UFC 172 is one of the more entertaining PPV cards to date, from top to bottom there was entertainment provided by all ten fights–all offering something unique and intriguing, from a fight of the night performance by Takanori Gomi and Isaac Vallie-Flagg, to three straight guillotine choke finishes on the card, and two devastating knockouts to open up the card. All the above mentioned provided star quality potential.
3rd Star(s) – Chris Beal, Danny Castillo, Joseph Benavidez, Jim Miller, and Luke Rockhold
All 5 fighters share this 3rd star, with each fighter getting one of the five points on a star. All 5 finished their fights and finished them in impressive, quick, devastating fashion.
Chris Beal’s flying knee knockout of Patrick Williams in the 2nd round landed him on this evening’s SportsCentre highlights. And also won himself one of the two UFC 172 performance of the night bonuses.
Danny Castillo’s overhand right knockout of Charlie Brenneman, another one shot knockout, to open the card. With this being one of the final fights that Team Alpha Male coach Dwane “Bang” Ludwig will be cornering the team, Castillo went off with a ‘Bang’.
Joseph Benavidez, when is the last time you saw a fighter forced to tap out with their legs? That is precisely what Tim Elliot was forced to do, having both his arms trapped in mount and Joseph Benavidez applying what he called the ‘Joa Constrictor’, a guillotine choke for his first submission win in the UFC.
Jim Miller became the 3rd consecutive fighter to win via guillotine choke on the card, following Benavidez and Max Holloway. Miller ended his fight with Yancy Medeiros quickly in the first round, after he hurt Medeiros on the feet. And Jim Miller proceeded to call out all of the top 10 lightweights in the division.
Finally, Luke Rockhold ended up on top in a wild scramble that saw lock on a inverted triangle choke on Tim Boetsch–a position that Rockhold says he’s practices a lot in training. But it wasn’t the triangle that ended up getting him the tap, but rather Rockhold applying the Kimura lock (while in the inverted triangle position) that helped secure him the 1st round submission win.
2nd Star – Jon Jones
In Baltimore, the king, stay the king. And you come at the king, you best not miss.
Jon Jones was the king tonight in Baltimore, in front of a Jones-favourite crowd, and remained the king a-top the light heavyweight division with a dominant unanimous decision over contender Glover Teixeira. Jones savored the positive crowd reaction in the form of cheers and “Let’s Go Jones” chants at UFC 172–a rarity these days when he steps into the octagon. The champion seemed to get stronger as the fight went on, using improvisation to adjust his gameplan from a wrestling and distance based game to a extremely close range fight in the clinch. Everywhere the fight went, Jon Jones seemed to have his way with a dangerous and heavy handed Teixeira, opening up a nasty cut on the eye brow of the Brazilian with his elbows. Jones emerged relatively unscathed as he successfully defended his belt for a 7th consecutive time.
And now awaits a rematch with his toughest opponent to date, Alexander Gustafsson. But having to answer questions all week leading up to the fight, Jones was in no mood to answer any questions about his upcoming opponent post-fight.
1st Star – Anthony “Rumble” Johnson
Released by the UFC in January of 2012 due to weight issues, Anthony Johnson quickly got his act together and found a weight class that suited him best, at light heavyweight. Going 6-0 outside of the promotion, “Rumble” made his return at UFC 172–two weight classes above his original welterweigt and 2 years later, the UFC did not do him any favours, giving him the 4th ranked Phil Davis as his first opponent at 205lbs inside the promotion.
A more than 2-to-1 underdog on the betting lines, Anthony Johnson proved the critics and the odds makers wrong as he man handled a smaller Phil Davis inside the cage for all of 3 rounds. Landing short, yet very powerful uppercuts early on, forcing Davis to shoot for the takedown to get the fight to the mat and avoid exchanges in the stand up. Johnson did not hit the mat once, defending all 8 of Davis’ takedowns, at times shrugging him off with sheer strength. And continued to light him up on the feet with punches and kicks. Anthony Johnson made mark on the UFC’s light heavyweight division by knocking off a contender in Phil Davis via Unanimous Decision.
While he has positioned himself nicely to make a run at the title, Rumble doesn’t feel this win makes him a contender just yet.