UFC 145 Results & Analysis
In September 2008, Rashad Evans became a star by knocking out the legendary Chuck Liddell in Atlanta.
In Atlanta in April 2012, the story for Evans was much different, as he found himself dominated for most of a 25-minute main event by his former friend and training partner, a man who is becoming pretty legendary in his own right, Jon "Bones" Jones.
Jon Jones defeated Rashad Evans by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45) to retain his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Jones landed first with a kick to the body after just missing on an attempted head kick. Evans landed a good combination but Jones was able to maintain some distance and Evans could not follow up. Jones attempted head kick several times but did not connect. Evans landed a leg kick but Jones followed up with two strong kicks to the body and a left hook. Evans connected with a head kick followed up with a left hand that put Jones on his heels briefly. The two clinched briefly in the center of the cage before time ran out on round one.
The two clinched again almost immediately in the second round but nothing came of it. They exchanged leg kicks. Jones cut the cage in half but missed on an attempted strike, which Evans reacted to by taunting Jones. Evans landed a shot to the body in the center of the cage but Jones countered with an elbow strike. He connected with another elbow, and a third which rocked Evans. Jones pushed him against the fence and Evans grabbed a clinch. Jones landed another elbow when the clinch broke. Jones hit a flying knee and a left hook up against the fence as the second round ended.
Evans landed a big overhand right 30 seconds into the third round, but Jones continued pushing forward. The two seemed content to let time run down for a couple of moments. Jones then landed another significant elbow strike and another flying knee, but Evans was able to counter with another right hand. Jones landed a big kick to the body. Evans shot half-heartedly for the first takedown attempt of the fight with 43 seconds left in the round, but Jones easily stopped him and the two clinched briefly. The clinch broke and so ended round three.
Jones was the aggressor early in the fourth and continued to control the cage, though neither fighter landed anything significant. Jones grabbed a standing choke attempt but chose to let go and fired another knee. Evans seemed most concerned with protecting his right eye which was swelling after an elbow in the second round. Jones shot for a takedown that was stuffed as time ran out on round four.
Jones lowered his hands and came out nearly dancing in the fifth round. It was clear that he did not fear Evans at that point and stood in front of Evans occasionally throwing his right hand. They clinched against the cage but the clinch quickly broke and they moved back to the center of the cage. Jones threw Evans to the ground with 1:10 remaining and landed a shot on the ground, but Evans got back to his feet. Jones inexplicably jumped up and pulled Evans down into his guard, briefly allowing Evans to fire some punches from the top position in guard as the fight ended.
In the semi-main event, Rory MacDonald defeated Che Mills by TKO at 2:20 of Round 2 in a welterweight bout.
Mills landed a leg kick early, and followed up with a right hand after checking a leg kick. He tagged MacDonald with a right that forced Macdonald to shoot for a takedown. MacDonald got the takedown and after collecting himself in Mills' guard, began to hammer Mills with strikes. MacDonald worked his way into a mounted crucifix. He continued to punish Mills with strikes before Mills was able to force him back to side control. MacDonald slipped to mount and took Mills' back and landed more strikes but was unable to finish him in the first.
In the second round, Macdonald got a single-leg takedown and moved quickly to side control. MacDonald secured mount again and took Mills's back. He pounded away on a bloodied Mills and referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the fight .
It was clear because of the positioning on the card and the choice of the journeyman Mills as an opponent that this was meant to be a star-making evening for MacDonald, and he held up his end of the bargain for sure.
Third from the top, Ben Rothwell defeated Brendan Schaub by TKO in 1:10 of Round 1 in a heavyweight bout.
Schaub appeared to get the best of an exchange early, forcing Rothwell against the fence, but Rothwell grabbed a clinch and landed some strikes of his own. Schaub appeared to connect with a spinning back fist and rushed in to try to finish Rothwell, but Rothwell survived. In the middle of a wild exchange, Rothwell connected with a left hook that dropped Schaub and landed another shot on the ground before referee Herb Dean jumped in to end the fight.
In the third pay-per-view bout, Michael McDonald defeated Miguel Torres by knockout at 3:18 of Round 1 in a bantamweight bout.
McDonald landed the first strike of the fight and got the best of the first few exchanges, landing some combinations that put Torres back on his heels. McDonald ended the fight with an uppercut followed by a jab that knocked Torres out. He added three shots on the ground before Herb Dean dove in to stop it. McDonald, just 21 years old, appears to have an incredibly bright future ahead of him and is likely just one victory away from a title shot.
Earlier, Eddie Yagin defeated Mark Hominick by split decision, (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) in a featherweight bout.
In the first, Hominick got tagged with an uppercut right and went down but survived and got back to his feet. Yagin appeared to have expended a lot of energy and chose to spend the remainder of the round swinging for the fences and Hominick appeared to be in no real danger once he stood back up.
Yagin caught him with another big right hand and dropped him two minutes into the second round, but Hominick got back to his feet again and began landing some good strikes of his own, bloodying Yagin. This was no doubt a difficult round to score as Yagin got the knockdown but Hominick landed a lot of precision strikes.
The two came out swinging in the third round. Yagin again connected with a leg kick and right hand combination. Hominick went to work in earnest and began picking apart Yagin with jabs as Yagin seemed gassed and looking just to survive the final minutes of the fight. Yagin continually dropped his hands and looked completely exhausted while Hominick landed some hard right hands to the body and face. It looked as though Hominick could end the fight at any second, but Yagin hung in and survived the round, ultimately eeking out the decision. Hominick has seen his star fall considerably since losing to José Aldo in Toronto last year.
In the pay-per-view opener, Mark Bocek defeated John Alessio by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) in a battle of veteran lightweight fighters.
The story of the fight was Bocek dominating on the ground, Alessio briefly escaping and doing well for himself standing, and Bocek taking him back down. Bocek dominated round one on the ground. Alessio started the second round doing pretty well for himself on the feet. After about two minutes of standup, Bocek got a big double-leg takedown and went to work from Alessio's guard. Alessio got back to his feet with about 1:30 left in the round and again fared well in the striking game. Bocek pushed Alessio against the fence and the round ended. In the third, Alessio got the better of the striking early, but Bocek got a takedown off of a missed kick attempt. He quickly took Alesssio's back and kept ground control for close to two minutes before Alessio escaped and the fight came to a close.
The next major card for the UFC is Saturday May 5, as they return to network television with their third card on the Fox network. The show will be headlined by Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller in a bout featuring two lightweight contenders.
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