UFC 128 Results: Complete Reaction from Saturday's Fights
UFC 128 is in the books and, while not the most memorable event of all-time aside from that main event, there were plenty of things to take notice of.
Jon Jones was unbelievable in his performance against Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. Jones was all over Shogun from the opening bell, and Shogun had absolutely no answer for him at all. Jones made himself a superstar tonight.
Urijah Faber made his UFC debut a good one with a decision victory over Eddie Wineland. That victory probably sets up a bantamweight championship fight with Dominick Cruz. Those two men don't like each other, so it will be interesting to see the build (possibly on "The Ultimate Fighter?") for that fight.
Those were the two big fights on the show, but there was other news that came out of the event from Newark, New Jersey. Here is our reaction to some of the things that we saw happen at UFC 128.
Eric Koch Scores a HUGE Knockout Victory
In the first fight of the evening, it was a preliminary fight that wasn't on the television schedule but aired on the Spike prelims show, Eric Koch scored a very impressive knockout win in the first-round against Raphael Assuncao.
The two were not doing much of anything, in fact the crowd was booing early - one guy shouted "C'mon guys this is a contact sport" - and then out of nowhere Koch just crushed Assuncao with a vicious right hand that dropped him.
Assuncao charged in on Koch and then Koch just swung and landed a shot right to the chin, sending Assuncao to the canvas in a heap.
Mirko Cro Cop Is Done As A Heavyweight Fighter In UFC
Mirko Cro Cop is a legend in the sport. He is one of the best pure strikers in the history of mixed martial arts. But his time as a heavyweight in UFC is over.
For the first two rounds against Brendan Schaub, Cro Cop didn't look too bad - he was landing solid shots and some kicks. The problem is, and it's the same one that Fedor faces in today's MMA world, that he is too small to be a heavyweight fighter. He is only 229 pounds, which is very small for a heavyweight today, and he is 36 years old, far past those prime days of Pride.
We all love Mirko Cro Cop, but he is no longer a factor in the heavyweight division.
Dan Miller Showed A Lot Of Guts Against Nate Marquardt
Dan Miller was basically in a no-win situation. He took the fight against Nate Marquardt on eight days notice. Marquardt's original opponent, Yoshihiro Akiyama, pulled out of the fight because of the tragedy that has hit Japan.
Miller was in great shape, not surprising since he trains constantly, but ultimately Marquardt simply outclassed him. Miller is a valuable commodity for the company because he will fight anyone, anywhere, anytime.
On the flip side, Marquardt looked pretty good in getting a unanimous decision victory, but he still doesn't look like a top-tier fighter. He doesn't do anything great, but he is good in certain areas. He is a mid-card guy who will probably never become anything more than that.
Jim Miller Is the Man
For nearly three full rounds, Jim Miller looked very impressive against Kamal Shalorus. Then, near the end of the third-round Miller connected with a vicious uppercut and then a knee and some punches which gave him a knockout victory.
After the fight, Miller said that he wants a lightweight title fight. The line to get to that title fight runs pretty deep now, with Miller making a strong case. If Anthony Pettis loses to Clay Guida in June, Miller could get the next title shot at Frankie Edgar or Gray Maynard.
Based On Performance, Urijah Faber Won't Beat Dominick Cruz
Urijah Faber did what he had to do in order to get a decision victory over Eddie Wineland, but there was nothing I saw that leads me to believe he can compete with the speed and unorthodox fighting style of Dominick Cruz, the UFC bantamweight champion.
Faber still has speed, but he isn't as fast as Cruz. Faber has power, but he won't be able to catch Cruz in a fight. Again, this is all being based on Faber's performance against Wineland so I could be wrong, but it was not the most impressive performance going into a potential title fight.
That said, I look forward to seeing those two (who genuinely don't like each other) step into the octagon against one another.
Jon Jones Is THE MAN
Jon Jones did something that I didn't think possible; he made Mauricio "Shogun" Rua look like a bad fighter. I mean we knew that Jones was good, but he made Shogun look completely inept. He had everything going, he was landing punches, kicks, elbows, defending against takedowns. There was nothing that Jones wasn't doing.
It was an unreal performance for Jones, who is now a legitimate superstar in the mixed martial arts world. There is no limit that this guy can't reach, he is so physically gifted and so unorthodox that you can't really plan for his style.
Who Is Going To Beat Jon Jones?
We know who Jon Jones' next opponent will be - Rashad Evans - but who is going to stop him?
Jones is so talented, so aggressive, so potent with his attacks, so good in so many aspects of the game, but the key thing is that he has room to get better. He has only been training in this sport for three years.
Jones and Evans are training partners, so if anyone knows Jones' skills, strengths and potential weaknesses it is Evans. After seeing Jones' performance against Shogun, I don't know if that will be enough to get a victory over Jones.
There is just no one else like him in the light heavyweight division, or the sport for that matter, that it's tough to see anyone who will be able to topple him in the near future.
What's Next For Shogun Rua?
Shogun Rua won the light heavyweight title from Lyoto Machida 10 months ago, but due to a knee injury he wasn't able to defend the belt during that time.
In his first fight back he fell victim to Jon Jones, not that there's anything wrong with that, and now there will be some questions about what his future will entail. He could stay at light heavyweight and be successful, I mean he is only 29 years old.
Some have speculated, namely Joe Rogan, that think Shogun should move down to middleweight. He is a smaller light heavyweight, but he has proven that he can contend with the fighters in that division. So he should stay at light heavyweight, at least for now, and go up against someone like Forrest Griffin or even Ryan Bader.