Jon Jones beating Rashad Evans and doing it with relative ease speaks to just how truly great Jones is as a professional fighter. For a fighter of his age to come into a fight against Rashad Evans, one of the greatest light heavyweights the sport has ever seen, at UFC 145 and win every round proves that he's a special kind of fighter. In fact, with wins over Evans, Lyoto Machida, Quinton Jackson and Mauricio Rua, Jones' resume is arguably the best of any 205 pound fighter in the history of the sport.
But the truth is, this felt lacking. I'm not saying that to be negative, although I'm sure that's how people will take it.
This felt like when MMA fans tune into a heavily hyped boxing PPV only to get something like Floyd Mayweather against Shane Mosley, a rather boring and by-the-numbers affair. It was a letdown. This was supposed to be special, instead it felt like two guys just going through the motions. Jon Jones was the better fighter coming in to the fight, I don't know that there were too many who truly doubted that. It just felt like the inevitable playing out with flashes of brilliance but mostly just the better fighter being better.
It certainly didn't feel like the end to a huge grudge match and that kind of satisfaction can't be underrated. Liddell vs. Ortiz, Ortiz vs. Shamrock, the great UFC rivalries felt like they had that cathartic moment, this just happened and ended.
Full card thoughts after the jump...
- The UFC delivers such a strong product that I think we've all gotten a little spoiled. The card as a whole fell flat, but this was always supposed to be about Jones vs. Evans. So the lackluster undercard not being held up by a true blowoff to this huge feud only makes the weak undercard feel worse.
- I thought Joe Rogan turned in one of his strongest performances in recent memory tonight, using smart analogies, delivering simple information and not getting as hung up as he tends to on minute (and unimportant) technical details that distract from the action. Goldberg on the other had? Awful. When he said that it Chris Clements was "throwing a punch like driving a car" I had no clue what the hell he meant. And that was just one of many stumbles for Mike.
- Che Mills is talented enough in the stand-up but he never stood a realistic chance. No matter how hard Rogan tried to prop him up as an "elite, elite fighter" the truth was that he was there to be the guy Rory MacDonald beat up. Mills landed a bit on the feet at the start of their fight, but in the end Rory got takedowns whenever he wanted and absolutely demolished the overmatched Mills. MacDonald is a rare talent and is going to make some huge waves in his career. Along with Jones and Alexander Gustafsson, he's a huge part of the future of this sport.
- Ben Rothwell knocked Brendan Schaub out in a fashion so violent it shut off all but the instinctual animal part of Schaub's brain as Brendan lay prone on the ground flailing his arms and legs while clearly out. It was a shocking upset, but Rothwell deserves all the credit in the world for not giving up on his career and really dedicating himself to his training. He looks like a new man and is a threat to knock out any man.
- Michael McDonald is a legitimate title contender at 135 pounds. He starched Miguel Torres and it really showed how good McDonald can be when he attacks and doesn't sit back fighting passively. I'd pay to watch McDonald challenge for the title tomorrow if asked.
- Mark Hominick's career as a title level fighter is basically over. After his brutal KO and then losing to Eddie Yagin, a guy he was supposed to run though, he just doesn't look like the guy who "has it" anymore.
- Mark Bocek is pretty damn good. He's not a top tier kind of guy, but he's going to beat guys like John Alessio all day, every day.
- Travis Browne needs to be fighting better talent. I'm still not sure what I think about him beyond that he has a lot of upside. Going from fights against Cheick Kongo and Stefan Struve to Rob Broughton and Chad Griggs isn't really allowing anyone to learn much about Browne as a fighter.
- Pretty much everyone's worries about Stephen Thompson came true. He fought well, but Matt Brown was just too gritty and too well rounded for Thompson at this stage in his development. A little more takedown defense and a better ground game and Thompson can run through people, but he's not there yet.
- Anthony Njokuani and John Makdessi didn't deliver to the extent people wanted, but I thought it was a very interesting fight. Njokuani is always interesting to watch, I wish he'd throw his jab more, he has a great one. Makdessi just had no real solution to the problems Njokuani presented.