This week, the guys talk which weight class is best for John Dodson, who is next for flyweight champion TJ Dillashaw, UFC Japan, Jon Jones and how much longer we have to wait for CM Punk's debut.
Should Dodson stay at flyweight? After 2 losses to the champ, wouldn't it make sense to go up to 135? Maybe fight Rivera!
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DAMON MARTIN: John Dodson certainly has a case to make bantamweight work for him considering he does hold a win over TJ Dillashaw, but the fact is that fight happened years ago, long before Duane "Bang" Ludwig revamped the "Ultimate Fighter" finalist and turned him into the best 135-pound fighter on the planet.
Dodson would be woefully undersized for bantamweight, which is the same reason I'm against Demetrious Johnson making the move as well. Joseph Benavidez has continued to get big fights and pick up paychecks despite two losses to the champ. Dodson can probably walk the same path and just hope someone else comes along to finally dethrone Johnson.
It may look impossible, but no one thought Cain Velasquez would lose the heavyweight title either and now Junior Dos Santos is suddenly a top contender again. It could happen for Dodson and Benavidez at flyweight as well. No one -- not even Demetrious Johnson -- is unbeatable.
ELIAS CEPEDA: If John Dodson is to go back up to bantamweight, I don't imagine he'd do it against Francisco Rivera. The fight would be a good one, no doubt, but Dodson is the No. 1 contender at flyweight, so it would only make career sense for him to fight someone near the top of the 135-pound rankings, if he did move up.
The only reason he'd want to compete against bigger and stronger opponents, one would have to imagine, is if he thought he'd have a shorter route to another title shot at bantamweight than at flyweight. Perhaps he would.
After all, Dodson owns a TKO win over current bantamweight king TJ Dillashaw. If he can get another win or two at either flyweight or bantamweight, that is certainly a compelling match up and a great storyline.
The right answer to whether or not Dodson "should" stay at flyweight has to be based on things we don't really know, however. Namely, what weight class is better for Dodson's health?
At flyweight he presumably has to cut weight, which is unhealthy. At bantamweight, he'd fight bigger opponents, which brings its own health risks as well.
Dodson should consider what's best for his health, long-term, when making that decision. Chances are, if he keeps winning, he'd likely get a crack at the belt in either division, before long.
Do you think UFC Japan is good outside of the main & co main events?
ELIAS: Of course. Especially since you don't have to dole out pay-per-view cash for it. I can't wait to see how Kyoji Horiguchi looks since his last fight â a title bout against flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson.
Horiguchi's opponent, Chico Camus, has a chance to show that he deserves to be in the top five. If he can beat Horiguchi, at home in Japan no less, Camus will dramatically leapfrog a lot of other fighters right into title contention.
Takeya Mizugaki has been a top contender for nearly 10 years, and he faces George Roop whose range and submission ability make him a threat on the feet or on the mat. Under that bout, legendary and controversial former world champion Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto returns home to Japan in possibly a last effort to get his career back on track.
I'd watch the dynamic "Kid" paint a fence, so count me stoked for his fight against Matt Hobar. Other than those bouts, the bombastic Diego Brandao returns to action, as does the evolving veteran Kajan Johnson.
The card is filled with top-10 talent and exciting scrappers, all underneath the main and co-main.
Who is TJ's most likely next title defense? My hope is Cruz but how soon is he available? Same thing Assuncao?
DAMON: It has to be Dominick Cruz and shouldn't be anybody else at this point. Cruz told me earlier this year that he expected to be back by the close of 2015, but even if he's taking his sweet time with rehabilitation, we'd still give him until January or February of 2016.
Dillashaw vs. Cruz is the biggest fight the bantamweight division could put on right now unless Urijah Faber decides to put friendship aside and challenge his student to a title fight next year. Otherwise, it's worth it for Dillashaw to sit out a couple of extra months to finally settle things with Cruz in the Octagon.
Cruz never lost his title, and I think people forget how dominant he was as champion. He deserves this chance and Dillashaw could solidify his reign with a win. If Cruz can't be ready by February or March 2016 then you move onto Raphael Assuncao or hope you can convince Dillashaw to face Faber.
What's the likelihood of Jon Jones ever fighting again?
-- Bang from Kentucky
DAMON: Jon Jones will be back, 100 percent. He's been training nonstop in the past few months and everybody I've spoken to at Jackson's in New Mexico say he's not only a gym rat these days, but he's acting as a mentor and coach to a lot of the up and coming fighters.
He's expected to be a huge part of Holly Holm's camp as she gets ready for Ronda Rousey.
Jon needs to get his legal situation handled and the honest truth is he may even have to face a few months of jail time if he's found guilty. But Jones will pay his dues and then he will return to the UFC where he is still the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport and anyone that tells you different is just fooling themselves.
When is Dana going to take the bottle out of Phil's (CM Punk) mouth and stick him in the Octagon?
DAMON: CM Punk has always been a big experiment, and Dana White has been true to his word to give the former pro wrestler as much time as he needs to get ready for his UFC debut. January will be exactly one year since he started training full time under coach Duke Roufus, and I think the countdown clock begins at that point.
Punk is already under tremendous pressure because he's trying to learn how to fight in his late 30's with no real formal training or background in actual combat sports. In reality, Punk should probably train for two or three years before attempting to fight in the UFC, but he turns 37 in October, and he's not getting any younger.
I'd say we'll hear an announcement by the end of the year about his debut in 2016 and then we'll see if the sports entertainer is actually a fighter or just masquerading as one.
ELIAS: Let's be clear -- Phil Brooks started at point zero when he walked into Duke Roufus' Milwaukee mega-gym this past winter. Don't buy the hype that Brooks is highly trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Phil Brooks could have all the fighting talent in the world (he certainly has the guts and integrity), but if it took the UFC took five years to get him a fight, it wouldn't be over-cautious.
I know more than a few 0-0 guys at my gym who rip up professional MMA fighters in practice. So, even if the UFC is set on grabbing another man with little to no professional experience, Brooks is likely to run up against someone who has a lot more mat and ring time than he, whenever he fights.
The point is, give Brooks time.
He's in his mid-30's, and he just began training in January. Lucky for him, he's training at a phenomenal gym, with world class instruction and talent, in Roufusport.
It's going to take the UFC time to find a good fit for him in the cage. You know, unless they want to give a call to a certain poorly coordinated FOX Sports writer with amateur MMA experience, who happens to be in the same age and weight range as Brooks...
That would actually be a pretty easy fight to make.