UFC light heavyweights Stephan Bonnar and Jon Jones have verbally committed to fighting each other at UFC 94 on January 31 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A source close to Jones’ Team Bomb Squad revealed the news to FiveOuncesOfPain.com earlier today. While only verbal commitments have been secured so far, the source stated that finalized bout agreements could be signed within the coming days.
For Bonnar, who was the light heavyweight runner-up during the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter, it would mark his first fight since Oct. 20, 2007, when he recorded a second round TKO over Eric Schafer at UFC 77.
Bonnar is 11-4 overall during his MMA career and is 5-3 in eight career bouts contested under the UFC banner with notable wins over Sam Hoger, Keith Jardine, and James Irvin.
Jones is a member of the aforementioned Team Bomb Squad, one of the leading MMA training camps on the East Coast. He is a unique story in that he has trained in MMA for less than a year but is already competing in the UFC.
After making his pro debut this past April, Jones reeled off five consecutive wins including a second round TKO over one-time EliteXC fighter Moyses Gabin during Battle Cage Xtreme 5 this past July.
The win over Gabin garnered the attention of UFC Vice President of Talent Relations Joe Silva, who signed Jones to fight UFC newcomer Andre Gusmao on short notice at UFC 87 this past August. Coming into the bout a huge underdog, Jones surprised the formerly undefeated Renzo Gracie student with an array of dynamic strikes that earned him a unanimous decision victory.
UFC 94, scheduled to be available on pay-per-view, is expected to be headlined by UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre defending his crown against current UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn.