It’s time to step into the Octagon once again as we take a look at one of the most anticipated shows in recent MMA history, where Rashad Evans challenged Jon Jones for the Light Heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 145, shown live in the early hours of this past Sunday morning on ESPN here in Britain.
The broadcast began in the lightweight division as Mark Bocek faced John Alessio.
This all-Canadian battle proved to be an entertaining three round affair. Bocek put in a dominating performance whenever he took the fight to the ground, controlling Alessio and getting in some good ground and pound in the process.
Alessio had his moments, mainly when striking and when he managed to escape from Bocek’s ground attack, but Bocek soon regained control on the ground, stifling any good work that Alessio had tried.
With the fight going the distance it went down to the judges Bocek took the unanimous decision with two of the judges giving him everything.
It was down to featherweight for the next fight as Mark Hominick went up against Eddie Yagin.
The second three rounder of the show proved to be a more even affair and a great display of striking.
Both fighters put on good performances here, although their tactics couldn’t have been more different. While Hominick looked the more technical striker Yagin always seemed to be looking for the big blows, allying those punches with some choice kicks.
Yagin’s best moments came in the first and second round when he knocked Hominick down twice. Yagin followed him down for the ground and pound but never seemed unable to finish the job, although he did a great deal of damage to his face.
Hominick managed to come back and cause extensive damage of his own, and when he rocked Yagin towards the end of the fight Yagin’s nose was squashed and his face was a bloody mess.
Once again the judges were called into action with Yagin taking the split decision.
Bantamweight action followed as Miguel Torres took on Michael McDonald.
Another nice striking battle saw both men testing the waters early on, but it wasn’t long before McDonald rocked Torres with a combination that had the former WEC champ staggered up against the cage.
The two continued to exchange shots until McDonald connected with a right uppercut that rocked Torres. A quick combination sent Torres falling to the canvas as the referee stepped in to give McDonald the impressive knockout win.
The big boys of the heavyweight division came out next as Brendan Schaub took on Ben Rothwell.
This one didn’t last long. There were a couple of exchanges followed by a brief clinch before Schaub rocked his man with an elbow. But when Schaub went in for the kill Rothwell connected with a left hook that sent Schaub down. Rothwell followed him down as the referee quickly stopped the action to give Rothwell the TKO win.
The co-main event featured welterweight action as Rory MacDonald faced Che Mills.
Mills began his night’s work in good fashion, rocking his man with some choice blows. But when MacDonald countered with a takedown it was the start of an impressive dominating performance.
MacDonald was able to transition at will. His ground and pound looked brutal as a series of bombs turned the Brit’s face into a swollen mess.
It looked as if Mills was lucky to survive the first round. When the second round started Mills found himself taken down once again as MacDonald continued his domination. He quickly took his man’s back, flattened him out and unleashed with further ground and pound. There was nothing Mills could do, and it came as no surprise when the referee stepped in to give MacDonald the TKO win.
The main event saw former champion Rashad Evans challenging Jon Jones for the Light Heavyweight title.
This fight was worth the price of admission alone. For five rounds Jones dominated the action, controlling the striking game and controlling one of the best fighters to have ever stepped into the Octagon.
Jones’ striking was top notch. He used his natural advantages to good effect as he kept Evans at bay, rocking him a number of times with some powerful elbows.
Evans was game at times but his response to these attacks just wasn’t enough, and as the fight went on Evans was visibly tiring while Jones looked as fresh as a daisy, particularly in the fifth and final round.
Once again the judges came into the equation, and it came as no surprise when Jones took the unanimous decision.
The show rounded out with some filler material, the heavyweight encounter between Travis Browne and Chad Griggs.
Griggs looked good early on with a couple of kicks, but the tide quickly turned when Browne connected with a couple of knees and took the fight to the ground. He soon worked into a position where he could apply an arm triangle choke for the submission win.
In conclusion - I think you can probably tell how this part of my review will go.
UFC 145 proved to be a very exciting and very entertaining show. The undercard fights delivered and were the perfect set-up for the excellent main event as Jon Jones once again enhanced his reputation by defeating another former champion. His encounter with Rashad Evans was the fight of the night for me, although several of the other fights fan it close.
So having said that I’m once again going to give a UFC show the big thumbs up.