Can you feel the pulse? / Can you feel the heat / Rising from below. . .Well, folks, it’s officially autumn: the leaves are turning brown, the Raiders are making my life EXTREMELY bipolar, and much to my jubilance, there are about forty five Halloween-themed stores popping up all around my neck of the woods. I’ve always considered fall to be the best of the seasons, and this here UFC PPV is about a good a start to the third season as I could dare fathom.
OK, ok, so tonight’s show in Denver isn’t exactly PRIDE 33 or UFC 116, but on paper, it looks like the kind of card that is going to be FINISH-HEAVY like a mother lover. Just peering at the broadcast fights here is like staring at an unlit powder keg situated next to a fireworks display situated next to a barrel of oily rags: you best believe we are in store for some EXPLOSIVE results this evening.
So what do we have on the docket this evening? Well, how about not one, but TWO, count ‘em TWO heavyweight brawls that are guaranteed to net some recently dislodged teeth souvenirs for the fellows sitting in the front row, a showdown between two perennial underachievers that need wins like Greece needs stable currency, an unpredictable bout between two welterweight favorites, and a main event featuring the wave of the future taking on one of MMA’s most beloved old guards? All that, plus a couple of prelim fights, on-the-fly observations about American pop culture in general, a couple of cheap plugs for my own self-serving media endeavors and more out-of-place social commentary than you can shake a stick at! Welcome all, to the Rocktagon recap of UFC 135: Jones vs. Rampage!
As always, we are coming to you ALIVE from God’s Country, K’Saw, Georgia, and my home away from home, the lovely Bailey’s, where armless dudes and midgets that drive monster trucks gallivant to and fro and nobody in the room even notices.
I never thought I would say this (I mean, EVER) but THANK THE GOD that Joe Rogan is back following his absence at UFC: Rio. Not to talk any major trash about Kenny Florian’s commentary or anything, but I think I would rather enjoy listening to bed bugs piss in my ear than have to listen K-Flo ATTEMPT to do a post-fight interview with anybody EVER again.
Although I expect this show to be pretty entertaining, let’s face the facts: following last week’s Mayweather / Ortiz mega-show, these guys are going to have to put on some GRADE A sports-entertainment to match the offbeat shenaniganry on display last weekend. I mean, hell, the show ENDED with a dude sucker punching a guy after he kissed him FOLLOWED up with the World Champion threatening to beat up an eighty year old man. I mean, how is it POSSIBLE for anything to match this as far as sheer entertainment value goes?
Oh well, even if tonight’s gala ends sans any octogenarians challenging an egotistical black man for a world title (but hey, with Quinton Jackson in the Octagon, you never know), I’ve got good reason to keep my head up high for this one. I mean, after all, it IS emanating from Denver, where overrated athletes are basically CONTRACTED to get their asses kicked on a nigh weekly basis (I hear Kyle Orton is practically sitting on tailbone these days.)
First, up we’ve got a couple of prelims. Pardon me for missing the first round of the Nick Ring / Tim Boetsch opener, but if you saw the bitching animatronics display of Regan from “The Exorcist” that I saw at a Halloween specialty store about an hour earlier, you too would be late for just about any prior engagement.
All right, so apparently, Boetsch ended up getting out pointed in the first round. To make up for the presumed suck he was doing in the first five, he comes out A SWINGING to begin round two - and he ain’t hitting anything other than wind. Boetsch (who must have REALLY had a trying childhood with a last name that sounds so close to the word “bitch”, I’m guessing), drops Ring with a knee shot. Nick Ring is right back up, though. Boetsch with a guillotine attempt. Not happening. Ring puts his thing down, flips and reverses it and ends up sinking in a guillotine of his own. Irony. Boetsch responds to this serendipitous display of poetic justice by simply pounding the crap out of Ring’s face for the next minute. With about five seconds to go, he looks for a kimura, but there just isn’t enough time on the clock. I’d give that one to Boetsch, if my opinion made a difference (which it doesn’t).
Round three begins, and Boetsch is just spattering Ring with solid lefts.. Boetsch with a leg trip. Boetsch gets in Ring’s open guard, but he really can’t do too much here. The ref stands them up with a minute and a half to go, and Boetsch drops Ring with a HIGHLIGHT REEL judo throw. Now Boetsch has Ring in the crucifix position, which is just about the most impossible-to-escape-from predicament in mixed martial arts. If Ring survives this, it’ll be a miracle. Boetsch ends up giving up the position, switching to the north south before standing up so he could drop a couple of more bombs on Ring before the bell sounds. This really should be a unanimous decision victory for Boetsch.
