Niko Price has produced one of the knockouts of the year at UFC Tampa.
Five years: That’s how long it has been since any light heavyweight champion has defended the belt more than two times.
As Jon Jones notched his second title defence with a second round technical submission over Lyoto Machida on Sunday’s UFC 140, Jones put a marker down – there’s no telling how many times he will defend this belt.
It didn’t all go to plan though for the 24-year old phenom as Machida used his distance fighting skills expertly in the first round to frustrate Jones. Machida was also able to do what no one had before and test the chin of Jones.
Unfortunately for Machida, Jones passed the test with flying colours. He wobbled, but he wasn’t rocked.
The champion abandoned his distance fighting approach in the second round and got in Machida’s face. A huge takedown was followed by a monstrous elbow that left a nasty gash on Machida’s forehead. The cut was checked and the fight was allowed to continue but Machida looked a broken man.
Jones dropped Machida with a left and then locked up a nasty standing guillotine choke against the cage that put Machida to sleep.
It was a frightening performance by Jones who has pretty much answered every single question about his game so far with no apparent chinks in his armour.
If Rashad Evans can beat Phil Davis in the New Year, we’ll probably see him meet Jones in a long-awaited grudge match. In my mind, there is little hope for Evans in that fight as Jones is probably as quick as him and will absolutely dwarf him come fight night.
Then there is Dan Henderson who possesses ridiculous power in his right hand but will look comically small and slow compared to Jones. Outside of that, there is pretty much no one else who poses the slightest threat in the entire division.
That’s not because of a lack of talent, but just simply what happens when someone like Jones is the champion of it.
The co-main event went from shocking to brutal in the space of about ten seconds. Shocking in that Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira looked the best he has in ages as he dropped Frank Mir with some heavy shots and then brutal when Mir latched onto the arm of Nogueira when the Brazilian went to take his back and then broke it and probably a few more things with an expertly applied kimura.
Nogueira, as a proud Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, refused to tap to the painful hold until Mir snapped his arm. It was tough to watch and probably not the smartest thing for Nogueira to do after just coming off hip surgery.
To add insult to his several injuries, Nogueira probably would have earned a stoppage win if he kept on hitting Mir after he dropped him as opposed to trying to lock up an anaconda choke.
It wasn’t all bad news for the Nogueira family though, as Rodrigo’s twin brother, Rogerio stopped Tito Ortiz with body punches in the first round.
Ortiz entered this bout with the somewhat confusing new nickname of “The People’s Champion” and touting a reshaped focus on his career. He looked good for the first few seconds but was then dropped with a knee to the body and pounded out with some nasty shots to the same area on the ground.
I guess that makes Antonio Rogerio Nogueira the lineal ‘People’s Champion’ now.
Aussie-American, Brian Ebersole kept his flawless UFC record in tact as he took a razor-thin split decision over Claude Patrick.
Ebersole opted to shave the word ‘TapouT’ into his chest hair prior to the bout instead of his usual ‘hairrow’. The decision seemed to foreshadow the fight as Ebersole didn’t seem to look his usual self in the bout.
Both fighters fought for the wrestling advantage with neither really being all that successful. The fight was pretty much a giant stalemate with neither fighter really impressing. In the end though, Ebersole got the nod, though there has been serious backlash to the decision online.
UFC 140 kicked off in quick fashion as Chan Sung Jung flawed the hometown favourite, Mark Hominick with the first punch of the fight. It was the perfect counter to an uncharacteristic and sloppy left hand by Hominick.
Some follow up punches saw the end at just seven seconds of the opening round, tying the UFC record for the fastest knockout.
Jon Jones def. Lyoto Machida via technical submission (standing guillotine choke) – Round 2, 4:26
Frank Mir def. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira via submission (kimura) – Round 1, 3:38
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira def. Tito Ortiz via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 3:15
Brian Ebersole def. Claude Patrick via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Chan Sung Jung def. Mark Hominick via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:07
Igor Pokrajac def. Krzysztof Soszynski via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:35
Constantinos Philippou def. Jared Hamman via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 3:11
Dennis Hallman def. John Makdessi via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:58
Yves Jabouin def. Walel Watson via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Mark Bocek def. Nik Lentz via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jake Hecht def. Rich Attonito via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 1:10
John Cholish def. Mitch Clarke via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 4:36
Fight of the Night: Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida
KO of the Night: Chan Sung Jung
Submission of the Night: Frank Mir