By Jaime C. Feal
After what was billed as one of the biggest grudge matches in UFC history, and all the talk between Jon Jones and Rashad Evans of knocking each other out, the UFC light heavyweight championship bout surprisingly went the full five round distance. Jones used his superior length, reach, and diversity in striking to control the action and dominate the fight. With only one blemish on his record due to a DQ for illegal elbow strikes, a fight which he was about to win, Jones is essentially still an unbeaten and untested fighter, which is quite remarkable given the competition he faces. Up next for the prodigious Jones is the ageless wonder, 41 year old Dan Henderson, who is still extremely dangerous and presents yet another intriguing matchup for the fans. Make no mistake; Henderson is clearly a top three light heavyweight in the world, as he proved when he edged out former champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in the 2011 fight of the year.
Bantamweight Division (135 lbs.):
Miguel Torres vs. Michael “Mayday” McDonald
Torres is crouched down with his hands high. The fighters are throwing pretty big punches early, but missing. The bantamweights are darting in and out of range, neither wanting to commit now. McDonald presses forward and lets loose with a combo, landing a few good shots against the cage before Torres can escape. Two huge uppercuts for McDonald drop Torres. McDonald pounces on his fallen foe with two more big right hands that knock Torres senseless. Impressive victory for “Mayday.”
Michael “Mayday” McDonald wins by KO at 3:18 of Round 1.
Heavyweight Division (265 lbs.):
Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub vs. Ben Rothwell
The heavyweights touch gloves to start, and begin measuring the distance. Schaub pawing with the jab. Now Rothwell on the offensive with a body shot, stalking Schaub. Nice one-two by “The Hybrid” and the fighters clinch. Rothwell has the Thai Clinch and Schaub is fighting it off with uppercuts. Good knee on the disengage by Rothwell. Nice spinning back elbow by Schaub staggers Rothwell. Schaub rushes in and lands a nice one-two, then gets cracked with a counter left hook that knocks him out. Rothwell tries to pounce but referee Herb Dean saves the dazed and confused Schaub, giving Ben Rothwell the knockout win. It was a very short left hook that KOd “The Hybrid,” and Schaub’s chin now appears to be his Achilles heel after suffering two straight knockout losses.
Ben Rothwell wins by KO at 1:10 of Round 1.
Welterweight Division (170 lbs.):
Rory “Ares” MacDonald vs. Che “Beautiful” Mills
Mills starts with a leg kick. Mills jabs and MacDonald responds with the same. Mills continues his kicking attack, and presses forward. Good body kick by MacDonald, Mills answers with a nice right hand. Joe Rogan begins talking about how much of a “killer” Che Mills is, and how everyone needs to YouTube his videos, then Mills gets taken down by MacDonald. Rory begins posturing up and looking to strike. Nice right hand by Rory. “Ares” is turning it on with big shots. Excellent ground and pound by MacDonald, now in side control. Rory beginning to pin down Mills’ arm and move into mounted crucifix position. MacDonald is beating on Mills with right hands now. Mills gets out of the crucifix but is still stuck in side control, and he is cut open badly. MacDonald showing excellent top control. Mills face is all swollen up and he is not doing much defensively. MacDonald moves to mount, lands a bomb, Mills gives the back. Big shots by MacDonald from the back mount. MacDonald goes for a submission as the round ends, Mills survives.
10-8 round for MacDonald.
Nice jab by Rory. MacDonald shoots for the single leg and gets it. Now in half guard, MacDonald moves effortlessly to side control. “Ares” patiently waits for his time to move to full mount, then does so. Mills gives up the back to avoid the ground and pound. MacDonald trying to flatten Mills out. In a transition MacDonald tees off on Mills and catches him, following up with bombs to get the TKO victory.
Rory MacDonald wins by TKO at 2:20 of Round 2.
UFC Light Heavyweight Championship (205 lbs.):
Jon “Bones” Jones vs. Rashad “Suga” Evans
Both fighters start in a crouched stance then stand upright as the fight begins. Evans measuring with his jab and circling on the outside. Right head kick by Jones slaps Evans face. Left front kick to the body by Jones. “Bones” misses with an overhand right and Evans comes forward with a couple nice uppercuts. Another left front kick to the body by Jones. Left head kick by “Bones” again slaps Rashad in the face. Hard right leg kick by Jones. Nice left hook by Jones. Rashad shrugging off hard shots. Solid right leg kick by Evans. Jumping right body kick by Jones, flashing his creativity. Double kick to the body by Jones. Again a lead left hook for Jon finds the mark. Rashad lands a right head kick and rushes forward with a combination. 10-9 round for Jones.
The fighters clinch and “Suga” lands two knees to the body of Jones, then “Bones” lands a left hook on the break. Hard right leg kick by Jones. Good inside leg kick from Evans. Jones coming forward, missing a few punches, Evans hits him with a right hand. Lethal front kick to the face just misses for Jones. Jones darts forward and misses with two left hooks, Rashad taunts him as he struts away. Spinning back kick attempt by Jones fails to connect. Stiff jab by Evans, then a solid right hand to the body. Evans beginning to throw more kicks and finding success. Nasty elbow strike to Rashad’s dome by Jones. “Bones” puts his arm out like he’s measuring distance then quickly converts it into a snapping lead elbow strike. Huge lead left elbow sends Rashad backwards. Jones presses forward, looking for the kill. Rashad clinches and survives, but eats another elbow on the break. Rashad trying to leg kick and keep Jones off him. “Bones” having none of it, two more vicious lead elbows catch Evans again. Nice overhand right by Evans, which Jones walks through. Flying knee, more elbows and strikes for Jones to close a dominant round. 10-9 round for Jones.
Big overhand right connects for Evans, Jones dances backwards. Left head kick lands for Jones. Both fighters pawing with the jab as the pace slows. Flying knee and elbow by Jones stumble Evans again. Another flying knee lands for Jones. Evans lands a right hand, then a good left hook. Hard left body kick by Jones. Evans shoots but gets stuffed, and eats a knee. Jones throws a right head kick which misses, but then flashes his creativity with a spinning back kick to the body to close the frame. 10-9 round for Jones.
Jones still controlling the fight, but this is by far the longest he’s been in the Octagon now. Spinning elbow by Jones. Rashad again tries for the takedown but Jones stuffs it with ease. Good jab by Evans. Pace has slowed down tremendously as we are in the championship rounds, but Jones still getting the better of the striking. Jones briefly attempts a standing guillotine, then bails on it to throw knees and strikes that land hard. 10-9 round for Jones.
Jones continues to keep Evans circling on the outside. Evans just looking to land one big overhand right. Jones lands some knees after Evans misses a spinning back fist. Jones jabbing and controlling the distance. Rashad hasn’t really been able to find his range all night. Jones tosses Evans down, but “Suga” fights back up. Jones throws some hard knees to the body that land good. As the fight draws to a close, Evans rushes forward but Jones pulls guard to avoid any risk, and the horn sounds. 10-9 round for Jones.
The judges score the fight 50-45, 49-46, and 49-46 for the winner by unanimous decision, Jon “Bones” Jones.