Jones mops the floor with "The Janitor"
Octagonside by Andreas Hale
Jon “Bones” Jones has a knack for making everything look easy. The 23-year-old MMA wunderkind again justified his massive hype as he made short work of former IFL champion Vladimir Matyushenko and scored a first round TKO in the main event of UFC on Versus 2 in front of 8,132 inside the San Diego Sports Arena.
It didn’t take long for the light heavyweight with limbs like Mr. Fantastic to take out a fighter many thought wouldn’t have a shot against Jones. Rather than demonstrate his arsenal of strikes, Jones opted to beat “The Janitor” at his own game. Matyushenko wasn’t sure what to expect and tried to keep his distance but ate a telephone pole jab and a killer spinning back kick launched from Jones’ southpaw stance.
Just as the Belarusian looked to protect himself from Jones’ seemingly endless arsenal, the Greg Jackson pupil dropped a left a nailed a takedown. Knowing of how devastating “Bones” has been from the guard against the likes of Brandon Vera and Matt Hamill, Matyushenko clung to Jones’ left arm for dear life. But it was all for naught as high school and junior college wrestling champ easily glided to side control and just as quickly trapped Matyushenko in a crucifix. The rest was elementary as rapid fire elbows rained down on “The Janitor” and referee Herb Dean spared Matyushenko of a broken bone in his face like the one suffered by Vera in Jones’ last UFC on Versus fight.
And just like that, the star known as Jon “Bones” Jones continues to glow brighter and brighter. The end of the fight came at 1:52 in the first round and looked so easy that even Jones himself didn’t know what to make of the victory.
"I trained the hardest I could possibly train," Jones said. "I knew Vladimir would be the toughest test, and I trained my butt off. And things went really well."
With the victory, Jones improves to 11-1 in his young MMA career. His only loss came against Matt Hammil last December, when he was disqualified for illegal “12 to 6” elbows in what was quickly turning into a one sided affair. The question now is who will be the next victim in the 205 division?
"Whoever the UFC gives me, I'll be ready for it,” Jones said. “I just hope (UFC mathmaker) Joe Silva and (UFC president) Dana White really kick it up with me and give me some really, really tough guys."
Okami Stifles Munoz
Dana White suggested that Yushin Okami may be ready for middleweight title fight and Okami wanted to prove that White wasn’t wrong in his assumption. “Thunder” demonstrated impressive takedown defense and did enough to earn a split decision victory over crowd favorite Mark Munoz.
Munoz had no answers for Okami as he found his numerous takedown attempts stuffed and had a difficult time cracking the code of how to stand up with a southpaw. Okami didn’t land many strikes but was more effective when he landed. After a first round where “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” looked out of his league, Munoz finally snuck in a wild overhand left that dropped Okami and swung the pendulum in his favor. But the momentum was short lived as the Japanese fighter composed himself and neutralized Munoz’s striking and made his NCAA Division I wrestling pedigree look pedestrian.
Okami fought with a little more fire in the final round and caught Munoz with several punches that briefly stunned the Filipino. Munoz swung wildly but was dropped by a counter jab that stole the final round and gave Okami the victory. Although one judge somehow saw the fight 29-28 in favor of Munoz, the other two judges scored the fight correctly and gave the split decision to Okami.
The victory places Okami firmly in the middleweight title picture while Munoz will have to go back to the drawing board after seeing his three fight winning streak end.
Ellenberger Shuts Down Howard
Jake Ellenberger understood just how dangerous John Howard can be when he gets into a rhythm. Rather than allow the devastatingly strong welterweight build any momentum, Ellenberger used superior wrestling to stifle Howard before the welterweight bout was stopped in the final round due to grotesque swelling around Howard’s left eye due to Ellenberger elbows.
It wasn’t pretty, but it was certainly an effective performance for Ellenberger as he looks to climb the welterweight ladder. From the outset, Ellenberger employed a strict wrestling policy that prevented “Doomsday” from mustering any offense. “The Juggernaut” scored multiple takedowns throughout the first two rounds and occasionally scored with strikes inside Howard’s guard. A strike midway through the second round caused a massive swelling around Howard’s left eye and seemed to grow by the second. Enterting the final round, the swelling caused Howard’s eye to completely shut and referee Herb Dean had no choice but to call the doctor in to check it out. After deeming Howard unable to continue, Dean waved the bout off at 2:31 in the 3rd and handed Howard his first loss in the Octagon.
Ellenberger improves to 2-1 in the UFC and 23-5 overall.
Gomi Blasts Griffin
Takanori Gomi kicked off the televised portion of UFC On Versus in a major way as he detonated a bomb on Tyson Griffin’s face and scored a resounding first round TKO victory. Gomi needed to come back in a major way after being soundly beaten by Kenny Florian and Tyson Griffin looked to be no easy opponent considering he had never been knocked out in his MMA career. But “The Fireball Kid” connected with a devastating right hook that separated Griffin from his senses.
