In the main event of Saturday night’s UFC 159, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (18-1) defeated Chael Sonnen (27-13-1) to retain his title by TKO in the first round and further assert his dominance in MMA.
As many expected, this one wasn't even close.
To Sonnen's credit, he came out aggressively against the champion. The longtime middleweight contender went to the clinch soon after the opening bell and attempted to stay busy, but Jones' strength was simply too much. After repeated takedowns led to some vicious ground-and-pound, the beginning of the end was set in motion.
Jones utilized the clinch to set up yet another takedown and rained down his signature elbows until the fight came to an end.
Jones is one of the most decorated fighters of the last several years. He has now successfully defended his championship for a fifth straight time and won his ninth straight fight since being disqualified on The Ultimate Fighter 10 finale in 2009, which is his only career loss.
Sonnen was not the best test for Jones after the challenger jumped up a weight class—many felt the jump to light heavyweight hurt his chances in the fight—but Sonnen’s wrestling skills and striking ability helped keep Jones from getting too comfortable during Saturday’s bout.
Jones grabbed the win on Saturday night, but Sonnen deserves credit for not only taking this fight but doing everything in his power to get the UFC the publicity it was looking for in this main event.
As great as this victory was for Jones, this is an even more devastating loss for Sonnen.
Most expected the brash fighter to lose on Saturday night, but the fact that the legitimate tough guy has become a sideshow for the UFC is a waste of talent.
Instead of putting him in fights that he is destined to lose, Dana White and company officials should be lining up contenders whom Sonnen matches up better against and love to talk trash.
The hope is that Sonnen realizes he should be fighting at middleweight exclusively now, and the lessons learned on Saturday should help the MMA star focus on contending for a No. 1 spot once again.
This victory was great for Jones, but UFC officials will be looking to line up another opponent almost immediately. There are several viable options in the light heavyweight division, but this may be the time to schedule a possible megafight.
Which fighter is impacted by this outcome more?
If there were ever a time for this dream fight to come to fruition, it would likely be this fall.
No matter whom Jones fights next, the victory at UFC 159 proves he’s one of the toughest pound-for-pound fighters in UFC and MMA history.