Jon Jones became the youngest UFC champion in history on Saturday.
In the main event match up of UFC 128, Jones completely dominated Mauricio “Shogun” Rua from start to finish.
The 23-year old was never in danger throughout the fight. He was able to dictate when it went to the ground and utilized his reach advantage to nullify any offense Rua could mount on the feet.
In the first round, Rua’s guard was active and Jones wasn’t able to do much damage until the former champion tried to get to his feet. As “Shogun” stood, Jones landed a knee that wobbled Rua, and followed it with a left hook.
It was all down hill for Rua after that. Jones secured a takedown in the second stanza and busted Rua up with elbows and punches.
Rua came out with a sense of urgency in the third round. He pressed forward and took Jones’ back briefly, but found himself on the bottom again taking shots.
Shogun desperately worked to get up as Jones unleashed an assault of elbows. Rua rolled and scrambled, but Jones made him pay for it. As Rua got to his feet, Jones landed an uppercut that sent the Brazilian back peddling. Jones went in for the finish with a left hook to the body and knee to the head. Rua wilted from the blows along the cage.
“It’s a testament that dreams can come true guys. They really can,” said Jones after the win. “Believe in yourself, believe in your heart and once you get there, don’t slow down. “
“The strategy was to fight Jon Jones everywhere, anywhere that the fight could go,” said the battered Rua in his post-fight interview. “I have to congratulate him. He was better than me.”
Rashad Evans came in the cage after Rua departed and confirmed that he’ll face his teammate for the title.