Is Jon (Bones) Jones destined to walk out of UFC 128 the light-heavyweight champion? Or is the 23-year-old standout in over his head against Mauricio (Shogun) Rua?
BLOW BY BLOW
Hey everybody and welcome to the live coverage of UFC 128. Enjoy the show and watch out for the spelling mistakes.
Mirko Filipovic vs. Brendan Schaub
Cro Cop comes out to a song from The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. You know the scene near the end of the film where Eli Wallach is running through the cemetary? Yeah, that one. Awesome.
Schaub with a nice body kick to start. He's circling away from Cro Cop's power side. They clinch and Schaub lands some uppercuts. Back to the clinch and Cro Cop delivers some knees to the body. Schaub takes control and strikes to the head and legs. Cro Cop responds, but the ref restarts them after Schaub lands a punch to the back of the head.
Schaun ducks under a straight left and takes Cro Cop down. Schaub stands, but eats an upkick. He dives into Cro Cop's guard. Cro Cop controls Schaub's posture. Schaub starts landing some big punches, though. Cro Cop needs to get to his feet.
Cro Cop sweeps him and is back to his feet. They clinch on the cage. Schaub tries for another takedown, but Schaub defends it. Schaub presses him on the fence and starts punching the body. Schaub with a knee to the body, but Cro Cop lands an elbow as the round ends. Schaub's round for sure.
Schaub swings for the fences, but Cro Cop avoids it. Cro Cop tries a head kick, but it's blocked. Schaub takes him down right away. Schaub throws big shots, but eats an upkick. Cro Cop is warned because Schaub was on his knees.
They retart. Schaub clinches and they exchange knees to the body. Schaub is mauling him with knees, but Cro Cop lands a couple uppercuts. Nice elbow from the clinch by Cro Cop. They continue to switch on the fence and exchange knees and punches. Another elbow from Cro Cop. Schaub's bleeding from above the left eye and nose.
The ref restarts them and takes a point away from Schaub for another punch to the back of the head. Schaub may have a broken nose. He's breathing heavy.
Schaub misses a big right and clinches again. Cro Cop lands a big elbow as the round ends.
Cro Cop accidentally lands a kick to the groin to start. Cro Cop charges with a straight left. Schaub tries a knee, but eats a big shot from Mirko. Schaub shoots and get him back to the mat. Cro Cop kicks him off, but Schaub immediately shoots and takes him down again.
Schaub tries to pass guard, but Cro Cop keeps him there. Schaub moves to half-guard after opening him up with punches. Cro Cop works shots to the body from his back. Schaub stands up and Cro Cop gets back to his feet. Cro Cop tags him with the straight-left and stuffs a takedown attempt. Head kick is blocked by Schaub. Schaub misses another takedown attempt. They clinch and trade knees.
Another takedown stuffed by Cro Cop. Schaub lands a massive straight-right to the temple and Cro Cop is out! That was nasty. Cro Cop twisted on the way down, slamming his head and landing on his arm.
Winner: Brendan Schaub via third-round knockout.
Nate Marquardt vs. Dan Miller
Marquardt charges on a straight-right and clinches against the fence. Miller drops for a takedown, but Marquardt sprawls and works for a guillotine choke. Miller stands back up and tries for a takedown against the cage. Miller grabs hold of a leg and Marquardt hops around. Miller explodes and puts him down into a seated position. Miller is trying to pull the legs out to flatten him on his back.
Marquardt stands up and takes him down. Miller grabs a guillotine choke, but Marquardt pops his head out. Marquardt holds the back of Miller's head and delivers an elbow to the face. Miller tries to use his hips to push him back, but Marquardt lands another elbow. Miller holds Marquardt's posture, but eats some puches.
Miller puts his feet on Marquardt's hips, but can't push him off. The ref stands them up. Marquardt with a stiff straight-right and slams Miller to the mat. Miller tries for the choke again, but Marquardt pops his head out. Miller is now going for a kimura shoulder lcok. Marquardt gets his arm out and lands some punches as time expires. Good round for Marquardt.
Leg kick from Miller. Marquardt tags him in the face with a lead-leg head kick. Miller with a nice straight-right. Marquardt delivers a body punch, avoiding a big uppercut on the way out of the pocket. Hard right and a head kick from Marquardt. He lands a stiff knee, but Miller shoots and takes him down. Marquardt is sitting against the cage.
Marquardt gets back to his feet and separates. Marquardt with a straight-right. Inside leg kick from Marquardt. Another straight-right from Marquardt. Lunging right from Marquardt and he takes Miller down. Miller grabs another guillotine choke, but Marquardt gets his head out again. Marquardt starts working elbows from inside Miller's guard. Another round for Marquardt.
Straight-right from Marquardt. He follows with a head kick. Yet another straight-right. Miller clips him with an uppercut, but eats a big leg kick. Marquardt lunges with another straight-right. He's been landing that all night. Again.
Marquardt stuns Miller with yet another straight-right, but Miller shoots. Marquardt stuffs it. Marquardt switches around and hops into Miller's guard. Miller tries to unload with elbows to the top of the head. Marquardt postures up and lands some hard elbows to the jaw. Miller inches his back against the cage, but gets put on his back. More elbows from Marquardt. Marquardt lands a series of punches from inside the guard. Miller tries for a triangle choke as the fight ends. All Marquardt.
Winner: Nate Marquardt via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
An advertisement just popped up for Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley. Surreal.
Jim Miller vs. Kamal Shalorus
Hard body kick from Miller, but tags him with an overhand right. Leg kick from Shalorus. They're just winging punches here do far. Uppercut, left-hook from Shalorus. Leg kick from Shalorus. Body kick by Miller. Left hook clips Miller. Straight left from Shalorus. Miller tries a flying knee, but is thrown to the mat. Miller is back up. Leg kick from Shalorus.
