UFC 128 Shogun vs Jones

UFC 128 Shogun vs Jones is taking place this Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.  Many of these fights are showcasing up-and-coming fighters to determine if they are ready for a championship bout.  Fighters with similar skill sets and talents will see who is better at what they do, which will make for some exciting matches.  Let’s get right down to the UFC 128 main event previews.

The main event Light Heavyweight Bout:  Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (19-4-0) vs Jon “Bones” Jones (12-1-0)

Mauricio Rua won his title belt on May 10th, 2010, by defeating Lyoto Machida with a first round knock out after losing to Machida previously on October 24, 2009.  This will be his first title defense, and it will show if he is really deserving of the Light Heavyweight belt.  He is a hard worker who started fighting at 16 because of his brother being an MMA fighter.  He is very good at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, as well as Muay Thai, but his biggest strength is his aggressive striking.  If he connects, he can knock you out with one punch.  Mauricio also has some decent striking defense, but could work on his takedown defense, which may be his downfall.  I would imagine Mauricio will want to stay on his feet in this fight, and should be in good enough shape to go all five rounds if needed.

Jon Jones is only 23 years old, but has been walking through all his competition, and is now right where he wants to be, getting his shot at the Light Heavyweight title.  In his last fight, he dominated previously undefeated Ryan Bader and submitted him in the second round.  His only loss on his record was a disqualification.  Jones is a national junior college wrestling champion, and also well-rounded in Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai.  He has only been training in MMA since 2007, but is skilled way beyond his training.  Jones has a tall frame at 6’4″, but likes to take his opponents down.  Once on top, he has vicious elbows he will throw.  He is very good at avoiding strikes himself and has never been taken down.  Expect him to try and get Rua to the mat and throw down elbows until he gets a TKO or he can pull off a submission.

Bantomweight bout:  Urijah “The California Kid” Faber (24-4-0) vs Eddie Wineland (18-6-1)

Urijah Faber was previously the WEC featherweight title holder, and successfully defended that title five times.  Faber started wrestling in the eighth grade and continued throughout his college days at UC Davis.  Shortly after graduating in 2003, he started training in MMA.  Faber is very well-rounded, with a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and he can adapt to a variety of situations.  He can beat you with his lightning fast hands, his strong takedowns, or his effective submissions.  Faber’s striking defense is better than his takedown defense.  He has a solid punch, and will surely be in good enough shape to go hard the entire fight.  This will be his first UFC fight and he is looking forward to putting on a good show. 

Eddie Wineland has won his last four fights, and is the former WEC Bantomweight Champion.  He likes to stand and throw down.  He may not be very accurate, but he definitely has knockout power.  Wineland does have a background as a wrestler, and says it was just a natural progression for him to start training in MMA back in 2003.  He does have enough skill to submit you, but would much rather win by knockout.  He is very good at avoiding strikes and is difficult to take down.  Watch for Eddie to try and finish this early with a heavy strike, as this will be his UFC debut as well, and he is looking to make a big splash.

Lightweight bout:  Jim Miller (19-2-0) vs Kamal “Prince of Persia” Shalorus (7-0-2)

Jim Miller has won his last six fights, and is really looking forward to stepping up his game.  He is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and also an experienced wrestler.  Many of his fights are won by decision, so you know he will be in shape to fight hard the entire match.  He will attempt takedowns, but his weakness is also takedown defense.  His striking defense is pretty good, and that is why he can generally win if the fight comes down to a decision.  He will typically be more aggressive with his strikes and takedown attempts than his opponents.  Once he gets you down, he also has the skills and ability to submit his opponents, mostly by choking them out.

Kamal Shalorus got a late start in MMA.  He began training in 2004, and at 38, this will be his first UFC fight.  He lacks experience in the octagon, but is an experienced wrestler, and knows Jiu-Jitsu.  Many of his fights also go the distance, which may be a disadvantage at his age.  Kamal has pretty good success with his striking, and when he attempts a takedown, he is pretty successful at that as well.  His defense is solid, as he has never been taken down, and his striking defense is pretty good as well.  The question with Kamal is, will he have the stamina to go the entire three rounds if needed, and will he do enough to win. 

Middleweight bout:  Nate “The Great” Marquardt (33-10-2) vs Dan Miller (13-4-0)

Nate is actually coming off of a unanimous decision loss to Yushin Okami.  He is a well-rounded fighter although his last four wins have come by way of knockout or TKO.  He has 45 MMA fights, so is very experienced and comfortable in the Octagon.  Because he is well-rounded, he can also adapt to many different fight styles, although one of his favorite techniques is something he calls the Marquardt choke.  He started training in high school because he was much smaller than his fellow classmates.  He will most likely want to take this fight to the ground and look for a way to submit Miller.

Dan Miller is a wrestler who has won his last two fights.  He has good Muay Thai skills, and he’s a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as well.  He is stepping into this fight because Yoshihiro Akiyama had to pull out due to the tragedy in Japan.  Dan is not know for having knock out power, but he will take you down and look for ways to submit you, such as by arm bar.  If he doesn’t get a submission, his fights often go the entire three rounds, which leaves the decision up to the judges.  He is not good at defending the takedown, and that may end up being his demise in this fight.  Dan is looking to take advantage of this opportunity any way he can.

Heavyweight bout: Mirco Cro Cop (27-8-2) vs  Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub (8-1-0) 

Mirco Cro Cop is coming off a KO/TKO loss to Frank Mir and looking to re-establish himself as one of the best MMA fighters in the business.  He has some of the most powerful legs in the business, and can also knock you out with a strike by either hand.  He is very experienced, and has had some of the most memorable knockouts in the UFC, and Pride.  He has excellent takedown defense, and will want to keep the fight standing.  He will use his experience and look for an opening to knock his opponent out with his fists or his feet.  Sometimes Cro Cop will gas late in fights.

Brendan Schaub is younger and inexperienced compared to Cro Cop, but is eager to prove that he is ready for a shot at the title.  He has won his last three fights, and will have a height and weight advantage over his opponent.  Brendan is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a former college football player, and a former Colorado Golden Gloves champion.  He also prefers the stand-up fight, and will try and use his boxing skills to his advantage.  He should be in great condition to last all three rounds.  Schaub wants to be considered one of the best  heavyweights in the world, and if he can beat Cro Cop, he will be on his way.

Here is a list of the remaining fights on the card:

Preliminary card (Spike TV)

  • Light Heavyweight bout: Luiz Cane vs. Eliot Marshall
  • Lightweight bout: Edson Barboza vs. Anthony Njokuani

Preliminary card (Facebook)

  • Welterweight bout: Ricardo Almeida vs. Mike Pyle
  • Lightweight bout: Kurt Pellegrino vs. Gleison Tibau

Preliminary card

  • Bantamweight bout: Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian Loveland
  • Featherweight bout: Erik Koch vs. Raphael Assunção
  • Catchweight (195 lb) bout: Nick Catone vs. Costantinos Phillipou
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~ by Troy Erickson Realtor on March 19, 2011.

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