Tonight’s kind of a big deal, you guys. UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones has a chance to establish his legacy by defending his belt against former champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. And when you look at the supporting card, you’ll notice a similar theme: Between Matt Hughes vs. Josh Koscheck, Takanori Gomi vs. Nate Diaz, and Mark Hunt vs. Ben Rothwell, UFC 135 is all about the old guard making one last stand against the scrappers who came up behind them. Do the old dogs still have some fight left, or will tonight represent a brutal changing of the guard?
Handling play-by-play for CagePotato.com once again is Matt Kaplan, who will be delivering updates on the “Jones vs. Rampage” pay-per-view main card beginning at 9 p.m. ET. Join the party after the jump, and refresh your page every few minutes for all the latest.
Here we go. UFC 135. Rampage vs. Bones. Quick thoughts before we get to anything real: 1) I just watched some of the intro. stuff, and the Matt Hughes-Josh Koscheck clips reminded me not only of what each guy is capable of doing, but also of how many beatings poor Frank Trigg has taken. 2) I want to see Nate Diaz do something grimy -or at least very distasteful – tonight. I don’t even care what it is. 3) Rampage literally sounds like a baby in the “I want my belt baaaaack!” clip. 4) Bones comes across as very humble, very respectful on camera. People love it. I’m extremely suspicious. 5) Am I rooting for Hughes or against Koscheck? Does it matter?
Takanori Gomi vs. Nate Diaz: Rd. 1: Gomi paws at Nate’s jab as they feel one another out. Nate drops Gomi with a left handed slap on the beak! Gomi’s back up, though, and looks calm. Nate’s lead right is busy so far after a good body shot from Gomi. Right-left from Nate lands. Gomi swings a lone, wild right hand from his back pocket. Nate tees off with the lead right and a follow-up stinging left. Gomi is down. Nate has the back, pounds for a bit, but Gomi slips out. Back to the boxing clinic by Nate. Gomi gets a takedown, but Nate slaps on the triangle. Transition to the armbar…….and that’s a tap. Sick.
Post fight, Nate refers to brother Nick as “the best fighter in the world” and then shouts out the Shields family. Cesar Gracie fighters are cool.
Travis Browne vs. Rob Broughton: Rd. 1: Big overhand right misses from Browne, who looks smooth on his big ol’ feet. He presses Broughton against the cage; they trade knees and short punches. Low kicks from Browne are landing clean. Lead left from Browne. Broughton isn’t doing too much here. A right hand from Browne answers a body punch from Broughton. Broughton charges in, but not with much. Big left hook from Browne; his follow-up flying knee is off target. Browne gets an easy takedown in the final seconds and finishes the round in half guard. Rd 2: Broughton is throwing inside leg kicks, but there’s not much sting to them. Browne is still loose and lands a hard leg kick. Body shot, leg kick from Browne. Broughton catches a kick, but Browne is still up. Browne lands 1-2s as he charges in and puts 4 or 5 knees on Broughton against the cage. Browne has Broughton pinned against the cage: not much from either fighter here. Back to the center of the cage and Browne just got a laughably easy takedown (again). He’s got mount now, Browne does. Ground and pound, Broughton rolls over, and then back to his back. Browne ends the round with ground strikes. Rd. 3: Low kick from Browne, who’s slowed down a little. Big right from Broughton, who had Browne against the cage. Browne snatches a leg for a takedown. Side control; half guard. Did I just hear Broughton was a wrestler? Holy shit. Browne is all over him, but not firing too many strikes. 3/4 mount, it looks like, and now Browne has back mount. Broughton rolls to his back. Full mount. Broughton gets it back to guard and works for an arm. Browne is free after a few seconds. Both men stand as the boos pour in before the final bell. Travis Browne earns the judges’ decision, 30-27 across the board.
Ben Rothwell vs. Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt: Rd. 1: Lead left lands for Hunt, who then avoids a shot from Big Ben. Left hook, right hand from Hunt lands on Ben’s chin. Long jabs from Ben; lead left hook from Hunt. Hunt circles away. Ben ducks a hook, and takes Hunt down. Mount. Ben has Hunt against the cage, but Hunt pops back up. Ben jabs. Hunt is bleeding a little on the left side of his head and stuffs a single. And again. Right hand from Hunt connects. He lands an elbow and is on top of Ben. Side control status. Ben is up right away, though. Right hand from Ben and they’re down, with Ben on top against the cage. Heavy elbows! Ben pins down Hunt’s right arm with his knee and keeps working to the bell. Rd. 2: Both guys are bloodied. Lead left hook from Hunt. Hunt stuff another takedown. They both seem tired as hell. Right uppercut from Hunt just misses. Ben jabs. Hunt kicks the back leg hard. Uppercut from Hunt, who lands on top of Ben and in Ben’s guard. Ben wants an armbar, it seems. Heavy gnp from Hunt, who has Ben’s arm trapped across his face. Elbows from side control from Mr. Hunt. Hunt is coming on. Ben scrambles, but Hunt is back on top. Full mount for Hunt. He snatches the left arm. He wants to extend it, but Ben holds on for the final seconds. Wow. Rd. 3: Ben is battered. Right hand from Hunt stings Ben. Uppercuts from Hunt. Hunt sprawls. Another big Samoan right hand. Ben is wobbly. Hunt tries for the trip and drags Ben down. Hunt is in Ben’s guard. Ben is bloody and gassed. The ref stands ‘em up. Ben is on noodle legs. Hunt stuffs a slow takedown. Uppercut from Hunt, but Ben keeps shooting. Huge right from Hunt. These guys are sleepwalking practically. Hunt gets the takedown; side cotrol. Hunt wants to pin down the left arm. Hammer fists from Hunt. Ben squirms for full guard. The ref stands them up? Another uppercut from Hunt. Ben has his hands on his knees. Hunt gets a takedown, but Ben maneuvers to squeeze a headlock and lands in half guard in the final seconds. The judges give it unanimously to Mark Hunt.