30-27 and two 29-28s in favor of Boetsch. NEXT FIGHT!
According to Spike TV (who recently lost the UFC license to Fox), The King of Queens is just the kind of program mixed martial arts fans are all about. Well. . .yeah.
We’ve got about half an hour until the PPV begins proper. Tony Ferguson, an ex Ultimate Fighter winner, will be making his 155 debut against Aaron Riley who - yeah, really isn’t that good, to be honest. Ferguson kind of reminds me of that kid that played Lazzarini on the short-lived Saved By The Bell rip-off USA High - you know, that dude that played the Italian kid on Band of Brothers a few years ago. He also has a really funky tattoo of eagle wings on his back - which, a good forty years from now, are probably going to look like those red fat thingies that hang off a turkey’s beak. Hey, I’m just calling ‘em like I see ‘em.
Ferguson begins the first round by lobbing some SCUD missiles. Riley goes for a high leg kick, but Ferguson catches him. And the uppercuts, THEY ARE ON. Riley goes for another kick, and Ferguson damn near sends him cartwheeling out fo the arena like Diddy Kong or something. Ferguson is just obliterating Riley with uppercuts now. At one point, Riley even tries to escape from a clinch by kneeing Tony in the balls, to which point Ferguson responds - seemingly, without missing a beat - by hitting Riler with yet another uppercut. Jee-zus. Riley bleeding from the mouth now. Ferguson lands a hard kick to Riley’s midsection as the round expires.
In the corner, Aaron Riley is doing his best piranha impersonation. Yeah, that jaw is broken. The corner decides its probably for the best if their fighter doesn’t have his mandible yanked off during the second round, so they decide to call it quits before Riley ends up permanently slack jawed.
Winner, by corner stoppage - Tony Ferguson.
Well hell - we have a good twenty minutes to kill now. Hey, how about another prelim, how about it?
James Te Huna murder death kills Ricardo Romero in about 0:47 seconds. A really great lesson for aspiring mixed martial artists on display here - if you’re trying to shoot for a takedown, for god’s sake, make sure you’re STILL protecting your skull in the process.
If you want a full fifteen minutes of HARD SELLING for tonight’s main event, you’re in luck. For everybody else, though. . .uh, yeah, not so much.
PPV time. Despite promises to the contrary, we’re STILL getting that lame, outdated gladiator opening. Ugh. We’re coming to you LIVE from Denver, in case you missed the million zillion references earlier. Rogan notes that due to the high elevation, a lot of guys may be more winded tonight than usual. . .seeing as how tonight’s card INCLUDES Mark Hunt in the line-up, that may be more of a preadmission of guilt than it is a mere observation. But up first: some lightweights (that may or may not prove Rogan’s hypothesis valid!)
Nate Diaz (13-7) vs. Takanori Gomi (22-7-1)
Like a pair of douches, these two guys are in hot water. Or wait, maybe hot water is supposed to be in them? Anyway, these two fighters need a “W” like a contestant on “Wheel of Fortune” with “_ere_olf” on the board, and there’s a STRONG likelihood that the loser here is going to find himself auditioning for Bellator in a few weeks. That means these two OUGHT to be scrappy as scrappy can be in this bout, but considering both competitor’s proclivities for slacking off. . .who knows what to expect?
Nate Diaz is pretty much the model for “instability,” inside and outside of the ring. His brother is a weed-smoking, bi-polar, anxiety prone flake that beats up people in hospitals, and somehow, he’s still more consistent than he is. After moving up a weight class to 170 and looking pretty impressive in two bouts, Nate ends up dropping two bouts in a row, getting German-suplexed a jillion times in his last bout against up-and-comer welterweight Rory MacDonald. As a result, Nate decides to drop back down to 155 pounds and begin his career anew this evening.
His opponent, at one point in time, was considered the absolute best lightweight fighter on the planet. Of course, we also had an economy back then, too, so yeah, time, she art a cruel, cruel mistress. Ever since getting subbed by, ironically, Nick Diaz back at Pride 33, Gomi’s seen his reputation as world class fighter drop lower than Ben Roethlisberger’s pants at the mention of a “passed out co-ed.” After several losses on the Japanese circuit, Gomi was recruited by the UFC last year, losing his first bout against Kenny Florian only to rebound by knocking out Tyson Griffin in his second Zuffa sanctioned throw down. With an ever-increasing glut of top-tier fighters joining the division, Gomi desperately needs a win here to even stay in the discussion of potential title contenders. The thing is, the same thing can be said for his adversary, which should make this battle of the underachievers something to behold. . .which, honestly, can be either a good thing or a really, really bad one.
