Image via UFC.com
Tony Ferguson made quick work of Aaron Riley, forcing him to retire with a broken jaw at the end of the first round in their lightweight fight at UFC 135. Riley actually started fairly well, doing a good job of establishing his boxing and avoiding strikes from Ferguson. It was pretty even for the first couple of minutes. That all changed with one uppercut though.
After the uppercut, Riley was opening and closing his mouth a lot and announcer Joe Rogan made note of it a few times. Ferguson poured it on and battered Riley for the rest of the round, but the horn went. Riley went back to his corner and announced to his team that his jaw was broken, and the fight was stopped. The bout was the fifth and final fight on the preliminary portion of the UFC 135 broadcast, and was shown live on Spike TV.
What was the high spot of this fight?
Either the brutal uppercut that broke his jaw, or the moment when Riley went back to his corner and announced that his jaw was broken and his cornerman swore quite loudly in response.
Where do these guys go from here?
Ferguson obviously has a lot of momentum with the TUF 13 win and now a stoppage of a solid veteran. It will take a lot more than this to fully establish his value with avid fans though, considering he likely won the weakest TUF season ever, and Riley has had jaw issues in the past. The UFC will likely try to bring him along slowly, so he'll probably face another fading veteran again in his next bout.
Riley might want to consider retirement. This is the second time he's suffered a broken jaw in a UFC fight, and was recently on the shelf for a long time with other injuries. He's only 30 but he has a ton of mileage on his body after 44 fights in 14 years, most of which were standup battles. If he doesn't retire, he'll probably get another bout in the UFC but it definitely won't be for a while.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Now. Ferguson looked really good for the second half of the round and the uppercut that broke Riley's jaw was brutal. It's a bit rough watching Riley take all those shots with a broken jaw though, so if you're a bit squeamish you might want to skip it.
More BE coverage of in the full entry.