Jon Jones def. Rashad Evans via unanimous decision
Rory MacDonald def. Che Mills via second-round TKO
Ben Rothwell def. Brendan Schaub via first-round TKO
Michael McDonald def. Miguel Torres via first-round KO
Eddie Yagin def. Mark Hominick via split decision
Mark Bocek def. John Alessio via unanimous decision
Travis Browne def. Chad Griggs via submission (arm-triangle)
Matt Brown def. Stephen Thompson via unanimous decision
Anthony Njokuani def. John Makdessi via unanimous decision
Mac Danzig def. Efrain Escudero via unanimous decision
Chris Clements def. Keith Wisniewski by split decision
Marcus Brimage def. Maximo Blanco by split decision
Chris Clements Scrapes Past Keith Wisniewski in Thriller
In an early bid for a Fight of the Night Award, Chris Clements out-struck Keith Wisniewski en route to a spirited split decision win.
Clements survived some early trouble on the ground and was able to keep things standing throughout much of the rest of the way in scraping past the veteran Wisniewski for the victory. The judges scored it 29-28, 29-28, 28-29.
It was the first octagon win for Clements, who was making his UFC debut. He improved to 11-4 overall.
The first round was wild, with Wisniewski scoring an early takedown, only to see the referee stand them up even though he was in half-guard and working. Clements took advantage of the opportunity, dropping Wisniewski with a body punch and working him over from the top.
The second was just as competitive, with Clements throwing a variety of spinning strikes, many connecting. Wisniewski later scored a takekdown, but Clements didn't surrender from the bottom position, landing a series of elbow strikes while Wisniewski had his back.
The duo shared an embrace as the third round began, and continued the scrap, with Clements dropping Wisniewski late in the round with an overhand right. He looked for the finish from the top but couldn't get it. Still, it was enough to earn the victory.
Wisniewski fell to 28-14-1 with his second straight defeat.
Before the bout happened, Matt Brown said he was more afraid of Stephen Thompson's ground game than his vaunted striking. But on fight night, Brown decided to test the uncharted waters, and came out with a victory as a result.
Brown became the first man to hand "Wonderboy" a defeat in years, earning a unanimous decision win over him at UFC 145 by scores of 30-27, 30-27, 29-27. Thompson had previously won 62 combined amateur kickboxing, pro kickboxing and MMA fights.
Brown got off to a great start in the first, taking Thompson down multiple times and using ground strikes to score points.
The second was way more competitive, as Thompson found a way to keep on his feet for most of the round. He hurt Brown with a combo, and Brown looked like he was in trouble, but not only did he find a way to survive the onslaught, he completely reversed the momentum with a right elbow that floored Thompson. For the last minute of the round, he sliced Thompson with a series of elbows that bloodied his forehead.
Thompson had his moments in the third, but he couldn't stay upright long enough to make it count. Brown got another takedown and trapped him on the ground with a series of strikes that left the decision clear.
Brown improved to 14-11 with his second straight win while Thompson is now 6-1 after suffering his first pro MMA defeat.
John Alessio's long-awaited return to the octagon didn't end well.
The longtime veteran was repeatedly taken down and controlled en route to a unanimous decision loss at the hands of Mark Bocek. The judges scored the contest 30-27, 30-27, 29-28.
Bocek easily captured the first, taking Alessio down early and using his dangerous ground game to keep him down. While Bocek eventually took his back and hunted his neck, Alessio defended that well but left himself open to strikes throughout.
Alessio found more success in the second with a crisp right hand that found its target repeatedly, but Bocek took that distance away from him by closing the gap and putting him against the fence.
Any hope Alessio had of stealing the fight in the third ended when Bocek put him down again.
Bocek improved to 11-4 with his second straight win while Alessio is now 34-15.
In a massive upset, Eddie Yagin topped Mark Hominick, dropping the former featherweight No. 1 contender twice in the first two rounds and surviving a tense third to earn the most significant victory of his career.
Yagin won on points, as the judges scored the three-rounder for him by tallies of 29-28, 29-28, 28-29. Hominick had been as much as a 6-to-1 favorite to win th efight.
Yagin nearly knocked Hominick out in the first, flooring him with a right uppercut/left hook combo. He punished him with ground strikes that had ref Mario Yamasaki looking intently at the action, but he let it go, and Hominick held on, then got back to his feet and fought competitively for the rest of the round.
By the end of the first, Yagin's nose was bloodied while Hominick had developed a mouse under his right eye.
