Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier, UFC 182, 3 January 2015
After Quinton Rampage Jackson defeated Chuck Liddell at UFC 52 in May 2007, the UFC Light Heavyweight division became one of the most competitive weight classes in the UFC. The Light Heavyweight belt bounced from one tried and true champion to another with each champion holding the position for less than a year.
Rampage Jackson was defeated by Forrest Griffin by leg kicks. Rashad Evans defeated Forrest Griffin via TKO. Lyoto Machida then defeated Rashad Evans via TKO. Finally Shogun Rua defeated Lyoto for the belt on the second try.
Then comes the 23 year old Jon Jones. Coming up the rankings, Jon Jones handily defeated every single Light Heavyweight contender the UFC threw at him. Brandon Vera, Matt Hamill, Vladimir Matyushenko, Ryan Bader…He defeated the beloved MMA super star Shogun Rua to become the Light Heavyweight Champion. As champion Jon Jones put away every single Light Heavyweight champion fight fans grew up with and held as heroes. Rampage Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort. Jon Jones further established his name in MMA history with one of the best fights ever against Alexander Gustafsson.
Its taken me almost 4 years to come to terms and accept Jon Jones as likely, the best Light Heavyweight fighter of all time.
Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson honestly wasn’t that great of a fight. Look at most any of the fights that are in the Best of the Best archive on this blog. Any of those could be a better fight. What was intriguing about this fight was that Alexander Gustafsson offered the first real threat to Jon Jones UFC Light Heavyweight title.
It is an action packed five rounds. Jon Jones has his usual unorthodox striking that leverages wrestling base, his long limbs and his reach. Alexander Gustafsson however comes in with outstanding wrestling and a strong boxing background. Gustafsson was able to draw the fight out of Jon Jones and turn this title fight into one of the best Light Heavyweight title fights in UFC history. This fight is recognized as the 2013 Fight of the Year.
(Click and scroll for the full fight video)
UFC 173, 24 May 2014, Las Vegas Nevada
T.J. Dillashaw def Renan Barao*
(T.J. won UFC Bantamweight Championship)
(TKO Strikes – round 5)
Daniel Cormier def Dan Henderson*
(submission rear-naked choke – round 3)
Robbie Lawler def Jake Ellenberger*
(TKO strikes – round 3)
Takeya Mizugaki def Francisco Rivera
(unanimous decision 29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
James Krause def Jamie Varner*
(TKO injury – round 1)
Michael Chiesa def Francisco Trinaldo*
(unanimous decision 30-26,30-26, 30-27)
Tony Ferguson def Katsunori Kikimo*
(TKO punch – round 1)
Chris Holdworth def Chico Camus*
(unanimous decision 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Mitch Clarke def Al Iaquinta*
(submission d’arce choke – round 2)
Vinc Pichel def Anthony Njokuani*
(unanimous decision 30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Sam Sicilia def Aaron Phillips*
(unanimous decision 29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Jingliang Li def David Michaud
(split decision 29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
*Cage Inspiration’s most anticipated fights.
Continue reading for why we can’t wait for these fights.
LIFE IS DEFINED BY FLOW. An invisible force that dictates what we do, how we do it, and everything that happens around us. Some people are able to find their flow early in life and spend time to nurture, develop, and grow it. People like Floyd Mayweather Jr. come to mind. People like Rickson Gracie, like Mikhail Baryshnikov, Sugar Ray Leonard, Buvaisar Saitiev and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Jon Jones. People who were able to early on in life find that thing, that one thing, that very thing, that they were put on this earth to do, and did it. These people I consider not just successful. Successful is too trivial of a word to describe them. These people have a fulfilled sense of being. They have made use of their allotted time on this earth. They can die happy.
Jon Jones became the UFC champion when he defeated Mauricio Shogun Rua at UFC 128 in March 2011. He wasn’t just the youngest UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, at 23 years and 242 days old, he was the UFC youngest champion ever. Since then, he has defeated multiple MMA legends and successfully defended his belt seven times. His most recent win is over Glover Texiera, the virtually undefeated Mike Tyson-esque heavy hitting disciple of Chuck Liddell. There doesn’t seem to be anything stopping Jon Jones.