Jon Jones stated very clearly recently that a win over Chael Sonnen at UFC 159 does one major thing for his career: It ties him with Tito Ortiz with the most consecutive title defenses in UFC light heavyweight history.
During his time as champion, Ortiz defended the belt a total of five times before losing the strap to future UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture. Jones' fight with Sonnen will be his fifth title defense since taking the belt from Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in 2011.
While Jones' personal goals remain to match and then break Ortiz's record, UFC president Dana White believes that the current champion has already surpassed that mark based on level of competition alone.
"No matter what I say it's going to sound like I'm smashing Tito cause of me and Tito, but the competition that Jon Jones has faced in the last year-and-a-half in the light heavyweight division is far tougher than what Tito faced at the time when he was the champ," White told Bleacher Report on Thursday. "And Jon Jones is undefeated. Tito has that record because he was here for so long. Jon Jones is doing it in almost two years. It's pretty amazing. I don't think you can compare the two."
Since debuting in the UFC, Jones has been an absolute wrecking machine in the light heavyweight division. He's won every fight (outside of a disqualification loss due to illegal elbows against Matt Hamill) and finished eight different opponents by either TKO or submission.
Jones' title reign has been nothing short of devastating, and if he can put away Sonnen on Saturday night at UFC 159, he will match Ortiz's mark, regardless of where White would put him in the "all-time" conversation.
Jones has hinted that with a win at UFC 159, he could look to defend the title one more time to officially hold the record for most title defenses at 205 pounds before entertaining a move to heavyweight. Another option could be Jones facing a legend like UFC middleweight king Anderson Silva in a superfight.
Before any of that happens, Jones will look to dispatch Sonnen and then look for his sixth title defense later in the year.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, and all quotes were obtained first-hand unless otherwise noted.