UFC 135 - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Today I'd like to make a few comments about last weekends UFC 135 event in a new segment I'm calling The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
Jon Jones looked like a beast against Quinton Jackson while the two men earned Fight of the Night honors. Picking Jackson apart on the feet, getting the takedown in the 3rd and cutting him in some nasty ground-and-pound, then the 4th round rear naked choke finish. I predicted a 3rd round stoppage in my prediction blog, but I truly thought he'd finish with some nasty ground-and-pound in route to a TKO. To my surprise and most of the world, Jones submitted Jackson. This is only the 2nd submission loss of Jackson amazing career. And the 1st since 2001 when Kazushi Sakuraba submitted him with a rear naked choke as well. Since that loss, Jackson has been almost un-submittable, until now. I know people throw around the word "era" all the time. But I believe that this may very well be the Jon Jones era!
Both Josh Koscheck and Matt Hughes looked good, even though Hughes got KO'd in his second straight fight. Up until the knock out, Hughes was actually winning the stand up battle. He was using a beautiful jab and really picking Koscheck apart. Hughes stuffed Koscheck's takedown attempts and looked good. However, Koscheck was patient and kept throwing power shots until one finally connected. After rocking Hughes, Koscheck moved in for the finish and unleashed some nasty ground-and-pound in route to knocking Hughes out with 1 second left to go in the 1st round, that earned him Knockout of the Night honors. Koscheck looked good in his first fight since his one sided beat down loss to GSP 10 months ago.
Nate Diaz looked phenomenal against former Pride star Takanori Gomi. Diaz used his reach advantage to stay on the outside and pick Gomi apart. Gomi had no answer for this and kept throwing haymakers that connected with nothing but air. In frustration Gomi actually took Diaz down. Diaz then put on a jiu jitsu clinic, transition from triangle chokes to armbars until finally finishing Gomi with a sick armbar that earned him Submission of the Night honors.
Tony Ferguson looked like a man possessed in his fight with Aaron Riley. The two men stood toe-to-toe in a great stand up war. Riley throwing tons of kicks and really mixing up his strikes while Ferguson just kept moving forward utilizing his boxing. Throughout the course of this 1 round fight, Ferguson blocked most of what Riley would throw. And when Ferguson engaged he did so with pinpoint accuracy. Somewhere near the middle of the first round, Ferguson landed an big left uppercut that broke Riley's jaw. Riley fought to the end of the round like a warrior. He really poured on the offense in an effort to finish Ferguson but he could not. In between round the doctor stopped the fight.
Tim Boetsch looked good against Nick Ring. The first round was competitive as Ring used his speed to move in an out to outpoint Boetsch. However, that would end as Boetsch would finally take control of the fight in the 2nd when he finally got Ring down, threatens a guillotine and right at the end of the round sinks in a sick kimura, if he had 4-5 more seconds the fight could have been over then. Round 3 was all Boetsch, landing some effective stand up and finishing the round with a beautiful hip toss that landed him in a crucifix. In Boetsch's second fight at middleweight, he's looked good.
Takeya Mizugaki looked really good against Cole Escovedo. Mizugaki controlled the stand up throughout the fight as Escovedo just kept pushing forward without much success. Escovedo's biggest threat came when he jumped up for a flying triangle, but Mizugaki escaped and continued to pour it on. The end came when Escovedo went for a sloppy muay thai clinch and Mizugaki absolutely punished him with 6-8 nasty punches. A left hook drops Escovedo and the fight is over.
Mark Hunt looked terrible against Ben Rothwell, however Rothwell looked worse. In the battle of "how did this make the main card?", Hunt won this fight pretty handily. But the fact that he couldn't finish the completely exhausted Rothwell is disappointing. All I can say of both men, do some cardio, seriously, you're professional athletes, act like it.
Travis Brown versus Rob Broughton is making my "bad" category in the fact that it was a pretty lackluster fight. Browne won this fight pretty handily winning every round, but both men just didn't seem to have any sort of gameplan. The fight just went where it wanted and no one really landed anything big or did anything substantial.
The first fight of the night was James Te Huna versus Ricardo Romero. Romero was flat out stupid. He had no gameplan except get the fight on the ground. He walked out and shot in on Te Huna, with no set up at all. Te Huna easily stuffs it, a big right hand to Romero's face to pay for it. Romero again with no set up shoots for a takedown and this time Te Huna hits him with another big right hand and Romero is out cold. 47 seconds of stupidity and losing consciousness for it seems pretty ugly.
I've already touched on a few of these ugly things while talking about the good the other fighter accomplished. But let's examine them once more. Takanori Gomi looked ugly against Diaz. He had no gameplan it seemed except throw bombs and hope one lands. Matt Hughes suffers another big knockout loss but states he's not done fighting yet. Anyone feel like we're watching Chuck Liddell not take the hint again? Nick Ring against Tim Boetsch looked ugly. He ran the entire fight and never mounted any real offense. I think his plan was to out point Boetsch on the feet but running away doesn't win too many points. And finally, Ben Rothwell and Mark Hunt. Cardio boys, do some cardio. Both men were gassed. But Rothwell was absolutely pathetic. At one point he actually stopped fighting, put his hands on his knees and started sucking air. There is nothing more ugly.