NEWARK, N.J. – HeavyMMA.com is on scene and reporting live from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, the home of tonight’s “UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones” fight card.
We’ll have complete results and commentary from every fight on the card available in this post. Our coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET.
ERIK KOCH VS. RAPHAEL ASSUNCAO
The first bout of the night featured a pair of featherweights crossing over from the WEC to the UFC, and only one half of the opening frame was necessary to determine the better man this evening. Assuncao was the first to attack, going on the offensive with kicks early. Koch, however, was more than happy to reply with several shots of his own. Two minutes into the round, each fighter remained tentative, looking to find his range. Moments later, however, Koch unloaded a vicious body kick followed by a right hand that floored his opponent. Koch pounced upon his unconscious opponent, who was saved by the referee before any more damage could be dealt.
Official Decision: Koch d. Assuncao by knockout at 2:32 of Round 1
NICK CATONE VS. CONSTANTINOS PHILIPPOU
Middleweights Catone and Philippou got off to a slow start in the second fight of the evening, spending the first two minutes of the opening round doing little to nothing apart from circling one another. Catone was the first to commit to action and successfully set the pace for the rest of the contest. After scoring a late takedown in the first, a round which he took on the HeavyMMA scorecard, Catone worked his stand up in the second, along with knees in the clinch, leading to another takedown. Heading into the third and final round up two rounds to none, Catone decided to pass on the striking aspect and go straight for a double leg takedown. He earned it, and Philippou spent the remainder of the round eating punches and elbows from “The Jersey Devil.” Catone moved to mount in the waning moments of the fight and sealed the deal with even more ground and pound as the round expired.
Official Decision: Catone d. Constantinos Philippou by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ VS. IAN LOVELAND
Loveland came out of the gate with a furious pace, taking the fight to Benavidez, who entered the contest a big favorite. The former top contender pressed back, looking to clinch and shoot several times throughout the first round, but Loveland’s ability to defend the wrestler’s attempts earned him the opening frame. However, things began to click for Benavidez in the second, as the Team Alpha Male member landed several nice strikes to set up a successful takedown attempt. Loveland managed to quickly stand up, but after several exchanges on the feet, he found himself on his back again, sealing the second round for Benavidez. He began the third looking once again for his wrestling to take over, but Loveland found success in his takedown defense again. But only moments later it failed him, and Benavidez once again found himself in top control. After standing back up once more, Loveland was forced to the floor in the ending stages of the round, which earned Benavidez the third round and the fight as a whole.
Official Decision: Benavidez d. Loveland by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
KURT PELLEGRINO VS. GLEISON TIBAU
Clearly the larger fighter, Tibau looked to utilize his size and strength advantage early, pressing Pellegrino up against the cage and earning a brief takedown. Pellegrino managed to separate, however, and after a couple minutes of striking, he looked for a takedown of his own, but failed. A close first round ended with the pair exchanging on the feet, though Pellegrino had the clear edge. The opening two minutes of the second round featured little action, as neither seemed content to commit. But Pellegrino decided to change that, stunning Tibau with a combination, then sending him to the floor. Tibau survived the round, though, and the two went to a final round. The pace of the third was the same as the second, as neither seemed eager to exchange. Pellegrino, once again, was the first to really work his striking, though he struggled to score throughout the first half of the frame. After a brief clinch, they separated again, but only briefly, as Pellegrino shot in for a takedown. Unfortunately for him, Tibau reversed and earned a takedown, though only for a moment. With one minute to go, the two exchanged shots before Tibau earned his second takedown of the round. Following a brief scramble, Pellegrino rolled for a last second knee bar, but the time ran out on this extremely close contest.
