The importance of the matchup between rising stars Jon "Bones" Jones and Ryan Bader wasn't underestimated by anyone. Some fans were looking forward to this fight more than the UFC 126 main event of Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort.
The fight is over, and Jones did to Bader what he has done to all of his opponents since coming into the UFC. Jones stayed out of trouble, controlled Bader wherever the fight was and choked him out with a guillotine in the second round of the fight.
Fans probably expected a bit more from Bader, as it was a disappointing loss for him and definitely has him going back to the drawing board.
More important than the victory for Jones and probably the biggest news of the night is that, with the victory, Jones earned himself a title shot against current light heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
Hold on one second—wasn't Rua fighting Rashad Evans at UFC 128 in March? Apparently not.
Unfortunately Evans blew his knee out, and somehow the UFC managed to keep that secret locked up tight until now. It is too bad for Evans, but it's an excellent opportunity for the 23-year-old Jones.
This makes for an interesting matchup between Rua and Jones; fans can expect a barnburner with two of the sports most explosive and aggressive fighters set to meet in Newark, N.J., on March 19 at UFC 128.
Leon Horne has been contributing to Bleacher Report for two years now. He focuses mainly on mixed martial arts, but he has also written about tennis, football and hockey. Just send him a message if you want to talk sports or discuss any opportunities.
You can follow him on Twitter for updates: @Leon_Horne.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!