After Jon Jones’ impressive submission victory over Ryan Bader during the UFC 126 fight event, Joe Rogan informed Jones that he would be facing the current light-heavyweight champion Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua; a good decision by the UFC, given the fact that Jones has been impressive throughout his MMA career.
Jon Jones has suffered only one loss in his career, to the former ultimate fighter competitor Matt Hamil. Jones thoroughly dominated Hamil during their fight, easily taking Hamil to the ground and landing brutal elbows on his face. Unfortunately for Jones, a few of his elbows where at a twelve-to-six angle, and Jones was disqualified from the contest.
Before the Hamil fight, Jones had already inspired MMA fans with his unorthodox striking and solid grappling. After the disqualification to Hamil, Jones impressed many with the maturity he handled the unfortunate turn of events with.
Ever since then, Jones has gone on to defeat the likes of Brandon Vera, Vladimir Matyushenko, and now Ryan Bader. Now Jones will get an opportunity to become the UFC light-heavy weight champion and complete the transition from top MMA prospect to UFC champion.
Shogun will definitely be the biggest test of Jones’s career when they meet at UFC 128. The fact that Shogun dominated former champion Lyoto Machida, is a testament that Shogun has returned to the level he fought in at Pride. Given the fact that he was able to out strike one of the most technical strikers in Lyoto Machida, Shogun will probably be able to do the same against Jon Jones.
While Jones will probably lose a striking battle with Shogun, his reach and his wrestling abilities should cause problems for Shogun, and Jones should be able to take the fight to the ground. While Shogun is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu jitsu, Jones should be able to control him on the ground as he had no problems controlling Matt Hamil and Ryan Bader, two high level wrestlers. UFC 128 should end with Jon Jones securing a win over Shogun, and claiming his right full place among MMA’s elite fighters.