(“’I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.’ Walt Whitman, bitches! What!” Pic: UFC.com)
If you believe Jon Jones’ personal Twitter feed, it sounds like he, Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn chased down and subdued a criminal crackhead this afternoon after they witnessed said crackhead stealing a GPS navigation system out of some lady’s car. That’s Jersey for you. Seriously though, can you even imagine the poor, unlucky-ass vagrant who’s just out for his Saturday afternoon smash-and-grab when he suddenly finds himself involved in a foot pursuit with this fucking guy? That’s one race you are not going to win, son. Yahoo’s Steve Cofield has the story, though to get the gist you really only have to read the following two sentences, which sound like they came out of a goddamned Joseph Wambaugh novel or some shit: “In the scuffle, the robber was bloodied. The trainers said some blood got on their pants.” Pure Poetry, Cofield, for real.
Now, if Jones manages to follow up his citizen’s arrest by winning the UFC light heavyweight title tonight against Shogun Rua at UFC 128? That’ll make for a pretty epic day, man. Speaking of epic, our live blog of the PPV event kicks off at 10 p.m. EST. Prior to that, we’ll probably shoot you some short recaps of the SpikeTV prelims, too, if we feel like it. Don’t be afraid to hit refresh early and often. You won’t want to miss this …
Just watched Shogun KO Machida on “Unleashed” and now we’re ready to kick off the SpikeTV prelims. Edson Barboza vs. Anthony Njokuani will go first.
Round 1: Barboza clipped Njokuani with a right hook behind the ear about a minute into the fight, then again a minute later. Looked like they hurt, but N-jo soldiered on. Barboza also made him pay with some of his trademark stiff kicks to the legs and body, but Njokuani fired back with a couple of nice punching combinations. Unfortunately, they were not enough. 10-9 Barboza.
Round 2: Njokuani came out far more relaxed and aggressive in the second. He got the better of the striking exchanges before Barboza stuck him with a nice spinning side kick. Njokuani caught a leg and briefly put Barboza on the mat, then made him pay with punch on the way up. Barboza nailed him with a nice standing elbow and tried a wild heel kick inside the final two minutes. Barboza scored a takedown in the final 30 seconds, but I got this one going to Njokuani, 10-9.
Round 3: The final round opened more evenly than the first two, but with Njokuani continuing to outwork Barboza. A trio of nice right hands from Barboza at the halfway point were followed up by a bruising knee to the body by Njokuani. Barboza scored with two more turning side kicks and took Njokuani down again inside the final 30 seconds. As N-jo worked back to his feet Barboza blasted him with a heel kick to the head. Will it be enough to sway the judges?
Yes it is. All three judges score it 29-28 for Edson Barboza. Up next: Luiz Cane vs. Eliot Marshall.
Round 1: Marshall tried a double leg within the first five seconds, but Cane would have none of it. A minute later, Cane trapped him against the fence and blasted him with a couple of right hands. The second one dropped him and Cane opened up a barrage of strikes on the ground. Marshall managed to survive a surprisingly long time, but eventually the referee moved in to call things off.
Luiz Cane def. Eliot Marshall via TKO (strikes), round one, 2:15.
Alright, that’s all the live action before the start of the PPV, which kicks off in about 15 minutes. I’m going to go ahead and drink a beer. My advice? You should do the same. Back in a flash …
… and we’re back. You know the drill: Cheesy gladiator intro. Badly recited scripted trash talk from the main eventers. Cue the Stemm and we’re in business here. Goldy, Rogan (and for that matter Dana White) are all wearing black over black. During the fight intros, two of Shogun’s three highlights are him knocking out Mark Coleman and Chuck Liddell. Not sure how much confidence that inspires. First fight will be CroCop vs. Schaub.
Mirko CroCop vs. Brendan Schaub
Schaub comes out to Eminem. No surprise, Trevor Wittman is feeling it. Hey, there’s Ice-T in the front row, decked out in an Iron Star T-shirt. Nice to know the OG is still rocking some sponsorships. CroCop eschews his normal Duran Duran walk-out tune for some operatic shit. His nose is very red. Either he’s been drinking of somebody cracked him in the face during training.
Schaub gets booed pretty heavily during the intros. Meanwhile, Jersey loves CroCop. Schaub comes out pawing the jab out there and circling left. He blitzes forward with some strikes, finding a home for a couple of uppercuts. Schaub spends some time with CroCop pushed up against the fence, until he gets a “strong warning” from Herb Dean for punching in the back of the head. On the restart, Schaub lands a takedown into guard. Gets dinked with an upkick, but then lands a series of hard right hands to CroCop’s noggin. With just over a minute left, CroCop gets back to the feet. 10-9 Schaub.
