If UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones were a solar system, it would be one where the central star has collapsed and gone type-II supernova.
That's because the title fight between UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Jon "Bones" Jones has almost completely engulfed the rest of the card. In all honesty, there's no denying the intrigue behind the five-rounder; it's waist-deep in story lines so take your pick.
How about Jones' decision to accept a rugged challenge in the form of the Brazilian champ with only six weeks notice?
Or the reality that Shogun has earned the right to be top dog at 205 pounds, has only suffered four defeats in 23 bouts despite facing an almost-constant barrage of the elite in his division and is arguably in his physical prime at 29.
Yet he's the underdog?
Of course, there's also Bones' youth and comparable inexperience—the 23-year-old is trying to become arguably the youngest champion in UFC history depending on whether you count a 19-year-old Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort's victory in the UFC 12 Heavyweight Tournament.
And he's making quite the leap in degree of difficulty as far as his opponent is concerned. Shogun is no joke and several rungs up the food chain from anyone Jon has yet faced.
In other words, yes, the hype is justified.
Nevertheless, UFC 128 is far from a one-trick pony with Urijah "The California Kid" Faber making his much-anticipated debut against a dangerous Eddie Wineland, Brendan "The Hybrid" Schaub trying to take the next step in his evolution against Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, as well as both fightin' Miller Brothers making an appearance.
So enjoy the March Madness all day, but keep it going with us tonight as Bleacher Report brings you live updates from the Prudential Center. The first gloves drop around 7:15 p.m. ET/4:15 p.m. PT so see you then.
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