Since Jon Jones defeated Shogun Rua for the light heavyweight title, he has been on an absolute tear. He has defeated former champions Rampage Jackson, Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans with relative ease.
His next challenge comes in the form of Vitor Belfort. This begs the question: If Jones defeats Belfort at UFC 152, who's next?
I could focus on the old breed of contenders in this article. Lyoto Machida is at the top of the list, as is Shogun Rua. Both of these men have been defeated by Jones, so I decided to focus on new fighters who haven't seen Jones yet.
I believe there are two new contenders, with a third needing a bit more seasoning. These would be new fighters who would present intriguing matchups to Jones, if he remains the champion.
Here is my list of three.
Henderson was already slated to fight Jones before an unfortunate injury sidelined him. He has high-level wrestling and the always potent H-Bomb to help him end fights. Seeing as this fight was already set to happen, Henderson seems an obvious choice to fight Jones when his injury is healed.
Gustafsson is the second contender on this list. He holds a 6-1 UFC record and is now fighting Shogun Rua. Gustafsson has an excellent skill set, which consists of his ever-improving wrestling and ground game as well as his slick boxing.
He is also tall and has a good reach, which could help him against Jones. But he needs to beat Shogun in order to think about Jones.
I don't believe Teixeira will get a title shot in the near future. He is the most long-shot potential contender on this list. He has only one UFC fight under his belt, but it was very impressive. He next fights Fabio Maldonado at UFC 153.
Teixeira has wicked KO power and submissions, and he should be a force in the light heavyweight division in the coming months.
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