Jones connects with a body shot as the two circle each other. Jones connects with a head kick. Connects with a leg kick and then a knee. Jones has the center of the Octagon and seems to be dominating early. Evans connects with a combination as Jones comes. Jones connects with another head kick. The two are fighting from range which obviously benefits Jones who lands more high kicks and a strong jab. Evans can do nothing at the moment. Jones connects with a superman punch and follows them up with two hard straight kicks to the body. Jones connects with a left hook and a right hand. Evans connects with head kick and follows up with some punches. Jones looks hurt but Evans doesn’t have the time to capitalize. All Jones until the last 30 seconds but the head kick at the end gives Evans hope.
10-9 to Jones
Jones looks for a clinch but Evans makes the most of it with knees to the mid-section. Jones lands a hook on the break. Jones landing several leg kicks, as does Evans. Evans connects with an overhand right. Jones connects with the front kick. Jones lunges in with a couple of punches but they do no damage with Evans showboating afterwards. Jones swings and misses, and Evans almost gets the takedown. Evans blocks a head kick. Evans lands a shot to the body. Jones connects with an elbow to the head, follows it up with several punches to the body. Jones hurts Evans with another elbow and Evans holds onto the champion. They break and Jones lands a kick to the mid-section. Jones is starting to get loose, landing several more standing elbows. Jones stalking Evans down but Evans doing his best to stay in it. Jones goes for a flying knee but doesn’t get a clean connection. Round ends with Jones on offense.
Evans connects clean with a big right hand, backing up the champion. Evans, however, doesn’t manage to follow it up with any meaningful offense and is allowing Jones to dictate Octagon position. Jones connects with a head kick. From that point on the round resembles the other rounds with Jones in the center of the Octagon picking Evans apart with spectacular offense while all Evans can do is get the odd desperate potshot. The question is, will Jones commit sufficiently to finish?
30-27 to Jones
In answer to that he question he won’t. More of the same as Jones dominates from the center while Evans just sits as a sitting duck at the perfect distance for Jones to land his array of kicks.
Its a do-or-die round for Rashad Evans, but he clearly has no answer to what Jon Jones is presenting him. Jones is controlling the center of the Octagon and reducing to Evans to half-hearted pot shots that are too easily swatted aside. The crowd is getting impatient as a disappointing fight nears its end but Jones is at least trying to finish — goes for another flying knee and throws Evans to the ground in an attempt to work his ground and pound. But the sad thing is that Evans was mentally broke by the elbows and did nothing after the second round other than listlessly defend.
50-45 to Jones on my scorecard. All three judges give it to Jon Jones. A disappointing end to what had been quite an enjoyable show. Boos from the crowd as Jon Jones speaks.
Official result: Jon Jones defeats Rashad Evans by unanimous decision to retain his light heavyweight championship (49-46, 49-46, 50-45).
Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills
Mills starts with some good leg kicks and rushes in with a right hand. Both fighters up against the cage. They break off the cage and Mills hurts MacDonald with a uppercut. MacDonald responds with the takedown. MacDonald works his ground and pound, and he is destroying Mills with pinpoint accuracy. Moves to side control after diving in with a big elbow. Mills is cut. MacDonald gets Mills in a mounted crucifix and is just raining down punches. Mills can do nothing off his back. Mills manages to escape the crucifix but MacDonald is able to secure side-control. The cut on Mills face looks absolutely disgusting. MacDonald moves to full mount, Mills gives up the back. After even more punishment the round ends with MacDonald looking for a choke. Absolutely brutal.
10-8 to MacDonald
MacDonald gets the takedown at the very start of the round. Another cut is opened on Mills’ face. MacDonald moves to side control and then to mount. MacDonald throwing some elbows while trying to flatten Mills out. MacDonald finally finds the opening to put together a flurry of punches from the back mount to secure the finish. An absolutely brutal shellacking from MacDonald who may well already be the second best fighter in the division after his mentor Georges St. Pierre.
