrestling. Jon Fitch and Jacob Volkmann are examples of this as well, as they can and do enter many BJJ/Grappling tournaments on a regular basis. But why would they enter an open wrestling tournament when their goals in wrestling have already been achieved or passed them by? It's definitely not to hone thier skills...they are already so far above the field in that aspect. Jon Jones is a little different. He did not finish his four years of college wrestling before entering MMA, and never even made it to D1. So is it that far of a stretch for him to want to hone his wrestling skills by entering a wrestling tournament, much like the names above enter BJJ tournaments?

 

I'll ask you again, why would they let fighters under contract compete in BJJ and not wrestling? Show me something Dana has said or something in their contract which says they can not. There is none. If Jones wants to enter midlands no one except his trainer/manager will stop him.

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But can you site a single instance of a UFC wrestler under contract (so Harris doesn't count) competing in a wrestling tournament? You figure with all the past top level wrestlers under contract at least a few of them would enter a collegiate open or something like the Sunkist Kids or NYAC. Especially since a whole ton of them train miles away from where the Sunkist Kids is run every year.

 

Again, I'm just guessing here but it seems odd to me that not a single ex-wrestler who trains full time in MMA wouldn't want to jump into a wrestling tourney at some point in their UFC career.

 

 

Is that because Dana White has it written into their contracts that they can't compete or that they've basically put wrestling--a singular combat sport discipline--behind them to focus on their blend training that feeds them and puts roofs over their respective heads more so than wrestling alone really ever could?

 

Outside of UFC, but with Bellator, Ben Askren (defeating Herbert at Midlands and I believe one other) and Joe Warren (2012 OTT) have made "come backs" to wrestling. Will Shawn Bunch be giving up wrestling now that he's a Bellator fighter?

 

As a savvy businessman, I would think that White would endear himself to collegiate wrestling even more, since so many of those guys have made and will continue to make him a very well-off individual.

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If I were Ken Kraft, I would have been on the phone with Dana White the moment Iowa said they weren't coming.

 

Ring, Ring.

 

Dana: Hello?

Ken: Hi, Dana! It's Ken Kraft!

Dana: Who the f*** are you?

Ken: Ken Kraft. Legendary wrestler, coach, and organizer of the most prestigious open wrestling tournament in the country. It's where the Elite Meet to Compete.

Dana: What the f*** are you talking about?

Ken: The Midlands, of course! We'd love it if a few of your boys could come up and wrestle in our tournament this year. We host it in Evanston, IL in the middle of winter! It's fantastic!

Dana: How the f*** did you get this number?

Ken: It would be a great chance for some of the guys to give back to the sport that made them the fighers they are now. We can't pay them anything, of course. But it's where the Elite Meet to ...

Dana: If you call this number again, I will f***ing rip your f*** head off.

 

Click.

 

 

Maybe, but I have to believe that UFC scouts are well aware of the Midlands, its reputation and the quality of athletes that take part in it. Hell, I was hanging with Clay Guida and his dad on the railing closest to mat 6 last year at Midlands. I'm not saying he was actively scouting anyone (rather, he was there watching/supporting some former Montini and Izzy Style guys), but we did talk a little bit about what he saw in some of the guys that were competing and how their skills could transition to MMA. My guess is that if he saw someone who was talented enough, he'd put a bug in the ear of the folks at UFC and other folks, like at Greg Jackson's place, to keep an eye out for how they progress.

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Jones said he was going 197. I seem to recall jones giving either Pucillo or Varner all they could handle at senior nationals in high school.

 

Just how athletic is the Jones family? Unreal.

 

 

You are correct Anklepicker - Jones lost 4-3 to Pucillo in the semis in 2005. Pucillo then defeated Varner 6-3 in the finals.

 

Jones took 4th losing to Max Askren. It would cool if some MMA guys train for the Midlands.

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2005 was arguably the best Senior Nationals tournament ever.

 

If there ever was a year that you could say this about, it would definitely be 2005. There were other years with some incredibly stacked weight classes by looking at their future ncaa accomplishments but I don't recall a year with multiple weights like that other than 2005.

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Wow that is a sick final 4 at the 05 nationals at 184. Jones, Varner, Pucillo, Askren. I want to see a Varner vs Jones in wrestling and in MMA! Or a Cormier vs Jones.

 

I don't have the brackets in front of me or anything and it's been awhile, but I think that Hudson Taylor may have failed to place. Or maybe it was Patrick Bond, who at the time was considered to be as good as any of them. Incredible weight class.

 

The only Senior National weight from back in the day that may have been tougher was the weight that Dubuque won at 119 back in 2001 I believe- All-Americans were Nick Simmons, Travis Lee, Shawn Bunch, Nate Gallick, 3x CA State Champ Jacob Palomino, Ricky LaForge (the surprising finalist), and 3x OH St. Champ Drew Opfer. I believe Tom Clum was also in there and failed to place.

All told that's five wrestlers that either went on to win an NCAA Title or make the US World Team.

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