UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones Live Results: Jones Captures Title
UFC 128 takes place this evening from Newark, New Jersey. The card is headlined by MMA prodigy Jon Jones challenging for Mauricio "Shogun" Rua's UFC light heavyweight title. WEC's top star Urijah Faber also makes his UFC debut on the show.
UFC Light Heavyweight Title: Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. Jon Jones
Rua is one of the most accomplished fighters in the history of the sport and still in his athletic prime. However, he has had problems with injuries in recent years and is coming off knee surgery and a 10 month break from fighting. Jones is an athletic freak with great wrestling and fight instincts.
Jones starts out throwing a big knee. They scramble for positioning and Jones takes Shogun down. Jones drops some punches and elbows but Shogun gets back up. As Shogun gets up he is caught with a big knee to the head and left hook that appear to rock him. Jones takes over with punches and kicks in the standup but doesn't press for the finish. Shogun looks for a knee bar from the standing position but ends up under Jones on the ground. Shogun seems either tired or dazed as the round closes. 10-9 Jones.
Jones starts with a series of kicks and then a spinning back elbow that connects. Shogun mostly just lunges in with overhands. Jones is getting the best of the standup with straight punches and a variety of kicks. He takes Shogun down halfway through the round. Jones concentrates on elbows from the top position. Jones looks for a knee bar of his own at the close of the round. Dominant round for Jones. Borderline 10-8, but Jones 10-9.
Shogun charges forward with punches but nothing lands. Shogun again dives for a leg lock but doesn't get it. In the scramble, Jones looks for a kimura and then takes top position. Jones fires down hard punches and elbows and has Shogun in big trouble. Shogun gets back up and Jones goes to town with a punch to the body and knee that drop Shogun. The referee stops the fight and Shogun taps out as Jones backs off.
Winner and new UFC light heavyweight champion: Jon Jones, TKO, round 3.
Kurt Pellegrino vs. Gleison Tibau
Tibau and Pellegrino are excellent examples of the strength of UFC's lightweight division. Despite being a pair of highly skilled fighters with a host of quality wins, neither has been able to gain a large degree.
Round 1. A tentative first round features each man feeling the other out. They feel each other out on the feet and clinch against the cage, with neither man gaining much of an advantage. A very even round. 10-10.
Round 2. Pellegrino rocks Tibau with a straight right hand. Pellegrino charges forward with punches and then slams Tibau down. He opens up with punches and then moves to pass guard. He isn't able to pass guard but lands punches and elbows from inside Tibau's guard. Tibau gets up with less than a minute left in the round. 10-9 Pellegrino.
Round 3. After some light standup exchanges, Tibau goes for the takedown. Pellegrino fends off the first attempt but Tibau then gets him down. Pellegrino stands back up. Tibau pushes forward and begins connecting with the better shots as time runs out in the round. Tibau takes Pellegrino down and lands some punches at the close of the round. 10-9 Tibau, 29-29 draw.
Winner: Gleison Tibau, split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
Mike Pyle vs. Ricardo Almeida
These two fighters are almost mirror images of each other, well traveled veterans whose greatest strengths lie in the submission game. Almeida has the better pure jiu jitsu pedigree.
Pyle seems content to stand with Almeida. Almeida shoots for a takedown a minute and a half in but Pyle defends. Almeida throws a few punches and shoots again but Pyle defends well once more. Almeida lands some of the best punches of the round and shoots again. Pyle once more prevents the Almeida takedown attempt. 10-9 Almeida.
Almeida throws a few leg kicks. As Pyle moves in with a punch, Almeida switches levels and takes Pyle down. Pyle immediately moves to stand back up and gets back to his feet next to the Octagon. They return to kickboxing, with neither man having the edge. Almeida takes down Pyle with 50 seconds left in the round. Pyle works for a kimura but can't secure it. 10-9 Almeida.
