MMA Odds and Ends for Friday: Jones Scratched From UFC 170

UFC 165 Fallout: Jones Defends Belt Against Gustafsson UFC president Dana White yesterday announced that UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has been scratched from his upcoming UFC 170 title defence against Glover Teixeira — just one day after the fight was officially announced. There has been absolutely no reason given by either the UFC or Jones as to why he was pulled from the card, but it’s possible Jones is still feeling the after-effects of his five-round war with Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165. That’s likely the reason why Jones vs. Teixeira wasn’t booked for UFC 169 as was originally planned, and why his fight with Teixeira is going to be pushed until March 2014, likely as the main event of UFC 171. I’m disappointed that the UFC has twice announced a date for Jones’ next title defence only to change it last second, but if the champ isn’t properly healed and ready to go then I’m totally OK with the fight against Teixeira being moved back a few weeks, because — and I don’t know about you — but I want to see Jones at his absolute best when he steps into the cage, as that’s when the magic happens. UFC Fight Night 35 Official With Two Fights The UFC yesterday announced that they are heading back to Georgia, as UFC Fight Night 35 is set for Jan. 15 at Duluth’s Arena at Gwinnett Center. Along with the date and location being confirmed, the UFC also announced the first two fights for the card: a featherweight bout between Sam Sicilia and Cole Miller, and a bantamweight bout between TJ Dillashaw and Mike Easton. I quite like both of these matchups and I will give my quick take on both of them right now. In the Sicilia vs. Miller fight, you have a matchup between two fighters clinging to a UFC roster spot because they both won their last fights. Sicilia KOed Godofredo Pepey at UFC Fight Night 32, while Miller won a decision over Andy Ogle at UFC Fight Night 30, and now both men will look to extend their win streaks to two against one another. My initial thoughts are that the fight should be close to a Pick ’em in the line, with a slight lean towards Miller due to him being a more recognizable name in the public’s eyes. However, I am leaning towards Sicilia here to get the W, as I believe he can knock Miller out early in the fight with his heavy hands. But we’ll see how the line opens in January. As for the Dillashaw vs. Easton bout, this is an excellent fight between two guys near the bottom of the top 10 bantamweights, and the winner of this fight will maintain his position there while the loser will drop far down the ladder. I am strongly leaning towards Dillashaw here as I believe he is a big better than Easton in every area of the game. Look for Dillashaw to open around -200 or a bit less for this fight, one that I think will be fun for as long as it lasts, as I could easily see Dillashaw collecting another knockout with his improved striking.

Written by Adam Martin.

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