Official Decision: Tibau d. Pellegrino by split-decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
RICARDO ALMEIDA VS. MIKE PYLE
Following the pace of several other fights tonight, Pyle and Almeida spent the majority of the opening moments simply sizing one another up. However, the action picked up when the fighters traded takedowns in the opening frame, along with each landing several solid shots on the feet. In the second round, Almeida was the first to strike, scoring a brief takedown, then clinching with Pyle. The Xtreme Couture product separated, avoided another takedown, and looked to strike. Unfortunately for him, he was taken down once again and finished the round on his back. Not surprisingly, in the third and final round, Pyle came out looking to press the action, throwing kicks at a higher rate than in the first two frames. After striking for half the round, however, he looked for another option, scoring a takedown. Almeida looked for a leg lock, but transitioned into a takedown attempt. The fight moved back to the clinch where Pyle looked to score knees, while Almeida simply continued to apply pressure. After eating a big knee, Pyle was taken down briefly, returning the favor with a takedown of his own as the competitive fight came to a close.
Official Decision: Pyle d. Almeida by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
EDSON BARBOZA VS. ANTHONY NJOKUANI
Barboza’s gameplan should have been no secret to Njokuani, and the first minute of the fight showed why. The speedy striker moved in on his opponent with leg kicks, body kicks, and punches. Njokuani was staggered a couple of times within the first two minutes, but was doing little on the offensive end. Barboza had a highly successful first round, burying his kicks into Njokuani with big power, while his opponent failed to land anything significant, save for a late right hook. However, he picked up the pace in the second round, looking to beat his opponent to the punch. Midway through a pretty even round, Njokuani caught a kick and pushed his opponent to the ground, landing some solid strikes. The fight quickly moved back to the feet, though, and Njokuani found a good deal of success, until finding himself on his back as the round came to a close. In the final round, Njokuani picked up where he left off, continuing to put on the pressure, while Barboza struggled to deal with the pace. However, the Brazilian scored a late takedown and a roundhouse kick to the head of his opponent to finish the final round of a competitive striking battle.
Official Decision: Barboza d. Njokuani by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
ELIOT MARSHALL VS. LUIZ CANE
Marshall immediately looked to move the fight to the ground when the fight began, but Cane made it clear that he was not about to let that happen. After a second stuffed takedown, Cane pressed forward with combinations, forcing Marshall to his back. The Brazilian moved in with a vicious barrage of strikes, and the referee continuously warned Cane’s victim that he needed to defend himself. In the end, he could not, and Cane walked away with a much needed victory.
Official Decision: Cane d. Marshall by technical knockout at 2:15 of Round 1
BRENDAN SCHAUB VS. MIRKO CRO COP
Round 1: Both fighters are a bit tentative to start. Schaub’s head kick is blocked, but he looks to close the distance. Nothing significant lands for him when he throws a combination, and the two clinch. Cro Cop presses Schaub against the cage, but gets reversed immediately. Schaub is working shots to the body, but also lands to the back of Cro Cop’s head. Referee Herb Dean gives him a “strong warning.” Schaub scores a takedown when action resumes, but he eats an upkick. He dives into guard, looking to do some damage. Cro Cop trying to tie his opponent up, and Schaub is struggling to get any big shots through. He solves that problem, landing several big right hands prior to the 1:30 mark of the round. Cro Cop escapes from the bottom and is back on his feet, pressing Schaub against the cage. “The Hybrid” looks for the takedown, but Cro Cop avoids it. Back to the clinch. Schaub lands a pair of knees and looks for the takedown, but fails as the round comes to a close. HeavyMMA.com scores the round 10-9 for Schaub.
Round 2: Schaub misses with a big right to start the second round. Cro Cop still timid on the feet, not throwing many strikes. Schaub blocks a head kick and earns the takedown. He is in his opponent’s guard, but is looking to pass. He elects to go with punches, landing several nice shots. Dean is forced to step in again, as Schaub eats an upkick that was illegal. Only a warning by the referee, and action resumes with Cro Cop scoring a nice strike. Schaub works back to the clinch and begins working knees. He lands several more after the initial knees, and still more after that. Cro Cop is having a hard time dealing with the strength of Schaub. Elbow lands for Cro Cop. 90 seconds to go, and someone is bleeding. Blood is running down Schaub’s face. Herb Dean stops the action again and takes a point away from Schaub for punches to the back of Cro Cop’s head. Action resumes, and Schaub rushes forward, though he fails to land anything significant. Another clinch, and “The Hybrid” scores a knee and a right hand. He looks for a takedown, but the round comes to a close. Due to the point deduction, HeavyMMA.com scores the round 9-9.