Hominick began finding his rhythm in the second, pumping out the jab while utilizing his significant reach advantage, but Yagin countered with leg kicks. About two minutes in though, Yagin dropped him again, this time with a straight right. Yagin went all-out for the finish but Hominick stayed active on the bottom.
Hominick eventually got to his feet and worked his kickboxing, but Yagin's power found its mark at times, too.
Likely realizing he was far behind, Hominick turned up his aggression in the final frame, letting his right hand go. He backed Yagin up repeatedly during the round and hurt him several times. Yagin's face was covered in blood by the final horn, but it still wasn't enough for Hominick.
Yagin, who won in the UFC for the first time, improved to 16-5-1, while Hominick lost for the third straight time and is now 20-11.
Twenty-one-year-old phenom Michael McDonald expressed total confidence he could beat Miguel Torres, and when he got his chance, he proved to be a man with vision.
The young phenom bantamweight stayed unbeaten in the UFC, knocking Torres out in just 3:18 of the first round.
McDonald dropped Torres with a well-time uppercut and pounced on him with right hands from the top that knocked the former WEC champ unconscious.
"I was worried about his range," he said. "I was trying to make sure he didn't get that jab off which he did a few times. I was trying to get inside, and use my power and accuracy. That's what I was banking on."
Even before the finish, McDonald showed some early aggression in the first with a flurry that included a scoring uppercut and body shot. He clipped him a short time later with the uppercut that led to the finish.
"I feel great," he said. "I can finally eat some pizza and ice cream. I'm going to party tonight."
Torres couldn't walk out of the octagon on his own, needing assistance from his cornermen.
McDonald is now 15-1 overall and 4-0 in the UFC. Torres dropped to 40-5 with his second loss in three fights.
In a fast, brutal and surprising comeback, Ben Rothwell knocked out Brendan Schaub at UFC 145.
Seconds before that, Rothwell looked to be in a big trouble, stumbling backwards after a series of punches put him on his heels. But the entire fight changed on a dime when the veteran heavyweight unleashed a left hook that landed behind Schaub's ear and put him down. Rothwell jumped on him with a pair of strikes and ref Herb Dean saw enough, ending the action at 1:10 of the first round.
"I feel great," Rothwell said. "You could take a look at me and it speaks for itself. I worked very hard."
It was Rothwell's first win since June 2010 when he beat Gilbert Yvel at UFC 115. He's now 32-8.
"If you're going to stand in front of me, you're probably going to go down," he said. "There's the proof."
Former prospect Schaub suffered his second straight knockout loss, falling to 8-3. His last defeat was at the hands of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at last August's UFC 134.
UFC 145 was supposed to be a coming-out party for Rory MacDonald, and the 22-year-old phenom put on the star-making performance that many expected.
MacDonald had no problems with British striking specialist Che Mills, pounding him out on the mat en route to a second-round TKO victory.
Ref Mario Yamasaki stopped the bout at 2:20 of the round after Mills took a barrage of unanswered strikes.
"I could tell I was landing big shots, and I when I land shots on the ground and they're clean, I know they're going to be hurt," MacDonald said.
The first was all MacDonald. The Canadian welterweight showed great ground and pound from the top, at one point pushing aside Mills' attempted triangle and diving into a hard right. Mills then moved into side control and got the crucifix position briefly. Mills regained his left hand but MacDonald stayed in side control. With about 30 seconds left he got full mount and Mills gave up his back, but MacDonald couldn't finish.
By the time the round was over, Mills had a cut on his forehead and hemotoma on his right cheek.
The second was more of the same. MacDonald got an easy takedown and this time overwhelmed him until the finish.
"Che was a great opponent. He didn't get much respect in the media because of his lack of fights in the UFC," he said. "But I took this fight very seriously."
MacDonald is now 13-1 overall with his third straight win. Mills fell to 14-5 with one no contest.
Jon Jones Retains Belt in Decision Win Over Rashad Evans
Shogun. Rampage. Lyoto. Rashad.
Jon Jones successfully navigated the murderer's row of opposition, adding former training partner and friend Rashad Evans to his list of defeated former champions with a unanimous decision win in the UFC 145 main event at Philips Arena. The champ won by scores of 50-45, 49-46, 49-46.
It's definitely my most satisfying victory," Jones said afterward. "I did a lot of things I didn't plan. I didn't want to make any mistakes. I didn't feel the cleanest, but who I beat, it was very important to me."
The grudge match didn't provide the exclamation point finish or fireworks that most desired, but by the time it was over, it was clear that Jones was the better fighter, landing the more significant strikes and controlling the fight's pace and distance.