CroCop tries the high kick early on, but Schaub blocks it and immediately scores a takedown. Schaub slams CroCop with more rights to the head, then CroCop gets warned for throwing an upkick while Schaub’s knees were down. Back in the standup, Schaub uses some effective knees to the body as they trade position along the fence. Schaub’s nose looks badly bloodied. Replay shows it was an elbow from CroCop, Rogan says. Whoa, then Schaub loses a point for another back-of-the-head infraction. That effectively nullifies a round otherwise won by Schaub. 9-9.
A kick to the nads by CroCop immediately causes a break in the action at the start of the third. After they get it going again, Schaub grabs a takedown with 4:25 on the clock. CroCop gets back to his feet pretty fast, only to have Schaub blow through his hips again on a hard tackle with 3:50 left. Passes to half guard 40 seconds later. Midway through the round, we’re upright again. Mirko stuffs a couple of takedown attempts to Schaub, who looks like he might be fading … UNTIL he drops CroCop with straight right that lands behind the ear. CroCop drops like a dead man and it’s over.
Brendan Schaub def. Mirko CroCop by KO, round three, 3:44.
Officially, they call it a TKO, maybe because Schaub totally needlessly paintbrushed CroCop’s head off the canvas after the knockdown. Rogan says that’s wins over “two legends in a row” for Schaub. Apparently, Gabe Gonzaga is a “legend” in Rogan’s book. They air a very cinematic and very cheesy promo for GSP vs. Shields, then Dana shows up cageside to announce that the PPV’s are going to start an hour earlier from now on. Marquardt vs. Miller coming up …
Marquardt takes the center of the cage and looks like he might be looking for a fast start. Miller goes after a single leg with junkyard dog-type stick-to-itiveness and gets it with just under four minutes left. Marquardt sweeps him – finishing it with a big slam – but Miller threatens him briefly with a tight-looking guillotine choke. Nate lands a couple of solid elbows from the top before Dean calls for a stand up with a minute left. Marquardt scoops Miller up for another big double leg slam and avoids a couple more submission attempts from Miller until the bell. 10-9 Marquardt.
Marquardt scores with some kicks to begin the second and Miller comes back with a right hand. A nice body shot by Marquardt. Nate tries to open things up a bit with a head kick and a flying knee, but only gets himself taken down by Miller with just over three minutes left. Marquardt is up by the halfway point and they trade some sparse punches until Marquardt lands a pair of rights and gets a takedown. Miller goes back to the well on the guillotine choke and almost gets it, but Marquardt is able to pop his head out. Elbows from the top until the horn. 10-9 Marquardt.
A hard right hand from Marquardt and then a snapping head kick to start the third. A thudding low kick from Nate. Miller is bleeding from a cut over the left eye. Miller tries for a takedown with two minutes gone, but gets stuffed, controlled and put on his back by Marquardt. Nate goes back to work with those elbows. The crowd begins to boo during the final minute, but Marquardt continues to pepper him with short punches and elbows. Pretty good effort from Miller on short notice, but Marquardt is going to salt this away. 10-9 Nate.
Nate Marquardt def. Dan Miller by unanimous decision (30-27 x 3).
During a promotional package following the fight, we get reminders to watch UFC 129, TUF 13 … and Strikeforce Diaz vs. Daley. God, it still feels weird. Here we go with the other Miller brother vs. the Iranian. Get ready for some “U-S-A” chants.
Jim Miller vs. Kamal Shalorus
Perhaps to convince us he’s down with our lifestyle here in The Great Satan, Shalorus comes out imploring us to “Blame It on the Ah-AhAhAh-Ah-Alcohol.” Miller comes out to “Bad Moon Rising.” Weird body alert on both guys in this fight. Here we go…
They waste no time, throwing heavy leather from the word go. Here goes that USA chant. Neither guy seems opposed to eating a few punches here. Maybe Miller is slightly getting the better of the exchanges. The pace slows after the first couple of minutes and Shalorus’ left eye is starting to swell up. Hard head kick from Miller with two minutes left, but Shalorus acts like it ain’t no thang. Miller tries to pull him into a guillotine with a minute left, but Shalorus slips out. The Prince of Persia pushes him against the fence, but we get a restart with 20 seconds left. Miller sticks him with a good kick before the bell. 10-9 Miller.
Shalorus drills him with a body kick to get things started in the second. Miller tries a flying triangle with a 1:15 gone, but nothing comes of it and they both choose to keep going with the stand up. With 3:15 left, Miller takes Shalorus down with a single and immediately takes his back. He goes figure-four body lock on it. Miller digs for the rear naked choke, but Shalorus defends it. We stay there for the rest of the round. 10-9 Miller.
Shalorus still wants to load up on big punches at the start of the last stanza, but Miller looks a lot more capable on the feet. Miller stuffs a takedown attempt and still appears very fresh bouncing on his toes. Miller snaps his head up with an uppercut and then drops him with a knee along the fence. Shalorus rolls to his belly and Miller pours it on until he gets the stoppage. And blood pours out of the nose of the Iranian.