Mike Goldberg just called Rob Dyrdek “Rob Deed-rick.” Oh, Goldy…
Matt Hughes vs. Josh Koscheck: Hughes is walking out with Pat Miletich for the first time in a while. I also see Matt Pena, Jeremy Horn, and Robbie Lawler. Old school. Rd. 1: Hughes jabs early to the right eye of Koscheck. Right uppercut and left hook clip combo clips Hughes. Left hook from Hughes now. And again. Another uppercut from Koscheck, but missing. Uppercut from Hughes, the boxer, apparently. Both men sneak in uppercuts, but nothing lands flush. Hughes stuffs the TD and hits a knee. Left hook from Hughes. Big uppercut and a right hand from Koscheck, and Hughes feels it. Clinch. Koz is throwing. Hammer fists from Koz to a downed Hughes. Hughes is down and in trouble. Hughes is out cold with just seconds left! Hot damn. TKO win at 4:59 for Josh Koscheck. Matt Hughes is not retiring, but he says he’s going “on the shelf.”
Jon “Bones” Jones vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson: Rd. 1: Bones crawls out to Rampage, who promptly knees his body. Clinch against the cage. Knees from Jones to Rampage’s thighs. Nice elbow from Jones! Jones is pressing against the cage, but the two meet in the center of the cage. High kicks from Jones are blocked. Jones clinches and looks for a trip, but Rampage stays up. Head kick from Jones is blocked. Jones kicks Rampage’s lead knee. Left hand from Jones connects. Another kick to the knee from the champ. Jones pushed Rampage against the cage as they clinch. Spinning elbow lands for Bones as they separate. Head kick again from Bones. Spinning heel kick from Bones sails high. Rampage swings big at the end of the round. Too little, too late, though. Rd. 2: Bones attacks the lead leg and clinches again. Bones tries another spinning elbow and keeps kicking that lead knee. Low kick from Rampage. Lead right hook misses from Bones. Body kick from Bones. Lead left hits for Rampage. Bones keeps moving and kicking at Rampage’s legs. Swing and a miss with the left for Bones. Rampage isn’t mounting much offense here. Two nice leg kicks from Bones. Spinning back kick hits for Bones. Head kick now. Rampage looks hesitant from the outside. Left hook lands for the challenger. Bones misses with a missile of a left hand. They clinch. Rampage pulls guard from the clinch in the final few seconds. Rd. 3: Bones catches a Rampage kick and grabs a front headlock. Rampage swings wide, but Jones ducks. Leg kicks from Rampage now. Bones keeps mixing up his punches. Bones grabs a single and gets the takedown. Side control. Full mount. Gnp time:elbows. Rampage his escapes. Rampage is up, but Jones has his neck. Rampage is free, but bloody above the right eye. Nasty kick to the gut from Bones. Looping left misses for Rampage. Bones misses a close elbow and avoids a big right hook from Rampage. Lead left hook from Bones. Bones keeps kicking low. Flying knee from Bones and a kick to the knee. Rampage avoids a switch kick. Bones drops for a double at the horn and drops Rampage after the round ends. Rd. 4: Early clinch and Bones gets the takedown. Knees to the body from Bones, who has back control. RNC? Yup! Tapout.
Post-fight Rampage: “…I’m disappointed, but I’m still gon’ get drunk tonight!”
And from then undercard…
Cole Escovedo vs. Takeya Mizugaki: Rd. 1: Mizugaki fires early with crisp combos. Big knee from Cole with his back on the fence. Mizugaki does the same and escapes to the center of the cage. Good jab from Cole. Low kick from Mizugaki. Hard left hands from Mizugaki, who presses Cole into the cage. Cole Thai clinches, but releases. Big right hand from Mizugaki. Mizugaki drags Cole down, but they’re right back up. Nice knee from Cole. Cole climbs Mizugaki and wants a triangle. Mizugaki falls on top of Cole. They’re up again. Good action so far. Inside leg kick from Mizugaki. Thai clinch and knees from Cole. Elbows from the clinch for Cole. This is awesome. Nice left from Cole, who barely misses a head kick. 1-2 from Mizugaki. Left hand to the body from Mizugaki just before the round ends. Rd. 2: Mizugaki catches a kick and drops Cole with a right hand. Cole’s back up. Inside leg kick from Mizugaki. Right cross from Mizugaki. Lead left hook from Mizugaki. Nice kick from Cole. Head kick from Cole, but Mizugaki fires back. And again the head kick from Cole. Uppercut-left hook combo from Mizugaki. Body punch from Mizugaki. Left hand staggers and drops Cole. He’s up. A flurry of big punches and knees from Mizugaki. Huge left hook from Mizugaki to Cole against the cage. Cole is banged up. Mizugaki is pouring it on. Cole is down from a short left and Mizugaki finishes him with a final right hand. Great action from the 135-pounders.