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Chances are, Jon Jones will never have another 2011.

To say that year was a good one for the UFC light heavyweight champion is a drastic understatement. Simply put, Jones’ 2011 may well go down as the greatest individual year any MMA fighter has ever had.

Jones won four straight fights during that calendar turn, capturing the 205-pound title and defeating three former light heavyweight champions in a row in Shogun Rua, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Lyoto Machida. Unfortunately, the ensuing three years haven’t been quite as stellar for him.

Sure, there were high spots—he beat Rashad Evans and Vitor Belfort to run his streak to five straight former champs vanquished, for example—but there have also been injuries, underwhelming matchups and a string of public relations gaffes.

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Veteran mixed martial arts fighter Wanderlei Silva has filed a reply in support of motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction in the case brought against him by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

The motion was filed on Tuesday by Silva's Las Vegas-based lawyer, Ross Goodman, and was stamped as received by the Nevada Attorney General's administration office on Wednesday. Bleacher Report obtained a copy of the reply from Goodman Law Group. A full version of the reply may be viewed here.

Goodman told Bleacher Report that the motion is set to be heard on September 23.

The Attorney General's office filed a formal complaint against Silva on August 5 after the fighter fled from a random drug screening earlier this year. The complaint urged the Nevada Athletic Commission to punish Silva for evading a random drug screening during the lead-up to his scheduled fight with Chael Sonnen earlier this year.

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For some people MMA competition is enough. Two tough guys, one cage, something has to give.

But for many, dare I suggest most, simply inserting two people into the UFC Octagon is not, in and of itself, particularly compelling. We've seen it—dozens, hundreds, even thousands of times.

It takes more than just organizing an athletic contest to get our attention. We need context, story or high stakes. Is a championship on the line? Is this a battle between two distinct styles?

Best of all, though? Are they getting it on because they don't, gulp, get along?

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As we speak, Johny Hendricks is about a month into his fight camp.

Never mind that the UFC welterweight champion doesn’t yet officially have an opponent for the first defense of his title. Never mind that, due to the fight company’s jam-packed pay-per-view schedule, Hendricks estimates he’s still five or six months away from returning to the cage.

What Hendricks does have is full medical clearance to resume training, after tearing his right bicep while beating Robbie Lawler to claim the vacant 170-pound strap back in March. The arm is now surgically repaired and duly rehabbed, so Hendricks and his team are using the extended break to put him through a “minicamp”—a way of staying sharp and keeping his weight in check while making sure the arm is as good as new.

“We’re just sort of fine-tuning and trying to get a little bit better,” Hendricks told Bleacher Report on Tuesday. “Now that we’ve got some time off I’m really focusing on putting some muscle back on that I lost [after] not being able to lift or work out or do anything for four months. We’re working on my hands, getting them better, and my kicks. There’s so many things I have to room focus on right now that I don’t even have to bother with, do I have a fight?”

Carla Esparza
Photo courtesy of Fox Sports/UFC

The Ultimate Fighter 20 debuted last week to rave reviews and not-so-great television ratings. 

But regardless of the show's ability to capture fan imagination—it has grown long in the tooth over the years—there is no doubt that the latest version of The Ultimate Fighter is the most interesting in years. From the high-level competitors to the unique new seeding and tournament structure, it is a breath of fresh air.

In a house filled with title contenders, only one woman will emerge as the new UFC strawweight champion. Today, we take a look at five competitors who have the inside track to December's championship fight.


Carla Esparza (Seed: No. 1)

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Some very big doors may be about to open for Bethe Correia.

If they do, it will happen because—and only because—she had the foresight and fortitude to kick them down on her own. Within the relative quiet of the UFC’s women’s bantamweight division, that’s an achievement in and of itself.

Champion Ronda Rousey was still talking about Correia this past weekend while Rousey was in Brazil for UFC Fight Night 51. Rousey mentioned the undefeated Brazilian among the short list of contenders who might find their way into a shot at her title during 2015.

Naturally, that’s been Correia’s whole point since the beginning.

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The biggest fight of 2015, on nearly every kind of scale one imagines, is probably Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier. After that, it's Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz.

It wasn't always this way, of course. But then Jones and Cormier slugged it out in the lobby in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. After that, the pair were everywhere: SportsCenter, your local news, your local pub. Everyone talked about Jones and Cormier engaging in fisticuffs. Everyone pretended to hate it, but secretly they loved it, and secretly they could not wait to see the fight.

That fight was supposed to take place at UFC 178 next week. It's not happening because Jones was injured in training by Alistair Overeem. This knowledge makes me and everyone else I know a little bit sad.

Make no mistake about it: UFC 178 is still the most stacked card in recent UFC memory. Any fight card with Donald Cerrone taking on Eddie Alvarez is going to have my rapt attention. But Jones/Cormier would've been the perfect way to cap off the night.

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Andrei Arlovksi, world heavyweight title contender?

This seemed a ludicrous idea in March 2013, when Arlovski lost to former welterweight and future light heavyweight Anthony Johnson. Arlovski just didn't have what it took anymore. Not to compete at the highest level.

It seemed far-fetched even yesterday morning. Arlovski was scheduled to face Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva on the UFC's Fight Pass service on Saturday night, and a Silva win seemed a foregone conclusion. Even UFC commentators Jon Anik and Kenny Florian were in on the act: The storyline for Arlovski centered on whether or not he had anything left.

As it turned out, Arlovski did have something left. He melted Silva, knocking him out in the first round. It eliminated nasty thoughts of Arlovski's controversial (and terribly boring) split decision over Brendan Schaub in his last bout, and perhaps even served notice that a new (old) heavyweight contender had arrived. Indeed, Anik's push after the fight—perhaps spurred on by the voices in his head—was that Arlovski was a new contender in the heavyweight division despite being ranked 14th going into the fight.

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I’d like to think a guy like Krzysztof Soszynski would be set for life.

A veteran of nearly 40 fights, Soszynski spent more than eight years in the trenches of professional MMA. He fought for several of the industry’s top promotions, including Strikeforce and the IFL, before mustering a three-year, nine-fight tenure in the Octagon.

I’m told it's difficult to measure how long the average UFC career lasts, but with a final record of 6-3, Soszynski was likely more successful than most. He was never champion (or even a top contender), but he won more than he lost and three times pleased his bosses enough to win one of the fight company’s performance-based bonuses.

In reality, though, I know Soszynski probably isn’t a wealthy man.

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Stop me if you've heard this one before: Dana White doesn't like somebody, and he doesn't mind telling anyone who will listen exactly what he thinks.

It's that trait that made White one of the biggest stars in the UFC. Fighters come and go, but White and his over-the-top soundbites never stop. He's always there to tell you what is literally (figuratively) happening, and he's always good for an off-the-cuff response when you need one.

He's engaged in public spats with folks for years. Nobody is safe: other promoters, television network officials and even his own fighters. If you piss White off, there is a very good chance he'll tell everybody about it. Tito Ortiz is his most popular target, but White's ire isn't restricted to just Ortiz.

Now, White has a new favorite target: Ben Askren, the former Bellator welterweight champion.