It was a well-hyped fight, but one that played out perhaps even more one-sided than imagined. The always vocal Chael Sonnen had talked his way into a title shot at 205 lbs, yet champion Jon “Bones” Jones wasn’t impressed by the verbal acrobatics, and certainly wasn’t impressed by Sonnen’s skills. Landing shots in the clinch and easily winning the wrestling battle, Jones broke a toe, but absolutely dispatched his opponent with little danger and maximum damage.
The champ is no stranger to tough fights, and Benson Henderson was more than ready for his test last Saturday, taking on Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez. The first round saw Melendez get into Henderson’s face and pressure the champ with overhand rights and striking in the pocket, taking the round on every score card and potentially setting the pace for the night.
It was a fight that had people buzzing like nothing else, as hardcore and casual fans alike longed for Saturday night to arrive. The out-of-ring antics of Nick Diaz sold the fight, both for fans of the rebellious Stockton native and fans of Georges St. Pierre that wanted to see him unleash hell upon his opponent.
The first fight of its kind inside the Octagon, Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche did well to represent the female mixed martial artists of the world in their title clash at UFC 157. Defending champion Rousey found herself in trouble right away in this bout, yet using her judo skills and a good bit of patience and grit, she was able to avoid the disaster of a first round submission. Back in control, Rousey turned the tables on her foe, and once again found her trademark armbar before the end of the first round.
The first UFC title bout in many years to occur on English shores, Renan Barao and Michael McDonald put everything out there for four hard rounds. When the dust settled, it was Barao who has puzzled out his young foe and found a submission towards the end of the fourth round, having defended his interim title and golden ticket to face Dominick Cruz.
A year away from the cage and an elite challenger to shake it off is a daunting task for any fighter, but at UFC 156, Jose Aldo looked beyond ready. Facing former Lightweight champion Frankie Edgar at 145 lbs, Aldo proved to not only be the faster fighter, but his precision striking and takedown defense were on point like never before. While Edgar had his moments and made it a fight, Aldo’s laser-like jab and counter striking turned his opponent’s face to a bloody mess for most of the fight, taking a well-earned unanimous decision.
The saying goes “You’re not the champion until you defend the title”, and after his bout with John Dodson, “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson was finally the champion. Having perhaps the highest fight IQ in the game, an amazing ability to morph his style mid-fight and being an absolute sponge for techniques in the gym, DJ will improve time after time he steps into the cage.
Headlining the lackluster UFC 155 card, Cain Velasquez came to Las Vegas with revenge on his mind. Facing the man who had beaten him for the title at the inaugural UFC on Fox show, Velasquez was counted out by many in the rematch against Junior Dos Santos. A violent punching machine with fast hips and a rock-hard head, Junior Dos Santos hadn’t found himself in a lick of trouble since coming to the UFC, and considering he’d dispatched Velasquez in under a minute last time out, it was hard to imagine anything had changed.