Griffin fought his fight playing right into Gomi’s hand by standing in front of him and looking to make it a crowd pleasing striking affair. Gomi obliged Griffin’s open door policy by walking right in and uncorking the right hook that ended Griffin’s night and put him on a two fight losing streak. It appeared that Griffin was out when the punch connected and was rudely woken up by the mat when he fell face first to the canvas. Jason Herzog immediately jumped in and saved Griffin from any further damage. Time of the stoppage was 1:04. It was the second straight loss for Griffin and puts him on the outside of the loaded lightweight picture. Gomi bounces back and will look to fight his way back into lightweight contention.
Volkmann Grounds Kelly
At some time during Jacob Volkmann’s unanimous decision win against Paul Kelly he must have thought he was in a rodeo rather than a UFC lightweight bout. Volkmann negated Kelly’s dangerous striking and worked extremely hard at keeping the bucking bull known as Kelly on the ground for the duration of their 15 minute affair as Volkmann scored a unanimous decision victory.
The fighter known as “Christmas” showcased impressive ground skills throughout the fight as Kelly was unable to put together anything substantial enough to put Volkmann in remote danger. The Brit did land a flying knee in the final round but Volkmann ate it well and went right back to work as he kept Kelly grounded until the final bell.
Riddle Pounds Out Johnson
Matthew Riddle entered the Octagon to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and delivered a chilling performance that showcased the TUF Season 7 veteran’s potential as he notched a TKO victory in the 2nd round over the submission savvy Demarques Johnson. Johnson entered the fight 2 pounds overweight but the extra size made no difference against the far superior wrestler.
Even though he made a name for himself with his heavy hands on The Ultimate Fighter, Riddle demonstrated superior wrestling skills as he controlled his TUF adversary with takedowns and top control. After keeping the slithering Johnson at bay, Riddle slipped in a few strikes to take the first round. In the second, the former national high school wrestling champ went back to work and scored a takedown. Johnson managed to scramble to his feet and smacked Riddle with a knee as he went for another takedown. Riddle survived the knee and managed to muscle Johnson to his back. The jiujitsu practitioner would again try to slither away but Riddle captured the snake, took his back and with the hooks sunk in, pounded Johnson until referee Jason Herzog stopped the bout at 4:29.
Pokrajac Submits “The Sandman”
Igor Pokrajac earned his first UFC victory as he submitted James Irvin at 2:29 in the first round with a rear naked choke. “The Sandman” looked to make a successful return to the light heavyweight division after looking emaciated at middleweight but Pokrajac had other plans. “The Duke” came out quickly to set the tone early. After swapping positions on the ground, Irvin pulled back as he rose and Pokrajac blasted him with a series of straight rights and lefts. Irvin was clearly shaken as his back hit the cage and soon after found himself the victim of a brutal slam where Pokrajac’s shoulder drilled Irvin in the jaw. The Croation hopped onto Irvin’s back as he tried to roll away and sunk in a tight rear naked choke that forced the tap. Time of stoppage was 2:29.
Stann Wins Middleweight Debut
With “Big” John McCarthy returning to the UFC to officiate, Brian Stann also made a return to his winning ways as he secured a triangle choke in the third round of a hard fought battle with Mike Massenzio in his middleweight debut. Massenzio looked strong early as he scored several takedowns and nearly had “The All American” submitted twice with tight guillotine chokes in the first and second round. Sensing that he may be behind heading into the final frame, Stann burst out the corner and greeted Massenzio’s ill-fated takedown attempt with a right hand. Stann looked to work a triangle but “The Master of Disaster” escaped and ate a bevy of strikes for his troubles. Stann looked for a highlight reel finish as he had Massenzio staggered but slipped on a head kick. Massenzio attempted another takedown as he shook the cobwebs but Stann locked in a triangle. With nowhere to go and the lights going out, Massenzio had no choice but to tapout at the 3:10 mark.
Oliviera Dispatches Elkin
Charles Oliviera made short work of Darren Elkin with a beautiful armbar submission in the first frame of his UFC debut. The Englishman opened the fight and quickly connected with a slam. Apparently, Oliviera was ready and quickly slapped on a triangle that had Elkin in deep water. The lightweight struggled to find a way out of the choke and made the mistake of stepping over which allowed Oliviera to quickly turn the triangle into an armbar and force Elkin to tap at the :41 in the first round.
Kimmons Rebound Agains Stenbeiss
Looking to rebound after being blasted by Jorge Rivera, Rob Kimmons scored a relatively uneventful unanimous decision over Steve Steinbeiss in middleweight action. Kimmons found himself in deep trouble early as Steinbeiss ravaged the Kansas City native’s midsection with a plethora of knee strikes. Kimmons would endure the battering and scored several takedowns – albeit with no offensive follow up – in rounds two and three to squeak out a 29-28 score from all three judges.