Because pay-per-view and Spike TV are not enough to contain all the UFC’s awesomeness, Versus is presenting four fights tonight that could all end in thrilling knockouts, and will momentarily make us forget that we’re missing the season premiere of Breaking Bad. In this extra-special Lord’s Day Liveblog™, Jon Jones tries to live up to his hype against a man who once fell prey to his own, Junior Dos Santos continues his warpath in the heavyweight division against fellow meat-skewer aficionado Gabriel Gonzaga, Cheick Kongo and Paul Buentello throw bombs for the hell of it, and lightning will strike James Irvin on his way to the cage. Yes, indoor lightning. Live results from UFC on Versus: Vera vs. Jones await you after the jump; refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest…
We begin, of course, with 15 minutes of commercials. But at least we won’t be forced to watch interviews with the cast of "Blue Mountain State."
James Irvin vs. Alessio Sakara
Two guys with great highlight reels but spotty records. Irvin is kind of hard to look at with his new weight. Neither man looks particularly psyched to be there.
Round 1: Sakara tags Irvin with a nice right. Sakara slips landing a leg kick but bounces back up. Irvin returns a leg kick. Sakara tries a spinning backfist, then sticks a leg kick. Stright rights from Sakara. Irvin lands a leg kick. Sakara jabbing to the body. Joe Rogan says that Irvin looked like an alien at the weigh-ins. Sakara with a hard right. Leg kick Irvin. Irvin seems to get poked in the eye with a punch, and he crumples backward. Referee Josh Rosenthal stops the fight after Sakara follows him down and starts slugging. Scratch that, the ref pauses the fight and allows Irvin to recover. The replay doesn’t really show a poke, unfortunately. Sakara isn’t happy. Goldberg on Irvin: "He’s had an interesting run, in and out of the Octagon." Quite an understatement. After some deliberation, Rosenthal calls it a TKO. The crowd boos the weird ending. A closer replay shows that Irvin just got straight-up punched in the eye. Nothing illegal there. Sakara def. Irvin via TKO, 3:01 of round 1.
I wonder what James Irvin would look like at welterweight? Nah, just fire the unlucky bastard.
Cheick Kongo vs. Paul "Don’t Fear Me, Fear the Consequences" Buentello
Round 1: Buentello bouncing spastically, and throws the right. They clash with punches, and Kongo clinches and bulls Buentello into the fence. After some effort, he gets the Headhunter to the ground. Buentello gets to a knee, and struggles to his feet, but Kongo slams him back down. Hey, this isn’t a standup war! Buentello looking for a kimura. Kongo is tenacious on Buentello, positionally speaking, but isn’t doing much damage besides the occasional knee. Buentello yanks out but jacks up his finger in the process. Dislocated pinky? Herb Dean pauses the fight and the crowd is furious. Buentello is in pain, but he pulls it back in place with the doctor’s help and the fight is back on. Crazy. Kongo lands a 1-2 and shoots for a takedown, which he gets. Kongo throws down a few punches as Buentello crouches against the cage. Herb stands ‘em. Buentello seems to slip after a striking exchange and Kongo finishes out the round throwing down punches. 10-9 Kongo.
Round 2: Kongo lands a couple of leg kicks. Kongo chases with punches and once again dumps Buentello on his ass. Kongo trying to finish with punches from the top, with Buentello desperately trying to get back to his feet. Kongo is warned for downward elbows to Buentello’s ass. Kongo blasts Buentello in the face with a knee when Buentello was on one knee and the fight is paused. Herb gives Paul a moment to clear his head. Herb deducts a point for it. When the fight’s back on, Kongo goes for the takedown again, gets it, and starts slamming knees to Buentello’s body. Buentello gets up and eats a punch before getting taken down again. Inexplicably, Kongo is doing his best Clay Guida impression. Buentello gets hit in the face with another knee on the ground, but Herb says Paul was "playing the game," trying to draw the foul. They’re back up and Kongo is slugging, before another takedown. "He’s getting molested," says Joe. Herb orders them up. Buentello is beaten and exhausted. Kongo comes in for another clinch. 9-9 because of the penalty…though maybe a 9-8.
Round 3: Another takedown from you know who. Kongo has an arm around Buentello’s head and throws elbows with the other arm. Buentello taps from elbows to the thigh. They could have landed anywhere — the Headhunter had absorbed enough pain for one night. That, friends, was an ass beating. Kongo def. Buentello via submission (strikes), 1:16 of round 3.
Oh great, a creepy Extenze commercial where 92-year-old Jimmy Johnson talks to a young female reporter about how his cock-game just went from good to great. And yet when Terry Bradshaw does it, it’s "harassment."
Junior Dos Santos vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
Round 1: A minute of feeling-out. Dos Santos jabs to the gut. Gonzaga shoots and scores a takedown, but JDS pops up quickly. Leg kick Gonzaga. More low jabbing from Dos Santos. And some head shots that don’t land. Gonzaga whiffs his scary head-kick. Dos Santos returns a high kick unsuccessfully, but lands a kick to the body. Straight rights from Dos Santos. Gonzaga tries the high kick again but is blocked, and JDS comes back with a left hook that drops Gonzaga. Dos Santos finishes Gonzaga in brutal fashion, hauling off on Gabe’s face until the fight is stopped. Future freakin’ champion. Dos Santos def. Gonzaga via KO, 3:53 of round 1. The crowd starts to boo Dos Santos for some reason but they come back around when he promises them more good knockouts. He says he wants to fight the best and is ready for a title shot. Unfortunately, the heavyweight division is so log-jammed due to Lesnar’s illness, the interim title situation and Cain being in front of him in line, that it’ll be a while before that actually happens.
They show John Howard vs. Daniel Roberts from the undercard. Roberts starts out looking very impressive with his grappling and pace, but Howard turns the tables with a slam, and knocks Roberts *cold* as soon as he gets on top. Bring on Anthony Johnson…
Brandon Vera vs. Jon Jones
Vera’s accent is athletic *and* explosive. Jon Jones does a few slow arms-up twirls before entering the arena, that will surely become an animated gif by tomorrow morning. His entrance music is "Empire State of Mind." He does a victory cartwheel before the fight even starts. Man. My condolences to Brandon’s mother. Bones practices his reverse-kick against a cage-post.
Round 1: Jones clinches immediately and gets the leg-trip takedown. Jones starts working his punches. Big left from Jones before Vera kicks him off. Back on the feet. Jones catches a kick from Vera but can’t capitalize. Jones clinches again and scores another takedown. Jones in Vera’s guard. Rogan points out that Jones keeps leaving his arm in danger. Elbow from Jones. Vera blasts Jones with an illegal upkick whil Jones’s knee is down. Jones grabs his jaw in pain and anger. Herb deducts a point from Vera and lets them return to their position, with Jones in Vera’s guard. Elbow from Jones. Vera nearly lands another illegal upkick. Jones gets his range and lands an elbow that makes Vera grab his face and turtle up. More follow-up punches and the fight is over. Rogan wonders if Vera has a broken orbital bone.
Jones def. Vera via TKO, 3:19 of round 1. Look, the kid is a prodigy and his elbows bring nothing but suffering. Jones credits God and hard work. He says potential is the worst thing to waste, and he doesn’t want to let that happen. Can’t wait to see who he gets next. Any suggestions/predictions? That’s the show, so we’ll talk at you tomorrow kiddies.