Diaz comes out with no signs or his brother Nick (who recently LOST a shot at the welterweight title because he’d rather stay at home and smoke the weed instead of doing press conferences) while Gomi is rocking a hair do that looks downright Ed Cullen-ish. Diaz begins with some solid boxing - which, apparently, is an unheard of craft in the land of the rising sun. With one left, Diaz sends Gomi flying across the cage. Yeah, when Diaz lands that monster right, it’s going to be BROOTAL. Since Diaz has the better range, Gomi just can’t hit him with anything. Diaz with a shot, backing out, repeat. LOUD chant for “Diaz.” Diaz drops his hands, which means some nasty counter punching is upon us. Diaz gets tired of Gomi not going for the bait, so he just tackles him against the cage. And Diaz has Gomi’s back. Shee-yet. Things get vertical, and Diaz continues to pound Gomi with punches. Gomi figures he’s better off on the ground after all, so he shoots for a takedown. And Diaz has an armbar. Gomi tries to snake out, and Diaz reconfigures it into a triangle choke. Gomi is in DEEP DOOKIE right now. Diaz sees an opening, and floats over back to an armbar, and Gomi is positively helpless. The tap comes at 4:27 at the first round.
A super impressive lightweight re-debut for Diaz, who cuts an almost unintelligible promo about his brother and the rest of his Cesar Gracie training camp.
Well, I’d surmise that now is as good a time as any to talk about my LATEST mass media venture, the web blog “The Internet Is In America with J.. Swift.”
Now, I’m not sure just how many of you give a hoot about new media trends and random observations about politics, Halloween products and the occasional tech news, but if you are, I would STRONGLY suggest giving the site a look see, as I am being graded on it for one of my classes. No, really.
Along that same vein (well, actually, nowhere NEAR to being in that same vein, really), my college campus recently “celebrated” 9/11 by putting up a million gabillion mini-flags all over the campus green, stamping the project with this little sign. Tell me. . .am I the ONLY one that finds this thing just A TAD tasteless?
I mean. . .just a little? A smidge? A bit? A. . .ah, who cares: what happened last month might as well have transpired during the Paleozoic era to most people these days. . .
Hey! Speaking of things that ought to be really offensive to a sensible viewer. . .
Travis Browne (11-0-1) vs. Rob Broughton (15-5-1)
Some fights, you just KNOW are going to be bowling shoe ugly. Truth be told, I wholeheartedly expect this bout to be sloppier than a meth-head’s handwriting, and you know what? That’s beneficial to everyone, as sometimes, you just WANT to see a technique-less bar fight/human cock fight transpire before your very eyes.
Travis Browne is one of the top Heavyweight prospects in the UFC, a big, bruising Hawaiian dude that remains undefeated in the promotion (his only non victory was a draw against Cheick Kongo, who decided to utilize the oft-spoken about yet rarely exhibited “wedgie offense” to try and overtake Browne when they squared off about a year ago.)
Broughton, on the other hand, is a fresh UFC export from jolly old England, who used to fight in something called ZT Fights, which I reckon is some sort of British promotion. . .a dangerous region to fight in, as we all know, because nobody there really cares about getting their teeth knocked out. He also did a couple of fights for M-1, the Russian kleptocracy that pretends to be an actual organization just so they can extort millions out of American promoters to have Fedor Emelianenko fight for them.
Really, you know what to expect here: looping punches, some fat assed (literally) kicks, and more than likely, a more abrupt-ending than “The Sopranos” season finale. . . and I’d have to say the odds of someone getting their head blown off here is likewise pretty high, as well.
Well, to begin round one, Browne is throwing a grand total of nothing that connects. After a lengthy clinch, he finally rattles off some leg kicks that look kind of hurty. Stand-still, with Browne looking for an opening. There’s a height difference of about half a foot here - basically, Broughton needs to JUMP up to punch Browne above the midsection. Another clinch, and Browne once again starts swinging for the fences. Browne with a solid left, followed up with a jumping knee that misses by a full calendar month. Brown with some super-short range punches in the clinch, and a single-leg takedown for good measure. Browne drops some elbows from the full mount as the first round expires.
