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USA Today

In retrospect, perhaps we should’ve known things weren’t going to end well for Jessica Eye when she deleted her Twitter account.

Eye abandoned the social media service on Monday after vehemently denying reports that she’d tested positive for marijuana at last October's UFC 166 and amid heated exchanges with fans and the reporter who broke the news.

“Hope we get to meet one day soon so I can personally tell you how I feel,” the UFC women’s bantamweight fighter wrote to Bloody Elbow’s Brent Brookhouse by way of saying goodbye.

At the time it seemed plausible that Eye simply didn’t want to deal with the public criticism as she prepares to fight Alexis Davis at UFC 170 on Feb. 22.

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USA today

To understand the depth of MMA’s current obsession with interdivisional superfights, it’s important to remember that Johny Hendricks isn’t even UFC welterweight champion yet.

Hendricks still has to fight Robbie Lawler at UFC 171 in mid-March before we find out who will fill Georges St-Pierre’s shoes as the company’s 170-pound champion.

Yet, a Google search for Hendricks’ name late last week—nearly 40 days before that bout is scheduled to happen—elicited as its top news story a headline from Yahoo Sports asking: (Is) UFC’s Johny Hendricks Targeting Chris Weidman?

Answer: Yes...sort of.

Hendricks is targeting Weidman in the same way many of us “target” going back to school to finish up that degree, quitting smoking or dropping those pesky 20 extra pounds.

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UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is a marketable star.

You won't find any MMA-centric brands adorning Jones when he walks out for fight night. He has endorsement deals with Nike and Gatorade, two of the biggest brands available in the sports marketing world.

He is eloquent. He is dedicated to his craft. Sure, he makes some of the same mistakes that other athletes in the spotlight make from time to time—a 2012 DUI incident being the most prominent—but he appears to learn from those mistakes in a way that many athletes do not.

He is an excellent fighter and a great champion. And he is the perfect face to present to a sporting world that still has a bit of trouble accepting the notion of cagefighting as a legitimate mainstream sport.

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LAS VEGAS—Ben Askren, once and perhaps future free-agent welterweight, sits near a waterfall in the massive Venetian casino.

He is here, in the sin capital of the world, for the World Mixed Martial Arts Awards, a sort of Academy Awards for the face-punching set that takes place Friday night at the Venetian Theater. For now, he is making the most of his time in Nevada by making the media rounds to promote his debut for the Singapore-based promotion One FC. He has done several radio appearances this morning already, and he will do several more this afternoon.

But for now, he is talking to me, and he is talking about being a heel.

A heel, in professional wrestling parlance, is a bad guy. He irks you. If he is good at his job, you will pay money to see someone else beat the stuffing out of him, repeatedly, as he dances all the way to the bank.

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USA Today

We’ve known for years that Alistair Overeem marches to the beat of his own electronic dance music.

For a dozen fights immediately preceding his arrival in the UFC, he walked a relatively solitary path, absconding with the Strikeforce heavyweight title to flit between promotions in Europe and Asia.

At times he appeared aloof—as if he could take or leave his MMA career—mixing in the occasional kickboxing tourney and always being more concerned with the bottom line than his place in the sport.

Even now that he’s an Octagon mainstay, Overeem doesn’t seem to get it.

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USA Today

Despite missing weight for two of his last three bouts—and needing an extra hour to make weight in the third—UFC flyweight John Lineker has no plans to move back up to bantamweight.

That's according to his manager Alex Davis, who spoke to MMAFighting.com's Guilherme Cruz on Tuesday.

Lineker initially came in at 127 pounds for last week's UFC 169 bout against Ali Bagautinov. He hit 126 pounds after being granted an extra hour, but the damage was already done. Lineker's reputation as a fighter who can't make weight was cemented even further.

But despite the repeated weight failures, Davis said it makes no sense for Lineker to jump up a weight class. 

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Here is Anthony Johnson’s chance to make an impact.

The fighter whose name was once synonymous with failed weigh-ins is back as of Tuesday morning, and he's booked into an instant light heavyweight contender bout against Phil Davis at UFC 172.

Johnson was last seen in the Octagon a bit more than two years ago, when he missed the middleweight limit by a whopping 11 pounds for a fight against Vitor Belfort after doctors advised him to abandon his cut. The fight was ultimately contested at a 197-pound catchweight, and Belfort won by first-round submission.

Like many of Belfort’s most recent appearances, that win came in Brazil, and he used it to springboard into a light heavyweight title shot against champion Jon Jones after Lyoto Machida turned down the chance.

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

It took UFC President Dana White all of about four minutes on Saturday to negotiate terms for a superfight between featherweight champion Jose Aldo and lightweight champ Anthony Pettis.

With the Octagon still warm from his shellacking of Ricardo Lamas at UFC 169, Aldo told the first reporter to question him at the post-fight press conference that he wanted a bout with Pettis.

Aldo checked with White, White checked with Aldo—the process only slowed because the two men were working through Aldo’s interpreter—and it was done. There was no need to ask Pettis, who had confirmed his interest earlier in the evening on social media.

“Sounds like we’ve got a fight,” White said during the official press conference feed on UFC's YouTube account. “There you go. That was easy.”

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USA Today

There was a moment, roughly halfway through Jose Aldo's thoroughly brilliant and yet somehow uninspiring victory over Ricardo Lamas at UFC 169, when the longtime featherweight kingpin's murky future suddenly became quite clear.

It has been years since Aldo was properly challenged. Against Lamas, as it has been against so many others, Aldo was effortless. He was facing one of the best fighters his division had to offer, and he barely needed to break a sweat.

He kept perfect distance. He feinted. He checked leg kicks, and then unleashed thudding, groan-inducing leg kicks of his own. He left Lamas flailing with roundhouse kicks that never had any chance of landing.

Aldo is perfection in the cage. There is no more technical and precise fighter, no fighter more capable of making very good challengers appear as rank amateurs. He is always just out of reach, and his reactionary timing is sublime. Go back to Saturday night and watch him dodge repeated jab and leg-kick attempts from Lamas. It is a subtle and natural thing of beauty.

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This was not one to tell your grandkids about.

I mean, unless your grandkids want to grow up to be ringside officials.

UFC 169 made a bit of fairly inauspicious history on Saturday night, setting a record for most decisions during a single UFC event. Ten of 12 fights went the distance, as Jose Aldo and Renan Barao both retained their titles and Alistair Overeem staved off Frank Mir.

“We broke a record tonight that I’m not very proud of,” said UFC president Dana White at the postfight news conference, via MMA Fighting. “Most decisions ever in UFC history; that’s not one you’re going to hear me bragging about at press conferences.”