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MacDonald victorious in UFC 145 prelim bout; Jones was to meet Evans in main event

ATLANTA -- Canadian welterweight Rory MacDonald scored an impressive technical knockout of England's Che Mills in the preliminary feature to the Rashad Evans-Jon Jones light heavyweight championship fight on the UFC 145 mixed martial arts program at Philips Arena.

The main event between challenger Evans of Niagara Falls and Jones of Ithaca for the Ultimate Fighting Championship title ended too late for this edition.

MacDonald got the TKO at 2:20 of the second round after nearly ending it late in the first. MacDonald had a choke on Mills as time ran out in the five-minute round.

Mills was bloodied by a series of right-hands by MacDonald in the opening round.

In the second, MacDonald took control early after spinning Mills down with a single leg. After a barrage of blows Mills went too the ground face down, and covered up. Referee Mario Yamasaki then stepped in.

Travis Browne needed just 2 minutes and 29 seconds of the first round to defeat Chad Griggs in their heavyweight match on the undercard. The 6-foot-7, 255-pound Browne landed some left hands to set up an arm-triangle, which Griggs was unable to escape. The choke hold gave Browne the victory when Griggs tapped out.

Referee Herb Dean stepped in to stop the damage after heavyweight Ben Rothwell put down Brendan Schaub with a right hand for a knockout win at just 70 seconds of the opening round.

In another heavyweight encounter, Matt Brown cut Stephen Thompson with an elbow in the second round, turning their match around and leading the Ohio fighter to a unanimous deicision.

Brown won on all three judges cards, two by 30-27 and the other, 29-27.

In earlier matches on the undercard:

Featherweight Marcus Brimage won a split decision over Maximo Blanco in an opener that was marked by intervals of dull action.

Chris Clements took a split decision against Keith Wisniewski in a battle of welterweights.

Lightweight Mac Danzig scored a unanimous deicision over Efrain Escudero.

Boos rang down at the conclusion of the 158-pound encounter between Anthony Njokuani and John Makdessi because of a lack of action at times in their match. Njokuani won on an unanimous decision winning on all three cards, two by 30-27 and the third, 29-28.

Mark Bocek, 30, of Toronto improved his record to 11-4 with an unanimous decision over veteran John "The Natural" Alessio, 32, of Las Vegas, Nev. Alessio was filling in for the injured Matt Wiman.

Both fighters were bloodied but featherweight Eddie Yagin scored a first-round knockout and went on to a split decision over Canadian Mark Hominick. Two judges had Yagin winning, 29-28, the third gave it to Hominick, 29-28.

Michael McDonald scored a knockout at 3:18 of the first round over Miguel Torres in their bantamweight fight. McDonald scored with a right uppercut to stun McDonald then punched his opponent into unconsciousness.

Jones, 24, enjoys an advantage over the 32-year-old Evans both in youth and reach. The 6-foot-4 Jones has an 84.5-inch reach to Evans' 75 inches.

Jones is coming off a year when he defeated Ryan Baider, won the title from Shogun Rua then defended it twice against Rampage and Lyoto.

Evans, a former champion, has gone 4-0 since losing his title.

Jones (15-1, 9-1 UFC) is ranked No. 1 in the light heavyweight division while Evans is ranked No. 3.

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