Neither one of these guys, shockingly, don’t look all that gassed yet. Broughton finally lands something (a fruitless leg kick) which Browne uses to set up the dreaded counter punch. Broughton actually catches one of Browne’s legs following a head kick misfire, but he can’t manage a takedown. Another standstill, and the crowd boos. And apparently, all of that booing has turned Travis Browne into some sort of retard Hulk, because he’s throwing EVERYTHING imaginable at Broughton now. Time for some clinching, because you know you want it, slut. A minute left, and Browne lands another effortless takedown. Broughton tries to go for a kimura, but it isn’t happening. I’d say it’s a definite 20-18 for Browne heading into the third.
All right, NOW both of these guys look gassed as all hell. Browne with a takedown, and he has Broughton controlled from the side mount. Joe Rogan says that since wrestling isn’t a part of British culture, most Limeys are bound to get their ass kicked in battle. Well, George Washington could’ve told you that. Browne looking for either a kimura or some change he lost earlier in the bout. Broughton ALMOST gets the full mount, but since he’s British. . .yeah, you know how this one ends. Browne in the full mount with about a minute to go. Broughton tries desperately to secure an armbar, but it isn’t happening. Ever. At any
point in time.
30-27 unanimous decision across the board for Browne, who said this fight would make him a “top ten fighter” in the heavyweight division. Man, I sure hope he likes begin a top ten heavyweight fighter in all those Fuel TV cards he will no doubt be headlining from here on out. . .
FEZ IS IN THE HOUSE, AND SO IS SOME NO-NAME SKATEBOARDER YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT.
Promo for UFC 136, featuring TWO title fights and, much more importantly, THE RETURN OF CHAEL FREAKING SONNEN. You best bet your sweet bippy I’m pumped for that one.
Hey, did any of you folks see that one movie “Warrior?” Well, it isn’t exactly an Oscar-caliber picture, but it’s probably worth catching if you’re a huge MMA and pro wrestling fan, if ONLY for the fact that it features KURT FREAKING ANGLE as one of the movie’s primary bad guys.
Seriously, I almost had an aneurysm when Kurt’s bristly assed face showed up on the mega-plex screen. What makes it even more amazingly messed up/awesome is that he’s basically playing Fedor Emelianenko in the movie. . .you know, the sort of trans-sport mish-mashing that makes you question the very nature of the reality around you. Sadly, he didn’t say anything in the film about winning gold medals with a broke friggin’ neck or threaten to sodomize his opponents wife. . .although true to being Kurt Angle, he sure as heck looked tanked on vodka and painkillers in every scene he was in.
Hey, are any of you people reading this on Google Plus? If so, why don’t you add me to your list of acquaintances? True, it would be more fitting if you put me in the circle of “people that I really respect that also inspire me tremendously,” but until the GOOG decides to include a “GOD AMONG MEN THAT I REALLY WISH I COULD BE FOR AN AFTERNOON” option, it looks like we’ll just have to settle for what we settle for.
Ben Rothwell (31-7) vs. Mark Hunt (6-7)
Just looking at the two names here makes me wonder if I fell into a time warp and got sucked back into 2006 or something. Obviously, neither one of these guys will ever be getting a whiff of Heavyweight title contention, and you really can’t say that either of them are bankable names within the division, either. However, the two have a pretty long history within the sports of mixed martial arts. . .even if that history is mostly just notable for them getting their asses kicked by the heavy hitters of the sport.
Ben Rothwell is perhaps best known for his stint in the short-lived Independent Fight League. He was the promotion’s only Heavyweight champion, and after the company went belly-up, his first career move was to get his rectum handed to him by a WAY-past his prime Andrei Arlovski in 2008. Since joining the UFC, Rothwell has had his fair shares of ups and downs, the biggest probably being that one time he got annihilated by current UFC Heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez.
Mark Hunt, on the other hand, is coming off a victory over Chris Tush-Toucher, a dude that looks like Ken Kennedy and the possessor of a jaw so fragile that if he grew a beard, his bottom row of teeth would probably fall out. Before that, however, the ex K1 fighter from New Zealand was owner of a 0-6 win/loss record, which includes destructions at the hands of Fedor and Alistair Overeem, among others (believe it or not, the dude DOES hold victories over Cro-Cop and Wanderlei Silva, though.)
