Heading into Saturday’s UFC 126 showdown, Jon Jones knew a win over Ryan Bader would catapult him to the top of the 205-pound heap. Little did “Bones” know, the biggest fight of his skyrocketing career would turn out to be a top contender bout.
Following his impressive 2ndRound submission victory over Bader, UFC president Dana White notified Jones his training partner Rashad Evans suffered a knee injury and would be forced out of his UFC 128 title scrap with champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
White then asked Jones if he was down to dance for the crown on March 19th. The budding superstar graciously, and promptly, accepted his boss’ offer.
“I feel great,” Jones stated after posting the biggest win of his young career. “I’ve got it so great. I’m going for a world title, baby. Let’s do it.”
Rua (19-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) now has six weeks to prepare for a much more dangerous opponent. The champion, who entered the Octagon to greet his next opponent, claimed to be unfazed by the switch.
“I’ll fight anyone, no problem,” Rua frankly stated. “I’m a professional fighter. No problem.”
UFC 128 takes place inside the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.