Official Scorecard - UFC 128 Shogun vs. Jones
Remember when Roy Jones Jr. was so good that he could play a basketball game in the day and then knock someone out that same night? Hours before his title fight against arguably the greatest light heavyweight of all-time, Jon Jones also briefly entertained a side job: crime fighter. A New Jersey mugger made the mistake of robbing a lady within Jones’ earshot. Jones ran the perp down, tackled him, and held him to the ground until the police showed up.
For an encore, Jones made his case for the most one-sided title win in UFC history.
The public defender is on her way and the judge has made his decision, so let’s go to the scorecard!
UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Champion (19-4) vs. Jon Jones (12-1)
Sometimes the torch is passed, and other times the torch is yanked so hard that it pulls the previous holder’s arm out of socket. Long-winded metaphors aside, Jon Jones’ twelve minute annihilation of Mauricio Shogun Rua seemed inevitable coming into the fight. The champion was coming off of a ten month layoff that included another knee surgery and Jones riding a growing wave of momentum since submitting Ryan Bader six weeks earlier. What’s most telling is that someone as offensively gifted as Rua literally had zero attack for Jones. Is Jon Jones the future of MMA? Not anymore. He’s the present.
Jon Jones wins the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship via TKO – Round 3, 2:37
Fight Score: 8.5
Urijah Faber (24-4)vs. Eddie Wineland (18-6-1)
It took a round for this fight to get going, but once it did, it was an entertaining scrap. While it wasn’t a one-sided beatdown, it was Faber’s fight as he handled the former WEC Bantamweight Champion, a title that Faber now finds himself seated as the number one contender for with this win.
Urijah Faber wins via Unanimous Decision
Fight Score: 6.5
Jim Miller (19-2) vs. Kamal Shalorus (7-0-2)
There’s no ignoring Jim Miller anymore. Prior to the fight with Shalorus, he’d amassed an impressive 8-1 record in the UFC with his only UFC loss coming courtesy of Gray Maynard. Miller handed in a performance more impressive than his previous career best that he had versus Charles Oliveira at UFC 124. Miller ended the fight in the third with a left hand and a knee that crumbled Shalorus and cemented Miller at the top of the short list for a UFC lightweight title shot.
Jim Miller wins via TKO – Round 3, 2:15
Fight Score: 7
Nate Marquardt (30-10-2) vs. Dan Miller (13-4, 1NC)
Originally scheduled to face Nick Catone on the undercard, Dan Miller stepped in to fight Marquartdt in Yoshihiro Akiyama’s stead after Akiyama dropped out of the fight due to the tragedy in Japan. Marquardt proved to be too much for the New Jersey native. Whether the fight was standing or on the ground, it was Marquardt who was the dominant fighter. Miller was able to threaten with submission attempts and a few right hands, but it wasn’t enough. After the fight, Marquardt said that he was considering a drop to the welterweight division, but it was Miller who looked like he would benefit from the weight cut.
Nate Marquardt wins via Unanimous Decision
Fight Score: 5.5
Brendan Schaub (7-1) vs. Mirko Cro Cop (27-8-2, 1NC)
More and more, “old lion vs. young lion” is rapidly replacing “striker vs. grappler” as the fight storyline du juor with Schaub cast as the . . . okay, we know who is cast as who in this passion play. Schaub used his wrestling in the first round to keep Cro Cop off his feet on the defensive. In the second round Cro Cop took the fight to the cage and used some effective dirty boxing to bloody up Schaub. With two minutes to go in the final round, Cro Cop appeared to be on his way to a close decision victory. Instead, Schaub clipped him and Cro Cop dropped cold in another frightening KO loss for the Pride 2006 Open Weight Grand Prix winner. With this loss, hopefully Cro Cop finds a way to not be permanently cast in the role as the guy who didn’t know when enough was enough.
