UFC 128: "Shogun vs. Jones" took place TONIGHT (Sat., March 19, 2011) from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
That's because the UFC has a new young star, it's youngest actually, as well as yet another light heavyweight champion.
Jones, 23, took it to the Brazilian from the opening bell, dictating that pace and showing that he is indeed the future of the division. The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) wrestling champion was never in trouble, ever, dominating a very talented and accomplished champion.
Shogun showed fantastic heart, lasting until the third round, but Jones -- patiently and seemingly effortlessly -- dismantled the former Pride FC grand prix champion, making it look way too easy.
Cocky? I'd say confident after tonight's performance. He truly is the next big thing for the UFC.
In the co main event of the evening, former WEC champions Urijah Faber and Eddie Wineland made their Octagon debuts, looking to prove that they were worthy enough to challenge for Dominick Cruz's 135-pound title.
Wineland knew coming in to the fight that the promotion was looking to build "The California Kid" with a big win on a major PPV show. Unfortunately, despite his best effort, the Portage, Ind., product couldn't turn the promotional tide.
Faber, who resorted back to his corn row roots, turned in a solid performance, but it was far from dominant. Maybe it was because Wineland was a tough opponent, or maybe it''s because he still needs to prove that he's ready to take on the "Dominator."
Let's hope it's the latter.
Shalorus had everything to gain and not much to lose taking on the "Garden State" native, but Miller didn't wilt, taking out the "tough customer" for the first time ever in his career with a third round technical knockout finish.
Big uppercut, huge knee and a fantastic finish extends Miller's win streak to seven straight inside the Octagon. There's not much else the New Jersey native can do to earn a title shot.
Give it to him, Dana White. He's earned it.
And once again, the International Fight League (IFL) champion came up short. But as usual, it wasn't for lack of effort.
Marquardt was just too big and strong throughout their middleweight fight, scoring takedowns and doing damage despite Miller's best efforts. Miller did have a few bright moments, including two guillotine chokes, but "The Great" was just too crafty to succumb.
The win puts Marquardt back on the middleweight path to relevance, while it drops Miller back down to 185-pound irrelevance ... unless he steps up once again to save the day.
"The Hybrid," however, had different plans.
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 10 alum -- who was docked a point for delivering an illegal blow to the back of the Croatian's head after an earlier "serious" warning from referee Herb Dean -- landed a glancing blow to the temple that sent the veteran crashing to the canvas in a heap.
He added an exclamation point, a short punch, that put the veteran in LaLa Land, and in the process, sending his stock through the roof.
That's four straight wins for Schaub, which includes a finish of another MMA veteran, Gabriel Gonzaga, and the second straight brutal loss for Cro Cop.
One door opens and another one closes.
That's enough from us -- now it's your turn to discuss "Shogun vs. Jones" in the comments section below. Sound off, Maniacs.
For complete UFC 128 results and detailed blow-by-blow commentary of the televised main card fights click here.