The two fought a measured first. Jones took the center of the cage and walked Evans around the perimeter, keeping him at distance. Evans had trouble navigating the space, getting punished with a hard knee his first time wading forward. But he seemed to find the distance as the round wore on, and had his moment late as he landed a head kick that backed Jones up. Jones was never really in any trouble though, and landed a hard left of his own at the closing horn.
Jones buckled him with an uppercut early in the second, but Evans bounced back quickly as he maintained his movement. Jones calmly followed him around and closed the distance with elbows. Evans got rocked with a right hand against the fence but he initiated a clinch, giving him recovery time. But Jones kept on with his attack, utilizing a series of standing elbows as a serious weapon. Jones also hurt Evans in the final seconds with a left hook that punctuated his most dominant round of the fight.
"He had those sneaky elbows that kept coming in," Evans said. "I played the wrong game."
Surprisingly, Evans chose to play at distance for most of the fight, declining to shoot in for a takedown over the first three rounds. He did, however, show his resolve in the third, landing his best punch of the fight, an overhand right that scored, but Jones took it without much issue. Jones wobbled Evans again with a flying knee midway through. Soon after, he scored with a body kick as Evans appeared to start to tire.
The entire first three rounds were fought standing, but Evans finally attempted to bring Jones to the mat in the fourth. Jones, however, stuffed the attempt, as well as a follow-up moments later. Evans shot in again a minute later, and Jones latched on to his neck and fired a knee to the body before Evans could pull away.
Though he was cruising towards a win, Jones didn't slow up in the last round, hurting the challenger with a crisp right. His varied offense continued but he didn't come close to putting him away. Jones scored his first takedown in the final minute, landing one strike but Evans was able to pop up and escape further trouble. Jones pulled guard in the final few seconds, but Evans landed a few strikes to close it out.
"He was pretty crafty and tricky, stuff like that," Evans said. "Give him props, he kept me on my toes.
The 24-year-old champ is now 16-1 following his third successful title defense. Evans is 17-2-1.
UFC 145 Bonuses: Browne, Rothwell, Hominick and Yagin Earn $65,000
Jon Jones and Rashad Evans may have stolen the show at UFC 145, but it was their colleagues who left Atlanta with a fatter wallet.
Travis Browne, Ben Rothwell, Mark Hominick and Eddie Yagin each earned $65,000 in post-fight bonus checks for their performances on Saturday night. UFC President Dana White confirmed the winners during the UFC 145 post-fight press conference.
As the owner of the night's only submission finish, Browne earned ‘Submission of the Night' honors by default. Though, that's not to diminish his performance. The massive heavyweight was impressive in victory, blasting Strikeforce veteran Chad Griggs with a flying knee early in the first round, before securing a body lock and locking in the finishing arm triangle.
"I belong here," Browne proclaimed afterward. "UFC heavyweights, watch out, baby."
Later in the evening, Rothwell stunned spectators by storming back from early trouble to drop Brendan Schaub with a desperation counter left hook, pounding out the former TUF contestant to earn the upset win and cement his claim to ‘Knockout of the Night.'
"If you're going to stand in front of me, you're probably going to go down," Rothwell happily said. "There's the proof."
Rounding out the night, Eddie Yagin put on the performance of his career to earn a shocking split decision win over former featherweight title contender Mark Hominick. The two engaged in a furious scrap that nearly ended numerous times, however both men survived to earn ‘Fight of the Night' honors.
Dan Henderson Named Next Challenger for Champ Jon Jones
After beating four consecutive UFC champions, the road will not get any easier for current light-heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones.
The 24-year-old star's next opponent will be multi-time, multi-division champion Dan Henderson, according to UFC president Dana White, who confirmed the pairing shortly after Jones topped Rashad Evans at UFC 145.
White didn't have a timetable for the fight's scheduling, but said UFC 149 in Calgary could be a possibility.
"You know what? I feel great that I already have a mission," said Jones (16-1). " I'm going to work extremely hard to better myself. I did things that I could've done better. Dan Henderson is an awesome opponent. He’s a winner and he has a huge fan base. I'm sure the haters are going to come right away. I'm OK with it. There's going to be a lot of things to conquer in this fight. He has extreme knockout power. I don't know who hits harder between him or Rampage. He has extreme knockout power and I’m excited to conquer it."
The 41-year-old Henderson has been sitting on the sidelines since last November, after beating Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in a match considered by many to be the best MMA fight in the sport's history.