Official result: Rory MacDonald defeated Che Mills at two minutes twenty seconds of the second round via TKO (punches)
Brendan Schaub vs. Ben Rothwell
Ben Rothwell looks in great shape having dropped a significant amount of body fat. Fun, if very short fight. They circle each other to start with and then they start slugging it out. Rothwell gets a couple of nice Muay Thai knees. Schaub counters with a spinning back elbow that lands perfectly on Rothwell’s chin. Rothwell staggrs back and Schaub swarms all over Big Ben. However as it looks like Rothwell is done, Rothwell counters with a left hook that drops Schaub like he’s been shot. Several follow up shots and Herb Dean pulls him off at one minutes and ten second. Crazy fight.
Official result: Ben Rothwell defeats Brandon Schaub at 1:10 of Round 1 by TKO (punches)
Miguel Torres vs. Michael McDonald
Torres looks uncomfortable in the early exchanges trying to fight from range but struggling with McDonald’s forays inside. McDonald puts together several short punches on the inside. Torres at the moment focusing more on avoiding the power punches of McDonald than impose his own game on the younger man. He is, however, sneaking some punches in. Torres loses his mouthpiece but quickly gets it back in his mouth. McDonald lands two uppercuts that knocks Torres out. McDonald follows it up with some unnecessary ground punches until Herb Dean can stop it at 3:18. That was clearly on the cards from the start of the fight. Torres always seemed to fear McDonald’s power and rightly so.
Official result: Michael McDonald defeated Miguel Torres at 3:18 via knockout (punches)
Mark Hominick vs. Eddie Yagin
Hominick, who is coming back from a flash knockout by the Korean Zombie, is tagged early twice by Yagin, but luckily his chin stands up to the test this time. Hominick trying to be cute with his striking but Yagin is connecting with power punches. Yagin adding in some hard leg kicks into his arsenal. Yagin really throwing everything into his offense, his right hand being particularly nasty. He catches Hominick with a right uppercut that drops Hominick and the Canadian is on the brink of being finished as Yagin drops heavy bombs from top position. Hominick manages to tie him up long enough to regain his bearings. Hominick’s left eye has a cut above it. Yagin looks like he’s tiring after putting so much into trying to finish Hominick although he does throw a nice looking spinning kick. Hominick technical boxing starting to show its quality as the round ends.
Yagin’s round, given the damage he caused midway through you could argue a 10-8 but most judges would have it 10-9 to Yagin.
Yagin again throwing fast and heavy power punches, just looking for the knockout with almost every punch. Yagin bringing in the leg kicks, which look vicious. Hominick trying to work his jab but he’s not earning Yagin’s respect with such punches. Yagin connects with a big right hand that drops Hominick and Yagin again looking for the finish. However yet again Hominick is able to tie Yagin up and avoid taking much more damage. They’re back to the feet and Hominick looks an absolute mess. Yagin "half-connects" with a spinning back kick. Joe Rogan on commentary says this is a hard fight to score, which is ridiculous to me as its been all Yagin. I say that as Hominick connects with a body shot that seems to wind Yagin. The two of them are just slugging it out for the last 30 seconds with neither man backing down as they stand in front of each other and throw leather.
Another round for Yagin. 20-18.
Yagin again starts out fast but Hominick has his best spell when he follows up several body punches with combinations to the head. Hominick’s jab is really started to find its target as Yagin tires. Yagin continues to wing his punches in look for a knockout but Hominick is targeting the body well. Leg kick from Yagin. Hominick snaps Yagin’s head back with a double jab. Yagin catches Hominick with a clubbing right that almost knocks him down. Hominick’s technical boxing is clearly so much better than Yagin but the Canadian just cannot compete with the power. Hominick really puts everything together in the final meeting, hurting Yagin several times as he overwhelms his opponent with volume punching. However a bloody Yagin manages to stay on his feet and see out what was a very enjoyable fight.
I have it 29-28 to Yagin with Hominick taking the third round, a score that two of the judges agree with.