Pyle gets the best of the standup in the first half of the round, landing a diverse array of punches, kicks and knees. Almeida can't get a takedown and halfway through the round Pyle takes Almeida down. They return to their feet and Almeida looks for the takedown again. Almeida can't get it and is caught with a hard knee from Pyle as they separate. Almeida and Pyle trade takedown attempts but each gets right back up. 10-9 Pyle, 29-28 Almeida.
Winner: Mike Pyle, unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27).
Anthony Njokuani vs. Edson Barboza
Barboza is an unbeaten prospect with excellent striking and leg kicks in particular. Njokuani is an action fighter with powerful standup of his own.
Barboza lands a few stiff kicks to the body at the start of the round. He follows with a hard straight right punch that appears to stun Njokuani. He then lands a nice right head kick. As Njokuani recovers, the fight becomes more even. They exchange punches and kicks from different angles with each man landing solid blows in an exciting action round. 10-9 Barboza.
Njokuani is more active in the early part of the round, throwing jabs and leg kicks. He catches a Barboza kick and takes Barboza down. He throws a few punches before Barboza stands back up. Njokuani throws a spinning back elbow ala Jon Jones. Barboza gets a takedown with 30 seconds left in the round. 10-9 Njokuani.
They exchange leg kicks at the start of the round and Njokuani appears to have more juice in them. Barboza lands a nice punch combination that connects well to the chin of Njokuani. Barboza opens up with some crisp punches to the head and a high kick. Njokuani dives in with a hard knee to Barboza's body. Barboza gets a takedown at the close of the round but Njokuani gets back up. Barboza lands a spectacular spinning back kick to the head to close the round. 10-9 Barboza, 29-28 Barboza. Very close fight.
Winner: Edson Barboza, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Luiz Cane vs. Eliot Marshall
Cane was a highly regarded prospect but has been knocked out in the first half of the first round his past two fights. Marshall is perhaps best known for his unentertaining fight style.
Marshall shoots in for a takedown twice from way outside. Cane squares up and looks to unload big punches and kicks on Marshall. He drops Marshall with a punch and looks to close the fight on the ground. He repeatedly hammers Marshall with punches as Marshall mostly just covers up. Finally, referee Dan Miragliotta stops the fight. That was a great performance by Cane.
Winner: Luiz Cane, TKO, round 1.
Brendan Schaub vs. Mirko Cro Cop
Cro Cop is one of the legends of the sport, a feared kickboxer who in his prime was one of the world's best heavyweights. He is now well past his prime and is no longer that fighter. Schaub is bigger and younger than Cro Cop. He lacks the resume and striking pedigree but is well regarded as a striker.
Ice T and MC Hammer are sitting next to each other in the front row. The size difference between Schaub and Cro Cop is very noticeable. Schaub is more active early. He clinches and uses some dirty boxing. They break and exchange punches. Schaub takes Cro Cop down. Schaub lands some big punches from the top. Cro Cop looks to sweep and gets back to his feet. They clinch by the cage at the close of the round. 10-9 Schaub.
Cro Cop lands a left high kick and Schaub takes him down. There is a brief controversy with Cro Cop complaining of a punch to the back of the head and Schaub being caught with an upkick while he was still down but getting up. They restart on the feet and trade punches from the clinch. Schaub lands a series of nice knees. Schaub is bleeding from the nose following a Cro Cop elbow. Referee Herb Dean rules Schaub is deducted a point for punches to the back of the head after a previous warning. 10-9 Schaub, so 9-9 with a deduction.
The action stalls due to an accidental low blow by Cro Cop on Schaub. Cro Cop lands a nice left punch but is taken down. Cro Cop gets up and Schaub takes him back down. Cro Cop stands up again and lands a few nice punches and kicks. Schaub shoots for another takedown and Cro Cop stuffs it. Schaub then knocks Cro Cop out with an overhand right punch. He lands one additional punch on the ground before Herb Dean calls off the fight.
Winner: Brendan Schaub, KO, round 3.
In the post fight interview, Joe Rogan labels Gabriel Gonzaga a legend of the sport. That's a monumental stretch.
