Rundown of post-fight news and notes coming out of UFC 128…
— 12,619 UFC fans packed the Prudential Center last night for UFC 128. Live gate receipts totaled $2.14 million, according to UFC president Dana White.
— Since no one was able to finish with a submission last night, both Brendan Schaub and Erik Koch picked up $70,000 bonuses for their big knockouts at UFC 128. Edson Barboza and WEC vet Anthony Njoukani took Fight of the Night honors.
— Following his absolute dominant performance against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Jon Jones’ crime-stopping story was as much of focus at the post-fight press conference as his championship victory was. The story was already all over the media, however Jones gladly recounted how he and his coaches, Greg Jackson and Mike Winklejohn, stopped the would-be thief. Dana White joked that all Jones had left to do was deliver a baby before the night was out.
“He may deliver a baby on the way out of here. What else could a guy do in a day?”
Of course, Dana was also blown away by Jones’ performance.
“With what I saw tonight, he looks like he’s a mile ahead of everybody else. He looks incredible. In my opinion, not only is he the No. 1 light heavyweight in the world, he just shot up in the pound-for-pound category, too.”
I’m sure many will agree with Dana, especially since all anyone wants to talk about is a super fight between Anderson Silva and Jon Jones. It’s the new black and just about everyone, including UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, wants it. Does that mean we’re going to get it though? Maybe, but not anytime soon. Dana acknowledged the interest in it at the post-fight press conference, but said that Siva vs. GSP isn’t even planned yet, let alone Silva vs. Jones. Plus, the last time he talked to Anderson about fighting at light heavyweight, Silva adamantly refused.
“[Silva vs. GSP] isn’t happening. It’s not a fight yet. It’s still a big fantasy fight. There are still things that need to happen in the meantime before we sit down and discuss where this fight would be, what weight it would be at, how it would work. It’s all just fantasy yet. I literally have not talked to Georges St-Pierre or Anderson Silva about this fight.”
“Anderson Silva has made it very clear to me that he doesn’t want to fight at 205 pounds. That’s why originally when I was always talking about him trying to go for another belt at 205 pounds. … He stuck his big toe in a couple of times because I was pressing the issue. He made it very clear he doesn’t want to fight at 205… Who knows? Maybe he sees a guy as talented as Jon Jones, and he’ll want to try it.”
As much as I’d love to see it, it’s probably too soon for a Silva vs. Jones super fight. Jones hasn’t even defended his title yet. He looks unbeatable now, but so did Lyoto Machida, Fedor Emelianenko and many others over the years. There’s always someone better, although it’s probably going to be awhile before that person comes along in this instance.
— Anderson Silva may be a ways off for Jon Jones, but his first challenger is already lined up. As those watching saw last night, the UFC brought Rashad Evans into the cage following Jones’ victory to set up the title showdown between the (former) teammates. Both were respectful and shook hands, but the tension was thick enough to cut with a knife. Rashad was visibly flustered by the situation in an interview he did with Ariel Helwani immediately after the encounter. He told Ariel he’s done training at Greg Jackson’s.
“I’m happy for (Jon Jones), he looked phenomenal, but at the same time, he got that strap so now I have to go get it. I know I was going to fight (Jon Jones), no matter if he lost tonight or not, I was going to fight him. I knew (Jones) was going to destroy (Shogun Rua). I already know how to fight (Jon Jones), I train with him. I’m done with Jackson’s. When ever Jon is ready to do it, (I’m ready).”
It seems Jon Jones won’t have Greg Jackson by his side for that fight either though. Jackson told Ariel Helwani after the fight that he loves both Rashad and Jon like brothers and won’t have anything to do with them fighting. In response to Rashad’s “I’m done with Jackson’s” declaration, Jackson said he hopes it’s the just emotions talking and they can all be one, big happy family again after the fight.
Update: It seems Rashad Evans is beginning to lose his filter with the Jon Jones/Greg Jackson situation. He took to Twitter today and let’s just say he was a little more honest with his thoughts. (I cleaned up his tweets for easier reading)
Many of you probably already saw that I got offered the title shot and decided to take it. Jon Jones fought amazing! I’m very happy for him! With that said, I can’t wait for the chance to compete against him! I will no longer use Greg Jackson as my coach, but we are still cool… I will not use Greg ever again. I really haven’t used him in a while anyways. In my last two fights I trained with him five times. Greg brought this situation about. He brought Jones on board a while back against my wishes and here we are today. So I decided to leave Greg because I felt like he didn’t have my best interest anymore. Greg is not the same coach he use to be… I know Jones’ style well since we trained together and he knows mine. Now it’s just a matter of who paid more attention or held back more.