So, what does this fight “mean” in the long run? Well, pretty much nothing at all, but since both of these guys are on the verge of a roster cut, it only stands to reason that these guys will be putting on a Bum Fights worthy clinic in order to keep their electricity from getting cut this month. If this thing doesn’t end in a KO, I’ll proceed to eat my own hat right here in front of god and everybody.
Well, here’s ANOTHER fight with an absurd height discrepancy. It looks like Rothwell outweighs Hunt by a good forty or so pounds - but then again, as we all know, half of most Samoans’ body weight is in their ass, so yeah. Both guys out swinging. . .and nothing is landing. Rothwell trying for a takedown. It takes him a year and a half, but he finally gets it. And once he’s in the full mount, he can’t do diddly. . .and diddly was really excited he was coming over, too. Things get vertical, and hell has frozen over because Hunt is actually out striking Rothwell. Hunt, if you can believe it, actually gets a takedown. For those of you keen on aesthetics, this fight is kind of like watching a mini-sized Rikishi taking on a double-sized Val Venis. Things get vertical, and Hunt clips Rothwell with a left. Ben’s bleeding. Rothwell manages to score a takedown right before the bell sounds, but he doesn’t have enough time to do anything of significance.
Round two begins. Hunt is throwing some nasty leg kicks, while Rothwell keeps looking for that home run shot. Clinch, and Hunt gets a takedown. Rothwell looks for an armbar, but he won’t be getting that this Christmas. Hunt with a huge left, and he collapses back into side control. Hunt is pounding away on Rothwell - with a few seconds left, Ben tries to rage his way out of the guard, only to get caught in a mena armbar right as the round ends.
Rothwell has to be walked back to his corner. Oh hell, this could be something amazing right here. The ref (who is wearing this gaudy black uniform with the Colorado state seal on it) decides that even though Rothwell thinks he’s fighting a giant yam, that this fight NEEDS to continue. Rothwell doesn’t even respond to the eight thousand punches Hunt hits him with in the first minute of the bout. By the time Hunt gets the first takedown, Rothwell is basically an extra out of Re-Animator. AND THE REF STANDS THEM UP. Holy hell, fire this man. A shambling Rothwell tries for a takedown/seeks an empty grave to crawl into as Hunt just tosses him aside. A living dead Rothwell shoots for another takedown, misses completely, and probably gives himself brain damage when he conks his noggin on the canvas. Hunt with some paper thin punches, but to Ben’s credit, he refuses to go down. Hunt has Rothwell in side control. AND THE REF STANDS THEM UP AGAIN. Honest to god, this guy must WANT an in-cage homicide to transpire here tonight or something. Hunt misses with a head kick, and somehow, someway, Rothwell ends the round with a takedown and ALMOST securing an arm-triangle choke as the round ends. That fight was like the Plan 9 from Outer Space of mixed martial arts. . .awfulness so awe-inspiring that you just need to see it.
A unanimous decision for Hunt. Condolences to the Rothwells for their recent loss.
Just a reminder that tonight’s show is sponsored by Gears of War 3, which is pretty much the same game as the last one only with like one or two new grenades. Also, the theory of relativity MAY have been officially killed this week.
I’ll let you decide which one is more important in popular culture, though.
Matt Hughes (45-8) vs. Josh Koscheck (15-5)
We all think that we know how this one is going to end. Even though Koscheck is making his return from a hellacious drubbing at the hands of GSP, there’s no way he’s going to lose to Matt Hughes. It’s pretty much a given if there ever was one.
Hughes, the ex-Welterweight champ, was a dominant force in the UFC throughout the mid 2000s. And then, Father Time decided to creep up on him, and he went from being Brett Favre circa 1996 to being Brett Favre circa right about now. Even so, Hughes has shown some resiliency in the Octagon as of late: he bested Matt Serra in 2009, and last year, he shocked a lot of people by submitting Ricardo Almeida in the very first round. Of course, he ended up getting KTFO by BJ Penn shortly thereafter, and you’d have to think that he’s about one more knock out shy of retirement these days.
