When UFC light heavyweight Jon Jones took out Mauricio Rua to become divisional champion he was a budding superstar whose mettle hadn’t been tested. Fast-forward to today and “Bones” is a champion on the cusp of cleaning out his weight-class. With three fights under his belt since the meeting with Rua, and a fourth slated for September, Jones’ overall ability is no longer a question but an opinion supported by factual evidence.
However, “Shogun” sees Jones’ increased exposure as a negative and plans to capitalize on it if fate unfolds as he hopes. Rua is poised to earn a title-shot with a convincing win over Brandon Vera next Saturday night at UFC on FOX 4, while Jones is the favorite in an upcoming fight with Dan Henderson at UFC 151.
“I want my title back,” said Rua blankly in chat with fans on Yahoo Sports. “I think (it) is much easier to study Jon Jones now. (The) last time the guy was a brand new style in the UFC. Now we’ve seen him fight other guys and have more information what he’s going to do in the Octagon. I am working towards beating him in a rematch.”
Jones took Rua out via TKO in the third round of their March 2011 tilt. The legendary Brazilian has fought twice since, knocking out Forrest Griffin and falling on the scorecards in an instant-classic against Henderson this past November.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC