UFC 145 is in the books and with it another crop of winners and losers. In the main event Jon Jones defended his title against former-teammate Rashad Evans in a fantastic performance over five rounds. In the co-main event, Rory MacDonald to showed why he's considered one of the hottest prospects at welterweight and the future of the division.
The night was also filled with upsets as Michael McDonald knocked Miguel Torres out cold. While McDonald showed he's a prospect with few holes, Stephen Thompson showed that he may have been hyped up a little too soon as he dropped his fight with Matt Brown. It was an entertaining night of fights from the UFC and one that will go down in the history books.
So there was a huge amount of build up leading into this fight that I honestly believed that maybe Rashad Evans would be a threat to Jon Jones. All the talk about getting the better of the UFC champion in camp fooled me into thinking that Jon Jones had some vulnerabilities. I was wrong. I will admit that I was wrong.
Jon Jones fought a perfect fight. He was rocked in the first round and then made the proper adjustments to ensure it wouldn't happen again. The elbows in the second were brilliant as was the strategy to fight hands. My only issue with his game plan was pulling guard to close the fight.
I know he was probably trying a flying submission but it was a reckless thing to do when he had that fight won. Amazing performance. I hope that Dan Henderson has a strategy to find his range or he may be going to sleep.
Talking up a fight is expected, especially when it's been building for over a year. The problem is that all those comments are on record so when the time comes, you have to back it up. Rashad Evans didn't back it up tonight. I don't know if the gym stories were true or if they were completely fabricated but the man that Rashad trained with at Greg Jackson's wasn't the same guy he faced tonight.
There were some bright moments for Evans where he landed punches and it looked to have shook Jones' confidence. Unfortunately those moments became few and far between as the fight went on. When the final bell sounded, Evans looked mentally broken.
I hope he can get his groove back because I believe that he has more to offer the world of MMA but tonight he looked old.
If we're being honest with each other, there's no reason to discuss Rory MacDonald's win over Che Mills as it was expected. It was so expected that many people were asking themselves "who the hell is Che Mills?" prior to the fight.
What we did learn about Rory MacDonald is that he has devastatingly accurate punches from the top and holds position on the ground incredibly well. Beating up Che Mills won't get him closer to a title shot but it will continue to build his confidence and experience inside the UFC cage.
Che Mills was brought in to be a warm body for Rory MacDonald to beat up on. He wasn't supposed to win and he served his purpose. Those cuts on his head were nasty and he had absolutely no answer on the ground. Honestly, there's not much to take away from his "performance" as he was defeated pretty easily. Only big comment is that he's extremely tough, I guess?
Ben Rothwell hits people extremely hard. Tonight Brendan Schaub found out. It was a great performance from the former Miletich Fighting System's heavyweight. He showed up in tremendous shape and for the first time in his UFC career, he was impressive. Huge huge huge win for Ben Rothwell who needed to show the world that the fight with Mark Hunt was not how he normally fights.
Brendan Schaub desperately needed to win tonight. Not because he risked being cut by the UFC. No, he needed to win so he wouldn't be relegated to gatekeeper status. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. He was knocked out for the third time in his UFC career.
Going forward there will be questions about his chin. And if we're being honest, he deserves all the criticisms he receives. As good of an offensive boxer as he is, he leaves his chin exposed constantly. He paid dearly for that mistake.
Sort of related but what was up with the awkward air hug while unconscious on the ground?
This was a very unexpected result. In fact, I didn't expect any part of Michael McDonald's performance against Miguel Torres. He's extremely young and doesn't have the big fight experience to draw on, which usually is a huge deal when fighting a veteran like Torres.
That didn't matter as McDonald beat the breaks off of Miguel Torres from the opening bell. He was landing beautiful combinations and was keeping the former-WEC bantamweight champion at range. The finish was epic.
This was the biggest win of his career and it opens up a bunch of interesting and intriguing match ups at bantamweight. There's also the possibility of a title shot coming sooner rather than later.
What the heck happened? Miguel Torres put on an underwhelming performance even prior to the knockout. He didn't look comfortable in the cage which is a real disappointment as Miguel is one of the most exciting fighters in all of MMA.
It's very possible that his "blood and guts" style has finally caught up with him after all those wars. That's probably what happened. He really hasn't looked the same since fighting Takeya Mizugaki. I have no idea what he does next because that was a bad knock out.
Did anyone expect Eddie Yagin to win except Eddie Yagin? I'm not entirely sure. But my belief is that he was supposed to be a rebuilding fight for Mark Hominick who had suffered back to back losses coming into UFC 145.
Apparently Eddie Yagin didn't get that memo. I won't discuss whether he won or not because he put on a super gutsy performance against one of the most talented kick boxers in the featherweight division. What I will say is that he's extremely tough and will be difficult for anyone to finish. Also I guess we need to start ranking Eddie Yagin?
Damn Shame about Mark Hominick. He's always been one of the most technically talented fighters in MMA but has never been able to put it all together. Tonight he completely abandoned his kickboxing in favor of getting into a slugfest with Eddie Yagin. Turns out that was a terrible strategy as he was dropped twice by the Hawaiian.
I honestly have no idea what the UFC does with him at this point. This was the rebuilding fight and he lost. I don't care if it was a controversial decision, a loss is a loss and tonight's was the third one in a row.
- Travis Browne is incredibly fun to watch and he's getting better with every outing. We've seen his ability to punch people in the face but there was never any display of submission skills. Well apparently he's got a pretty slick arm-triangle. Nice win over a game opponent.
- Matt Brown is a super tough fighter who can make any fight grimy with his ability to take his opponents off their game plans. Tonight he put a halt to the hype surrounding Stephen Thompson. The only negative is that his cardio and conditioning continue to be a huge liability.
- Speaking of Stephen Thompson, Chuck Liddell said it best on twitter when he commented that if you plan on being a stand up fighter you need to either have incredible takedown defense or you need to be super dangerous on the ground. Thompson has neither of those attributes and it showed tonight. Hopefully he learns and continues to grow as a fighter.
- There were several production hiccups during the FX broadcast. Hopefully those will continue to disappear as the relationship with the UFC grows.
- The refereeing tonight was atrocious. Seriously, you don't have to stand up fights on the ground. It's not a requirement. Also the referees don't have to have a "thing" they do before fights. Throwing up hearts and birds is ridiculous. May as well throw up the Hardy Boyz hand sign.