He joined the UFC in 2008 after fighting six times that year with smaller promotions. Jones then went on a seven-fight run that saw him lose only once, a disqualification loss for throwing illegal elbows.
That run earned him a shot at UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Jones ran through Rua with no problem, leaving him battered, bloodied and without a title.
His next fight saw him become the first fighter ever to finish Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the UFC, forcing the former UFC champion to tap out in the fourth round.
From there it was on to another former champion, Lyoto Machida, and again it was another stoppage victory for Jones as he choked Machida out with a standing guillotine in the second round.
That takes us to Saturday night.
Facing his third straight former UFC light heavyweight champion, Jones walked away from his five-round battle with Rashad Evans with the title still strapped around his waist.
Jones wasn’t given much time to bask in the glory of his victory, as Dana White announced during the post-fight press conference he was going to face Dan Henderson: “We told Dan Henderson that he would fight the winner of this fight.”
Henderson, a former Pride and Strikeforce champion, is in his second stint with the UFC. Since rejoining the UFC in late 2011 he has fought once, defeating Mauricio Rua in a five-round bout that many considered to be the best fight of 2011 and one of the top fights in the history of the UFC.
Since that win Henderson has been sitting on the sidelines, waiting for a shot at UFC gold.
When asked about the fight, Jones had the following to say at the UFC 145 post-fight press conference:
I feel great that I already have a mission and I’m going to work extremely hard to better myself. I did things that I could have done better and Dan Henderson is an awesome opponent. He’s a winner, he has a huge fanbase, I’m sure the haters gonna come right away, which I’m ok with. It’s just gonna be a lot of things to conquer in this fight. He has extreme knockout power. I don’t know who hits harder between him and Rampage, but he has extreme knockout power and I’m excited to conquer it.
No date or location was mentioned for the Jones versus Henderson fight.