Nate Marquardt vs. Dan Miller
Marquardt was originally scheduled to fight Yoshihiro Akiyama but Akiyama pulled out of the fight following the tragedy in Japan. Miller is a respected fighter in his own right who has fought many of the best fighters in the middleweight division but generally has come out on the losing end against the best.
Miller looks for a takedown and pursues it aggressively for the first half of the round. Marquardt mostly concentrates on preventing it. In the middle of the round, Marquardt turns the tables and takes Miller down. Miller looks to sink in a guillotine choke but Marquardt is in half guard and it prevents Miller from getting it. Marquardt isn't aggressive with ground and pound and the fight is stood up. Marquardt lands a nice straight punch and slams Miller back down emphatically. 10-9 Marquardt.
Miller lands a nice left/right combination early in the round. Marquardt lands a big head kick and flying knee but Miller uses the opportunity to take him down. Marquardt is bleeding from the mouth. Marquardt stands back up and they trade punches on their feet. Marquardt takes him back down with a minute left in the round. Miller grabs a guillotine choke again and this time he appears to have Marquardt in big trouble. Marquardt manages to escape and throws some punches from the top to close the round. 10-9 Marquardt.
Marquardt lands the best blow of the first part of the round with a straight right punch. Miller immediately shoots for a takedown but Marquardt defends well and takes the top position. Marquardt opens up with some hard elbows. Marquardt beats up Miller using his positioning as the fight comes to an end. 10-9 Marquardt, 30-27 Marquardt.
Winner: Nate Marquardt, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Jim Miller vs. Kamal Shalorus
Miller is a contender in the lightweight division with six straight wins. Shalorus is an undefeated fighter coming from WEC with an excellent wrestling background.
They start by trading wild hooks. That's a dangerous game for Miller given Shalorus' power. They also trade leg kicks. Miller lands a good knee to the head and left head kick. Miller pulls guard looks for a guillotine but Shalorus immediately slips out. Shalorus works a little ground and pound before being stood up towards the end of the round. Close round but Miller connected more. 10-9 Miller.
They exchange to start the round. Shalorus lands a leg kick and body punch. Miller gets a takedown and immediately moves to take Shalorus' back. He secures a body triangle and looks to sink in a rear naked choke. Shalorus defends against the choke for the remainder of the round. 10-9 Miller.
They return to trading on the feet. Miller connects with a strong uppercut a few minutes into the round. He follows with a knee and lands punches on the ground until the referee stops the bout.
Winner: Jim Miller, TKO, round 3.
Urijah Faber vs. Eddie Wineland
Urijah Faber was the charismatic top star of WEC. Arguments about folding WEC into UFC always revolved around giving Faber a chance to perform in front of the biggest lights in the sport. Following three title match losses at 145 pounds, Faber is fighting at 135 and looking to gain the title in that division. Wineland is a good striker with four straight wins.
They clinch at the start of the fight. Faber looks for a takedown but Wineland defends well. After a break, Faber shoots for a takedown again but Wineland defends. Wineland slams Faber down but Faber gets back up. Faber lands a nice right hand and follows with a left but Wineland blocks his takedown attempt impressively. Wineland connects with a right to the jaw. Faber answers with a right hook of his own. Very close round. The temptation's strong to give it to Wineland because he did such a great job blocking the takedown attempts but the standup was pretty even. Wineland narrowly, 10-9.
Faber scores a nice trip takedown a minute and a half into the round. He postures up and drops down some elbows. Wineland tries to get back up but Faber pulls him down. He slams Wineland down a few times and throws additional elbows. Faber 10-9.
Faber clinches and looks for a takedown but can't get it. They separate. Wineland lands a nice leg kick and Faber again shoots for a takedown. Wineland defends against it. Wineland looks like the much stronger man. Faber lands a hard uppercut and follows with a bunch of jabs that are connecting well. Faber goes for another takedown. He pushes through and secures it. Faber slams Wineland back down. He then goes back to dropping elbows. 10-9 Faber, 29-28 Faber. Wineland was game and defended the takedowns well but couldn't fend them off forever and wasn't that much better in the standup anyway. Winner: Urijah Faber, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).