Jon Anik is gearing up for UFC 291
UFC commentator Jon Anik will be on the call this weekend for UFC 291: Dustin Poirier vs. Justin Gaethje 2. The ever-present PPV play-by-play guy did some media rounds this week and spoke with Mike Owens at Middle Easy about the event.
During their discussion, which included how Anik prepares his voice for a long night of fights and which fighter is the BMF in each division, the broadcaster let slip the fight that UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard is dreaming of putting together.
Mick Maynard’s dream fight won’t happen for a while
According to Anik, Maynard’s dream fight belongs in the snake-bit UFC light heavyweight division. It includes two former champs who have both relinquished the belt due to injury.
“I feel like [Jamahal Hill] gonna be out a long time, an Achilles rehab is pretty substantial and that’s why they went in this direction,” said Anik when describing the circumstances of Hill vacating his 205 lbs title. “He said the UFC is going to take care of him in his YouTube video. I don’t know exactly what that means; surgery or otherwise, financially or otherwise. It’s just crazy man, these guys are so talented. [Jiri] Procházka [versus] Jamahal Hill was like a dream fight of Mick Maynard and the UFC.”
Light heavyweight has been a roller coaster
Since Jon Jones announced he was vacating the UFC light heavyweight title in 2020 (after defending the belt against Dominick Reyes), the belt has changed hands four times. It’s one of the hottest potatoes in the promotion. The only belt that has switched waists as much as this one is the flyweight title, which has changed hands six times since 2020 (among three people).
The first man since Jones to win the belt was Jan Blachowicz, who beat Reyes for the vacant belt in September 2020. He defended the title against Israel Adesanya the following year, but then dropped the belt to Glover Teixeira a few months later.
Teixeira then lost the belt in his first defence; to Jiri Prochazka. Before he could defend the title, Prochazka vacated the strap citing a catastrophic shoulder injury that requires surgery and lengthy rehab.
With the title vacant again, Blachowicz faced Magomed Ankalaev for the belt. But they put on a stinker that resulted in a draw.
Jamahal Hill and Glover Teixeira were then drafted in. And Hill beat Teixeira to take the belt, which he would vacate six months later.
With the injuries to Hill and Prochazka likely to keep them out of action for a while, the UFC matchmakers might consider any light heavyweight fight that produces a champ (who can defend the belt) a ‘dream fight’.
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