Official result: Eddie Yagin defeats Mark Hominick via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Mark Bocek vs. John Alessio
Mark Bocek humors stand-up fans with a few half-hearted attempts at landing a lunging right hand before he goes for the takedown on John Alessio at around the one-minute mark. They get stuck up against the cage for awhile until Bocek completes a very nice trip to get it the ground. Bocek dominates Alessio for the remainder of the round with Bocek able to work from top position with complete impunity, landing numerous elbows and punches while making transitions at will. Round ends with Bocek working for a rear naked choke.
Total one-sided round, very close to a 10-8 but the lack of damage caused makes it 10-9 to Bocek.
Bocek again waffles to begin with as the two men put together a stand up exchange that can best be described as tentative. Around the two-minute mark Bocek decides that he’s had enough and gets the takedown. And again, just like the first round Alessio can do NOTHING from the bottom. Bocek tries to mount but is forced to settle for side control when Alessio escapes. Bocek landing several elbows but gives away the space that allows Alessio to get back to his feet. Alessio throwing kicks from long range but nothing is landing. Bocek connects with a leg kick, Alessio responds with a decent boxing combination. Bocek goes for a takedown but settles for pushing Alessio up against the cage for the reminder of the round.
Alessio showing more ambition with his striking, connecting with a hard inside punch. Working the kicks, as well, but that proves a mistake as it gives Bocek the opportunity to get the takedown. Bocek moves to back mount and starts softening Alessio up for the rear naked choke. Elbows and punches to the head from Bocek. Alessio desperately defending against the choke. Alessio manages to roll out and get back to his feet, in the melee Bocek is bloodied. Alessio tries to push the action but Bocek responds with another takedown. Bocek again takes the back and is working for a choke. Alessio is able to get back to his feet but now the fight is stuck up against the cage. Bocek working for takedown. Crowd starts booing — to be fair they’ve been fairly restrained during what has been a fairly boring fight. Bocek looks uncomfortable in the final stand up exchanges but he sees out the round. Better round for Alessio but he didn’t really do anything with the stand up to negate Bocek’s takedowns.
Another round to the Canadian, making it 30-27 to Bocek on my scorecard. All three judges score it for Bocek as well.
Official result: Mark Bocek defeats John Alessio via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Travis Browne vs. Chad Griggs
Browne comes out with a front kick that misses, some more stalking and Griggs with a nice inside leg kick. Griggs pushing forward early, hits a nice straight. Flying knee from Browne, who grabs the clinch and hits a nice knee from it. Browne trips him to the ground and winds up in half guard. Brown is trying to reposition against the cage and get into mount. Gets into mount and is looking to posture up. Browne locks in an arm triangle and moves into side control and ends up tapping out at 2:29 of the first round.
Official result: Travis Browne wins by submission via head-arm triangle at 2:29 of Round 1.
Matt Brown vs. Stephen Thompson
Thompson starts out with a nice front kick. Brown is really aggressive right now and goes for a takedown and Thompson defends it well. Brown catches his foot on a kick and goes for a single leg, can’t finish but goes for another and gets Thompson against the cage. Thompson defends it well but gets tripped down, locks in full guard on Brown. Brown postures up and hits a nice elbow, misses a big punch as Thompson is using strong wrist control to keep Brown at bay. Brown with a nice punch to the ground as Thompson is using his legs to keep Brown at distance. Brown in and out of half guard and is aiming for side control. Brown back up to his feet and Thompson scoots backward, then back to his feet. Brown grabs the clinch and puts his back against the cage. Thompson reverses position and both are working in the clinch. Brown goes for the toss and can’t finish it, completes a trip but Thompson is right back up. Brown gets waist control and drags him down, Thompson back up and does it again. Has a right hook in and Brown is looking for a calf crank. Thompson gets out and into Brown’s full guard, backs up and Brown sweeps him to his back. Brown’s posturing up but Thompson is doing a really effective job of keeping him from capitalizing on it. Round ends with Brown in closed half guard landing light body shots.
