Sunday, December 11, 2011

UFC 140 : Jones beats Machida via submission

Source : Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports

TORONTO – Jon Jones completed arguably the most spectacular year by a fighter in UFC history with a typically fantastic finish.

Jones, who lost the first round, retained his UFC light heavyweight championship by choking out former champion Lyoto Machida with a guillotine choke while they were standing along the cage late in the second.

Machida used movement, darting in and out, and landed several good strikes to take the first round.

“I showed I can take a legit hit,” Jones said of Machida’s power.

Jones took Machida down in the second round and ripped him with an elbow, opening a huge gash on Machida’s forehead. The doctor was called in to look at it, but he let the fight continue.

But all that did was get Machida choked unconscious. Jones backed Machida to the cage and caught him in a standing guillotine. By the time referee John McCarthy stopped it, Machida was out.

The win lifted Jones’ record in 2011 to 4-0 and gave him three consecutive wins over men who once held the UFC light heavyweight championship. He opened the year with a win over Ryan Bader, won the title at UFC 128 by stopping Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, defended it for the first time by choking out Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and then defeated Machida.

“He was definitely a very tough puzzle to solve,” Jones said.

Frank Mir came back from the brink of defeat with an amazing submission of veteran jiu-jitsu specialist Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at 3:38 of the first round of their heavyweight match. Similar to his title-winning effort over Tim Sylvia in 2004, Mir snapped Nogueira’s right arm with a Kimura, forcing Nogueira to tap.

It was a contentious rematch, because after Mir had defeated Nogueira at UFC 92 in 2008, Nogueira blamed the defeat on illness and injury.

There was nothing to blame on Saturday, as Nogueira was in control most of the way until Mir’s stunning submission victory.

“I was the first person to knock him out and now I’m the first person to submit him,” Mir said in the cage as paramedics worked on Nogueira.

Nogueira knocked Mir down with a hard shot, prompting Mir to acknowledge, “I was stunned. He caught me.”

After a bit of ground-and-pound, Nogueira attempted to go for the choke and when he did, Mir reached for his right arm. Nogueira, sensing the danger, rolled over toward the center of the ring. They went over twice and when they stopped, Mir torqued the arm and it snapped.

“I idolize him, but that is the game,” Mir said. “When you’re our size, things happen and you get caught. I take nothing away from Nogueira.”

Nogueira’s twin brother, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, was on the other end. He put Tito Ortiz’s long and colorful UFC career in jeopardy again, stopping the one-time light heavyweight champion with a dominant performance.

Rogerio Nogueira landed a knee to the solar plexus after a series of punches that dropped Ortiz. He pounded at Ortiz on the ground, finally going to the body and then getting the stoppage.

Ortiz has now lost five of six and two in a row and could be in danger of being cut. But he has one fight left on his contract and asked UFC president Dana White to allow him to finish it.

Nogueira, who fended off an early onslaught from Ortiz, said, “I feel so great. It’s like a dream come true.”

Ortiz said “he caught me clean” and that the body shots on the ground took his breath away.

Brian Ebersole survived several choke attempts by Claude Patrick and used his control to pull out a split decision victory. Ebersole won by scores of 29-28 twice but lost 29-28 on the other. Yahoo! Sports favored Patrick, the local fighter, 30-27.

Ebersole shook his head when the fight ended.

“I was upset because I didn’t do a lot of the things I wanted to do,” he said.

The crowd felt the same way, booing loudly when the result was announced.

Chan Sung Jung, the “Korean Zombie” put his name into the UFC record book with a stunningly brief stoppage of Ontario hero Mark Hominick. Jung hit Hominick with a right hand as the bell sounded that dropped Hominick.

Jung landed a couple of shots on the ground and referee Herb Dean stopped it at seven seconds.

The quick KO tied the UFC record for fastest knockout, previously held solo when Todd Duffee knocked out Tim Hague at UFC 102.

“It was over so fast that it took me a few seconds to realize what just happened,” Jung said. “When I hit him, I knew immediately it was over. I stood over him and threw more punches on the ground. I wasn’t happy with the crowd’s reaction, but I understood their response.

“I knew I was going to dictate the pace of the fight. My game plan was to come out strong and send a message.”

Hominick received a loud standing ovation as he walked to the cage, but he may have been too amped. He raced out of his corner with his hands down and Jung took advantage of it.

“He came out aggressively,” Hominick said. “I needed to pace myself. I let my emotions get the best of me and didn’t follow my game plan. I got a little too hyped up.”

The same fate befell another Canadian favorite in the previous fight, when Krzysztof Soszysnki of Winnipeg failed to last a minute with Igor Pokrajac. Pokrajac popped Soszynski with a series of right hands, including one that landed around the ear, and that led him to a one-sided technical knockout victory.

Referee Yves Lavigne stopped it at just 35 seconds, giving Pokrajac the stunning win.