Brendan Schaub wins via KO – Round 3, 3:44
Fight Score: 7
Light Heavyweight Fight
Luiz Cane vs. Eliot Marshall
When a jiu-jitsu guy with mediocre standup can’t take an excellent striker to mat, the result is often brutal. When the fight did hit the mat it was under less than ideal circumstances for Eliot, who ate a barrage of powerful punches from Cane until the ref put an end to the savagery.
Luiz Cane wins via TKO – Round 1, 2:15
Fight Score: 5
Edson Barboza (7-0) vs. Anthony Njokuani (13-4)
For fifteen minutes, these guys just went at it. They traded the first two rounds with Barboza taking the first and Njokuani winning the next. The third was up in the air until the final moments when Barboza crushed Njokuani with spinning kick to the head in the waning seconds of the fight. Njokuani was rocked but stayed on his feet. The kick was likely the one strike that swung the judges’ score into Barboza’s favor. You know a fight is a good one when it’s won on a spectacular spin kick landed with just a few ticks left on the clock.
Edson Barboza wins via Unanimous Decsion
Fight Score: 8
Mike Pyle (20-7-1) vs. Ricardo Almeida (13-4)
As we’ve seen plenty of times in the past, and I’m sure will see again in the future, when you match up two top notch submission artists, the result can often be fighters spending most of their fifteen minutes of cage time circling around each other. It’s hard to say no on paper to such an evenly and well-matched fight, but sometimes you end up with a bit of a dud.
Mike Pyle wins via Unanimous Decision
Fight Score: 4.5
Kurt Pellegrino (16-5) vs. Gleison Tibau (21-7)
A pair of mainstays in the UFC lightweight division squared off in this undercard bout, both looking to find a way into the very crowded upper end of the division. What should have been an exciting fight turned out to be a letdown. The opening round was marked by large sections of inactivity from both fighters. Pellegrino looked to have found his rhythm in the second and had the advantage going into the final round. Unfortunately, the third round was too similar to the first round for this fight to really score any higher.
Gleison Tibau wins via Split Decision
Fight Score: 4.5
Joseph Benavidez (13-2) vs. Ian Loveland (14-7)
Benavidez had trouble with Loveland’s reach advantage for most of the fight. The game plan for Benavidez was to get Loveland to the mat, but Loveland did an excellent job of defending takedown attempts. The reach advantage for Loveland led to this not being the most exciting of fights, but Benavidez was able to inflict more damage, most notably with a big right hand in the final round, and dictate the fight’s pace
Joseph Benavidez wins via Unanimous Decision
Fight Score: 5
Catchweight Fight (195 lbs.)
Nick Catone (8-2) vs. Costa Philippou (7-1)
Philippou took this fight, his UFC debut, on short notice, taking Dan Miller’s slot once Miller was called up to face Marquardt on the main card. Catone entered the fight after a year-plus absence from the cage. Both fighters took and an extended feeling out process early on until Catone scored with a takedown late in the first round. For the rest of the fight, Catone took advantage of being the better grappler and grinded away on Philippou for the duration.
Nick Catone wins via Unanimous Decision
Fight Score: 4.5
Erik Koch(11-1) vs. Raphael Assuncao (14-3)
Koch looked comfortable on the feet; Assuncao looked tentative. Koch looked fluid; Assuncao looked stiff. Assuncao landed a few shots on Koch standing up; Koch put Assuncao to sleep.
Erik Koch wins via KO – Round 1, 2:32
Fight Score: 6
Total for UFC 128 – Shogun vs. Jones: 72 out of 120
Average Fight Score: 6.00
Overall, UFC 128 was a lower scoring card and was the lowest score of the past few UFC pay per views. The main card fights scored well, but I think there were some fights on the undercard that had the potential to be very exciting that fell short for whatever reason.
Nonetheless, UFC 128 will go down as a watershed moment in UFC history as the beginning of, what I suspect to be, the very long and exciting “Jones era.”