Jack Dempsey / AP
Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011 | 8:40 p.m.
UFC 135 Content
- Jon Jones immediately bombarded with Rashad Evans talk after UFC 135 win
- Rampage Jackson looks ahead after UFC 135 loss to Jon Jones
- Rashad Evans picks Rampage Jackson to win, but pulling for Jon Jones
- UFC 135 weigh-in: Rampage Jackson promises ‘to end’ Jon Jones’ hype
- Jon Jones’ image has changed, but the champion says he’s the same
- The return of Josh Koscheck could coincide with the exit of Matt Hughes
- UFC 135 betting odds and picks
- Trash talk between Jon Jones, Rampage Jackson intensifies UFC 135
- A glance at next month’s UFC 135 card
- Fight between Jon Jones and Rampage Jackson set for UFC 135
- UFC 135 section
- All MMA/boxing coverage
DENVER — Their parade of dislike stretched far and wide.
The feud between Jon Jones and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson started from the moment they began promoting their UFC 135 light heavyweight championship belt.
It ended Saturday at the Pepsi Center with Jones on Jackson’s back. Jones forced Jackson to tap out due to a rear naked choke at 1:14 of the fourth round and kept his title.
“If I wanted to finish the fight, that was the round I needed to do it,” Jones said in his post-fight octagon interview.
Jackson gave a valiant effort, and lasted longer than many expected. But he couldn’t negotiate the eight-inch reach advantage of Jones.
He landed a few strikes and defended himself well, but Jones simply wore him down by the fourth round. Consider Rampage a believer.
“He’s great, guys,” Jackson told the packed crowd. “I gave him a fight. The kid is good.”
Jones will next face Rashad Evans, who the UFC ushered into the octagon to greet the champion moments after the victory.
The co-main event also featured a finish, as Josh Koscheck knocked out UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes.
“He’s a legend and I’m really proud that I had the opportunity to fight a guy like Matt Hughes,” Koscheck said in the octagon after the fight.
Hughes controlled the opening four minutes of the bout by coming forward and working his jab. But Koscheck caught him around the four-minute mark, and it wasn’t much longer before Hughes was on the ground.
Once there, Koscheck unloaded an arsenal of hammerfists that forced the referee to step in one second before the bell rang to end the round. The 37-year old Hughes stuck to what he said all week and didn’t announce whether or not he would fight again.
“I’m not retiring,” Hughes said. “I’m going to tell the UFC to put me on the shelf and we’ll see what happens after that.”
The most improbable news of the night came from the two heavyweight bouts. Both fights went the distance and the judges awarded decisions to Travis Browne and Mark Hunt.
They beat Rob Broughton and Ben Rothwell, respectively. All three judges gave all three rounds to Browne over Broughton. In the biggest upset of the night, Hunt nearly finished Rothwell after opening a deep cut above right his right eye but settled for scores of 30-27, 29-27 and 29-28.
Takanori Gomi, the former PRIDE lightweight champion, lost to the second Diaz brother of his career to kick off the main card. Nate Diaz transitioned from a triangle to an armbar to force Gomi to tap out at 4:27 of the first round.
It was a little faster than his older brother, Nick Diaz, who submitted Gomi in the third round of one of the most famous mixed martial arts bouts ever in 2007.
Check back to lasvegassun.com for full coverage later and look below for results from the preliminary card.
The most recent winner of "The Ultimate Fighter" kept his stoppage streak intact. Tony Ferguson defeated Aaron Riley via TKO at the end of the first round. Ferguson broke Riley's jaw with an uppercut near the end of the round.
Tim Boetsch won his second straight since dropping from light heavyweight to middleweight. Boetsch beat Nick Ring by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) and executed one of the best takedowns in recent memory with a judo throw late in the third round.
Junior Assuncao defeated Eddie Yagin by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26) in a featherweight contest. Assuncao was able to take Yagin down repeatedly and came close to finishing him with ground-and-pound strikes in the third round.
Takeya Mizugaki finished Cole Escovedo via TKO at 4:30 of the second round. The bantamweights battled closely for nine minutes before Mizugaki landed a barrage of punches cleanly near the end of the second round.
James Te Huna defeated Ricardo Romero via first round knockout at 0:47 of the first round in their light heavyweight bout. Te Huna hurt Romero with an uppercut and finished him with the same punch.