UFC 135 Aftermath


Here we go with the aftermath for UFC 135 with fight reactions, and future match-ups for the winners and losers.  I hope Joe Silva gets a hold of this site one day and takes some of my advice on what should happen next.  He has the best job.

Jon Jones def. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson by submission (rear naked choke) at 1:14 of round 4

Jon Jones continues to put himself in rare air by becoming only the second person to submit Rampage.  It’s a very special thing if you are in a category alone with a legend like Kazushi Sakuraba.  With all that said, this was the most human we have seen Jon Jones.  He admittedly was scared of Jackson’s power, which caused him to go in Gorilla style on all fours at the beginning of the fight. He also had most of his creative attacks blocked or dodged by Jackson, especially the spinning elbows from clinch, the long legged lead leg sweep takedowns and a flying knee.

After seeing this fight, I actually think Rashad Evans holds the best chance of beating Jon Jones as he is faster, has more head movement and has more offensive tools than Rampage.  Evans also holds a bigger mental advantage over Jones from all the drama that occurred in the earlier months leading up to Jones’ title shot.

Rampage looked amazing.  Truly the best shape he has been since his fight with Wanderlei Silva.  He had the best head movement he has ever had, and he was prepared for Jones’ offensive creativity.  He also stopped 4 of the 6 takedowns attempted by Jones.  Only issue with Jackson was he wasn’t able go inside of Jones’ reach and start brawling as Jones used his great footwork and positioning to keep Rampage a the business end of his striking and of course, his rear naked choke defense.

Win or lose with his fight against Dan Henderson, the UFC should put Mauricio Shogun Rua versus Rampage Jackson on the card in Japan at the end of February.  Both fighters built their fame in the Pride organization and the timing is right for them to have a meaningful rematch for title contention.  I’m sure also that Rampage would love to avenge his TKO loss to Shogun, especially now that Shogun won’t be legally able to use soccer kicks which finished Rampage the first time.

Josh Koscheck def. Matt Hughes by KO at 4:59 of round 1

Kos is back and scarier than ever.  After a long layoff due to his eye injury sustained from GSP’s jab, Josh Koscheck looked well rested, relaxed and rejuvenated for his next run at the welterweight title.  He did however eat a bunch of jabs from Matt Hughes so hopefully he will put some emphasis on head movement on his next camp to keep that eye of his well protected.  If Dan Henderson has the “H-Bomb”, can I start calling Koscheck’s big right hand the “K-Bomb”? No? Fine, lets just call it an over hand right…

Up next for Koscheck, how about a young lion like Rory MacDonald?  For both fighters it makes sense, as they both are about 2 to 3 wins away from a welterweight title shot.  Maybe a little pay back for Kos to beat up one of GSP’s training buddies?  How about a chance for Rory to break into the top 5 of the welterweights?

For Matt Hughes, this possibly could be his last fight in the octagon.  He did look great in the first half of the fight where he was picking apart Koscheck with his jab and slipping most of the punches coming his way, but eventually he got caught.  With the loss I think Uncle Dana is planning on the retirement talk with Hughes.  Whether he does or not, Hughes is still a deserving Hall of Famer and legend of the sport.

Mark Hunt def. Ben Rothwell by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 30-27)

The most surprising fighter of the night was Mark Hunt.  We all know about his genetically gifted granite chin, but who knew he had a ground game?  I think everyone who was watching the fight went wild when he went for the arm bar submission!  Up next for Hunt there are a ton of interesting possibilities depending on what the UFC wants to do with him.  Travis Browne is a viable option as they both will be coming off wins, and they will both be able to test their striking abilities.  If not I hope they give him another brawler like Joey Beltran and let them slug it out for the fans.

Ben Rothwell will need to redeem himself after this fight as he was the only favorite to not win on the main card at -340. I hate to say it, especially since Rothwell is coming of a long layoff due to injury, but who gets caught in an arm bar from Mark Hunt? It definitely was not the Big Ben of the past who was able to beat Roy Nelson to take the IFL title.  Hopefully he gets a fight like Chris Tuscherer or Christian Morecraft as both of them are coming of a tough loss as well and will come to fight with a mentality to prove they belong in the UFC.

Travis Browne def. Rob Broughton by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

I honestly thought that this fight was put together to showcase Travis Browne’s KO power, but it turned into a classic, slow paced heavyweight 3 round boo-fest.  The crowd at the Pepsi Centre was not impressed by their performance as it looked like they were both out of gas by the end of the second round.  I don’t think that having heavyweight fights in Colorado is a great decision by the UFC as the thin air really seemed to take a beating on the big guys on the card.

As I stated before, I’d love to see Travis Browne versus Mark Hunt.  For Rob Broughton, maybe a fight against a UFC heavyweight newcomer.  Hopefully they do bring in more heavyweight talent as the division is not as deep as others.

Nate Diaz def. Takanori Gomi by submission (arm bar) at 4:27 of round 1

This fight went as expected as Nate’s brother Nick also was able to submit Gomi in a spectacular fashion.  (Hopefully Nate’s drug test comes back negative as Nick’s fight against Gomi was turned into a no contest due to Nick having Marijuana in his system.)  Nate’s standup also was spectacular as he hit Gomi at will.  Now that Nate is back at lightweight, I’d love to see him against George Sotoropolis or Joe Lauzon, just to see him fight a good submission artist.

Gomi is definitely on the chopping block for his next fight.  Everyone knows what his game plan is (overhand right), and everyone knows how to beat him (choke him).  Unless he does a big revamp of his game plan, I fear that Gomi’s UFC career will be going the way of his alma mater, Pride FC.  I actually want to see him fight Denis Siver.  Its always fun watching a big hitter fight a technician.

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