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UFC New Jersey – The Aftermath with Dane Curley

The Punishment Continues for Lyoto Machida at UFC New Jersey (USA Today Sports photo)
Photo: Lyoto Machida beneath Luke Rockhold (USA Today Sports)

O.O is the emoticon that explains UFC New Jersey best.

Few people left UFC on FOX 15 (or turned off their televisions) with their eyes normally sized. No matter who they were rooting for, the one sided Main Event caused an epidemic of big, bulging, what-in-the-hell-happened eyeballs.

Luke Rockhold slayed the Dragon

Frankly, there’s not much more I can say about this one. I suppose all there is left for me to do is sing the praises of Luke Rockhold, which perhaps I did not do enough in my “Lyoto Machida’s Achilles Heel” article for Today’s Knockout.

Following Rockhold’s pounding destruction of Machida, all I could think about was how much punishment the Dragon took en route to his second round stoppage loss. Truly, however, the victory was a testament to the skills of its winner.

Rockhold secured ground control, and that’s the story. Once under his authority, Machida had no escape. Rockhold did just about everything a man could do on the ground. There were hammerfists, punches, transitions, triangle body-locks, a guillotine submission attempt, full mount, back mount, side control, and with every scramble, a new position of equal superiority. Somehow, it may not be enough for a title shot.

Jacare blitzes Romero’s Replacement

Camozzi vs Jacare - Julio Cortez, Associated Press

Chris Camozzi vs Jacare Souza – Julio Cortez, AP

Chris Camozzi stepped up to face Jacare Souza on short notice. A brave soul he may be, but a defeated man.

Jacare ensured his opponent looked no better than a lower-tier fighter should on short notice against a man of his caliber. He was able to convince fans that Camozzi’s position in that match would make for nothing beyond a showcase exhibition. Before we’d witness half of a round, Camozzi was verbally submitting to an impending doom. Doing so no doubt saved him from the horrors of a perfect armbar he could not escape.

In the end, Camozzi could do nothing more but pit his grip and arm strength against the might of the Alligator’s entire torso. If he let go, and it was only a matter of time, his arm was about to turn sunny side up. Camozzi’s loss guarantees continued prominence for Souza, who is undefeated in the UFC, and on an eight fight winning streak. The man who last beat him? Luke Rockhold.

Who Fights for the Middleweight Title?

“…We’re in a position right now where we’ve got two guys who looked unbelievable, who could fight next for the title. It’s a good problem to have.

Who knows how Luke is going to feel after tonight – who knows how ‘Jacare’ is going to feel [after tonight]. You feel good tonight, but when you go home, we’ll see how everything is. We’ll see how this thing plays out, we’ll see how Vitor vs. Weidman goes, and we’ll make a decision.”

Dana White wisely left it up for debate at the UFC New Jersey post-fight presser.

It’s definitely up in the air. Though, with logic, Today’s Knockout writer Jordy McElroy does seem to suggest that Luke Rockhold will win out the bid. The reasons are plural: the previous win over Jacare, and recent wins over the more famous, marquee fighters. The UFC is a ticket-selling machine, first and foremost. Money talks [and makes the matches].

Still, Jacare’s hand isn’t beaten yet. He recently dropped deuces on Rockhold, reminding fans that he’s never lost to either man in the current UFC 185-pound title mix. It’s true that Luke was knocked silly by the heel of Vitor Belfort – but it remains to be seen whether or not Belfort will claim the title, and Luke has not yet faced the defending champion Chris Weidman.

Perhaps, the match will write itself. A Weidman win goes to Rockhold. A Belfort win goes to Souza. Alternatively, the UFC may see fit to squeeze in another match somehow.



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