Widely regarded as the best fighter ever to grace the UFC octagon, Jon “Bones” Jones is set to return to action this weekend for the first time in over three years. Jones takes on a new challenge this time around, as he has moved up weight classes to challenge Ciryl Gane for the Heavyweight title.
Across his illustrious career, the former Light Heavyweight champion has constructed an impressive 19-1 record, including a UFC-record 13 title defenses. Bones has defined what makes an elite UFC fighter since he first stepped into the octagon in 2008 and will look to continue his dominance in a new weight class. In preparation for UFC’s 285 main card, I’ve laid out five of Jones’ best career victories in UFC.
UFC 128: Light Heavyweight Title Fight vs. Mauricio Rua
Kicking off this list is Jones’ most important fight of his early career, his first shot at the Light Heavyweight title. After winning six of his first seven UFC fights, Jones received a shot at the title in March 2011 with a matchup against then-champion Brazilian fighter Mauricio Rua. Despite holding a 3-2 UFC record going into the fight, Rua was a very experienced fighter and had defeated the former title holder Lyoto Machida by knockout in a rematch bout.
Despite lacking experience in big main card fights, Jones was able to knockout Rua halfway through the third round with a brutal blow from the knee. This fight served as Jones’ entrance to the center stage of UFC and began the dominant run that was just getting started.
UFC 140: Light Heavyweight Title Fight vs. Lyoto Machida
As mentioned above, due to his defeat to Rua, fellow-Brazilian Lyoto Machida was Jones’ second title defense fight. Machida was considered the best Light Heavyweight fighter in UFC at the time, with a 9-2 record against some of the best competition UFC had to offer at the time.
The fight between Jones and Machida, which took place in December 2011, ended quite quickly as Jones was able to get a submission from Machida with a guillotine choke early in the second round. Jones’ dominant display against Machida solidified his place as the fighter to beat in UFC and earned him a matchup with UFC legend Rashad Evans.
UFC on Versus: Light Heavyweight Fight vs. Vladimir Matyushenko
The only non-title fight on this list, this bout against Belarusian fighter Vladimir Matyushenko may have been the most dominant performance of Jones’ career. Matyushenko had a decent 6-3 record when he faced Jones in August 2010, but was a much better fighter than his record showed.
Only his sixth fight in the UFC, Jones absolutely dominated Matyushenko by defeating him with a knockout elbow blow less than two minutes into the first round. Jones’ impressive display didn’t go unnoticed either, as he earned his first shot at the title only two fights later. The shortest fight of Jones’ career may be his best.
UFC 145: Light Heavyweight Title Fight vs. Rashad Evans
Beginning his UFC career back in 2004, American fighter Rashad Evans compiled a historic 12-1-1 record, including a Light Heavyweight title. Evans was given another shot at the Light Heavyweight title following Jones’ submission of Lachida in UFC 140.
The fight took place in April 2012 and ended following five rounds of action, with Jones defeating Evans due to a unanimous decision. Although it wasn’t Jones’ most dominant fight, it was certainly the greatest challenge he had faced up to that point and served as his 3rd title defense. Following this fight, Jones entered the prime of his career and was nearly untouchable when he stepped into the octagon.
UFC 247: Light Heavyweight Title Fight vs. Dominik Reyes
The most recent fight of Jones’ career saw him face fellow-American fighter Dominik Reyes in February 2020. Reyes is nowhere near the best fighter Jones has faced but was an impeccable 6-0 in the UFC heading into the fight. Despite Jones’ past dominance, this matchup certainly had many interested.
In what ended up being an exciting bout, Jones was able to secure victory after five rounds of action due to unanimous decision. Although not his best performance or competition, this fight displayed Jones’ longevity and impressive ability to continue his dominance in the UFC. Hopefully, we’ll all get to see another impressive display by Bones this Saturday.
Join our Discord to leave a question or comment regarding this article. We have sports fans talking betting all day — every day! JOIN THE DISCORD NOW AND QUALIFY FOR PRIZES & BETTING SWAG!
Be the first to comment