March 20, 2011
Jones shatters the hypeCro Cop cut from the UFC
By NEIL SPRINGER, QMI Agency
Jon (Bones) Jones didn't just surpass the hype, he shattered it with a spinning back elbow.
The 23-year-old dished out a savage beating to Mauricio (Shogun) Rua in the main event of UFC 128 in Newark, N.J. last night to capture the light-heavyweight title. Jones is now the youngest world champion in UFC history.
As the two stood in the centre of the octagon to touch gloves prior to the contest, Jones appeared a full weight class heavier than Rua.
Jones wasted no time coming out aggressive, attempting a flying knee and taking the fight Rua before securing an early takedown. From there it was all Jones, who punished the head and body with nasty elbows and punches. Rua continually worked for a leg lock, but couldn't break Jones' top control.
Rua, who was coming off a 10-month layoff due to knee surgery, looked slow and was unable to get past Jones' eight-and-a-half-inch reach advantage on the feet. On the mat Jones' size and superior wrestling, combined with the damage sustained from ground-and-pound, took a toll on Rua's conditioning. By the end of the first round, he looked exhausted.
Though Rua's training left him ill-equipped to handle Jones' assault, his heart kept him in the fight. Most fighters in the UFC would have broken much sooner.
However, after taking more brutal ground-and-pound in the third round, Rua was able to get back to his feet briefly before getting put away with a body punch and knee to the face.
Following the biggest win of his short career, Jones came face-to-face in the octagon with teammate and number-one contender Rashad (Suga) Evans. The two had previously refused to fight each, but over the course of Jones' training camp they seemed to have suffered a falling out.
Immediately following the encounter, Evans told Mmafighting.com that he is done training at Greg Jackson's camp.
CRO COP CUT
After suffering yet another brutal knockout loss, this time to Brendan (The Hybrid) Schaub, Mirko (Cro Cop) Filipovic is done with the UFC.
Filipovic, who was once ranked among the heavyweight elite when he competed in PRIDE FC, has never looked comfortable in the octagon, where he is 4-5.
Filipovic looked hesitant in the early going before opening up and throwing his trademark left head kick. However, Schaub was able to block the shot each time, land the majority of strikes, and take the Croatian kickboxer to the mat numerous times.
Though Filipovic was likely losing on the judges' scorecards as the two entered the third round, he was still in the fight. That is until a huge right from Schaub put him out cold. The knockout was one for the highlight reels, as Filipovic's body twisted, causing him to sickeningly slam his head into the mat and land on his arm.
Following the loss, UFC president Dana White confirmed that Filipovic is done with the organization.
FIGHT NIGHT BONUSES
For his stunning knockout of Filipovic, Schaub was one of two fighters to snag Knockout of the Night honours. The other bonus went to Erik (New Breed) Koch, who laid out Raphael Assuncao with a nasty right hook.
Edson Mendes Barboza Jr. and Anthony Njokuani took home Fight of the Night for their back and forth striking battle. Barboza edged Njokuani on the judges' scorecards in a close, competitive battle.
There were no submissions last night.