By Chris Taylor:
It was the biggest challenge to date for UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones. A test that Jones passed with flying colors and nasty elbows. Jones was able to nullify all of the take down attempts of challenger Rashad Evans, as well as most of his punches. ‘Bones’ Jones dictated the pace of the fight from 2nd round onward, landing all sorts of unpredictable strikes on the former champion. Although the bout went all five rounds, it was a clear that Jon Jones had won the fight and had done so impressively.
Jones became the youngest UFC Champion on March 19, 2011 defeating Shogun Rua at UFC 128 for the Light Heavyweight belt. Since then he has defended his belt 3 times, with victories over three former champions. With Shogun, Rampage, Machida and now Evans all having surrendered losses to Jones, there are few opponents left who one would think could even pose a threat to his crown. Yesterday, Dana White confirmed that Dan Henderson would indeed be Jones next challenge. It is hard for me to believe that Hendo will be able to deliver the ‘H-Bomb’ to the chin of Jones considering ‘Bones’ has a reach advantage of over 13 inches. That being said, anything can happen in MMA. One thing is certainly clear, and that is that Jon Jones is the real deal and the future of the sport.
The co-main event of the evening showed exactly why people have been calling Canadian Welterweight Rory MacDonald the next GSP! It did not take long for the 22 year old MacDonald to begin his domination over fellow welterweight Che Mills. Rory took Che to the mat with relative ease and worked some viscous ground and pound once there. By the midway point of the second round the ref had seen enough and stepped in mercifully to save Mills, giving MacDonald the TKO victory. Now 13-1 in his MMA career, it is safe to say that Rory MacDonald is indeed the future of the welterweight division!
Dana White had this to say of Rory’s performance:
“Rory looked awesome tonight, at the end of the first, it looked like Che had been in a five-round fight. He’s nasty!”
While Rory MacDonald was solidifying his status as the future of the Welterweight division, Michael McDonald was busy proving that he was indeed the future of the Bantamweight class. The 21 year old American took less than a round to defeat his biggest challenge to date, former WEC Champion Miguel Torres. Michael landed a huge uppercut to the chin of Torres that sent him to the canvas faster than a bag of hammers. Now 15-1 in his MMA career, ‘Mayday’ has cemented his status as one of the divisions elite fighters. I would not be surprised if he gets a shot at the Cruz vs Faber 3 winner.
The Heavyweight division was also put on notice Saturday, as Travis Browne remained undefeated in his MMA career. ‘Hapa’ made quick work of UFC new comer Chad Griggs, defeating him via arm triangle choke at the halfway point of the 1st round. The 6 foot 7 inch tall Hawaiian threw a double flying knee that landed flush on the chin of Griggs within the first minute. From there ‘Hapa’ methodically took Chad to the ground, improved his positions and finished the fight. Travis Browne is a big boy and is obviously extremely athletic to be pulling off moves like that in his 250 pound frame. He is sure to be a threat to the divisions top tear fighters and is an exciting prospect for the UFC heavyweight division.
Who would you like to see as the next as opponents for the 4 fighters detailed above Penn Nation?