Jim Miller def. Kamal Shalorus via TKO (strikes), round three, 2:15.
Wineland and his crew are all wearing black T-shirts and black beanies. AC/DC is the soundtrack. Faber bumps “California Love” and is all smiles as he dance-walks out from the back. He says hi to his mom and to Sacramento. Loves them both, he says.
Wineland comes out looking very aggressive. Faber ties up with him, but Wineland muscles him against the cage. Faber tries to throw him, but Wineland shrugs him of and tags him with a punch. Faber keeps trying to throw him, but just can’t get anywhere. Wineland briefly gets behind Faber and slams him down, then blasts Faber again before backing up. Faber pops him right a right hook. Wineland stuffs another takedown. Faber lands an inside leg kick and gets hit by a hard straight right. Nothing doing there for Urijah in round one. 10-9 Wineland.
Faber with a body kick early, then a high kick. He seems to have Wineland a bit more dialed here, making him miss and landing counters. Faber grabs a single and sweeps Wineland’s other leg out from under him. Finally on top with 3:15 left in the round, Faber starts in with some ground and pound. He also picks Wineland up and slams him from the guard. Wineland tries to push him off, but Urijah ain’t having it. Wineland is doing a decent job tying him up, but Faber still works in some elbows and punches. Faber slams him again and drops a hard elbow inside the last 30 seconds. That’s more like it. 10-9 Faber.
Wineland still trying to stalk him down at the outset. Wineland lands a body shot and stuffs another takedown attempt with 3:45 left. They clinch against the fence, to no one’s real advantage, and get back to center at the halfway point. Faber pops him with a right. Then two more. Wineland looks a little flustered as Faber starts to pick him apart a bit. Faber finally gets a double with 1:20 left, into the guard. Another slam. Then a big elbow. He pours on the GNP until the bell. 10-9 Faber.
Urijah Faber def. Eddie Wineland by unanimous decision (29-28 x 3).
In the post fight interview Faber says, “Dominick (Cruz), if you’re out there, hide your kids, hide your wife, hide that belt, because I’m coming for it.” Huh. OK, we’re just about set for the main event. Everybody get your butterflies in formation.
Shogun Rua vs. Jon Jones
Jones enters to “New York State of Mind” with Phil Nurse, Mike Winkeljohn, Greg Jackson and his brother Arthur with him. Jones towers over Nurse in a way that kind of makes the renowned striking coach look like a little kid. At ringside, Ice-T gets a shot of CoCo with Jones in the background. Shogun comes out to some weirdo techno music and with Lil’ Ass Ninja shouting in his ear. Bad Boy shirts all around. Alright, let’s do this.
Jones starts with a flying knee that does not land. Then a spinning back kick. Shogun tries to throw a punching combo and Jones leg sweeps him to the mat. Rua gets full guard and tries for a triangle that allows Jones to pass to half guard. Rua replaces guard, but Jones lands an elbow. Shogun wants a leg lock here. Jones lands some elbows to the body and few punches. Shogun gets back to his feet but eats a knee that might have hurt him. He looks wobbly on his feet. Jones pours it on. Shogun lands a one-two, though. He goes for a leg lock that allows Jones to get back on top. 10-9 Jones.
Jones goes low kick, front kick, side kick to open the second. They clinch against the cage and Jones lands a spinning elbow. Back at center, Shogun tries to chase him down with punches, but Jones avoids them. Right hand from Jones. Then a hard body shot. Another front kick, low kick combo. Shogun tries to kick and Jones takes him down with 2:30 left and lands a pair of hard punches to the head. Bones passes to half guard and Shogun is bleeding. He’s breathing hard. Jones tries a leg lock just before the bell. This is just an ass kicking so far. 10-9 Jones.
Shogun comes forward with punches to open the third and Jones jogs out of danger. Shogun gets behind Jones and again drops for a leg. Nothing doing. Jones gets back on top in half guard. Shogun replaces guard, but Jones just lights him up with punches anyway. Then a particularly hard left hand and an elbow and now Rua is in real trouble. Shogun manages to scramble back to his feet, but Jones chases him down and drops him with a left to the body and a knee to the head as Shogun crumples. Herb Dean stops the fight. Jon Jones is your UFC light heavyweight champion.
Jon Jones def. Mauricio Shogun Rua by TKO (strikes), round three, 2:37.
Wow, dude. That was just dominant. “Champion, 2011?” Jones asks in response to Rogan’s first question. Touche. Shogun’s right eye is swollen almost shut. He says the strategy was “to fight Jon Jones wherever the fight would go.” Yeah, mission not accomplished there.
Uh-oh! There’s Rashad in the cage, wearing a suit and tie. Rogan brings them both to the center and asks a couple of awkward questions. They both shrug and say they’ll fight, if that’s what they have to do. Handshakes. No hugs. Both guys look like they’d rather be dead than be there right now.
Anyway, that’s all she wrote. I’m out.