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UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans Aftermath Pt. 2

By Elias Cepeda

(UFC welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre [right] and fan contest winner future champion Rory MacDonald)

Ok, let’s get right to the cheddar – the UFC 145 fight bonuses, which UFC President Dana White announced during the post-event presser (video of entire press conference below). It always warms the heart when the fighters who get the big bonus checks are not the big stars, and that’s what happened at UFC 145.

Ben Rothwell, Travis Browne, Mark Hominick and Eddie Yagin all earned an extra $65,000 for their efforts Saturday night in Atlanta, GA. Rothwell got the KO of the night for his come-from-behind stoppage of Brendan Schaub. Browne got the night’s only submission but it was still a good one – forcing Chad Griggs to tap out to an arm triangle choke.

Eddie Yagin and Mark Hominick both took home fight of the night honors for their back and forth war. Yagin also took home the win bonus for earning the split-decision win over the former featherweight #1 contender.

The Immortal beats The Karate Kid and GSP-lite continues to impress

Matt Brown took a little steam out of the home town Karate Kid Stephen Thompson with a unanimous decision win. Thompson burst onto the UFC scene with a nifty lead leg KO at UFC 143. Brown has a toughness that his win to loss ratio doesn’t necessarily reveal, and a win over a top prospect like Thompson helps “The Immortal” get back on the slow climb up in the welterweight division.

Staying in the welterweight division for a moment, Rory MacDonald continued to prove that he is the division’s brightest young star. MacDonald took on the underrated Che Mills and, after getting tagged a little too much by Mills’ sharp striking, took him down at will and dominated on the ground.

MacDonald exhibited smooth striking-to-takedown transitions, excellent ground control and vicious, well-balanced ground striking en route to a second round TKO win over Mills. The twenty two year-old has only lost to current interim champion Carlos Condit, and that was after a fight that MacDonald was arguably winning at points.

Last week Georges St. Pierre said that he believes his fellow Canadian and training partner MacDonald will be the 170 lb champion one day. The two have said they won’t fight one another.

I’m sure they are friends and respect each other. But at least a small part of GSP not wanting to fight MacDonald is because it can’t be that much fun to do so.

Miguel Torres’ future

Miguel Torres’ year didn’t get any better with a knockout loss to top bantamweight prospect Michael McDonald. McDonald threw fast and hard punch combinations at Torres during their brief fight, with a number of uppercuts landing.

The last uppercut landed cleanly and knocked the former champion Torres out on contact. Torres has now lost two out of his last three, though this was the first decisive loss for the charismatic fighter since 2010.

More importantly, however, is how well Torres will be able to recover from such a bad knockout. He is a young man by society’s standards at just 31 years of age. But, considering his weight class, where speed and reaction time is so crucial, Torres is beyond a veteran.

There is no telling how much damage Torres’ mind and body have sustained, either. His official record stands at something around 40-5, and goes back twelve years.


(Miguel Torres could find himself in the broadcaster’s booth whenever he ends his long and illustrious career)

That’s an eternity and a huge amount of fights by MMA standards. But Torres likely has dozens more fights that will never appear on any official record. When he was still in high school he’d regularly fight multiple grown men in a single night at unsanctioned events.

Also, anyone who has seen Torres in training knows that he goes harder in practice sparring than many fighters go in competition. And we’ve all seen his warring style in the ring.

Torres has kept up the arrebentacao style and legacy of his mentor, the late, great Carlson Gracie Sr. , and he’s earned world titles, pound for pound rankings and legions of fans because of it. But at some point, his accomplished career will have to come to an end.

Only he knows if Saturday night’s knockout loss brings him closer to that moment or not. Its part of the cruelty of fight sports that careers can be considered full and long, but still leave their owners young, with fire in their heart and their families’ plates needing to be filled.

There is no pension for MMA fighters, no union that will ensure they get at least a living wage in retirement for the blood they’ve spilled and millions they’ve made for their employers. Thankfully, Torres will have a better shot than most fighters at maintaining success once he retires from fighting, whenever that is.

