UFC 145 Results: Jones Dominates Evans In Thrilling Headliner, Retains Light-Heavyweight Title
Jon Jones further cemented his legacy as one of the greatest mixed martial artists of the modern era on Saturday, earning a dominant unanimous decision victory over Rashad Evans.
Jones used his sizable reach advantage, displaying a plethora of flashy tactics as he solidified his position as the top light-heavyweight in the world, defeating former friend and training partner Rashad Evans by unanimous decision to retain his light heavyweight crown in the UFC 145 headliner on Saturday at Philips Arena in Atlanta.
All three judges saw it for Jones: 49-46, 49-46 and 50-45.
“This is definitely my most satisfying victory,” he said. “I did a lot of things tonight, but I didn’t want to make any mistakes. I didn’t feel the cleanest on my feet, but who I beat is very important to me.”
Jones’ precise and innovative striking looked like a work of art on Saturday. The Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts representative dug into Evans with kicks to the leg, body and head, a sharp left jab, stiff right hands and even violent shoulder strikes from the clinch. However, his most effective weapon was the standing elbow — a technique rarely seen from a standing position. It nearly finished the fight for Jones in the second round, when he staggered the challenger against the cage. A flying knee and a beautiful left hook followed soon after.
“It felt completely different [fighting him than it did training with him],” Jones said. “I threw a lot of elbows tonight. That’s something you would never do to a training partner.”
Evans, like those before him who failed to dethrone the champ, struggled to bypass Jones’ enormous reach advantage. The Blackzilians representative landed a clean head kick in the first round that seemed to rattle Jones and delivered a nice right hand in the third. Beyond that, he fought mostly with his back to the cage, eating punches and kicks from a distance.
Jones topped off his latest victory with a strong fifth round, as he backed up a jab with a crisp right hand, launched a knee from the clinch and scored with the only takedown of the bout. Evans scrambled back to his feet, perhaps wary of the champion’s infamous elbow strikes on the ground, but his fate was already in the bag.
“I was a little surprised [I couldn’t finish him],” Jones said. “I had a goal to finish the fight, and I didn’t. Hats off to Rashad. He has made [progress by] leaps and bounds in his game, as well. That was a great competition.”
The defeat was the first for Evans since May 2009, snapping an impressive four-fight win streak.
“He was pretty crafty and tricky, and I didn’t get my timing,” Evans said. “Give him props. He kept me on my toes, so I have to give it up to him. I just need to get better. I’m only 32 years old, and I have a long career ahead of me. I’ll just get better and work my way back up to the top again.”
MacDonald Dominates Mills
Fast-rising welterweight prospect Rory MacDonald battered former Cage Rage champion Che Mills with vicious ground-and-pound en route to an impressive second-round technical knockout in the co-main event. MacDonald finished it 2:20 into round two, as he scored a third consecutive victory.
“Che was a great opponent,” MacDonald said. “He didn’t get much respect in the media because of his lack of fights in the UFC, but I took this fight very seriously. I’m very happy the way the fight went.”
Mills held his own on the feet early on, but on the ground, MacDonald was on another level entirely. He smashed through the British fighter's guard with ruthless punches from the top and mounted him in both rounds. Mills had no answer for his younger opponent. Having battered and bloodied him with blows from the top, MacDonald finally moved to back mount in the second round, flattened out a clearly beaten Mills and brought it to an end with a vicious barrage of punches.
“I could tell I was landing big shots,” MacDonald said. “When I hit guys on the ground, and [the shots] are clean, I know they are going to be hurt. I just tried to stay clean in all my positions and flatten him out."
At just 22-year-old, MacDonald appears to be one of the hottest prospects on the UFC roster.
“I want to be champion one day, but I’m still very young,” MacDonald said. “One thing I lack is experience, and I’m aware of that. I have to get a lot more regular and compete three times a year. I think the fans will enjoy that, and so will I.”
Rothwell Stops Schaub in 70 Seconds
Ben Rothwell stopped former top-ranked standout Brendan Schaub on first-round punches in a featured heavyweight bout on Saturday. It ended 70 seconds after it began.
Schaub started strong, but it wouldn't last long. He blasted Rothwell with a spinning back elbow that had the Wisconsin native backpedaling toward the cage. Schaub followed him there and engaged in a wild, ill-advised exchange with the International Fight League veteran, connecting but leaving himself open for the fight-ending counter. Rothwell returned fire, delivering a devastating left hook that sent a semi-conscious Schaub to the floor. A few follow-up ground strikes finished it.
“I feel great. You can take a look at me, and [my shape] speaks for itself,” Rothwell said. “I worked very hard. I changed my training camp. I’m not backing down. I know my chin can take some shots. I’m going to throw back, and if you stand in front of me, you’re probably going to go down.”
McDonald KOs Torres in Round One
Bantamweight prospect Michael McDonald knocked out former WEC champion Miguel Torres with a brutal right uppercut in the first round of their featured matchup at 135 pounds. An unconscious Torres crashed to the canvas 3:18 into round one.
McDonald established himself on the feet from the start, unleashing with precise combinations. He beat Torres to the punch in close and plastered him with a pair of right uppercuts, the second of which ended the short bout. McDonald followed him to the ground and landed a few more punches for good measure, but the deal was already sealed.
Yagin Outpoints Hominick
Eddie Yagin secured the first UFC win of his career, as he brawled his way to a split decision victory over former featherweight title contender Mark Hominick. All three judges scored it 29-28, two of them for Yagin.
Yagin nearly finished it in the first and second rounds. In the first, he dropped Hominick with a beautiful right uppercut-left hook combination and followed him to the ground, further attacking with punches. Somehow, the Canadian weathered the onslaught. The scene repeated itself in the second round, with Yagin flooring and swarming Hominick. Again, the veteran survived, but he entered round three down on two of the scorecards.
Hominick was in prime form in the third round. There, he busted up Yagin with stiff left jabs, right crosses and sharp left hooks to the body. However, he could not put away the Alliance MMA representative and fell short on the scorecards.
Bocek Outguns Veteran Alessio
A perfect gameplan composed heavily of technique and determination carried Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Mark Bocek to a unanimous decision over John Alessio in a lightweight showcase. All three cageside judges scored it for Bocek: 30-27, 29-28 and 30-27.
Bocek took down the Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts representative in all three rounds, grinded on him with his signature brand of punches and elbows and operated freely inside the Alessio guard. He moved to Alessio’s back in the first and third rounds, fished for rear-naked chokes and ultimately chose to go the striking route. Alessio, a late replacement for the injured Matt Wiman, did some nice work with his hands but did not remain on his feet long enough for it to make a difference.
UFC 145 quick results:
Jon Jones def. Rashad Evans via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45)
Rory MacDonald def. Che Mills via TKO (punches) 2:20 of round 2
Ben Rothwell def. Brendan Schaub via KO (punches) at 1:10 of round 1
Michael McDonald def. Miguel Torres via KO (punches) at 3:18 of round 1
Eddie Yagin def. Mark Hominick via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Mark Bocek def. John Alession via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Travis Browne def. Chad Griggs via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 2:29 of round 1
Matt Brown def. Stephen Thompson via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-27, 30-27)
Anthony Njokuani def. John Makdessi via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Mac Danzig def. Efrain Escudero via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Chris Clements def. Keith Wisniewski via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Marcus Brimage def. Maximo Blanco via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)