Jon "Bones" Jones has evolved into the fastest rising star in all of MMA. At just 23 years of age, Jones has aligned himself with a shot at the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. If Jones can defeat newly crowned champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, he will show of a major changing of the guard that's currently happening in the UFC. Currently, there's only one champion that's over the age of 30. This means that there's a new wave of fighters entering into the UFC, and Jones is the clearest representation of this "new breed."
Rua is being greatly discounted in this fight. Although he's the champion and has many tricks up his sleeve, the sly Jones just might be one step ahead with his unorthodox striking. Keep in mind that Rua too is unorthodox and powerful, but Jones is very precise considering the difficulty of the strikes that he throws. Jones should be able to keep the champion off balance in this way.
In other action on Saturday night, Urijah Faber's UFC coming out party will be underway in the co-main event. Faber, now at 135 pounds, looks to earn another shot at Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz. Faber defeated Cruz four years ago in the WEC. Faber can't look ahead though as Eddie Wineland presents a tough challenge for him this weekend in New Jersey.
This card also includes both Miller brothers, Dan and Jim, in their native New Jersey.
TUF 10 runner-up Brendan Schaub looks to take down another UFC veteran when he meets Mirko Cro Cop. Schaub expects 2011 to be a big year where he solidifies his position at Heavyweight.
UFC 128 has major implications for the company in 2011 and beyond. Jones could provide that new class of champion that the UFC can market at 205. A lot of questions will be answered on Saturday night in Newark.