Ladies and Gentleman, Jon Jones is indeed the real deal, and tonight he made Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua look average as he produced a remarkable display that resulted in him being crowned the light-heavyweight champion of the world.
Would Jones be tentative in the early stages given the pressure he was under? A flying knee to start the first round followed by a spinning back kick moments later suggested not.
Before long they were in the clinch and Jones showed once again how dominant his takedowns are by effortlessly sweeping him to the floor. Shogun was immediately fishing for submission attempts, trying to hook Jones leg, but the young fighter kept his composure and steered clear of danger while throwing some offensive strikes with his long limbs giving him plenty of leverage.
Shogun fought to his feet only to be met with a knee to the body against the cage and then a kick to the head on the way up that rocked the champion. Following up with straight punches he appeared to have Shogun in real trouble, but he managed to survive.
Shogun was on wobbly legs as he began to press forward and get his own offense going, and Jones was having his way with him. Everything he threw appeared to be landing, including creative strikes like repeated side kicks to the knee.
On to round two and it’s more of the same from this remarkably talented 23 year-old. There’s another moment of inspired creative early as he land a spinning elbow against the cage that lands cleanly and hurts the champion. Even in the clinch Shogun’s muay thai was coming up second best as Jones lands powerful knees.
Finally Shogun fires off one of his infamous leg kicks only to find it caught and then used to dump him on the mat once again. That’s bad news for the Brazilian as Jones gets to work with his nasty ground and pound for the rest of the round before looking for a kneebar just as the bell sounds.
Into round three and Shogun’s face is a swollen, bloodied mess. He’s still trying though and manages to slip under a kick and seize Jones back. A scramble ensues but Jones simply shrugs him off and works his way back on top and throws more bombs that find their target.
They get back to their feet but Shogun looks unsteady and Jones smells blood. Backing him up against the cage he throws everything into a body shot that crumples him and then lands a knee and it’s all over.
Make no mistake, Jones is something special, and perhaps at the age of just 23 is already the biggest talent in the sport. He’s steamrollered over opponents in the past, but to do so against a fighter of Shogun’s pedigree is very scary indeed, and it’s hard to see who can stop him at this moment in time.