UFC president Dana White admitted he didn’t know exactly where Jon Jones’ place was among the light heavyweight elite entering Saturdays’ UFC 128 title fight, but it certainly didn’t take too long to find out. Jones made Mauricio “Shogun” Rua look as bad as some of the fighters he watched Rua beat back in his PrideFC heydays.
After Jones brutalized Rua for the better part of two-and-a-half rounds, Shogun dropped to the mat signaling he’d had enough. The mauling was so bad, it appeared the gritty Brazilian even tapped from strikes just as referee Herb Dean was stepping in the stop the assault.
Never before had fans seen Rua get manhandled in the fashion that “Bones” so easily did inside the Prudential Center, only hours away from Jones’ hometown of Endicott, New York.
However, we’ve also never seen a talent like Jones before, either. UFC color commentator Joe Rogan quickly pointed that out after the belt was securely placed around Jones’ waist.
It was clear from the outset that Shogun was simply outmatched, but like the champion that he is, he fought valiantly until his body could no longer handle the brutal punishment it had endured.
In one fell swoop, Jones not only snatched the UFC light heavyweight title from one of the sport’s greatest competitors, but he also entered himself into the world’s best pound-for-pound conversation.
“After what I saw tonight, it looks like he’s a mile ahead of everybody,” UFC president Dana White stated at the UFC 128 post-fight press conference. “He [also] deserves some top pound-for-pound consideration.”
Oh yeah, the champ did all of this after chasing down a thief just hours before entering the biggest fight of his life.
Crime fighter by day and 23-year-old UFC champion by night. Not too shabby for a day’s work.