'Countdown to UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones' Recap

If you missed Tuesday's debut of "Countdown to UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones," Bloody Elbow has you covered with a full recap of the show, which took a look at UFC light-heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and challenger Jon Jones as they prepare for their title clash this Saturday at UFC 128.

The show also took a look at the co-main event bantamweight fight between Urijah Faber and Eddie Wineland and the featured heavyweight clash between Brendan Schaub and Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic.

Of course, if you're more of a visual person, you can watch the full show right here on Bloody Elbow, as well.

We start with a look at the challenger, Jones. His coach, Greg Jackson, says he is evolving at a staggering rate. Jackson says he'll be showing others moves and Jones just watches and picks them up and makes them his own.

Then it's over to Eduardo Alonso, Shogun's manager. He says they heard Machida Era, Jon Jones Era, but the Shogun Era started a long time ago. Jones says it can be both their eras.

We hear about Rashad Evans getting hurt in training and how Jones found out Evans got hurt two days before his UFC 126 fight with Ryan Bader. Shogun says he was riding with Dana White to do an appearance on The Ultimate Fighter when he found out that Evans couldn't fight. Jones said Evans told him he might get the title shot the night before his fight at dinner. Jones said he couldn't finish his meal because his nerves were so high. Shogun told Alonso he'll fight anybody. We see clips from the Jones-Bader fight and Jones being offered the title shot after his dominating win.

But there's one more hurdle to clear for Jones, the narrator says. That's Shogun. Jackson says this is the fight that'll test Jones. Can he handle Shogun's tools? Jones says he's confident and believes in himself.

Stay with us after the jump for the rest of the show.

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We're back with Shogun and he says after the first fight with Lyoto Machida, they analyzed tapes of Machida and decided to emphasize the hands and not the feet in the second fight. Shogun says he was trying to hit Machida with many punches in a row. He says when Dana White put the belt around his waist, he had his dream fulfilled. We see clips of him arriving back in Brazil, where there was even a billboard congratulating him. Alonso says people overlook Shogun and don't give him the credit he deserves.

Jones has long admired Shogun. He says a girl who carpooled him to practice when he was just starting gave him PRIDE footage of Shogun because she was a huge fan. Shogun says the two have a similar story. He says he's going to do everything in his power to make sure Jones doesn't get a belt at age 23 like he did.

Jones says he believes he can trade with Shogun. He feels good about it. Shogun says Jones would be making a mistake and doesn't believe he has knockout power. Jones disagrees. Shogun says Jones should expect to have his long, skinny legs slammed with leg kicks. He says if Jones takes it to the ground, he'll look to show his jiu-jitsu skills.

Jones says he and his camp are confident everywhere. Shogun says this is the most important fight of his life and he plans to hold the belt for a long time. Jones says he'll be too strong, too hungry, too dynamic, too explosive and it's about the rise of Jon Jones.

After a break, we return to take a look at the bantamweight clash between Faber and Wineland.

Faber says if you've watched them both, there's two things that happen: They go 100 miles per hour and they both go for the kill. Wineland says he wants to be where Faber is, in commercials and on TV. 

We go to Lincoln High School where Faber graduated from in 1998. He's speaking in front of an assembly. This takes us back through Faber's life. He takes it to a neighborhood where he and his buddies have five houses on the same block filled with fighters. Theo, Faber's dad, says he's in awe of his son's generosity.

Faber describes his parents as "Hippie Christians" and they lived in a commune where they shared everything but their toothbrushes and their wives, Theo says. We're told Faber has modeled for JCPenney and did commercials. 

Faber says he wasn't offered a college scholarship coming out of high school so he walked on at UC-Davis where he earned one after his first year and left as the school's all-time win leader.

We see highlights from his early Gladiator Challenge fights and then his WEC featherweight title fight with Cole Escovedo, where he won the belt. We then fast forward to his first fight with Jens Pulver, a big moment for Faber. We disregard his losses to Mike Brown and Jose Aldo and move forward to his fight with Takeya Mizugaki where he won his bantamweight debut.

After a break, we go from sunny California to snowy Chicago, where Eddie Wineland is taking up training, driving 75 miles each way to get there. Wineland says he's real close to his family, so he doesn't want to move to Chicago. His brother Cory has been his inspiration. When Cory was three, he was trying to fill a bubble lawnmower with gasoline and a heater caught it on fire, burning 98 percent of his body. His mom said it was a miracle for him to live. They spent nearly a year in the hospital. She says the event made the family even closer.

We're told the emergency room knew Wineland by name because he liked extreme sports. He was a BMX champion at age 16 but thought it was too dangerous so he decided to fight. His dad chuckles.

Wineland says he got a call to fight for the WEC bantamweight title in the old WEC, fighting Antonio Banuelos and winning by knockout. We see clips from his recent WEC wins. He says he never thought he'd be co-headlining a big UFC event. He's excited, he says.

Wineland says his brother inspires him to keep moving. Cory says he hopes one day Eddie is as proud of him as he is of Eddie.

Faber says he feels he has an edge in every aspect. Wineland knows he's being used as a stepping stone for Faber's introduction to the UFC, but it's not going to work out for Faber and the UFC. Wineland says he'll be able to match Faber's speed and power. He says he's going to pick Faber apart and finish him.

Faber says he doesn't worry about guys knocking him out. Faber says Wineland has a huge disadvantage on the ground. Wineland says Faber is welcome to come and try to take him there. Faber says he needs to finish Wineland to be happy with his performance. Wineland says it's going to be a great fight and he can't wait to pull the upset.

After break, we hear from Schaub and Cro Cop. Cro Cop says he doesn't know much about Schaub and he's just an opponent like everyone else. Schaub says he'll cease being a fan of Cro Cop once they get into the Octagon. Cro Cop says Schaub's knockout wins don't worry him because Schaub is just a rookie. Schaub says this rookie has some skills.

Cro Cop says he's going to try to finish Schaub as soon as possible. He says at the end of the fight, Schaub's head will be taken off. Schaub recites Cro Cop's "left kick: cementary/right kick: hospital" line and adapts it for himself: "Left hand: Fight of the Night; Right hand: Knockout of the Night."

Schaub says someone's going out in convincing fashion and it's not going to be him.

And since the fight between Nate Marquardt and Yoshihiro Akiyama is no longer happening, I feel no need to recap that part of the show.

Thoughts: Excellent show. The stuff for the main event wasn't too riveting to me because it's the same things we've been hearing ad naseum for a few weeks now. Everything after that, though, was great. I absolutely loved the Faber/Wineland segment. Got to learn a ton of things I didn't know about both fighters. I thought the UFC made great use of the time there. The Schaub/Cro Cop stuff also was interesting and helped put some perspective on that fight.

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