Round 3: First strike of the third is an inside leg kick by Cro Cop that nails Schaub below the belt. Herb Dean stops the action again, and Schaub takes some time to recover. He is fine, and action once again resumes. The two battle in the clinch. Schaub lands a knee, but Cro Cop scores another solid elbow. Schaub earns a takedown, but only for a moment. He immediately scores another one, however. He is looking to pass his opponent’s guard, but is struggling to do so. He moves to half guard, but stands up after a few moments. Cro Cop presses forward with a straight left, and Schaub fires back with a takedown attempt. The end up back in the clinch, but separate again. Head kick is blocked by Schaub, but Cro Cop looks fresh and is turning it up. Schaub shoots in again, but it is stuffed by Cro Cop, who then throws a kick. Schaub lands a right flush, and his opponent is floored. One more punch, and Herb Dean pulls Schaub away from his downed opponent.
Official Decision: Schaub d. Cro Cop by technical knockout at 3:24 of Round 3
NATE MARQUARDT VS. DAN MILLER
Round 1: Miller and Marquardt exchange jabs to start, but the latter presses forward, looking for the clinch. Miller shoots in for a single, but Marquardt reverses and looks for a single of his own. Then Miller looks for another takedown and he earns it. Marquardt has his back against the cage, and Miller looks to pull him out. Marquardt stands up and goes for a slam, but Miller locks on a guillotine. He can’t hold it, and Marquardt is on top. Elbows from the top. Miller looks to utilize the rubber guard. Marquardt is not getting much done here, while Miller is staying very active. The referee stands them up, and the two reset in the center. Right hand lands flush for Marquardt, who then picks Miller ups and slams him to the ground. Guillotine attempt fails again for Miller, but he is looking for a kimura. He lets it go, and Marquardt lands one final strike before the round comes to a close. HeavyMMA.com scores the round 10-9 for Marquardt.
Round 2: Leg kick lands for Miller to begin the second frame, but Marquardt comes forward with a combination. Head kick grazes Miller, who comes back with a straight right. Marquardt lands to the body, then retreats. He misses with a big right hand. Two more rights score for Marquardt, followed by a head kick and a flying knee. He leaves himself open and gets taken down. Marquardt stands back up and presses forward. A right glances off Miller, followed by another. And another moments later. Marquardt then looks for the takedown and he ends up in side control. Miller locks on the guillotine and it is deep, but Marquardt pulls out. Elbows score for the former top contender. 20 seconds remaining in the round. Round ends without much action. HeavyMMA.com scores the round 10-9 for Marquardt.
Round 3: Marquardt lands a right to start, followed by a head kick. Miller comes back with uppercuts, and one of them lands. Leg kick scores for Marquardt. Miller comes back with a pair of uppercuts. Marquardt presses forward with a combination, but Miller counters. He looks for another takedown, but Marquardt stuffs it. He looks to move to the back, but Miller rolls and ends up with his opponent in his guard. Midway through the third, and Miller needs to do something drastic. Elbows land for the New Jersey native, but Marquardt postures up and throws down on his opponent. Miller has his back up against the cage, but is growing weary from Marquardt’s pressure. One minute remains. Marquardt continues to put on the pressure, utilizing his ground and pound. He is not landing anything significant, but he is scoring points. Miller looks for a triangle choke, but fails to lock it on as the round comes to a close. HeavyMMA.com scores the round 10-9 for Marquardt.
