Ultimate Fighting Championship light-heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones was very impressive in his first title defense, dominating former champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 135.
Jones initially relied on his grappling ability, pinning Rampage against the cage and working in some shots. Halfway through the first round, a stand up battle developed. Jones was able to get the better of the striking as well, easily winning the first round of the MMA fight.
The second and third rounds were all Jones, as he dominated “Rampage” inside the cage. Jones finished off Jackson in the fourth round, winning the MMA fight via rear-naked choke.
“[I’m not going to be] a sore loser,” Jackson told reporters at the UFC 135 post-fight conference. “I thought I’d be really mad [if I lost], especially after [Jones] did what he said he was going to do and finished me. I gained a lot of respect for Jones. I thought he was hype, but he’s good. He fought me and did some great stuff. I don’t see anybody beating Jones.”
With the win, Jones will face former teammate Rashad Evans in his next title defense. Rashad will be a tougher opponent for Jones, but I can’t see him dealing with the UFC light-heavyweight champion’s reach and improved striking skills. At the rate at which Jones’ striking improves with every MMA fight, I expect a one-sided event when he meets Evans inside the Octagon.
Some MMA fans might say it’s too early to put Jones in the same category as other UFC greats like Anderson Silva, but in reality the 24 year old is already there. Jones’ wrestling has already been verified with his performances against Matt Hamill and Ryan Bader. Against Jackson at UFC 135, Jones showed the world his striking is also top notch.
Jones is definitely the future of the UFC, and I expect him to remain at the top of the light-heavyweight division for quite some time.