Koscheck, one of the division’s best grapplers, definitely has a lot more years ahead of him than Hughes. Despite having his eyeball practically knocked out by St-Pierre last December, he never gave up in the bout, which definitely gave him a couple of “Man Points” in the long run. Despite his consistency as a wrestler, his in-cage performances seem to fluctuate: he may look damned impressive against Yukio Yoshida, but he looks like a world class clown against Paul Daley (or in the case of his ill-fated bout against Paulo Thiago, like Bernie from the titular Weekend At franchise). Even so, Koscheck is going into this bout as a GARGANTUAN favorite, which, obviously, leads us to think but one thing:
Does Matt Hughes have enough gas in the tank to pull off one more career revitalizing upset? The critics are saying “no.” The statistics are saying “no.” Hell, for that matter, sheer empirical wisdom is screaming “no” as well. That being said, we’ve seen PLENTY of surprises so far this year (just ask Brendan Schaub and Ryan Bader), so who knows - maybe, just maybe, this country boy WILL survive to fight another day?
Koscheck out to “Higher Ground” by the Chili Peppers, and Hughes out to Bocephus. “Koscheck sucks” chants begin instantaneously. Hughes has some early success with the jab, working the eye socket that GSP pretty much exploded last December. Hughes getting the best of an uppercut exchange. LOL moment of the night as Kos pulls a Paulo Filho, looking away for a split second and getting popped on the mouth by Hughes. Koscheck with a right that sends Hughes spiraling across the cage like a gutter ball. Hughes takes a pratfall, and Koscheck swarms him. Kos from the full mount, and he’s raining some hammer fists on Hughes. After about the fifth one (with literally ONE second left in the round, no less), the ref hops in to call a close to the contest.
Winner, by TKO, Josh Koscheck.
Kos puts over Hughes, and Hughes says that, despite the rumors, he ISN’T retiring. So does that make him or Randy Couture the Brett Favre of the UFC?
Another Gears of War 3 promo. You kids better send me an e-mail if they ever make another Shenmue game, FYI.
It’s standing room only at Bailey’s, and the bathrooms have reached critical mass. Of course, that can mean just ONE thing: ladies and gentlemen, our much awaited main event is soon to be upon us.
UFC Light Heavyweight Championship Bout
Jon Jones (13-1) [CHAMPION] vs. Quinton Jackson (32-8) [CHALLENGER]
Jon Jones has looked absolutely unstoppable in his UFC tenure. Don’t let that one “loss” throw you off, either, as it was a BS disqualification in a bout Jones was dominating in. Simply put, Jones is the next wave of Ultimate Fighter, the kind of athlete that just ISN’T a world class mixed martial artist, but a world class athlete in the truest sense of the word. He makes good fighters look like bums, and he makes world-class fighters look like beer-bellied amateurs. He has elbow strikes that double as machete blows, a spinning back fist that could feasibly kill most mega fauna, and he possesses one of the meanest guillotine chokes on the planet. And even against some of the greatest fighters in modern MMA history, he has looked positively flawless - not only is Jones essentially an undefeated fighter, he’s pretty much an unchallenged fighter, as well.
In Jones’ first title defense, he’s taking on MMA legend Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Jackson, one of the few PRIDE FC holdovers that still has a pristine image and WL record, has yet to be knocked out or submitted in the UFC, but in his last two performances, he has looked kind of winded and fatigable. . .a sharp contrast to the champion, who apparently has a gas tank the size of Lake Hudson. And also, just for the sake of being all sports-entertainment-y, Jackson has been saying that Jones has been spying in on his training sessions, which, to me, is just absurd: I mean, how often do people cheat in professional sports, anyway?
And so, it comes to this: does the cagey veteran and ex B.A. Baracus have enough tricks (and perhaps a power bomb or too) up his sleeves to stave off the offensive onslaught of the reigning champ, or will Jones do his best impersonation of a Cuisinart and turn “Rampage” into pureed muscles and dog chain powder?
Yeah. . .I wouldn’t count on this one going to a decision, no matter whose hand ends up getting raised.
Rampage is out first, doing his scary, “I’m going to carjack you” shtick. Jones is out next, to that one “I’m Coming Home” song. Fever pitch this evening as Jones refuses to even LOOK at Rampage. Jones begins the fight in the absolute WEIRDEST stance I have ever seen. . .he’s basically HOPPING across the octagon like a frog. No, really. Apparently, it sort of works, as it allows Jones to secure an early single leg. Clinch against the cage, and Rampage complains about getting some ball shots from the champion. The ref says “quit your complaining” and no action is taken. Jones with a billion knees in the corner. Jones with an unsecured guillotine, which sets up an elbow strike. Jones is using his reach to keep Jackson at a distance. Jones with some vicious looking head kick attempts. Jones with some leg kicks. He bullies Rampage into the corner, feeding him a spinning back fist for his troubles. Jones avoids a kick from Jackson, and peppers him a few times as the round expires. 10-9 for the defending champ.
