(That reminds us, if you’re ever sitting next to Jon Jones on an airplane and his elbow is crowding your armrest, you’d better just let him have it. Photo courtesy of MMAFighting.com.)
— $40,000 performance bonuses were handed out to some very worthy recipients after last night’s UFC Live: Jones vs. Matyushenko event. Scoring the Knockout of the Night bonus was Takanori Gomi, who starched Tyson Griffin 64 seconds into their fight with a sledgehammer right hook. The Submission of the Night went to Charles Oliveira, who owned Darren Elkins with a masterful triangle-armbar in another dramatic quick finish during the prelims. Fight of the Night bonuses went to Brian Stann and Mike Massenzio for their unaired preliminary bout. Stann battled back from an early deficit to finish Massenzio via third-round triangle choke. It was the first submission win of Stann’s career.
— Despite his through ass-kicking of Vladimir Matyushenko, Jon Jones is doing his best to stay humble and not let his ever-growing hype influence him. As he said during the post-event press conference:
"To be honest, [the expectations] really do bother me. It makes me really nervous sometimes. I was starting to beat up myself and say, ‘OK, not only do I need to win this fight, but I have to impress people and look spectacular. Like (WEC champ) Jose Aldo, he came out and every fight was so sweet. Man, he doesn’t have a bad fight. I was starting to give myself that same type of pressure.
"I talked to my mentors and my coaches, and they’re like, ‘Hey, Jon – listen. You do this for yourself. You lose a fight, all this media and all this hype train is going to be done, so don’t even worry about the train. There is no train. You do this for your family, and you do this for yourself. Mainly, you do this to have fun…
"My mom used to say, ‘God don’t like ugly, Jon. Being cocky sucks. I’m just really aware that there’s a lot of better fighters out there still. There’s some guys with great jiu-jitsu, great wrestling, great striking. I haven’t really proven myself against a top-five contender, so I really no have real way to think I’m the man."
Still, Jones repeated his wish that he get a "top three" opponent in his next outing. He also suggested that he might move up to heavyweight at some point:
"And now I actually have a heavyweight that I wouldn’t mind fighting. That’s James Toney – ‘Mr. I’m going to slap Jon in the face.’ I’d bump up for that fight any day."
— Also after the event, Takanori Gomi explained what he meant when he said he now knows how to "fight American":
"There was (doubt) just in terms of fighting in the States. I’m established at home, but I was wondering, ‘Am I really going to make it here?’…I basically mastered the way that you have to switch over from the Japanese emotional style of fighting to the American emotion. We tend to be maybe a little bit more subtle. I had to do that, and then there was sort of a release that I could let myself go and get a little bit more emotional."
— The judge who gave the Okami vs. Munoz fight to Munoz? Cecil Peoples, obvi.
— Below: Greg Jackson gives his wrap-up of the night, and says that even though Jon Jones had a very loose gameplan (because he’s an artist), it was "almost freaky" how closely he followed what they had in mind for the fight.