DENVER (CBSDFW.COM) – UFC 135 is in the books and Jon ‘Bones’ Jones is still the UFC light heavyweight champion. I’ll admit that I didn’t think it would be as easy as it was for the champ, despite his challenger being able to push Jones further than anyone else has. The fight was ended in the 4th round by submission when Jones was able to secure a rear-naked choke forcing Quinten ‘Rampage’ Jackson, the challenger, to tap out.
Jackson did all he could to close the 11.5 inch reach advantage that Jones had over him but it was to no avail. Jackson came into this fight in the best shape possible, having trained in Denver and literally living in the gym for the past 2 months. He looked lean, mean, and ready to take back the title he lost just a few short years ago. He told anyone who would listen that it would be he who would dethrone Jon Jones and teach him the respect he so lacked. Jones claimed he would do his talking in the cage. He did just that and at the post-fight press conference Jackson admitted that Jones was in fact worthy of representing the UFC as it’s light heavyweight champion.
All the bad blood going into the fight seems to be resolved and now the champ looks forward to his next challenge which will come in the form of his former training partner, Rashad Evans. Meanwhile, Jackson is looking to be back in the octagon come February when the UFC lands in Japan for first time since 2000 and the country in which ‘Rampage’ became an MMA star.
Saturday also marked what could very well be the last fight for UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes. Hughes, who was originally scheduled to face Diego Sanchez before an injury forced him to withdraw from the fight, took on Josh Koscheck. It was a very close, stand up fight for the majority of the first round until Koscheck was able to unload on Hughes, stopping him at the 4:59 mark. After the fight, Hughes was asked if this was in fact the last time we would see him compete. While fighting off tears and without using the word “retire”, Hughes did say he would likely ask to be “shelved” by the UFC. If it is indeed the last fight for the former welterweight champion, he’ll retire with a record setting 18 wins inside the octagon and a total of 9 title fight victories. Matt Hughes has certainly accomplished more than enough to justify his Hall of Fame credential. Hopefully, we’ll know more on his status in the following weeks.
A look at the rest of the pay per view card is as follows:
Mark Hunt def. Ben Rothwell via unanimous decision
Travis Browne def. Rob Broughton via unanimous decision
Nate Diaz def. Takanori Gomi via submission (armbar) at 4:27 in the first round