As the dust begins to settle from this weekend and we begin to look forward to UFC Fight Night 24, let’s take one last glance back at UFC 128. Through a night full of great fights, some things always stand out more than others; some good and some bad. Let’s take a look at some highs and some lows from Saturdays UFC 128.
The first thing that stands out on the night is Jon “Bones” Jones’ destruction of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and the crowning of a new Light Heavyweight Champion. For two and a half rounds, Jones imposed his will, pounded on Shogun and seemingly broke his will to fight. Jones was 3-for-3 on takedowns, stayed busy with ground and pound in Rua’s guard and attacked Rua like he’s never been attacked before. Jones used his massive reach, along with his flashy techniques, greatly to his advantage, showing that he truly is a new breed of MMA fighter and plans to hold onto the belt for a long time.
Another encouraging statistic is the former WEC fighters, Anthony Njokuani, and Eric Koch walking away with post fight bonuses. Edson Barboza and Njokuani fought to a decision, and each earned the $70,000 Fight of the Night bonus. Koch’s first round dismantlement of Raphael Assuncao earned him Knockout of the Night, along with Brendan Schaub. All of the former WEC fighters came in and put on great fights and proved what many people said back when the WEC/UFC merger was first announced: “the WEC guys are going to come in and steal all the bonuses.”
One final high point comes in the form of Jim Miller’s seventh consecutive UFC victory. For two rounds, Miller out struck and out worked Kamal Shalorus. Between rounds two and three, Miller’s coach told him, “he’s tired, you’re not. Go out there and finish this fight.” At 2:15 of the third round, Jim Miller did exactly what his coach told him and finished the fight. Since losing to Gray Maynard in 2009, Miller has flown under the radar while stacking up wins and has begun campaigning for a title shot. After this performance, Dana White and Joe Silva can’t deny him for much longer.
One of the big lows of the night was Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic’s knockout at the hands of Brendan Schaub. For two rounds, Schaub picked his shots carefully and tactfully avoided the big head kicks of Cro Cop. Going into the third, many would agree that Schaub was on his way to a decision victory. However, before it could make it to the judges’ scorecards, Schaub landed a big shot that connect right behind Cro Cop’s ear and shut his lights off. During the post-fight press conference, Dana White stated that Cro Cop was done in the UFC. As sad as it is to say, it might be best for the Croatian to call an end to his illustrious career.
Another thing that stood out as a negative was Nate “The Great” Marquardt’s performance against Dan Miller. When Miller was named as the replacement for Yoshihiro Akiyama, almost everyone wrote him off and expected Marquardt to handle him easily. While Marquardt did handle Miller easily and win the fight, he could not finish him. Throughout the fight, it was Miller that threatened with submissions and actually came closer to finishing the fight than Marquardt did. For being a former Number One Contender to Anderson Silva’s Middleweight Championship, and being a participant in two Numer One Contender’s fights (versus Chael Sonnen and Yushin Okami), Marquardt’s performance against Miller was somewhat disappointing. Although he lost the fight, Dan Miller proved his toughness and showed that Marquardt really wouldn’t pose a challenge to Anderson Silva in a rematch.
The moment from UFC 128 that came as the biggest low occurred after all of the fights were over. Following the Main Event between Jones and Rua, Rashad Evans was brought into the cage to confront the newly crowned champion, along with a barrage of booing from the crowd. Not only was it a bit WWE-esque, it was also rather awkward and unintentionally took away from Jones’ crowning moment. When Rashad stepped into the cage, Jones’ facial expression and body language immediately shifted from ecstatic and celebratory to focused and determined. As Joe Rogan began speaking to both men, you could really sense the tension in The Octagon. Jones didn’t really have much to say so the long pauses made it rather awkward.
At the end of the night, the highs outweigh the lows and we are left with what turned out to be a great night of fights.
About the Author (Author Profile)Aspiring chef turned MMA writer after financial issues prevented me from pursuing my first dream. Ever since I started watching MMA, I've read up about it and talk about it all the time and with the encouragement of family and friends I finally decided to actively pursue a career in writing about it.
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