UFC 128 is in the books now, but there are five moments that will pass the test of time.  Some good, some bad, some happy, some sad, these moments will impact the UFC and the sport of MMA.

5.  Nate “The Great” to Drop some Weight?

First off, that’s a great headline; secondly, after his triumph over a very tough and durable Dan Miller, Nate has indicated he might like to drop to Welterweight.  While this might not officially be a “moment” let’s just go with it in spirit, ok?  Nate Marquardt is inarguably one of the best in the world at 185.  Nate is 10-4 inside the Octagon, losing only to fighters who have either competed for the Middleweight belt, or should have competed for it, Yushin Okami!  If Nate were able to cut the mass needed to drop to Welterweight, and still keep his strength and speed, he’d be a force for sure at 170, second only perhaps to GSP.  It will be very fascinating indeed to see what’s next for Nate in the UFC.

4.  Cro Cop Clipped, Again!

Seeing Miko “Cro Cop” Flipovich get KO’d again was gut-wrenching.  The head kicking Croatian superstar has given the fans of MMA so many highlight-reel finishes, he’ll be forever valued and esteemed.  Nevertheless, after seeing him get folded up again for the second time in as many fights, and for the fourth time since coming to the UFC, it’s safe to say we were witnessing the final moments of an astonishing career.  Dana White has already let us know it was his last fight in the UFC/WEC/Pride/Strikeforce/IFL/WFA/Bob’s Tire Barn MMA & Tough Guy Mixer world, so there is little left for “Cro Cop” to explore, and little reason to do so.  If this was indeed the end of the “Cro Cop” era, all MMA fans can say is “Thanks” for the memories.

3.  Jim Miller is ready for his close up.

Seven wins in a row in the UFC is pretty rarefied air.  How rare?  Well, when Jim Miller defeated Shalorus at UFC 128, he joined UFC elite, Georges St. Pierre, Anderson Silva and Cain Velasquez as the only active UFC fighters with a current winning streak of seven or more fights.  GSP, Anderson Silva and Cain Velasquez huh?  Not too shabby.  Bottom line is his victory over another tough fighter in Shalorus could earn Miller a shot at the Lightweight Championship.  At the very least, he’s earned a number one contender’s match with someone the likes of Melvin Guillard or Anthony Pettis.  Seven wins in a row? Give that man his title shot.

2.  The California Kid makes his UFC debut!

California love…cue the music and listen as the cash registers pop.  One of the most marketable fighters in the sport made his UFC debut last night at UFC 128, and no, I don’t mean Kamal Shalorus, who has all the appeal of Roy Nelson in a wet suit, sorry Roy.  Of course, I am referring to Urijah Faber, who will likely be taking on UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz in his next fight.  Urijah just screams “market me” and will do big things on the UFC big stage.  This guy is right there with Jon Jones and Georges St Pierre in terms of critical fan appeal and seeing him bring his star power from the WEC to the UFC was a big deal. You can be wildly popular at no longer at the top of your game, see Randy Couture.  You can be wildly popular and have no game, see Kimbo Slice but to be wildly popular and at the top of the game, those guys transcend the sport, Urijah Faber is that guy.

Jon Jones versus "The Spider" anyone?

1.   Jon Jones wins the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship of the World

Jon Jones entered the Octagon to face “Shogun” Rua as a 23-year-old favorite to become champion of the world.  Some fans and media felt as if all the hype being shown to Jon Jones was rash and he’d be exposed when he met the veteran champion at UFC 128.  Well, anyone who saw what happened knows the only thing exposed about Jon Jones is that he’s a superstar the likes of which MMA has never before seen.  Jon Jones has all the tools needed to stay atop the Light Heavyweight division for years.  His wrestling is top-notch, his striking is versatile and lethal and he has exceptional movement in avoiding strikes.  He made Shogun Rua look ordinary last night, and with former teammate and “friend” Rashad Evans on deck, he’ll have another occasion to impress his peers, shock the media and put smiles on the faces of Dana White and company.  This kid doesn’t just win fights; he fights crime, wins championships and smiles for the camera all on the same day.   Best day ever?  Definitely.  Someday fans will remember where they were when Jon “Bones” Jones became champion, it will be that important in the history of the sport.

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