Now that UFC 135 is in the history books, we can safely say that Jon Jones is the present as well as the future of the light heavyweight division. We can also say that Matt Hughes' spectacular Octagon career has run its course, heavyweights struggle for breath after 3 hard rounds at high altitudes and Nate Diaz flat-out mugged Takanori Gomi Stockton-style.
Let's break down the action:
- Only one of the undercard fights got the bump to the pay-per-view card: Takeya Mizugaki's utter dismantling of the gritty Cole Escovedo. Mizugaki wanted to avoid Escovedo's dangerous submission game and fought hard to keep the fight on the feet. Escovedo was game, but eventually the barrage of hooks and uppercuts on the inside were too much and he fell to the ground where Mizugaki finished him.
- Nate Diaz proved that Takanori Gomi's day at or near the top of the lightweight division is done. Gomi, once the most feared puncher in the division got out-struck 44 to 8 according to CompuStrike. The power strike ratio was even more one-sided at 28-3. Once Gomi was hurt, Diaz' Jiu-Jitsu quickly put a finish to the Fireball Kid.
- Travis Browne had to be happy his bout with Rob Broughton wasn't a five rounder. The Hawaiian heavyweight battered the Brit around the cage for 2.5 rounds but by the second half of the final round both men were coasting on fumes. Still, Browne's next bout will likely be at a lower altitude and the rest of the division should be warned a hard-hitter is coming their way.
- Mark Hunt continued the unlikeliest come back story of the season by putting a beating on Ben Rothwell. Rothwell was expected to take advantage of Hunt's limitations on the ground, but the Samoan proved that he's no longer helpless on the ground. Hunt is lean and mean and looks like trouble for the rest of the division.
- What is there left to say about UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones? He proved once again that he can dismantle the top 205 pounders in the world like he was beating up high school kids for their lunch money. Rampage Jackson had no answer for Jones' range, his array of creative strikes or his wrestling acumen. In the end it was Jones' assiduous study of the game that finished Jackson as he unveiled some excellent Jiu-Jitsu to get the submission in the fourth round.
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