The UFC lines up solid veterans for Jon Jones and he keeps on blowing through them.
Jones made Vladimir Matyushenko look like he'd never grappled before. The 23-year-old light heavyweight took advantage of a sloppy punch by Matyushenko, got the fight to the mat and quickly converted it into a dominant position Sunday. Jones moved into a crucifix and dropped 11 nasty elbows in a matter of seconds. Referee Herb Dean was forced to stop the fight, giving Jones his fifth UFC victory in just under two minutes in the main event of UFC on Versus 2 in San Diego.
"I didn't think it would end that quickly," Jones told UFC color analyst Joe Rogan. "I trained the hardest I've ever trained. I knew Vlad would be the toughest test of my career and things went really well."
Jones is 11-1 (5-1 UFC), but really should be unbeaten. He suffered his only loss to Matt Hamill when he was disqualified for throwing an illegal elbow at "The Ultimate Fighter 10" finale. Jones is beginning to provide UFC officials with a matchmaking conundrum, because matchmaker Joe Silva and president Dana White don't want to move him too quickly, but he's destroying opponents so easily that they may have to throw him into deep waters next time out.
Jones wouldn't choose a name he'd like to face next. Finding him a top-10 UFC light heavyweight may be tough. Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Ryan Bader, Tito Ortiz, Matt Hamill and Rashad Evans are all tied up until at least late 2010. Evans is apparently going to wait for UFC light heavyweight champ Mauricio Rua to return from injury in early 2011. The other problem is that Jones is now training in the same camp as Evans in Albuquerque, N.M.
If Randy Couture gets by James Toney in late August that's a possible matchup that would sell well. Forrest Griffin is expected back in October from shoulder surgery. Rich Franklin is also out there waiting for a big fight.
Jones looked superior in every aspect Sunday night. When the fight was standing, his 84 1/2-inch reach made Matyushenko uncomfortable. The Belarussian panicked a bit and threw a wild left hook. Jones ducked and scored the takedown that led to the finish of the fight. On the ground, Jones was deliberate. Matyushenko had an arm early but Jones stayed calm and quickly extricated himself from any danger. He then passed to side control where he attempted a few elbows. He made a nice veteran move by pinning Matyushenko's left arm with his left hand and locked it down with his leg to set up the crucifix.
The thing that separates Jones from a lot of MMA fighters is his viciousness. He wasted no time in throwing those brutal elbows into the side of the Belarussian's head and ears.
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