(Photo courtesy of MMA Fighting.)
So, weird night, huh? The main card of UFC on Versus: Vera vs. Jones gave us two fights where guys were docked points for illegal blows, two fights that ended with the losers grabbing their eyes in pain, Cheick Kongo transforming into a boring wrestler, and referees being applauded for their brilliant decisions. I’m still waiting for the hail of frogs. And here’s another bit of strangeness: The UFC decided to hand out three Knockout of the Night bonuses after the show, but no Fight of the Night bonuses. The $50,000 bumps went to the following scrappers…
Knockout of the Night #1: Jon Jones, for caving in Brandon Vera‘s head with an elbow that came from an acceptable clock-position.
Knockout of the Night #2: Junior Dos Santos, for wasting Gabriel Gonzaga and picking up his fifth-straight KO/TKO in the UFC.
Knockout of the Night #3: John Howard, for starching Daniel Roberts in the only prelim fight that was shown on the broadcast.
Submission of the Night: Clay Guida, for his arm-triangle tap of Shannon Gugerty. (Who else are they gonna give it to, Kongo for submitting Paul Buentello via leg-elbows?)
Some important notes from the press conference:
— The next "UFC on Versus" event will take place August 1st in Oakland, California. No fights have been announced yet.
— As you might have heard, things didn’t go well for Duane "Bang" Ludwig last night. The lightweight veteran severely broke his ankle early into the fight when his left leg folded back underneath him as opponent Darren Elkins scored a takedown. You can take a look at the horrible angle of his foot here.
— According to Dana White, a 4/17 counter-programming show was never being planned. "I was never putting an April 17 show on," White said. "The media started calling me and asking me. I just [expletive] let it ride out and let [Strikeforce] sweat it. [Expletive] them. You want to compete with us, let’s do it. I never, ever said I was doing an April 17 show. People asked me questions, and I said, ‘Hmm, that’s interesting.’ I played a little bit. What you guys have got to understand sometimes is these guys consider themselves a competitor, and I like to compete, so I can’t always tell you guys exactly what I’m doing and what I’m thinking and what’s going to go on."
— But DW does plan on screwing with Strikeforce in other ways. With Jake Shields‘s contract coming to an end after his upcoming fight against Dan Henderson, the Strikeforce middleweight champ is on White’s mind:
"Dan Henderson is fighting [expletive] Jake Shields. Come on. Are you serious? Jake Shields is 170 pounds, and he’s their (185-pound) champion. And I just found out today that they’re running commercials on [CBS], and the commercials are like three seconds, and it basically says, ‘MMA legend Dan Henderson,’ and he hits a heavy bag, I guess, and looks back at the camera. That’s the [expletive] commercial. How about, ‘Jake Shields is our [expletive] champion’?
"Jake Shields is on the last fight of his contract, so they’re feeding him to Dan Henderson right now because they want to get rid of him because he’s going to go away, or they’re going to have to pay him some big money to stick around or whatever the deal is. ‘We’re paying more money to Dan Henderson than we can afford already, so let’s get Jake’s ass kicked by Dan Henderson and get rid of Jake Shields.’…
"If Jake Shields could [pull off an upset], that would be incredible, and good for him. He’s going to get paid because what’s going to happen is we would love to take him from there, and I’m sure they’d love him to stick around. I will help drive that [expletive] number right up through the roof and let the Showtime boys pay him a lot of money so that Jake can stick it right up their ass. ‘I just choked out Dan Henderson, and now you [expletives] are going to pay me for trying to stick it up my ass. I’m going to stick it up yours.’"