Custom Search

September 21, 2012

Jon Manley | T.U.F.| Week 1 Recap

Now that Jon Manley has been in the T.U.F. house for a week we turn our attention to last week's episode and give you our insights as to what this week may bring.

Jon's potential opponents as of 9-21-2012

Team Carwin: 

          Sam Alvey            (18-4-0) (TUF 1-0)
          Bristol Marunde     (12-7-0) (TUF 1-0)
        Mike Ricci            (7-2-0) (TUF 1-0)
        Aoutneil Magny     (7-1-0) (TUF 1-0)
        James Chaney       (7-2-0) (TUF 1-0)
            Eddy Ellis             (17-15-1) (TUF 1-0) 
       Igor Araujo           (22-6) (TUF 1-0)
      Matt Secor            (1-1) (TUF 1-0)

     So lets start this off with a big congratulations to Jon.  He and his Team Link associates have been working hard for years putting all the pieces of this crazy game together and the results are staggering. Jon trains out of W.Mass, under the watchful eye of two UFC veterans and their chief instructor Marco Alvan.  With Team Link anything is possible, but one thing is for sure win or lose Jon has much to be thankful for.  First and foremost Jon can thank Dana White after awarding him the privilege of advancing to the house after he struggled to please the masses during a two round ground war with Ricky Legere Jr.  His game plan drew heavy criticism from DW leading many to doubt he will make it very far in the season.  I for one was a bit disappointed in the way that DW could discount any fighter's game if it was a winning game.  He made the call though and in this case he happened to throw Manley a life preserver in the end.  I would like to see Dana, at some point, feel compelled to explain why he fails to see a skilled BJJ gamer like Manley as an exciting fighter.  His brief and heavily edited fight was with a man who's professional record has twice the number of fights fought as young Jon.  A tough match-up from the word go.  Jon's courage bridged the gap between experience and skill and anyone following today's MMA scene will attest that many more fights will be fought to a decision when the fighters are evenly matched.  Now as for the rest of the season I expect that Jon's new coach and one of my favorite MMA Heavy Guys, Roy "Big Country" Nelson, will see that Manley is exactly what his team needs to beat Carwin.  It may surprise folks to learn that Nelson holds a Black Belt in BJJ and may well be looking to take Jon to the end in an effort to add another Submission Artist to the Welterweight Division.  I predict that Jon will continue to get picked on by his housemates and that Dana will not have forgotten his dislike for the lack of action in Manley's first fight, but in the end Jon will use that as his motivation and keep pulling out the W's week after week.

On to who Jon could face in his next fight.  If Jon fights tonight he could be up against any of the eight men listed at the top of this post.  Of the eight, 4 men hold more wins than all of Jon's fights combined, three of them are at least on paper on par with his experience level, and one is fresh meat.  If I were to pick a match for Jon it would be with Mike Ricci.  Mike or as Dana is going to cal him, "The Accountant", gave us an exciting and quick fight to watch when he destroyed his opponent with his technical strikes and intense focus.  Jon might turn some heads if he were to get the opportunity to test Ricci's ground game.  I hope you will continue to follow Jon's progress here and on the many other media outlets for the next couple of months.  Tonight we may learn more about Jon and how he plans on making his name in the UFC, for now we will have to just sit back and watch it unfold.  Til next week keep doing what you love and love what you do.

I will wrap up this post with a quote from Jon's friend and mentor, Marco Alvan, owner of Team Link BJJ.
Q: Marco, can you tell us why Dana made a point to say it, Manley vs Legere Jr., was a boring fight? I noticed that we didn't get to see the whole bout start to finish. So I am curious what was the game plan for Jon, and do you think he executed it?

Marco Alvan, Owner, Team Link BJJ
A: "Everyone should respect how Dana White see a fight and his opinions on the fight. The man create a empire and always proved a point that he is correct in his decisions.
Everyone has their opinions and he has his opinion too and if he said that Jon's first fight wasn't the most exited its ok no problem with that.
The UFC is in the business of entertainment and his goal is to make people at home be waiting for the next episode because those great fighters will collide. He hopes every fight finish with a KO, TKO or submission and it is nothing wrong with that! Sometimes we see a bad judgements and he also wants to avoid it.
As far as my position as Jon's coach it is little different. Jon fought a extremely though guy with 18 fights with 14 wins. The guy has fought in some major events and has a ton of experience with more than double of fights then Jon.
At that point you have to manage to do what ever it take to win the fight and not lose the chance of your life to be in the house of the ultimate fighter.
Once that said, I believe Jon applied the correct game plan and took the guy out of his game and at the end had his arm raised.
That was the most important fight and maybe the best performance of Jon so far! What we have analyze is the calibre of fighter each one got. So many fighters there with 3,4 or 5 fights and Jon was pick to face a guy with 18 fights. I bet it was not easy!
I am confident in Jon's skills and determination! The kid is very talented and has the heart of a lion.
Inside the house and learning from great people he will develop even more and will give the fights that everyone wants!
Dana White is smart person and he will see inside the house who Jon really is and hopefully Jon have a great performance in his next fight finishing his opponent with KO, TKO or submission and the boss will be happy and make a lot of complements for Jon and everyone will be happy!
Team Link is so proud of Jon! It is a long road for this young man, not just training but training in the right direction! With a goal that we all knew he would get and now it is becoming reality!!!
Western Mass is so luck to have a fighter like Jon in the back yard!
Jon Manley is opening his own MMA/BJJ school in partnership with another team mate Tom Gomes in Northampton and people from that area will have the opportunity to train with him.
Good luck for Jon in the show and in his new Team Link Noho school!!!"
I want to thank Jon Manley, Zuffa International, and Marco Alvan for allowing us to include them in this article.  We look forward to seeing how our Western MA fighter fares in this season of TUF and without a doubt we are proud as hell to be represented in such a big way on such a big stage.  To all my readers no matter your interest level in MMA, remember that life is what you make of it.  Never stop believing in yourself and never put those dreams aside.  Go get it.  

If You Enjoyed This Article Please Comment. Support us by following our twitter and our facebook fan page. It is the best way to stay up to date on local MMA! Any news you would like us to share email us at Thanks!