After beginning his career with an electrifying 13-2 record, Pennsylvania’s own, Mike Ciesnolevicz, made his way to the ring for the IFL Team Championship Finals on September 20, 2007. Ciesnolevicz was in the midst of a five-fight winning streak and on a clear path to the biggest stage in the sport—the UFC. One man stood between Ciesnolevicz and his dream of making it to the UFC: Andre Gusmao.

Unfortunately for Ciesnolevicz, his unbeaten streak was cut short as he suffered just the third loss of his professional career. To add to the pain, it was Gusmao who received the exclusive invitation to join the world’s top promotion and would go on to meet rising star Jon “Bones” Jones in both competitors’ Octagon debuts at UFC 87.

Ciesnolevicz was just one fight away from fighting the man who would go on to become the youngest champion in UFC history. In a recent interview with The MMA Corner, Ciesnolevicz reflected on the past opportunity, along with Jones’ future bout with Dan Henderson in UFC 151’s main event on Sept. 1.

“Realistically, at that point in time, Jon Jones was a nobody,” admitted Ciesnolevicz. “That fight would not have meant nearly as much then as it would right now. However, it would also have been a great resume builder to say that I fought and beat him based on what he has accomplished up until this point in his career.”

“I think Jones is a bad matchup for everyone, if you fight his fight. He has some very unique tools at 205 pounds that nobody else brings to the table. He is bigger than me, faster than me, and would present a lot of problems. The advantage I hold is that I have no fear of Jon Jones. I don’t buy into this super human status that everyone has given to him,” said Ciesnolevicz. “He is a man like everyone else.”

Ciesnolevicz (L) (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)


As an eventual two-time veteran of the UFC, Ciesnolevicz knows full well the ins and outs of what many consider to be the most entertaining sport on the planet. And like any champion’s reign, a time will come where the end is near for the current superstar. According to Ciesnolevicz, Jones’ time on the throne may come to an end sooner than some may think. In fact, Ciesnolevicz believes Henderson just may have the tools and experience to knock off the 25-year-old phenom.

“Jones will obviously hold the advantage in youth, speed, athleticism, kicking range and unpredictability. I think we’ll see Henderson have the advantage in boxing, wrestling, experience, that no fear attitude, and, of course, the H-Bomb. Henderson has no fear of  Jones, and he does not buy into the hype,” said Ciesnolevicz. “Henderson is going to get in Jones’ face and bring the fight to him.”

“He is going to test Jones’ chin and make it a brawl.  If they end up in the clinch, Henderson should have a wrestling advantage, but Jones could actually win that battle because of age. You don’t wrestle the same at 42 as you do at 24.  Jones is not the better wrestler on paper, but he could be in this fight due to the huge age difference,” Ciesnolevicz explained. “When it comes down to it, I like what Henderson said about facing Jones. He said, ‘The only people who think Jon Jones is unbeatable are the people who have never fought’.”

As we’ve seen in the past, many of Jones’ opponents allow the lengthy champ to dictate the pace of the fight. Ciesnolevicz believes this won’t be the case when action begins on Sept. 1. Instead, Ciesnolevicz strongly believes this showdown will closely resemble Henderson’s meeting with Michael Bisping at UFC 100.

The result? A brutal, H-Bomb knockout victory for Henderson.

“I love to analyze and break down fights and the styles of each fighter. Jones is a puzzle to solve, but I believe Henderson has the answers to this puzzle. I see this fight looking a lot like Henderson’s win over Bisping. It has potential to be the greatest H-Bomb of all-time,” said Ciesnolevicz.

“Henderson wins by knockout.”

Photo: Mike Ciesnolevicz (Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog)

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  • Pingback: UFC vet Mike Ciesnolevicz "Dan Henderson will knock out Jon Jones" - Sherdog Mixed Martial Arts Forums()

    • Garrett Derr, Interview Coordinator

      For sure, but I like it.

  • Rob

    At least someone else besides Dan thinks he can pull it off, if we are looking for a silver lining in this article.

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  • David

    Jon Jones is one of those fighters where nowhere is safe. Usually against an opponent, there are certain situations in the back of a fighter’s mind where he knows he is “Safe” from his foe’s offense. Things he doesn’t do, or do well enough to present any real danger. That is not the case with Jon Jones at all. You can’t stand away from Jones because his reach is just so long he can set back and jab and kick you to death to mentally frustrate you. The mid-range is no good, because as displayed with Evans he can hand fight and land elbows seemingly at will. Clinch range is also no good because those wanting to turn the fight into a brawl, discover that Jon Jones has high level greco-roman wrestling, strength, dangerous muy thai knees, and even standing submissions. And if you end up on the ground with Jon Jones, it’s just purely academic at this point, because he does whatever he wants to his opponent. Elbows, knees, submissions. He may not be the best in any one aspect of MMA, but his overall game makes him a hard fighter to figure out and beat, because he does everything very well. A Jack of All Trades if you were. I love Ciesnolevicz’s optimism for Hendo’s chances, but I think Hendo has as much of a chance as a snowball in hell.