The Future is Now

The saying goes “You are not a champion until you defend your belt” and this is what Jon Jones, the youngest UFC champion in UFC history, was faced with. The Light Heavyweight championship had exchanged hands more than any other belt in recent history as, since Chuck Liddell had it only one fighter has ever defended it successfully. In the era of GSPs and Silvas the fact that a championship could change hands so much is almost unthinkable. The Light Heavyweight division is one of the most competitive in the UFC but when Jon Jones beat Mauricio Rua for the belt many believed it was the beginning of the Light Heavyweight lockdown. Jones had a challenge ahead of him however as the champion would take on the last man to defend the belt successfully in Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. After all of the trash talking between these fighters they finally got their chance to face off in the octagon. The fight started in one of the strangest ways as Jones came out of his corner crouched down and moving around in a crouched position with a hand on the ground. With this crouched position Jones shot for a single leg but it was unsuccessful. Jones stood up after the failed takedown attempt and began using his tremendous reach to keep Rampage at a distance. Jones continued to throw straight kicks and punches but none did mu damage. Rampage could not get much going but near the end of the first round he took some big swings that all missed. The swings would have meant a KO if they connected but Jackson could not get close enough to land anything significant. Rampage came out firing in the second round but again could not land anything significant. Jones continued to keep Jackson at a distance with his kicks and straight rights but could not get Rampage down despite repeated shoots. In the third round Jones finally go the takedown and got full mount where he started punishing Jackson with some vicious elbows. Rampage eventually got up and ended the round with some wild haymakers that came very close to knocking Jones out but they could not connect. The fighters entered the first of the championship rounds much the same as the previous three rounds. Jones then pressed Jackson against the fence and took him down again. Then Jones did something that had never been seen before as he sunk in a rear naked choke and made Rampage tap. Jackson had never been finished in a fight before as he had always gone the distance or knocked out his opponent but Jones was able to end this streak as he earned the first ever submission on Rampage. With the win Jones solidified his spot atop the UFC. Jones beat a very tough opponent and became the first person to finish Rampage as well as the first person since Rampage to defend the Light Heavyweight Title. This could be the start to a lockdown division as the welterweight and middleweight divisions are already locked out. Jones will need to do a lot more to lock the division up as he will now go on to face his original opponent in Rashad Evans. Meanwhile Rampage will continue to be a roadblock to many as he will continue to fight and continue to be in the title conversation.

The main event provided some fireworks for the future of the UFC while the second last fight showed the beginning. Matt Hughes has been fighting in the UFC for years and is one of the most accomplished fighters in all of the UFC. Hughes has held the welterweight belt longer than any other fighter in the UFC and has the most wins by any fighter in the UFC. This is the reason why Hughes is a current Hall of Famer and has been a fan favorite for years. Meanwhile Josh Koshcheck has been the villain since coming into the UFC through “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series and has been a very good and challenging fighter. Koshcheck had a big rise in the welterweight division and made it to the top where he faced Georges St. Pierre for the title. GSP was able to beat Koshcheck and in the process damaged Koshcheck’s eye keeping him out of the octagon for 9 months. With Diego Sanchez injured Koshcheck got his shot at Hughes, who Kos called out in recent years, as his return to fighting. Many thought that Hughes would immediately take Kos down in this fight but the fight started in a very familiar way. Hughes used a page of Georges St. Pierre’s playbook as he threw the jab out to Koshcheck’s eye which is how GSP won the title fight. Hughes continued this throughout the first round as Koshcheck also landed some good punches. Eventually Kos caught the legend with some solid punches that dropped Hughes. Koshcheck jumped on the chance as he continued to throw some big punches from the top that ended the fight. Hughes was knocked out with a number of big shots by Koshcheck ending the fight and giving Kos the win. After the fight Hughes said that he was not going to retire but he would ask the UFC to put him on a shelf. This means that we will not be seeing Hughes fight too much but if the UFC has an interesting fight for the Hall of Famer he will take it. Meanwhile Koshcheck solidified his spot as one of the best welterweights in the division and will be a roadblock in the division for those coming up to fight GSP.

The UFC gave out $75,000 bonuses for all of the biggest fights of the night as each fighter involved got their extra money for their performances. The “Submission of the Night” went to Nate Diaz for his win against Takanori Gomi with his transitions that eventually led to an armbar. The “Knockout of the Night” went to Josh Koshcheck for his first round KO over Matt Hughes. The “Fight of the Night” went to the main event as Jon Jones and Rampage Jackson each got the award with a fantastic title fight.

 

Full Results:

Jon “Bones” Jones def. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson

(Submission; Rear Naked Choke, Rd. 4)

 

Josh “Kos” Koshcheck def. Matt Hughes

(KO; Rd. 1)

 

Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt def. Ben Rothwell

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Travis “Hapa” Browne def. Rob “The Bear” Broughton

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Nate Diaz def. Takanori “The Fireball Kid” Gomi

(Submission; Armbar, Rd. 1)

 

Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson def. Aaron Riley

(Referee Stoppage; Rd. 1)

 

Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch def. Nick “The Promise” Ring

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Junior Assuncao def. Eddie “The Filipino Phenom” Yagin

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Takeya Mizugaki def. Cole “Apache Kid” Escovedo

(KO; Rd. 2)

 

James Te Huna def. Ricardo Romero

(KO; Rd. 1)

 

Upcoming Events:

UFC Live 6: Cruz vs. Johnson (Oct. 1st; 9:00 pm)

– Free Live on Sportsnet/Versus

– Washington, DC (Verizon Center)

– Main Event: Dominick Cruz vs. Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson [Bantamweight Title]

– Notable: Pat “HD” Barry vs. Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve

 

UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard III (Oct. 8th; 9:00 pm)

– Houston, Texas (Toyota Center)

– Main Event: Frankie “The Answer” Edgar vs. Gray “The Bully” Maynard [Lightweight Title]

– Co-Main Event: Jose “Junior” Aldo vs. Kenny “Kenflo” Florian [Featherweight Title]

– Notable: Chael Sonnen vs. Brian “All American” Stann

 

UFC 137: St. Pierre vs. Condit (Oct. 29th; 9:00 pm)

– Las Vegas, Nevada (Mandalay Bay Event Center)

– Main Event: Georges “Rush” St. Pierre vs. Carlos “Natural Born Killer” Condit [Welterweight Title]

– Notable: “The Prodigy” BJ Penn vs. Nick Diaz

– Notable: Cheick Kongo vs. Matt Mitrione

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