Jon Jones said he would make it look easy. Guess what? Jon Jones made it look easy. Three years out of the cage? New weight class? Fearsome striker across the cage? None of it mattered – he looked just like the Jones of before, and now he’s a two-division champion after winning the main event of UFC 285 in style.
The finish was interesting to me, because at first the guillotine choke didn’t look to be in there very well. Ciryl Gane tapping felt like it came out of nowhere. But when you watch the replay, you can see how deadly that was. Gane figured it out really fast. He looked completely shocked afterwards, but he shouldn’t have been. He just lost to the GOAT.
Jones and Stipe Miocic will be amazing. They want it in July, and there’s plenty of time to build it.
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- VIVA MEXICO! I am still in absolute shock that Alexa Grasso is the new women’s flyweight champion. And winning it by submission (especially one that slick) boggles my mind. She was fighting a decent fight before that, landing her shots when she could. I gave her the first round. But Valentina Shevchenko’s wrestling took over and she basically coasted for the second and third. Grasso had to change things or exploit an opportunity against a fighter that makes very few mistakes. And she did. And Mexico has their third-ever UFC champion. As someone who lives in Mexico now, I find that extremely cool.
- Shavkat Rakhmonov and Geoff Neal are both studs, and they both have amazing chins. Their fight was a back-and-forth war – Rakhmonov was just more diverse in his attacks. He finally busted Neal’s face up in the third, and then savagely choked him out with a standing RNC. That was straight up scary.
- With that being said, I don’t think Rakhmonov can keep taking that sort of punishment and hope to have a very long run as a potential champ or anything. He fought without his mouthpiece for two minutes and he didn’t even notice. Neal landed a bunch of shots to his face in those two minutes. That could have been very bad for him, and avoiding major damage in the future might be a better deal for him.
- Jalin Turner had his moments against Mateusz Gamrot, but he was just the victim of a relentless wrestler. I couldn’t tell if Turner scored a real knockdown in the first round or not, but I didn’t think it was at first glance. I gave Gamrot all three rounds, and was surprised at a split.
- The PPV opener was what most people were expecting – a Bo Nickal mauling. It took a little longer than expected, but he got the first-round finish. It’s tough to draw any major conclusions until he’s in there with better competition, but so far so good.
The undercard had its moments. The announcers were gushing over Cody Garbrandt’s peformance but I wasn’t impressed. Especially when he just decided to take the third round off. Not wise at all. Dricus Du Plessis is a bit sloppy, but he’s a lot of fun to watch. Good on Derek Brunson’s corner for throwing in the towel – that should happen more. Ian Garry and Tabatha Ricci put on pretty good performances earlier in the night too.
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