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Jon Jones and the Five Greatest Light Heavyweight Champions in UFC History: A Fan’s View
According to a Yahoo! Sports report, 24-year-old light heavyweight champion Jon Jones wants to be considered one of the greatest in UFC history.
With the current path that he's on, which included six straight wins and two title defenses, it's not a far stretch to say he'll accomplish that goal one day.
"It is one of my goals to be considered among the greats in UFC history," Jones said recently. "I feel it is my time and my destiny to be the light heavyweight champion in the UFC. Winning this fight, and defeating a fourth former champion in a row, would keep me on pace to achieving that goal."
Jon Jones is slated to fight Rashad Evans on April 21 at UFC 145. Jones has already joined the very elite company of UFC light heavyweight champs who have defended their title more than once.
In Jones' honor, here's a look back at the rest of the top five greatest former UFC light heavyweight champs of all time:
Ortiz, now 37 years old, was a terror in the light heavyweight division in his heyday.
"The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" earned a unanimous decision victory over Wanderlei Silva in 2000 to secure the belt, and he went on to defend his title five times in the two years that followed.
He would ultimately lose the belt in 2003, but no light heavyweight in the history of the UFC held the light heavyweight title longer than Ortiz did. Ortiz's 1,260 day span of holding the belt between 2000 and 2002 included key wins over Ken Shamrock and Evan Tanner.
48-year-old Randy Couture is a true legend in the sport.
While Couture is perhaps primarily known for his dominance in the heavyweight division in his early years, he was also a force in the light heavyweight division between 2003 and 2011.
Couture won the light heavyweight championship with a TKO of Chuck Liddell at UFC 43, and defended the belt with a victory over Tito Ortiz. He went on to win the belt for a second time with a victory over Vitor Belfort in 2004.
"The Iceman" defended the light heavyweight belt four times between 2005 and 2006, including victories over perennial contenders like Jeremy Horn and Renato Sobral, plus legends such as Randy Couture and Tito Ortiz.
Liddell finally retired in 2010 after three straight losses in the octagon.
Jackson defeated Dan Henderson at UFC 75 to unify the Pride World Middleweight title and the UFC Light Heavyweight title.
While he wasn't able to defend the belt, losing a unanimous decision to Forrest Griffin in 2008, Jackson will go down as one of the UFC's greatest former light heavyweight champions.
He has earned wins in the octagon over Wanderlei Silva, Chuck Liddell, Lyoto Machida and Marvin Eastman, among others. "Rampage" recently announced that he is looking to leave the UFC following his upcoming fight against Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
Who else deserves to be on this list? Let me know in the comments.
Eric Holden is a lifelong UFC fan and supporter of the sport of mixed martial arts. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.
www.sherdog.com, Sherdog, fighter stats
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