Sets up grudge match with former champion Rashad Evans
Jon Jones passed his first championship defense with flying colors.
From the opening bell through the final seconds, the 24-year-old light heavyweight was in complete control, dominating Quinton Jackson over the opening three rounds. Throwing a variety of kicks and using his tremendous reach, Jones kept Jackson at bay throughout the first 15 minutes, barely getting touched.
Early in the fourth, Jones connected with a left hand that stunned Jackson. Pressing in against the fence, Jones forced the former Pride and UFC champion to a knee, took his back, and worked for the finish. While Jackson tried to defend, Jones was simply too precise and fluid, securing his left arm under the chin, flattening out and rolling him over, and becoming the first man to submit Jackson in over ten years. The official end came at 1:14 of the fourth round.
While praise and hype for Jones has been great since his rapid rise to the top of the light heavyweight division, this performance showed why. For the second consecutive fight, he dismantled a decorated veteran, keeping Jackson off balance and guessing throughout, just as he did Mauricio Rua back in March. Jones is truly a one-of-a-kind talent, and showed that again tonight.
Next up for Jones will be a meeting with former teammate Rashad Evans.