Jon Jones Is Practicing A Flying Knee Kick For His #Haters

Take cover, Jon Jones haters, the Bones Redemption Tour now includes flying oblique kicks. NO NOT THAT! ANYTHING BUT THAT!  Jones posted the video above from a recent training session with Mike Winkeljohn, and it looks like the former champ will be incorporating that vicious, sure-to-be controversial, flying knee kick to his arsenal. 

Jones is undoubtedly one of the top fighters in the world, but, his style has come under fire form purists who view some of his techniques as dirty.  The most common criticism of Jones is his propensity for using the controversial, albeit legal, oblique kick.  The oblique kick can cause devastating damage to the knee, leading many in the fight game to call for a ban of the strike.  Jones defended the move in a piece with “Fight Land” on Vice:

“It’s a very controversial move,” Jones said. “But if someone was trying to give us brain damage, we believe it’s an even trade off to give him a little limp for the rest of his life. So try it out, guys.”

Obviously the available practice footage is limited, but that flying kick looks like an even more vicious adaptation of the oblique kick.  With that said, I totally side with Jones on this.  If a fighter values his knee ligaments, he’ll be mindful and find a way to defend kicks to the lower half.  This logic invokes an interesting dilemma across all combat sports.  It’s nearly impossible for a competitor to totally protect all angles and avenues of vulnerability.  Thus, fighters have to balance a defense of prioritized zones with a sound offensive strategy.  The great ones can essentially expand upon their defense and eliminate further susceptibility via a killer attack.  No fighter, though, can ever ensure total protection during a bout. This flying kick, while possessing career-ending potential, leaves Jones vulnerable in the air.  At the very least, the move leaves him weaker – for a split second – than a typical oblique kick.

Jones begins his comeback with a title shot against current Light Heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier at UFC 197 on April 23.  For the amnesic readers, Jones defeated Cormier by unanimous decision in at UFC 182.  He was supposed to fight top contender Anthony Johnson, but a failed drug test for cocaine and a hit-and-run incident in New Mexico led to Jones being stripped of the title belt and suspended from the UFC.  Cormier then beat Jonhson to claim the vacant belt and has held on ever since.  Jones was reinstated in October 2015 and now the overdue rematch is finally game.

Considering the intensity of the first bout, Jones’ desire for redemption, and Cormier’s will to retain his title, 197 should be an all out war.  I can’t wait to see the best pound-for-pounder break out the flying oblique.  Either the kick lands and Cormier crumbles, or DC goes Goldberg on his ass.

goldberg

One way or another, it’s gonna be electric!

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Deontay Wilder Put Artur Szpilka In A Bodybag And Tyson Fury Made A Post Fight Appearance

szpilka KOed

Deontay Wilder is ELECTRIC.  What a fight. What a finish! KOs like that are far from commonplace; you better believe I feel lucky to have been a #witness. Shades of vintage Roy Jones Jr on this one. It’s hardly two weeks in and we might already have the KO of the year.

The atmosphere at Barclays was an 8/10. Could have been 9 or 10 but a point is deducted for the new alcohol policy. After those ushers whooped on some Islander fans, Barclays has instituted a stricter alcohol policy. This meant cutting off booze at 10PM before a title fight. Seems sacrilegious on Fight Night, to be honest, but the main event was such a show that liquid quickly became an afterthought.

The crowd itself was a see of red, probably three fourths of the stadium rooting for Szpilka. For 8 rounds he gave them everything he had. The Pole pushed forward and threw a ton of punches, but he just couldn’t land anything totally clean. Wilder had a clear advantage in both speed and size, enabling him to dodge most body shots and at least partially deflect anything threatening up top. Offensively, Wilder landed way more flush punishment on Szpilka. The contender’s supporters were incredible but you could feel the doubt creep in after every one of these:

 

Wilder picked his spots and limited risk.  After Round 8, a palpable uneasiness creeped through the air. There was a sense that Wilder needed to finish the fight ASAP or Szpilka would feed off the crowd and start a rally. Szpilka must have felt this, too, because he came out aggressive and pushing the pace. Thing’s were looking good for Artur until he got caught and had his dome spun into the next millennium.

When I say this guy was out, he was totally OUT. Eyes closed for at least 45 seconds. On the finisher, me and my boy leapt out of our seats to celebrate. We were hootin’ and hollerin’ like good fans do when outnumbered and victorious.  So, of course Szpilka all but perished and was led out on a stretcher. Of course the jumbotron video feed kept switching back and forth from Artur’s mangled face to his wailing wife ringside. For a minute I really thought that we had witnessed a widowing, but thankfully Szpilka came to.

So now we cross our fingers and hope and pray for a fall 2016 heavyweight title unifying bout between Wilder and Tyson Fury. Wilder has already said that he’ll go to Fury’s turf in the UK to ensure a fight. Fury appeared tonight to have a little post-fight chat with Deontay and things quickly escalated. Wilder will have to fight Alexander Povetkin, and there is probably a Fury-Klitchsko rematch in the works, but at this point the matchup seems inevitable. Get pumped. Wilder-Fury is going to be AWESOME.

PS – “I WILL BAPTIZE YOU” is such an amazing line.  I had to duck for cover when Deontay dropped that gem. Blew the roof off the damn building. Early KO of the year nominee and some top tier shit talking. Not a bad evening in BK.

