UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones
is undoubtedly the fastest-rising star in the sport of mixed martial
arts. Since bursting onto the scene in 2008, the 23-year-old New
Yorker has steamrolled through the UFC’s talented 205-pound division,
finishing opponents with his unmatched blend of unorthodox striking
and vice-grip-like submissions. On Saturday, Sept. 25, Jones’
meteoric rise faces imminent danger, as “Bones” will makes his
first title defense against former UFC and PRIDE champion Quinton
“Rampage” Jackson at UFC 135.
After capturing the UFC light heavyweight crown by stopping Mauricio
Rua in March, Jon Jones makes his first title defense in Denver
when he meets Rampage Jackson. At 13-1, the 23-year-old Team Jackson
fighter owns wins over the likes of Stephan Bonnar, Vladimir Matyushenko
and Ryan Bader. Despite his impressive resume, “Bones” believes
a win over Jackson would truly cement his place as one of the
world’s most dominant fighters.
“Fighting Rampage Jackson is an awesome opportunity and a win
is definitely something that could add to my legacy as champion,”
Jones said. “I think he’s re-motivated and that makes him dangerous.
He’s driving me to a different level of training right now. I’m
training like a champion so that I can go in there on Sept. 24
and perform like a champion.”
With his bone-crushing power and seek-and-destroy mentality,
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson owns victories over some of the sport’s
all-time greats, including Wanderlei Silva, Dan Henderson and
Chuck Liddell. While his opponent on Sept. 24 appears to be heading
toward a similarly historic career, Jackson (32-8) looks to end
Jones’ surge when the two battle for the title.
“I am planning on bringing the belt back to where it belongs,”
Jackson said. “That belt is very serious and very dear to me.
That belt should never have been taken off of me, and it’s been
a long time coming to get my chance to get my belt back. The proudest
thing I’ve done in my career is unify that title with the PRIDE
FC title, and in the next fight it was taken off me despite me
winning the fight. I’ve had to wait since 2008 to get my chance
to get my belt back, but anything that comes easy isn’t worth
having in the first place.”