UFC 128: Jon Jones reaches the Promised LandPosted on March 20, 2011, 01:16 AM by Ryan Ventura
Jon Jones started out his day by stopping a New Jersey car jacker, but had his sights set on stopping the legend Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Going into this fight both men looked extremely focused and hungry at the task at hand. Bones went into this fight the favorite, while the Shogun even though he was the man with the belt was the underdog.
As soon as first round bell rang, Jones was the man with the master plan. He exploited Shogun's lack of size and reach, he was outclassed on the ground, and on the feet. For three straight rounds it was all Jon “Bones” Jones. We saw spectacular work in the clinch, spinning elbows, brutal ground and pound. It was clear the PRIDE legend who made his name spilling the blood of his opponents in five different nations, was no match for the young hungry lion. In the third round with his back to the UFC Octagon cage, Shogun ate numerous strikes till finally falling to the ground.
With Jones arms raised in victory, you can see a smile on his face, and a sigh of relief. Mauricio Rua was once Jon Jones in 2005 when he won the PRIDE Middleweight GP in 2005. Without saying a word, the torch was passed with each elbow landed. At the age of 23 Jon Jones has made it and is officially now a household name in Mixed Martial Arts. Like many other young champions in their early 20's, names like Tiger Woods, Mike Tyson, Floyd Patterson, and even Shogun Rua himself. Jon Jones is now a member of an elite group of young achievers.
After the fight, standing across from Jones was a potential new adversary. Old friend and teammate from the Greg Jackson Camp “Sugar” Rashad Evans seems to be next on the UFC Light Heavyweight food chain. The sky is the limit for the new Light Heavyweight champion and a new era in the division has begun.
Questions I have after seeing Shogun vs. Jones:
-Is there anyone out there in the Light Heavyweight division that can dethrone Bones?
-Does Shogun need to change his methods of training to improve his gas tank?
-What does potential opponent Rashad Evans offer against Jon Jones?
-Who should Shogun fight next?
Notes from after UFC 128:
-Uriah Faber looked great in his UFC debut. He threw some nasty elbows on the ground against Eddie Wineland. I'd give him two more fights and he should earn a title shot against Dominick Cruz.
-Seeing Mirko Cro Cop look like a shell of his former self was sad. Mr. Left Head Kick needs to hang up the gloves. Brendan Schaub looked great against the Croatian, give him at least three more fights and he could contend for a title. But he needs to fight against some true blue chippers to earn that right.
-Nate Marquardt grinded his way back on the winning path but who should he fight next to get one step closer to another Middleweight title shot?
-Jim Miller looked awesome against Kamal Shalorus. Jim Miller has won seven straight and his title shot is due. In a very stacked Lightweight division, he has proved to be a threat. Who should he fight next?
-Luiz Cane finished Elliot Marshall in such spectacular fashion, but he has a long way to go to truly become relevant in the Light Heavyweight picture.
-Edson Barboza is a guy we should all watch out for in the extremely tough Lightweight division. Expect him to be on the main card the next time he fights. With a diverse set of skills, I expect his rise to not stop anytime soon.
Lowkick Awards for UFC 128:
MVP of UFC 128 – The Obvious choice is Jon “Bones” Jones. He dominated and outclassed a living legend in Mauricio “Shogun” Rua earning the right to be the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.
Celebrity Appearance of the Night – Legendary Hip-Hop icon turned actor Ice T. was seen numerous times in the background during UFC 128.
Biggest Cheer of the Night – Jim and Dan Miller share the honor of getting the biggest pop of the night from their hometown crowd.
Crimson Mask of the Night – Kamal Shalorus is the not so proud receiptant of the Crimson Mask of the Night after being demolished by Jim Miller.
Fight of the Night – Uriah Faber vs. Eddie Wineland was in my opinion the best fight of the night.
Finish of the Night – With many epic finishes of the night, the “Bones” finished “Shogun” in the most devastating fashion that night.
UFC 128's Best Entrance Music – Jon Jones wins another award for entering to “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys.
Photo: Fox Sports