It may be too early to declare that a new era has begun, but last night proved that the old one is on life support. The Prudential Center is used to watching some pretty lopsided beatdowns, but even the hometown crowd seemed surprised at what they were witnessing. Unlike the Nets, fans actually expected Shogun to put up a competitive effort.
Last night was business as usual for the newly crowned LHW champion, Jon Jones. Shogun, who landed only eleven strikes all night, was outclassed in literally every aspect of the fight. It’s no exaggeration to say that Jones made Shogun look like the 23 year old fighting a legend of Pride. For that matter, it’s barely an exaggeration to say that Jones made Shogun look like the untrained mugger he stopped in the park earlier that day. It’s tempting to prematurely declare the Jon Jones Era after last night. But let’s wait until he defends the belt first.
Oh yeah, about that. Remember how last night ended with that awkward, three way interview? And how Rashad Evans was all about leaving Greg Jackson’s camp if Jon Jones won the title? Well, Rashad wasted no time making his decision official. Rashad Evans announced his decision to officially leave Greg Jackson’s camp last night. Rashad kept his statements concerning the situation brief last night, but tweeted earlier today, “Greg brought this situation about. He brought Jones on board a while back against my wishes & here we r today.” Time will tell how this decision plays out for Rashad.
Jones vs. Evans wasn’t the only title fight to come from last night. As you remember, Urijah Faber called out Dominick Cruz after defeating Eddie Wineland. Well, it appears that not only is a rematch of Faber vs. Cruz going to happen, but there’s a possibility that Urijah and Dominick will be coaches during the next season of “The Ultimate Fighter”. The decision makes sense, as the next season is going to focus on lighter fighters. And how awesome would it be to watch Karma train alongside Urijah Faber? We’ll definately keep you posted.
They say that hindsight is 20/20, but in the case of Schaub vs. Cro Cop, foresight was 20/20 as well. As most of us expected, Cro Cop was yet again outclassed by a younger, hungrier fighter while looking completely disinterested in this whole “fighting in a cage for money” thing. After the fight, Dana White announced that Cro Cop is done in the UFC. It’s likely that Cro Cop will essentially retire from mixed martial arts for good, as he’s been talking about doing for the past few years. Oh well, thanks for the memories. Still, props to Brendan Schaub for fighting through a busted nose to score the KO. Expect a step up in competition next time Schaub enters the cage.
On a final, less depressing note, four fighters pocketed an additional seventy grand for their performances last night. Because there were no submissions on the card, both Brendan Schaub and Erik Koch took home “Knockout of the Night” bonuses for their victories over Cro Cop and Raphael Assuncao, respectively. Meanwhile, “Fight of the Night” honors went to Edson Barboza and Anthony Njokuani for their three round tilt on Spike TV. The fight was a back-and-forth affair that literally came down to the last seconds. Barboza’s spinning heel kick may have saved him on the score cards, while FOTN honors may have saved Njokuani from the Zuffa chopping block. As for the full results:
Jon Jones def. Mauricio Rua via TKO (Strikes), 2:37 of Round 3
Urijah Faber def. Eddie Wineland via Unanimous Decision
Jim Miller def. Kamal Shalorus via TKO (Strikes), 2:15 of Round 3
Nate Marquardt def. Dan Miller via Unanimous Decision
Brendan Schaub def. Mirko Filipovic via KO (Punch), 3:44 of Round 3
Spike TV Prelims:
Luiz Cane def. Eliot Marshall via TKO (Strikes), 2:15 of Round 1
Edson Barboza def. Anthony Njokuani via Unanimous Decision