He is college-educated, has been a successful gym business owner for years, and has the kind of reputation – built on accessibility and genuine seeming overall friendliness and community involvement – that could keep him in demand as a trainer and television commentator for years after he hangs up his gloves. At the moment, the bantamweight division moves on with prospects like McDonald and champion Dominick Cruz, but without Torres.

Read Pt 1 of our UFC 145 Aftermath

UFC 145 Post Event Press Conference Video:

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Clyde- April 23, 2012 at 5:12 am
@Get off me: I'll be chuckling about your "surprised" line for the rest of the day. That's a hard one to explain to those not in the know, but thanks for it anyway.

I want to see Torres land on his feet, but I can't see him being champion again and once you've had that, it must be really hard to let it go.
zamoracarl711- April 23, 2012 at 4:41 am
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gruge- April 23, 2012 at 1:49 am
Thats it for "wonderboy". Lets face it, his appeal was that he had "mever lost in 60 fights" or whatever. Now that he has lost, and was beaten convincingly, im sure interest in him will drop sharply.

As for the main event, Yawn. Congrats to JJ tho, who I think realy proved that he can keep his head clear and get the job done. I still dont like him tho, why?. If im being honest with myself its probably becasue he is tall dark and handsome with world wide respect and millions of dollars, and im short, pale and ugly who spends my time writing my opinions on the internet.

Ah.
enrikk- April 23, 2012 at 2:29 am
I just wish people would stop being a bunch of pansy-ass fair-weather fans and give Rashad his fair due.
.
Before the fight, everyone (including Evans) was saying that the *only* way to beat Jones was to get past his reach and press him on the inside.
.
Then, it turned out that getting closer to Jones only means you're THAT much closer to his elbows.
.
Face it, folks: Evans felt threatened on the inside because Jones was a LOT more effective at short range than everyone expected (conventional wisdom fail: "reach" isn't just as far as the fists). With every attempt at a haymaker, Evans stood a good chance of an excellent counter from an elbow that was already "sneaky" when Evans was standing perfectly still. Can you blame him for understanding the threat he faced with rushing in blind? Sure, I understand the "go hard or go home" sentiment, but to act like he just plain dropped the ball all by himself is ridiculous.
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Elias- April 22, 2012 at 6:37 pm
lol, yeah,I figured as much but thanks. Yeah, I called it a come from behind win because, though it all happened so fast, Brendan stunned Rothwell and backed him up and had him deep trouble before Rothwell came with the left hook that allowed him to come back from the perilous edge he found himself on briefly
Get Off Me- April 22, 2012 at 5:44 pm
I think you have to be losing to come from behind and win...as I do not think Rothwell was losing that fight, I do not think it was a come from behind win.
smellypiratehooker- April 22, 2012 at 5:25 pm
CP, can I rename myself " Brendon Schaub fighting the invisable man? "
Elias- April 22, 2012 at 5:21 pm
Get off me, they sure are, brother. Take a look at sherdog's database, which is used by promoters (making it as official as anything else effectively) , then compare to the official database used by the association of boxing commissions, then compare to the records listed on ufc.com fighter profiles. I'm sure Torres, and anyone else that gets knocked out is surprised, brotha.

What constitutes a come from behind win, in your opinion, "really"?
Get Off Me- April 22, 2012 at 8:54 pm
In this instance I used "surprised" specifically in reference to Torres...there is a link...I should have just said Torres got raped by McDonald's hands, but I like the way I put it down the first time.
Get Off Me- April 22, 2012 at 5:03 pm
Rothwell's win was not really a come from behind win.
Official record's are not "something around...".
Torres simply got "surprised" by McDonald's hands.
MKO- April 22, 2012 at 4:51 pm
Can we please stop fucking saying Rory would have beaten Condit. Even the worst judges would have scored it a draw with a 10-8 third, and Condit arguably won the second round.
That said, his ground and pound is frightening, and hope he gets someone on the Kos-Ellenberger-Hendricks-Kampmann level next.
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