• UFC 126

Jones beats Bader to book UFC 128 title shot at Rua

ESPN staff
February 6, 2011
Jon Jones outclassed Ryan Bader in all aspects of MMA © Getty Images

Jon Jones will fight Mauricio Shogun Rua for the UFC light-heavyweight title at UFC 128 after he saw off the previously undefeated Ryan Bader with ease on Saturday night.

Jones submitted Bader via guillotine choke with 40 seconds remaining in round two of their UFC 126 collision, but the real drama was taking place outside the Octagon as president Dana White secured the 23-year-old a maiden title fight. Rashad Evans had confirmed earlier in the day that a sprained knee ligament had forced him out of his championship encounter with Rua scheduled for March 19, so White brokered a deal with Shogun's camp - to the complete surprise of a triumphant Jones.

"It literally played out right beside the Octagon," explained White.

Inside the cage, Jones dealt with all the hype surrounding him to dominate Bader, stuffing takedowns with the minimum of fuss whilst putting Bader on his back at will. Jones' stand-up was also superior when utilised, but victory inevitably came via a choke at the second time of asking.

"My goal is to be considered the best light-heavyweight in the division," said Jones. "I feel as though it's my time. My dream, I feel, will come through."

Forrest Griffin used his size well against Rich Franklin © Getty Images

In the night's co-main event, Forrest Griffin shook off the ring rust built up by 15 months out of action to take a unanimous decision against Rich Franklin. The former 205lb champion had too much reach and size for Franklin - a natural middleweight - dominating the first round from top position before holding his own in the striking realm for the remainder of the bout.

Elsewhere, England's Paul Kelly played his part in the Fight of the Night against Donald Cerrone, but it was the American who triumphed thanks to a second-round rear naked choke. There was better news for Kelly's team-mate Paul Taylor, who destroyed Gabe Ruediger, winning by knockout in round two thanks to a thundering head kick.

There were also victories for Jake Ellenberger and Miguel Torres over Carlos Eduardo Rocha and Antonio Banuelos respectively in the night's other significant fights.

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