Another huge UFC event went into the history books tonight, fans and friends. UFC 128: “Shogun vs. Jones” is over and done with. It was a night that saw four free preliminary fights, several amazing knockouts, and the ascension of several fighters to top-division status. And in the main event, Jon Jones kick-started “The Era of Bones” by utterly dominating Mauricio Rua. Here are the full results as well as some early commentary on UFC 128: “Shogun vs. Jones”.
Jon Jones defeats Mauricio Rua at 2:37 of Round 3 to become the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. Urijah Faber defeats Eddie Wineland by Unanimous Decision. Jim Miller defeats Kamal Shalorus by TKO (strikes) at 2:15 of Round 3. Nate Marquardt defeats Dan Miller by Unanimous Decision. Brendan Schaub defeats Mirko Filipovic by TKO (strikes) at 3:44 of Round 3. Luis Cane defeats Eliot Marshall by TKO (strikes) at 2:15 of Round 1. Edson Barboza defeats Anthony Njokuani by Unanimous Decision. Mike Pyle defeats Ricardo Almeida by Unanimous Decision. Gleison Tibau defeats Kurt Pellegrino by Split Decision. Joseph Benavidez defeats Ian Loveland by Unanimous Decision. Nick Catone defeats Constantinos Phillippou by Unanimous Decision . Erik Koch defeats Raphael Assuncao by KO at 2:32 of Round 1.
Although I once again enjoyed the four free fights the UFC gave us as part of their ongoing “UFC Prelims LIVE” series of shows, I have to admit that my expectations were completely backwards.
I was looking forward to the Facebook stream a lot more, because it boasted bigger names and veteran talents. However, I thought Almeida, Tibau, Pellegrino, and Pyle all put on rather pedestrian affairs. They weren’t bad fights, but they definitely fell short of my expectations. I was pleasantly surprised by the Spike TV broadcast, which featured a great TKO win by Luis Cane and a very, very entertaining striking war between Edson Barboza and Anthony Njokuani.
I rarely dislike being right, but I’m not without a heart. I don’t like seeing Mirko Cro Cop lifeless on the mat. This is the second time in a row that Cro Cop has lost by KO, and I think it may be time for him to call it a career. I could possibly see Cro Cop moving down to Light Heavyweight, but I think Cro Cop’s days of being relevant as a Heavyweight are now firmly and finally over and done with, and not even the staunchest Cro Cop supporter can argue against that.
I’m glad Nate Marquardt beat Dan Miller, but I have a new appreciation for how tough Dan Miller is. I didn’t think he would be able to deal with Nate Marquardt’s power for three rounds without going down, and he proved me dead wrong. So here’s some credit where it’s rightfully due: his performance coupled with the fact that he took this fight on ultra-short notice means that Dan Miller far exceeded my expectations at UFC 128, even in losing.
With his win at UFC 128, I think Jim Miller has firmly staked his claim near the top of the UFC Lightweight division. Miller has got to be only a few fights away from a title shot, there’s just no way he’s not unless the UFC doesn’t realize what they have in him. In Jim Miller you’ve got a fighter that will fight anyone anywhere, he’ll strike with strikers and he’ll try to submit high-level Brazilian Jui Jitsu fighters. Miller has the raw talent to go very far in the UFC’s Lightweight division, and his performance at UFC 128 proves that he’s living up to his potential. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Jim Miller.
Eddie Wineland is one tough fighter, but Urijah Faber proved that he still has it at UFC 128. I was happy enough knowing that Faber finally debuted in the UFC, but seeing him win and win big while still retaining his very entertaining style was one of my favorite moments of the night. I think this was a very important, very big step on the comeback trail for Urijah Faber, and I think 2012 could be the year where Faber becomes a champion again. Depending on how things shake out, we may even enter 2012 with Faber as champion.
I called it, fans and friends. I gave Rua his due, I said he could beat Jon Jones, now give me my due. This is the new era, now. Jon Jones is “the chosen one”. Like some mythical fairy-tale, the young champion has now ascended to the throne and will be the one to break “the curse”. It’s a whole new ballgame now, and Jon Jones is the best Light Heavyweight fighter in the world.
And that’s what I thought about UFC 128, fans and friends. What about you? What’s your opinion on “Shogun vs. Jones” now that it’s all said and done?