— In a sport we’re we’ve seen fighters grow old fast, Jon Jones’ youth is certainly an advantage inside the cage. Dana White warns however that Jones’ life is about to change drastically and not necessarily in a way that favors the young and impressionable.
“His life is going to change in so many ways, starting right now. It’s actually scary. When you get to this point, I worry about guys. There’s cling-ons all over this room right now, I’m sure, waiting to just (freaking) barnacle right onto him. He’s going to have to make a lot of choices over the next couple of years; personally, professionally. He’s in for a very wild, weird, crazy ride right now. He seems like a guy who’s grounded enough, and has the right people around him, to handle it and go the right direction, but you never know. You never know what’s going to happen, man. Because I’m telling you, you wait and see, the people that start clinging onto Jon Jones after tonight.
“The dirtiest, nastiest, scuzziest, scummiest, most disgusting human beings on the face of the Earth will start to cling onto this guy and become barnacles and get in his ear and try to pull him in different directoins. This is where it gets ugly.”
— Urijah Faber earned himself a title shot with his win over Eddie Wineland in the UFC 128 co-main event. Dana White confirmed the news with the media following the fights. At the post-fight presser, Faber said it was all in good fun when he warned UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz ala Antoine Dodson to “Hide you kids, hide your wife, hide your UFC belt” in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan
“I was just trying to add some humor. I like messing with Dominick. Like I said before, I feel like he chose me as an enemy, and I gladly accepted. I’m just messing around with him and letting him know I’m getting his belt.”
With TUF 14 set to feature the featherweight and bantamweight weight classes, it seems like a no-brainer to stick Cruz and Faber in the coaches slots. If that’s the plan though, the UFC isn’t ready to confirm anything yet.
“We haven’t decided the coaches yet, but yeah, Urijah’s definitely in mind to be a coach. Urijah looked awesome tonight. … Urijah looked nasty in that third round with the shots he was hitting with. He looked great, and of course, he’s one of the guys we’re definitely looking at as a future coach.”
Dana White didn’t have a time table for a Cruz-Faber title fight, but if they end up coaching TUF 14, it probably won’t happen till the end of the year.
“You know, Bisping would be a great fight, I would take that any day. There’s still a lot of fights at 185 that I want but one thing I talked to my coaches before this fight and a couple of my teammates, like Georges St. Pierre, and we talked about me cutting down to 170 because I was walking around really light, basically at the same weight Georges walks around at and I think it’s something I’d like to try out. If it’s a good fit, then I’ll go for the title there. … I think they’ll let me drop down to 170 but they might want me to beat up Michael Bisping first.”
— It seems we have seen the last of Mirko Cro Cop in the Octagon and perhaps in professional competition altogether. Dana White was very complimentary of Mirko’s performance against Brendan Schaub before the big knockout, but stated that Cro Cop is done in the UFC.
“It was a good fight. I was talking tonight about how tough Mirko Cro Cop is. At his age and with the wars he’s been in, to see how he gets in there with these heavyweights now that are bigger, stronger and younger than he is, and still holds his own, it’s a testament to what a great fighter that guy was in his prime. I have a lot of respect for Mirko Cro Cop, but yeah, I’d have to say tonight is probably the last time we’ll see Mirko Cro Cop fight again.”
With the UFC question answered, the next question is whether or not Mirko will finally retire. Dana White thinks he will, but Cro Cop could never go through with it when he floated the idea on previous occasions. A week ago, Strikeforce may have been a viable option for Mirko, but now that Scott Coker’s organization is under Zuffa ownership that scenario seems unlikely. With Japanese MMA essentially imploding, Mirko is quickly running out options. He might not have any other choice but to retire, but of course, we’ll have to wait and see what he says when he returns to Croatia.
— Speaking of Japanese MMA, the UFC’s plans to invade Japan have been put on indefinite hold following the devastating earthquakes and tsunami that leveled the country.
I’m not going to Japan, man. I don’t know about any of you guys. There’s some serious problems over there.
It’s underplayed how devastating this disaster’s going to be in Japan. I don’t know how their water can’t be contaminated, how — I just think they’re going to have problems for years. This thing isn’t going to be just a quick, easy fix. It’s a big problem, and I think it’s a problem that’s going to affect other countries.
— If he can get Wanderlei Silva to agree to fight Vitor Belfort, Dana White said that fight will likely go down on July 2 at UFC 132 in Las Vegas, not on the UFC Rio card in August. I have no idea why. That fight seemed like a no-brainer for the Brazil card. What’s another month?
— Dana White also confirmed that the “UFC Primetime” 24/7-style preview series will return for UFC 129 “St. Pierre vs. Shields.”