Jon Jones is either the second coming of Anderson Silva or a lucky fighter that hasn’t truly been tested in the octagon. Unfortunately that question may still be up to debate depending upon whether you believe Rampage Jackson’s one-dimensional offense was truly that test.
Jon Jones not only survived his first test as UFC light heavyweight champion at UFC 135, he dominated it. Jones manhandled former champion Rampage Jackson for four rounds in what looked more like a sparring session than a UFC championship fight. Jones made Jackson look like a fool for all four rounds, keeping Jackson at bay the entire fight with jabs and kicks that repeatedly connected on the challenger.
Surprisingly you didn’t get a lot of trademark Jon Jones elbows in this fight. He didn’t land his first one until about 4:26 into the first round. He did nail Jackson hard with an elbow to the ground in the third round which opened up Rampage. In the end Jones followed up a few forearm strikes with a rear-naked choke that finished off Jackson at 1:14 of the fourth round.
Jackson’s game plan was just absolutely horrible. He stood and looked for the knockout while Jones mixed it up with knees, kicks, punches, and a couple of takedowns. I just don’t know how Jackson expected to win this fight with such a one dimensional attack. At one point Jackson threw in a few leg kicks which actually looked to have confused Bones. His corner kept yelling to Jackson to find his range, but with Jones’ reach, that was just impossible.
I think the verdict is still out on Jones. He is good, damned good, but is he this unbeatable prodigy that some have professed him to be? Jackson hasn’t looked overly impressive to me since 2008. Shogun Rua looked out of shape and hurt at UFC 128. Ryan Bader was just submitted in the first round to Tito Ortiz. To me, these wins are impressive but a little over-hyped if you look at the big picture.
Jones will fight Rashad Evans next and I do think that will be the real measuring stick for Jones. Evans has a multidimensional attack and his striking looked better than ever against Tito Ortiz. I don’t think that Jones will be able to toy with Evans the way he did with Jackson and Rua. He is going to have to prepare for a lot more, including a fighter that has seen his weaknesses in the gym. I think it is going to be a great fight and I can’t wait to see it.
If Jones runs through Evans like he did the others, I will be all in on the Jones’ bandwagon. At that point, I think you have to match him up against Dan Henderson if Hendo beats Shogun at UFC 139. Past that I think it is time to start talking about an Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones Super Fight. Forget about the GSP vs. Silva fight, it isn’t going to happen. Here is a fight that actually has a chance of being made at 205. If Silva and Jones win their next fights, maybe two, I think you make the fight if you are the UFC. It really would be the biggest fight in the history of MMA and the one real Dream Fight that the UFC has left to offer.
In the co-headliner, Josh Koscheck pulled off a fantastic finish as he knocked Matt Hughes out in the final seconds of the first round. It was an interesting fight as Hughes looked dominant for most of the first round. Hughes kept the fight on their feet and relied on the jab. Koscheck eventually opened up later in the round and turned the fight with an overhand right hand. Hughes scrambled and wound up on the ground. Koscheck swarmed in with hammer fists and the referee stopped the fight at the 4:59 mark.
I can’t say that I was real impressed with the win. To me, beating Hughes on the downside of his career doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot to me. Koscheck talks a big game and has backed it up against everyone except Georges St-Pierre. However, he was dominated badly against the champion in his previous fight. I am not sure where you go from here with Koscheck but he certainly remains in the mix.
Full UFC 135: Jones vs. Rampage Results & Winners
Jon Jones defeated Quinton Jackson via submission
Josh Koscheck defeated Matt Hughes via KO – Round 1
Mark Hunt defeated Ben Rothwell via unanimous decision
Travis Browne defeated Rob Broughton via unanimous decision
Nate Diaz defeated Takanori Gomi via submission
Tony Ferguson defeated Aaron Riley via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 1
Tim Boetsch defeated Nick Ring via unanimous decision
Junior Assuncao defeated Eddie Yagin via unanimous decision
akeya Mizugaki defeated Cole Escovedo via TKO (punches) – Round 2
James Te Huna defeated Ricardo Romero via knockout (punches) – Round 1
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