UFC 140 Rewind
December 13, 2011
By Brian Edwards
Going into the second defense of his light-heavyweight title on Saturday at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Jon ‘Bones’ Jones had yet to be challenged inside the Octagon. As a matter of fact, Jones had never been in any semblance of trouble or demonstrated the first sign of anxiety in nine previous fights in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
But in his UFC 140 main-event match versus the former 205-pound champion, Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida, we saw Jones make his debut in the deep waters that can be encountered anytime a fighter gets into the cage, especially against a mixed martial artist of Machida’s stature.
During the opening minutes of Round 1, Jones struggled mightily to find Machida with his kicks and punches. Two minutes into the stanza, Jones landed a leg kick but Machida countered with a left hook that only grazed Jones but let him know about his power nonetheless.
With 1:55 remaining in the first round, Machida landed a vicious body kick that backed up Jones. From there, you could sense a change in Machida’s body language. He was starting to feel confident, while Jones appeared a bit confused.
A minute later, Jones landed another leg kick but once again, Machida threw a big left hook to counter. This time, the left landed flush and wobbled the champ, sending him staggering backwards.
With another nice body kick in the final minute of Round 1, Machida clearly drew first blood on the scorecards. VegasInsider.com scored it 10-9 for the former champ.
The first two minutes of Round 2 were rather uneventful. Machida continued to dodge Jones’s kicks and seemingly grow more confident. With 3:00 remaining in the stanza, the fighters exchanged punches in the center of the Octagon with Machida getting the better of it.
However, 40 seconds later, Jones was able to execute a takedown. From the top position, the champ landed a vicious elbow that opened a huge cut over Machida’s right eye.
When Machida was able to escape to his feet and the fighters were in the clinch against the cage at the 1:35 mark, referee ‘Big’ John McCarthy called timeout for the doctor to examine Machida’s cut that was bleeding profusely.
The doctor gave the thumbs up and the fight resumed from the same position. Less than a minute later, Jones landed a big left that stunned Machida, who briefly went down only to pop up quickly. But Jones quickly landed an uppercut and then locked in a standing guillotine and with 35 seconds left in Round 2, McCarthy noticed Machida had gone limp and pulled Jones away.
Machida’s body fell to the canvas and for the second time, Jones had defended his light heavyweight title as an expensive favorite in the minus-530 range.
In the co-main event, Fran Mir earned Submission of the Night honors with an incredible kimura that snapped Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira’s arm when he refused to tap. Big Nog was on the cusp of victory just seconds beforehand when he stunned Mir with a big right.
A dazed Mir went to the canvas and then took several big bombs as Nogueira went to work from the top position. However, when Big Nog tried to go for a choke, Mir had a few moments to recover and found Nogueira’s arm for the kimura.
Big Nog tried to roll out but Mir would have nothing of it. When Nogueira clearly showed he wasn’t going to tap, Mir cranked until the gruesome pop prompted the stoppage.
With his third consecutive win, Mir is clearly back in the mix for a title shot. The thinking here is that a showdown with Cain Velasquez, the former champ who recently lost to Junior dos Santos, would be an intriguing matchup.
Mir hooked up his betting supporters as favorite in the minus-260 range (risk $260 to win $100).
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira beat Tito Ortiz by first-round KO as a minus-250 ‘chalk.’ Ortiz came out aggressive and both men landed big shots in the early going.
However, the momentum quickly shifted to Little Nog, who landed a big body shot that sent Ortiz the canvas. From there, Little Nog dealt out ground-and-pound punishment and after several more big body shots, Ortiz covered up and the referee stepped in and called a halt to the bout.
Ortiz has one fight remaining on his UFC contract and told Joe Rogan that he wanted to fight one last time in the Octagon before calling it a career. Dana White wouldn’t commit to that in the post-event presser, but he didn’t rule it out, either.
Therefore, we’ll probably get to see Ortiz one last time in 2012, probably at some point during the summer.
In the second bout on the pay-per-view card, Brian Ebersole won a controversial split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) over Claude Patrick as a short minus-120 favorite. VI scored it 29-28 in favor of Patrick, who appeared to land more strikes and had several submission attempts.
Coming off his courageous, albeit losing, effort for the featherweight title against Jose Aldo, Mark ‘The Machine’ Hominick was a monster favorite north of minus-500 in his matchup against ‘The Korean Zombie,’ Chan Sung Jung.
Since the loss to Aldo, Hominick had been dealing with heartbreak outside of the Octagon. His long-time trainer and best man in his wedding, Shawn Tompkins, had suddenly passed away at the age of 37.
Hominick, known as an extremely technical striker, came out and immediately threw a wild left hook at the Korean Zombie. When the left missed, Jung threw a beautiful counter that landed directly on Hominick’s ear hole and sent him down. Jung pounced on Hominick and landed several huge shots to finish the fight.
The stoppage at the seven-second mark tied the UFC record for the quickest KO. Jung earned KO of the Night honors and might get a title shot against Aldo now. Most important, his backers cashed ultra-generous underdog tickets in the plus-450 range (risk $100 to win $450).
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
--Jones and Machida took home an extra 75K thanks to winning Fight of the Night honors.
--Say what you want about Frank Mir, but don’t ever question the dude’s heart and toughness. He’s now the only fighter to finish Big Nog via KO and/or submission.
--Miguel Torres was cut by the UFC last week after he sent out an insensitive tweet about a ‘rape van.’ Torres is the former WEC bantamweight champ who had gone 2-1 in his first three UFC fights.
--After initial reports to the contrary, it now appears that Big Nog will not need surgery to repair the damage to his arm/elbow.
--On Tuesday, the UFC announced that Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva will be the coaches for the new Brazilian version of The Ultimate Fighter. They will meet in the Octagon at the end of the season in a rematch of a fight won by Belfort via first-round KO at UFC Brazil in 1998.
Brian Edwards can be reached at email@example.com.
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