Thompson with a nice kick to start. Brown is looking to get inside but is wary of his power. Head kick connects and then a single-leg attempt. Brown against the cage and turns it to a double, drags him down but Thompson right back up. Thompson circles out and Brown dives again, gets it despite it being poorly set up. Thompson back up but Brown has good position against the cage. Thompson is trying a quarter nelson to push off and gets distance away. Thompson catches him with a head kick, then catches him some solid punches. Brown is a bit rocked but is coming forward as Thompson connects. Sloppy single works but Thompson is right back up. Heel kick from Thompson connects as Thompson is connecting with some effective offensive. Brown with a right to counter as Thompson is finding his range. Both guys are a bit tired as punches are getting a bit sloppy. Brown connects and Thompson goes down. Brown in open guard and connects with some big shots. Short elbows connecting as he postures up to standing, stacks him and lands some big strikes. Thompson is in a bad place now and is bleeding. Round ends with Brown landing some big elbows.
10-9 Brown; 20-18 Brown overall
Brown comes out wild and connecting as Thompson looks exhausted. Brown has found another gas tank. Thompson throws a kick and falls down as Brown smells blood in the water. Thompson with a couple of strong punches but Brown is walking through them. Brown with a head kick that misses. Thompson back with some great punches; there doesn’t seem to be much on them though. Brown is swinging for the fences but not connecting. Nice combination from Thompson and he’s found another wind. Brown with a great single-leg and Thompson is down. Thompson back up and gets away, Brown almost hits him with a head kick as he’s scrambling away. These guys are just throwing, Brown grabs the clinch and lands a couple knees, then trips him down. Brown rains strikes down as he gets into side control. Short elbows to the face as he’s looking to move into mount. Thompson is a mess and Brown gets the mounted crucifix and is teeing off. Thompson is just holding on now as Brown has it tight. Brown pounds him out for the final 30 seconds of the fight.
10-9 Brown; 30-27 Brown overall
Official result: 30-27,29-27,30-27 Brown by unanimous decision
John Makdessi vs. Anthony Njokuani
Njokuani with a couple of nice kicks but Makdessi is wining the positional game. Both guys are throwing more leg kicks than punches. Makdessi is chasing him around the cage but Njokuani is connecting with solid leg kicks. He’s not hitting clean but he is hitting, which Makdessi isn’t. Makdessi comes back with a couple of kicks aimed at the body but doesn’t connect. Njokuani with a couple of nice leg kicks and he’s wobbled. He’s become the aggressor now as Makdessi was hurt for a short while. Makdessi with a couple of nice side-kicks as the two as this is more of a kickboxing match than anything else. Neither are doing much to make this a ground fith and round ends with the two chasing each other around the Octagon.
Makdessi comes out the aggressor with a nice leg kick and the two are throwing head kicks at one another. Njokuani with a couple of leg kicks trying to gauge distance but not connecting. Njoukani with a couple of jabs but Makdessi counters with another head kick that misses. Leg kick that connects, though. Makdessi chases him into the corner and backs off once Njoukani gets to the cage. Njoukani tries to get inside but backs out. Makdessi is trying to close the gap but Njokauni’s footwork is first rate. Kick to the body connects from Makdessi, switch kick misses. Wheel kick from Makdessi misses, couple of combinations from both miss. This is much more of a positional game as neither striker is letting their hands go; both are looking for big counter shots instead of big opening shots. Makdessi with a push kick that catches hands, Njokuani counters with a nice straight. Makdessi goes for a leg kick and gets caught, trip doesn’t get completed though. Round ends with Makdessi going for a takedown but can’t finish.
10-9 Njoukani; 20-18 Njoukani overall
Makdessi is pushing the pace more but Njoukani is using his footwork to make him work. Leg kicks to the thigh are exchanged. Makdessi with a nice kick as Njoukani’s footwork and movement are excellent. Makdessi is chasing but can’t catch him. Flurry of solid but not powerful strikes, body shot from Makdessi connects. Makdessi with another leg kick that connects, throws wild but doesn’t connect. Spinning backfist lands and Njoukani spins away. Njoukani with a couple of nice jabs as Makdessi is chasing him all over the cage. Both are exchanging leg kicks and Njoukani with a couple of nice kicks to the head. Goes for the takedown but can’t finish, Njoukani fires off a lead left and Makdessi counters with a body shot with the left leg. Makdessi is getting more desperate now, throwing wilder and less disciplined but not connecting. Njoukani with a nice counter leg kick to the body. Makdessi is pushing now and gets him against the cage, exchange gets Makdessi back to the middle of the cage. Round ends with Makdessi chasing and Njoukani getting out of the way.