Round 2, and Jones is landing nasty leg kick after nasty leg kick. Jones working the straight jab. Rogan says that Rampage HAS to start mixing up the striking. Jones with more leg kicks. Jackson is starting to look wobbly. Now Jones is throwing Cung Le style kicks to Jackson’s midsection. Rampage can’t do anything here. Ten seconds to go. The two clinch, and with about a second left, Jones looks for a flying triangle. The fact that he made that look so easy is equal proportions amazing and scary. 20-18 for Jones.
Now Jackson is throwing some kicks. Unfortunately for Rampage, he’s just too slow for the wunderkind world champ. And Jones with a takedown. Jones has the full mount, and now it’s time for an elbow buffet. Jackson manages to escape, and Jones almost takes him down with a vicious leg kick. Jackson, perhaps in an act of desperation, starts swinging wildly, but Jones just bobs and weaves out of harm’s way. Jones with a flying knee, but it doesn’t connect. Jones with a stiff jab to Jackson’s face -as the bell sounds, Jones shoots for a takedown, pretty much making Jackson look like a biggity-bitch as he falls flat on his face as the bell sounds. 30-27 Jones.
Jackson HAS to finish Jones if he wants to win this fight. Calling that “a tall order” is sort of like calling Mount Everest “just another hill.”
Jackson looks gassed. Jones stuffs Rampage against the cage, and secures yet another takedown. And now Jones has Rampage’s back. WARNING-DANGER-HARM-TROUBLE ALERT. And Jones has the rear naked choke. It’s deep, and Jackson is helpless. Rampage taps at 1:14 of the fourth round - your winner, and still UFC Light Heavyweight Champions, Jon Jones!
In the post fight, Jon Jones talks about really wanting to kick Jackson’s ass because he smack talked about his striking abilities. Jackson challenged Shogun Rua to a fight in Japan (even though Rua has a fight on deck with a returning Dan Henderson this November), saying that even though he lost, he wants to get crunk tonight. Jackson calls Jones the real deal, and this leads to DUH-DUH-DA! Rashad Evans entering the cage and challenging Jones to a title fight. . .and if that scenario sounds familiar, it’s because we saw the exact same scene back at UFC 128. Call me a pessimist, but I have a feeling that we’ll be seeing this staredown at least once or twice again before that fight actually goes down.Well, all in all, that was an OK show. The main event was pretty entertaining, and the Gomi/Diaz and Hughes/Kos fights were fun while they lasted. The two heavyweight fights, however, we’re downright dreadful, so I really cannot recommend going out fo your way to catch this one. Unless, of course, you really, REALLY want to see how Umaga would’ve fared against the living dead, anyway.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT: Probably the Jones / Jackson fight: a one-sided, albeit highly satisfying world title fight with more subplots going on than a season of The Young and the Restless.
LOWLIGHT OF THE NIGHT: The Rothwell / Broughton fight was pretty heinous, but Ben Rothwell’s zombie impersonation has to be seen to believe.
ROGAN-ISM OF THE NIGHT: “If Mark Hunt wins, it’s usually something horrible” and “That’s all right, you can kiss me as much as you want, man” (to Jon Jones following his victory over Quinton Jackson.)
FIVE THINGS I LEARNED FROM TONIGHT’S SHOW:
Apparently, having your jaw broken constitutes a “minor” injury in MMA.
No matter how much volume your hair has, it’s probably not going to make you a better boxer.
You can call yourself a “Super Somoan” even if you actually hail from New Zealand.
If you’re ever in a fight with a dude from Great Britain, remember to shoot for a takedown right away.
The most feared kata of them all? The dreaded and deadly TOAD STYLE as mastered by Jon Jones.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for this week. Crank up ANYTHING off Dynamite Hack’s “How To Break Up A Band” and Glen Campbell’s “Ghost on the Canvas” and I’ll be seeing you in a few.
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James Swift is a freelance writer and author of two books, “How I Survived Three Years at a Two-Year Community College: A Junior Memoir of Epic Proportions” and “Mascara Contra Mascara: A Tale of Two Masks“. Follow him on Twitter at JSwiftMedia, or subscribe to his YouTube channel at youtube.com/user/JSwiftMedia.
THE TWF "MENTAL WELLNESS TEST!"
With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).