UFC 135 Preview: Relive the Night Jon Jones Became UFC Champion for Free

Mark PareCorrespondent IISeptember 13, 2011

Credit: mmamania.com
Credit: mmamania.com

The site was Newark, N.J. at UFC 128.  Jon Jones was just offered this fight a month prior, following his win over Ryan Bader.

Mauricio "Shogun" Rua was getting to defend the belt for the first time after he silenced his critics by defeating Lyoto Machida at UFC 113.

Jones was only 23 years old at the time, and although this was a classic match of young against one of the most experienced fighters in history, Rua wasn't quite prepared for the quickness that Jones brought that night.

The first round saw dominance by the challenger, with knees and a vicious ground-and-pound that brought the crowd into a frenzy and "USA" chants aplenty.

The second round exposed the creativity of Jones as he dealt a vicious spinning back elbow in the clinch.  Jones dominated the last half of the second round on the ground, controlling Rua's breathing and slowly gaining confidence. By the end of the round, Jones didn't look winded at all, while Shogun was fighting off a leg lock and a back fist when the horn went.

The third round saw Shogun attempt a comeback that was stuffed and turned into a submission attempt by Jones. Jones showed incredible patience, controlling Shogun on the ground until he started to tee off. Shogun got to his feet, but the damage was done. He went to the cage; one punch and a kick later and Shogun was down and the fight was called.

"Jon Jones is the youngest UFC champion in history!" exclaimed UFC commentator Mike Goldberg as the fight wrapped up.

Want to relive this fight?  UFC.com is offering it for free as a lead up for Jon Jones' first title defense against Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Here's the link to the video.

If Jones can dominate Rampage as he did Shogun, this could be an early night and a fast fight.

What do you think?

Mark Pare is a Featured Columnist. You can follow him on Twitter and don't forget to check out his sportswriter page.