FREDERICK, Md., April 22, 2012 — The MMA’s UFC 145 Evans-Jones fight inside the Octagon at Atlanta’s Philips Arena on Saturday night lived up to its promise as Jon Jones took down his former friend and training partner Rashad Evans, retaining his UFC Light Heavyweight championship.
Jones defeated Evans via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45) to retain the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
The main event between Jon Jones and Rashad Evans answered as many questions about the elusive Jones as they raised. Until last night, Jones had never been hit hard or had to fight his way out of bad positions. Many fight fans wondered what it would take for any fighter to be able to inflict damage on Jones. For the first two rounds of the fight, Jones’ mental fortitude was put to the test.
During those rounds, Evans used his footwork and speed to get around Jones’ reach. Whenever Jones attacked, Evans would throw heavy looping punches. Evans was even able to take control of the striking at some points during the fight, even landing a head kick that rocked the champion. But Evans did suffer more damage than he was able to inflict.
What Will Be Jon Jones’ Next Challenge?
The one weapon that Jones has utilized in his last several fights that no fighter seems to have an answer for are his strikes to the knee. Jones has been notorious for throwing kicks directly at his opponents’ knees. After the second round, Evans looks noticeably fatigued and was unable to evade Jones’ attacks or mount an offensive of his own.
Once it became clear that Evans had lost a great deal of mobility, Jones took control of the fight, punishing Evans with every strike he could think of. Jones’ creativity erupted after he had stolen Evans’ ability to fight back. The only thing Jones seemed unable to do was finish Evans.
The fight went the full five rounds. Jones won by unanimous decision. In beating Evans, Jones becomes the first Light-Heavyweight Champion since Chuck Liddell to clean out a division. This leaves a lot of fans and UFC matchmakers scratching their heads as they try to figure out the next challenge for the young champion.
Expect Jones to move up or down in weight as UFC matchmakers continue to try and find legitimate challenges for Jones. Evans put forth the best effort that any fighter has against Jones. However, he will have to make significant changes in training camp before he can be considered for a rematch.
Notable Performances in the Undercard
Although much of the promotion of this event had centered on the main event between Evans and Jones, the undercard was very entertaining, maybe even more compelling than the main event. Ben Rothwell and Michael MacDonald both scored vicious knock out victories over Brendan Schaub and Miguel Angel Torres respectively. Young Rory MacDonald showed a great deal of poise in his TKO defeat of Che Mills.
Maybe the most notable performance of the night came from UFC newcomer, Eddie Yagin. In his fight against Mark Homnick, Yagin was able to utilize head movement and footwork to keep Homnick at bay. Homnick, who just last year challenged featherweight champion Jose Aldo for his belt, had a difficult time trying to utilize his precision striking against Yagin.
In fact the last time Homnick looked so battered was in his fight against Aldo last year. Yagin may not be contending for the featherweight title in his next fight. However, he has definitely earned the respect of a title contender. If he continues to perform as he did last night, he might earn himself a title shot before next year.
Main Event with Full Results:
Fighters were awarded $65,000 bonuses
- Fight of the Night: Mark Hominick vs. Eddie Yagin
- Knockout of the Night: Ben Rothwell
- Submission of the Night: Travis Browne
Preliminary card on Facebook
Brimage defeated Blanco via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28).
Clements defeated Wisniewski via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27).
Preliminary card (FX)
Danzig defeated Escudero via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
Njokuani defeated Makdessi via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Brown defeated Thompson via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-27, 30-27).
Browne defeated Griggs via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 2:29 of round 1.
Bocek defeated Alessio via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Yagin defeated Hominick via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
McDonald defeated Torres via KO (punches) at 3:18 of round 1.
Rothwell defeated Schaub via KO (punches) at 1:10 of round 1
MacDonald defeated Mills via TKO (punches) at 2:20 of round 2.
Jason Morris has over 10 years of mixed martial arts experience, fulfilling a number of different professional capacities, including professional fighter, coach, and promoter. You can find him on Twitter or Facebook as Jmommablackhat.
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