UFC 135 takes place later tonight at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado and will air live on pay-per-view at 9pm ET/6pm PT. The pay-per-view will be preceded by prelim specials on Spike TV at 8pm ET/5pm PT and Facebook at 6pm ET/3pm PT.
In the main event, Jon Jones puts his UFC light heavyweight title on the line against Rampage Jackson.
In the co-main event, Josh Koscheck steps in on short notice to take on Matt Hughes.
Travis Browne meets Rob Broughton in a heavyweight match-up.
Takanori Gomi faces Nate Diaz in a lightweight bout.
Mark Hunt looks for his second UFC win against Ben Rothwell.
Results, recap and bonuses after the jump.
- Jon Jones def. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:14 in Round 4
- Josh Koscheck def. Matt Hughes via KO (Hammerfists) at 4:59 in Round 1
- Mark Hunt def. Ben Rothwell via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-27, 30-27)
- Travis Browne def. Rob Broughton via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Nate Diaz def. Takanori Gomi via Submission (Armbar) at 4:27 in Round 1
- Tony Ferguson def. Aaron Riley via TKO (Injury – Broken Jaw) at 5:00 in Round 1
- Tim Boetsch def. Nick Ring via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- James Te Huna def. Ricardo Romero via KO (Punches) at :47 in Round 1
- Takeya Mizugaki def. Cole Escovedo via TKO (Punches) at 4:30 in Round 2
- Junior Assuncao def. Eddie Yagin via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Recap & Thoughts
Tim Boetsch vs. Nick Ring: Boetsch’s second foray into middleweight territory was quite as dominant as when he “Hulk smashed” Kendall Grove, but that’s mostly because he had to chase a cautious Ring around the cage like a dog chasing a car. However, once the “Barbarian” got a hold of the TUF veteran in the second round, that’s when the beating started. A hard right to the grill, relentless dirty boxing and a few hard tosses had Ring wobbly, and the punctuation mark was a picture-perfect hip toss in the third that had Boetsch assuming crucifix control and raining down elbows. Boetsch took the unanimous decision at the end of it all, and the newly-minted 185 pounder continues to impress.
Aaron Riley vs. Tony Ferguson: As long as the UFC has striking-heavy fighters they want to bring along slowly, Riley will always have work. And hey, guess what TUF 13 winnerFergusonis? The first and only round hadFergusondoing his thang, pursuing the game Riley while dodging the veteran’s assortment of kicks and punches. The end was brought about by one ofFerguson’s uppercuts, which likely broke Riley’s jaw – a claim Riley made once time ran out in Round 1 and he was back in his corner – andFergusonwas awarded the victory via TKO.
Ricardo Romero vs. James Te Huna: Forty-seven seconds. That’s how long it took for Te Huna to deftly step away from Romero’s long-distance takedown attempt and deliver a quartet of short punches to the head, punches that left Romero snoozing.
Nate Diaz vs. Takanori Gomi: Well, the welterweight division turned out to be a wash for the younger Diaz brother, so the TUF winner returned to 155 to face the once-great “Fireball Kid”. How did that work out for him? Not too badly. Not too badly at all. Looking more like a carbon copy of Nick than ever before, Nate effortlessly began landing jabs and crosses whilst being way too elusive to hit. Then, when it went to the ground, the jiu-jitsu ace cinched on a triangle, and when Gomi seemed to be escaping, on came the armbar. The tap out came at 4:27 of the first round.
Rob Broughton vs. Travis Browne: When the contest pits a big Hawaiian against a big Brit, you’re either going to see guys who can hit well, take a hit well, or get exhausted and hug real well. In the case of Browne (a Hawaiian) versus Broughton (a Brit), Browne provided the hitting, Broughton took the hitting, and when the second and third rounds came along, they both provided the exhausted hugging. To his credit, Browne got virtually every takedown he went for, and he pretty much had his way with his foe on the ground. But no barns were burned in this pairing, and when time ran out you sort of wished the unanimous decision that Browne was awarded went to the referee, Joe Rogan or anyone else not Broughton and Browne.
Mark Hunt vs. Ben Rothwell: With the taste of Browne vs. Broughton still fresh in our mouths, it was refreshing to see two heavyweights in K-1 veteran Hunt and the tough Rothwell aggressively going after it. From the very beginning of Round 1 Hunt was trying to put his KO hands on his opponent’s chin, while Rothwell was trying to get on top of Hunt to beat on him. Both saw success, although a bloodied Rothwell was raining down brutality at the bell. Round 2, however, was all Hunt, as the New Zealander got a takedown of his own, battered the American for the duration, and very nearly hit an armbar (!) at the bell. Rothwell was so wrecked at the end of the round, it was touch and go whether he’d make it out for the third – but he did, and he and Hunt continued to lay into each other. Hunt got the better of it, hitting Rothwell with some hard, hard punches, but neither man was willing to quit. Hunt earned himself the unanimous decision when time ran out, yet they both deserved respect for their efforts.
Matt Hughes vs. Josh Koscheck: If this was indeed Hughes’ swan song, he has little to be ashamed of. He took a page out ofGeorges St.Pierre’s book and was peppering Koscheck with rights and lefts, and for the majority of the nearly five-minute long bout, he seemed to be winning. But youth and fortune favored the TUF 1 veteran tonight, and when he began finding his range and tagging Hughes back, and Hughes tumbled to the canvas, the hammerfist storm that followed was all she wrote. The official time of the knockout was 4:59 of Round 1, and though Hughes was reluctant to say he was truly retiring after the loss, if he does, he should be proud of how well he was still able to kick ass at the very end.
Jon Jones vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson: Going into his first light-heavyweight title defense, there were still unanswered questions about Jones, like, “Where those eight fights where he utterly destroyed his opponents en route to the belt just flukes?” and “Is he human or superhuman?” If you went by the first round of his bout againstJackson, the answers to those questions were evident in how well he muscled Rampage around the cage, wore at him with every kind of strike in the book, and made the former champ look like a deer in the headlights. In Rampage’s favor was his notoriously hard punches – which never seemed to land – and his propensity for moving forward – which more often than not caused him pain in some form. Highlights of the blowout include: Jones effortlessly getting Jackson down, sliding into mount and raining down punishment; a flying armbar attempt; wobbling Jackson repeatedly with things like a flying knee, punches and kicks to his knees; and the piece de resistance, the bout-ending rear naked choke that forced the challenger to tap out at 1:14 of the fourth round. Love or hate him, Jones is here to stay.
Submission of the Night: Nate Diaz
Knockout of the Night: Josh Koscheck
Fight of the Night: Jon Jones vs. Quinton Jackson