PPS – Wilder over Fury in 7th Round KO.

The Deontay Wilder Takeover Begins Saturday Night at Barclays Center

 

It’s finally be time for American boxing fans to get psyched about a Heavyweight. Deontay Wilder (35-0) has the goods to be the first heavyweight superstar since Lennox Lewis, and he vows to make 2016 the year he becomes the first undisputed heavyweight champ since Lewis unified the bets in 1999. Like Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield before him, Lewis’ well ran dry by 2003, leaving casual fans with little reason to watch follow the division. Wilder could finally provide the intrigue needed to get those fans back.

This dude is gifted in the art of talking straight hot shit, just spitting verbal slugs and promoting better than any American heavyweight in years. A few of his rants in the video about are in line with the Mayweathers and McGregors of the world. And his fightgame backs it up. Wilder is a pure punisher. 6’7, 220lbs of long, lean limbs packing the most violent haymakers seen in the division for a long, long time. His technique is not as pretty as some smaller fighters, but I’ll happily sacrifice impeccable footwork for an onslaught of ring-rattling bombs.

His visit (above) with Ebro and Rosenberg on Hot97 is one of the best, current fight interviews I’ve heard. Deontay cuts loose, riffing on his intentions to “catch a case Saturday night,” his feelings on Wladimir Klitchsko, why he loves to inflict pain, and his call-out of Tyson Fury for a title unification bout later this year.

The boxing world already knows but it’s time for sports fans to take notice, too – Deontay Wilder is a problem.  I’ll be at Barclays to watch the massacre in person Saturday night. If you can’t make it, peep the highlights below and catch the fight on Showtime.  2016, year of the Deontay Wilder.  Can’t wait for Wilder-Fury this fall.

 

 

PS – First heavyweight title fight in Brooklyn in 115 years. A little history never hurts.

Ringside with Bud deBurgh: Kazakh Superstar GGG Takes on David Lemieux at Madison Square Garden

Editor’s Note:   Introducing my homie from way back, and new Elbow Deep contributor, Bud deBurgh.  Bud is a true Steel City bad boy, well-versed in the arts of combat, contact sports, handicapping, daily fantasy, and really everything else that red-blooded American men hold near and dear. He’ll be covering Boxing, MMA, Wrestling and whatever else puts a twinkle in his eye. Welcome, Bud. 

GGG

Saturday October 17th marks the most anticipated fight of 2016 (sans the May-Pac fiasco) as Kazakh superstar Gennady “GGG” Golovkin takes on Canadian slugger David Lemieux. This bout is between arguably the two top Middleweight boxers on the planet, and it doesn’t hurt that both of them have dynamite in their hands. GGG checks in as a huge favorite, but both these guys go for broke and try to destroy every opponent in their path.

If you’re a casual sports fan who watches the occasional boxing match, this is for you. Both guys can fucking crack. En route to grabbing the WBA/WBC/IBO belts, GGG has knocked out 30 of his 33 professional opponents; no one has gone the distance with him since 2008. This guy is must-see TV.  He always puts on a show and is electric in the post-fight interviews. The man hasn’t lost since the 2004 Olympic finals and had an amateur record of 345-5. Since 2013, he is 9-0 with 9 stoppages, including wins over Daniel Gealo, Marco Antonio Rubio, Matthew Macklin, and Martin Murray. All of these guys are very, very game MWs but they had absolutely nothing for GGG.

Lemieux had a rough 2011 but has gone on a streak of massacres himself since then. Most recently, he battered Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam en route to the IBF belt. He also holds a notable win over Gabriel Rosado (whom Golovkin beat).  DL is a very physical, strong, aggressive fighter that’s a handful for most at the weight. However, do not forget that Lemieux’s first professional loss was to the rugged Mexican, Marco Antonio Rubio, whom GGG ran over in October 2014.

Despite the fact that this should be a fun fight, Golovkin is a -2000 favorite. Simply put, Lemieux hits like a mule but GGG is in an entirely different class. I think Lemieux might push GGG back for a bit and muscle him on the inside (Lemieux is the naturally bigger man), but GGG will use his jab to counter Lemieux’s wide shots. From there, look for Golovkin to go on the offensive and batter DL with power shots, putting him away within 6 rounds.

At the end of the day, hats off to both men for taking this fight. Punk ass Miguel Cotto refuses to go near GGG, and other MWs (Peter Quillin, Daniel Jacobs) are with Al Haymon/PBC – either the Satan or Savior of boxing, depending on who you ask. Those fights are a real long shot. It’s nice to see someone knuckle up and give the fans a show.

For a more in depth look into the match, check out the guys at Bad Left Hook over on SB Nation. The BLH countdown show is legit.

Editor’s Note #2: Last time I saw a live boxing match was this past spring when Bud deBurgh and a handful of other college buddies came to NYC to see Danny “Swift” Garcia at The Barclays Center.  That weekend might be the subject of a future “storytime” blog, but let’s just say Night 1 saw a 5am finish at a Koreatown karaoke bar, and Night 2 featured our friend “Jack” teaching some shitbird in Brooklyn a lesson on proper ground-and-pound technique.  A Hall of Fame weekend.