Power Ranking Jon Jones' UFC Fights

Dan HiergesellFeatured ColumnistAugust 13, 2012

Power Ranking Jon Jones' UFC Fights

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    Jon Jones' rise to stardom has been quick and well-deserved.

    The 25-year-old has finished the very top light heavyweights in the world en route to three-straight UFC title defenses.

    Prominent victories over elite contenders such as Rashad Evans, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Lyoto Machida are responsible for Jones' status as arguably the best fighter in the world.

    But which win meant more?  Which title victory stands out more than the rest?

    Look no further.  Let the power ranking begin.

11. TUF 10 Finale vs. Matt Hamill

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    Defeat Via Illegal Elbow Disqualification

    Technically Jon Jones lost to Matt Hamill at TUF 10 Finale due to illegal elbows.  Technically that's his only defeat inside the Octagon.

    But we all know what really went down.  Illegal strikes or not, Jones was going to win that fight.

    By no stretch of the imagination was Hamill going to pull off a comeback against one of the UFC's biggest budding stars.

    It just wasn't going to happen. 

    However, a loss is a loss.  And for that, this fight comes in at No. 11.

10. UFC 94 vs. Stephan Bonnar

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    Victory Via Unanimous Decision

    In hindsight, Jon Jones should have finished Stephan Bonnar at UFC 94.

    From taking Bonnar down seven times to implementing a historic suplex, Jones was leaps and bounds better than The Ultimate Fighter 1 runner-up.

    But considering he failed to finish the hard-noised veteran, this victory doesn't quite stack up against his other impressive stoppages.

9. UFC 87 vs. Andre Gusmao

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    Victory Via Unanimous Decision

    UFC 87 marked the arrival of Jon Jones in the UFC.

    His debut matchup against Andre Gusmao may not have been overly impressive, but winning his first Octagon battle truly meant everything.

    It was the spark that ignited Jones' dominate reign for the next four years.

    It was his first taste of success in what may end up being the greatest mixed martial arts career of all time.

8. UFC 100 vs. Jake O'Brien

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    Victory Via Second-Round Submission

    UFC 100 not only showcased Brock Lesnar's dominance over Frank Mir, but it was the first time Jon Jones finished a fight inside the Octagon.

    His second-round submission over the tough Jake O'Brien displayed Jones' overall skill set.  Not only could the kid out-strike opponents, but he could submit them as well.

    O'Brien may not attract as much awe as other names on this list, but it's the submission that started it all.

    Jones is now one of the best finishers in the UFC.

7. UFC Live vs. Vladimir Matyushenko

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    Victory Via First-Round TKO

    The fight with Vladimir Matyushenko was put forth to test Jon Jones.

    Could he handle a powerful veteran?

    Could he finish one of the division's best gatekeepers?

    Well, Jones showcased that he could do both of those things, securing a TKO victory by way of elbows over "The Janitor" in just the first round.

    The win let every title contender know that Jones was coming for the belt.  They'd better get ready or make room for the phenom.

6. UFC Live vs. Brandon Vera

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    Victory Via First-Round TKO

    Just like today, Brandon Vera was considered one of the best strikers in the light heavyweight division when he took on Jon Jones back in 2010.

    For Jones to run through Vera like a freight train and end his night before the second round spoke wonders of how good the young title contender really was.

    It also sent Vera's career spiraling out of control.

5. UFC 145 vs. Rashad Evans

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    Championship Victory Via Unanimous Decision

    Rashad Evans stands as the only fighter to have lasted all five rounds with Jon Jones.

    Due in part to being ex-training partners and former-friends, Evans was able to somewhat keep Jones at bay.

    It's possible that Jones was hesitant to attack a guy that taught him many of the techniques he uses, but he still outperformed Evans for 25 minutes.

    Jones did land a career-high 105 strikes, but he secured only one takedown in what can now be considered his most lack luster title defense to date.

    Regardless, it was a good victory over a legitimate No. 1 contender.

4. UFC 126 vs. Ryan Bader

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    Victory Via Second-Round Submission

    Jon Jones' guillotine of Ryan Bader was more important than people realize.

    Sure, Bader didn't seem ready to take on a guy of Jones' caliber, but he was a prominent threat nonetheless.

    The decisive submission victory not only put one of the top contenders to rest after just two rounds, but it gave Jones No. 1 contender rights.

    It this hadn't been a dominating performance and a Submission of the Night, Jones may not have gotten a shot at the light heavyweight title.

3. UFC 135 vs. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson

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    Championship Victory Via Fourth-Round Submission

    Rampage Jackson stood no chance against Jon Jones.

    Jones was bigger, stronger, more versatile on his feet and seemed to check everything Jackson threw.

    The fight did last four rounds, but that was simply a product of Jones taking his time and making sure he didn't make any remorseful actions.

    It was only the second time in Jackson's career that he was submitted and it was a fight that showcased Jones out-striking the MMA legend 61-16.

    This loss was arguably the breaking point of Jackson's career.

2. UFC 140 vs. Lyoto Machida

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    Championship Victory Via Second-Round Submission

    Lyoto Machida is so dangerous in every facet of the fight game.

    He's elusive, possesses world-class counters, tolerates all sorts of strikers and never seems to be in too much trouble.

    However, when he fought Jon Jones, despite winning the first round, Machida looked pedestrian at best.

    For the champion to secure a standing guillotine on one of the greatest fighters in the sport, in just the second round to boot, it gave fans a definitive answer as to what the future of the division holds.

    The victory propelled Jones beyond greatness.  He was know being mentioned as potentially the greatest of all time when it's all said and done.

    His destruction of Machida was legendary to say the least.

1. UFC 128 vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua

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    Championship Victory Via Third-Round TKO

    For what Mauricio "Shogun" Rua stood for, and still does, this fight was by far Jon Jones' best performance inside the Octagon.

    Not only did he pick apart Rua like he was some washed-up amateur off the streets, but he became the youngest champion in UFC history in the process.

    Jones had finally gained the recognition he deserved.  He was finally being mentioned as one of the best in the sport and was easily ready to reign as the division's champion for years to come.

    In that fight, Rua landed a grand total of nine strikes.  It was his lowest since knocking out Alistair Overeem back in 2007 in the first round to earn a victory.

    The outcome spoke wonders as to how special Jones really is.

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