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Maguire: Anderson showed Jones how to be true champ

ESPN staff
September 14, 2012 « Leben back to face Vemola at UFC 155 | Chartbeat test »

John Maguire insists he would have taken the fight with Chael Sonnen at UFC 151, had he been placed in the position of Jon Jones.

Maguire - who fights John Hathaway at UFC Nottingham - is not only a UFC competitor, but also a huge fan of the sport of MMA dating right back to UFC 1. An enormous fan of Tito Ortiz and Matt Hughes, Maguire has seen every UFC event - except the ghost ship 151.

Jones took the majority of the flak for the event's cancellation, which came when the light-heavyweight champion decided eight days' notice was not enough time to prepare tactically for Sonnen. Despite being in tip-top fitness, he turned down a challenger who is a natural middleweight.

"You look forward to watching some big fights, but it's gutting when the event doesn't happen. Very disappointing," Maguire told ESPN.

"If I'm in Jon Jones' position, at the end of the day, I'm the champ. Every fighter's different but I think plenty would agree with me, at the end of the day you're the champ: You fight and defend the belt.

"You fight whoever is in front of you, whether it's on eight days or six weeks or two months. Doesn't matter. You're the champ. If you want to be the greatest, you fight whoever."

Since the cancellation of UFC 151, the organisation has faced another potential trap in the shape of UFC 153. The event was eventually saved by Anderson Silva, who stepped in on four weeks' notice to fight Stephan Bonnar.

"Look at what Anderson Silva has done for UFC 153 - stepping up to 205lbs. He's a champ and he stepped up," Maguire said.

"I think eight days (for Jones against Sonnen) is enough - just change your gameplan. You've done a full camp, you're in shape, all you have to do is change a few things.

"I think it was a better fight for him. For one thing he didn't have to worry about an overhand right (from Dan Henderson) knocking him out, so all he had to do was stop Chael taking him down."

Tickets for UFC: Nottingham are available now from www.capitalfmarena.com and www.ufc.com.

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