Rory MacDonald and Mark Bocek impress, Hominick misses the mark and Jon Jones does what Jon Jones does
So what did we learn? When it comes to UFC 145’s main event between light heavyweight champ Jon Jones and former champ Rashad Evans, not a whole lot.
The long-awaited grudge match between the two former teammates proved a lot less “grudgy” than expected. Evans, who gave up five inches in height and almost 10 inches in reach, was able to stay with the champ through all five rounds, which in itself was impressive if not exactly exciting. That said, he was wobbled often and had his head snapped back more than a Pez dispenser thanks to quick, short elbows and the occasional shoulder from the clinch. Still, Jones couldn’t put him away and even ate a few punches in the early frames when both fighters were still fresh. And the champ’s much-yapped-about wrestling abilities never played much of a role, something that won’t be the case when he faces Dan Henderson, who, if he shows up like he did against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, should make Jones’ life a bit miserable.
The co-main event taught us that Rory MacDonald just might deserve the hype as “the next Georges St. Pierre.” He destroyed Che Mills in under two rounds with ground-and-pound that was Freddy Krueger scary. Yet when the fight was over he was like the kid next door, which at just 22 he still is. Give him a couple of more fights – including a rematch with interim welterweight champ Carlos Condit to avenge his only loss – and MacDonald just might have a showdown with teammate GSP to consider.
Further down the card we learned that Ben Rothwell is taking training seriously. A slightly more svelte Rothwell stunned Brendan Schaub with a 70-second Knockout of the Night, while Michael McDonald deepened Miguel Angel Torres’ downward spiral (sure, Torres won his previous fight, but he’s been on a rollercoaster since he lost the WEC bantamweight crown three years ago and there’s no end in sight).
Mark Hominick needed a big win to erase the embarrassment of his seven-second KO loss in his last outing, but failed big time and has me wondering whether he has a future in the UFC. Hominick wasknocked down and almost out on a couple of occasions by the wild-swinging Eddie Yagin, a fighter he should’ve dominated. It wasn’t until the third round that he finally settled into a crisp, controlled punching rhythm that turned Yagin’s face into pizza but it was too little too late. This was Hominick’s third straight loss, which makes me believe that Hominick’s much-celebrated near-upset of featherweight champ Jose Aldo at UFC 129 was merely an aberration, a case of Hominick’s game being improbably on (or as on as it could be given he did take a pretty severe beating for four of five rounds against Aldo) and Aldo’s being horribly off (Aldo was apparently sick heading into the fight).I certainly don’t expect to see him on a main card any time soon. Rounding out the main card, Mark Bocek brought his lunch pail and worked John Alessio for three rounds with a grinding top game that earned him the unanimous decision.