The Aftermath – UFC 128

UFC 128 was built around one man, and one man only; Jon Jones. Fortunately for the UFC, Jones won, and won big. It was quite a risk building the entire show around him, including putting together a SpikeTV special for him that aired just days before the show. It seemed a bit odd considering Shogun Rua was their champion and he was being dwarfed in the media by Jones, including being a huge underdog with the books in Vegas.

Here’s what we thought of the UFC 128:

Thumbs In The Middle
Best Fight: Jon Jones vs. Shogun Rua
Worst Fight: Dan Miller vs. Nate Marquardt

A dull show with a newsworthy main event.

Nothing on the undercard really warrants being talked about, so let’s skip straight to what matters. This was a fantastic win for Jon Jones, but people have got wrapped up in hysteria following the show. This is still a really young guy with a lot left to learn. Everybody is going on like he’s the second coming of Muhammad Ali. No pressure kid! It’s absolutely ridiculous.

To bring sanity back to proceedings, let’s recap what I have been saying for the last twelve plus months.
1. The UFC Light heavyweight division is a far cry from what it was in the Liddell glory days.
2. The title belt has been bouncing around like it was booked by Vince Russo.
3. Shogun looked like a champion against precisly one opponent, Lyoto Machida, who he matched up well against. Last weekend he looked a lot more like the guy who was stopped by Forrest Griffin and gassed out after two minutes against a 300 year old Mark Coleman.

Now, I’m not saying that Jones can’t be THAT guy for UFC, but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves just yet. Give him some time to grow into the role of champion first.

UFC’s presentation style is beyond annoying at this point. They have made every single aspect of the show cliche. I’m sick of feeling like I’m watching a three hour long commercial. Look, I don’t care who sponsors Bruce Buffer’s hair, Joe Rogan’s beard or Dana White’s watch. Stop trying to squeeze every miserable penny imaginable. There will still be profit enough.

Thumbs In The Middle Leaning Up
Best Fight: Kamal Shalorous vs. Jim Miller (no real standout FOTN type matcheson the main broadcast, but this was my favourite)
Worst Fight: Dan Miller vs. Nate Marquardt (not too bad a fight at all, but probably the most boring on the card)

Action was very much middle but it was such a star making performance by Double J that I have to lean up. Could not having asked for a better way to establish him as the top guy in the division.

Thumbs In The Middle
Best Fight: Jon Jones vs. Shogun Rua
Worst Fight: Dan Miller vs. Nate Marquardt

Thoughts – I thought this was a fairly uneventful card. Like a lot of recent shows, there wasn’t anything exceedingly bad, nor was there a likely fight of the year candidate. The Barboza and Njokuani fight was a nice little televised opener for those with Spike. The Cro Cop fight really left no doubt for me that it’s time for Mirko to hang up the checkered nut huggers and call it a career. Almost everything else leading up to the main event felt like filler. The main event delivered as most thought it would with a solid beat down delivered by Jon Jones. The only real downside, and I suppose UFC had to take the opportunity, was that he had no time to really enjoy his accomplishment before they marched Rashad into the ring and ended the party. Welcome to the big time, Bones. Keep your head about you and you’ve got a lot to look forward to.

Thumbs In The Middle
Best Fight: Jon Jones vs. Shogun Rua
Worst Fight: Dan Miller vs. Nate Marquardt

I was super fired up for this show, but it was a bit underwhelming when it came to fight action. That being said, it couldn’t have been a better night for the UFC. Their guy Jon Jones looked menacing and nearly unbeatable. The California Kid won, while not convincing, but can now build up an important fight in the 135 pound division which without him would be without casual fan eye balls. And Brendan Schaub didn’t lose to Mirko Cro Cop, who fought gamely, but really needs to hang it up. They were also able to set up a fight between Rashad Evans and Jones near the end of the show, even though Jones didn’t want anything to do with him because they are from the same camp. Not the best night of fights for the viewer, but as a show where everything fell into place for UFC, I’m not sure they could’ve asked for better.

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