February 05, 2011
Now that's a night. Jon Jones showed off another part of his sick arsenal in taking out unbeaten Ryan Bader at UFC 126. The lanky 23-year-old light heavyweight phenom overpowered Bader for 6-of-9 minutes on the ground and finished the fight with a guillotine choke. Then the UFC shocked Jones and fans by offering the kid a shot at the UFC light heavyweight title against Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. Jones accepted on the spot.
"I feel great. God is so good. I feel great," Jones told UFC analyst Joe Rogan. "Hats off to Endicott, New York. And I'm going for a world title baby. Let's do it!"
Rogan announced that Rashad Evans, Rua's original opponent at UFC 128 was out with an injured knee. Dana White confirmed to Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole that the fight is still on for mid-March in Newark, N.J.
Jones (12-1, 6-1 UFC) will have just over five weeks to prep for the biggest fight of his young career. Iole reports that Evans injured his knee yesterday. According to Dr. Steve Sanders, the knee will keep Evans sidelined for 6-8 weeks.
Bader (12-1, 5-1 UFC) is a huge, thickly-muscled light heavyweight, but tonight he looked no different than every other Jones' opponent in the UFC. The kid is thin, but he's overpowered everyone when they've locked horns with him.
After toying with some standup at the start of the fight, Jones scored an easy takedown just 30 seconds in. He muscled Bader on the ground, which shocked many observers considering he was facing a former All-American wrestler from Arizona State. Jones worked for different chokes while he kept the fight on the ground for two minutes. Once it got back up to the feet, Bader looked intimidated by Jones' length. He attempted a takedown from a mile away and wound up on his back again for the final two minutes of the first.
In the second, it was more of the same. Jones was more measured. Bader looked tentative on the feet. Then Bader made the mistake again of shooting from long distance and allowed Jones to settle on top of him, where he eventually sunk in the nasty guillotine. His 84-inch reached help set it up and it was clear, his grip was like a vice. Bader tapped at 4:20 of the second.
Update: Jones received a $75,000 bonus for Submission of the Night.
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