In a stacked card that was filled with three round battles and a few impressive finishes, Jon Jones again proved why he’s the UFC’s Light Heavyweight champion and why he’s considered to be the best fighter alive today as he handily defeated Rashad Evans to retain his title.
Also impressing the crowd at the Philips Arena in Atlanta were two of the UFC’s youngest fighters in Rory MacDonald and Michael McDonald as they were able to pick up big wins to back up the hype behind them.
Jones Elbows and Kicks his way to Third Straight Title Defense
At 24 years old, Jon Jones is already the UFC Light Heavyweight champion and considered by many as the best fighter in the world. At UFC 145, Jones outstruck Rashad Evans for 25 minutes to retain the belt and prove that he is indeed one of the best if not the best in the world right now.
During the first round, Evans held his own and landed big shots and even connected on a head kick that staggered the champion a bit. From then on, Jones dominated the fight as he landed a variety of kicks and connected on a series of short, hard elbows that badly hurt the challenger. By the championship rounds, Evans was visibly tired and hesitant to throw strikes. A dent on Evans’ head had also become visible, damage from Jones’ short elbows. While Evans tried to finish the fight with each strike thrown, Jones had done enough to walk away with the unanimous decision win.
With the win, Jones has already defeated four current or former champions in Shogun Rua, Rampage Jackson, Lyoto Machida, and Rashad Evans. Probably even more impressive is that the last three of these wins were title defenses against tough former champions.
On Twitter, Dana White announced that next up for Jones would be former PRIDE and Strikeforce Champion Dan Henderson who is coming off an amazing fight against Shogun Rua.
Rory MacDonald Destroys Che Mills
Rory “Ares” MacDonald is considered by many as a future champion, and at UFC 145, he affirmed those claims by destroying a talented prospect in “Beautiful” Che Mills.
Mills connected on MacDonald early in the first round, forcing the Canadian to shoot and land a takedown. On the ground, “Ares” landed accurate ground and pound on Mills’ head couldn’t finish the fight. For the remainder of the first round, MacDonald maintained dominant position and even gained the mount as he battered Mills bloody. MacDonald scored another takedown early in the second round and again controlled and beat Mills up. The Englishman gave up his back and MacDonald immediately moved into back mount, flattened Mills and rained down more ground and pound, prompting the referee to stop the fight.
At 22 years old, MacDonald is now 13-1 as a pro and is one of MMA’s fastest rising welterweights. While a lot of people think that MacDonald is ready to contend for a title, he himself stated that he’s still young and would like to have more fights before challenging for the belt.
New Look Ben Rothwell TKO’s Brendan Schaub
In a heavyweight bout, a leaner looking Ben Rothwell needed only a little over a minute to put down Brendan Schaub, earning him a TKO win.
Schaub rushed Rothwell early and forced him against the cage and then traded punches. Rothwell connected on an uppercut that dropped Schaub and he followed up with more shots that left “The Hybrid” dazed and flailing at the air.
Rothwell now improves his record to 32-8 and has gone 3-2 in his last five fights. This win proves that a dedicated and disciplined Ben Rothwell is a dangerous Ben Rothwell.
Michael McDonald Puts Miguel Torres to Sleep
21 year old Michael McDonald had a lot of hype behind him, coming into the fight with Miguel Torres. McDonald was riding an impressive seven fight win streak, including a 4-0 run in the Octagon. While former champion Miguel Torres was supposed to be a tough fight for the young McDonald, he would only need a little over three minutes to violently knock Torres out.
Early in the round, McDonald and Torres fought back and forth, trading punches. A little past the three minute mark of the first round, McDonald unleashed a combination that included two solid uppercuts, the first one staggered Torres while the second one shut his lights out. McDonald followed up with a few more solid shots to Torres until the referee pulled him off.
McDonald now moves to 15 -1 and is slowly making a case for himself as a legitimate contender for the UFC’s 135lb title.
Yagin Pulls of Upset, Bocek Betters Alessio
Looking to bounce back from two straight losses, Mark Hominick faced off against Filipino-American Eddie Yagin. Unfortunately for Hominick, Yagin was able to do enough to pull off an upset.
Early on in the first frame, Yagin threw bombs and dropped Hominick. Yagin went in for the kill but did not get the finish against Hominick and the Canadian got back up. In the second round, a visibly gassed Yagin threw more bombs but was more hesitant. Yagin dropped Hominick again in the second round but again wasn’t able to capitalize. In the final round, Hominick got loose and started picking apart Yagin with his crisp, precise striking but it wasn’t enough as Yagin walked away with a Split Decision win.
Yagin earns his first Octagon win and looks to establish himself as a force in the UFC Featherweight division while Hominick now drops his third straight fight.
In the main card opener, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt Mark Bocek took John Alessio down and delivered ground and pound en route to a unanimous decision win.
The story was the same for all three rounds of the fight as Bocek landed takedowns at will and proceeded to rain down elbows and punches on Alessio while Alessio struggled to defend and get back on his feet. Alessio had an advantage in the stand up department but could not keep the fight standing long enough to deal enough damage.
Boceck is now 3-2 in his last five as he looks to move up in the lightweight ladder while Alessio just had his three fight win streak snapped.
UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans Full Results
LHW Title: Jon Jones def. Rashad Evans - Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45)
WW: Rory MacDonald def. Che Mills - TKO (punches) 2:20, R2
HW: Ben Rothwell def. Brendan Schaub - TKO (Punches) 1:10, R1
BW: Michael McDonald def. Miguel Torres – KO (Punches) 3:18, R1
FW: Eddie Yagin def. Mark Hominick – Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
LW: Mark Bocek def. John Alessio - Unanimous (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
HW: Travis Browne def. Chad Griggs – Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) 2:29, R1
WW: Matt Brown def. Stephen Thompson – Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-27, 30-27)
LW: Anthony Njokuani def. John Makdessi – Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
LW: Mac Danzig def. Efrain Escudero – Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
WW: Chris Clements def. Keith Wisniewski – Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
FW: Marcus Brimage def. Maximo Blanco – Split Decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
Fight of the Night: Mark Hominick vs. Eddie Yagin
Knockout of the Night: Ben Rothwell
Submission of the Night: Travis Browne