|Written by Michael|
Bet on the UFCThis weekend, UFC 128 comes to the Prudential Center in Newark New Jersey. At the top of the fight card is Mauricio “Shogun” Rua versus Jon Jones in a light-heavyweight championship bout. While Rua is considered one of the best in the sport of MMA, Jones has quickly risen to the top of the weight class, and expectations are high for the emerging star.
Rua, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, is the current light heavyweight champion and former winner of the PRIDE 2005 Middlweight Grand Prix. He is the No. 1 ranked Light Heavyweight fighter in the world and is known for an aggressive style composed of football kicks and stomps. At UFC 113 on May 8, 2010, Rua won the Light Heavyweight championship by knocking out Lyoto Machida.
Jones is also highly ranked at No. 5 in the world in the light heavyweight class. He is well known for his extremely long reach, which at 84.5 inches is the longest in UFC history. Jones is coming off of a win against Ryan Bader, handing the previously undefeated Bader his first professional loss at UFC 126. Jones is replacing Rashad Evans in this UFC 128 fight.
Essentially, Jones is following in the footsteps of Rua. Looking at the two fighters' road to the light heavyweight championship bout, there is an eerie feeling of deja vu. Jones has had a quicker path to the top, but has also run a less challenging gauntlet of opponents. He has not suffered a legitimate defeat, but also has not fought the most elite UFC has to offer.
So Jones will have to prove that he can live up to the hype on Saturday night. While he will be fighting to begin a legacy at the top of the UFC, Rua will be seeking to cement his own history as one of the best fighters in the sport. He derailed the Machida era with a surprising win; can he also end the Jones era before it even begins?
Jones is hoping that his strength and confidence in the clinch will carry him through to victory, and his long reach gives him some advantage standing up. Rua's record stands at 19 wins and 4 losses, while Jones' record is 12 wins and 1 defeat. Sportsbook odds currently believe that Jon Jones will prevail in this matchup with Shogun Rua.