The vast majority of MMA fighters fight a maximum of four times a year. Newly crowned UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon "Bones" Jones is no different. Although, that's not how Jones started his career.
At just 20 years of age, Jones burst onto the MMA scene in April 2008 and fought a whopping seven times between April and August. Fighting for smaller promotions, Jon won his first six fights in a row, four of which were within less than a month.
Shortly after his 21th birthday, Jones got called up to the big leagues. He made his UFC debut on Aug. 9, 2008 at UFC 87 in Minneapolis, Minn.
He defeated Andre Gusmao via unanimous decision to improve his professional record to 7-0 and hasn't looked back since.
"Bones'" meteoric climb up the Light Heavyweight standings included wins over Stephan Bonner, Jake O'Brien, Brandon Vera, Vladimir Matyushenko and Ryan Bader. Each win was significantly more dominating than the last.
Lumped amidst all these victories lies the lone loss of Jones' career. At The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 Finale, Jones was matched up against veteran Matt Hamill. JBJ went on to get the better of Hamill on the feet and eventually take him down.
Once on the ground, Jones immediately got full mount and rained down elbows that landed like a cross between hammers and razor blades. Hamill wasn't able to successfully defend himself as he got badly beaten and battered.
A bloody and helpless mess, Hamill was seconds away from defeat and Jones was looking at his 10th consecutive victory. However, in a split second everything changed.
Referee Steve Mazzagatti pulled Jones off and warned him about throwing illegal, "12-6" elbows. When Hamill was too injured to continue, Jones was controversially disqualified for the illegal strikes.
Just four months later, Jon was right back at it and was matched up against Brandon Vera. Jones made short work of Vera, getting the TKO victory in the first round.
Jones then went on to dominate former IFL Light Heavyweight champ Vladimir Matyushenko by way of TKO in the first round and top contender Ryan Bader via Guillotine Choke in Round 2, thus earning himself a title shot against Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
March 19, 2011, at The Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., was the site of UFC 128: Shogun vs Jones.
JBJ came out immediately with a flying knee that landed pretty hard and didn't look back. Jones significantly out-struck, out-wrestled, and overall out-classed the veteran, Rua.
In the third of five rounds Jon took Shogun down and started ground-and-pounding him with his classic elbows and started doing some serious damage. Rua was looking for an exit and was able to get off of his back and to his knees.
From that position, Jones landed a vicious knee to Shogun's body, which prompted him to stand up, where Jones then caught him with a couple punches.
Rua started to stagger backwards and Jon connected with a knee to Shogun's head which caused referee Herb Dean to step in and stop the fight.
At 2:37 of Round 3, Jon "Bones" Jones defeated the legend Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and became the youngest champion in UFC history at 23 years, 242 days old.
Immediately following Jones' victory, and while still inside of the Octagon, it was announced that his next opponent would be his former teammate and former UFC Light Heavyweight champ, Rashad Evans. A date, location, and event have yet to be decided.
Looking back on Jon Jones' dominance throughout arguably the toughest division in MMA, there is no reason to think that Jones won't defeat Evans, continue running through opponents, and possibly one day become the greatest champion the UFC has ever seen.