“I stuck to my game plan,” Pokrajac said. “The booing [entering the cage] didn’t concern me. I trained hard to finish the fight. I think it will be the Knockout of the Night. I hit him hard and put him to the ground.”

Soszynski, who came to the ring to a hero’s welcome, landed a good shot at the start. But he was hurt by the first blow thrown by Pokrajac and never got back into the fight.

“I should have reacted differently when I got hit,” he said.”Pokrajac was a good opponent and hit hard.”

Another guy who hits hard is middleweight Costa Philippou, who delivered a series of powerful right hands, with a couple of big lefts mixed in, en route to stopping Jared Hamman at 3:11 of the first round.

“It’s the best day of my life,” Philippou said in the cage after the bout.

It wasn’t such a good night for Hamman, who was taking power shots on the chin throughout the fight. He went down three times, the last as referee McCarthy stepped between them to stop the carnage.

Philippou attacked Hamman with a fury and hurt him with just about every punch he landed.

“He tried to take me down, but my camp kept yelling ‘Get up,’ ” Philippou said. “I listened to them for once. My game plan was to strike. I’m a better striker than 99 percent of fighters in the UFC. He had the right idea staying away from my hands and using low kicks. Tonight was just my night.”

It was also Dennis Hallman’s night. The 15-year veteran made his UFC lightweight debut a successful one, handling John Makdessi with no problem and choking him out at 2:58 of the first round. Hallman, who missed weight by two-and-a-half pounds on Friday, weighing in at 158 1/2, had to give 20 percent of his purse to Makdessi.

Hallman, though, had no problem in the fight. He easily took Makdessi down, controlled him and then moved into position for the rear naked choke.

“I am happy to get a win,” Hallman said. “I had a lot of accolades taken away from me because I didn’t make weight. I knew how to beat him. I studied him and was ready to win.”

Yves Jabouin and Walel Watson were both ready to win and put on an entertaining standup battle that was as close as it was action-packed. Jabouin did just enough to pull out a split decision victory. Judges had it 30-27 and 29-28 for Jabouin and 29-28 for Watson. Yahoo! Sports had Jabouin 29-28.

Watson sunk in a choke late in the third round that could have ended the fight, but Jabouin battled out of it and landed enough in the waning seconds to get the win. It was the second choke of the night Watson got and both caused problems for Jabouin

“[The chokes were] very close,” Jabouin said. “They were tight, but the will [to win] was there.”

Watson was surprised by the call and felt that he had rallied after a slow start.

“It was a great fight and I thought I did enough to win,” he said. “It was all me in the second and third rounds. I had more submission attempts and more punches. I paid dearly for leaving it in the judges’ hands. This is the first time ever that I left the decision to the judges and that’s what I get.”

Mark Bocek got the best of a slick grappling match with Nik Lentz, outworking him to earn a unanimous decision. All three judges had it 30-27 for Bocek. Yahoo! Sports scored it 29-28 for Bocek, giving the second round to Lentz.

Lentz had a tight guillotine on Lentz in the second round, but Bocek survived and then got top position in the third to do a lot of damage.

“Nik was a super tough opponent,” Bocek said. “We played it safe and it was a friendly fight, but I wanted the win more. I kept him guessing, played with my hands and then went for the takedown. I prepared for going all three rounds going into the fight.”

Lentz was mystified by the outcome. He cut Bocek and felt he had done enough to earn the victory.

“He did zero damage,” Lentz said. “That’s what fights are based on and he didn’t hurt me. He did absolutely nothing to me except hold me down. That’s not what a fight is supposed to be. So what if he was on top, he did nothing.”

Rich Attonito went for a takedown and took an elbow to the side of the head from Jake Hecht, the start of the fight-ending finish that gave Hecht a technical knockout victory at 1:10 of the second round.

Attonito won the first round and was doing well early in the second when he went for a takedown near the cage. Hecht threw a pair of elbows that landed that seemed to hurt Attonito, who slumped to the canvas.

Hecht wasted little time, jumping in and firing about a dozen punches before referee Josh Rosenthal stopped it.

“I felt him go limp and my instinct kicked in,” Hecht said. “I knew what I had to do. I had to stay composed, though. My game plan was to stay on my feet and take [him] down, if needed.”

The same type of sequence happened in the card’s opening fight. John Cholish turned what looked like it would be a takedown into a fight-ending sequence in his favor, pummeling Mitch Clarke on the ground and forcing McCarthy to stop it at 4:36 of the round.

Clarke went for a takedown, but Cholish immediately went for a Kimura. As they went to the ground, Cholish won the scramble and got Clarke’s back. He flattened Clarke out and then fired punches to the head. When Clarke couldn’t find a defense, McCarthy halted it.

“It was a good win,” Cholish said. “There are definitely little things I need to improve on. Coach [John Danaher] told me to go out there and do what I do best and that’s what I did. A big thing for me was repetition and not to think but just do.”

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