Cageside Seats' UFC 128 Post-Fight Throwdown

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"Champion 2011" indeed Mr. Jones.  Tonight, UFC 128 delivered a QUALITY event with what I can only consider a beautiful main event, and hopefully the beginning of something special in mixed martial arts.  As usual with the Cageside Seats' post-fight throwdown, I'm going to dish out my thoughts on the event as a whole, individual fights, and everything in between.  Let's kick it off with the main event.

  • Jon Jones crushed Mauricio Rua.  Let's not sugar coat it people, Shogun made a handful of offensive progress throughout the fight, while Jones  was aggressive from bell to bell.  Outside of Brock Lesnar's title loss to Cain Velasquez, this is one of the most devastating title losses in a very long time.  To say the title was taken from Shogun is an understatement.  Jones ripped the title from Shogun's waist, and beat him over the head with it.
  • Jones looked slick on his feet, sure, not perfect by any means, but I expected more shots from the outside.  Of course, that's most likely what Shogun was expecting as well.  The handful of punches to the body that Jones threw were beautiful, including the left hook that dropped Shogun and won the fight.
  • So a quick question.  Will Jones hold this title for an extended period of time?  Personally, I believe so.  I believe he'll become the Georges St. Pierre or Anderson Silva of light heavyweight.  He crushed Shogun like THIS, on short notice.  I think he can be more than prepared for any other light heavyweight on the planet if he has a full training camp.
  • So, Rashad Evans decided to go with the title shot.  This is a money move for all people involved.  If you heard the crowd's reaction to Evans, you know exactly what I mean.  People will eat this fight up, and honestly, I think it's a showcase fight for Jones.  Not only is there money to be made, this is a great fight to build up Jones as a title holder.  If people buy into the hype, and Jones pulls off a win, that will increase his value even more.
  • Last, where will Shogun go from here?  Honestly, he looked so bad compared to when he fought Lyoto Machida, it's sad.  Where in the Machida fight, he was able to explode in and out, belting off lightning strikes like nothing with great timing...he was slow, and got winded quickly.  I'm the last person who's going to make excuses for Shogun, but it doesn't take much to see how Shogun has deteriorated.  I hope he can rebound, but his pinnacle may have been reached when he took the title from Machida.
Many, many more thoughts after the jump.
  • In the co-main event, Eddie Wineland made Urijah Faber look horribly average.  Wineland was supposed to be a showcase fight for Faber, and it turned out that Faber had a hard time imposing his game on him.  
  • That said, Faber adapted and overcame, and by round three, he really began to take it to Wineland.
  • If Faber really does get a shot at bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz, I'm not sure I favor him in that match...Cruz has really begun to find himself as a fighter and has become increasingly formidable in the cage.
  • Hot damn did Jim Miller take the fight to Kamal Shalorus.  He was favored to win, and rightfully so, but his striking was on point.  If Shalorus' head wasn't hard as a rock, the fight would have been over with that head kick in round one.
  • Nate Marquardt also failed to shine in his showcase fight against late replacement Dan Miller.  He secured the victory, but considering the challenges that lay before him, that was a rare chance for him to show some real flare in the cage.
  • Okay, this has become a recurring theme.  Brendan Schaub, like Marquardt and Faber, was given a showcase fight, but took his time in getting the result he desired.  Mirko Filipovic put up one hell of a fight, more so than a great deal of people expected, but got completely flattened in the third round.  It was nasty, and I'll be plenty happy to see him A) Retire or B) Fight Big Nog at UFC Rio.
  • Not much to say about the Facebook prelims, they were free fights, so I'm pleased but the real story is in the Spike TV prelims.
  • The Spike TV UFC 128 prelims may be the best preliminary show in a long time.  Anthony Njokuani and Edson Barboza put on one of the most thrilling displays of striking the UFC has seen in a long time.  Where so many stand up wars become slap boxing, these two kept their technique at 100% for the full fifteen minutes of their fight. 
  • Oh, that spinning kick that won the third round for Barboza?  EPIC!
  • Don't forget, Luiz Cane also crushed Eliot Marshall, nothing wrong with a little can crushing to get the fans warmed up.
  • Overall, this was a great series of fights, and there's plenty to talk about as we move forward into 2011.  With UFC 129 on the horizon, and Zuffa's purchase of Strikeforce, we have a full plate of MMA topics to discuss.
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