Saturday night in New Jersey, 23-year-old phenom Jon "Bones" Jones defeated light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua by third-round TKO to become the youngest title-holder in UFC history.
From the opening bell, Jones showed a neverending kaleidoscope of knees, fists and elbows. Creative. Accurate. Devastating.
Mauricio valiantly pressed forward, but the whirling dervish that was Jones proved impossible to hurt or even fluster.
Jones set the pace and Rua appeared to simply be trying to prevent an early stoppage.
Rua's warrior spirit was heartwarming, but ultimately almost pitiful. The Brazilian was met with takedowns, kicks and spinning elbows. And it appeared doubtful that Rua connected even one single meaningful strike.
Yes, it was that one-sided.
It was as dominate a performance as Jones has displayed so far.
Jones took Rua down at will and smothered him for minutes on end. Landing elbows, hammer fists, spinning around to attempt a knee lock and then spinning around again to deliver an unexpected back fist to Mauricio's jaw.
Jones' ground and pound even included chin butts to Mauricio's abdomen. Only once—in the third and final round—was Mauricio able to escape Jones' ground game. And even then, Mauricio was wobbly kneed from the cumulative trauma and within five seconds referee Herb Dean had stopped the contest.
Rua proved the toughest man in Jones' short, but meteoric career.
But frankly, he didn't prove that tough at all.
Jones looks frighteningly dominant at light heavyweight. And he reached this milestone one year earlier than I thought.
Perhaps the real superfight we're all looking for is Anderson Silva vs. Jones...