Henderson (29-8) was in attendance at the Philips Arena to watch Jones beat former teammate Evans. He has won seven of his last eight overall. If he beats Jones, he'll be the only man ever to win major championships in the UFC, Strikeforce and PRIDE.
At 24, Jon Jones Moves Into G.O.A.T. Consideration
In debating the greatest fighter in MMA history, there is a very short list of candidates. Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre, Fedor Emelianenko, Randy Couture, Dan Henderson and Chuck Liddell comprise the most cited names.
After Saturday night, you can add a new one to the list: Jon Jones.
I'm not saying he's the best ever, not quite yet, but he's now in the conversation. He has to be, after vanquishing rival Rashad Evans at UFC 145. That's admittedly an absurd notion when you take into consideration the fact that he's just 24 years old and barely four years into his professional career, but the facts are the facts. In the last 13 months, he's beaten four straight former champions, four straight possible Hall of Famers in Mauricio Rua, Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida and now, Evans.
Throw in his February 2011 win over Ryan Bader and he's beaten five top 10 opponents in the span of 14 months, an accomplishment likely unmatched not only in MMA, but in the history of combat sports. If he beats his next scheduled opponent Henderson -- another future Hall of Famer -- he will only be extending the most amazing run this sport has ever seen.
Evans had walked into the main event with the feeling that he could capitalize on his pre-existing knowledge of Jones' game from their time together at Team Jackson-Winkeljohn. Known for being a slow starter, he actually came out with a strong first round, but it didn't last. By the time it was over, he admitted that Jones had stymied and confused him, just as he seems to do to everyone else. The way he put it, he was "out-slicked."
"Jones definitely has a talent that is different than anybody else's," said Evans.
Jones is also becoming the rarest of the rare when it comes to MMA: a crossover star. Before the fight, he got tweets of support from superstars like LeBron James and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Round-by-round updates from his fight aired live on ESPN's SportsCenter, in a first for the sport.
Despite the mounting pressure, he delivered when it mattered, making his third consecutive title defense in a unanimous decision. While it wasn't his most dominant performance -- Evans became the first man to take him to a decision in his last nine fights -- it was still lopsided, as Evans only managed to take a single round on two judges' scorecards.
According to stats provider FightMetric, Jones out-struck Evans by a count of 116-49, adding to the lopsided numbers seen in his other fights against top opposition. Against Machida, there was a count of 26-13. Against Jackson, it was 74-24, while against Rua, he out-struck him 102-11 in a performance that was MMA's equivalent of baseball's perfect game.
Facing Evans, the big challenge was to shut down his vaunted wrestling attack. Evans had managed to take down every opponent he'd ever faced in fights he attempted takedowns, but against Jones, he put up a goose egg. Jones also authored all of the fight's biggest moments, particularly a crushing left elbow that staggered Evans along the cage. By the end, Jones' face was completely unmarked as if he hadn't even fought at all.
Evans, meanwhile, had bruises and swelling on his face, and said his legs were hurting.
"I still got to go home and cry a little bit," Evans said.
This is what Jones is reducing his opponents to. Rua battered, Jackson admitting he can't imagine anyone beating him, Machida choked unconscious. And now, Evans crying. He probably wasn't the first, and likely won't be the last.
Jones still has work to do, though. He's young and adjusting. He's making improvements to his striking technique, he's learning to generate more power, and he's still growing his confidence. Amazingly, despite all his success, he admitted to being a little unsure of his approach to Evans. But with every success, there are lessons to be learned. Jones is a voracious viewer of fight video, and he dissects tape to make refinements in an attempt to reach his full potential. As long as he continues his work ethic and preparation, he just may chase down the "greatest" tag, which most believe belongs to his contemporary, Silva.
"It's tough to put anybody in the No. 1 spot as long as Anderson Silva is still undefeated, in my opinion," UFC president Dana White said.
But Silva's pedestal is isn't out of Jones' acclaimed reach. Henderson is the only great active light-heavyweight Jones has yet to beat. If he gets by him, perhaps he makes the move to heavyweight, where he can cement his claim. Even if he doesn't, there's no doubt of where he is right now. He is the greatest phenomenon the UFC has seen since B.J. Penn, and no one has shown any inkling of how to solve his puzzle. Someday, someone might, but there's no denying what he's done so far. He's off to a historic start, one that puts him in conversation as the best ever. Whatever your view on Jones the person, Jones the fighter deserves his due as a singular talent, and so far, one of the best the sport has ever produced.