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UFC 128: Shogun vs Jones Main Card Breakdown

| March 15, 2011 | 4 Replies

ufc 128 main event1 UFC 128: Shogun vs Jones Main Card Breakdown

Coming up this Saturday, March 19, UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones comes to you live from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Originally, this event was set to take place in Abu Dhabi but was later scrapped due to the fact that a suitable location could not be found in time because the arena that hosted UFC 112 back in August has since been dismantled. In the months following the announcement of this event, several matchups have been scratched and replaced. Now, with the final line-up set, let’s break down the main card.

The opening bout on the PPV broadcast is a Heavyweight bout between Mirko “Cro Cop” Flipovic (27-8-2-1) and Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub (7-1). Frank Mir was Schaub’s original opponent, but he was later removed and scheduled to face Roy Nelson at UFC 130 later in the year. Cro Cop is coming off a knockout loss to Mir and looks to pick up a big victory in order to silence the talks of his retirement. Schaub, however, is riding a three-fight win streak after suffering his first pro loss to Roy Nelson on the TUF 10 Finale. Both men share a common opponent in Gabriel Gonzaga. Schaub was very impressive in his outing, dominating Gonzaga from the opening bell. Unfortunately for Cro Cop, Gonzaga knocked him out with the very same head kick that Cro Cop has become most well-known for. Granted, they each faced Gonzaga at very different points in his career, but their performances against him were completely different. Schaub has stated in interview that “if his fight with Cro Cop goes to a decision, then they didn’t do their job correctly.” Also, in reference to Cro Cop’s fight with Pat Barry, “I will show him my respect with my right hand to his jaw.” Neither man is known for their ground game so this fight could turn into who lands the big punches first.

Up next we will see Nate “The Great” Marquardt (30-10-2) as he takes on Dan Miller (13-4-1) in the Middleweight Division.  Marquardt’s original opponent, Yoshihiro Akiyama, had to pull out of the fight due to recent tragedy in Japan. Dan Miller immediately jumped at the opportunity and not only moves up from the prelims to the PPV broadcast, but also moves up greatly in competition. Dana White has previously stated that Marquardt fails to perform in big situation fights, similar to Kenny Florian. If this truly is the case then Miller better be ready for it because when Marquardt is in his zone, he can be a scary man. Miller is currently on a two-fight win streak after losing three-in-a-row for the first time in his career. On paper, Marquardt is definitely the superior fighter, but with MMA, anything can happen so you can never count anyone out. A win for Miller here would greatly skyrocket his standing in the Middleweight Division.

The third fight of the broadcast is a Lightweight bout between the overshadowed Jim Miller (19-2) and the undefeated Kamal Shalorus (7-0-2).  For years, Jim Miller has collected victories while flying under the radar. His only losses have come at the hands of Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar and Number One Contender Gray Maynard. Until recently, Miller has gone by without making any waves in the title picture, but now he’s decided it is his turn for a title shot.  Shalorus has shown us in the past that he does have knockout power in his hands and can finish fights. In his last fight, a split decision victory over Bart Palaszewski, he showed just how well-rounded he was and out worked Bart. Miller, who also holds a decision victory over Palaszewski, is one of the hardest working fighters in the division and is never afraid to bring the fight. When these two clash, expect a quick-paced, high-impact fight, with the winner of this bout will definitely move one step higher in the title picture.

ufc 128 promo1 300x85 UFC 128: Shogun vs Jones Main Card Breakdown

The Co-Main Event of the evening features the former face of the WEC, “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (24-4) as he faces off against Eddie Wineland (18-6-1) in the Bantamweight Division. Both fighters are coming off of devastating victories: Faber a technical submission over Takeya Mizugaki and Wineland a massive KO slam of Ken Stone. With TUF 14 being only Bantamweights, talks of the coaches are in full swing. One of the highly discussed possibilities is current champion Dominick Cruz and the winner of Faber/Wineland. However, both Faber and Wineland stated that they weren’t looking passed this fight at all. Faber is one of the few WEC fighters who built up his name with the hardcore and the casual fans. Wineland, however, is relatively unknown but he was in fact the first ever WEC Bantamweight Champion. Faber, being a former champion himself, is no stranger to high-profile fights and can more than handle himself. The winner of this fight could very well set himself up with a chance to regain a championship belt.

Finally, the Main Event, and the moment we have all been waiting for and talking about for the past month. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (19-4) defends his Light Heavyweight Championship belt against Jon “Bones” Jones (12-1). After defeating Rampage Jackson, Rashad Evans was set to be the next to challenge Shogun. However, during Jones’ post-fight interview at UFC 126, Joe Rogan announced that Evans had injured his knee and the UFC brass wanted to offer the title shot to Jones. Immediately, Jones accepted the offer, the date was set and the debates began. The diehard fans on either side are convinced that nobody is a match for their hero. Each side is convinced that their fighter has all the tools to conquer their opponent and leave with the Light Heavyweight belt. However, there are many fans in the middle that feel that the fight really could go either way. Shogun’s experience, striking and Jiu-Jitsu could be exactly what is needed to stop Jon Jones. On the other hand, Jones’ wrestling, reach and unorthodox style could be the key to knocking of the legend that is Shogun Rua. The four men who have defeated Rua in the past have all held a championship belt at one point of their career, and Rua has shown that he can hold his own against the best of them. Jones, however, has yet to really be tested inside the cage. Ryan Bader, the man who was supposed to offer him the biggest challenge, was dominated from the opening bell.

Shogun vs. Jones is possibly the most highly anticipated bout since St. Pierre vs. Koscheck II back in December. Find out who will become the new Light Heavyweight Champion live, this Saturday only on Pay-Per-View.

Prior to the PPV broadcast of UFC 128, there will be four preliminary bouts aired on Facebook and SpikeTV. The two bouts to be shown on the UFC’s Facebook page at 7PM ET/5PM PT will be Kurt Pellegrino vs. Gleison Tibau and Ricardo Almeida vs. Mike Pyle. Afterwards at 8PM ET/6PM PT, switch over to SpikeTV to see Edson Barboza vs. Anthony Njokuani and Luiz Cane vs. Elliot Marshall. The action continues live on PPV at 9PM ET/7PM PT with the featured main card bouts.

Be sure to check back with for results after each fight or join us in the chat room to talk about each fight as it goes down.

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Tags: Breakdown, Brendan Schaub, Dana White, Jim Miller, Jon Jones, Mauricio Shogun Rua, Mirko Cro Cop, MMA, Nate Marquardt, UFC, UFC 128, Urijah Faber

Category: Exclusive, Featured, MMA, UFC

About the Author ()

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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  1. TWICBS | UFC 128: Shogun Rua vs Jon Jones | March 17, 2011
  1. i got jones new light heavyweight champ TKO round 2
    faber dominates sub round 1
    jim miller 29-28 unanimous decision
    marquardt KO round 3
    and i have to pick my boy cro cop. it seemed he was afraid to exchange with mir because he didn’t want to get taken down. he shouldn’t have that fear with schaub and should ride a round 2 KO.

  2. Besides your Cro Cop pick I think many would agree with you.

  3. KEN MEDE says:

    great article brother keep it up

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