PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

May 3, 2014

David Estrada column: Bones Jones brings order to light heavyweights

PORT ARTHUR —     For years the UFC light heavyweight division was a in s state of disarray. During a three year span that belt was owned by six different champions —  “The Iceman” Chuck Liddell, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida, and Shogun Rua. That is until Jon“Bones” Jones exploded onto the scene.

    Since defeating Shogun Rua in March 2011 to earn the title, Jones has brought order to the division and has successfully defended it seven consecutive times; the latest last weekend at UFC 172.

    This record seven consecutive light heavyweight defenses makes Jones surpass other light heavyweights, Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell who had five and four, respectively.

    The numbers are just the beginning of Jones’ growing legend.  His method of

victory, for instance, is something to behold. In his bout last weekend against Glover

Teixeira, he actually fought to his opponent’s strength. getting close within

Teixeira’s striking range.

    Many people felt was the challenger’s only hope

was his power punches if he could get inside. Jones was not afraid to get

within this danger zone and he did the pummeling on Teixeira earning a unanimous

decision victory.

    Bones Jones’ latest victory sets up a ground-breaking event expected to come

in 2014.

    His UFC 165 bout with Alexander Gustafsson brought Jones to the absolute brink

of defeat and tested his mettle like no other fight before. Jones squeaked out

a decision victory in what many considered to be the 2013 fight of the year.

    Gustafsson’s victory over Jimi Manuwa in March makes him the No. 1

contender at light heavyweight again. Jones vs. Gustafsson II will occur and

the details are yet to be formalized. Rumors are swirling that this

highly-anticipated rematch will be held in a 50,000 plus capacity stadium in a

European country, perhaps even Gustafsson’s native Sweden.

    Whatever the case, act two of Jones-Gustafsson will be one of the most watched

MMA events in history. The multimedia world we live in points to just how big

the rematch will be.

    EA Sports took over the gaming rights for the UFC this year and had fan voting

to see who would grace its first cover. Loe and behold it was both Bones Jones

and Alexander Gustafsson who were picked to literally be the UFC’s cover boys.

    UFC 172 was heavy on the top with Jon Jones headlining but it was a bit

watered-down on the rest of the card. The co-main event pitted perennial light

heavyweight power Phil Davis against a fighter freshly returning to the UFC,

Anthony “Rumble” Johnson.

    It is unusual for a fighter to be in a main or

co-main event without having fought in the UFC just prior to that bout. Rumble

Johnson last fought in the UFC in 2012, fought for lesser-known promotions, then

came back to face Phil Davis at UFC 172.

    Anthony Johnson had a successful return by defeating Davis via unanimous

decision. Rumble Johnson shot up instantly in the UFC light heavyweight

rankings but he and others face a huge gap to the number one and number two

spots of Jon Bones Jones and Alexander Gustafsson.

    David Estrada Jr. is a Mixed Martial Arts columnist for the Port Arthur News. He can be  e-mailed at

DavidEstrada@DavidEstrada.com

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