Now that Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante has proven the face-to-fist defense is no bueno, let’s take a look ahead to MMA’s next major fight card. Coincidentally, “UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones” also features a light heavyweight championship affair.
Skyrocketing superstar Jon Jones will be stepping in on short notice to challenge Mauricio “Shogun” Rua for his freshly minted crown on March 19th inside the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
“Bones” was seen last seen handing Ryan Bader his first pro blemish at UFC 126. Immediately after last month’s win, Jones was informed by Octagon president Dana White that his teammate Rashad Evans was injured and would be forced out of his long awaited shootout with Shogun.
The 23-year-old promptly accepted the opportunity of a lifetime.
Rua is fresh off his third knee surgery following a knockout victory over Lyoto Machida at UFC 113 to capture the 205-pound crown. Although Jones is far more dynamic than Evans, the Brazilian claims to be unfazed by the challenge.
Jones is more than a 2-to-1 favorite to become the youngest champion in UFC history. Josh Barnett was 24 when he won the heavyweight belt at UFC 36 in March 2002. He was subsequently stripped of his hardware for testing positive for three different steroids.
Here are athletes expected to participate in the pay-per-view broadcast:
Raphael Assunca vs. TBD
Dan Miller vs. Nick Catone
Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian Loveland
Kurt Pellegrino vs. Gleison Tibau
Ricardo Almeida vs. Mike Pyle
(Spike TV 9PM ET/6PM PT)
Edson Barboza vs. Anthony Njokuani
Luiz Cane vs. Eliot Marshall
Brendan Schaub vs. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic
Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Nate Marquardt
Kamal Shalorus vs. Jim Miller
Urijah Faber vs. Eddie Wineland
Jon Jones vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (UFC Light Heavyweight Champion)