Consider the star born.
Jones handed Mauricio
“Shogun” Rua a savage beating in the UFC
128 headliner, as he captured the light heavyweight
championship in a third-round technical knockout on Saturday at the
Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Beaten almost beyond recognition,
the great Rua finally wilted 2:37 into round three.
“It feels so good,” said Jones, who, at 23, became the youngest UFC
champion in history. “It’s a testament that dreams do come true.
Believe in yourself, and once you get there, don’t slow down. It
comes true, everybody.”
Shogun never had a chance. Jones secured his first takedown inside
the first 30 seconds and patiently brutalized the Brazilian with
punches and elbows. Rua stood near the cage, ate a knee to the
body, a shin to the face and punches to the head. He wobbled
forward and was never the same. Jones landed one of his patented
spinning back elbows to open round two, caught an attempted leg
kick and drove Rua to the ground, where elbows and punches to the
head and body greeted the battered and broken champion. So complete
was Jones’ dominance that he attempted a kneebar on the Brazilian
jiu-jitsu black belt near the end of the period.
At the start of round three, it was clear Shogun had little left in
the tank. He swooped in for a leg lock, only to wind up on his
back. There, he was at the mercy of the challenger. Shogun returned
to a standing position, as Jones backed him into the cage and
cracked him with a mean left hook to the body that put him down for
good. With that, Jones’ ascent was complete.
“It means a lot to me, but now I know I have a huge target on my
back,” Jones said. “And when you guys come and strike at me, I’ll
be ready to strike right back.”
The beating left Shogun a mangled mess.
“The strategy was to fight him anywhere the fight would go,” Rua
said. “I have to congratulate him. He was better than me. He is a
very tough guy, and he showed great muay Thai and ground work. He
is the man.”
Former light heavyweight champion Rashad
Evans, who trains with Jones at Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts in
Albuquerque, N.M., entered the cage afterward. Recovering from a
knee injury, he appears to be next in line to challenge for the
“Well, I guess you should never say never, right?” Evans said. “We
train together, but he’s got that strap, and I have to go after
“We are teammates, and it sucks that we’re going to have to do
this, but this is my dream,” he said. “This is everything I believe
in. I have to do exactly what I have to do.”
Faber outworked, outmaneuvered and ultimately outclassed
Wineland in a competitive battle between former
WEC champions, as he earned a unanimous verdict from the
cageside judges in the co-main event. Scores were 29-28 across the
board for Faber, who made a successful if not memorable UFC
Wineland enjoyed early success, as he stuffed Faber’s repeated
takedown attempts in the first round, walked through a pair of
heavy overhand rights and worked effectively from the clinch.
“I felt pretty good,” Faber said. “Eddie is really tough. He caught
me off guard coming with the clinch as much as he did. Eddie is a
young guy. He has a bright future here.”
Faber found his stride in round two, as he delivered his first
takedown and attacked with elbows from the top and
standing-to-ground punches from inside his foe’s guard. He carried
his momentum into the third, where his quick hands began to take
their toll on Wineland. “The California Kid” sealed it with a
takedown with a little more than a minute remaining.
“You don’t know how fast or how powerful someone is until you get
right in front of them, so I was gauging that,” Faber said. “I felt
comfortable standing in front of him and then tagging him
defensively. I would have liked to have gotten the finish, guys.
I’ll be back, and I’ll be stronger than ever.”
Afterward, Faber set his sights on UFC bantamweight champion
Cruz, a man he has already beaten.
“I’m coming to get that UFC belt,” Faber said. “Dominick, if you’re
out there, hide your kids, hide your wife and hide that UFC belt,
baby, because I’m coming to get it.”
Miller file photo
Miller handed Shalorus his first loss.
Surging lightweight contender Jim Miller
stopped previously unbeaten WEC import Kamal
Shalorus on third-round strikes in a 155-pound showcase. The
world-ranked Miller, moving into position to challenge for the UFC
lightweight crown, has pieced together an impressive seven-fight
“That’s seven in a row in arguably the toughest division in the
UFC,” Miller said. “I’m ready [for a title shot]. I come in here
and I fight my heart out.”
Miller picked apart Shalorus with clean, technical strikes, but it
took some time to chop down the rugged Texas-based Iranian. The
AMA Fight Club representative spent more than half the second
round on Shalorus’ back after a successful single-leg takedown,
working for a choke.
“Kamal is as tough as a coffin nail,” Miller said. “I hit him so
hard. I might have cracked something in my hand. He’s got a hard
Shalorus survived, but his outing took a turn for the worse in the
third. The 27-year-old Miller connected with a beautiful uppercut
and backed it up with a ringing knee that realigned his foe’s nose.
Follow up punches went unanswered, and the referee intervened on
Shalorus’ behalf. Miller owns a 9-1 mark in the
One-time UFC middleweight title contender Nate
Marquardt took care of business against a game but overmatched
Miller, as he outpointed the former
International Fight League champion en route to a clear-cut
unanimous decision. All three judges scored it 30-27 for Marquardt,
who won for the 10th time in 14 Octagon appearances.
Marquardt fought through a pair of guillotine attempts and a
bloodied lip. The 31-year-old
Grudge Training Center representative utilized a multi-pronged
standup attack, made Miller pay when they went to the ground and
peppered his foe with one straight right after another throughout
their 15-minute encounter. By the time the fight reached the third
round, blood was streaming down the left side of Miller’s face.
A former middleweight King of Pancrase,
Marquardt entered the cage in need of a victory, having lost two of
his last three bouts. The Lander, Wyo., native was originally
scheduled to meet Yoshihiro
Akiyama, who withdrew from the event after a catastrophic
earthquake and tsunami struck Japan on March 11.
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10 finalist Brendan
Schaub stuck another important feather in his cap, as he
knocked out Mirko “Cro
Cop” Filipovic with a clubbing right hand 3:44 into the third
round of their featured heavyweight scrap.
Schaub and Filipovic spent a significant portion of their encounter
in the clinch, trading blows and positions. Schaub, the larger man
and the superior athlete, delivered takedowns in every round and
more than held his own standing against the 2006 Pride Fighting
Championships open weight grand prix winner. Schaub did not escape
the bout unscathed, as Cro Cop opened a cut on his left eyelid and
bloodied his nose with a nice close-quarters elbow.
“I just keep getting more and more experience,” Schaub said. “I got
to showcase my wrestling in this one, because Mirko is so dangerous
Round three seemed to be following a similar pattern, until Schaub
felled the Croatian with a right hand behind the ear. Cro Cop fell
awkwardly onto his shoulder, his right arm pinned behind his back,
and Schaub polished him off with another right on the ground.
“That’s what we were drilling all day in camp,” Schaub said. “I
wanted to get him to kick. He didn’t kick that much, but it paid
off in the end.”
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