Another Sunday night, another generous helping of mixed martial arts action from the good 'ole Zuffa boys.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) tonight (Aug. 1, 2010) pulled the trigger on second Sunday night special on the Versus network, emanating live from the San Diego Sports Arena in San Diego, California.
Exciting light heavyweight Jon Jones and grizzled veteran Vladimir Matyushenko were featured in the UFC on Versus 2 main event, pitting the young gun of the division against the wily Belarusian.
Score another one for "Bones."
It took a handful of seconds for the action to start, but when it did, the fight was over quicker than it started. Jones secured a takedown, calmly worked himself into side control and then unleashed a flurry of hellbows to the unguarded grill of Matyushenko.
The referee didn't let it last too long because "The Janitor" could not defend himself. And he didn't argue when the fight was stopped, demonstrating that he knew Jones got him good.
Impressive performance once again. Mind boggling, really. UFC matchmaker Joe Silva needs to lock Jones inside the cage against one of the top dogs at 205 pounds sometime soon.
He makes this whole fighting thing look way too easy. Scary stuff.
With a middleweight division thin on possible contenders, Yushin Okami -- who scored a controversial win over 185-pound champion Anderson Silva earlier in their careers -- was on the short list of hopefuls heading into his match up with collegiate wrestling stand out Mark Munoz in the co-featured fight of the night.
Don't scratch him off anytime soon.
"Thunder" squeaked by the "Filipino Wrecking Machine" with a split decision from the three judges sitting ringside, indicating that perhaps a knockdown in round two was more damaging than we all thought. Because other than that, it appeared that he did more than enough to take the fight outright.
In fact, Okami seemingly won the first round, which was more of a technical chess match, and dropped Munoz in the final frame to take two out of three. Regardless, he notched his ninth victory inside the Octagon, putting himself in a solid position to challenge for a title sometime soon.
He's also got two things going for him: The aforementioend win over "The Spider" and one of just two of his UFC losses is to the current number one contender, Chael Sonnen (the other is Rich Franklin).
So whoever wins between Silva and Sonnen next weekend, Okami has the back story, and the resume, to warrant a rematch. The big question is, will Dana White book it or instead hand it to Vitor Belfort on a silver platter?
Time will tell.
John Howard was quietly looking to extend his win streak inside the Octagon to an impressive five straight when he collided with Jake Ellenberger in an extremely underrated welterweight showdown.
Unfortunately for "Doomsday," the ground and pound of the Omaha, Neb., native was just too much to overcome.
Ellenberger took down Howard for two straight rounds, smashing his left eye until it was swollen shut and looked like a grotesque grapefruit. Herb Dean, the referee, didn't like what he saw and called the ringside physician over during a break in the action in round three.
He didn't take long to render a decision -- Howard's night was over. So, too, was his steady climb to the top of the division. Now Ellenberger, who was booed repeatedly tonight for his relentless takedowns, slides into his spot on the up-and-comer list.
And at just 25 years young, he might be there for a very long time ... whether you like it or not.
Former Pride FC posterboy, Takanori Gomi, took on 155-pound tree stump Tyson Griffin in the first fight of the night, hoping to erase the memory of his Octagon debut -- a submission loss to perennial division contender Kenny Florian a few months ago.
All it took was one thundering right hand from "The Fireball Kid."
That's right, Gomi did what no man before him has ever done, finishing Griffin early in the first round with a haymaker from hell. Griffin folded up like a beach chair almost immediately and the stunned Japanese star followed him to the mat to finish what he started.
Welcome back, Tak. That's a big win.
Griffin, who replaced an injured Joe Stevenson tonight, initially protested the stoppage, but the instant replays clearly showed that he was in serious trouble. And suddenly so is he with back-to-back losses -- he needs to turn things around fast.
Can he do it?
That's a wrap from the "America's Finest City," Maniacs. Now it's time to share your thoughts on everything that went down tonight inside the Octagon.
For complete UFC on Versus 2: "Jones vs Matyushenko" results and play-by-play coverage of the televised main card click here.