UFC 140 saw Jon Jones in his first true test as a champion with Lyoto Machida putting on a very good challenge. In the end, Jones wised up and got away from playing a distance striking game that played into Machida's strengths and got inside. Once it was an in close battle in the clinch and ground, it was all Jones.
The first round saw Machida use movement and his trademark elusiveness to avoid the punches and kicks of Jones. Machida won the opening frame through defense and landing his own flurries that did appear to hurt Jones a little bit.
Jones did what great champions do though and stopped doing what wasn't working. He got a takedown and it was only one or two elbows before Machida had a very bad cut opened on his forehead. The doctors allowed the fight to continue, but it didn't matter. A left hand by Jones hurt Machida and then Jones locked up a standing guillotine choke that put Lyoto Machida to sleep.
Let's run down some of the highlights of the evening:
- Jon Jones in 2011 beat Ryan Bader, won the title from Mauricio Rua and defended against Quinton Jackson and Lyoto Machida. While some will argue for Shogun's 2005 year, Jones just completed the best year I've ever seen in MMA. I may not be crazy for his personality, but I'm no dummy. That guy is an absolute force of nature.
- Frank Mir broke the everloving hell out of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira's arm in a pretty crazy fight. Nogueira was busting Mir up with punches, first working off the jab, then landing a hard right that dropped Mir. Nogueira was punching Mir trying to get the finish and then decided to go for a guillotine which Mir escaped and eventually turned into a kimura. Nogueira refused to tap which resulted in his arm breaking. It was a nasty, nasty moment that keeps Mir in the title hunt.
- Nogueira/Mir was another good example of why you never, ever, ever abandon position to go for a submission, especially on a very good submission fighter. Mir was much more likely to get finished by punches than that choke.
- Just a reminder, trending on Twitter is meaningless. Old movies on cable TV trend on twitter all the time. Lamont Peterson was trending for his HBO fight with Amir Khan with Jon Jones was trending. It's got no deep meaning and it's time to stop celebrating every time something MMA related pops up. It should be expected, not celebrated.
- Tito Ortiz looked pretty decent letting his hands go against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, but his body couldn't stand up to the attack of Lil' Nog. A knee to the body hurt and dropped him and then Nogueira keyed in on the other side of Tito's body, hitting the same exact spot over and over with punches and elbows until the referee was forced to stop it.
- Tito says he wants to fight one more time (the last on his contract) and have that be it for his career. As much fun as it can be to make fun of Tito for some of the things he has said over his career, the guy has had a pretty spectacular near 15 year run.
- I thought Claude Patrick pretty clearly defeated Brian Ebersole, given that he had the better offense throughout the fight. But being pushed up against the cage and taken down is still death on most scorecards even if the other guy isn't doing a lot. That being said, I don't think Patrick made a clear enough case for me to get upset over a robbery, and if there was home cooking at all it would have been in the other direction.
- Mark Hominick came out with a sloppy right hand and lost because of it. The idea of Chan Sung Jung winning in under ten seconds seemed absurd coming in, but that's MMA for you.
- I still think Jung vs. Jose Aldo is a good idea. The fans have taken a big liking to Jung and they generally don't care about the featherweights yet. I think this is a time for fan friendly fights more than stuff like Aldo vs. Mendes, which is certain box office death.
More after the jump
- Krzysztof Soszynski was expected to run through Igor Pokrajac, instead he got punched in the head. A lot. Pokrajac looks downright scary at times against guys who have bad defense, unfortunately he can't fight K-Sos every time out.
- Speaking of guys who looked scary, Constantinos Philippou absolutely trucked Jared Hamman. Hamman has a good chin. But against a guy who hits as hard as Costa, a good chin just delays the inevitable it you allow it to get touched repeatedly.
- Dennis Hallman ran through John Makdessi in a way that had people saying that Hallman being 2.5 pounds over had no impact on the fight. That seems to ignore the physical toll that having to cut two and a half more pounds might have had on his body. So it's good to see Hallman suggest that it's basically a wash rather than a huge win given his weight problems.
- Walel Watson and Yves Jabouin fought and it was...not particularly memorable. I had it for Watson, but like Claude Patrick, he didn't make a clear enough statement for me to get upset.
- There is nothing as funny to me as Nik Lentz complaining that he got screwed by judges that valued top position to much. You're Nik Lentz!
- I don't know that I feel like Jake Hecht is special, but those elbows that dropped Rich Attonito were something else.
- John Cholish is a real fighter who is going to give people trouble. The scramble at the end of his fight with Mitch Clarke that led to him taking Clarke's back and landing punches to force the stoppage was beautiful.