When the UFC had to look to Chael Sonnen to save UFC 151 after Dan Henderson was forced out with an injury, they reaffirmed the dominance of UFC light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones over a once-loaded light heavyweight division.
Sure, it still has Ryan Bader, Lyoto Machida hasn't gone anywhere, Alexander Gustafsson is only moving upward in the division if he can knock Mauricio "Shogun" Rua off at UFC on Fox 5 and the division still has Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Not only that, but prospects Glover Teixeira, Ryan Jimmo and Stanislav Nedkov stand poised to prove that they deserve a title shot in only their third UFC career bout.
Also, Phil Davis stands on the outside looking in, and despite a no-contest against Wagner Prado, Davis wants to prove that he was always worthy of the discussions of him versus Jones.
The problem with all of this, and the one downside to this overview of the division, is Jones' dominance has cast a dark cloud over the division. The way in which he's effortlessly defeated former champions Rua, Jackson, Machida and "Suga" Rashad Evans has set the division into a state not seen at 205 pounds in quite a while.
Either Jones finds himself the motivation to rematch a past opponent, or he finds the motivation to keep a level head and bring out something better than the best Jones against a light heavyweight contender who is nothing more than a test to see if Jones even has any competition anymore at 205 pounds.
Until Henderson's knee heals, and until we see how Vitor Belfort's return to light heavyweight plays out at UFC 152, we will not know for sure if there's more for Jones to do. That Belfort, who has fought at 185 for the past few years, is now challenging Jones should say the same as what it said when the UFC desired to get Sonnen in against Jones. Simply put, there is something that needs to be said when a promotion has to look to a middleweight to replace Jones' original challenge—not referring to Belfort, of course.
Still, there's only one other man in UFC history who has dominated his division to the same extent that Jones has dominated the light heavyweight division. Now we, the MMA world, must hope that the aftermath of UFC 152 will see the UFC look either to a willing light heavyweight or at least a willing heavyweight who could benefit from a move to light heavyweight if they're serious about giving Jones a true challenge at this point in his still-young career.
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