10-9 Njoukani; 30-27 Njoukani overall
Official result: 30-27 Njoukani by unanimous decision
Mac Danzig vs. Efrain Escudero
Danzig comes out a bit more active than normal. He fires with a couple punches and grabs the clinch. Escudero against the cage. Escudero with a couple of knees to get off the cage and eventually reverses position. Danzig switchews position and trips him for the takedown. Escudero grabs a heel hook and almost finishes it, but Danzig gets away and grabs back. Escudero scrambles and Danzig grabs a front headlock, then lets him back up. Danzig is winning the positional game and darts in and out, hits with a couple of short rights. Danzig is really aggressive here as Escudero is on his heels consistently. Danzig grabs the clinch and has double underhooks. Efrain against the cage, as Danzig goes for a drag takedown but can’t finish it. Escudero is defending it really well. Escudero reverses but Danzig presses him against the cage. Both exchange some knees and hits an nice uppercut as he backs off. Escudero goes for the double leg but Danzig defends well. Cant’ finish and then backs off, round ends with them in the middle of the cage.
Danzig comes out aggressive again and is winning the positional battle. Escudero seems a bit flustered as Danzig is hitting him solidly. Danzig with the clinch and Escudero is against the cage. Escudero gets away and is throwing combinations but not connecting. Neither of them are connecting despite throwing as this is more of a dancing match right now. They start throwing more but neither is connecting with any power shots; this is more of a jab trading than anything else as Danzig goes back to the clinch against the cage. Danzig is winning the aggression game though as Efrain is always backing up and letting Danzig dictate the pace. Danzig with a couple of nice jabs and then back to the clinch against the cage. Danzig works for position against the cage as the round ends with the two in the middle of the cage.
10-9 Danzig; 20-18 Danzig overall
Bunch of movement to start the fight, clinch goes nowhere as both are content to trade light jabs. Superman punch from Danzig and back to the clinch. Escudero backs out. Danzig with a nice combination that connects, another kick with an ankle that’s apparently hurt. Back to the clinch against the cage as Danzig works underhooks against the cage. Uses his right leg to lace Efrain’s but scramble gets him free. Danzig controlling the distance and Efrain is still backing up and letting Danzig dictate the fight. Danzig goes for the double leg and can’t finish, back to the clinch against the cage. Danzig goes for a leg lace with the other leg and can’t finish. The two trade clinch against the cage as the two are broken up by the referee. Danzig with a nice right as they’re trading light straight and jabs. Escudero is getting more active but he and Danzig are connecting equally. Clinch by Danzig at about the minute mark,
Escudero fights him off but he’s close to the cage. He circles away but then back to the cage so Danzig can clinch again. Round ends in the clinch.
10-9 Danzig; 30-27 Danzig overall
Official result: 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 Danzig by unanimous decision
Keith Wisniewski vs. Chris Clements
Clements with a couple of nice rights to start. Wisniewski follows that with a nice left kick and a left hand, goes for a double and gets Clements against the cage. Drags him down right into side control. Clements tries to fight him off but can’t. Nice transition from Wisniewski into mount and Clements scrambles and gives up back control. Rolls onto his back and Wisniewski gets half guard leaning toward side control. He’s landing some terrific elbows flush to the forehead. Ridiculous stand up called as both guys were working. Both guys land at the same time with nice punches as Clements hits a big overhand right. Wisniewski walks into some good combinations from Clements, though and hits a big spinning back kick. Dives into Wisniewski’s guard and Wisniewski almost connects with a triangle. Stands back up and eventually Wisniewski back up. Round ends with a Wisniewski pushing him against the cage after Clements misses a spinning back fist.