Miller tags Shalorus with a knee to the head. Huge head kick from Miller, but Shalorus just takes it. Miller lands a big body kick and pulls guard. Shalorus presses his head into the fence, but they get stood up. Miller with a right hook. Miller lands a head kick, but is dumped onto his back as the round ends. Miller's round.
Shalorus lands a hard leg kick. He tries a body punch, but is countered with an uppercut by Miller. Straight-left from Miller. Shalorus grabs a leg and tosses him down. Miller pops back to his feet. Miller lands a nice outside leg kick. He shoots and immediately takes Shalorus's back. Miller locks a body triangle.
Shalorus is trying to turn into guard, but Miller is keeping control of his back. Miller keeps working for the rear-naked choke. Miller keeps getting close to securing it, but Shalorus is able to defend. Miller lands some stiff punches to open him up. Miller lets go of the body triangle and Shalorus survives the round. 10-9 Miller.
Right-left from Miller. Miller lands a straight-left that stumbles Shalorus backwards a bit. Miller accidentally lands a low blow and they restart.
Straight-right from Shalorus. Miller defends a takedown tags him with a straight-left. Another from Miller. Miller staggers Shalorus with an uppercut, then jumps in and lands a massive knee, dropping Shalorus. Miller unloads with shots on the ground and it's over.
Winner: Jim Miller via third-round TKO (knee and punches)
Urijah Faber vs. Eddie Wineland
Wineland takes octagon control. Faber clinches, but Wineland presses him against the cage. Faber with a knee to the body. Wineland almost trips him down. Faber drops down, but eats a big hook. Faber explodes with a takedown, but Wineland sprawls out. Wineland puts him back on the fence. He lands a shoulder punch. Wineland tries to trip him, but Faber stays standing. Wineland grabs his back and slams him down. Faber is back up right away.
Faber misses a head kick. Right-hook from Faber. Slapping body shoot by Faber. Faber counters a jab with a left-hook. Faber tries to throw him, but Wineland stays standing. Jab by Wineland. He lands a big right. Faber returns with a big right of his own. Close round, but I give it to Wineland.
Faber lands a body kick, but misses one to the head. Faber with a right-hook. Faber grabs a leg kick and kicks the other limb out from under Wineland. Wineland tries to immediately buck him off, but Faber stays on top. Faber stands up and lands some hard elbows.
Faber picks him straight up inside the guard and slams Wineland. Faber with another big elbow. Another one. Faber stacks him again and lands a few big punches. Wineland tries to kick him off, but Faber stays on him. More elbows from Faber.
Faber keeps trying to stack him and land elbows. Some are landing, others not so much. Faber slams him again from the guard and follows with two elbows. Good round for Faber.
Anybody's fight here. Straight-right from Wineland. Faber looks like he's waiting to counter. Body shot from Wineland. Faber counters right with one of his own, clipping Wineland behind the ear. Faber tries a takedown, but Wineland stuffs it. They clinch and Faber lands some knees to the body. They separate.
Wineland stuffs another takedown. He puts him back against the fence. They separate again. Big uppercut from Wineland. He lands a straight-right and Wineland is stunned a little. Faber can feel it and is presing forward. A couple jabs from Faber. Faber slams him and goes back to the elbows. he keeps grinding away on Wineland as the round ends. Should be 29-28 for Faber.
Winner: Urijah Faber via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Mauricio Rua vs. Jon Jones (UFC light-heavyweight title)
Jones tries a flying knee, but Rua defends. Jones is really throwing everything at him. Jones takes him down. Rua sits up and dives under for a leg. Rua tries for a triangle choke, but Jones defends against it. Jones is in full guard now and tries for elbows. Rua works for a leg, but Jones keeps his top position and lands another elbow.
Elbow to the body from Jones. Jones keeps landing punches and elbows. Rua gets back to his feet and looks tired. Knee from Jones. Another one. Left-right from Rua. Left hook from Rua. He tries to dive for a leg lock, but Jones avoids it and is now in his guard. Good round for Jones.
Rua blocks a teep. He charges forward and clinches. Jones lands a huge spinning back elbow. Big leg kick from Jones. Right-hook from Rua. Jones clinches and knees him in the body. They separate. Body punch from Jones. Straight left from Jones, but Rua counters with a body kick.
Leg kick from Rua, but Jones takes him down off it. He lands a couple punches and begins covering Rua's mouth and nose to disrupt breathing. More elbows from Jones. More elbow shots by Jones. Jones keeps chipping away as Rua holds him in half-guard. Rua keeps trying to dive under for a leg lock, but to no avail. Jones goes for a leg lock of his own, but Rua blocks it as the round ends. All Jones.
Rua needs to turn this around. He's getting mauled.
Rua charges with punches, but Jones backs away. Rua ducks a head kick and tags him with a big right. He grabs the back and tries for a leg lock. Jones spins out and works for a kimura. Jones gives it up and is now in Rua's half-guard.
Jones lands some huge punches and elbows. How Rua is surviving is beyond me. Massive left punch from Jones. Jones unloads with elbows and punches. Rua goes onto his hands and knees, but Jones respondse with huge knees to the body. Rua is back up, but Jones drops him with a body punch and knees him in the face on the way down. The ref calls it.
Winner: Jon Jones via third-round TKO.
Rashad Evans is now in the cage. He's next in line for the title. Jones says it sucks that he has to fight Evans. There's definitely some awkward tension there, despite both guys trying to play it nice.