UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones is undeniably one of the most dominant titleholders in the promotion’s history. His incredible reign began back in 2011, when he bludgeoned Brazilian legend Mauricio “Shogun” Rua to a third-round TKO win.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to cascade across the planet, the UFC has released footage of this iconic Jones win from its archives. See it below:
Jon Jones earned his shot at Shogun by defeating Ryan Bader—now a two-division Bellator champ—in a No. 1 contender fight.
After defeating Shogun to win the title, he went on a legendary streak, picking up victories over a long list of former champions and dangerous contenders in Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Alexander Gustafsson, Glover Teixeira, and Daniel Cormier. While he was then stripped of the title due to a drug testing issue, he later reclaimed the belt with a second win over Alexander Gustafsson. Since then, he’s defended the belt three times, picking up decision wins over contenders from a whole new generation in Anthony Smith, Thiago Santos, and Dominick Reyes.
While Jones has maintained his stranglehold on the UFC light heavyweight title, his victories over Santos and Reyes were both quite controversial, with many fans believing his opponents deserved the judges’ nod — and the belt — on the night.
At this stage, it’s not clear who Jon Jones will fight next — particularly amid the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus, but Polish contender Jan Blachowicz seems like the frontrunner for the next title shot. Jones could also be booked for an immediate rematch against Reyes.
Whatever the case, it will be interesting as always to see if Jones can continue the run of championship dominance that began all the way back in 2011 when he walloped Shogun to win the belt.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/20/2020.