The Rivalry is Just Beginning (UFC 145 Review)

Photo Credit: UFC.com/Getty Images

The UFC has seen its’ share of rivalries over the years and many of them have been in the ultra competitive Light Heavyweight division. The last great rivalry was the longtime hatred between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz who simply did not like each other. Liddell ultimately came out on top becoming one of the best UFC Light Heavyweight Champions ever. Since Chuck Liddell the Light Heavyweight Division has been even more competitive with only Quinton Jackson able to defend the belt successfully. Then came Jon Jones who was touted as the future face of the UFC and of the division. He became the first fighter since Chuck Liddell to defend his belt more than once and began preparing for his 3rd title defence. With Jones becoming the new Liddell he needed a rival like Tito Ortiz and that came in the form of Rashad Evans. Evans and Jones had become friends at first when Jones was entering the UFC and Evans was the Light Heavyweight Champion. A lot changed over the years as Evans lost his title and Jones became the new champion. That’s where it changed as the friendship soured thanks to an interview by Jones where he said if he had to he would fight Evans. Evans took offence as they had said they would not fight each other if it came to it. From then on both fighters traded verbal blows about each other in a build up that lasted almost a full year. They got the chance to take out their frustrations at UFC 145 as Jones would defend his belt against his former friend in Atlanta. The build-up was big as the fight became the most anticipated fight of 2012, aside from the potential Sonnen/Silva rematch. The intensity was felt from the very start of the walkouts as both fighters seemed loose but seemed determined to win the fight. The first round started with both fighters feeling each other out as Jones and Evans both threw a number solid punches and kicks. Then Evans finally broke through with the first real advantage as he caught the champion with a head kick that seemed to hurt Jones. Evans could not finish it though as Jones recovered quickly and ended the round looking almost untouched. The second round saw Jones begin to really take control of the fight as he began landing more and more and then eventually landing some devastating standing elbows. Evans eye started swelling thanks to the elbows of Jones and from that point on it seemed to be Jones’ fight to lose. The rest of the rounds were much of the same as Jones used his great reach advantage to keep Evans at bay. Evans continued to come forward trying to take the fight but he could not shake Jones and get inside to finish the fight. Jones continued to through unexpected strikes and damaged Evans not letting him get the advantage. Jones tried to end the fight but could not hurt Evans enough to put him on the mat. When the fight ended it was obvious that Jones had taken care of his rival in the title fight. The judges proved that right as they gave Jones the win in a unanimous decision as Jones remained the champion. For Jones the next challenge may be a bit far away as he has essentially cleaned out the Light Heavyweight division. The next best challenger could be Alexander Gustafsson but he is about two fights away from fighting for the title. Instead Jones may move up a weight class and begin fighting at Heavyweight but that remains to be seen. For Evans the climb up the ladder starts again as he will continue to fight in the Light Heavyweight division looking to get back to the top. As for the rivalry it seemed that there was nothing really solved as both fighters talked about their respect but not much more. If Evans can recover from the loss and begin dominating again UFC 145 might go down as the beginning of a great rivalry in the UFC.

The rest of the fights were not nearly as hyped up thanks to the build-up for the main event but the main card did involve three great comeback stories. First was Mark Hominick who was looking to get back to the top of the featherweight division by beating Eddie Yagin. Hominick was looking to get back to the top after losing his last two fights including a title shot against Jose Aldo. Yagin was standing in his way though as he was hoping to make a name for himself in the UFC by beating one of the best strikers. The fight was close as Yagin and Hominick stood up the entire time but Yagin seemed to get the better of The Machine as he sent Hominick to the mat more than once. In the end it was a Split Decision victory for Yagin as Hominick continued to slide down the division rankings and Yagin got a key win. The next fight involved another big comeback as Miguel Angel Torres looked to get back to his former top 5 pound for pound fighters as he took on newcomer Michael McDonald. Torres was coming off of a long layoff after injuries and out of the octagon issues forced him to the sideline. He would take on a rising young star in 21-year-old Michael Mcdonald. Torres would be disappointed in his comeback by this young star as McDonald was able to get the KO in the first round. One of the last hopes for the comebacks was Rory MacDonald who had a long layoff due to injuries but was looking to come back and continue his climb up the welterweight division. He would take on Che Mills who was a bit of an unknown in the UFC even though his time in MMA had been very impressive. MacDonald saved the night for the comebacks as he dominated the fight against a very good opponent and earned the TKO in the second round. The comebacks were plenty in the main card along with Ben Rothwell’s return with a KO of Brendan Schaub and John Alessio fighting for the first time in the UFC since 2006 with a loss to Mark Bocek. With so much to watch the entire card for UFC 145 was a great one that will continue throughout this year.

The bonuses were handed out after the fights as every fighter got $65,000 for their great performances. The “Submission of the Night” went to the only submission on the card as Travis Browne got his first submission with an Arm Triangle against Chad Griggs. The “Knockout of the Night” went to Ben Rothwell who began another climb up the heavyweight ladder with a devastated left hook that ended Brendan Schaub’s night. The “Fight of the Night” went to the featherweights as Eddie Yagin and Mark Hominick fought a stand up war with Yagin coming out on top in a Split Decision. There were many decisions in the card but plenty of highlights as UFC 145 was a great fight card full of great performances.

 

Full Results:

 

Main Event:

Jon “Bones” Jones def. “Suga” Rashad Evans [Light Heavyweight Title]

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Main Card:

Rory “Ares” MacDonald def. “Beautiful” Che Mills

(TKO; Rd. 2)

 

Ben Rothwell def. Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub

(TKO; Rd. 1)

 

Michael “Mayday” McDonald def. Miguel Angel Torres

(KO; Rd. 1)

 

Eddie “The Filipino Phenom” Yagin def. Mark “The Machine” Hominick

(Split Decision)

 

Mark Bocek def. John “The Natural” Alessio

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Undercard:

Travis “Hapa” Browne def. Chad “The Grave Digger” Griggs

(Submission; Arm Triangle, Rd. 1)

 

Matt “The Immortal” Brown def. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Anthony “The Assassin” Njokuani def. John “The Bull” Makdessi

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Mac Danzig def. Efrain “Hecho en Mexico” Escudero

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Chris “The Menace” Clements def. Keith Wisniewski

(Split Decision)

 

Marcus “The Bama Beast” Brimage def. Maximo Blanco

(Split Decision)

 

Upcoming Events:

UFC on Fox 3: Diaz vs. Miller (Saturday May 5th; 8:00 pm)

– Free Live on Fox/Sportsnet

– East Rutherford, New Jersey (IZOD Center)

Main Event: Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller

Notable: Josh “Kos” Koscheck vs. Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks

 

UFC on Fuel TV 3: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier (Tuesday May 15th; 8:00 pm)

– Free Live on Fuel TV/Sportsnet

– Fairfax, Virginia (Patriot Center)

Main Event: “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung vs. Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier

Notable: Amir Sadollah vs. Jorge Lopez

 

UFC 146: Dos Santos vs. Mir (Saturday May 26th; 10:00 pm)

– Las Vegas, Nevada (MGM Grand Garden Arena)

Main Event: Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos vs. Frank Mir

Notable: Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva

Notable: Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga vs. Shane Del Rosario

Comments
One Response to “The Rivalry is Just Beginning (UFC 145 Review)”
  1. jumpingpolarbear says:

    I felt the rest of the card was good, but that the Main Event was a bit lackluster. Guess it was hard to live up to that kind of hype though!

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