Both guys come out swinging wildly and Wisniewski grabs a single-leg, tripping him down. Lands in side control and Clements has half guard. Clements does a good job keeping him from staying in side control and wall walks his way back up. Clements lets him go and eats a spinning back fist, then throws another spinning back fist. Big right hand connects from Clements. Wisniewski hits a nice front kick. Another punch to the body from Clements and misses with an overhand right. Lead right connects, wheel kick misses from Clements. Clements is taking him apart on his feet and then goes for the takedown and presses Wisniewski against the cage. Clements gets the takedown and into mount, Wisniewski gives up his back and Clements locks in a rear naked choke. Doesn’t have it clasped underneath, though, as it’s almost a neck crank at this point. Wisniewski is doing a great job of fighting it off and eventually Clements lets it go. Has a good body triangle on him, though. Clements hits a couple of nice elbows and round ends with Clements in mount but unable to take advantage.
10-9 Clements; 19-19 overall
Wisniewski goes for the takedown early and gets Clements against the cage but eats some big shots to get it. Clements with his back to the cage as Wisniewski can’t finish it, then reverses position. Back to the center of the cage as they grapple for a short while. Clements is throwing some wild spinning strikes, first a kick and then a fist, as Wisniewski is just eating them as Clements is teeing off. Finally fires back and is starting to counter with a couple of straight rights. He’s trying to get close and Clements is making him pay. Clements is catching him flush, though, as Wisniewski is winning the positional game but is getting thoroughly out-struck. Wisniewski keeps getting in and Clements is just outlanding him. Knee the body and Wisniewski is hurt, down to the ground. Clements on top, standing, and round ends with him trying to strike.
10-9 Clements; 29-28 Clements overall
Official result: 29-28 Clements, 29-28 Wisniewski, 29-28 Clements … Clements wins by split decision
Marcus Brimage vs. Maximo Blanco
Both men come out a bit tentative but Blanco hits a nice inside leg kick and follows it up with a head kick that misses. Brimage chases him with punches that miss. Blanco throws a head kick that hits air. Brimage with an outside leg kick that hits the mark, hits middle punch of a three-punch combination. Brimage is using movement effectively as he catches a kick from Blanco. Brimage with a nice left hook to the body to follow. He’s being very patient and is looking to find range. Brimage moves forward again and catches Blanco with a couple of nice punches. Big overhand right from Brimage that misses. Blanco scores the takedown but Brimage pops immediately up and out. Scramble back to the middle of the cage. Some light exchanges but neither is hitting anything. Blanco with a leg kick to the thigh that connects. Brimage comes forward with some wild strikes but doesn’t hit anything major but is being the aggressor here. Blanco is looking to counter but isn’t firing off because Brimage is getting out before Blanco can find his range. Rounds ends with the two stalking each other in the middle of the cage.
Not much happens for the first two minutes or so. Blanco hits a nice knee off a leg kick but doesn’t seem to damage Brimage much. Brimage has been much more cautious this round as Blanco is being far more aggressive. He’s connecting with some good shots, though. Blanco hits a great kick with 30 seconds left but slips on the way down. Brimage doesn’t capitalize on it, though. Blanco throws a front push kick that catches Brimage at the end of the round as he comes in.
Blanco 10-9; 19-19 overall
Blanco is getting really wild early as he throws a couple of wild leg kicks. Brimage is looking to dart in and out with a right hook as his lead punch but Blanco is backing off. Inside leg kick from Brimage knocks Blanco down and Brimage lets him back up. Blanco goes for a sloppy double-leg and Brimage stops him with a sprawl, backing out. Brimage comes forward with a nice combination after eating a leg kick from Blanco. Blanco with a left spin kick that Brimage saw and avoided easy. Both guys are doing a lot of movement but aren’t connecting or swinging. Blanco with a body kick that Brimage counters with a nice combination, then moves forward and connects with another. Brimage is looking really good right now. Blanco with a takedown attempt but he eats a handful of strikes on the unsuccessful attempt. Round ends with Brimage chasing Blanco down.
After the round ends there’s a tumbling contest as they mock each other post-fight. There may have been more action after the bell than there was during the fight.
10-9; 29-28 Brimage
Official result: 29-28 Blanco, 30-27 Brimage and 29-28 Brimage. Marcus Brimage wins by split decision