Official Decision: Marquardt d. Miller by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
KAMAL SHALORUS VS. JIM MILLER
Round 1: Quick kick for Miller starts the fight. They exchange, and each land a shot or two. Uppercut barely misses for Shalorus, who then misses with a head kick. They continue to exchange, but each fighter is walking through the other man’s power. Miller lands a hook, and Shalorus scores a leg kick. Shot to the body lands flush for Shalorus and he follows up with a left hook shortly after. Miller looks for a flying knee, but falls to the ground. He is back up, and Shalorus misses with an uppercut, but lands a leg kick. Miller comes back with a leg kick of his own. Straight right scores for Shalorus, and Miller fires back with a nice knee to the body. Head kick lands flush for Miller, and Shalorus swings wildly. He is looking to score a big shot, but Miller is dodging out of the way basically every time. Another kick for Miller. He drops down for a guillotine choke, but Shalorus immediately slips out. He is on top with one minute to go. They are each striking on the ground now, as Shalorus puts his opponent up against the cage. The referee stands them up with 20 seconds to go, and they immediately exchange. Kick lands for Shalorus, and Miller looks to drop down again. Once again he fails, but manages to stand up. HeavyMMA.com scores the round 10-9 for Miller.
Round 2: The two lightweights exchange to start the round, but neither land. Knee scores for Shalorus and then a leg kick. Miller counters Shalorus and lands several shots. Shalorus looks for a takedown, but Miller throws up a flying triangle. His opponent slips out again, and they are back on the feet. Leg kick lands for Miller, who shoots in for a takedown and earns it. He immediately transitions to the back and locks on the body triangle. He is softening his opponent up right now, working on slipping in the choke. Miller is cranking now, but elects to land more punches. Shalorus is surviving, but breathing heavily. Another neck crank from Miller with one minute remaining. He gives it up, but then goes back to it again. He gives it up yet again. The round comes to an end, and Shalorus will see a third after a lopsided second round. HeavyMMA.com scores the round 10-9 for Miller.
Round 3: Shalorus is throwing a lot early in this round, but is missing with just about everything. Miller lands a shot to the body. He presses forward and scores a knee. Left hook barely misses for Miller, as does a right. Shalorus shoots, but Miller stuffs it and lands a shot to the groin accidentally. The action pauses briefly. Shalorus looks to tie up his opponent when the fight resumes, but Miller brushes it off. Leg kick scores for Miller, who then misses with a combination. Big left uppercut scores for Miller, followed by a knee. Shalorus is in trouble. Miller moves in for several shots to his opponent, and the referee pulls him off the defeated Shalorus.
Official Decision: Miller d. Shalorus by technical knockout at 2:15 of Round 3
URIJAH FABER VS. EDDIE WINELAND
Round 1: Both fighters meet in the center, and Faber moves to the clinch. Wineland reverses and presses his opponent against the cage. Faber is attempting to throw him, but Wineland avoids and lands. Faber misses with a combination and then moves to a takedown. Wineland scrambles out of it after being tossed. Faber is persistent with these takedown attempts, but Wineland continues to defend. And he is looking for another takedown here against the cage. He moves to Faber’s back and slams him to the ground. Faber is back up, and the two separate. Head kick is dodged by Wineland, who then eats a right hand, followed by a left. Wineland is not throwing many punches. Faber looks for the takedown, nearly gets it, but it is stuffed. Another toss stuffed right after. Wineland’s jab comes up short. A right hand does not, however. Faber lands a right hand and he fakes a takedown as the round comes to a close. HeavyMMA.com scores the round 10-9 for Wineland.
