March 21, 2010
BROOMFIELD, Colo. - No one has ever dominated Brandon "The Truth" Vera. Until Sunday night, that is.
Light heavyweight phenom Jon "Bones" Jones' meteoric rise continued. He tossed around Vera, a former heavyweight, like a rag doll, and appeared to have broken something on Vera's grill. Jones blasted Vera with a left elbow that forced the Filipino-American to give up almost immediately. Jones (10-1, 5-1 UFC) won at 3:19 of the first round in the main event of UFC on Versus at the 1stBank Center.
"I think it was a really good test. To be the best student, you have to study, study, study," Jones told UFC.com. "I feel as if I got an A on this test. It's just a testament to studying and hard work."
Jones, a 22-year old from upstate New York, set the tone early. Vera, who has a very good freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling background, was dumped on his rear end less than 15 seconds into the fight. Jones clinched and used an elementary hip toss to score that first takedown. Well, elementary in theory, but when you've got freakish strength like Jones, it looks easy.
It all looked like it was part of the plan but Jones said he bailed on the original plan early in the fight.
"My gameplan was to strike with him," said Jones. "I just kind of sense that he didn't want the takedowns to go down. In a lot of his interview he said 'I don't care if I get taken down.' That kind of let me know that was in the back of his mind. My core is wrestling and you can always go back to your core."
Vera (11-5) eventually got himself back up but then fell victim to a double-leg takedown via huge slam. That's when the trouble began. After a stoppage because of an illegal Vera kick to the face, Jones went to work. He landed a left elbow that had Vera immediately grabbing the side of his face. Jones threw one more elbow that landed on the Vera's arm. He was clearly in quitting mode. Three more punches and Vera turned away from Jones where the referee stepped in to stop it.
"That elbow is all Greg Jackson," said Jones. "He has a very distinct ground and pound system. If you realize Georges St. Pierre does the same style elbow. I found my home. Everything is working," said Jones of his new training home at Jackson's Submission Fighting in Albuquerque, NM.
The win is impressive on a couple of fronts. Jones has been with the UFC for less than two years and he had less than two years mixed martial arts experience when the promotion gave him a try. Secondly, this was the same Vera who gave the legendary Randy Couture a boatload of trouble back in November. Couture, one of the best takedown artists in the history of MMA, could barely get Vera to the ground. Jones made it look easy.
Is Jones, whose only loss was a disqualification to Matt Hamill in a match he was dominating, ready for a Couture, Mauricio Rua, Rashad Evans or Quinton Jackson? The better question is, can any of those guys those stay off the deck if they fight Jones?
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