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Is there anyone at 205lbs. who can stop Jon ‘Bones’ Jones (13-1-0)?
The 23-year-old phenom, now the youngest fighter to ever wear a UFC championship belt, was nearly flawless in his dominant victory over the usually aggressive Muay Thai striker Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua (19-5-0) who seemed to run out of gas midway through the second round due to the barrage of attacks being landed by his sizable opponent whom commentator Joe Rogan described as looking a full weight class larger than Rua, though the official scales said otherwise.
The fight played out in similar fashion to almost all of Jones’ previous thirteen victories as he orchestrated a mix of unorthodox attacks using spinning back kicks, flying knees, explosive elbows, and some spectacular throws that combined into an overwhelming force which had turned Rua into astumbling punching bag by the third round.
Being a battle tested veteran and proud Brazilian, Rua showed true grit in his efforts to push through the punishment, but midway through the third frame referee Herb Dean had seen enough and put and end to the massacre by calling the fight in Jones’ favor via TKO at 2:37, which caused the crowd to erupt in celebration while Jones flopped to the canvas seemingly stunned by his own historic accomplishment.
Immediately following the bout Jones friend and training partner ‘Suga’ Rashad Evans (15-1-1) was introduced as the next light heavyweight contender though the fans in attendance tried to drown Evans in a hail of boos once he took the microphone to address the newly crowned champion. No word yet on when the Jones vs Evans title contest will take place, but it is hard to imagine Evans faring any better than Rua if/when he steps in against the one they call ‘Bones’.
1 Miniute and 04 seconds in the first round and it is all over. Dos Santos hammers the champ Cain Velasquez with a vicious right hand. Seemingly uneventful for such an enormous venue. Somewhat old school Mike Tyson PPV feeling. But you can’t take anything away from the Brazilian who has waited all his life for this moment.
“I have no words to say what I am feeling,” dos Santos said from the Octagon as tears began to well up in his eyes. “It’s amazing, my life. I want to say thank you to my family. I have a lot of good people around me.”
The fight marks UFC’s network debut as part of a seven-year deal with FOX. The main event was originally scheduled to headline next Saturday’s UFC 139 card, but was moved up to headline the initial FOX broadcast. Each fighter entered with an unblemished record in UFC competition.
Velasquez’s attempt to defend his title didn’t last long.
“He kind of messed up my equilibrium,” Vesasquez said of the hard right that hit him near the left ear. “It was a good shot. He has a lot of power. I waited too much for him and he did what he was supposed to do. Hats off to him tonight.”
Velasquez last fought October 2010 at UFC 121 at the same arena as Saturday’s contest. He won via a first-round TKO over Brock Lesnar, but Velasquez sustained a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder that required surgery. Dos Santos has quickly risen through the heavyweight ranks since the Brazilian’s first fight stateside three years ago, including a victory by decision over Shane Carwin at UFC 131 in June.
“I want to say sorry to all my fans, my family and friends,” Velasquez said as his eyes scanned the partisan stands, where many wore the colors of Mexico to support him. “I disappointed you. I am much more than this. I will come back and I will get this belt back.”
The 6-foot-1 Velasquez weighed in at 249 pounds on Friday, while the 6-foot-4 dos Santos came in at 239.
There were eight fights on the undercard before the main event got underway. Benson Henderson defeated Clay Guida by unanimous decision in the undercard headliner, which is expected to lead to a shot at UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar when the UFC returns to Japan on Feb. 25.
Dustin Poirier moved toward featherweight contention with a submission win over Pablo Garza, while Ricardo Lamas came back after falling behind early to submit Cub Swanson in their featherweight encounter.
DeMarques Johnson scored a first-round TKO just 1:34 into the first round of his welterweight bout when he knocked his opponent Clay Harvison to the canvas and pounced on him, raining strikes down before the referee called the bout to a halt.
In his first UFC bout, Darren Uyenoyama beat MMA legend Kid Yamamoto by decision in a bantamweight bout. Robert Peralta scored a third-round TKO over Mackens Semerzier in a featherweight encounter, while Alex Caceres, Mike Pierce and Aaron Rosa all scored victories in their bouts.
It’s time to get it on!! We are fired up for the UFC’s first event in BRAZIL!!
This event is HUGE with a stacked card taking place in the birthplace of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Expect fireworks tomorrow night and a true international caliber event.