UFC 135 Recap: Jon Jones dominates Rampage Jackson, next up is Rashad EvansPosted on September 25, 2011, 01:22 AM by Trent Reinsmith
Heading into UFC 135, many MMA fans fell into one of two camps. The first camp saying that UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones was the real deal, while the second claimed he hadn’t yet defeated anyone of substance. After tonight’s performance, the first group most likely grew a bit.
Jones showed that he has the skill to take a fighter like Jackson, who has been there and done that, and put him off his game. As Jackson said after the fight, the kid’s not hype, he is for real.
It’s always a risky proposition to crown a fighter “the next big thing,” (anyone recall Joe Rogan’s “welcome to the Machida era” proclamation?) but Jones seems to be a safe bet to reign atop the UFC’s Light Heavyweight division for quite some time.
Questions after seeing Jones vs. Jackson:
-Where does Jon Jones rank? Before the fight Dana White said he would not put Jon Jones near the top of the pound-for-pound equation. It will be interesting to hear what White has to say after the clinic Jones put on against Rampage Jackson
-What’s next for Rampage? At the end of the night he requested a bout against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in Japan in February. The problem is that Rua is booked to face Dan Henderson on November 19. So, that’s probably not going to happen.
-What was with Jones attitude to Rashad Evans at the end of the fight? When Joe Rogan asked Jones if he had any words for Evans, he said that Evans had ruined his special night twice before walking away from Rogan. It was an odd, somewhat petulant way for Jones to end his night in the cage.
Notes and more questions following UFC 135:
-What’s next for Tony Ferguson? Ferguson looked good in his fight against Aaron Riley, earning the stoppage after breaking Riley’s jaw in the first round. BUT, he is in the most stacked division in the UFC, the Lightweight division, so it will be interesting to see who Joe Silva matches him up with next.
-What’s next for Nate Diaz? Diaz’s performance against Takanori Gomi was the best of his career. Much like Ferguson, he dropped from Welterweight to Lightweight for this bout, but he took out a much higher ranked opponent that Ferguson did. He may not deliver the excitement and drama that Nick does, but Nate does deserve a step up in competition in his next bout.
-Did Travis Browne take a step back? Sure he kept his unbeaten record in tact, but was the win impressive? Eh, not really. Sure, he’s 12-0-1, but if Browne thinks he’s top ten in the Heavyweight division, he is wrong. A good test in his next bout would be Brendan Schaub or maybe Roy Nelson.
-Will the UFC ever have a Heavyweight bout again at altitude? After watching Mark Hunt and Ben Rothwell deliver, what could kindly be called a bad fight, I would hope not. The thin air did the big boys no favors.
-Should Matt Hughes retire? The short answer is yes. When you get knocked out in two consecutive fights at his age and after so many fights, it’s time to walk away, even if UFC President Dana White has to “Chuck Liddell” him.
LowKick.com UFC 135 main card awards:
Fight of the night: Jon Jones vs. Rampage Jackson. Jones had two goals in this fight, strike with Jackson and finish Jackson. He did both in impressive fashion. After the fight Jackson gave Jones his props saying, “He’s great. I thought it was hype. The kid is good.”
Performance of the night: Jon Jones. Bones executed his game plan perfectly against Jackson. His wide array of tools left Jackson “mesmerized” and basically helpless. Sure, he made it look easy, but that’s what the great ones do.
Finish of the night: Nate Diaz. Diaz delivered a great performance on Saturday night in submitting Takanori Gomi. I know it wasn’t the patented double bird submission, but it was impressive. Also, Jones can’t get all the LowKick awards, can he?