Round 2: Jab lands for Wineland to open up the action. Faber lands a pair of kicks to the arms of Wineland, followed by a punch to the body. Wineland’s punches coming up short, but are allowing him to keep the distance. Fighters trade rights, and Faber also lands a kick. Wineland comes back with a leg kick, but Faber checks it. Takedown attempt now by Faber. Wineland nearly pushes him off, but ultimately ends up on his back. This could spell trouble for the underdog. Elbow scores for Faber, and it could be the first of several as three minutes remain in the round. Faber lifts Wineland up and slams him down. Another couple elbows score for Faber. He postures up and lands several solid punches. Wineland attempts to scramble, but Faber smothers him and forces him to his back. He postures up again, landing decent shots, including more elbows. Wineland is doing a terrific job of defending, but is losing this round. He attempts to roll out, but fails and gets slammed again. Faber follows up with a big shot, but fails to do much damage as the round ends. HeavyMMA.com scores the round 10-9 for Faber.
Round 3: Wineland coming up short with his jab, looking to keep the distance in the opening moments of the final frame. Punch to the body scores for him, but Faber lands a right hand. He shoots in, but Wineland stuffs it effortlessly. Right hand lands for Wineland, who then stuffs another takedown attempt. Faber presses him against the cage, but his opponent reverses. Midway through the third, and Faber fakes the takedown and comes up with several nice shots. Wineland looks to counter, but Faber just got the better of him. “The California Kid” just misses with a left hook. He looks for a takedown, but Wineland defends initially. However, Faber is persistent and earns the takedown. Slam from Faber, followed by elbows. 30 seconds to go, and Wineland needs to get out of this spot if he wants the slightest chance to take a decision. He can’t, and Faber smothers him with his weight and strikes as the clock ticks down to zero. HeavyMMA.com scores the round 10-9 for Faber.
Official Decision: Faber d. Wineland by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
MAURICIO RUA VS. JON JONES
Round 1: Jones throws a flying knee to start, followed by a head kick. Rua misses with a right hand, but Jones misses with a spinning back kick. Rua gets taken down right after, and Jones is looking to go to work. “Shogun” throws up his legs looking for a triangle, but Jones avoids and moves to half guard. Rua looks for a leg. he can’t get it, but he moves back to full guard. Jones is not throwing many shots, and Rua looks calm in this situation. Elbow lands for Jones, followed by a shot to the body. Elbow to the body, followed by another. Rua is looking to score a submission, but Jones is doing well to avoid. Knee to the body lands for Jones, but Rua is back to his feet. He eats a kick, but continues to press forward. Another knee lands for Jones. Rua looks completely out of it. He could be very hurt right now. Side kick to the leg lands for Jones. Rua attempts to loosen up. Left lands for Rua, followed by another combination. Jones misses with a spinning back elbow, and Rua drops for a leg lock. Jones slips out and finishes the round on top. HeavyMMA.com scores the round 10-9 for Jones.
Round 2: Rua checks a leg kick from Jones, but gets hit with a front kick. He misses with a looping left, and Jones clinches. He lands a vicious spinning back elbow, followed by a left. Jones is dominating this fight. Another front kick lands for Jones, and the fighters clinch. Knee from “Shogun.” Jones with a right hand. He is putting it on Rua now, landing kicks and punches. The fight moves to the ground, and Jones snaps off two quick shots. Elbow from Jones. Rua is tying up the challenger, but is doing little else. Jones continues to attempt to land ground and pound. Short elbow lands for Jones. Rua is battered. Jones looks for a last second leg lock, but the round comes to a close. HeavyMMA.com scores the round 10-9 for Jones.
Round 3: Rua is pressing forward now, but Jones keeps countering. The challenger misses with an uppercut. Jones misses with a head kick and takes Jones’ back. He drops for a leg lock, but Jones escapes and ends up on top. He is looking for a kimura, but after a scramble ends up in half guard. Punches from the top, courtesy of Jones. He postures up and is throwing down on the champion. Big left hand scores for Jones, followed by several big elbows. Rua rolls and takes a knee to the body. he is in deep trouble. A shot and another knee, and Rua crumbles to the floor, tapping the floor. He is still down. He was absolutely wrecked in this fight.
Official Decision: Jones d. Rua by technical knockout at 2:37 of Round 3